KEYSTROKE MONTHLY THE
MARCH 2020 HOW CLEANING TOILETS HELPED MY CAREER
Some of my most valuable lessons I learned in my college career weren’t necessarily from the classroom. In high school, I had a talent for playing basketball, and I was a part of a very talented team. We were one of the best teams in the state. Because the team was so good, I got a lot of exposure when it came to opportunities to play college ball. I received numerous scholarship offers, among them Oklahoma State University, where I decided to go. I was elated, and my ego was through the roof — but that wouldn’t last long. Part of my scholarship responsibility was to do 8–10 hours of work per week within the athletic department. The amount of work I had to do didn’t bother me, but the type of work absolutely did. On my first day of work, I found out I had to report to the head janitor, and my first job was cleaning the restrooms in the basketball arena. As a young, promising freshman who thought he was better than he actually was, cleaning restrooms was a huge hit to my ego. In my pride, I thought I was above doing that kind of work. For whatever reason, though, I did try my best to clean those restrooms. The head janitor would compliment me on how well I cleaned the restrooms, and we eventually became friends. I had to do a few other jobs within the athletic department. One of them was putting the flags of the Big Eight Conference schools up around the top of the stadium. Again, I thought this work was beneath me. I had to be at the stadium at 8 a.m . every Saturday and meet up with another student athlete named Bob, who played golf at OSU. Why should a basketball star like myself have to do this sort of work? It was cleaning the bathrooms all over again. One day, I was complaining to a senior friend about that job. He asked me who I was doing the job with, and I mentioned Bob, the golfer. Then my friend just laughed. I learned that Bob wasn’t just some golfer — he had apparently been an All-American in golf for the past three years! And yet, he showed up every Saturday to help with flags, just like I did. After hearing that, I figured if an All-American didn’t have a problem doing the job, then I shouldn’t either.
Years after I graduated from college, I was working in the marketing department of Humble Oil & Refining Company in Irving, Texas. Humble Oil later became Exxon, which is now ExxonMobil. As a part of my job, I did marketing for a territory of 27 service stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One of the biggest parts of overseeing service stations is making sure they have clean restrooms — that’s one of the indicators of a successful service station. I was still pretty new to the job, and I wanted to impress my superiors. They were going to inspect all the stations in my territory, and I knew I had to get them in shipshape. So, in one weekend, I found myself in a leadership role, in the marketing department of a major corporation, cleaning restrooms with a friend of mine whom I hired to help me. After my superiors inspected my stations, they gave them some of the highest scores in the region. It made me look like one of the rising stars in the marketing department. They had no idea I personally had a part in cleaning the restrooms. Even though at that point, I had more power and responsibility than I’d ever had previously, cleaning restrooms didn’t feel like a hit to my pride — it was just something that needed to get done, and done well. I found myself grateful for those menial jobs I had once despised. It turns out they helped me more than I thought they ever would! -Doug Barnes
The point I’m making is this: Not only were those jobs not beneath me as I thought, but they were actually beneficial to me later in life.
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BIRD-WATCHING FOR BEGINNERS Why May Is the Best Month to Start
EDUCATE YOURSELF Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries. GEAR UP One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later.
GO EXPLORING Your very first birding excursion is
important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!
Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started.
Disney’s Partnership With the Conservation Fund When they’re not busy owning everything you watched as a child, Disney is actually making some pretty cool efforts to help preserve natural environments around the world through the massive media company’s work with the
Conservation Fund. Founded in 1985, the Conservation Fund’s unique approach to environmental preservation and economic development has earned them acclaim from activists over the past 35 years — as well as some very high-profile partners, like Disney. When business organizations partner with the Conservation Fund, they can accomplish a number of missions that ultimately benefit the environment and their partner organizations. Disney began partnering with the Conservation Fund back in 2009 in order to reach their own company goal of producing (net) zero emissions. In order to make up for the carbon emissions they produce, Disney strives to protect and restore forests in Northern California. To date, they have been incredibly successful in doing so. The coastal forests of Northern California are known worldwide for their iconic redwoods. After decades of timber harvests, however, those iconic environments faced certain degradation. Trees disappeared and streams became clogged with sediment, impeding the journeys of endangered salmon and steelhead trout. With Disney’s help, the Fund became the first nonprofit to own and operate a large and working forest. Disney and the Fund have consequently been able to decrease
timber harvests and widen riverfront buffers for harvesting, among other things, to help preserve these incredible forests. Disney’s work with the Conservation Fund shows it’s not just obscure startups and nonprofits fighting to preserve the environment in the face of climate change. When you have the funds and drive of the House of Mouse, protecting natural environments for future generations seems that much more feasible.
