Monthly Archives: April 2007

chat buds and what’s become of them

I often wonder what’s become of the people I used to chat with.

See, I used to chat. A LOT. I mean, 5-6 hours a night sometimes, in lieu of much of anything else. This was until I met Sarah, my wife, who actually started out as a chat friend herself. Our meeting was unique in a couple ways. See, she was (and is) a manager at a nationwide drugstore chain, and thus she rarely cashiered. However, since she was covering someone’s break, I happened to “meet” her in the checkout line. Now, we didn’t actually meet. Her face made an impression, but nothing else. Later that month, she actually IM’d me, completely out of the blue, apparently liking my profile. We chatted for about half a month, finally meeting when I invited her to Rio Bravo, a mexican restaurant (that’s now a Chevy’s restaurant).
The other neat thing about our meeting was that Rio Bravo is the midpoint of the places we both worked at the time we met, her drugstore and my Domino’s Pizza. I mentioned such things in a card I made her for our 2nd anniversary, which she still has.

However, this is mainly about those I’ve either only chatted with, or those I used to chat with, but have somehow disappeared. The most notable chat-friend I have has got to be Melinda Cassler of New Jersey. She knows more hard facts about me than nye anyone else, I would imagine, especially if she saved our chats over the years. I say years, since I’ve chatted with her since sometime in 1998 or ’99, nearly 10 years now. I may even have our first chats saved on my iMac, which hasn’t been functional since 2002, so I don’t know. I knew her before nearly everyone I know now. She started out as a jewish girl engaged to be married, and is now a catholic who’s been hitched for about 5-7 years or so. She’s an aspiring writer who, like me, has never been able to sit down and write a cogent lengthy piece of writing, but she has tons of short poems and stories that are some of the most engaging work I’ve ever read.

I hope we both grow more patient with age, enough to sit down and truly write something great.

The only other notables that I remember by name are Jill Emkes, Laura Breyer, and …man, and I can’t remember the 3rd one’s name….oh wait, Tabitha Savoie. I chatted with those 3 incessantly over a couple years, along with a dozen or so other chatfolks. Most of the people were pretty messed up to tell you the truth, with the exceptions of those 3, Mel, and Sarah of course. There was the girl who was a cutter…I tried for months to get her to seek help, with eventually good results. There was the girl who wanted me to come to a concert on the North Dakota / Canada border, which I declined at the time.

And then the locals. Those crazy gals who happened to live in the city I lived in at the time, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Undoubtedly, with few exceptions, I would meet them at the Fry’n Pan on east 12th street. A nice, safe, neutral setting. For some of them were a…little weird. There was the girl who all but invited me into a girl-girl-guy 3-way on our first meeting, to which I politely declined. (I was pretty messed up at that point in my life, and despite what adult literature would say, I don’t really think a 3-way would be the healthiest thing in everyone’s lives, least of all my own). There was the girl who seemed to collect lab-tested deformed cats, which were cute in a very bent sort of way.
And there was Sherry…something. In love with her dog. I’m not the biggest fan of dog-lovers. Even now, I suspect that if my wife’s dog had been alive when we first met, we very well might not be together. I like cats, but I don’t LIKE cats. See, Sherry LIKED her dog…a little too much. Talking baby talk to the thing. Taking it EVERYWHERE. It was horrible. It took a long time before I could actually meet one of my chat friends again thanks to her.

Now, and I know Mel is reading this, there’s only two of my old chat friends that I still speak with today, and one of them is my wife. It was hard, given that I barely chatted with anyone the whole time I was in the Air Force. Four years apart from chatting does a lot to kill those friendships.

Do I miss them? I miss it when I don’t chat with Mel, aka Quillswift, aka Mother Nature, but she is really about the only one. And I don’t exactly chat with the wife.

Well, that’s about it for tonight. Take care all youze.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Mythos of Traffic Lights

I like traffic lights…although my name’s not Bamber.

