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Friday, February 27, 2015

Teachers, Sexism, Circle-K Wins, And A Fear Of Snow ...

Ok then. I'm doing this.

This is a 100% true story. I wasn't sure if I was going to share this, but it's a good story. I shared it on a group I'm in on my Faceybook page and it led to a good, rousing discussion, so I thought I'd expand on it here on my blog.

So. Lets do this ...

So I work with a bookstore that this blog is on no way affiliated with, right? And yesterday a teacher came in to the kids section. She's a regular in the store. I know this, despite her stubborn refusal to ever have me help her. In fact, a LOT of people refuse my help. I don't think it's entirely racist. I don't like ever playing the race card. No, I'm pretty sure it's more sexism than racism. I mean, moms and wives and teachers in Oklahoma are more comfortable asking an overweight middle aged woman for help than a Latino man in a suit. So I know her, I know she's a teacher, and I know she doesn't ever want my help.

Nevertheless, I repeatedly asked her if she needed help. I asked about 3 or 4 times if she needed help and each time she said no and sort of waved me away. She kept giving off a vibe that she was getting pretty darn annoyed at me. Well sorry, lady. It's my job. I help people, even if they don't want help from me. It's what I do.

Seriously, the majority of the customers I deal with in the midwest are subconsciously skeptical of the strange looking well dressed Mexican guy in the bookstore, so instead of letting it get me down I just see every customer interaction as a chance to prove myself and try to shatter their inner prejudices, whatever they may be.

(Dood! I have like a bajillion stories of the racism and sexism I've dealt with working retail. Some are funny, some are painful, some are batshit insane. But that's a different post for a different time.)

The woman was on the floor in front of the picture book wall and she was pulling picture books and making these really biiiiiiig piles. I assumed she was doing a purchase order for a school or a library or something like that. It happens all the time. Mystery solved. About an hour and a half later she came up to me visibly upset and said-slash-yelled that she was DISGUSTED with the poor alphabetization of our picture book wall and that it set a bad example for kids. So she pulled EVERY BOOK THAT WAS ALPHABETIZED INCORRECTLY and left it on the floor so that we could shelve them properly and learn our lesson.

Then she stormed off.

After a few deep breaths, I decided NOT to tell a manager, NOT to complain to my fellow employees, and NOT to make a big deal out of it. I slowly shelve the piles of books as if nothing had happened. Just another day at work. Now, I am not saying all teachers are bad. But I've had a number of mean spirited teachers who think that just because of their job that they are better than me. I know you're a teacher and a hero and leading a generation of kids into a bright and shiny blah blah blah, but just because you're a teacher doesn't give you a license to treat me like crap, ok?

So my first thought was to report this incident and tell the manager and single her out and get her in trouble and all of that stuff. I mean, hey, maybe that's what I SHOULD have done? But, really, I don't know this woman. I don't know her whole life story. Maybe she was just having an off day or something. Maybe she just needed to blow off some steam. Maybe she was just not having a good day. So, instead of getting her in trouble for treating me like shit, I made a semi-managerial decision and decided to just let it slide.

And I feel that karma paid me back for that because a few hours later a complete and total stranger paid for all my stuff at the Circle-K. Completely paid for my whole bill. Paying it forward and all that. And I feel that if I had gotten that woman in trouble then I never would have gotten my bill paid at the Circle-K.

So yay for karma.

Yay for customer service.

Yay for small wins.

Really, though, I think that the real reason why that woman was so rude was the weather.

That picture was from last year. But juuuuuust wait.

It's supposed to snow ALLLLLL WEEKEND here in Oklahoma. Just non-stop snow. And that story about the rude teacher happened yesterday, Thursday, the day before the snow was supposed to start. And that whole day was a strange one. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong but I eventually realized what the hell was going on: the newspaper and the local tv news has everyone believing that the snow was going to be so supremely bad this weekend that everybody was busy as hell getting everything done BEFORE it hits, which meant that every single person you met was anxious and hyper and angry and bitchy and panicked and mean. If they were cats then there'd be a lot of hairs sticking up, you know?

