The 98% humorous musings of M. Lizabeth Currain

Tag: customers

My So-called Menses

I don’t know how many of my dear readers are female, but if there is one out there, then this will at least be relatable to one person, and that’s all that really matters. Touching one life at a time.

I’m just going to assume if you are a female, that at one time or another, someone you know (or don’t know) has blamed your “attitude” on your (pre)menstrual cycle. I, for one, am bothered by this.

Here’s a clip from “The Office” as an example. You can watch the whole clip on Hulu.com

This might be a little bit of a bad example, because it’s honestly one of the funniest moments on “The Office”; and sweetest! But you understand where I am going with this? Because a woman is crying, she automatically has to be on her period?

Most of the time, at least in my case, the perpetrators are other women. Rarely has a male’s reaction to my attitude been, “you on the rag or something?” Usually they just want me fired (true story)! I feel like women commenting on another woman’s menstrual cycle falls into one of two categories: trying to relate or trying to berate. OH SHIT! I JUST RHYMED! HOLLA!

::ahem:: Both of my examples come from work (of course) which I find both odd and disrespectful. Maybe it’s how I was raised, or maybe I’m just not an idiot, but when I’m at the grocery store and the girl at the checkout is angry, yet again, (maybe it’s a New York thing? I have yet to go to a grocery story where the girls at the check out are in a good mood) I don’t proceed to ask them if they are PMSing and if they would like a Premysn.

So in the first instance, I was at work, at the register, trying to get through a line of people, filling out furniture contracts, answering people’s inane questions about what’s on sale, even though there are a million signs, and some jackson avenue is playing one of the pianos. And we all know how I feel about people playing the piano. I ask one of my coworkers if they can ask the person to stop playing the piano, because I can’t concentrate on what I am trying to do. Then this Chatty Cathy in line starts running her mouth asking why I don’t like the people playing the piano.  I try to explain to her that between the (god awful) music we have playing in the store, the questions I have to answer while I’m trying to ring people up, and someone who thinks they are Beethoven in the back, it’s very hard for me to concentrate on being 100% accurate on the register. I know! Taking my job somewhat seriously?! How dare I!! She then proceeds to ask me, in a somewhat “woman to woman” tone: “Are you sure it’s not just PMS?”


ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Because I want to be able to concentrate on what I am doing, without the added annoyance of  this:

I am suddenly and most definitely PMSing? Also, how is that an appropriate thing to say to someone you don’t know, at their job?I think it was slightly more annoying because of her tone; like she was she was giving me a verbal “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” like we had a secret in common. Listen lady, I don’t know you, stop trying to be all up in my business. Also, she seemed close to retiring to Shady Pines, so I am doubtful she even remembers what PMS is.

On the berating front of this equation, I have this scenario to offer: Again, I am at the register, ringing people up, trying to stay calm while I have a line that is wrapping around the counter; because we were having a huge sale going on; when my line comes to a stand-still. A woman is at the register, UNDECIDED. There is nothing that irks me more, than working behind the register, trying to keep a line moving, and having someone mess up the flow of things. I like people to be prepared, and already know what they want–I really don’t think that I am asking a lot of them. So she has about five items and is trying to decided which one to give up. So she decides to get rid of one that was $10 and keep the one that was $5. Meanwhile, the line is building and my blood pressure is rising and I am having a hard time refraining from yelling at her to hurry it up. So after I finish ringing her up, she decides that she wants the shirt she put back, instead of the one she kept. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but she was already working my last nerve, and plus, I have to cancel everything out and re-ring it, because I am working with a register that looks like this:

Pretty intense and pretty true to life.

So of course when I am finished re-ringing it, her total ends up being more than it was the first time, because the shirt she put back was less expensive than the one she decided to take. Not really rocket science. Here is a play-by-play of what happened next. She is going to be referred to henceforth as “scrubs” because that’s what she was wearing. Also, anything that I said was usually accompanied by a sigh, an eye roll, and an abrupt tone of voice that I save for people I am officially over. One more thing, if what Scrubs is saying is grammatically incorrect, it is intended. I’m all about realness.

Scrubs: Why is it more now?

