Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Going To Make The Best Out Of Working Black Friday

As some of you know I'm less than thrilled with working on Black Friday. Not the work itself, but the fact that I'll be getting up at 3:30 am to cater to shoppers who should still be in bed themselves.

But I'm going to make the best of it.

I'm actually going to pass on a little Christmas cheer as well.

Because, as you all know, Christmas is all about giving. Pictured below is a twenty dollar bill. I'm going to strategically place these throughout the mall for people to find. (Along with some ten and fifty dollar bills.)

I'm going to bask in the happiness of the lucky shoppers who will discover these bills as they stampede through the mall in search of getting their loved ones the perfect gift.

I can see the smiles I'm going to be bringing to about 15 lucky people who find these bills.

Of course there's a catch. As you stroll through this post you'll see for yourselves.

As they bend over to pick up these bills thinking how lucky they are they're bound to flip it over to see:

But they all will hear a voice say "Merry Christmas, and please dispose of them properly."

(Well, some of them will, if I'm not busy helping the customers stampeding through our store as these are discovered.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No Thanks, Black Friday Comes Early Enough As It Is

The mall marketing manager was making the rounds Monday at work trying to start a movement to get some of us to open earlier than, five-fucking unbelievably too early to pander to assholes sheep who should still be in bed am, on Black Friday.

I've never liked this woman. I can now say she doesn't like me as well.

Much to her dismay I was the only person available in our store for her to speak with about her latest "Great Idea."

Our mall has five anchors. They call all the shots and the smaller stores have to go with what they want for opening and closing hours. Never mind that those hours do nothing good for the smaller stores, it's all about lining their pockets.

Here's our discussion:

Mall Marketing Manager: Hi! Is (store manager) around?
Me: Nope. He's gone for the day.
Mall Marketing Manager: Oh no. I wanted to talk to him about Black Friday.
Me: He'll be in tomorrow, all day as a matter of fact.
Mall Marketing Manager: I was hoping to get a decision today about an idea I have for Black Friday.
Me: Maybe I can help, what's up?
Mall Marketing Manager: As you know, two of our anchors are opening at 4:00 am and I want to get as many other stores as possible in the mall to do the same thing.
Me: I can definitely help you there. We don't need (store manager) for this decision since I'm the one who's opening the store that day.
Mall Marketing Manager: That's great!!
Me: Ah, not so much.
Mall Marketing Manager: What do you mean, not so much?
Me: We're not opening even one second before 5:00 am.
Mall Marketing Manager: You do realize that the mall anchors have the final say in mall hours.
Me: Yup. But I also know it takes a majority vote among the five of them for this to happen. Only two are opening earlier than 5:00 am. The other three are opening at 5:00 am, so the answer is no. You wouldn't be running around the mall trying to drum up support for this had even one more decided to open earlier. You'd have just sent one of your lovely memo's ordering this.
Mall Marketing Manager: Maybe I should just call (store manager.)
Me: Feel free to do that. But he also knows who's opening the store here. Quite frankly he knows if he were to agree to this insanity he'd be the one to have haul his sorry ass out of bed, instead of me, to open up. And that isn't going to happen. Trust me.
Mall Marketing Manager: How about if I appeal to your Christmas spirit?
Me: You, and I mean you specifically, lost that three weeks ago.
Mall Marketing Manager: What?!?
Me: I heard the first Christmas song blaring over the mall music system on November 1st. The same music system you have control over. So we've had three weeks of non-stop Christmas music so far. I'm already sick of it. The same Christmas music you insist on playing well into January as well.
Mall Marketing Manager: The stores on both sides of you are going to open early. Do you know how silly it's going to look when your store is dark, and not open? 
Me: I have no idea. I don't plan on being here to see it. Of course since I'm closing Wednesday I could leave all the lights on if that would make you happy. Be kind of a waste of energy though.
Mall Marketing Manager: You should show some more support to the mall.
Me: Our support involves paying the lease every month. You don't want to go there, trust me.
Mall Marketing Manager: Why?
Me: You've been here for about a year and a half. You pale in comparison to the lady you replaced as far as marketing goes.
Mall Marketing Manager: I don't have to listen to this! I don't work for you.
Me: Personally I don't care if you listen to me. But you're wrong about who you work for. You work for every store who pays their lease here. Honestly, you're the butt of many jokes in the mall. No one thinks you you've been a good replacement for the lady who retired last year.
Mall Marketing Manager: Don't think for a minute I'm not going to talk to (store manager) and the mall manager about you! You have a horrible attitude. 
Me: Fine.

And off she went.

I was expecting a phone call this morning from the boss. He waited until late this afternoon to call me about this. Apparently this young lady went to the mall manager and told him that I should be fired, and that he needed to choose between the two of us.

Never mind the fact that I don't work for the mall manager.

Apparently this had to be explained to her as well. So she's kind of bummed out.

My boss, who thankfully puts up with my shit, is actually happy about this. He's been frustrated with her because he's the one who has to deal with her when it comes to marketing ideas and promotions. This little confrontation between her and I actually got the mall manager, who she does report directly to, to tell her that he's not happy with her performance either. (Finally.)

So there's that I guess as a silver lining when it comes to my "horrible attitude."

Hey guys, I want to wish each and everyone one of you a great Thanksgiving. I know it's a little early for that but Wednesday involves a 13 hour work day and Friday I'll be up at 3:30 soul sucking am for the Black Friday insanity. So I'm not going to have much free time between now and the end of the weekend honestly.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Exemption?

A lot of people are pretty pissy about this full body screening and pat downs at airlines. I honestly don't know how to feel about it myself.

My indifference on this subject may have to do with the fact that I never see me flying anywhere ever again though.

(Why yes, yes it is, quite a cop out.)

September 11th, 2001 changed a lot of things. Those planes being used as missiles were jarring.

But now the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that pilots get to bypass this screening process.

Now that's a bit of a head scratcher to me.

As I recall it was planes used to attack us in September of 2001. Piloted planes at that.

So now we're giving a pass to those who pilot planes?

If we're screening passengers, who for the most part can't fly a plane, we should be screening people who can definitely pilot them. You know, like pilots.

While I have mixed feelings on this screening and pat down process over all, if it's going to be required and carried out, letting pilots off the hook makes no sense to me.

