Monday, April 25, 2011

What is a Meme? I don't know, but check this out!

I love Inception memes. If you don't know what a meme is, I don't really know either, in spite of having seen dozens of them and read several articles. But it's one of those things which, once you see it, you get it. So here are some of my faves, and hopefully they will make you laugh (though you kind of need to have seen the movie for most of them).









And finally:


Yes, I realize I'm a huge dork for this.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shit That's Really Starting to Get on My Nerves, Part VI: Trollin' for Pity on the Interwebz

Something's getting a little out of hand on Facebook and Twitter.

...Okay, lots of things are getting out of hand on there, including Facebook and Twitter themselves, but today I would like to focus on one particular thing, most commonly known as pity-baiting.

This is not a new phenomenon; pity-baiting, or the act of lamenting one's misery and life situation in order to court another's sympathy, has been going on for as long as anyone can remember. I'm pretty sure Jesus said something along the lines of, "I sure feel alone right now..." at the last supper so that one of the disciples would respond, "Hunnie, what's wrong?" It's in the book of Matthew, I think. Somewhere. Anyway, the point is that pity baiting, though it pre-dates social networking sites, has reached an unprecedented level of obnoxiousness. Because pity-baiters post more than everyone else, and because they're usually the "friends" you like the least, their posts seem to litter your news feed far more than anyone you'd really want to be reading about.

The other thing about pity-baiters is that, the fewer responses they get to their statuses, the more they seem to post them. If I may speculate on the inner-workings of the pity-baiting mind, I imagine that the thought process goes something like this:

I can't believe that no one responded to my post. It's as if they don't care that I'm going through a bitter divorce at the same time I get diagnosed with eczema. Perhaps I was too subtle. I'll post again. I'll say, "I wish someone would just understand," and that will make them wonder what's going on, and whoever really cares about me will take the time to ask. Then I'll know who my friends really are.

Here is a sampling of some tweets written by a former co-worker, just in the last three weeks or so, listed in reverse chronological order:

Tired of the games its time to cut some people off.
Guess I'll get ready for bed #solame [Note: "solame" translates to "only me" or "me alone"].
Every time I open up, people give me a reason to shut down.
So much on my mind I wish I had an outlet but instead I'll sleep.
I'm bored.
My life is consumed by pain.
I am at church four days a week and still need serious saving.
I'm feeling a certain kind of way, and its not a good thing.
I wish I could just disappear.

Of course, she tweets these things, which are automatically uploaded onto Facebook as well, so they appear twice. Typically, no one takes the bait, but when they do, their "what's wrong?" questions either receive a vague response or none at all.

For me, the above mentioned is perhaps the most maddening part of the pity-baiting process. These people state their problems, sometimes taking the time to describe even complex emotions, knowing full well that this is all public information, but don't bother to answer when they get exactly what they want: someone to ask "what?" or "why?". Perhaps they feel self-conscious because they set up an expectation of something like a cancer diagnosis when they're really just behind on credit card payments. Perhaps they realize that, in fact, they don't really want their co-workers, former third grade classmates, and eleventh cousins to know that their significant other cheated or that they were demoted at work.

Perhaps letting people know what's actually wrong is beside the point; just alerting them to your suffering and possibly making the right ones feel guilty for it is enough.

Update: Literally one day after posting about my annoying, pity-baiting Facebook friend, I logged on to find this:

Pity-Baiting Friend: I am not very hapy right now
Friend of PBF: Why?
PBF: Ppl are frustrating
[end of conversation]

Ladies and gentlemen, case and point.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Obnoxious Facebook Statuses: Week 1

I've had quite a bit to say about other people's annoying Facebook statuses and tweets. I've been trying to figure out what to do about my irritation for a while, and narrowed it down to a few options:

1.) Be an adult and accept that everyone has their own opinions and joys in life,

2.) delete my account altogether,

3.) delete people from my friends list who engage in the obnoxious behavior, or

4.) make fun of them on my blog.

