Rants

All Aboard the Inept Express

I’ve been having a sort of writer’s block lately. Not sure if it’s the heat getting to me or if I am just really lacking inspiration. I guess I can say I haven’t had a rant post (and I mean truly a rant post) in quite some time and something happened recently that certainly deserves a rant post (and a few expletives that will remain untyped).

As you may know from previous posts, if I’ve even mentioned it before, I take public transportation. It’s reliable, for the most part, and it does save me money. That is of course, if the people selling you tickets can do the most basic math equation (adding) and if the people you talk to can socialize with humans. Knowing my luck, I get just the opposite.

I used to buy these monthly passes for the line I ride, but for some reason (increase in fares) they don’t sell them anymore. I, unaware of this as a lowly passenger who knows nothing, set off to the station to buy my July monthly pass. My boyfriend was with me for moral support.

At the ticket booth, I had my boyfriend ask for the pass I normally get. The woman (who I will name Moonpie, which is a name as ridiculous as the person who sold me the tickets) seemed completely complexed. She might have suspected we were asking for a trip to Timbuktu.

“Well you see, we don’t have those.”

Oh, well, why not? I might question. Do you just not sell those in this city? Can I buy them somewhere else? Do I have to keep asking you questions? Do you even work here?

With a series of those questions, she finally got to the point that they have “abolished” (using some big words there, Moonpie!) those monthly passes. Well shoot, what am I supposed to buy now? I explained to her that I used to buy these tickets that were cheaper than paying for a one-way ride on the train. She had to discuss this with another employee, and by discuss, I mean shout to the person in the opposite end of the ticket booth.

I’m just going to interput and say that I normally do not complain about anyone working in establishments/companies. People work hard in jobs no one else really wants and unless you are in someone else’s shoes, you can’t really critique the job they are doing. That being said, if you are expecting a service, or product, and it isn’t even close to your satisfaction, or if you are dealing with someone who is either rude or just completely inept, I think it’s your constitutional right to complain until your lungs hurt.

Now, back to the obnoxious screaming.

“HEY JULIE (her name was not Julie and I could care less because she couldn’t help at all) IF SHE WANTS TO GET TICKETS THAT ARE ONE WAY DKFJDKAIEKAKDKAHAHA AHAHEIWWW OOO OOO AHH AHH”

That’s what it sounded like to me at least.

She told me what type of tickets were my option. Then she showed me two different versions and asked me which one did I think I should have. Moonpie, I don’t know which ticket I used before, you should know! She had no idea. I told her again where I was going (point a to b) and she said “Okay, it’s this ticket.”

I then explained to her (using big hand gestures) that “I go from blank to blank and I ride blank days a week, round trip. How many tickets should I buy?”

The math was just way too complex so she needed to take out her handy dandy calculator, much like I did in my basic trigonometry course in college. After doing some complex algebraic equations, graphing parabolas, figuring out limits and imaginary numbers, she concluded that I should get 12 tickets, round trip. Well thank you Moonpie, you just saved me money!

She lined up my tickets, one by one, and told me my total of $78. Hot dog! What a bargain. I then asked (and then asked twice more) “These are round trip, right?” And she said, “Yes.” She also reminded me (three times) that these tickets were being issued to me given the information I had told her. Well, nothing wrong with that, I gave you correct information and you gave me correct tickets! I thanked Moonpie and went on my merry way.

Long story short, I got on the train for work the next day, and handed the conductor/ticket guy my ticket. He punched it

AND THEN WALKED AWAY. Literally, walked right out of the car I was in and into the next one. He took my ticket. Meaning, my tickets were not round trip, like I had needed and requested and “purchased.” Holding back tears and vomit, I asked the train conductor, “Aren’t these tickets round trip?” And he said, “Oh no, these are only one way.” I then explained my situation, that Moonpie had completely effed up, to say it nicely, and he told me, “Oh yeah, you were WAY overcharged.”

Thanks.

