Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Excuse Me While Take a Powder!

Excuse Me While Take a Powder!

Christmas Time. The time of year when traffic moves slower. People become dumber and children become even whinier. It’s the time of year when I would be willing to smash myself in my man bits with a sledge hammer rather than have to go shopping.

That being said, some manner of shopping is inevitable. Living on a border town and having the Canadian dollar nipping at the heels of the Greenback opens up an entirely new shopping experience for me. Aside from having to cross the border, shopping in the States is a pleasure. The people are just as dumb and slow as they are in Canada but the Americans do this crazy thing I have rarely experienced in Canada.

You know when you walk into a store, there are people that are supposed to help you. These are referred to as Sales Associates. While I was in the states I was approached by one of these ‘sales associates’ and asked if I needed help with anything. I quickly raised my hands in the air and yelled, “ I didn’t steal anything!” After a very uneasy chuckle the sales associate asked me if I wanted to try on the pants I was looking at. She directed me to a change room and instructed me to call her name if I needed and further ‘assistance’. Nervous and confused I hid my wallet in my underwear and tried on the pants. I knew something bad was about to happen. The pants were a little bit snug around my waist, which is a conspiracy against me and all size 35 waist pants I try on. I called the sales associate over and told her that I must have grabbed the wrong size. As I hid behind the door of the changing room she told me she would go get me the next size up. I knew she was lying and the hidden camera in the change room would be taping me standing in the change room nervously scratching my butt and obsessively pulling my socks up. Embarrassment coursed thru my body. Of all the days to wear a thong. About thirty seconds had passed and I was near tears when a soft voice was heard and a pair of pants were lightly placed on top of the change room door. Could it be? Is this really happening? I have heard of this sort of behaviour before. I believe it is called SERVICE! I was so happy that I tried the pants on, liked them, put them back on the hanger and walked out of the change room. I made it about six feet before I realized joy had fogged my brain and the pants I had worn in were on the floor of the change room. I didn’t care. I was feeling something I had never felt before. Satisfaction from shopping.

I paid for the pants and thanked the lovely lady who had ‘helped’ me and decided I needed more of this ‘Service’ thing. I bought more crap than I could ever use but I didn’t care. I was flying high on this crazy rollercoaster drug called Service.

When we crossed the border back into Canada I was on edge. I needed a fix-bad. “Pull into Home Depot!” I screamed. Trembling and shaking I walked into the store to buy a Round Tuit. I walked up and down the aisles looking for my little drug called Service. As I asked other shoppers for Service I began to crash. “Maybe they don’t have ‘Service’ in Canada?” I queried to Lori. “ I saw him. I saw Service. He was wearing a little orange apron!” I shouted as I ran to the end of aisle. With the hope of a young child wanting to catch a glimpse of Santa before he climbs up the chimney on Christmas eve, I jumped out of the end of the aisle and screamed “Service!” with my arms wide open. Service had already disappeared. Lori ran up to me and wrapped her arms around me like a protective loving something. “It’s ok Brooks. I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but there is no Service in Canada- now do up your fly!”

It can’t be. I refuse to believe it is true. I made Lori drive me to Canadian Tire. I walked around aimlessly for an hour. I never found Service there either.

I’ve grown up and matured a lot since last weekend. A lot of thinking has taken place over that time and some of it was done by me. Do Canadians in the service industry exist? Are they simply Hollograms put in place to help defend against shop-lifting? How can so many people possibly suck so bad at sales and SERVICE, in the same store, at the same time, that I could write this much gibberish about Service?

It isn’t just retail stores either. Lumber yards, restaurants and industrial supply houses suck just as bad. If I want to be ignored I will go home and stand naked in front of the television.

Buying anything in Canada is a task. You need one little microscopic screw to finish your masterpiece. You go to the hardware store and you get Igor the Mute janitor or High Pitched Voice Eyes Rolling Girl as your choice for assistance. Neither one knows shit about shit but Igor is somewhat amusing in the adorable way he tries to talk.

