Category Archives: Jobs

Why I Would Hate to Work in Retail

Black Friday came and went again this year, and I managed to extend my personal streak of not doing a goddamn thing on Black Friday to 23 consecutive times.  And to top it all off, I also managed to set a personal best for total amount of time spent Christmas shopping (two stores, 19 minutes, and $230).  But one thing that I noticed that kind of bugged me was when I was walking from my car into one of the stores.  One of the employees was standing outside having a cigarette (This wasn’t even by the entrance, it was by one of the loading docks that I had to walk by to get from the car to the main entrance), and this little old lady had gone up to him to bitch about how she had bought something from the store he worked at and then went back and saw that the stores ad had it marked as $30 less than what she paid for it.

Now, I understand that the lady has a right to be upset, but why the hell would she think it’s a good idea to go complain to the guy who’s outside smoking a cigarette.  I heard him say multiple times that if she went in to the checkout, they would be able to help her out, to which she replied, “But I’m talking to you about this, young man.”  All frighteningly realistic impersonations of my grandma aside, this crazy lady reminded me how lucky I am to not be working in retail.  I mean, I’ve always enjoyed jobs where I stay as far away from the general public as possible, both to the benefit of myself and the people who employ me (I usually make a habit of saying things I probably shouldn’t.  It’s not my fault that jokes and general talk about sex makes people so unreasonably uncomfortable).  But every time I see something like that scene makes me even more happy that I don’t work with customers.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do not feel bad for people who work in retail because of the holidays.  I don’t feel bad that they have to get up early on Black Friday to go to work.  I don’t feel bad for when they have to work holidays.  I don’t feel bad for them when there are long lines.  That’s part of the game.  That’s how it works.  But I do feel bad for them when it comes to dumb people.  We’ve all been there.  We’ve been behind the coupon lady at the checkout counter.  We’ve seen them stop the cashier in the middle of ringing up their purchase and they realize that their coupon only counts toward a different particular type of a product, so they take the incorrect item, run back to the aisle they got it from, and come back with the correct one.  We’ve seen the person debating prices with the cashier. We’ve all been in the situation where we were one item away from being ready to check out, and so you go to the oral health aisle to pick up the floss, but the overly-rotund lady is standing directly in front of ALL of the floss (including the generic and off-brand floss) and she’s talking loudly on her cell phone and she sounds pissed so you don’t want to ask her to roll a little to the left, but then she starts to turn toward you, and not wanting to piss her off more by staring at her, you look directly at the shelf and pick up the first thing you see, which happens to be the cute little Hello Kitty toothbrush, and then you realize what’s in your hand so you turn to the lady to see if she sees what the hell you’re doing (which she has), she just stares at your pink toothbrush, glances up into your eyes, back at the toothbrush, rolls her eyes, turns around, and wobbles over to the toothpaste section.   You just say, “whatever,” to yourself in your head, grab the goddamn floss and get the hell out as fast as you can.  (Not that that last one has anything to do with people working in retail, but I’m still bitter, so fuck it.)

But on top of that, there are two other absurd situations that I was in that really showed me what working in retail would do to you.  The first situation was when I went to Lenscrafters to try to get new glasses.  It turns out my prescription card was out-of-date, and so the guy at the store called my doctors office to see if my more recent visit would count toward renewing my prescription.  While he was on the phone, he got put on hold, he looked agitated, looked over at me and said, “I swear, all of these people are just fucking retarded.”  Now, I normally find it amusing anytime anybody says anything that most people consider completely inappropriate (hence the reason I always have thought talking about sex in public is awesome), so I laughed at it.  But at the same time, I thought, ‘That was completely unnecessary.’  It’s one thing if the lady had done something stupid or wrong, but she was only put him on hold so she could pull up my file.

The next situation was earlier in my life when I went to college.  I was shopping around for futons, and I was walking out of the store when the guy who worked there started to talk to me about the potential purchase.  He, apparently, considered the quality of futon that I have in my dorm room as something that would have a drastic affect on the outcome of my life.  So, I was doing the whole slowly moving closer and closer to the door, checking my phone, praying that someone would call me, until finally I got outside.  I told the guy, “Well, I’ve got to check out some other stores, but I’ll keep you guys in mind.”  He looked at me and said, “Yeah man.  Go, shop around, and I’ll see you later, bro.”  Bro.  Bro. Bro.  Did this middle-aged motherfucker seriously just call me bro?  Now, I’m six feet tall, pale, 210 pounds with blonde hair and a brown, manly beard.  I wear flannel shirts and blue jeans that have the wholes worn in, not designed in.  I don’t drink Coors fucking Light.  I’m not a bro.