Of course to many people, this whole process makes no sense. As I stated earlier I have mixed feelings about it. I'm all for safety, but this seems to cross a line to me. It's a tough call and situation in an attempt to provide safe travel, yet infringes on privacy rights.

I think no matter your stance on this subject, it make as much sense, or as little sense, to screen pilots as you would any other person boarding a plane. Just simply for the sake of ensuring the person flying the plane isn't armed as well.

Can you imagine the embarrassment the TSA would have to endure if an armed pilot turned a plane into a missile? I think screening those responsible for flying the plane itself would be a good first line of defense myself.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Before You Forget, You Better Write About It Post

I'm getting a bit forgetful.

Actually that's not entirely true. Males have the forgetful gene installed and wired at birth. It's a defense mechanism of sorts. It's used to irritate the female species in our lives.

Prior to falling ill early last week there were a couple of posts involving work.

One being the asshole customer who refused to accept the terms of our return/exchange policy.

The other involving the (ex)Worthless Co-Worker.

The asshole customer:

I predicted he'd be in within two days to make the purchase he refused to make during his illustrious demonstration of stupidity. He waited six days. Naturally I wasn't there to see it. The boss said the asshole didn't utter one single word throughout the transaction. Meh -- I don't have time for babies so I'm glad I missed it, somewhat anyway.

I did see him yesterday though as he walks the mall daily. I gave him a wave and smile. He started to wave back until he recognized who it was he was starting to wave back to. I think he hit himself in the balls when he jerked his hand back down.

The (ex) Worthless Co-Worker:

My forgetfulness isn't totally the reason for the delay in posting about her. I was hoping she'd pop back in because I didn't get to hear all of her sordid story when she came in originally to beg for her job back.

Her litany of complaints:

1) He sucks in bed. My only input here was to defend the guy. She didn't appreciate it when I told her perhaps he thought she had a dick. Usually there's sucking involved was my reasoning. My only other question was to ask her how long it took her to figure out that "he sucks in bed." Her reply was, "the very first day." Yup -- she did certainly crawl into bed with a guy she's never met in person before, on the very first day she met him.

2) He's not wealthy. She seriously bought into that line apparently. He promised to buy her a Lexus and she finally figured out that wasn't going to happen. (See next item, for further clarification.)

3) They met at a hotel, and they spent her first three days there because he wanted to make her arrival in New Mexico "special." This was first thought of, by her, as pretty special, and a sign of his wealth. On the fourth day he took her to his home. His home has wheels since it's a mobile home. So yeah, his wealthy status took a hit there. (Although I've heard the 1974 Marshfield mobile home was cutting edge in the day, apparently the original worn out orange shag carpeting turned her off.)

(Oh... and before someone decides to be offended... I really don't have anything against mobile homes, but residing in one doesn't shout out "wealth" to me.)

And no, she still hasn't run away from the guy at this point. Her reasoning involved thinking that since he's recently divorced this is just a minor setback. The mansion is still in play in her mind. (And probably the Lexus too, but that's just a guess on my part.)

4) Apparently he never answers his land line. His justification for this was because he didn't want to speak to anyone and take time away from spending time with her. This was naturally considered sweet at first, until she answered the phone at some point when he wasn't around. Hello. Bill collector here.

5) All of his friends are creepy and unemployed. Since he was off the entire time she was there I'm thinking he is as well. This part of the conversation was missed by me though. Damn customer's who wanted help interfered here.

So she finally fled and came back here. From what I've gathered not too much wiser though. She's going back online to meet her next "spiritual husband."

It's a shame she hasn't stopped back in though. Some of this is second hand information gathered from the boss. He's the one who got to actually talk to her and I was too busy to catch all of this tale of woe.

Maybe she'll stop back in some day, when we're not as busy the day she did last weekend. I'd certainly like that to happen because she's hilariously stupid and shares everything. My blog would appreciate it as she's been handy blog fodder. Time will tell I guess.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maybe It's Because I Don't Dance

I've never watched "Dancing With The Stars."

(Writing that sentence does involve some smugness on my part.)

I've also never watched "American Idol", "The Biggest Loser", "Survivor", etc.....

Basically anything that falls remotely into what's been coined as "Reality TV" pretty much throws my brain into a deep freeze. I'm already mind numbingly stupid. I don't need to further de-educate myself watching total nonsense.

But this "Dancing With The Stars" bullshit irks me. This year it has invaded every social medium and news outlet in the country. All because of the hillbilly clan from Alaska, the Palins. You can't escape it.

You don't even have to watch the damn show to know Bristol Palin shouldn't be still dancing. The judges panel has her and her partner ranked last, or close to it, for weeks now. Apparently fan voting keeps her in contention and now the finals are near.

All of this is amusing to me as well. Bristol Palin really has no fans, her mother does. (And yes, that's baffling in itself, but somehow true.) Bristol Palin's only claim(s) to fame are her mother and perhaps the ability to get knocked up as a senior in high school. Not exactly stellar points in the resume of life to me.


Television viewers are venting their rage at Bristol Palin herself for this so-called travesty. Hell, some guy actually gunned down his television with disgust when she and her partner weren't voted off the show recently. These people are truly morons. It's a meaningless show. It's simply entertainment, albeit where talent isn't necessarily rewarded properly.

The anger is also misdirected. Bristol Palin is just a dumb kid. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not her fault people are voting in her favor. Bristol Palin isn't doing anything that any other person involved in some type of competition wouldn't be doing, which is trying to win.

The people who are voting in her favor aren't really voting for her in the first place. They're voting in favor of her mother, Sarah Palin.

This isn't surprising to me honestly. These people who are voting in favor of Bristol Palin when she obviously isn't qualified to have gotten this far on this show are the same people who are going to vote for Sarah Palin in 2012 for POTUS.

And that should scare us in all reality. If these people are willing to bypass voting in favor of talent and qualifications in a dance contest I'm sure they're going to do the same thing in a Presidential election as well.

In both instances people are, or would be, voting for fluff with no substance. Those are the people we should be upset with. Because they're the morons who are the cause of this travesty, and what I suspect will be the pending one, when Sarah Palin announces a run for president in 2012.

Disclaimer: My thoughts on Sarah Palin have nothing to do with Obama. I'm not a fan of his either.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

There Are Days I'm Best Left Alone

So I've been sickly the last couple of days. That pretty much covers my absence here in the world of blogging.

