Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Being demo-strative

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. Mine was nice and quiet, even though there was an overdose of Barbara Streisand movies where she's Wronged By The Man She Loves. (Don's mom was visiting, and is a fan of the genre.) I also got a rocking pair of shoes! I win!

I've been working the demo station at Trader Joe's a lot lately, and it's an interesting contrast to regular work. When you are normally helping a customer, there's an implication that you owe it to be nice to them, because they are buying things so you can earn a living. They're paying the bills. But when your job is to give free food to them, it's a little murkier. They aren't owed that second fucking cheese and cracker, and you can tell them NO, which in the customer service industry, is the equivalent of "fuck off, you motherfucking piece of shit." I mean, they CAN go complain to the manager and get the second cracker and cheese morsel, but most sane people realize the cost to their dignity, and move on with their life, sadder and a little less cheese-and-cracker sated. This is a heady power in a place where your income depends on making cranky old people believe their life is better if they buy some cheap wine and frozen enchiladas. I have to try and use it for good, not evil.
Downsides are having to see people talk with their mouths full of food, having to say the same thing all night long (This is out fully cooked pot roast!!!! Three minutes in the microwave!!!!), and having to talk to lonely people, who take advantage of the fact that you're required to stand in one place and smile a lot. Since I was in a very real danger of becoming like this, I emphasize and try to be polite.
I would be remiss if I didn't include here the most incredible thing that happened to me in the demo trenches. This weekend we were sampling pot roast (see above for details), and it was literally a giant hunk of fatty meat that we sliced pieces off of and put in little cups. There was the option of forks, but most people took it like a shot and moved on. Let me set the scene:

(Rochelle removes the steaming meat hunk from the microwave safe container and lays it on the cutting board. It is the size of a toddler's head. People start congregating around, holiday stress and the smell of meat sends their brains reeling to a fevered pitch.)

Rochelle: Just one minute guys!!!!! I'll be giving out samples!!!!!

(Rochelle slices off a hunk and puts it in a cup, looking down at her work.)

Rochelle: This is our fully cooked pot roast!!! You heat it in the microwave in about 3 minutes!!!!

(Places first sample down, continues to look down and cut second sample.)

Customer 1: Thank you!


(Rochelle looks up from her work.)

Rochelle: Um, I'm sorry, but everyone is going to get a sample. (Indicates toddler-head-sized meat hunk before her.)

(Customer 2 goggles in disbelief at the rudeness, then THROWS DOWN FORK ON THE TABLE AND WALKS OUT OF STORE.)


REALLY. SHE THREW DOWN THE FORK SHE HAD BEEN HOLDING IN ANTCIPATION OF EATING SOME DELICIOUS POT ROAST AND WALKED OUT, HER ENTIRE EXPERIENCE RUINED BECAUSE THE LAW OF FIRSTIES HAD BEEN BROKEN. Sorry for the caps explosion, but that is how I felt about it. ALL IN CAPS. I left her fork where she threw it all night, so I could keep reminding myself that this had actually happened. Amazing.

Second best story:

Rochelle: Would you like a sample of fully cooked pot roast?

Customer: Oh, I got one already. (Points to open mouth, where Rochelle can see, yes, they did get a sample.)

I meant to post this when it happened last week, but it snowed! It was incredibly exciting! All the pictures Don took of me I looked pissed off, but it was cold and snow was blowing in my face. It's hard to pull of looking good in those situations.

I also want to point out that Don had just finished his semester finals after a super intense 3 months the day before. Next to that giddiness, I couldn't compete.

We brought Frisky out to show him the new world:

I think this is one of my favorite pictures of all time. I like the way it looks posed like a religious icon, the fact that my hat and the tree in the background match, my colorful outfit against the snowy background. Plus, I feel like you can tell me and Frisky have a very strong bond from this picture. Which is true. Frisky was really shocked by the snow, I think. He was tranced out all night in his cage.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crankin' around

Reason why I am cranky:

- Frisky spent all morning throwing shit around his cage. He has had a bad attitude lately that not even carrots and broccoli can appease.
- That has now been replaced by someone outside cutting through steel for some god awful reason.
- My work server keeps cutting out and makes tedious and repetitive jobs even more tedious and repetitve.
- I worked the demo station last night which subjected me to horrors I can't bear to discuss. I also had to tell two grown women to calm their asses down, everyone was going to get all the chocolate truffles they needed. It would be a Christmas miracle.
- I have tasked myself with knitting a scarf that is due to be wrapped by Monday morning. This was a bad decision, and is causing a minor panic attack.

I'm making some coffee, and hoping that soothes my bruised soul. Or will jump start that minor panic attack into something worth talking about.

As for the polling, thanks for all your judginess. I'll tell you what I've learned about myself later.

Friday, December 12, 2008

new friend

We have a new visitor, and it is small and furry. Two nights ago, Don saw a mouse/rat scurry across our living room and duck into the closet. NOT COOL. We haven't seen him since, but Don heard scrabbling in the walls last night. Here is my artist's rendering of what it might possibly look like:

Of course, this all might be some high-grade hallucination brought on by the stress of semester ending paper writing, but I'm willing to trust him. I'm pretty freaked out, we had a rat problem in my house growing up and I know that those little jerks do not leave without a fight.

Of course, I'm also worried about the Frisky angle. His cage is extremely vulnerable. I'm hoping his instinct will kick in, and he'll pile drive the first intruder who tries to raid the carrot stash. Either that, or we might have to get a cat. Preferably one that's a little self sufficent.

That's what I'm talking about. Feed your own damn self.

Don't forget to participate in the democratic process and tell me what a loser I am! Explanations for polling below.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Judge me

Fun interactive blog time!! I created a couple of polls on the left hand side of the blog in order to get a broader insight on two recent issues that have been troubling my soul. Here's the backstory:

Poll 1: I was riding the subway to work yesterday when a girl got on who had the most amazing hat. One of the fun things for me living in a colder climate is the amount of knitted things I see and getting inspired to make my own versions. In this case, I had never seen a hat like this, and I actually put down the hat I was working on and thought about how I would construct a similar hat. But I hadn't seen it fully, and she was sitting on the opposite end of the car. I needed a more thorough inspection. But what if she got off on a different stop? How far was I willing to take this? I decided that if she did get off before me, I would surreptiously take a camera phone picture and study that. Luckily, we had the same stop, and she even went into Trader Joe's. I followed behind her probably too close for comfort, and then scribbled down some notes before I started work. Weird? A little too knit obsessed? Voice your judgement to the right.

Poll 2: We listen to satellite radio at work, and usually they're playing a not half-bad 90's rock station. This station has Counting Crow's first album in rotation, and I realized I know all the words to all the songs. Unbidden they spring from the dark recesses of my tortured tweens. I now have a twinge of embarrassment when I mouth the words to "Anna Begins" while serving mushroom turnover samples. Should I get over it, or continue doing penance for the sins of my youth?

Vote early and vote often!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Find the Frisky

I'm going to bed now. But good news San Diego! I'm going to be making a visit sometime soon for work! And play! And Ray's black bean burritos! (Oh my god I want to mow down one of those SO BAD right now.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hanging out at the old DD

"So, what's this all got to do with Jo-jo???" (insert menacing tone.)

"Well, how about Chuck E. Cheese? My kids go nuts for that." (Jo-jo is a 5 year old? Damn it.)

"Well, be sure to say hi to your mother for me."

"Yeah, just a minute, I'm gonna smoke this cigar." (Exit Dunkin Donuts with said cigar clenched in teeth.)