Thursday, April 16, 2009

No, You're Not Special

One of the most frustrating parts of my job is dealing with people who feel they should be an exception to the rules. Or worse, assume the rules were put in place specifically to inconvenience them and them alone. The first become indigent when you say "no" and the second often become zealous and demand to be treated special.

I am very well aware of the fact that the business of government has the potential to be annoying and tiresome. There's red tape on the red tape, so to speak. Things don't happen as quickly or smoothly as it seems they should, and there are often a lot of forms and paperwork to filled out for what otherwise might be a simple task. Believe me, I know - I often have to deal with some of those forms and I have plenty of paperwork to complete myself. Unfortunately, much of this red tape is necessary to help ensure a level playing field. In many ways, a lot of what we do in government is about trying our damnedest to make sure that things are as much the same from one case to the next. Yes, things change over time and details will vary, but the idea is make is so each person has as equal a chance as possible. That's why there are so many rules and regulations.

But there are people out there who simple can't or won't try to understand this fact. They want what they want and they want it now! And damnit, it's your job as a public servant to make sure that it happens right away! I often want to look at these people and say, quite calmly, "I'm sorry you fucked up and didn't start this process sooner, but it's not my fault you have the all personality and ability for rational thought of a crack-adled chihuahua on PCP." I will do what I can, but this job is one of those where the old adage it true: a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

Naturally, these people aren't just this way with those of us who work in government. They have this same additude in any situation where someone else is doing something for them. Cashiers, folks in retail, wait-staff, doesn't matter. Basically, if the job includes the words "customer" and "service" in any form, these people will pull this crap. I've seen (and experienced) it time and again. It's like these people replace the work "service" with "slave." You are to be at their beck and call, to give them anything they want right away, without question. And heaven help you if you happen to be in their line of sight when a mistake happens.

Personally, I think it should be manditory for everyone to have a customer service job at some point relatively early on in their lives. And I don't mean a job at some upscale, posh place where staff are expected to act superior to everyone around them (you know the places and people I'm talking about). No, I mean a job at someplace like a convenience store, a regular restaraunt (greasy-spoon would be best), a big-box store (but probably not a computer one, too much of a culture where staff are supposed to be supieror to the customers), or some kind of enterianment venue - movie theater, amusement park, etc.

Believe me, after a few months working in one of these jobs, you'll gain a whole new appreciation for what "customer service" really means.

Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out!

At long last, one of my greatest complaints agianst pro football is going away. Yes, that's right, that pompous, drivel-spouting annoyance, John Madden, is retiring! For years, I have railed against Madden - I have even had posts with titles such as "Fuckin' John Madden".

I'm reasonably sure that Madden isn't force of evil or anything like that (although, one can never be completely sure). And I am willing to acknowledge that he has played an important role in the world of American Football. But this doesn't excuse the fact that a great deal of what he said as a "color commentator" was pure and utter shit. He would constantly be either stating the completely obvious ("If the quaterback overthrows his receiver, it's going be hard for the guy to catch it.") or going off on these long, nearly unintellegible rants on a particular play. And many of these rants included the over-use of the "screen pen" which resulted in the screen being covered with little yellow arrows and lines and X's and circles. By the time he done with pen and rant, another two or three plays could have happened while you're stuck looking at screen which has more yellow lines than green grass.

I've often wondered how Al Michaels has been able to go so many years without taking one of his golf clubs to the back of Madden's head.

Here's the CNN announcement.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why Didn't You Fucking Tell Me This Sooner?!?

I fucking hate when fucking idiots don't give me all the fucking information the first fucking time!

Yes, I'm a little pissed off at the moment.

I had someone one stop by my office today about one of the major projects we have going on right now. She asked me about how I was going about my part of the project. I informed her that I was doing exactly what she told I was supposed to be doing. She stops and says, "Oh. No, I'm sorry, you need to be doing this instead."

She had this information right from the very beginning! Instead of giving me that information (which is slightly different from the way this particular part of the project is usually done) at the time, she said go about it in the usual way. So I did! Now, I've done a bunch of extra work which I didn't need to!

. . .

