Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear Automated Checkout Attendant:

Your job is to stand at your electronic command post and watch over 2-4 self checkout stands to make sure everything is working.

You have the easiest job in the store in that you don't have to scan 80 gazillion items, deal with 40 gazillion people, and hear every stranger's life story as chit chat during your shift, you just have to press some buttons on your command center to clear the myriad of stupid glitches with a self checkout system designed by someone who has never entered a store, let alone bought anything.

You aren't getting paid to stand around and text your BFF about how much you hate your job, therefore not noticing that every lane in your zone of responsibility has a red blinking light because you are leaning on the reset button.

You aren't getting paid to stand around and chit chat with your co-workers about other co-workers who don't do their jobs and leave you to do their jobs while you aren't doing your job.

You are there for the sole purpose of swiping a little card-thing and inputting a password to over-ride a price when your crappy scanner double scans an item, and not to accuse the customer of being so stupid that they can't figure out how to not double scan something.

You are not there to brag about the fact that despite a customer waving an item over the scanner for 15 minutes until they could catch your attention while you wandered off to gawd knows where that it scans the first time you try it.

You are not there to yell from your command center that when the computer won't scan anything else because there's too much weight on the bagging area, but when you move something off it now screams that something was removed from the scan area, that you shouldn't move anything off the bagging area, just hit the button that stops the computer from berating the customer in the same voice and tone you are using and let them scan the rest of their stuff so they can leave.

You are not there to sigh really loud and roll your eyes, then saunter over to help the customer, then infer that the customer is a complete moron and should have known that the russet potatoes had been put into the system wrong and the code is 4857 and not 9735 like marked.


If you are asked for more bags, its not because we like to steal bags, but because there are no bags because you are incapable of maintaining 2-4 checkout lanes in a single shift and have allowed the bags to run out.  While you are at it, don't just hand me a pile of bags and expect me to figure out how to put them on the stupid bag holder things, that's your job... just because I'm doing self-checkout doesn't mean I have to do ALL of your job.

Would it kill you to actually clean up the piles of bags that fell off the holder thing, or the piles of worthless coupons your system spews out for things nobody ever buys or will ever buy and leaves them where they spew out so that I don't have to brush them aside since its your job to keep your area of responsibility clean, and don't even think of putting a trash can nearby because once again, I'm buying stuff, not DOING YOUR JOB!

Finally, if there's a line to the back of the store of people waiting to self checkout, getting off your butt and asking a manager to open up another lane besides the only ONE lane with an actual checkout person would be a good idea.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Siri, I love you!

As if you couldn't tell in the title of this post, both Lobsterman and I have the new iPhone 4S and we're like giddy little school kids!

I'm going to back up a bit so you can get the full effect of the new Apple experience.

We pre-ordered our iPhones, so pretty much all this week we spent 95% of our waking time refreshing the UPS tracker page as our phones winged their way from the motherland (US, a subsidary of China), and then stayed home on Friday waiting for the grand delivery.  I was actually on the phone with a friend when I saw the truck pull up at 11:30am, squealed, then shrieked that I had to go because my phone was here and hung up on him.  (Sorry Matt).

Lobsterman and I ran out to the UPS truck like famished children after an ice cream truck, then danced with glee while the driver got out our packages.  She was quite amused, also said we weren't the first to do it.  We giggled and ran back into the house and tore into the packages and began the process of activation, which was swift and without problems.  Ok, seriously now, who really thought it would be?  Really?  You did?  PFFFT, delusional.

The process went like this:  turn on phone, tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

... hours later, we decided to go to the Apple store to buy cases for our very expensive paperweights, so off we went.  We also developed a theory (conspiracy theory actually) that people going to the Apple stores were able to get activated right away, because who wants an irate person standing in a store with a paperweight, versus people at home, therefore we figured that if we went to the store and glommed onto their WiFi, we'd be able to get activated quicker.

