Watching the World Around Us

November 26, 2009, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you all for reading each week (that I remember to post). I hope this is a special holiday for each and every one of you. With that being said, I will return to being cynical tomorrow. Happy Eating!

– Jeff


The American Music Awards (A.K.A. The Asylum)
November 25, 2009, 8:53 pm
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It’s the day before thanksgiving and it’s time to start thinking about what I’m thankful for. My friends, my family,the  blog (of course), the love of my life Ashley Tisdale, and I certainly can’t forget those crazy as all get out televised music award shows. In reality nothing serves up some good entertainment than some mildly insane live performance antics. Whether it be the Jonas Brothers rocking out with Stevie Wonder telling him to show them what he’s got, or GaGa profusely bleeding and being lifted into the air by her hand, the fun never ends. 2009’s music award shows have not failed to bring their best and the American Music Awards were no slouch. There was so much good crazy served to America that night I just couldn’t contain myself from blogging all about it. Let’s discuss these performances shall we?

Now let’s get something out of the way. There were plenty of good simple performances at the AMAs, from Jay Z in his sunglasses strollin’ around the stage occasionally leaning so he could switch it up a bit, to Keith Urban swinging his hips and shaking his groove thing because he was  just wanted to kiss a girl. These performances among select others were great but these are not what I’m here for so there are some performances we’re going to skip over. If you really feel you can’t live without discussing the Black Eyed Peas or Daughtry, feel free to comment and we’ll have some good conversation but otherwise let’s begin shall we?

Now as you may know my home girl Janet opened the show and it was bangin’! I don’t really recall much of the performance because I was too busy reenacting all of the dances from her videos as she performed each song but it was a doozy. Here’s the thing, yes she was probably lip synching, and yes her dancing was not quite what it used to be. Who cares? It’s Janet and she got her groove on and I was all over it. She even closed the performance with her song “Together Again” which she wrote in the nineties as a dedication to lost friends which one could only assume was a subtle tribute to her late brother Michael. Key word being subtle, let’s discuss another member of the Jackson family who attended the event shall we? Did anyone see Jermaine Jackson and the fresh batch of awkward he served up during the show? The AMAs nominated Michael Jackson for a 5 awards and during the show he won two of them on air and two off the air and lost one to the current reigning Queen of the Universe, Taylor Swift. Now it wasn’t superstar Janet Jackson who accepted the award for Michael, oh no, it was Jermaine with his fake sparkly Michael Jackson glove who picked it up. The first award Jermaine accepted he was pretty tame even though I didn’t see it exactly necessary for him to bring his children onto the stage but whatever floats his boat. The second award that he accepted on Michael’s behalf however…. Was it really necessary for the five minute long speech thanking everyone and their mother who ever effected your career before actually mentioning your brother who actually won the award Jermaine? You know the reason Jermaine wanted to accept that award was because he’s never been on the American Musc Awards stage before and he was very excited to actually hold one. It was a very big moment for him. Congratulations Jermaine on the award that you recieved that isn’t yours. I’m very proud.

Now speaking of classy, let’s talk about Rihanna. First of all I don’t understand the need to have an intro video play before she came out. This is not her tour, you get announced and you come out and sing, why does Rihanna get an introductory video, oh and what a video it was. I’m dying to know who in her management came up to her and said “ok Rihanna, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to shoot this video to play before you come out, it’s gonna be hot, people are going to love it. What are you going to be doing in it ? Well you see we’re going to strap you to a gurney and have machines attached to your privates and a metal mask stuck to your face with a song playing in the background. Got it? Love it? Let’s go.” Great choice Rihanna. I also loved the tattoo going down her chest which (I could be wrong) but I believe it said “Anger,” very classy. The performance itself wasn’t bad, the songs she sang are some of her better ones on the new album so overall it was pretty good. Especially when her shoulder spikes started shooting lasers out of them, that was cool, I was all about that. I also couldn’t understand why the announcer kept saying things like “Rihanna’s big return is coming up soon.” What big return? Her last single came out just over a year ago it’s not like she went missing. Yes, she had her incident with Chris Brown but c’mon, big return? I think not.

