Disgusted with Myself and My Company

12.30.2006

I stopped being scheduled at Macy’s because I was holiday help, but they called me in after I thought I was out of a job because they were understaffed. That was kind of nice.

Towards the end of my shift the loss prevention chick taps me on the shoulder and whispers “quick, take off your tie and name tag.” I do it because when a lady tells me in a serious voice to take something off, I do it post haste. She then tells me “follow behind me about 15 paces when I leave the section following this brown-haired girl.” “Okay”, I said. “And if shit goes south, jump in. No punching, kicking, hair-pulling or biting.”

What the fuck?

Well, as a person who can’t say no and loves to please, and also as a person who can already tell this young chick is way too gung-ho about her job, I follow figuring I might have to break up a fight. The theif, wearing about 5 pairs of underwear walks to the door while the plain-clothes LP lady walks behind her, next to her and then in front of her as she nears the door. They exit and LP girl says “Excuse me, can I talk to you?” The theif runs and LP girl runs faster. She tackles her. I’ve worked in jobs where we had to do take-downs and this was not graceful or textbook. It looked like it really hurt the girl who was tackled. The theif loses her purse, but gets free of the tackle and runs again and gets about 20 feet before getting clobbered.

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. I want to shout “What the **** is wrong with you.” I run to the pair and this is not a collar, this is a cat fight. My instinct is to pull LP off the theif because she’s screaming “Stop it! You’re hurting me!” I can still hear it 2 hours later. The LP chick is shouting at me “HOLD HER DOWN! HOLD HER DOWN!” So I do. I get close to the shoplifter and tell her to relax and listen to what she says, and she hears me over the shouting and stops panicking. We get her still, and my training from the mental homes kicks in and I take the lead. “Okay, we’re going to help you up on the count of three” and I count. Then we walk her to the office, she gets frisked and we walk her to the office where she tells us her life story on the way there. I have very little sympathy for the shoplifter other than no one gets in the shape she was in on their own without a screwed up history. (Clearly on heroin and clearly affected in appearance by her drug of choice.)

We had her purse, I should’ve broke them up and let her run. I feel awful.

This can’t be company policy and if it is, I want no part of this company.

I certainly don’t get paid enough for that kind of stuff.

Send in the Clones

12.26.2006

Occassionally I will see or hear a news peice that begins with a terrible attention-getter that clearly expresses their opinion and may or may not be based on the facts in the story or the facts left out of the story.

The one that made post this was the FDA giving the go-ahead on cloned meat and dairy products without special labeling.

The announcer began with “You might soon be eatting cloned meat and not even know it!”

First of all, there is no reason that should be scary. Second of all, that’s like saying “FDA says Faberge Eggs okay to eat raw on Caesar Salads.” It’s really expensive to clone a beef cow. They’re not going to send them to the packing house any time soon.

You can’t call yourself an unbiased media source when you read an impartial peice and wrinkle your nose when you’re trying to tell us what we are supposed to get out of the piece.

Blue Christmas

12.25.2006

I wish you all a good holiday. Hug the people you’re spending it with. Be happy. Drink egg nog, even though it’s gross. Take nothing for granted.

I’m no Jesus guy, but I know there is more to Christmas than being man-handled at the mall.

 Family, tradition, love, music, cookies!

Have a good one, and I wish I could be with you… any of you. All of you.

…And a Merry Solo Christmas to me.

But just so I don’t bum you out too much, here’s Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” for your viewing enjoyment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hib3bp8NxV0

Thank you to everyone who has made this whole year one big Christmas.

Egg Nog

12.23.2006

*shudder*

I don’t know who invented that stuff.

“Hmmm… gee. What am I going to do with all this brandy and pancake batter? Oh, I have an idea!”

On Games and Drinking

12.20.2006

I was playing backgammon in a bar recently and had a thought. I find I do better at games when I let my opponent out-drink me. (Unless the game is “Shot for Shot.” Then you lose when they outdrink you.) Seems simple enough.

Except cards for some reason. I do better at poker against sober people than drunk people.
And in casino (spill på nett) I do better when I am sober and following my strategy.
Everyone who is looking for a mecca bingo take a look at https://www.boomtownbingo.com/mecca-bingo-near-me

Ever played a racing game with someone who can’t friggin’ drive? And you can’t pass them because they keep taking these stupid lines and keep smashing into you? Same thing with drunken card players.

They’re too drunk to read. They never fold. They raise when they shouldn’t. They always think you’re bluffing, so you can’t bluff. They’re too drunk to play right and somehow that makes ME lose.

Everytime I got drunk, I just open and internet connected gadget and go to uk casino games where I can win real prizes. I mean real cash.

My Crappy Morning

12.19.2006
Maybe god is telling me I shouldn’t be an athiest. Or perhaps I’m right to be an atheist, with all the bad stuff that happens. Or maybe I’m right, and I’m just clumsy, overly trusting of people and not very careful. Whatever….

So I was skating to work this morning at 7:30. Skating is what you do when you have no car and your bike was stolen.

It was 20 degrees out and I hit a patch of black ice in a parking lot I was taking a shortcut through. I beefed and totally wound up sideways on my ass. Nothing was broken, and I was relieved that since the yucky water was frozen, I didn’t have much dirt on me. Nothing that a paper towel wouldn’t fix. I skated on to work, and made it there on time. Then I realized blood was soaking through my pants at my knee and hip.