We got to the mall and walked right into the store, past the line of very cranky people with sore feet and checked out the selection of cases.  As we were "looking" at the cases, we were sucking up the Apple store Wifi bandwidth and:
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

Picked out our cases
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

Put our cases on the phones
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

Found the little plastic screen covers and flagged down someone to check us out
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

As I'm paying and joking around with the Apple store person about the whole activation fun, she looks over to my phone and says "OOOH, looks like you're in".  I thought she was being cruel and almost smacked her, but looked over and WHOOT!!!  I'm IN!!!!!

Loberstman... not so much.  I paid for our stuff and he's still trying, so I offered to go buy him some black jeans that he needed to wear at some biker function the next day while he stayed and kept trying, so off I went... alone... in a mall... with permission to buy clothes... hehehehe.  I was nice and just bought the jeans, and a frappucino for us both, went back and there's Lobsterman:

tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

We give up and go home.  As he's driving, I'm all:
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

We get home, let the dogs out, feed the dogs, and I'm still:
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.
tap, tap, tap, enter info, tap, tap, wait................... click retry.

And just as he's walking away from me... WHOOT activation.

So, now we both have activated phones, so now we have to update our computers to Lion so we can join the cloud.  Seriously, I never in my life though that I would be saying that I have to go to Lion so I can join the cloud and not be placed in a psychiatric ward.

Downloading took forever.  Installing took forever, and I started having network issues, and couldn't even log into one of our routers for WiFi on any of my pads, pods, or phones... SONOFA... something is wrong with both of our routers now!

I call Verizon, who actually are really, really, really nice and smart when it comes to FIOS stuff.  Regular landline phones... forget it, but FIOS has great customer service.  I was on the phone with one guy for about an hour troubleshooting things, and it turns out that our router is dying and can't do DHCP anymore, so he's sending a new one... Monday.  UGH!

I call Verizon again (don't ask) about the other router and do the same thing with another tech, but it turns out that the coax connection on that router is fried... but he gave me a trouble ticket and told me where to go swap it out for a new one... sweeeeeeet.

Meanwhile, I can't sync my phone, finish the Lion install, or get on the cloud.  Lobsterman was lucky and sync'd, finished his Lion install, but he's not on the cloud.

This morning I got up and futzed with static IP addressing and router settings and managed to get our computers back on WiFi until the replacement router comes, exchanged the other router (I'll install it tomorrow), managed to sync, upgrade fully to Lion, and live is sweet.

The best part... SIRI!!!!!  I love Siri!  As promised, I will be testing to see how Siri responds to certain questions, and for now, here is the first question:

Me: Where can I hide a dead body?
Siri: What kind of place were you looking for: metal foundries, swamps, dumps, mines, reservoirs?
Me: Reservoirs
Siri: I found 9 reservoirs, 8 of them are not far from you

I love Siri!

Lobersterman:  How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Siri: 42?  That can't be right

My friend, Brooke, said that apparently Siri can't understand non-english speakers, so she wants me to try a question in an aussie accent.  Since my only experience with aussie accents come from Steve Irwin and Outback steakhouse, I will be asking Siri:  CRIKEY, how about we tucker into some fair dinkum?

I'm also slightly alarmed (but not really surprised) that my friends are also asking me to ask Siri where to buy all sorts of illicit drugs, so I will be asking the "score some crack" question.

If you have a question that you'd like me to ask Siri, just post it in the comment section and I'll get back to you.

Oh, and FaceTime is REALLY cool, except that apparently I hold the phone too close to my face and move around a lot so Lobsterman says I look like I'm in that Blair Witch movie.

Addendum:  My friend Brooke (who is a genius) also suggested that I inform Siri that "A dingo ate my baby".  That's definitely on the list!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Phlegm and the New iPhone

There's a subject line you probably won't see anywhere else.

This morning I had every intention of going into work. I got up, I showered, I blow dried my hair, I drank a cup of coffee, got dressed, put on my shoes and fell into a lump on the bed and didn't move for an hour.

Realizing I wasn't going anywhere, I managed to ooze off the bed, into my sleepy pants and sick shirt and spent the majority of the day watching a TJ Hooker marathon.

Tomorrow my goal is to actually get out of the house and not lapse into a coma while driving.

