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Getting To Know Your Help Desk, Volume 1

Do you ever wonder who the people are that are at the front desk when you walk by, or are driving shuttles. Have you ever wanted to get to know those folks better? Well I am here to help!!

This week we are putting the spotlight on our very own Missy R., A.K.A The Irish One.

Missy has been a member of the Zappos family since July 2004. One of her original trainers was Jacob P.. She started on the Customer Loyalty Team and was also part of the Quality Assurance Team for a period.Missy joined the Help Desk in November of 2007.

Some fun facts about Missy:

She loves any food that’s hot and spicy, we joke that she no longer has taste buds, and to quote “Anything hot and spicy is a sign of sure goodness”

She has 4 tattoos and loves the band Social Distortion.

She’s from a small town in Arizona and comes from a big family.

She loves the culture here at Zappos and she says that the best part of being at Zappos is how every day is different. Missy says the biggest change that she’s witnessed is seeing Zappos grow from 70 people in one building and now there’s over 900 in three buildings.

If you see Missy at the front desk make sure that you give her a big “Hey Baby”

We love you, Missy!

Family Recreation: Pumpkin Patch Fall Fun

One of the things my son loves to do is go pick a pumpkin to carve into a jack o’ lantern. We did it one year with my dad, and the boy has been an enthusiastic pumpkin picker ever since. Picking and carving pumpkins really can make a great fall family activity.

There are many places that still offer pumpkin patches in which you can go and choose your own pumpkins. In much the way agri-tourism has brought back picking your own apples (another great fall family activity) and picking your own strawberries, going to a patch somewhere to choose your own jack o’ lantern pumpkins is becoming popular again. The whole family can look through the patch and choose the pumpkins that they like best. My son prefers the perfectly round ones that weigh about ten pounds, while my husband likes pumpkins that are taller than they are wide. No matter the preference, though, it is possible to find just the right pumpkin.

Make sure that you go prepared, however. It is starting to get chilly in most parts of the country. Wear sturdy shoes that you do not mind getting dirty (I never saw a mud-free pumpkin patch), and a jacket to keep you warm. It can also help to have gloves, especially if the day is brisk and a little windy. We like to go to a nearby farm that also offers pony rides for the kids and sometimes a wagon ride. With the crisp autumn air, the brightly colored leaves and the hot apple cider, the pumpkin patch day is usually a dream.

When you get the pumpkin home, if you plan to carve within a couple of days, you can leave the pumpkins on your doorstep. Otherwise, keep them in a cool, dark place. We keep ours in the cellar for a couple of weeks before carving. After you carve them, you can put a little petroleum jelly on the inside and along the edges that you carved out. This helps preserve the jack o’ lanterns for a couple extra days.

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Best Vacation Spots for Skaters: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is a great place to go on vacation if you are a skateboarder. This city has great architecture and urban features that make it the perfect destination to bring your skateboard. This city has great skate spots, a couple of cool skateboard shops and a huge 17,000 square foot skatepark waiting for you.

Asheville, North Carolina – Street Skateboarding
If you enjoy street skateboarding then you will love Asheville, North Carolina. While it is technically against the law to skateboard outside the skatepark, the local authorities tend to just give you a warning and discourage you from boarding in the city. However, do not skateboard in downtown Asheville or on private property without permission or you will get a $150 fine. According to the locals a few of the best street skating spots are the AC Reynolds High School, where you can find ledges and handrails, the Beaver Dam, where you will find a great selection of challenging ledges, the HESS Rail, which has a very challenging flat bar rail over a large gap, and the Health Depot, which has three up and three down, flat bar rails, benches and a bump up.

Asheville, North Carolina – Food Lion Skatepark
The main skatepark for Asheville, North Carolina is Food Lion Skatepark, and it is found at the intersection of Cherry Street and Flint Street. This park offers about 17,000 square feet of skating terrain, and has three courses, a beginner’s course, a street course and a bowl course. The fee to get in is between $2 and $5 depending on when you use the park and if you are a resident or not. The park is always open from 1 p.m. until dark. The opening times are going to vary depending on the time of year and the day of the week that you use the park.

