They're rude without knowing it. They're stupid without caring. And I see so many of them every day that it's hard not to just hate everyone on contact and wait for them to prove they're not a worthless pile of garbage.
And then someone seems genuinely happy that you smiled at them or wished them well or complimented their boots. I had a woman today say, "Thank you for being pleasant."
And I smiled and said, "It's what they pay me for."
And she shook her head and said, "No. Really. Trust me. I can tell you're a decent person by the way you treat me, a stranger, who comes in and interrupts whatever it is you were doing."
I fuddled through an explanation that it's my job to wait on customers. They come first. And that she wasn't bothering me. And I thanked her for saying something. She smiled and left the store.
This was after I was told by a customer to stop rolling my eyes at her (which I wasn't--I've been paid for ten years to not let customers know what I actually think of them). She was being super obnoxious, and I think she felt a little guilty about it, or foolish, which generally breeds overreaction and hostility. People are proud, and they get mean when they feel stupid.
I had another woman throw a hand in my face and walk out the door as I explained to her how to use her membership card. Again. She felt foolish, so I got to bear the brunt of her overreaction.
I could list all the ways I've been treated unfairly. I could recount the wounds. But this one woman who took the time to thank me for being civil--CIVIL--not even especially nice--made all of those awful people a lot less awful.
Thank you, humanity, for sometimes being good. It makes me realize that we good humans are few and far between, and the world needs us more than ever.
I'm missing GenCon. Last year it was the most glorious three days I'd had in a long time. Cosplayers, good friends, great food trucks, and GAMES. Tons of games. We spent all of that Saturday testing games. Hours and hours. It was brilliant.
And then Indiana had to go and do that shitty thing where they said it was okay to not serve the gays. Well, they're wrong. It's not okay. So...we're skipping it. And it's KILLING ME!
It's also saving me hundreds of dollars that I'm sure I'll be glad I have at some point, but right now it's *cue fainting couch* KILLING ME!
Anyone know if the federal recognition of gay marriage has done anything to nullify that stupid, stupid law? Anyone else ACTUALLY putting their money where their mouth is and NOT going? IT's exhausting, y'all. Not eating at Chik-fil-A, not shopping at Hobby Lobby, not getting gas at Mobil, not going to GenCon. The list goes on. But it's important to me that companies stop being bigoted assholes and get with the times.
And I know...whoop-de-do. One customer. Like they're even going to notice one missing among the thousands stuffing their faces and shopping carts. But I'm hoping that by being an example and spreading the word, maybe it'll have an effect on just one more person.
You're not a horrible person for shopping where you do. I'm not somehow better than you because I don't shop at these places or visit these events. It's exhausting. I'd much rather forget it all and just GO, SHOP, STOP ABSTAINING...but...I just can't.
Maybe by next year Indiana will get its shit together and we can once again revel in the glory that is GenCon. I'll start saving now.
Shh. Don't answer. I don't care, and I can't hear you anyway.
If you're not reading my blog, you're probably justified in that. Because one post a year doesn't a blog make. Just like one furious burst of writing doesn't a novelist make.
Or maybe it does. NaNoWriMo is drawing near. But that's another story for another time.
Why am I here? Well, wine, for one. And for two, it's been a while since I've actually let anyone in to know what was going on in my life.
Currently, I'm working a job I hate that offers me okay benefits (whose prices just went up, according to a letter I received today, almost a full month after they went up) and decent pay in exchange for showing up and not telling people exactly what I think of them. My specialty. In the years I've been in customer service, I've not told people they were rude, lazy, horrible, and ugly. And that's being nice. Just imagine all the jobs I could have lost, had I let people know exactly what I thought of them.
Way back when I was working for a bank, I interviewed for a position in the loans department, doing paperwork. It was a cry for help. A rope leading away from customer service and into a world that was quieter, less stressful for someone who didn't particularly care to pretend he liked you anymore. And they told me in that interview that I was more suited to a customer service position. That I was GOOD AT IT. Then they fired me for losing it on a customer who was drugged out of his mind and screaming at me. So...they were wrong, clearly.
And here I am now working full-time, serving people I don't particularly care for, smiling, and not bashing in skulls. It's hard work. I'm exhausted when I get home. And often, I have to be ON there, too. No down time. Thankfully, I have my mornings four days a week. Quiet. Tame. Aside from cat puke and yowling and phone calls and finding lunch. But...really...90% of my down time is spent reading or playing video games.
So that's where I'm at. Currently. I'm not sure why you need to know that, but this is the Internet, and you're here. So...there. I'm back. For now.
I've been nominated by Bryan Ochalla of The Gay Gamer to complete an eleven (it took me three tries to type that word) question series of surveys including 11 Q&A exchanges and eleven interesting (their word, not mine) fact about myself. It's part of a nomination circle of something called a Liebster Award, which is handed out to people other people think are the loveliest bloggers in their circle. I'm not sure I live up to that, especially recently, but I'm game!
Well, Bryan gave me the same questions he had, so let's start there.
1. Can you tell something typical about the country you live in?
My country is the U.S.A. I'm not really all that proud of it, to be honest. I'm not one of those "GO USA!" people. I didn't choose it. I don't feel a particular affinity for it. But it's where I live. The country is home to as many different kinds of people and ways of living as you could imagine. Finding something "typical" is as hard as finding something atypical. I guess, if I had to say something typical about my country, it'd be that we have a hard time seeing anything in any viewpoint other than the American one. It's built and bred into us, and is buried so deep that rooting it out would be next to impossible.
