Buckle up. It's Monday.
Random Stoner: "Hey. Alright. I came in because I'm ready to talk about that movie."
RS: "You know, there's all that...talk about it this weekend. And, like, it was supposed to be big."
Ah, Captain Marvel.
Me: "I haven't seen it yet."
RS: "No. Noooooooo. I came in to talk to you about it."
I've never met this person before.
Me: "Sorry, I'm seeing it later this week."
RS: "But, it was good, right?"
Me: "I don't know yet."
RS: "Oh, man. I -- Do you have any, like giant -- You guys don't have giant books."
Me: "Like the ones on the top shelf there?"
I point. He walks in the opposite direction. Of course.
Me: "No, there."
RS: "Wow. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. These are -- what I'm looking for are coffee table books. Motorcycles. Sketch art. You know, for the foyer...or, the, ummmm gazebo? Parlor. For the parlor.
Me: "Sure. We don't have those."
RS: "I need people to walk in when I'm painting and be like wowwwwwwwwwww. This --- this is some --- like A level shit, you know?"
RS: "But you don't --- You seriously haven't seen that movie yet?"
RS: "It's fine. I shouldn't be spending money anyway. I have to --- I need to -- do they do laser printing across the hall?"
Me: "You'd have to ask them. I don't know."
RS: "What I'm gonna do, right? Before my show. I'm gonna have shit lasered into wood. Like a table with good wood, but I'd laser it --- like SPACE. I have 47 --- no 59 paintings I need to unload, you know? Renewal. Like when those anime guys take all of their stuff and --- Do you have any gundam?"
Me: "Not currently."
RS: "Shit. Hey, when did the weed store go? I mean --- not a weed store -- a paraphernalia store."
Me: "It's still there. It's across the park."
RS: "I shouldn't be spending -- Hey, instagram --- like marketing --- I could get you 20%." of what I have no idea.
Me: "Great. You should come in on Friday and talk to the owner."
RS: "Yes! Like I did for the collectible store in Methuen. 20%. I'm not a monster."
Me: "That's good."
RS: "You get my vibe. Social media -- it's -- like 10% for you but maybe you have a friend who can help, and they get 10%, that's TWENTY PERCENT."
RS: "Check out my Instagram. I need honest critique. Like, it's time -- my parents know I'm not like that -- but, like, I need to get rid of these paintings. Even if it's just 100,000. Which is -- which is 10% of what they're worth. You feel me?"
RS: "Let me write down -- what's my insta -- I think -- here. I should go. Do you think they really laser across the hall?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "I'm a mech guy. Captain Ha -- He -- you know."
RS: "I'm not like manga. A little, I guess. But, like -- They need to make a Captain Marvel game. Open world like Tarantino, you know? Or Portal. Yea, Portal. How come there aren't any VR arcades around here where you can walk" he shows me what walking looks like "while you're in the virtual world? All they have around here is pinball."
Me: "I don't know."
RS: "They could make bank on that."
RS: "Friday. You should get people to BOGO. Like, not BOGO, but make people think they're getting a deal. You watch Big Bang Theory?"
RS: "You should youtube the gaffs. It will make you. You get people who smell the comics?"
Me: "No." Ok, a couple of times, but I'm not going to talk about them with this guy.
RS: "It's always wrong but -- how late is the paraphernalia shop open?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "Marketing is key. You get it. You got it. I'm gonna go laser."
Me: "Good luck."
He walks across the hall. I think the entire staff has gathered around him. So he must be equally entertaining there.
His instagram is locked. His follower to following ratio is 1/100. I will not be following him. And, thus, shall never know of his million dollar paintings.
Me on Saturday: I like the ad you posted about the apartment in Medford. Here's some info about me. The ad had "roommate" in the title, I would like to know a little bit about the person currently living there. Here is my availability.
Realtor on Sunday: Let's meet Thursday.
Me on Sunday: Great. What time? Where? And could you give me a little info about the person already living there?
Realtor on Monday: Thursday at six.
Me on Monday: Where?
Realtor on Monday: At the house.
Me on Monday: There is no address listed on the ad for the house. Where should I meet you?
Realtor on Monday: It's on Riverdale Street.
Me on Monday: You are very bad at your job, and I'm not interested in property you represent. I'll look elsewhere.
Realtor on Monday: I also have apartments in Cambridge and Watertown.
According to my first nurse, she knew she was going to like me based on a story she heard from one of the med techs on the helicopter.
Apparently, when they asked me some questions trying to orient me, I massively failed to recognize what was happening around me.
The only think I kept saying (over the sound of the helicopter blades whirring) was "I fucken hate Goodnight Saigon!"
Random Claude: "Who do you think was the best Flash Gordon writer?"
Me: "I don't read or have any interest in Flash Gordon comics, so I'm not the right person to ask."
