6.25.2015

The first time I've seen anyone kicked off a plane

We took a trip to Michigan last weekend for a friend's wedding. On the return trip, our plane was supposed to leave at 8:03 p.m. Eastern time, putting us on the ground at 10:15 p.m. Pacific.

So we were at the point when everyone was already on the plane and there had been the, "Okay, everyone's here and settled and the doors are closed so we'll be leaving any minute" announcement. Then we started to hear a little commotion behind us, and a woman started pacing up the aisle.

She started from maybe three or four rows behind me and was walking up to about four rows ahead of me, and then would pace back and forth. So in this huge plane with double aisles, she was right next to me, which is fabulous.

She was ranting and raving about her laptop, which she was holding in her hand and waving (somewhat) wildly.

"My HUSBAND," she yelled, "has turned to perverts! It's all in here" She held the laptop up. "I'm just trying to make better life for my family! My family and husband are in Philippines and I just want to make better life! The GOVERNMENT is doing this to us, don't you see? It's ALL IN HERE!"

And so on and so forth.

It probably only lasted about 45 seconds or so, but it felt like forever, and I also very strongly felt like I was going to get hit in the head by a laptop at any second.

About 15 seconds into the commotion, a flight attendant in the opposite aisle said, "Oh no, she's gotta go," which we really enjoyed, but then it took a while for anyone to actually usher her toward the front. They finally did, though, and she didn't resist a lot, but she also didn't go willingly. She was still ranting the whole time, though she had stopped yelling, and the flight attendant had to kind of push her along.

So she's off the plane, hallelujah, but then they had to get all her carry-on items and her checked luggage off, because you can't be too careful, obviously.

About ten minutes later, they made an adorable announcement that went something like, "We'd like to apologize for that commotion toward the back of the plane; it seems one of your fellow passengers wasn't enjoying her Delta experience, but she, her carry-ons and her checked bags have been removed. She will be staying here and we will be leaving very soon. We'll try to make it up to you."

But hold onto your hats, everyone, because that's not the end of the story.

A couple of minutes later, which like, lucky for her that we hadn't left yet, this obnoxious pregnant woman calls the flight attendant and asks if she can leave. "Sorry, I just, I'm pregnant and I don't feel comfortable being on this plane anymore after what happened."

I mean, honestly. First of all, maybe speak up about ten minutes ago so that we don't have to sit here waiting for you after we already sat here waiting for the other woman and her stuff to leave.

Secondly, maybe calm down and don't be a complete paranoid idiot. There is absolutely no reason for you to need to leave. The plane is safe. They even removed her checked bags. Also she obviously went through security so there almost 100 percent was never any danger in the first place. All the rest of us are being normal humans and staying on the plane and -- spoiler alert -- we're all going to get there just fine. You, on the other hand, probably won't even get to LA until like, midday tomorrow and will regret your decision immensely when you check the flight status and see our plane didn't crash.

So anyway, we have to wait absolutely forever for her, her child, her unborn child, their stroller, all their other carry-ons, and -- last, but not least -- her very embarrassed husband (who probably spent those ten minutes in between the first lady getting kicked off and his wife speaking up trying to convince her to stay) to leave the plane.

And then, after all that, there was a mechanical issue that delayed us another 45 minutes.

They did try to make it up to us, though, by making all the movie and TV options free, as well as giving us free drinks. I watched Still Alice and cried like a little baby. And we all know how expensive alcohol is on a plane.

2.13.2015

The job listing that made me hate The Fine Brothers

You know those "Kids React" and "Teens React" and "Elders React" videos everyone's always sharing on Facebook? Those are made by The Fine Brothers, whose YouTube channel is called TheFineBros.

I am mostly neutral on The Fine Brothers' videos. I've seen funny ones and I've seen boring ones. I really didn't have that strong of an opinion about them ... until I saw this job listing on Craigslist. OMG, guys, it's awful, so get ready.

I'm going to just put the screenshots here first so you can read them and be enraged on your own, and then we'll talk about them after, okay?



