Monday, December 29, 2008

The Week In Between




Christmas is over. Santa is gone back to the North Pole and the carolers have hung up their coats and scarves. In only a few days, the New Year will be celebrated around the world. This is the week between Christmas and New Years that is effectively a No Man’s Land. Almost all of the original TV programming is gone from the tube. The talking heads are, for the most part, off to sunnier climes. Not for them the cold winter chill of New York City or Washington, D.C. Reruns of old and tired programs contaminate the airwaves. We don’t have a choice. You will watch that umpteenth running of “Lockup!” on MSNBC whether you like it or not.

Having just come off of a five day stint of working at the hotel, I am exhausted. Not that the hotel was full, it wasn’t. However, whenever one is behind the front desk one is on call for the strangest questions and requests. This year it was to arrange silk flower petals on the wedding night bed for two of the hotel’s guests who were married earlier in the day in Rehoboth Beach. You think arranging flower petals in the shape of a heart on a king size bed is easy? Try it sometime. It took me about three times to arrange those flower petals so the heart didn’t look retarded. Do they teach this skill in hotel hospitality school? I must have been off that day. Arranging the white flower petals leading to the Wedding Night Bed was a much easier task. That only took two tries.

Today is Recovery Day. I don’t go back to work until New Year’s Eve. Last year it wasn’t bad at the hotel, unlike when I worked at the Hampton Inn in Exton, PA. That was an adventure on New Year’s Eve (possible subject for a future posting when I’m in a reminiscing mood.) Recovery for me usually means either eating or spending money (notice how sexual activity is not involved in Recovery – I’m past that.) Today it was shopping. Bill and I first hit Loew’s and did out part to get the economic recovery going. Next it was Staples. I needed a flash drive for my new computer and I wanted to get laser labels for my hanging files. The Big Story this year is that I’m finally organizing my files. No more piles and piles of paper that I have to dig through when looking for a bill or receipt. I used to keep things in great order but that got knocked out or whack when I moved from PA to DE. This is the year I get back on track. Staples had flash drives but they cost too much, as do most of the items in Staples.

Next store was Radio Shack. I got a flyer advertising flash drives with 40% off. The Rehoboth Radio Shack is located in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart. Next stop, Radio Shack. Upon entering Radio Shack, it didn't look too promising. The Bored Clerk cast his sleepy eyes at me and grunted "Uh." I kid you not. He grunted at me. I asked him if he had flash drives. He did. He came around the counter and I took my measure of him. He was about 19 years old, skinny as a rail (about 5'8" and weighing in at maybe 120 soaking wet.) His pants were hanging fashionably right below the crack of his ass. He had a dingy white shirt and a cubic zirconia earring in his left ear. He slinked over to the display rack on which the flash drives were securely secured lest someone make off with them (does Winona Ryder shop in Radio Shack?) He seemed to become more antimated when I asked him if my 1 MB USB port could handle a 2 MB flash drive. But alas, it was only a temporary condition. After I chose the flash drive I wished to purchased, he unsecured it and took it off the rack. He slide back to the check out register (I swear, I didn't see him lift his feet when he "walked" back to the counter) and checked me out. Satisfied with my purchase, I left him to his own private hell standing behind the checkout counter of the Radio Shack store which had no customers. I guess the economy is also affecting the drug business, thus forcing Mr. Lethargic to take a job working for The Man.

Then, it’s off to Wal-Mart. What shopping day can ever be complete without a trip to Wal-Mart.? The store shelves were pretty well picked over as far as the selection of Christmas merchandise at 50% off. I don't need anything anyway but you never know. It might be “ON SALE” and who can resist a SALE? Not me, that’s for sure.

I went back to the photo department to pick up a photo mouse pad I had ordered a few weeks ago and also some reprints. The tired old queen who was working back there saw me coming so he positioned himself behind the photo processing machine so he couldn’t see me and thus have an excuse not to wait on me. This is an old trick often used by bored and lazy retail clerks who hate their jobs. I took out my receipt and waited patiently. I would wait him out. I saw him take a slight peek around the corner of the machine a couple times. He saw that I was there but I was determined to wait him out without the expected usual histrionics or drama.

I know the drill. Another store clerk, one more responsible, came by and said “Are you being waited on sir?” I told her “No.” She went back and got Old Nellie. He comes around the corner with a scowl on his sour face. He asks “Can I help you?” I told him I was picking up pictures. He asked “1 hour turnaround?” I know why he asked because he wanted the opportunity to tell me "THEY’RE NOT READY YET!" I said “No, it is an order that was sent out” and I handed him my receipt. He took it and, as he turned around to check the filing cabinets of processed orders, threw an unmistakable I Hate You Look at me. He came back with the envelope with the pictures. I told him I also had a mouse pad that I was picking up. He gave me an “Aha! Look" and said triumphantly “It’s not on this slip!” As sweet as I could (think Olivia DeHavilland in “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte” when she tells Bette Davis that she isn’t crazy after Bette just saw a severed head of her lover bounce down those dusty southern mansion steps), I said “No, it was on another order. You have it here.” Again, as he turned I get the Evil Eye from him and he returns to the cabinet containing the finished orders. He finds it and brings it to me without saying a word like, uh, I don’t know, maybe “Yes sir, here it is. I found it.” No, nothing. I slide my credit card through the machine. I slide it through backwards. Why not? Just a little sly aggravation on my part. I can play the game as well as la Cage Folles can.

I was just too tired to do the Angry Customer Being Mistreated By A Rude Employee routine, I just want to get my mouse pad and get out of there. I just want to go home. However, not before making a quick stop to Food Lion to get some bananas and buy my week’s supply of Power Ball tickets.

This story is getting too long so I’ll shorten it up a bit. In Food Lion I was in line behind a man who had to be at least 95 years old. Mother of God, save me. Talk about having one foot in the grave. This guy not only had one foot in the grave, he was sliding in and hanging on by his his fingertips to the grave's edge and the dirt was slowly crumbling away. He didn’t know where he was or what planet he was on. The cashier totals up my few items. She asks me how I want to pay. I say "By credit card." She looks at me with a big question mark across her face. I'm about a foot from credit card reader but Lazarus is standing right in front of it, still trying to figure out where he is. I tell her, "As soon as he moves I'll slide my credit card." She gives me a tight smile and we wait until Moses decides to part the Red Sea. Eventually, Methuselah moves, walking out of the store spladle legged, like he had a load of poop in his pants (which he probably did.) Get me out of this store and home, please God.

I'm home now. Safe from most forms of aggravation (there is still Bill and the random annoying phone call - and I just got one while typing this posting.) All I have to do now is write this blog, eat lunch, take a nap and hopefully I will be calmed down enough so I won’t be that irritable when I meet my friends at the Purple Parrot tonight for Burger Night. I plan to have one or, perhaps two apple martinis. Usually one apple martini relaxes me and mellows me out. For me and the sake of my friends, I’m hoping that I’m Mellow Ron tonight.

4 comments:

  1. We're home from California now; got back last night - great time, but truly tired and lots of work ahead this week.

    The bed looks beautiful!!!! A perfect job of course....

    I could unload about my 'irritated customer complaints' right now, but it would be longer than your entire post, so I'll spare you.

    Suffice to say my one son quickly was writing a long letter on December 26 after a trying time at Big Five.

    I've just finished my complaint to Best Western for the variety of 'miseries' due to their hotel mis-management.

    Our meals out were often colored with rude waiters; poorly-cooked food, and the like.

    The good thing is lots of things were on sale; must have been a rough year for the retailer, so they finally had to REDUCE the prices so we'd buy their 'stuff'.

    Got a letter from NFCU/Visa today; they told us about their 'woes', and why they would be charging more for any credit purchases (interest). The option if we didn't want to accept the change was to have them cancel our account.

    Now I'm waiting to see if our Mastercard provider sends one similar.

    Our property taxes were reduced by 30% because the value of our home was ALSO reduced by 30%. Thank goodness our mortgage is way below the 'appraised value'; glad we don't want to sell, and at least our tax bill is smaller this year.

    Ah, we must find things to be grateful for it seems!

    Hope you have a good rest; the music updates are lovely. Diane

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  2. Diane,

    I really shouldn't of went on and on about my complaints. Yesterday just seemed a bit much though. However, last night's outing with friends more than made up for it. I'm glad to hear your are back. If I don't talk to you before tomorrow night, have a very Happy New Year!

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  3. Ron,

    Is this sitar music playing something Dell used to entertain you while on hold awaiting technical help from India?

    Lar

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  4. No but your suggestion is excellent! Perhaps they should. I did tell you didn't I DON'T BUY A DELL OR ANYTHING WIRELESS! NIGHTMARE ALERT!

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