The first option is absurdly unrealistic and no fun at all. The second is horrifying, while the third takes away one of my dearest sources of entertainment. So I am forced--forced, then, to add a new feature to my blog. I shall periodically delight you with my favorite "friends'" remarks, rants, and ruminations--unattributed and (most importantly) unedited.

Today's obnoxious status comes from a former high school classmate, who attended and finished school for social work and completed an unpaid internship, only to get knocked up by a guy who'd graduated a year ahead of us. Now, among the constant updating of pictures of her baby boy her page is littered with celebrations of domesticity.

[I feel] like Suzy Homemaker in the best way possible this week: made blackberry pie sunday, meatloaf wrapped in bacon yesterday, banana bread today and cheddar beer soup tomoorow.... now off to clean!!

I hope I can be this happy some day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

You're (Still) More of an Idiot Than You Think: Rants from a Different Counter

As I continue to attempt to figure out how I plan to crank out regular posts, enjoy another guest post by my good friend The Towel Fairy. You can read her other guest post on Prose Therapy here.

People have some serious nerve these days. Personal responsibility seems to be a thing of the past. An outdated concept, crowded to the outskirts of the human psyche by a demanding nature and a me-first attitude. Until I started working in the hotel industry I was at peace with the way the world worked. I certainly considered myself to be a reasonable, rational, and above all polite person and I thought that, in general, the rest of the world was as well. In the past two years I have worked at two different hotels in both the food and beverage department and at the front desk. And in those two years I have met the sleaziest, slimiest, sorriest excuses for human beings imaginable. People who are so inconsiderate that they can’t even conceive that their “small requests” are the most demanding and complex tasks to accomplish. There are no “pleases” or “thank yous”. There are just demands. If you have never worked in the service industry, I challenge you to step outside your shoes and try to see things from a different perspective. If you HAVE worked in the service industry, this will seem all too familiar.

So begins my rant.

Ah’ll Be Bahck

One of the largest annual conventions in the world is hosted in our city on the first weekend in March, a three-day-long competition for both amateur and professional gymnasts, cheerleaders, dancers, fencers, hockey players, weightlifters, and body builders. There is also an entire exhibit hall which houses vendors of things like vitamin supplements, Muscle Milk, energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster, and other performance enhancing pharmaceuticals. Every hotel in the entire city is sold out for this one weekend. These people actually try to make their reservations for the next year on the same day they check out.

For the purposes of this story we will be focusing our attention on the weightlifters and body builders. Never before have I seen so gross a display of both vanity and douchebaggery (except maybe once on an episode of Jersey Shore). Men and women prance about the hotel lobby wearing skimpy bikinis and man thongs while flexing every (and I do mean EVERY) muscle on display. Their overly spray tanned bodies bathe the lobby in a soft orange glow while their jaundice-tinted eyes survey the competition. Checking these people in to the hotel is a nightmare. The second something goes wrong, veins begin to bulge and the yelling commences. Let me be clear. We know this group is coming each year, and the two weeks leading up to the main event are spent painstakingly reviewing every single reservation to make sure there are no errors. So when a problem occurs upon check in, it usually their fault, not ours.

A few guests in particular had made their reservations for the wrong hotel. One man was 6’ 5” and close to 300 pounds – and all of it was muscle. I explained that we didn’t have his reservation. He told me that I was incorrect and that I should look in my system again. I asked for a confirmation number, which he promptly and matter-of-factly provided. I didn’t need to look in the system again because I recognized the format of the confirmation number he recited. It was not our confirmation number; his reservation was at a hotel 15 minutes away. I politely explained the situation.

“You’re wrong,” he said, “I know for a fact I book a room at THIS hotel!”

“Sir, let me give the other hotel a call to verify.”

*Belabored sigh* “FINE!”

I called the other hotel and they did indeed have his reservation – including a matching confirmation number. I explain to him once again that we did not have his reservation and handed him directions to the correct hotel.

“This is IMPOSSIBLE! I can’t believe you guys transferred my reservation to another hotel without telling me! I’m going to report you to the Better Business Bureau!”

