Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How about no?

Ever get crap complaints and then the hero complainer offers to fly in and fix them? I would like to tell all of these potential Mr. and Ms. Fix-its to fuck off. Don't call us, we'll call you.
An email I received today at work started out like this:


Do you plan on updating your website anytime soon? I love your organization and all that it has done for me in the past (and for others), but your website should be updated to reflect current standards. Unfortunately, your site is not accessible to people with vision, learning, cognitive and other impairments that may make it hard to navigate your site.

Mind you - I have a sibling who is visually impaired and I know you can adjust font size. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I'm just curious - what are "current standards," (is this a test?) and how exactly do you implement them? Guess what - it's also not friendly for tech un-savvy people. Probably also for people who can't read.
It continues:

Do you have a dedicated staff member who runs the website? If not, do you have a volunteer? I would love to help with this. I would also be happy to simply give you some recommendations.

And a passion for being a pain in the ass, apparently.

Tip for the uninitiated: we're probably not going to reply to your email with one that says, "Why, yes! You negative complainer, you, I'd freaking love to take advantage of your offers to help. You're probably more fun in the flesh even than over email! When would you like to stop by?"

How about no? Is that a good answer for you?

I think there should be a time limit on the amount we have to spend dealing with those who aren't the brightest crayons in the box. Take this email I got from a student:

I would like to finish my internship with your organization. Attached is my resume.

Um. How about some details? Such as availability? Why you want to work here? Did you just copy and paste to every organization that came up with a "mental health" search online? And...why didn't you finish the last one?

And my answer will probably be...wait for about no? I need a shirt with those words on it. Or maybe I'll tattoo them on my forehead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Staggering genius

You know I love my job and more importantly, the cause we work for.

You know what I love even more? You fellow blogging buddies, because you will read my rants when it gets near event time! The event is Sunday. I am getting bombarded by stupid until then.

Once again, I could not, would not make this stuff up. In fact, I could probably inspire a whole study about the human brain (or lack thereof, in some folks) just based on calls and emails from today. But here you go:

Caller: "We're from out of town - Salem. Where do we park?"
What I wanted to say: "Well, in the glow-in-the-dark spots, obviously."
What my friend texted: "In the witch spots, obviously. Wait - wrong Salem!"
I sent out the FAQ to our entire email list today - everyone who participated in the event last year and signed up this year. My friend, who is on the email list, emailed in response, "Hey, RK! How about I ask you questions you've already answered here, instead of reading the email? Just kidding!"

And lo and behold, not 15 minutes later, that's what someone did.

First she called our office. Then she called a county chapter's executive director. Then she emailed me. All of the questions had been answered verbatim in the email she said she read before calling and emailing.

Example: "The FAQ says team captains can turn in money for the entire team. So if one of my team members gives me money, and I'm the captain, I can turn it in for her?"

No, sunshine, you should eat it. 
Before you think I'm an uber bitch, please keep in mind that 1. I have no assistant, 2. this event has 4,000 people, and 3. I've already sent out all of the information, as well as posted it in multiple places, that people are asking about.

But the one that actually made me laugh was sent last night. And it started with, "Good morning..."

This person said she had emailed people asking for donations during registration but forgot who she emailed. Could I let her know?

Not being a clairvoyant, not so much.

I said I had no way of tracking this, suggesting she add a line in her email apologizing if people got it twice.

She wrote back asking the same question.

I had to sit on my hands to resist the urge to type, "I'm still not psychic, but I may become so if you ask one more time, nicely."

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Sh*t I don't understand

Tell me if you do. Once again, I would not, could not make this stuff up.

- Driving down the street with sloppy, handwritten signs decrying a political party and saying "the worst cities and states" are run by them. What exactly is the driver hoping for? That passing vehicles will suddenly jump up and say, "Why, YES, my good man! You must be right! Let me go change my voter registration RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, and let's all move to a state run by your guys!"
- Someone who thinks that 10 days before an event with 4,000 people - which I am in charge of - I  have time for her to come to my office and SIT AND WALK HER THROUGH THE EVENT WEBSITE, step by step. And show her how it works. Because she signed up online, and she's not very good with computers. (Her words, not mine.)
- Someone whining to me that she was doing "the work of three people!" When I inquired what that entailed, it was three kinds of work. So the rest of us are all doing the jobs of about 27 people, methinks.

- Another genius calling me last week and insisting that we should move this event (the location of which is printed on posters, brochures, etc., and scheduled with vendors and volunteers) right into downtown. "Because," she said, "Lots of groups get permits at the last minute and do that." Yeah - protesters!

I simplified my reply: "There's no parking downtown."

Caller: "Oh! Okay."

Since that worked so well, perhaps it should be my answer to everything from now on! It might work. It's Portlandia, after all.

Monday, April 27, 2015

I'm in charge

At least, my buddy Charles at Razored Zen said so. So it must be true.
I just liked typing that as a post title, and it was also more G-rated than "an afternoon of cocks," which is the title that was zipping through my head. Let me explain.

My friend L and I went to the Chinese Garden in Portland last Saturday because I had passes to get in free. It's a rather beautiful place tucked into a rather sad neighborhood - lots of people sleeping on streets. Since it was an unexpectedly nice day (read: it did not rain for a couple of hours), we walked a couple of miles from her house and strolled through some neighborhoods I had only driven through before.

Note to self: do this more often. This is what you do when you're on vacation out of town - exploring neighborhoods and people watching, finding new cafes.

