Tagged: stupid people

Idiocy Award: Cashier Debate

As I’ve written before, people treat customer service workers like trash. Entitled jerks spend every day chipping away at the self-esteem of every person who is required, as a job description, to take all of their hatred with a smile. Cashiers are on the receiving end of everything from rage filled rants to political grandstanding. My heart goes out to these men and women who wake up every day and face an onslaught of stupidity with a smile, even if it is a fake one. However, much like angry feminist who reverses years gender equality progress by making everyone hate her guts, there is occasionally a person in customer service who makes me want to reach over the counter and strangle them to death.

This weeks Idiocy Award goes to one of those people, a cashier who will be known to me as the founding member of Target’s Debate Team.

There is an old saying in customer service, “The customer is always right.” Though I concede that it is not true 100% of the time, it is always best to give each customer the benefit of the doubt and, most importantly, let them be right if they are wrong when it is over something that will have no lasting permanent effect on your job, your store and your life in general.

A few days ago, I decided to make Alfredo sauce for my wife (I have a family recipe that is to die for) and realized I was out of milk. As people do in these situations, I walked to our local target (it’s the only store within walking distance), picked out milk and a few snacks (cheese its I believe) and proceeded to the check out counter. This, as I’m sure you’ve assumed by now, is when I met her.

Everything was pretty normal, right up until she began to bag my three items. She put my milk in one bag, then the two snacks in the other. Being that I walk with a cane (as you may already know if you read regularly), I asked if she could consolidate the items so that I only have to carry one bag. Here is how that conversation went:

Me: “Can you put those in one bag?”

Her: “No.” *continues bagging items*

Me: “Why not?”

Her: “Because the milk is cold and cold items cannot be bagged with dry items”

Me: “Oh, I don’t mind. I’m just walking down the street.”

Her: “Sir, I said I can’t.”

Me: “Well, can I do it for you?”

Her: “No, you can’t. Do I need to get a manager?”

For those who have seen Anger Management, this scene played out just like the airplane scene, except I didn’t get tazed. I was asking a reasonable question in a reasonable way and she shut me down immediately, acting like I had slapped her in the face or called her baby ugly. I’m pretty sure she was about two seconds from punching me in the face if I dared suggest she condense my three items to one bag again.

So, congratulations, Target Debate Lady. You’ve made me lose just a little bit more faith in humanity.

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Oblivious Donating

I hate “Awareness” campaigns.

Don’t think I am ranting about people who support a cause. Assuming you aren’t donating to “People Against Dogs” or the Westboro Baptist Church, donating money is a great way to give to someone in need without having to get sweaty building an orphanage.

What I can’t stand, however, is donating to campaigns who’s only purpose is to inform people that someone else needs donations. These organizations literally exist for the sole purpose of raising awareness about an issue. This may have been a great idea pre-Internet, but these days all it takes is a little trip down Google lane to get all the information about an issue you could ever want. Why spend millions of dollars a year raising awareness when all it takes is a website and five minutes?

Breast Cancer awareness is the biggest culprit here. I’m pretty sure that everyone but five people in Alaska (if you are one of those five people, click here. Also, welcome to the 21st century!) have heard of breast cancer, know that they need to have a doctor check out lumps and know that exams save lives. We don’t need a multi million dollar campaign to tell us this. Those are millions upon millions of dollars that aren’t going towards curing cancer or supporting victims of cancer or buying big screen televisions for cancer; all that money does is say “Hey! Cancer! It’s bad!”

That’s where my primary issue lies. Awareness takes money from Progress. Rather than getting somewhere, we are just standing in a circle talking to each other about the problem while it kills us. We buy t-shirts and bumper stickers and pretty much anything that says “I ❤ Boobies” on it and all that money just funnels into more t-shorts and bumper stickers and commercials that tell us about why we should love boobies.

Now, before the influx of “My mother/aunt/daughter/post-op brother-in-law died of cancer! How dare you make fun of them!” emails/comments, let me clarify: Breast Cancer, like all cancers (including especially funny bone cancer), is no laughing matter. Cancer claims thousands of lives every year and is a very serious illness in our society. I just think that we shouldn’t waste our money informing each other and instead put that money to better use beating cancer.

