Dear Miss Manners,

I'm a little unclear on the proper etiquette for a particular situation. This morning as I was carrying my lawn & leaf bag full of household refuse to the dumpster, I met a man standing next to the same dumpster. As I smiled and wished him a good morning, he grabbed the sides of the dumpster, boosted himself up, and hopped inside. Thinking it rude to throw trash into a dumpster which is currently occupied by a person (and, as a sidenote, being impressed by his athletic ability), I asked if he'd mind if I let my bag of trash on the flat surface directly next to the dumpster. He glanced at me briefly and continued opening bags of trash. I wished him a good day and left my bag next to the dumpster, thinking fondly of my shredding machine.

I do wish this had been covered in the text, as such surprises on the test are somewhat unsettling.

To the person who thought "Whoa, we should totally wire all the smoke detectors in the house together... and hey, when the battery gets low on one of the smoke detectors we should have all of them chirp at an interval guaranteed to be just long enough that the people will think 'no, I can totally get back to sleep before it chirps again and change the damn battery in the morning'": the first idea was good. For the second, I'll need your physical address.

To the person who decided it'd be really great to place three of the apartment's six detectors within one foot square, a fourth two feet away, and the main "Oh, one of the alarms is sounding or chirping, let's echo it to make sure you hear" alarm thingy three feet in the opposite direction: I need your phone number. The next time one of them starts chirping for a new battery in the middle of the blasted night, I'm calling you to figure out which one is chirping loudest and change its damn battery.

To the property management company: would it be too much, when you do the annual inspection that stresses me all to hell and make sure I don't have any burned-out lightbulbs, to change all the batteries in the smoke detectors? That'd be cool, folks. I'd like that.


Hell, at least I had 9-volt batteries on hand. I couldn't identify which of the three was chirping, but apparently it was one of the two whose batteries I replaced.
To the person who is responsible for the abundance of sweaters on the clearance rack: I note that the sweaters
  • are in my size
  • are pretty affordable at 75% off
  • are in styles and colors I really like
  • seem pretty well-constructed and sturdy
  • contain between 5% and 25% rabbit hair
I hate you forever and hope you have to sleep naked in damp wool while your skin tries to run far away to escape the awful horrible nasty animal fibers.
The more often you announce that everything is all better... and use exactly the same words as last time you announced that everything is all better... which was with 24 hours of this announcement that everything is all better... the less I believe that you have any idea what you're talking about.
Given that every time you ask me a question you proceed to then talk over me while I answer that question, you are not getting much sympathy for your assertion that you've tried and tried to get information and that nobody will give you the information you need.

Try shutting up and listening after you ask a question.

-- the chick who is trying to answer your questions
As a general rule, it's best to have at least one competent employee scheduled for each shift. I understand this is the traditional role of the Shift Manager. Perhaps you might consider that model of ensuring that your employees are capable of taking and filling an order. That would be great.
-- Katrina, who shouldn't be buying from Hardee's in the first place.

Dear Self,
don't go all day without eating. It really makes everything else much harder to process.
-- Me

PS: that unsweetened iced tea isn't doing much for your blood sugar, genius. Try food.
The fact that you want children but do not have them does not make the day to day process of raising three children on my own any easier. I am sure that your desire for children and lack thereof is deeply painful for you. I'm very sorry about your pain and honestly wish I could do something about it. How about this: I won't ever be so insensitive as to say "You're soooo lucky, you don't have any children so you don't know what it's like to cry because you can't give them what they need and lie awake nights pondering all the ways you're failing them" and in return you don't imply that the fact of my hyperfertility makes my life all sparkly rainbows and unicorns and that I am an ungrateful wretch for stating that sometimes it's really fucking hard to be a single parent.

Scene at Planned Parenthood during a pelvic exam, summer 2002:
Me: *feet in stirrups, counting holes in ceiling tiles*
Nurse-Practioner: *sticking cold hard metal pinching things into my tender bits*
Me: *breathing deeply and pondering String Theory*
NP: "You've had children?"
Me: "Three of them."
NP: "That must be fun."
Me: *reflecting on what it's like to be raising children and dealing with psycho exes and going to college and working and volunteering and paying child support but not receiving any and living on $5k/year* "It can get interesting at times..."
NP: *looks up and glares* "I meant that you're LUCKY and should be HAPPY to have them. I WANT children, and can't have them."
Me: ...... *considers recommending that NP go pay a goddamn counselor to help with her issues, decides to go back to counting holes in the ceiling tile on account of cold metal pinchy things in my tender bits*



September 2007

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