Archive for the ‘Social Injustice’ Category

As Soon as I Handed the Guy at the Bank My Pen, I Knew I Would Never See It Again.

March 6, 2006

So today is my day off, and just now I walked down to the bank to open a new savings account, and sat down to wait for someone at a desk to help me, and this dude walks up wearing jeans and a bright yellow and blue basketball jersey with "Fila" in huge letters across the front.  The only way I knew he worked there is he asked me if I had a question. 

"Yes, I do," I replied. "What the hell are you wearing?  Look around.  You work in a bank!"  OK, no I did not say that, but are we serious here?  I looked at the girl behind the other desk, and sure enough, she was wearing full-on sweats!  Like, pink sweat pants and a little pink hoodie.  I know this is So-Cal and we like to pretend we’re laid back by wearing uber-casual clothes while we’re actually stressing ourselves crazy about our agents and managers and the fact that we still have over 0% body fat, even after the power spinbox yogalates we did for four hours this morning.  But the bank?  I mean, I’m even required to dress "business casual" at my editing job, where I’ve never once seen a client face to face.  Even on "casual Fridays," sweats and b-ball jerseys are frowned upon.  (Oh my gosh, I’m starting to hyperventilate because I just realized I used the term "casual Fridays" in reference to my own life.  Excuse me while I call my boss RIGHT NOW and quit my job and make plans to move to an island where I can make ends meet by trading shells.  That is, if I can stop the dry-heaving, which is preventing me from speaking clearly).

So I went over to James’ (his name was James) desk and he began the very official process of getting my new account opened by signing into his computer, except that he couldn’t because he had forgotten his password.  We joked about that for a minute, and then he decided to write my name down on a plain pad of paper, for some reason.  Except that the pen attached to the desk didn’t write, so he picked up a green highlighter instead, and wrote "Marcy Minton" in fat green letters.  Then, once that was done, I guess he remembered his password and started typing some stuff, blah blah, yadda yadda, and then went and got a form from somewhere.  He came back and started to fill it out, and I saw him searching the desk for a pen and coming up empty, so I said, "You can use this one."  And as the words came out of my mouth and the pen passed from my hand into his, it felt like slow motion, and I thought, "I will never see this pen again." 

As it happens, just, JUST before leaving for the bank I cleaned out my purse. I had had 2 pens, but decided that was excessive and removed one.  This information will come in handy for you a little later.  But back to this pen. This pen happened to be one of my favorites.  It was one I stole from work during a brief period when they were getting us really nice clicky, soft grippy pens. 

So we finished opening the account, and he says Thank You, and I say Thank you, and he shakes my hand, and I get up to go, and Sure Enough.  He keeps my pen.  I hesitated for just a fraction of a second, picturing myself asking for it back and the awkwardness that would surely ensue, and while I hesitated he began filling out some other type of paperwork with it, and I realized that he seemed really to be struggling today, and therefore I would let him keep the dang pen, darn it.

On my way out I stopped at the ATM to deposit a check.  I opened my checkbook to fill out the deposit slip, and this is the part I told you about, the part where it sucks that I cleaned out my purse this morning, because instead of having one pen left, I had no pen.  Dammit.  So I marched back inside, determined to ask James for my pen back, awkwardness be damned, but there he was, all innocent looking in his loud jersey, still writing with it.  I couldn’t do it.  So I went to the table where you fill stuff out and used one of the pens attached to the desk (the first one I tried didn’t work, by the way.  They really need to get on that!) and went back to the ATM.  I was just about to seal the envelope and stick it in the machine when I realized I hadn’t endorsed the check.  Arrrrgh.  So I went back in again to use the pen, and this time I passed James, and he said, "Did you have another question?"

"No, I’m just… depositing… some…"  And he was already like, "Oh, oh, OK, ok," and the awkwardness I had been hoping to avoid was there anyway, but I was still sans pen.  UGH!  So by this point I was SO ready to just get out of the f-ing bank, and I went back out to the ATM and it was BEEEEEEEEEEPing, and I realized I had left my card inside! But luckily everyone seemed to have steered clear of that ATM, probably because of the ear-splitting beep coming out of it, so my card was still there, and I finished up my transaction and walked home.

Lessons learned: Never clean out purse, never let people in sweat pants/loud jerseys handle your finances, never assume that once you’ve stolen a pen it won’t be stolen from you, and never assume that a simple task will be accomplished simply and without hassle.  Never.

