And tonight, I play the role of an irresponsible grown up

Today was the epitome of Mondays. I had to switch my car around twice for other family members to leave. I forgot to grab a snack to eat at work. I started the work day mixing up my filing cabinets. And the building I am temping in has officially turned off the heat, so it is ten degrees colder in the file room where I am working than it is outside. The high for today was 57 degrees. Everyone else in the building has a space heater. There’s nowhere to even plug one in the file room.

Not to mention the horrible tragedy that occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My thoughts go out to anyone still waiting to hear from any friends or family, as well as the families of the two confirmed dead. It is saddening to know that we live in a world where this is something that happens.

It was a rough day for my mother, as well. She was working a trade show for her company and the designs for accommodating wiring at the convention center resulted in her tripping three times. She came home with a very badly skinned knee the hurt to move.

It was decidedly the kind of day the call for a drink with dinner.

After my father and I picked up take out for the family, we came home as my mother, sister, and my sister’s boyfriend were finishing off their first round of margaritas. I pouted, and was treated to my own with dinner. While nomming away on my take out, my sister put down a strawberry margarita next to me, with about four more gulps worth left in the shaker in front of me. I started off with one smallish sip.

HOLY SHIT BALLS

The only indication that what my sister put in front of me was strawberry flavored was the fact that it was pink. It was one of the strongest drinks I have ever had. Admittedly, I haven’t had a whole lot of drinks in my time, given that I spent most of my college years playing the goodie two shoes. Every sip had to be followed by food or a different beverage to get the think taste of alcohol out of my mouth.

When I was about halfway through the drink, my sister asked me what it tasted like. I decided to be honest. “Tequila. Tequila and shame.” This resulted in a tear-inducing giggle fit from both of us. The tequila part is kind of obvious. Then there’s the shame. The shame is born of the fact that I never drank anything remotely strong while in college, even when I was surrounded by other people who were. And it’s a damn Monday! I have to go to work in the morning! What responsible adult does that.

After my sister had grabbed what remained of the shaker and poured it into her own glass, I really should have stopped. Instead, I stood up (which I was amazed I could even do), walked around the table and took three sips out of her glass. More giggles and silliness ensued. I wasn’t entirely sure I could feel my brain. My sister perpetually tried to get me to drink something she called “Sweet Revenge”, but this is where the adult in me prevailed. I said no.

The margarita also has one more taste: sadness. Sadness because over time, sobriety has crept in. After such a shitty day, and the promise of another mundane week ahead, that really blows. But I have to be an adult, whether I like it or not. And I have to get up and go to work tomorrow, no matter how badly I don’t want to.

I’m kind of amazed I have been able to type this, especially since an hour ago (when I started typing this), the word “because” looked weird. Not sure why. It just looked weird. And that is how I know sobriety is returning. Because can type with my usual rapidness. It’s also bedtime.

Good night, everybody. Keep Boston in your thoughts.

Customer Service

There is the old and well-known adage “The customer is always right.”

Not only is it stupid, it’s just flat-out wrong. Having spent many years in retail, I can attest to this with many stunning examples of human stupidity.

Regardless of how right or wrong a customer is, what matters is how the employee handles a situation. An employee should always remain calm and try to make the situation as painless for all involved.

Many where I have been at a place of business and things have gone awry, the employee has done a splendiferous job in trying to make sure that I am still satisfied with my experience. I’m often apologizing for any inconvenience I have provided the employee with because I know I can be a pain in the ass, but I hate to bequeath that upon the outside world (Nope, I reserve that shit for friends and family!). I also know how large a pain in the ass customer snafus can be, and again, I hate to unload that on other people who are just trying to get through the damn day in a soul-sucking position that nobody really wants. Nine times out of ten, I walk out still satisfied overall, and prepared to tell everyone I know about how awesomely this group or company handled a mishap.

I should really write to the companies themselves and cite how awesome their employees are, because that shit deserves internal recognition, too. I don’t do this as often as I have good experiences with a company’s employees. I hope the few times I have, the employee has gotten some kind of reward, like a raise or staff award, or at least a damn high-five. Perhaps I will try to send more glowing reviews to companies about their employees. It may even send some more good karma my way, which I sure could use.

