I have returned to the motherland. Coming home to Washington, D.C. in July is what my mom calls a “hardship post” (which I looked up and is an overseas post where living conditions are difficult due to climate, crime, health care, pollution or other factors, soooo that’s that..) Its humid as shit like someone is constantly lightly spitting on your face and its typically 104 degrees. With this extreme heat comes the endless search for a pool membership. Half of my street is part of one town and the half I live on is apart of something else, I don’t even know what.. but I think we have our own mayor which is the lamest thing to be a mayor of, ever. “Top of the day to ye, Mayor Grimsby, what will you being doing this year on your half a street? There was talk of a speed bump”(I don’t know why but I always think mayors are English). Its weird. Anywhos we, on this end of the street are not belonging to any pool. Even when the top half of the street has block parties I am not sure we can attend which is awkward because I live on a dead-end street. So, not only are we not allowed to join in the block party festivities of hot dogs, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a moon bounce but we cannot leave. It’s like a strange suburbia modern-day punishment of sorts, “Hey look, its our block party, you can’t come and you can’t go anywhere else so just observe from a far bitches” (wha?). Anyways, this is where I live and we have also not be assigned to a pool which sucks, hard. In such case we go to the public pool which is basically like saying, “Yea, you know what? I’m just going to head off for a swim in a large basin of piss for an hour and probably be thrown up on while my clothes get stolen from the changing room.” Eff’ it, its hot and my mom has a 10 visits pass.
It’s blistering hot we head over to the pool on our bikes. My mom takes in her bike basket for fear it will be vandalized or stolen by hooligans. In we go, me, my mom and the basket. We swivel through this kind of rotating metal round about gate that looks like it’s from the dark ages. The changing room is set up in a prison like fashion with just a cement room, shower heads sticking out of the walls and a few lost bars of soap. That’s it. We decided we would go over to the lap pool because there is a decreased risk of contracting Hepatitis A. As we walk over this lady sneaks up behind me and yells in my ear “WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR POOL WRAP!!!” (Oh, hello there, you are right here, and very close to me) “Oh! hi, ummm Loehman’s in 2007 I think” “WOW, its amazing. Like, I just want a plain one because my bathing suits are really colorful and most of the time you get the really busy looking one and I just don’t think they look good. I either want one in white or black but also a little trendy and stylish you know?” (yes, I do know. But why are you telling me, can I leave now? are we walking together? where’s my mom? are you on cocaine?) “Sure, I can understand that..thank you.” She continued to discuss her pool-wrap/cover-up dilemma as I listened and suggested an array of retail stores where she may be able to find what she was looking for (what? why). I have never talked to someone I didn’t know for so long and so much, about nothing.
We continue to walk over and the talk-inside-cho-face lady jumps in one of the swim lanes with some other lady and proceeds to talk at her face for the next 25 laps about her friend that is overweight. That lady didn’t know her either, she just said they could share lanes. Anywhos, chatty Roberta is now occupied and Mom and I have spotted a nice little grassy knoll to lay our towels on. Oh, at public pools you just lay about, no chairs. Once I was sprawled out it was really quite enjoyable and the lap pool is pretty clean, accept there is always one pervy man who just kind of lingers at the end of your lane, I’m not sure why. But when you reach that end your either steer clear or just cut your laps short, that’s just what it is.
