Remember When

I was very lucky as a child, I had the opportunity to travel on airplanes with my family on trips around the US. I have never really been afraid of flying because it was always a fun, exciting, and comfortable experience for me. I remember getting on the plane and being greeted by smiling friendly flight attendants (stewardesses back then) who would take an interest in every child as if it were there own. And really, why just smile when you could coo, gush, and give presents to these young travelers. Now obviously over the past 27 years I have grown older, I don't expect flight attendants and start talking me in baby talk, I don't expect them to go all mushy on me, as a matter of fact if they did I would be a little weirded out. i do however, expect them to be friendly and polite, and willing to help all passengers in a kind courteous way. It is a business after all, and just like I expect my employees to treat customers with dignity and respect, the airlines should expect the same from their flight crews.

Lately I have found flight attendants rude, unattractive, unprofessional and sometimes downright mean to passengers. The one exception to this rule is Jet Blue, they may not have the best on time flights, but they have always been respectful and helpful, plus they give you cool little TV's to watch.

1) Rude flight attendants- On my flight to Rochester for business yesterday I was confronted by a very rude flight attendant. This flight is a business shuttle flight with all suits and expense accounts, these are all people who fly on a regular basis. The flight attendant was blatantly absent as we boarded yesterday, and when she did appear she got on the loudspeaker and without any formalities or introductions told everybody to take their seats because we were late and needed to take off. She then went over the in-flight safety instructions and when she was finished she went up to people and yelled at those who were not paying attention. She even asked me if I knew where my flotation device was. I was of course snotty and responded, "Yes my seat can be used as a flotation device in case of emergency." I also pointed out the exit doors and then asked the flight attendant how many oceans we would be flying over on our way from Boston to Rochester! For all you geography nuts the answer is none so if the plane were to crash I don't think I would need the seat flotation.

2) Unattractive flight attendants- I am a gay man, but I have a problem with unattractive flight attendants. Its just the way it always was, I guess I don't like change, but shouldn't these women (and men) at least be mildly attractive. Isn't that part of the romance of flying?

3) Unprofessional flight attendants- The Delta flight attendants on my recent trip to Florida were wearing T-shirts and jeans. The looked sloppy and unprofessional. I didn't feel like I could trust these people if there was a sudden emergency on the plane. I know it is all outward appearance but it means a lot to people like me. I feel like I can trust a professionally dressed flight attendant more than I can trust a slob with a seat belt that is not attached to anything, you need to look the part for me to trust you!

4) Downright rude flight attendants- aforementioned bitch from my flight to Rochester was just not a nice person. After we got in the air a passenger inappropriately stood up a bit to early and started to move towards the bathroom. Nobody on the plane thought anything of it, but the flight attendant got on the intercom and berated this man for standing up to soon. He blushed and ran back to his chair, but I think he may have peed his pants on the flight. There was really no need for her to yell at him over the intercom.

Right now I am sitting in the airport terminal in Rochester, hoping that my flight back to Boston is a pleasant one, with charming and witty and attractive flight attendants. I always enjoy those flights. There are still great flight attendants out there- like my hilarious woman who cracked jokes with all the passengers on a recent trip back from Indiana, its just not the same as it used to be, I remember why flying was always an enjoyable experience, even on a bad flight. Soon they are just going to vacuum pack us and ship us on our way, that way they can fit 900 people on one little putt putt plane.

Bloody Eyes (and not for Halloween)

Well, this week was another hard week, it was busy at work, and it was especially busy because I missed two days of work because of a really gross eye infection. On Tuesday night my eye was a bit uncomfortable, I wasn't sure why it was bothering me but I did know that something was not right. I put a few wetting drops in my eye and since I was exhausted I decided that I would lay down for at least a nap, but probably more like a good nights rest. I slept fairly well but was aware of the fact that my eye was still uncomfortable.

When I woke upon Wednesday morning I noticed that I really couldn't see well out of my eye, and i was insanely sensitive to the light. I stumbled into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I could barely open my eye without pulling up on the eyelid and the lights were causing excruciating pain. I went into my bedroom fumbled for my phone and called into work, then I looked for the phone number for my eye doctor. It took me forever to find it with barely one eye, I called to see if I could get an appointment immediately and found that they weren't opened until 10:30. I left a message and went back to laying in the dark. I even had to turn off the TV because the flashing light was irritating. I lay ed in bed until 11:30 when the eye doctor called me back and told me that nobody would be able to see me today, I was in so much pin that I did not find this acceptable and asked if I could go to another office. They found a doctor who could see me in the afternoon in downtown Boston, but I needed a referral for a primary care provider, I don't have a PCP and was not in any position to do research to find one.