Wednesday April 25, 2007

Traffic lights governed by ‘stop-bars’

By KEVIN DUKE
kevin.duke@centre.edu

When Bobby Barrick sees someone sitting at a red traffic light with no cars coming in the opposite direction, he knows that they did not heed the laws of the “stop-bar.”

The stop-bar is the “wide, white line that is painted in each traffic lane for signalized intersections,” says Barrick, president of Signal Power and Light Inc.

Alex Waldrop, Louisville native and college student, was not aware that these white lines are more than indicators of where to stop.

In fact, he says, “I usually pull beyond the white line. But I know that there are sensors and think they are magnetic.”

This is fairly accurate. The bar is inset with copper conductors, says Barrick, who has been working in the traffic control business since 1982.

The conductors create a magnetic field. When a car enters this field, the metal of the car should “deflect the lines of flux in the magnetic field and basically give the traffic signal controller a call for green.”

However, simply breaking the magnetic field only momentarily will not trip the signal change, according to Barrick.

A car must break the flux of the magnetic field and stay there for a varying amount of time, depending on how busy the intersection is, the time of day, and the traffic coming in the opposite direction. This accounts for cars making right turns that do not need the light to change.

Magnetic field is the controller

Barrick notes that sometimes a car must only sit in the magnetic field for 3 seconds before signaling a light change.

Other times, such as along main highways, a car trying to enter the highway from a side street could have to sit in the magnetic field for up to 90 seconds.

If, at any time, the car leaves the stop-bar, according to Barrick, it cancels the call to the controller and the clock is reset.

The controller, though, is not a person sitting in a room full of television screens watching drivers as they approach lights as it seems to be in Hollywood movies. The controller is a stainless steel box that sits next to the intersection.

Inside the box is a computer that does not allow for two green lights to be given at once, controls the timing, and receives the signal from the stop-bar. It also controls the length of the green light, which varies from 12 seconds to 120 seconds, according to Barrick and depending on the traffic.

Barrick mentions several problems with the stop-bar and driving frustrations. First, he cites the lack of awareness of the way the stop-bar works.

“A lot of times, such as the intersection of Perryville Road and the bypass, the stop-bar is placed back a bit so trucks can make the left turn.”

Closer is not better

Barrick says drivers pull forward beyond the stop-bar to be closer to the intersection but, in so doing, cancel the call, and the controller will no longer recognize that a car is waiting for a signal change. He also says that drivers on cell phones often are distracted and pull too far forward.

JoAnn Rice of Danville believes that traffic lights are signaled to change by “a combination of timers and sensors depending on traffic flow.”

Rice also correctly thinks the sensors are buried in the ground at each intersection. However, she was not aware of the stop-bar and admits to sometimes pulling beyond the white line.

The biggest problem she sees is at Perryville Road and the bypass. “Sometimes the lights pass me on the cycles.”

During heavy traffic times, controllers are set up to run a different program. A driver waiting to enter a main street from a side street typically waits longer between the morning hours of 7 and 9 and the evening hours of 4 to 6 than at any other time of day.

There are different types of traffic signals as well. Barrick says the signals along Main Street in Danville are on a simple timer system and the stop-bars do not have any effect on when one gets a signal.

“To better recognize your traffic signals as ‘go lights’ and not so much ‘stop lights,'” Barrick suggests drivers pay attention to the stop-bar, stay inside the magnetic field until the light changes, and understand that at different times of day, the signals will be longer between changing. This should help to streamline the daily commute.

Kevin Duke is an intern at The Advocate-Messenger and a senior English and history major at Centre College.

Copyright:The Advocate-Messenger 2007

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Best Office Depot Commercial Ever

Whoa-Office Depot! Let us give you a hand!

If this link ever dies, just go to YouTube and search for “Jay Leno Office Depot“. S’funny, but be warned, it aired on LATE NIGHT TV. Might not be safe at work. I mean, it’s still Jay Leno, so it’s up to you. Just don’t blame me if you get in trouble.