After Rihanna came two of my favorite singers. First there was Carrie Underwood. I have a question for Carrie, did her clothes not want to attend the performance? Don’t get me wrong her outfit wasn’t exactly racy or anything but for a country superstar it was an odd outfit choice to where a shiny gold one piece. An even odder choice was her backup dancers which seemed to each be having some kind of sexual experience in each corner of the stage. The song she performed, “Cowboy Casanova” is the only remotely sexual song she’s ever done. The rest of her song catalog is all about her mom, love, or Jesus which makes me wonder that, if she goes on tour, what on Earth is she going to do with those dancers and their girations for the rest of the show? Maybe they could carry around some baseball bats for “Before He Cheats” but otherwise I can’t see where they would be relevant. Then we have GaGa who, as usual, delivered like Dominos! Never mind her and her dancers breaking out their new hit dance routine while jammin to Bad Romance let’s talk about the ballad she performed where all the good stuff went down. Have you ever seen anyone playing a flaming piano? I haven’t, but I liked it and let’s not forget when out of no where she just started smashing bottles all over the place. I have a question. When your bad romance leaves you speechless do you play a flaming piano and smash liquor bottles? Now you should.  GaGa never disappoints.

Now I feel that I have to go on the defensive for the next performer. I thought J.Lo did excellent! Yes she fell right on her famous J.Lo booty after climbing off of her man pyramid! Who cares? She is Jenny from the block and one slip and fall should not define an entire performance! I call foul! One person I cannot call foul for is Alicia Keys. I can honestly tell you that I do not remember one word or note of the song that she sang on her own at the AMAs. Her male backup dancer held all of my attention. Let me set the scene. There’s Alicia doing her thing, singing her song with her dancers and her city background. When all of a sudden you see this man climb on the scaffolding behind her and spreading his arms and lifting his head to the sky in a Christ like manner. I thought I was seeing things, maybe it was a mirage, did that man just pull a Jesus right there on the roof of that fake house?! Why yes, yes he did. That wasn’t the end though, oh no, he then proceeded to get off of the set and then spend the rest of the song crumping wildly around Alicia. This was a mid-tempo song, there was no crumping necessary. The most entertaining fact is that Alicia just kept strutting around acting as if he was completely invisible to her which must have been quite difficult with him popping his chest in her face. Not to mention he wasn’t even going with the melody of the song, he was just having a crumping good time. Similar to Rihanna I must ask, who went up to Alicia Keys and was like “ok Alicia, we’re going to have this man pose like Jesus and then come crump around you and you’re just gonna ignore he’s even there. Let’s get that audience confused, it’ll be hot, ok? Let’s go.” Speaking of crumping let’s talk about everyone’s favorite 3 foot tall rapper, Eminem. Remember him? Slim Shady? Well he decided he’d rock the AMAs too, but  all of the good stuff went down when his good friend 50 Cent came out. Oh yes, my favorite part was that almost the entire time that 50 was on stage, there was silence on my TV. Ok, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t dying to know what he was rapping that made ABC bleep almost his entire two minute verse. What series of curse words did this man weave together to deserve utter silence? I almost started to think that the TV was broken by the time the sound came back.  Let us also not forget when 50 left the stage which consisted of him literally skipping, off of the stage. Not pimp walking, not gliding, no this grown man full out skipped off of the stage. Very manly Fiddy, very gangsta.

Last but most definitely not least we have the subject of one Mr. Adam Lambert. Where do I even begin with this human being? Here’s the thing, I will admit that I am a little biased. Adam Lambert was the runner-up on this year’s American Idol and I am a huge fan of this year’s winner Kris Allen. Therefore when Kris came out on stage to present an award with Demi Lovato I may have yelled something slightly along the lines of “WHY AREN’T YOU PERFORMING?! YOU WON THE SHOW AND YOUR ALBUM’S AMAZING! STOP PRESENTING, GRAB YOUR GUITAR, AND TELL US TO “LIVE LIKE WE’RE DYING!!!” Just a little something like that, nothing too obnoxious. Anyway, for those of you who missed the performance let me give you a little play by play of Glambert’s televised solo debut. He began by dancing with one of his female dancers, taking her by the leg and spinning her around and dragging her across the stage. He then proceeded to pick up a pair of leashes attached to two of his male dancers and walk them across the stage. Then he took one of the male dancers by his hair and shoved the man’s face into his crotch and began to make a pelvic thrusting motion. Now at this point the producers decided it would be wise to cut away from the face smashing and change to a different camera angle which was a completely awkward view from above. From what I’ve heard though, Adam decided it would only be fair to take one of the female dancers and shove her face in his crotch too, but the camera was away at that point. It’s good to share Adam. Then it seemed like he had calmed down and was just screeching away when, towards the end, he walked over to his keyboardist and proceeded to “make out” with him/her (I couldn’t really tell the gender). I don’t think you can call it kissing though seeing as he walked over and shoved this person’s face into his and made an almost biting/sucking gesture so I don’t know if making out or kissing would be the proper term for it, I think face eating would be a more appropriate description. The funny part was that it looked almost like the keyboardist was trying to get away and pull his head back from Lambert. All I have to say to this performance is woooooooow. That was definitly the classy high point of the night. Of course there has been much controversy after the performance to which I have to say I am not on team lambert. He’s saying that it was discrimination that they cut the footage out for when it aired on the West Coast and that if a woman like GaGa or Madonna did it they wouldn’t get so much backlash. Ok, number 1, neither GaGa or Madonna made their major award show debut grinding someone’s face. Number 2 I would like to see any footage of either one of them grinding someone’s face. The make-out/snack-time session was whatever, my only issue lies with that poor man’s face. Here’s the thing, it was Lambert’s choice and the majority of the public didn’t like it, it’s not discrimination (well some of it probably is but I don’t count those people), it was just a bad performance plain and simple. That’s not how a serious professional musician who just came off of a reality show and wants to prove themselves, makes a debut.  He made a fool of himself and a mockery of his own song. This is just my opinion of course I’m sure many people loved it and if you did, good! As long as some of his fans like it, I guess he got what he hoped for, it was just not my cup of tea. However I do have to thank the man for giving me something to talk about as I end this blog entry. Therefore I am thankful for you Adam Lambert and even your face molestation, without which I would not be able to do a full blog. I am also thankful for all of you who read my blog! I hope you keep coming back for more and have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!