In a previous Rant I mentioned running bare ass naked down the aisles of these stores and tackling the Sales Associates. I now realize that this is not possible. You can’t tackle what is not there. I just want to know how the hell I got tazered and thrown out of the store so quickly when I dropped trow and ran into the Power Tools area. Little Ninja Bastards!

You’re not happy with your job. You don’t make enough money. Your boss is an idiot. I get it. I understand. You took the job though. Do your goddam job! Your job is to help customers. Customers come to the store to buy things. It’s really hard to buy things when you can’t find those things. Enter- YOU! The sales associate. Full of life and willing to help. I see you! You can’t hide behind that thing you’re hiding behind! Don’t run away you little bastard! C’mere! Here! Good boy! Where are the toilet Plungers? The industrial size plungers?

It hurts me to say this but when it comes to sales – Canada sucks. Our service industry bites. The US thrives on being able to sell things. Things we don’t think we need. They sell things that don’t even exist over there and we are damn happy to a premium for them. Sales in Canada on the other hand is akin to torture. “I will make you talk Sales Associate person! When and if I ever find you – you will talk!” You can actually hear the theme from Benny Hill playing as you chase down an employee at any big box store in Canada- unfortunately we never get the Sexy Party or the Sales Associate.

IF you are in Sales are there are a few things you should know;

1) I am the customer. I may not be right but I have the money.

2) One sale will lead to other sales. Help me out finding what I need and I will return to your store.

3) Never roll your eyes at a customer. You are there to help the customer- you bitter little fuck!

4) Don’t pretend to be stocking shelves that are full. I know you are trying to hide in full sight but c’mon- you look like a retard pretending to put things on that shelf!

5) I admit I do not know the names of certain hinges or wall anchors. THAT’S YOUR JOB! Don’t look at me like I just fell out of the shortbus. Jerk!

Another service industry Blunder. Life is a negotiation. Get used to it.

When I have to stay out of town in a motel I like to get some value for my dollars. By value, I simply mean the place better be clean, have a shower and no dead bodies under the bed. To me this is worth $50.00 per night. Don’t tell me you are full up and only have the Heart shaped Jacuzzi room full. I can see there are no cars in the parking lot. It is eleven o’clock at night- you aren’t going to get many more people. I want the $50.00 room- not the vibrating $125.00 room. Don’t bullshit me. I know your little crap weasel manager who looks like a ferret with glasses is making you lie to me about rooms being available. Step up-make the sale. Part of something is better than all of nothing sweet cheeks. No? Thanks for your time- go fuck yourself. It’s amazing that when you turn to leave the hotel staff will inform you that a room just opened up and they are dreadfully sorry but there was a problem with the computers. It is usually this point where I keep walking out the door. LIARS! WHORES! I’ll sleep in my truck before I give you lying whores cent one of my money. WHORES! That’ll teach ‘em where the bears shit in the buckwheat! Many a night I have driven back to a construction site and slept in my truck gleeful that I really taught those pricks a lesson!

Brooks’ Tips on Buying a Car

1) Never take your wife with you when you go out to buy a car. I am generally easy to get along with, but when it comes to buying cars, equipment or property I am whirling dervish of a heartless bastard. I don’t care who you are- you will think I am a bigger asshole than I actually am once we sit down and start to deal. I negotiate every day and I know how to get what I want – and if I can’t get what I want I know I can always walk away. It’s not personal. It’s a simple – you have something I am willing to pay X amount of dollars for. IF we meet on the price and the scope of what I want, we are good. If we don’t I walk away. Don’t embarrass your wife when you negotiate – leave her at home.

2) Never ask for things you don’t want or need when you negotiate. “I’ll take the car but you have to put Christmas lights on it and 39 snooker balls in the glove compartment!” Stay on point.

3) Do not be friendly with salespeople. Their job is to suck as much money as they can out of you. You don’t have to be a prick to them but I find it helps.

4) Always be ready to walk away. It’s your money and if you aren’t happy with the deal- you never will be. Walk away if you aren’t satisfied with the deal.

