Friday, March 4, 2011

It's not really eavesdropping if they're standing in front of you, right?

I'm pretty much transcribing a conversation happening in front of me. Some people don't know how close they stray to being parodies of themselves.

"You know, I've been thinking about it and thinking about it, and I just can't figure out how we got here."

"Well, you know, I'll tell you how we got here. We got here because we were talking. We were talking, and then they started listening, and then we waited to make our move till they were ready."

"I think you're right, I think you're absolutely right. And it didn't hurt that we have the technology now, we really do."

"Ah, but when we didn't have it, and we were trying to play the game - that was when things were going sour. We were talking a game we couldn't play. So you know what I did? I changed the game. I went and I changed the game on them. So now they're not even sure what game they're playing."

"Right, right. And it gave us some time to get ready."

"Exactly. So we waited till the time was right, and we made the play, and we nailed it. Touchdown. And there was nothing they could do about it. We blasted the competition out of the water. They're not even in the running now."

Etc. They went on in this vein for quite a while. It's always surprising to me how many times people can repeat themselves in different ways without getting called out on it. I know I'm always tempted to point that out when I'm actually involved in the conversation.

All I can really say is Oy vey, businessmen. Sports and war metaphors, seriously? That's all you've got? Please carry on this conversation somewhere else.

They kind of remind me of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in "A Bit of Fry & Laurie" when they play those ridiculous businessmen who are always shouting "DAMN!" and "BLAST!" and drinking cognac. I mean, there was less shouting here, but still. I think those stereotpyes probably exist for a reason.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Incompetancy On Parade (The minor woes of a receptionist)

Disclaimer: This post is nothing more than me throwing a minor bitchfit about losing 15 minutes of my time to utter inanity. Also, run-ons ahead. It's been that kind of day.

Okay, what the hell.

This isn't really that big a deal, but for some reason I've been torturing myself by reading the comments on Yahoo! news stories, which always seem to be from the lowest common denominators and seriously, I don't understand how some of these people even know how to breathe, let alone type, and it's so depressing to imagine that there really are people like that out in the world and not just sequestered in their basements or bomb shelters or whatever other hidey-hole it would be preferable for them to be in. I'm not kidding, so many of those comments are absolutely vile. Maybe someday I'll cull a selection of the worst, just for posterity.

Uh. Where was I going with that.

Oh, right. I've been torturing myself, because Yahoo! news is one of the first things I see at work, so I've been a bit ticked off and shirty this morning. It's been extremely dull since I got just about all of the week's work done yesterday (in a bizarre fit of productivity), and I've been trying not to fall asleep and get fired because let's face it, they may pay me to read the news and answer the phones, but they don't pay me to sleep, and then I go on break only wanting a nice cup of bracingly black coffee, some crackers, and my book, and what do I end up doing instead? Breathing in the stale cigarette fumes emanating from a 50-year-old lady who needs directions from me on how to order a goddamn pizza. And she has to stand half a foot from where I'm sitting and loom over me in order for this to be accomplished.

Fortunately for her, I am a pizza pro.

Her: "You're the receptionist, aren't you?" (Already advancing on me)

Me: "Um, yes." (Holding book in an obvious attempt to communicate that I am not only on break but busy, thank you very much)

Her: "I want to order a pizza for lunch. Do you think I can do that now? Or do I have to wait until I go on lunch break?" (Already looming, way too close, in my bubble, etc.)

Me: "Uh, it's probably best if you do it now. They're probably just opening, but the pizza's more likely to get here during your actual lunch break if you order in advance. If you wait, it might not get here till your break's over."

Her: (Pointing at some flyers randomly taped to the fridge) "Is that where we're supposed to order pizza from?"

Me: (Mouth slightly agape, thinking to myself, Seriously? You think we have rules about where we order pizza from? Lady, you're the one paying for it. Neither I nor anybody else here gives a good goddamn where you order from.) "I don't know, somebody probably just put that up there." (Continuing, at her blank look...) "You can order from there if you want."

Her: "Is that the right number there on the flyer?"

Me: (Don't grimace, don't grimace...good GOD this is taking a long time, my break is half over...) "Should be."

Her: "Do I have to pay with a card, or can I use my $20?"

Me: (OH MY GOD SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP) "Either should be fine."

Her: (Looming once more, making the call) "I'm going to need the address for this place."

Me: (God, anything to get you to go away. [I write the address on a piece of paper for her. She reads it, then writes it down again.])

Her: (Getting to the point where they verify the business name so it's easier for the driver to find...) "What's this place called, again?"

Me: (Head. Exploded. She's been temping here for a month and a half and she doesn't know the name of the business she's been working for. HOW.)

Her: (Seeming satisfied) "Okay, they're bringing me my pizza."

Me: "Did you tell them what time you needed it by?" (I happen to know that she doesn't go on break for another two hours, which means that currently, her pizza is on track to get here an hour and a half early.)

Her: "They don't know? But I just called!"

Me: "Well...they don't know unless you tell them."

Her: (Glaring, dialing again, bitching at whichever poor Pizza Hut team member happened to answer the call, hanging up, looking at me) "Okay, they're going to bring the pizza to you at noon. Let me know when it's here. And they tacked on some kind of charge to the total. My $10 pizza was $13. They are NOT getting a tip."

Me, silently: "My break is over, and I am getting the fuck out of here. At this point, I don't care when or to whom they're bringing your fucking pizza. I've been breathing in your cigarette stench for fifteen minutes and trying to be polite, but I am finished with this ridiculous business."

Okay, I'm out of steam. I can't do this anymore. It wasn't a dramatization, but damn, was it tiring to type up. Anyway, the ending was that I wasn't even going to be there by the time the pizza was delivered because I'd be on my lunch by then, and also, sometimes I hate people.

God, now I feel really petty. I don't think I was ever overtly rude to her, and if she had just been polite and non-bubble-invasive about it, I wouldn't have minded helping her so much. not know the name or address of the place you've been working for the last six weeks? To complain about basic tax and delivery charge on a pizza you're having delivered? To boss me around like I'm nobody after I just helped you avert a pizza-timing-disaster? To take up all of my morning break with your incompetancy? Fuck you.

Edit: I know the formatting on this post royally sucks, but I don't have the patience to properly demarcate which italics indicate action and which indicate me ranting silently. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


(Sampson Forest & Memorial Park, Kingston, MA)

I like to take walks. No, seriously, I know that's a really profound statement, but keep your hat on.

I realized recently that my other blog, It (is)(will be) Written, wasn't really meeting my needs as far as what I wanted to write about. As a result of that, it started to flag - my posting schedule went all to hell, and I've barely looked at it in a week. "Thoughts from Walks" is inspired in part by the Vlogbrothers' "Thoughts from Places", the awesome videos John and Hank post when they travel. They're full of philosophy and insight and humor and all kinds of good things, all of it augmented by the fact that, well, they're traveling. I don't travel much right now, and I very recently got a replacement car, so I'm technically not obligated to walk much. But spring is on its way, and frankly, I need to get out more. When my transportation options were more limited, I used to do a lot of walking - to friend's houses, to school, to the store, to the woods, to anywhere I wanted to be. And it gave me a lot of time for introspection, general musing, and for appreciating the world I live in.

I want to recapture some of that. This is going to be my personal blog, the place I go when I want to postulate, philosophize, ramble, rant, exclaim, complain, or whatever else it is I do. I'm not going to constrain myself to only one theme, the way my writing blog is laid out - I'll probably cover some religion and politics here, so if you don't like it, well, no one's making you stay.