Christmastime in the Emerald City

{August 27, 2008}   Shitty Things About My Office

As I’m sure the majority of you are aware, I work in a very corporate type environment. I used to be the receptionist, multitasking like a demon, answering about six hundred calls a day for several dozen clients, and dealing with the general idiocy of the front desk and all it’s approachers. Since then I have been promoted to CSR II, meaning essentially that I am a senior customer service representative. You know those personal assistants you hear of, running about like mad, coffee this, errand that, and all sorts of busy shennanigans. Well, essentially my job description is that of a personal assistant for hire on a billable, as-needed basis. If you’re not big and fancy enough to hire your own full time assistant, but you need someone for a half an hour here and there to reschedule appointments, make travel arrangements, order catering and other function logistics, well that’s me. Corporate bitch for hire.

I do actually like my job a great deal, and when I’m busiest is when I’m at my best. I love flying all over the city running errands for clients, click clacking around our more posh downtown area in my fabulous heels and pencil skirt. And then I come back up to the north end of the city where my office actually is and think “ugh.” It’s not so much the job folks, it’s like everybody says: location, location, location.

In summary, my job is awesome, but my office sucks. Here’s why:

Location: Ugly

I’m a downtown kind of girl. I don’t live right downtown – I’m surrounded by trees, nice houses, funky districts and so forth. But where I live is generally considered to be in that proximity. I can see our dense collection of skyscrapers from my window, and I can walk there in just a few minutes. Where I work, on the other hand, is way the hell ass in the north end of the city. You can’t even see the CN Tower from my office, and it’s one of the tallest damn buildings in the world (fuck you Malaysia, your hookers suck.)

It’s far away and the neighbourhood is fugly. No bright lights, no posh architecture, no trendy amenities at ground level. I’m surrounded by nasty looking condos and Korean fast food. Not that there’s anything wrong with Korean fast food, I’m just not a personal fan. And if I’m going to put the effort into heels and pencil skirts, I’d kind of like to be surrounded by upscale florists and other things I like to pretend I can afford. Wide, pale sidewalks, shimmery and crack free. Potted outdoor plants with footlights and tasteful decor. Not so much up here. Tacky and dirty, that’s the general feel of this area. Ugly construction and confused passerby. Nice. Warms my heart as I get off the subway every morning.

Distance: Too Damn Far

It’s a forty five minute commute people. On a good day. On the subway. With transferring. One transfer if I catch the bus in the morning, two transfers if I miss it and have to take the streetcar. And if that’s the case, then I’m transferring at the notoriously ill-designed Yonge-Bloor junction. It sucks. This station brings out the worst in people, because it’s jammed, busy, and designed so that transferring commuters all crash into each other, and people who aren’t familiar with the layout have to stand in the worst spot possible to find any kind of signage. Also, all the civilized people are generally going south from Yonge and Bloor, towards the aforementioned sparkle and shine of the downtown core. Those going north with me, not so much. This is where you get the assfuckers who will park their oversized knock-off luggage on the seat next to them and sigh heavily when you have the nerve to ask for a seat that you paid for.

Status: Ghetto

The company I work for is tremendously succesful, the top in its field. We have dozens of locations in the city alone, and nearly a thousand worldwide. Part of my job often requires that I hop on the train and stop by our prettier centres to pick up equipment and etc. This means I get a nice taste of what the downtown centres look like. Me? I’m stuck at the northernmost point, initially under the employ of a company that was bought out by these fancy new people. That means we’re nowhere near as pretty because we didn’t have the start-up funding for, say, nice carpeting, or freshly painted walls, or pieces of art not emanating from the horrid, horrid 80’s. All the other centres know that we’re the crappiest. It’s a nice feeling.

We are the ghetto centre. We are ugly and cheap. If I didn’t work with Talea, I would immediately request a transfer to a downtown centre if a position was available, but the likelihood of both of us being transferred is slim to none.

Temperature: SubZero

My office is fucking FREEZING. All the damn time! I know it’s summer, I do, but it’s not really. Have they looked outside? It’s been raining every other day, and this morning it was freezing outside. Oh, but the computer says the temperature is fine! Well it’s not. It’s a bloody cold day in hell. And the worst part about it is that we can’t adjust our own temperature. When we’re cold, or when one of my dozens of persnickety clients are cold, I have to call down to maintenance. I loooooove maintenance. They hate me. They hate that I call every half an hour to have someone’s office warmed up/cooled down. They hate it so much that when Talea called down once, they reminded us that when the original owners took the space, they opted not to pay the extra fee for the option to self-adjust temperatures, so now they just get a little angry every time we call.

Great. Thanks. I’m still cold, so you can just bring your angry ass right on up and turn the a/c down, okay?

Oh and peep this! Just now the elevators stopped working. They’re coming up from the lobby, but they won’t go back down. Super fabulous.

Memos and Signatures: Pointless

Why do you think I type up memos and deliver them with mail everyday? Is it because I love risking the slicing intrusion of paper cuts on my fingers? The trees smashed under every word I type? No, people. It’s because there is something new that may pertain to you, and so I am giving you the courtesy of letting you know ahead of time. If you don’t read it, I can’t help you.

Picture this: It’s ten minutes after five, and I happen to still be at my desk. There is loud, insistent banging on the front glass doors, which are locked since it is past five. We didn’t always lock the door at five since we do have people who work here at all hours, even though they all have keys to the alternate entrances. But then security gave us shit. And so we sent out a memo and began locking the doors. Clearly, this banging individual failed to read said memo, and was irate upon my courteous gesture of opening the door for him. It would have been nice, he said miffedly, if someone had informed them that this new policy was in effect. We did, I retorted, there was a memo sent out. Well, said the haughty individual, *I* did not get that memo. You did, as a matter of fact. Your last bill? The one you paid? Yeah, it was in there. You just didn’t read it. Thanks.

Then there are arguments over contracts and all that other legal jargon that I’m not going to go into because it’s company privacy blah blah blah. But sticking with just generic observations, I will say this: If you sign a contract, you’re bound to the terms. That’s why you’re allowed to take these things home and read them over, kind of like when you buy a house and all that stuff. So if you piss and moan that you didn’t understand the terms or that you didn’t read this or that section, or that it wasn’t clearly explained, you can piss and moan all you want. You still signed something without reading it, and you’re stuid. Next time, I think I’m going to add a clause that allows me to tie people to chairs and kick them down a flight of stairs, and see if anyone notices before they sign it.

Incidentally, non-memo readers are about 70% more likely than memo readers to cuss and fight if they think you’ve charged them twelve cents extra for photocopies. Not exagerting here, TWELVE CENTS. Really, if it wouldn’t be construed as insubordination or flat out snarkiness, I’d start up a change jar at poor Talea’s desk so she could simply fling quarters at people rather than start the horrific process that is convincing our head office half a country away that joe-schmuck and his accounting errors desserve twelve cents back in the name of customer service.

Tech Support: Fail

I give up on the phones and internet, because our provider fails on an epik scale. (hahahahahahaha, subtle). We’ve been with this particular vendor for over a year, and still we can’t go a week without them fucking something up. Just yesterday, I took a spare phone we had sitting around, and asked them to program it for a new client. Just change the name thats already in it, that’s all! Wipe out the voicemail, maybe add a feature or two. You are a phone company, right? Well it takes a week (if it were me programming a VCR, I could understand, but I don’t get paid to program VCRs) before it gets programmed. Plug it in and the extension assigned to the phone has magically been stolen from one of our other phones and given to this one. Why? I have no idea. Damn good thing that extension was assigned to another spare phone and not one sitting in someone’s office.

But maybe they knew that, you say. They are tech people after all, they know what extensions are where and all that jazz. Just let them do their thing. Oh yeah? So when they hand us a spreadsheet of all the available phone numbers that we are free to assign to new clients and we find their own damn tech support number on there, I guess that’s a real fab indication of exactly how much they know about their own business.

Morons: I’m Surrounded

Yeah, that’s pretty much the gyst of it folks. I’m surrounded by morons and ugly buildings. I’m not planning on jetting out of here anytime soon, though. Firstly, there are a number of cool people keeping me here. Talea, obviously. Some of our clients can be buckets of fun when they’re in a good mood. One of the resident financial advisors stepped into our office for some of my lemon squares and to give us a fifteen minute lesson on how to flip pens in a crazy impressive manner. My boss is pretty rocking too, and that’s something you don’t want to gamble with. I could end up in the prettiest office downtown with a douchenozzle for a boss to make the overall day just that much worse.