So I figured that could have been her problem, that "winter is coming" and shit.

But now it's Friday and, as predicted, the snow is starting ...

You can't see it from that picture but I am freaking the hell out.

For starters, my wife works as a dietician at an old folks home. She is a necessary employee which means that she NEVER gets a day off. If she's scheduled to work on Christmas then tough titty because old people still have to eat, despite Christmas. And if it's raining dogs and cats and frogs and locusts and the blood of the innocent then she still has to make it to work or she'll be fired. Necessary employee. She works today from 12:30 to 7:30pm and then she works tomorrow at 6am. And apparently the snow is expected to be so bad that they told her to bring an extra change of clothes because if she's snowed in then she can spend the night at the old folks home.

THAT is how serious this weekend's snow is supposed to be.

I am from Phoenix. I have a very small amount of experience with snow. So I am freaking the fuck out about this weekend. Will my wife come home tonight? Will she be snowed in at work? Plus, I work tomorrow. And I work 45 minutes away on a dry, non-snowy day. And apparently the real shit is supposed to hit the fan tomorrow night, which is when I'm currently scheduled to leave work. What if I am snowed in to work? What happens then?

Ok. Deep breath. Calm the fuck down, Steve.

Hopefully the Circle-K karma stretches towards this weekend, you know?

Getting An ACTUAL Day Off ...

Before we start this post, I just wanted to share something. My wife has a fuzzy purple jacket I am never allowed to wear. I wore it this morning and, trying to describe how it felt, the only words I could find to perfectly express how it felt was these: it's like getting raped by a drunk muppet.

Ok. Lets do this.

What a day I had last Tuesday.

What a horrible fucking day that day started out as. I mean, it got better, but wow. That sucked.

For starters, I learned the night before that my kids would have no school on Tuesday. That really upset me because my wife and I actually had a day off WITH each other. We were going to hang out and spend some much needed time with each other. But hearing that my kids would have a day off meant that I would in NO WAY have a day off, that my day would most likely be spent taking care of three kids who yell and scream all damn day.

It had snowed fairly bad on Monday, the day before. The roads were icy and bad. But here's the thing ... they had it all under control by that evening. I drove home from work and the roads were fine. They were cleared. The ice was melting. Everything was groovy. But I guess the fear was that the melting roads would quickly turn to ice and we'd all be dead the next day, so the schools cancelled school juuuust to be on the safe side and, I suspect, just to ruin my day off.

Then my wife woke me up all happy with promises of an exciting day. We were going to spend the day together and have fun and all happiness and rainbows and happy gay magical sharks.

Then she got a phone call and found a living room set for less than $100.

So she took off.

For over three hours.

And I was tasked with doing laundry, taking care of the loud, angry, screaming, fighting kids, cleaning the messy ass living room, aaaaand removing all the furniture from the living room to fit the new stuff.

By the time my wife actually returned at around 3:30pm, the day had dwindled considerably.

But my wife took us all to Golden Corral.

So day saved.

Still, tho.

What an exhausting damn day.

So today I am hoping to get a day off, an ACTUAL day off. Just kick back with Maxwell, drink a dangerous amount of coffee, and let the day just wash past me.

Wish me luck.

Monday, February 23, 2015

An Open Letter To The Drivers Of The State Of Oklahoma

Dear Drivers Of The State Of Oklahoma,

Hi.

Look, we need to talk.

Now, I know that you work Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm at a warehouse or a factory or as part of a construction crew or at a used car lot or a loan office or an automotive repair shop or, really, wherever it is that you Christian Republican white people work at.

Walmart assistant store manager, perhaps?

Forklift driver?

I don't know. Pick one.

I know that you work very, very hard and as a result of that I also know that when the weekend comes you want to rest and relax. After all, it's the weekend. All you have to do during the weekend is put on your dress jeans (excuse me while I laugh) and go to church so you can look like a Christian and then, afterwards, watch sporting events on your 1,000 channels of cable television while you drink heavily and ignore your ADD-riddled children.

It's the weekend. You want to take it slow.

And I don't want to ruin that for you.

But may I explain something to you?

This may be hard for you to understand, but there are people out there who do NOT work a rigid Monday through Friday schedule. There are people out there that find themselves working working early in the morning one day and closing late the next day. There are people during the weekends that actually need to get to a job. There are jobs called "retail" jobs and those people usually do NOT get a typical weekend off.

And, this will be extremely hard for you to understand but try to follow me, these people?

They are ACTUAL PEOPLE! They have thoughts and emotions and are actually just like you.

I know! Can you believe it?!?

So during your weekend off, when you and your morbidly obese family of eight are on the road and in your comically oversized SUV driving 10 to 15 miles UNDER the speed limit, please remember these words. Please remember that there are people out there, people who DON'T have the weekend off, people who actually have work and need money and need to get somewhere to make said money, people who are just as equal as your are in the grand scheme of things, people who would like to AT LEAST drive the speed limit during the weekend.

Basically, there's some people who actually have work on the weekends, you fucking fucks.

So get the fuck out of my way.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where To Start (And My Own Top Ten) ...

Ok.

So ...

Hi.

Things are MUCH MUCH better now in my life. All of our bills are paid. No more bill collectors calling me all the time, even at work. We now completely own both of our cars. We have food and popcorn and k-cups and books to read. It is all just a breath of fresh air.

We even have the internet back!

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!

The thing is ...

It's been sooooooooooooooo long that I ... just don't know what to do on the internet anymore. THAT is how long it's been.

I aaaaaaabsolutely feel like that old women in that picture up there. Seriously. How do I internet again? I guess I forgot. What websites did I used to go to? What do I do? I know there's porn. There's allllllways porn. But what else? And my blog! GAWD! Where do I start with my freaking blod? What should I do first?! Should I write lengthy pieces or small articles? What about boobs? AND THE FREE MOVIES!!!

Seriously, if anybody has any suggestions then they would almost certainly be appreciated.

Dramatic sigh. I just don't know.

Oh well.

I'm back, you guys. I'm back.

Here, lets start things off this way ...

1) Adam Warrock: At Greendale

2) Mariachi El Bronx: Sleepwalking

3) Adam Warrock & YTCracker: Doogie Houser MC

4) Primus: Cheer Up Charlie

5) Mariachi El Bronx: Silver or Lead

6) Grand Buffet: Oh My God You're Weird

7) Adam Warrock: Broken People

8) Richard Cheese: Milkshake

9) DJ Qwer-Ty: El Twistamba (Los Lobos VS The Beatles)

10) They Might Be Giants: Don't Lets Start

There.

That was a start, right?

Ok. There you go.

More soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

No Love For Me ...

I know my wife cares.

We're really good friends right now. We're getting along, hanging out, and just seeing where things take us. We're very close to being the absolute best of friends right now.

Love, though?

That's something else.

I don't know. I guess I'm just feeling down today on account of my Valentine's Day has been canceled.

I mean, today is the day that people show love to each other. But my wife is working 5am to 1:30am and I'm working 10am to 6:30pm. And tonight my wife is going out to watch 50 Shades of Sexually Repressed Housewives with her sister-in-law slash bestie while I sit at home watching SNL reruns and drinking Coors Lights.

And my day so far?

Crrrrrrazy!

For starters, my darling Maxwell woke me up at 4:45am and REFUSED to go back to sleep and refused to allow me to continue sleeping.

Theeeeeen ...

On my way to work, on Interstate 9, before you reach the town of Pink, I witnessed a sheriff shoot a baby deer point blank in the goddamn face.

Happy Valentine's Day, right?

Ya know, this is prrrrrrretty much exactly like how my Father's Day was canceled last year.

Except with more deer murder.

What a strrrrrrrange and lonely day.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Status Update ...

Hi.

I'm Steve.

Thought I'd update everyone on how things are going with me.

Life has been good. Everyone around me has been getting violently ill but I've somehow stayed fairly immune to most of it. Plus I was worried that January and February were going to be filled with all the snow that never showed up in December. But no. There's been no real snow. In fact, today it's a comfortable 74-degrees and sunny. We're all playing outside and having loads of fun. Good times.

Thank Wood for global warming.

Work is good.

Ish.

See, my department was been doing so well that I was actually hired as the SECOND person in charge of it. The first person in charge is older. She broke her legs. Then she needed knee surgery. Then she needed eye surgery. Then her mountains of pills collided and she was put in a mental health facility. So when I was hired i hadn't seen her in MONTHS.

Then she came back and we worked together for a few weeks. Then she went back IN to the mental health facility. Then she got into a serious car accident and broke her arms. And now she's once again back in the mental health facility. It's all very stressful for me. It's strange knowing that no matter how hard I work that this isn't solely MY department, that I share it with an occasionally broken older woman who could literally show up at any time and flex her dominance over my realm, you know?

Money is tight, as it always is. Bills upon bills upon bills. The bill collectors call connnnstantly. But my wife has a good job and I'm making more and we should be getting tax relief soon so hopefully sometime soon we should be able to afford internet again.

My wife and I?

Good?

My wife and I have been dating for 12 years and this May we will have been married for a full decade. Ten years of marriage. That's pretty impressive, you know? And during those 12 years we have been everywhere, relationship wise. We've been madly in love and we've discussed divorce. We've been best friends and we've been the bitterest of enemies. We've been everywhere. And for some inexplicable reason that I know well enough not to question, Natasha and I have been doing fucking grrrrrreat lately. We've been best friends, hanging out, helping each other out, spending time together, and having a goddamn blast.

Our anniversary is May 5th.

And guess who's going to be in concert that day in downtown OKC?

Fucking Primus! In support of their new album "Primus and the Chocolate Factory" which I'm in looooooove with!

So we got our tickets today. VIP balcony seats, 21 and over. It's going to be amaaaaaazing.

So yeah.

Things are good.

They're pretty damn good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Double Standard At Arden ...

Waaaaay back when I worked near Arden Mall, our store had a number of challenges that other stores never had to deal with.

Although there were a number of problems that I could discuss here, the main one was this: our store was a block and a half away from the state fairgrounds which would, for four months out of the year, be converted into a massive homeless shelter. This brought a certain type of person into our store and a special set of problems. Like, what do we do about the used hypodermic needle in the bathroom? And, what do we do about the bums fighting in our parking lot? And also, what do we do about the man IN A SLEEPING BAG sleeping on the floor in the biography section?

I say this to put the crux of my story in its proper context: about six years ago, a schizophrenic homeless male tweaker became obsessed with me.

He would come in two to three times a week. He would smell. He would never buy anything. He would sit near where I was working. He wouldn't even pretend to read anything. He'd just sit there and stare at me and whisper things to himself. Eventually he got bolder and started asking me nonsensical questions as an excuse to rub up against me or touch my hair or even smell me. He loved smelling me.

I felt threatened. Once he waited for me in the parking lot and tried walking up to me. Thankfully I had earbuds on and pretended I didn't hear him yelling for me, plus I was quick and he was fairly far away, so I was able to dart into my car and drive off before anything happened.

It was a paranoid time for me. It was shortly after the robbery that happened in the store, so I was jumpy and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, so having a strange homeless stalker wanting to touch me and feel my face made me frightened to come to work because I didn't know what I would have to deal with.

Eventually, however, the guy stopped coming around and I was safe.

Here's the thing, tho ...

Everyone I talked to, from my fellow employees to the managers whose job it was to protect me, they ALL thought it was funny and laughed me off.

Even the store manager, whom I will call "Mr. P", even he chuckled. I remember he said "How cute." That's what he said.

Now, if I was a WOMAN?

OH MY GAWD if I was a woman THENNNNN I would have been taken seriously! There would be incidents reports, security would have been called, hell, POLICE probably would have been called. Because a woman being sexually harassed repeatedly by a strange homeless man? THAT IS SERIOUS!

But a MAN has that happen and it's all just a big fucking joke.

(long sigh)

Mannn.

Fuck Sacramento.