Stupid Questions: Special Edition

Okay, remember how your teacher always says, “There’s never such a thing as a stupid question”?  Well… She was lying.  She just said that to spare your feelings.  Stupid questions are normally asked by stupid people.  I am discounting children because they are children, and still have much to learn.  But, we should be surprised by the enormous amount of stupid questions that are asked by adults.  Sadly, we aren’t.

At my doctor’s office, stupid questions from grown ups are exorbitant.  Almost to the point of idiocy.  Oh, wait… it’s already there.  Our office is very busy, and I very, very, VERY rarely have room in my schedule for a walk-in.  But, I get them often.  Sometimes they are new patients, who have an ’emergency’, and need to be seen immediately.  Please understand that doctors are very busy people and as I mentioned above, very infrequently do they have time to deal with walk-in Schmoes.  Now, maybe that’s because I’m at the front and I rule my land with an iron fist.  Apparently, a few years before I came along, our doctors would see the off-the-street nimrod, and throw off their schedules for the rest of the day.  Look at it this way: if they were meant to see every man who happened by, then schedules would be irrelevant.

I love when I’m on the phone, and I get people saying, “I just need the doctor to check my bleeding gums.  I don’t need an appointment for that, do I?”

I blink a couple of times, restart my brain, and refrain from saying, “On what planet is that okay?!”  One day, a patient’s mother was complaining for her child, and said she needed an appointment as early in the morning as possible.  I said, “Sorry ma’am, but the earliest I have is (such and such a time) with (Dr. Lecter).”

“Oh, that’s not early enough.”

“Well, that’s the only one I’ve got.”

“Can’t the doctor come in early?”  NO!  No, no… no… and… NO!  The doctors come in according to the hours they’ve set for themselves, not whenever you ring your little bell, Queen Victoria!  One of the straws that broke the camel’s back, was a patient who cancelled her appointment, and wanted to reschedule.  These people are always the worst, because they cancel last minute, then they want the unattainable slots: early morning, or late evening.  She cancelled her appointment, and I honestly told her that availability for an evening appointment was slim to none, and she was looking at rescheduling her appointment in another six months.

“Well, can you move somebody else and put me there?”  Are you retarded?!  Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth as well as your *ss?!  I firmly told her that I could not do that.  “Oh, well somebody did it for me once.”

“Well, I can’t.”  She hung up in a huff, but I did not let her intimidate me.  I get asked stupid questions at least a couple of times a week, and they annoy and amuse me in equal parts.  That’s how close I am to either laughing or crying.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Restaurant Rules of Conduct

Now, this is friendly advice for those who are uninitiated in the ways of service in the restaurant business.  For those of you who read this and have worked in a restaurant, you know what I’m talking about.  For those of you who haven’t, you’re about to be educated.  There are many things that can annoy hostesses and servers alike.  I will point these out so that the next time you go to a restaurant, you can NOT do that.

Restaurant Rules of Conduct:

