Sunday, December 23, 2007

I love you public bathroom

Strange days ahead:
1. Grandma is sick with pneumonia and acute renal failure.
2. Cousins visiting from Philadelphia and Philippines, who for some reason are always asking me to drive them places (and NOT pay for gas?! I do not drive a magic flying carpet.)
3. Have not purchased a single holiday gift.
4. No work for the next week.
5. Am mostly confused (see also: have no idea how to enjoy the upcoming holiday due to sudden influx of possible family loss, with a side of large family gathering.)

If only 2007 could be printed in the form of a gift receipt, I'd make sure that when I show up to the pearly gates, I would ask for a refund-- or at least an exchange? "I would like the things most treasured in my life to spontaneously combust as opposed to having them slowly deteriorate before my eyes please."

(And then I would realize that I am being helped at the customer service desk at WalMart, whose Catholic equivalence translates as Purgatory.)

Most random post ever.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

someone I used to date...

"So today I got away with the most flagrantly rude behavior I've ever committed while in a customer service job.

The customer was being a dick. Glowering, tapping his fingers, feeling he had the right to call me by name just because it was displayed on my little name tag, etc. I came rapidly to hate this man with a burning intensity that completely ignored how brief a time I had been subjected to him. This was the sort of guy who, in high school, I would have either stabbed with a pencil (yes, I really did do that once- in the hand, so no chance of fatal injury) or attacked with a whirlwind of wild but hard punches, or arranged to be expelled. Those who know me well know how occasionally, someone will piss me off just by existing, and sometimes, someone who is genuinely irritating will enrage me beyond all reason (see: half of my Senior class). This was somewhere between those two. I may be mellowing with age. Which would be good, in the real world, you go to jail for shanking a guy with a pencil.

So instead of going to jail, I looked at him as I took his order, and said, "Ok, that'll be $4.08 And you have to quit being a dick."

Him: "Ex-CUSE me?"

Me: "Before I give you food, you have to quit being a dick. Otherwise you can take your $4.08 and shove it."

Quite a bit of back and forth ensued, but I was in my deepest sort of fast-food/customer service despair, which usually manifests as being ZEN right in everyone's FACE. In short, I am so imperturbable that it really pisses people off. So my end of the "back and forth" was the sort of unflinching honesty you only get from someone who feels that he has nothing to lose.

"You walk in here expecting us to treat you like king shit because you have five bucks. (he growls some obscenities) Being on that side of the counter doesn't grant you a superior social position or functioning brain. (he continues to growl something, but I ignore him) You can either treat me like an equal who just happens to be responsible for the preparation of your food this evening, or you can go home."

He went home.

Chris, one of my co-workers, gaped for a minute, then applauded. Chris isn't a bad guy. His name tag reads "Christ." The manager who made it didn't realize what he was doing, and Chris hasn't mentioned it. Like I said, Chris will not be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

My manager, Enrique, doesn't speak much English, and he has a hard time following it when it's fast or emotional, so he had no idea what the guy was talking about, and all he knew was that the guy was barking and swaggering, while I was being totally calm and reasonable-sounding. So he actually came over and comforted me after the whole thing, saying, "Ees okay, man, some peoples are just the... ahss-hohlz."


Years have passed between us, but little does he know that I am QUITE the creepy internet stalker. He was an amazing writer, though I never understood why he always chose shitty retail and food-service jobs. I always thought he'd be a great history teacher and/or uni-bomber-- OR BOTH. He hasn't posted anything in the last few months and I am far too reticent to even email him.

The internet makes me weird.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

let's celebrate festivus instead

Vik Prjónsdóttir makes the best knitted gifts-- though, since they're based in Iceland this comes as no surprise.

I began making one of these last night but then realized that it's never really cold enough here in Southern California to use (maybe for people who go snowboarding?) It seemed like a fun gift at the time, but why should I put a few days worth of needlework effort just to have it occupy the bottom of someone's sock drawer?

I love to make presents, but whenever I'm in the middle of a process, I always hear Mr. Birchum's Gift Guide (KROQ Christmas circa 1995) reverberating in the back of my mind:

"Just because you or your retarded kid made it, it's just going to make it THAT much harder to re-sell. Buy me the finish product, please."

I wish I could just skip the Holiday season altogether. I also wish waitMate (featuring a perpetually creepy/handsome Jeff Goldblum) really did exist; I would take them by the pound.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I do not work, I schlep

It still hasn't hit me yet that I'm finally moving forward academically (mostly due to my HUGE reluctance to fork up the $500 tuition deposit by this Saturday.) To my friends who already have their own houses and masters degrees-- the fact that I am actually on my way towards a bachelor's and not some other random job wiping old asses*, is a revelation to them.

Yesterday while helping Janine with her classroom's aquarium, I casually mentioned to her about my acceptance into CalArts next year. Her response? Cupping her hands over her mouth while almost holding back tears, I KID YOU NOT. "I'm so proud of you!" she beamed as she gave me a hug, "You're going be so great there!" Seriously, not even my own MOTHER responded to my acceptance this way (also mostly due to my even LARGER reluctance to tell her about anything in my life.)

A little confused at this point, I wondered if Janine's enthusiasm was 100% genuine, or just a conditioned response from a 3rd grade school teacher-- whose daily job is to dole out praise and happy face stickers as if they're going out of style. In the end of course, it felt nice to know that there are still people in your life who act in their own right as your personal Richard Simmons (who I quote, “[Life] is the most magical place in the world!”)

Today is yet another day of le SCHLEP; wandering around, staring at things, being a senior in general. Work at both Mt. SAC and Reve is slow, not to mention the hole in my side that never looks likes its healing.

Also, if you want to blow off $200 bucks in about twenty minutes-- please visit the Coat & Jacket section of Unlike the Japanese, who tease the rest of the fashion world with their inaccessible clothing websites-- Koreans give it to you, and OMG DO THEY GIVE IT TO YOU GOOD.