Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Note to Future Self

Next time you get pregnant, DO NOT, under any circumstances, stuff your face with Checkers through all 3 trimesters and then for 3 months postpartem. It does not end well. The placenta? It does not weight 80 lbs. Because now, self, you have to lose all that Checkers weight.

So there's the gym. Where now I have to work so very, very hard and sweat so very, very much to lose the weight. And going to a spinning class when you are fat and out of shape? I'm not going to lie. . .it hurts. I just went up to get something from the printer and nearly fell over.

Eating healthfully really isn't so bad, but going from a diet of carb laden wonderfulness of bagel sandwiches and frosted cookies and shoving whatever appears in front of me into my pie hole to salads and whole grains and no added sugars. . .well, it's an adjustment. And then there are portions. Going from a non-portion life to a life with portions and then asking my poor husband who just finished cooking dinner "how many teaspoons of oil did you use?" and instead of chucking it at my head, my husband will just sigh, make up a number and hope that I don't go crazy.

Here's to hoping Future Self is much smarter than Present Self.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I know, I know - customer service is dead

Now, I know most people say this a lot: whatever happened to customer service?

There is the usual culprit, the minimum wage service worker talking on their cell phone when you walk up to the register, then rolling their eyes and continuing their conversation. Yes, those people are annoying. But they are also getting paid like $5/hour and have to deal with crap customers. Yeah, they are wrong, but I have come to expect it.

I have been noticing, however, that this is extending to other service sectors. Like when I called my credit card company to complain about a new annual fee they imposed after 7 years without one, they were like "So?" and I said, "I want to cancel then." Their reply? "OK, bye." Or when I called the cable/internet company because the cable was STILL not working and I didn't understand why I had to (over)pay for service that is awful and intermittent at best, I had to screech "do you seriously want to keep me as a customer? I have one foot out the door." Their reply? "Well, we can fix it in a couple of weeks. Don't like that? See you."

Old capitalist/free market society equation:
product + caring about quality of product + good customer service = sales = $$ profits

New capitalist/free market/dead beat customer service equation:
product + finding ways to make product cheaper and crappier + minimum wage workers phones with no incentive to sell + indifference to product = what? crappier products that I can buy from surly workers.

I just called the alarm company and was all "We don't use the service because the keypad isn't near the door and we can't use the motion detector. I was thinking of canceling but then thought about how we could make this work better. What are my options? Can you send someone out to talk about it and look at our system?" I spoke to the upgrades departement and was totally prepared for the hard sell. I mean UPGRADES department. But it was like pulling teeth. I looked it up online and then read him each upgrade and he was all "oh, yar, that would be good." So I was all, "do you have a salesperson to come out and pitch me all the upgrades/packages after looking at our place?" Then he woke up and said "No. You can pay $800 to get what you need and an extra $10/month - I can see your system over the phone. Oh, and you can pay to have the sensors that are broken fixed. But that's another department and no, you can't schedule the fixes and the upgrades at the same time, it has to be as inconvenient as possible." I was all "um, this is kind of expensive. . .I'm not sure if it's worth that much." His reply "OK, bye."

I mean, I don't want people to bend over backwards and kiss my ass, but I sort of want customer service reps to CARE if people cancel their service/product. Even if you don't cut me a break on pricing, at least give me the shtick on why I need your product. Try, would you? I would and have. I didn't love coffee when I worked at Starbucks, but I sold the shit out of it. I mean, the company's longevity would keep me in a job, no? I used to at least make the effort to get my supervisor to soothe the unctuous customer (or at least pretend to be the supervisor). And even knew the propaganda about why our product is superior.

Am I just an old man shaking my cane? Everything was better in the olden days?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

We'll Sleep When We're Dead

This is long overdue. Yours truly was the subject of a sleep study a few months back. It was awesome, in terms of the fact that it involved not only retching, but crying.

So, I don't sleep. Seriously, I'm like a gazelle, half awake, waiting for the lions to eat me all night long. The entire night? AWAKE. But only half so, as it turns out.

Anyways, the sleep issue was getting progressivly worse, and nothing was fixing it. Melatonin? PFFFF. Tylenol PM? I MOCK YOU. Ambien? Try this: sleep for 30 minutes and then WIDE AWAKE AND READY TO KILL. Honestly, that drug is a crock.

So....the study. I was nervous (what, me, worked up? NEVER), so I went in advance and checked to make sure that I A: wasn't allergic to the adhesives and B: that they could move some of the leads so as not to trigger a migrain (I have pain points on my skull.)