It’s not my job that I hate. It’s my office.

Okay, some days the job sucks too, but I have rent to pay.


I’m going to qualify that header with a little bit of information: I dropped out of University after my first year. Yeah, I know. Me, the prodigal child who went to gifted school, was in all advanced classes and spent most of highschool on the honour roll.

Was it too hard? Well it kicked my ass, but I probably could have plowed through – I passed a history course without even going to the exam, clearly I was doing something right. Did I spend all my money and time partying? No. I was poor and didn’t like anybody in my residence building. Did I decide to switch my major from Forensic Psychology to Interpretive Dance? Kind of, I guess. I did spend a fortune going to the best school for makeup artistry in North America before realizing that the Toronto beauty market is completely oversaturated. But hey, people spend that kind of money on vacations and I acquired some serious skills. No regrets at all. So why did I drop out?

Because it sucked.

Plain and simple, I didn’t like it. It’s not that I don’t have the wherewithall to haul my ass through difficult times in the hope of a great future ahead. I just didn’t see a great future ahead. Sure, I could have had a career as a forensic scientist, growing slowly more obsessed and insane (my fellow apartment dwellers were disturbed by the “motivational” photos plastered to my wall on the rare occasion I opened my door). But I lived with this lingering fear of spending all that time and money only to change my mind. I saw so many people achieving degrees only to find them useless, and so many people doing alright without them. I’m not saying higher education is useless. I’m just saying I was disillusioned. Everything I learned was through textbooks, holing up in my tiny bedroom for literally months at a time. The daily get up and go process, the classes and interaction with other humans only served as an example of why an education doesn’t make you smart. So I shunned it all very quickly, moved out on my own and threw myself into the real world for a whirlwind tour of poverty, uncertainty, adventure, heartache, exploration and a few good life lessons that all the overpriced tuition in the world could never have afforded me, and as is becoming increasingly obvious, has not been afforded to a great many of the more educated ‘others’.



When it comes right down to it, your electric bill is the last one that needs to be paid. At least in Toronto where they will go for over a year before sticking that orange tab of paper on your door. On a related note, your account number is attached to your address, not you personally. So when you move, it’s not a very good idea to keep making online payments to the old account number because even though you will be credited for it, it’ll take them a year to figure it out and it’s a super pain in the ass.





 To prevent crack addicts from rummaging through your shit, don’t put out your recycling until you hear the truck coming. Empty beer cans are like gold. This of course, depends on where you live. If you can’t figure out whether or not you are surrounded by crackheads, you should probably just give up and wander into traffic. They don’t all look like Dave Chapelle, by the way.



There is no greater skill than being able to lie.


It’s all about who you know. I got this job because someone I made a brief impression on called me up to offer it. Talea got her job because I got that same someone to call her. At our previous place of employ, I was promoted from lowly phone monkey to reception because Talea knew me and my hyperorganization. Sure, the job was posted and technically available to anyone, and plenty of more educated and more senior people were a little miffed, but at the end of the day people hire you, not your resume.




Experience trumps education. I suppose some kind of college degree in business administration (What the hell do they teach in those classes? How to file? Did we not learn the alphabet and therefore how to alphabetize in kindergarten?) might beef up my salary. But if I walk into an interview with years of customer service and a list of references attesting to my skills, that meek little girl in her first suit and a newly framed degree doesn’t stand a chance.


Don’t bring your parents to a job interview you stupid, stupid twit.


You really, REALLY don’t need a swiffer. 




If you live in a sketchy place, make friends with the scariest looking person you can find. Again, it’s all about who you know.

You have to start doing the job you want before they will start paying you for it.


A four apartment quadplex with simple slots at the door for mail is going to be more secure than a two level series of bachelor apartments with 12 locked boxes. The former indicates an established level of trust. The latter…well, lets just say that I can still go back to my old apartment and open up most of the mailboxes with my fingernail.




Knowing city by-laws like the back of your hand is very useful, especially with jackass neighbours. Also become familiar with any rules and regulations pertaining to renting and lease agreements. Landlords will fuck you the minute they can.






When scouting for a dwelling, check all the taps and flush the toilets. Sure it might have a great view and tons of amenities, but you won’t care so much about the concierge service when you have cold shampoo running in your eye and you end up tripping on the shower curtain and are found by the paramedics staring blindly up into the still running ice cold spray. “Oh God, my eyes!” should never be anybody’s last words.



Learn how to break someones nose. You probably won’t ever have to, but it’s a good skill to have.

Not doing your own laundry by the age of 20 is wrong. Sending your laundry home to your parents makes you a sad, pathetic individual. Girls at school, I’m talking directly to you.



Find a good doctor. Don’t assume they all know what they’re talking about,   because a frightening percentage of them don’t. That nagging feeling of frustration like you’ve spent three hours trying to assemble a shoddy piece of Ikea furniture except you’ve been doing nothing of the sort? Yeah, it’s not the product of allergies and isn’t going to go away any time soon. It’s probably the sinking realization that you’re grown up and have to start acting like one, but you should still do something about it.



A good pair of heels can get you further than you think. So will a good tie and a good set of cufflinks. So will a chainsaw.

Get it in writing. People will doublecross you for a latte, nevermind a dollar.


If you’re getting calls from a collections agency, you probably already know that you’re fucked. You don’t have to stay on the line with them or let them scare you – feel free to hang up, laugh maniacally or make animal sounds. See that guy there? He’s screaming about the Manson muders and their relation to his mothers favourite Borscht recipe. And he’s having a grand old time. You can too!



Your printer didn’t just run out of ink on the day that you’re expected to bring a resume to an interview, and you don’t have a family emergency. For the love of all the is decent, just learn to say “I’m no longer interested in the position.” You’re not going to hurt anyone’s feelings.


Stop being afraid of hurting the feelings of people you are never going to see again. It’s very liberating. Feel free to walk out on a bill when the service was really that terrible. You don’t have to be nice to your ex. That pizza guy doesn’t need to be tipped 20% unless you have the same delivery guy all the time. If you do, make friends with him, man, make friends. You never know when a pizza guy is going to come in handy.




Nobody is interested in your regurgitation of the social theories you learned in school. If confronted with such a character, ask them if they’re going to introduce any original thoughts any time soon or if you should just break out the Communist Manifesto and get it over with.


If a taxi driver forgets to put the meter on, you don’t have to pay him out of sympathy. In this and in many other situations, asking for a name or employee number will get you a hell of a lot. If your cab gets in an accident you do not owe him anything other than a screaming shitfit. Learn how to throw a screaming shitfit, they can be very, very helpful. If your taxi driver happens to be a squirrel, pay the fuck up. Squirrels will lay the smackdown.



Return policies in most stores are more flexible than you think depending on how long you are willing to stand in line and argue.



Your first apartment isn’t going to come with a garbage can, toilet paper or a mop. You’ll also find yourself amazed at all the shit you need that you would never have thought of. Whether you’re a do-good bakeasaurus rex moving into a cute little condo or a hash smoking layabout living in the slums, YOU WILL NEED ALUMINUM FOIL.




A life well lived is the best revenge, but paired up with a wad of spit in the eye it’s damned near perfect.

And lastly:





So I’ve found myself a little stuck with writing lately, only because I’ve been generally less pissed off thanks to my awesome boyfriend and my overall improved ability to not let the world’s jackassery spin me into a trauma that’s much less eloquent outside these virtual perameters. And unfortunately, it’s when I’m pissed off that I write my best. It gives me the outlet to be snappy, sharp-witted, and sarcastic in my observations; to provide helpful suggestions as to storage places within various bodily orifices for the idiodic ideas of the masses; in other words, the chance to be a bitch. 

On a day to day basis, I am actually very nice. Karma and such – I go out of my way to help friends and complete strangers where I can. Even when I call someone an asshole on the subway, it’s for the greater good. But there is a side of me that just really gets a kick out of being mean. Not to “people” really, because when I get pissed off enough, you’re no longer human, and I can be as mean as I want. This doesn’t work well in person though, because people cry and leak and stuff and then they’re human again and I feel like I’ve stepped on a starving African orphan. With AIDS. 

