Monday, September 14, 2009

the salesman sucketh

I got a job.

(Cheers, balloons, songs, joy!)

Calm down, it's not that big of a deal.

(Or maybe it is. I may or may not make Hubs toast to my awesomeness every time he takes a drink of his Red Bull.)

Anyhoodle, the job is going to be a great fit for me and I really think/hope/prah/voo doo/ Ouiji board/witchcraft that I'll do well in it.

One of the best perks about my new job is that I have a car allowance.

(I know, what?)

It's true. Due to the high volume of driving I'll be performing in this position, my company provides me with a moderate car allowance that will assist in purchasing a new, reliable, attractive to customers, safe to drive vehicle.

Naturally, because of this development, rather than focusing on the exciting new products I get to sell, I am instead focused solely on my new car.

(Two minutes into my job, and I'm shopping already. Heaven help us.)

Therefore, during the majority of Friday afternoon, Hubs and I went around to various dealerships trying out vehicles that meet my company's expectations and requirements.

The requirements are basically:

a) new
b) SUV or truck (Insert snort here. Like I'd ever drive a truck.)
c) decent gas mileage
d) adorable body style that inspires Hubs to say, "Damn you look hot in that thing."

Okay, maybe "d" is my requirement.

Whatevs.

Anyways...on the way to the dealerships I was peeing my pants excited to be checking out cars that are normally way outside my budget.

I mean, the allowance my company gives me by no means pays for my vehicle, but it does help to ensure I'm not driving a $3,000 beater car, either.

So there Hubs and I are, visiting dealership after dealership, trying to narrow down which vehicle is going to do the best job, for the best price, with the cutest accessories and MP3 space.

It's not as easy as it sounds.

I have to admit, I envisioned a slightly different car shopping experience than I received.

(Like, red carpets, champagne, and caviar snacks while shopping.)

Clearly I'm exaggerating, but I did I assume most dealers would treat us with respect, help if we had questions, and in general try to MAKE THE SALE.

Um...no.

Instead, much to my surprise, we had to GO AND SEEK OUT the sales people ourselves several times.

I mean, no, I wasn't wearing my pearls and 6" stilettos that day. And yes, Hubs was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. But really, is it a requirement to put on your Prada to receive decent service in a dealership??

Cuz it shouldn't be.

(I'm aware I probably sound like a whiner. Poor princess has to go seek out a salesperson to show her a car. Like, big deal.)

And you're right about that.

But in reality, it was the manner in which the sales people acted once we had identified ourselves as serious buyers that had me seeing red.

Look, to start with, I wasn't about to share with the sales dude that, "HEY! My company is giving me x dollars to spend on a brand new car! What kind of deals can you give me?" No, no. I wanted them to earn my business, and the pay off would have been good for them.
Apparently no one wanted that pay off.

One particular dealership really had me pissed. We arrived and (after several minutes) went inside to find a sales person. Here's what happened:

Me: (walking around showroom floor) I wonder if the guy destroying that doughnut over there might want to help us rather than taking his cholesterol up another 8 points.

Hubs: Stop it. Your voice carries.

Me: Well. I'm just sayin'.

Salesman: (sees Hubs and me and waddles walks over.) Ahem. May I help you?

Me: (smiling) Hello! We were wanting to look at some cars.

Salesman: (looking me up and down disapprovingly) What are you interested in seeing?

Me: We're just checking things out. You guys have some nice cars here.

Salesman: (rolling eyes) Wellll, yes, we do.

Me: (pointing toward the Ford Flex) How much is this one?

Salesman: (staring at me blankly and fiddling with his pen.) I don't think this would fit your style.

Me: (incredulous) Well, I didn't ask if it would fit my style, I asked how much it was.

Salesman: (calling across the showroom) How much is this, Mike?

Mike: It's very expensive.

Salesman: (looking back to me) It's very expensive.

Me: (starting to cry and pulling wads of cash out of my pocket) Look I got money to spend in here!!

Salesman: (taking broad stance.) I don't think we have anything for you. You're obviously in the wrong place. Please leave.

And then I ran out of the dealership crying while the orchestra swelled behind me. Then Richard Gere brought me back and he let me try on any car that I wanted and eventually took me to the opera.

