Thursday, December 25, 2008

From The Archive: Happy Families are all Alike

The holidays are all about family, undoubtedly because of all the time spent amongst them. Families come from all over the country to see each other, eat food, give thanks, exchange gifts and inevitably bicker. some Uncle says something to some cousin who cries about it to their mom who happens to be the sister in law of said uncle. Things always get messy and that's why they only do it a couple times a year. The following poem, written in High School is a tribute to dysfunctional families and how they are in fact functional in a way "happy families" never could be. Anyway here is the poem, I have no clue as to what I wrote it for, the former title of the file gave me no clues. All we have is the result. Enjoy. Merry Christmas!

Happy families are all alike;
Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
But are the happy families truly happy?
They put on smiles, and sing and dance;
Making it seem that way.
But no quarrels or qualms they grow tired.
They begin to ask, “What is wrong?”
They start to second guess the love their family,
And wonder if it all just an act.
Is it a fake love or is it true love,
One can not love when smiles are all that can be found.
Because arguments have to happen,
Or something must be wrong.
That is why happy families are all alike.
They all do not know what makes them so “happy.”
Now an unhappy family is not unhappy all the time.
When they are happy they know it.
They take that moment, however small,
And cherish it until the next happy moment comes.
Happy moments they notice, unlike their “happy” counterparts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nothing New

Sorry, but there will be nothing new here today, the Underling is preparing for Christmas at home and finishing up his Co-Op so he will have little time to post over the next couple days. There will be a post tomorrow that I have scheduled. It's an archive post so there was little work on my part. Saturday I will be attending a party for a Mr. Eric Zetterval on Saturday evening which will be taking place at every bar in the downtown area. I am with out a doubt certain there will be things to talk about. Also next Wednesday will be my last day at the BRA so there will be some posts along that line.

Until then I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Office Appliances

I'm about ready to go Michael Bolton on about 10 different pieces of Office Equipment right now.

Why is it that all Office Equipment (at least all Office Equipment I have ever worked with) either is incredibly outdated (my computer), makes a high pitched screech (the copier) or simply refuses to work the way it is supposed to (no specific example because everything here malfunctions). I mean really I should have two screens, a faster processor and 1 GB of ram on this thing and my job would be far easier, cheaper and propably eliminate another employee. It's infuraiating.

The real source of my anger is the copier which occasionally makes this really high pitched sound that would drive a dog insane. The first time it took me 20 minutes to locate it and then shut down the machine. Now I only have to get up and shut the machine off everytime it happens because I know who the culprit is. But still I want to bring a baseball bat in to work.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I was debating putting this on Twitter but then my Twitter went down.

I successfully got around having the "You did a fine job, and we will miss you" conversation with my boss's boss (Trish's boss Christine) today by leaving the meeting immediately and hiding in the men's room for about 10 minutes.

I'm dreading my final day and I am dreading having to fill out my evaluation with Trish and any other surprises that come my way. I should just call in sick on my last day. Then again that would be an awkward phone call.

More on this later.

Zippity doo da, Zippity day

My oh my what a wonderful day.

Well today I officially got myself a Zip Car membership. Which means I no longer need to borrow a car from my parents (independence inches even closer!) or get a cab when I want to buy something that can not be carried home on the T (The T doesn't go all the way to BJ's). All that for $50 a year plus $10 an hour or less to use the car. Much cheaper than the $2000 my dad pays for my insurance not to mention the cost of buying the car, of housing the car, maintenance, and gas (included in Zip car price). It's so much more economical for a person living in the city in their twenties.

Now let's hope I don't get into an accident.....

From The Archive: The Christmas Impostor

Back in High School I was on the school newspaper called The Gillnetter. Yes I was a blowhard early on in life as well. While most of my articles were difficult to sift through and find any type of coherent meaning some were slightly comprehendible to the audience it was meant for. The following article I wrote for the Christmas issue and I suppose still has relevance today and I figured instead of lashing out at corporate America again I would just give you a piece I have written before. I guess I didn't need to post this then. Here you have it, a High School version of what I posted yesterday, from the archives: The Christmas Impostor.

