Category Archives: Chicago
I’m not sure about all of you, but this whole rainy/wet/dreary/no sunshine all week weather we’re having is kind of making me want to take a hostage and make them fly me to anywhere that’s dry and bright. As I’m a fan of self-diagnosing disorders – every time I hurt, I’m pretty sure I have fibromyalgia – I’ve decided I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and require sunshine at least every 72 hours. Otherwise, normal, everyday irritations take on giant proportions. You know that feeling? You’re slightly irritated, then something else minor happens like your pen running out of ink and all of a sudden you’re like the fucking Hulk, wanting to smash everything in sight.
That being said, I decided a Friday Blast Off of things that made me crazy this week would probably be a little self serving and more than likely be an incoherent, profanity filled rant. Instead, I put together a small list of things I’ve learned this week. They’re nothing life-changing, but hopefully my experience will help to serve you well in the future.
- Don’t go to Sephora in a hoodie and jeans. The salespeople will either think you’re trying to rob the place or descend on you like vultures, assuming you are there for a life-changing makeover and your desperate ass will be grateful for their helpful tips. (Yes, I know I could use an eyebrow wax, thank you, Skyie. Is that seriously your name?? How do you say it?)
- Rain gear is never where you need it. I have boots, I have a raincoat, and I have an umbrella. (Well, I had a raincoat. My stupid Potato cat decided to take out his frustration with me buying cheap cat food by pissing on it, so now I’m down one piece of rain gear.) But Tuesday, I did have a raincoat. However, all of these things were snug and dry in my office, while I walked through a torrential downpour Wednesday morning in gym shoes and a cotton cardigan because it was the only thing I had with a hood. Lesson? Keep two sets of rain gear. One at work, one at home. When they both end up in the same place, BRING ONE SET HOME.
- The floors at any CTA facility will be permanently wet and slippery as soon as the first raindrop falls. Proceed with caution. Very few things incite a panic attack than that split second when you slip atop the stairs, an image of your smiling face on the front page of the newspaper under the headline, “CLUMSY GIRL WIPES OUT COMMUTERS DURING FALL DOWN STAIRS,” flashing before your eyes.
- Speaking of the CTA, you’d be wise to remember that the bus drivers don’t care that you’re wet and trying to stay dry in the shelter. They will cruise through that puddle, splashing you head to toe with dirty, filthy water before they stop the bus. That’s why the busses smell so bad. Another note? The bus floors are also slippery. Grab hold of something immediately upon entering said bus if you’d like to keep your pants clean.
- Last but not least, if you make the copycat recipe of Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits, keep in mind two things. 1) There’s a reason people go to Red Lobster. It’s the fucking biscuits. They’re amazing. If you are the type of person with little self control, having twelve of them within grabbin’ distance is probably a bad idea. 2) They have a lot of garlic. Your co-workers probably don’t want you to eat them for breakfast.
Happy Friday!! Everyone have a great weekend!!!
I did a post a while back about the top searches on Yahoo! and how maybe, just a little, this is why other countries hate us. Very rarely are they related to politics or war or hunger or poverty or – well, the list goes on and on, but safe to say they’re generally a little too Kardashian-based to warrant actual news or current events. That’s not to say they’re not interesting search terms, but seeing what hundreds of thousands of people apparently search on a daily basis never fails to intrigue me. Today’s was one of the more abstract I’d seen in quite a while, so I decided to share.
Here’s a few of the top searches from today.
First of all, is anyone else a little concerned that the nation’s top nude beach is in Mazomanie, WISCONSIN??? Don’t get me wrong, I love Wisconsin. I love my family there, I love camping, I love Summerfest, I love fishing. But nude beaching it? In Wisconsin? Have I missed something? Is a Midwest state where it’s only warm enough to even be on a beach like seven times a year really the go-to spot for nudists? If that’s not curious enough – the nude beach has apparently only been shut down on weekdays, as that’s when the majority of “shenanigans,” ensue. Apparently, 83 of the 92 citations issued in the past four years have been on weekdays. On one hand, I’m thinking maybe I’ve been in Chicago too long, as 92 citations in four years seems extremely low, considering we have nearly as many murders every two months here. On the other, I have to ask – if you are arrested on a nude beach in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, on a Tuesday afternoon, where exactly is your rock bottom? That has to be it, amirite??