The unfortunate flip side to this is bad customer service. When someone/something is so outrageous when you just want to smash someone’s head into a wall/table/computer desk.

In the past 24 hours, I’ve had an unfortunate bout with the latter.

I recently purchased myself a new iPod touch. I was thrilled to be able to do this on my own (one of the perks of being employed, y’know?). I opted for a 4th generation because really all the 5th bragged about was a larger screen and slightly better camera. I was delighted to have a camera at all, so I didn’t really want to spend more money on something that wasn’t that much better than what I was planning on getting.

It was yesterday that shit started to go rogue.

I picked up a free app from a company that I’m not going to name because, quite frankly, I’m not finished tearing them a new one yet. All I will say is that it is a London-based company. I was having trouble getting the app to work properly. Nothing I did resulted in successful use of the app. I read through their help logs on the app. I tried everything that was suggested. I opted to email support.

The response was short, and I should have known right away that this was not going to end well (more for them then me, but I’ll get to that later.) The “help” person (let’s call him Bob, shall we?) proceeded to give suggestions that were already on the app itself while gently insulting me. Bob also said that the app works better on an iPhone than it does on the iPod. In my response, I told Bob that I had already tried that, called him out for his insult, and pointed out that maybe if the app is faulty on the iPod that perhaps they shouldn’t offer it until it isn’t anymore.

This is where shit got real.

He proceeded to insult me further, telling me that I have a “small brain” and would know what I was doing if I was intelligent. Tried to rub their download numbers in my face. He also insulted the number of people who have contacted them and been annoyed that the app doesn’t work properly on their iPods, saying that they have “small brains” as well. He also said that I must be stupid and poor, because I clearly can’t buy an iPhone instead.

In my response to Bob, I asked him to forgive me for not being to afford an iPhone because I have student loans I have to pay off on my own, so I guess that does make me poor and stupid. I also chose not to stoop to his level by insulting him back (something I could have done with ease in a plethora of ways and languages). I did choose to inform him that his way handling this does not reflect very well on him or his company.

Unfortunately for him, I’m not done yet.

While I didn’t choose to inform him of it, I am taking further steps to make sure that Bob gets his superior ass handed to him.

It’s not hard to be nice to someone who is clearly asking your help or trying to inform you of a problem. What really matters is how you handle the situation. Turning a negative situation into a positive situation will result in satisfaction and  Handling a situation poorly just pisses off everyone involved, and only succeeds in making you look like an asshole.

You want to play “Fuck Me, Fuck You”? We can, but I don’t recommend it. It won’t end well for you. That I can promise.

(Apologies for the rant-y post after not posting in a while. Next one will be light-hearted. Promise.)

RIP Francisco (except not really)

I would like to start off by apologizing to my readers (all 5 of you). I know it has been a while since I have written, but I promised myself when I started this that I would not force myself to write. If something screamed “Write me!” then I would write. And in the past ten days, no such screaming. I hope the intense silliness in this post will make it up to you.

So after a few weeks of damn near constant stop and go from the temp agency I am signed up with, they finally came through. I was assigned to the new home office of a super fancy pants resort, tasked with organizing their file room.

I think Kat Dennings said it best in 2 Broke Girls with the line “That place is soul-sucking, and I didn’t know I even had any soul left to suck.”

Holy merde, are there a lot of files to go through. Boxes and boxes of them. This fancy pants resort also recently required a much smaller resort that is a water park in the summer and a ski slope in the winter. The files are all filed separated according to whether they are part of the original fancy pants resort, or the newly acquired resort. Thus far, none of the files have been separated and I have either had to glean from the content where it goes, or ask the secretaries in the office down the hall.

I get this impression from the woman I am answering to that that there was another temp doing this before me. I can tell that she wasn’t very good at her job. I was told that the first pile I started with didn’t have files yet and folders needed to be set up for them. So I proceeded to make file folders for well over two hundred papers. Around a fourth of them did have folders in the cabinets. There are also a lot of doubles in the cabinets already. By quickly scanning the content, you can tell that these are two files for the same person. So apparently, no one is good at filing.

After two days in this place, I can very easily understand why the last temp left.

