Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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Cheap Lunch And Other Unpleasant Parts Of My Day So Far

Today has been rather interesting. "Interesting" in the sense that having an anvil dropped on your toe is "interesting:" Something to analyze and poke fun at, but not really something you'd like to experience. Maybe to watch it happen to someone else. Unfortunately, we're all someone else to someone else. But why do I have to be someone else's someone else?

Today started out yesterday, as most days tend to do. More notably was my sleep schedule: my after-dinner "nap" involved more sleep than my so-called "sleeping through the night." This was actually by design, and seems to be working well enough for me that I may actually make that my regular schedule or something: eat dinner, sleep for five or six hours, work, sleep for three hours, have a [adjective] day. It was better rest than I've been getting for the last several weeks. This may be related to the fact that the loud suitemate on the right side of my room, Jamie, was out getting laid for the duration of my longer sleep period and hence was not being loud over here.

His timing is uncanny. For my second attempt to sleep, at 3:30 AM, I had just finished my shower. I checked my e-mail one last time, logged out, turned out the lights, laid down to rest... and right then, the instant I started to relax, there's the *WHOOMP WHOOMP BOMP BOMP WHOOMP* he calls "music" playing clearly through the wall.

Is that timing or what?

Despite the audio, I did still manage to fall asleep at 4-ish, which is fine. My alarm clock went off at 7:15, at which time I actually felt rather rested. I got dressed, staggered out for breakfast and caffiene (yesterday, I had to give up my attempts to go off caffiene- it became clear that even though I've built up a tolerance, the caffiene was helping control my asthma), and found only the first at Bear's Den, as sugar-laden soda seems a poor breakfast choice, and coffee makes me puke. (It did last time, anyway, and I for one am not interested in repeating the experiment.) The tea was of two varieties: "decaffinated" and "herbal crap strongly unrecommended by my allergist". With those choices, I figured I was best advised to go without a caffiene boost until lunch.

I headed back to my dorm, studied some, checked my e-mail, and generally wasted time. Heading out at 8:37, waiting for class, I decided to wait for the shuttle to Malinckrodt. It saves me maybe 1/10 of a mile and about two and a half minutes, but it has two prime advantages: it's heated, and I'm lazy. So I took my place on the bench; there were three art students also waiting. (They've got a viable excuse to take the shuttle; they have these massive, incredibly complicated projects they have to haul across campus, and the shuttle is a good start.)

A passer-by came up to me a couple minutes later. "Dude, you're taking the shuttle to Malinckrodt?

"That's my plan, yeah. As I have class, I don't plan to go farther than that."

"It's like two minutes away. Try walking."

"The shuttle has to come anyway. My added presence will likely have little significant impact on the machine's gas mileage. It holds 16 people, so I'm not hurting its capacity much. And it's cold, and the shuttle is heated."

"That's not the point..." Frustrated, he walked away. That was kind of too bad; all things considered, I'm still wondering what the point actually was. I would have asked, except he had left.

The shuttle arrived and took me and three art students to Malinckrodt.

Only when I was most of the way to McDonnell Hall did I realize that Malinckrodt Center's bakery sells tea.

Calculus class was sparsely populated, probably because it's a test this evening and everybody figured it would just be review. (It mostly was, but it was helpful review.) In screwing around with my calculator, I discovered that (sin(x))cos(x) makes for an interesting graph; that's all I really learned, but the class gave me confidence that I should be okay on this test. Highlights of the class featured a girl in the front row (same row I'm in, of course) asking if it was normal to have erotic dreams about integrals, my winning an unofficial award for "The Messiest Note Card Miss Apfel Has Ever Seen" (w00t!), and Miss Apfel writing "(Just note which test to use... don't don't determine convergence/convergence)" on the board, for a rather mystifying double blooper leading to a confused class.

But class was fine, and class-ish, as usual, and I lived through it. Now knowing I had Cheap Lunch to help out at next, I decided to take a detour to Holmes Lounge for tea.

No normal black tea. At least they had green tea; it tastes like liquid spinach, but it beats decaffinated herbal stuff.

So I went to Cheap Lunch, and helped set things up, and got plenty of rant-fodder in case this wasn't bad enough already.

Why do co-workers back here have so little respect for the difficulty of the position of Soda Dude? There are eight of them in the pizza section taking money, removing empty boxes, and making sure people don't take more pizza then is paid for; I personally move heavy boxes of soda at high velocity to replenish the stocks as the soda is taken by customers. And it's not made any easier when there's someone other than Cassie (the Chip Girl) or I back there. The population-capacity of the soda/chip section is two. If you know exactly what soda you want, run in, grab it, and leave. If you're browsing, go around to the customer's side so I'm not tempted to deck your ass when you're in the way of the flat of soda I need as of three minutes ago and have been digging down to, or are blocking the spot where I'm restocking. In the visible middle of a restock. And people wonder why I tend to get in a bit of a bad mood over there.