Apparently Lindsey Vonn showed up with her “boyfriend” Tiger Woods at his daughter’s baseball game, but instead of walking in the arm of her new man proudly, she stayed in the car for an hour to avoid seeing Tiger’s ex-wife. Is it just me, or is this guy the dumbest person, like, ever? Don’t you have publicity people? And do they not realize that hiding your girlfriend in the car is going to garner more attention that showing up unobtrusively and watching the game? I get not being ready to have them both in the same place, but having her sit in the car like a dog or naughty child seems relatively counterproductive to your image. Also, honey? Just start running now. You’re pretty, you’re smart, you’re talented - you do not need to be this jackhole’s arm candy. If it was you who wanted to wait in the car – you are not ready for the scrutiny your relationship is going to garner. If it was his idea? I repeat, he’s a jackhole. Start running. Nothing good is coming from this.
The rapper’s home apparently was sold recently, in foreclosure, for a reported $4 million dollars less than it was worth. I’m going to skip over the fact that someone who had enough money to take out a $4 million mortgage and who “Isn’t having money problems,” according to his financial advisor, isn’t paying his bills because it makes me want to eat my own head. My question is more – why is this news? The man has a video of himself peeing on adolescents. (Yes, yes, he was acquitted. So was O.J.) He’s clearly not the brightest crayon in the box. Are we really surprised that he didn’t balance his books properly or invest his money wisely?
This has been on the list all day long and I was finally curious enough to look at it. An Atlanta Hawks cheerleader fell on her head in the middle of a performance last night and had to be carted off the court on a stretcher. Um, hello? Is this really that interesting? I fall down ALL THE TIME. Seriously, someone should follow me around with a camera; it’d be like YouTube gold. Not long ago, I slipped on some ice and simultaneously hit my head on a glass door – it was a far more entertaining fall than this one was. That being said, if I am ever to garner unwanted publicity, I sincerely hope that the most interesting thing someone says about me is better than what was said about Kristen here, which was “She’s obsessed with oatmeal creme pies.” Fucking seriously? That’s the only defining characteristic you can come up with? She likes COOKIES??? I hope she gets out of the hospital and immediately punches/disowns the person that gave that information to the reporter.
So there we have it, folks. The most interesting things that happened today involved a cheerleader falling, a rapper losing a house, a philanderer continuing to be a dick, and a nude beach in Wisconsin. Way to go, internet!!!
When did we Chicagoans turn into a bunch of pansies when it comes to snow? It’s a disturbing trend that seems to worsen each year. Every single time it snows, the media plays it up so much that one would think the fucking end of the world was imminent. Up until a few years ago, the news broadcast would be something like, “Oh, and we’re probably going to get some snow tomorrow, so plan accordingly!” Now, each time the radar has a speck of white on it, they’re all, “OH MY GOD IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD SHUT THE STATE DOWN AND BEGIN STOCKING CANNED GOODS!! EMERGENCY!!!!” And like freaking sheep, we buy into it, nodding our heads, bemoaning the disaster to befall us the next day.
When did we forget that 90% of the time, the weather broadcasters are wrong? And barring that, when did we forget that we live in Chicago?? It’s the Midwest, everyone! We’re hearty people! Five inches of snow? Pssht. Shovel it out, throw a lawn chair in your parking spot, and head on into work. Unless there’s over a foot, the only thing that needs to be said is, “Eh, really coming down out there, huh?” This is why we keep shovels in our cars (well, obviously I don’t, but that’s because I’m woefully unprepared for pretty much any situation. Sometimes I forget to wear a coat,) bags of salt in our doorways, and have boots. Because we live in Chicago. And it fucking snows here. Occasionally, it snows a whole fucking lot. And we know this. Because it’s CHICAGO and that’s what happens in the winter.
That being said, here’s a couple things to help you keep in mind for the next “Snowpocalypse,” which will probably happen sometime around the second week in April.
Whilst Waiting for the Bus – Use Caution.
