Category Archives: work

Don’t Let the Cobwebs Gather in Your Elbows

Juneau, Alaska. Check.

Miami, Florida. Check.

Boston, Massachusetts. Check.

Restart…

“We want you both to come work for us.” That’s how the story began.

Girls, pack your cat nip. We’re going back to Alaska. Someone hit the reset button.

Sometimes, it takes you six years to figure out what you prefer in life. Sometimes you take wrong exits off the highway before you figure out your GPS has given you faulty directions and you have to get back on the highway. And sometimes, you have to go out there and see other places so you can extend your family and have more experiences in life.

We’re Off…Like Cats Looking for the Open Can of Tuna!

Once we fired off the confetti cannon and made our decision to go, we quickly packed up our three furry kids, dropped off the two lizards to the nieces and selected some creature comforts to get us through a couple of months of Alaska living. We will be back to Boston in November to remote work and pack up our house, then go back to Alaska in March for the next summer season.

Packing for a second household is interesting. Which garlic crusher do you take? What about cutting boards, one or three? Are we going to need the blender? Better take the mini food processor. Do you think we should take the Learn Spanish DVDs so we have something to do? How many pairs of jeans are you taking? Don’t forget the favorite cat toys. And whatever happens, don’t forget the cat treats. Better pack a Keurig and a bubbler (Sodastream, as I love my bubbly water.)

One would think, if you forgot something, just go to the store when you get there. Right? That’s the thought of 99% of everyone who is traveling to new locations. Except where we’re going, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

We’ll be spending most of our year in Hoonah, Alaska. Population 750 give or take. About 3 miles of paved road and 150 miles of dirt logging roads. Ever see that show, “Alaska Bush People” back when they were in Alaska? Yeah, well, they lived in Hoonah. And no, they were not really living in the wilderness. Talk about fake news.

Hoonah is the largest Tlingit community in Alaska and is located on Chichagof Island in southeast Alaska. It’s about 40 miles west of Juneau or a 20 minute flight. It also has the largest concentration of coastal brown bears in the world, although I have yet to see one. Lots of bear poop on the road, lots of poop.

(What is a coastal brown bear? Apparently, those in the know, decided to make a different class from the typical grizzly bear and classify the coastal brown bear. As I understand it, the coastal brown bear found mainly on Chichagof and Admiralty Islands eat mainly salmon and are therefore bigger in nature, therefore you get a different type of bear. )

Back to the story…

Anyhow, there’s no mall, no Walmart, no Target, no Walgreens, no Kohl’s. There’s a hardware store and small grocery store, whose motto is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” The other day I was desperate for a pair of plain old regular scissors for home. You know the kind with the orange handle? Went to the hardware store. Found them. $16.

I’ve ordered some things from Amazon, you know I’m a Prime member and all. An electric throw blanket. I thought I’d pick one up at Costco in Juneau, WHEN I FLEW OVER TO GO GROCERY SHOPPING, but they didn’t have them. Normally, Prime is next day delivery or two days, right? Here….it’s two weeks. My blanket should be here by September 27th.

Please Keep Your Claws Inside the Carrier at All Times.

Traveling with the cats is always an experience.

Liggy, our 20-22 year old is a pro. She’s been from Alaska to Miami to Boston. And now she’s gone back to Alaska.

Monkey and Taku, well…they’re a little unimpressed at the whole process. They joined us in Miami, so they’ve only done one journey with us. A flight to Boston. Needless to say, as soon as the carriers come out, all hell breaks loose.

Monkey sings the song of her people, which sounds more like someone who has just eaten a meal that hasn’t agreed with their system and their bowels are about to explode.

Taku silently glares at us. Placing what are undoubtedly triple strength, unorthodox feline hexes on our souls, cursing us into damnation. No snuggles for you.

We break up the flight, overnighting in Seattle as a cross country, to Alaska flight is too long to be stuck in a kennel. Going from Boston to Hoonah is a three flight journey, even with non-stop flights. The upside was once we got to the Seattle hotel and blocked access to behind the beds, the girls decided there was safety in numbers! STICK TOGETHER! Normally, they don’t hang out together….

Cats snuggled in at Seattle hotel, safety in numbers.

When we travel, the two youngest go underneath in the traveling pet cargo area. Which I told them was a disco for pets. I’m not sure they believed me entirely. I did tell them to go easy on ordering the Alaskan beer and mimosas on the flight as altitude can sometimes do crazy things with your alcohol consumption. Liggy travels as my carry on and goes under the seat, she’s a first class pet. Of course at her age, she should be.

However, when we got to Juneau and loaded up into our final plane, Liggy’s eyes were as big as golfballs as she was loaded into the back of our little plane. At least we were all together on this one, everyone was seated in the same compartment. I could turn around, look past the cargo net and see the three girls. Hang on everyone, here we go. One more flight. At least Monkey wasn’t serenading us. If only because Taku had her muttering out the unorthodox feline hex as well. Bonding at it’s finest.

Welcome to Hoonah-lulu

Ah, what a relief.

