Chaos Attraction

Who, Me, Bitter?

2015-04-20, 9:44 a.m.

So my weekend was mostly a bust. In the middle of Friday night/Saturday morning, my mom randomly started vomiting for no reason we could ever figure out. (She kept blaming it on my cream cheese, but I was all "ate the same thing as you have since you got here and I'm fine.") So that was fun timez. Anyway, she was way too nauseous and generally fucked up to go to the baby's birthday party--or to be left alone, for that matter--so she spent a lot of the weekend sleeping and I spent a lot of it babysitting her and spending a lovely weekend indoors.

Oh well, I am mostly caught up on watching Daredevil and half of the first half of Outlander at this point and introduced Mom to watching Kimmy Schmidt, so there's that. Yay Netflix streaming. I also finished knitting the sleeves for Mom's birthday present, so there's that too. I am also proud of myself for not vomiting in sympathy/grossout (I tend to puke if others are doing it) at any point during the weekend. I did start gagging a bit when I took the trash out--I regret to say that I was not able to tie off the bag without joining in myself-- but I figured eh, if someone finds a bag of vomit in the trash, it is Picnic Day weekend and that's part for the course.

While I'm perfectly fine missing the baby's birthday (I'm sure they probably missed us not at all), it did still kinda suck to miss Picnic Day, and the theater shows I wanted to go to, and the craft fair I wanted to go to.. Though I did see a lot of cops around town (at one point I had to make a saltines and ginger ale run) and heard a lot of sirens into the night. And walking around town this morning, I saw a lot of party wreckage and broken tables and messes of Red Solo Cups. And of course one of my coworkers is out at a class all day and two adults and almost every single student called out sick today. Everybody except the one girl I know is super busy at Picnic Day, and shecould still show up, ahem. Trust me, I wouldn't judge if she called in sick, but if she can show and the rest of you can't? But as for everybody else being out, fuck my life.

Mom was finally well enough to go back home mid-Sunday afternoon, so I at least got to go to my knitting group meeting. And while I still have my free pass to go to comedy shows--plus The Good Wife wasn't on that night--I drove back into Sac to catch some of the open mike nights, which they have running on Sundays and Mondays. It was...interesting, about the mixed bag I expected it to be. Everyone gets three minutes on stage, not the five I was originally told about. Some folks were better than others, but most people did seem like they were floundering and knew it...oh well. A lot of aspiring comics think that Tinder jokes are the bee's knees. Yes, we in the audience know what Tinder is. We just don't find it funny. You swipe to say yes or no to fucking, what else is there to it? Whoopetydoo?

I was most impressed with a 17-year-old(!!!) onstage who talked about making enemies while donating blood because they kept insisting on physically holding onto him, so he'd pretend to trip or do high kicks down the hallway. Good egg, that one. He made me wish I'd moved on this sort of thing sooner in life. Though to be fair to myself, I tried and got nowhere and my options were pretty limited as a suburban girl who didn't drive. I also liked a cute blonde nerd girl who was there for the first time. There were several dudes who were rather a turnoff, but I suppose that's to be expected. There were more girls than I expected, and I was surprised that ALL of the girls were of my ilk--which is to say, quirky looking and with glasses. Nerdgirls unite! So in the event that I ever decide to try something like this, I'll be in similar company.

I've never really been into the idea of doing a standup comedy routine. Yeah, I like monologuing, but I don't really "write jokes," they just kinda happen with me and I've always suspected that trying to write it down and plan it ahead of time would ruin the gift, as it were. (Plus I don't know about you, but how weird is it to watch a comic go from making jokes about being single to making jokes about his girlfriend, or vice versa? It's just...weird.) If I ever did an open mike, I'd rather just tell some funny real life story, like my aforementioned jury duty routine last summer. And to be fair, some folks did do that sort of thing, like one girl doing a routine about Planned Parenthood (and of course, Tinder).

On my way home, I attempted to design a routine in my head. I have been thinking of late that my job is reminding me of an improv skit. Basically we have me as the grounded person at work, and then various random weird people walking in or calling and insisting that my office does things that we don't do. For example, no joke, one day I was stuck answering the main phone line and some guy called wanting the Craft Center. And I was all, "dude, you are lucky you got ME on this one, because otherwise you are so calling in the wrong place." I'm at a complete loss as to how anyone would call this office expecting that someone here would know about how to do welding.