Me: Because the shirt you put back was $5 and the one you got was $10. ::disgruntled sigh::

I tossed her stuff in a plastic bag because I only fold things for people who don’t irritate me. I started ringing up the next person.

Scrubs: (She started getting high and mighty; you could hear it in her voice) Can I have paper bag? ( I handed her the paper bag) You just toss my stuff in bag like it’s garbage. I paying customer too. You have attitude problem.

So then, some random guy comes up from the basement and she looks at him:

Scrubs: Why aren’t you at register? The men here are so much nicer. All the women here have problem!

At this point, if I hadn’t of said anything, I think my head would have exploded. I also want to commend myself on the fact that I was able to keep ringing people up while in the middle of my outburst against this woman.

Me: (looking right at her) YEAAAAAH, WE ALL GOT PROBLEMS DON’T WE!

Scrubs: You have a attitude problem. I don’t know what your problem is!

Me: I’ll tell you what my problem is. My problem is you.

Scrubs: You need fix your attitude.

Me: It will be once you walk out that door.

Scrubs: You have problem. You must be on period!

What was mildly entertaining about this exchange, was that I was being very pleasant to everyone else that I was ringing up, in the midst of my argument with this woman. Also, when she said the word “period” one of my male supervisors was walking by and got this really confused and grossed out look on his face.

So she finally decides to leave and on her way out she is stopping random male employees/volunteers near the door to tell them how nice they are. So I shouted, “HAVE A NICE DAY!”.

I am sorry, but I think a woman blaming another woman’s disposition on her period is a woman-on-woman crime. It only perpetuates the ancient stereotype of women being raging beasts during their “time of the month”. That’s not something we should be encouraging. I think it partly has to do with the caliber of people that I am dealing with. None of them are emotionally or mentally capable of realizing that my attitude is proportional to their stupidity. It has nothing to do with the fact that I may or may not be menstruating. It’s hard for them to accept. They want to blame my uterus for the poor customer service they are receiving. I take full responsibility for whatever level of customer service I am doling out, PMS has nothing to do with it–I hate you whether I am bleeding or not. Simple as that.

The lesson: My uterus is not to be trifled with.

Pet Peeves

I get peeved a lot. I’m not going to lie, I’m somewhat easily peeved–especially early in the morning or when I am tired. Now would be a poor time to try and back peddle and say that I am “easy-going; and let things roll off my back”, because I’ve already said that I get peeved easily. But those who know me, know that when I get peeved, I turn into a story, for all those around me to hear. I generally keep telling it, until everyone in my path has heard my story about how someone annoyed me on the subway, the sidewalk, work, or a store, etc. Most of the time, these stories are humorous, other times they fall short (we all have our off days, okay?!), and now I am about to share some of my pet peeves with all of you, my dear readers.

I was on the train yesterday, and there, across from me, were two things that bother me–all being done by one person. First of all, I don’t know who thought that these coats were a good idea; but they’re not. They’re terrible. They don’t flatter anyone, they are incredibly ugly, and I’m sure if I was ever unfortunate enough to get close to one, it would smell–like burnt rubber. Because that is what it looks like. It looks like someone has turned a tire into a jacket and then stamped in stupid designs–like an image of Scarface. Every time I see someone wearing one of these horrendous coats, it offends every sense that I have. It makes me hurt. It make me throw up in my mouth, at least 3 times. And this kid was wearing one. Not only was he wearing this jacket, but he was listening to music on his Sidekick, not only was he listening to music on his Sidekick, but so was I–because he wasn’t using headphones. Not everyone shares my taste in music, so I can only assume that not everyone shares his taste in music. The train is not your room, where you are free to play your music out in the open as loud as you would like–because there are other people around you! I don’t want to listen to R. Kelly on my way home from work, where I was just subjected to 8 hours of Madonna. Now you may be saying, “Why don’t you just listen to your own music?” and normally I would have put my Ipod on, but the battery was dead. That doesn’t make a difference to me, because I would still be annoyed even if I had my Ipod going. I would be annoyed for the people around me. The mere fact that I know that it’s going on, peeves me greatly, and that’s just the way it goes.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when people come up to the cash register to pay and have their earphones in or are talking on their cell phones bother me on a personal and professional level. First of all, it’s disrespectful, if you are going to be interacting with another human being, regardless of what hat interaction is, you should take a minute to pause your music or pause your conversation. I especially hate it when I have to repeat myself, because they can’t hear me, and then after the fifth time that I’ve repeated myself, they take out their earphone or hang up their phone. Then by that time, I have no interest in being nice to them, so they get all offended when I get all attitude-y. I once had an encounter with a woman, who the whole time while I was talking to her, was listening to her Ipod and then had the audacity to get upset with me, when she hadn’t been hearing clearly what I had been explaining to her–like how our credit card machine wasn’t working, but I would hold the chairs that she wanted to purchase for an hour while she went to get cash–which she took to mean that the chairs were hers and she could come back in two days and get them when she wanted, WITHOUT PAYING. Which is ridiculous. Maybe if she had turned off her James Taylor, she wouldn’t have stalked off all angry.