By the way, I’m still not bright enough to know how to “embed” a video on a website yet. When i find that out, I’ll embed this video. Thanks.

**UPDATE 12/20/2011 – I saw this post come up as a recently visited link on my site. Unfortunately, all instances of this video have been removed from YouTube. BOOOO!!! This was a hilarious video, and it should have lived on forever! So, you can skip this post. Sorry folks.**

Leave a comment

Filed under Misc.

It’s been a while, going to be a bit longer

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I’m currently working 2 jobs until the end of next week. Now, I had the option to quit at the end of this week, but I chose to stay one more week since they’re so shorthanded at the Office Store. See, there’s sort of a mass exodus going on at the moment, due mainly to a very short list of factors. I might post on here what those factors were for me, but not right now.

Needless to say…I’m tired. I’m tired tired tired. My free time is spent with my wife, either going to Old Chicago to expand my World Beer Tour (41 and counting), or just chilling out with her. See, she works retail, I work retail and office, and you do the math. It sucks. It won’t suck as bad after this next week though. It gives me something to look forward to.

Besides this, I finally got down to seriously playing Final Fantasy 13 for the Playstation 2. My brother picked it out for me for my Christmas / Birthday present last year, and until now, I had played a grand total of 38 minutes in game-time.

It’s sad though. I really want to write some cogent thoughts on here, but I end up being so tired that I just crash out at home.

Along with this, last weekend I promised my friend Mel that I would comment on our long-term friendship, and the fact that we’ve been chat friends for about 8 years now, to my best guestimates. Well, I haven’t even really started that one. Sorry Mel, late as always.

At any rate, I guess this is just a post to say why I haven’t been posting. So be it. I’ll try to get something new on here every 2 days this week. No promises though. Until life doesn’t get in the way so much, that is that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to snag your own domain name, and link your blog to it

Here’s how I got my blog, BestOfOmaha, ported over to http://www.kraznoy.com:
.
First I reserved a domain name. Go to a site like http://www.godaddy.com, or http://www.register.com, or someplace that reserves domain names. Create an account, and start plugging away at addresses, to see what ones you like, and what ones have not been taken.
.
(I tried various: fatalswirl, dakotasouth, darkwired…none really fit. And now dakotasouth is a porn site. Peachy. My advice to you is to pick up a cheap-o domain, like a dot-info (.info). It’s a dollar a year, well within your budget. I chose to spend a whole $9, simply because I always wanted a dot-com. The choice is yours.)
.
Next, you need to tell Blogger “Hey! Here’s my neat-o domain!” If someone goes to that domain (i.e. http://www.kraznoy.com, as I plug it yet again), send them to my uber-cool blog instead!”. To do so, go here:
.
.
.
At this point, you can go a couple ways. If you didn’t use GoDaddy to register your site…well, tough luck. Check out the “Setup Instructions” link on that last page (see the picture), and you can go on from there. Otherwise, if you were cool like me (and if you like that Danica Patrick picture on the main page), then by all means, follow me to GoDaddy-ville.
.
As you probably have caught on, we need to make a trip back over to GoDaddy. When you purchased that domain name (in my case, http://www.kraznoy.com, plug-plug), it created a place-holder site for you, to tell people that “Sorry, this site name is taken, and someday there might actually be something here other than this message. Isn’t Danica Patrick hot?”, or something to that effect. Or is it affect? No, effect, I’m sure of it. Maybe.
.
Anyhow, head over to GoDaddy, log in (if you’re not still logged in), and then click “My Account”. Hint: it’s in the same box where you just logged in — right side of the screen, just past Danica. Here’s a pic to dumb it down a little:

.
.
.
.
.
.
Now, on my computer, I have time to knit a sweater since I’m still on dial-up. Sad and pitiful, I know. Heck, I could write a dozen posts in the amount of time it takes to load that page…
.
Finally, when you’re on the account settings, click Domains, and My Domain Names.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Next, click on the domain name you created. It’ll appear as a hyperlink in the central area of this page.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Now, you’ll be on the Domain Control Center page for Domain Details. Click “Total DNS Control & MX Records”.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Here, you might see a couple things. On mine, I see “kraznoy”, and also “www”. Under the heading “points to”, both are pointing to ghs.google.com. If yours does not do this…well, fix it. If your version of “kraznoy” (in other words, whatever your site’s name is without the “http://www.” or the “.com” attached) is not listed, you should probably add it. Simply click “Add New CNAME Record.”