Okay, okay, okay. Let's go one by one.
  1. First of all, if your NORMAL working hours are 45 hours a week, "although your days may run longer," THAT'S A PROBLEM. Maybe hire a full time person plus a part-timer.
  2. Don't talk about your hour lunch break as if it's some glamorous and unusual perk. That is normal. Calm down.
  3. Other than that, the benefits are slim? Really? You're a start-up with SLIM BENEFITS? The best you can come up with is an hour lunch break and Mario Kart? Not even free lunches? Or snacks, even?
  4. The first point under the "Job Requirements and Responsibilities" section is actually pretty helpful to include, in order to save people time and whatnot. But like, did you have to word it so rudely? Ick.
  5. "Be comfortable under extremely tight deadlines" is code for "we never plan projects out appropriately and therefore expect absolutely unreasonable turnarounds."
  6. "OCD-level documentation?" Ableist and rude. Do you actually want your designer to have a disorder? If so, you're the actual worst.
  7. "In general, making the same mistake twice is a huge bummer for us." This is rude. I mean, yeah. Making the same mistake twice is bad. But again, just like with number 4, this is worded super rudely. Same thing with the "deer in the headlights" thing.
  8. "Have friends and significant others that don't mind you spending long hours away from home." Get yourselves together. Seriously. Work-life balance is important. Cherish it. Treasure it. Provide it for your employees.
  9. Like, freaking OBVIOUSLY someone applying for a graphic design position is comfortable sitting and staring at their computer screen for hours at a time. That's how it works.
  10. "Have a great sense of humor, and be fun to work around for 12+ hours at a time when needed." Like, no. You don't get to demand that someone is funny or pleasant to work around, especially when you're also demanding 12+ hour days.
  11. So you started this stupid job ad by talking up your company and acting like you're so great, but now you're saying you're a start-up just so you can make sure we're not expecting a good paycheck?
  12. Also, start-up culture is all about paying people really well and having good benefits. See point 3 for a few suggestions. And yeah, health insurance would be a good start.
  13. "If this would just be a stepping stool for you to something else a year down the line, this probably isn't the right gig for you." Oh. Gotcha. So you're offering a job that requires MORE than full time hours with a hectic, awful working environment and no health insurance and you'd like to require more than a year commitment? No. You will be lucky to find someone to do this job for a couple of months, let alone more than a year.
  14. Finally, if you want to stand out from the competition, make sure your subject line makes it clear that you like the same things as us, because if you're not a Game of Thrones fan, then you're clearly not cut out for working with us.

1.12.2015

I spent like half of last week dealing with a single grocery delivery.

Matt and I get our groceries delivered once a month. We do this for a variety of reasons. First, carrying a bunch of groceries two blocks from our parking garage and up the stairs to our apartment is not fun. Second, I actually think it saves us money overall because we can edit and really look at our list and calculate and get the best prices and all that jazz. Third, delivery is free, so like, why not?

Okay. So we have done this almost every month since we moved to Los Angeles more than a year ago, using the exact same company, with absolutely no problems, but this month was a totally different story, so I obviously needed to share.

Let me preface the story of this month's delivery by telling you: We got back from a two-week trip home to Kentucky and Tennessee on Sat., January 3. Previous to that, to try and save a little money in December, we hadn't gotten any groceries and were just kind of clearing out our cabinets, and we ate pretty much everything in the fridge that could possibly go bad in a two-week period. So we basically had chicken noodle soup and butter left, which meant we needed groceries like, the second we got home.

So because we needed groceries right away, I got the essentials on Sunday when I was out at work and we went on and ordered groceries and scheduled our delivery for midday Monday, with a delivery window of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., because I wasn't working that day.

Then early Monday morning, I got a phone call offering me some temp work for the entire week, including Monday. I obviously can't afford to pass up work, so I called the customer service number for the grocery and asked if I could reschedule our delivery. She said it was no problem whatsoever and we rescheduled the delivery for the next day, Tuesday, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In order to guarantee I would be home by 6 on Tuesday, I had to leave work a little early, so I took a short lunch and rushed home at the end of the day. I got home right at 6. We waited and waited for the whole delivery window, all the way until 10 p.m. ... and nobody ever called or came with the groceries.

Like, what? What happened? Where are you? Why did I not get a phone call? Is my food sitting on the delivery truck overnight? Did the rescheduled time not go through? Where is my food? I'm so hungry! And of course, the customer service center closes at 9, so I couldn't call that night and figure out what happened.

The next morning on my way to work, I called customer service and explained what happened the night before. The woman was super apologetic and we rescheduled it for that night, Wednesday, between 7 and 9, no problem. She also gave us a $10 credit on our next order, so that's great!

Then at 4:45, while I was at work, I got a phone call, and it went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Person: Hi, this is [grocery delivery company]. Where are you?
Me: What? I'm at work.
Person: You're not at home?!
Me: Um, no? Are you there right now?
Person: Yes! I'm at your apartment, 302! Why aren't you here?
Me: I'm at work. My delivery was scheduled for between 7 and 9 tonight.
Person: No, it says 11 to 3 on the sheet!
Me: I'm really sorry, that was my original delivery time on Monday, but it's supposed to be between 7 and 9 tonight.
Person: So when will you be home?
Me: ... Well definitely by 7, but I don't know exactly.
Person: Okay, I'll try back then.

A couple of things here. First, why are you yelling at me? Like, calm down please, take a breath, and get rid of all the exclamation marks.

Second, I'm really wondering where exactly the miscommunication is happening here. Is the delivery person missing the note with the new delivery time on the sheet? Is the new delivery time not written on the sheet? If not, why not?

And third, if the delivery was scheduled between 11 and 3, good thing you're calling me at 4:45, right? Like seriously, I would have been so mad if it was an hour and forty-five minutes late! Of course, that's better than not showing up at all like someone did on Tuesday.

Anyway, we ended up getting our groceries fine that night and all was right with the world, but goodness gracious! It was way more difficult than it needed to be.

