Archive for the 'Kelia Evans' Category

A hero of the people

 

“Hey Antoine, can you help me over here real quick.” A young woman, with a piercing above her lip that she has removed specifically for her job, peers from behind the cashier stand and yells toward the kitchen. 

 

Ever so smoothly, a young African-American man appears at her side and helps her modify the customer’s order on the computer.

“So no onions, no broccoli, and brown rice? Got it.” With a few gentle touches on the computer screen, the customer’s order has been entered.

Wright at the cashier stand

Wright at the cashier stand

 

“Is this all that you’re gonna be getting tonight Sharon?” The young man initiates a 10 minute conversation with the middle-aged customer who just ordered something from the Stir Fry Bar. 

At 34 years old, Manager of Red Bowl Asian Bistro Antoine Wright has a lot going for him. So far, his life has taken him through a variety of jobs-from working for the Department of Defense to owning a comedy club, Joe Franklin, in Massachusetts. Now he finds himself manager of an up-and-coming Asian restaurant in Burlington, NC. 

All the jobs Wright has had over the past decade and half have one thing in common: people. He knows people, a skill few can say they posses. He doesn’t know people on a contact or need-to-know basis, but he truly understand people. He knows how to interact with them. Wright can have a genuine conversation with any one he meets, and more than half the time he will remember names. 

Since the restaurant’s grand opening in August, Wright has had a grand total of six days off. Red Bowl is his life. On his day off it seemed that he was still working. He worked on the restaurant’s web site, which he and a friend created. He worked on plans for his own restaurant he plans to open in a few years. It will be a fusion restaurant, with food from different cuisines.

Red Bowl Asian Bistro

Red Bowl Asian Bistro

 

The only thing outside of work he did that day was to go shopping with his mom. They went to Toys-R-Us for a nephew’s birthday present. 

If he’s not in the kitchen helping servers get their food out, or helping at the hostess stand, Wright works in the dining room. All day and night he circles the room like a hawk, look to see if he can help make a customer satisfied. Most times, he plops himself down at a table and and introduces himself. 

“Hey guys, I’m Antoine. How’s everything going for you tonight?”

A slender, middle-aged man with glasses responds: “Very nice to meet you Antoine. Everything is going fine, the food is delicious.” 

“Well I’m glad to hear it, is this your first time here? What did you all order?” 

“No in fact this is our third time here, I had the Sesame Chicken and my wife here had the Chicken Lo Mein.” 

Wright replies, “sounds like you guys made some good choices, is there anything I can get you right now?” 

The man asks for some more water. Instead of asking the section’s waitress to get it, Wright sees that she is busy and gets it himself. He returns to the smiling man after helping the hostess with another order. 

This has almost become a routine for Wright: he introduces himself, gets to know the customers, makes them laugh, and then moves on to the next table. It’s just how he works. If a staff member does interrupt him, he will help from where he’s standing, or sitting, then get back to his conversation. 

After talking to Wright for about 10 to 15 minutes, customers feel they know the manager on a personal level. Around 5:30 on a Wednesday evening, a male college student sporting an Elon hoodie and an Elon hat comes in looking for Wright. 

“Hey is Antione here?” 

Hostess Missy Boybastun, 17, responds “Yeah, I’ll go get him. He’ll be with you in just a minute.” 

Boybastun thinks Wright is comfortable conversing with any and everyone. “I like how he talks to everyone like he knows them,” said Boybastun. 

It seems both his staff and his customers like the fact that he is easy to talk to. That is why customers come in and refer to him by his first name, and why staff members such as Chelsea Kirby, 16 find ease in talking to him. “He’s easy to talk to. He’s not just a business guy,” commented Kirby. 

It seems that, for the most part, his staff enjoys having Wright as their manager. His skill for dealing with people is extremely noticeable.

Kirby, Boybatsun, and Wright

Left to right: Kirby, Boybatsun, and Wright

 

 

“He’s very much a people person” said Kirby describing Wright. “I think he could get along with anyone. You could put him in front of the meanest person every, and he will make them sweet. He’s just so nice, I think he’s secretly a superhero.”

Turkey Day is every day

With seasonal spirits, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider turns this month’s symbol of thanks into a symbol of fumbling politicians-the turkey. The article, “Here they are – the Top 10 Political Turkeys of 2008”, gives a good recap of the years funniest political goofs. 

From the lede, it is obvious that Schneider’s main goal is humor: 

November 27 may be Turkey Day in America, but in the world of politics, every day is turkey day. 

He succeeds. The humor is maintained throughout the entire piece, through the last sentence: 

And with that, the turkey is served

The article begins with a funny description of turkeys, “overstuffed, noisy, and self-important”, and proceeds with a top-ten countdown structure; Turkey No. 10 and so on. Each number begins with a small description of the a politician’s blunder, finishing with an explanation as to why that particular situation was particularly stupid. 