But if they don’t blubber and wail, or if they are distant somehow I’m GREAT. On the phone, for example, I can be as aggressive and mean as I wish I could be in real life. I had a super proud bitch moment a few weeks ago. Our internet went down and everyone was pissed. After an afternoon/evening of disarray, we figured out that a single phone number had been disconnected by mistake. The next morning it was my job to get on the phone with Bell (who we no longer use) and figure out what the hell happened. The fun part is that these people on the other end of the phone aren’t real to me, so I had an absolute blast. “No, we aren’t waiting for a tech, 4-6 hours is unacceptable. I don’t think you realize the severity of the situation or precisely how much it has cost my clients so far. I need to know why this line was cut, and I need to know immediately. No, that’s not good enough. Your employee number please? Listen, we’re going to get a MASSIVE bill for tech support, and I need to know who’s going to pay for it. Yes, I realize you are just doing your job, but so am I and I have 60 people breathing down my neck – you have one, me. Then put me through to someone who can.” One hour and five different phone monkeys later I was put through to someone who told me exactly who’s fault it was, and it was AWESOME. A fantastic feeling of accomplishment. Me, *I* figured out who’s fault it was. And it was an important person. Delicious.

Last weekend, my internet blipped for thirty seconds. Twenty minutes on the phone later, I was discounted up the ass. “I’m sorry but this is not at all what I plan to continue paying for. You’re automated menu has mentioned internet difficulties in my area since the minute I signed up. But I give you the benefit of the doubt and am left with unreliable service in return. Do you think I feel like a valued customer at the moment? No, I don’t. No, discounting me for the offline time is not acceptable. It doesn’t matter that I couldn’t get online for thirty seconds. It matters greatly that for several weeks, I have been unable to write an email, or transfer funds between my bank accounts (right, because I’ve got SO many with SO MUCH money in them) or go about any of the activities I pay for the convenience of having online access to without wondering if my internet will go down. Really? That’s what I’m paying for? One more thing to worry about? I want these charge reversed. Your name and employee number please” So the bill comes along with two months worth of phone charges, and only ONE month of internet charges. Because my internet went down for thirty seconds. I wasn’t even online at the time. If I hadn’t been in the room, I wouldn’t have noticed the little light blip off and then on again. SWEET. Next time they ask if they may know to whom they have the pleasure of speaking, those faceless little monkeys will be calling me Princess HottenTots.

Notice the absence of any swearing or personal attacks. These are ineffective measures in getting what you want, because they make you look desperate and flawed. I’m right, and perfect. The insects on the phone, they are not. And don’t give me shit for dehumanizing people, you all know you hate those headset wearing liars. They do lie, they hold out the serious discounts for the people who demand them. And if you are one of these people, well hey, I would probably hold the door for you out in the real world somewhere, but as soon as you adjust your little foam covered mouthpiece, your ass is MINE.

In real life, I sometimes get a rare chance to fuck with people legitimately. Because it’s not about being a bitch. I’m really an awfully nice person. But there’s that funny little side of me that needs to be let out once in a while, so if I’m given good reason to fuck around with someone, I’ll take it and laugh with glee. One of our very pleasant clients came up to my desk and said “I just got a call for someone asking for someone I used to work with. It’s a very unpleasant matter, and I don’t wish to speak with them. Is there any way to screen those calls out?” I said absolutely, it would be my pleasure, and proceeded to demonstrate: “Hello? No, I’m sorry but there’s nobody here by that name. No, you have a wrong number. I can’t imagine how you just spoke with him, there’s nobody here by that name. No, you weren’t just speaking with me. I can’t imagine what you dialed earlier, but you simply have a wrong number. No, you can’t. No. No. No. Well I hardly think your opinion of my personal character has any significance in the matter. Goodbye now.” He was quite pleased.

We’ve got someone in the office who likes me to screen people for her. She’s got me on instant messenger and will often send me instructions.

Client: “She’s here for an interview, I’m still trying to find an assisstant who isn’t a total retard. What does she seem like?”
Me: “Rather timid, really. You seem like you’re looking for someone aggressive. She seems frightened of me, and mispronounced your name.”
Client: “I don’t want her.”

“I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to reschedule your interview. She was called away a few moments ago, I just spoke to her on her cell phone. There’s no need to leave your resume, we’ll be in touch. Bye now.” Nothing personal. I don’t dislike you as a person. But you’re unnecessary, so you can continue being a pleasant individual elsewhere.

Client: “Thanks, you’re great. Can’t you be my assistant?”
Me: “I like realistic pay and benefits.”
Client: “Shit.”

The same client had someone show up a day or two ago. I greeted her very politely, asked who she was here to see, and then her name. I left a voicemail and within ten seconds received an instant message:

Client: “She had an appointment hours ago and didn’t show up. She’s been jerking me around and it’s wasting so much of my time and money. Get rid of her, feel free to be rude.”
Me: “Yes ma’am!”

Me: “Ma’am? Hi. Unfortunately, you missed your appointment this morning. So you won’t be able to speak with anybody. You’ll have to call and reschedule.”
Her: “But I just need to speak with her for five minutes.”
Me: “She’s unavailable. You were expected at 9:30 this morning, and it’s nearly noon.”
Her: “Yes, I was unable to come in. I just need a form. It’s very urgent, my court date is tomorrow.”
Me: “You should have called. She’s unavailable now, and won’t be available any time today.”
Her: “But my court date is tomorrow!”
Me: “Yeah, she’s STILL not available. You’ll have to call and reschedule.”
Her: “Okay, I will come tomorrow morning then.”
Me: “No. How do you know she’ll be here? You could drive all the way for nothing. Call and make an appointment, and show up on time.”
Her: “Can you make the appointment for me?”
Me: “No.”
Her: “Well then what time tomorrow she is here?”
Me: “I don’t know. Call to make an appointment with her.”
Her: “But my court date is tomorrow!”
Me: “Yes. It is. Call to reschedule. Thaaaank You!”

Saying thank you at the end of a sentence is a really good way to indicate that the conversation is over and the other party must now leave. And they can’t even say you were rude – they just didn’t like the answer you gave them.

Anyways, I’ve rambled enough. You see, the thing is, this sort of ability to see someone as not so much a human but more of a bundle of cells comes in very handy when you work for a corporation. Corporations are recognized legally as seperate entities – this being the benefit of incorporating. But if you look at a corporation as a seperate individual and run a few diagnostic tests, you’ll find that they are quite psychotic. Cold, emotionless, unable toform any lasting bonds. They will be super nice and bend over backwards for you as long as you have something they want, but the minute you bounce a cheque you’re dead to them. No love lost. Goodbye corporate luncheons, hello call to security the moment you step foot back in the door. As Talea put it so well “If I took my job personally, I’d be on the floor crying all day”. So it is really an asset to be able to detach yourself in this manner when you need to wring necks in order to find out who’s going to foot the mile high tech bill for pulling the plug on everyones life internet.

Outside of work, it’s considered a ‘problem’. A ‘symptom’ actually if you want to get up close and personal. It’s actually pretty nice that my job gives me an outlet for the dark side. But I figure I should probably work on other outlets as well. What if I don’t need to squeeze answers, discounts and apologies out of people? What if I start lashing out at people I like because I just haven’t gotten my bitch-fix lately? This is not good.

So I’ve decided on some new goals. For my very nice wish-I-could-fix-the-world side, I’d like to have my finances in good enough order by this approximate time next year so that I can buy one of those $100 lottery tickets that donates proceeds to childrens hospitals. And for my holy-shit-I-am-SO-good-at-bitching-people-out-and-secretly-really-LOOVVVE-it side, my goal is this:

I want to make a collections agent cry.

I know what you’re thinking, and it’s true: I would make an excellent collections agent. But I’ve been on the other end of that, and while I was never intimidated I know there are a ton of people who are just trying to make ends meet to feed their kids. So the morals of that don’t sit right with me. I want to use my evil for greater good. But I’ve already gotten rid of all the creditors in my life. So I need some Karma. If anyone has someone out there who owes them money, or who’s hassling them for money, let me know. Is the phone company threatening you? Is your internet bill astronomical? Well I can help, because I am good at being a bitch for constructive purposes.

It’s a new marketing campaign. Call me. Please.


When’s the last time you got a raise? Just a general survey here, is anyone absolutely rolling in it? Is anybody else encouraged to simply stop doing their job because they don’t get paid enough? No? Well all y’all are apparently schmucks, because it seems all you need to do to get whatever your little heart desires is sign up for a pair of grey shorts as a member of one of several unions related to various job positions within the Toronto Transit Commission, hereafter known as “you jackass sons of whores.”

