Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meme theme: annoyance

Well, what else?

I thought of this on the way home. There are far too many annoyances to write about in just one post (or even one blog, although I'm working on it), so why not make it a meme theme?

1. Mail: Even my cat is getting better mail than me. I get soft core porn from Victoria's Secret and offers to trade in the car I just got a couple of years ago; he gets turkey-flavored Xanax. With the package addressed to HIM!
2. Cars plastered with bumper stickers that are ads for hobbies that other people have, and it's not enough that they have them, but they want you to have them too! I don't give a fuck if you'd rather be playing the accordion or doing an ultra marathon. (Side note: I saw a sticker that I loved the other day. It said: "28.4: I got lost.")

3. While we're on the subject of traffic, people with stickers/icons/charms that would make you think they're kind or mellow or socially aware - e.g. a cross, or love mother Earth stuff - who then proceed to drive like assholes. (Yes, lady in the Toyota with a Rosary dangling from your mirror who sped up and tried to cut me off this afternoon, I mean YOU.)

4. People who DON'T READ THEIR FUCKING EMAIL. Specifically ones who you reply to, and then they ask the question you just answered in the reply. I think there are hamsters who would do better than that.

5. People who, when asked to look out for individuals or businesses who may want to buy tickets or tables at a FUNDRAISER, proceed to give you lists of all of the highly-paid professionals they want you to invite to come for free. (Yes. Really. Refer to hamsters.)
6. Heat. When I moved to the Northwest, I was told, "80 degrees is a REALLY hot day!" Apparently that's true if you live in Alaska. We're currently under 90 and I'm fucking grateful, because the AC in our old building at work can't keep up.

7. Slumlords. The prick who owns our building won't return calls about getting the light fixtures replaced so my volunteers aren't typing in the dim, but he comes in and installs a lockbox on the thermostat downstairs.

8. Ass kissers. Particularly those who have been harassing you recently, and then get called on it, and suddenly act like you're the best thing since lubricated condoms.

9. Corporate schmucks. Is that redundant? Why not tell your staff that they may get a whole extra week's pay (taxed, of course) as a bonus at the end of the year, while you hand out six figure bonuses to your executives? This is why I work at a nonprofit. I can deal with the slumlord, as long as I'm not making money for him.
10. Cheese. I ask you, why do you have to tempt and beckon and taste SO FUCKING GOOD when I am trying to be a vegan, and also have a mild allergy?

So how about you? Is there a meme in your future?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A day for bubble wrap

It has been, as I just texted my friend, a day for bubble wrap. A few days, come to think of it. I am neck deep in idiocy, and it isn't even Wednesday!

These are situations where I think it is OK to ask (and would if I wasn't worried about being employed), "Are you a grownup?"
Once again, all of this really happened.

1. I remind everyone two months after our event that we are closing the books now, so please send in your final donations. Someone comes in from a company team and brings more than $2,000 in cash - and $20 of it in coins.

Him: "I didn't know what to do."
Me: "We did send out emails and put on our website to please turn cash into checks."
Him: "The emails were sent to the wrong person."
Me: "Oh, you weren't registered?"
Him: "Um. I actually didn't read them."

2. We get an email from someone inquiring if our mental health advocacy organization "has classes where a parent can learn when it's unsafe for the kid to be around the other parent." Because you know, us crazy people beat the shit out of everyone and everything. My volunteer had a very diplomatic version of "no, we fucking don't," and I sat there, popping bubble wrap.

3. I did ask the ghost from high school how she found me. "Coming across your name" was actually getting in touch with my former stepsister, who lives halfway across the country, who would only have gotten information from her mother, who would have gotten it from my biological mother, who would have gotten it from my brother. And then, she said, "I did a little research." Right. And then...nothing! She tells me she now lives in Las Vegas. I gave her a brief summary of the past 20 years and nothing, nada, ZIP from her. Fuck this shit.

For those of you who may be dealing with similar people and don't have any bubble wrap handy, here's some virtual bubble wrap. (It's fun.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's not you, it's me.

Dear former high school friend,

It creeped me out to get an email from you at work. It was a bit stalkerish, however you found me, since the last time we talked, I hadn't changed my name or moved to another state. Saying you "came across my name" wasn't a very convincing or clever lie, since there is only one person we have both known that I connected with from and after that era.