– Jeff

Isn’t it Bromantic?
November 11, 2009, 4:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So I have been waiting all week to tackle this hot topic. The only thing is that I haven’t gotten that little thing called sleep all week so I didn’t feel up to taking on such an endeavor. Now I am ready however and quite excited to discuss a little thing you all may have heard of called a bromance. Now I must begin by saying that I am not talking about actual brothers here. Oh no, real brothers never get this close and I’m also not talking the ridiculous, cookie cutter, Brody Jenner type of bromance. I am talking full on ass slapping, name calling, man hugging bromances that you probably witness around you every day.

Now there is something that I need to say that sticks with me about a bromance. Now I have known many a nice gay couple and I can say none of them ever touch each other in public nearly as much as the bros do. Have you ever seen the traditional bro greeting? If you haven’t, you should, it’s a classic. Here it is in a nutshell. The bro’s see eachother, get a big dumb grin on their faces, then they move in for the kill. They begin with giving a high five up top and then slowly, in one fluent motion, go back around for a nice firm grab or smack of the caboose. Um…here’s the thing, my rear belongs to me. It’s not yours or any one else’s. Am I the only one who finds something strikingly odd about this practice? I am good friends with my roommate but, our asses are our own property and never have we just snuck a squeeze or givin eachother a good pat, no! My ass, my property. There is a bubble peeps. Stay on the outside. It’s not just the ass though, the bros always need some form of touching. There’s the classic, coming up from behind and giving the bro a nice massage and finishing with soemthing like “no, homo.” No gentlemen, you are wrong, lot’s of homo, lot’s and lot’s of homo was just displayed in your actions. Now while I do not appreciate this term it is quite entertaining to see these grown men using it to follow up some ridiculous act of what I have now dubbed “man love.” Man love… have you been a victim?

Also I would like to bring attention to the way that bro’s tend to speak to each other as well. They have a special bro language that only they can understand. It goes a little something like this. “Hey you c*** s****r, you dirty mother f****, s*** my big c***.” Now when translated into the language used by traditional human beings it sounds a little like this. “Hello, how are you? My day went splendidly I hope yours did as well. Would you like to go down to the cafeteria and grab a bite to eat? Maybe grab my tush a couple times along the way?” That’s a pretty direct translation I think. Here’s the thing I have been friends with a few bros in my day and heard a lot of this talk and I can tell you one thing. Now I am a virgin, still wearing the V card high and proud, but I can say that I now know every single thing you could ever imagine doing to another human being in the privacy of your own home or, let’s be realistic,  a dorm shower stall. Everything with bros is either, kiss this, s*** on that, push here, I wanna do this to your mother. Ew, gentlemen, I mean bros, ew. I am not a fan. Because it is indecent and it makes me want to up-chuck all over the place. It’s nice to know that you have a special bond that goes without saying but please don’t try to put your feelings into words if sentences close to the ones above are what will come out.

Now I know that bros are a close knit group, oh yes, there is no messing with one bro’s bro or else there will be a smack down, straight up. Here’s the thing though bros, ever think you might be gettin’ a little too close there? I mean really the man hugs are fine, and while I don’t approve, I’ll allow for an ass slap here and there, but there are times that are bro time, and times that are private time. I find it a little disheartening  when a friend tells me that her boyfriend and his bro would call eachother over the summer when they were both using the bathroom. Apparently it’s hilarious to be going number 2 the same time as someone else. I wouldn’t know because for me any activities done in the bathroom are a solo sport. So I say this, bros, that is private time. No one wants to be sharing or shared with during that time. The bromantics are to be left outside of the bathroom door where they belong. Sorry I had to be a little hard on you there bros but I feel that limitations are necessary even with a hardcore bromance.