  1. Sit where the hostess puts you.  Easy one, right?  NO!  Duly note that whenever you walk into a restaurant, the hostess has a seating plan, so that every server can get approximately the same amount of tables and make some money.  A hostess is not blind.  If you are an older couple, she will try to put you at a lower table so you have easier access.  It just might not be in that exact spot you want to sit in.  Shut up and sit down.
  2. Don’t apologize.  That is not what you think it is.  When I say ‘don’t apologize’, I don’t mean ‘don’t apologize for who you are’.  I mean ‘don’t apologize for being difficult’.  Cause if you really didn’t want to be difficult, you wouldn’t be difficult in the first place.  So, when you countermand the hostess and ask to move to five different tables, don’t say, “I’m sorry for being difficult.”  You know why?  Because the hostess is muttering to herself, “No, you’re not.”  Because… you really aren’t.
  3. The music is fine.  Whenever you walk into a restaurant, look around and gauge what type of crowd mostly inhabits this theme of restaurant.  That being the case, don’t adjust the volume.  To be fair, most restaurants aren’t designed to cater to the older people; they are there to cater to the younger crowd.  So, with that thought in mind, don’t ask your server to turn the music down.  The music is at the volume it should be.  If you want to eat in a place where you control the volume, stay home.  You’ll be doing the rest of the world a favor.
  4. Table hopping. F*ck NO!  There was one night when I was food running, and I kept bringing the food to the wrong table.  I thought it was me at first, until the servers all told me that it wasn’t, and that people would sit down, order their food there, then decided they wanted that table over there.  Please!  Don’t do that.  Not only is it rude to the server, it is inconvenient for the foodrunner.  Plus, it throws the hostess out of whack, especially if she was about to seat that table, and you slide over like a jerk.
  5. Respect reservations.  When it comes to reservations, my restaurant only takes parties of six or larger, because anything smaller is stupid.  I’m glad we do that, because then on weekend holidays or stuff like that, our entire restaurant doesn’t get booked by reservations, and we can take a couple of walk ins.  But, as a hostess, I have had some people say, “I want to sit there.”  Me: “Oh, that’s reserved.”  Cue the crickets…  “But I want to sit there.”  Does my previous statement not compute for you?  I once almost got into a confrontation with a high schooler, who thought she was something special.  “But, we’re here now.”  Me: “I can’t put you there because it’s reserved.”  “But, I’m here now.”  Somebody bring me a table so that I can smash my forehead off it repeatedly, please?
  6. Cleanliness is close to godliness.  It never ceases to amaze me how messy full grown adults can be.  I’ll clean up a table and find so much stuff smeared on it and napkins and food on the floor, I try to remember if I sat kids there.  Then I remember that it was a bunch of adults, who all probably had a little too much to drink, and decided to throw manners out the window.  Now, maybe I’m saying that because I’m very conscious of what people think when I eat in public, but I don’t think other people think that way.  If you spill something or drop sauce on the table, wipe it up and ask (politely) for another napkin.  The person cleaning the table when you leave (me), will be very grateful if you eat like a human being instead of an animal.
  7. Waiting for a table?  Wait patiently.  If there is one thing that irks a hostess, it is impatient patrons.  You have to understand that a waiting list can be a vague thing because the hostess does not know down to the exact second, when people are going to get up and vacate a table.  They are estimating when they give you a wait time, and that also depends on when the tables were seated.  I’ve had people come in and when I tell them there’s a wait, they say, “Well, I called here ten minutes ago, and they said there wasn’t a wait.”  You have to try to comprehend that a lot of tables can be sat in ten minutes, and all at the same time.  This means that by the time you haul your ass over, they are all gone, and I am putting you on a wait.  And wait patiently for goodness sake!  Don’t walk up every five minutes and ask where you are.  You know why?  Because I’m standing there smiling, but it’s because I’m imagining what your face would look like after I’ve punched you in the throat a couple of times.

So there you have it!  Those are the restaurant rules of conduct for you to follow the next time you go out for an evening of food, music, conversation, and alcohol!

And on that note, it’s been real!

Fingers Flying

Alright, so my day off yesterday was pretty productive as I had hoped.  My car went in as I said it would and they did everything up to and including a complimentary car wash.  Yay!  As for myself, while I waited for the call to say they were done, I wrote.  I alternated between surfing on my Netflix queue and listening to music as my fingers did their beautiful dance across my keyboard.  I had been kind of/sort of hung up on a part, but yesterday was the day I needed to get over the hang up.

The writing is a little bit easier right now.  I know it will be a smidge harder when I arrive at the part in the book that has the most documentation in history.  Other than that, everything is progressing nicely.  I have two main characters, both boys (soon to be men).  They stand on opposite sides when it comes to religion and that is where the conflict will come from.  I haven’t decided if I want them to meet each other, or if they will spend the entire book separated, only to be drawn together by the tragedy that is the historical centerpiece of the novel.

Another thing I’m not sure of is if I want romance involved overly much.  A coworker of mine, who knows I’m writing this, asked if one or both of them would have women in their lives.  I’m not sure because I don’t want to turn this into a romance novel.  It isn’t.  The reason I’m writing this book is to draw people’s attention to a moment in history that is and has been brushed over, but one that was filled with great loss.  It is supposed to be a tale about sacrifice, on personal levels, and on a grander scale.  I don’t think I want romance to play a major role in that, because I think it would detract from the larger message.  And that message will unfold with both of the characters facing their hardships accordingly.  Otherwise, I hope to continue with my writing and see these characters develop, on the page, and in my heart.

And on that note, it’s been real!

A Day Off… What?!

So, today is a happy day because I don’t have to go to work.  Wait… what?!  That’s right.  I got the day off!  The reason for the day off is because my car, Leatrice (Nordic for ‘voyager’), has to go in and have a new set of keys calibrated with the engine, and I want them to check my stupid tire pressure light(!).  This appointment had been made two months ago when my leave was supposed to have been honored, but wound up being turned down.

I put in for this over the weekend and in the notes for the request, I said, “Taking car in for pre-scheduled appt.”  I was very clear that my car needed to be in the shop today for over an hour, and I wasn’t going to be chauffeured by anyone.  Thankfully, my manager gave me the bone and let me have the day off.  Yay!