We are seated next to one of those guys who talks excessively loud and seems to always be “closing deals” or yelling at his secretary, Margaret. After the longest phone call known to man he proceeded to listen to his disc-man (yes, disc-man). And starts to sing along (scream violently/yell) with the music he is listening to which to me sounded like it belonged in the Ethiopian folk song genre (you heard me). Lots of chanting, beats, a few whistles and hmmmm sounds on a loud continuous repeat. Amidst this, a lifeguard gets on the loudspeaker….”Attention all pool patrons, you must evacuate the pool immediately. I repeat, evacuate the pool immediately” This, at a public pool means one thing and one thing only. Someone has shat in the pool. Of course someone shit in the pool (wtf? why, can you just not?). Everyone clears out like a plague cloud is storming through (do plague clouds exist?) Men in what look like quarantine outfits come out in search of the fecal sample, with equipment- nets, shovels, trapping devices, assorted face masks etc..(the net is stupid, that definitely wont work). After 2o minutes of deep sea turd-hunting, one of the lifeguards pours what has to be an unhealthy amount of chemicals in the pool to remedy the destruction said turd had caused. Meanwhile, all 1,534 children that were in the pooped-in larger pool, have to swim in this tiny-ass side pool. They literally are all just standing in there, packed in and attempting to play but there simply is no room. No Marco Polo today kids, Marc and Polo are literally standing right next to you. We decided to leave at this point. After being yelled at in my face, a stage 4 poop in the pool, and 1,500 kids stiffly just standing in the water, there was no room or time for pool day leisure. Regardless, I will be going back tomorrow. I have no choice.
When it comes to cohabitation there are a few finer things then finding some solid-ass roomies. When your living quarters are comprised of people that may just be as mental as you are its like discovering a unicorn, you know they exist but shit, they are rare. This is how I feel about Alice (the Kiwi) and Una (the Irish). It all started on a an afternoon in cyberspace when I replied to a flatmate ad Alice posted online. Later that afternoon we had arranged to go on a girl-date for an opportunity to suss each other out and gauge our compatibility. Girl-date consisted of a drink at CBH (read post before this if you don’t know what this is), banter about drunken escapades, lifestyle choices, man-candies and preference in foods. Balls, girl dates are easy. I could discuss all of the above for the next 10 hours. Alice passed my mental checklist with flying colors as someone who would be able to put up with my antics, seemingly cool and most likely will not kill me in my sleep. Next came Una, Alice had also met her online (Alice, lay off the internet you scoundrel) and met her at the movie theater bar (who does that?) for a drink and a little chit-chat. How did this conversation even go? “You wanna grab a drink to meet up?” ‘Yea, sure” “How about any establishment that serves beverages?” “Sounds good” “OK, Ah yes, well meet in the upstairs lobby of the cinema” (wha?). For whatever reason I couldn’t attend, otherwise I would have put a stop to this fools errand and had us meet at place where other people go, not just weirdos. In the beginning of anything you never really know what your in for and I can tell you I would have never had guessed.
And so it begins…
There are a few things you have to know about our a apartment and they are as follows:
1. There must be at least 7% of empty space left available on the TV show recorder at all times or I’m pretty sure Alice will commit a small case of murder.
2. If we have guests over for dinner, once the dinner is over everyone must participate in a human pyramid. (smallest on top, which is always Una, she hates when we do this cause these human pyramids end up being pretty ‘effing tall.)
3. Do not go to the East Wing unless absolutely necessary. It is a long journey and we have lost many a good men.(the east wing is my room which is way in the back past the bathroom and the laundry room, we thought about putting in a water station halfway cause it is that ‘effin far away. I also have a single rose that floats around in a glass dome and loses petals until I find Belle.)
4. Whilst in the apartment, should you come across a new species of insect that looks like a miniature cow do not squash it!! It is our mini-cow, we saw him once and now wait patiently for his triumphant return.
5. We, as most apartments do, have a resident gnome who steals shit. Ours has, naturally, at least 65 single socks along with a vast collection of bobby pins and one bottle of face lotion. (I’ll get you last!)
6. Should you wake up in the morning and there be additional plants and other tree-like vegetation now in the apartment, it is OK, Alice steals greenery when shes drunk as well as milk crates and anything you can sit on.
7. Should you go into Una’s room, do not touch anything. It will fall apart into a million pieces. She does not read Ikea instructions.
8. These words cannot be used under any circumstances in the apartment or in the company of apartment residents:
Squirt or squirting
* Should you need to use these words, use as such: “Wow, this cake is the M word and S-words out chocolate goo when you cut into it.”
9. We rehearse the phone call excerpt from the Liam Neeson film, Taken nearly every night until perfection is reached.
10. Should Alice stand up abruptly and insist on making a speech, this speech will be about why she is going to bed so early and what time she has to wake up…..please ignore.