Oh, and I walked back into the dealership later and said, "You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge. I HAVE TO GO SHOPPING NOW."

****

Okay, so it didn't quite happen like that. But what did happen was the salesman basically treated Hubs and I like we were red-headed hookers in thigh high boots.

Joking aside, I would think in this day and age, a car salesman would be thrilled to have a serious buyer on their hands.

Especially a non-hooker buyer.

Regardless, I do get to purchase a new car in the next few weeks, and I WILL find a salesman who is happy to see me.

Any recommendations on where to go? Do you have any car buying horror stories?


Thursday, September 10, 2009

tmi thursdays: the pen is..mighty smaller than the sword

It's TMI Thursday, hosted by the lovely Lilu!






I eluded that this post was coming on Tuesday, remember? If you haven't read it yet, go do so quickly and then come back for the next part of the story.

Following the ego-crushing Sign Language Incident, I laid low on the flirtation with Customer Service Boy. Instead of drawing attention to myself, I focused on working, talking with my co-workers and generally pretending he didn't exist.

(Of course, at night I would doodle hearts and wedding dates and my name with his last name over and over psycho-like. It's what I do.)

Fast forward three weeks; it's Friday again and I'm at work. On that particular weekend, my parents went out of town. They specifically asked me to come home immediately after work to be with my brother ( who was 15 at the time, and also, as luck would have it, sick with the flu).

Being the amazing daughter I am, I promised to come straight home after work and hang out with my brother.

When my shift ended, I headed to the break room to clock out and head home. For some reason, Customer Service boy picked that night to ask me out.

(And when I say "ask me out", I mean he asked if I wanted to go to his house and drink beer. The romance was just oozing out his ears.)

Here's where things get a bit hazy. I remember drinking beer that night (something I hardly ever did back then because I was a bit of a prude) and I remember Customer Service Boy and his friend drinking a lot more than me.

Like, a keg each.

Classy.

By the time 1:00 am rolled around, I was sleepy and Customer Service Boy and his friend were blitzed. I could see the night was going nowhere considering my crush could barely find his own bathroom to pee in.

When I stood up to leave, CS Boy suddenly snapped out of it. He asked me to stay the night.

Dilemma.

A) Parents don't know I'm out drinking


B) Sick brother is at home wondering if I've been eaten by bears

C) I've had a few beers and perhaps shouldn't be driving

D) I've never stayed the night at a boy's house (read: I've never gone past 3rd base with a boy.)


In the end, I agree to stay.


(Because his slurring was so incredibly sexy.)


CS Boy's roommate was passed out on the couch, and I awkwardly crawled into bed with my super-crush. We made out.


(Ever have that moment when you look back and think, "Why did I ever even touch that guy?" I'm having that moment now.)

In my inexperience, I was stupid enough to believe that a little making out was going to be enough for this guy.
I soon found out I am dead wrong.


(I am going to tell the rest of this story as PC and PG as I possibly can. My relatives read this, for crying out loud.)


So...CS Boy, breathing out of his mouth and reeking of Pabst Blue Ribbon, ever so seductively removed his clothing, expecting me to follow suit.


(Or follow birthday suit. God, I'm clever.)


I inwardly went into panic mode, but calmed down enough to inform him that I was still in possession of my V-card thank-you-very-much and had no intention of giving it away to a drunken mouth breather.


Then...this conversation happened. Bloggies, I am not lying.


CS Boy: (attempting to nuzzle my neck) Ahh, it's so sweet that you've never done it before.


Me: (laughing nervously, as he is completely naked and I am still clothed.) Yeah, well, sorry if this is disappointing.


CS Boy: (gurgling) No, no, not at all. I mean, Kim, just to put your mind at ease, I'm not one of those guys that sleeps with a girl and then brags about it to my friends.


Me: (this is supposed to change my mind?) Well, that's great. I'm still not comfortable going any farther. I'm sorry.


CS Boy: (looks down at his...uh, member. And sighs.) It's not because...I mean, I know what you're thinking. (sigh) I might as well be a woman.


Cue scratched record noise.


WHAT???