Now, I’m going to putz around all day long!  Just kidding!  I have writing to do since I have so much time; my hands are covered in papercuts, so that’s a sign from the universe that I need a manicure; and just sleeping in an extra hour/hour and a half would be marvelous!  Plus, I need to catch up on my Youtube videos.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Wistful Wednesdays

Now, my start as a writer began by accident, actually.  I was ten-years-old and I constantly pestered my older (and endowed with a driver’s license) brother, to take me to the library so I could pick up books to read, as I had a voracious appetite for new adventures.  I bugged the poor guy to death.  Finally!  He said, “If this is going on MY library card, you will read the books I pick.”  I was concerned at first when I got this ultimatum, but he told me not to be worried.  “I’ve got a good series all picked out,” he informed me as we searched the shelves in the library.

After following him around for a while, he finally came to a shelf that was covered in yellow bound books and he exclaimed, “Ah ha!”  We marched over and he pulled out a book and held it up to me.  It was a Nancy Drew mystery book.  I had never heard of them before and was genuinely curious when he handed it to me.  “You will be reading these from now on.  When you finish this and two more, I will pick out another three for you to read.”  I accepted the challenge and he gave me two more books from the Nancy Drew collection.  So, that was my goal: read the three books my brother gave me and inform him when I was done so he could pick the next three for me.

This lasted for several months, and then I was old enough to get my own library card.  Once I had that baby, I picked my own Nancy Drew books and took off!  And it was from the writing of Carolyn Keene, that my very first character was born.

Aubrey Cass is a professional smart-ass, with no tolerance for stupidity, and a sharp mind for solving mysteries.  Even though my set of short mystery stories on her were published after my novels, these stories were the first ones I wrote.  A long time ago… on Planet Mars.  I was just thinking how I went over these from when I originally wrote them when I was twelve, and me (now) was like, “Were you high on cocaine?!  What the ‘bleep’ is this?!”  Don’t worry!  They’re all fixed now, and I’m so proud of my very first character.

And on that note, it’s been real!

Bleepity, Bleep, Bleep: Curse Words for Everything

This is something fun that I found at least two years ago.  The Christian comedian, Tim Hawkins, did a skit where he gave Christians cusswords they can use without endangering themselves, yada, yada, yada.  I watched the video and legitimately laughed my head off.  Some of them were actually very close to the curse words they were replacing.  After the fact, I unconsciously came up with words of my own that I inserted at appropriate times.

Author’s List of Non-Violent Expletives for Every Occasion:

  • Frickety mackintosh!
  • Schnitzel!
  • Juniper!
  • Frick, Frickety, Frick, Frick!
  • Balls! (debatable, but definitely better than the alternative)
  • Bushel Britches!
  • Suckerpunch!
  • Pond Sucker!
  • Farts!

And there you have it!  Those are my Non-Violent Expletives for Every Occasion!  Whip em’ out whenever you really want to say something, but can’t say that one thing.  Hopefully, it will help alleviate the tension that always comes when people can’t properly express themselves through dirty words.

And on that note, it’s been real!

PTSD – Post Traumatic Sunday Disorder

I think everyone can say that Saturday and Sunday are the fastest days of the week.  Hands down.  Why?  Because are normally the days when most people actually have the choice to do absolutely nothing at all!  I write mostly.  On Saturday, I did cave and go get a pedicure, which was SO relaxing, and a frappe from Panera.  It was wonderful!  I went to work that night, but it wasn’t busy at all, so I got to go home after an hour of being there.  I came home and spent the evening with my younger sister doing absolutely nothing.  It was nice.

Sunday (for me) always has an air of depression about it.  Because I know I have to go back to work the next morning, so I have squeeze everything I want to do (or not, as the case may be) into this one day.  However, Sunday morning soon gives way to Sunday afternoon.  And on Sunday afternoons, I get dragged away from my writing to assist with dinner.  Now, I like to eat and I like food.  Probably wouldn’t be able to tell if you saw me though, because to most people, I look like a recovering anorexic.  But, I’ve made salads for my family so many times that I honestly can’t stand the thought of making another salad.  I’ve sliced through my nails and had to endure the smell of onions, all to give my dad his salad.  I’ve started digging my heels in when it comes to salads to the point where my mom has actually stopped asking me if I can make them.  Yay!  My evil plan worked!

So… after I’ve basically done everything but the meat, it’s time to eat.  Once eating is done, guess who’s got the kitchen?  Trick question.  After the kitchen is done, it’s time for bed and the evening is done and gone.  That is why I have diagnosed myself with PTSD: Post Traumatic Sunday Disorder.  I also have Post Traumatic Salad Disorder, and another kind, but that will be a story for another day.  So, last night was pretty much the same thing that I explained above.  Except… I DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE THE SALAD!!!  😀

And on that note, it’s been real!