11. Nearly every appliance in the apartment has a name. So if someone says, ” Shit-man, Henry is the worst at sucking up all the couch hairballs.” Don’t be alarmed we are talking about our lame-ass vacuum.
12. Everyone in the apartment owns and wears “friendship pj’s.”
That pretty much covers it…..example of day to day behavior is as follows:
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Exhibit A: (dialogue excerpts taken from 20 minutes of casual apartment talk):
“Be honest with me, did you or did you not use my baby wipes?”
“Dance routine practice started an hour ago….”
“Whaaattt?! I spent more money on a kebab then I did on alcohol.”
“I said it needed to be “Dora the Explorer inconspicuous”…. “Yea, that’s totally legit.”
“Oh my God please perform a puppet show from behind that sheet.”
“Ah cheese wrapper, very suspecting…” “Who has cheese?” “No one. That’s why its suspecting…”
“Something about a guy in a turtleneck….ya know?”
“Do you let out one last fart before you die?” “Yea, I think so.”
(Watching Taken 2 Trailer) “This is awesome. And I don’t even know what he’s doing.”
“Look at how much steam is near my face”
“Ummmm who said you could use that bowl?”
“Listen, if your going to do anything you can continue doing the crab walk.”
Mid-afternoon Dance Sequence:
Overly Competitive Game of what they call Cluedo: (It is simply “Clue” no “-do” is needed)
After two hours of Alice saying “Ahhhh a very interesting development” after every card…I guessed first and was completely ass wrong. Alice had shown me the revolver twice already and I still guessed it was Mrs. Peacock in the Conservatory with the Revolver. I suck at this game and who’s murder are we trying to solve anyway? They never say. Oh, and Colonel Mustard can get fucked.
Gratuitous Hangover Pictures:
This weekend was unparallelled to anything I have ever experienced before. It contained all your common denominators of boozing, trying to attract the opposite sex and busting out go-to dance moves but something was different, very, very different. It all started on a casual Friday night when me and my flatmate, Alice decided, ‘eff it were gonna go out just for one or two (which typically ends you up in the 20-30 range). We have been on quite the going out hiatus and with our new found passion for red wine, we would grab the moment by its balls and indulge recklessly. It is always the nights when you plan for nothing, hope for nothing, that things fucking rip. And so it begins..
Pre-gaming session starts around 5:00 pm with a fine bottle of vintage 1973 Merlot (that’s a lie: $12.99 Riesling from LiquorLand). Who should we go out with? We have these drunk Irish neighbors that always want to hang out so after ringing up Alice like they were trying to get hold of a sex hotline we decided we would head down and meet these crazies. (Bit of a background story, one night when Alice and I were super drunk we decided we would break into their place, (the door was not locked, we just walked in) (can you have parenthesis, inside of parenthesis, inside of parenthesis?)) anywhos, we entered and wandered around thinking no one was there and then organized their unnecessary amount of mustard and ketchup bottles left available on their dining table. (wtf, why? whateves.) After that was successfully completed we ripped out a page from their yellow pages (why do these still exist?) and left them a note containing somewhat of the following)))<–I lost count of these.)
We are your neighbors in number 15. We stopped by.
You are not here. Hit us up on the flipside. whacka whacka.
Alice & Nina
(included on note: a miniature picture of two stick figures standing, holding hands.)
We wanted to leave the note lodged between their two doors, (because god-forbid they do not see this artifact containing important information) which was quite the effort and took ages, so while doing so we contemplated about just sleeping on their floor. Cause how funny would it be if they came home and two completely random people were sleeping on your floor? (I would find that hilairous-sos). After some solid thinking we decided against it merely due to the fact that their apartment smelled like musty humidity swept up inside a mildew cloud peppered with a thick mustard film wrapped up in wank tissues. Guy apartments are gross. So we left and went back up to our place. Ever since they found the note, (which made absolutely no sense) and realized we had broken in (walked into) their apartment, they deemed us as the coolest bitches around (a total of 12 people live in our building) and have made every effort to hang out, which is fair enough. So tonight we would.