Unlike the stereotype of a sick male, I don't whine about it.

(Not that I don't want to though. It just doesn't do me any good to whine to myself. I don't have a wife or significant other to harass and complain to. Whining to myself seems a bit pointless, because I'm too busy feeling sickly to feel sorry for myself.)

What I do want, when I'm sick, is to be left alone as much as possible. I'm really not that cheerful under normal circumstances, much less when 'illen.

Vomiting as much as I have the last couple of days hasn't been pleasant. Since my stomach was empty for the most part I think I brought my toes up. On a positive note, if I have, there's no more pesky toe nails to be clipped again.

(On a negative note, if I've lost my toes, my feet will appear to have shrunk a bit.

Naturally I'm sure the people who associate shoe size with schlong size will be pointing at me and snickering.

That may be a bit of a kick in the ego's ass.

Of course I'll just stuff my rather large shoes with Kleenex if my toes are missing.

Hey, don't judge me, if you women can fake orgasms I can fake my shoe size.)

I think I'm possibly nicer to customers at work when I'm sick. No that's not quite right, I just seem to be nicer. When I'm sick it clouds my judgement somewhat, so when a customer pisses me off I let a fleeting thought skitter across my mind that maybe, just maybe, they're not as annoying as my sickly mind thinks they are. So many of them get a pass that a not 'illen JPT probably wouldn't let slide.

I also wanted to get them out of the store as quickly as possible because I had vomiting to attend to. Nothing ruins a sale quite like vomiting on a customer's shoes. Plus I'd have to kill them when they'd refuse to clean it up. I'm sure they wouldn't see the logic that it was their fault for simply bothering me when I'm sick and don't want to deal with them. I, on the other hand, see this with much clarity and conviction.

(Then there's that whole prison thing if you kill someone. I'm thinking I wouldn't like that much. I'd have to walk down hallways with my ass firmly planted against a wall for fear of being violated in a most unpleasant way.

Who needs that worry in their life?)

I just smoked my first cigarette since Monday night. I'm sure there are people who would think that's a good thing. I really don't like them people much.

But this not smoking thing was noticed pretty early in the day on Tuesday. Pretty Vietnamese Lady noticed before noon that I hadn't passed by their business on my usual schedule to go outside to smoke. So she decided to investigate.

She popped into the store and took one look at me and decided I needed soup, much to my horror. As sweet as she is, her soup is not what I needed. But there was no sense in fighting it. Her desire to feed me isn't something I even contemplate denying her any more. Even as sick as I felt I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut.

So Wednesday rolls around and she appears in the store with several containers which comprised of soup for the dying and sickly. I now have six bowls sitting in my refrigerator comprising of soup, with warming up and mixing instructions that a rocket scientist would be baffled over. Since I am eating today I just looked these bowls over. I mean right at this minute I was looking at them. Then I opted to call Pizza Hut and order a pizza.

I'm going to have to trust that this will be our little secret folks. Should any of you think about ratting me out to the Pretty Vietnamese Lady, I'll hunt you down, and vomit on your shoes. Or worse, make you eat the soup.

So I'm feeling better today. Thanks to all who commented on my last anemic post. You guys are pretty cool, and stuff.    

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog......

While this is a fair representation of what I want to be doing today it's not what I'll be doing today, sadly.

Because shorthanded at work and sickly can't be tolerated, especially as I'm the only one scheduled to be there today.

May take the recliner to work though.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Guess Who's Looking For A Job

There's a saying that all good things must come to an end.

That was brought home "with a vengeance" yesterday for me.

There are probably many of you sitting there reading this and saying to yourselves, "No surprise to me."

I've posted many different times about this situation here. Many of you have read along with the tales spun here and have had to think, "How does this person manage to tie their shoes correctly, let alone keep a job with their stupidity displayed so often."

You may have even thought with the last post written here that that has to be the icing on the cake. This person has just gone too far, and needs to be unemployed, maybe even institutionalized.

I shudder to even contemplate the process to find new employment, especially this time of year. For one, it's getting cold out there. I'd hate the thought of running around in the cold begging for a job, or maybe even begging to keep/get my old job back.

(Because yes, there was begging involved, even some tears.)

Thank God, I'm not writing about myself here though.

(Although I'm wondering how many comments I'll be receiving consoling me on the loss of a job by people who skim through here and have failed to read this far.

And seriously,

I'm awesome at my job, despite the fact I can't tie my shoes, and the need to be institutionalized.)

The (ex) Worthless Co-Worker is back in town after quitting here a little more than two weeks ago.

After selling off most of her worldly possessions and running off to New Mexico to be with her "spiritual husband" she's slunk her way back into town, perhaps a little wiser in the way of the world. Perhaps, being the key word here. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one though. She is incredibly stupid.

Apparently "Mr. Wonderful" isn't so wonderful after all. So she's back in town, broke, which isn't new frankly, and homeless, somewhat anyway. She's staying with a sister apparently.

She popped into the store yesterday afternoon with her tale of woe. We were busy so I didn't catch all of it myself. The boss was the recipient of her rambling story of her life over the last couple of weeks. She's a crazy bitch, that one.

She figured since she's "only" been gone for two weeks she should get her job back. In her opinion we should, or the company rather, just consider the last two weeks as vacation time. She feels she should be allowed to just pick up where she left off basically.

When this delusional thought of hers was debunked by the boss the tears flowed freely. There were two of us crying actually. One with utter despair, mine with laughter. Her inability to grasp reality was just too much. I did manage to wait until after she left to display my tears though. I'm not a totally heartless bastard after all.

Naturally, there's a moral to this story. Maybe, just maybe, a woman shouldn't run off halfway across the country with plans to marry a guy they've never actually met in person. It's certainly something most people would think would be wise. Oddly enough, I can see her doing this again though. She's not "most people" in any sense of the word(s). She is actually that stupid to repeat this again, as far as I can see.

So while she's not coming back here to work, I did implore her to keep in touch. She's handy for blog fodder after all.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maybe Customer Service Isn't My Forte

There are days I despise people.

I don't go out of my way to do this, but inevitably, and especially this time of year, it happens.

I can only play "nice" for so long with dimwitted, demanding, and rude customers. It doesn't help that this particular customer was a mall walker as well. I'm pretty sure I've let my feelings be known in here about them previously.

