Friday, September 18, 2009


Hey y'all!

Bonus feature before I unveil the afore mentioned post :-)

2 phrases overheard: (you know I love these)

In the bar:

"he rode over 6 miles on his spiderman bicycle!"

Oh yay!

That is thrilling!

Tho, I think we all hope she is referring to a child....

At the front desk (to a coworker referring to calling a taxi)

Her: I can't

Co-Worker: Why?

Her: Because I'm scared if you don't want to do things yourself, pretend you're scared. It worked for her.

In the Homeless Shelter Resource Center from one "client" to another:

"I am a vampire. I am going to eat you."

Yup. Do we I think this is "Twilight initiated? Not sure yet. Though I *do* plan a blog following what my flatmate and I intend to for the opening of "New Moon", though I do believe you'll have to wait.


uh's that good :)

And finally......Creepy guy update!!

Remember the guy from CVS who approached me in the parking lot?

I saw him again.

It's been about 2 months. I haven't gone to CVS; afraid that I'll run in to him. Well, tonight I was hitting up Safeway for groceries, and he walked by.

"Hey, haven't see you in a while!!!"


And he was gone. So maybe I over aged him. Maybe he's 35. I still don't want him.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Three Stages of Wheedling pt.B

Last post, I introduced the topic of wheedlers. I neglected to include Webster's take on the word:

wheedle: to endeavor to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering, or beguiling words or acts

Yup, I think that sums it up. Though my guys throw in a bit of not a perfect fit.

Earlier this week, (as some of you might know) we had one very rainy night. Rained about half an inch. Felt like a lot more, but still. The next day, I pop into the local homeless shelter for my regularly scheduled shift. My supervisor was out, but one of the other division heads was in to keep a handle on things.

I popped out back to grab a sleeping bag for someone from the shed. I gave him one. And to the other guy who saw I was giving out sleeping bags. Then went back out when a woman saw us coming in with sleeping bags. She follows me, and another guy's head pops in the entrance. "You got sleeping bags? I need one...."

So I give the woman one.

Her: I don't know, It's kind of big....(kinda peers behind me, looking for something better)

Me: (holds out a red one) It's that one of this one.

Her: I just don't like it...

Me: (looks at guy who also wanted one) If you don't want it, give it to him, but that's what I've got.

Her: I'll take it

Later on....

Her: I'm going to (nearby town). Can you store it for me?

Me: We don't store things. (Is our name "We-Store-it-so-U-don't-have-to"? No! It's a homeless shelter and resource center!)

Her: Oh. Can you save it for me?

Her: Oh. Well I guess I'll just try to get one when I come back.

I spoke with the supervisor of which 2 points emerged:

  1. Someone else was going to ask, so rather than putting it back in the shed, stash it in the back office. This prevents the "oooh, she's going to the shed. I need one TOO!!"

  2. We weren't going to give out anymore. People were getting all excited because of one rainy day and the season hadn't even started. When nasty weather did hit, we needed to have some left. Plus, my boss wasn't there, and neither of us were sure of sleeping-bag-dispersal policies she had

Another woman comes in, wants a sleeping bag:

Me: I've got one in the back room here you can have. (give it to's not new, but in great condition)

Her: It isn't new....did someone use this?

Me: I hadn't gotten a chance to put it in the back yet (technically true..)

Her: I thought there were nicer ones in the shed

Me: (really? I mean REALLY? It's free!) That's what I've got. If you don't want it....(I start to take it back)

Her: Nono! I'll take it....I guess....

So, we are now officially out.

In light of that, take it away David! (David is a tall thin man in a big straw hat)

David: I heard you were giving away sleeping bags

Me: I'm sorry sir, we don't have any more to give away today

David: What do you mean? Today?

Me: We've given quite a few away this morning, and aren't able to give any more away today. Perhaps tomorrow-

David: (comes closer...towers. I don't stand up. Why? to play the height game? I'm so short I've largely gotten over that.) What, so you just give away your quota, and then you stop? That's ridiculous!

Me: (well, yeah....) I'm not authorized to give any away at this time.

David: I'm sleeping on benches in the rain! I need a sleeping bag.