You know when you watch those court shows, and you see how people are always screwed over hardcore, and yet it’s their own fault? Well, that’s sort of me in this predicament and I’ll tell you why. First, I paid with cash (which I never do) so I didn’t get a receipt, and of course forgot to ask for a handwritten one. Second, I trusted that someone working for this public transportation company had any brains at all to help me figure out what tickets I need. Everyone with this company either has attitude, or expects you, the patron/rider/customer to know what buy. I’m sorry, but I’m only 19. I have no clue what every ticket costs/looks like, nor do I know what every zone is, every line is, etc. That is your job. You are supposed to help me, and if you can’t, please find another profession so you don’t continue to screw people out of money.

So, lesson learned. Never pay with cash, or always ask for receipts. No matter where you go. Even if you get Chinese food, or buy a candy bar from a drugstore. Just get a flipping receipt. Then, if you do experience a problem, you just saved your butt because you now have proof of purchase. I, on the other hand, will probably not be seeing the money I was overcharged. And it’s my own fault, because I trusted the people who were supposed to being doing their job. Also, if you are looking for deals when using public transportation, know exactly what you are supposed to get. Don’t expect people working to know, they’re clearly not trained to do that. Who knows, I’ve heard the state I’m in has the worst public transportation services, so maybe it’s better somewhere else.

Thanks for listening to another rant about how I expect people to do the jobs they were trained to do, and experience their failure to do so.

 

Check out a funny Seinfeld video of Elaine freaking out on the subway.

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Sleeping with Lions

I am constantly amused and, in most cases, distraught, at the way my cats behave at night.

I have probably mentioned several times that I have two cats. Florence is only a little over a year old, and Zooey just turned one year.

Cats are nocturnal, which is rather unfortunate for any human who wants to get a full nights sleep. Dubbed house-cats, they certainly have not lost their wild-animal behaviors. They go on the prowl, snoozing all day and stalking at night. The use their fangs and claws, to show they mean business, and they are always ready to save me from a dangerous ant or fly.

They nap a good 16-20 hours a day, sleeping in hidden locations so they cannot be seen by other predators (the vacuum and brush being a common threat).

Then, at night, the hunt begins.

To start, Florence will be napping in her usual 11 p.m. location, which is either one of our couches or under a desk. Zooey comes to wake her partner-in-crime up, typically by going into the kitchen to get a snack before their late-night escapades.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can't they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can’t they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

Upon hearing this, Florence wakes up, does some pre-romping yoga and will typically trot around until Zooey is done.

And, just when I think everything will be normal, just for once, they start.

They chase each other back and forth, from the front of the house to the back, clambering into anything that may have gotten in their way. They run up and down the stairs; thump thump thump thump THUMP and then launch themselves around the corner to do it again.

Then they roll around. Zooey will pounce on Florence, and Florence will lunge at her like two lions fighting for the last bit of zebra. As they tussle, toss and turn on the floor, they meow and hiss and growl–and then stop for a brief moment, just to lick each others fur out of their toes.

It’s all good fun, for them at least.

I’m glad they like playing together, but if they could understand human-talk, I would plead, “Do you have to do this at 12 a.m.?” I snuggle into my bed at somewhere around 1 a.m., hearing silence that I have been longing for. But then, Zooey decides to go to the “watering hole,” which in my house is either the leaky sink or the fish tank. This makes more noise, either the clanking of dishes in the sink or the glub glub glub of the fish tank filter being unplugged.

Zooey also picked up a wonderful habit, which includes leaping from a chair and latching onto our hanging basket plant. If I didn’t fear the safety of the plant and ceiling, I would say this Tarzan move is hilarious.

Although domesticated and living in the comforts of our little abode, I can say these felines will never truly lose their wild side. The question is, when will my lions ever let me have some rest?

Confessions of a Not-so-Teenager Twi-Hard

You know that one thing that you have in your life that you know is bad, but you love it anyway? Call it a guilty pleasure, if you must.