A man entered the store yesterday looking for a Christmas gift for his wife. Kind of sweet when you think about it. Usually guys wait until the week before Christmas, if not the day before Christmas, to do their shopping. This guy was shopping approximately six weeks in advance of Christmas.

(This is pretty much where my nice thoughts about this guy end though.)


He finds something he thinks she'll like. I've answered all of his questions about said product as far as features and benefits. Then we get to the part of the conversation where he hits my list of people to despise.

Dimwitted Customer: What's your return policy?
Me: We have a 30 day return and/or exchange policy. Unopened and unused you can get your money back. Opened or used we will do a one time exchange.
Dimwitted Customer: This is a Christmas gift. The 30 days won't work for me. Don't you have a policy that takes that into account?
Me: Yes, we do.
Dimwitted Customer: Okay, I'll take it then.
Me: Wait a minute sir. Let me explain how that works. From November 15th through December 24th we allow returns and exchanges on items sold through the end of January. Today's the 13th.
Dimwitted Customer: You people are all the same! Always trying to rip me off!
Me: Excuse me?
Dimwitted Customer: You heard me. Stick this (item) up your ass.
Me: Sorry sir. That particular orifice is exit only.
Dimwitted Customer: What?
Me: Let's try this again. Come back on Monday, the item will still be 30% off, and it will then fall under the Christmas return/exchange policy. 
Dimwitted Customer: I don't have time to do that. Why don't you quit being an asshole about this. I know you can bend the rules on this.
Me: I'm a bit perplexed sir. Not about the whole asshole part, but your lack of time. You're a fucking mall walker. You're in the mall every damn day.
Dimwitted Customer: You can't talk to me like that!
Me: Sorry sir. But yes I can, you opened that door when you told me to stick this up my ass. You then proceeded to walk through that door by calling me an asshole. Right now I could give two shits less if you ever buy anything from us.
Dimwitted Customer: I want to talk to someone in charge here.
Me: Not a problem. See that guy cringing back by the cash register. He's the manager, and excellent at hiding when people like you decide to come in here and be insulting. His one redeeming quality though is he has rabbit ears and has heard this entire conversation.
Dimwitted Customer: We'll see about that. I'm going to have your job.
Me: Good luck with that, sir.
Dimwitted Customer: Fuck you!
Me: Yes sir. He's right there, go talk to him, we're done talking now.

So the guy stomps off to whine to the boss and I start helping another customer. I do take the time to shoot a grin at the boss though as this guy is approaching him. I know he's pissed. But not at me. He's a little nicer than I am with people like this, but doesn't tolerate them either. Our company backs us 100% as well, under these circumstances. The boss just simply would like me to tell a customer like this to leave, and I probably should, but people like this really need to be told they're idiots as far as I'm concerned.

I don't need to be worshipped by any means, but if you want respect, you've got to show some as well.

A few minutes later the guy leaves the store, unhappily. He heard the same thing from the boss, albeit a bit nicer.

We now have a bet on the guy showing up on Monday to buy this gift for the wife. I say he's going to, the boss thinks not. But this douche will and the boss will be the one to benefit. The guy won't buy anything from me of course, so the boss will earn a little commission for himself when the guy does make the purchase.

And how do I know this?

Simple, this guy is truly the asshole in this equation. I've seen him ream the little coffee shop girls in the past when he's walking the mall and demanding they have coffee for him, prior to them even being open, or ready, for business. So as he's doing his laps around the mall and gets to the coffee shop when they're actually open for business he always gets his cup of coffee.

It's probably a damn good thing I don't work there. I'm not saying I'd refuse him a cup of coffee though. He'd probably be wearing one if it were me. Because I'm thoughtful like that, and stuff.

Friday, November 12, 2010

If Only Muslim Extremists Had A Therapist

Catchy title, huh?

I'm sure this post is going to offend some anal retentive type person. Just a word to take note of in the title:


Anyway, on to my offending way.

You Muslim Extremists, or Islamic Terrorists if you prefer, are really a bunch of dysfunctional dimwits. If your beliefs and actions weren't so damn appalling they'd be laughable. You are the most insecure segment of the human race possibly. No doubt your lack of intelligence and your upbringing has a lot to do with it.

Seriously I can see some reasons why you're so fucked up. Not necessarily to the point of your violent beliefs though. A blind man can see plenty of things that would rob the male species of your culture of any brains and hope for any semblance of a normal life.

One example is the turban, or whatever that thing you wear on your head is actually called. Smothering a brain that is clearly as deficient as yours is never a good idea. Plus you guys seem to wear this on blazing hot days, trudging through the desert, planning your next act of terrorism. I guess no one has told you that hats hold heat in. Your brains have to be fried.

You also dress like a girl. Those robes can't do much for the male psych I'd imagine. Grow a pair of balls and put on some pants. Maybe if you'd quit dressing like a girl you wouldn't have the overwhelming urge to perform violent acts to prove your manhood.

And your intelligence? Simply laughably sad. Who really thinks becoming a suicide bomber is a good career enhancer? You die, killing innocent people, you morons. Who in their right mind straps a bomb to their chest and thinks that's a wise move?

And you know what?

Let me fill you in on a little secret.

There aren't any virgins waiting for you, much less forty of them, when you die. Your inability to get laid on Earth isn't going to make a difference in death. You know, take off the dress, and maybe you would get laid while you're alive and the promise of sex with another corpse, or forty of them, for that matter, wouldn't seem so appealing to you. If you need laid that bad I'll give you a few bucks for a prostitute, or a camel.

Stupid bastards anyway.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Most Interesting Man In The World Indeed

I'm sure all of you a lot of you a few of you have seen the commercial touting "The Most Interesting Man In The World", at one time or another. He's schilling for some type of beverage I'm pretty sure. Wine or beer is my guess because the actual marketing message is lost to me.

Don't get me wrong, the commercials are somehow compelling to me. But not so far as the product the company is trying to promote. (For all I know the shit he's trying to get you to buy is liquid Ex-Lax.)

You have this old bearded dude generally sitting in a bar booth flanked by two hot young chicks hanging on his every word. That's what fascinates me quite frankly.

I think I could do that, sans the grey beard, and if I wanted to spend the money to get two hot young chicks plastered enough to hang all over me and listen to me spout a couple of pithy comments, thought up by a marketing team.