Preferably in a dark alleyway. With a lead pipe.

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Handicapped Places

People in our society have absolutely no clue how to treat a disabled person.

The one year anniversary of quitting my job and journeying into “gimp land” is fast approaching. In this last year, I have learned a lot about what it’s like to be a disabled person in a society of able-bodied people. From the big things (Always have a walking buddy if you go anywhere, in case your body decides “This is a good time to stop working.”) to the little things (Never wear laced shoes in public. Try to tie your shoes without bending your knees and you will understand this.), there are a million and one things that you have to know as a disabled person that no one can teach you. It’s like a toddler learning to walk: it can only be learned through experience (although it’s far less “crawling before walking,” and more “falling before limping.”) Unfortunately, for every lesson I learn about myself during this transition, I learn two about other people. Most of these lessons can be generalized to “People suck.”

There is a school of thought that surfaced in my generation (20-30 year olds) stressing that handicapped people are exactly the same as able-bodied people. The Special Olympics, “handi-capable” groups and seminars that teach “Bob in Accounting is just like you despite missing his legs,” all tell us that we should always treat disabled people as equals. A lot of these groups insist that offering any courtesy to a disabled person that you wouldn’t offer to an able-bodied person is, at best, ignorant; at worst, it is an insulting display of discrimination. Thanks to many of these groups, we who are disabled enjoy the freedom and equality that our able-bodied brethren enjoy every single day. On paper this may make you want to wear American flag boxers to bed and sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” in the shower. Unfortunately, as often is the nature of these things, the world refuses to work the way it does on paper.

There is a fundamental problem with this belief: people with disabilities are not the same as able-bodied people. Heck, one disability isn’t even the same as another. Bob from Accounting needs plenty of special treatment in order for him to get through his work day; he needs elevators, ramps, a work space that is accessible from his wheelchair and co-workers who would stop putting the sugar on the top shelf in the break room. Is he less of a human because of it? Hell no, (Unless you measure humanity by mass, in which case the answer is “Hell yes.” Also, “Seek help.”) but you can’t treat him like any other coworker, because he isn’t like any of your other coworkers.

Here’s a personal example: I went to Taco Bell by myself on the way to a doctor’s appointment recently. When my number was called, I walked to the counter (using my cane to steady myself, as I often do) and proceeded to awkwardly try to balance the tray in my free hand. After several minutes of mastering this hilarious circus act, I slowly made my way to the soda fountain and filled my drink up before realizing I now had two things to balance in my one hand. Luckily, an incredibly helpful man walked over and carried my tray for me (thankfully avoiding the “grandpa” jokes I always hear so often) and I enjoyed my bean paste wrapped in tortilla-like paper.

What’s the point of that story? The entire time this was going on, there were two perfectly healthy, able-bodied people behind the counter watching me; there was no line and no one else to help. They just stood there and stared awkwardly as I fumbled my way across the room without ever asking if I needed help. It’s entirely possible (and likely) that their decision to not help me was more driven by laziness than the desire to be seen as an equal opportunity establishment, but their defense if pressed would’ve absolutely been that I had not asked for assistance and therefore could handle myself. I ran into this at my last job: we were taught to never offer help to someone with a disability unless they asked for it first. The problem with this logic is that asking for help when you are disabled is really freaking hard. Being disabled already makes you feel like a giant cancerous burden on your friends and family, no one in their right mind wants to add “random people” to that list.

The point is, we aren’t all on equal footing when it comes to everyday tasks. Some of us are at a disadvantage and need that extra bit to get us through the day. So please, the next time you see a guy standing on a bus with a cane, give him your seat. You never know if he could be an internet blogger, and I know I’d much rather be remembered as an insultingly helpful person than an ass who is too politically correct to lend a hand.

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I Liek Ur Blog

As anyone who knows how to use the internet is aware (and I’m assuming that means a majority of my readers), there is an entire society that has burst into existence in cyberspace. And as anyone who has spent enough time on the internet knows, that society is a horrible, horrible place.

We’ve all heard stories about the level of human indecency that can be achieved when you give a person the ability to communicate with almost anyone in the world while still retaining nearly complete anonymity. There was a man with alleged mental illnesses posting hateful comments on “In Memory Of” videos on YouTube and causing grief to the victims’ loved ones. There was a group of grown men harassing a teenage girl over MySpace because she posted suicidal messages. We can’t forget that the internet is also home to the soulless person who also invented spam e-mails.