(As before anything in this color delineates a note from my present self)

Where is my Christmas? (The nerve of that young man)  What has corporate America done with it? Who is this gift bearing impostor? This is no Saint Nick I see, this is some fat man hired by big business to take my money! (Oh how little you knew!)
Money, Money, Money! That is all the corporate giants see when they find Christmas on the calendar. And all they think about is how best to make more money than the previous year. That would explain why it appears that Christmas comes earlier every year (I'm going to start keeping track of that next year, maybe it will be a new feature "When _______ started this year!).
That thought occurs to me once every year, you know the thought, it usually happens when you walk into CVS (Or Borders) in mid November and see Christmas decorations throughout the store (Pre-Thanksgiving this year). You just stand there in awe and, if you are anything like me, use an explicative or two to show your bewilderment (Such a bad ass this kid is, someone should let him know). Some of us, alright maybe just me, go up to the manager and ask them if they have gotten their dates or holidays mixed up in some way because it is clearly not even Thanksgiving yet. The manager generally replies that its corporate policy and he, or she, knows nothing more. (Those last two sentences were bold faced lies, there is no way, I mean it was impossible that at that point in my life I would walk up to a stranger, let alone a stranger with authority and say something like that. LIAR!)
That answer leaves me wondering, are we all OK with this impostor Christmas that has been installed by corporate America or is it that we are all just oblivious to it? Are we content with a Christmas that mandates lavish gifts for all and decorations and the festivities to be up and running by mid-October? Or do we all just not realize that the true meaning of Christmas has been masked by a scheme from the Fortune 500? (I don't think I knew what the Fortune 500 was at this point)
By no means am I trying to be Ebenezer Scrooge (Yes you are), I mean I do enjoy the holiday. Sorry to disappoint but I actually do like Christmas time (Really, because I could have swore that you were just ripping it for the past few minutes). I’m not the complete anti-society child you take me for (Wrong, I am such a shut in). It is just I do not think we should start the Christmas festivities so early. Allowing corporate America to take Christmas and stretch it over a three-month span takes away from the true meaning and feeling of Christmas. What ever happened to the twelve days of Christmas? Why can’t we put up a real tree a few days before Christmas (Now that is something I can get behind) and take it down a week or so after? Why does it have to be up right after Thanksgiving and down the day of Christmas? That’s not Christmas spirit that’s just going through the motions, showing to the world that you can go out and buy the gifts and put on a good show. Anyone can buy a gift and put up a tree, but it takes a real human to actually have some feeling behind it.
So this year go out and buy a real tree and buy some slightly cheaper gifts that will actually mean something to the recipient, and please don’t just go through the motions.
A Merry Christmas to All!

That's a whole lot of Christmas ranting for someone who is not all that religious. I was such a liar back then, and a bad one at that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas Season

I don't think I truly understood how big of a deal Christmas is in the retail industry. I mean I knew that it is the biggest shopping time of the year but I didn't know that Christmas is the be all end all for retail stores, if you have a bad Christmas season then it goes without saying that you will have a bad year.

As you all know I work at Borders, the one at the Cambridge Side Galleria, so yes once a week I go to a mall. In this realm I am my fathers son, I despise malls, there is just too many people "shopping". When I go to a mall I am going to buy a specific item, not to look around and leave without buying what I came for. The environment is too sterile and preconceived for me to enjoy being there, it's corporate and I really don't like corporate things.

But alas one must make a living, or try to, so I work where I get the most benefit. Borders being a bookstore and I primarily only buying books when I buy things it was the place for me. Which in the end makes me feel better about trying to sell items to people. Where I work they are buying items that expand knowledge, provide entertainment and enjoyment. It's not a nick-knack, or a gimmicky piece of electronic equipment.

Yet still in the current economy I feel like it is wrong to try and push more expensive items on people who can not afford it and probably should do without for the time being. I know our store isn't making plan each week and I know that has resulted in hours being cut and pressure being put on the staff to sell more items. My own job is at stake but yet I would feel bad pressuring other people in order to guarantee my own job.

That's why I'm not meant for retail.