Not that we finally arrived after traveling for two days, with three cats and five pieces of luggage. One of which was the cat’s suitcase, I kid you not.

But we arrived back where we’re supposed to be.

A good friend greeted us with open arms at the airport, we dropped our stuff at the house, got the girls situated so they could find hiding spots inside the house, then we drove 2 miles of paved road to the grocery store.

It felt like a giant scratchy coat had been shed and cast aside.

I could finally breathe.

I was lighter.

I wasn’t stressed about having to drive down the Boston highway with 14,839 crazy drivers, making left hand turns from right hand lanes. Or taking 90 minutes to go 16 miles. Or swerving lanes as they text on their cell phones.

All of the frustrations of my previous job slid off like waves on a fine sand beach. No longer my issue. Not my problem.

The next day we went into work, doing what we know best…cruise tourism. People are excited about the future. Excited about the possibilities. Excited about the potential. There’s talking, laughing and sharing ideas. There’s big ideas, big plans and things are happening.

There’s no time to sit back. It’s time to jump in and see how we can help. What can we do? Where do we start? It may be the countdown to the end of the 2019 season, but the 2020 season is already in planning and new projects are unwrapping faster than birthday gifts.

It’s thrilling to be back.

Wait, did I mention the view from work?

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Don’t be a Dick

Yep.

That sums it up.

Number one rule in life:  Don’t be a dick.

How difficult is that?

Apparently, it would be easier to count the grains of sand in an ant hill. Even counting the grains in a fire ant hill would be easier I’m thinking.

Shoot, taking a gallon of ocean water, waiting for it to evaporate and then counting any sea salt grains would be easier….than trying not to be a dick in to day’s world.

Being a dick, it seems, is second nature for nearly everyone.  Whew, now isn’t that a relief.  Except for those of us who aren’t a dick, then we’re annoyed as hell with you.

The problem it seems, stems from a singular mentality:

It’s all about me.  Me. Me. Me. Me.  It’s all about me.  Got it?  M.E.

Seriously.

Take driving for example.

It doesn’t matter if you are going 3 blocks to the grocery store or 15 miles to work or 100 miles for vacation.  Go the speed limit, go over the speed limit or drive in the far right lane of a 4 lane highway ….  it still doesn’t matter.  There are Dicks to be found.

Everyone has one thing on their mind – themselves.

Some days driving home after work,  it’s the driver game of Survivor.  It’s all about ME.  No, no, no…..really.  By all means.  Please.  Go ahead.  I was at the four way stop before you, but please, don’t wait your turn.  I’m sorry, yes, go ahead and run the red light.  Yes, you should definitely honk your horn as soon as the light turns green because the four cars in front of you obviously can’t get through the light fast enough.  I love it when you cut me off to turn left….From. The. Right. Hand. Lane.   If you could tailgate me, that would really make my day.   Since all of the traffic is doing 12 mph, you trying to climb my fender just makes so much more satisfying.  I like being able to see my bumperstickers in your grill.

All this before I even get out of the city!

Society has created a demand for instant gratification.  Everything NOW.  Impatience is rampant.  Common courtesy  has gone the way of common sense – right out the window.

Go to the grocery store and people will run you over with their cart.  Think they’re going to share the aisle with you?  Not a snowball’s chance in hell.  It’s all about me and I own this aisle, go get your own aisle, bitch.  Forever gone are the excuse me and pardon me moments that used to follow the moment you shoved aside someone to reach the ketchup on the top shelf.

If you come across a shopping carriage blocking the aisle, you have a decision to make.  Do you move it?  Do you wait impatiently?  Moving it causes the owner of said cart immediately to glare at you as if you were attempting to make off with her carriage full of Double Stuffed Oreos, iceberg lettuce, bananas, single-ply butt wipe, Rocky Road ice cream and Captain Crunch cereal.  If you stand there impatiently waiting, chances are she will continue to ponder for eternity which brand of ranch salad dressing to purchase….Hidden Valley or Grocery De-lite.

I’m not asking to see your license and registration.  I’m asking you to share the space and move the hell over.  Oh but wait, it’s all about Me.  That’s right.

In produce, people can’t wait for you to get out of their way so they can get their pick of the oranges, apples, grapes and bananas.  There are only so many times someone can swish open their plastic bag ….I get the hint, but you can wait your turn.  It’s called patience.   Give me 30 seconds, I will be out of your way.  However you never see them at the pineapple, starfruit, coconut, plantains, dragon fruit and kiwis….all those exotic and sassy fruits.  Instead, they’re busy thumping watermelons and squeezing cantaloupes.  I’m thinking I may take up the exotics next time….I could be on to something here.

Walking down the city sidewalk.  It’s the Wild Wild West.  Too busy on the idiot box, which used to be the TV and now are the damn cell phones.  People can’t get off them.  It’s as addictive as crack.  In the next 50 years, babies will probably be born with necks already bent to watch the idiot box perfectly in their hands.  Put it down and pay attention people.  But no. Nobody is paying attention to the world around them, regardless of the phone or not.  It’s all about them.  It’s the Me Bubble.