Me: I'm sorry sir. (forecast looks clear tonight though :)

David: Who runs this place!? I'm taking this straight to the city counsel! When I started this place in 1975.....(rambles on)

Me: (oh please....If half the people who say that lined up, they'd be through the door and being run over by the train every half hour) I'll look for a business card n-

David: This is an outrage. I put this together to help people! I want their business card! I'm taking this to the City Council!

Me: I can't seem to find a-

David: (getting in my personal space) Just get me that business card!

By this time, I'm getting really annoyed. He keeps interrupting me. He's just repeating himself.

Me: Sir? (he ignores me) Sir! I've told you I'm-

David: I'm not mad at you! I just want a card!

Me: I've told you I'm looking. (he starts to talk. I ignore him) I can't seem to locate one sir. Will a post-it do?

David: Yes! Just get me the number! (I hand him a post-it) This doesn't have a name! I want a name! (I put down the director's name. "Peter Jones". I figure, as director, this is part of his job) Peter Jones!! I should have known! I've done his landscaping.....


The odd thing was, after he'd gotten what he wanted, he tried to make small talk with me...maybe to leave a good impression? Too late, I already knew he was a few bottles short of a 6-pack.

Ok. Analyze time!

After this last incident, I realized that there was a pattern.

Stage One: The SquwakSquwak Stage. Person approaches, doesn't like answer. Thinks that if they can just go on about it, like a small child bleating for treats at a grocery store, Mommy will finally give in. Opponent will attempt to give various reasons why you should change your mind. Be firm!

Stage Two: The Guilt Trip Stage. This one doesn't last very long. Opponent doesn't usually have to resort to this, but they've judged that stage one is ineffectual and making them look bad. Opponent will attempt to make you feel guilty; like you aren't doing your job and that you are a bad person for this. Unfortunately for them, they secretly know you have nothing to feel guilty about, so they don't spend a lot of time here and won't throw anything truly heinous at you. Keep this in mind when combating stage two.

Stage Three: Intimidation Stage. Opponent wasn't giving his all for the guilt trip and decides to intimidate you as a last ditch effort. Phrases such as "Get me your manager" and "I'm friends with the owner" are common here. Opponent might also try to use height and/or breadth. Keep in mind that if they really were an important person, they would have brought it up first, rather than coming up with it now. Also, a lot of important people are actually nice and rarely torment people for an afternoon's pass time. For the "manager" line, you can use the following tip. This is something you need to be doing the entire process:

Use "aggressive politeness" as I call it. You can say "sir" or "ma'am" a lot, as it shows respect while allowing you more time to think of what you're going to say. Rephrase often instead of offering new information. In stage one, they really aren't listening to you anyway. They just want you to change your mind. Reasons mean nothing. With Sleeping Bag Man, it would have been a Bad Thing to offer the info that we had sleeping bags at all. To keep from slipping up, rephrase!

Most importantly, don't take too much crap.

They won't respect you. At some point, you might need to have the following exchange:

You: Sir, I've told you what I'm able to do. Why are you angry with me?

Them: I'm not angry at you!! (this will be loud) You didn't do anything!

You: Sir, there's only me here. Nobody else. So I have to assume you're angry at me. If that's not the case, please stop yelling.

Stay tuned for the upcoming post:

"If You Won't Trust Me to Do My Job, Don't Blame Me When You Screw Yourself"

The Three Stages of Wheedling pt.A

So, there I was (yet again) minding my own business at the front desk. I'm going to come right out and say it.

I like foreign people.

Generally, they're polite and they have rockin' accents. But every now and then someone comes along that seems to delight in shattering my lovingly held starry-eyed sentimentalities. Before we get into this, I offer the following disclaimer/reason for the basis of my actions:

I don't mess around with people's flights.

I'll print boarding passes, but that's as close as I'll get. I had a flatmate once who neglected to read her instructions all the way through for her flight to Japan. Something you should do to learn such small facts as "You need to get to the airport 2 hours early for international flights."

She had to wait a day to leave, and purchased another $800 ticket.


I keep my hands off the whole business. I will offer taxi companies, shuttle services and wake up calls, but I won't arrange airport transpo. We aren't required to either. It's at our discernment. So I usually discern.

Tall man approaches with cronies. The following conversation takes place. I'll try to be as faithful as possible to the interruptions. They may be annoying to read, but imagine dealing with them in person.

