Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Incidents of Incompetence

Ever since our hours were cut at work, I've been the last one to come in to the office. There are three people in pre-press. One comes in at 8 AM, the other at 8:30, and me at 9. Being the "new" guy and lowest on the totem pole, I have to tend to certain maintenance tasks. There's a huge plate maker in the room that is highly sensitive to temperature and humidity (or so they tell me; evidence is to the contrary). Before any work is done, there are five humidifiers that need to be filled. I can't exactly do that before getting to work. It's not that I mind doing it, but there was a two-month stretch where I didn't even bother.

No one noticed.

Another oddity is when a super-rush job is waiting on my desk, long before I come in, with a note saying "plates due at 9 AM."

Someone sure missed the Logic Train. How can I do a job that's due when I clock in?

Speaking of clocking in: right next to the hand print scanner used to punch in and out is a hand-sanitizer dispenser. Not a totally bad idea during flu season, but it might help to, you know, fill it with the hand-sanitizer. I don't care too much; all of our immune systems need practice.

One more story for the Fail File:

Bellevue has an automatic system for refilling prescriptions. Just call in, and 3 business days later, it'll be ready for pickup. I made the call last Wednesday, and went to pick up the refill Monday afternoon. Go in, take a number, get called to the window, they pass the pills on to the pick up department and give you a voucher to take to the cashier. This takes around 10 or 20 minutes. Then you get called to the pickup window five minutes later. For some reason, this last bit too two fucking miserable hours. Imagine 50 people (that's right, 50 people, no exaggeration) waiting in a room no larger than the size of your living room with seating for 16, waiting at least two hours to pick up medicine. One person was waiting for five hours and was quite rightly throwing a shit-fit.

My blood sugar had plummeted by the end of that ordeal, so I stopped at the au bon pan stand in the hospital. I picked up an eggplant & tomato sandwich, paid, and walked away, tearing at the wrapper. I took a giant bite, chewed, and spat it out.

Great. Ham & Swiss. Walked back, said the label was wrong, and before I could say anything else, the cashier correctly guessed that I was a veggie, and profusely apologized. I got the correct sandwich, and finally left. It was such a tiring day.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

No details necessary.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Sports Team From My Area...

If it isn't clear already, I don't care about sports.

Now, THAT people play sports doesn't bother me at all. Hey, they're having fun, blowing off steam, bonding, learning teamwork, etc; all that stuff is cool by me.

It's the national league, city/state pride, obsessive, jock-off, micro-dick-ism of sports fans that piss me off.

That wouldn't be so bad if these assholes across the street didn't feel the need to set off firecrackers at midnight, shouting "WE WON! WE WON!"

I'm trying to figure out what it is that "we" won, and when to expect my prize in the mail. I don't remember participating in any sort of contest, or accomplishing anything that would merit such a display of misplaced pride while many others in the 'hood are trying to sleep.

First, let's look at local pride. George Carlin:

Now, if you're happy that your favorite team won a game, fine. Can't argue with that.

But the phrase is, "WE WON!" That implies that "we" had something to do with the team winning, and the coincidence of proximity unites us.

Since "we" sat on the couch getting drunk (or completely ignored the event), that hardly contributed to the team winning.

The next idea taken for granted is the coincidence of proximity, or the "we". Sure, my neighbors and I are New Yorkers. But how many of us were born locally? My roommate was born in Hawai'i and intends to return there. Does she count as a New Yorker? I was born upstate. I at least have that credential.

How many of the 49 NY Yankees were born in, or currently live in NY State, or within 50 miles of New York City, particularly the Bronx? After a cursory search through Wikipedia...

1) Pitcher CC Sabathia lives in Bergen County, New Jersey.

2) Pitcher Mariano Rivera co-owns a restaurant in New Rochelle, NY.

3) Short Stop Derek Jeter was born in Morris County, NJ. He has homes in Manhattan, Marlboro NJ, Greenwood Lake NY, and Tampa FL.

4) Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez (whose name I refuse to abbreviate to what the press calls him) was born in Manhattan, and still lives there.

5) First Baseman Mark Teixiera lives in Greewich, CT. (Not to be confused with cartoonist & illustrator Mark Texiera.)

6) Designated Hitter Hideki Matsui lives in Manhattan.

7) Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang lives in Bergen County, NJ.

Those are the only team players, active, inactive, coaches, whatever, that I could find evidence of living in/near NYC. 1/7th, or just over 14%, of the Bronx Bombers have any sort of proximity affiliation with The Bronx. The number may be higher; perhaps I didn't dig deep enough - I certainly don't care enough to do so.

How they can be "New York" Yankees if most of them aren't even New Yorkers, or even from the tri-state area? How can "we" have local pride about people who don't have anything but a badge to do with the area?