Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Excuse me, sir, but could you quiet your bag!

So Sun Chips is going to stop making compostable bags because people have complained that they're too loud.

To that I say, WTF?

And spell check doesn't recognize the word "compostable."

To that I say, damn hippies and their made up words!

I understand that the bags really only work if you have one of those fancy shmancy compost bins, but still. They probably also work in the trash heap. Maybe.

Either way, it's a step in a positive direction, right?...Well, not anymore.

According to USA Today, sales of Sun Chips have dropped 11% since the new bags have been introduced.

Really, guys?! I mean, come on. Really! So what if the bag is noisy, all bags are noisy. There is no such thing as a ninja chip bag. Get over it!

I think most of these people are snack sneakers. I can see it now, a husband goes into the kitchen for some late night Sun Chips. All of the sudden, his wife sits up in bed: "Henry, the doctor told you not to eat anymore snacks at night!"

"I'm not eating, Martha...I'm...uhh...mowing the lawn!...OH MY GOSH! Did you just hear that jet fly by?!"

(You know, because, if you read the article, people have compared the noise to the sound of a lawmower or a...jet engine....yeah....moving on!)

But I think this sentence is the kicker: "While consumers say they want companies to be more environmentally conscious, consumer pressure continues to be strong for companies' products to be convenient, predictable and consumer-friendly."

In other words: We want the environment to be happy, but not at the expense of predictability. I mean, we have to draw the line somewhere, right? Right. So bravo, Sun Chips. You obviously made the right choice in our fight against the environment.

Note: In defense of Sun Chips, they are working on making a more ninja-friendly compostable bag. And they're going to keep the noisemakers with their most popular flavor. But that part wasn't as funny.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How to be a good customer

My life is depressing. I have a college degree and work a part-time retail job for $.50 over minimum wage (do they not put the cent symbol on keyboards anymore or am I retarded because I can't find it?). But instead of a woe-is-me rant in which I explain all the ways that my life sucks more than yours, I'm going to do something else...rant about why people suck more than I do.

See, in order to help your local retail salesperson from going insane and turning into a raging, hairy, one-eyed fire-breathing monster that's foaming from the mouth, there's a few things you must do. Otherwise, said retail person may go crazy, get sent to jail, and then come after you as soon as he/she gets out and do something childish and annoying, like take all your clothes out of your closet and throw them around the room, or stand at the foot of your bed on a cell phone while staring at you.

I hope I got your attention. This is an important issue...I just want to make sure you don't take it too lightly because there are serious implications if you do.

Now that I've created as much drama as possible, let's get to the point. Here are some things you should absolutely NOT do to any cashier or retail salesperson.

1. Create a mess. The best part of the day for anyone working in retail is when you're almost finished with a task. Folding clothes that just arrived on a shipment isn't the most fun you'll ever have in the world, but it's bearable. But if you go to put those clothes away on the shelf only to find that Hurricane Inconsiderate has created a Class 5 disaster area, then congratulations! Your day just got a whole lot worse. Now, I know that nobody can fold as great as a retail pro, but the next time you go to pull out that t-shirt at the bottom of the pile, do it gently. It's not like the tablecloth magic trick where if you do it fast enough and at the right angle, nothing falls. No, things are guaranteed to fall and cause havoc. And if you decide you don't want that t-shirt anymore, take two pieces of advice from me: 1, try to make up your mind before destroying a perfect display and 2, fold it up as best you can quickly and lay it on top of the other shirts. Don't even THINK about shoving it back underneath the pile of shirts. We will come after you.

2. Shove money in our faces. Look, I know you're in a hurry. So am I. I'm in a hurry to get out of the Chinese torture method they call retail and go home. But shoving money in my face while I'm still scanning your stupid gummy worms won't make things go any faster. All you're succeeding at here is making the person behind the counter angry at you for being so impatient. Most of the time, we move slower when that happens.

3. Talk on your cell phone. I can tell you're oh-so-important by the way you talked away on your cell phone the entire time you were in the store. I get it. I'm impressed--really, I am. But when you come up to the counter, could you please, maybe if you have the time, get off your cell phone? I don't want you to miss an important conversation about your friend having an affair with some married guy, but I would like to be acknowledged as a person. It kinda helps my self-esteem, which can't be too high since, you know, I do work in retail. For only $.50 more than minimum wage, remember? Human interaction is something that helps keep me from going crazy, and if I'm deprived of it and instead get stuck listening to your conversation about where you should buy a new bra, I feel like breaking that goddamn cell phone and shoving it up your ass so it can be closer to your brain, you dumb bitch! You, and your conversation, are NOT more important than me so show some damn respect! I fu---

Sorry. See, I tried being nice, but cell phone talkers make me so angry. Think of it this way: If I came to your house and talked on my cell phone the entire time, you'd get pretty pissed, right? Well, so do I. So stop doing it!