Well. I’m here to admit, no matter what I have said in the past, but I have a guilty pleasure, I know it’s bad, but I must come out with it: I’m a Twilight fan.

Let me defend my case here, before you decide you never want to read anything I write again.

I’m going to start by saying the movies have the worst acting, and the books are no literary works of genius. Yes, Edward sparkles and Bella is moody. Yes, their love story is stupid, predictable, and yet unrealistic. Everything about the movies, books, merchandise, you name it, it isn’t worth the time of day.

Bet your wondering why I just admitted to being a fan and then bashed it, right?

The reason I love Twilight is because it’s nostalgic. It reminds me of those painful tween-early teenager years where I didn’t fit in and all I wanted was a “true love.” Twilight stands for a time period of my life where I could read stupid novels and not be ridiculed, both publicly and privately. There was no worrying about whether reading a certain type of novel would damage your reputation, and you certainly didn’t need to hide the hard-cover editions and your poster of Taylor Lautner every time Jessica from gym class came over.

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I'm clearly a vampire).

Me, 2010. Camping, somewhere north, maybe? In the height of my Twilight craze, here you can see me crouching as I hunt (I’m clearly a vampire).

Truth is, why does anyone care how bad a novel is or a movie? No one is forcing you to watch it, or read it (unless they assign it for English 101). My point is, I’m tired of people looking at me like I’m crazy just because I like a corny romance that just so happens to include wolfish, shiny and/or pale faced boys. I’ve had people say, “You like Twilight??” Hey now, just because I enjoy The New Yorker, Earl Grey tea, and my go-to hairstyle is a coiled bun, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some poorly written vampire saga.

There are several confessions I’d like to make at this time. Yes, I had a poster of Taylor Lautner, shirtless (I had to take it down once I started dating Colin). Yes, I have all of the books, and I have read them cover-to-cover four times. And yes, I have Twi-hard merchandise, including a “Team Lautner” necklace and purse, and I have a tote bag with Bella and Edward on it.

Did you just lose respect for me? Well, you probably shouldn’t, in fact…you should gain some respect for me. The fact that I love one of the world’s most hated piece of entertainment and I’m not afraid to admit it is pretty gutsy.

I finished Breaking Dawn Part 2 (that’s the movie) and let me tell you it felt good. There were those obvious scenes that I rolled my eyes at, or mocked (Kristen Stewart’s angry voice and “Bella and Edward” having sex) but overall I was happy with how it ended. It’s a little bittersweet, having both the books be completed as well as the movies. Good news is, there is always Netflix or a rainy day for me to start it all over!

So, it’s okay to like things that people loathe. In fact, I think this is what makes us human. I stopped liking Twilight because it’s what everyone else was doing. I figured I couldn’t have people thinking badly of me, so I switched to more popular series like The Hunger Games or to authors like James Patterson. But, I’m a closet Twi-hard no longer. If this is what makes me, well, me, then so be it!

“Death is peaceful, life is harder,”Twilight 

Trying to Put on my Happy Face

A co-worker of mine explained to me the best way to understand why people are rude to those in “customer service” type jobs. She said that most of the time, a person doesn’t mean to be rude, but that throughout their day a serious of events that were probably unpleasant occurred and we just happened to be the ones that they chose to lash out on.

My belief is that they just aren’t nice people to begin with.

I can understand what she means though. Sometimes I get in bad moods and take it out on others. But, I certainly never have acted the way some people act in public. Frankly, it’s just embarrassing.

There is a difference between being rude to someone because they deserve it (come on, you know the people) and being rude to someone because they are doing their job. I’m 19, do you really think I’m the one that created all the rules, regulations, policies, etc.? I really don’t care about any of them, but it’s my job to make sure you, as a customer, visitor, patron, follow them.

So, arguing or yelling or belittling that person is simply a waste of time.