Let me back up and explain a little bit of what’s going on. The TTC employees, responsible for running our busses, streetcars and subways, as well as all the eletrical work and safety considerations etc. that go hand in hand with running any large-scale organization intended for public benefit, have gotten a little pissy lately. Like everyone on this great green earth, they want more money. They also want more benefits, and whatever else they’ve been yammering about. Currently, they only receive 70% of their income if they have to take time off due to a work related injury, including assault from shadier members of Toronto’s vast public. And yes, it might suck to have your income drop because of an incident beyond your control – but you’re still getting paid despite your absence in the economy, just like everyone else fortunate enough to work for an organization that provides these benefits in the first place. A hell of a lot of us are shit out of luck if we break our leg or sprain our ankle. And you may run the risk of having some punk ass kid take a swing at you because he doesn’t like your face or system, but my job isn’t without it’s risks. I’ve had some serious nutcases in my little reception area, and I’m pretty sure one of them declared Jihad on me. More than once I’ve had to have security escort someone out, but that’s just part of my much-slimmer-in-the-general-wallet-vicinity type job, now isnt’ it?

Now, I’m not saying how it currently goes is necessarily right. After all, it’s not my fault I fell down the stairs (maybe….) But I do think that’s one of those things where it’s just the way it is. And if you do want to change it, simply not doing your job isn’t really the way to go. Shit, if you don’t like a law, change the way you vote. You could maybe go against the law if you’re willing to spend some time rattling your donation cup against the bars and having your friends hand out pamphlets up about two blocks from me, but it’s not all glitz and glamour behind those iron rods of injustice. The simple fact is that the majority of us have no choice but to suck it up and do our jobs in order to pay our bills and put our kids through college. 

But no. The TTC can decide to strike. If I were to go on strike, you know what would happen? I’d be replaced within five minutes by the next doe-eyed multitasker ready to abandon all hope for the future of humanity in exchange for a meagre paycheque. Yes, that does give you a glimpse into my average day. If I wasn’t so good at ranting about it, I wouldn’t love my job so much. But I digress: the point is, I can’t go on strike. It wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work for just about anybody. The TTC on the other hand, has the city by the short n’ curlies and so can just up and walk away and get handed whatever the fuck they want. Why? Because we as a city had the super smarts to think “Hey, cars aren’t really the best option around here. Gridlock and terrible smog, and the rising cost of fuel and parking and such. Lets build a city-wide infrastructure to support the commute of MILLIONS of people every day at a fraction of the cost of driving.” Good idea! So many benefits with just a few downsides, one of them being the apparent superiority complex given to every beer gutted bastard sitting behind the wheel of a bus.

Some people don’t get to strike. Some jobs are considered an essential service. The nurses went on strike once, back about the time I smashed my clumsy toddler head into the wooden arm of a couch and needed stitches – put in by my DAD, thanks a lot. Traumatizing much? (For him, not me.) And since then, they’ve been made an essential service. This means they can’t strike, but they do get paid a lot (Yes, I know our health care system is ridiculously underfunded, that is a systematic flaw. I know how much nurses make, and I’ll dip my hands in guts for that kind of dough any day.) And there has been a lot of talk about making the TTC an essential service. I know it seems kind of odd to look at the roster there: firefighters, nurses, doctors, policemen, and the TTC unions. Four out of five save your lives on a daily basis. The other one gets you to work. Yeah, sweet, that job I’m sure you love so much. However, as a city, we do need the TTC to function. So there are a lot of pros and cons to making them an essential service, because while it would prevent strikes, it would also give them the right to a lot of stuff – not for stitching wounds and dragging babies out of burning buildings, but for driving a bus all day. And while it is essential, something about that just doesn’t sit right with me. And something apparently doesn’t sit right with those who actually make the decisions, because our government has been hemming and hawwing in their quintessential Canadian sort of way.

Anyways, carrying on. They nearly went on strike about a week ago, and there was a whole shitload of “Will they? Won’t they? What the hell are we going to do?” going on. And so the TTC agreed to at least give the city 48 hours notice before going on strike so that the majority of us who rely so heavily on them could make alternate arrangements. Last weekend, they decided not to strike. They accepted the deal on the table for the time being and kept on truckin’ (or bussin’, rather) throughout the week until it could be officially voted on. Friday at midnight: not a fucking bus in sight! Stranded! Not me, personally, once I’m home I don’t really go anywhere I can’t walk to, because, um, I live downtown and that’s the benefit of paying ridiculously high rent. But yeah, right out of nowhere! Never mind two days notice, we got about two hours notice.

This, tactically, was a shitty move. Firstly, who the hell are you trying to paralyze in a city of commuters on the weekend? I’m not denying that some people were very definitely fucked, but overall, not very effective. Secondly, that gives the city 48 hours to retaliate to your ongoing bullshit. So what did our government do? Well, they didn’t declare them an essential service. That’s a very permanent move to make on such short notice. Instead, all three parties of our provincial legislation got together and put a nifty little bill on the table that was passed within half an hour. It said essentially this:

Dear TTC,

You have officially pissed us off. Yes, you may have the city by the short hairs, but you’re forgetting who can smack down the law ’round these here parts. You didn’t hold up your end of the 48 hour deal. So you want to play hardball? Here’s hardball: either get your asses back to work on Monday and settle your shit, or pay $2000 per employee (of which there are a LOT) and $25,000 per union for every single day this idiocy carries on. You also have five days to find someone to help you settle your shit, or we’ll pick one for you. You also owe the city of Toronto an apology.

Dear Toronto,

Please don’t beat up transit workers on Monday, that’ll only give them more fuel for their whining, blubbering fire.

So there! Take that you assholes! Try to hold my life hostage, will you? Just because we need you to function on a daily basis doesn’t change that fact that you DRIVE A BUS!!!!!! I still love my TTC as a system, because I love that we have taken on such a green, sustainable, economically friendly infrastructure and made it something that is really essential. But goddamn if I don’t hate the day-to-day assholes who yessssss keep it running (*clenches fists*), but who whine ceaselessly about it.

My solution? Get a couple of blogs, jerkfaces! Venting does the body good.


{March 18, 2008}   Starbucks fails again.

You’d think I’d learn, wouldn’t you?

Welcome to my daily grind: I wake up on a crappy futon because I haven’t gotten around to getting a nicer one even though I can easily afford it. I am greeted with the scent of bleach because ever since putting all the rabbits in a room of their own I have become slightly obsessive about keeping the rest of the apartment clean (let’s all take bets on how long that will last, huh?) I watch a bit of news on one of my five fuzzy channels, get myself in some sort of hygenic state, and put on some relatively clean clothes. I don’t even bother with makeup until I get to work.

I’m supposed to get to work at 8:15am. I get to work at 8:22 on most days. And my boss doesn’t notice because she usually rolls in far later than I. On the rare occasions she shows up earlier, I get some mild faux-friendly chiding about my arrival time. I snort to myself and ignore. My first task is to tidy up the boardroom for the daily 8:30 meeting for one of our clients. I change the newspaper in reception, make sure it’s all tidy. Then I go to the kitchen to clean up after the slobs that apparently don’t show up until well into the wee hours of the night to dump disgusting grime covered dishes into the sink for me to touch. The dishwasher has usually been run overnight, so it’s my job to empty it, put away the clean dishes and put in the herpes-riddled mounds of bacteria left for me. All this while, I’ve also got a fresh pot of coffee brewing and forcing polite chit chat with the early morning seekers of clean mugs, trying to figure some way to determine those that rinse their dishes and those who surely leave spit in the sink. There must be some telling sign of such gross disregard for civility: a twitch, surely, perhaps a tendency to drool? Alas, nothing so far. One night I’ll snap for certain, and end up camping out in fatigue gear with an infrared camera to catch these perpetrators.

Also, right now, I’m pretty sure there’s black fax toner in my coffee. Super.

Right, coffee. I usually end up getting a grande at some point during the day. Because once I finish cleaning the kitchen, turning on my computers, putting on makeup and reading my morning email from my super sweet boyfriend (seriously, retardedly adorably sweet – more on him later when I’m in less of a foul mood), there’s really not that much for me to do. Sure, I’ve got phones to answer, maybe an email or two. But nothing that really requires very much attention. And so it doesn’t take very long for the inevitability of last nights insistence on staying up to watch The Hour to kick in, and I start feeling that doziness.