2. Why did you take up blogging?
I'm going to answer this and then answer an unasked question: why did I quit blogging? I started blogging because I was bored one December day. I thought, "I want to write something." And someone read it. And they enjoyed it. And they told me so. When I went away to college, my blog was the place to go for photos and stories about what was going on on campus. My camera came with me everywhere, and I always had something to say. It was nice being in the limelight. After college, I didn't feel like I had much else to say that was even close to as interesting, but I kept doing it. Several people took to policing my blog and confronting me in real life about the things I wrote there, twisting my words to mean something I didn't say. I didn't feel comfortable with my words being used as weapons against them or me. I didn't feel like I could speak freely, anymore, so I quit.
3. Do you set yourself a goal or a number of blogs per week or month?
Not anymore. I used to try to blog every weekday. I'd save photos and stories so I'd have something to share every day. It was part of my midday routine, to throw together a blog post. Sometimes I worked for days on a post, only to have Xanga eat it and ruin days of hard work. Anymore, though, I don't have any regular posting schedule, and when I post, not many people see it anymore.
4. Where do you get your inspiration to write?
Everyday life provides more stories than I could tell. I have always drawn from that rich well of experience. If I can share a lesson or make someone laugh or--hope of hope--both, then I feel like I've done my job well.
5. Do you own more than one gaming device, and which ones?
Ha! Umm...yes. Way more. I have an NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance SP, Gameboy Color, Wii, Wii U, PSX, PS2, PS3, a 3DS, a DS, and a PC. And my phone. I have more of that stuff than I care to admit. I probably have a thousand of hours of back log to get through. Maybe more.
6. What are your favorite kinds of games?
I am very much into games that have a sense of humor or that make me think. My go-to are RPGs. The best time in gaming was when Super NES RPGs were in full force. Or now, when all that stuff is fairly readily available. Other than that, I enjoy life sims, platformers, and retro-inspired games.
7. What are your three favorite movies?
Angels in America, Clue, and the Breakfast Club, in that order.
8. What is your go-to music when you feel sad?
My go-to sad music is a series of CDs I made inspired by tampon commercials. They're called "Songs for Those Heavy Days." It's a lot of sad music. I wallow. Clearly. Otherwise, I go to anything I can sing at the top of my lungs in the car or in the shower.
9. Does your work or study match your blogging topics?
Considering my blogging topics are now and have always been about real life, yes. Work provides plenty of stories for my blog, were I to share them. Like yesterday, I was given a free meal for a perfect customer service mystery shop interaction, and then I was reamed by an old man because I "need lessons in customer service." Because he didn't get what he wanted. Which was something ridiculous. I'd write about that stuff all the time, but it would just make me irate. As far as study goes? I have an English degree...so...'nuff said.
10. If you have a partner, is he or she into gaming?
I do have a fiance. And he is into gaming. We play Smash Bros and Mario Kart and all kinds of stuff together. We spend 120 hours completing almost 100% of Just Cause 2. We tooled around in Grand Theft Auto. We play anything that make us laugh and shake our heads. And then there's board games. We play so many so often, it would take a whole post to tell you about it. But I've spent a long time cultivating a gaming group, and I'm glad he is a part of it.
11. What kind of pet do you have?
We have a grouchy old cat named Marbles, and we love him more than life itself. I'd post a photo, but if I opened that box, I'd never shut it. And the internet has enough cat blogs.
Now...11 "interesting" facts about myself?
1. I've written nine novels, four screenplays, and once wrote a poem every day for an entire year.
2. I often imagine someone will recognize me for my talents in some mundane thing I don't even think about. I picture that interaction in my head more often than I can tell. Example: "Wow...you're a REALLY GOOD snapper! I'm looking for someone to snap during this track I wrote. It doesn't pay much, but..."
3. I rehearse conversations in my head before I have them. I'm constantly running lines with people who don't even know it. If it's not in my repertoire of pre-loaded conversation, I have trouble coming up with the right words on the spot. It gets worse as I get older, and I'm worried it's something clinical.
4. If I'm not rehearsing conversations, I'm replaying them and thinking about what I could have said to be more witty or charming or mean or cutting or smart or whatever.
5. I spend most mornings playing video games before I go to work.
6. My favorite animal is the hippo. They're unsuspectingly dangerous.
7. My biggest pet peeve is people who don't return common courtesy. If I say hello, you should respond in kind. I don't care what kind of day you're having. If you're an adult, you should be able to interact in a civil manner with people you don't know. Say thank you. Instead of saying, "Yup," when I wish you a good day, say "You, too," or "You're welcome." Just be a decent human being.
8. Flattery will get you everywhere. I'm a sucker for a compliment.
9. I have issues with expectations. I expect too much from myself, and therefore expect the same out of everyone around me. If I care THIS MUCH you should care THIS MUCH, too. If you don't I feel like I'm the only one putting in the effort. And then I shut down. It's neurotic. And then there's this: if you expect me to do something, or you expect a certain action out of me, chances are, you'll get it. I think that comes from a long childhood of people-pleasing. Educational systems teach us that, if nothing else. And I was nothing if not a good student.
10. I got straight A's in college, but not in high school.
11. Half my personality is in my hair and eyebrows.
Thanks for sharing, Bryan! I hope someone comes to check this out some day.
Thus far I've graduated college with an English degree (read: I work in a bank), come out to friends and family (read: I'm gay), accompanied my boyfriend of seven years to all kinds of sweet events (read: I'm taken), and managed not to make too many enemies in the whole process. Life is...