Side Note: My observation about the cell phone.  People are too damn busy taking photos  about the moment they’re in, so they can have a “look at me moment” to put on social media.  They’re missing being in the moment.

 

Living in the world of NOW,  patience level is nonexistent. Patience has gone the way of drive-in movies, tv dinners in tinfoil trays with the yummy apples for dessert, riding bikes without helmets, metallic wallpaper patterns, roller skates & roller rinks and Tupperware parties.

It doesn’t matter if you work in an office, school, medical center, factory, scientific institute, art and design establishment, recycling center or transportation industry.

There are days at work, when you think to yourself….

  • I’m going to have to lock myself in the bathroom and beat my head against the wall before I  loose my mind.
  • If I wander away, would anyone notice?
  • How much longer until 5:00PM?
  • Did I really sign up for this?
  • Who the hell are these people? They’re crazy!
  • Other duties as assigned?  Are you fucking kidding me?

I’m right…..I know.

It’s funny cause most of us are in the same boat.  Ask anyone.

We should all be living our dream, but chances are we’re grinding it out trying to get to our dreams.  In the meanwhile, we’re all trying to run each other down on the highways. Or run each other over in the grocery aisles.  Better yet, trying to knock one another out at work on various levels.

We live in a singular world.  It’s all about me.  I have to be first.  First in line.  First through the door.  First through the light.  First with the photo.  First to park.  Look at me.  Look at me go.  Get out of my way.  It’s all about me.  Me.  Me.  Me.  Me. Grocery, shopping mall, book store, coffee shop, hair salon, gas station, highway, etc.

Well, hair salons are different.  There, you are being sized up.  Women come in looking like they have just been rolled out of the bushes by some raccoon when they show up…hair is every which way, sweat pants and oversized shirts.  Or the yoga pants and they’re obviously not doing any yoga.  That’s a whole other blog.  What’s with the stretch pants?  Don’t get me started….

Fast forward a few hours, by the time ladies are ready to leave the salon,  they depart acting like they are in a Pantene shampoo commercial.  Every other woman waiting her turn to see her stylist is sizing her up as she leaves….seriously.  Better do the hair flip and make it look good. Or what’s the shampoo commercial where the woman washes her hair in the airplane bathroom and acts like she had an orgasmic experience? (Of course, on several airlines now she’d probably be charged a fee for that and then arrested.  Or she might be asked to do a show, who the hell knows anymore.)

The other place you don’t see people trying to run you over with the piss-headed idiot syndrome is the liquor store.  Honest.  Next time you go in, look at how polite everyone is to each other.  They know.  They get it.  You are just grinding away the daily work life.  The liquor store is almost like a therapy session.

“What you need?”

“We have a sale – two for one.”

“Have a good one.”

Is there any doubt why some states have liquor warehouses?

I think not.

 

 

10259330_715172081854832_8992840686047184098_nWhat happened to nice?

I wouldn’t even bother to say society needs a good dose of Miss Manners, Emily Post and a decent wrap on the knuckles with a ruler.  (except, I just did) Honestly, I think the concept of being nice or even remotely polite has gone along the way of the chicken trying to cross the damn road.

Forget the road, that chicken is trying to survive to  see another day of cracked corn and hope that little old couple comes down to feed them if they’re lucky…so it doesn’t have to cross the road!

Society has given up on the concept of NICE.  It’s better off walking in the ditch.  Not worth the effort.  Why even bother?

It’s short attention spans, loud volumes, fast paced environments, in the NOW technology, constantly walking up my ass at the grocery store and honking your damn (insert whatever model car here) horn before the light even turns green because I may be color blind and not realize the change in brightness indicates I should remove my foot from the brake…..these are some of the things that has led us down this path of….. fuck off behavior.

Seriously.

Laura Ingalls would be appalled.

Jack Hannah would say animals behave better.

Charlie Brown would say even Lucy, when she removes the football, is a kinder person.

What the hell has happened to being nice?  I don’t mean you have to be overly polite, like you’re trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize or hoping to be crowned Miss America and need to over compensate for your lack of not knowing the answer to your random question on politics, world peace or child labor.  Nor am I suggesting you pretend you’re up for an Academy Award and have to buy your way to the winners circle….enjoying this person’s company and clinking glasses with that person say they “really like you.”

That’s not it at all.

But. Damn, people.

Get a clue.

Get some common sense at least.

Maybe that’s what it is.  No common sense.  Can you get a pill at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for Common Sense deficiency?  If you made it a dummy pill – and labeled it would people automatically gain common sense just by thinking they were enhancing their common sense?

At work recently they’ve adopted a campaign.  A be kind to your co-worker campaign – it’s a nice place to work campaign.  I don’t know, maybe employees are getting beat up in the parking lot after work for their lunch money.   They want us to be friendly.  You know…..hold the elevator for people…..don’t hide behind plants….say hello….because after all “smiles are contagious.”

Yeah well so’s herpes.

You can get herpes from a friendly environment.

Thanks.

Every time I see a stranger, they greet me.  It’s like a secret email has gone out, “We don’t work among strangers.  We work among F R I E N D S.  If you see a stranger, don’t point and scream….just say hello!”

