When heading to work at Harvard Square, I usually ride in the front car, as it's closer to the exit ramp. This is also usually where there are people rushing to catch the train, and there's almost always a throng of entitled assholes who crowd around the doors, making you push through them to get out of the cars.
W'evs, I'm a big guy, and I have elbows. Usually just stretching my elbows our like wings causes at least one intelligent, non-entitled human to make space for me and whoever is behind me to exit.
Today, I saw someone not pushing but kind of bumping people out of his way as he cut into the crowd to try and get on the train before those of us already on the train got off, so he's the person that I made elbows at, and he bumped me, which is fine. The elbow flare is not a threat to be carried out, it's just a reminder to make space. I find the entitled throngs annoying, but they do not make me feel violent, just sad at what passes for humanity.
After the guy bumped me, I saw a guy with a cane wheeling his arms. I thought I had maybe bumped into him when the other guy bumped into me, so I hopped behind him, in case he fell, and asked if he needed to hold on to me. He very much did.
It turned out that nobody had bumped him, he was having massive balance issues. So I walked him into the train, letting the conductor, who was hanging out the window, know that I was coming back out.
Naturally, there were no open seats, and the one nearest the door was occupied by the guy who bumped me.
"Hey," I said, "this guy needs to sit down, could you give him your seat?"
He flat out didn't make eye contact or reply. He wasn't wearing headphones, and he was not Deaf or Heard Of Hearing, he was a pwiviweged woogums who didn't want to stand for a guy who physically Couldn't stand. Somebody across the aisle stood up, and I walked the guy to the seat, and walked out of the train. This probably took a full minute.
The conductor asked me where the guy was getting off, so he could help him, which is awesome, so I went back in to ask the guy, and the doors closed behind me, and I ended up riding the train to Central, hatefucking Pwiviweged Woogums with my eyes.
I got off at Central, and as soon as I got off, the conductor apologized, and said something something schedule, and it was fine. Nobody was injured by my twenty minute delay on the way to work.
And I was feeling pretty ok. Not because I helped the guy, that seems like basic human decency. But because on my way out, I sucker-elbowed Woogums right in the ear, and the guy who had stood up snorted real hard.
A very excitable eight year old with a voice that's already lower than Omoizele Okoawo's is tossing a billion questions a second at me "Why does it say Wakanda in the window? Is this Wakanda? This is my favorite store. Why is Ms Marvel white on this cover?"
Me: "That's her friend wearing her costume to help her out."
E8YO: "But she doesn't have any powers? Why would she wear this? She's gonna get dead. Simpsons comics? Like the TV show? I hate the TV show. Is Thor an Avenger? Like in the movies? I want to see the movies. Do you have the movies? Have you seen the movies? What are these?"
Me: "Baseball cards."
E8YO: "Baseball cards? Like Pokemon? What attacks do they have? Do they just throw gloves and bats at each other? that's stupid."
E8YO's Ten Year Old Sister: "No. They're collectible cards, not battle cards. You can't cast No Hitter or send them to the Disabled Player Graveyard, Ignoramus."
Regular Customer: "One trope I've never understood is useless, young sidekicks. Jimmy Olson...Rick James..."
Me: "Rick James?"
RC: "The kid who helped out The Hulk."
Me: "Rick JONES. But now that I think about it, 'Gamma radiation is a hell of a drug.' is a great catchphrase. I would definitely read that book."
Yesterday, I went to the post office to return the second, and also last, in a series of jackets ordered online that featured faux-pockets and annoying zippers, and to mail out some international anthology orders that have been sitting on my desk, waiting for me to fill out customs forms.
A very nice student was trying to navigate how to get her four thousand boxes of belongings that she was mailing home, into the post office, while I used seventy-five rolls of tape to sturdy the box that had been kickboxed to my door by the USPS on its way between the jacket's original point of origin and my porch.