I think what bothers me the most is the lack of patience and understanding people have. No one wants to take the time to understand why things are the way they are. Companies have policies for a reason.

There have been numerous accounts of me explaining to someone one of our policies, and I say they have the option of talking to my supervisors, but instead they choose to yell at me or say they don’t have the time for that. But they did have the time to yell at me and make me feel bad for something I can’t control…

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

Sometimes, this is how I feel at work.

I’m an extremely personable person, and I always try my best to make each person that comes in to my work (I’m trying to not really mention my job so people don’t think I’m bad-mouthing where I work–I love where I work!) but sometimes it gets hard when people make me feel so bad. Being the bearer of bad news is never a fun thing, and although I have worked at this place for three years, it’s not getting any easier.

I love almost everyone that comes into my work. As a result of my friendliness, I’ve even made friendships. But, I’ve also been called stupid, and gotten comments like, “How long have you even worked here” and “Is there someone better to talk to?” I’ve also gotten yelled at over the phone, and in person (always a fun time).

My one co-worker today had one “customer” yell at her, including the 13-14 year old daughter with her, about something that she had no control over. After they finished being extremely rude, they just walked out and said they were never coming back. My co-worker just went on with the rest of her day. She also had another woman roll her eyes and talk back, something I’m not sure I would have been able to tolerate, but there my co-worker was, acting like nothing even happened (wish I had her willpower).

I think you could say that it takes practice to handle customer service jobs. I think it also takes understanding that there are people out there that really don’t care about your feelings, and they will do anything to either prove they are better than you, or prove that they are right. It’s a hard thing to cope with if you are a person who only tries to be nice to others. I wish I could advise these people, if you feel like you are in a bad mood, please do not go out in public.

Going Haywire

Due to the fact that I am still on my winter break, I have much time at night that I like to spend watching movies or television shows. Normally I spend my time watching re-runs of Modern Family or The Big Bang Theory.

A few nights ago, I decided to broaden my horizons and watch a classic. I chose The Philadelphia Story. This movie stars the great Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart.

Liz Embrie (Hussey)

Liz Embrie (Hussey)

My favorite scene was towards the end where Hepburn’s character Tracy decides to break off her wedding with her fiancé after he thinks that she cheated on him with a reporter (Stewart’s character). Liz Imbrie, the photographer played by Ruth Hussey, then says something in this film that really stood out to me (if you are confused about the plot see here).

 

 

“We all go haywire at times, and sometimes, if we don’t maybe we ought to.”

I don’t know why it stood out to me, but then when I thought about what she was saying I could see that it really relates to previous happenings in my life.

I’d like to think that Liz was telling Tracy that sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we go a little crazy. But if we don’t mistakes how can we ever learn to be a better person? If we don’t freak out every now and then, our feelings will stay bottled up inside (until they eventually explode).

I like to think Liz was sending me a little message. Maybe I was supposed to watch that movie. Lately I’ve been thinking about how a friendship has probably been ruined because I told someone how I really felt about something they did. It’s a complicated situation and if you knew the full story, I’m sure you would be saying, “Madi, we all go haywire sometimes.”

Tracy learned a lot in the movie. She learned that sometimes the person you think you love, might actually not love you in the same way. She learned that sometimes you make mistakes, but in the end it’s okay because we all do at some point.

If you can’t admit your mistakes, you can never truly be a happy person. I’ve lived a life where I try to defend every statement I make so I can try to be right. It’s easy to win an argument, but it is harder to admit that you are the wrong one. I’m trying to be the better person in heated situations, and admit mistakes I have made. I only hope the people I surround myself with will do the same.

Tracy gets drunk for the second time in her life, right before her wedding day. A mistake, yes, but in the end it was a mistake worth making.

Tracy gets drunk for the second time in her life, right before her wedding day. A mistake, yes, but in the end it was a mistake worth making.

