Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I pretend I can be positive about life

I tried not to get too depressed yesterday. I decided I was going to be positive all day at work. I would not complain about customers under my breath. I would not sigh every time a customer handed me a yellow Western Union form. I was going to have a positive attitude like you.

Staying positive is a lot of hard work. I had to remind myself not to question "the idiots" that call me at work asking me if we have a Chase Bank in our store. "I might not be an information operator," I told myself, "but that does not mean I need to let simple questions bother me."

Thirty minutes into work I got a call asking, "if I knew any flu shot locations." I told the customer (after much digging around and keeping other customers waiting) that indeed we had flu shots. I even told the customer what time they would occur.

The information I gathered for the customer was not enough. He wanted to know about flu shots for store locations in Chandler. I remembered a website that offered store locations and times for flu shots. I asked the customer if he had access to the internet. I figured if I had access to the internet, and I was surfing on a 99 dollar bargain computer why wouldn't a fifty something living in the heart of suburbia have a computer? I mean who was this guy, John McCain?

John McCain did not have the internet and got grumpy when I asked him if he did. So I gave him a phone number to a Chandler store and hoped they could help.

It was not long before I got another call asking me about "the bank" in my store location. I get very angry when people call me and ask me questions about the bank in my store. I knew keeping calm during this phone call would be difficult, but I felt it was a challenge that I needed to take on if I really was going to try to be positive rather than negative at work.

In the past I wondered why customers did not call the bank directly to ask their questions. It seemed simpler to me. If I want information about something I would go to the source whenever possible. Since I get so many calls a day asking me non-grocery store related questions I thought that god must be punishing with me or something. I tried to understand why someone would go through all the trouble of looking up a phone number in the yellow pages and choose the number that only had a possibility of an answer over choosing a phone number that should definitely contain the answer.

I went over the possible reasons in my mind. I decided that my customers must be either lazy or inconsiderate. I figured they did not want to navigate the complex and lengthy automated phone lines banks often use and instead they wanted to take their chances with a live person, hoping that I could answer their questions for them.

Maybe I jumped to a conclusion. I do that a lot. A couple of days ago I called the Fro's parents and left a couple of messages. I never heard back from them. I got angry at them for not calling me back, cursing the lack of courtesy the Fro's family showed me even though I hate answering the phone and returning messages myself.

After the last message I tried dialing a variation of the phone number I had. The new number worked and I got a hold of the Fro's parents. I drove over to get the mail key and copy of the electric bill that I was told we were a month behind on.

The moral of the story is that sometimes the people who are ignoring your phone calls think you you are ignoring them. And sometimes the people calling your store to ask you questions about a bank accidentally glanced at a phone number below where they meant to call. I am not absolutely sure of the last thing. I sort of deduced it from the last phone call of the day I got about "if I had a Bank of America" in my store. The caller was surprised that the grocery store answered his call. When I offered him the right phone number he said that he had it and apologized for taking up my time.

If you are thinking that all of this new found positivism kept me from crying today you would be wrong. All it takes is for me to remember that I am profoundly unhappy is to remember that the universe and I exist in a state of profound emptiness.

I wanted to push away my sincere belief that existence is meaningless, but the entire time I watched the NBC TV show Chuck I kept having that sense memory wash over me. I succumbed to the quiet dread of that memory half way through the show. I cried after I watched Chuck's love interest fix herself up to go on a date. The program followed her into the bathroom. The camera lingered on shots of Chuck girl friend/CIA protectress wearing nothing but a bra and booty shorts.

I am not sure why I was so sad. Was it that such a beautiful women had to be reduced to a sexual stereotype? Normally, I enjoy seeing beautiful women in varying degrees of undress.

Maybe I was upset at the Networks decision to sexualize Chuck's girl. The show has a sweet nerdy vibe that does not mix well such blantant pandering. Maybe I was just upset that in real life unlike TV nerd folk like me do not pal around with blond goddesses. Maybe I was just upset that I did not have a girlfriend like Chuck.

I would hate to think that the vacuum of spirituality that exists in my life is caused not by my profound sensitivity, or at least awareness to the emptiness of existence, but simply by my inability to secure the archetype of feminine beauty that society showcases to me as accessible to all (but some how not for me.)

I stayed positive at work as much as I could and I guess you would say that it worked. I did not feel too depressed at work, but you could also say that bottling up my feelings led me to cry softly while watching the mild estrangement showcased on mainsteam media like the TV show Chuck.

If staying positive means I can be haunted by the shallow deepness of TV writing then maybe I should go back to being negative.


Anonymous said...

Maybe John McCain will make you a cabinet member in return for helping him find the internets. That was really nice of you.

Staying positive is hard work.

Romius T. said...

I can't wait to be a member of the cabinet as soon as McCain and Isteal the election.

lucky charms said...

Sappy commercials make me cry sometimes :)

And I don't even attempt being positive at work..... unless a customer is hot.. but the hot ones are usually just there to pick up their girlfriends' birth control. Or Valtrex. :)

Maybe you should go unpack your books and call tech support so you can lure in the Cable chick

Romius T. said...

thats a good idea lucky charm. much better than my idea of carrying around a im single book

lucky charms said...

Come to think of it, I have a tshirt that says "happily single" right across the boobs. It's kinda the same thing. I also have a shirt that says "i fucked your girlfriend"

Maybe it's a good thing I've retired those shirts. I might have been putting out the wrong message as well.

Freida Bee said...

I see from your following post that you decided to go back to being negative.

I kinda wanna give you a hug right now. Sorry.

Romius T. said...


I like those shirts and the bad image they represent for you.


You know how much I like hugs!