Muscovy ducks have got to be among the stupidest wild animals I’ve ever encountered. And yet, they must not be all that stupid, because their young have more legal protections than humans.
I remember my dad telling my brother to smile for a picture once, to which my brother scowled: “I *am* smiling.” I was rubbed a little the wrong way by an interaction with someone today, and decided to try to smile, in spite of my general feeling of grouchiness. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I realised that the smile wasn’t quite there.
So, I got to thinking about the interaction that I seem to have let ruin my attitude for the day. There’s a PR lesson in there, and I’ve never felt that I was the most tactful of people, so I thought to explore it a little more.
I volunteer for a charity, and they bought a large modular desk from an upscale resale shop that they wanted me to pick up. The desk was to be picked up on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, so I headed up there with a Haitian volunteer. When we walked in the store, the people didn’t seem particularly happy to see us. “You should have called.” They had a bunch of guys in ties standing around with hundreds of oriental rugs laid out all around the front show room. Apparently they were in town for a special sale. I don’t know, I’m just here to pick up a desk that’s already been paid for. The desk is disassembled and crammed in a corner. It would be a pain in the ass to move it, as well as all of the furniture and rugs that were between it and the door. We agreed to come back later.
We were out and about today, and I had an older, more experienced Jamaican guy to help, as well as the same younger Haitian guy as last time we tried to pick up the desk. An extra set of hands would be, well, handy, so we headed back up to the shop.
This seems like a good time to stop, and explain a little. I’ve moved a lot of furniture for another resale shop over the course of the last year. The guys with me have helped move a lot of medical supplies in the last 2 months. About 20 million dollars worth of medical supplies in the last couple months. This isn’t my first time “moving things”.
So, I’m trying to clear a path through all of this high priced furniture to the door, and the woman who works there is telling me to move some couple hundred pound desk and hutch to get to the desk. I’m looking at a smaller piece that I can easily move. I’ll admit it, I get a little impatient with people telling me how to do what I do. So I move the smaller piece of furniture, and we start moving pieces of this big honkin’ desk that the charity has already paid some $500 for.
Its not a small desk, and I woke up with a kink in my back this morning that I could barely straighten out when I woke up. Not everything I do is particularly fun. One of the guys was trying to work his way to get behind the desk, and put his hand on what turned out to be a big free-standing wall. The wall almost tipped for a second, but he caught himself in time.
The lady then said the wrong thing. “If that wall had fallen over, you guys would’ve been liable for all of the glass and stuff on the other side.” *scrrrreeeecchhh* What? This woman wants us to rearrange hundreds of pounds and thousands of dollars of her showroom furniture, and she’s going to pull this shit on me? What if my friend had knocked over the wall and gotten hurt? You think having large freestanding walls in your showroom is going to make me liable for thousands of dollars of damage, because you have a goddammed silly prop wall that needs the very furniture we’re there to move to hold it up? What if that wall had fallen over on a baby in a baby carriage? You think someone putting a hand on a wall to brace himself is going to make him more liable than your stupid ass fucking free-standing wall in the middle of the goddamn showroom?
Needless to say, I don’t react well to people who want favors from me while simultaneously threatening to sue me. When we all got out to the truck with a few pieces of the desk, I told the guys, “we’re not here to rearrange her showroom, we’re here to pick up a desk.” I was glad when we got the heavy stuff out, and the guys stayed at the truck securing the load, while I started to put the furniture back where I had cleared the path to the door.
The woman and I had a few words while I was putting the stuff back in place. I dragged the desk and hutch over to support the free-standing wall, but I was quickly losing patience with the woman as I was putting wrought iron tables with glass tops back in place. None of this shit was light, but I was glad the other guys were at the truck. There was a $795 price tag on a piece of glass I was handling. I wasn’t very tactful, in expressing my displeasure at her expecting us to come and rearrange her showroom, beyond what needed to be cleared just to get to the door. We’re not here to prop up your fake walls. That’s all on you, babe.
Now, I could have handled it better. But I reacted to her treatment of us. We were not “professional” movers, and she repeatedly made her disdain for us clear. I could’ve laughed it off. I could’ve done something. But, the fact is, we came to pick up a $500 desk, and as often happens, ended up moving a hell of a lot of furniture, just to get to the job we came to do.
One of the charities I work with, happens to sell furniture. You can bet your ass I’ll be recommending them, if this charity happens to be in the market for anything else.
It’s been almost a year since I packed it all in a U-Haul and moved yet again across this great country of ours. I’ve been feeling mighty retrospective lately.
This was where I lived for 8 years. Of the cars in the parking lot, my two cars are off to the dump, the black jeep was the idiot who got killed by the sheriff, the silver SUV was the girl who’s dad owned the place’s boyfriend’s, and the green pontiac was the car the idiot was driving when he got shot.
Reading about a girl suing a school district for not letting her wear a tuxedo to her prom leads me to think of the fact that men and women have clearly different roles in biology. Fighting society’s rules seems trendy, at best, when compared to the scale of fighting nature’s laws.
What strikes me, though, is that it seems in the abortion debate, it is argued that since only women bear children, only they can have a say in procreation. This same exception doesn’t seem to hold any value at all when arguing for special exceptions for homosexuality. I personally don’t have a problem with homosexuals living homosexual lives. But I do have a problem with people trying to force their unnatural values on society as somehow being equally normal to heterosexuality.
I wonder, if a pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality person had to choose, which would they give up?
I don’t know if I agree with this, but the last 2/3rds seem helpful.
Nice pic of RenCen used as a backdrop to this article. I still love my old hometown, no matter how desolate it is painted by the camera.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
One of the last jobs I worked at in Albuquerque, (a job I was never paid for, but that’s another story), was helping the renovation of an old historic building to be used as apartments for recently released inmates, a kind of halfway house, I suppose. From what I understand of how it was to work, is that the new owner of the building would receive x amount of government money per tenant.
Now, it might be an unfair assessment on my part, but my impression was that the new owner was more businessman than social worker. And my assessment might also have been coloured by my years in an apartment building where I was the only person who was not on some form of government assistance. It seems to me, that there is an entire industry built up on meeting the federal minimums to cater to a more or less reliably steady inflow of government checks.
I feel a little guilty pointing this out, as I know that my neighbours really did have limiting factors in their ability to provide for themselves. And I enjoyed entertaining my neighbour’s grandkids, even if I suspected the main reason they were living there instead of with their father was partly for the tax deduction of a dependent.
I’ve only applied for unemployment one time in my life, and it was only when I felt I really needed it. But it was denied. So, the degree I empathize with the many people who rely on government benefits is tempered with a deep memory of the fact that the system that provides for them did nothing for me. I recall some guys working on my apartment discussing how to keep receiving unemployment checks, while they were obviously being paid cash for the work they were doing. It’s hard not to resent a system that is so easily gamed, when you’ve played by the rules.
This leads me to wonder, with our government seemingly extending unemployment benefits indefinitely, while at the same time attempting to greatly extend other benefits, just how many people are on some form of government assistance in this country? How many beneficiaries can our system support?
So how many people in America are on some sort of assistance?