“Sir,” I said, “It is impossible for us to transfer reservations from one hotel to the other. We all have different operating systems, which do not communicate with each other. And the hotel in question is not even a part of our brand.”

“But I want to stay HERE!”

“I’m sorry sir, we’re sold out. We’ve been sold out for the past four months.”

“What am I supposed to do now?!”

“May I help the next in line please?”

This scenario played out at least 8 different times during MY shift… I can’t begin to imagine the hell that 2nd shift experienced.

“Do You KNOW What A Happy Ending Is?!”

About a month ago we had some VIP guests staying in the hotel. I can’t release their names, but I can tell you that they were VERY famous musicians. They were also VERY demanding. They stayed in our hotel for a day and a half and ran us ragged the entire time.

One of the band members called down to the desk to arrange for an in room massage. No big deal, we schedule these all the time. We have two different masseuses on call: Lisa, who can only work on weekdays, and Bob, who is available every day of the week. It was Saturday, so I set up the appointment with Bob.

About 15 minutes before his massage was schedule to begin, the guest called down to the front desk to make sure I had scheduled his appointment with a FEMALE masseuse. I explained that the only masseuse we had available on the weekends was Bob and that he was great at his job and came highly recommended.

“No! This isn’t gonna work! I NEED a FEMALE masseuse!”

“I’m sorry sir, Bob is the only one that is available.”

“Naw, you don’ undastan’ ME. I NEED a female. Do you KNOW what a happy ending is?!”

“I do understand sir. But unfortunately our female masseuse is not available today. And even if she were, I can guarantee that she does not perform those types of services.”

“FINE. I’ll wait fo’ tha nigga Bob.”

Side note: Bob is white.

The Last Train To Clarksville – The Very Last

Asinine questions are commonplace where I work. But sometimes we get a question that astounds even the most seasoned guest service representative.

A guest called the front desk from a guest room.

“Yes, where is the nearest train station?”

“I’m sorry ma’am, a… a train station?”

“Yes, I need to take a train.”

“I’m not sure ma’am, I’ll have to google it. Let me put you on hold for a moment.”

10 Minutes of extensive, confusing googling…

[Bagel Fairy's note: We live in a small city where the idea of taking a train is associated with Europe and Agatha Christie.]

“Ma’am? The closest Amtrak station is a 2 hour drive from here.”

“Oh, I thought there was one here.”

“There was ma’am. But they shut it down in 1977.”

“Well, can you make me a reservation for tomorrow?”

Seriously?

“Of course ma’am. Where do you need to go?”

“I need to get to Puerto Rico.”

… huh?

“Ma’am… isn’t… I mean… Puerto Rico is an island.”

“So?”

“…Ma’am… trains don’t go… underwater…”

My coworker slowly looks up from her paperwork and gives me a quizzical look. I reply with a facepalm.

“What I mean is, ma’am, there’s an airport 20 minutes from here.”

*Angry sigh* “Never mind, I’ll do it myself!” CLICK.

Good.

Bagel Fairy's Note: If any of my fellow bloggers or readers is interested in doing a guest post à la Towel Fairy, let me know in the comment section.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Checking In

I am still on a little hiatus while I figure out what to do about this computer situation. In the mean time, enjoy this little parody of work life from Banterist.

OFFICE REFRIGERATOR POLICY

PLEASE DATE AND INITIAL YOUR FOOD.

NOTE CALORIES AND FAT GRAMS IN THE CALORIC INTAKE LOG SO THAT THE COMPANY DIETARY CONSULTANT HAS AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU’RE EATING.