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Now, on this screen, enter in your site’s name where it says “Alias Name”, and put ghs.google.com in the field labeled “Points To Host Name”. Then click OK.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Back at the DNX Control and Records screen. Look for “www” in the list. You may already find it. If so, go all the way to the right, click the little pencil icon to edit, and when asked to if you want to continue, click “Yes” or “OK”, whichever shows up.

Change the “Points to Host Name” field to ghs.google.com, just like you did before. Click OK.

…that’s about it folks. At least that’s all I did to get my site up and going. It took some trial and error, because for whatever reason, I just didn’t *get* what blogger was trying to tell me. But then, I think visually, not textually. I hope my pictures help.

Have a great weekend.

– Aaron

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How I got www.kraznoy.com to stick

(Note: random helpful hints no longer exists under my name. I *think* there’s a link to “hints” somewhere on here. Whatever, peace out from 2008.)

Check out my RandomHelpfulHints site for more info. Heh.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Lack of Common English Sense

I wrote that last post simply to get it out there. I’m sorry for any grammatical errors, as they annoy the crap out of me, but I am usually too lazy to do anything about them, much like my feeling right now about run-on sentences.

Thank-you.

1 comments:
Jason Heath said…
OK–you’ve got to tell me. How did you get Blogger to play nice with http://www.kraznoy.com? Google Apps for your Domain? If so, how specifically did you do it? I tried in January and it killed my site for a few days, so I am very gun-shy about this, but I really want to move it to doublebassblog.com, which I already own.

9:17 PM

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Kraznoy – the Best of Omaha

(note: I wrote this whole entry about a week ago on a copy of my work schedule during a very slow day at my Office supply-job. I’ve simply been too lazy to go any further with it. Sorry.)

Why “Kraznoy”? why anything? Why “Earth”? Why “McGriddle”? Actually, I know a little about that one, thank-you Food Network.

Anyhow…Kraznoy. This goes back to that wonderful game Civilization, which I’m only allowed to play under very limited engagements nowadays. See, I’ve played that game off and on since 1990-something, probably ’91. It started as a game that, to me, was a bit like Nobunaga’s Ambition, for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Now that was a really wonderful game for the time. You got to be a warlord, taking over neighboring states in ancient Japan, sending assassins to eliminate the competition. I still remember the primary disappointment for me in first playing Civilization was that you couldn’t send out assassins.

However, “Civ” was cooler, because it was on a computer, and you could simply do more. You weren’t held back by 2 buttons and a controller pad. You could do things fast, and efficiently…or so it appeared. The myth of Civilization is that you’re getting a lot of things done, when actually you’re moving at the rate of cold molasseses.

I digress a little. When I first played Civ, I let it pick a country at random, whereupon I became the Babylonians. And I used to play as the Babylonians every single time I played the game. The Babylonians had a nice, pleasant green icon color, which is very easy on the eyes after playing for hours and hours. Even with the cheat which gave you maximum gold in the game, I would still take many hours to get through the game. I would play over and over again, thinking of new ways to take over the world as quickly as possible.

Eventually, I grew very tired of this. It wasn’t challenging to me any longer, and I needed…something more. Finally an idea came to me…I’d actually play fair. Why not, it might be fun. And heck, I’d even play on the real map of Earth, where as a Babylonian, I’d start off in the middle east.

So, I started over, in the middle east, and I even cranked the difficulty settings to a medium setting…”Prince” or something like that. I figured that after playing through the game 20+ times, I knew a thing or two about the world.