Did this guy, who is trying to CONVINCE me to sleep with him, really just tell me that he MAY AS WELL BE A WOMAN???

Because really, I can't tell you how many times I've shared "first time" stories with my girlfriends and heard someone say, "He told me he had a small wee wee, and it TOTALLY got me going."

On another note, let's think about this logically. This guy knows I have never done this before. Chances are, I haven't seen that many boy parts. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU TELL ME YOU'RE HUNG LIKE A HARRIET???

(Unless you're drunk and being really, really honest.)

Shortly following CS Boy's not-so-cocky confession, I pretended to doze off and prayed for him to give up and pass out. It didn't take long.

I left at the first hint of dawn the next day.

Not surprisigly, Customer Service Boy eventually told the entire grocery store staff that I not only slept with him, but he was my first.

As if.

This, I suppose,just proves that the old saying really is true: People who say negative things about others really are making up for their own short comings.

Or short pee pee's.

Either one.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

lesson learned

You're supposed to learn things in college. Important things. From people you respect.

No, not like what percent of alcohol you can consume in a 48 period and still live to tell about it.)

Seriously. You (or your parents) pay larege sums of money for you to get an education and receive a piece of paper that basically means "I survived". That education inevitably shapes the events that occur over the course of your next 60 or 70 years.

Looking back on my six (ahem) years of college, I could easily generate a list a mile long on the valuable life lessons I learned and still apply to this day.

(Many of them involve the phrase "get sleep", "remember to eat", and "put down the vodka bottle", but that's another post.)

But in my (over) half-decade of quality learning at Kansas University, there is one lesson that continually sticks out in my mind.


I didn't learn it from a teacher, a counselor, or even a professor.


I learned it from a cheater.


During my sophomore year of college at KU, I took a book reviewing class. On our list of literature were a few classics, one or two so-boring-I-want-to-gouge-my-eyes-out-with-a-screwdriver, and a novel by an author local to Lawrence, KS.


His name was Philip Kimball and he was the author of the semi-successful novel "Liar's Moon".

(There's some foreshadowing there. Wait for it.)

The book was a Western meets Folklore meets Tall Tale. I didn't so much love it.

(Mostly because my idea of a good book is focused on a slighlty less elevated theme. Like shopping. And kissing.)

Anyways.

After we finished the book in class, our teacher managed to coerce Philip Kimball into appearing as a guest speaker in our class. Though Kimball's topics of choice were less than thrilling to me, I was still excited to meet a real author and hear about his struggles, his accomplishments, and most importantly, his process.

On the day of his visit, Mr. Kimball arrived in our classroom and began to speak.

Slowly.

And kind of...um, boringly.

Okay, fine, I stopped listening after 30 seconds.

Though I'm sure he had interesting things to share, I found myself daydreaming about Fred Durst laying naked in my bedroom for the better part of his presentation.

By the time Kimball wrapped up his speech and began to take questions, I hadn't absorbed one iota of advice he had imparted. I mean, for a guy who supposedly writes stories that are so amazing and full of life and texture, I was ready to voluntarily slit my own wrists if it would make the talking stop.

I felt bad. Here was a real life author in front of me, and I had disrepected him.

I decided to ask a question. Confidently, I raised my hand and asked:

"Where do you get your ideas for your books?"

Predictable question, maybe, but valid nonetheless. Kimball thought for a moment, and I swear to you, said the following words with the fervor and zest of a witch over a bubbling cauldron:

"Plagarize!!! Plagarize!!! Why do you think God gave you eyes!!????"

He then proceeded to explain to the class that "Liar's Moon" is actually a spin on several existing stories that he stole and re-spun to create his novel. And yes, he used the word STOLE.

My teacher (who was also nodding off, I'll have you know) nearly fell out of his seat at Kimball's response. A published author just told a class of impressionable (and opportunistic) students that plagarism was the way to write a brilliant novel.

Looking back, I'm sure Kimball was attempting to say that every story, no mattter how original the idea, is likely the result of many experiences from other people and pulled together by an author.

Which is true.

But the fact that our guest of honor was explaning the HOW WHEN, and WHERE to get away with plagarism was downright shocking.

