Friday, July 27, 2012

What is a Meme? I don't know, but check this out! - Part 2

Sometimes I marvel at the cultural phenomena that spring up each year. Given that I am not always the most up-to-date with the latest trends, I feel as though I am in a constant state of surprise when I see the ferocity with which large groups latch onto things. From Kony to Bronies to #YOLO, every other day I'm checking my Facebook newsfeed and mumbling to myself, "What the fuck are these crazy bitches talking about?"

Then came memes. I kind of get them, but I'm not particularly good at explaining them. All I need is to see one, and I understand immediately - that must be the whole appeal. Although the word "meme" encompasses way more than this, the most common incarnation seems to be pictures with captions which follow certain formulas. Memes often tackle and explore huge socio-political and cultural issues in less than a soundbite - for this reason, I find them highly underrated. People post them to Facebook all the time, and while I often have a good chuckle, I rarely post them.

Well, that was the case - until yesterday. I went on memegenerator to kill time (hey, it's my last week at work - no judgy). After reading through some of the popular categories and moving on to other things, I suddenly thought of one.

Then I thought of another. And another. It turns out that composing these can be as addicting as reading them, if not more. Trouble is, thousands of these get generated every day - and if you're not cool enough to get upvotes, they get buried in the stack faster than you can say, "LOLZ."

So, for my amusement (and perhaps my vanity), I will be taking the uninitiated on a tour of my favorite categories. I guess there is no way to prove without a doubt that I made these. Does intellectual property law even apply to memegenerator.net? Probably not. Anyone who claims ownership that fiercely is probably a douche. I probably unwittingly copied a few existing ideas myself.

Condescending Wonka
Dripping with sarcasm, he is always calling someone out on his/her pretentious bullshit.

Sometimes, life isn't fair... :



...or people just get a little too proud of the things they buy:


Memes can be recognizable in other ways, too, even if the pictures aren't of people you've seen before. A whole crop of characters has appeared out of this trend. They are relatable, because nearly all of us knows a version of them.

Annoying Facebook Girl
She overposts, overshares, and has an inflated sense of self-importance. If you have a Facebook account, you have a "friend" like this - and you can't delete her because she's your neighbor's niece or a friend of a friend you run into all the time.

Once is enough for us to get the point:



Butthurt Dweller
He's a nerd, but not the lovable kind. Instead, he's resentful, pompous, and dirty.

Irony is usually lost on him unless it involves him being right:



When he does get a girlfriend, he assumes SHE'S the lucky one:


Lazy College Senior
I think we all got a little like this at the end of college.

This one is vaguely autobiographical:


Scumbag Steve
You know this guy, too. He borrows your things without returning them, hits on your girlfriend, and treats his friends and family like his personal ATM. However, like Annoying Facebook Girl, there is probably some reason you have to put up with him.

Nothing is sacred:


Irony is lost on this one, too:


Self-serving acts such as banging college girls will always be twisted into a good deed:


Good Guy Greg
For every Scumbag Steve in your life, there is hopefully also a Good Guy Greg. 

He always owns up to his actions... : 


...and respects women:


He indulges Annoying Facebook Girl... :


...as well as Scumbag Steve:


Then there are the characters based illustrations that probably started in some comic somewhere.

FUUUU
You know you've said this before, while making this face, at times when life just got too frustrating. Or, at least, you smiled through it while your insides burned.

That moment you realize you've screwed yourself over on a road trip:


Those precious minutes of life you waste for what turns out to be no reason:


Trollface
If you've read the comments section on anything, you've run into a troll.

Not only does (s)he say something nasty, but the comment often has little or nothing to do with the content:


Trolls strike any time, anywhere - even outside of the internet:


Y u no
Using the formula, "Y u no [verb]," this guy points out others' maddening actions and lack thereof. This is the pinnacle of illustrations ironically drawn poorly; while the face is highly detailed, the head is way out of proportion and the body stick-figure-like.

I made this with a few co-workers in mind:


I hadn't a clue who this was until this meme started. Captions usually juxtapose rap lyrics and/or slang expressions with old-style language (you can see why I particularly enjoy this one).