While I may not understand them, I will accept that you may understand and condone the bromance. Maybe you are good friends with some bros or maybe you are in a bromance right now and if so, good for you! Bro it out to the max! Just remember bros, there is proper public bro behavior and then there is what I assume is your current behavior. Know the difference.

– Jeff

The Narrative of Employment Part 3
November 1, 2009, 2:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So we come to the last week of The Narrative of Employment, now I would like to begin by giving you a moment to collect your thoughts and mourn the final week……………………….that’s enough because it’s time to get on with the third and final installment of the Narrative of Employment where I will be discussing my current job in New Hampshire. Now before I begin I must give you a little background information. You see this employer who I will be discussing in this edition is the person who inspired me to start this narrative in the first place. As the weeks have gone on my boss and I occasionally have trouble seeing eye to eye on certain issues and I admit I have threatened to use my power as a PMG blogger who has twenties of viewers each week against him if he usn’t careful. Then the idea came to me, he comes from a LONG list of ridiculous employers, I’ll call them all out, but I decided to save him for last. So if your reading this boss man, I assume that you are thanking me through the computer screen for the free publicity and thinking of ways to repay me with things such as maybe some free hours, a nice framed portrait of myself above the workspace exclaiming my magnificence, or maybe even a nice fruit basket. No need for thanks though, I’m just doing one of my many many jobs, speaking of jobs, let’s begin shall we? So seeing as I have this nasty little habit of purchasing obscene amounts of CDs on a weekly basis while at school I decided that it was time for me to start making some money to afford such luxurious expenses. Therefore I applied for a job which would make use of my dynamite people skills and incredible wealth of knowledge about where I attend school. Therefore I ended up applying for and recieving a job as, well, let’s call it a secretary (incase you haven’t noticed, I have not gone into specifics about any of my jobs due to libel and such, wouldn’t want to get sued). So I start this little ‘ole secretarial job and while I have a supervisor the majority of my interactions are with my straight up boss, how do I describe this gentleman in relation to my job? Let’s say the word boring never slips into my vocabulary. You see this is the most random job on the planet one second I’m giving advice to the younger generation on local activities and another I am plastering my entire school with posters from some sort of event that he would like to publicize. Every day I come in, I never know what I’m in for, but there is one example that stands firm. So one day, I’m sitting at my desk probably sharing information with passersby when these two intriguing characters come up asking for my boss’ boss. Well he wasn’t around so my straight up boss would have to suffice. About two minutes later he comes out and asks if I would like to listen to some music. I was contently listening to my new Blake Lewis album so I was poised to decline when he continues to tell me that the colorful pair I encountered earlier were in fact a musical duo who were about to put on an impromptu concert in his office because they would like to perform on campus and he wanted my opinion on whether or they would be a good event for the students. That’s right at my job I get to see mini concerts, jealous? Let me break these two characters down, they are a musical duo who spend half of their time singing and half of their time breaking into arguments mid song, no joke. Well he thought they were just the most splendid thing he ever did see. I was like , well they’re talented and have good voices but you seem to be missing the insanity factor in their performance. Funny thing, that was his favorite part. Also he has this thing where he’s always trying to get me to attend the events he’s