Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tit for Tat

Part of my morning battle into work each day comprises of a race around the block to the local Tim Horton's for my Extra Large Double Double.

I started to drive out of my way so that I would be on the right side of the road which allows me to make a right hand turn into the drive-thru line up.

This line up can sometimes snake its way down Caledonia.  The people attempting to join the cue from the left are quite simply, left out.  They usually have to opt to walk in because there isn't an easy way to turn left and bud into a line up half a block long.

I learned an alternative route soon after joining this office and every day I race off the 401, south on Dufferin to Orfus, West on Orfus to Caledonia, North on Caledonia to the line up for Tim Horton's.  Quick and simple, until earlier this week.

The entrance off Caledonia was closed for construction.  The only way in was to turn right on Bentworth (a street I pass on Dufferin to get to Orfus) and drive through the parking lot to the drive thru lane.

By the second day, of having to drive past the usual entrance to the second one, I had made a decision that the next day I would turn right on Bentworth and come in that way instead.

I chuckled to myself as I left my fellow racers on Dufferin.  Suckers.  They don't realize that they can't get in that way.  See ya there!

With a smirk still on my face, I pulled my car quickly onto the lot and around the corner of the building to find a line up out the original driveway, snaking down Caledonia.

Shit.  They fixed it.  Damn.  A day too late.  To make matters worse some bitch in an SUV must have realized by the look on my face what I had done and she laughed as if to say "Ha, ha!" as she pulled her vehicle closer to the one in front of her so I couldn't sneak in.

There was an older gentleman in the vehicle behind her though and he waved at me that I could go in front of him when there was movement in the line.

It warmed my heart to realize that there are some people out there still with some manners and compassion.

"$1.58 please."

"How much is the order for the man behind me?"


"I want to pay for the man's coffee behind me, how much is it?"

"Oh, I see. It's $1.20."

"Ok, here you go!"

I retrieved my coffee and sped off chuckling about what the man would think when he went to pay and was told, "No money, that lady pay for you!"

I believe that good deeds should be rewarded in some small way and he made my day!

Thank you Gentle Stranger!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Too Early

It can't be 4:30 a.m.  It feels like 8:00 a.m.  Maybe I should get up and blog for a bit and then go back to bed for a few winks before I have to get ready for work.

No, I'll lie here and try to relax.  Think of nothing and soon I'll be back to sleep.

Stop bugging me Molly.  This isn't the time for play, I'm supposed to be sleeping.  I only have 2 hours before I have to get up.

4:45 a.m.  1 hour and 45 min till wake time.  I can't believe how wide awake I am.  What time did I go to bed last night anyway?  It was at least 11:00 p.m. 

Why am I so wide awake.  I haven't been in bed long.  Usually I require a good 8 hours of sleep to feel this rested.

I should get up now.  Take a shower, have breakfast and go into work real early.

No, just lie still and stop thinking and soon you'll be back to sleep.

Think of something that is relaxing.  Visualize yourself lying on a sandy beach.  The crash of the waves in the background are lulling you to sleep.  Yeah, that feels great.  Feel that sun on my skin.  Ahhh, this is working.  Before long I'll be sleeping soundly and the additional hour and a half will do me the world of good.

When I get into work, I need to take care of that HR issue first thing.  Fax those documents before you even log on the computer.  Then make yourself scarce and work on the overtime.  I wonder if so and so is going to be back today.  If she doesn't show, make sure you take the files out of her workload and hand them out to the rest of the staff.

I better make sure that Mr. Funny deals with Miss Promises because that whole situation is driving me crazy.  Oh damn, I think we have a meeting this morning with Boss Man. 

5:08 a.m.  Shelly what the hell are you doing?  How did you end up from the sandy beach to thinking about work again.  Stop that. 

Get up and get ready for work.  You aren't even tired.  You can go into work early and take care of that paperwork before any of the staff get in.  No, I'm not going into work early dammit.  It feels like I just got home from the night before.

Why am I so wide awake?  What did I eat last night?  Did I have coffee before bed?  I wonder why coffee doesn't really affect me?  Maybe it does now and you just don't know.

Ok, just relax.  Stop thinking about work.  Think about something else.  Think about something relaxing...

5:30 a.m. Jeezus Cuhhhhrist.  This is NOT working.  I have to get up in another hour.  Maybe I'll stay in bed till 7:00.  I don't have to drive the daughter to work so no need to rush.  Piss on it.  I'll just take my time.  I just need to get back to sleep.

What was I dreaming about before I woke up?  What in the hell woke me up anyway?

8:00 a.m.  SHIT!  What day is it?  Where am I supposed to be?  Am I working today?  Why didn't my radio turn on?  DAMN IT. 

