Tragic Email Misunderstandings.

Sorry Mom. I know Mother's Day is coming up and all, but Ancestry.Com has ordered me to kill you.


Am I On Candid Camera or Something?

I went to the gym tonight for the first time in far too long and hit the elliptical machine, since it's currently pouring rain outside with the possibility of snow later tonight. The running gag about gyms is that it can be a great place to scope out women (maybe it's a great place to scope out guys too, I dunno. I've never scoped guys, but I imagine if you wanted to you could probably just walk up and ask them. Guys are pretty easy.) and of course, if you actually ARE a woman, that's pretty intimidating. No one wants to be ogled by perverts, especially when you're sweaty and wheezing. In my case, sweaty and wheezing covers like 80% of my day.


Out Customer-Servicing Customer Service

I worked Customer Service pretty much all through college. I worked the two worst possible variations of it, too: retail and customer service. You've heard it all before: people are fucking monsters in general, and people entitled by the mantra "the customer is always right" will make you pray for genocide. I actually didn't hate my job at the little video store. Yes we had shit heads who would try to steal Xboxes or the donation can for the guy who had Hodgkin's Lymphoma and shit. But for everyone one of them there were two or three friendly, amiable people who would come in and shoot the breeze or bring us dinner when we were forced to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I learned pretty quickly how to throw on my retail face; that overly-joyed-to-see-you smile and spunky lilt in my speech. "Heeeeey!" I would beam happily at some shlub renting 14 video games and the same copy of Happy Gilmore he rented every weekend, "How ya doin' this weekend guy? Big plans?" So while I don't use my knowledge of how shitty retail can be to give employees carte blanche for their behavior, I do empathize and cut them some slack whenever possible. I also sincerely appreciate it when people in those positions take the time and make the effort to be nice and courteous, because I know I'm just another dude in a long line of people preventing them from clocking out.

Sometimes, though, they just cry out to be fucked with.

I went down to Starbucks in the building where I work to get a late afternoon caffeine boost. A super eager college-aged kid with a tight jew-fro of brown curls atop his head greeted me. I gave him my order, mentioning that one of the other super-eager girls behind the counter had already started making it while I was in line.

"Wow," he smiled, "that's like...the perfect way to order."


"I mean you gave me the size, the drink, the extras, and you mentioned she already started making it. That was perfect."

"Oh, well thanks. I'm just lookin' out for you, man." He paused and seemed to consider this.
"Well, I want to look out for you too." My awkwardness meter started creeping up. "How's your day going?" I hate questions like this. He doesn't care. He doesn't know me. If he DID care it would be really creepy. Why not just say "have a nice day" or something? I always struggle to sound interested or receptive to shit like this. I decided to fight awkward retail conversation fire with fire.

"It's going pretty good so far. Would you want to have dinner?" His eyes went wider than the mouth of my grande nonfat no whip mocha. I felt so bad I wanted to stop everything, but I was committed. 

"Uh, well, I mean I would, but I don't think it's appropriate. Or something."

"Alright. Have a good day man." I dumped my change into the tip jar and walked over to pick up my coffee, which of course was not ready and thus I spent another three minutes or so six feet away from a beet-faced young man who had just shot me down as he tried to pretend I was not creeping him the fuck out while helping his other customers. Eventually I got my drink and left, declaring myself the victor of some weird battle of wills only I had decided we were fighting. 

One of these days that joke is going to really backfire on me and I'm going to end up having the most awkward dinner conversation ever with a 20-year-old college guy.

So This Happened Last Night

I went to an open mic at a place I've never been to and paid my $5 to get in. They hand you a little generic raffle ticket just to show you've paid, except because I walked in right after a woman the ticket guy assumed I was with her and handed her two tickets. "Oh sorry," he said, "just get it from her."

Now I don't know why he refused to just give me another ticket. They weren't actually counting them, the numbers meant nothing, and based on the crowd I later encountered he could've given me a hundred tickets and it wouldn't have mattered. But I was new and didn't know the score and figured if I didn't have a ticket on me that would be the one time a bouncer or someone would ask if I had paid and I didn't want to have to deal with any bullshit.

So I tap the woman, a tall thin punk-hipster-type wearing a leopard skin coat with her head shaved except for overly-long bangs that are bleached blonde, on the shoulder.

"Hey, sorry," I say in my nice voice, "Can I get my ticket from you? He accidentally gave you both of ours." I feel like that's a pretty reasonable request. Nothing too extraordinary, and it requires no further interaction between us should you decide you don't want it. Just hand me the ticket, you don't even have to say anything really, and move on with your life.

But no. That's not how she decided to play it.

"What do you need it for, your fucking scrap book?" Her words stab me as she stuffs the crumpled raffle ticket into my hand. It's such a bizarre and unexpected display of aggression that I blank.

"Yes." I smile dumbly and walk away, cursing under my breath. "Yes?" Fucking "Yes?!" What I should've said was "Actually, you self-righteous bitch, I need it because it proves that I paid. Now once I go down here and see that it's pretty casual I won't worry about tickets in the future but for right now it's my first night here and I don't want to get hassled about NOT having a ticket so shut the fuck up and just give me the fucking ticket like a normal human being would."

The dude she was with went up on stage and fucking bombed. Serves him right for telling shitty jokes about Barry Bonds. They also left immediately after his set without listening to the other comics, further cementing their status as complete shit heads.

Other than that it was nice.