4. Just not talking. There's nothing more awkward than a person that buys a shitload of crap and doesn't say a single word to you as you're ringing him up. So if you'd rather avoid the conversation, don't buy a whole lot at a time, or just suck it up and talk about the weather or something. Again, it's that whole human interaction thing. If you spent all day dusting condom boxes and folding booty shorts then you start to long for another human being to talk to. If that doesn't happen, you just start talking to yourself. I won't go into specifics, but that can end badly. For you and the store. I'm just sayin'...

5. Flirting. Unless you're the absolute hottest person in the entire world (and, sorry to say, chances are you're not), there is a huge chance that the girl scanning your socks doesn't want your number. It's not that she doesn't like you. But there is a giant line behind you and she has a lot of work to do. And let's face it, meeting the love of your life while checking them out for $50 worth of drinks and snacks isn't the greatest love story of all time. In fact, it might be the lamest. Plus, if she already has a boyfriend, then she might just get annoyed or maybe even laugh at you if you start reciting Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to her (true story). And you don't want to be laughed at, do you?

6. Asking dumb questions. Try looking for something for at least 30 seconds before you ask somebody. Because if you just ask for headphones as soon as you get into the store and they're right next to the counter, you risk looking like an idiot and getting bashed on the head for asking the same question that the 20 people in the store before you asked.

So there you have it. Six simple tips to keeping your friendly neighborhood retail salesperson friendly and out of jail. Please follow them, or bear the consequences...MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NO! It's NOT a party in the USA!

Dear gym:

I beg of you, please please PLEASE stop playing that stupid Miley Cyrus song. You know the one I'm talking about. For the love of my last remaining thread of sanity, just stop! I've had the song stuck in my head ever since coming home from work at 4 and I am not amused.

Look, I know I'm just a lowly employee of the pro shop and not one of your valued exercise fiends, but I think I deserve just a little respect. I mean, does this really jazz up the people on the exercise bikes? Maybe they're trying to pedal faster to get away from that damn song!

I worked the entire weekend. I worked the past four days, and you never fail to play that song. Are you trying to torture us? Is this some sick twisted psychology experiment designed to test how far a person can be pushed before going apeshit insane? If so, I think four days of such a test is quite enough. Any further, and you may find me under the counter in the fetal position chanting "party in the USA."

There will no longer be a party in the USA, gym, if you do not straighten up. I know you're toying with me now because last time you were playing good music. I was singing along to the Beach Boys when it faded out in the middle of the song. And what should happen to fade in at that point? You guessed it...MILEY F$@KING CYRUS!

Do you really want to be responsible for the mental breakdown of an employee, gym? Do you think that'll look good on your part? Consider this a warning. If I hear "Party in the USA" one more time, I may begin to think I'm Miley Cyrus and run around the gym yelling "HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER!" while grinding on the exercise equipment. Do you really want that?

Think about it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Plight of the English Majors

If anyone has ever wondered what recent college graduates do, let me share this secret with you: they do absolutely nothing. Be aware, this is a closely guarded secret, and other recent grads may kill me, but they're probably too damn tired from being in college all those years to do anything about it.

Sure, there are those overachievers who have a job lined up before graduation. I call those people superfreaks and I want nothing to do with them. Psssh...show offs.

But there's something more important I want to share with you today. And that's a few reasons why it sucks to be an English major...or an English graduate, for that matter.

1. Grammar becomes your life.

When you're first starting out as an English major, you have to take those mandatory English 101 classes. In those classes are a bunch of people that are majoring in nonsensical things like Communications or Biology or Nuclear Physics. These people suck at spelling and grammar. If you get a professor that has peer draft workshops, you will learn how painful this can be to you. You will start to judge the intelligence of others based on their comprehension of the basic rules of writing. It sucks.

And then it penetrates into other aspects of your life. You begin to judge everyone's intelligence based on your superior English-major knowledge of language. Pat and I just watched The Sandlot 2. It sucked major donkey ass. But it would've only sucked baby donkey ass if their grammar was better. For instance, "them is our only hope" is not correct. These people obviously didn't hire someone with an English degree to proof read their script. To anyone writing a script that needs their grammar checked to make sure that your movie doesn't suck more than a tiny donkey ass, give me a call.