I think I could pull off being mysterious, interesting, and pithy under those circumstances.

(And, oh yeah, those chicks would have to be really effin drunk too.)

Until I thought about it a little more anyway. Now I'm just a little depressed quite frankly. I possess no mystique, at least locally. I've become embarrassingly mundane and predictable.

I pop into Kwik Trip every day on my way to work to feed my nicotine habit. Until I saw these "Most Interesting Man In The World" commercials I was impressed that I could saunter up to the counter and all I heard was "that'll be $7.28 JPT." They already knew what I wanted, the right brand, and (now) annoyingly, they had the correct change ready for me. (Apparently I always hand over a ten dollar bill.) They had this sale rung up before I could open my mouth. Nothing mystique about this at all.

My kids can approach me with any problem they have in the world. And I'm there for them, ready to do battle, sort out the problem, and steer them in the right direction. But that isn't what they really want. They just want to share the problem. When I open my mouth to offer up my worldly wisdom I get shut down with "We already know what you're going to say dad." Again, my mystique has been lost and beaten into submission.

My boss doesn't even bother to tell me about new policies or work place rules any more. Apparently he knows exactly whether they're rules I'm going to follow, or ignore, ahead of time. He doesn't want to waste his time any more, or possibly mine. The possibility also exists he doesn't want the aggravation of wasting his breath. Whatever the reason, I'm once again far too predictable.

I can't even get the grocery store cashier to ask me "paper or plastic" any more upon checking out. I know they used to though. Now they just throw my shit in plastic bags and take my money. I'm a little conflicted on this one though. When they used to ask I'd get that "deer in the headlights look" and mumble and stammer, and finally ask "Uh, what's the correct answer here?" That may have become a tad tiring to them, but again no mystique involved.

So a few changes are in order here. The mystique which has apparently fled my persona has to be recaptured.

Deciding where to start is a bit perplexing. Do I go all in or just phase in some changes?

I'm inclined to start with the grocery store, mostly because I'm going to have to buy some groceries some time today, or go hungry.

So when "Skippy" the l'il bagger boy starts to throw my crap into plastic bags I'm going to have to bring that to a halt. But going to paper isn't exactly exciting, or mysterious. That just won't do. That guy is going to have to find some burlap bags to make me happy.

Baby steps people, baby steps.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Here, Briefly

The next couple of days are going to encompass much suckage.

Since we're short-handed at work I'll be spending more time there than anywhere else. Blogging is going to take a hit, as well as checking out your blogs.

But there are a couple of things to share with you.

1) My latest acquisition of Diet Coke has cans sporting a winter scene. Why they think this makes anyone happy is beyond me. While I'll still buy the stuff to maintain a proper amount of caffeine in my system it doesn't make me want to buy it due to this design.

2) Worthless Co-Worker update: (Or rather Ex-Worthless Co-Worker)

She had a sister stop in the store yesterday and Worthless Co-Worker has already fled to New Mexico to be with her "spiritual husband." You know the one, the guy who she's never met in person, just through the Internet. Apparently the trip to Israel is still in the works for a Jewish wedding though. That whole family of hers is loony-tune.

Interestingly enough an old guy, who walks the mall, and we refer to as a pervert stopped in the store as well. He misses her, but he doesn't blame her for running off to be with this guy, after all, we were told, she's going to get a Lexus after they're married. He's a moron too.

(Oh, the reason we refer to him as a pervert is two-fold. One being, every time we've hired a girl to work in our store he sneaks around snapping pictures of them on his cell phone. The other is security caught him masturbating at a table in the food court a couple of years ago. That earned him a one year ban, and some legal trouble.)

Ciao, and stuff.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We're Like "When Harry Met Sally"?

Unless you've read the last post this post probably won't make much sense to you.

(Go ahead and read it now, I'll wait for you. There's shit I can do while I'm waiting anyway. I need caffeine, a cigarette, and possibly a piss break as well.

It's a proven fact that a caffeinated and well nicotined "Just Plain Tired" is a much more pleasant person to hang with than one who isn't.

Hanging out with one who hasn't pissed his pants is probably preferred too.)


There's this little dinner fiasco on Sunday night. A dinner fiasco that I wasn't planning on attending until Jackie opened her big mouth. It's hard to be pissed at her because quite frankly her big mouth is one of the things I like about her. I just didn't want to go because I'm not as socially inclined as the hosts of said dinner. Mostly the wife of said dinner fiasco. She's too nice to dislike, but she's exasperating.

So we're going.

But there's weirdness involved. (Yeah, yeah, I know, if I'm involved there's always weirdness involved. Just shut up and keep reading.)

I think I've shown here that my thought process isn't always on target. I have a tendency to over analyze some pretty weird circumstances I've run into and my mind just races from one tangent to the next trying to figure shit out.

The latest thought process involves the perceived threat to my happy singleness. I'm a very much single guy content with life just as it is. It's an uncomplicated and simplistic life that I've fully embraced. It's also one which Jackie has also, or so I thought previously.

There's now an uncomfortable feeling that things are spinning out of control.

Jackie and I are perfect for one another. By that I mean as handy dating material when the need arises. We've known each other for over 5 years now and have bailed each other out countless times when a socially acceptable partner is needed.

We're often referred to as "Harry" and "Sally" by friends and co-workers. Those words have never been uttered by either one of us though. (Until yesterday.) We get to hear how "perfect" we are together, blah, blah, blah... by others, and we just skate around this.

When Jackie decided to prank the boss' wife on Thursday it was funny. It's the type of "funny" that I usually can get on board with.

(And I am on board, even though I'm walking the plank, blindfolded, and about to be shoved into the ocean.)

A phone call yesterday has my mind totally running out of control. It caused me a lest than restful night of sleep, and that's hard to do. All because I'm over analyzing it naturally, or maybe not. I dunno, maybe you people can figure this one out for me. After all, I'm not rocket scientist material.

