Wednesday, April 25, 2012

They Can't All Be Winners (UPDATED)

Previously, on Sweet Sassyfats, I wrote about how my unhealthy obsession with Ghost Adventures has expanded my musical horizons. When Zak Bagans first announced that he was doing vocals for a new Lords of Acid song I was beyond psyched. Lords of Acid had its heyday in the 90s, but I somehow missed them back in the day. Probably because I was deep into my Alternative Rock phase, listening almost exclusively to whatever was playing on HFS. The heavily electronic acid music wave owed its success to the rave scene. Remember raves? Yeah, me neither. I never went to one. Hence my ignorance regarding Lords of Acid. But my loyal adherence to clicking on the various and sundry YouTube links that Zak posts on Twitter finally introduced me to this band. Better late than never, I suppose.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So How Much Have You Lost?

Since beginning my commitment to Health at Every Size about a year ago, I've gone through a noticeable transformation. As my overall health has improved, my body has shrunken some along the way. Also, as my energy level continues to rise, my overall demeanor has improved. I’ve always been able to force a smile or fake my way through cheerfulness long enough to make water cooler small talk before returning to the dark recesses of my innermost thoughts (think Eeyore, but with lots more cussing), but now that I’m fueling my body with healthy foods a good 80% of the time and exercising regularly, I’m having more moments of genuine cheerfulness. (Don’t worry, I still have routine bouts of crippling depression/anxiety and will always be fluent in Sarcasm. I’m still me, gosh darn it!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Would You Do?

This evening, Miracle Man and I took Em out for ice cream after dropping El off at Girl Scouts. In the parking lot of our local Rita's, we witnessed an altercation between two very large adults and their very small preschool aged daughter. The little girl had taken off across the parking lot, looking behind her and giggling the whole time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ineffective Evangelization (Alternate Title: Why I’m Glad I No Longer Work In Retail)

On a recent sunny Wednesday, I stopped in at my local CVS to load up on healthy Easter treats like chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. Because for some reason that I am certain is based on sound theology, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior calls for spiked blood sugar and tooth decay. 

As I made my way to the checkout counter,  I heard a woman demand to know why her coupon was not valid and who, exactly, the cashier thought she was by saying otherwise. The irate customer was not shy about heaping verbal abuse upon the cashier’s head. The cashier, clearly a veteran, countered Irate Customer’s venom with apologies for inconvenience and assurances that her hands were tied. Irate Customer just kept getting louder and using harsher words until Veteran Cashier finally said, “Ma’am, it’s my job to uphold store policy, not to take abuse from people like you. Maybe the manager can help you.”
Don't take nuthin' offa NOBODY!!
Irate Customer, clearly unsatisfied with the Veteran Cashier’s attempt to end the confrontation, shouted profanities at Veteran Cashier and a second cashier who had arrived on the scene. The second cashier was young and clearly bewildered by Irate Customer. Veteran Cashier ignored the tirade and rang up customers with polite smiles and cheerful suggestions that they have a great day. Naturally, Irate Customer got even more pissed off.

I wish I could say that the other customers and I banded together to physically remove Irate Customer from the store. Instead, we all avoided eye contact like the plague and tried to make it look like we didn’t notice that Irate Customer was even there. (“Oh, there’s a confrontation going on two feet in front of me? I had no idea! I was just so engrossed in admiring the ceiling tile!”) After all, her mental stability was questionable, and you never really know who’s packin’ these days.

When the manager finally made it to the counter, he calmly explained why the store was unable to give Irate Customer the discount she so passionately sought. The manager and cashiers were as polite and professional as they could be under the circumstances, but they stood their ground. Finally, Irate Customer bellowed her exit line as she stormed out of the store:

Y’all [rhymes with glass bowls] need to get your [rhymes with glasses] some [rhymes with brutha truckin’] Jesus up in this [rhymes with brutha  truckin’] place!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all about reaching out to Jesus when in need. Praise the Lord and all that good churchy stuff. Nonetheless, I could not help but feel that Irate Customer was rather disinterested in the retail staff’s eternal salvation. Call me old fashioned, but it seems like if you really do believe that people need Jesus in their lives (or at their drugstore checkout counters), you might not cuss quite so much when making prayer suggestions. If there is one thing that turns people off to the Good News more than a group of evangelists knocking on their door to discuss salvation, it's being shouted down and cussed out by someone who claims to promote the Christian way.

But that’s just my humble opinion.