5) Two major character flaws will hurt you when you buy a car or anything – Lack of intelligence and lack of patience. I have neither patience or intelligence so I know what I am talking about. Making a rash uninformed decision will cost you money and you will not be happy afterwards.

6) To help speed up price negotiations and a fair deal remember to take your handgun out of your jacket and place it on the table, barrel pointing towards the salesperson and say, “ I hope you don’t mind, I don’t want that puppy going off by accident like it did the last time I bought a car.” You will have a low low price and no haggling very quickly.

Myths and Rumours

1) All big box stores have teleportation devices for their employees – FALSE. All big box stores have trap doors and underground passageways to give the appearance that the sales associates have ‘disappeared’ into thin air or ‘teleported’ to somewhere other than the place you are.

2) In the rare case that you actually corner a sales associate caution should be used. TRUE! When cornered or asked to answer a question that requires any thought sales associates typically react in one of two ways.

a) The Old Possum Ploy – feigning a heart attack this sales associate will pretend he is dead – right there in the middle of the aisle. Try as hard as you want but kicking them won’t work. Running over to the automotive department for a battery and some jumper cables will not work even when they are attached to their naughty bits. This is the highest form of disciplined laziness.

b) The Old Deaf or Can't speak Trick - just walk away. Peaceful thoughts.

3) Breaking wind after a long night of cheap draft beer and Mexican food, while standing next to freshly captured sales associate is inappropriate. FALSE. Not allowing the sales associate to leave the immediate stinkified area is inappropriate. Funny, but inappropriate.

4) Asking for the store’s manager is a waste of time. TRUE. Do you really think that an effective manager would let his sales associates be so utterly useless? Asking and waiting for the manager to see you is useless. You may as well run around talking to a wheel of cheese for all the benefit of talking to the manager dunderhead will bring.

5) Sending a complaint letter to Corporate headquarters should help the company right? FALSE. Emails sent to corporate never reach the right department simply because this email function on the company’s website was never enabled. Grab your wheel of cheese and start running around again.

Simple But Effective Shopping Tips for Men

DON’T! Men aren’t supposed to be in malls. Malls were designed for women. Women are smaller and typically more agile then men so they can dart in and out of crowds easier and do acrobatic stunts over displays to grab, kick or punch their way to the last whatever thing they want and don’t need.

Alcohol, cars, power tools and firearms are the only items men should shop for. Not the lollygagging/browsing/price comparison shopping thing. Men have internal clocks that allow them only so much time in crowded places other than bars and strip joints. It’s like the longest breath we could ever take. After that – we gotta go or we may die. Shopping for these items is smash and grab guerrilla warfare. Run into the store for vodka, an air filter, a mitre saw and a 12 gauge- run out, gasping for air with Schnapps, valve stems, welding rod and Nerf Gun- doesn’t matter- don’t care. I am done Christmas shopping-enjoy your welding rod. No sales associates required.

Do Not fall for the ‘I need to pick up a few things at the mall. Let’s go together and then we can have lunch!’ trick. A ‘few’ things means the things are very large or there is a lot of them. She needs your pick up truck to fit it all in. She won’t be done picking up her ‘few things’ until the mall closes. Enjoy holding her purse, telling her the ninety five pairs of pants she tries on don’t make her ass look big and the 3 Tic Tacs stuck to the bottom of her purse will have to hold you over until you get home or die of boredom.. You Fool!

Enjoy your Christmas and all the joy it will bring. It will be over soon and returning to work will feel like the best vacation you never had.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Taken to School.

Taken to School.

I thought I would never forget what a party is and how to do it. On Saturday I was taken to school and made to realize I haven’t really partied since my late twenties.

I had a sense going into this thing that I would need to be prepared. That little voice in my head that usually tells me to light things on fire, had changed. It was telling me to put some aspirin and Tums in my pockets. Psshaw- I don’t need those things I told myself out loud. The voice in my head eventually won. I am thankful that I listened to it.