As if it wasn't enough that he pontificated for ten minutes on the wonderfulness of plagarism and concluded his speech by repeating his special poem,

"PLAGARIZE, PLAGARIZE! Why do you think God gave you eyes?"

Finished with his tirade, Kimball flashed a creepy grin and looked at us expectantly.

I think we clapped.

Immediately following Kimball's departure from the room and back to the land of Colossal Cheaty Cheatersons, our instructor vehemently apologized and requested we forget everything we had been told in the past hour and a half.

Ironic that out of all of my years of college lessons, Kimball's lesson is the one I remember most.

The obvious moral to this story is: don't plagarize. It's mean.

And in case you're wondering, God gave you eyes to read other people's stories and become inspired to write/draw/craft something you can be equally proud of.

So come up with your own stuff, no one wants to be a "Liar's Moon."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

thing's I don't do

I'm bored, so here's a little list of things you would definitely never catch me doing when I'm alone.

I definitely do not drink three Dr. Pepper's in a row. Ever.

I totally don't talk to a non-existent camera as though I'm on The Real Housewives of Kansas City. (eg "I'm meeting Jane for lunch. She's been crabby this week, so we'll see what happens. I'm hoping for no drama, though. My new Mark Jacobs bag is so hot.")

I would never sing "My Heart Will Go On" at the top of my voice in my best Celine Dion impression in the shower because the acoustics are better.

I definitely have never tested the acoustics in my shower vs. my living room.

I certainly don't practice my appearance on Oprah after my best-selling novel gets made into a movie trilogy.

I could never fathom eating Wendy's, Chipotle and Chili's all in the same day.

I never secretly wish I was a flamboyant gay man so I could snap when I talk and put glitter on my jeans.

I abhor at the idea of thinking up sneaky ways to get into movies free.

I could never turn into Rachel Zoe after watching her on Bravo. (eg "Hubs, I need more shoes OP-tions for our dinner with Mark and Julie on Saturday. Oh my God, I just looked on Piperlime and found this totally amazing gorgeous pair of black pumps that are BANANAS. I die.")

I most assuredly would never whisper sweet nothings to Edward Cullen as I drift off to sleep. ("Goodnight Edward. Take care of my heart, I'm leaving it with you....ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz.")

What are some things that you never do?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Smoothie Operator

It's Totally Awkward Tuesday!

(Well, it's technically still Monday, but I know you're all hung over from the long weekend and won't really notice.)

Today's awkward story takes us back to 1999. I'm a senior in high school working at a local grocery store as a cashier, and I have made multiple friends at my job.

(Because, as you know, I'm awesome.)

So...I have a crush on this boy that works in Customer Service at the store. Okay, not really a boy. He's a kindofman because he's a few years older than me and smokes cigarettes. And has slept with half of the grocery store employees already. And listens to hard core rap. And drinks.

A lot.

I, on the other hand, don't drink, smoke, listen to rap, sleep with anyone or make waves in the boat of any one's life whatsoever.

We are clearly made for each other.

Anyways...

So, when Customer Service Boy isn't taking smoke breaks, he "runs the floor". This is a fancy way of saying he's in charge of monitoring the cashiers and our lunches, breaks, cleaning of aisles when people let their children throw Prego containers on the floor, etc.

Heavy responsibility. So attractive.

Okay, so fast forward to a typical Friday night.

It's pay day. I and my good friend Pinky (obviously that's not her real name) decide to take a trip over to my place of employment to collect my weekly earnings and say hello to all my work friends.

(And of course, inconspicuously check out if Customer Service boy is working so we can stare at him.)

(Because I'm so good at hiding my crushes. )

On the way to the store, Pinky and I stop at a local smoothie joint. I buy my favorite Juice Stop Smoothie entitled the "America's Cup." It is delicious, and tasty, and I'm feeling confident.

Pinky and I arrive at the grocery store to retrieve my check from Customer Service. As we walk in, I see Customer Service Boy working the counter...and he is the one handing out checks.

As Pinky and I walk to the counter we squeak back and forth to each other "Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod he's working! He looks so good in green! Look at his hands! They're so muscular!"

We are also under the delusion that we are whispering.

But we are not.