Alas! back to this weekend, after 3 to 4 bottles of wine (each) our friend Livvy comes over and we head down to the Irish. Which is seriously like 7 flights of stairs below us and after twirly whirling for like an hour we finally arrive. Upon entering, we see three rather ill dressed guys chilling on their sofas with beers in hand. They greet us and we begin to recap the events of the other night. It is the hardest thing on earth to understand some Irish (just some, Una, I love you), the fucked up thing is you know they are speaking English so you cant really stand there for too long looking completely dumbfounded and like a lost baby emu. After awhile I got a few things straight, one of them is referred to as “The Cat” mainly because he sleeps on the floor and always does the dishes, after which he will fluff his tail and tussle it around the sofa bed… (yes, I know wtf, wha? that is actually what I got from the conversation). One guy is literally drunk every time we see him and he tries to get us to be as well. Yelling at us off the balcony at 11:00 am on Sunday mornings, ” Ah ye what ya doin? Why don’t you come up for a wee drink there, hey, ya, eh?” (Please no. why? not now). Lastly, we gathered that they are all pretty hilarious and would be good move to be in cohutz with the only other young people in the building.
A couple of bottles of wine later we decided to head out– the Irish aren’t coming with us and that’s cool cause were looking to creep. Due to the dodgy weather we decided to hit up our local pub-u-lar, CBH or (Coogee Bay Hotel) which is this massive establishment that is I kid you not, a hotel, pub, liquor store, giant bottle shop, club, beach bar, outdoor BBQ, restaurant, casino, sports bar and beer garden. Basically, like a giant fucked up bio-dome that you never have to leave, only things missing are an indoor traveling circus act (that doesn’t make sense) and maybe a lagoon of sorts with endangered wildlife living in it. The only time you would need to leave is if you get kicked out–which everyone does at least once because their crazy strict on the drunking laws over here. Not like in the U.S. when the only time you get thrown out is when your puke all over someones face or you punch a bartender. Here if you accidentally trip on something or have something in your eye that makes it turn pinkish-red in color (or pink eye for that matter) – you are out. The bouncers even ask you how much you have had to drink as you get finger printed (yes, fucking fingerprinted, this is like CIA, FBI shit) after you are finger print scanned in, laser eye match-detected and strip searched the bouncer will ask you how many you have had. This always throws me for a loop cause if you say just one or two then he knows your lying but if you say how much you have actually had your fucked. I usually go with… to quote my Swedish friend Elin, “2 liters of wine and some booze” which is vague enough that they don’t really know how to respond and so in you go.
The CBH is like a breeding ground for people to pick up, not in a seedy way but everyone is on the prowl… which I guess is how most bars are. But anywhos it opens up into this massive beer garden where we usually will sit first, and with all our might savagely seek out a booth closest to the most good looking wolf pack of man-candies. Once in, we will disperse immediately– some to the bathroom for those who have to pee, some to the bar to pick up drinks and others to locate our prime seating location. After all is said and done we reconvene at said booth and immediately begin to rapid-fire converse and laugh hysterically (it is our understanding that men are attracted to women who laugh a lot, finding them relaxed, free, and willy nilly).
After a brief session of laughing our heads off, the second round duty is on me and Alice, we hate going to bar. There is this one bartender who is always there, literally always, (like the gym guy) and always mentions how often we are there. We decided one night after a few cocktails that he was a spitting image of Phillip Phillips and therefore was bangin’ hot and also had a Southern twang to him (none of this is true, our beer goggles were securely on, he is Australian and he actually looks like a prepubescent teen with hair that is cut like Lego man’s) Regardless we decided to slip him a napkin with a note on it (seems like we do this a lot, fwarks.) On it was this:
Dear Mr. Dream Weaver,
We think you are the dreamiest of the weavers.