I quickly realized that, while I could conquer the forces around my starting position, the one army I couldn’t seem to defeat was those Russians. Ah yes, those commie bastards. Over and over I’d get my ass handed to me by them. That start white icon, chasing me down, expanding and building their armies so early in the game. Oh, how I hated them. They started out with so much open land that it was easy for them to expand early, it was easy for them to build up a bunch of small cities with little outside influence. It was too easy for them. And what’s worse, they weren’t even cheating.

Finally, after a few games playing through, getting defeated over and over, I became that which I most hated: The Russians. But it didn’t quite go as planned. See, I was…too nice.

Without the mean artificial-intelligenced Russian Czar throwing its weight around, the game decided to create several czars. Sure, I was a nicer, gentler Czar, there for the advancement of all the world’s peoples. I wasn’t there simply to spread out and plunder the world’s resources. I was there to trade with the other cultures, to allow the whole world to grow up and be plentiful.

Out of the east, there grew the Mongol hoards, there to take me down. Out of the west, the Egyptians, joined with the Greeks, the Romans, and even the French. It was awful. I didn’t get to expand much at all after a while. I had to combat these fools on all sides. Eventually I discovered the Automobile, which would have allowed me to build tanks. However, my joy was short lived, for after one of my cities was conquered, the secret of Automobile production was stolen from me, by the hoards of the Mongols. They took that advancement and ran with it, setting up an army of those machines against me. I fought and fought, but soon city after city fell before their might. I was driven back, further and further, until one city, Krasnoyarsk, stood before them. I fought back like crazy, turn after turn, until my city was taken from me, by the Mongols. My Civilization was gone.

Finally, I had enough. Screw nice. I would become a ruthless red army. I started over, and like my computer predecessor, I built up an army while at the same time expanding with settlers, building city after city, expanding to the borders of the first civilization to fall. City after city fell before my might, and as their leaders groveled at my feet, I crushed them, I crushed them all!

Finally, after I had conquered the continents of the world, I turned my eyes to the Mongol hoards that had bested be in that previous life. With the memories of Krasnoyarsk fresh in my mind, I crushed them, destroying them, ignoring their bribes and pleas. I smashed them, turning them to powder, and winning the game, fair and square.

With memories of my favorite drug, I mean game, I decided to use my “Alamo” as a name for this site. Although I don’t play Civilization anymore (since it truly is a drug for me), I still have many fond memories of the game.

Thus, Kraznoy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Stop the Inanity

I hate stupid people. Wait, I take that back. Hate is a strong word. I really really really don’t like you, if you’re a stupid person. There are a lot of stupid people out there. I, myself, and at times a stupid person.

What is a stupid person, may you ask? A stupid person is someone who goes to a retail outlet of any sort, and does not act according to “The Rules of Retail”. There are generally two kinds of stupid people. There are Moronadons, and there are Dipshitians. Moronadons are dumb on a regular basis. They can’t really help it, because they have a brain capacity roughly the size of a dinosaur, or walnut-size. They’re dumb, there’s no helping it, Amen. Dipshitians, on the other hand, are generally intelligent individuals who, through either choice or low blood sugar, are complete morons or jerks. Dipshitians’ mistakes usually outweigh the Mornadons’, but the Moronadons are stupid on a more regular basis. Clear as mud? Good, let’s move on.

Thankfully, I won’t be working a retail job too much longer, but I will shortly be in the employ of a local cable conglomerate, working Technical Support. I might comment on that later, might not. Until the time comes when I can (hopefully smoothly) transition from one employer to another, I have to deal with various levels of stupidity.

Getting back to “The Rules of Retail”. To clarify the two major types of stupidity, let me expound. I will go through some keypoints: Inital approach, greeting, passage of items, the questions, payment, closure, and other. I will tell you that a Dipshitian will generally only expand one of these 7 points beyond the norm, while a Moronadon will generally brush on all of the keypoints. Ready? Here we go.