Are you shitting me?

I’m an Only Child.  I prefer strangers, they don’t bother me.  (Unless they want to kidnap you, then you have a problem.)  Strangers are usually quiet, unless they are my old upstairs neighbor but you know that already and that’s not a stranger, that was a neighbor.  Anyhow, most strangers are Q U I E T.

Now. At work. I can’t go to the bathroom without everyone I pass greeting me.  It’s like I’m on a parade.   You would think I’m running for a governmental office.  I’m hoping the next installment to this campaign will be confetti cannons.  Those of you who know me, know my love of confetti….and confetti cannons.

The first day it happened I was walking down the hallway and everyone I passed was “Hi-ing” and “Hello-ing” me.  About the third person that greeted me….I started to wonder what the hell was going on.  I mean it’s a big company, but have I EVER met any of these people?  Who the hell are these people?  Am I loosing my mind?  We don’t even work in the same department….

Tell me.

Now when I leave my padded desk area is it required I be on campaign mode?  Is this the goal? Should I automatically turn on the Queen’s wave (which, if you didn’t already know…it’s wrist, wrist, wrist….elbow, elbow, elbow) and royal co-worker charm?

What if I am NOT in THE MOOD? Can I help it if I have an “at rest bitch face” when in deep contemplative thought or just not wanting to be bothered?  No amount of my Happy Camper pills are going to help and certainly you don’t want me eating pea soup if it’s one of those types of days.

Perhaps I need to fashion a board around my neck that says, “In a mobile time out.”

The other day a group of us were walking between the buildings, coming back from a meeting.  We knew everyone in our group – safety in numbers.  A single person was heading towards us.  The single greeted us.  Most of us kind of did a soft response back hello….”who the hell are these people.”

I asked the loudest in my little gang of responders…..”did you know that person?”

No…not really, I mean they kind of looked familiar but I don’t know them.

Okay, it’s not just me.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Suck on This!

Oral fixations.

Babies have them.  They’ll put anything into their mouth.

Dogs have them.  They’ll chew on anything.

Turkey vultures have them.  They’ll eat anything rubber off your car.

I have an oral fixation.

Boys, get your mind out of the gutter.  It’s not that kind of oral fixation.  Although for you, that’s a oral visual stimulation fixation.  Yes, I agree. Some woman do look better when they have something in their mouth – mainly because it shuts them up.  But, I won’t go down that road right now.

It’s the NOISE that comes out of that orifice that irritates the shit out of me.

Please. Don’t even start with your tsk, tsk, tsk and tell me to be more patient and understanding of those around me – you can just sit down and listen up.  There are people in this world who are ignorant of their personal noise levels and their disruption to my peace and quiet.

I’m talking about those cheeky little fuckers who give no thought to their mouthy acoustics.  There are no words strong enough to describe the annoyance.  They’re simply being:

Insensitive.

Obnoxious.

Barbaric.

Impolite.

Cheeky Little Fucker Case #1:  

Decible Level 70

funny ostrich

Were these people raised by hyenas?

Nope, must have been ostriches.

Let’s see how much food you can stuff into that hole and then  try and carry on a conversation…shall we?

1….2…..3…..GO!

Fail.

I enjoy nothing more than someone stuffing their mouth full of food and THEN talking to me.   Could you not wait two minutes to come and speak to me?  After you swallowed  whatever that is you have crammed into your hole?  Apparently, not.  That’s just great.  Cause you know not only do I understand everything perfectly, but I also really enjoy when the bits and pieces of soggy whatever the hell that is….. come flying out of  your mouth.

It’s even better when you have SO MUCH crammed in there – you have to actually move it from side to side in order to talk.  Looking at you, you’d think you’re working on a giant wad of chew in your jaw.  Nope, that’s just your fucking tuna sandwich.

Are you kidding me?

It happened the other day and it was all I could do to dig my hands into my chair – to keep my own trap shut.  I was on the verge of saying:  “You sound like you have a mouth full of sweat socks.  Can you please finish your danish and then talk to me.”

We’re adults people – use your common sense.

Cheeky Little Fucker Case #2:

Decibel Level 110

fingers down chalkboark

What is worse than the stuffed mouth full of food issues?  Combine it with a nasally voice.  Add an accent.  Include VOLUME.  Oh and for giggles, let’s just as a cherry on top.  This voice is like nails down a chalkboard.

On a regular day her voice, to me, could unscrew lightbulbs  out of the socket.

Combine it with her eating, what I can only imagine as Andre the Giant sized bites and then talking loudly to her co-workers.  It’s enough to make me pack up and leave my cubicle.  Enough.  I’m done.

It’s that or I’m going to start shouting SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!

This woman constantly, constantly, constantly…..sends me over the edge.  I could leap the Eiffel Tower in a single bound when it starts.  My one remaining nerve gets such a workout with her that it packs up and leaves before I can even get my headphones out of the drawer.