I won't be telling you this, but that time period was very traumatic for me. There was no one incident. I wasn't bullied. Nothing terrible happened. But when I got a postcard at this address with my old name from our alumni association a few years ago, I almost had a panic attack.

I thought about ignoring your email. I even thought about being a complete coward and saying I was the wrong person with the same name. But I decided to answer you, and ask you how you found me, and ask, honestly: how do you summarize 20 years?

You see, I finally confronted the knots in my gut and stopped forcing myself not to think about that period of time this week, and ask, why? And I realized that was the time that the depression hit me the hardest.

You knew me with another name. You knew me while I was still angry, still drinking, still bewildered.  But I didn't know then what I know now. I didn't know I wasn't a freak. I didn't know there was help available. I didn't know there was hope, and that one day, I wouldn't want to self-destruct.

So you see, you don't know me. So there's really nothing to say.

It's not you, it's me.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The nemesis

Pollen has been an enemy of mine ever since I can remember. But more so since I have lived in the Northwest.

This week, I have either flu or hayfever, which have the same symptoms. I'm betting pollen has something to do with the aggravation, however.

Mr. RK brought home a picture where they viewed pollen under one of the uber incredible microscopes at work. It looks like the spiky monkey ball things that fall off of trees in California. In other words, this stuff is MEAN.
I'm tired of supporting the kleenex industry. I'm annoyed about missing work, as well as sounding like Zsa Zsa Gabor. I'll spare you the details, but it has been a very long visit from Mr. Yuck.
I tell you, pollen, this means war.

Right now I am struggling with a section of another fiction project I'm working on - another children's book - where the characters meet what the believe is a nemesis. (Actually, it's a baby octopus, but they're on a quest to be detectives, and have decided they need a nemesis.)

And so, as life imitates art, I have found mine!

Pollen won't give up, and neither will I. At this point, it looks like a draw, but the fight continues. In the meantime, I am saving special hugs for Mr. RK. He decided I wasn't writing enough fiction, so he bought me a laptop. He also went out and got one of my favorite dinners tonight, as it was one of the only things that I felt like eating, as pollen has affected my sense of taste.

Yes, he really is that good.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Idiocy begins here

There are some days when I feel like I should attach a sign like that to my phone. How about you?
And is it just me, or are there cycles of complete dumbfuckery?

Bad things supposedly happen in threes. Based on yesterday, I'd say stupid things (and people) do, too. I resent this not only because it takes time away from us helping people who legitimately need it, but also because I can't fix stupid.
Again - all of this is completely true! I'm not creative enough to make this shit up.

Call A  - From someone wanting an internship. Call this one "three minutes and three strikes and you're an idiot." He 1) didn't go to the right website when he researched "our" organization, 2) insulted another nonprofit while he was on the phone with me, and 3) then said he wasn't sure if he had made the deadline to even *do* an internship for school.

Me: "Then why are we on the phone?"
Him: "I called a week and a half ago."
Me: "No, you called Friday."
Him: "Oh, really?"

Yes, really.
Call B - From someone who just found out that they have a long-lost relative in our area who happens to have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Did we have a database or registry of people with mental illness so I could look her up, and give this person her contact information?

I'm not kidding!!!

It was all I could do not to spit into the phone. Instead, I said, "Not going into the vast civil rights implications that might have, no, there is not a database of people living with mental health diagnoses. Just like there's no database of people living with diabetes, or cancer."

Call C - From someone who wanted to know if we could explain HIPAA law for her. I told her we didn't have anyone on staff with legal training.

Her: "Well they're just basic questions. Such as..." (Not basic questions.)

I gave her a webpage with frequently asked questions about HIPAA law, and links to more legalese.

Her: "Isn't there a hotline?"
Me: "For the US Department of Health & Human Services?"
Her: "Isn't there a department like that in Oregon?"
Me: "Yes, but this is a federal law, so the offices are in Washington, DC."
Her: "There should be a federal office here in Oregon, and a hotline to answer my questions!"

Honestly, I don't know how the hell I got her off the phone.

How do you handle stupid?