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Tag Archives: everyone is stupid
For reasons not completely clear to me, the wall between my office and the office next door is paper thin. The wall between my office and co-worker’s office is more substantial.
Way back when we moved in here I commented on it because I can hear everything that goes on over there. I’ve never had to work in a cubicle. Perhaps it is analogous.
Fortunately, whoever was using that space was hardly ever there and it wasn’t a problem.
Earlier this year, those people moved out and the business adjacent on the other side expanded into the space.
I might have whined about it during the construction process. It was loud and dusty and inconvenient and no one even took 3 seconds to come over here to talk to us about it. At one point it was so loud that I couldn’t hear people on the telephone and when I complained I was assured that they were doing something something so that it when it was finished it would be more insulated.
As it turns out, this is not true.
So far, the office isn’t in full time use but at least once a week their receptionist goes in there to make phone calls. Her voice is loud and grating and she talks a lot. Oh my. I know everything about everything in her personal and professional life. She is guilty of massive overuse of the word, literally. Sometimes after she’d been in there awhile I have to leave my office because the sound of her talking makes me want to stick forks in my ears.
It occurred to me that I could politely mention how thin the walls are except it’s financial firm and most of them are total weenies and when I complained during construction everyone gave me stink eye and make it clear they didn’t care. If it gets worse I’ll move my computer to the reception desk.
Meanwhile, the photo. I have been an office worker since time immemorial and we’ve always had these floor mats. The mats come with a lifetime guarantee and I am here to tell you that they last about 5 years, max. The lifetime guarantee is genius because it comes in the form of a sticker on the floor mat and it’s impossible to peel off without destroying. “Just present this sticker and your original purchase receipt for a full refund.” HA! Every time we buy a new mat I try to figure out how to get our refund. It’s not even the money, it’s the challenge. This last time I managed to peel off the sticker in about 3 big pieces. Then I couldn’t find the receipt. I have every office supply purchase receipt in the history of this office, except that one.
OOPS. Looks like I never clicked publish yesterday.
It’s only Day 7 and I’m already losing steam for NaBlo. Soon you’ll find posts about the snoring man on the bus and how I organize my socks.
So you know how everyone has their Internet pet peeves? For example, incorrect use of the word: literally.
I’m sure it will come to no surprise to my loyal readers that I have a million pet peeves. My pet peeves have pet peeves.
And I always resist the urge to write about them because pet peeves are sort of like dreams, it’s much more interesting to talk about your own than hear someone else’s.
Unless that person shares the pet peeve. Then it’s love.
I started to keep them on a piece of paper next to my desk so I wouldn’t be tempted to write about them. Then the paper became too full so now I have a spreadsheet. It has two columns. The column for lazy writing clichés has 35 items and the column for hated and overused expressions has 31 items.
Sometimes I have to sit on my hands to keep from writing about “just this one this one time because it is so irritating and I hate it so much.”
Another reason I can never write about them is that almost every person I know including myself has used at least one of them before and I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on them.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one:
I’ve had this post partially finished and saved in draft for days but haven’t had time to finish. The weekend got away from me and I’m behind on everything. My yard is out of control. The rain is destroying my will to live. I made *another* loaf of fail bread. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
It’s the same post every week.
I’m going to queue it up to post itself over and over and save myself from the existential despair of discovering that I am living some sort of twisted and ultimately unsatisfying version of Groundhog’s Day.
Here’s some news: I saw two movies in one week and neither one was The Avengers (which I’ve seen 3x and I would cheerfully go see it again tomorrow, if you asked).
First: Rock of Ages.
When I saw the trailer for this movie, I wanted my 3 minutes back. I thought it looked dreadful. I did not think I wanted to see Tom Cruise in that role.
I went on a movie date with my cousin and we saw this. It is totally off-the-rails crazy and also completely genius. Tom Cruise is amazing. If you enjoy 80’s hair band music, you should run to the nearest theater. If you hate 80’s hair band music, you might be happier if you stayed home.
The other movie I saw with my sweetie: Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson is in danger of becoming a parody of himself but I loved loved loved it. This movie is brilliant. I loved all the acting. The kids, Bill Murray, Francis McDormand, Bruce Willis. Tilda Swinton plays a cold bitch — but it’s a different flavor of cold bitch than you’ve ever seen her do before. Bob already downloaded the soundtrack for me. I can’t quote my favorite line because it’s a spoiler so here’s one:
Watch out for turtles. They’ll bite you if you stick your finger in their mouths.