So, my demands met, I show up at 9 as requested. To find that they weren't putting me to bed for two hours. You know what ratchets me up? WAITING. With some dudes I don't know. And no cat. Or any comforts at all.

I request a walk around the area for a bit, which they grudgingly permitted. Maybe they thought I'd run away? Who knows why this was such an issue, but it was. After about an hour, I returned, and awaited my fate.

Apparently no one had received the memo about moving the leads, so I had to tell them again and again. I need special tape and NO LEADS ON MAH FACE. I did agree to the one on my leg, because, you know, who cares if the skin comes off there anyhow? It's just a leg.

So, my surly helper attempted to put all the leads in. A challenge, considering I have the most unruly hair, and it had to be clean. She would part, it would fall over what she was working on. As time progressed, she was pressing into my head harder and harder with each lead, as they didn't want to stick to my scalp, either. At this point, I was starting to feel nauseous, and the lights were starting to star out-a sure sign a migraine was brewing. She strapped me into bed (Seriously, there's this stupid belt thing that goes around your waist and you're also tethered by your brain. and they expect people to sleep like this.)

The nausea rising, I request that the trash can come for a visit. I get glared at, but she DID thrust the bin at me, so I wouldn't puke myself. Nice.

For the final insult to injury, she then got an oxygen lead? You know, the thing with the prongs that goes in your nose. YEAH. That. Which reeked. Like an old strawberry shortvake doll. And it was huge, filling one side of my nose entirely, as I have a deviated septum-one side has less room than the other.

Let me tell you, IS A JOY to have stinky things stuck up your nose when you're already migraning. STENCH FTW! Within minutes I was retching. Violently. OVER AND OVER, because every time I tried to breath, it smelled of that horrible, weird, plastic-toy smell. The leads were burning into my skull, and it reeked, and I had a weight belt on.

Apparently, they could hear me. After about 20 minutes, they asked if I was okay. At this point, I was quietly sobbing on the floor, OUT OF BED. After much begging on my part, they called the neurologist, who gave the go ahead for pain meds. THANK THE GODS.

At that point, I was told to go back to bed. Did I mention the bed was made of rocks? And springs? And everytime I moved, I hurt from it? I curled up on my side (BAD CALL) and festered there. I think I fell asleep for about 15 minutes. At which point I awakened in MASSIVE PAIN because the bed was so hard.

At 3:45 I threw in the towel and demanded release. I walked home, after much admonition that IT WASN'T SAFE. Yeah, my neighborhood, the DC equivalent of Rodeo Drive? SO DANGEROUS. Did I mention I saw two people walking their dogs when I went home? And one dude jogging? THOSE SCARY PEOPLE. WITH THEIR PETS AND THEIR EXERCISE.

Turns out I slept about an hour total. But I was able to tell the doctor everything that was said and everything that happened in the place overnight. She tells me I don't really go to sleep-I'm asleep, in REM and all that jazz, but I'm constantly waking up because OMG! WOLVES!

I would have made a great sentinel back in the day. Alas, nowadays, I am the girl that doesn't sleep, because OMG! CAT! OMG! CLICKING! OMG! LIGHT! OMG! WAS THAT SOME RAIN? HALP! COULD ATTACK AT ANY MOMENT. OMG! I MOVED! SOMETHING MUST BE COMING.

Yeah.....so, we'll see. it's a hard issue to treat. But at least I won't have to sleep on rocky, the bed of doom again.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

RHoDC: Summary of Awful People

Since having a baby six weeks ago, I have readjusted my priorities. And watching the Real Housewives of DC is one of them. I also make Baby watch repeats of West Wing, so he can understand politics.

I have great love for any shows that purportedly take place in DC. We don't get much love and when we do, it's often filmed in Ontario and then passed off as DC (Bones, I am looking at you with the fake subway and the Rock Creek stop and perpetual drives that only go past the Capitol because that's the only road in Bones' DC). And possibly DC may be getting some love with Obama in the White House, a non-crack-smoking mayor and with east moving gentrification which has made the city so much nicer than in the 80s (I saw my first prostitute on 14th St who propositioned my father with my sister and I in the back seat). I hope the DC gets some more entertainment cred, but RHoDC is not helping the situation.

So I saw RHoDC the other night. And it was even more awful that I thought it would be, which is bad. First of all, most of us have grown up in the DC Area and understand that DC is not a city for reality show whores because the powerful people in DC are too busy being powerful and important to have people film them. There are important people in DC who are classy and elegant, who think that reality shows are tacky and awful. Therefore (like all reality shows) Bravo is going to get the scrapings at the bottom of the shit barrel. But the people on this show are truly in a league of their own.