hosting. Here’s an example (keep in mind I’m paraphrasing), “So, do you think you’re going to go on the trip to the ice cream factory and then to the mountain slides?” “Oh, I don’t know is it really worth $10 of my hard earned money just to get a root beer float?” “You don’t just get ice cream, you tour the factory and you go on these slides that shoot right down a mountain side.” “Well as fun as shooting down a mountain side sounds I prefer my motion related activities to be on a flat surface and include breaks.” “Oh they have breaks and you need to use them if you want to keep from flying over the edge.” This is his pitch to me. The immediate image in my head is of me not using my breaks fast enough and going careening down the side of a mountain to my untimely demise. Sounds like fun don’t it? I acknowledge that I would not actually go flying down a steep mountain slope to my doom but there was a little more left to the imagination that one might hope for. That wasn’t even the most memorable time though, oh no, let’s talk about a little excursion to a horror theme park that he wanted me to attend. Now if you know me, you know I’m a HUGE chicken, I get scared by a kitten if it catches me off my guard and this man wants me to go to a park where scaring you is their job?! Great plan. He was persistant to, with everything from having the entire staff take a vote on the matter to saying subtle things like “Jeff, do you like your job?” That’s right! Do you see this? Threats! There were bribes involved as well, I won’t get into details but just know, bribing went down. Shameful, I tell you. If you’re reading this, I hope you are ashamed of yourself and the behavior that you exhibited throughout the month of October. He did manage to convince me to take a look at the website for it however and I hate to say, I nearly soiled myself. You see not only was there a clown with a chainsaw that greeted me there was also a giant flaming skull that came out of nowhere and laughed at me as I jumped five feet in the air. But get this! The giant flaming skull, I’m the only one who’s ever seen it! Not only did I force my boss to go on and watch in vein as the skull never popped out at him I also had one of my friends check they too were not afflicted. I am cursed, it’s a sad life. His last ditch effort was to open the binder right next to me and demand my attendance but I held my ground. It was a real moment of triumph, I felt strong, inspired, like a spiritual leader. I briefly considered quitting school and becoming a motivational speaker after that but I decided against it. Though, get this, the day of the event after it was too late for me to attend the event, he totally sent me running around the entire campus hanging things and doing various tasks much more than the usual amount. Let’s call it what it was people, revenge straight up with a side of haterade (term haterade credit of Miss Caitlin Carrol). Besides such atrocities committed I’ll be straight up with you all. He is an excellent boss, possibly the best one I’ve ever had. That’s right, I said it. Here’s the thing, it’s a rare moment to find a boss who has enough of a sense of humor to put up with my shenanigans and my blogging about him and be able to play along. In all of my other jobs I always play the part of the happy, consciencous, worker always saying “yes sir, yes ma’am” which is fine I like to think of myself as a genuine nice guy sometimes I like to let my inner wise ass out and this is a job where I get to do it, so I will thank him for that. I even was nice enough to vote for him to get some award, I don’t really know what it was but I saw his name and said “well he’s a chill guy so I’ll throw him a bone,” true story. Once again boss man, if you’re reading this thanks are not necessary but always accepted. So even while I occasionally have to lecture him about how he really shouldn’t tell his wife when they go to get ice cream that, no they can’t share a pint because he needs one all to himself, he’s a cool dude. Well this brings us to the end of the Narrative of Employment, next week it’s back to random topics that pop into my head. Goodnight all, and oh yeah, Happy Halloween.

