Feed on


10 Things:

Lists seem to be a popular journaling diversion, and I feel diversionary today. 5 things I like, 5 things that drive me screaming around the bend, respectively.

Good Stuff!

1. Going up to the top floor of a very tall building and looking out of the windows. I adore looking out over the city. Kansas City does not have a particularly beautiful cityscape. There are quite a few interesting buildings, but most are best viewed from ground level. Nonetheless, I love looking out over the grid of streets, the tangle of Interstate loops through the downtown, the munge of grummy urban decay, and the thick cover and smudge of trees. I like looking over the city and wondering who is at home watching trash television, what other offices are like, whether the people working in them like their jobs or hate them. I like to imagine being off work for the day and being able to be out and about.

2. I love getting to go home from work early. I also loved half days at school when I was a kid. Basically I am a lazy sod and like to be at home, or gadding about town sightseeing and window-shopping. The best day I have had at work this year was when the construction guys across the street somehow blew out a major underground electrical transformer and killed power to several city blocks. For an hour and a half, we took inspection requests and did other phone stuff, but then, in the course of trying to fix the electrical outage, they zorched our phone line to this building, so we couldn’t do *any* part of our jobs. It was brilliant. The main ACD line was still up, so all of our regular calls went to the 24-hour voicemail system, and us lowly phone jockeys got sent home 2.5 hours early.

3. I love it when it smells good outside. There are some trees down here in Kansas City that bloom in late May through mid-June, and they smell just like LUSH “Oxeo Cube” deodorant. Being as I bike all over the city, I am especially attuned to smells, good and bad. I get irritated when I get blasted by someone’s cigarette smoke, since I get a big, hoarfing lungful of their stank secondhand smoke. I sincerely appreciate people who have nice gardens with lots of fragrant flowers: lilacs and roses are choice. I love cruising around neighborhoods in the evening and smelling homely smells like frying potatoes and drying laundry. I love going out the front door in deep summer, early in the morning, and smelling morning city scents—the smell of diesel exhaust from buses and garbage trucks, the sweet, earthy scent of dew and ambient humidity, the whiff of any flowers that may be blooming, the dusty smell of asphalt that never really cooled down during the evening. One of the many reasons I don’t like winter as much as I like summer is that there aren’t as many pleasant scents. The ground is frozen up, so you don’t get the earthy smells. Nothing is blooming, so no floral smells. The grass and trees are all dormant, so nothing green and sweet. Nobody puts out their laundry, nobody opens up their windows, so no homely scents. All you get is the exhaust smells, and if you are in the right district, the restaurant smells (and downtown, by the Folgers’ factory, you get coffee fragrance on roasting days—I adore roasting days!)

4. I love people watching. One of the best parts of being a city dweller now is that there is always plenty of people-watching to be done. I take a lot of walks, for exercising, for sightseeing, for errand running, and for people watching. My especial favorite type of people to see are the people who have really individual or striking looks. I notice very chic or very silly styles of clothing, unusual or notably flattering hairdos. Some people have very distinctive walks or mannerisms like gesturing into a cell phone. Some people meander along, obviously out for entertainment, some motor along dead set on a purpose. Some are gawkers, some are subtle examiners, some don’t seem to even realize that there are things around them to see.

5. Physical activity: biking, dance, swimming—these are a few of my favorite things. I’m not sporty, competitive, or, I would say, particularly athletic. I’ve got good endurance, decent flexibility, and a dogged willingness to learn new stuff, but when all is said and done, I suck at sports. I have never won a race, rarely returned a serve. I never fail to wince away from the ball, and I just don’t give two shits about winning. I’m not a team player, and I’m not personally competitive. If I go running, it is because it feels good outside, and I want some fresh air, and I feel too jazzy to walk and go slow. If I am biking, I may be hauling ass, but not because anybody is timing me, it is because I have someplace to go. As much as I love swimming or biking or running, the second I am asked to do it for some kind of a score, all of the fun is sucked right out of the activity. My performance, such as it is, plummets, and I get all grouchy and resentful. I did sports in highschool—because we were required to either participate in two sports or take PE (and PE was an especial sort of hell involving endless volleyball and half-court basketball games or laps if you weren’t into the “game”) so I took the least of the evils and ran on the cross-country and track teams. Long distance running requires few appreciable skills. No aim, no speed, no leaping, no sets, spikes, layups—no terminology, no machismo. Distance running is quite possibly the most boring sport on the planet, and because nobody else gave a rat’s ass about it, I was willing to participate. You could suck and still make the varsity team, since nobody else wanted to do it. I think I may have even lettered, despite finishing dead last in almost every event I ever “competed” in.