TO BETTER KEEP THE REFRIGERATOR ORGANIZED WE’VE DEVELOPED AN EASY-TO-MEMORIZE SYSTEM:

R - RELISHES ON THE TOP DOOR SHELF
E - EVERYTHING THAT’S SODA TO THE LEFT
F - FOOD
R - RADISHES AND OTHER VEGETABLES IN THE BIN
I - ITEMS THAT FIT IN THE DOOR, GO THERE
G - GET BUTTER IN THE BUTTERPLACE
E - EGGOS GO IN THE FREEZER
R - REALLY SMALL THINGS ON THE TINY SHELF
A - ALL COFFEE CRAP ON THE BOTTOM DOOR SHELF
T - TALL THINGS ON THE TOP
O - ONIONS ARE VEGETABLES (SEE SECOND R)
R - REPEAT

IF YOU SEE A FOOD THAT OFFENDS YOU OR IS OUT OF LINE WITH YOUR DIETARY OR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PLEASE GIVE IT TO HUMAN RESOURCES FOR BINDING ARBITRATION.

PLEASE DO NOT USE THE BRITA WATER PITCHER IF YOU HAVE NOT ATTENDED ORIENTATION (SECOND THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH). IF YOU NEED WATER BUT DO NOT HAVE THE CREDENTIALS TO USE THE PITCHER, ASK LUKE IN ACCOUNTING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT HOCKEY AND YOU’LL FORGET YOU WERE THIRSTY.

REMEMBER: THE REFRIGERATOR DOOR SWINGS OUTWARD. PLEASE RESPECT THE DOOR’S SWING ZONE. IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF THE DOOR’S SWING ZONE, PLEASE ASK MANAGEMENT TO INDICATE IT ON THE FLOOR WITH A SHARPIE.

PLEASE TREAT THE REFRIGERATOR AS YOU WOULD YOUR 97-YEAR OLD GREAT AUNT ON A STAIRCASE.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL IT A FRIDGE BECAUSE MANY LARGE APPLIANCES FIND THAT ARCHAIC AND OFFENSIVE.

REMEMBER: THE REFRIGERATOR IS A PRIVILEGE AND NOT A RIGHT.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dude, Looks Like A Lady

It has been with increasing frequency that I have encountered men at work who refrain from using certain language or recounting certain stories for the sole reason that a female is present.

It usually goes like this: I am training at a new site and find myself among a group of men from a male-dominated department, such as maintenance. They begin to joke around about something, and sooner or later the conversation takes an inappropriate (read: sexual) turn. Then, upon remembering I am in the room, one will comment,

"I'd tell you the rest, but there's a lady present."

I never know whether or not to feel offended by this. I like the idea that they want to respect women. I don't like the idea that, in order to do so, they feel the need to censor themselves. I have the impulse to cry out that I'm an adult just like them, not a delicate flower whose virgin ears need protection. That it's not right to assume that, just because I'm a woman, I need to be shielded from dangerous assaults on my innocence.

But before I fly off on some feminist diatribe I need to remember that the reason this happens is not just because of men, but also because of women. Women are still taught to be squeamish about *certain* topics and words, and many will state explicitly that they are uncomfortable with some conversations just because they're women. This bugs me, because the only other group of people I can think of around whom adults modify their language for their protection is children.

When I was young and curious about things, I couldn't stand it when adults would stop short of revealing something juicy, only to glance at each other and agree to hold off until I was no longer in the room. Why, I wondered, did everyone assume that I could not, or would not, endure and understand the truth? I couldn't wait to grow old enough to know things. But now I often find that I am still not privy to certain anecdotes and language for the sole reason that I have a vagina. And it's not the fault of the employees who won't "go there" in front of me--it's the fault of sheltered, uptight bitches who cry to HR every time someone says the word "fuck" in their presence.

I'm tired of this shit. Yes, we're all going to modify ourselves a bit in front of people we don't know as well and loosen up more around those we work with, but let's try to keep the standard the same for everyone--either keep it super professional around both men and women, or be adults and deal with the language and anecdotes of the real world.

I would much rather have my insight and perspective valued than have the door held for me but be kept in the dark. Antiquated manners and notions of deference be damned--I want to be truly respected, not placated. To be listened to, not patted on the head.

So if you have a dirty story to tell, by all means, tell the whole thing without holding back. If I'm offended, it's because it's offensive. Not because I am a woman.