You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 18, 2006.

I used to be friends with this guy, Brian, who was obsessed with his dogs.  He worked overnights at a hotel, his boyfriend managed a Taco Bell, and they lived in a trailer, but they had at least 4 purebred dogs.  Because these dogs were purebreds, they were incredibly breakable and prone to illness and indigestion.  One of them, an Italian greyhound, had broken both her front legs jumping off of the couch.  $600 later, she broke both her back legs the same way.  I’m not saying when your pet is broken you shouldn’t fix it, but don’t get such breakable pets maybe.

 After the dog mended, he snuck her into the café at Barnes&Noble so I could meet her.  She was very cute and little, but also painfully skinny, uptight-seeming, and shaking the whole time.  Whether the shaking was from the tension or cold, I don’t know—you just can’t ask a dog that.  I couldn’t really warm to this rigid and anxious dog despite Brian beaming at me, “Isn’t she beautiful?”

 There’s a kid who works at Stupid Pepsi who reminds me of that dog.  His legs aren’t broken, but he’s so tightly wound that you expect him to just keel over from the stress of existing.  He never wears a coat, but always looks like he’s freezing, and I don’t know if he actually does shiver, but I bet he really wants to.  I just want to run up behind him and scream  “relax!” but that would kill him.

 His sister also works at Stupid Pepsi; Kristie, the trainer, the girls with the most nasal voice I’ve ever heard in my life.  She also seems perpetually tense, though, not as bad as him.  They’re both painfully skinny with startled expressions.  Her smiles seem really forced. I’ve never seen him actually smile; his face would probably shatter. What the holidays must be like with that family. 

I punched in late at Stupid Pepsi this morning. The funny thing is, by the time I did punch in, I had been sitting at my desk for 3 minutes. Now, instead of using a timeclock, we have to punch in at our computers—our computers that are not turned on when we come in. For whatever reason, today, I sat down, pushed the on button, and waited. It didn’t turn on. I watched the clock on my phone flip to 8am, then 8:01. I pushed the button again, and then the computer turned on.

The screen to punch in popped up (eventually) asking for my username and password, which I did not know. I stood up in my cubicle and frantically craned my neck around for someone who might know the answer to my question. Finally I directed my query toward Marcus, who I really can’t stand, but I figured at least he’d know. I asked what my password would be set as, and he craned his head around to make sure I was actually talking to him before giving me the information I wanted. My punch in time was recorded at 8:02. Two minutes late is late. Period. Even if shitty software made it happen.

I immediately IMed my supervisor to tell her that it took 3 minutes to get punched in and wasn’t that a little unreasonable, then I pulled out my pocket mirror and began my morning ritual of fishing sleepy junk out of my eye.

She came scampering over to help me right when I was doing some major work cleaning out my right eye and said “It’s the first 2 letters of your last name and your employee ID number.” I couldn’t see her because I had my glasses off, but she sounded funny and also self-important even though she was answering a question I hadn’t asked. I just blinked at her, glanced at my fully operational computer and grabbed my glasses. The reason she sounded funny was because there were thin plastic bands stuck to her teeth. I just stared, wondering if they were some new braces like Tom Cruise had, or a retainer, or what. My experience with orthodontics is very limited and a long time ago, so I’m not sure what a lot of these things that people have in their mouths are. I speculated for entirely too long before I realized that she was waiting for some kind of gratitude.

“I figured it out.” I told her, “but my computer wouldn’t turn on, and then I didn’t know what you just told me, so by the time I did punch in I was 2 minutes late even though I got there on time.”

She looked puzzled, “But you have to get here early.”

“I was early.”

“You have to allow time to punch in.”

I could barely concentrate on the completely insane words she was saying because her voice sounded garbled and restrained like her mouth just didn’t want to let the words out. She sounded like a more gravelly version of Stan’s sister Shelly from South Park. After putting on my glasses, I realized that she had gotten clear braces and was also wearing some kind of new-fashioned retainer which made her impossible to understand.

We work in a call center.

“I got here early, but couldn’t punch in until I was late, does that seriously count?” I was starting to get really pissed off. In what kind of world do you have to get to work early because you have to allow for 3 minutes of punching in time?

“I think it’ll be okay.” she told me and flounced off to impart her limited and wet-sounding wisdom to some other poor sucker who had probably been struggling to punch in for 10 minutes.