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Shoes! and Outrage

February 24, 2006

I am outraged that Rebecca is out sick today!  I wanted to show her my new gold shoes.  How dare she get sick when I want to show her my shoes!  And they’re gold!  These shoes are especially special, because a week or two ago while at Ross Dress for Less looking in vain for a certain type of luggage, I decided, oh, why not just cruise by the shoe section? and these caught my eye as most shiny things do, because as I have mentioned before, I am just like a crow in that way. OH, and speaking of crows, this morning I was washing my face and heard a scuttle-scruffle-skittling-scampering coming from up above me somewhere.  This scuttling was much louder and different from the scriffling of last summer, when I was ON THE TOILET and heard a soft scuttle-scruffle and a GIANT COCKROACH fell OUT OF A GAP IN THE FAN ON THE CEILING right next to me on its back and started kicking its legs until I leapt from the toilet screaming and screaming and fled the room, and I don’t even remember what happened after that because it was so, so horrible.  No, this scuttling was much louder and was probably more scriffling than scuttling, and even a little scralumphing, and definitely a fair amount of scampering.  I looked up, and through the skylight saw the huge shadow of a crow! It hopped around right on the skylight, scritchety-scratching its claws all over the glass, and then started pecking on the skylight! Just pecking away, right on the glass!  I hope that glass is strong because I am not in the mood to endure another creature crashing down on me in my bathroom!

So anyway, I was at Ross looking at shoes, and this adorable gold, shiny pair caught my eye.  I tried them on and realized that they were the same brand my old roommate Candice designs shoes for.  So I bought them because frankly I think it would have been rude not to, right? And sure enough, I showed them to her and while she didn’t design them per se, since truth-be-told they are knock-offs of another brand, she did the sketching and detailing for them (or maybe sketching and detailing are the same thing, I don’t know).  Anyway, I love, love, love them, and I am wearing them today, and Rebecca is not even here to appreciate them!  But you can:Goldshoes2 Goldshoes

Where Is My Robot?!

January 17, 2006

Pinkrobot Is it just me, or are y’all with me?  Weren’t we raised with the assumption that by the year 2000 we would all have personal robots?  The kind that walk around saying things like "I-am-a-robot," in robotic voices?  They would do our homework, clean our rooms, and go get us Cokes out of the fridge.  Right?  Well, it’s 2005 and I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell don’t have one, and I don’t know anybody who does.  I don’t have homework anymore, but I sure would appreciate my room getting cleaned or my dinner fixed.  The only robots I’ve heard about are in hospitals, doing precise surgery, and they don’t even look like people!  They just look like machines.  I mean sure, that’s great and all —  I’m all for precise surgery — but can’t they at least make the robots look like people and dress them up like little surgeons?  Where is the sense of fun in this world?  If we can’t have fun in surgery, where can we?!!!

Technology is far, far behind my expectations, and I’m pretty disappointed, I won’t pretend otherwise. 

Porcelain Devils, or “Bowls of Evil”

December 14, 2005

Automatic-flush toilets were sent here from hell, to remind us of the punishment that may await us if we’re not careful.  I hate them, with every fiber of my being.

I’ll tell you, I like the automatic faucets — easy, saves water, and as a germaphobe, I appreciate not having to touch bacteria-infested surfaces more than necessary.  I see the point of that.  Also, I can completely stand behind automatic paper-towel dispensers.  Waving my hand in front of them and paper towels coming out like magic makes me feel like I’m living in the future.  But the toilets… The Toilets. 

I guess they’re an OK invention — good intentions and all — but they just plain do not work.  They flush when you don’t want them to, and don’t when you do.  I once had an automatic toilet flush seven times during a short bathroom visit, but as soon as I got up to leave, NOTHING.  The whole time I was trying to pee, my butt was getting splattered with water as it churned below, but when I stood up and the toilet should have flushed, it just sat there.  I waved my hand in front of it, backed against the wall so it would think I had left, even actually left the stall and waited nearby, and it just freaking sat there.  And that was just one instance.  I cannot count the number of tricks I have tried to con the toilet into thinking I’ve left so I can make sure it actually will flush, or the times I’ve had to go back into the stall and push the little button to manually flush the toilet.  At least with the old-school toilets I could flush them with my foot — but these, I have to press directly on that little button with my finger, and it grosses the hell out of me.

Another infurating thing about them is when they flush repeatedly before I’m even sitting down.  I lean over and put down the toilet seat cover, stand up, turn around, get all ready to sit down and — flush. There goes the seat cover, sucked right in.  Repeat steps 1-4.  At my last job we had a particularly ornery toilet that did that every time.  I finally worked out a system whereby I had my pants down before putting the seat cover down, then put it down, held it down with my hands while I spun around and jammed my butt down on it before it had a chance to flush away.  It worked pretty well, but sometimes it made me dizzy.

I know I’m not the only one experiencing this.  Otherwise, how do you explain the sheer multitude of unflushed toilets?  Before, we were all responsible for flushing our own toilet.  Sure, there was the odd person-raised-in-a-barn who never flushed, but that person was shunned by society and therefore was the exception rather than the rule.  For the most part, people flushed and you didn’t think much about it.  Now we’re being trained not to even think about whether our toilet has flushed.  We just leave the stall and expect it to be done for us.  What’s next? Toys that pick themselves up?  Toothbrushes that march merrily into our rooms at night, dive into our mouths, and brush our teeth for us? (Actually, that wouldn’t be so bad… )  But really, how is anyone supposed to learn any responsibility with all this automation?  And even if it isn’t damaging society, it doesn’t work!  The toilets only flush when you don’t want them to!  Please, let’s just go back to good old-fashioned manual-flush toilets — and send these devils back to hell where they belong!