50 Cent's "Candy Shop":


Ludacris's "Act a Fool":



Ludacris's "Area Codes":


Drake/Lil' Wayne's "She Will":


PTSD Family Photos
You have probably seen these pictures if you look at Awkward Family Photos. Aside from displaying the horrible fashions of the 80s, these editing tactics suggest that these people have been through something far more sinister than an uncomfortable photoshoot.

Karate Kyle just won't let it go:


PTSD Clarinet Boy haunts us all:


Vengeance Dad protects traditional family values:


Finally, some memes refer not to specific characters, but states of mind.

First World Problems
For 21st century Western society-dwellers above the poverty line who have the ability to poke fun at themselves.

I genuinely got upset about this the other day:


While some of my co-workers genuinely got upset over this:


When being healthy doesn't pay:


More to come in a future fever of boredom-inducing downtime.
 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

30 Letters: Day 16 — someone that’s not in your state/country

Ashley,

I did not fully realize how much I missed you and the good times we had, until I went to Katie’s bridal shower last weekend. I used to just feel jealous that you moved to Scotland; now, I just feel sad that I haven’t seen you in so long.

Like I told Katie and your mom, I always think of you when the Outkast song “Hey Ya” comes on Pop2K Radio, because you hated it so much that you had a disconcertingly violent reaction to it. We were also ruminating on your deep loathing of frogs and the word “moist.” It’s funny what you remember about a person, even after so many years.

The good news is that you’re coming back for the wedding in October, so get ready to watch me get in a drunken fight with one of your friends in my underwear. Just like old times.

Moistly yours,

Katie’s Ex-Husband

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

30 Letters: Day 15 — the person you miss the most

The series continues at last.

Fer (otherwise known as “Loving Sister”),

I know I already wrote you a letter, but I guess you’re just so effin’ special that I had to write you another one. ‘Cause you’re the one I miss. While I’m all for people moving where they need to move and getting their own lives (after all, I will be shortly doing the same), the sucky consequence is that it takes the better part of a day to drive to each other’s homes. (The other sucky consequence was that I cried at your wedding reception in front of everyone like an asshole, but I think that bothered me more than it bothered anyone else because everyone else was all like, “Awwwww,” which made me feel even weirder.)

Anyway.

I do miss you, but I will be three hours closer after I move. And with the baby coming, I have more of a reason than ever to come visit you. Hopefully by then, the distance won’t feel so great.

Redundantly yours,

Hooker

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From the Vault: What We Say vs. What We Think: Mailroom Edition

About a year after I posted this on my blog, I created a sister post that dealt with the experience of working in a mail room.

Recently, while waiting for an elevator on the mail run I was covering, a woman complained to me about how management was circling around her area and nitpicking on everything. She then eyed me and my cart, adding,

"You must be so peaceful right now. Just doing your thing - nobody bothering you."

Not really. I was sweaty, exhausted, and about thirty minutes behind - in part, because every time I left the room someone would stop me to inquire about this package or that envelope or want to buy stamps. People are often under the mistaken impression that those of us who push mail carts and haul boxes don't have to deal with other humans. If that were true, I would be much happier about lifting cases of paper and dealing with unruly carts.

So this, if you want to know, is what the mail girl/guys in your office are probably thinking:

What We Say
What We Think


Do you have a tracking number?
Okay, I'm going to need a LITTLE bit more description than "a medium-sized box arriving for me, or maybe somebody else in my department sometime this week," dumb shit. 


We don't sell stamps. [listens to whiny protest] I'm sorry, we just don't.
Am I wearing a dorky-looking blue outfit and hat? Is this a government office? No? Then, fuck off.

Yes, it is heavy.
Congratulations on winning the Most Obvious Statement of the Quarter award. See the bulging veins in my temples? Now, could you at least hold the door for me, you lazy prick?


Sure, I'll bring it to you right now.
God forbid you wait 20 minutes for the mail run, princess.


Hahahahahahaha, no, there's not a bomb in there.
Wow, I haven't heard that joke since, like, the second floor!


I'm not sure what it is.
Do I look like  I know, or care, what you ordered? Perhaps you got high and had your Dildo of the Month shipped to your job -anyone dumb enough to forget placing an order would probably be capable of that, too.


Okay, I'll keep an eye out for it.
Yes, my life's mission will be finding your "very important shipment," along with all the other 99 "very important shipments" I got calls about today.