When it was my turn, Veteran Cashier and I shared a hearty laugh over Irate Customer’s behavior (After she had left, of course.) I had worked in that very same store in my teens and had suffered similar abuse at the hands of many a customer of questionable sanity. Twenty years ago, I would have had to bite back hot tears and try not to cry when confronted by such a customer. These days, my skin is a lot thicker and my tolerance for bovine feces is a lot lower, so I would probably be able to laugh it off. 

That said, witnessing Irate Customer’s tantrum reminded me to be joyfully grateful for the frustrations I face in my present job as a professional grammar cop. Even on my worst days, I don’t have to put up with crap like that. And for that, there's only one thing to say:

On that note, have a blessed Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Open Letter to Oil Tycoons

Dear Oil Tycoons,
I hope I have addressed you properly. I’m not entirely sure you still go by the title of “tycoon”; in fact, I can’t even write the word without hearing the voice of a World War II newsreel reporter in my head. I would be heartbroken to learn I have offended you by using an antiquated salutation. Please let me know if I should call you something else. Like Asshole “Your Highness.” Or Greedy Bastard “Your Excellency.” Or “Dude.” Whatever it is you go by these days.  
That said, I was cursing your very existence thinking about you just this morning. There I stood at my local filling station, watching my bank account dwindle feeding my unpretentious Saturn ION, thinking about money. Since I was in the act of purchasing the end product of all your hard work, I started thinking about YOUR money. And how much of it you probably have. I’m sure you have stabbed many backs worked very hard to build your obscene well-deserved wealth, and I seriously resent would never, ever begrudge you your success.
But back to this morning. Did you know that common folk have to fill up their own gas tanks? I know – crazy, right? We actually drive ourselves to the gas station, get out of the car, pay for the gas, and operate the pump. You should ask your chauffeur about it sometime; I’m sure he’d love to push you off a cliff tell you all about it.
I’ve pumped gas enough times not to have to think too hard about the steps involved, so my mind is free to wander. I know you don’t give a shit care deeply about your consumer base, so I thought I might grab you by the lapels and shake you violently step forward to share a lighthearted anecdote about this morning’s musings. You know, to shame you publicly help you realize the extent of your bloodletting keep your finger on the pulse of the people you’re screwing over your customers.
This morning, as I stood there watching the digits next to “Total” move at warp speed, my train of thought went something like this: “Wait. Is the pump counting by 10s? How is the ‘Total’ moving so much faster than the ‘Gallons'? Are you freaking KIDDING me?!?!?!” Then I thought, “I wonder if I’ll have enough left over to buy milk AND bread.” (You know. For my kids. Did you know those little rascals insist on eating every single day? Several times a day? Ask your nanny about it sometime. I’m sure she’d love to push you out of an airplane tell you all about it. I digress…) Then it occurred to me, “If I don’t fill up the tank all the way I won’t have enough gas to last until payday. Then I won’t be able to get to work.”
Isn’t that hysterical? It’s totally Reader’s Digest material. I mean, not only was I standing there worried about making my salary stretch the full length of the pay cycle, but I was also attempting to do math in my head!! I mean, can you imagine standing there on a chilly April morning, counting on your fingers and worrying that you might not be able to buy gas AND a few basic necessities for your children? Of course not. You’re too busy counting all your damn money.
What a HOOT!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Not my problem Sassyfats, you should just work harder so you can be rich like me.” Again, I want to punch you in the balls repeatedly don’t want to offend you by suggesting that you are totally effing clueless would be anything less than absolutely correct in your assumption that I just haven’t worked hard enough to reach your level of financial security. The truth is, I did what this popular 1990s poster vaguely suggested I do:
I don't see any Saturns in there.
I went to college like a good girl. After college, I took a good job at a good company to which I have been loyal for 15 years. I work hard and they pay me relatively well. But you know what? I still haven’t figured out how to get from “Mid-level Documentation Hack” to “Oil Tycoon.” In fact, I haven’t even figured out how to get from “Mid-level Documentation Hack” to “Chief Bottle Washer”  without sacrificing the precious little time I get to spend with my young children and disabled spouse every day. Of course, you probably give wealth accumulation a higher priority than family bonding, so you wouldn’t understand my predicament. Asshole. If you have any suggestions on work-life balance, please let me know.
It is possible – and this might be a crazy idea, but just hear me out – that if your salary were not so effing astronomical just a teensy bit lower, the millions of Americans who are NOT oil tycoons would not be totally effing broke so concerned about gas prices. Prices might actually be a little lower, and we would actually be able to breathe a little bit. Not that you care. And for that, we would consider resisting the urge to burn you in effigy be ever so grateful. Not that you care. Just a little food for thought.    
Die, You Greedy Bastards