Luckily, the not-so-usual way things are to be done this time is not too hard to do. But the point is that because she couldn't take the time to give me all the information (which could have been accomplished by emailing me a single document!), I now have a bunch of extra work which could have easily been avoided. I hate when people do this kind of shit!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

On The Subject Of . . .

. . . being a bastard, I recently came across a new webcomic. Appropriately enough, it's actually called "On the Subject Of" - it's a simple one panel comic, which usually aren't interesting enough for me to bother with. This one, however, focuses on an angry midget of indeterminate age, who goes off on various things which annoy and/or bother him. The most recent, on what he calls "Vegemarians," especially amuses me. See it here.

At Least I'm Not The Only One

I just did a hit check on my blog. One of the things that I look at every now and then is the word hits that are triggering the most often. Despite my lack of reliable updates - which I keep meaning to improve, I swear! - I'm still getting hits (if not visits) on a regular basis.

Of particular amusement to me at the moment, the words which are triggering the most hits in the past few weeks are "hate" and "clip art." It seams that I'm not the only person with an undying hatred of clip art. And frankly, this is a good thing. The more of us who hate it, the less likely other people will quit using it.

Just as a side note, the other phrases which triggers a lot of hits are "being a bastard" and "driving in Phoenix." My posts on three these topics have accounted for maybe a third of my overall hits. Yes yes, I'm a geek and find this kind of thing interesting. Fuck off - I'm sure you've got your own little quirks!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Did You Really Just Compare Yourself to MLK Jr?

Okay - I wrote this much earlier today, and had planned on posting it when I got home. But obviously, things changed a bit with the shootings (if you haven't heard about this, you've obviously been hiding under a rock somewhere - check any major news site for the events in Binghamton, NY, or look at my post from earlier today). Anyway, here is the rant that was originally intended for today.

I came across this story on CNN today. As a quick run-down, a woman in California is upset because her kid's school district cancelled graduation - for eighth graders! So, as a form of protest, she's encouraging people to keep their kids out of school today. Apparently, the way things work there is the school district loses money for each day a student is absent. Her idea is to cost the district as much money as possible to draw attention to this action by the school district.

Fine. I personally think it's a rather stupid to get worked up over a "graduation" ceremony for fucking eighth graders, but she has every right to be an idiot.

My problem is how she justified this. According to the article, she said, "Peaceful civil disobedience has moved mountains in this country in the past, and the kids learn about Martin Luther King each year and this is exactly the example he set." WHAT THE FUCK!?! She's comparing making a petty protest about a fucking eighth grade graduation to Dr. King's work for racial equality and civil rights? I'm sorry lady, you're not honoring Dr. King's legacy with this shit; you're cheapening it. Let's face it, if your precious little yuppie larva doesn't get to sit in a hot auditorium for an hour only to receive a little slip of paper saying "Congratulations for finishing Middle School," the world isn't going to end. They will still go to high school. It's not like they're going to be checking for eighth grade graduation certificates at the door next year at the high school.

In my opinion, lady, you're not upset at the fact that they cancelled the graduation. Your upset at the fact that you no longer will have the chance to stand on display and brag about your kid and get the chance to say "Look at me! Look at how great I am because my kid finished middle school!" If you were really concerned about the impact the lack of a graduation ceremony is going to have on you kid, get together with a bunch of your kid's friend's parents and arrange a trip for this group of friends go out to a restaurant of their choice; maybe someplace like Dave and Busters.* I'm sure if you asked the kids, they would probably prefer a Saturday afternoon playing video games and hanging out with friends over sitting in that hot auditorium.

* For those of you who haven't heard of Dave and Busters, it's kind of like Chuck E. Cheeses, only not for little kids. It has real food and better games. Oh, and after 9:00 PM, they serve alcohol.

We're Okay

If you've been watching the news today, you probably know that there has been a multiple shooting here in town. If you haven't, here's the quick rundown: Starting at about 10:30-10:45 AM, a man walked into a building where a number of people were in the process of becoming American citizens and opened fire. This took place about 4 blocks from our apartment and close to my route to work. We have just recently heard the confirmation that the shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gun shot. Including the shooter, a total of 13 people are dead and another 5 wounded. They closed down City Hall at 2:30 today and sent us all home. Both Journey and I are now home and safe and staying here.