We arrived at the party and immediately were offered any type of beverage we could have wanted. I played it cool and decided to damage myself with beer. I wanted to be a friendly drunk and not the ranting lunatic that takes over my mind and body when I drink liquor. Brooks 1 – Raving Lunatic 0.

There was no small talk at this party. Not once was ‘How about this weather?’ or ‘Did you get all Christmas shopping done?’ uttered. Straight for the jugular, hell bent for leather conversation was the mission. ‘Did your wife let you wear you balls tonite, cause you’re going to need them!?’ was one of the first questions asked of me by our gracious host and Birthday girl. I rifled through my wife’s purse and as usual , came up short. Dammit! No balls- at least not mine, in her purse. I informed the host of my lack of balls. With all the compassion of a rabid wolverine she laughed at me and dragged me to the bar to do a shot. I felt much more relaxed when we finished our shot and the Birthday girl patted me on the shoulder and said, ‘You’ll get better at drinking Princess!’

It was about this time that a busload of people showed up and things started to get really going. Like a tsunami the crowd rushed by and engulfed the bar like locusts. I was impressed.

It was great to see some familiar faces from long ago. It was nice to see that everyone looked happy and had nice lives.

To the Bar! Shot after shot was poured. Toasts were made and faces winced as shots were swallowed, slammed and refilled again. My little voice told me to take an aspirin and a Tums. I obliged.

Holy Hell! How can a little woman drink that much? One after the other this little girl kept the drinks a flowin’.

Time to dance- not me but the chickies. I have no idea what the dance was called- possibly the ‘stagger step drink spill’, or the ‘someone’s getting lucky tonite’ shuffle. Likely it’s me and my failing vision but all of these girls looked awesome. I can say unabashedly that if I ever had to make a choice, I would take a good looking 40 something woman with confidence and poise over some self–esteem lacking psycho 20 something any day of the week. These woman were good looking and confident. I was very afraid of each and every one of them.

Shortly after eleventy two beers and 96 shots things got very very strange. A gorilla dressed up like Elvis appeared and serenaded the birthday girl. As far as I could tell the gorilla did a good job staying in tune and not marking his territory by thrashing anyone. He did get distracted by an impromptu Sipandbale dancer thrusting his way across the floor in what can only be described as a black piece of something glued to his nether regions. Much like a train wreck- no-one could look away.

I never found out what happened to that gorilla and the mysterious thong guy. I hope that they are happy. I hope they are doing what they like to do. Hip thrusting and singing their way to a place where they can be free and happy.

Things started to slow down and for me at least, age and lack of training kicked in. My aspirin and Tums had kept me in the game, well at least on the bench, near the game-but alas – I had been taken to school by a crazy little blonde chick on a mission.

Maybe I would have faired better if I had brought my stunt liver. Maybe I just can’t mix metaphors or alcohol. Maybe I am just getting old. Can’t be, I love alcohol!

I woke up foggy but not in pain. Thankfully the weather was not cooperating so I gave myself a pass on cutting firewood. Sleep it off or sweat it out. I chose the sleep. Oh sweet sleep. For me, nothing is better than sleep. Or waking up spooning a seventy pound mutt- that’s the best!

It’s been a long time since I have been to a party with that much, dare I say it?, energy. I don’t think there was one rational conversation in that house the entire evening- and I loved it. People were just being themselves and having a great time. They took Lori and myself in like we were old friends and it was a great feeling. I haven’t laughed that hard since I saw the fat kid a few doors over trip on the stairs and smash his ice cream cone into his face. Fat kids are funny!

I am torn whether I should get myself ready for my next show down with the little crazy blond chick. She is now 40 so therefore she is officially old. I have to check with Lori first so I unofficially drop the alcoholic glove and issue the challenge to any takers- my turf – your booze – January – woodlot- prepare to freeze and be beaten by the local Zero the Hero. IF you aren’t brave enough for that there is always the Goose in the spring. So long suck-holes!