I needs mah caffeine.

Here’s the kicker: we HAVE coffee here in the office. It’s free. It’s better than free: it’s paid for by the same bastards who leave their slime covered flatware in the kitchen every night. Well, it’s actually paid for by all of our clients, even the ones kind enough to rinse their dishes or *gasp!* actually put them in the dishwasher with a grain of courtesy. The coffee used to cost $1.25 a pop, but now every client pays a flat monthly kitchen fee, and that’s just how it goes. The downside is the constant pissing and moaning from some of the less gracious of our inhabitants. The upside is free coffee for me.

But I don’t want it. I might frothy up myself a hot chocolate in our wee little nook, perhaps even an herbal tea or two. But I don’t want a hazlenut flavoured cup of cheap. I’m not interested in some ‘House Blend’ or some other signature series of whatever-the-hell. I want Starbucks. I want my overpriced goddamned status symbol. Why? Because I woke up on a crappy futon with crappy cable, and put on expensive enough clothing to convince those around me that maybe I’ve got my shit together. I feel the need to add that one little extra accessory to complete the ensemble: a ridiculously complicated sounding helping of overpriced steamed milk with that zealous little green logo on the side to make sure everybody knows that I can afford to pay four dollars for my beverage. That’s right people. Look at me go.

“But that’s retarded!” I can hear you all thinking. Yes. Yes, it is. So why do I do it? Because I’m a girl and therefore allowed a certain amount of irrational behaviour. I’m not heavily medicated anymore, I haven’t even used the word fuckbag in this post (yet), and haven’t made any stabbing gestures in a fairly long time. Let me have my crazy fucking coffee, okay?

One of the reasons I like my fancy ass coffee is that I’m really not a fan of the taste of coffee. I know, I know. More irrational chick shit. But it’s like alcohol – you may want to get yourself good and toasted, but that doesn’t mean you want to be sucking down some sort of gasoline-and-cinnamon flavoured mixture. I want the caffeine without the taste of some Ethiopian nation or another, thank you very much. And yes, I’m willing to pay for it.

Now Talea, being my best bud and all, usually scores herself a coffee by the mere fact that everytime I get myself one, I grab her something because that’s just how I am. In return, she often fills me up with Chilean red wine at her less bleachy smelling abode. She also doesn’t have a mouse in her kitchen (but I bleached!!! I BLEEEAAACHED!!!). So, fair trade. We both tend to go through phases in what we order, myself moreso than her. She’s more likely to switch it up, whereas I am a little more steadfast. For several months I would order nothing except a Grande Non Fat Extra Foamy Vanilla Latte, until I realized the majority of their foaminator monkeys sucked ass at their trendy job and couldn’t whip up a decent foam if their self-aggrandizing art school documentary or the proper healing of their most recent piercing depended on it. So I switched to a Venti Caramel Apple Spice avec Whipped Cream. This ceased immediately after realizing that I was drinking over 400 calories worth of warmed up apple juice every morning. What, I asked Talea, should I drink now? Her latest thing has been a Grande Triple Shot Caramel Macchiato for those times when she reeeeaaally needs the caffeine. That sounds good, I commented, but does it taste too coffee-ish? Even without the extra shot? Well, she explained, a Grande usually comes with two shots of espresso, but you can ask for just one – called a Solo, apparently. More jargon to make my order sound even more complicated? I am so there!


So down I go to get this more-caramel-than-coffee cup of sweet sweet wakefulness. And I enjoy it, and decide to make this a regular purchase.

This ends today, and makes for my shortest Starbucks trend yet. Perhaps one of these days I’ll kick this foamy monkey off my shoulder and suck up the free shit in the kitchen.

Today, you see, I actually paid attention to what they were keying in on their fancy little machine before I paid. Two grande caramel macchiato, check. A bit extra for Talea’s extra espresso shot, no problem. And then! The BASTARDS!!! You’d think maybe, just maybe, they would knock a few cents off for the fact that I only wanted half the espresso. But no, that would not be in accordance with the ass-raping ways of the Starbucks we’ve come to know and love. Okay, regular price then. Oh no! Not so! Those sons of bitches actually keyed in AN EXTRA SHOT OF MILK AND CHARGED ME EXTRA FOR IT.

Are you retarded? Did you think I wouldn’t notice this and perhaps find several shots worth of fault in this logic? You are charging me extra for my decision to use less of your core ingredient and more of your cheap filler? Your cheap filler that doesn’t even come in shots, but is simply poured until full? No. No, no, no, no, no.

You know what? This is the last straw. Three strikes and you’re out. No more Starbucks. I’ll spend that money on a manicure and a fancy ass haircut and find other ways to convince an uncaring public that I’m all swank and hip and whatnot.

Starbucks? Fuckbags.

I stole this from cowgal because I saw it while doing my rounds of reading and it looks like fun.

1. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, as what or whom would you go?

I don’t really have much in the way of costumes just laying about, so I’d probably have to improvise with my makeup. This would probably lead to something horrific, like “sex games gone terribly wrong”, which was my Halloween costume a few years ago, or another botched abortion, which was the costume last year. Probably something involving sex, zombies, death, or whatever is causing unrest in the media that day. Cause, you know, that’s how I roll, yo.

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger? And do you prefer gas or charcoal grilling?

Oookay, well, vegetarian, but I do have veggie burgers. Usually grilled onions and mushrooms with honey mustard and mozarella. Sometimes avocados if I’m feeling adventurous. Pesto and goat’s cheese are really good too. As for gas or charcoal, ha! I live in an apartment, you think I have a barbeque? Frying pan, baby. If I did have a BBQ, though, I would probably have Talea over very often, so I’d have to use whatever was most environmentally friendly or she’d yell at me. If the boyfriend was over, he’d get full reign of the grill, yelling Talea or no.

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?

What fucking drugs are you on and where can I get some?

4. It’s your first day of vacation, what are you doing?

Studying maps furiously so as not to look like a tourist when I step outside.

5. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?

Nachoes with shitbuckets of that fake cheese crap, and salsa and jalapenos if they’ve got them. And a ginormous bucket of iced tea with no ice. Yes, I get the joke.

6. Which do you dislike most, pop-up ads or spam email?

Pop-ups. I can ignore spam email, pop-ups get in the goddamned way. Rollover ads are even worse. 

7. What do you think Captain Hook’s name was before he had a hook for a hand?

Dr. Barnswell A. Lovingtouch, registered massage therapist.

8. Rock, paper, or scissors?

A shot in the face beats all three, sucker! Ha!

9. How long was it from ‘the first date’ until the proposal of marriage?

Um…I’m not married yet.

10. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?

Too much quiet is not always a terrible thing. For short periods of time. If it was total silence for too long, I’d start thinking I’d gone deaf and start gibbering like a lunatic. Too much noise can be good if I’m in that kind of mood. If I’m not in that kind of mood, I start hitting things and screaming. So…it depends on which version of crazy you feel like dealing with.

11. What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person?

Hey, if you can deal with my neuroses, psychoses, loud mouth ways and tendency to recite comedic monologues or bust out into interpretive dance moves at any given time…well, I can appreciate that.

12. At the good old general store, what particular kind of candy would you expect to be in the big jar at the counter?

Um…I live in a city? The only ‘good old general store’ I know of is in Pioneer Village, where you can get bits of chewable wood that tastes like black licorice. Cause, you know, that’s probably where it comes from. I keep getting that shit every time I go there even though I don’t really like it.  

13. What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?

CN Tower, yo! Formerly the tallest freestanding building in the world. Recently outdone by some tower in Malaysia. Fucking Malaysians. Maybe you wouldn’t be such a crap country if you didn’t spend all your money trying to compete with our bad asses. We would totally make out tower taller if we weren’t spending all our money on more important things, like, you know, being a first world country, bitches! In your face!

14. Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep quicker than any other?

Pretty much anybody on the subway talking about their day, and how, you know, John in accounting is just *so* unreasonable, and oh my gawwwwd, where did you get that purse? And then, so, like, anyways, OH MY GOD SHUT UP!!!

15. How many times did it take you to pass your drivers test?

None, suckers! Nobody drives in downtown Toronto, there’s too much traffic.

16. If you had to have the same topping on your vanilla ice cream for the rest of your life, what topping would you choose?

Sex. Wait, what?

17. What food item would need to be removed from the market altogether in order for you to live a healthier, longer life?