I was actually pretty happy it was snowing this morning. It was that big, pretty snow that just made the city look beautiful. And while it was coming down pretty hard by the time I left for work, it was relatively warm and I happily made my way to the bus stop, listening to Pandora and just generally enjoying my lovely, snow-covered city.
When I got to the corner where my stop is, I was the only one there and saw a bus coming from only about a block away. I learned quickly in my CTA adventures that if you are the only one at a bus stop, it’s necessary to make yourself visible as otherwise your transportation will go zooming past you without a second glance, leaving you standing on the sidewalk like a dolt with your bus card in your hand, all, “But, whaaa? Wait! You didn’t stop!” (This doesn’t make them come back for you, FYI.) So I was standing right up under the sign, trying to make eye contact with the yet-unseen driver, when a complete douchetard in a stupid car came flying down Chicago, going way too fast for conditions, I might add, spraying the giant pile of accumulated slush over my head in a manuever that probably should have been on YouTube. The first time this happened to me earlier this year, I laughed it off, saying I hope someone at least saw it so they had a good story. This time? Kind of wanted to throw baseball bats at his car. Added bonus? The aforementioned driver saw the whole thing and added insult to (wet) injury by remarking, “Pretty messy out here, huh?”
Pretty, Giant Snowflakes Can Cover Up Ugly, Giant Ice Patches.
If you live outside city limits, you probably don’t have to do a lot of walking in the snow. While this certainly presents its own challenges – namely, driving in stop and go traffic because everyone forgets how to operate an automobile the second cumulus clouds develop – having to travel on foot in snowy weather is a whole other bag of pain in the ass. Especially if one lives in a neighborhood where shoveling your sidewalk is not a priority. Which my neighborhood apparently is. Despite it being a relatively mild winter, what snow/ice that has accumulated has stayed right where it started and to put it bluntly, it’s slippery as all fuck outside. Which, if you have a short memory like yours truly, can pose a problem. As I stepped out, my enjoyment of the beautiful snow was quickly undercut as I stepped one foot into the alley and nearly snapped my leg in half trying to overcorrect after hitting a patch of ice the size of my dining room table. Use caution, folks. There’s evil underfoot in the form of solid ice posing as snow.
Don’t Log In to Facebook. I Promise. Just Don’t.
As I may have mentioned before, weather updates via Facebook make me kind of homicidal. Pictures of your backyard, kids/dog in the snow, a fabulous snowman? Bring it on. Love it. I get that. Got stuck for four and a half hours in traffic? Okay, I can understand that one. Posting statuses freaking out from 5PM the night before the impending doomstorm that may or may not actually happen? Stop it. Just stop it. Yes, it probably will take forever to get to work tomorrow. Yes, it probably will take forever to get HOME from work tomorrow. Yes, it probably will snow. Yes, it probably will be messy. Yes, drivers probably will be fucking morons. Yes, you probably will be one of them. STOP. IT.
Side note? I have to say this. Teachers? I do love you. You have a nearly impossible job, which is thankless, underpaid, underappreciated, and extraordinarily stressful. So please don’t misunderstand when I say if I see one more post about how you have a snow day BEFORE THERE IS ANY SNOW, I will kind of want to punch you. Also? To those few who didn’t get a snow day and took to social media whining and complaining about how you can’t believe your school is the one that didn’t give you a snow day and how dare they expect you to work – um, you’re pretty much part of the only profession that gets to not work due to weather. Every single other person in the Chicagoland area has to figure out how to get to work tomorrow - you can do it too! You’re a teacher! I have full confidence that you can navigate your way to school just like the rest of us have to navigate ourselves to work.
In a nutshell – stand back from the street, watch your step, and quit your bitching. Embrace the snow. Enjoy it. It’s a short few months before we’re all sticking to the seat of the car and sitting in front of box fans and complaining about our sunburns. And guess what? We’ll survive that too. Promise.
As anyone who has read this blog knows, a good portion of it is dedicated to venting about people that have shown some sort of incompetence. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store, on a crowded bus, or on my computer or television in the form of “news,” and “celebrities,” pretty much everyone I have any sort of contact with who isn’t one of my immediate friends or family is a fucktard in my mind.