I asked my manager if I could go home and change. That took 2 hours with all the skating.

Grrr…

I need a better life.

Farewell, Godess of the Yangtze

12.15.2006

The Chinese River Dolphin has been declared extinct. This is the first extinction of a large mammal in my lifetime. Humans rock.

As further evidence of how humans rock, here’s the vandalized wiki page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_River_Dolphin

“The Chinese River Dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) was a freshwater dolphin found only in the Yangtze River in China. Other names include Baiji (白鱀豚 Pinyin: báijì), Beiji, Pai-chi (Wade-Giles), Whitefin Dolphin, Whiteflag Dolphin, Yangtze Dolphin, and Yangtze River Dolphin. The super-family of river dolphins include also the Boto and the La Plata Dolphin. Nicknamed “Goddess of the Yangtze” (長江女神) in China, it was declared “functionally extinct” after an expedition in late 2006 failed to find any in the river.[1] Although many dispute the consumption of the Chinese River Dolphin, most people prefer it sauteed with red onions, wild mushrooms, and a hint of celery salt. Sometimes, however, the dolphin can be cooked rotisserie style over an open charcoal campfire. Steamed carrots and string beans are served with the fresh dolphin.”

Zen and the Art of Computer Upgrades

12.13.2006

Many years ago, Alia’s mother got a new computer and gave me her desktop system. It was a 600Mhz pentium 3 with 256 Megs of RAM, a DVD-ROM/CD burner, a 10 gig hard drive, a floppy drive and a zip drive. A peice at a time, I upgraded the parts as they failed or I found better ones. First the mobo, then the RAM, then the optical drive, then the video card, then the hard drive. Then the case got on my nerves because to turn it on and off it required sticking a pencil in a hole in the front of the case, so I put this all in a new case.

It is now a shiny black Media-Center-style case with a 2ghz Pentium 4, 512MB of RAM and a 40 gig hard drive. Alia’s mother recently told me that she doesn’t have a working computer in this town. She lives in Santa Rosa half the week to work, and half the week with her partner in the East Bay on her days off. Since she can’t check her mail when she’s in town, I wanted to give her a computer, so I’m giving her this one.

I was thinking about it. When she gave it to me, it was one computer. Now when I give it to her, the only original part is the modem. Is it still the same computer? Am I returning the computer she gave me?

The World’s Best Customer

12.12.2006

I spent about 40 minutes helping a guy who just wanted to buy some pants, shirts, a belt a couple ties and some socks.

He didn’t have his Macy’s card, so I looked it up for him. The reason he was paying with his Macy’s card was because I told him since everything he bought was on sale, the promotion was all sale items get a 10% discount extra when put on a store card.

Simple enough.

I look it up… declined. “That’s impossible,” he said. I said, most of the time when cards are declined when I look them up, it’s because the zip code is wrong. So I tried all the zip codes he’s lived at in the past 2 years. Eventually after all the tries, the register told me to call FACS (the Macy’s credit division.) I called, they wanted to talk to him. They verified his address, and apparently when he called to change his current address they didn’t change his zip code, so it was his new street and hour number but the old town and zip. They fixed it, then without explaining anything to him, they forwarded him to collections. He rolled his eyes at the phone and said “They’re tranfering me to collections… what’s that about?” I shrugged.

Long story short, they had been sending his bills to nowhere, so he’d been getting late fees. He had to pay $15 at my register and then his account would be good again.

Most people would be frustrated and short with the cashier. Most people would have a “shoot the messenger attitude.” Many people would drop their 10 items at the counter and go home in disgust. Not this guy. He never lost his smile, even after I had to ring up all his stuff 4 or 5 times, and he had to enter his SSN on the stylus pad probably a dozen times.

Macy’s sends out surveys sometimes with their bills, hoping the store gets the Outstanding box checked when it gets mailed back.

I wish I could fill out a customer survey and give him a free gift certificate.

Bike Theives Suck

12.06.2006

My bike got stolen from in front of my work, and after standing for 8 hours I really appreciate the nice seated possition that the bicycle affords me on that leisurely 15-minute pedal homeward.

Not wanting to get flak from the hard-working night crew that closed off the Steel Lane undercrossing, it added about 2 miles to my walk. I’m really G.D. pissed.

See, the thing about bike theives is, they don’t know or care why someone is riding a bike. Perhaps they’re a young kid who doesn’t have a car yet. Perhaps they’re green-thinkers who want to save the planet, or perhaps they’re penny-savers who want to save a half-gallon of gas. Meybe even they’re poor, have 2 cars with blown engines and could perhaps need that bike to get to work and school and such.

Punk-ass motherfuckers. I hope the back sprocket assembly falls apart on them (like it’s been doing for me periodically for a while.)

Grrrrr!!!!! Days like this make me want to put my pacifism on the shelf and throw someone a well-deserved beatin’.

You know, I wish I could find out who took my bike and why. I mean, it was probably a dick-face kid walking past the mall, but maybe it was a homeless guy who needed the bike more than me.

I wish I could know there was a damn good reason I have been walking for the past hour and a half.