Asheville, North Carolina – Skateboard Shops
There are at least two great skateboard shops in Asherville. The first is the Park Skateshop, which can be found at 25 Patton Avenue. The second is the Flipside Boardshop, which can be found at 88 N. Lexington Avenue. At these shops you will find everything you need to board in North Carolina including skateboards and boarding clothing.

Stress, Stress, Stress: Healthy Diets Lower Stress Levels

When it comes to dealing with stress, there’s a direct link between how well you take care of yourself and how well you handle tension. A big part of this is diet, but it’s hard to watch what you eat. When you stop to think about it, how do you know when you’re feeling stressed out? Your muscles tense, your heart rate increases, and you might even get a headache. Many of the signs of stress are physical. By taking small steps to improve what you eat, you can better prepare your body for handling stress later on. Even the busiest people can do three easy things to make their diets just a little bit healthier.

Stay Hydrated
This is probably the most important. I’ve noticed a big difference in how I feel when I’m not staying hydrated, and how I feel when I do. The best way to handle this is to keep a bottle of water (or tea, etc.) with you at all times. If it’s there, you’re more likely to drink it, and less likely to run for the soda machine down the hall.

Avoid Temptation Altogether
I find this really hard to do, but it works! The idea is simple enough: if you want to improve your health and resistance to stress, don’t buy junk food. If it’s not in the house, you can’t sit around eating it in the evenings. I’m usually pretty mad when I want a big bowl of ice cream after dinner, but am I mad enough to make a special trip to the store? No.

Make It Easy
During your busy day and when you get home from work, you’re probably not likely to whip up a nutritious meal. If you plan ahead in the mornings and after dinner, you’re more likely to eat well. Pack your lunch in advance, with healthy things you like to eat. For an easy evening meal, throw lean meats and fresh vegetables into slow cookers in the morning for a hot meal when you get home. A little advanced planning makes it easy to stay hydrated, healthy and ready to face the world.

Best Hiking Trails: Kalalau Hiking Trail

Looking for one of the most beautiful places on earth? Want to see amazing scenery? Like to work out every muscle in your body, and then relax on a gorgeous beach when you’re finished? Then look no further. The Kalalau Hiking Trail is definitely for you. Sure, hiking trails are supposed to be relaxing, fun and easy, right? Well, this one isn’t. The Kalalau Trail will give you a major workout, and as it’s an 11 mile long trail, you’ll be working out for a while. But, part way through the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the ocean and a sandy beach second to none.

The Kalalau Trail is on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and is also known as the paradise trail. This 11-mile trail starts out with a pretty, winding and strenuous, hike upwards until, at the top, you’ll be confronted with a narrow hiking path that overlooks an incredible ocean view. The trail then continues on, up and down, up and down, and finally descends until it ends up at Hanakapiai Beach. Hanakapiai Beach is around two miles up the trail, but because of the narrowness of the trail and the incline, it will still take you several hours to get there.

Hanakapiai Beach is a small sandy beach, which is lovely. The only warning here is please don’t swim in the ocean. The currents are very strong and even a strong swimmer could be pulled out to sea very quickly, so keep your water emersion to no more than a quick wading.

The Kalalau Trail begins at Ke’e Beach and ends up in the Kalalau Valley. The whole trail normally takes a couple of days to do, even for experienced hikers, so make sure you have your camping equipment with you if you want to hike the whole trail. Be warned that a camping permit is required for people who want to go further than Hanakapiai Beach as the state park is strict about access to this part of the trail and beyond.

For a great workout with an unbelievable view, you can’t beat the Kalalau Trail. Hawaii has gorgeous scenery and this trail will show you some of the best.