1. People who laugh when they are angry. This makes the gorge rise in my throat and the slapping muscles in my arms tense up. Logically I know that people react to different situations differently, and some people react to being pissed off by chuckling ironically. Logically I understand that, but instinctively, I react very warily. People who laugh when they are angry are like dogs who wag their tails while they are growling and baring their teeth—they deliver a mixed message. It seems like every person I have dealt with who laughed when he/she was mad was one of the MEANEST angry people I have dealt with. Bitter chucklers seem to be a lot edgier and explosive than people who just go ahead and holler a little bit and have done with it. Chucklers are more likely to use abusive, insulting language and to get threatening. I’d far rather deal with an angry person who comes in growly, cussing, and visibly or audibly pissed off, than deal with someone who speaks in low, metered tones, laughs bitterly, and makes rude, personal remarks when things don’t go his/her way.

2. Pesterers and whiners. People who act like they think being a pain in the ass is going to get them what they want. I don’t care how persistent and annoying they want to be, if they are asking me for something I can’t give, they aren’t going to get it, full stop. Falling under this category are people who repeatedly call the office hoping that in speaking to a different associate, they are magically going to get one who will give in to their demands.

3. I hate, *hate* HATE it when people talk to me when I can’t hear them, especially when it is in a situation where common sense would inform them that I can’t possibly comprehend the words spewing forth from their mouths. Like when I am on the phone. My boss does this to me all the time. She just comes straight up to my desk and starts talking, regardless of whether it is possible for me to attend to her. When I can, I’ll put the caller on hold, but sometimes I just cant; either they are just too worked up to stand holding, or they don’t speak much English and I need to concentrate on what they are saying, or they are on a dodgy cell phone. Sometimes I just don’t feel like treating the customer as secondary in importance to my boss, since experience has taught me that most of her interruptions are petty and really could and should wait until the caller has been helped. And sometimes, the interruption is so senseless that it really doesn’t matter whether or not I hear or pay attention. I think it is really poor that my boss actively and intentionally hinders me in the course of doing what is quite specifically the most important part of my job—answering customer calls.

4. I hate it when it is booger-freezingly cold outside. When you go outside and it feels like the breath is knocked out of you because it is so bitterly cold. Pair this with winds you can’t stand upright in, and you have my personal vision of hell. I hate getting chilled to the bone, to the point where the only thing that will make my world right again is a half-hour soak in a tub full of steaming hot water. It is not always the case that I can get a hot bath when I am thoroughly chilled—I might be at work or the hot water may be used up, or there may just not be time for a good, lengthy soak. I can tell when I am getting good and ready to be awfully cold. It all starts with my feet. Once my feet are all clammy, it can only go downhill. I get sluggish, grim, and peevish. I want to hibernate, to not stick my nose outdoors again until the middle of March, when the weather is willing to get more reasonable once again. Bah! I hate the winter.

5. I detest being on the Early Rotation at work. I hate having to get up at a quarter ‘til 5:00 a.m. in order to come to work. By Wednesday of any early week I work, I am in agony. By Thursday, I am incoherent. Come Friday, I am a gibbering wreck, hysterical, bug eyed, hair-trigger, and on the verge of physical and mental collapse. I simply cannot get to bed early enough to compensate with getting up an hour and a half extra early for work. Moreover, I keep getting stuck with *other* people’s early shifts. Everyone’s got a reason they can’t come in. Childcare, broken down car, ect. Since I live on the bus line and have no kids, I’m the default fill-in-the-blank person. Reliable, flexible, and apparently docile, the pushy employer’s dream. While I appreciate the overtime, since I am trying to save up for multiple side projects, including my car restoration and my sewing business, I resent that it is assumed that I can and will pick up the slack for everyone else. This extends well beyond the early shift, since I get plucked out of my usual department without notice and made to fill in at another department whenever one of the workers there is absent or running late. I get sick of being the department dogsbody, but I suck it up, knowing that 1. they pay me and 2. I’m out of here in February

Can you tell I wrote this entry at work and saved it to a diskette, to take home and upload later?

Leave a Reply