Call me. (no number was provided)
Love & Kissies,
Alice & Nina
After this note was handed over he has since then acted very differently around us and very differently around the bar. I would like to take all credit for his new found confidence but who knows. Since then he looks like a new man, I’m pretty sure he must now be using Pro-activ cause his skin looks great, his hair is now tousled in that “look I’m messy and don’t care but really my locks are purposely tendrilized and I look sexy as hell” (yes, that was the hair talking) and his collar is now always popped (which is a sure sign of confidence or douchebaggery). He shouts at the other bartenders and orders them around like peasant boys, “Hey Yo Fernando, you need to pick up these glasses, and grab me a bottle of Apple Pucker from the back while your at it” “Ladies, ladies, what can I get for you” As he leans into the bar in almost a half ballet squat thing and electric slides over to the beers on tap. “Ummm just a bottle of house white?” (who is this guy? and why is he so incredibly mobile? just stand still.) “Not a problem I’ll just fill this up for you” (ditty dum-dum no bigs, whoopa lala loo). Watching him is like watching a new born giraffe find his feet, he is all over the place and since now he can walk, exuding confidence. He continues his authoritative yells, “Oi hey Laura, these drinks wont pour themselves, lets get a move on.” Finally, after watching him for what seemed like 2 and a half hours and what was an impromptu performance of modern dance with a side show of puppetry we receive our drinks with a giant smile of (what I like to think), gratitude.
After we buy our round we decide to change scenery and hit up Selina’s, the dance club on the premises. Which most of the time is pretty ‘effin dead due to the mass amount of room (like literally it’s the size of an indoor ice rink) and small amount of patrons (7-12 people tops). Once inside, we scout out the scene and within what seems like milli-seconds Livvy is off dancing with some babe and me and Alice are left to our own devices.
We see a group of guys that we noticed outside in the beer garden and are keen to talk to them. But how? they are way over there…and this is how it began. Me, “I think we should dance over” Alice: “Like in a line?” Me: “Yea” Alice: “Alright.” If any of you have seen The Inbetweeners movie (see link if unfamiliar) this is exactly how it went.. Alice started off in their direction with strong moves and I followed close behind her in a line formation with this jutting out leg swivel with alternating sides along with a finger point towards the legs to accentuate their direction and intended path (wha?). After about two and half minutes of limbs flailing all over the place in a “so crazy it just might work” manner we finally are in the vicinity of the guys and one of them calls us over. “Oh hey.” “Hey.” “Ummm did you guys see us dance over here?” “Well, yea. You came from way over there and this place is empty” “Oh yea…well?” “Yea it was good, what are your names?” (WTF!!?? how did this work and why have I not been doing it for the last 7 years of my life? whhaaa). If I had known you could rhythmically dance over to guys and they would respond favorably I probably would be married with kids by now. We chatted with them for a while and they were cool and all but we wanted to bust out some more dance moves considering we were on this high. As we did.
The DJ’s there all suck… they insist on playing the hits from the 80’s- 90’s (wtf, WHY?) But no one really cares as it gets later and later everyone loves a good tune they can sing-a-long with and just maybe know a choreographed dance to. Enter Thriller. This pictures solidifies the idea that I am 100% the biggest weirdo. My friend Becky took this of her friend Crystal..and that is me in the background, BY MYSELF and unaware any picture is being taken. (WTF, whyyy cant I just be normal) This is when Thriller came on in the club and apparently this is my interpretation of the dance, a freak arm movement and my face actually looks like I have been time warped into the 1983 zombie video.
All in all we learned some good lessons…
1. When in doubt simply dance over
2. Never trust an Irishman nicknamed, “The Cat”
3. Always leave notes with people, especially lacking in confidence bartenders
4. Laugh all the time.
Oh and drink heaps of red wine, preferably Cab. Sav. or Merlot none of that Pinot Noir shit.
The gym isn’t even an oasis for normality. You would think a place so bland and boring as a center to improve your overall health & fitness would lack in the “weird shit is happening” category. Well , no. Not in the slightest. Mainly due to my own vices but also a lot to do with the vast majority of weirdos that attend the gym regularly. The list is as goes and should be relatively familiar:
1. The person you see there always. It doesn’t matter what time you go, what day, they are there…working out.. ALWAYS. (you again…wtf? how are you always here?)
2. The overly competitive person to your right. (listen, if you pump it up to level 13 lords knows I’m going 14, …don’t look over here)
3. The overly muscly but just on the top half guy who bench presses and then walks around a lot (have you forgotten about your legs? how do they support your massive upper body? and why are you walking around so much, the same shit is still going on over here..)