Jackie: Hey Harry, Sally here.
Me: What?
Jackie: It's a joke, stupid.
Me: Okay, what's up?
Jackie: You have to work Sunday, right?
Me: Yup.
Jackie: Are you taking a change of clothes to work, or going to wear what you wear to work to this dinner party?
Me: I dunno.
Jackie: You need to figure this out, like right now.
Me: Oh, well, I'll probably just go wearing what I'm wearing to work then.
Jackie: How about you not doing that? 
Me: I'm not going to have time to run home and change comes to mind to tell you the truth. You're meeting me at work to head over there, remember?
Jackie: Pack some shit to wear. You can change at work. Their little get-together's are never formal. You in dress pants and me in jeans don't really match up well. I'm not feeling the dressing up thing so we can both look out of place.
Me: That seems like a lot of work to me, they don't care what we look like.
Jackie: Uh, no. You don't care what YOU look like. There's a difference.
Me: If it'll make you happy I'll take a change of clothes.
Jackie: You won't remember. I know you. You're going to blow this off, and tell me you conveniently forgot.
Me: Probably.
Jackie: That's not happening this time. I'll just bring some for you to change into.
Me: Uh, exactly how does that work?
Jackie: Remember that trip you took a couple of years ago to a meeting in Iowa?
Me: Yeah.
Jackie: I've still got a key to your place.
Me: You gave it back, and my plant died by the way. I don't think you watered the damn thing to tell you the truth.
Jackie: Yes I did and no I didn't return the key.
Me: Well shit, you need to do that then.
Jackie: Just shut up. You've got a key to my place anyway.
Me: No I don't.
Jackie: Well not to the place I just bought, but to my old place.
Me: Seriously, I don't have a key to your place, new or old.
Jackie: Yes, you do. I left it on your kitchen counter, with a note telling you I wanted someone I trusted to have a spare key. That's why you never got your key back. I've got your back on this one.
Me: Huh. When did you do this?
Jackie: When I was safe guarding your worldly possessions when you went to Iowa.
Me: Huh.
Jackie: You lost my key?
Me: Um, not technically. I don't remember any of this.
Jackie: You lost my key?
Me: Wait. Hey there's a key on top of the microwave here. I guess it's yours. I don't remember a note though. It isn't mine though, so it has to be yours. I guess I've kind of wondered about it.
Jackie: You've kind of wondered about it?
Me: Well yeah. Keys open shit up so I never tossed it. I thought maybe it was important.
Jackie: You're trying to throw me off track here. I know you remember this. I will be bringing you a change of clothes. You're lucky I have patience with you. You can't function without me honestly.
Me: What does that mean?
Jackie: Just that, I have patience with you.
Me: I function just fine.
Jackie: Yeah, as a totally unaware and clueless male you do. I provide a much needed balance to your life.
Me: Well, yeah, as my best friend that's entirely possible.
Jackie: See, I'm important to you.
Me: I guess so.
Jackie: You guessed right, and I have patience.
Me: Okay then.
Jackie: You are so laughable. You avoid some things like the plague. I'll see you Sunday, with a change of clothes mister.
Me: Okay.
Jackie: Bye.
Me: Uh, bye.

I know she stated I'm both unaware and clueless, but I'm not that clueless, or am I? I mean she's goofy as hell and I love that about her. She speaks whatever comes to her mind without holding back. So it's possible she simply does have the patience to put up with me as only any true best friend would. Or her patience is of a more sinister type. The type of patience that threatens the status quo of friendship.

Fuck, I don't do this type of crap well. Why are women so damn complicated?

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Just Can't Win, Can I?

I get along quite well with my boss. He's not the ideal boss by any means, but he allows me to do my job with little to no interference, and I accept his inadequacies in the supervision department. We had a few rough patches when he first transferred here from another store. He knew that I had turned down the position prior to him coming here and he had some false impressions of me from the start.

He's 12 years younger than I am, and his knowledge of me was all heard second hand from others before arriving here. He had never supervised anyone older than him and it was a problem for him for some reason. I, on other other hand, had plenty of supervisory experience in the steel industry working with a crew of 40 to 50 people of all ages.

His two biggest misconceptions of me involved his position and my independent streak.

He knew I was qualified to fill the position he was coming into and he couldn't understand why I didn't want the position myself. He harbored some weird thought that I was there to undermine him basically. It took months for him to figure out I didn't want his job.

The other issue/misconception he had was that I was hard to supervise. His new boss, who I had known 5 years previously under my boss who was retiring, had told him he should simply leave me alone. He didn't take that the way it was intended though. Instead of hearing I was proficient at my job, he interpreted it as I was a pain in the ass.

When he arrived here he went out of his way to assert he was the boss. It was a mild irritant at times, but for the most part, amusing to me. It's really hard to get me wound up over petty crap. I knew that over time he'd eventually see that he should leave me alone. He did finally, but it was interesting the first few months he was here.

Now that I've worked for him almost four years things are peachy and keen. He's a pretty decent guy.


(There's always a "but", it's an unspoken and unwritten rule somewhere that a "but" is always involved.)

He has a wife, who pops into the store quite often. The fact that she pops in often isn't the problem though. She's very nice as well.

Too nice, actually.

She fancies herself as a matchmaker. I've been single for a long time. This fact bothers her for some reason. She's got this bubbly personality and, well, I'm not a bubbly type of person, but I'm a relatively happy person, content with my life as it is. So while she's very nice, and well meaning, she's a pain in the ass to me.

(To my boss' credit he knows me pretty well and always tries to divert her away from me as much as possible when her matchmaking persona invades the store. She's hard to thwart though and he ends up apologizing profusely when she leaves the store.)

Both of them are little social butterflies though. They like to throw dinner parties, barbecues, holiday type parties, etc. Invariably they want me to attend many of these. Which is fine because I consider the boss a friend as well. When our schedules permit we've golfed together, he's gone out on the river fishing with me, although I think he just likes getting out on the boat, rather than the actual fishing part.

But these "social events" drive me crazy. It's a no win proposition for me. If I show up without a date, she always has someone there that's "just perfect" for me. Ah, not so much.

If I show up with a date it's a nightmare for the person I cajoled into going with me. They get cornered by her with her grilling them about how long we've been together, how happy we are, how serous is the relationship, blah, blah, blah. She can't accept it's simply a date, with no other strings attached other than a night out. I have a friend we'll call Jackie (primarily because it's her name) who fills in admirably as a date, and I for her when she has the need of one as well. We're simply good friends.

The problem here is that the boss' wife really likes Jackie. Unfortunately that feeling isn't reciprocal though. I haven't asked Jackie in over a year to attend one of these "social events" because of the torture she goes through when she's accompanied me in the past.