When I do get the headphones out, I don’t know which music to listen to….something calming like Enya?  Spa relaxation channel?  Give the spa three minutes.  Click.  Not feeling it.  I switch over to something with a little more edge….to match my burned out nerve.  Eminem does the trick. UFC music channel….excellent.

Cheeky Little Fucker Case #3:  

Decibel Level 90

false teeth

False teeth?

No teeth?

Something in your teeth?

For the love of humanity far and wide, do us all a favor – excuse yourself and go brush your fucking teeth and remove whatever god awful boulder is in your cavity that is causing you to suck and slurp like a hooker trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

ENOUGH ALREADY!

The sucking noises have got to stop immediately.  

IMMEDIATELY.

Rule #23 in life: When you have people in your office don’t suck your teeth.  And while I can’t see….I am going to gamble a bet that this person is probably fishing around in their mouth trying to pick out the offending seed of mayhem.

Just.

Stop.

It.

That’s correct, I can only gamble a guess because I never see it.  I only hear it.  Occurs on the other side of the cubicle wall.  God help me.

You’re wondering the same thing I am aren’t you?  If they find the pick – do they eat it?  I don’t know and I don’t care.  It makes me nauseous thinking about it.  I would rather watch guts and gore than see that crap.  Like picking your nose and eating it.

Cheeky Fucker Case #4:  

Decible Level 85

noisy eater

I don’t need to say anything.

You get the picture.

Eating is not supposed to  a recital of your orifice’s abilities to entertain various types of food items and their forms.

Same goes for those of you who moan and groan through your meals.  If you’re going to climax during any course – appetizer to dessert – you need to order room service or go eat in the closet.  They probably have private clubs devoted to food orgies, which I suggest you research but I’m not interested so keep it to yourself, so I too can enjoy my meal.

Those of you who have issues with people who can’t eat in a civilized manner – those who smack their lips, suck their teeth, click their tongues, moan and burp.you have my permission to get up and move away when they sit next to you.

When the offender sits with you, simply choose one of these excuses to move away:

“I’m sorry, my phone is ringing.  Excuse me.”

“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m multitasking today.  Meditating and eating.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m trying to be more in touch with my insensitive side.  Excuse me.”

“The baby is upset today….sorry.”

Then leave.

Enough people.  Just knock it off and respect others.  Get a clue.

Suck on something worth while.

Is that a Hose in Your Pocket? The Continuation.

Again:  Names have been changed to protect the guilty.  I still love you and don’t be angry.

 

All good things to me include:

Long walks on the beach.

Drinks at sunset.

Slow dancing in the moonlight.

Dancing on table tops.

And oddly enough….

Poking things with a stick…..that don’t need to be poked.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself….

 

Sound the alarm!  Sound the alarm!

 

URGENT!

 

URGENT!

 

The Nose has returned to the Martini Bar!

 

Yes, boys and girls, get you’re sticks out cause we’re going to go poking around.

Sit down.

Strap in.

Hold on.

Order up two shots cause we’re going for a ride and it’s going to be rough.

M E O W.

(Better make that a double M E OW and get out the hand sanitizer.)

 

THE PREVIOUS evening The Nose and I spoke for a bit and should you need the details, you’ll need to consult my previous blog.

Back in the saddle and looking for love, The Nose was deploying his creepy muskrat of the ocean moves and prowling the throat of one middle aged woman sitting at the bar.  This was off-putting, yet quite intriguing as The Nose was a vile and filthy creature who was very obviously an openly gay man and this was a public place.

Have I fallen down that damn rabbit hole….yet again?  I’m down this hole so often you’d think I’d have frequent flyer privileges at this point.  Upgrades?  Why yes, thank you.

Well, how is this going to turn out?

Popcorn anyone?

Immediately, this little spit-fire (that would be me for those of you who are ADD or ADHDA or whatever and can’t follow along) has sounded the alarm The Nose from last night has returned and he is making out with a woman!

Every single person I alerted had the same response:  WHAT?!  Are you sure?  Where?  How can that be?  Making out with a woman?

All eyes were plastered to what is now a FOURSOME at the end of the bar.  Please, let me introduce to you the players, who will become oh so important for you to know:

The Nose.  The Middle Aged Woman.  The Other Man.  The Younger Girl.

Cue the mystery music….

Time marches on and we’re all having fun.  Of course, this is how it always starts right?  I look down the bar…towards the Fab Four.  The Nose…..is kissing the neck of The Other Man.  Up his neck.  His ear.  Biting his ear lobe.  Back down his neck.  They’re laughing.  Okay.  I can handle this.  It’s fine.  Two lovers.  Okay, they’re together.  Well then, who the hell are these two ladies? The Nose is now all over The Middle Aged Woman again.  The Younger Girl is giggling and laughing.  The Other Man is clearly entertained.  I’m so confused.  Maybe the four of them are traveling together?

I have no idea.

I don’t care.

I’m going back to my drinks and enjoying the evening.  Minding my own business.

Suddenly Bernice motions for me to come and join her and our friend Cece from Alaska.  Both of them look like they’ve been told they’ll have to repeat eighth grade and the teachers only speak Latin.  WTF?  Bernice grabs my arm and tells me in a very German like manner to:    S I T.    SIT   DOWN!

Like an obedient petite Pitbull, cause I’d like to think that’s what I would be if I were to be a dog, if there were such a breed, …with rhinestone studded PINK collar of course – duh – I sit immediately.

WHAT?!  WHAT?!

Bernice and Cece both without saying a word just point to the bar.  I turn my head to the left.

HOLY FUCK!  ARE YOU?!  MOTHER!  *&^%^$  *#&)!  !!!  &^%$^$!!!

Let’s just say, I don’t need to see such things….. at EYE LEVEL.

The Nose…..

I can’t.

My eyeballs have been scorched out of their sockets.

The Nose has….

I mean really….

Eye level.

My tear ducts have shriveled up into twigs.

The Nose.

The Other Man.

At MY eye level.

The Other Man….has his hand down The Nose’s jeans…..fondling his ass!

Now they’re going to switch!  Let me put my hand down the back of your jeans.

R E A L L Y….

It’s porn right in front of my eyes.  (Now if it were a hot couple, okay.  But not this.)

>>>> time out <<<<<<

>>>>> I have to put my head between my knees <<<<<<<

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Okay, so I’m all for going down the front of the pants.  Yes, I said it.  I’ll give you that.  It’s fun for you and me….especially if you can get away with it in public…..There’s all kinds of fun things to be found in the frontal regions.

M E O W to the tenth degree.

But your ass….in public?  Really?  O M G.  Did you smell that?  What was that odor?

Behind closed doors, ride that ass like it’s a fucking bucking bronco boys.   I don’t need to see this display at the bar.

Smelling salts anyone?

Oh for fuck’s sake.

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Immediately, I launch myself out of my seat…..and land about 40 feet away, hyperventilating and leaving Bernice and Cece to deal with this performance which continued for quite some time.  I ordered another martini, downed it and enjoyed yet another.

About ten, fifteen, twenty minutes later…..Bernice and Cece managed to pry themselves away from their seats (I don’t know how they lasted so long in their spectator box seats – ahem) but they eventually joined the rest of us.

This is when I learned another friend of ours, having discovered The Fabulous Foursome….wanted to “push the envelope” with The Nose.

WHAT?  I mean who fucking does that?

Randy.

He can’t help himself.

He decided he wanted to see if he could he convince The Nose to buy him a drink.  Yeah sure and if The Nose says yes, Randy becomes a sex slave for the night.  THEN what the hell do you do – OMG!  The night would have lead to wild acrobatics in front of floor to ceiling mirrors and a swing above the bed.  Double bends and feet behind heads.  Hold this while I bend this over that.

Images gone wild in my head…..one moment please…..

Randy no doubt, sauntered up in his expertly designed and detailed blue suit and asked if The Nose would buy him a drink…..looking oh so cute and batting his baby-blues as only Randy can do…..making your knees go weak.

Survey says:  DENIED.

It’s okay Randy, we still love you and still think you’re cute.

Next drink is on me.

After hearing this story we turn around to see Cece at the bar chatting up The Middle Aged Woman.  Good god people, leave The Fabulous Foursome alone!  Clearly they are only into themselves and do not want our involvement into their torrid love affairs!  I mean really, do we want to be involved?  I don’t and I’ve even had my tetanus shots thank you!

Cece is chatting away, chatting away.  I mean truly, it could be the Alaskan thing.  I spent 18 years in Alaska and we do some weird shit in the winters.  So this may be some kind of weird calling…..on the high seas….but come on…..I HIGHLY doubt it…these are strangers.  We don’t swing with strangers.

Our little group by this time has broken out into a full on Super Bowl sweat.   We’ve ordered another round of martinis and are now actually patting the sweat away from under our armpits and upper lips with the tiny cocktail napkins.  WHAT is she doing?  Our imaginations are clearly getting the best of us.

When it’s gets to this point there is only one thing to do….send in The Minxy.

I march right up to the bar and lean in to hear what she’s saying.  I lean in so close I push her and her hand bag out of the way. All under the guise of trying to get the bartender’s attention.  (Now you know my trick incase I’m listening to your conversation.)

It’s a partial relief that she isn’t asking to join them.  On the other hand…..what is she promoting?  Safe sex?  I’m only catching bits and pieces:

“Just saying.  For your own good.  Of course.”

Staying just long enough to realize she isn’t making a pack to sell herself into an evening of bondage I walk back to the group and give the all clear sign:  SHE’S FINE!

Cece returns to tell us what her conversation was all about.

Apparently, Miss Manners aka Cece felt compelled to share peace and love with The Middle Aged Woman and advise her of the historical antics of The Nose from the prior evening.  Cece told her, “If you’re not careful, THIS could turn into a foursome.”

The Middle Aged Woman greatly appreciated all of Cece’s concerns and took each and every one of them to heart.  This resolved Cece of her resolve for doing the right thing and for sounding the alarm to a complete stranger.  Which by all means is the right thing to do….if you have a conscience. The MIddle Aged Woman told her there was certainly nothing to worry about.  Although they were having a great evening together – THIS is where the buck stops.

There will be NO Foursome, I am traveling with my daughter.

I do believe the next words out of Cece’s mouth were, “Another Fresca Martini Please!”

The rest of us looked at one another.  Nodded and said in unison, “to the disco!”

This was the last we saw of  The Nose

We’re Flying Where?

What if, when birds are squawking in high places they aren’t talking to each other about the fabulous grub hole they found or singing love songs.  What if they’re really bitching cause they’re afraid of heights or are about to pee-their-feathers because they’re afraid to fly?  What if when they’re floating along on the water, they’re not feeling all peaceful and blissful but are really paralyzed with fear because they hate water and can’t swim?

I’m just saying.

What if?

Same could be said when you go to the animal park and those monkeys you see sitting together on a limb, combing one another’s hair.  They’re so cute.  Picking gnats and bugs out of each other’s fur.  What you don’t know is in their reality, the little fucker wouldn’t stop rubbing his head in the ant hill so his head is covered in fire ant bites and the parent is picking scabs off his scalp.

I’m just saying.

What if.?

You really think dogs are smelling each other’s asses to identify one another?  Hey Stan, how’s it hanging?  Oh, sorry.  They’re checking to see what they all  had for dinner.  Are you kidding me?  Max had Mighty Dog?  OMG! Fluffy had that fresh ground beef kibble from the new trendy doggie cafe on Madison Avenue!  The nerve!! That’s it!  When I go home I am going to eat my dinner and then promptly throw it up on the couch.  The new carpet.  The bedspread.  The new jacket mom just bought.  In dad’s car!  Then I’ll get the good stuff.

I’m just saying.

What if?

Life is full of What If moments.  Take for example yesterday at work.

I’m delighted.  This time next month, I will be in Auckland, New Zealand.  Don’t worry, I have already alerted the local authorities, they are preparing for my arrival.  (It is the ONLY place in the world I have received a speeding ticket….thank you.)

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to make travel arrangements through our work system, I asked the co-worker I am traveling….we’ll call him Calvin….to showed me how it’s done.   Yesterday afternoon Calvin and I booked his ticket to go from Miami to Auckland.

Things were going all fine and dandy.  We punched in the details.  Miami to Auckland and the date.  The various combinations came up on the screen.  We could pick everything from 14 days worth of traveling in a tin can to just about 35 hours in a tin can.

International travel these days offers so many amenities it is astonishing.  There were options to fly with circus animals, farm animals or domestic animals.  Another section included circus performers, ring leaders or classroom pranksters.  Meal service included selections for prison rations,  weight watchers cardboard, things confiscated by customs and forbidden fruits.

Better yet was the option to pre-select your TSA screening.  This I had no idea was possible.  Now you can sign up for a Pass Go card that allows you to skip the back handed,  gloved pat down and go straight to the private room strip search.  I mean who knew?   Did you want a glass of wine and a smoke with that?  If so, please acknowledge and your credit card will be charged an additional $25.00.  If you want to include the drug sniffing K9 that is an additional $500.

I confess to Calvin, I’m not the biggest fan of flying, but it’s the only way to get anywhere fast so I do it.  We choose a flight that has a short flight time.  The first flight is operated by Alaska Air to LAX.

Of course I’m delighted it’s Alaska Air.  And then the delight is immediately squashed by the thought of going through LAX international hell again.  That place, I swear, is operated by the Orcs, from Lord of the Rings.  The last time I went through….I experienced every level of Dante’s inferno as well.  Insanity.  They made me a stand by passenger, even though I was a full fare passenger with ticket in hand.  Took my carry on – made me check it.  Lost all of my luggage.

I.

Was.

NOT.

Happy.

The first helpful person I encountered was in Australia.  Where they said, “this happens all the time with LAX.”  Great.  Anything happens this time, I will politely excuse myself and reintroduce myself as the Honey Badger.

Back to the story.

Okay so we get to LAX and change planes.  Looking at the screen.  I swear it says we get on Asia Air.  Calvin says, “this looks like a good one.”  I’m thinking to myself……really?  Isn’t that a third world airline?  Do they even speak English?  I’m terrible with accents.  How am I going to understand the safety briefing?  Do they translate the announcements?  Do they have a drink cart?  Can I just have the drink cart?  Are the drinks free?  How much are the drinks?  Do they take American?

Then he says to me……

“It goes from LAX to NAN.”

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Excuse me?

“NAN.”

NAN?

“NAN.   N. A. N.    NAN”

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..

Where the hell is NAN?

“Well, I don’t know.”

>>Enter the Bambi stare.  blink. blink. blink. blink.<<

NAN?  I’ve never heard of NAN.

“Me either.”

?

I get out my phone and Google NAN.

Well, according to Google it says NAN stands for:  Nadi, the western portion of Fiji.

“Nadi?”

Nadi.  N. A. D. I.    Nadi.