But there this middle aged guy is, desperate for a sale.  He sees that I’m a college aged kid, and he has to assume that all college guys refer to other college guys as bro.  It’s nothing different than the eyeglasses guy calling my eye doctor’s receptionist a retard.  He saw that I was a young male, and assumed I would think it’s funny (it kind of was, but it was more funny because he was such an egregious jackass about it).  Retail turns you into nothing more than a stereotyping bastard.  Do you think the eyeglasses guy would have said that to a customer if the customer was a woman?  Or middle aged?  Would the futon guy talked that way if my mom was with me?  Or if the customer was a female, would he have called her a, “betch?”  Hell no.  Because these retail working assholes do nothing but stereotype everyone that walks through the door.  They don’t want to, but if they want that sale, if they want their commission, they pretty much have to.

So that’s why I don’t want to work in retail.  Not that working in the service industry is all that fun (at this point I’m about one bad day away from quitting, finding a new job, and moving at least an hour away from Milwaukee.  Or maybe just one more time listening to my boss telling me smoking is bad for my health), but at least I can act like myself and not give a shit about what anyone really thinks about me.

Take it easy,

-Panda

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Illness: An exposition on gas stations, lawn care, and cute babysitters

I don’t know about you guys, but I hate being sick.  Not because I sit around and wonder if and when I’m just going to die of this plague-like illness.  Not because I contemplate whether or not I should take a nap instead of a shower.  Not even because I’m forced to come to the realization that I might have to curb my nicotine consumption in order to make a speedy recovery.  No, none of those are the reason I hate being sick.  Rather, it’s because you become an asshole, even if you don’t mean to be.

You see, every time you get sick, everything becomes a hassle.  Everything becomes annoying.  Even the slightest inconvenience becomes the harshest tragedy (I need an appointment for you to tell me to hold down the fucking option button when I restart my computer in order to fix it? (Your boss is dead, start thinking for yourself, you pretentious ass)).

Have you ever driven somewhere when you were sick?  It’s probably the worst possible thing you could do.  God forbid that the lights don’t change just because you are the only one at the intersection. And that son-of-a-bitch at the gas station who took the pump that you normally take (not to mention that he’s facing the wrong way), and all but one of the other pumps there are taken so you have to go to the one right in front of the one you normally use, but it’s on the inside part of the pump stations, and the idiot across the center area between the pumps parked really far away from his pump, and there is a car waiting immediately behind the car that took your pump, so there is absolutely no way in hell that guy can possibly even get out of the gas station until you or the person who parked really far away from the pump gets done, but that lady who parked really far away from the pump has three kids that she needs to make sure don’t pee themselves, or accidentally blow up the gas station, or ask why that huge man washing the windshield of his car has such big lady breasts, and you need cigarettes and you’re sick, so tough shit for that guy.  Maybe he shouldn’t have taken my spot.  And don’t even get me started on those fucking do-gooders who give up their right of way so that I can go in front of them, making me look like the asshole as I end up doing the whole kind-of idle my way up through the intersection, but also slamming on the brakes a couple of times because I can’t figure out if they are going or not because whenever I go, they go type of things.  I don’t think you understand how much Robitussin I’ve taken today, so I’m pretty sure you don’t want me making difficult decisions with a hurtling, two-ton rolling chunk of metal.  Just take your goddamn right of way.

Or have you ever had a conversation with someone while sick?  It’s like every single conversation you have with everyone is the same.  It’s like every time someone talks to a person who is sick they just get dumb.  Take, for example, this excerpt of a conversation I had with my mom when I was sick, as I was laying on the couch, covered in a couple of blankets and a box of tissues within arms reach.  My mom walks in and asks, “How are you feeling?”  To which I reply, “Like shit,” as if my general appearance were not enough for her to realize that I was not quite at 100%.  Almost every question anyone asks you when you’re sick seems completely absurd, and is always met with the same bitterness and ugly rhetoric.  “Is there anything I can do for you?”  “Sure, you can go die in a hole.”  “I’m heading out, are you going to be OK here by yourself?”  “No, of course not, I’m fucking 22 years old and can’t handle a cold without someone holding my hand all the way through.”  “Are you going to do anything today?”  “Besides being worthless and dying alone on this uncomfortable couch covered in cat hair?  No.”