This blog is not about them.

Don’t get me wrong, I think all of those things are horrible, but they are isolated incidents. Just like watching a disturbing news story, it doesn’t represent a majority of the human population or even the population of just the United States. They are the bizarre exceptions to the rules we have placed on our society. The problem arises when those exceptions become the rules.

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I like video games quite a lot. Specifically, I enjoy playing video games over the internet with random strangers that I have never met and will most likely never speak to again. As anyone who plays video games over the internet or frequents an internet forum or reads YouTube comments will tell you, there is an epidemic of laziness spreading throughout the world.

It probably began at some point when someone realized they could type u instead of you. Then some1 else realized that u could shorten quite a few statements by just takin off a few letters. Or takin out punctuation so that u can save a few precious characters so that it fits in ur text message. All logical conclusions, but that’s when logic ended.

R3plac1n l3tt3rs w1th numb3rs mak3s n0 s3ns3, 1t d03sn’t sh0rt3n a stat3m3nt, 1t mak3s 1t hard3r t0 r3ad. Spelling words differently, such as speshul instead of special, does not shorten them or make it faster. That is literally the same amount of characters and actually took more effort to type because my brain forced me to spend three seconds resisting the spell check prompt.

And it is constantly getting worse. Every time I think I have begun to understand what the current typing convention is a new one is invented that is even more baffling than the last. It has gotten to the point where there is a huge divide between those people who value grammar and spelling and those who have apparently lost the cognitive ability to make sense.

Worse yet, it has leaked into the real world. I recently became friends with someone I met at one of those work parties that you don’t want to go to but do anyways on the off-chance you’ll have fun. We exchanged contact information, presumably so that we could hang out at a later date, and went on our merry ways. She sent me a text message a few days later and I have literally been unable to hold a conversation with her through text messages because she clearly was in some horrible accident the day after and has lost all control of her fingers.

So, that being said, I ask that you take one thing away from this blog: for my sake and the sake of others like me, show some pride in your words. Take that extra two seconds to type out “you”. Go ahead and add a comma, it won’t bite. Go forth and populate the interweb with well thought out YouTube comments and spell checked forum posts. And most of all, please learn to spell before you text me again. I can’t understand a single word of your last one.

The Wheels on the Bus Go…

I’ve mentioned once or twice that I cannot stand people. I’ve discovered throughout my life that the general population of humanity is ignorant to at least one rule of intelligent social interaction. Most people only have to deal with these types of people on rare occasions in bars or restaurants, during vacations, etc. If you are unlucky, you have to interact with one of these people in your work place. If you are really unlucky, your boss is one of these people. And then there is public transit.

If anyone ever asked me what I thought insanity felt like I would say a crowded bus that never stops. Public Transit, in my opinion, brings out the very worst in people, more so than bars or clubs or Disneyland. Every time I have rode the bus I have run into at least one group of people who, despite the fact that “Public” is in the name, have decided that this would be the perfect time to talk about something intimate and private. I have overheard conversations ranging from STDs to jail time to the things that a certain sophomore in college did to ensure she received a good grade in her HIST 101 class. None of these, however, anger me more than the fighting couple.

I will stop here to explain something about my personal life. I am married to a beautiful, talented, wonderful and quite insane woman. We do, on occasion, disagree with each other on various subjects and, occasionally, this will lead to an argument and eventually me owing her a back massage for being wrong. So, as a married man who has at times lost his mind and decided he wanted to argue with a wall, I can fully understand the need to have a bit of yelling and disagreement in a relationship. I would even venture to say that a little bit of disagreement and positive arguing (the kind that doesn’t involve drop kicks) is healthy for the communication of a relationship. That being said, having that arguement in the middle of a crowded bus within ear shot of at least 60 people is probably not the best idea.