Canned soup, believe it or not.

18. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second?

I fall on the floor in a panic attack. When I get over it, I take both envelopes and pants you.  

19. If you had to choose, which would you give up: cable TV, or DSL/cable internet?

You mean give up my five fuzzy non-foreign channels?!?!? Never! Ha, and I don’t have internet at home, but that will soon be remedied. I’m willing to pay for internet, not tv.

20. What is your highest level of education?

You’d think being so fucking smart that I’m some kind of well educated genius. Not so. I’ve done all kinds of crazy Mensa tests, but I couldn’t get through one year of university without going fucking nuts. This is what happens when I’m surrounded by jackasses and shitty architecture. So yeah, high school, extra credits, and one useless year of University.

21. How much is a gallon of gas in your city?

I don’t know, we buy them by the litres here. It’s over a dollar a litre now. For all you Americans, that is approximately “retarded”.

22. What kind of lunch box did you have as a kid?

I didn’t have a lunch box, I went to daycare until I was way too old because I lived too far from my house to go home for lunch. Then we moved, and I lived close enough to go home for lunch. Not that anyone ever had any actual lunch boxes. Oh wait! By the time I was in highschool, I went out of my way to use a lunchbox. I rotated between my Spinal Tap lunch box and my Ozzy Osbourne Bark at the Moon lunchbox. I’m hard to the core, yo.

23. What would you rather have, a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur?

I don’t need a nanny since I don’t have kids, and I don’t need a chauffeur since I think cars are retarded. You’d think I’d like a housekeeper with all the rabbit shit I’ve got to sweep up, but I have this funny thing about people I don’t know being in my space. She’d probably steal all my weed too.

24. Would you rather be trapped in an elevator, or stuck in traffic?

Traffic, because 1) I’m almost never in a car and it’s therefore less likely to happen 2) I can stay sitting 3) less likely to be surrounded by jackasses in ties 4) radio equals not going mental and 5) windows equal air.

However, I’m assuming I’m stuck in the car due to traffic. If I were stuck due to, say, rolling flames pouring out of the engine, I might choose the elevator. Unless that was on fire too, something tells me I’ve got a better chance in a flaming car than a flaming elevator.

25. Lets say a brick fell on your foot, and your kid is standing right next to you, what is your ‘cleaned up’ swear word?

I don’t have a cleaned up swear word. If I can’t say shitass motherfucker in front of you, then get away from me. My kids will learn to swear good and proper and learn when they’ll get a smack for saying it in front of the wrong people. And they’ll learn grammar too. The correct past tense term of shit is shat, not shitted. My brother got a smack for that one.

Okay, you know that whole “Murphy’s Law” business? Whatever can go wrong will? I used to think that was retarded. My mother would work herself into hysterics with the whole “I’m running fucking late, why do I have to get EVERY SINGLE RED LIGHT!?!?!?” schpiel. And I used to think “Well, chances are that you’re only noticing it more because you’re running late.” So smug in my seven year old ways.

Well, I’ve unfortunately reached that point in my life where I’m starting to realize that my mother was right about an awful lot of things. Having kids ruins your life, getting married is a pointless and expensive waste of time, once you get to work you forget to make any of the personal ‘my kid is at home sick today’ phone calls because your brain just fries, the smell of cat piss will never come off those antique pearl christmas decorations, and most importantly THE WORLD CAN FUCK YOU UP AT RANDOM INTERVALS. (I love you mom!)

Now really, none of this story is horrific. Nobody is dead, I’m still employed, and I’ve managed to laugh most of this off. Because really, it’s gotten to the point of hilarity. I’d say it started with the addition of a second computer at my reception. I’m supposed to use the phone-answering program on one computer, and do everything else on the second computer so the powers that be can watch everything I do. Right guys, sure thing. So I give the new computer a try – ordering up and printing a Purolator waybill for a client.

The tech dude didn’t install my fucking printer. Fuck me! Alright, fine, cancel the order, sign out, log in on my old computer, redo the order, print. My printer runs out of ink. Right then. And I had JUST placed a Grand and Toy order. Fuck! Okay, save the waybill, email it to my boss so she can print it. That doesn’t work. Running out of time. Purolator has this retarded thing where shit has to be in the box by 5pm for pickup. Hello??!! What person in an office gets off before five? Ugh. Okay, boss sits at my desk while I run to hers to redo the order again. HER FUCKING COMPUTER FREEZES ON ME!!! GAHHHH!!!! I make an attempt to run downstairs with a manual hand-written thingy, but of course I don’t know our account number so it’s pointless. We miss Purolator. Not my fault at all, nobody is pissed. Except me. Ugh.

Alright. Survived that day. Yesterday, have to do a bank run for work. No biggie except it means taking the subway. Normally I have my head phones to drown out the idiocy, but more on that later. I run into a client along the way, one of my favourites, and we get to talking about our mutually shitty weekends. (His involved bowling and a pissed wife, so he has my sympathy.) Get to the subway, I need to buy a weekly pass. And of course, the little ‘swipe your debit card and skip the line’ thing was broken. UGH!!! They’ve got a debit swiper at the booth itself, but the line….and I need to buy lunch, so let’s just head back to the lobby and hit the ATM. Not very far.

The ATM has disappeard for construction. DAMMIT!!! Alright, go back up to the mezzanine level, hit the ATM inside the real bank, go outside, back down the stairs, into the subway to hit the line up. I hate lines, this is why I have a metropass! When I get to the window the following conversation ensues:

Me: “Weekly pass please.”

Her: “I don’t have any at this window. You need to go the other window.”

Me: “He’s not there!”

Her: “He’ll be back in just a minute.”

Right. So more than a minute later this retard comes back. With a bag of potato chips. I don’t take fucking lunch when it gets busy here. But of course, IIIIIIIII don’t work for a UUUUUNNNNNNIIIIIIOOOONNNNN!!!!!!!!! Grrrrrr. I give him my money, he starts talking like I can hear him through the glass, and is still talking when I go through the turnstile. Idiot. Go down to the subway, and everybody is confused because there is a train there but it’s got the doors closed and is obviously not going anywhere any time soon. Of course, a good portion of these people don’t realize that we are at the end of the line and that the train pulling into the other side of the platform is just as good and going in the same direction. Stop standing there like confused cattle!!! I’m actually getting pretty damned hungry, and I have to hit the bank before I even think about lunch. It’s 3pm.

Issue at the next stop as some crazy old lady who just missed the train decides to start whacking on the doors as though the person who opens them can hear her from his little cubby at the other end of the train. Crazies now, awesome! Ugh. Get to the bank, the lineup is retarded and the person in front of me has struck up a conversation with the person in front of him. The laugh. This….laugh. I can’t describe it in words. It’s an onomatopoeia, and an ugly one at that. Try to make a gurgling hissing sound in the back of your throat. Now imagine that for about ten minutes. Then he turns his head over his shoulder and COUGHS INTO MIDAIR!!!!!!!!! What?!? What the hell does that do to prevent me from getting your damned herpes or whatever is making you sound like that??! You all know I’m not a germaphobe, but seriously, enough is enough.

Well, I survive the day and manage to make it home in one piece to my fabulous apartment. My apartment is tiny, inexpensive, not quite up to code, but in an awesome area, and I love it to pieces. I love it enough to renovate it so I can live in a pretty place for the next decade until I can buy a house. I don’t love my neighbours. At first it was just Jane, in number one. She has filed noise complaints because I play music at 10:30 pm. She goes to bed early. Too fucking bad, the law says quiet hours start at 11pm. Not my fault the walls are thin. By the by, playing your obnoxious jazz at 6:30am does not comply with said law, so BITE ME!!! Number four apparently has 23 different immigrants living in his tiny one-bedroom, at least according to his mail. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, is there a number I can call about that? Anyways, the girl in number two is actually quite nice. She’s the only one who says hello in the stairwell. However, she also leaves her door wide open, with her disgusting mess of an apartment on display. She has one cat. I have two cats and five rabbits. How the hell can you smell HER apartment even when the door is closed, and not mine? GROSS!!!

On top of not knowing the magical powers of bleaching your floors, she apparently does not know how to cook. For the second night in a row, she has burnt the shit out of something and set of the fire alarm. Incidentally, it’s right outside my door. Ugh. Well, last night, she set it off again. But remember, my place is not up to code. So am I surprised when the craptacular safety system REFUSES TO TURN ITSELF OFF AND BLARES FOR OVER HALF AN HOUR?!?!??!! No. I’m pissed, but not surprised.

