Thursday, May 27, 2010

M.Y.O.F.B., Part 2

Just a little while ago in a galaxy very close to home....

Again, I go to the kitchen to pour out the last inch of warm and flat Diet Coke so I can deposit it in the recycle bin. This time, another female co-worker is just finishing up washing a dish.

"May I?" I ask, pointing to the sink and the bottle.

"Oh yeah, sure, sure," she says quickly. "Go right ahead."

I begin pouring.

"I can't drink that stuff. All those bad preservatives. I don't know how you do it." she chortles.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Again? Really?

"See this word here?" I quickly reply, smiling and pointing to the last ingredient of caffeine. "That's why I drink it." I gloss over my real reason: I like the stuff. So fuck you.

"Uh, yeah, it still has those preservatives. So bad for you," she again chortles.

Just shut up, OP. Don't say a word. You've gotten in enough trouble with your mouth lately. Dump your bottle and walk away.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't be a busy body....I do that."

No, you shouldn't. But you couldn't help your sanctimonious eco-weenie liberal self, could you, you....

"No problem...."

I really need to do a recon mission next time. Nah, screw that. Next time, I make a spectacle of dumping it out. And I'm gonna smile when I do it too. I swear.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flirting During a Disaster

On April 20, BP and Transocean wanted their deepwater rig to explode and sink and send 11 workers to meet their maker.

Now BP wants to take their own sweet time stopping and cleaning up the disaster. Yes, those Earth-hating, greedy bastards really enjoy losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and sales, spending billions in clean up, while accumulating hundreds of millions more (likely) in fines. Most of all, they really enjoy losing untold billions in negative PR. And worse, if BP doesn't hurry up and stop the leak, the government, with neither the means or know how, is going to "push them out of the way appropriately" and really fix the problem.

If you're waiting for the punchline, grab a seat, it's going to be a while. That's not a joke.

There are people out there, including friends of mine, who actually believe this present line of horse hockey. Worse, the Obama Administration is toting this line too. And the more bluster and bloviation the Administration spouts and touts, the worse and more desperate they appear as the days go by.

It's "Nice job, Brownie" idiocy, only strung over weeks instead of a soundbite. And all they're trying to do is distance themselves from their recent endorsement of increasing off-shore drilling.

It's all political grandstanding and kow towing to one's base. During an on-going disaster that is to sink to the lowest of new lows. The truth is, nobody in the Obama Administration, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, has the first fucking clue of how to stop the leak. Instead, they think the next best thing they can do is to stand on the sidelines criticizing and admonishing BP and making empty rhetorical threats so they can look good in the eyes of their anti-corporate, hate-Big-Oil base.

Well, gee, that's helpful. Thank you very fucking much.

For all the admonishing liberals do to conservatives when they pander to their base on issues, they're utterly oblivious when they're engaging in shameless pandering themselves.

Look, there is only one appropriate and winning response that should be coming from the government and the Obama Administration: Shut up, step up and help out where one can. Point fingers—Obama being the World Fingerpointing Champ, especially toward the previous administration—have investigations, call for regulations and hearings and sub-committees of sub-committees, do it all. Just do it all later.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now That's Grocery Store Customer Service! (Sort Of.)

Lately at my local grocery shopping establishment, a new phrase has replaced the "I'm not really interested but I'm forced to ask 'How are you today?" policy.

It's "Did you find everything you were looking for today?".

Normally these types of pleasant but ultimately disinterested customer phrases pass by us like a fly. We duck and dodge it with equally pleasant yet ultimately disinterested responses of "Good" or "Great, how about you?", with neither of us really giving a shit about the other.

This one stopped me, though.

Did I find everything? Hmm....

I didn't know how to respond. Should I say how I couldn't find the creme fraiche? After all, I didn't. I could respond with a flat "no", embarrassing her (and myself), but that seemed mean. Or, I could be kind and lie by replying yes. Or, I could just laugh it off and say, "Well, I was looking for Mickey Mantle's '52 rookie card, but you didn't have it. What gives?"

Yet given the honest nature of the question, I decided to respond in kind.

"Well, no, actually. I couldn't find creme fraiche."

She seemed slightly stunned that I was actually answering her. She gracefully recovered, however, and replied, "I'm sorry to hear that. It wasn't with the fine cheeses?"

Fine cheeses? It's really more of a dairy product, closely related to sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. Shouldn't it be the milk portion of dairy?

"I didn't think to look there. I was looking in the dairy section." I turned to head to the fine cheeses before she stopped me.

"That's okay, we'll get it for you. How many do you want?"

"Um, just one. Thanks."

With that, she sent the young bagger who hustled off and hurried back with creme fraiche in hand.

Of all the feigned-interest customer phrases thrown at us throughout our lives from "Can I help you?" ("I don't know, can you?") to "How are you doing today?" ("My day was positively fucked, hence the 12-pack.") to "Will that be all?" ("No, I forgot about 22 things. Can you hold my place in line while I get them?"), this one works because there's at least a half measure of genuine interest in delivering customer service and providing items that I want or need.

I felt happy. I felt like an important customer as she handed my change back to me.

"You saved $6.43. Thank you, Mr. Fish....Feis...Fizz..."

And to think, before you started butchering my last name here, you were actually winning.

"That's okay," I smiled, stopping her. "You have a great day!"

Friday, May 7, 2010


Me emptying out two, half-empty and stale Diet Coke containers in the sink.

Co-worker standing at microwave watching me, "Tsk, tak. So wasteful!"

Me: "Yeah, yeah, here we are. I'm pained."