Jelly Guy’s Last Stand

smuckers jellySaturday it happened again. This time Jelly Guy said “Now this is the last time I’m going to ask you people about this.” And that’s the way he said, real smarmy, too. “You people,” like it was him against us and we were presenting an impenetrable front of non-jelly-having.

I’d already asked Sarah if I had permission to bring in a jar and dump it on his head the next time he asked about and she said yes. I bought a container of it last week but forgot to bring it with me Saturday. He wasn’t there the weekend before Christmas so I didn’t know if he was out of town. I really wish I had thought to take it with me. I don’t know what I would have done with it. I want to squeeze an entire bottle in his face, punch him, kick him in the shins and call him nasty names, but I probably would have just handed it to him and said “Here. Are you happy now?” But I know he wouldn’t be because he’d say he wanted his own packets, or he didn’t like grape. Or then he’d say he wants jam, not cheap jelly.

Audrey was on the register and he started in on her about how this was the last time he was going to ask. He then said “You really should provide this simple service to your loyal customers – people like me who spend over five hundred dollars a year here. I really, really like jelly on my bagels.” Audrey’s face started to get a little red and she said “To be completely honest, sir, you are the only person in the three years I’ve worked here who has ever asked for jelly.”

I walked up behind her and said very sarcastically in a super-chipper voice, “You know, on Wednesday I went to Target and got a squeeze bottle of name brand Smuckers for only a dollar and twelve cents! And that’s good for me because I only make seven dollars an hour.” I said that because he’s a physician, just like his other physician friends who come in and use our free wireless and take up tables for three hours on Saturday mornings not playing chess and usually not buying much of anything. And because he made the point about how much money he spends at the store.

Jelly Guy just said “Well,” turned around, and went back to his table. He sat there for another ten minutes or so before getting up walking determinedly towards Sarah who was stuck talking to our resident crazy old pervert. He stood patiently behind her for another five or so minutes, holding his plate. When she got away from the perv, Jelly Guy pulled her aside and spoke quietly to her for a while, occasionally nodding or pointing toward me and Audrey who started to get really pissed off because we didn’t think we were all that rude. I wanted to say lots of other things.

When he left an agonizing half an hour after that, Sarah finally told us he wasn’t complaining about me and Audrey being rude. In fact, she said, he was so focused on convincing her to buy jelly packets for the store that she was coming up with a price list to show him how expensive it would be. Their conversation went something like this:

Jelly Guy: You know, I’ve been coming here for quite some time and I think it’s really sad that you won’t provide me with the jelly I need. I really like jelly on my bagel and I don’t like eating them without it.
Sarah: You are more than welcome to bring in your own.
JG: That’s not the point. The point is that I spend well over five hundred dollars here annually and I think it’s a small cost for you guys to pay to keep my business.
S: I understand, but it wouldn’t really be cost-effective for us. We’d have to buy it by the case from one of our suppliers and since you are the only person asking for it, the rest of the case would be wasted.
JG: Well, what’s a case cost?
S: I’m not sure.
JG: You should look it up. What do you think it costs? Like fifty bucks? Don’t you think spending fifty bucks is worth it to make five hundred off me? I don’t want to have to start shopping around for other coffeeshops, because I will.
S: I can run it past my owner but I can’t promise you that she’ll approve a purchase like that.
JG: You do that and let her know I’m the one who was asking about it and how much I spend here every year.

We broke out the calculator after he left and discovered he spends about two hundred dollars every year, and that’s overestimating – assuming he came in each Saturday for 52 weeks a year, which he doesn’t. Thank god. Sometimes he doesn’t buy anything, like I said, and just uses the wireless. He and his three friends spend a combined total every weekend of about eight dollars, none of them tip, they take up three or four tables, spread out two different chess boards, and sit for two, three, four hours. Several other paying customers could be in and out in that span of time, and still have a chance to enjoy their coffee at a table.

I am so effing sick of this guy and his petty behavior. At this point it’s clearly a game to him. He just wants to see how far he can push us. I considered putting a jar of jelly on the counter and labeling it “Employee Use Only.” But he would only complain about me to the owners. I can’t dump it on him or I’ll get fired. I can’t swear or scream at him. I just told Sarah that it’s a good thing I’m not the manager and that I don’t have to worry about percentages, numbers, costs, and whatnot, because I want to tell the guy to walk his happy jelly-loving ass to Starbucks and stay the hell out of our store.

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Tiny Updatey

The holidays were . . . well, they were okay. Both my parents are starting new jobs so I’m a little stressed out about that. I didn’t receive my loan refund before the holidays so I had to count on Charlie and the pittance I made at the coffeeshop to stretch. We didn’t do much yesterday, Christmas, which was okay with me since I wasn’t feeling all that well. More on that in a minute.

We did the usual Christmas Eve gathering with my dad’s family at my younger cousin’s house. She’s closest in age to me, but she’s only 25. The rest range from 14-24. It’s kind of weird not having any kids around anymore. It seems like everyone grew up very suddenly when I wasn’t looking. I guess it’s kind of up to her to pop one out, though, since it appears it won’t be happening for me or my 35-year-old sister who no one has spoken to since 1999.