I'm calling to let you know that you have a pallet of boxes down on the dock...No, we don't break those down.
Hahaaaaa, not my problem, bitch!

That's the soonest it will get there.
Here's an idea: don't wait until 4:45 on Thursday to try to ship a box to Reykjavik, Iceland by Friday morning.

I will let you know as soon as I find your package.
That's what she said.

There's more to it than you'd think.
Oh really, you want my job? Because you think it's easy? Because you think I'm dumb and unworthy of your exalted call center job? Sure, we'll trade places. I'll sit in my ass all day and whine about stupid shit like how bad the vending machines are. YOU can cut your pay in half and run around the building with carts stacked taller than you are with heavy ass boxes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

From the Vault: A Delightful Assortment of Douches

In honor of The Bitchy Waiter publishing one of my old restaurant rants as one of his vacation guest posts, I am pulling a few recipients of my weekly "Douchiest Customer Award" feature.  


First of all, if you're a new reader brought here by The Bitchy Waiter or Facebook, welcome. (If you're an old reader, sorry...I know my neglect has been reprehensible.) Before we begin, let me explain: my blog used to be one of those food service bitching blogs, until I got a corporate job. Then, once I realized corporate land sucked only slightly less than the food service, it became an office worker bitching blog. After about two years of writing on Prose Therapy (which also happened to be one of the most unhappy periods of my life, which no doubt informed the overall tone), I made a few positive life changes and removed most of the vitriolic posts, saving them in a separate Word file, because let's face it - I'm not The Bitchy Waiter. I'm just kind of a bitch.


Still, a dose of snark here and there never hurt anyone (okay, that's not true, but at least I never named names). Now that I am leaving town to go to graduate school and, as such, will leave both jobs behind, perhaps this is as good of a time as any to reflect on why, in part, I chose this path.


Unlike our Bitchy friend, I (thankfully) never waited tables. I cashiered at a bakery-cafe chain (whose name may or may not mean "time of bread") for three years, near a very large college campus. While I was spared the horrors of refilling people's water seventeen times, relying on tips to sustain me, and dealing with people for more than a few minutes at a time, my experience was similar to any restaurant worker's - I was, after all, dealing with customers.


Oh, customers. Customers and their money. Customers and their food. Their egos. Their children. Their demands, lies, condescension, cheapness, messes, and entitlement. Sometimes it was hard to pick just three of them for my Douchiest Customer list each week.  


From October 31, 2010: Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal

You ordered an iced tea from me. You were overly nice and called me by my first name. This, of course, made me suspicious from the beginning. You paid with a $20, and I gave you your $18 and change.

Or, at least, I was pretty sure I gave you $18 and change. I was tired, hungry, and dizzy, and by that point had been hoping a break for that action long enough to get a drink of water for three hours. I really just wanted you out of my way, so I was not paying attention when you apparently hid the $10 underneath your receipt, in your pocket, or up your ass. 

You showed me $8 and asked me, as if you were trying to figure it out yourself, wasn’t the change supposed to be more than that? Typically I’m very careful about counting change, about counting it in my hand so I can see and feel it and know it was correct, but this one time I thought to myself, ‘Finally, a low-maintenance order,’ and didn’t.

I saw the $8 in your hand and said that I was sorry, and yes, you had paid with a $20 and not with a $10 bill—that much I did remember clearly. Because I have screwed up before and given people the wrong change or forgot to altogether, and because I don’t trust my own instincts, I entered my manager numbers to open up that drawer and handed you $10. 

So tell me, MOTHERFUCKINASSWIPEPIECEOFSHITASSFUCKERSCUMBAGFUCKFACESHITHEADDOUCHEFUCK (as I referred to you in the office later when my deposit came up $10 short), where did you go with those extra ten dollars? Was it worth it? Would it have been worth it if I worked for the kinds of people who would fire me on the spot for shit like that, instead of telling me it was okay and that they knew I didn’t steal it and they would fix it? What then?

What did you buy? Cigarettes, booze, a sandwich, a $10 hooker? Whatever it was, I hope that iced tea gives you the jitters, the pack of smokes gives you cancer, the alcohol gives your liver cirrhosis, the sandwich gives you a heart attack, or the hooker gives you AIDS. 