1. Initial Approach. Situation: I’ve just helped the previous person in line, and am awaiting the approach of said stupid person. The stupid person in question either a) is yaking on their cellphone (and if this is the case, chances are great that the stupid person will yak on the cellphone throughout the entire transaction, with little regard to your existence as a fellow human being), b) is trying to find the perfect candy bar or magazine, or c) is completely spacing out. That last one, “C”, happens more often than you might think, and might actually not be entirely the stupid person’s fault, but the way our cash registers are set-up at the National Office Supply Store Chain that I work at, a depot for such individuals if you will. For the benefit of the stupid peoples’ (and Mr. Kite), there is an awful lot of visual noise in and around the front-end cash registers.

Moving on. Point #2: The Greeting. Here’s how it’s supposed to work. I say, “Hi, how are you doing today?”, with my pasted-on grin and false, one-octave-higher-than-normal speaking voice. You’re ‘supposed’ to say, “Fine, how are you doing today?”, and back and forth for about 10 seconds or so. You are not supposed to say, “Not great”, unless there was something specific that I could have found for you. If that ‘is’ the case, well, I’ve already started to ring up some of your things, and you’re being a Dipshitian for even starting this procedure. I’ll get to that in a moment. Other things you’re not supposed to do: 1) Give me a dirty look. 2) Give me any other kind of inane remark, 3) Try to be clever. Just give me the other part of the transaction, the “Fine, how are you?”, or at least a “Pretty good.”, so we can simply move on. Anything more? I don’t care. I don’t want a life story of everything from your conception to this point in time. I don’t care what the weather is like outside, because I can clearly see what’s going on through the huge glass doors 20 feet from where I’m standing. Just give me a nice, pleasant, and most important, SHORT response, so you can be on your way, and out of my face.

And now, point #3: The Passage of Items. If your stuff is in a basket, empty the basket while I’m wrapping things up with the previous customer, and get that stupid basket out of my face. The company that I work for did not put a lot of thought into the overall feng-shui of the counters, disregarding things like usable space and ergonomics in favor of “cramming as much shit as possible in front of the customers’ eyes, so they buy more cute little pens, post-it notes, and stress balls than any human being needs in their lifetime”. The baskets take up a lot of space on the counter. They’re time consuming, because I have to reach down into the basket every time I need to pull out an item of purchase. Save me some time and pull your junk out. (Feel free to make fun of that sentence, by the way.)

Now, if you have a cart, then pull your cart up, and start unloading the stuff onto the counter. Don’t wait for me to get 100% done with the previous transaction. If the previous customer actually minds that you’re trying to make everybody’s life easier, then screw ’em. Mind their proximity, but let’s get this show on the road.

Now, if I’m ringing things up, sometimes it might appear that I’m not “doing my part” in this whole speedy process, because it might take me some time to open a sack. The plastic sacks that the company has chosen to go with this past year are not the most forgiving sacks in the world. They are extremely flimsy, and they’re notoriously difficult to open. I have to do that weird hand-warming motion Miyagi used to heal Daniel-san in the Karate Kid movies, just to get them to open. Even then, sometimes it’s damn-near impossible. This is NOT your chance to shove as much junk onto the counter as possible. Hold your horses. Wait just a moment, and I’ll get the items I’ve just scanned out of the way in order to get you out the door. Besides, you run the chance of mixing up the items I’ve already scanned with the ones you’re trying to shove across the counter, and that severely pisses me off. Use some common sense.

Also, don’t sack the items for me. It’s my job, and you make me feel impotent when you do it. Now, I know what you’re saying, “Wouldn’t it be faster if they helped you out?”. In this point alone, speedier is NOT better. I don’t care if it speeds up the process. It brings me out of my mindless reverie of “cashier-mode” for a moment, and makes me more conscious of my mundane and sad surroundings. Let me be a robot, it’s what I’m paid to do.