And what's even weirder is that at least half of the people to which I say, "We don't do that, call the X office," will insist that my office is where they want to be and we are the only ones who can answer that, or that the X office told them to come here. So as to avoid any legal/confidentiality objections, I've been trying to portray this sort of thing in such a way as to point out how completely off people's expectations of what we do are. Say...if someone walked into the Craft Center wanting something we don't offer. For example:

Let's say I'm at the front counter at the Craft Center and someone comes in with their laptop and a pile of books, which they dump on my desk.
"Hi, I need help on my calculus homework."
"Uh....this is the Craft Center."
"I know. I need help with my calculus homework." They then start a 20-minute long story about their homework, during which I am Not Allowed To Interrupt, because god forbid I interrupt anyone during their spiel to tell them they're calling the wrong place and save them some time and breath.
"Uh...this is the Craft Center. We don't do calculus homework here. If you needed help learning how to solder or cut glass or screenprint, you'd be in the right place. But I never took calculus in school and I can't help you."
"But they saiiiiiiiiid the Craft Center would help me with my calculus homework."
"Who's they? Who told you that?"
"The Math Study Center."
"Waaaaaait a minute. You're telling me that the Math Study Center, the place dedicated to helping students study for math, told YOU to come HERE for MATH HOMEWORK HELP."
"Yes. They totally said you knew all the answers to calculus,"
(I'm thinking, O RLY?! and that maybe I should complain to the Math Study Center later.)
"Well, I hate to tell you this, but they were wrong to send you here. We don't do biology here. I myself have no knowledge of calculus, and you know more about your homework than I do. You're going to have to go back to the Math Study Center, I'm afraid."
"But they saiiiiiiiiiiiiid to come heeeeeere."
"And I don't know why they did that, but they would know a lot more about calculus than I do. Seriously, I have never done calculus, I was an English major."
"But aren't you supposed to know everything?"

I end up being forced to resorting to Googling to find the answer to their question, because everybody loves forcing someone else to Google for you. Of course, I don't find jack because guess what, I don't know diddly about what anyone is studying in calculus class. The student refuses to leave until I find SOMEONE in the building to help them do their calculus homework. I turn around to find everyone else on shift with me have all disappeared and I can find no one. I'm not supposed to be leaving the front counter totally alone, but at this point I have no option. Maybe one other of my fellow shift workers will turn up, but she was an art major and didn't do calculus either.

I go through the entire building looking for the manager, who turns up 15 minutes later. The manager tells the student that no, nobody here is even taking calculus now, this isn't the math study center, and we can't help them. The student leaves after oh, 25 minutes of this altogether, because they won't believe me when I say I can't help with calculus until a manager tells her she can't help with calculus. And then the next time I come in there I find out that the student started calling various higher-ups to complain about how I didn't help them, and I get in trouble.

Seriously, every fucking day is this kind of thing. Except trying to write or tell it in a funny manner, whether it's an improv skit or stand-up just isn't funny. More like frustrating and depressing as shit.

I am feeling very fed up at work again because every Friday lately we have been OMG SHORT STAFFED and I am the only one who is ever fucking here every week. I have no sick kids to take care of, I never get sick, I don't have a sick husband or parent to take care of (other than this weekend anyway), so I am always goddamned here. Last Friday an entire team was allowed to go home early on Friday (why?!?), so once again we were OMG SHORT STAFFED and I had to be on the phones all afternoon, answering calls that clearly needed to go elsewhere and I swear I didn't know the answer to anything anyone called about.

When I saw the schedule for this Friday--which is to say, my birthday-- guess what! We're short staffed again! All of the students will be out again, so we're going to have to be on the phones all day! Oh, and my boss is leaving for most of the day as well! At which point I was all, OH FUCK THIS SHIT. I have been being a damn "team player" for no reward* and a shit ton of stress and getting in trouble for not being able to solve the problems of most of the people who call. I have been here every damn day except for one half day I missed for that pointless job interview and the occasional dentist appointment.

* seriously, my boss has wanted to take us all out to lunch for a project we finished in November and we still can't do it--now including on my birthday which was when it had been once again tentatively rescheduled for--because OMG SHORT STAFFED EVERYONE ON THE PHONES AGAIN happens every fucking time.

I am not usually overly precious about my birthday and usually go to work on it and don't do much, but I do not want to spend my entire birthday answering the phones and wishing I would just drop dead at my desk. That is where I draw the line--and put in for a vacation day and got it. Even if I end up doing jack shit all day, I do not want to spend it as another OMG SHORT STAFFED day from hell, actively wishing for death.

We finally get new phone-answering employees starting on May 1, and during the late spring and summer, for once we are actually kinda "overstaffed" rather than understaffed. God, I can't wait until that happens, because I am so sick of feeling like a stupid dumb asshole at work who can't actually do anything she's being asked to do. You know, like work miracles, do your calculus homework, reprogram your computer, and give you financial advice.

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