While I taped, and the student wheeled, I heard the postal employee behind the counter tell four different people "It's just awful. They don't give us tape anymore because some people abused the tape. So now people have to buy tape. And they all go home and write their Yelp reviews about how awful we are for not giving them tape. It's not our fault. I would give them tape, but now we don't have tape to give. But Yelp says we're not giving them tape. It's not us. It's the people who should be giving us the tape to give to people. It's not right."
During her first version of the soliloquy, I picked up tape from the rack. I am perfectly happy to pay $3 for tape, as I have approximately a million more boxes to ship in the next month.
During soliloquy four, I was in line, with boxes in hand.
Postal Employee: "Sir? Sir, I am ready for you now. I'm sorry about the tape. It's just awful."
Me: "It's no problem, I have some things to tape at home, I don't mind buying tape here."
PE: "They don't give us tape anymore because some people abused the tape. So now people have to buy it. And all they do is complain on Yelp, like it's my fault they abused the tape. People are just awful. All day long people just complain to me. Not so much as a hello or how are you, just complain, complain, complain."
Me: "That must be awful."
PE: "It is! They go on Yelp, and they say things! I used to be a hairdresser, and let me tell you, everybody wants everything for free. They come to me with their hands out, looking for free haircuts. Do you believe that? I have bills to pay. I have needs. But, no, people just complain and demand free things. I had to close my salon because people were so awful. And now I'm here, and it's tape this, Yelp that, complain, complain, complain. People are just awful."
Me: "They sure are."
PE: "Where is this box going?"
PE: "You'll need to fill out a customs form."
Me: "It's right there."
PE: "You have nice handwriting. Not like most people. People come up here with their chicken scratch forms. I didn't go to school for handwriting. I'm not a doctor translator. I don't know what they wrote about half the time, but your handwriting is very nice. Where is this box going?"
PE: "Toronto where?"
Me: "Toronto, Ontario. Canada."
PE: "Ok. The top is coming off a bit. I'd tape it for you, but they don't give us tape anymore. People were abusing their--"
Me: "It's ok. I have tape. I'll tape it shut."
PE: "I can do it."
She takes my tape, seals the package, and then puts my tape on her computer. I mentally file this under Acceptable Losses.
PE: "Ok, it's sealed. Where is it going?"
PE: "That's right. Ok, and this other box is...oh, it's a return. It's free. You used to have to pay for returns. It was awful. You buy something, you pay for shipping, you don't like it, and then you have to pay to ship it back. Might as well keep it. But now places are starting to pay return shipping. You're very lucky."
PE: "You just need another piece of tape."
Jesus. Fucken. Christ.
PE: "We don't have free tape anymore. You have to pay for it now."
Me: "You have my tape over there on your computer."
PE: "Right. I forgot you already bought tape. You're not going to go on Yelp and complain about tape. You know how people abused it. If people would just pay a dollar, it would be fine. But no, everybody comes to the post office with their hands out and complains when everything isn't free. That's weird. This label won't scan."
PE: "It's fine. Nothing to complain about. It has the address and we'll send it. No need for Yelping. Thank goodness they didn't have Yelp when I owned my salon."
PE: "All those free haircut people complaining. Awful. I'll be right back with your receipt."
While she's in the back, I walk over to the line of other exasperated people.
Me: "If anyone needs tape, let me know. They don't give it to you for free anymore."
Random Person In Line: "That's awful. I'm going to Yelp about it."
Entitled Harvard Student: Are you waiting to get into the print store?
Employee of Print Store: I work here. Unfortunately, the person with the keys has a family emergency. If you come back in about fifteen minutes, we'll be open, and ready to help you.
EHS: But I need something now.
EPS: Sorry. There's nothing I can do.
EHS: Isn't the whole point of a print store being open on time, and Helping People?
EPS puts her headphones on and starts looking at her phone. Like a boss.
EHS: What. Do. I. Do?
EPS: You do what I'm doing. You wait. Quietly.
Other Employee walks down stairs.
EHS: Oh my god. Do you have the keys?
He jingles them.
EHS: Thank god. I've been waiting here for an hour.