In the end, everything worked out for Tracy. She did end up marrying someone on the day of her scheduled ceremony (just not with the intended fiancé). I think everything worked out with her because she went with her gut. She got a little crazy and went with what she thought was right. I like to think that I’m doing the same thing, and maybe in the end everything will work out for me.

The Paper Problem

I recently discovered how sacred printer paper is to college students.

If we held a modern gladiatorial combat with college students, it would be for printer paper.  College students would arm themselves and head into the arena to battle to the death.

I am not sure about other colleges or universities, but at my school printer paper does not come free. Most lounges are supply-your-own-paper printers. Only the commuter lounge, which is really supposed to be used by commuters-only, resources are free of charge. That is, they are free if you know where to look. You still have to walk to a different room to pick up printer paper, and even then it is hard to get. I have gotten many looks from whoever is working there, almost to say, “are you REALLY a commuter.” When you finally get a hold of some paper, you bring back the paper and quickly shove it into the printer.  As you quickly select print, you realize someone else is headed to the printer.  And shooting out of the device comes their notes.  Of course, the paper they just used up was not their own, but they don’t care.  They are in the same rush as you are.  It’s every man for himself!

I’ve never actually gotten mad at someone for using up the paper that I have brought back because I know I can get it for free.  I would be frustrated however, if I brought in stacks of my own paper, and then other students use it all up.  I have seen people literally argue with each other over printer paper.  It’s so ridiculous but at the same time, if people would just respect each others materials we wouldn’t have any issue.

Finals week makes kids go insane. I have seen people hurrying to print out their 50 pages of slides just so they can study.  So it is no wonder students get upset when some lazy student comes in and just prints their papers without bringing any paper.  Some students will have no problem voicing their opinions, and you really see how rude people are on your campus. I had a girl yell at me for using her paper, when I had counted out exactly how many pages I needed and placed them in the printer. She ran over to the printer and whipped out her paper so I wouldn’t use it.  She left some behind, and instead of keeping it, I gave it back to her (although I really think I should have kept it).

Which reminds me, whenever you see printing paper without an owner, snatch it up! I have found many piles of paper that have yet to be used, and hey, if you don’t protect it someone else will!  I have also found that printing your papers at the last minute are never a good idea.  This is just increasing your chances of things to go wrong, which will only leave you stressed and angry.  I also have decided to bring only the amount of paper that is necessary to print my document(s).  This way you aren’t putting extra paper in the printer for someone else to use.  Also, put the paper in the printer right before you go to print something.

I never would have suspected that college students would go so crazy over paper, but I am starting to see it makes sense.  We need so much paper every day, and when people try to take the little resources you have, it can be stressful. Sharpen your elbows students, you may need them!

Dramatic Way to Support a Cause

At the Indianapolis Colt’s Sunday game, some of the cheerleaders shaved their heads to support their Coach who is suffering with leukemia.

While this may seem like a selfless act, I disagree with their actions.

I do think that it was generous for one of the cheerleaders, Megan, to say if fans raised $10,000 for cancer research she would shave her head.  Obviously, fans exceeded this amount, raising over $22,000 for research.

Another fellow cheerleader would also get her head shaved, and join her friend Megan.

Now, you would think the girls would shave their heads and then come out on the field to show the fans.  But instead, they do it on the field and make an enormous show out of it.  This was no doubt a PR move.

I think it is amazing that the cheerleaders got the fans to raise so much money for cancer research.  But I believe that by shaving your head on the field serves more as a form of entertainment than a charity cause.

Not to mention, both girls are extremely gorgeous and have amazing cheerleader bodies.  So by shaving your head you really aren’t losing much.  I can guarantee there would be less attraction to this “shaving head event” if it was a girl of average looks and perhaps not that great of body.

If you can use your looks to raise money for an important cause, then by all means please do it.  By making a huge scene out of something that should be respected, in my opinion, is not the way to support the cause.  The man did lose his hair, yes, but by doing the same thing to yourself on the field is no way to make him feel better.

It’s a hairy situation in my mind!