When the items are finally sacked, and if there are more than 4 sacks, how about you start loading them into your cart? There’s no where else for me to put the sacks unless you count a) the dusty floor that never seems to come clean, b) the other cash register counter (which hopefully is open), or c) around the counter and into your cart for you, thus slowing down the process to the average speed of molasses.

Again, moving on. Point #4 kind of overlaps some of the other points, but this seemed like a semi-logical spot to place it. Here come The Questions. Now, the questions have grown more and more numerous every month I’ve worked for this Office place. It started out with, “Do you have a Rewards card?”. If the answer was no, the next question was, “Would you like to sign up for one today? It’s free, it’s a points card, not a credit card.” or something like that, to-be-abbreviated based on the relative mood of the customer.

Sometime about 3-4 months back, another question popped up. “Would you like [a cute mini-pen or other worthless crap from the register-area]?” This was meant to drum up sales of that worthless crap around the registers, making a few more bucks to the high-management of the company, especially the clever fellow who thought of the idea in the first place, but generally making the cashier-peon’s jobs that much more of a pain.

Then, another question. This one is killer-diller, because if I forget to ask it, I get written up. This one goes, “Would you like any printer-ink today?”. If I forget this one, you have the opportunity to throw it in my face, make me feel worthless, and walk home with a free ream of computer paper. I’m going to go into this more in a moment.

Recently, because the Office store wants to put another location somewhere in town (or more likely, in Council Bluffs, our redneck sister-city across the river in Iowa), we’ve started to ask two more questions: 1) “Is this for Business, Personal, or Home Business use?”, and 2) “Can I have your Zip Code, please?”

Yes, that’s a lot of questions. No, I don’t like this process any more than you do. It’s not my fault. I have to ask ’em, and if you want to shop here, you have to hear ’em. If you want your items, that is. You don’t *have* to shop here. I’m sure some other office-supply store will treat you roughly the same way, to the max dude.

What you’re NOT supposed to do is mock me. I’m already a peon, underpaid, working retail. Retail sucks. It’s where you end up, not really where you strive to be. Anyone who works retail for a long period of time either can’t hack it anywhere else, or better promote to management, because any other option is a little sad.

I realize the questions are excessive. I’m going to cruise through them as quickly and painlessly as possible. And I realize, you being a Moronadon or Dipshitian, you might gain some pleasure out of making me feel lower by making fun of what I do for a living. I take it personally, retail-job or not. I’m a great cashier, and you need to be a great customer. So, don’t give me some dirty look, or smirk, or whatever else.

And when it comes to that ink question, I had to expand it to “printer-ink” because a whole lot of you Moronadons thought I might mean “pen-ink”, “stamp-pad ink” or some other kind of ink that I had no means of even imagining at this point. And really, I know you can get that free ream of paper, but is it worth your time to make me feel like an asshole just to walk home with a ream of paper? If you only knew how much I wanted bad things to happen to the 3 people who “got me”, how much I wish they would be in a horrible, but non-life-threatening wreck, or that they would lose their job, get audited by the IRS, stub their foot only to crash into a wall to break their nose, that someone would slash their tires, or that they would inexplicably go prematurely bald, especially the old bag of a lady who got me. Now, I don’t hate you. I don’t wish you were dead. I just wish very things upon you.

Before I digress even further than I already have, let’s move onto point #5, Payment. You will pay with a credit card. Or maybe a debit card. Nothing else. Mind you, I don’t need to run the card on my register. You have the really neat-o ability to slide the card, all by yourself, on the little pad that is almost right in front of your nose. Really cool.

Also, if you have a debit card, you will pay only in debit.

See, the Office company, in its infinite wisdom, removed the option to pay by credit from our credit-card pads, forcing you, the consumer, to pay via debit. It’s cheaper for the Office place to run cards via Debit, because it generally will charge you, the Consumer, and not it, the Company.