Here is the breakdown of the "ladies":

MARY: oh holy jeebus. She name dropped about a million names in the first ten minutes and she lives in McLean (across the street from Colin Powell and she summered with the Kennedys and WE GET IT.) Husband said she looked young but I think she looked a bit stretched and I told him to poke me when her shiny smooth forehead actually moved. Throughout the show she looked stoned and dead behind the eyes. Oh, and at her birthday dinner (at Equinox which really isn't that exclusive, but whatever), she totally started going off on how salons need to integrate and AWKWARD. She went on and on about how black and white hair should be treated the same. And then she dresses her husband in SEAFOAM pants and a blazer for the Washingtonian Style Award (she's best friends with the owner, NATCH).

STACIE: I actually didn't hate her so much. I think she might actually live in DC, she talked shit about people from the suburbs pretending they were from DC and she talked about how DC used to be a chocolate city. I hear that phrase bandied about a lot on the B2 bus - often people are lamenting the lack of chocolate and look at me as I am the only representative of whitey on that bus. Anyway, she is a realtor and says it's expensive to live in DC (she is insightful) and also knew Obama back when. She has some hawt love for Obama and she has very cute kids.

LYNDA: runs a "modeling" agency out of someone's basement and hates social climbers. She is dating a lovely black man half her age named Ebong. And that is awesome. She looked a little Maria Shriver-skeletal and has lots of kids. She called the polo match a goat rodeo and I repeated that phrase for the rest of the night. I loved her for that phrase alone, even though Husband and I were wondering what the hell a modeling agency was doing in DC (Hollywood for Ugly People). She says that she sends the girls out to embassies and dignitaries (*cough*escort service*cough*). I think she might actually live in DC as well.

BRITISH LADY: she is married to a White House photographer and had some romantic story about it but I so didn't care. She lives in some suburb in a very normal looking house (it could be something one of us lives in and why do I want to watch someone who isn't richer than I am?) and makes everything all about her. She loves Bush as a man because he RSVP'd to her wedding when Obama didn't (holy fuck, I wanted to smack her when she said that - deranged social climber and you are a waste of a British person).

SOCIAL CLIMBING ANOREXIC: this is the White House party crasher lady who I hate so much I don't even want to look up the spelling of her name. We had to start fast forwarding through her bullshit pretty early on. She started out with her low rent polo match (GOAT RODEO!) with the most famous person being the "celebrity stylist" from the local DC50 commercials (Paul Wharton - this is his blog: www.dc50tv.com/lifestyle/trendc). Oh, and some lobbyist who was dressed like a clown and then SCA starts talking about how she was a lobbyist at the state level. WTF. She lives in wine country and is a deadbeat.

So those are the Housewives.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I speak like Stevie from Malcolm in the M

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Douchebags Save Metro from Crazy Pregnant Lady

As a full-time Metro rider, I often suppress my fury at the issues Metro faces and/or creates. I feel as if I spend lots of time on Metro platforms and on bus stops trying to suppress impatience and helpless anger at the way Metro is run. What helps me get through it is watching the people who ride the Metro. It keeps me from going completely crazy on the Metro and from rushing the driver's seat and driving the train myself. I could even do it without texting or having my friends hang out in the driver's seat with me (oh, Metro).

So last night around 9:30pm, I am riding the red line from Silver Spring. I finally got on a train, after the message boards were broken and there was "track maintenance" at Medical Center, 15 stops away, so I had been waiting for a while. There was a dearth of entertaining people on the train. No random person preaching about Satan or telling the women they had demons and there wasn't even any singing. But then we hit the CUA stop and I hit the motherlode. A hoarde of douches alighted the Metro - law students from CUA. Now, I was once a law student at CUA. And it seems that nothing has changed - these were not only douches, but they were also typical DC guys (and CUA law students) who are maybe a 2 out of 10, but think they are an 11.

The median age of the whole group looked to be 23 and most looked nervous being on the train after dark. Most of the kids sat in the seats, clutching their Contracts text and smiled nervously. But the douche kings swaggered into the train and clustered right by the door. In case we weren't aware they were law students by their ostentatious carrying of a Torts book (which also means that they are first years, which hahaha, poser tools), they start talking loudly about how awesome they are at law school while simultaneously texting because they are busy and important.

Since they were standing in front of the doors, they had to pick up all of their books and man purses every time someone came on the Metro. One kid actually figured out that this was inconvenient and he moved - which promptly got his douche membership revoked. But the rest of them just kept sighing heavily and acting all put out when someone came on the Metro. Obviously, if the alighting passengers had been aware that they were FIRST YEAR LAW STUDENTS, they would have gone in a different way.