Instead of being totally early, now I'm late!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Summer Fun

Originally uploaded by Suzy Snow.
Doesn't this make you yearn to be a kid again?

Trying Something New

I'm always open to trying out new things so when MSN asked me if I was interested in changing my hotmail account to the new Windows Live version, I thought what the hell.  Might as well. 

I've already changed my yahoo account to a new beta version so why not Hotmail.

After I changed over, there was information about other Windows Live services and one of them was Windows Live Writer (Beta).  It allows me to create posts without being logged into blogger.  Once I am satisfied, I can then upload to my blog.

I'm thinking this might just inspire me to blog more. 

We'll see.  Of course, that totally means that Windows Live Writer will have to start going to my job each day and working the long hours that I have been for the past year or so. 

I'll let you know how it works out!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sugar and Spice and Everything...NICE?!?

I am not a nice person. I always thought I was but I was told today that I am not. I am crass. I think it is funny how we do not exactly see ourselves the way everyone else does. It is curious, is it not?

I must admit that my behaviour lately has not been very nice. I am blaming it on the heat. It could be hormones though. On the other hand, maybe I am stressed from too many late nights at work. Are you catching onto the pattern here? How I blame everything except myself? That is right. I operate that way. Never accept full responsibility for anything you do unless you are caught red handed. Even then, you can probably talk yourself out of a jam if you are a good talker.

I digress though. This was not going to be about me deflecting responsibility, but about my anger and me.

I am not sure, if I really have an underlying problem or if it is just the heat. I must add here that it has been incredibly hot in Toronto. Today was the hottest day this summer. It was 36 degrees Celsius but with the humidex, it felt like 47. Last night felt like the hottest night.

I work in air conditioning, drive in air conditioning and live in air conditioning, so I suppose the heat theory does not quite add up, except that I was outside when I lost my cool.

I worked late again. This is becoming a bad habit. Because of working late and being tired, I forgot to do two important tasks; go to the bank and get gas. I knew it was going to be an early start in the morning so I made a decision to go back out after eating something for supper.

My mother has been nervous ever since they announced on the news that a woman was recently raped and savagely beaten just down the block from our apartment building. Now whenever I go out, I have to hear about it. I have to listen to the “don’t come home late” lecture repeatedly.

I know she cares and that is not the problem, it is just that I feel as though I am a kid again. She insisted that Melissa go with me because by the time I started to head back out the door the sun had already fallen and it was dusk.

Melissa was not excited about going to the bank and getting gas but she could tell that my mom would not let go of it, so she grabbed her purse and out into the scary darkness we went.

The banking went smoothly. No hiccups, no robberies, we were in and out swiftly. Next, we did a quick shopping at Dominion. I thought I had been through a time warp back to the winter when I walked in and felt the blast of heat coming from the radiators in the vestibule. Beads of sweat started to pop out all over my face. I imagined that it was not noticeable and refrained from wiping them off.

The clerk at the checkout agreed with me about how stupid Dominion was for not having a good air conditioner.

“I HATE this place! The air conditioner hasn’t worked in two years!”

I moaned all the way to the car, which felt like a lot further away then when I walked into the store.

Melissa commented that I would not be a good candidate for a vacation in the Southern climes. Obviously, I cannot take the heat. She informed me that it really was not as bad as I was making it to be.

With our fudgesicles packed safely in the trunk, we scooted off to get the gas. I had noted earlier that the gas was 105.8 Cents per litre on my way home from work. Usually it will drop on a Monday or Tuesday evening and I was hoping that I would be fortuitous enough to save a penny or two.

The sign read 105.8. The station was not busy. I debated on driving around the city looking for a deal with my needle close to centering on E, but decided that I would play it safe and just buy it there. Pay full price. What the hell; its payday.

I pulled up to an empty pump and noticed a large post-it-note stuck on the outside warning that the debit was not operating. Another note was stuck on the next pump and the next. I continued around to the other side and was relieved to see there were no signs.

Expertly I opened my tank and stuck my debit card into the machine. Without waiting for the slow written instructions, I pushed the numbers deftly and pounced on the enter key as the words “push enter” began to appear on the LCD screen.

“Select grade to continue.”

I faltered for a half second as I debated internally on the merits of mid-blend over regular. Cheapness prevailed and I selected regular.

Nothing happened. I pushed it again, harder this time. Yet again, there was no response. The screen continued to read “select grade to continue.”

I repeated this sequence over and over again, each time selecting a different grade. It did not matter. The pump refused to give me cheap gas, gas that is slightly more expensive or gas that is significantly more expensive.

I turned toward the gas station where Mr. and Mrs. Gas Station Attendant were pretending to be busy looking after customers.

If only we could make eye contact, I am sure they would recognize the dilemma I was in and come out to assist.