For starters, I have spent both days alone in the file room. Literally alone. I spend hours on end with no one to talk to. I find my inner monologue speaking to the file folders I am handling as if I can communicate with them telepathically, and they will communicate back. My inner monologue has also taken to using different accents. I think I might be going crazy.

I am also in a room full of paper. For those who are not familiar with what it is like being in a room full of paper, allow me to enlighten you. By nature of being paper, it is very dry. When handling it a lot, it has a tendency of absorbing what little oil is on your hands. So handling paper for hours on end will dry your hands right out, so good hand lotion is a must. The air in the room is also very dry. A humidifier is not an option because you don’t want unnecessary moisture around the paper. So in addition to dry hands, you will have dried out nostrils. And for those playing the home game (which I would assume is all of you, since you’re not in the file room with me), that means nose bleeds. Because like the skin on your body, the tissue that makes up your nostrils cracks when it gets dried out. And when it gets really cracked, it bleeds. If you’ve never had this problem, lucky you. From experience, I can tell you that the scabs the form in your nostrils are exceedingly itchy and wholly uncomfortable. Any attempts to itch or make it more comfortable will result in the dislodging of said scabs and result in, you guessed it, more bleeding. Fun, isn’t it?

The filing cabinets themselves are a mess. Each drawer has a frightening number of folders forced into them. And when I say frightening, I mean about twenty-five folders shoved in about a quarter-inch of space. You try to take out one, and get six. You try to put it back, and find that in order to get it there, you have to wiggle it down so aggressively that not only do you cause the entire five foot filing cabinet tall to wobble, the files next to it cut and rip into your hands and fingers.

And this was only day one.

With an hour left of day one, I discovered that there was a stink bug chilling out on the window sill next to me. He had probably been there the entire day, but I only noticed him with most of the day gone. My instinct wanted me to panic a little. I didn’t. I went to the office across the hall and informed the secretaries of what I discovered. Their response was simple. “Oh, yeah, they’re everywhere in this building, since the weather is starting to get warmer.” I was slightly less than comforted at those words. So I quietly went back to the file room. I looked the stink bug in the eye(s?) and said “Alright, Francisco (I named him Francisco, stop judging me). I know we don’t know each other that well, so I’m going to keep this simple. You don’t move, and nobody gets flushed down the toilet. Capisce?” I have to assume that he did, because he didn’t move for the rest of the day. In fact, he didn’t move at all. He was in the same place when I arrived this morning for day two. It was at this point that I began to suspect that Francisco was dead. I put my stuff down and picked up where I left yesterday.

Day two was much like day one. Hours on end by myself. Inner monologue attempting to telepathically communicate with the file folders. The damage on my hands getting steadily worse. I have no cuticle left on the pointer and middle finger of both hands from wrestling with the overstuffed cabinets, and the folders I’ve been fighting with have actually ripped open both of my middle knuckles. At one point, the cuticle on my right middle finger was freely bleeding without my notice. I’m surprised I didn’t get blood on anything. I only noticed because there was an excessive amount of dried blood caked around the bottom of my nail. The high point of the day was when I discovered a file named “Lord, Sun”. All I could think was “Jeez, you know the economy sucks when even *this* guy has to start moonlighting.” I also discovered that the bathroom was infested with ladybugs. I counted eight while I was using the bathroom. The eighth one surprised me by flying in front of my face. The big takeaway of the day was me wondering how I could delicately ask the woman in charge of me if I could reorganize the file cabinets in such a fashion that I (along with anyone else who needs to deal with them) won’t rip up my hands while I deal with all the paperwork. Throughout the day, I kept on finding stink bug skeletons on the floor. Francisco still hadn’t moved. I didn’t want to disturb him, just in case he was alive, because I didn’t want to prompt him to find my coat. There was an hour left of my day. I was trying not to look to closely at the floor. I was pretty calm. Just trying to chug along and get the work done. And that’s when I happened upon Rico.