There are two ways around this. I can run the card on my register for you, choose “Credit”, which allows you to sign your name on that pad. The other option is nicer yet, but it has consequences. When the company removed the “Credit” button from the Debit screen, they removed the graphic, but not the actual button. It’s blank, but it still exists. When I’m in a hurry, I’ll just grab the stylus and tap that button. The side effect of this is…for some reason that doesn’t make any sense, if you do this too much, it will kill that touchpad for the remainder of the day. I don’t know why. That’s just really bad coding, if you ask me. But it’s the truth.

Now, as far as those other forms of payment. I don’t like cash, but I can deal with cash. Exact change…forget it. I don’t want to have you waste time counting out everything to the exact 1/10 of a cent just so that you can make your pockets an ounce lighter at the end of the day. Here’s what you do: Go to McDonald’s. Order a Large Soda. Drink it. Wash it. Dry it. Dump your change there at the end of the day. And the bonus of it is, after you fill that cup, take it to the bank and deposit it. Free money! It’s amazing, but it’s true.

Checks. *sigh* I hate checks. What an archaic, dinosaur of a form of currency. There’s a reason why the banks brought out Debit Cards. They pull the money out of your checking account. Hey, I don’t mind if you fill in your check register whilst paying via Debit Card. I understand. Just don’t make me run your check.

See, our machines allow for us to insert a check, read it through several swipes, taking about 30-60 seconds to read the MICR numbers from the bottom of the check, whereupon we re-insert the check, have it mark “Void” across the front, and finally, prompting me to tell you to sign your name, just like you would if you had used your Debit card in the first place.

That’s right. We don’t run checks the old fashioned way anymore. We run them electronically. I know all of you old grannies who have been writing checks for the last 50 years are just pissing in your Depend Undergarments over this, but get with it. It ain’t the 20th century anymore. Shit, we were supposed to be a “Paperless Society” sometime around the time that Where the Streets Have No Name was on top of the charts (or, since I am talking to you old-fogeys out there, it would be about the time that Liberace left the Earth’s embrace). So stop quaking in your Keds, go to your bank, and pick up a Debit Card. It’s easier than you think. And yes, you can still fill in your check register. It’s very simple. And it’s about 5 times faster, so you can go back to playing shuffleboard or whatever it is you do when you aren’t holding up my line.

And now, there’s point #6, Closure. Have a nice day. Move on. No more talking. I have other things I could be doing. Just go. Really. It’s been fun, we’ve had a great time. Don’t write, don’t call. Just go. Now.

I guess that’s all I have to say about that. Point #7, Other. This is the spot I’ve set aside for any other crap that you, the consumer, will choose to do.

This is bitching after the fact about things that you could have bitched about before. If you had issues beforehand, why didn’t you bring them up before we went through this whole rigamaroll? Again, along with the whole closure thing, I have other things to do.

This is choosing to go back and buy something else you had forgotten. I don’t want you in my line again. Repeaters just take up that much more time. If you forgot it, sorry, order it online or try again tomorrow when I’m not working. Just go away. I love you, buh-bye.

This is taking the time to repackage your checkbook, wallet, half-roll of Lifesavers, portable hole, and whatever other crap is located in that wormhole you call a purse. You should have been putting that stuff away when I was still ringing up your swag. If I was too fast for you, grab your stuff, move to your left, and let the next person start setting down their junk while you collect your thoughts. Then go.

Oh, and your shopping cart, or basket if you had one? Don’t be lazy. Put it away. I’m trying to help the next folks out here, and it’s hard to do with your freaking shopping appliance in the way. Don’t be a dolt, just put it back where you got it to begin with.

Well, I’ve been at Panera Bread typing this out for the last 2 hours, so I suppose it’s time for me to move on myself. It’s just starting to get busy here, and I would be inconsiderate if I stayed any longer, sucking up their electricity and using their free wireless. Heed my words though. I might have a fairly disgruntled tone, but I guarantee that 99% of the retail workers out there see where I’m coming from.

Thanks. Save the whales, collect them for valuable prizes, and all that.

– Aaron

“In the way”

“Using more than I’m entitled to”

“Respect for the military”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized