Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life after Death Powerpoint

I don't have to say a word on this. Don McMillan says it all.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dichotomy of Service

"Where is she now? She was just here. I saw her to go get drinks just a moment ago." Yes, the split personalities that engulf the black hole area of the service industry no one every talks about. I used to think it was only a sock that escaped from this universe without notice, without a trace and without hope of ever returning to its twin nylon partner. But I have come to realize that the waiters and waitresses of this world have a temporary void they only know about and will never share.

To juggle multiple tables in unison, to handle rudeness and high maintenance patrons is more than enough to understand their secret society and synchronization of their escape pod for brief lapses of time. But why is it the exact moment when I need my drink filled or as a condiment is missing they take that particular moment to beam away to the Utopia of Waitstaff Land. It must a a cool bar in the ozone where they don't ask each other for anything and each time they appear, a stuffed tip jar shows up on their laps.

In the meantime, I steal the ketchup from the next table, I suck on the ice in my glass to extend the life of my beverage until my server with a button that reads, "ASK ME HOW TO GET A FREE APPETIZER" returns. The night continues, the glasses are drier than my mouth which is now FULL when the mystical appearance of my long lost waitress (Think Britney after JT but before KFED) asks if I need anything. I mumble, "Perhaps I could have the drink you promised, a new bottle of ketchup and a complimentary ticket to your escape world so I can disappear at the exact moment when the world needs me and suddenly appear when it doesn't."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Packed By Volume Not Weight

Opened up a new bottle of over the counter medicine caplets this morning. Not a big JANITOR-IN-THE-DRUM size bottle, just a medium bottle with a child safety cap that I surprisingly out-witted even before 7am.

After removing enough cotton to stuff a KissMe Elmo and a Pamela Anderson autographed silicone gel pack to keep it fresh (yes, I hate when pills aren't ripe yet), I noticed that all of the pills combined don't even fill a 1/4 of the bottle. Serious, not even close. I have gotten over the nutritional fact my potato chip bags contain vacuumed air and I am only getting .035 chip for every true craving. But a pill? I just want some honesty in my purchasing transaction. If I am getting only enough pills to sedate a cricket, tell me. If the bottle is to keep me from understanding depth perception, than I will believe TMZ is quality journalism. At least use my car's side view mirror as a label so items I open may appear larger than they actually are.

But to see the bottom of the bottle when I first open it, requires a little more resilience than I'm willing to sustain. Perhaps you should check the envelope I handed back to you to purchase the bottle. It may fit a new Mac AirBook, but remove the cotton and a gelpack and I'm sure you will get the full picture of what I thought it was worth.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Publication Carnage

I read a "save the planet" magazine yesterday with an ALL GREEN theme yesterday and 12 subscription cards came out of it. The whole magazine is all about they want me to recycle. Wouldn't it save more of the world and my time to NOT jam 5x6 index cards into every other page just to have a magazine mailed to me in plastic wrap.

Even though I do get most of my news and current events from the web, I still enjoy reading every REAL magazine I can get my hands on. It's not truly reading, more like perusing quickly through millions of ads, one good article and what house, body, car, clothes, technology, vacation and place I will never have, own, see, use, try, visit or enjoy. I don't want a subscription. I don't want to admit I chose this genre as my life theme or that genre depicting who I am in the target consumer classification group.

I like to decide at the exact time I'm there-at the bookstore, grocery store or airport what I want to browse and how many I want to browse with. If I choose to read when the magazine is mailed to my home, it reflects a commitment. I'm not ready to commit to you as a publication. I'm still figuring out who I am as a consumer. I'm dating other publications right now and they don't seem to ask for that exclusivity as long as I visit them at local establishments and choose to bring them home periodically.

You can try to keep yourself in my compulsive mind by stuffing sexy insert cards (83 cents an issue in case you ask) on all the pages I plan to read, but remember I like my open lifestyle with gloss too much and I'm not ready to settle down with "4x4 Monster Trucks Illustrated" on a monthly basis. Unless its the yearly swimsuit edition. Love those off road features, I mean articles.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Parking Wise, Time Foolish

Sure I'll wait. Don't hurry on my account. I only need to get to work before 2011. It's OK, I understand why you wouldn't want to just pull into a parking space, but rather stop all modern day traffic and back into it so you can make a clean getaway at the end of the day.

Forget the fact that it had to be the worse T-turn, reverse, slowly inch-by-inch back into a space made for compact, parking spot maneuver I have ever seen, there must be some method to your rear facing madness. Right now, I am clocking you at a a minute-thirty to pull in that 1995 gem of a car you have decided needs to face out towards the world instead of in like the other 1000 cars. I am not a conformist either, but explain the fact you spent 3x more time manipulating your car around than you are ever going to save to Exit later today.

Unless you just robbed a bank, have tickets to the Jonas Brothers concert or are late for a blood transfusion, I think it is more than adequate to just park that 4-cylinder generic version of a Taurus headfirst into the spot and let the rest of us do what we do best, pass you on the way to a better spot near the entrance. On my way in, I'll put a bumper sticker on your front bumper that reads, "Honk, if you see me wasting your day."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Listening to the Blues

I admit it, I'm not just an early adopter of technology, I am way past the brink of geekdom with just a shade of respect. From BlueRay to Bluetooth, from Smartphones to VOiP, I like my digital toys and how they become smaller and promise to help me do more with less.

Hence my hesitation to be a slight bit tone deaf about the "wearable" wireless headsets" There has to be some etiquette to avoid the inappropriate times of looking like a Cyborg stage hand at a Star Trek convention. I agree, in the car is more than appropriate, though in a four- star restaurant when you are NOT suppose to use it is not. I can't stomach the fact I'm watching that growth pulsing a blue LED out of your ear as I wait for my Chilean sea bass. Walking in a grocery store, hands-free is fine with my Miss Manners, especially if you have a cart and three kids asking for pop tarts every other aisle. But walking around your child's soccer game screaming "pass it my Joey, he's open" while your hands are free to express your parental frustrations conveys "Secret Service Wannabe" from the outside. (just my opinion of course).

Perhaps you could hear the public's laughter echoing your technology faux pas if you didn't have a huge plastic Q-tip exuding from your lobes when you should be focusing on the urinal in front of you. These techno wonders were made for you to laugh at life's tasks, not for us to laugh at your silicone earrings .

Friday, May 9, 2008

Guess Who's Driving

Countless cars, makes and models fly by us everyday to work, but remember each car can tell us who their driver is without us actually having an accident to actually meet them.

There is an 85% chance that the Corvette that just passed you has a driver with a mustache, a gold watch and a Member's Only jacket. Those small faux metallic painted sport cars (Mitsubishi Eclipses, Mazda 3s, Nissan Sentras) that just can't stay in the same lane for more than 1.4 seconds even when the traffic is stopped has a driver who spent more money on the speakers, spoilers and rims than the car itself. As the Fast & the Furious MiniMe cuts you off, your perception is confirmed in a cartoon flash. The driver is a man (I use that term loosely) who is about 5' 3 inches, wears more jewelry than Joan Rivers and has the cell phone on the outside ear to show you he can multi-task. Maybe he should borrow a phone book to see over the dashboard before he winks at himself in the mirror going 85. Perhaps the favorite of the drive by shootings of stereotypical steering wheel inhabitors is the Extra Double Dual Cab Pick-up Truck driver who hasn't realized the Civil War was over 120 years ago but still wants us all to know he drives a Chevy, not a Chevrolet, loves guns and anything that looks like bull testicles which can hang from his mirror. He wants us to know that Cowboys do it on horses-which is not what he think it means but its too late to explain it to him as I don't have 120 years to teach him about semantics.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Press #$%*$ for my opinion

New game of the week. Let's try to call a company and get an human to respond before your next birthday as you navigate through the ingenious call prompt structure. "Press 1 to talk about your issue and Press 2 to choose between what is an issue, a complaint or a comment on why you chose to Press 1 or 2 in the first place. Press 3 or say "three" or think of a number between 1-3 to get back to the main menu that we just updated for your convenience as you know the menu has changed."

I remember back in the old days (maybe like 2003) when you could choose to talk to a real person uphill both ways in the snow. It was a choice between an automated asexual TalkBot or someone who was trying to make extra money for beer that weekend. I always chose the entrepreneur or hit 'O' for what I thought was "Operator" not "Outside of our responsibility, try back after lunch".

It must be a money issue. It's a way to pass the savings of not hiring a real person to the consumer. I know I have seen all of my phone companies, insurance, tech support, health plans and online stores reduced their costs drastically and send me checks for allowing me to complain to Voice Mailbox 34543 after pressing "666". Honestly, I just wanted to know where to send a check for a late bill but I was rerouted 7 times, asked which language I would like three times, my account number, group number, SS# and credit card account five times and the color of my eyes twice, (well, maybe that was a 900 number not an 800 is for another discussion)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bleeding for Godot

It's 4:30pm. My appointment was at 3pm and there are five people ahead of me. Two women on both sides of me who are coughing up lungs, an elderly couple arguing over which one is dying first and needs to go to the bathroom before they go anywhere and a 18-year old who looks as though he has a rash EVERYWHERE.

Me? I'm just here for a physical. I'm just thinking a quick disrobe, a few coughs, deep inhales and a blood test. How did I get into this delayed "Groundhog Day" sequel? At 5pm I'm in the exam room which is Latin for "extended waiting room #2". A robe that doesn't quite cover my comfort level, a table that hasn't been warm since an little Bobby used it as a urinal and three different size boxes of latex gloves. (um..please choose the extra small gloves when you arrive doc, please)

A lab tech comes in to take my temperature, blood pressure and two tubes of blood for testing. I have had many, many blood tests in my life, but I still can't watch the needle enter my skin. Now I know why. She pokes, prods, squeezes, looks for veins that aren't there, muscle that is and hits only nerves or bone or anything but a vein for the next 20 minutes of my now shortened life. Two complete misses with that weapon of mass destruction.

Now seriously. I can not and would not be able to take blood from someone else, but if it WAS MY JOB, I would find a way to do it right..or at least not recreate the Spanish Inquisition. She had to ask the doctor to prick me the third time but by then I would have settled for an amputation before letting that lab tech stick me again. The doctor completes the test and ends my exam asking how I have been feeling. Actually, I didn't feel sick at all until I came to this office. but now I'm coughing, arguing that I need to go to the restroom before I leave and have a rash that won't stop itching but cheerfully respond, "I'm fine doc, same time next year?"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Impulsive Compulsive Shopping

Grocery stores could have you in and out of a checkout line faster than it took you to decide you were hungry. But they don't because of people like me. "Hi, My name is (STATE YOUR NAME HERE) and I'm an impulse buyer." Yes, its true, I go into a SuperPathGrandA&PSTOP&SHOP to buy a head of lettuce and garbage bags and I leave with $290 worth of vitamin water, specially infused juices, the newest magazines, a 'cool' new package of the same deodorant I have used for years that cost $6 more now because it looks better but smells the same.

I grab anything that says six for the price of five even though I never bought or needed ONE of them EVER. Don't even get me started on the cereal aisle where you know you are in trouble when Cap'n Crunch is the less appealing box on the wall. Then as I'm waiting for the lady in front of me who bought one of those 1/2 boxes of eggs, one thing of yogurt, a pint of half & half and a People magazine, I realize she has to be single. No. No, not because of her purchases, just because she is really ugly. (old joke I threw in because its early it the morning)

Back to the aisle where I bought 3 packs of the newest gum with the newest way to have taste last 11 seconds in your mouth, an eyeglass repair kit (for who? if I could see the screws in my glasses I wouldn't need glasses), seven different types of batteries and ANOTHER nail clipper so I have one in every drawer in the house. Remind me next time I need lettuce to just start a garden. I can't be trusted just cause I have a special store membership card that saves me 23 cents on my total purchases.