I’ve had a gift card for new exercise clothes since my birthday. I tried to use it at least a half dozen times but always seemed to get interrupted before I was finished or else when I finally found the perfect item it was only available in XXS or neon green.
I like to go through the comments where people describe the fit. If there are lots of comments that the clothes run small or that an item looks cute but is uncomfortable on, this is helpful information but it’s time consuming.
I finally sat down with all my notes and figured out what I wanted and placed my order. And then when it arrived the pants were too tight. I think they might have been doable but I don’t like skin tight pants and would never have wanted to wear them so I decided to do a return.
The invoice that came with the order exclaimed how easy returns were! Then proceeded with three paragraphs of tiny writing that made no sense. Use the pre-printed return label. There was no pre-printed return label. Use the same packaging the clothes came in. You mean this plastic bag that I had to rip open to get the clothes out?
This company has about 5 brands You had 45 days to make the return unless you only had 30 days to make the return although some clothes could be returned anytime. You could return them to an actual store unless you couldn’t. You could call and they would credit the return but charge your credit card and then credit it back and upgrade the shipping.
On and on it went. I seriously considered whether it might be easier to just lose weight so the pants fit.
Finally I called and navigated one of those phone trees that makes you say what you want to a robot. You can’t just press a button. I prefer to press a button. It also had no choices that fit my situation: “Doesn’t understand return procedures” and it took a few rounds to get it. But finally, Mitsy picked up the phone. She was super perky and ultimately very helpful. She ran me through an equally confusing thing about my credit and gift card. Something like it takes three weeks to get the gift card return because you have to get the credit in the same form you paid and I used a combo of gift card and credit card. But I could get the exercise pants now if I gave her my credit card and then use the new gift card on a future purchase. Or I could wait and call back. Or I can get one pair of pants now and one later. Let’s check how much we have in stock.
I was still confused but Mitsy’s over-powering confidence urged me to a decision. So I think I bought a pair of bigger pants and then will get a gift card in a few weeks and can start all over with a new order. And if I don’t like the new pants, I will keep them anyway.
This guy called. Strong accent. He had Bob’s name and tacked a Mrs. on it for me and then told me he was calling because of our Windows computer system. He sounded like he was phoning from a cafeteria in Outer Mongolia using a tin can and a long piece of string. I could barely understand him.
He said since we were authorized users and he could see that we’d being going online he knew we had a virus.
Normally I would have shut this call down before we even got this far except I was curious where he was going with this. I knew he wanted to rip me off but how was he going to do it?
But he just kept reading off his card with long pauses and this terrible connection. I finally asked him what exactly he was going to do and said he was going to walk me through a check for viruses.
I’m not filled with patience today and that was enough for me so I told him we don’t have even have a Windows machine in this house and buh-bye.
So I guess he wanted to get usernames and passwords? It’s hard to imagine this would be successful.
* * *
Last weekend I made a Sweet Potato Pie for Easter dessert. I haven’t made one in a long time and I thought I’d used this recipe before but maybe not. It’s from Cook’s Illustrated. As per always I was trying to do 1000 things at once and I started my pie late and then I had to hurry so rather than mashing my potatoes by hand, I tossed it all in the food processor so that filling was smooth.
When we ate it after dinner it was still warm and it was very good. But the next day after it was completely chilled it was AMAZING.
Ten stars for this recipe.
We’re going to see Elvis Costello. The last time we saw him was in 1996 in Seattle during our honeymoon. You can find the setlist here. (The Internet is so awesome when it isn’t awful.) I remember that. 4 encores. I was like, OMG, another encore?
The guys first time wearing their new third kits.
I’m still too traumatized to talk about the game last night so I’ll tell you about the guy who sat next to me.
There’s something like 12,000 season tickets. I think most of the tickets around us are season tickets but there is only a handful of people who go to all the games like we do.
Three guys I’ve never met before sat in the seats next to us. They were kinda rowdy, especially the guy next to me, we’ll call him Jason, who was loud. Jason told me he normally sits with Army and how he was all hardcore and apologized and said he liked to be noisy.
I told him I was happy to have a rowdy guy next to me because I yell quite a bit myself. We also took note that there was a kid in the row in front of us and adjusted our cheers accordingly.
At one point Jason pointed to one of the Timbers and said: That’s the news guy. He’s from Cameroon.
Me: Actually, that’s Palmer. He’s from Jamaica.
Jason: Oh. I guess it is Palmer.
Later in the game he pointed to a different player and said: That’s the new guy. From Cameroon.
Me: That’s Jean-Baptiste. He’s from New Jersey.
Jason: What a coincidence. I’m from New Jersey.
(I just checked the bio and it says Jean-Baptiste was born in Brooklyn. So I was wrong, too, but at least I had the right country and even the right general area.)
Me: Songo’o is the one from Cameroon.
(We have a guy on our team with an apostrophe O in his name. Is that awesome or what?)
Then, when a bad thing happened near the end of the game, Jason stood up and said, “We’re leaving. I am not enjoying this.” And they left.
What a big fat soul-patched lemon-in-his-hefeweizen ironic-eyewear fair-weather faker! He better not show up in my section again.
I bought some new sugar but the package seemed different somehow.
I’ve had this post half-written in draft for several days now. [Excuses for not keeping up with everything omitted.] I’m going to go ahead and half-ass it so I can hit the publish and move on because I have a Timbers game on Saturday and I need to write some long-winded fangirl posts about that.
Several months ago I decided to delete my Facebook account.
I was never a big fan. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation about Facebook where I didn’t say, “I hate Facebook.”
But I do wonder about people I have seen in ages and at the beginning it was nice to reconnect. I like reminders that people I rarely see are out in the world and doing stuff. And I liked to see what the kids were up to.
But mostly FB is stupid and soul-depleting.
Remember when the Internet was invented and there was this thing called AmericaOnline? And it was this little self-contained world that you never had to leave and you could just stay inside all day and use their email and chatrooms and get your news and talk about your TV shows? And then remember how the cool kids started venture out using URLs and AOL became the Internet for babies?
Now look at FB. People that I have email groups with start FB groups (which are immediately abandoned). And instead of emailing me they message me on FB. I typed a URL from memory the other day that redirected me into FB. And I was doing something concerning a government agency that directed me into FB. Why is the world becoming FB?
I spend most of my time on FB hiding people and unliking my dentist and making sure I haven’t inadvertently allowed an app to borg me and my friend list. I didn’t know why everyone was complaining about timeline because I didn’t even know what it was. I didn’t realize I didn’t have it yet.
One pound different.
I thought about reasons for keeping my account. “What if someone wants to find me?”
I’ve had a personal website since 1996. If you put my name in a search engine I come up on the first page. You know how many people have tried to find me? Zero.
But here’s the thing: I haven’t deleted it yet. And the reason I’m waffling is FB is where I get my Timbers fix. That’s where they post the pictures from the games and practices. That’s where they put the video clips. That’s where I connect with the other season ticket holders in my section. (117!) That’s where I spend the rest of my time on FB, liking things about the Timbers.
I keep trying to convince myself that I could live without that. I lived for almost my entire life without Timbers on Facebook, surely I can get by now. But I don’t want to. And also it feels like the world has become sell-your-soul-to-FB.
One of the things I forgot to mention about the Timbers game is that I was very excited for the opportunity to see Freddie Adu play. (He was on the other team.) He’s only 22 now but when he was very young, he was tagged as one of the great future U.S. Players. He hasn’t quite lived up to it (yet? – he’s on the Olympic team) but I always like to see a talented player. But by the time the game started I was so deliriously happy to see the Timbers, I forgot he was there.
Remember my troubles with Verizon?
I’m not even going to dignify this discussion by linking to the earlier part.
The short reminder version is that my credit card was faux-frauded and I had to get a new one. I tried to tell Verizon so I could pay and it’s been a total pain in the ass from day 1. I went to the store and even they had trouble helping me. I had to log on at home and try again and then quit bill pay and re-sign up again. Which they thanked me for electronically and snail-y.
You can imagine my surprise when I got a robo-call from Verizon telling me I was past due and I’d better fix it quick.
You know what I’m not going to do?
Give my fresh unfrauded credit card number to a robo-call. How do I know it’s from Verizon?
So I tried to fix it online and got run around so I stomped over to the store again.
They can’t do anything at the store but sell you shit. They can’t do administrivia. What an awesome business plan: a place one human can talk to another human and that human can’t do anything but sell you shit.
So my human got me on the phone with customer service and we went around the block a few times.
Them: Did you update your card with us?
Me: Yes I updated my card with you that’s why I’m on the phone with you throwing a snitfit.