I ask for my check from Customer Service Boy and he smiles as he hands it to me. I die. He then tells me I look nice while I attempt not to faint.

Somehow I walk away from the counter with my cashed check without saying anything stupid. Until. Just as I am almost out of earshot, Customber Service Boys shouts, "I'll see you tomorrow at 2:00 when you work!"

OH. MY. GOD.

Clearly Customer Service Boy has looked at the schedule to CHECK WHEN I AM WORKING!!!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!

Now, on that positive note, you would think that Pinky and I would quit while we are ahead and leave the store swiftly.

That's what a smart person would do.

But no.

I quickly decide I haven't seen enough of Customer Service Boy tonight. I need more.

I tell Pinky that I need gum.

No, it can't wait until later.

Yes, I have some on my car but it's old and hard.

Yes, I know it will soften if I just keep it in my mouth but I NEED GUM NOW!

She gives in.

We walk to the cash register adjacent from Customer Service and I purchase a packet of gum. That's it.

So incognito.

Customer Service boy is only 20 feet away and lazily leaning on his counter, smiling. I can tell he wants to say something to me.

Casually, I glance up and catch his eye and smile. He opens his mouth to speak.

(Be still my heart.)

The conversation goes something like this...

CS Boy: (leaning over counter) Hey, I thought you left.

Me: (Acting surprised at his voice) Oh! Yeah, I was going to, but Pinky wanted some gum.

Pinky: (rolls eyes and resists the urge to punch me in the nose.)

CS Boy: (strokes goatee.)

(I know. Ew.)

CS Boy: Well I'm glad you came back. What are you doing tonight?

Me: (mentally planning the colors of our wedding) Nothing. Just hanging with Pinky and drinking Smoothies! (coyly play with straw in Smoothie.)

CS Boy: Ooooh! I love those things! Which one did you get?

Now, keep in mind this is in a grocery store on a Friday night. Cash registers are ringing, people are talking, babies are crying...

Me: (holding up cup) It's an America's Cup!

CS Boy: (cupping hand to ear) A what??

Me: (louder) AMERICA'S CUP!

CS Boy: (shakes head.) I can't hear you.

It wasn't important. It was small talk. He didn't really care what I was drinking. He was probably just staring at my boobs. But, for some reason, the next few seconds occurred because I truly thought I was being cute and/or sexy and/or clever.

Ever so seductively, I placed my Styrofoam smoothie cup ON THE FLOOR and began to tell Customer Service Boy that I have an "America's Cup".

In Sign Language.

That's right.

Sign Language.

At some point in my 18 years of life, I had learned the Sign Language Alphabet.

(Also at some point in my life, I must have read in a "How To Be A Jackass" manual that spelling out A-M-E-R-I-C-A-S C-U-P to a dude in Sign Language would result in a romantic dinner invitation.)

In reality, spelling out anything in Sign Language when you are a) not deaf and b) not even signing the letters correctly, will result in an entire grocery store stopping what they are doing to stare at you in pity.

Pinky crawls under the cash register and sucks her thumb.

(Not really, but I wouldn't have blamed her if she had.)

After a few moments, I finish my Sign Language masterpiece and look up at Customer Service Boy for a reaction.

The look on his face is a mix between bewilderment and disgust. Thankfully, reading his facial expressions isn't necessary because his thoughts are being broadcast across his forehead like a neon CNN crawler.

"THIS IS WHY I DON'T DATE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS ANYMORE"

If memory serves, Pinky dragged me out of the store before I could do anything else to confirm people's suspicions that I belonged in the nut house.

At least the Smoothie was good.


Be sure to come back and visit me on Thursday for TMI Thursdays. The story will involve the same Customer Service Boy and one of the most awkward/gross/weird instances of my life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a word on interviews: the awkward edition

It's been awhile since I've participated in Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday, and it sounds like she might be putting it on hiatus due to her lack of remaining awkward moments.


But fear not. I have loads of awkwardness left to share.

You're welcome.

Today I thought I would pay a tribute to what would be the Mother Ship if awkwardness were an alien life form.

The Job Interview. (Duhhhh, duh dun dun DUNNNN!)

