It’s The Holidays, Everyone Fricking Relax!

This here is a rant.

Over the past two days I’ve read comments on social sites crucifying (pun intended) others for using (Xmas) the abbreviated version of Christmas. One of the victims was me this morning on Facebook. I posted a picture of Christmas cookies and in my usual fashion rambled on and on and on and within my post I typed “Xmas” instead of “Christmas.” And so it began.

A “friend” of mine, really I haven’t seen her since I think I was seventeen…so ten years ago, (achem) took it upon herself to point out how I took the Christ out of Christmas. No joke. I have that power. She has every right to be concerned…She also made sure to tell me that I shouldn’t take any offense by her pointing this out.

First of all, I know what I wrote, thank you very much. Did I take offense to it? Well, obviously, yes because she stuck her nose in where it didn’t belong. It’s none of her damn business what I choose to put on my page. I see tweets and statuses everyday that either offend me or challenge my morals but I don’t go all self righteous and point them out. And do you want to know why? Because they are my beliefs and my morals, obviously not theirs; When it happens I simply scroll down and ignore it because it isn’t my place to tell someone else how they should think, speak, write, etc.

Now usually I’m pretty good when I get comments I don’t like to my posts. And I can’t even remember ever deleting anyone’s, even though I have some pretty “out there” friends. You know who you are.  I’m not a difficult person to get along with, as long as you don’t preach to me. The fact that I used Xmas instead of Christmas is simply because I’m lazy and trying to save time, not because I’m trying to diss Jesus. We live in the world of texting and tweets for God’s sake! I mean, I’m sure Jesus isn’t mad at me for saving some characters, actually I’m pretty sure he has other things to occupy his time then feeling offended by someone’s Facebook status.

That being said, I deleted her comment and then after thinking about it for a while I deleted her entirely. I don’t need someone dissecting what I say. She doesn’t even know what my faith is. Whatever “higher power” I choose to pray too or whether I do at all is my business. I never assume, especially when it comes to religion that someone has the same beliefs as I do. I never ask. It breaks my number one rule; never speak of religion (or lack thereof) with others unless invited to do so, you don’t have the right to preach. Leave it to the professionals within the walls of their denomination and keep your nose out of it.

Relax people, it’s Xmas!

Can I Help You?

Remember when customer service people took pride in their jobs and wanted to help you because you could actually make or break their existence? Where the hell did that mentality go? Now we’re surrounded by large warehouses filled with vest wearing employees who couldn’t give a rat’s ass whether you buy something or not.

Oh, they try to pretend they care, trying to be all “customer servicey” by putting one employee at the front doors to “greet” people. One person. Ya, I’m looking at you Wal-Mart. Its one person’s job in the entire rank of employees (two if you’re at a superstore) to make people happy. But once you pass the greeter you’re on your own, released into a sea of shoppers to dodge the aisle hog, the slow walker and that one person that you swear to God seems to be following you around the store purposely cutting you off at every turn.

Now let’s just say you’re in one of these places and have a question regarding a product. Well, then you’re really screwed. First you have to find a representative to help you, and then you have to actually make eye contact. Because that’s the trick, isn’t it? If they sense you in their peripheral they’ll haul ass around a corner and disappear. So basically you have to hunt down someone to help you. And if by chance you manage to tackle one, don’t be fooled by the array of buttons on their vest. They are not, in fact, a “specialist” in anything but avoidance and they’re not there to help you, they’re just putting in their time to get the hell home. In fact, the buttons are aiding their laziness; they aren’t even required to say the words “Can I help you?” anymore; they just have to wear a button declaring that they are.

Why can’t they wear realistic buttons so you know what you’re dealing with like, “I hate everyone.” Or, “Talk softly, I’m out of Oxycotin.” Or how about, “I’m here because no one else will hire me with these big o-ring looking things stretching my earlobes like silly putty.”

And don’t even get me started on trying to get a video game out of the locked glass. Remember when you used to stand and look interested at something behind glass and a salesperson would actually appear out of the blue ready to assist? Now there needs to be a training class for shoppers on how to approach this daunting task.

There’s usually (again) only one employee with a key and everybody wants him. One person. This time of the year when everybody, (except those two parents left who still don’t allow their kids to play video games) and there’s only one asshole with a key? Now here’s where training would come in handy. You must be the first out of all the other holiday shoppers hovering around the game aisle to identify the holder of the keys (hint: he’s the one with his pants riding low) and stalk him until he has a free moment between belches. Then you spring into action because if you don’t, well, you snooze, you lose and you’re waiting for another 20 minutes. He has many people waiting for him, many tired, grumpy Christmas shoppers and he could not care less. He saunters around with his pants at his ankles, jiggling his keys like a jail warden like he has all the time in the world, and he does, at least until his shift ends.

When he finally opens the glass is when he gains some interest in you because he wants you to hurry up. You could be cutting into his break time, so he stares at you like you’re a moron because you have no idea what a Yoshi is and why the hell your kid wants one. Well, fuck you vest boy, I did my time waiting for you. You can just stand there and text your girlfriend while I figure out if I’m going to let my 8 year old play a teen rated game. The answer is yes, by the way. Don’t judge me. I’m not good under pressure.

But it’s not just the blue vests, what about the orange smocks?  It doesn’t matter how many times I enter a Home Depot, if I need to find a salesperson for whatever I’m looking for, you can bet the section I’m in isn’t their “department.” Why? Because they would never actually be in their own department, what kind of bloody sense would that make?

They usually say they’ll get someone for you, but here’s the trick, if they’re really intent on finding someone for you, they will take out their little walkie-talkie thingy and actually call someone to come. If he or she doesn’t do that and walks away, you’re screwed; no one is coming, do you hear me? The joke’s on you.