– Jeff

P.S. Actually Boss Man you can thank me by leaving a comment because over all of these blogs I have only recieved two, c’mon help an employee out. And that goes for the rest of you too! Let’s get a discussion a brewin’!

The Narrative of Employment Part 2
October 25, 2009, 2:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well I’m back and ready for round two of the employment narrative. You see, I quit the department store to go to college. The next summer when I was back home I tried to get my job back and they turned me down because they didn’t want to re-hire people who would just leave in a few months. So seeing as I had gone as far as I could being “coached to success” it was time to find a new job. I ended up at a grocery store and it was like night and day. First of all there was something I noticed about managment that I had never experienced at the department store. One, they were nice to me. Something I had no experience with and wasn’t entirely sure how to handle. And two, managers were called managers. Now let’s get down to it. First of all the store has the managers but overall are the owners. This is a family owned business so it’s owned by people that you can actually see and touch (though they frown upon that), it’s not like the department store where the real head honcho is an enigma that you hear rumors about. One of them actually just goes out and works in the store with, like, the workers. Very new concept to me. However he isn’t really that good with the names of those who work for him. The one time where we ever had words was when he turned to me and went “hey….you, what’s your name?” “Jeff.” “Well Jeff, you see there was an ice spill over there and…” you get where this is going. It was really a building moment for us and while we haven’t spoken since, I’m sure that a series of lunch break conversations about politics and the meaning of life are just around the corner. The other owner I don’t really see anymore because she works from home but she was the first of the two that I met. I met her on my first day when I had just arrived and just put on my work shirt and her first words to me were “Hello, Jeff. Welcome, nice to have you, can you go get me a couple of those really heavy 30 packs of water over there and bring them over here?’ It was a really tear jerking moment of introduction. Don’t get me wrong though they run an excellent store, especially in this economy I just haven’t been able to build a strong bond with them, that’s coming down the pike though, I feel it.  Below them is the store manager. I have to say that this guy is quite possibly the nicest guy anyone could ever meet on the planet. I am endlessly entertained by the stories he tells. You see, I believe he was raised on a farm (no sarcasm, I’m totally serious. Of course if you saw the area of CT where I live, your reaction wouldn’t be one of surprise) and he just breaks into stories of his childhood all the time. They’re all stories about his childhood and all of the hard labor he used to do, when he was like 7, you know, working the land, tending the fields, and chopping up logs (I can’t remember the exact tales but I know it’s something along those lines.) Let me tell you, I can totally relate I mean the occasional lawn mowing that I did, starting at age sixteen, was very rough. He also loves to chat with the cashiers and entertain them. I recall one time when he and one of the cashiers both decided to make chicken calls, for what reason I will never know, and let me tell you I could have swarn there was some sort of fowl in the room after he let out his attempt, it was stunning. Then there are the supervisors, the people I work with directly every day. There are a number of supervisors but a few of them are real diamonds in the rough so I’ll concentrate to them. The first I would like to discuss one who managed to get herself fired before actually becoming a supervisor. I never really understood if she liked me or not and never got the chance to find out. You see, she decided it would be a good idea to ask the boss man what he was smoking after he asked her to collect the shopping carts from the parking lot, great plan. He responded by going home and calling the store manager, telling him to make sure that he never saw her working in his store again.  Then there’s the head supervisor. First of all, the customers LOVE HER, like for real. I actually had one customer walk up and down the registers saying how we must be floundering since she was on vacation. It’s good to know the customers have so much faith in us cashiers and our capability to ring out a few groceries,  really, it’s inspiring. Anyway, she is the nicest woman, until she gets mad. She turns so Jeckyl/Hyde so fast there is no time to  make a will, get your affairs in order, or catch a priest for some last rights, you’re just done. Keep in mind though this only happens about once a summer so it’s not a recurring problem I just try to stay out of her way when I can smell the fear in the air. But there is one who really tops them all when it comes to the entertainment factor. Now my first summer there I only got to work with her once and in that one time I felt an air of disdain when it came to working with me. Possibly she wasn’t feeling my boyish charm, or maybe it was the fact that for some reason I was an absolute FAIL at the register that night. Anyway I didn’t see her again until the following winter break where I ended up working with her once pretty much every weekend. She didn’t remember me so I was like “good, a fresh start,” a fresh start which began with her telling me about how she usually has the same crew every morning and wondered why she was getting all of these “new people” during her shift. Great new start. She continued to rave about one of her workers who she clearly wished was there instead of me who was always there with her in the morning and always was so helpful. Funny thing is, two weeks later this shining example of an employee was scheduled with me and do you want to know who trained this god among men the summer previous. Me! Lazy, useless, underachieving, doesn’t know the meaning of work, me! This was a fact I relished and made sure that she discovered within five minutes of my arrival. Unfortunately it clearly made no impact as later that morning I asked a woman if she would like to keep the gift card she just used up (for some reason people like to keep them after they’ve been emptied, I think it’s that photo of some gorgeous produce specimins on the front). This is when my supervisor desides it would be a great idea to sneak up next to me and tell me that the woman is old and will probably try to use it again even though it’s empty. Keep in mind the woman is literally standing right in front of me, maybe two inches away, well in hearing distance. That is if your hearing isn’t swiftly fading, which luckily for me, it was on it’s way out and she totally missed it. This past summer brought about no changes when working with her either. Once again she had no idea who I was my first day back with her. I worked with her every weekend over winter break and you’d think I had just moved into town the day that morning, the way she looked at me. Once again, very lovely. One day she actually walked in and  walked down the row saying hi to every cashier, that is until she got to me. It went a little something like this. “Hello! Hi! How are you? Are you having a good morning? Could you go get the baskets they’re really starting to build up at register one, and once your done with that could you get the shopping carts they’re really starting to back up out there and then check for baskets again, they pile up fast.” Now, here’s when we have a little quiz. Can you guess which one of those statements was directed at me? It’s not that she’s not a good person but it would be nice if she could remember my name and maybe, I don’t know, be remotely pleasant to me, I’m just tossing ideas out there. Anyway that’s a quick rundown of the managment at my second and current home job. Next week is the last installment and while we’ve covered awful, good, and mildly insane, over the last two weeks, the real good batch of crazy is coming up next week with my latest employer, make sure to check back on Friday! Goodnight, folks!