Comfort Item: The Perfect Winter Slipper

Cinderella may have been in love with her glass slippers, but they definitely do not compare with the perfect slippers. There is something about slippers that tones down one’s mood and influences feelings of comfort and relaxation. No matter what task may be at hand at home, whether it is a home repair, hanging out with friends watching football or just chilling , wearing the perfect slippers evokes feelings of down time and rejuvenation.

Just ask a teen who has absolutely no problem wearing Ugg Slippers outdoors or to run an errand. Today’s slippers for teens are as cool as their shoes, even for the guys. Chances are, if you haven’t seen a teenager in the Ugg Slippers for guys, you soon will, especially with the holidays coming up. These gifts are sure hits. So bypass the gift cards that never get used and don’t try to pick out clothes. Instead move towards the comfort items and pick up the coolest perfect slippers available.

Case in point, the Ugg Slippers for guys are called Sampson and are available in a black, dark brown and western brown with a genuine sheepskin lining. The slip-on style slipper is made of a rich leather upper and a rubber sole, in other words, they last much longer than the average slipper. They are a great gift and definitely an excellent comfort item that retails for approximately $100.

Of course guys can’t outdo the girls. One of the coolest perfect slippers for girls is the Ugg Cluggette, which is a slip on with a closed toe. The Ugg Cluggette is made of genuine sheepskin. Available in lilac, orchid, sand, chocolate, muslin and several camo prints, the Ugg Cluggette retails for approximately $84.

Ugg Slippers have a style for everyone, which is another excellent reason they are the perfect slipper. Ugg Slippers start at infant size, and styles are created for infants through adults for a slipper that is long-lasting and definitely considered the perfect slipper. Goodbye glass slippers.

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Zappos Idol!

Today inside Zappos we discovered that we have a much more musically inclined group than we thought, during our all day Zappos Idol competition (or should I say Karaoke madness!) We had everything from Broadway musicals, to songs that you only listen to your car but somehow worked up the courage to sing them in front of your co-workers, to the oldies-but-goodies.

I would really like to debut all of the videos in order to show off the singing talents of my fellow Zapponians, but unfortunately, we don’t own the rights to every song in the world, thus we are not allowed to post them. But, before you stop reading any further due to disappointment, Brett H. wrote a lovely and very original diddy that we can post for you. Background vocals are by yours truly, Melissa L. and the human microphone stand is the one and only Brooke H. ENJOY!

Chores, Chores, Chores!

Who said it was only a mother’s job to keep a clean home? Or a father’s job to cut the lawn and take out the trash. Times have changed now that both parents are in the workforce. Let’s face it…..9-5 is not just a cute movie from the 80’s…it’s reality for most. It’s time to get some help around the house….and kids….it’s you!

Kids today have so much that they don’t realize how fortunate they are. For most Mom’s and Dad’s, they want their kids to have everything they didn’t have when they were kids. So it is not uncommon to see a 7 year old carrying around an Ipod and cellular phone. Call me crazy….but I recall carrying a couple of dimes to make a pay phone call back in the day. Times are a changing and our children now need to start helping more around the house. All those luxurious things cost money and Mom’s are right there along with Dad’s working long hard hours outside of the home.

Give your children a sense of responsibility. Trash, dishes, sweeping and dusting are not just a chore for Mom and Dad. For your 5 year old, it could be just praising him for picking up his toys when he is done playing with them….or putting his plate on the counter after dinner. Junior high aged children can start to help more by giving Mom a break and loading the dishwasher after meals. Take out the trash for Dad and pick up after the pets. Although you may get a few moans and groans, they will ultimately grow as individuals and know that they are expected to partake in these chores. These simple chores will only prepare your children for life on their own as adults. The more they understand that they have to work to have nice things, the better off they will be when they are on their own. As parents, we must teach our children to appreciate what they have and/or are given and sometimes it takes hard work to get those things. Let’s not teach them to believe they come free. Responsibility with something as simple as a chore will do wonders for your children, and help you out as well.

Now go out and divide up the chores around the house as a family and give them praise for it! Hey, with the extra help, you just might have more time to spend together as a family….and that is more than anything in the world!

By Dee Calderon