Regardless of how hard I willed them to turn and look at me, they continued with their busy act and refused to turn. I was impressed with their strong will to resist my telepathic commands.

Not to be defeated, I resorted to pushing the “help” button.

“Calling cashier, please wait.”

I wondered what choice I had but to wait, however I was impressed with how polite the gas pump was.

Nothing happened. I did not hear a voice asking me if they could help and the “Calling cashier, please wait” message disappeared.

I pushed the help button again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And, well let’s suffice it to say that I am not entirely sure about how many times I actually did push the button. I was hoping that with every push of the button, that a loud ringing would occur inside the station where Mr. and Mrs. Gas Station Attendant were still pretending to be busy.

The beads of sweat that earlier had made my face glisten beautifully, had now formed small rivulets.

When the gas pump got tired of telling me to wait because it was calling the cashier, it simply cancelled my transaction. It had forced its hand. Now I either had to walk the 20 paces and confront Mr. and Mrs. Gas Station Attendant, or leave.

I marched into the station and demanded an explanation of why they had not answered my call for help.

“There is nothing wrong with the pump,” declared Mrs. Gas Station Attendant.

“How would you know that there is nothing wrong, when you never answered my call for help?”

“Because the screen says it is ok.”

“Well the screen is wrong because your piece of shit gas pump is broken.”

Mr. Gas Station Attendant abruptly interjected that I should have pushed the button for the intercom instead of using the help button. That way I would have been able to communicate with them.

“Then what the hell is the “help” button for?”

“I will be right out in a few minutes to assist you.”

“Forget it. I’ll take my business someplace else. Thank you so much for your GREAT customer service.”

I stormed out of the station and back to my car.

Melissa was killing herself laughing because she could tell by my face and my overly brisk walk that I was in a rage.

I explained the problem to her as I squealed off the lot and out onto the street.

A quick drive around the corner to the next gas station and I felt smug as I noted the price was a whole ½ cent cheaper.

I pulled deftly into the first available pump but stopped when I noticed a barricade of construction cones at the other end. It was confusing. Is it open or closed?

A young attendant was outside directing traffic on the lot and he yelled that it was ok, only that I would have to back out when I was finished.

Not a problem. I can do reverse. I actually reverse my car quite often when I am driving.

Just as I was stepping out of my vehicle, I heard a small beep and noticed a young man parked right behind my car. Apparently, he hadn’t noticed that I was prevented from moving up ahead by the row of cones. I ignored him. The attendant walked up to his window and spoke to him (explained the situation and the fact that he would have to back up so I could get out when I was done).

That last bit of instruction must have been too difficult for him to understand because he backed up a smidgen. Not nearly enough for a person to pull their car out and get it turned.

Again, I was not letting this irritate me. I had the entire evening and he was the one that would have to wait for me to get out of the way.

I finished my transaction at the gas pump. Printed a receipt for my record keeping (threw it casually into the back seat with the rest of the gas station receipts) and put the car into reverse.

I turned to look out my rear window and waited for Goofy to back up. He didn’t, so I didn’t. It was a classic standoff. The entire lot was full of cars by this time, all parked in different spots waiting to get at a pump. The thought did cross my mind that the attendant may have done a better job of managing how many cars he allowed onto the small lot, considering the room that was required for each of us to back up and turn around and exit by the one entrance.

Goofy backed up a little more. I backed up a little more. I still did not have clearance to turn my car around so I waited. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the attendant signalling me how to turn my wheels. I guess he figured that I was confused and did not know how to drive my car.

That was the breaking point.

“Don’t tell me how to fucking drive my car.”

“It’s not my fault. I didn’t do anything.”

“Yes you did. You are standing there motioning me on how to get out of here when I know perfectly well how to get out. Tell that asshole behind me to back up his fucking car so I can get out.”

Goofy heard me because he had his window open and he dutifully backed out of the way.

Again, I squealed off a gas station lot in a rage. I just needed to get home into the cool air again.

Melissa was questioning me about my mood as we sped home and I quickly informed her that it was not me, it was everyone else. It was all their fault. Anybody and everybody that had crossed my path was responsible for the murderous thoughts that were racing through my body at that very moment.

“I’ll tell you one thing Melissa. Your Nana does not need to worry about any rapist attempting anything with me because I would kill the fucker. He wouldn’t have a chance, the way I feel right now.”

The words were just escaping my lips when I noticed the police cars, fire truck and ambulance parked in the middle of the road, blocking my access to our building.

“I wonder what the Police would say about that,” Melissa snickered.

“Geezus…what is going on tonight?”

“I don’t know Mom, but I just want to go home.”

After taking a detour around the block, we made it safely into the garage, managed to park without incident and make our way back to our safe, cool apartment.

I went right to bed. Perhaps I was overtired.