– Jeff

The Narrative of Employment Part 1
October 16, 2009, 7:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have worked many a job in my life and by many a job I mean three.  I can tell you from this array of employment experiences that I have learned that the employers themselves can be some of the most intriguing people on the entire planet. You never really know what you’re going to get with a boss, are they going to be nice? funny? weird? pure unabridged evil? There are many options and I can honestly say that I have had a little slice of each. I have decided that I am just gonna go crazy and make this a long term blog over the course of the next three weeks. One week per job, since there is WAY too much crazy to fit into just one blog, so let’s begin. My first job was a cashier in a department store and there I did not have one boss, oh no, I had about nine. Oh, and they weren’t managers either they were “coaches” you know, coaching us to success? Yeah, they did a real spectacular job, really. Allow me to enlighten you. You see there was the head honcho who really kind of stayed in the background, not really mingling with us common folk. That is unless of course he wanted to send out a memo telling us that our rings per minute on the cash register were simply not up to snuff and that he would be forced to terminate us if we did not ring faster. Isn’t that nice? Sending out those sweet little notes to the cashiering staff just reminding us that he knew we were there working hard, oh and that we were expendible at any given moment were we not considered to be working “to our full potential.” Did I mention that he was one of the nicer ones? Then there was the woman who took care of the scheduling and completely ignored any time off requests that you filled out and then would apologize for forgetting your days off but could you still work it anyway? It wasn’t as if your family wouldn’t still be around the next day to celebrate your relative’s sixtieth birthday at a ritzy restaurant. I remember a lovely time, I believe it was my third day of work, where she berated me in the middle of the check out area because I had informed her that since summer was ending I wouldn’t be able to work as much since I had school and my extra curriculars to which I was told “You’ll be scheduled when your scheduled and if you don’t show up to work you will be fired!” What a peach. Little did I know then I would  get my revenge about three years later when I found her name on what I like to think of as a “special list” at my current job back home. Apparently someone has been attempting to use some fradulant checks to purchase their groceries. Shame shame! Also there was the security manager. Now I experienced two different security managers during my time at that establishment. One of whom would search all of the purchases made by employees to make sure they weren’t stealing. I understand that but does it really take 5 minutes to go through a bag with two CDs in it? The bag was about six inches wide and held two items. Was she digging for gold? Did she suspect that I had a secret compartment in my paper thin plastic bag holding a dish washer? The world may never know. And then of course there was the time she pulled me over to tell me to keep an eye on a woman she saw shopping in the health and beauty section, she had a thieving look in her eye. I saw the woman and I have to say, who can blame the security manager for her accusations? I mean HOW DARE that woman take a squirt from the free sample bottle of hand lotion!! Honestly, it’s not like it was placed there so customers can conveniantly try out a product while deciding whether or not to purchase it. What was she thinking? She should be banned from the store! Catch my drift? Her replacement was a real champ too. He started out as a cashier in Electronics but his army training bumped him right up the ladder to security manager! I’m sorry, security coach, because he was now a part of coaching us to success. It was a real rags to riches story, after about two or three months without a security manager and a sharp increase in “merchandise that was unaccounted for” they decided to give the job to someone who they felt could physically brutalize anyone caught trying to swipe an extra package of pampers! I recall on my lunch break trying to purchase something from electronics and him telling me that I had to bring the purchase upstairs to the main caashiers because without a supervisor watching I could be given a secet discount! That’s right, heaven forbid I attempt to check out during my break in front of the security coach himself, the one in charge of stealing prevention. Then there was the big five, the five coaches who worked directly with us and would frequently just take us from one department and just put us somewhere completely different. Let me break them down for you in simple terms. We had the one coach who everyone liked and we could all joke around with who towards the end of my employment was sent to work for a different store so he could move on to “bigger and better opportunities.” Now I can’t say for sure that the bigger and better opportunites statement was an outright lie from management, let’s just say two weeks into his “bigger and better opportunity” he quit and went to  work for the Christmas Tree Shop, I’m just saying. Then there was the womanizing “country boy” who was in his late fifties. There was the woman who could switch from really nice and funny to very loud and very angry, mid-sentence. There was the woman who just perpetually yelled and fired people just for kicks. There was only one employee who she genuinly liked and guess what? It was this kid right here. Why? I believe it began with her thinking that I had a mental disability because I smiled alot and was friendly to her. Yeah, there was not a lot of friendliness going her way, why ever could that be? I’ll never forget her asking me one day “Jeff, why do you smile so much?” I figured it would be inappropriate to respond with “this isn’t my career, that’s why.” Here’s the thing, I have untold respect for people who make careers out of working in department stores like the one I did, I could never do it. More power to them, but this woman was just plain ridiculous. Then there was the first coach I ever met. Oh yes, of all of them he was the grand king of awful. First of all it was very hard to take a thirty something year old man who has only two braces on his two front teeth. Second he was not all that great of a people person either. One of my first memories of him was from my third day of work ever (incase you haven’t gathered yet, that was quite a day). You see when we rang people out we had to ask people if to get a credit card through the store and guess what 99% of the customers didn’t. Shocking, I know. So that morning I decided that it was stupid to ask and I wasn’t going to anymore. BIG MISTAKE! He comes over to me and asks me to turn my light off and walks away. So I stand there like an idiot at a register with my light off for five minutes until the supervisor gets a call at the customer service desk. She walks over and says that coach so-and-so wants me to know that I must ALWAYS ask customers if they want a credit card and that he better not ever catch me doing that again! Let’s break it down shall we? He makes me turn off my light and actually goes through the effort to walk down to his office just to call the supervisor and have her yell at me. Yup. Later he ended up becoming a fan of mine, too bad the feeling was never mutual. Sadly he ended up leaving that winter. It was such a shame really but think of this. How does the employees throwing a going away party after you’ve already left due to their elation at your departure make you look? Hmm? Anyone? Probably the most memorable moment at the store was a collaboration between all of the coaches. They called it “walking on sunshine,” why? Because every hour they would play the song “Walking on Sunshine” and then announce “employees we are now walking on sunshine” and then we would have to go find a customer and ask them to help. It was a great plan. Let’s terrify the customers into making a purchase by swarming them when Katrina and the Waves comes on, classic. I could go onto all of the various supervisors at that job but I think I’ll save that for the memoir. I think you get the picture and don’t worry I have plenty of material from my following two jobs to keep you going for the next two weeks. Peace out!

