Thursday, December 09, 2010

Litany of complaints

There’s never enough time
Wow. 17 days since my last post. And yet it seems like just yesterday I was waxing rhapsodic in this very space about the life-affirming benefits of my digital toaster.

In that time I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Iowa, seen Million Dollar Quartet, planned and canceled a holiday pie party that nobody could come to, written a freelance article about gay men and social media for Zeus magazine, worked an alarming number of 12-hour days, and just this week formally launched my period of boundless holiday cheer (or at the very least less-dour-than-I-am-the-other-11-months-of-the-year holiday cheer) with my annual pilgrimage to hear Chanticleer sing in the mighty Fourth Presbyterian Church on the Magnificent Mile.

But I didn’t get any blog posts written. Which is probably why my daily readership hovers in the tens. (Hi, everyone!)

People are morons
The first thing you have to do—the first thing—when you enter our office building—or almost any office building in the Loop—is tap your ID badge against an electronic reader to prove that you’re a … well, I’m not entirely sure what tapping your ID badge proves, but apparently it keeps the entire building safe from disgruntled ex-employees. And Senate Republicans.

This ID-badge-tapping-obligation is there every day. EVERY. DAY. It’s not randomly enforced as some once-a-month safety drill. And the electronic reader never moves to a different part of the building on some days. So there is no chance any reasonably functional building employee could rationally greet his or her morning tapping obligation as some sort of never-anticipated-in-a-million-years surprise.

And yet.

Every morning—every morning—some mouth-breathing cretin who’s more than likely just spent the last 30-plus minutes sitting on a train or a bus with the express purpose of coming to work in our ID-tapping-required building walks through the door, stumbles on the presence of the electronic reader, and only then commences searching through pockets and briefcases and purses to find his or her ID badge.

And guess where this mouth-breathing cretin stands to do his or her belabored searching? Right in front of the goddamned reader, that’s where. So the rest of us who possess more foresight than the average dead mosquito and who have our ID badges ready to tap the moment we walk through the building’s doors have to stand and wait while the mouth-breathing cretin proves to us beyond any hunch of a doubt that he or she needs to be trotted out to the sidewalk and shot in the head.

Go ahead. Ask anyone—at least anyone who’s reasonably functional—in our building if sidewalk head-shooting has never been contemplated in close vicinity to the electronic ID badge reader.

There are too many ruls
My nephew hand-lettered this sign years ago and taped it to his bedroom door after an unfortunate incident (which will not be described in any level of detail here to protect the reputation of an anonymous little girl) involving his younger sister peeing on his bedroom floor.

To what I assume will be his everlasting embarrassment, his mother—once she caught her breath after laughing like a deranged hyena … and presumably also after she cleaned the pee up from the floor—framed the sign and posted it in the powder room, where it shares space to this day with a framed (but not nearly as contextual) note hand-lettered by my niece, who had triumphantly catalogued the members of her family using her name, her brother’s name, “mom” and “bob,” which is not her dad’s name but we choose to think “bob” is more a product of her then lack of ability to distinguish between her b’s and her d’s, along with the totally unacceptable little-girl way she printed her a’s.

Or else she knows something we don’t.

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