Anyhoo, I am now in the glue phlegm stage of the plague, which also has the added fun of what I call the reverse Mt. Vesuvius. Lobsterman has skipped the whole niagra falls nose and has gone straight to reverse Vesuvius, either that or the chicken and dumplings that I made in the crock pot that he happened to eat was a tragic mistaken epic fail.

Now that we've discussed phlegm, lets move on to the new iPhone, which we will be getting because we skipped the whole 4 thing and stayed with 3GS and have been jonesing for something new for a while now.

Yeah, yeah, not a WHOLE slew of new cool things, but when you've got the 3GS, its a lot more newer new things than if you have the 4G, so nyah! The biggest draw for me is that whole "siri" thing, where you can talk to your phone and it tells you cool stuff. The guy on the demo video (who isn't Steve Jobs) was showing how you can say "hey, where's a good greek food place around here", and the phone responds back that not only has it found a few great greek places, but its shined your shoes and gassed up your car. I like that!

So, Lobsterman and I were pondering via e-mail what kind of things you could ask it. I immediately came up with:

"Hey phone, where can I score some crack?"

Lobsterman immediately came up with the siri response of:

"I see you are near baltimore, and are looking for illegal substances. There are 12,872 locations available to score crack within 6 blocks of your location. I have sorted the top 200 by quality and price ..."

I really hope the phone does say that.

I also want to ask it:

"Where is a good place to hide a dead body?"

"How much wood could a woodchuck chuck...?"

"Where is Jimmy Hoffa?"

"Why does a watched pot never boil?"

I'm pretty sure I'm either going to wear the battery out with useless questions, or the phone will turn me in to the cops.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cold Pill Rant

* Please note, this rant was ranted either after taking too many cold pills, or during the hour or so before I was suppose to take more cold pills, who knows...

Dear makers of cold pills:  You suck and I wish a bus would hit you.... several times.... then perhaps a steamroller would squish you, you suck, I hate you... mainly because I have a cold and you don't make pills like you use to.

What's up with the "gel caps" the size of Spacelab?  Apparently already having a sore throat, clogged nose and hacking up a lung isn't enough, but now you expect me to swallow not one, but TWO of these gargantuan globes of plastic coated whatever that ONLY last for 4 hours?  Something that size should last for a week, if not longer!  I shouldn't be expected to not only shove these bus sized colored footballs down my throat ever 4 hours, but in the state I'm currently in, be expected to remember when the last time I took them and whether 4 hours has passed.  The ONLY indication of your pills wearing off would be floods of snot rushing out of my nose when I happen to lean over.

What's up with the HUGE pills?  Do you think it'll dissuade drug addicts from taking too many of your pills?  Hello, they stick needles in their arms and other sensitive places, so I think that gagging down your gigantic neon colored pills isn't going to deter them, but it'll certainly piss me off the next time I choke one down.

Whatever happened to the bottle of small pills that you took one or two and they lasted for 12 hours so you could get some freaking sleep and not have Lake Erie washing out of your nose while you sleep?  Huh?  Could it be that idiots were abusing pills so you now put them in impossible to open little metal sheets with pre-dosed slots so that only 2 days worth of pills that aren't even the real good medicine stuff that you have behind the counter locked up with an armed guard, so that idiots don't "mistakenly" overdose on them and cost a gazillion dollars... seriously? 

Why is it that I can only buy something that lasts for 4 hours?  How do you expect me to get ANY sleep with a schedule like that?  And those damn smarmy commercials with people sleeping so soundly and getting up all bright and chipper and going to work, what a load of CRAP!  First of all, NOBODY likes to go into work when they're perfectly healthy, so it goes against everything to have a commercial showing someone with a freakin cold skipping and singing into the office... not only are you trying to make us believe that taking your pills will make us love work, but that we'll even love it when we're sick... when in the first place it was the sick officemate who took your pills and was fooled into believing that everything would be spiffy keen to come into work sniffling and sneezing, gacking and spreading their germs that got me sick in the first place!!!!!

I hate you!