After a few phone calls back and forth they figured out a way to take me, and apparently everything was covered by my insurance. So I had a 4pm appointment, but I quickly realized that there was no way that I was no way I could get to the appointment by myself. So, the next thing I had to do was find a ride to the doctor, I started making phone calls, but most people I know have jobs or are in school full time so it is hard to find somebody who is available in the early afternoon. And to make matters worse the condition of my eye was not improving.

I finally convinced my sister to come and get me and drive me there, by the time she was here all you could see in my left eye was murky bloodiness, it was like a Halloween but a couple days early. It was really not pretty. It turns out that I had a corneal abrasion that got infected. The first night I had to put drops in my eye every fifteen minutes until 10:00pm then every 30 minutes and then every two hours throughout the night. I am still using the eye drops four times a day and they have me on oral antibiotics. I have regained a majority of my vision in my left eye and I can type and read again. I don't need to wear sunglasses indoors anymore, and overall things are much better. I had to throw out my contacts, and I can't put anything in my eyes for another two weeks but i didn't loose my eye. I was really worried it was going to fall out or something.

Living in the Moment

Is it true that the only way to true happiness is to live in the moment? What is to be said for thinking about the future? And how far into the future should I think? All i know is I have butterflies in my stomach when I am around him, and we get along so well and have such a great time.

Necrotizing Fasciitis

Necrotizing Fasciitis is an interesting title for a post, but I just finished reading Complications, and the last case in the book dealt with this bacterial infection commonly known as flesh eating disease (or disorder). This bacteria enters through a small cut, scratch or other break in the skin and begins to eat away at the underlying tissue. Yeah gross I know! In a number of cases by the time it is caught it has spread throughout the body, and since it doesn't respond to antibiotics it is very difficult to treat. The case in the book had a positive outcome, and the woman's leg was saved, although they did have to cut it opened and scrape out the dead and dying tissue along with a number of other things necessary to rid the body of this bacteria.

There are a couple of reasons why this story, and a lot of the book stuck with me. First of all this disease is gross and it freaks me out, secondly, the author writes this story with a passion that is rarely seen, and thirdly, I get bumps breaks bruises cuts and blisters all the time at work, what if I am unlucky and somehow end up with this bacteria in me. OK, am I freaking out, after all this is a fairly rare occurrence, but lets take into account the injuries of this week.

1) Cut and swollen thumb from moving a fixture.
2) Two open blisters on my feet from my dress shoes in the humidity of Florida
3) Cut on my pinkie from a halogen light that broke while I was changing it
4) A slice across my palm from a security tag I was trying to remove as a customer pulled the garment violently from my hand
5) I scraped knee from a violent fall up the escalator.

Now this is five visible and possible entry ways for this bacteria in just one week, which would average out to 260 opportunities per year. I am not loving my odds. Yuck Yuck Yuck. I know there are other things that I should be worrying about, hell like tetanus, but I have had my tetanus shot and tetanus will not eat you body from the inside out, with very little warning and devastating results.

I guess this is the sign of a good book, not only did I feel for the doctors involved in the case, and the patient, but I also I was worried for people who may end up with something as devastating as this, including myself. OK, maybe not a sign of a good book just a sign of my neurosis and self centered attitude.

The one final thing that freaks me out, the doctor guessed right and that is why they were able to save this girls leg. THE DOCTOR GUESSED, yes maybe it was an educated GUESS, but it was still a GUESS!

Oh yes and have I mentioned YUCK!

It Has Been A Week (or two)

This time last week I was in Florida with the family getting ready for the Wedding of my cousin J and his new wife L. I had known about the wedding for well over a year but in my typical style I waited until the last minute to get everything done. Its not like in the past 18 months I didn't have time to go to get my suit altered (or buy a new one) but I waited until the week before to do so. When I went to pick it up the Thursday before I was flying out it was not altered correctly and I was panic stricken and yelled at the tailor (very sorry sir it was the stress). I finally got my suit later that morning and made it to work only an hour and a half late.

To make matters worse last week, or the week prior to the wedding actually, I had one of the worst stomach bugs I have had in years. I missed a day of work because I was throwing up, and I got sick a few times at work the day before and the day after. A stomach bug and stress (and no eating) do not mesh well. I was a mess, an absolutely exhausted and disorganized mess when I was packing on Thursday, and by the time I got to the airport on Friday afternoon after working for 6 hours I felt like I had been run over by a Mack Truck.

I met my sister at the airport, and we argued over the best way for me to check my luggage, and also had to pull my suit out of my luggage so I could carry it on, just in case. We finally got all of this set, checked in, and went to go get something to eat. I was so excited to have solid food and so exhausted that I forgot about the stomach bug and had a Buffalo Chicken sandwich, (thank god that didn't backfire on me on the plane).