Sometimes the trains are crowded and we are all crammed in there like Crayola’s in crayon box, but that’s not what this is about. This is about those special times, when the trains aren’t crowded…when there are plenty of seats available, yet someone comes over and and sits RIGHT NEXT TO YOU. This happened to me today, on my way to work. Practically the whole was empty and this lady sat right on top of me. I don’t get it. I really don’t. There is no logical explanation for it. Try to find an explanation for it, makes my mind hurt. Also, one time, I was sort of in a coma, on my way home work. I mean, completely peaced out (definition number 1). Then I hear this man saying excuse me, because he wanted to sit down. I guess the two people on either side of me had gotten off the train, so I was still in the middle seat. Well, I look up, and to try and put it nicely, was not the smallest person I have ever seen. He needed me to scoot over, so he could sit down comfortably. Now, I’m no twig, by any means, but I certainly don’t take up two seats on the subway–and I wouldn’t be waking anyone up for them to scoot over if I did. I hate it when people try to squeeze themselves in spaces where they won’t fit. I try to gauge whether or not I am going to be able to fit my decent sized ass in that seat between people–because frankly, I don’t want to be uncomfortable, sitting with my arms straight out in front of me to make more room. I have limits. Also, if anyone else gets irritated when someone brushes up against them during their morning commute, chock it up to being more sensitive to touch early in the morning. I can’t link you to anything, because I read it in Cosmo a while ago–and it had nothing to do with what I just mentioned, it was more along the lines of, “surprise your man with a hand-job in the morning because we are more sensitive to touch and he will be greatly aroused,” or something. Do that, and have a sore wrist to add to your list of things that will irritate you for the rest of the day. Thanks Cosmo.

Girls who wear stupid accessories. I saw a girl on my way to work this morning wearing a really stupid hat. It was tiny, and she was wearing it at the front of her head and to the side–a cocktail hat. Like she was at a jazz club in Paris in the 30’s. All she needed was to be smoking a cigarette through one of those holders. I mean come on! It’s not like today was Halloween and it was 11 in the morning on a Wednesday, so I doubt she was heading to a costume party, plus, her hat didn’t really match the rest of her ensemble. She looked like a jack ass. I wanted to punch her in the face. Her tiny hat peeved me to the extreme for some reason.

I have a lot more pet peeves than this, but it is getting late and I have to work tomorrow. Perhaps I should turn my “Pet Peeves” into a weekly or monthly special. Anyone up for that? or should I just let this be it and move on? bottle up all my pet peeves until they finally bottle rocket out of me?