To the customers: No, I really don't mind your taking soda from the row I'm restocking; it doesn't matter a bit. What does matter is when you block the row I'm trying to stock with, say, a plate of pizza while you look and browse s-l-o-w-l-y around the soda table. You can stop picking up things in the middle of the rows to inspect them- I'm not trying to fool you, really. The things in the middle of the row are the same damn sodas as the ones in the front. Is that such a hard concept to grasp?

I don't mind being asked where a soda is, or to retrieve it. I do mind being asked where a soda is when not only are you standing in front of it, your hand is on a can of it. Or when you haven't even glanced at the tableau and you're not Allen, and he gets the exception because he's in a motorized wheelchair. Do your legs work? Yes? Okay, then please move the total of eight feet to look at the selection. I'm not going to drop everything and get a soda for you when I'm busy under the table busting my ass to dig down to the "Mr. Pibb" buried at the bottom of five flats of other assorted soda. And if you change your mind about wanting a soda, put it the fuck back in its row! Just because you're indecisive doesn't mean you need to try to rearrange the table the best you can; I don't mind the workload, but I do mind being forced to do extra work because you lack the courtesy, brains, or both to put the damn thing back where you found it when I've obviously been busting my ass to keep the table sorted.

Something that I can't blame people for except for the dumb-ass at Coca-Cola, Inc. who opened the box is leaky cans of soda. It's nasty to grab a can and find your hand adhering to it, but what's worse is the knowledge that somewhere, probably in this flat or one that was stacked nearby, there is a leaky can. It is a secret land-mine, waiting to strike. I grab the leaker with the same force I grab any other can with, which is probably more force than I need to use, and promptly discover that I have, indeed, found the leaky can. This is because it has jettisoned its contents onto my EnCouncil shirt, my right arm is dripping, and the can is crushed in my hand.

Excuse me, sir, I need through. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know that "excuse me" in your language means "please do your best to block my path while I'm carrying 35 lbs. of pizza." Now could you please move your ass? And the rest of you along with it?

No matter what this would lead you to believe, my job of soda dude / pizza mover guy is not the worst job in Cheap Lunch. That dubious honor goes to whoever is selected to be the Ice Guy, especially the Ice Guy for the second run after you're already tired. This job is about as pleasant as a hydroflouric acid enema. (Distuybing analogy credited to whoever it was that I overheard use it to describe a course- a customer at Cheap Lunch.)

Cheap Lunch is in Lopata Gallery. The closest edible-quality ice machine is in Whittaker Hall; this is three buildings and a parking lot away. It's annoying to carry the bucket from Lopata to Whittaker. It is pure hell to carry the full cooler of ice from Whittaker to Lopata, a mostly-uphill path. I've done it myself; the ice bucket is about 20 lbs, and other people on the sidewalk are all too happy to just about deck you because you're moving too slowly for their taste.

Probably the best part of the job is putting the bucket down when you're done. There are few feelings better than that in your spine once you're no longer carrying a 20 lb. inconvinient weight with painful handgrips. It is like a spinal orgasm.

Dan tries to rotate the job of Ice Guy (three people have to do it every week- one for each bucket at the start, and then one refill bucket at the middle) between everybody except Cassie and I, the former because she's his girlfriend and the latter because I've got it bad enough as-is. Josh is the only person who actually volunteers for the job with any regularity; I'm not entirely convinced that this fact is disconnected to the fact that Josh is the shortest of any of us. Perhaps his spine has been shortened by the weekly compression of hauling 20-pound buckets of ice an unpleasant distance.

At least I only have to do Cheap Lunch for an hour and a half. I've spent over one hour typing this up. That's probably not much of a surprise to any of you.

A vaguely related complaint is the odor of the men's restroom on Urbauer 1. (Okay, so "men's" is redundant. There's only one bathroom per building per floor in SEAS except for one spot on Lopata 5.) I can deal with a restroom that smells like rotten ape shit. I can withstand, uneasily, a restroom that smells like five million flowers. What gives me the difficult-to-resist urge to heave is a restroom that smells like perfumed roadkill. If they're going to clean the place, they can at least actually clean it instead of just scent it! Seriously! Perfumed roadkill smell is far, far worse than roadkill smell! Take my word on it! Head to Urbauer 1 restroom someday and take a whiff if you don't believe me!

Looking at my keyboard, I see an interesting sticker. "Warning: Some experts believe that use of any keyboard may cause serious injury. Consult statement on back of this keyboard." Well, yeah, that's a tendonitis warning. But shit, "serious injury?" The way it's written, the label seems to imply that if you type, you are at risk of the keyboard suddenly flying up, leaping at your face, and then exploding in a messy shrapnel bomb. Or maybe it's warning you that if you hit the spacebar too hard, you will whack a hole in your computer desk and your monitor will fall down and amputate your leg. Or something. Couldn't the warning be, y'know, a little less alarmist?

All right, eleven kilobyte rant over.

Oh, and unrelatedly, googleWHACK:
pseudovariable lunch: 1 result
pseudovariable: 542 results
lunch: 13,600,000 results
total Whack score: 7,371,200,000 points (seven billion, three hundred seventy one million, two hundred thousand)

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