Although I spend a lot of time seething over other’s idiocy, rest assured, I’m hardly sitting on some high horse. I mean, this morning, I went to put on my rainboots as I was determined not to fall on my ass yet again and found a dollar bill, three bottle caps, and two crumpled up drawings of clowns that appeared to be in jail jammed in the foot. Despite not having children to blame this on, I wasn’t surprised. So believe me, my glass castle shattered some moons ago. Despite this, I still have no problem calling out the general public on their inadequacies and dumbfuckery at the grocery store or on the bus. However, I’ve had a few incidents in the past week or so which have me think that perhaps I’m being a tad judgmental. And that sometimes? I’m the fucktard.
Incident #1 – Dominicks.
Earlier this week, I made my daily stop to Dominicks after work. There appeared to be four thousand people in the store, and the lines were already about 15 deep. I got hit with a cart, blocked by a trio of elderly ladies debating the merits of their yogurt brands, accosted by someone posing as a medical professional who wanted to check my spine, and almost exploded from holding in profanity whilst waiting for the cutesy couple in front of me to figure out how to pull a produce bag off the roll. (Hint – it’s not by standing there and giggling, “OMG! I ripped another bag! You try!” “No, you try! You can do it!.” So very much hate.) By the time I got to the end of the line behind 17 people waiting for the self-checkout, I was already kind of crazy and spent the next 15 minutes in line cursing each and every one of my fellow shoppers. I was seething at the inefficiency and sheer stupidity of these folks who were holding up the line. Tapping my foot, rolling my eyes, sighing huffily – the whole nine yards.
Until I got my own dumb ass up there, scanned my container of soup (one of the main reasons I still frequent Dominicks is they have the most amazing baked potato soup on the planet,) a six-pack of Miller Lite, a roll of toilet paper, and some cat food. It was right about here that I realized I had eight singles in my purse, along with a whole mess of quarters. Now, not only am I that person holding up the line, but I’m paying for the saddest combination of items ever WITH CHANGE. And then? I ran out of quarters. So if I was looking for a lesson in humility, I certainly got it while digging for sixty more cents in my purse while everyone behind me tapped their feet in exasperation, rolled their eyes, and mentally called me a pathetic jackass in unison.
Incident #2 – CTA Part One.
The CTA has done everyone a big favor since the new year in raising their prices on one-day, three-day, and seven-day passes. And by “done everyone a favor,” I really mean bent them over without consent, lube, or dinner. Without going into all of the math, it is no longer economically efficient for me to buy a seven-day pass and instead makes more sense to buy ten dollar CTA cards every couple of days. Which means, of course, with me being me and whatnot, I occasionally find myself near running to (fucking) Dominick’s before work once a week because I forgot my pass is no longer valid. Earlier this week, I got on the bus, put in my card, and got the hateful message that there was only $.75 on my card. Once again finding myself digging around for change, I assumed the bus driver would do what every other bus driver does when the person is short, which is either wave them on or let other, better prepared folks board while I got my shit together.
But if that had happened, it wouldn’t be my life. So instead, the bus driver just sat there while I dug around frantically for my wallet – and isn’t it always the case that the more you’re in a panicked rush, the more shit you drop? Seriously, normally I can reach in my purse without looking and find my lighter, keys, and phone within seconds – leaving everyone waiting behind me in literal freezing rain. After I’d dropped my lunch on the floor, pulled out a tampon wrapped around my headphones, and mistook a quarter for a penny, I finally had enough to carry on and began walking through the near empty bus while other passengers boarded. And apparently said bus driver really had it in for me, because as soon as my last quarter passed through, everyone else jumped on the bus and she immediately slammed on the gas. At which point I dropped my lunch a-fucking-gain and was too afraid to bend over and pick it up while the bus was lurching to and fro, then caught my foot in the plastic bag it was in and nearly gave someone a very unwelcome lap dance.
Incident #3 – CTA Part Two.