You can probably surmise from what you know of Francisco that Rico is also a stink bug. I found him on the window above where my coat was. I then moved my stuff and paused to make sure none of Rico’s friends had found their way into it. It was at this point that I was sure that Francisco was dead, because Rico liked to move. A lot. And Francisco had clearly not moved in at least twenty-four hours. In finding Rico, I also was unfortunate enough to find many other stink bug skeletons in the crevices of the window. I was now thoroughly unnerved. I continued with my filing cabinet rodeo, but every couple of seconds I would turn around to make sure Rico was still on the window. He seemed to be desperately trying to locate an opening to the outside. Rico was clearly not going to adhere to the deal I had had with Francisco. And I would have flushed Rico. However, I was unable to locate something to trap and move him to the toilet in (Right now I would like to express my incredulousness at anyone who has a water cooler and no cups with which to utilize said cooler with. Like, seriously? Am I supposed to hold my mouth to spout like a water fountain? Not cool.) So Rico lived to fight another day. I was thrilled to make it out of there (after checking my coat two more times).

When I got home, I applied band-aides, Neosporin, hand lotion, New Skin, and moisturizing nasal spray, all in copious amounts. Tomorrow, I plan on arming myself with serious hand lotion, band-aides, and my nasal spray all in my purse. I wish I could bring a vacuum cleaner. It would be so convenient for taking care of the pesky stink bug problem.

I should also note that today, I came upon a file with the last name Vizzini. I took it upon myself to write “INCONCEIVABLE” on a post-it note. I figured it would amuse who ever had to deal with it next.

I know this post sounds like a whole lot of whining, and for that I do apologize (again, to all five of you). I am glad to be able to have money coming in when I owe a staggering amount of money to the state in college loans. But I don’t know any marginally sane person who would enjoy any of this. And after spending hours of time talking to no one, I like being able to write it all down for other people to commiserate with. I wasn’t kidding when I started out by saying it was soul-sucking. I’m also kind of hoping someone has a solution to my stink bug problem. I plan on also arming myself with cups tomorrow.

In other news, I got an email this week from a questionable-sounding company that thinks I would make a great head hunter. I’ve got to admit that that’s a new one. Maybe I should take them up on it.

Can we please just get over it now?

As a general rule, I stay out of arguments about most hot topics. Religion, politics, education, among many others. It isn’t that I am not knowledgeable about these things, I just don’t have the patience to get in a petty argument that will only result in anger, hurt feelings, and lost friends. Best to just keep my opinions to myself. Many debates to warrant continued conversation, so I usually don’t care when they span over a large group of people and an extended period of time. However, this is getting a little ridiculous.

I, like many others, watched the 85th Academy Awards two weeks ago. I watched it from the start of the pre-show to the very end of the credits and did not miss a single second. I watched Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum glide across the stage. I witnessed the upset by Argo in the Best Picture category. I waited with bated breath as Jennifer Lawrence tripped her way to accepting her award. And yes, I also took note of Seth MacFarlane’s now infamous number, “We Saw Your Boobs.”

This simple song has taken the country by storm, polarizing people in a befuddling fashion. I have seen people arguing about it as recently as this morning on Facebook, of all places. People insisting that it was just a joke and MacFarlane meant no harm. Other demanding the man’s head because how dare he diminish the determined and inspired displays of dignity by dames who defied norms to bare all. The former thinks that the latter are too up-tight and righteous. The latter think that the former needs to stop telling them what is okay to make a joke about and what isn’t. I know people who truly don’t get what the big deal is about and others who believe that he has insulted the actresses mentioned by depreciating their performances to a mere boob shot. Both sides feel very strongly and are very pissed off.

Personally, I don’t really give a shit, but here’s my two cents. As a woman in her 20s her has spent her fair share of time in the theater sect, I am thoroughly not offended. I actually found the song to be catchy and delightful. But that’s not my main point. I think that maybe there was a deeper meaning to the song, and it wasn’t to reduce the work of great actresses. The point was to display the fact that most of the world does that. There are whole websites dedicated to finding nudity of women in film, whether it be full frontal or a two second nip slip. When seeing a film, a lot of people don’t recognize the fact that these women may be giving the performance of their careers. All they care about is that she showed her breasts. There is also the notion that being nude in a film means instant credibility in Hollywood.  The song was a satire about how unbalanced we are as country and a culture. We’re not as advanced as we think we are if there are still pages and pages of the Internet dedicated to nudity in films.