I recently was forced to endure a hour long bus ride from Union Station to a friend who lived in another city. One stop from where I boarded, two very angry looking people decided to take the seat in front of me and proceeded to have a death match in plain view of everyone else on the bus. We all were treated to an argument that could probably win some awards for “Best Pointless Conversation” in a soap opera. The highlight of the entire ordeal, however, was the moment when another passenger asked them to be a little quieter. The male half of the fight turned to the interloper and uttered the five stupidest words I had heard all day:

“Mind your own damn business.”

Ignorance is bliss, apparently.

Hooked on Phonics

I cannot stand people that don’t read.

I have, in my everyday travels, come across the occasional person who does not have the ability to read, whether due to a hole in the educational system, a learning disability or being raised by chimps. This post is not about them. This post is about those people who, after spending the entirety of their formative years preparing for the day that they can join intelligent society, decide that they will never again be required to read a single sentence for the rest of their lives. These sadly mistaken people, when faced with the truth that there is, in fact, a minimal amount of reading that goes into every aspect of life, become enraged and fight for their right to ignorance.

We’ve all come into contact with minor offenders of this crime in our day to day lives and they are, to most people, a vague annoyance. They are the drivers who ignore the “No Right Turn on Red” signs, the celluloid ridden passengers who refuse to halt their consumption while riding public transit and the border-line mentally challenged hipsters who play Frisbee “ironically” around the “Stay Off Grass” signs. In my opinion, these people are some of the worst people in world.

I recently came in contact with one of these literature dodgers recently at a fast food establishment. The gentleman in question, though I use that term as lightly as is humanly possible, had ordered an item from memory without actually looking up at the menu at it. The cashier-girl behind the counter then proceeded to quote a price to him, as is often the case in this situation. Upon hearing that his beloved fat-encrusted beef sandwich was not, in fact, the price he had expected it to be, he kindly informed the girl that the sandwich actually cost the amount he remembers. The exchange went something like this:

“No, I was here last month and the number one cost me $4.”

“Yes, sir, but the price has changed to $4.50.”

“That’s not true. I know for a fact that it only costs $4.”

“Well, sir, if you look at the menu…”

It was at this exact moment that I heard the slightest of snaps occur in the man’s head. It was all curtains for the girl from that point on. A couple testosterone-filled minutes later and the manager had come out to assist the girl behind the counter. He calmed the “gentleman” in question down and tried to understand the situation. It went something like this:

“Let me see if I can help you with your order, then. You said you wanted a number one?”


“Alright. We recently raised the price of the number one to $4.50.”

“But it only costs $4.”

“Well, if you look at the menu…”

And so on.

Yesterday, I talked about a certain rage-filled arse of a human who likes nothing more than to tear down the hopes and dreams of those who feed him. Don’t mistake him for the literature dodger, because these two are different, though related. The former is finding a minor offense for the sheer pleasure of devouring the defenseless emotional goo that is your average service person. The latter’s rage is induced not by a need to offend or be better than someone else, but rather a self-defense mechanism that protects his need to be right at all costs, even if it means sacrificing reason.

Customer Service Punching Bag

I will never understand the attitude people give towards the people who make their food.

Maybe it is because I have worked in several different areas of customer service, maybe it is because I was raised in a more service-person-friendly atmosphere or perhaps it is because I’m not a rage-filled ass, but for what ever reason I have the utmost respect for the people who get paid minimum wage to get yelled at by a three-hundred pound man because his hamburger wasn’t made correctly.

The idea that someone can get so worked up over an innocent mistake that can be fixed with about thirty seconds of effort has never ceased to amaze me. I’m all for getting worked up and ranting about things (In case you somehow stumbled upon this blog while looking for doilies and you are vastly confused about it’s subject matter), but theres a certain point when you have to take a step back and ask your self, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

However, since the type of person who enjoys mowing down poor, emotionally defenseless burrito-wrappers at Chipotle is probably not the kind of person to initiate this kind of self reflection, I’ll do it for them.

Who exactly are you helping? Are you under the impression that your spit-filled hate message is going to cause the pimply seventeen-year-old in front of you to experience an epiphany that will lead him to become a paragon of order correctness? Do you think the rancid, odorous profanity you are spewing all over everyone in a fifteen foot radius is going to trigger a world-changing policy that will somehow remove the human variable from the equation and create a fast-food utopia where “ketchup-only” doesn’t contain the occasional onion?