I get out of work at 5:30 every night. From there I catch the Blue Line at Clark/Lake in order to catch my bus. For those unfamiliar, the Clark/Lake stop is a relatively busy one, as every other train line save the Red Line stops there. In addition, 5:30 is somewhat of a turning point – it’s not necessarily considered “rush hour,” anymore, so if you miss a train by 30 seconds, you may be stuck waiting for another 12 minutes listening to the guy play the buckets and desecrating some classic Temptations hits. The Blue Line train also runs to the airport, so quite often I’ve found myself behind some clueless tourists who are trying to pull their giant luggage through the turnstiles. (Another hint – it ALWAYS gets stuck. Always.) While I’ve certainly been frustrated by this, I will honestly say I never get mad at the tourists, because they don’t know any better and I do not forget that not long ago I was right there with them, terrified and confused by all of the people rushing by me.
That being said, I have often become apoplectic with the girls carrying giant gym bags, the sales guys in suits and backpacks standing at the turnstiles and just waving their wallet in front of the sensor despite it CLEARLY NOT RECOGNIZING THEIR CARD, the vagrants trying nine different cards that they’ve found on the ground, and the folks that get up to the turnstile and then begin searching for their pass, holding up the rest of the line for us savvy travelers. All of that being said, I have to wonder what names I was called today as I bopped up to the turnstiles with my headphones, singing along to Tiffany, when my card wasn’t accepted. No worries, I took it out, waited a beat, then tried to put it in again. No dice. Wouldn’t even go in the slot. Waited another moment – not noticing the security guard trying to get my attention as I was too involved in my music – and tried again. Nothing. Now, I’m irritated, and at the same time I look up to get the guard’s attention, he taps me on the shoulder. Exasperated, I turn around – with headphones still on, mind you – and make a “WHAT?” gesture. He points at my ear and I yank a headphone out, all, “Yes??” ”It’s upside down, ma’am.” Me. (And I’m embarrassed about this, honestly.) ”What? I can’t hear you.” ”Your card. You’re putting it in upside down.”
I wonder how many people are telling stories about the dumb blonde they got stuck behind this week?
Not long ago, I was standing in my kitchen, cutting some plastic rings from an empty six-pack in half, when a friend asked me, “Um, what in the fuck are you doing?” Surprised at his surprise, I answered, “Well, I’m cutting these so the baby ducks don’t get strangled by them! Don’t you do that?” In response to his blank stare, I continued, “Seriously? Didn’t you ever see that horrible commercial where those poor ducks had these wrapped around their necks because they get in lakes and stuff from the garbage? They get stuck and DIE! It’s horrible! I always cut them.” After a longer, blanker, but markedly more concerned stare, I was all, “What? Why would you want baby ducks to die? It’s not hard. It only takes a minute and hey, I’ve saved a duck.”
After the above exchange – in which I learned everyone I know apparently doesn’t give a SHIT about baby ducks – I started thinking about other common courtesies I engage in that others apparently don’t. My conclusion? Either I’m too nice or everyone else is an asshole.
Holding a Door for the Person Behind Me.
As long as I can remember, this has pretty much been de riguer for any situation. If you open a door and someone is following, unless it’s a mugger, you hold the door. You don’t have to roll out a red carpet and bugle, but giving that person the option to not have a door slammed in their surprised face really is the polite thing to do.
Apologizing After Accidentally Injuring Someone.
I’m one of those idiots that will apologize to a door if I accidentally bump into it. If you body check me into a post trying to get on the train, the words “I’m sorry!” will jump out of my mouth faster than my brain can reconcile that I was not the one at fault. I do realize not everyone is like this. However, if the situation ever arises in which you accidentally (I hope) knock a can of Spaghettios onto someone’s head at the grocery store, I have to believe it should be the norm to apologize. (Yes, that happened to me. Yes, it really fucking hurt. And yes, I called the lady that did and then sauntered off a whole lot of bad, bad names. In my head.)
Be Responsible for Your Pets’ Behavior.
Yes, my cats are assholes. Yes, they’ve sent a few folks to the hospital. However, I warn people that they are assholes. “Oh, cute kitties! Hi Kitty!” by newcomers receives the response of, “Yeah, she’s cute. But she bites. Hard. And scratches. Until she draws blood. Please don’t touch her.” If your dog gallumphs up to me, delightfully sniffing at my crotch, I’m going to assume he’s friendly. A simple, “He’s not really a people person!” or the like would be a fabulous warning that the cuteness my brain thinks is a nice doggy actually wants to eat my head should I try to pet him.