Post Office

I had a delightful weekend, jam-packed with excitement: A friend’s apartment warming party–there was a drunk foreigner and a transgen; doesn’t get more warm than that! As a small side note, I have not yet revealed to all you readers how much I love the transgen community. I have a special name for them, but that will be an entirely separate post sometime in the near future. However, this particular Transgen, reminded me a little bit of James St. James, if James St. James had an ongoing meth addiction. Then on Saturday my old roomie from college came down for a visit. Unfortunately the weather was completely disastrous, which killed some of the fun. Although, we did go to Shake Shack (also). Let me tell you. I walk past this place pretty much every day. In the summer, that line was kickin’, and people would be lined up practically around the park at like 1pm–now I know why. I’ve been hearing people rave about this place and now I can rave about it too. I had the ‘Shroom Burger which is a portobello mushroom that is jam packed with muenster (my fav!) and cheddar cheeses…and…wait for it….FRIED TO PERFECTION! It was delicious. Try it. If you love cheese half as much as I do, you won’t be disappointed. Finally on Sunday, after work, my associate (power adjectives to describe coworkers is all the rage) and I, retreated to the Crocodile Lounge near Union Square. You get a free personal pizza with every drink you order. After that we went to the Donut Pub. The old Polish man running the joint agreed with me that deciding whether or not to buy a house is easier than choosing a donut. So that was my weekend–I just wanted to bring everyone up to speed. I was not neglecting you.

So the post office. Does anyone remember back in the late-80’s early-90’s when the term “Going Postal” was pretty much the funniest thing you could say besides, “I’m gonna go medieval on your ass!” Well, every time I go into the post office, I can understand why they were disgruntled. Frankly, working in customer service has made me somewhat empathetic to those who harbor feelings of going postal. Customers are lame! Coworkers can be annoying! Management is stupid! It can be stressful. It’s a challenge to not throw a pen at a customer’s face when ask you to double bag a used t-shirt, because they have to go on the subway. What does that have to do with anything?! These people are cray-cray.

There is a post office next to where I work, so occasionally, I will pop in there to buy a stamp to mail my rent, or mail my brother’s birthday gift 3 months late. Now that they have that automated shipping thing, it really cuts down on time spent in the post office, unless you are behind someone that is technologically challenged. I can say, that speaking from my personal experience in this post office, it is usually the customers who are causing the delays. It is almost as if they have never mailed anything before and they don’t know how the post office works. It takes them almost 10 minutes to figure out how to mail something Priority. As I have learned, or maybe I am only speaking for myself on this, the teller, the cashier, the postal worker, etc., is only as fast as their slowest customer. So if I am at the cash register and am ringing up some confused old biddy, and have a line of people, they are just going to have to wait while she digs around in her purse for exact change. Short of snatching the purse from her and getting the change myself, there is nothing I can do.

Since I work next to the post office, a lot of the postal workers come into the store on their break. There is this really nice lady that I see pretty much every day, and she said that if there was ever a line, and I had to mail something, just to come to her, because she knows how it is trying to run an errand on your break. So today, I finally scrounged up the change to mail my absentee ballot (Obama/Biden, in case you were wondering). However, as I carefully placed that $.42 stamp on that over sized envelope, I began to have doubts that that was going to be enough postage to carry my vote all the way to Alaska where it would (hopefully) be counted. The line was long, and I had somewhere to be, and it was just a quick question, I figured I would ask and then go carefully place another stamp on the envelope and be on my way. So I stood next to the long line of people, trying to make eye-contact with my postal lady, which I did, and she waved me over as her previous customer was leaving. The best thing that has ever happened to me in a post office is as follows:

Me: I just have a quick question, is this enough postage? I just want to make sure my vote gets there!

Fav Postal Lady: Oh no! It’s too big, let me check for you. (she goes to weigh my ballot to see how much more postage I need)

Cray-Cray Line Lady: Aren’t we all waiting in line?! (I didn’t turn around, because I know better than to make eye-contact with the cray-crays.)

FPL: Excuse me? (Read that as sassily as you can)

CCLL: I said aren’t we all waiting in line?

FPL: (Sassily) Yes. And you will be called. Okay, it need’s another $.41.

Me: (Handing her my change) Thank you so much! (I start to walk away)

FPL: Don’t forget your receipt, baby

Me: Thanks! See you Wednesday probably! (running away from angry line members)

I got special treatment at the post office. I got to the jump the queue! I made other people angry by feeling entitled to go directly to my favorite postal lady. My favorite postal lady encouraged it and hates the other customers because they don’t understand the way that I can understand.

I am an elitest east coaster, who jumped the line at the post office–a real american institution–to send my ballot back home to elect Obama! I doubt what those people were mailing was as important as that.

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