I also don’t think all of the blame should fall on MacFarlane’s head, either. The man very clearly had help. At one point during the telecast he even said out loud, “I thought we’d cut this joke but, really? Want to still do it?” Everyone is angry with MacFarlane, but no one seems to care that he wasn’t the one writing all the jokes. There are people coming out of the woodwork to complain the he was sexist and rude and how the Academy should be ashamed of themselves for having him host. Some of these people haven’t been heard from in years, so of course their opinion is going to be relevant to today’s media. And you know what? MacFarlane has said is never going to host again! So rejoice! You won, the bad man isn’t coming back.

People are so enraged about it, and it is really starting to annoy me. I think their anger is misplaced. I saw on one thread how one person (who happened to be male) said it was just funny and didn’t understand why others didn’t find it funny. I then saw another person (who just so happened to be female) get mad with the first person for trying to tell her what is and isn’t funny. She said it put him on the same levels with the politicians who are trying to tell her what she can and can not do with her uterus. First of all, that’s a touch harsh, don’t you think? Secondly, I think you have discovered just where you can better direct your rage, lady. Don’t be mad about an awards telecast that nothing can be changed about. Get mad about the fact that women now have to fight for their reproductive rights. Get mad about the fact that women still don’t get equal pay for equal work. Get mad because there are fewer female CEOs than male. Get mad because there are few books, movies, and TV shows that feature strong leading women. Get mad that we  have to worry about how we dress and making sure that we’re not “asking for it.” Get mad the we live in a society that tells women “Don’t get raped” instead of telling men “Don’t rape.” Get mad and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Start a petition. Write your Congressman. Send a studio a letter saying you want women you can relate to. Write your own damn screenplay. Whatever you do, do something. Don’t just sit on your ass at home bitching about something that already happened and can’t be changed because not only are you wasting your time, your wasting opportunities.

Finally, it was a stupid bit in an awards show that happened two weeks ago. We are all grown ups here (theoretically). Can please just collectively put on our big girl panties and deal with it?

Every now and then, the pendulum swings too far in the other direction

I may be dealing with the issues that many people who have just completed a Bachelor’s degree face. I am very aware of the fact that I am not the only one. But every now and then, I’m more of an old lady than a newly minted college graduate in her twenties.

In recent weeks, I knit a blanket. A baby blanket, to be precise. Not for me, but a couple I know who just had their first. The kid is almost too cute for words and I go on Facebook as often as I do just so I can look at the new pictures his parents post. I could not have looked less my age while making it. I would sit on my couch with the needles clicking away, chasing the cats away from my yarn. Occasionally, I would have to push my glasses back up onto my face because they would slide down to the bottom of my nose. Seriously, I looked a little ridiculous.

One of my favorite hobbies is not one you would expect for someone my age. I like to go antiquing. Seriously. I like to go to antique shops and ponder about the past histories of the items available for sale. I am known to buy something if I have the money for it. I once bought my mother an antique cheese cleaver (Who *does* that?). My three favorite antiques that I own are my 1940s telephone, a music box that belonged to my maternal great-grandmother, and a compact that belonged to my paternal great-great-grandmother. My favorite places to go are museums based out of a place that used to be someone’s house and still has all of the original furnishings where the tour guides dress in clothes from the era that the house is furnished in. One place locally has a hundred year old piano that they will actually let you play (If you know how to play the piano, that is. They don’t let small children bang on the keys for giggles). The weekend after senior prom, most kids went down the shore and partied so hard they don’t have any legitimate memories of what happened. After senior prom, I did go down the shore. But a to a tiny shore down that has seven antique shops on the main road. I went to all of them. I stayed in an inn that was over a hundred years old. The place had a VHS library for you to entertain yourself with.

I also have sudden on-set occasional Alzheimer’s disease. Okay, maybe not. I say this because this was not at all the blog I had intended to write. I had a great idea for a blog in the beginning of the week that I was really looking forward to writing, and promptly proceeded to FORGET WHAT IT WAS. I have no idea what I was actually planning on writing about. I also frequently get up and go into a room, only to forget why I went in there in the first place. And I only remember when I have sat back down in another room.

I have already written an extensive post about the wrinkles creeping up on my forehead.

This getting old shit sucks.