Had you gotten me fired, I would have found a way to do at least one of these things myself.


From October 9, 2010: You Don’t Even Count as a Customer…
…because you walked up to the counter, asked the cashier for a coffee, and acted all shocked and shaken when he put out a cup and told you it would cost $1.69 (oh, the horror—shit costs money!). So then you asked if he had change, and when he said no had the nerve to ask if you could get coffee for free.

I have to hand it to you, man. You have balls.

From October 2, 2010: Pick Two Soup is Still Soup 

Any time I open the store on a Saturday and my first customers are 20-year-old males with bloodshot eyes, I know a few things instantly: 

1. You’re an obnoxious prick. 
2. You’re still drunk and/or high. 
3. You’re an obnoxious prick. 
4. You did not go to bed last night, unless you coerced some poor young skank into sleeping with your grody ass. 
5. You think it’s really impressive that you’re “up early” (doesn’t count if you didn’t go to bed, sorry) and want free shit. 
6. You’re an obnoxious prick. 

You met all these criteria (except #3, most likely, because I cannot imagine anyone sleeping with you). You were also hilariously disoriented. 

You: So, um, what’s like the easiest thing for you to make right now? I know you’re probably getting ready to close so I’ll just have whatever you can make. 
Me: [Thinking] Oh, dear. 
Your More Coherent Friend: Dude, I’m pretty sure the sign says they just opened. At 6. 
You: Oh. So, what can I get? What’s good? 
Me: [Draws in breath to answer] 
You: Can I get soup? 
Me: No, we don’t have soup ready. We have breakfast, and can make sandwiches or salads. 
You: Oh. Do you still have that pick two deal, with the sandwich and soup? 
Me: We don’t have soup ready. 
You: Oh. You don’t have any soup? 
We do have soup--fresh from the freezer. It’s sitting in a plastic bag, which is sitting in a giant vat of filthy hot water.
Me: No. No soup. 

You ordered a couple of bagels, and your friend ordered a sandwich. About fifteen minutes later, I noticed you passed out, face-down on the table. 

August 28, 2010: Here Are Some Foreign Words for You, Fuckwad

I knew you’d be a stronzo when I heard you in line telling your friend about the German word for such-and-such, but I greeted you anyway and figured none of this pretension would affect me in any way.

You looked at me through your thick-rimmed glasses and asked for a “cwah-SONT,” as minchias who want to let the world know they spent a summer abroad (not necessarily in France) or took a quarter of French tend to do. Your friend, who seemed far less of a stunad, said,

“Dude, do you really need to pronounce it like that?” and you made some snarky remark about how it was correct, as if none of us was aware that this was a French word. 

I, like an idiot, decided it would be a great time to make a joke, and said,

“Yeah, this is Amuuurrrrrrica!” in my best hick voice, to which you responded,

“Um, if it weren’t for France, then there wouldn’t be an America. Thank you, Mr. Lafayette.”

Mmkay. First off, I took history too, maricón. Second of all, it was a fucking joke – learn to take it like a real man. Thirdly, while I’m all for respecting the role that our friends across the pond played in shaping this country, we’re still in this country. We’re stubborn and butcher languages of origin and don’t give a fuck about it. (According to dictionary.com, my authority on everything English,” kruh-sahnt” is an acceptable alternative pronunciation.) France’s relative historical impact on this country has absolutely nothing to do with this croissant you’re ordering, which was made by a woman named Andrea while country-western music blared on the radio.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the accomplishments of others do not earn you the right to tell other people how to pronounce certain words or lecture them on the importance of people with whom you have no affiliation whatsoever. Lafayette, French pastries, and European culture are not any more yours to claim than mine, you schweinhund.

From Saturday, August 7, 2010: Businessmen Are Self-Absorbed Assholes, Part 2

You ordered a large caramel latte. My boss made said latte. Upon finishing she got ready to add the whipped cream topping, and instead of politely informing her you did not want the whipped cream you shouted,

"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!!!!!!" at her as if she were holding the cup underneath her crotch and getting ready to piss in it.

Was the whipped cream really a matter of life and death, or do you just feel more powerful if you try to make it so? Like, if you pretend having whipped cream on your latte is a nightmarish catastrophe that you miraculously managed to stop, you can pretend you saved the day at the firm?