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5 STEPS TO GET A CHILD OUT OF A HOT, LOCKED CAR
The days are starting to get hotter, and soon summer will be in full swing. No matter how hot it gets outside, though, it’s nothing compared to the temperature inside a locked car with the windows up. On average, 38 kids die every year after being locked in a hot car for too long. If you happen to see a child locked in a car with the windows up on a hot day, here are a few steps for how to proceed. CALL 911 A child’s life might be on the line, so even if you’re not sure how long they’ve been in the car, you can’t be too careful. If you don’t have your phone, borrow one from a stranger. Don’t worry about asking politely — this is an emergency. CALL A LOCKSMITH Our emergency locksmiths will drop whatever they’re doing to answer a call about a child locked in a hot car. Many times, they’ll even arrive before the police and fire department get there and unlock the car door in a matter of minutes. NOTE THE TIME When the police, fire department, or locksmiths arrive, they might want to know how long the child was in the car. While you might not know how long they were in there before you found them, you can at least tell people when you found them.
BLOCK SUNLIGHT Using any blankets or towels you can find, try to shield the child in the car from the sun as much as you can. That will help you keep the car as cool as possible. Again, don’t worry about being polite if you have to ask strangers for blankets and towels in this emergency situation. REMAIN CALM In all of your efforts to get this child to safety, remember to stay calm. If you panic, it could cloud your judgment, and that won’t help anyone. It will also help the child to remain calm if they see you’re not panicking. Since 1991, Pop-A-Lock’s PAL Saves Kids program has saved thousands of children free of charge. Let us be the locksmith you call if you see a child trapped in a car. Give our office a call today.
TAKE A BREAK
AN UPDATE REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS
We’re Still Open!
During all this uncertainty caused by the spread of the coronavirus, we want our clients to know that, like always, their safety and security are our utmost priorities. That’s why we want you to know that Pop-A-Lock is still open during its regular hours . Our door unlocking specialists will still be available to assist you if you need it.
With everything happening, the last thing we want is for you to have a problem with your car door locks, or your home security, on top of everything else you’re going through. So, if one of those problems occurs, please call your nearest Pop-A-Lock at the corresponding number listed on the back of this newsletter. Stay safe out there!
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE HOW CLEANING TOILETS HELPED MY CAREER PAGE 1 BIRD-WATCHING FOR BEGINNERS BIG COMPANY, BIG IMPACT PAGE 2 5 STEPS TO GET A CHILD OUT OF A HOT, LOCKED CAR AN UPDATE REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS PAGE 3 HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE INTERROBANG? PAGE 4
PUNCTUATION’S PROBLEM CHILD Why the Interrobang Fizzled Out
It’s a punctuation mark that’s over 50 years old, but you may not have heard of it before. It’s an odd-looking squiggle that denotes a common inflection, but many experts argue it has no place on paper. In an age when thoughts are limited to 280 characters, wouldn’t a single punctuation mark that does the job of two be valuable? Some say yes, others say no thank you. So what is this mystery punctuation mark? It’s the interrobang!
There are a few explanations for why the interrobang never took off, but the most prominent one says that as writing styles changed, there was less use of rhetorical questions in writing, especially formal writing. Because the interrobang was originally intended to denote rhetorical questions, it faded from use. Today, using the two punctuation marks that make up the interrobang is still popular, especially in nonformal writing like social media copy. Any variation of “!?” denotes a sense of excitement, urgency, or disbelief in the form of a question, rhetorical or not. But the reason people don’t use the interrobang to serve the same purpose is simple: It’s not a key on keyboards. There are still certain fonts that are equipped to display the nonstandard mark, but if you want to use it, you have to go digging for it. It’s just much quicker to write two punctuation marks than search for a single one.
In 1962, advertising agent Martin K. Speckter believed ads would look better if rhetorical questions were conveyed using a single mark. He merged the question mark, also called an interrogative point, with the exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers as a “bang,” and the interrobang was born.
In the first few years of its existence, the interrobang made some mild headway, appearing in some dictionaries and even on some typewriters in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And while it was used in magazine and newspaper articles for several years, it wasn’t meant to last.
But who knows what the future will bring? Language is in an ever- changing state, and the interrobang may rise again. Or will it!?
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