But let’s just say that they do call someone, you still wait because that “specialist” is in someone else’s department hiding. So, as they emerge from their slumber making their way to the spot they are actually supposed to be in, they will be approached by ten other customers looking for anyone in orange.

“Look an orange smock, get him!!!” And now he’s walkie-talking people for those customers. Here’s some advice Home Depot staff, stay the frick in your “department” and there won’t be this much confusion and everyone can get on with their day.

Now, say your person finally gets there and just when they enter your aisle the old woman who has been waiting in the aisle with you, (aka, the one who has a hearing aid but still overheard you’re request for a representative), steals your person! Because all your orange smock knows is someone in aisle three needs assistance. And now you have to decide what kind of person you are. Are you aggressive and claim your “specialist”? Or do you shut up and wait. Again. My answer varies because I have a hard time reaming out an old person. I’m not saying that you can’t be old and an asshole, I just personally figure they’ve done their time and earned the right to go first. Always.

Now I know all this ranting makes me seem like I’m cynical and negative but I only wrote this because recently I had an extraordinary customer service experience that shone a big fat bright light on those places where it’s lacking. It was a pleasure working with these people (Holla, Carpet Warehouse). It was a class act from beginning to end, even the man with five teeth in his entire mouth who took a bus from another city just to work on the stairs was professional, funny as hell and actually proud of his work and it showed.

I don’t mean to get all down on all big franchised stores. I’m sure there are plenty of hard working people at these places. And I don’t blame the young people; I mean if they aren’t made to follow certain procedure then they’re going to take advantage. I blame management. I mean, quite frankly Chapters does a good job inspiring their employees to be kind, courteous and helpful. For starters, you can always find one, but usually they find you first, like they’re supposed to. Even the cashiers are well put together, clean and neat, this is not to say that they don’t have nose rings or tattoos but they appear generally happy to help you, even if they aren’t.

And that’s what I like when I’m in a place of business, a facade. I want to walk and shop in oblivion. Is that too much to ask? Work with me people. Please.

Welcome Winter (Sort of)

I’m not a big winter person. There’s just not much in it for me. When I was a kid, it was a different story, but only because I had this awesome green snow suit with silver patches that made me look like Mork from Ork (Yes, I know his suit was “red” but I lived in the country and needed a good imagination)… AND I had a snowmobile with plenty of empty fields to run it in, but now I’m in a city with nothing more than a plastic sled from Wal-Mart.

I do enjoy watching winter sports, but sadly I suck at absolutely all of them. First of all, I can’t skate.  My brain refuses to transmit any rhythmical movement to my legs and I end up with an awkward step, step, glide situation that’s graceless and sans attractive.

I really, truly want to be one of those people that can careen down a mountain on two sticks without a care in the world, but I’m better off being the one by the fire with a fake
cast and a hot toddy.

Two years ago I went skiing for the first time with some girlfriends. I was having a real hoot until I was over taken with a false sense of security and left the bunny hill to go with them up a lift. Well, naturally I fell to the ground as soon as my skis hit the snow and couldn’t get up. I had to roll out of the way of oncoming passengers which made me laugh so hard I peed my snow pants. My last memory of that hill was my friend’s voice calling out, “Oh My…Oh Goodness… PIIIZZZAAAA”….

So with seeing the first flakes of snow fall recently I felt I better nip this negative attitude in the bud or it will be a long, cold winter. So I decided to make a list of 10 things I like about it so I can refer back when I’m cursing my frozen car doors.

  1. Red Wine – There is hardly anything better than a cold night and a nice glass of Boudreaux…or five. The glass is all so romantic and stylish looking. What isn’t so great is the headache that follows, but as a woman I’m more than willing to feel a little discomfort in order to be fashionable.
  2. Christmas Trees – I love them. They possess the same meditative relaxation as a camp fire. Unfortunately, they don’t provide warmth unless you set them on fire, which is obviously, frowned upon.
  3. Falling – There is nothing I love more than seeing a total jerkface slip on a piece of black ice and bust his ass.  Side note: Even if you aren’t a jerkface, I’ll still laugh. Sorry, but it’s hard wired in my system, no offense. I will help you up though just as soon as I get control of myself.
  4. Snow Storms – Really deep down, I love them. I only hate them when I have to drive, but since I’m technically unemployed for at least part of this winter, I’ll enjoy watching them while secretly mocking the working class people in the traffic jam on TV. Karma’s a bitch, I know.
  5. Shovelling – Only if it isn’t stupid cold out. There’s really a sense of community on my street when we all go out to shovel after a big snow. For that moment we’re living in a Norman Rockwell painting and forget about all the crap we hate each other for.
  6. Snowballs – I`m probably the worst mother ever but I love pelting my kids with snowballs. It’s the only time you get to abuse them so take advantage. Of course when they get older you’re in for shit loads of trouble so enjoy your time while their young.
  7. Christmas – This year I swear to like it. Past years have been so stressful with all the prep work and working full time; it really makes a woman resent it. Well, this year I say screw it; I’m going to like you Christmas…I’m even going to bake regardless if it sucks.
  8. Winter Wear – This is awesome. Now when I bring my kids to school, I don`t necessarily have to be “completely” dressed. I can still be sporting my penguin pyjama top with no bra under my coat. I don’t even have to brush my hair, just shove a hat on and get going.
  9. Sweaters – A tag on #8. Sweaters allow you the freedom to not worry about your back fat or your chicken wing underarm for a few months… if you get one large enough.
  10. Tobogganing– There is nothing more pleasant than watching someone (usually a middle aged man) try to make recreational tobogganing an Olympic event. Watching them call on their own eight year old boy with nothing more than a piece of plastic and whiskey in their veins makes my heart sing. There is truly nothing better.

And that’s it. I can’t think of one other single thing Winter is good for, can you?