Letting Someone Cross the Street in a Torrential Downpour While You Are Cozy in your Vehicle.
I am perhaps a bit biased on this one, as Mother Nature is having some sort of bitchfit that she’s taking out on Chicago. There is simply no dressing appropriately for this bipolar attack of weather. Yesterday, I wore my big heavy rainboots and rain jacket and by the time I got home I was sweating like a whore in church and cursing everything I could think of. Today, I refused to be tricked and 45 seconds after I got off the bus, my toes were frozen and I was slip-sliding my way on a sheet of ice across the intersection. An intersection at which I had the right of way, I might add. So the multiple cars – at a stop sign – who honked at me as I skidded across the street were just being mean. You’re in a car, you jackhole. You think I wouldn’t rather be in a car than ice skating across Chicago Avenue? I bet it’s warm in there. I bet you wore socks. I bet snow didn’t just get in your contact and blind you midstep. (Bad, bad moment. I’ve feared for my life only a few times. This was one of them.) Long story short – your moment right now is MUCH BETTER than mine. No need to add insult to near-certain injury.
Thoughts? Am I naive to expect such things? It seems basic to me, but sometimes I wonder if there’s people out there all, “Look at this idiot who keeps smiling at everyone! Hey, Corky! Not everyone’s your friend!”
I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m probably not changing this late in the game. And to those that do think that – start being nicer. STOP KILLING BABY DUCKS.
Well, the holidays have been over long enough that I feel comfortable dispensing with that holiday cheer goodness and going back to actively hoping folks twist an ankle when they’re being jerks. Here’s to the first 2013 installment of Friday Blast Off!! Who pissed you off this week?
The Pain in the Arse Secretary Who Tried to Throw Me Under the Bus for Her Error:
What I Said: “I understand and I’m sorry for the miscommunication. But we do not have anything for your firm on our calendar today. I’m happy to send someone right over.”
What I Meant: “You know damn well this was your mistake, you dizzy cow. Do your job, I’ll do mine, and we’ll all live happily ever after. Everybody makes mistakes; it’s okay. Didn’t you read that book? Oh, wait, that’s ‘Everybody Poops.’ I bet yours doesn’t stink, am I right?”
My Downstairs Neighbor Who Insists Upon Galloping Up and Down the Stairs and Slamming Doors When I’m Home Alone:
What I Said: ****Mute with terror. The murderer has finally come and my last moments are going to spent with these stupid cats.****
What I Meant: “Hey! Jackhole with the heavy feet! KNOCK. IT. OFF. I’ve seen you – there is no way you’re in a hurry to go anywhere, nor are you rushing home to a loved one. Please respect your neighbors by not stomping around like a fucking rhinocerous on crack. Some of us have relatively severe low-grade anxiety and you are not helping to dissuade their fears. While I’m at it – stop taking your dogs out at 5AM and standing right below my bedroom window while you yell for them at top volume.”
Overly Zealous and Angry Gentleman Demanding Spare Change Who Called Me a Bitch:
What I Said: “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything to spare.”
What I Meant: ”Listen, fuck, you’re wearing a fur coat. You have on a gold watch, a hat I know costs at least 30 bucks, and brand-new gym shoes. My coat doesn’t zip and I’m buying a single serve Kraft Mac and Cheese with the three dollars I have on me. I don’t even have a fucking watch. Or a hat, for that matter. Give me that.”
Person in “Wheelchair” Who Totally Pretended Not to Notice The 40 Person Line Behind Her and Then Yelled at the Cashier to Come Scan Her Purchases:
What I Said: “That’s fine, please, go ahead.”
What I Meant: “Hey! HEY!!! What the fuck?? No. No, you cannot go ahead of everyone. That’s a store-issue wheelchair and I saw you literally VAULT out of it to grab the last DiGiornio pizza from an unsuspecting hipster. So I know for a fact that you could lean over enough at the self-checkout to scan your pizza and 40 oz. of beer. You, ma’am, are an asshole and your only disability is laziness. You are disrespecting your fellow shoppers, baby Jesus, and people with actual disabilities. Stop it and wheel your ass to the back of the line.”