It’s at this point that I figure I better rant away about it today and make a joke out of it. I don’t want to make any rash door-pounding phone-calling letter-writing decisions and get my ass thrown out for being a psychotic ranting nutjob.

Now the iPod thing. Backing up a bit. Anyone remember Awesome Dude Guy? The birthday monkey thing? Anyways, he’s hellof busy as usual, which is no biggie since we talk fairly often. But he’s also in a band. And on Saturday, he had a gig just a few blocks from me. So what the hell, it’s about time I see him play. I coerce Sassy Friend Talea into going with me. We get there, the place is packed, and it’s someone’s 40th birthday. Joy. Everyone knows each other and is elbowing me in the head. NOT GOOD!!! I can’t shove or be rude because he knows most of these people! (Plus, he’s super sweet and kind of makes me want to be a nicer person…I know!!! WTF?!?!?) So we don’t stay long, just long enough for him to take a break so I can actually say HI to the dude, then take off for Prailine Cheesecake and red wine and the bakery around the corner. Too much red wine = slept through Sunday Brunch with the Ladies the next day 😦

On top of that, it was FREEZING that night. How freezing? I had a can of mousse in my purse that someone at work gave to me. It exploded. In my purse. All over my stuff. Hence, my iPod being fucked. It’s better than it was…at least it plays now. I just can’t turn it off. At all.

So yeah….Murphy? Bite me.

Alright. We’ve all had to use public washrooms on occasion. And we all know the joy of opening a stall to discover a piss fest of sprinklage all over the seat, mangled bits of toilet paper smattered here and there in some vain attempt at sterility, and some over-powdered joke of a character making that stupid face in the mirror while putting on mascara. And we all hate it.

Men, I know I’m kind of leaving you out on this one. I can’t honestly say that I’ve seen much of the inside of a men’s room other than that one time at the hockey rink when my brain just stopped working. But even then, it was empty and I only saw the sinks. However, I do believe it’s a known fact, stated somewhere at some point, that women’s washrooms are actually far more disgusting than men’s.

This may have something to do with the fact that we have to sit, but probably has more to do with the fact that we’ve been brainwashed into thinking we have to be neatly dressed, flippy haired, sweater set wearing icons of cleanliness, cutely wrinkling our noses at the idea of taking a leak while we scooch our dainty panties around our ankles to take a teeny weeny piddle.

Fuck that.

Oh my god, the germs! The germs you’ll get by actually SITTING ON THE TOILET SEAT. You’ll catch herpes, you’ll catch the plague, you’ll immediately drop dead and the television world will know that you dirtified yourself in the little girls room. (For that matter, why is it even called the little girl’s room. Really, are there that many of them in there? Are we trying to perpetuate pedophelia in our public washrooms?)

Here, do yourselves a favour. Go take a look at your ass in the mirror. Ignore the dimples and touch of cellulite, maybe a worrisome mole or two. Just take a look at it. Ever notice that you can’t really see the business aspect of everything you got going down there at first glance? Hmmm? Nope, just skin, unoffensive and Anne Geddes approved once upon a time. Really, it’s no different than the skin on your hands. Except for the fact that it remains neatly covered by presumably clean fabric for most of the day, unlike your far-more-germy-yet-still-not-lethal hands.

Now consider this: place your hands on something plastic, say a binder or clipboard or plastic water jug. Does the idea of picking up a binder after someone else has handed it over disgust you? Are you immediately going to rub your skin raw with sanitizer? If you are, you’re a basket case and responsible for the weakening of immune systems and general public sanity. Get out. For the rest of you, I would think the answer is no. So why is it so different in the ladies room? Really, the last time I checked, it wasn’t the norm to go rubbing your butthole all over the seat and handle, or doing weird vag things that should never be mentioned in a public forum. You are not going to die by sitting on the seat.

But no, we’ve been brainwashed to think that any public washroom is a filthy mire of running sores and that to touch anything will give you cooties. And okay, sure, there are a few public washrooms that are going to be a bit questionable. Stalls in any subway station or bowling alley comes to mind. But really, you wouldn’t want to even wash your hands in those places, so it doesn’t really apply here.

I’m talking about MY public washroom, the one I can see from my desk if I crane my neck a bit. In a nice office building, cleaned several times a day. This thing is a sanitation heaven. The toilets flush automatically, the taps turn on automatically, the soap dispensers squirt automatically, even that little bin for your girly bits opens on its own if you place your hand an inch above the lid and wait for approximately twenty minutes with your knickers blowing in the breeze between your ankles (said breeze likely coming from the hand dryer twenty feet away, capable of ripping your nails off).

Are you so in favour of one part of your skin over the other that you’re afraid to sit on plastic? Really? Okay, okay, fine. I know some people are ooked by it, and that I’m never going to change their minds. Fine. Put down some toilet paper and be the stereotypical chick who takes forever and a half in the can doing God knows what. (Boys, that’s what they’re doing in there.) But for Christ’s sake, don’t try to do that ridiculous squat business. Your legs haven’t been strong enough to hold that pose since you were eight and a half, and you know it. You whores are pissing all over the seats!!! And then I have to look at it!!!

I can hear you already. “But, but what if they wipe it up afterwards, and then you end up sitting on someone’s pee remains?” One: if nobody did that shit move, nobody would have that problem. Two: yes, if I accidentally sit on a drop of someone’s piss when I thought there was none there, I’m going to be pissed. Pissed enough to say, rant and blog about it. However, urine is sterile, is it not? So is it gross? Absolutely. Herpes riddled? No. So if someone pisses on the seat and then cleans it, hey, good for you for cleaning up after your own retardation. I’m plunking my ass down and taking a goddamned piss in comfort.

And for those who do the slightly less retarded routine with the toilet paper: same deal as with the piss on the seat. You want to be a jackass, fine. Just fucking clean up after yourself so I don’t have to look at it or worry about dragging a half-wet trail of grossness from my left heel, okay? Can we please give others the small courtesy of keeping your weird ass phobias to yourself?

People who worry about getting germs in the ladies room are selfish cows. They are selfish because they are willing to dirty the hell ass out of a perfectly decent room to feed their own insecurities and apparent belief that their piss is holier than mine. These people are also nutjobs, because a willingness to piss all over a seat and probably yourself due to your fear of plastic is not far off from locking yourself in your house in fear of all the murders that happen on a daily basis. Seriously? You’re going to shelter yourself that much due to the sliver of a chance that something bad is going to happen to you? Get a life.

So. In conclusion, ladies: stop pissing on my motherfucking toilet seat, you inconsiderate slutbags. People like you bring out a strong urge in me to walk up and piss on your leg. I mean, I might as well return the favour to you and you alone without having to involve innocent by-pissers, right?

Also, the one urinal buffer zone in the men’s room applies in the ladies as well. I don’t want to hear your girly tinkle or deal with the hell-ass smelly crap you seem to consider an appropriate side dish. One stall buffer ladies, get on the bandwagon.

If we all follow these rules, taking a leak will be a much more pleasant experience for us all. No longer will we live in fear of germs and thusly blow a decent lunch’s worth of money on a jug of pomegranate scented hand sanitizer. We WILL take back our designated feminine area and not have to curse those who came before us. One day, maybe in the future, we can truly claim our equality to men when we become comfortable enough to unabashedly bring the paper in with us.

Or a Cosmo. You know…whatever.

Alright, I woke up late again today. Again. Because winter…is not my season. It’s cold, it’s dark, I don’t give a fuck about the hot shower, it’s just going to make me feel colder when I have to get out. I…HATE…winter mornings.

And I’m not feeling that great. So I text Sassy Friend and tell her that I’m feeling icky and running behind, but I should be there before or shortly after the phones start ringing. I walk into a fucking nightmare because we’ve got a shitload of training room/boardroom bookings and they’re all fucked up. Apparently, even though my boss has my password and can open all my fancy programs, it didn’t occur to her to check who was booked where and what the difference is between a projector and a projection screen. With that polite “well, everyone makes mistake” smile of hers. No, we do not. YOU DO.

But it doesn’t make a difference, because all I know is I’ve got a fat red head yelling at me because the lights won’t dim, I’m fucking starving, I’ve forgotten the pills that keep me from snapping or crying under duress, and I have knitting kneedles in  my bag. The fax machines are down, everybody is pissed off, I just got handed a mess of useless filing, and as usual, everybody on the phone and at my desk is a fucking idiot. Someone also keeps trying to send a fax to my ear, probably for some exotic getaway.