RC cracks his knuckles and begins to tell me which 1940s writers of a comic book strip I have just told him that I don't care about, I should be boning up on if I want to be taken seriously as a "comics aficionado".
Spoiler alert: I don't ever Ever ever Ever want to be a "comics aficionado".
Random Clod: "Are you sold out? Should I go to your other store?"
Exasperated CVS Employee: "That's not our other store. That's Staples. We're CVS. They might have the computer you're looking for over there. We don't sell computers. We're a pharmacy."
RC waves her hands: "Can you call? I don't want to go all the way over there and find out they're sold out, too."
ECE: "They are right over there. It is a one minute walk. And they are A DIFFERENT STORE."
RC: "So you're not allowed to call your other stores? That's ridiculous."
ECE walks away.
RC starts walking towards the cashier who is about to ring up my transaction.
RC: "Excuse me, I--"
Me: "Nope. You don't get to be crazy at this person until I leave the store."
RC huffs. But she also waits.
Random Clod: "You guys don't have Monstress?"
Me: "It's right behind you."
RC: "This is volume two."
Me: "Yeup. Volume one should be behind it."
RC: "I need volume three."
Me: "Sorry. It doesn't come out until September."
RC: "But I need it for my anniversary, which is Thursday."
Me: "It's not out yet."
RC: "Can you get it for me?"
Me: "How can I get you something that doesn't exist yet?"
RC: "It's for a special occasion, though. Can you make an exception?"
Me: "How would I even do that? The. book. doesn't. exist. yet."
RC: "So you can't get it from another store."
Me: "Not until we fix our time machine."
RC farts and then starts flipping through She-Hulk trades. He is, thankfully, not making any noises.
Settle an argument no one is having:
You walk into a store where a section is closed off. There is a ladder with boxes blocking one entryway. A stool with boxes blocking the only other point of ingress or egress. All of the counter space is covered with paperwork and piles of books. The person working in the store says "Sorry, that section is closed on Mondays. It will be open again tomorrow."
A. Push the boxes off the stool and start to pick at the piles that you've been asked not to touch.
B. Say "That's ok. I'll only be over there for a minute. I'm looking for something in particular."
C. Laugh. "This is so totally my life. Look, I can't come back tomorrow. Can you just move all this stuff, so I can look. You probably don't have what I'm looking for anyway."
D. Scoot the stool over, and act incredulous when the person loudly repeats "THAT SECTION IS CLOSED TODAY."
E. Paw at the nearest piles and ask "Is it anything good? Is it on sale?"
F. Loudly belch and announce "That's what I think of THAT."
G. Argue that the section is not, in fact, closed on Mondays, but is closed on Tuesdays. Letting the clerk, who's never seen you before, but has worked here for the better part of a decade, know "I've been coming here A LONG TIME."
H. Tell the employee you're good friends with the owner, dropping the name of a former owner who's been dead for enough years that his close friends should probably be aware.
I. Lean on the "DON'T LEAN ON THE TABLE!" table, so that the whole pile of hardcovers and trade paperbacks slide toward you.
J. Loudly grunt and leave.
Coworker: "Sounds like you didn't catch my cold."
Me: "Nope. I woke up this morning, not feeling too great, so I drank about a gallon of juice and went back to sleep, and when I woke back up I felt good enough to ride a bike to work."
Coworker: "You drank a gallon of Abolut and rode a bike?"
Me: "NO. I'd be dead. Before I got to the bike. I drank juice. JUICE."
Coworker: "Vodka and juice?"
Me: "Are you on cough medicine? I drank juice. Lemonade. No alcohol, just juice."
Coworker: "I am on cough medicine, and I can't hear anything. Oh, can you cover my shift on Friday? I have to be at the Cape by noon on Friday."
Me: "You better leave at about 5am."
Coworker: "We're probably going to leave around nine."
Me: "On the Friday before the Fourth Of July?"
Coworker: "Oh no. I didn't even think about that."
Me: "You should just leave now and get a hotel. If you've got an extra few thousand dollars to spend."
The twelfth Harvard summer student of the day interrupts the call.
Harvard Summer Idiot: "I need to pick up my--"
Me: "Flashprint is closed until tomorrow. Their schedule is on their door."
HSI: "I lefft my tennis racket in there."
Me: "Sorry. That sucks."
HSI: "It's right by the window, next to my books. Can you get it for me?"
Me: "No. I don't work there."
HSI: "But it's right by the window."
Me: "Behind a locked door that I don't have the keys to."
HSI: "Who has the keys?"
Me: "The people who work there. None of whom are here today."
HSI: "Can you call them?"
Me: "FLASHPRINT GUYS!!!!! FLAAAAAAAAAAAASHPRINT!!! Sorry, doesn't seem like they're around."
Coworker On Phone: "I'm going to hang up now."
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."
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.