– Jeff

Let’s Discuss Etiquette, Shall We?
October 4, 2009, 3:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. He forgot to blog again. Not true! I spent my Friday blog day in my home state at a Kelly Clarkson concert! Jealous? You should be. That’s not all however, this concert brought to my attention a fantastic blog topic, concert goers and their behavior. I have been to many a concert in my day, they are without a doubt my favorite activity, for two reasons. One, I get to see one of my favorite singers in person and rock out to there music live. Two, I get to see all of the other concert goers. When the opening act is about to come on and they bring up the pink and red lights to snazz up the stage and a mildly intoxicated young woman goes “I LOVE YOUR COLOR SCHEME!” you know you’re in for a good night. There are so many different types of concert goers but there is one that I find myself running into again and again, the drunk ones who should possibly seek some clinical attention.  Here’s the thing about drunk people sitting next to you at a concert, you’ve got ’em for the night. They instantly feel like you are best friends and if you do not comply there is no hope of enjoying the show. I recall a New Kids on the Block concert that I attended last year where a young lady sat next to me who decided to turn to me and introduce herself in a manner somewhere along the lines of “This is my fifth beer! Being 19 is awesome!” Break out your calculators everyone, it’s time for some hard math. Which numerical part of that statement does not compute? Here’s the thing, underage people drink, we all know it, it’s just good to know that local concert arenas are so concerned about such sensitive issues. I digress. After about two seconds into the conversation she instantly notices my good friend who came with me, who happens to be a young lady, and it is all over from there. Immediately she has made my friend her new bffl and we grew from a duo to a trio, unwillingly mind you. It was really a grand moment with the stranger on my left attempting to bond with my highly unamused companion on my right sharing such insights such as “you are SO lucky to get a catch like Jeff!” (Apparently I’m a catch which works out great for my concert partner who not only am I not dating, nor have I ever and has no interest in me and vice versa) “Most of the guys I like are either gay or think I’m retarded!” How bout that? Such a shame. Unfortunately the lights went down right after that and her insights were cut short. The opening act, The Jabbawockeez, winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, came out and broke it down on the stage. They were a good time so I got up and danced along a little bit, warmin’ up for the New Kids and when they ended I was a little tired so I sat down and noticed two things. One, there was an object on my seat that clearly did not belong to me. Two, it was wet, that’s just want someone wants to find when they go to sit down an unidentified wet object under their behind. I turn to look at the item and notice it to be my new best friends bag which is soaked with the beer that her 19 year old self wasn’t able to keep under control while getting down to the Jabbawockeez. I had beer butt! I was  not a fan. After I’m able to actually sit down, she continues to share, similar to the manner that I discussed two entries ago when the universe decides to kick it up a notch. It turns out the girl in front of us is from the same town as drunky and they are both VERY excited. By this point by friend has successfully removed herself from the situation while I am near the point of the relationship where friendship bracelets would be exchanged, and now a third party has joined the insanity. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the girl in front of us became a distraction for lush puppy and we were able to hold out until New Kids took the stage. After two hours of dancing and singing and jumping and taking photos my new neighbor, and in reality my companion as well, were like figments of my imagination it was just about me and the music and it was bangin’! I never got to see the young lady again, it was a sad time for me. After the concerts end she peaced out quite speedily. I like to think she had begun to sober up and was possibly remembering all of her various classy activities that evening which I’m willing to bet had begun before plopping down next to me. Don’t you wish you had one of your very own? I was not lucky enough to have such a character next to me last night but I know that there’s another one out there, with my name on it, and I gotta tell you, I cannot wait, and this time I’m taking video! Goodnight.

– Jeff