Anyhow, along the way we found an art gallery called "Cock Gallery." It was moving (the owner said he was moving to an "art monastery" - I've never heard of one, so if anyone else has, please enlighten me) and thus there was a moving sale. By the time we had arrived most of the art was gone (and I'm really sorry to have missed it, given the gallery's name), but there were housewares and other odds and ends for sale.
Me: "Check this out. Cock Gallery!"
L (nonplussed): "Oh, okay."

She bought a few non-naughty kitchen items, and as we were walking out, she said, "I almost bought that glittery purse for my daughter."

Me: "Um, that glittery purse was an S&M bondage mask."
L (pausing): "OH! COCK GALLERY! Now I get it!!!"

Yes, really.

I have a picture to prove it, so there.

Then on the way back from the Chinese Garden, we stopped and had a late lunch at this restaurant. In Italian, it means the Black Rooster.

So naturally, since we are really both in the fourth grade, we laughed and laughed about having an afternoon full of cocks.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

No matter how you get your grump on...

...there will always be something to make you laugh.

I know this to be true. In the past week, my grandfather had a major stroke, my poor brother got sick here for half of his vacation, and I've been dealing with the usual dumbfucks (who email me at work knowing I'm on vacation too.) My grandmother on the opposite side of the family has been having mental health problems and that's the side that won't discuss mental illness, so I don't know what the fuck is going on.

One of my aunts even said, "I wish she was more normal, for all of our sakes." Right...she chooses to have severe bipolar disorder and it's a bag of giggles. I wonder what my aunt thinks of me?

Then I think in addition to dairy (I love cheese and basically can't eat it) being an inflammatory, wheat probably is as well, I'm finding (I also love everything made of whole wheat.) Why can't I have, say, inflammation from some food I can't stand, like beets or brussel sprouts?

Grump, grump, grump. Thank you, Elephant's Child, for listening to me grump with my thumbs today!
But then Mr. RK snapped this unwittingly funny picture on a bike trip today, and I howled:
Why is this so funny?

Because my ex's name is on this truck, which was literally moving shit from one place to another.

So apt. I invite one and all to photoshop this picture and add your own ex's name to the shit mover.

So you see, no matter how hard you get your grump on, there's always a laugh out there. You might not even have to look for it. You might even find it here!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Stupid, stupid, everywhere

One of my events was today. It was great, mainly because the keynote was the best I've ever had, but as you know, all greatness in my world must be preceded by bunches of stupid.

And I find myself wanting to bonk my head on my desk and ask, "Is it just me?"

Here's a snippet of this event's nonsense.

Question #1
From a past-the-deadline RSVP, a few days before the event: "Do we know who the speaker is yet?"

No. I thought I'd just pull someone from the audience to volunteer.
Question #2
Asked today at my event, about an upcoming event: "Why don't you bring wheelchairs to the event, like in case my parents get tired and want to be pushed around?"

Right - we're not a nonprofit group, we're a hospital supply company for lazy people. For that matter, why don't we bring volunteers to push them?
Act of rudeness
My volunteer's mom gave him a ride to the event. When they showed up half an hour late, the job he was scheduled for was already done. I explained this and asked if something had come up. Her reply: "I had to take my morning walk."

I'd have been more sympathetic if you had told me you had to take your morning shit.

Act of complete cluelessness
A question from someone who showed up with no RSVP: "Where is the table of company X? I wanted to sit close to that table."

It's good to want things. It's also good to pull your head out of your ass once in awhile.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Alive and kicking (mostly kicking)

I feel bad now, as several of you have been in touch to see if I was ok! I'm ok. Things have just been 1. hectic and 2. I've been uninspired to write. I will visit blogs ASAP! Starting with this one.

As usual, there has been no shortage of idiocy to observe.

To wit, I had coffee last week with a colleague who works for a LGBTQ rights organization. She is moving onto another gig, but said her life's wish was to see a dramatic reading of some of the more absurd hate mail they get. Including a letter from an older lady who accused "you" - the organization, or the LGBTQ community, we're not sure which - of "stealing" the word gay.

"I used to be able to read children's books with that word in it to my children, but now you have stolen it and I can't read them to my grandchildren!" Good God. I'd hate to be gay in that family.

The same twit also accused "you" - get this - of stealing the rainbow. I could not make this up - I'm simply not that creative.

"I wanted to crochet a blanket with rainbow zebras on it for my grandchild, and now I can't, because you've stolen that, too!" Yes, damn it, that rainbow is copyrighted!

More idiocy - and I can rant about this now, since it's been a few days and my anxiety is no longer through the roof about it - from the resident filling in for my doctor, who is on vacation.

Mind you, she has seen my chart, which says "Major Depressive Disorder." Not "occasionally, patient feels a bit sad." I kiss my toes that I have a medication that helps with minimal side effects. I've been taking it since she was probably about eight years old.

Guess who suggested I taper off and then quit cold turkey? I tell her when I have done that in the past, I quickly get the urge to bump myself off.

Guess what genius suggests I take vitamin D shots because a vitamin D deficiency could be making me "sad"? And tells me to let her know when I want to taper off?

Fuck me, that pissed me off. Guess whose supervising doctor got a call from Riot Kitty, who dropped the name of the mental health nonprofit she works for?

I asked my friend from the LGBTQ organization (she also happens to be queer) how that movement has made so much social progress in a relatively short (way too long, I know) time period in history. She said there was a parallel between our movements, which also overlap quite a bit.

"Basically, we asked people to be brave - to come out and tell their stories - when it could get them fired, or they could face discrimination from their own families," she said. "But it made people realize that we were people, not just 'gays.' We had people challenge their own prejudices by opening up the conversation."

We have to do the same for mental illness. So give me my fucking happy pills, please, because the show must go on.