Yesterday I was off, and Jackie saw a need to have me around for the day. She had just bought a house and needed to look at appliances, she wanted a snow blower, and some other things she felt a guy's input would be useful on. So we were running around town with me giving her expert advice, as only a guy can pretend to possess, on things a woman wants to hear about, but doesn't normally don't want to think about.

One of our stops was at Best Buy and who do we run into? You guessed it. The dreaded wife of the boss. Had we seen her first we'd have slunk away, but she ambushed snuck up on us. This isn't going to be good I told myself. I think the reason Jackie and I get along so well is we possess the same wacky humor and she's every bit as blunt as I am. She's incredibly quick and sharp tongued around people who are irritating. We'd definitely be considered compatible in that regard.

So a conversation took place that Jackie thoroughly enjoyed, the boss' wife completely bought into, and left me brain damaged, caught off guard, and stammering throughout the ordeal.

Boss' wife: Hey guys!
Us: (almost in unison) Uh, hi.
Boss' wife: (to Jackie) I haven't seen you in a long time. Did (Just Plain Tired) tell you about the dinner we're having Sunday night?
Jackie: No he didn't.
Boss' wife: (to me) Why didn't you tell her about this?
Jackie: Yeah, why didn't you tell me about this?
Me: It must have slipped my mind.
Boss' wife: So you're both coming right?
Me: Um, uh....
Jackie: We certainly are! We'll be all primed for it. You know honey (to me) we'll get an extra hour of sleep and we'll both feel great that night.
Boss' wife: Are you two together finally?
Me: Uh, no, not exactly, we're.....
Jackie: Oh hush up. (to me) It's not a secret any more. We might as well just come out and let the world know.

(At this point I became a zoned out, brain dead, drooling spectator to this verbal massacre.)

Boss' wife: I just knew it! You two are perfect for each other. He never tells me or (the boss) anything.
Jackie: I'm trying to get him to open up more myself. He's such a private person, you know.
Boss' wife: I know! So how long have you two been serious?
Jackie: I've been fucking his brains out every single day for over six months now.
Boss' wife: Oh my gawd! I am so happy for you two. Now I know why he never wants to meet anyone I try to introduce him to. Why didn't you just tell me you two are together? (to me)
Me: I.....
Jackie: Oh hell, you know how he is. He's still a bit hung up on our age difference you know.
Boss' wife: That's a stupid thing. (to me)  You're not that much older than her. You guys make a great couple.
Jackie: I tell him that all the time.
Boss' wife: Does (the boss) know?
Jackie: I doubt it. Wouldn't he tell you if he did?
Boss' wife: He would. (to me) You haven't told (the boss) about this?
Me: Um, no, I guess not. It's still all pretty new to me I guess.
Boss' wife: I can't wait to tell him!
Jackie: So what time is dinner on Sunday?
Boss' wife: We're planning on eating about 7:00 pm, but you two should come earlier so we can visit some more. I've got to run and pick up (her son). I'm running so late today.
Jackie: That's great! We'll see you then.

And off she scampers.

Jackie: Now that was funny!
Me: Jackie..... no.....
Jackie: Just shut up. I did you a tremendous favor here.
Me: No, you....
Jackie: You've been single so long you have no clue how a woman thinks. She's so happy with the thought that you're getting laid... plus.... now you're off the market in her eyes. She's not going to be trying to hook you up with any of her unattached friends.
Me: This.... well.... shit....
Jackie: Trust me on this.
Me: Yeah, but....
Jackie: Just. Shut. Up. This will be fun for awhile. Jesus, get with it! We can pull this off with her for a long time.
Me: Well, you're now on the hook for dinner though.
Jackie: So that means you owe me now.
Me: I. Owe. You?
Jackie: You really have no idea how a woman thinks.
Me: Tell me about it.

So I've had some time to digest all of this. Dismay, quite frankly came first to mind. Utter dismay actually. But I've warmed up to this since the initial shock has worn off, because we can pull this off, and for quite some time. I've processed all the future reactions and have come to this conclusion. The boss' wife is very naive, and very nice. When this little charade unravels she'll be slightly embarrassed, but not actually mad. The boss will be cool about it as well. And for me, no more little miss matchmaker to contend with for the foreseeable future.

Yeah, I'm delusional, aren't I?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Don't Do Crazy And Biased People Well

This has been a crazy week, even by my standards. I think every time I've stepped out in public I've been accosted by every degenerate on Earth.

(It's also possible the percentage hasn't really changed much, it's just being short-handed at work puts me out in public more than I'm used to.

Or perhaps I'm just more tired and my zero tolerance for bullshit is even less than zero these past few days.)

Monday was a nice day here, especially for the 1st of November. I think it hit almost hit 70 degrees. I decided to take my gourmet lunch, comprising of two bologna sandwiches (with real Kraft cheese slices), Pringles, Oreo cookies, and diet Coke outside to eat.

We have two picnic tables at the end of the sidewalk to nowhere at work. As I stepped outside I saw one was occupied by two young Vietnamese women who work at the Nail Salon, and the other was empty. So I hoofed it over to the empty table and spread out my feast.

Now I like these Vietnamese women (and the guys) who work at this Nail Salon. They're always friendly and polite. They also work their asses off with little time off. I've taken the time to get to know them and admire how family oriented they are. They're not only supporting themselves but usually supporting parents at home in Vietnam. When they're outside they're generally on the phone with family from there as well.

(Plus one of them was the Pretty Vietnamese lady, mentioned in a previous post in here somewhere, who seems to take great joy in feeding me from time to time. I also knew that when she saw what I was eating she'd be horrified, and would be whipping up some exotic Vietnamese meal for me later in the week. For some reason she feels I eat rather poorly and feels obligated to feed me with what she considers healthier type cuisine I guess.)

So I'm sitting there eating and they're chattering on their cell phones. Listening to them always amuses me when they're speaking to family. I don't understand a word they're saying, but it's all said at warp speed.

Things were progressing swimmingly until a slovenly woman approached the table I was sitting at and sat at the other side of it. She sat there staring at the two Vietnamese women with a scowl on her face. She then decided to open her mouth and try to talk to me. The following was the brief conversation that took place.

(Not word for word by any means, but close. It's been a few days but I remember it pretty well, and she pissed me off.)