And PS, it wasn't the delivery driver's fault; the new delivery time hadn't been written on the form anywhere, so like, rude alert on the driver's manager or something.

12.23.2014

Fake generosity around the holidays

This is just a quick PSA to inform you that whatever generous thing you're doing — filling up someone's gas tank when they asked you for money, giving a less fortunate family Christmas presents, spending your Christmas bonus on other people instead of yourself — is invalidated by the fact that you're bragging about it to every person you meet.

I especially get annoyed about this at Old Navy. People often come to Old Navy to buy clothes for the various adopt-a-family style charities and they often feel the need, for some reason, to share with me what they're doing. 

I was checking someone out a few weeks ago who volunteered out of the blue, "These are for these two girls at an orphanage. I think they'll like them. It'll make their Christmas so much better."

Like, okay, lady. Yeah, it probably will. But why don't you take a step back and stop acting like this is the most important thing ever and, while you're at it, stop bragging. I'm sure she also took a picture of the pile of clothes when she got home and posted it to Facebook so she could bask in all the likes and "You're so generous" comments.

Speaking of Facebook, it's unnecessary to post a status or picture every time you do something nice for someone. It just tells everyone how pleased you are with yourself and how important you think you are.

Of course, sometimes interesting or funny things happen in the midst of doing something charitable, and I certainly don't hold it against you for sharing these things if it's not possible to share the story without talking about the charitable thing you're doing. But you can try to phrase it in a way that makes it clear that you're NOT trying to brag, and that's absolutely not what people do most of the time.

Doing good things for people should be a reward in and of itself. Don't risk looking like a self-obsessed braggart by posting on Facebook about it. 


11.30.2014

"I wish someone had told me you don't take checks!"

As I was checking a customer out at Old Navy today, she pulled out her checkbook and said, "I'm going to write a check."

Let me stop you right there. We don't actually accept checks anymore. (Hallelujah.)

So I answered, "Oh, I'm so sorry, we actually don't take checks!"

Flustered and already angry, she replied, "What? Really? Since when?!"

I replied, "Yeah, it's been about a year or so."

And she answered — seriously — "Well geez, I wish someone had told me!"

Okay. Okay. Here's the thing. Pretty much nobody uses checks anymore. Just as an example, I've only had two people total try to write a check to pay for their purchase in the past year.

People who write checks are such a small, tiny, seriously barely-existent minority that it would be absolutely ridiculous to enact any kind of communication campaign to let them know we won't be taking checks anymore.

Like seriously, what do you want us to do? Let's look at some options.

Should we send out a direct mail campaign? And I'm sure it wouldn't be good enough to just have the information included in a normal advertisement-type mailer because you might not read the whole thing. So maybe it should just be like, "PSA: We're not going to be taking personal checks anymore!"

Should we send everyone an email? But if you exclusively use checks you might not use email either. And we certainly can't be sure that you're on our email list. So maybe we should send out an email to every email address in the country.

Should we personally call each person who's used a check to pay for a transaction at Old Navy in the past, say, five years? I wonder if we even keep that information. I kind of doubt it. Maybe we should call every phone number in the United States and tell them our new policy.

Should we have tacky "no personal checks" signs posted? Where would you suggest we post them? I presume the register wouldn't have worked, right? Because that's where you found out about the policy anyway, and you didn't think I told you soon enough. So maybe we should have them posted on the front doors. Maybe it should be one big sign that's the size of the door so you don't miss it.

Should we have someone stationed at the door as you walk in to tell you what forms of payment we do and don't accept? When does the statute of limitations run out on this? Because if the policy went into effect more than a year ago, maybe we should do this for two years after the policy change. Or maybe three? Three sounds safe.

11.09.2014

Job Hunting Week, day seven: Not lowering your standards

Welcome to Job Hunting Week. Looking for a job is my whole life at the moment, and looking for a job is so not fun. None of the content of this week will be revolutionary or even anything you haven’t thought of yourself, but I want to get it all out there in the open. Let’s commiserate together about the worst parts of job searching and what makes it so truly awful.

Day seven: Not lowering your standards


Look, there are some jobs that are just asking for ridiculous things. I've showcased some examples of these in my Craigslist blog posts.
An actual email I actually received


I'm not going to supply my own computer when the job isn't based out of my home. Just no.


I'm not going to record video answers for a freaking video interview. What even is that?


I'm not going to participate in a group interview because I'm not sixteen and applying for my first retail job.


I'm not going to pay to take a training program to do a job I can already do. I'm also not going to complete any unpaid training hours. I'm not an idiot.


I'm not going to be a telemarketer. Cold calling people to ask for donations or try to sell something is possibly the worst non-hard-labor job I can think of, though it would be excellent for the blog.


I’m not going to be a design assistant “with some administrative duties” because again, I’m not an idiot. I know that really just means an administrative assistant who also needs to know how to use Photoshop.


I’m not going to do free work for you as a “tryout.” That is shady.

I’m also not going to do a “contract-to-full-time” job, because I’m trying to get health benefits here, okay?
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