My cousin’s house is brand new, one of those new subdivisions in the middle of nowhere, and most of the space was in the basement they’re finishing, so it felt a little cramped. A couple of family members had been ill and I’m pretty sure I caught something in the tight quarters. Last night I crashed out on the couch early with a dry, itchy throat, and I’ve had a cough today. I’m not looking forward to the next three mornings when I have to open and work until one in the afternoon. But I gotta make up those lost hours somehow.

Charlie thinks we should host a family function some time. In fact, he wants to do Christmas Eve at our place next year. The very thought of it sends me in to a mild, sweaty panic. I can already visualize myself up until three in the morning, scrubbing the floors with my bare hands. I would want to change all of my furniture around and vacuum the dogs. I don’t even know what we would do with the dogs. I can’t cook a turkey and I would never touch a ham. I told Charlie we could do it, but only on the condition that I’m allowed to buy all new everything and I would serve only appetizers. So it probably won’t happen.

Santa brought us lots of goodies. I got the first two seasons of Futurama on DVD and a couple of sewing books from my grandma. One of them was an embroidery kit and I already embroidered four things last night; two tea towels and two napkins. One towel will be a gift for my mom – I stitched on a sparrow with a banner in its mouth, with the name “Jack” on the banner. She’s a huuuuuuuge Johnny Depp fan and absolutely loves the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I also did some cherries on a napkin, just to test it out. It isn’t too bad for being my first try . . .
Embroidered tea towel and napkin

Colbert & Stewart Return!

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will be back on the air January 7th.

While I’m thrilled to hear this, since these are two of my favorite programs, I also understand they are both members of the Writers Guild so they cannot write anything for the show, nor hire anyone back who is on strike.

This confuses me. I read that neither host will be able to write any of his monologues; he has to come up with them off-the-cuff. But if you’re going to air something you have to know somewhat in advance what you’re going to talk about and what jokes you’ll make, right? I guess they are taking things in a new direction prior to the eventual, hopefully, resolution of the strike.

Also, on The Daily Show’s website you can now view just about every single episode that’s ever been on. If I hadn’t had to be up at 5am I would have stayed up all night just watching Steve Carell segments.

The Grades Are In

So my literacy instructor posted my grade – finally. I’m ashamed for two reasons to say I got a B+. One: I got a B in an English class, which is my major. Two: why do I care that much? I did what I wanted to do; pulled up my GPA above a 3.5 so I shouldn’t be bitching.

But it’s the eighth of all the English courses I have taken and is considered a 200-level “gateway” class, required for literacy minors. The fact that I was given less than an A is embarrassing because I feel like I must not have done what I needed to succeed. But I also take it personally.

I like my instructor as a person. He is fun and outgoing and interesting to talk to. He’s well-versed on the topic and energetic about it. He is also, however, very opinionated, kind of defensive, and a bit on the long-winded side. In class he did not like to call on people if he was running with an idea. Most of the students in this seminar gave up and put their hands down when he was on a tear and I can’t recall how many times he would say, “Oh. Hannah, did you want to add something?” And Hannah would say no, she’d forgotten what she wanted to say, or that it was moot at this point.

As a youngster I’d have taken this B+ as a blessing – glad that I at least passed, and trusted the teacher’s assigned grade. Today, while I won’t dispute the decision, I have absolutely no doubt that the “quieter” of my fellow students were given higher scores and my being older and more willing to discuss things in class actually hurt me a bit. Although this instructor swore he hated with a passion the “five-paragraph essay,” and wanted us to write in our own voices, I was the only one in the class who wrote creatively or non-traditionally for our weekly essays.

He could have given me the requisite A or A-minus that I’m quite positive my younger, more self-conscious counterparts were given, but chose not to. And I wonder how much of that had to do with my questions.

Some Photos to Share

I know, it’s odd. I go months updating every single day, then nothing for a week at a time. Now three in one day. Blame in on the classes.

I just spent a chunk of my evening switching a ton of music over from an external hard drive, into iTunes, then onto my iPhone. Then I uploaded and attempted to resize some photos from the smaller digital camera. Here are two below.

Andouille On the Pillows

Andouille chilling on some pillows.

Christmas Handbags

Some gifts I made for the girls at work. From left to right and for whom: Sarah, Leticia, Katie, and Audrey. The last two are for Annie and a matching bag for her three-year-old daughter. I also made a pillow for Annie’s sister Liz.

A Lot of Hot Messes

In the past year or so it seemed every 35+ year-old actress, singer, and celebrity was pregnant. They’ve all popped, for the most part, with the exception of the lying Jennifer Lopez. Now it seems all the 20-somethings are knocked up.

Jessica Alba, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Fantasia (some American Idol winner and/or finalist and who claims this rumor isn’t true), Lily Allen, and now Britney Spears’ younger sister, who is only 16. All of whom are no older than, like 25.

Also, can someone please explain to me why the hell a 16-year-old celebrity, a member of a famous – albeit effed up – family, an actress who stars in a Nickelodeon program, could get knocked up in the year 2007? I mean, I understand the mechanics of it, I just don’t understand how she could get herself into this mess. I guess her mom was planning on writing a parenting guide for a Christian publisher and that book has been put on hold – indefinitely. No shit.