Happy Friday Everyone! Feel free to post your comebacks to the folks who made you want to punch something this week…..
Here’s my question. What the fuck happened to customer service? You know, customer service – that whole “customer is always right even when they’re so stupid they should be kicked in the head to save everyone else the trouble of talking to them.” In the past week, I’ve found myself in several lines in different venues, completely dumb-fucking-founded at the lack of efficiency in operations.
I’ll put a caveat here as anyone who knows me is aware that I am possibly the least efficient person on the planet. As I’m writing this, I’m mentally calculating how many times I may need to pee in the next few hours and whether I can hold off on going to the store for toilet paper because I forgot to buy some. (Again.) I am the queen of, “Eh, I know we’re at the store now, but I don’t need that until TOMORROW. I’ll just come back then.” (And yes, when tomorrow comes, I’m inevitably calling the me of yesterday a complete asshole.) I’m famous for only putting enough gas in the car to get where I’m going at that particular moment, putting a bottle of pop with three sips left in it back in the refrigerator, and ignoring the bag of garbage on the porch despite the fact that I am going right past the garbage cans when I leave the house.
However. HOWEVER. At work -where are there are consequences for being lazy far more stringent than being told, “You dick. Take. the. garbage. out,” I am the epitome of efficiency. My desk is spotless, my emails are categorized, my pending folder is cleaned out every Friday, and my inbox is empty each night. You know why? Because I am being paid for my time. My employers expect me to live up to the promises I made while terror-sweating through my interview and they expect me to provide the service that they are paying me produce on a daily basis. Other reasons would include being brought up in a household where I was taught that you receive a paycheck for an honest day’s work, that you should take pride in your work, and, oh yeah, that you shouldn’t be a complete douchcanoe.
Which is why I found myself internally screaming, “Do your job, you lazy cow!” several times this week at the following people.
Kohl’s Employee with Zero Concept of “If the Customer has a Coupon, They Expect to Pay Less.”
I returned a Christmas gift at this fine establishment, and, receiving store credit, decided to buy myself an electric sweeper. Without going into the math, I had more on the store credit than said (fabulous) sweeper cost. In addition, I had a coupon for 10% off. Excited about my bargain hunting, I handed over the coupon, and we started to sled downhill. “Well, ma’am, it shows this isn’t valid.” Me. “Okay. Why?” Person Who’s Super Good At Her Job. “Um. There was a return on it?” Me. “What now?” PWSGAHJ. “I’m not sure. It just says return.” Me. “I don’t understand.” PWSGAHJ, with a big smile, “Me neither!” Me. “So, you’ll take the 10% off?” PWSGAHJ, bewildered now, “Oh, you still want that?” Me, in my head, “No, you dizzy bitch. I’d prefer to spend 10% more than I owe you because you don’t know how to do your damn job.” Me, in reality. “Yes. Yes, actually I would. If you can tell me why the coupon isn’t valid, that’s fine, but if not, then yes, I would prefer to spend 10% less.” PWSGAHJ, with an exaggerated eye-roll, “Well, okay, ma’am. I guess we can honor this.” Really? Do people actually just say, “Okay, no, I would prefer not to save eight dollars!” and just hand it over?
All Arby’s Employees at the Thompson Center.
When I was in high school and college, I worked at the movie theater in my hometown. At the time, it was a second-run theater, charging $2.25 for movies that had been out for a few weeks and were no longer available at the big name theaters. As this was before Netflix and OnDemand, it was a pretty good deal. Add to that fact that Elk Grove had to hire extra security when the Krispy Kreme opened, you can imagine this particular theater did a relatively brisk business. I can remember rushing around behind the counter, slipping on (real) butter, covered in popcorn grease and syrup from the pop boxes, doing everything I could to make the customers’ experience better and their wait shorter. Which may be part of the reason it makes me batshit crazy when I am in a line of seven people on my lunch hour and wait longer for a premade BLT sandwich than it would take me to cook a fucking steak. The waiting isn’t what makes me want to eat my own head – it’s the seven employees languishing behind the counter, moving at the pace of drugged snails, that makes me nuts. Seriously – I’ve walked faster on my way into a gynecologist appointment, and let’s face it, no one’s really rushing into that office. These folks will hear the timer go off and lumber off in the general direction of the fryer, stopping to talk to their co-workers who are doing absolutely nothing, and occasionally to check their phone. One time, an employee particularly hell bent on making me want to take a hostage leaned over and retied her shoes before handing me my order. It goes without saying that she didn’t wash her hands first. Is there no lack of urgency anymore?? If I had tried that back at the theater I would’ve been out on my ass before the 9:30 showing of Pulp Fiction.
