Sooooooooo, a lot has happened since the last time I posted here. The Keeper and I were house hunting from, like, October to December last year. We found a place, bought it, painted it, moved in and we’ve been trying to get it furnished and organized for most of the year so far. Still not quite done with that last part. I’m in the middle of putting a stencil up on a wall in our dining/living room, which is WAY more time consuming than you might expect. Before that there was painting old furniture we got from The Keeper’s grandmother. And before that there was buying furniture. I still don’t have my office set up. But we’re getting there.
A few years ago there was a site run by Alexandra Erin called 365 Tales. It was a place for people to post “flash fiction”, or super short stories. The main rule was each submission had to be 365 words or less. I posted a few things there before some catastrophe erased it from the interwebs and you can still find some of the site via Wayback Machine, but there was one story above all the rest. One story that got more feedback from the other posters on the site. One story that I was really, really proud of. That story, unfortunately, cannot be found on Wayback Machine and I didn’t ever save copies of the things I wrote for 365 Tales because I was a moron.
I tried a few times to re-create that story, but I was paralyzed by the fear of any second attempt being clearly inferior to the original. I’ve finally pushed through that fear and I think I’ve at least paid adequate tribute to the lost masterpiece I wrote for 365 Tales.
WARNING: THE NEXT 359 WORDS ARE GRAPHIC AND MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.
Marina pulled the robe around her a little tighter as she watched the rain through the broken windows of the abandoned warehouse. Behind her on the thin mattress her new toy was beginning to wake. Her toy’s eyes were opening when she turned around and it was just beginning to realize it was naked and bound.
Her toy stopped thrashing when it heard her approach. It’s eyes were wide with fear and anger as she stood over it. When she dropped her robe she saw lust begin to mix with the fear and anger. She stood allowing her toy to fully take in the sight of her curly red hair tumbling over her heavy, round breasts and the little tuft of red on her mound above the glistening, hard protrusion of her clit. The fear had disappeared from her toy’s eyes, and the anger was almost gone as well leaving only the lust. And when the lust had done it’s job, Marina sunk down to her knees straddling her toy’s hips as she slowly guided it’s hard cock inside her and began to ride.
Marina rocked back and forth on her toy slowly at first. Her fingers found her clit and she began thrusting her hips harder, head falling back and eyes closing as her orgasm began to build. She was getting close when the first noise of pleasure from her toy reached her ears. That would not do.
With her hips still thrusting Marina stretched back and found the knife. The blade bit into her toy’s inner thigh and it’s eyes flew open in confusion. Marina’s hips thrust and rocked more quickly as she ran the blade over her toy’s other thigh, eliciting an angry growl through the gag in her toy’s mouth. She slashed at her toy’s arms and chest and the growls turned to screams.
Marina ground her cunt down hard onto her toy’s cock, her body beginning to shake and shudder as she brought the knife across it’s throat. Warm, red ecstasy washed over her as she rode out the orgasm. Too soon she realized her toy had gone still. She had ruined another one.
I was out running an errand tonight and decided to treat myself to some frozen yogurt. So I go into the shop and I’m headed toward the cups when I am accosted by the cashier.
First she welcomes me to the store. Yea, ok fine. I know you’re probably not nearly as cheery and happy as you sound because I also work in food service, but your boss probably requires you to greet the customers so whatever.
Then she asks if I’ve been there before. I had, and I told her that, but why even ask? Why does it matter at all if I’ve been there before?
Lastly, after learning that I’ve bought yogurt from this store before, she thanks me for coming back. Uh… you’re welcome?
Just leave me the hell alone and let me go about my business!! Seriously, am I the only person who actively dislikes all the stupid polite small talk shit that the owners and managers of retail and food service places require their employees to spew at their customers? When I go into a shop of any kind I just want to do my shopping and leave. If I have a question, I will ask.
I don’t need to be greeted, I know you don’t care how my day is and I know you aren’t nearly as happy to be there as you’re pretending to be. So can we just skip that completely pointless interaction? I honestly do not understand why the people who manage these stores seem to think it makes any difference to the customer whether they are greeted when they come in. I have never spoken to someone who was happy with their purchase but wasn’t going to go back to a place because no one said hello when they walked in the door.
I don’t need help. At least not the minute I enter your store. If you’re a retailer, I need to look for the thing I’m there to buy. If you’re a food service establishment, I need to decide what I want to eat. What I do not need is you bothering me before I’m ready to make my purchase. All you’re doing is wasting both our time. Go do something more productive until I’m either ready to leave or I actually do need your help.
I don’t like platitudes, polite small talk or attempts to sell me things. Just leave me alone and let me get what I came for. As long as you’re not rude to me when or if I engage you I will be happy.
Am I alone in this? Do other people actually care whether they’re greeted or like it when a sales person tries to give them a tour or spiel about the products in the store?
Eight months. I haven’t written anything substantial in eight months.
And I’m not really writing anything now. But I’ve started to feel the itch again, so I thought I’d pop in here and let anyone who’s interested know that I’m not dead and hopefully neither is this blog.