4. The lady that is always changing in front of your locker (wtf how are you always changing? is there a time when you are just dressed? and why in front of my locker? there is no one here and ample space to continue your changing charade elsewhere…)
All these people exist with out fail at my gym and I keep a mental note of them as I walk in. Like today….I say “Why, hello” to Mrs. swipe-in-card-lady <swipe/swipe> Don’ mind if I do walk in being that I am a gym member (no bigs) . By the way I never walk to the gym in my sneakers…its weird I spent $200 on these fance sneakers and refuse to wear them on public walks cause I am convinced they are the equivalent of disco platforms. I feel ginormous in them so I walk to the gym in flip flops or flat(ter) shoes and change into my gym sneakers once I’m there. Its just my thing, whateves. So I’m walking pass Hello Mrs. Lady to the women’s locker room to claim my locker #029, there are approximately 300 other lockers but Ive grown a liking to this one in particular so when its taken… I’M FUCKIN’ PISSED OFF. Nah its not that big of a deal I just grab another one but if it just so happens when I come back down the person is there who snagged it, I will give her the stink eye. And she will have no fucking idea why. Anywhos, I’m at my locker to change out of my “walk to the gym shoes” into “my gym shoes” (quotes weren’t needed there because they actually are my gym shoes, but you get my drift). And I scurry up the stairs so nobody gives me the “damn shes tall, oh.. but look at her massive sneakers” look and jump on the 3rd elliptical (yes, I also enjoy my one and only elliptical, if someones on it I get thrown for a loop and go home) Anywhos I’m on and were off….and I start to survey the scene and tick the boxes.
Yup there’s that guy….he always wears the grey singlet with his work boots and he is always here, always. CHECK. What does he actually do for work? and what does he do here? there are only so many machines in this place. They should have some kind of rule where you cant be there for more than 4 hours otherwise loitering laws come into play. I’m pretty sure this is where this guy hangs out, “Hey yo Pete, what you doin’ tonight?” “Yea just hitting the gym” “Cool man.” “Yea well you wanna do something?” “Nah man I’m at the gym.”
Next on the list, ahh yes….whats this? a fellow ellipticall-er pumping up the levels like she’s paid for it. Look I can swish my arms like this….swish swish and even back pedal..I know it looks weird but I can do it and really fast too. I can even take my arms off the arm things, look no hands…no bigs… (Later suckkaaahh). I’m pretty sure I won the elliptical race as well as the race of time. Or no race at all because she was probably just working out normally and didn’t even notice my insane increasing of levels, backwards elliptical row or the no hands finale.
Once she gets off, feeling pretty defeated I’m sure… focus goes back to my surroundings. YES. the man with giant upper body and the wee little bittle legs is amongst us. CHECK. Its like watching a Cyclops of sorts you don’t look at him straight on but the giant eye is just so effing distracting. Of course there he is in his element, bench pressing like all hell (please no more you don’t need to work out your arms anymore, look! your legs.. they are looking toothpick-like and vulnerable do something with them). Immediately after his bench press his arms flail off and up and he begins the weight lifters walk around. Kind of like someone who has to pee but is taking the really long way to the bathroom he grazes along each section of the gym looking like a silver back gorilla (with small legs) and then shoots off back to the arm machine. Just plain weird. I just want to hold his face like the fat kid in Billy Madison and say “Pleassseee no moorrreee arrms.”
It is time to leave now that my superfecta of familiar faces have shown up, done what they do best and there is no one on the machine next to me to competitively race against. I head downstairs back to the locker room and there she is….must be 40-45 years, short brown bob and changing in front of my locker. I’m just waiting for her to put on a costume of sorts because there is only so many times you can change in and out of gym clothes to casual wear and out again. I am hoping to limit the time of waiting amongst her until she is “fully clothed” which will never happen in my lifetime. So I decide to hit the steam room…I don’t tend to bring a change of clothes and because I thoroughly enjoy the steam room I typically decided to eff it and go in fully clothed. People mainly think I don’t understand the concept of the steam room which is fine…I’m perfectly happy chilling in my work out gear sweating up to wazoo. I do get the wtf look through the tempered glass every time a passer byer glances in. Fwark its hot in here, probably why most people go in naked.