The structure of the article greatly aided its flow. If written in a regular paragraph format, it would have been harder to follow and not so funny. 

The author’s use of quotes to fit his angle on a political blunder is what makes the story. His short sentences, and blunt statements make it naturally funny. Of course, he didn’t have to work hard to make the story funny-the politicians do that themselves. It is, in fact, the way that Schnieder presents the turkey to us on a silver platter, summarizing an unforgivable situation into a few tight sentences. 

Take, for example, Turkey No. 5: 

Not politicians this time, but arrogant auto executives who come to Washington looking for a bailout. In their private jets.

“I’m going to ask the three executives here to raise their hands if they flew here commercial,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, adding “let the record show that no hand went up.”

The AIG insurance company does get an $85 billion federal bailout. Whereupon 70 of their executives reward themselves with a weeklong spa retreat. The cost? A cool $440,000.

Schneider’s referral back to the turkey throughout his article continues the seasonal theme, and is what really holds the piece together. He describes Turkey No. 10 Rudy Giuliani as putting “all his eggs in one basket-Florida.” Clearly, Giuliani is a turkey. 

There is not really room for creative verbs, however he uses precise verbs to tell exactly what happened. 

Hate it or love it, this article is definitely different from the rest. Schnieder manages to be funny, yet critical of these political turkeys. He offers a humorous side to politics, which is often inferred but not usually directly written about. There’s something about this story that makes it stand out from the rest. Let’s just call it Schnieder’s style.

The story of a White House butler

Sony has now has the feature rights to a remarkable life story of an African-American butler. Eugene Allen is no ordinary butler, but one who has worked at the White House for 34 years. Allen has worked for eight presidents from 1952 till 1986. 
Eugene Allen

Eugene Allen

Laura Ziskin will work on the story, “A Butler Well Served by This Election”, with Sony. The deal closed on Wednesday, November 19, 12 days after Wil Haygood’s article was published on the front page of the Washington Post. 

 

Sony serves up story of D.C. ‘Butler’

Students March

Three hundred Elon students marched across campus in light of Obama being proclaimed president. The march started at the Alpha Phi Alpha house in the Loy Center with about twenty people. Members of NPHC, National Pan-Hellenic Council, organizations gathered and began to march while chanting “OBAMA”, “YES WE DID”, and “CHANGE”. They sang songs and hymned. As they marched past Maynard, Coclough, and Chandler, then through Moseley, the crowd multiplied. The march went past Smith and Carolina, and passed by McEwen. Students with cameras recorded and took pictures. The march ended at Young Commons where the students formed a circle and sang the national anthem and said the Lord’s Prayer. It was an amazing site to see so many students marching peacefully through the rain in support of their new President.

Get the numbers right!

 

I’ve been watching various new networks for the past half hour, and I’ve noticed some bad inconsistencies. For example, on CNN and cnn.com it has Obama having 199 electoral votes, and McCain having 28. However, on ABC News Obama has 207 and McCain has 135. I feel like the numbers should at least be close. Fox News has a different number. Previously I felt like I could count on CNN for having the up-to-date news, but now I’m looking more at ABC.

CNN’s Election center

The ElectionCenter2008 on cnn.com is the essence of what interactive media is about. Even though it’s early in the game, as far as Election Day goes, I have found an excellent source for up-to-the-minute information.

I found the Results Map to be most effective. It gives a visual representation of the U.S., and tells what states are voting, processing results, and which are “Battleground states”. As of 7:15 p.m., Obama has three Electoral Votes, and McCain has 8. 

This must be CNN’s clever way of avoiding mis-predicting a president too early. The map simply gives the data by state, and presents it in a factual way. Whether or not the statistics are accurate is another question.

Meredith Kercher Murder trial

Meredith Kercher was a British student who was murdered last year in Perguia, Italy. This video gives an update on the trial. . Kercher shared an apartment with American student Amanda Knox. Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are suspects in the case. Investigators say Kercher’s murder began as a sex game. Knox stabbed Kercher in the neck as Sollecito held her back. The third suspect, Rudy Guede, tried to sexually assault Kercher at the same time.

Guede has been sentenced to 30 years. The judge also ruled that Knox’s and Sollecito’s trials will be held in early December. Kercher’s family said they were pleased with that decision. Although neither have been formally convicted, they have been held in custody for about a year.

Both suspects and the convicted deny the allegations. Knox and Sollecito’s lawyer asked if the two may be put on house arrest. A decision will be made in the next few days.

Guede, Knox, and Sollecito (left to right)

I noticed that in this broadcast news, the sentences were very short. The present tense was used a lot more than the past. The video seemed to start with the older news, and build to the most recent; it was in somewhat of chronological order. In this video, unlike in print, the story didn’t really follow an inverted pyramid. The words were short and concise, usually no more than three syllables.


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