Hopefully. But I’m not making any promises. That way lies disappointment.
I read a blog post recently about making sure you learn something new every day. It was one of those “keep your mind active”, “exercise your mind” type posts. And it put me in a mood to do one of those timed “name all the _______” quizzes, which is something I do from time to time anyway when I’m bored.
So I did a quick google search and I was soon on Sporcle. I’m not really sure what the name is supposed to mean, but the “games” section is fantastic. Especially with regard to the type of quizzes I was looking for. I started out with the simple “U.S. States” quiz where you have to name all the states in something like 5 minutes. Usually when I haven’t done this in a while I’ll miss one or two of the states I never have cause to think about in my daily life. Like Nebraska. Who thinks about Nebraska? Ya know, unless they live there. Anyhow, I don’t like to do these over and over because when you run out of time the ones you missed are displayed, and I feel it’s kind of cheating to look over the answers and then immediately go and retake the quiz. So I had to find another one to divert my focus before going back to try again.
Then, after switching back and forth between the US and Europe, I added South America.
I quickly realized that this was going to be more difficult than each of the little regional quizzes, because the world map is so much smaller that once you start naming things the names start to cover up the map and I had been remembering some countries based on their location on the map. I’m not doing too badly though. I can name about 150 of the 196 countries on the World quiz.
How many countries can you name?
During my looooong break from blogging there were a few things that came to my attention that just make absolutely no sense to me, or that I just don’t know the answer to or understand the reasoning behind. I considered writing about them individually, giving my opinions based on my extremely limited understanding, and then letting readers correct or applaud or call me an idiot depending on what they felt appropriate. But it occurred to me that doing things that way might not actually be the best way to educate myself. The posts (at least one of them) would probably end up being pretty inflammatory, which would mean the responses would probably be more accusatory than enlightening. So here’s what I’m going to do instead. I’m going to ask my questions in the least judgmental way I can come up with. Then I want you all to comment and try to educate me in the comments. And whether anyone replies or not, I’ll make follow up posts expressing my opinions. Sound like a plan? Good, then here are the questions:
- Why do people whose children have extremely kinky, curly hair allow them to get it straightened when they know how harsh and harmful the chemicals required to do so are?
- Why do people pay exorbitant amounts of money, money which in many cases might be better spent on things like food, shelter and clothing for themselves and/or their children, on hair weaves?
- What exactly is offensive about the word “midget”?
- Is there some reason that every time I see a girl with Down Syndrome, they always have the exact same haircut? Not the guys. The guys seem to either have differing haircuts, or they’re less noticeable or something. But all the girls I see with Down Syndrome seem to have the exact same hair and I just want to know whether there’s some reason for that.
Now, please, educate me.
(Note: It has been almost two months since I posted this and I have gotten zero comments or emails trying to give me some perspective on these questions. So I have decided to just ignore this post’s existence until someone bothers to comment on it. )
Living Social, Daily Deals, Groupon and other deal-a-day sites are great for customers. The Keeper and I have bought deals on food, cleaning services and one for a day out at a firing range from Living Social. But what about the businesses that participate in these promotions? To be honest, I never really thought about what the businesses get out of these deals or what impact these deals have on them when they are redeemed. I was just happy to be paying half price. But last Friday I got to experience a Living Social deal from the perspective of someone working in a restaurant. Here’s what went down:
We started getting calls at about 9:30am (an hour and a half before we actually open) from people asking questions about the deal and wanting to make reservations. The deal in question was with Living Social’s brand new “Instant Deals” function and the deal itself was $20 worth of food/drink and you pay only $1. They’re calling it their $1 Lunch deal and it was supposed to be valid from 11am until 2pm.
So when the managers on duty realized what was about to happen when we opened (the manager that handles making promo deals like this was conveniently scheduled until later in the day), they began frantically calling employees who weren’t scheduled to try and bring more kitchen and serving staff in to handle the extra traffic. I work in the back office normally, but being a new employee and knowing that the restaurant was going to be slammed today I volunteered to help out. They stationed me up front with the hostesses to redeem all the deal codes.
We opened at 11am and were pretty much immediately slammed. There was a line of people going out the door waiting for seats and to place carry out orders. There were people who had made reservations who weren’t getting seated because we were so packed. The kitchen was so backed up that people were waiting up to an hour for their food, both dine-in and carry out. We had to cut off service before the time that had been designated on Living Social’s site because of how backed up everything was. It was a nightmare.
Now, to be fair, I doubt this sort of thing happens with the normal deals from Living Social and other such places. Usually it’s a deal for 50% or so and it doesn’t become usable until the day after you buy it. Then there’s an expiration date like any other coupon, so people have weeks, or sometimes months to use the deal. This $1 lunch thing had a window of 3 hours in which to use it before you were refunded your money and the voucher code was no longer valid, so it stands to reason that during that window the places participating would be packed. However, as best we could tell, no one had given Living Social a maximum number of deals we could handle. Their site sold out of our deal before we actually opened, but we have no idea how many deals were bought. This sort of thing is more likely to hurt business than help it, which for the businesses is the entire point of participating.