OE: It's 10:05. We open at 10.
EHS: I am in a hurry. This is, literally, life or death.
OE: Choose death.
I'm not a post about dreams guy, and i'm about to post about dreams, but not post A Dream I Had.
Lately, I've been having weirdly specific anxiety dreams where almost all of the dream is something that is definitely going to happen. I don't mean, I Am Having Psychic Dreams!!!! I mean, I go to sleep the night before I have to split books, and my dreams are about splitting books. Or I go to sleep the night before I travel to meet family, and I dream about traveling to meet family. And every aspect of the dream is very realistic, except one thing entirely out of whack.
In typical Waiting Tables type dreams, the aspect that is out of whack is the anxiety part. For example, a server calls out sick and suddenly you have five thousand tables, or else you get stuck talking to a table for a few minutes, and during those few minutes your other table has become unreasonable monsters demanding that you are fired.
In these dreams, all of the anxiety stuff has been real, but the out of whack part is often something that makes the anxiety dream seem disproportionately hilarious upon waking up.
For example, dreaming of splitting the books, a two day job, you must do in one day because a snow storm has delayed the books, and you know the person who said they're going to come in and help, isn't going to come in and help. In the dream, you fall behind because you are helping people in the store, and you really have to go the bathroom but you can't because the store is filled with loiterers. When the loiterers finally do empty out, you run to the bathroom. And while in the bathroom, you lean against the hot tub, and eat some of the fresh cashews dipped in melty fondue-like chocolate, and someone comes by with a cheese platter, and you keep checking the temperature of the hot tub, and wondering if you have time to take a quick dip before returning back to your anxiety dream. Like you often do at your work, where the bathroom is some sort of resort with hot tubs and cheese plates and servers and fondue. But when you leave the bathroom, there are three people waiting at the door to the store and they look annoyed. And you are still waaaaay behind in splitting the books.
Or, you're dreaming of that family member who married into your family, who is rude to everyone, especially you, is someone you absolutely have to see the next day. And in this dream they arrive early (they will arrive early in real life too, not because you have prescient dreams but because they are predictable dingleberries). They start arguing with your other family members, and you feel the need to look up to the sky and center yourself before you say something cruel you will not be able to take back, and that's when the discoball descends and there is a dance break where everyone is happy, and there is a duck doing the macarena, and then you are back in the anxiety scenario and decide that something needs to be said (about the dingleberry, not the duck doing the macarena).
I want to believe that these are my subconscious's way of telling me that my anxiety is real but also ridiculous
I am also thinking of this as a prompt, write about a situation that causes you anxiety but give yourself a brief surreal scene that lets you escape your anxiety and see that it's both valid and ridiculous. Don't let it solve any of your problems, just give it a reprieve before diving back in.
Me: I'm a long time user of your website, and I'm currently having a problem. Whenever I try to order something from delivery I receive an error message telling me that there are no restaurants in my area that deliver. I have not moved in seven years, so I'm not sure why I am now beyond the delivery area of places that, up until last week, were able to deliver to me.
Customer Service Rep: We're sorry that there aren't any restaurants in your area that can deliver to your address. We appreciate your loyalty, and hope you will continue to use our service when a restaurant opens up in your area.
Me: I don't think you read my e-mail. There are hundreds of restaurants that deliver in my area that use your site. I can see four of them from my house. There is something wrong with your website. I would like to use your service to order food. Your aggregator informs me that there are no restaurants in my area. This is not true. There are. I see a long list of restaurants within five miles of my house, but when I sign into my account, I receive an error message letting me know that there are no restaurants that deliver to my address. This is Not True. These restaurants, which have accounts with you, have been delivering to my house for seven years. I don't know why, suddenly, they would all decide to just stop delivering to my house. As far as I know, I've had no negative interactions with them.
CRS: We are sorry that the restaurant you like to order from is closed. Have you considered ordering from another restaurant.