Slovenly Woman: Just look at them!
Me: What?
Slovenly Woman: English people! English! It's America.
Me: I hate to break this to you lady but we also believe in freedom of speech, and there's no restrictions on the language.
Slovenly Woman: Haven't you heard of terrorism? They could be terrorists. They need to speak English.
Me: Are you serious?
Slovenly Woman: Them damn Muslims and 9-11, remember that?
Me: Yup. Vividly.
Slovenly Woman: Well that's why they need to speak English. We can't be too careful with foreigners
Me: So you think these two manicurist's are plotting to blow us up?
Slovenly Woman: You have to be careful. They could be saying anything.
Me: They speak English just fine.
Slovenly Woman: Well, they need to speak English all the time.
Me: Lady, they're talking to people who don't understand English. It's their parents native tongue. I suggest you get away from me. You're an idiot.
Slovenly Woman: You'll see some day. Terrorists don't speak English and look what they've done to us.
Me: Lady, do you remember 9-11? Those terrorists spoke English and were trained to fly planes in Florida prior to taking out the towers, pentagon, and the plane in Pennsylvania. 
Slovenly Woman: Yeah, right.
Me: Lady, get the fuck away from me. It's ignorant assholes like you who make me sick. Turn off Fox News and try to educate yourself. Remember Timothy McVeigh?
Slovenly Woman: Who?
Me: Just get away from me.

There were a few more choice words said, mostly from her, showing ever more ignorance, but she did leave. It's three days later and I'm still pissed at her and her ignorance.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sometimes The Joy Fades All Too Quickly

As noted in a previous post I'm a smoker.

Along with that fact I also want to confess that it gives me great pleasure to bring a smile to a child's face. There's just something liberating about it.  Children seem to like me, apparently due to my being a smoker.

At least once a week a child will approach me at work, when I'm out on a smoke break trying to mind my own business, and away from people. I don't hang out with people when I'm smoking. I don't "chit chat."

But children are bold, and hopeful.

Invariably one will approach me and with the utmost respect ask me, "Sir, could you possibly spare a cigarette?"

I give them my brightest smile, and reply, "Why I sure could."

Their eyes light up and a smile spreads quickly, and widely, across their faces. As we stand there, me then ignoring the kid, and them staring at me in confusion I then smile a bit myself.

Usually a minute has to pass before the child realizes something is amiss though. They then ask when they're going to receive this promised fire stick. When informed that they're not going to get one their confusion deepens. They all state the same thing, "But you said I could have one."

Their confusion then heads completely south as I point out the error in this by replying, "Uh no, you asked if I could spare a cigarette. I can always spare a cigarette because I'm always abundantly stocked. Having the ability to spare one doesn't translate into actually giving one away, especially to children."

This ends anywhere from the kid slinking off muttering, or a mouthy little shit getting pissed and me telling him to get lost.

But the initial joy brought into their lives is priceless.

Monday, November 1, 2010

When In A Zone Doesn't Mean Actually Being In The Zone

I went to work yesterday expecting a mess. We had a promotion changeover and I knew the boss wouldn't have it wrapped up before I got in to work. But he did have much more done than I expected.

We had an enormous amount of things to toss out though, so I started bagging up crap to head to the dumpster.

On the second return trip from the dumpster I noticed a young mother with a baby in a stroller, and two toddler aged kids trailing behind her, heading to the mall entrance. She looked a little harried and as I approached her and the mall entrance I offered to get the door for her.

(And yes, I'm somewhat of a gentleman that way. As a bonus she was cute and I thought she might smell nice too, so in order to find out, holding the door seemed to be the best way to determine this.)

As I reached for the door I heard her say "Okay, great".... and I completely zoned out.

(This is a common phenomenon that happens to me and what can trigger it seems to vary wildly. My boss can be discussing some new policy, or work rule that I need to follow, or that I need to quit breaking and bam!.... I'm off in my own little world.

I'm off in La La Land wondering to myself when was the last time I took a piss. I then start to wonder if I need to take a piss. The answer is always no though. But I still have to determine exactly when the last piss occurred anyway. If it's been a sufficiently long enough time in the past I then pretend my bladder has super powers and no one on Earth has the bladder capacity I possess.

I then convince myself I can fly because somehow a full bladder induces levity powers. Then... well... I notice the boss is silent and just staring at me. I mumble that I need to take a piss and wander off to the bathroom to see if I can shake out a couple of drops.)

So yeah, it's not always okay and great being me.

Anyway, back to the door holding operation.

I heard those "Okay, great" words from her and I'm off and running a mental sprint of sorts. I know I'm staring at this girl, but not really seeing her. Those two words, "Okay, great" sounded off, somewhat tinny, and flat.

I wondered why didn't she just say thanks?

What does "Okay, great" really mean?

It didn't sound "okay" or "great" to me. I then tried to put myself in her shoes, mainly the ones pushing a baby in a stroller and two kids under the age of four at her heels. I can see where keeping eyes on this caravan could produce a less than stellar "Okay, great" sounding response.

But then I reconsidered. Maybe she's just exhausted and squeezing out those two words were an extraordinary effort for her. Perhaps, just perhaps, this was among the most "okay and greatest" of things ever performed for her. I was like some knight in shining armor and shit. She just couldn't properly convey it is all.

And then I had to reconsider again, because of that damn "knight in shining armor" thought. Maybe she thought she was royalty of some sort and I was a serf. I mean that "Okay, great" comment didn't sound particularly thankful or right to me anyway. It was just an obligatory remark to someone as lowly as me. She probably regretted saying it actually. I should have felt honored she chose to speak in my presence at all, her being so queenly and stuff.

And just as I was ready to consider another possibility the real world stepped back into play. She and the kiddies had gotten through the door, and she was staring at me and speaking to me. I then realized that her "Okay, great" comment had actually included a "thanks" at the end of it.

She had this strange look on her face and was asking me "Are you alright, mister?" Naturally the first thing that pops out of my mouth is "I'm fine, sorry about that, I've just got to take a piss."

To her credit she just nodded her head, then practically ran to get some distance between herself and me.

And dammit! While holding the door I was cognizant enough to verify she was cute but I don't really recall if she smelled nice. The best I can report is that she didn't smell bad. I'm sure I'd have picked up on that. Still a failure upon my part though.