Management at Dominicks on Chicago and Damen.
I know, I know. I’ve beat this horse nearly to death and have clearly expressed my distaste for the clientele and employees involved in each experience. However, my visit tonight enforced my belief that the problem clearly lies at the top of this pyramid of morons. Picture, if you will, a crowded metropolis of thousands of people living in a four-square mile radius. Then place one solitary grocery store in the middle. Now, explain to me why, on a Friday night at 6PM, you would only plan to have four cashiers available. Then, explain to me why only one of these cashiers is over the age of 21 and therefore able to scan adult beverage purchases, which is approximately 75% of your sales at this particular interval. After that, please – fucking please – enlighten me as to why you would allow the aforementioned only adult employee to sit on the goddamn phone at the end of the self-checkout, where she used the word “Motherfucker,” no less than four times, while every single line in the store had increasingly irritated customers waiting to have their booze purchases scanned and the lines continued to expand all the way to the produce aisle. It’s called forecasting, people. Fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s quite basic, really.
Am I the only that wants to simply start screaming in these situations? How is it possible that so very many people have zero pride in their jobs? I can understand feeling you aren’t appreciated; I can understand feeling that the job you do isn’t important or worthy of your talents. As a college graduate who spent two years waiting tables and catching terrified lobsters out of a tank on Saturday nights for delighted diners, all while wearing a FUCKING BOWTIE, believe me, I understand. But for me, that’s a life lesson. If you want a roof over your head and appreciate electricity, nothing is beneath you, my friend. You take that job and you do the best you can at it. And you do it with a (fucking) smile.
Took a week off from yelling at people in my head last week to bring you the lovely story about my glorious days as a tuba playing elk. Despite this, I apparently still have friends that are willing to look past my awkward years, and for that I thank you all. That being said, here’s some people that I wish would have been shot into the sun this week.
The Completely Clueless and Furious Attorney Who Kept Repeating Himself at an Increasing Volume for 15 Minutes:
What I Said: “Sir? Sir? I understand – SIR. I do apologize. I did speak with Angela from your office, have you checked with her?”
What I Meant: ”You, sir, are an asshole. Let me talk to your secretary as she is clearly the brains behind your operation. Also, ‘all this new bullshit,’ you speak of isn’t all that new. Last I checked, email has been relatively common in the workplace for about twenty years.”
Miss Fancy McGiant Bag and Her Extremely Animated Friend, Mr. Flailing Hands, on the Bus:
What I Said: “No problem! It’s crowded this morning!”
What I Meant: “You dizzy bitch. If you’re going to carry a bag the size of a rhinocerous, take a cab. I have enough trouble keeping my brains in my head; I don’t need you knocking me in the face with your ten pound lunch. And you, yes you, flapping your hands like a fucking pigeon – knock it off. You’re telling the dumbest story I’ve ever heard – there is absolutely zero need to draw more attention to it.”
The Gentleman at the Bus Stop Who Yelled in Spanish Right in My Face Until I Could Escape:
What I Said: “Lo siento. No hablo Espanol.”
What I Meant: ”I understand you perfectly and no, I will not give you a cigarette, rodeo. You’re wearing a fucking sombrero and clown pants at 8:30 in the morning and I refuse to contribute in any way to this foolishness.”
The Girl Dressed in Lime Green Spandex, A Skintight Blue Shirt, Red High Heels, Ornaments as Earrings, and about Two Hundred Extra Pounds:
What I said: “Good morning…”
What I Meant: “Excuse me? Do you know you’re dressed as a bipolar Christmas tree? Here’s a tip – ask for a full-length mirror this year. Trust me.”
How was everyone else’s week?