2. You begin to analyze EVERYTHING.

Sometimes, movies are just movies. Sometimes they don't want to make you think. The Sandlot 2 definitely did not even plan for anybody thinking during their movie. That was a big mistake because they didn't realize English majors would find it.

Being an English major means writing a lot of papers analyzing plot, symbolism, metaphor, and overall pulling meaning out of something that may have not even had any meaning in the first place. Including movies. As an English major, you'll begin to analyze movies. You won't want to. You'll sit down with your popcorn and beer to enjoy a dumb movie, and then you'll become so annoyed by the various massive plot holes within the first thirty minutes that you want to shoot your DVD player.

And then you'll later talk about said movie with your friend or lover (I love the word 'lover'...it sounds so dirty), and you'll start talking about the plot holes and horrible metaphors and they'll just stare at you like you've ruined Christmas by giving them a gift of a charitable donation. And nobody wants to ruin Christmas.

(Side note: For Pat's birthday one year, I did give him a gift of a charitable donation. I'm still paying $10 (that I don't have) a month to support an orangutan that I "adopted" for him. He actually loves it.)

(Another side note: I just put a parenthesis inside a parenthesis. Yay English!)

3. You'll have to read boring and inane literature

I still don't know how reading The Canterbury Tales furthered my knowledge, but it was a required course for English majors. Maybe someday I'll be able to use my new ability to read and analyze Middle English literature (while drunk, too). When that day comes, I'll climb atop a giraffe because I'm pretty sure that it'll mean the end of civilization.

4. You'll find yourself doing the crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles have always been, to me, an old person thing. I could never understand it. Until one day, I was bored in class and started doing the puzzles in the most coveted news source, the California Aggie. I discovered that crossword puzzles were fun, at least more so than listening to a boring lecture on American poetry in the 20th century. I also discovered that I may just be an old lady.

5. You'll actually understand obscure literary references.

Remember that really crappy Renaissance novel you had to read in English Lit 10535345B (if that's a real class in your university, then that must be an awesome college)? When CSI finally references Sir Francis Bacon you may find yourself laughing your ass off. And everybody else will stare at you like you just laughed at a picture of a water buffalo eating a kitten. Because, really, Francis Bacon is not funny.

6. You may have to field questions about you being a teacher.

The one question I've always been asked when I tell them my major is this: "Are you going to be a teacher?"

The answer, folks, is a resounding hell NO! Do I look like I'm capable of handling groups of children larger than one? Because I'm not. Believe me, no parent would ever want me in charge of their kids. I would either break them or set them down on top of the refrigerator while I went to the bathroom and then completely forget about them. If I were to ever have kids, I'd live in constant fear that some day they may revolt against me.

And then I have to explain that an English degree means a lot more than teaching. I could become anything I want because I have a solid foundation in reading, writing, and speaking in the official language of the United States. I could even be general manager of Wal Mart! Yes!

So there you go. A few reasons why you may want to reconsider being an English major. In fact, you may just want to go a different route and become illiterate all together. That way, there's less pressure on you to succeed or become a teacher. Plus, you won't annoy others with your habits of correcting grammar and analyzing movies. Everyone wins!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

YouTube and You

My baby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iNrw9hbkeU

I have a group project in a class called Writing Across the Media. One of the most thought-provoking and creative-enducing classes I've ever taken. Hence, the video. It's a mock film promo about a gorilla that needs friends.

We created this video to talk about the arbitrary nature of popularity on YouTube. Have you ever noticed how some really stupid videos get so much popularity? They take no creative effort at all and somehow people just love them. When some of the more creative or artistic videos may get ignored.

So what does this say about art? We're not quite sure yet. Giving people more accessibility in creating art forms through YouTube and other internet medias has both good and bad connotations. Sure, people can spread their talents around much more easily and get recognition for it, even get paid in some instances. But on the flip side, this accessibility can lead to a cheapened form of art. Everybody with a camera becomes a photographer...everybody with a camcorder and Windows Movie Maker becomes a filmmaker. It's an interesting phenomenon to think about, and we really don't think about it enough because it's been there for so long. We've become so used to having YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, and Flicker that we don't think about how these things affect the nature of art.

Just think about it. And watch the video, of course!