Me: There appears to be some reading comprehension issue with "Mike" from Customer service. I've reattached the previous issue. Could multiple people please read this, and write back a possible solution to the problem I laid out, which is not that a restaurant near me has closed or that I don't live near any restaurants that use your service, it's that THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR WEBSITE. (followed by text from previous e-mail)
CRS: While you may be able to order from these restaurants from your phone, unfortunately, they are outside of the usual service area, and you can not order them through our site.
Me: I CAN, THOUGH. I've been ordering through your site For Years. I have not moved. None of the restaurants have moved. I have signed in and ordered from these restaurants, via your website, since 2011. I ordered from Davis Square Pizza on March 4th, and they delivered. On March 11th, I tried to order through the same method, and started receiving an error message. The Store Has Not Moved. It Has Not Gone Out Of Business. I Have Not Moved. The town of Cambridge has not passed any pizza redistricting acts within the last two weeks that would result in me not being able to order from a restaurant I have been ordering from, via your website, for seven years. Please actually read the text of this e-mail, maybe process it for an hour, do some research, check with your tech people, and please reply with a solution to the problem I presented, as opposed to sending me a generic reply that does not, in any way, reflect the problem that I have reported to you.
CRS: Sorry for the confusion. Here is a $20 voucher, which you can use at any restaurant that delivers to you.
Me: Thanks. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to use a $20 voucher when your website claims that there aren't any restaurants that deliver to me, which To Be Clear IS NOT TRUE. Something is wrong with the aggregator on your website. If you give me the e-mail to your tech person, I would gladly e-mail them directly about fixing this problem, since your customer service department is having a difficult time parsing the problem.
CRS: We're sorry that there aren't any restaurants in your area that can deliver to your address. We appreciate your loyalty, and hope you will continue to use our service when a restaurant opens up in your area.
Me: Dear Illiterate Fuckheads. I am not going to use your service anymore because Fuck You. You Illiterate Fuckheads. Please delete my account, don't e-mail me anymore, and don't try and solve this problem. You're too late. You Illiterate Fuckheads. Normally, I would never send an e-mail that contains the term "Illiterate Fuckheads" to anyone because it's rude, fairly classist, and customer service is a really tough job. I, too, work in customer service. But since you Illiterate Fuckheads aren't really reading these, and instead generating generic responses to specific problems, I have no problem saying Fuck You. Your customer service is abysmal. If your company chooses to fire you, you have no one to blame but your own incompetent self.
CRS: We are sorry that the restaurant you like to order from is closed. Have you considered ordering from another restaurant.
Me: That's what I thought.
A guy walks into the store wearing a very puffy, very shiny, very silver coat. I feel guilty because all I can think is "You shouldn't wear that. It makes you look like a bake potato." But as he walks past me, I see there is a patch on his shoulder that says "Yes, I am a baked potato!"
Delivery Guy: I have a box for you!
Me: Great! Thanks.
Random Loiterer #1: Oooh. Goodies.
Me: I don't know if they're goodies. They might be terriblies.
RL #1: You don't know what you ordered?
Me: I didn't order them. I'm just the guy that was here when the box showed up.
RL #2: So there's some real intrigue going on here.
I cut open the box.
RL #1: What is it?
Me: Register tape. Easily the most boring solution to the mystery, as it's neither a goody or a terribly, just a necessity.
RL #2: It could be worse. The box could be empty.
Me: That would be way better. Then it would be a new mystery. Was there something inside it at one point? Is this an elaborate prank? A metaphor? Invisible bees trained to attack when you completely forget about the box?
RL #1: That's terrifying.
Me: I KNOW! Thank god it was register tape and not nothing, right?
Dude: Didn't you tell me you broke up with someone because they were a police officer or something?
Me: No. I've never dated a police officer.
Dude: I thought you told me you kicked someone out of the house because they were a detective.
Me: What? No, I--- Oh. DeFective. I kicked out my ex because he was deFective. If he had still been under warranty, I would have had a strong case to have all the money I'd spent on him refunded.