But perhaps the worst thing that anyone can do when you are sick is lawn care.  Not necessarily all lawn care, but the kind my neighbor Chad does (I have no problem with the old ladies with hand-held sheers snipping away at elongated stems and branches of their favorite shrubs).  You see, Chad is the kind of guy who has a tool for every occasion.  He’s also the kind of guy who spares no expense.  He does the normal mowing of his lawn, but he does it with what has got to be this, like, 65 horsepower beast that has no business doing nothing but cutting grass.  And then he trims all the edges of the lawn with some massive gas-powered not-so-much-trimmer-as-it-is-chain-saw.  And of course he can’t just leave all the grass and leaves on his lawn, but he gets out his leaf blower and will not stop until every possible loose remnant of organic material is halfway across the street.  And what for?  So his son Landon can run around on it until his older sister pushes him down and he starts to cry like the little five-year-old boy that he is?  So he can fulfill his earthly duty to do manly things?  No.  It’s so he can say, “Look at my beautiful house and property.  Look at what I’ve gotten for my family.”  Please, Chad.  Look at what you’re doing to me.  You are destroying the few precious hours of consciousness today by revving up your motherfucking lawn toys.  You are single-handedly overcoming 4 Advil to give me a headache.  You are making me regret taking Mucinex because now my nose isn’t fully clogged and I can smell the fresh scent of your gasoline fumes and sweat-covered, doughy body.

But I would gladly put my foot in my mouth if what he was doing was for something greater.  If what he was doing wasn’t going to be all for naught in a week.  Because, you see, all lawn care is like what glass ultimately is:  temporary.  He’s just going to have to break out the mower, the chain-saw-like trimmer, and the leaf blower again in a week.  And on top of that, winter will come around.  All the grass is going to die.  And next spring it will start to grow back and he will do all of this shit all over again.  And I will eventually get sick again and get pissed off at him again.  But maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll get a real job and move out of this shit-hole city I grew up it.  Maybe someone famous will read my blog and realize that I have talents that need to be brought up to the big leagues.  Maybe Chad will bring back that really cute babysitter from this last summer and maybe I’ll just happen to be doing yard work myself when she is outside playing with the kids.  But then again, screw doing yard work.  And screw being sick.

Take it easy and stay healthy,

-Panda


Apologies and Baths

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet world (or just friends who want to read this in order to make fun of me), I feel I may have done you wrong.  I have acted, in a sense, as a blog-tease.  I promised you something that I didn’t deliver on.  I understand that you may be feeling a bit cheated, so I promise this will be long and intense.

First, I apologize for my lack of updates.  After my initial post, I kept telling myself that I needed to study, so I watched SportsCenter.  After that, I realized I was done with college, so I entered upon a mind-numbing week-and-a-half of alcoholic behavior.  Irresponsible, I know, but at least I didn’t end up posting an entry that consisted entirely of something like, “Hhhheeyyyyyyyyy,” or “WHAT THE FVKVC ARE YOU DOIG RIGHT NOW?”  But then again, I probably texted you that.  Whatever.  Then I moved back in with my parents, and as I unpacked things, my computer decided to not work.  Perhaps because computers weren’t made for panda paws, and the repeated stroking of the keys and hitting it when it was being a bitch was too much for it to handle.  So, I decided to cut back on the bamboo, and got a new one.  And then I did the worst thing that I could:  job search.  Next to moving back in with my parents, job searching is most depressing thing a panda can do (apparently a panda with a Writing-Intensive English degree from a prestigious (read:over-rated) university such as Marquette isn’t the most employable (after all, why would an English major supplement his English curriculum with actual applicable skills? (Because his academic advisor, who, in response to being questioned if supplementing his curriculum would allow him to be more marketable, said, “no, no, you’re just going to want to get out of here in four years.”  Bitch.  (Way to focus on the four-year graduation statistics instead of your students actual futures.)))).  Also, DT’s and panda paws make it a bit difficult to type.  But now, I’m here.

Secondly, let’s get to what you really came here for:  life according to me, the panda.  Upon coming home, I wasn’t allowed to use the shower, because it was leaking into our dining room.  So, for the majority of the time, I’ve been bathing by standing on a bathmat in front of the sink with a bar of soap and washcloth, and it worked out for the most part.  But it was missing something.  It didn’t have that engulfment of water that makes a shower so pleasurable, like a spring rain in the comforts of a forest in China (Oh, how I miss those days of my youth, before I was kidnapped).  So, I decided to do something that I haven’t done in well over a decade:  take a bath.