Them: Are you sure that’s your zip code? It’s not going through.
Eventually, the nice lady said it was all fixed. Apparently when I switched to autopay (which I didn’t switch to, remember) I was supposed to do my first payment manually. Because that makes sense.
So nothing more to worry about.
Except I was still getting robo-calls that my service was going to be shut off if I didn’t pay — every 2 hours.
You know, according to the LA Times Verizon had a profit of $10.2 billion in 2010 — HIRE SOME ACTUAL PEOPLE YOU CHEAP FARKWITS!
So when I got home and had my cheat sheet I was able to log on and go through 7 layers of security including answering questions about my favorite Monkee, singing the chorus of The Logical Song, doing the Hokey Pokey and typing in a limerick about my favorite pet, I manually paid the “late” bill and then the new bill will supposedly be billed on the 26th.
I hope they’re happy now.
We had another one of those stretches where the newspeople could not stop talking about snow. And breaking in with the Storm! Alert! and day after day nothing happened (at least not where I live and work). I was completely dressed for work and out the door before I even noticed this happened last week. It melted right away.
I have a folder where I keep all my Important Papers That Need Action along with my List To Rule Them All and I haven’t the slightest idea where it is. I’m hoping it’s on my desk when I get to the office tomorrow or I’m in big trouble.
Remember the hippie dippies that I ordered tooth powder from but they changed my order around and changed into a different company and I didn’t know so I canceled my credit card because I thought it was fraud? Well, before I realized what happened I contacted them asking what was going on with my order. This was about 5 weeks ago.
*Yesterday* I got an email from them letting me know that they received my inquiry and were hoping to get me an answer in the next 7-10 business days.
Now that’s customer service.
Remember two years ago when I forgot to renew my car tags and had to do it at the last minute? I actually did almost the same thing last year but apparently was too ashamed to blog about it because I don’t see the story in the archives.
I just got the notice and *I swear* I am not going to wait until the last minute this time. I wrote myself a giant note. But, of course, the paperwork is in the missing Important Papers That Need Action file. I’m getting dingy-er all the time. I’m not even 50 yet. It’s hard to be positive about the future.
Second pre-season exhibition game with Chivas USA. There was a third game today but I gave my ticket to my sweetheart which of course I will never hold over his head in future bargaining.
Last night I was reading this travel article that had a bunch of helpful “tips.” One of them was, if you see a lower airfare after you buy a ticket, call the airline and request a refund and buy the cheaper ticket. Please let me know in what Universe this tip works in because I thought the entire airline industry was designed to bleed money from us without mercy.
In the same magazine there was an ad for a fake diamond ring where the woman is quoted as saying she wished she’d seen the ad before she got her real diamond because the fake one was more clear and sparkly. I might buy that ring because clear and sparkly is what I live for.
Last tidbit: the NYT food section has been terrible lately. I haven’t cut out an article in months. A couple weeks ago there was a 1200 word article about how people in their 40’s would like to use granny carts because they’re useful but they don’t want to feel old.
Last night I spent 20 minutes online trying to figure out how to update Verizon with my new credit card. I had to go through multiple security hoops again and again. I couldn’t find what I was supposed to do and it just kept kicking me back where I’d already been. I gave up.
I went to the Verizon store today and almost cried when she pointed me to the computer kiosk which she said was the only place I could do this. Seriously Verizon, how tough is it supposed to be for people to pay you?
She ran me through the same multiple security hoops. I entered my password at least 4 times and my fresh unfrauded credit card 4 times. She couldn’t get it to work either.
She was madly texting her the powers-that-be about what a pain-in-the-ass this was (or texting her Valentine’s date about how badly she couldn’t wait for this day to be over) and finally told me to try again at home and if it didn’t work to just call and do it over the phone.
I finally had to close my auto-bill pay and then reopen with the new card. Because if I were in charge, that’s exactly the way I would set it up.
Then I tried to update my Paypal and it would let me add the new card but not delete the old card. You know, the one that’s canceled. (Thanks for nothing hippiedippies.) I’m dreading updating anything else. Credit cards expire every few years, shouldn’t this be a simple process?
Finally, I made my sweetheart truffles today and I could not shape them to save my life. They were too cold and square and as I squeezed them in my hands they just melted on me. It was (surprisingly) not a satisfying experience. They taste great but I wish they were prettier. Luckily, he still loves me.