The flight was delayed, as I would have expected, after all it was the week I was having. The problem was we had a connecting flight in Atlanta so we were very worried that we would miss that connection and be stranded with very nice clothing and no wedding to go to. We made the connection, however, because the flight from Atlanta was delayed as well. After leaving work at 3:45 that afternoon, I finally arrived in Florida a little after midnight, and we still had an hour ride to my parents house in Tampa. When we got to the house I had to shower and shave and pull my suit out so hopefully the airplane induced wrinkles would fall out (they didn't). I got to sleep around 2:00 am but I was lucky enough to not have to have my hair done like my mom and sister in the morning so I was able to sleep until 11:00.

The wedding was beautiful, it took place at a mansion in Sarasota, and the service began outdoors at sunset in a gazebo overlooking the ocean. Granted it was hot in a suit in the hot Florida sun, but the wedding really was very pretty. Oh yes, and my family (as in immediate family) was by far the best dressed people at the wedding (excluding the bride and groom). We pride ourselves on that! The two days we spend in Florida where a whirlwind of activity, wedding, drinks with family, brunch, Tampa, Uncles house, and then it seemed like just a couple hours after we had landed we were back at the airport waiting for our flight home. Which left early and landed on time.

Usually a weekend in Florida is supposed to be restful and enjoyable, and while it was nice to see the family, this past weekend was neither. On the plane ride home I tried to cram my two mental health weekend days into a few hours while my sister typed up lesson plans on her laptop. That's the funny thing about the real world as you get older. I remember when we were kids and we would play card on the plane and goof around. Now we had to focus on the things we had to get done, my sister was worried about her students, and while I was desperately trying to relax I was planning my week out in my head. I was outlining the presentation I was expected to have prepared for a meeting on Thursday, I was worrying about a store visit that was supposed to happen on Wednesday. It is funny to me how things have changed, it seems like just yesterday I was leaving for college (that was nine years ago). Now I have been with my company for nine years, and my sister has her masters and is teaching 18 lil third grade munchkins.

We landed safe and my cousin and his girlfriend picked us up at the airport. He drove me home and then brought my sister back home. It was officially time to start the next week even though it was 10:30 at night. I needed to iron my clothing and get my bag sorted out with all of the things I needed and remove all of the things that I didn't need. I was in bed by 12:30 and ready to start my crazy week with payroll on Monday morning.

I survived the presentation, and the visit went well. I interviewed a few candidate for open supervisor positions because one of my supervisors left and one was promoted to a manager position at another store. I interviewed new candidate off of craigslist and did expenses. I hung up a new rack system in our back newly cleaned out space and worked on clearing the conference room of the fixtures temporarily stored there. On top of all of this I did the regular day to day things, and I am exhausted, plus I am working Saturday. Thank goodness I have Sunday off I am going to need to sleep a lot and recover from all of this fun. Wish me luck!

Women and Men Are the Same Size

Today I was paged to the front of the store, we have been having credit card issues and other things so I figured it had to do with that. But I was wrong, I walked up to the front and a customer assaulted me with questions. She wanted to know why two t-shirts that were the same size (as in Small) on the tags were actually different sizes (as in amount of fabric contained in the garment). I took a look at the two pieces and immediately noticed that one was a women's shirt and therefore was women's sizing and one was a men's shirt and therefore unisex sizing. I calmly explained that to the customer who told me that I wasn't answering her question. She wanted to know why they were different sizes! I tried saying the same thing differently... "Ma'am, these are two different style shirts, one is a men's style and the other is a women's style, since men and women are generally built differently the cut of the clothing is different, hence the size is different."

Nope, that doesn't work either she wanted the sizes to be the same. But sizes aren't going to be the same we carry infant stuff (1 size system), children's stuff (1 size system), Men's stuff (unisex sizing), women's stuff (women's sizing) and Juniors (young women's sizing)! Now would it be right if infant sizing was the same as men's sizing was the same as Juniors sizing, I don't think so! But I believe that what she really wanted was for me to carry only one size and style of t-shirt... I shall call this sizing system "Fat Cow Trailer Trash Bitch Sizing!!

Love the Book, Hate the Ending

A few days ago I finished reading Blindness by Saramago. I loved the book, it was hard to get into at first but the storyline was amazing. You get to see how an epidemic will effect the entire population of a country. This novel was incredibly thought-provoking. It is a deep commentary on society's blindness and the affects it has on all aspects of life. His characters are incredibly vivid, and their responses to the stimuli, both positive and negative, provided by their environment truly brought to light questions about what it means to be a human in the age of modernity.This blindness reduces the entire civilization to its primitive animistic roots. The lack of punctuation and extended paragraphs contributes to the story as the reader unconsciously reads the book at a rapid and panic stricken pace.