If you're employed (or even if you're not) you've undoubtedly encountered and survived at least one of these in your lifetime, so you know well how strange and discomforting they can be.

Two people, meeting secretly for the first time, to discuss possibly getting paid on a bi-weekly basis for providing a service.

(If you didn't know better, it would sound like a prostitution ring.)

Interviews in and of themselves are awkward. Generally you don't want your boss knowing you're on the take, so when you get chosen for an interview, you must select a crafty place to meet.

Like a crowded Applebee's.

At lunchtime.

14 miles away where no one can find you.

So now you're meeting a stranger in a crowded chain restaurant, and you have one hour to be damn convincing because your boss will never believe your dental appointment took two and a half hours.

Awesome.

It usually gets worse from there.

You spend three hours the evening prior to your interview revving up for dreaded questions like, "What's your biggest weakness?" only to find out that your interviewer is a complete tool box who gets his jollies asking ridiculous interview questions like, "So, Kim. Tell me a joke. But not a dirty one, I'm married."

In reality, interviews are really a way for employer's to see you in person and decide you aren't a psycho with a history of mental problems.

(And also to confirm that you don't smell like B.O.)

Generally after the first meeting, there are subsequent, more official (and relevant) interviews that weed down to that one person that fits the job best.

And you just have to hope it's you.

(I'm not even going to discuss the joy of waiting for a call back.)

I have loads of lovely awkward interview stories, but rather than spell them all out one by one, I'll just give you the highlights of my most awkward interview moments. Please feel free to share if you've got some, too because, after all, we can all learn from each other.

1. At an interview for a grocery store cashier, the manager asked me if I knew how to count change back. I told him yes. He dug some dollar bills and change out of his desk and asked me to show him. Um...

2. At an interview for a chain store in the mall, the manager stopped the interview to poke me with a screwdriver and say, "Hey, wanna screw? HAHAHAHAHA!" She was 72 years old.

3. During an interview for an administrative assistant temp job, I walked in the door and my interviewer greeted me with, "Oh Jesus, another skinny bitch! JAMIE...come see the skinny bitch the temp agency sent over!" (I got the job and became friends with the woman, who was later put in jail for extorting money from the company.)

4. At an interview for a sales position, the interviewer stopped in the middle of the conversation and said, "I don't feel like this is going well. Am I doing something wrong?"

5. At an interview for a seasonal position (which means walk around asking people if they want to open a credit card) at a large electronic company, the HR manager asked if I had any special skills that would further qualify me for this very important position. I believe I said something to the effect of, "This is just a seasonal job, right?"

6. During a post-college interview for my first real career job, the interviewer shared that she was from a small town in Kansas. I (being super nervous) totally lied and said I knew some people from her town. She asked who. I made up the most ridiculous name known to mankind as the interviewer raised her eyebrows suspiciously and said, "I don't know them." (I eventually got the job.)

7. At an interview in which I was on the take, my interviewer showed up 35 minutes late and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry. You didn't mind waiting, did you? I never write things down and forgot we scheduled this today."

8. At an interview for an interior design job, the hiring manager informed me that I would receive no benefits or vacation for the first year, and for my second year I would receive 5 days of vacation. I must have inadvertently made a face because he then said, "If you can find better, you go right ahead." I didn't get the job, but I did find something better.

9. During an interview for a temp position over a summer, I was being interviewed in a small cubicle. During our discussion, one of the current employees walked by and exclaimed, "SH*T it's hot in here. Can't we turn the damn air on?" The interviewer explained that the employee was recently back from drug rehabilitation and was prone to outbursts.

10. During a two and a half HOUR phone interview for a sales position, the interviewer was so impressed with my qualifications and amazing phone skills, he said he couldn't wait to meet with me in person to confirm that I was as wonderful as I sounded and that I basically had the job. I came to the in-person interview ready to be offered the position, but when I shook his hand he said, "Now...remind me. Have we spoken on the phone? Are you the one that used to live in Colorado with the Westie puppies?" I informed him that, no, I was the amazing one he was ready to offer the job to after our two hour phone convo. He made an awkward face and said, "Oh. Right. Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves." I didn't get the job. Maybe I was too ugly.



Happy Tuesday, Bloggies!