If I remember you don't want whipped cream on your latte next time you come in will you praise me for my initiative, take me under your wing, and offer me a position at your company? And then, would I earn a six-figure salary and the right to act entitled and boss around random people, disqualifying them from my "people in the world who know what I want and therefore what matters" list every time they are unable to read my thoughts?

No, you won't, mostly because next time I'll put whipped cream (and maybe more...wink wink) in your drink.

Sunday, July 25, 2010: Leave the Product Knowledge to the Employees and We'll Leave the Faux Food Snobbery to You

Arrogant Asshole Sack of Dung: [In an extremely condescending tone] Every time I order this sandwich, which says ‘asiago cheese’ comes on it, I get some other type of cheese [pointing to a sandwich that says it comes on asiago bread]. Do the managers not know what asiago cheese is?
Manager: Actually, the asiago cheese is baked into the bread [points to same sign, which clearly states that cheddar cheese comes on the sandwich].
AASOD: Well, what about the panini [points to a sandwich that does come with asiago cheese]? I never found asiago cheese on that one.
Manager: The asiago cheese actually comes in flakes, not slices. It’s an oven-baked sandwich, so the cheese is melted onto it and kind of blends in with the spread. 
AASOD: Oh. Well. Um. It was just my wife’s question anyway [points to woman next to him, who has not spoken a word the entire transaction].


From July 17, 2010: A Compilation

“Is this mine?”

I dunno. Let’s figure this out together. Did you order a lemonade? Okay, check. Now, let’s make sure this very drink is meant for you, and not the others sitting up here. Wait a minute…my stars, this is the only drink sitting on this counter! Yes, I do believe that when I shouted, “Lemonade!” six times this was the lemonade to which I was referring, and therefore yours. And it must be yours, because when the ticket came out it also had ‘deaf, bleach-blond sorostitute with ostentatious sunglasses and a gaudy pink sundress’ printed on it, so it’s not like you would have had to bother to tell me what you ordered when you asked if this was yours anyway. Actually, never mind. Come to think of it, this is the wrong drink. Could you wait just a moment while I get you my specialty lemonade, otherwise known as piss over ice?

From July 6, 2010: Walk of Shameless

One bright Saturday morning two springs ago, you came in to order food like all the other hungover students out to cram carbs into their queasy stomachs. 

You were wearing the following: A man's oversize t-shirt, tucked into a man's boxer shorts (which were rolled several times), last night's makeup, and heels.

You were not wearing any of the following: A bra, pants, or your dignity.

You smiled at me and politely placed your order as if you were pretending it was two hours from now and you had showered and properly dressed. I apologize if I laughed at you - perhaps it was a sociology experiment and you were testing me?


From July 6, 2010: Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell

One unseasonably warm night early in the spring I was closing the dining room, and you and your husband walked in a couple of minutes before my manager locked the doors. You each ordered soup and sat down. Not wanting to disturb your late dinner, I found a few other things to do until I had nothing left except to start floors. As I started to get a few feet away from your table with the broom, you looked into my eyes for the first time and said, 

"Oh honey, come back later. I don't want any dust in my fur."

I was delighted. I thought that rich people only talked like this on TV. I immediately put the broom down and darted into the office, where my startled manager was counting drawers, and told him what happened. I then proceeded to find each of the other four closers and tell them all individually also. I wanted to write a song, a poem, and a story about it. I was too amused to be mad; most people shy away from such blatant "I wear fur when it's 50 degrees out, you sweep floors" classism but you, Mrs. Howell, were not shy about it. For this I applaud you.


June 12, 2010: Gaggles of Graduating Girls 

Congratulations on finishing finals and four (or five, or six) years of undergrad! Either you had too much to drink at last night’s senior bar crawl or our food didn’t agree with you. I don’t know and don’t really care which was the culprit, but I do know that every time a female employee or I would use the bathroom on Friday one of y’all was in the other stall either throwing up or spewing explosive diarrhea into the toilets which some unfortunate soul would be cleaning later that night. Way to celebrate being officially educated! 
______________________________________________________________________________

...andddd that pretty much sums up three years of my life. 

Once again, new readers, welcome. Feel free to stay a while.