I loved the book as a whole, I however, was very disappointed in the ending. I was all tied up very quickly and neatly and some of the story lines were not completed. I find it hard to recommend this book to readers because as many fantastic qualities this book possessed it still lacked a strong ending.

I am reading Complications now, I am pretty sure the ending of this book will not make me crazy.

The Difference Between Me and My Customers

Last Friday I noticed something very disturbing, I noticed that my new Kenneth Cole shoes that I spent $180 on about four months ago were breaking. The leather was separating from the sole and I was very upset for a few reasons...

1) I paid $180 and I expected them to last
2) I wear them all the time and I had a hard time finding comfortable black shoes for my fat feet.
3) I needed to wear them for the wedding in Florida this weekend, and i have no money to buy new shoes

I asked a few people at the store what I should do, and most of the people said i had no chance exchanging these shoes for new ones. The girls at customer service thought I was nuts for even thinking about it. However, I called S and he told me to bring them back and demand that they replace them. So, I decided to go back to KC and see what they could do for me. On Friday afternoon, after work I took the train over to the store with my shoes on and a copy of my bank statement showing that I had purchased these shoes just 3 months before.

I walked into the store and looked for the person who seemed to be the authority figure, they are usually easy to pinpoint, I walked over to her and calmly explained the situation. She looks at my shoes and exclaims, "Oh, no that is not supposed to happen!" She tells me to go pick out a replacement and she will exchange them for me without a problem. I am elated because I was worried that I would need to buy new shoes for the wedding. I had a little bit of trouble finding a replacement that fit because I have short fat feet, but with some help from the wonderful sales person I was able to find a pair to replace my broken shoes. I took my old shoes off, handed them off to the associate, and put on my new shoes and walked out with a $30.00 credit. I have to say i was very happy with the entire experience, and very happy that I spent the money on the shoes, because the service makes it all worthwhile- ah yes and it balances out to $90 a pair.

Now, here is the difference between me and my customers. I can be a huge ass, but I was calm when I walked into the store to return my shoes, I calmly explained my situation and was sweet to the associate. When she agreed to accept these shoes as I return I thanked her and expressed my gratitude. My customers would have walked in, yelled, thrown the shoes, and when I would have been nice enough to grant them something, they would have wanted more. But I was happy with what I received, quite honestly I was expecting less! It is a big difference, but I guess it is a difference you can only appreciate when you work in the business.

Why I Don't Cook Reason #467

I went to go make myself some dinner, nothing fancy just some garlic bread and pasta. Sounds easy right, well it is but I am brain dead and that is the reason why I don't cook. I boiled the water and put in the pasta, while the oven was pre-heating. I put some garlic bread on a pan and wrapped in in aluminum foil, when the oven was ready I was stirring my pasta but I grabbed the pan and threw it in the oven. I ran to the other room for a few and then came back and continued to prepare, my pasta was done and so was my sauce, so I took a peek in the oven for the garlic bread. Well the pan was in there, but I seemed to have lost the garlic bread, I look around the kitchen, very confused, and there right on the stove top is a cylinder of aluminium containing my garlic bread, damn I am so lost sometimes.

I guess I am not as bad as S though, the other night when I was talking to him on the phone he reached into his oven and grabbed a pan without an oven mitt on, but there is still time for that to be reason #468!

I Hate Tori Amos...and Here is Why

Tori Amos was on the Tonight Show this evening and I felt floods of anger come rushing back. Now my extreme hatred for Tori Amos is not because I hate celebrities in general, I even like some celebrities, no I hate Tori Amos for a very specific reason... she is a high maintenance needy bitch, and I know this from first hand experience.

I have met her, as a matter of fact I ran an event for her at one of my previous assignments, I have met tons of celebrities because of these events we did. Everybody was great but Tori Amos. She needed special colored sharpies to sign with, she needed special bottles of water because she can only take one sip from each bottle, she can't put on her own chap stick, ah yes and she is fake, I promise you that she is a big fake who pretends to love her fans. In the elevator out of the store she was so exhausted and never wanted to have to deal with fans again, but as we exited a fan found her and she was nothing but a big fake full of smiles as her people ushered this fan away.

Anyway, I never say bad things about the people I work with, and honestly all of the celebrities and authors I have worked with from Tommy Lee, to Jane Fonda, to Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris and Jerry Lewis, even Wofgang Puck have all been amazing to work with, and every event was so much fun. I was miserable with the Amos event, and I can't even see or hear her music without the anger rising inside of me. It really was that bad. I haven't even mentioned half of the misery that is Tori Amos!