I stopped taking in elementary school because I thought it was girly.  My mom and sister took baths, but my brother and dad took showers.  I wanted to be a man-panda, so I started to take showers. I never gave it a second thought.  Even throughout this last year, when I was living in my own apartment that had it’s very own bathtub, I only took showers.  The only thing that I generally associate baths with is the oatmeal ones that humans take when they get the chicken pox.  But I figured, what the hell, I could use a full (and legitimate) bathing anyway, so a bath it was.

I pulled out all the stops on this one.  I turned the water on hot, poured in some eucalyptus spearmint bubble-bath mix, lit the candles that my mom had placed around the tub, turned on some Dido, turned off my cell phone, made sure the door was locked, and went in.

Holy shit, is taking a bath weird.  I stepped into the water, and it was really hot.  I mean, not just hot for a gigantic wuss like myself, but literally hot.  So I swiped my paw around the water after turning the faucet on cold, and a few minutes later it was a perfect temperature.  But then I was faced with a new problem:  What the hell do I do?  I mean, I know I’m supposed to wash up, but I’ve been out of the bath game for over a decade, I’m a little rusty.  There were just too many questions.  How do I get from the standing position to sitting without falling on my tail?  Easy, squat awkwardly, place paws on the side, kind of turn as best I can so I can get a knee down, kind of lay on my side naked-Burt-Reynolds style, and then finally move into the sitting position.  Do I sit upright, or kind of lay down in a semi-fetile position?  Do I sit in the middle, or all the way back?  If it’s a bubble bath, do I need to use shampoo, or can I just dunk my head?  How the fuck do I rinse my face off?  Do I get up before, during, or after the water drains?  I just do not have the slightest clue.  But needless to say, I managed.

Now that I think about it, taking a bath after such a long time without taking one is a lot like losing your virginity.  Despite the specific questions listed above, there are a lot of similar concerns and thoughts going through your mind during both activities.  “Does the Dido set the mood, or is it just cheesy?”  “Man, I could use a cigarette after this.”  “Am I allowed to sigh if it feels nice?”  “I hope I don’t get soap in my eye.”  “I really don’t know what I’m doing right now.”  “My mom does the same exact thing in the same exact spot.”  “It must be hard for someone with Parkinson’s to do this.”  “It’s been five minutes and I’ve had fun, but can I leave and take a nap in my bed now?”

But, in the end, baths aren’t nearly as awkward the next day.  No “uh…good-morning,” no “where the fuck is my underwear,” no “did I use a condom?”  And not only that, but you can sit in the tub as long as you want, and nobody gives a shit.  If you sat in the tub for an hour, people would just say, “that must have been relaxing,” but if you stand in a shower for an hour, people ask you, “how many times did you jerk off in there?”

So, I can only conclude that baths are acceptable.  But for this panda, and I suspect for many others, it’s like losing your virginity again: really awkward and you don’t want to go back to that.  Besides, it’s much nicer to be with the slutty shower.  More room to move around in.  Read that as you will.

Until next time,

-Panda


Entering the World of Blogging

Hey Everybody-

I’d like to take a moment to thank you for coming to my first ever blog post on my first ever blog.  This is my attempt to gain notoriety on the internet world, but more importantly, allow me to be a service to the world by telling everyone my take on things.  I’m assuming that most of the people who are reading this at this particular point are my friends, so I’m probably not going to listen to much of your feedback at this point.

The reason I want to blog is because the world is full of shit, and everyone is apparently appalled by that.  Don’t be.  The world sucks and you know it.  Whether it is nobody wanting to hire you for a job, a shitty family life, or no friends because you sit at home in the basement coming up with your best possible Dungeons and Dragons lineup, everyone has a shitty aspect about their life.  So, I offer up to you, friends, random readers, internet gods, etc., my feelings and views on life, as well as some advice that many of you probably need.  If you like what I have to say, then awesome, keep coming back and reading it.  If you don’t, well, maybe you need to open your eyes a bit to the real world.  Or stop reading my blog.

The ultimate endgame for me would, I suppose, be that I end up getting hired for some comedy writing gig for a TV show like Tosh.0, The League, or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  So if you’re reading this and work there, then drop me a line or something.  My parents want me out of their house.  Also, I have a strict salary requirement of $86,000/year, or whatever the equivalent to that in cigarettes, whiskey, and Chinese food is.

I’ll be posting the first real blog post on here later this week, so be on the look out for some new life lessons, advice, and viewpoints.

Take it easy,

-Panda