Grade 2 of 3

So I got an A in my history class, which felt pretty good. My second grade was posted this morning – an A- (minus) in my Writing for the Web course. That didn’t surprise me although I’m not thrilled to get anything less than a plain ol’ A in an English course.

I’m still waiting on the instructor to post for my literacy class. I know professors have to submit themĀ  by 5pm today, which means if he waits until the last minute I probably won’t know for the next day or two. I’ve really been sweating them because I didn’t know where I stood in any courses and I really want to bring my GPA up over a 3.5 again. Right now it’s a 3.484 which should be good enough since I’m a junior, but isn’t good enough to apply for a couple of scholarships I would otherwise be eligible for.

Ugh.

Up Then Down

I checked my school account to gleefully find one of the three classes I’m worried about had a grade posted: I got an A! I was thrilled as I didn’t know exactly where I stood in the course and my final, big paper wasn’t graded until this weekend.

I then checked my bursar account to see, for sure, when my loan refund would be disbursed. Last week it had said my deposit date was tomorrow, the 18th. Today it’s telling me I won’t get it until the 28th. This sort of blew my Christmas plan for Charlie. We have most of everyone taken care of, but I was really counting on that money to get him something specific that I know he wants and I can’t afford right now. I don’t get paid again until this Friday, which means I’d have to shop for the thing in person at a place I really don’t want to go the weekend before Christmas — the mall.

I also have to pay for a fourth course out of pocket for Spring since I’m taking the remainder of my first-year Spanish through Ivy Tech online. It’s a four-credit course, so that’s about $500 after taxes and “technology fees,” plus I have to buy the textbooks as a bundle. Since it’s an online class I have to have the “online workbook” with a special code to get my grades for quizzes and activities. This set of books is $200.

Education costs are getting ridiculous. It’s almost three grand for a semester at IUPUI (they just raised tuition again), and that’s only for three courses, what with all the “student activity” and “athletic development” and “general” fees they charge. Of course whenever I say something about this, someone always comes back with “Well, you know how much it cost when I went to IU/Purdue/Ball State/Princeton?!?” I know. That’s why I don’t go to those schools. If I took a full load of, say, 15 credits as an incoming freshman, had a job to pay my bills, and received student loans to pay for school, I would probably still owe a few hundred dollars each semester.

In a country where everyone with an IQ above 100 is expected to have a college degree to manage a gas station, I should think our education should be more affordable, if not free. But what am I saying? It’s capitalism at its best!

Snowed In

I was hunched over the dining room table putting together a slew of holiday cards while Charlie watched the news before he went to work last night. Every time I glanced up or tuned in all I heard was Winter Storm 2007! The Blizzard of the New Millennium! And dire predictions about 6, 8, 12, and 16 inches of snow. Every person I talked to at work this morning had a different total snowfall to tell me about. Sarah, Audrey and I set up a tally next to the register and discretely made a mark every time someone brought up The Impending Doom. By the time I left at 11am, we were up to fifty. And it wasn’t that busy this morning.

Charlie and I went to the store around four in the afternoon yesterday. I couldn’t believe the amount of traffic and how long it took us to go just a few blocks. He wanted to get some cat litter to weigh down the back of his truck and I needed to pick up some eggs so we could make cookies whilst potentially snowed in over the weekend. Our plans were soon thwarted by the gaggles of hysterical shoppers who were tearing apart the grocery store and making mad dashes around the parking lot. I was barely able to back out of the parking space I’d found as everyone raced in and out of the lot.

We got the litter and just went home.

I walked to work this morning, fully prepared for this horrendous blizzard. I carried my gloves, a hat, snow boots, and made sure to wear pants rather than my usual skirt and tights. I was also prepared for the onslaught of Weather Chatter which is why I hashed out the details of our tally with Audrey and Sarah in advance of any rush. We could only mark Weather Chatter if the customer instigated it. We were allowed to mark the same person twice if they had left once, returned, and brought up the weather again on their own. We couldn’t decide how to address people who talked to each other about the snow, so we started a separate tally just for those.

We’re prepared at home, though. We have a puzzle to work on, fixin’s for cookies, movies to watch, books to read. Charlie went to the grocery after work this morning and picked up the elusive eggs, some orange juice, milk, bread . . . all the things people were making mad dashes for yesterday afternoon. He said the store looked as if a war had been fought over bottled water and bacon and he felt sorry for anyone who had to restock. Pickings were slim, apparently, and he just picked up what he thought we might need.

I don’t think the main concern for us is that we can’t leave if we need to, or that the roads are so terrible that we can’t get out of the house. Although with the freezing rain and ice coming in, I’m not ruling that out. But we like the idea of just holing up for a day or two with hot chocolate and a couple of blankets. Oh, yeah, and the Playstation 3.

My only concern is that the club apparently expects Charlie to work tonight. No one has called to say he should come in earlier, or later, or not at all. Several other people live closer than he does who can open, but no one’s offered to do it yet. I can’t imagine that they’ll be busy at all.