Man: I need a taxi to the airport

Me: Well sir, I have some taxi numbers right here that you-

Man: Can't you call?

Me: I'm sorry sir, we don't arrange for taxis. You'll need to.

Man: WHAT? You won't call me a taxi?

Me: I have several numbers right here-

Man: Only 2? What if they can't take me?

Me: I have several other companies I can-

Man: And you really won't call for me?

Me: That's correct sir-

Man: Whatever

(he goes to consult with crony number 1.)

Crony number 2 comes over and asks for cabs. I treat him as his his friend hadn't just been yelling at me, get him the numbers. Tall man comes back over.

Man: This is ridiculous. I've never heard of a hotel that doesn't call taxis.

Me: (Well, now you have....) .....

Man: Do you have some sort of phone here I can use?

Me: I have these phones, but I would need to dial it for you. As you can see, they're attached-

Man: Forget it!

Me: Your room phone will also dial-

Man: You people (see? see! a "you people"!) charge for calls; I'm not using my room phone!

Me: (pulls out the big eyes) Oh, we don't charge for local calls, or 1-800, both of which these are!

Man: It won't call-

Me: I'm so sorry! Let me have maintenance come and take a look at it and-

Man: I don't want to.

Crony 1: (to tall man) I'll call

I love how when we get down to it, the real problem was that he just didn't want to. That was it. The entire reason.

So it was an interesting little happenstance, but I hadn't really nailed the format. You know, people trying to make you do something you don't want to do.

But see, something odd happens when people do this to me. When I've made up my mind in matters like these, I don't suddenly give in. When people try to "wear me down", it just gets me annoyed. I gave them my answer. And because they don't like it, I'm supposed to reconsider? It's my job to use my judgment; and by the time you've figured out you don't like that judgement call, I've already gone through the extensive mental process required to weigh the options and alternatives. If I've said no, I mean it. And from then on, I dig my heels in like a canoneer atop a run-away limber digs her heels down behind the brogan-board.

In the next post, I'll provide the next example with tools to recognize and conquer (yay!) a wheedler.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cheap Pets

There you are, minding your own business just biking along. Your peripheral vision is operational, but not on turbo, and suddenly, BAM.

3 seconds after you bike past it, you realize that "it" was a dead squirrel.

A dead bloated squirrel to be precise.

Not that this is a "dead animal blog". Then the words "snippits from a people watcher" would take on a whole new meaning involving tufts of fur and murdered rodents who had dared to peer inside Little Sally's window. (...and Little Sally's father is Big Mike--who owns a 12 gauge)

My immediate first thought was: My Roommate!!! She has a job with a museum cleaning animals out and stuffing them for display, so, you know, I figured I would be doing her a favor. I was even willing to concede used of the kitchen or bathroom counters for possible observation of her craft.

I probably need to be more grateful to my second thoughts. The thoughts that called to mind the Janitor and his squirrel army. I have a sneaking suspicion that he wouldn't be called sane. Plus, my roommate had just that day gotten the "pleasure" of dealing with a large animal that had accidentally been "cooked" under a tarp leading to the vet's observation:

"That doesn't look like it died looks like it died last week."

Ah well, one lives and learns, I suppose.

Think about it...all those animals in the world scampering around eating things and when they get old: dying. Then we, the ever mournful beings that we are, have our various burial practices. We stuff them. We burn them. We pretend they aren't dead until someone forces us to clean out the cage (or the city does). We flush them down the toilet.

Hopefully, you keep separate the specific animals that get a particular treatment.

A pet is great because they live with you, crawl on your lap, and when you name them, you don't go out to the meadow the next day and:

A) Hope they don't have rabies so you won't die by getting too close

B) Don't have to wonder which one you named "Bonn-Bonn-Bunny" the day before

*sigh* I'm taking care of flatmate's rats and cats while she's at a convention this weekend. The kitten is an ankle biting terror. I'm thinking I might just have the lavish imaginary skills necessary to "adopt" a community critter of my own.

Name it. Smile beatifically at it every time I see one of its general species. Imagine holding it, stroking its plushy fur. This would put be dead-on in my training to be a crazy cat lady.

Or I could just do what my little sister does. Adopt a plant and take it for walks. Plus, they cost less.