I. Want. To SCREAM. I want to kick the motherfucking holiday happy bouquets of pointsettias across the room. I want to smash my heavy blue crisp corporate water glass onto my Ikea-esque desk ensemble and push the jagged edge into the nearest piece of face or ballistic gel (they have equal satisfaction ratings). I would sincerely like to grab some sort of holiday branch and brandish it over my head while screaming down the street after the motherfucking  tourists who make getting anywhere such a goddamned fucking pain in my ass. I want to turn around to kick my boss in the face for asking me to do some inane task while my phone won’t stop ringing and for TOUCHING MY SHOULDER AFTER I EXPLAINED THAT I HAVEN’T TAKEN MY FUCKING MEDS AND I WANT TO KILL EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!

So, what, that’s it? I miss one little pill and my fucking day is ruined? I mean, I know the deal with Seratonin and blah, but seriously?! Me? Dude, I kick ass. I take on the fucking world, I put on emo wigs and tell my own clients to go fuck themselves. I need to beat this day. I need to beat this day brutally, with like, I dunno, one of those retractable antennae from a cheap little radio that really hurts if you break it off and whip someone with it.

So, similar to my “at least I’m not O.J., but oh right, he actually got to stab someone” spiel, I am doing my best to ignore the negative parts about today and focusing on the positives. Here’s a list of positive things today.

1) I’ve seen a lot of flattering pictures of myself today. Thank you facebook and 3D friends with cameras, wigs, and children.

2) I spent a good twenty minutes in the same (if rather large) office as my boss while she conversed with a client. I farted the entire time.

3) The fat redhead complained about the lack of dimming so much that she agreed to switch to a smaller room. I don’t care about the whole ordeal, possibly losing money, looking bad etc.  I just like to think of her with twenty other people crammed into a boardroom made for ten. She’s sweating right now, probably very self conscious. And still very fat. Also, they had pizza for lunch. You know what that means, right? She’s even fatter.

4) In the bathroom, I got the last piece of papertowel, which means that the smelly bitch next to me had to use the crazy handdryer machine that can actually blow accessories from your face from the sheer noise and force of the wind reflecting from your flapping, helpless hands. Seriously, that thing has to be fifty feet away and if the bathroom door opens while someone is stupid enough to use it, can hear it from here!

5) I convinced my boss that every time she books someone in a boardroom, she has to fill out a little form I made to make sure she doesn’t forget to tell me anything. That’s right, I’ve got the boss doing paperwork. Which might explain the pile she just dropped on my desk, but whatever. I like organized paperwork.

6) Almost, but didn’t quite have the time to print out pictures of Trent Reznor and go shit-house with my otherwise useless little happy-face stamper.

7) Sat on floor under desk while Sassy Friend covered for me, stuffing my face with a lemon tart from Second Cup, and occasionally poking my head up for beverage purposes. She commented “you used to do this as a child, didn’t you?” I did, and still do.

8.) I got paid Friday, but the month works out funny where I got paid right at the beginning of the month, and still have one more paycheque before the end of the month. That means this whole paycheque is for the blowing. And yes, I know Christmas is coming up, but we all know that while I love my family…..I would rather get an adorable set of gloves and the emo secretary-core haircut seen below.

9) I’m seeing a friend tomorrow night for dinner whom I haven’t seen in over a year, and I’m looking forward to catching up. Sounds kind of sappy, but she’s actually kind of ‘anti blogosphere facebook, all that junk kids these days get sucked into’. On the one hand, she is an obvious freak. On the other hand, kudos for her steadfastness, even if it does technically mean that by my standards she doesn’t exist and I am just going to dinner with an imaginary friend.

10) There is a very good chance that my Lovely Friend (not to be mistaken with Sassy Friend or Crafty Friend, we are all intertwined) may be working with myself and Sassy Friend shortly. Nothing is for certain yet, but lets keep our fingers crossed.

Lastly, meds or no meds, I have pot at home. And that just makes my holiday nights a little brighter. Sweetbombs.

Okay, here is the general conundrum that is my work.

I do not plan to leave my job anytime soon. My job is awesome because it pays me just enough to keep my animals and funky apartment and somewhat of a life. I have the freedom to organize things the way I want. I get awesome benefits and room for advancement very quickly.

I make no bones about the fact that my manager is – although very sweet – an absolute retard. I won’t go into the white collar technical speak, but she’s retarded. Myself and Sassy Friend would have a third of the stress if our boss knew how to do what it is she’s supposed to be doing. But whatever, idiots weed themselves out.

Now, consider the other reasons why I do not leave. One of our clients just dropped off a huge ass box of chocolates with a ‘Happy Belated Birthday!!!” and a giant red bow. And good chocolates too, none of this Russel Stover shit. People love me, loud-mouth almost-lawyer says I’m the best receptionist he’s seen in the seven years he’s been here. AAAAAAAAAAAAND he hooked me up with his uber sexy client, the one I was gushing about so long ago.


Yeah, so, fingers totally crossed on that one.

Not to mention people are always bringing me lattes, and cookies and blah blah blah, and entertaining me. Really, I love the people I work with. And I get to work with my best bud! And I have time to blog/facebook/etc. So really, I shouldn’t complain.

However, here is where the conundrum kicks in. I have an awesome job that I would normally love to death if not for the fact that I am surrounded, on a constant goddamned basis, by fucking morons. Some days this gets to me more than others. On these days I try to tell myself that I’m surrounded by morons outside the office as well. Then I remember that outside of the office, I am at least allowed to loudly proclaim my distaste for idiocy (although it is a mental strain to hold back the clenching fists and furrowing brows). In the office, I’m not allowed to tell someone point blank that I consider them a fucking retard. This is why I have a stash of medication here, because there are the occasional times when I just don’t trust myself.

When some underprivileged mother brought in her child and allowed it to sneeze upon my couch, I nearly lost it. The giant hoop earrings of the My First Job applicants being sucked into whatever pyramid scheme some office or another is running is enough to make me gag on any day. The lack of English is bad enough, though I’m generally a little more sympathetic than most (this is quickly disappearing, however. ) The lack of logic, however, never ceases to amaze me.

Today, for example. Some fat, swaddled, gold bedecked gospel singer of a nightmare came waddling up to my reception, and asks to see someone that you simply can’t see without an appointment. Doesn’t happen. She thrusts an envelope under my nose. Rude, but okay. You just want to drop something off for him. Yes, I am capable of making sure your documents don’t end up back in your native land somehow. I am able to sort packages alphabetically.

I take the package, write the name of the company on it so I know who’s mailfolder to send it to. Meanwhile, this golden sausage roll is leaning over my counter, yammering on her cell phone. Hello? I’m answering phones here, could you kindly fuck off with your jibberish? Go somewhere else! The couch, the hallway, eight inches away, I don’t care.

She then leans over my counter and hands me her grubby, makeup smeared cell and instructs me to talk to her daughter. I pick up this instrument with great trepidation and try not to think of the bacteria sliding over my skin . As it turns out, this idiot mother-daughter combination thought it wise to simply show up and hand me the document (not that uncommon) and then, via their fucking cell phone, request that I make an appointment for them with said person (very fucking strange).

No. I don’t do this. I answer the phones here. Everybody makes their own appointments because there’s a friggin’ million of them here! I tell this voice on the phone that no, I will not make an appointment for her. If she would like to see this person, I tell her, she needs to call them and make an appointment herself. Having her mother show up and handing me a cellphone is quite unorthodox.

The reason they did it this way? They had forgotten the number. They had forgotten their fucking lawyers number. And folks? It’s not a hard number to look up. I know some people still don’t know how to use a computer. I try to remind myself of this every time someone calls me from a vague intersection asking for light-by-light directions to the office as though I have time for their ineptness, trying to resist screaming the glorious benefits of MAPQUEST, YOU IDIOT MOTHERFUCKER, MAPQUEST BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE!!!!!! But there is the phone book for mere phone numbers. There is 411. Holy shit. You trekked halfway across the city to hand me a cell phone to ask me for the number?!?

I seriously hope one or both of them are killed by a collapsing moose this afternoon, because those two idiots win the motherfucking Darwin award.

Thank christ for boxes of chocolate to keep me going in the face of idiocy.

et cetera