>>blink. blink.<<

NADI!  Good god man!  We look at Calvin’s giant world map on his office wall.  Way down in the far right hand corner.  Way down further than all the other countries.   Way down past New Zealand.  Way down past the compass.  Past the mile marker.  Almost like a speck of tomato soup on the map…..is a tiny little blip of a smudge on the map.

Fiji.

But no Nadi.

I look at Calvin.

Calvin looks at me.

My upper lip breaks out into a sweat.

My throat goes dry.

My hands start to sweat as do my feet and my pits.

Cripes, I say, WHAT IF they don’t have a big enough runway for a jet?  That place is represented by a poppy seed!

Apparently You’re Broken

I have a complaint.

Why have I not heard about the fundraising effort to assist cashiers across America?  Di you know, they have all broken their arms.  Shocking news isn’t it?

You must be kidding me.  Seriously, you can’t lift the head of lettuce, chili pepper, bottle of shampoo and loaf of bread out of my basket?  The basket is on the conveyor belt.  It’s waist high!  No, you still can’t empty it?  What on earth is wrong with this customer service world?   It’s not like I’m carrying around 50 pounds of cement mix in my basket…..if I can carry it with one arm, you would think the cashiers would be able to lift each item out individually to ring them up.

WRONG.  It’s happened to me at Target and now at Whole Foods.

“Is this your basket?”

No, I’m standing here to ask you if you prefer your orange juice with or without pulp.

YES, it’s my basket.  Who else would it belong to?

“Oh well can you help me empty out the items?”

A look of disbelief crosses my face like a tumbleweed in a desert ghost town.

I start to empty out the items and she turns to start talking to the bagger guy.  Since the conveyor belt keeps moving forward I have to pile all of my items together.  This is ridiculous.  After I empty out my plethora of heavy items she turns to me and asks how I’m doing today.

The only reason I can figure why this has now become the norm (I’ve had this happen to me both at Target and today at Whole Foods) is someone has undoubtedly thrown their back out by lifting out a can of chickpeas or a 4-pack of toilette paper out of a basket sitting on the conveyor belt.

Cashiers don’t even have to enter numbers any longer except when multiple quantities or a produce item comes across their stand.  When I was a casher in high school, at the local grocery, we had to actually ring in items.  Imagine that.  Then I had to walk home without shoes, up hill and in the desert sun.

At Costco here in South Florida, they unload your cart for you.  THAT’S service.  Of course, their management probably figures after heaving that overladen cart around their football field of items you’re arms are fatigued and you need help.

My purchases are finally rung through and as I’m preparing to swipe my card for payment (cashiers don’t even have to do that any more shocking) the cashier points to the basket and says, “Can you put this on the floor for me?”

Gobsmacked.

Are you kidding me?  Seriously?  Are your arms painted onto your torso?  What happened to customer service?  Here, move over and let me ring up and bag my own groceries.  Oh wait, I can already do that.  In fact, I did just that earlier today at Ikea.

What is it exactly that we’re paying cashiers to do these days anyway?  Drag items across a scanner that rings up the item.  Wow.  Difficult.

Imagine the qualifications for the job:  able to keep right arm bent at elbow for hours while dragging items across scanning device and shoving item with left hand to the bagger for packaging.  Smiling and pleasant chatting is not required or expected.  Prefer individuals with sour personality and frown hanging down to their knee caps.  If you can sweat sheer exhaustion and boredom, you’re hired!

Few cashiers are pleasant.  Most are annoyed you are standing in front of them.  Very rarely do they even greet you or ask if you found everything.  They’re too busy discussing with their coworkers when their next smoke break is and if they can borrow a cigarette.  TRUE, happened last week at Target.  If one should actually thank you for shopping at their place of employment, pigs would fly.  Actually monkeys would probably shoot out of my butt if good customer service was normal at retail stores.

Even the girl at Barnes and Noble was annoyed today.  When you are angry at the world, try not to take it out on me.  If being nice to customers isn’t your thing, may I suggest a job change.  You probably want to stay away from people so I would look into office cleaning in the evenings, back-room stock person or counting beans in a basement somewhere.  Maybe you could pass as a sultry 900 number operator, there you could wear a headset and not even have to use your arms at all.  There’s a bonus!

Seriously, I think owners and managers alike should do their own version of Undercover Boss and experience first hand just how rude their front line staff can be to customers.  It isn’t even rude as it’s down right anti-customer service.

I’m thinking of starting a rating system.  If you provide great customer service, I will thank you and give you a high five.  Actually, we have stopped managers in stores and restaurants to compliment a particular employee.  Maybe I’ll just start telling the anti-service cashiers, I hope their day gets better……let them ponder that one.

 

AN ADDENDUM:

I would also like to comment at this time that The Public should learn some manners as well.  The woman in front of me at Whole Foods today…..her son, maybe 8 years old, nearly ran me down as he was obviously hopped up on sugar and decided to run back into the aisles like a fox chasing a hare.  No excuse me.  No I’m sorry.  No pardon me.  NOTHING.  Even the man behind me raised his eyebrows and shook his head.

I don’t care WHAT country you are from people.  It’s never okay not to be nice.  Running down a stranger is not acceptable, unless they have a mafia hit on them.