I return a little while after sweating like a hostage to find that my locker is still “occupied” by changing lady numero uno. I decide I will just succumb to her antics and do the uncomfortable reach around to open my locker and take out all my stuff by hovering it carefully over her head. (how are you still here? changing? wtf, why?) I get my stuff together and change into to my now “walk home from the gym” shoes. It would be strange to show up and not see the regulars. I really do appreciate everyone in all their glory. Except for changing lady, she can jog on.
Living abroad has enabled me to explore the wonderful world of shitty jobs. I just finished up my masters degree so until I leave Sydney I’m trying to pack in as many occupations as humanly possible…well two jobs and I only work 3 days a week the others days I live a life of leisure and as a stay at home mom with no kids but cleans a shit load (mainly on Adderall). Anywhos, yesterday I had my first day filling in for a receptionist at a non-for profit that saves animals I FEEL SO SORRY for any receptionist and I am so lucky I only have to succumb to the berating nature of the general public once a week. Which is 8 hours too long.
I would like to start off by saying I was introduced to this job by the OHS officer, Sonya (Sonya- lady with purple hair off centered and cut in this angled bob with the spikey back, goth, she had the hefty black boots too, and shes also in her mid-50’s) telling me that I should never take the elevator with out my mobile phone. NEVER. Because 1 in 17 (yes, they had stats) would be stuck in the elevator for up to an hour. Also, when you need to call the emergency elevator people you need to address your elevator by the number below the level buttons not up high. Otherwise you would be telling them the wrong elevator and thus stuck for longer as they scowl the elevator bank. However, on a lighter note, she told me if I were to become stuck in between floors (which seems to be the preference among the staff) I would simply need to turn myself sideways and “shimmy” out. WHAT!? shouldn’t people not be working in this death trap? She also continued by pointing at an empty chair, “See that chair?” “That’s were Virginia sat… she went in the elevator one night, after hours (ooo risky move, Virginia) and was stuck in there for two hours.” ummmm where is Virginia now? and why are we talking about her like we lost her in battle?
After 30 minutes of elevator de-briefing I thought well if I get stuck..at least I will get over one of my worst fears of all time. And if I need to shimmy out, who doesn’t enjoy a good shimmy?
After the “intro” or elevator rules and exit plans I was left to my own vices. NO ONE TOLD ME ANYTHING. Except to answer the phones. After taking a few calls a guy named Mark came up to my desk and said I could transfer calls to him if I did not know the answers. For the next two hours every call was transferred to Mark. “Hello?” “Yes, whats that?” “One moment, I’ll just have to transfer you to Mark.” “Hello, you like orangutans?” “Great, me too.” “I’ll transfer you to Mark.”
After Mark was literally assaulted by calls, emotionally, psychically and sometimes even sexually, in steps Samantha (names are changed**because I think that’s what you have to do) Samantha said if Mark is busy I can transfer calls to her. Great, grand, wonderful two people on board to handle the inquiries of a national non-profit with 87 year olds calling to chat or complain about how we sent them stickers and return address labels that they hate. For the next two hours a tango of transfers to Mark ext. 224 or transfers to Samantha ext. 220 went on until it was time to leave. I can say I accomplished nothing except receiving a streamline of hilarious requests and bizarre statements that left me in hysterics. As follows:
Direct quotes from people calling in….
“We don’t want those ching-chongs cutting up animals for fur coats.”
“You cant just will nilly send out these pamphlets to make pensioners like me feel guilty about the tigers…”
“I am an animal lover, I have 3 cats, one is in the bed with me right now…..”
“CUSTOMER NUMBER 33808….CUSTOMER NUMBER 33808…..”
“Listen I heard in America they gas all the animals….can you look into that?”
Number of people stuck in the elevator today…. TOTAL: 2
I will continue to update…..as I’m sure shit will continue to be weird as hell… 🙂