If you answered yes to either of those two questions, I have some very sad news for you. The only thing you will give that person behind the counter besides damp undies and a sudden urge to stab you is the motivation to go to college, get a degree and move into the type of job that allows him to never communicate with another customer like you again. He will go out into the world and work his ass off until he is happier, more successful and much better looking than you. Then, one day after many years of work, he will walk into the McDonalds he was once employed at, order a hamburger with no pickles and then proceed to tear the nervous, pimply-faced seventeen-year-old behind the counter a new one because his order was wrong.

The Thing About People…

I hate people in a very general sense.

Its not that I dislike a particular race or creed, or even a particular type of personality. I just generally hate people. Many people have positive aspects and, when caught alone, those positives can outweigh the festering mass of negative energy I get from exposure to society. Then I go out into the world and experience people in large groups and I mourn for society as a whole.

A few years ago, while locked in a gruesome battle with a squadron of space monkeys, I was injured. Due to this injury, I walk with an exceptionally cool looking cane. Now, being a good looking individual (I look kind of like if Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford (When he wasn’t all wrinkly, of course) had their genes mixed in a surrogate mother.), I attract a lot of attention with my awesome cane. This wouldn’t normally be an issue (I’m used to lots of totally valid attention) but the problem is that most people don’t know how to deal with a young, attractive male using a cane. It leads to many, many awkward moments that compound onto each other and continue to add more bad marks onto humanity’s report card.

A few nights ago I went to a local bar with some friends. These were work friends, the kind that you know well enough to apparently watch them get drunk but not well enough for them to drive you home. Overall it was a good evening, but I was reminded over and over that apparently no one in existence has the social capacity to see past a person’s physical disabilities.

On the one hand, we have Awkward Guy In Line dude. AGIL dude is the guy standing behind me as we shuffled toward the bouncer checking IDs who felt compelled to start a conversation with me. This is normal and perfectly acceptable social behavior.

“How’s the weather?” would have been an excellent start.

“I love your awesome tie/vest combo!” may have leaned a little towards flirting, but hey, we’ve all been a little buzzed before. I would have been accepting.

“Dude, nice cane. What’s wrong with your leg?” is not, under any circumstance, an acceptable introduction. You might as well have said, “Hi. My name is Greg. I’m a douche.” The last thing that someone using a cane wants to know is that the moment someone meets them, the first thing they notice is HOLY CRAP, IS THAT DUDE A CRIPPLE?!? Furthermore, when you ask your completely inappropriate question in that tone that suggests you love apple martinis and have had three too many tonight, don’t be surprised when I say, “I lost a fight with a cyborg.” You deserve it.

Closely related to AGIL is Someone Else’s Date man. SED is the guy who, after a few drinks, ends up next to me at the bar because his date has either 1) ended up dancing with someone else, 2) ended up leaving early because her grandmother is totally in the hospital and she’s really sorry and she’s going to make it up to you I promise, or 3) just hates you and wants you to go somewhere else. SED feels like he can relate to me because I, through some degrees of separation, know his date and that means that we are instantly the best of friends.

Now, unlike AGIL, who shoves his foot down his throat immediately upon discovering my existence, SED is subtle. He dodges around the subject, stealing glances at the cane and my leg, as if through sheer observation he can avoid the awkward conversation brewing in his mind about why I am using a cane. Failing that, he brings up several subjects that are all closely related to canes or disabilities or legs. That one time he broke his leg in high school. The family heirloom hanging in his living room that totally looks like my cane. The fact that his fa- Dude, why are you using a cane? Aren’t you like 21?

Also unlike AGIL, SED doesn’t take a hint. I can’t dismiss SED with a snide or sarcastic comment about the nature of my injury. We are best friends, remember? If I tell him a tiger mauled my leg two years ago, he’ll laugh and say, “No, really. How’d it happen?” So the two of us go back and forth like this for what seems like hours until, suddenly, like drug fueled inspiration dawning on a half-asleep rock star, he realizes the truth:

We are not best friends.

I don’t have to tell him about my injury.

My injury is, in fact, a personal matter.

He should shut up now.

Then he spews out some half-assed excuse about his herpes acting up and wanders off into the crowded bar, searching desperately for someone who is able to use both of their legs without assistance that he can talk to about sports.