Thursday, September 1, 2011

You're about to have to take in a lot of information.

Alrighty, so to catch you guys up.

We have a new efficiency expert hired by the owner. We are no longer allowed to wear hats, shorts, or skirts above the knee. I don't see how shorts and hats interfere with efficiency, but I totally get the skirt thing. At least as far as my coworker Raver is concerned. That little rule was added after an unfortunate day when Raver wore a decent length chiffon skirt with tulle under it. It was long enough, but so stiff from the tulle that when she bent over (and she never bends any way except straight over) the skirt showed everything. I was completely horrified to look up as she bent over a box to see her black thong and her butt cheeks. Three young boys were amused, my other coworkers where nonplussed, but Bones Buddy actually had to say something to Manager Man. So, because Raver doesn't know how to bend over like a lady in a skirt, the rest of us are being punished.

As for nearly going down for something Raver did at work...we both happened to be working behind the counter one Saturday when it was busy. We both happened to intercept customers looking to drop off student model flutes for repair while talking about upgrading to YFL461 models for concert band. The difference was my customer was a man, left his flute for repair, and left with a price quote, a flute on hold, and a smile on his face. Raver's customer left with the flute needing repair, with no desire to come back, and with an experience so unpleasant she felt the need to send an e-mail complaining about the rude girl who had "helped" her. Well, Manager Man had heard me talking to someone about a 461. It's not a commonly asked for flute. Most people prefer to go inline at the pro flute level. Finding someone wanting an offset G key on a pro level solid silver flute is rare. He thought it was impossible that two different customers came in. But after he read the e-mail to me I insisted it couldn't have been me. My customer left with my card and name, he would have said my name. I also said his flute was still in for repair. And it turned out that it was Raver that had done it. The woman had been so mad she took her flute to another store for repair and bought the 461 elsewhere. That was an eighteen hundred dollar instrument we didn't get to sell. The reaction? If Raver EVER gets another customer complaint, she's fired. (Manager Man had to arrange that with the boss. He wanted to fire her immediately.)

As for me costing the store fourteen hundred dollars? A woman and her daughter came into the store with a rental return, and when I looked at the clarinet in question I was confused because it wasn't one I'd ever seen us carry, let alone rent. It was plastic, for one. But she said it was the instrument we'd given to replace her stolen wooden clarinet. I thought the store had just been cheap and replaced a nice clarinet with a plastic one. I conferred with Manager Man, who said just to take it and make a note. Turned out that woman had NEVER filed a police report for a stolen instrument and we have NEVER carried the plastic model she claimed we gave her. The instrument she kept was a fourteen hundred dollar wooden Yamaha. The instrument she gave was a five hundred dollar plastic POS. Technically, she'd rented the Yamaha long enough to buy it outright at a sale price. But we lost the ability to rerent or sell the used one we gave her.

Then there was my near drowning. Well, against my better judgement I went back to Schlitterbahn for a second attempt at family fun. It was hot, there was no rain, and the power stayed on the whole time. But Master Plo Koon decided he wanted to go in the wave pool. It's a big circular pool where great floods of water are released every so often to make waves. If you wait by the alley that lets the gushes of water out, you can ride the flood of water all the way around. I jumped into that. I'm actually a very good swimmer. Unfortunately, the kid who decided to leap in with me was not. He went under and, I'm assuming, got some water in his lungs for his troubles. When he came back up he was groping for something, anything, and found me. And my head. And he pushed MY head down so that he could stay afloat as we were both being swept away. I was surprised and got a lungful of water. Whoever said drowning is painless lied. Sucking in that water was immediately painful to my nose, my throat, and my chest. When I got myself back up the stupid fucker had his hands in my hair. I had to fight him off of me, then fight the urge to sock him in the nose. But I got out after that. 

Now I get to tell you guys about my biking experiences. Let me tell you, I've only got an eight minute bike right to work, and that includes a stop for coffee (unless the line is long), but it never fails that someone almost ALWAYS hits me. The number of people who make illegal left turns when I'm in the middle of the crosswalk is astounding! And then these bastards have the nerve, the audacity, the gall to honk at me and give me the finger! Let me just clarify something for you assholes who almost hit me: THE FUCKING RED LIGHT MEANS YOU CAN'T TURN LEFT AND THE CROSSWALK SIGN WITH THE WHITE STICKMAN FLASHING MEANS I HAVE THE FUCKING RIGHT OF WAY! The redlight ALSO means you have to YIELD TO ME when I'm crossing, even when you're turning right on a red light, because I HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY! The funny thing about this is I don't even drive, ever, but I have a better understanding of the laws of the road than these people. 

I know you guys are only still reading because you want to find out about my head injury at this point. Am I right? Of course I am.

Well, the week before my birthday was my coworker Dizzy's birthday, and since we're good friends and I adore his fiance, Padawan and I accepted the invitation to his birthday party. Dizzy's fiance is in her third year of medical school and she's a licensed Pharmacist, but she's playful. She has a lot of silly hats and toys, a giant air puff gun among the latter. 

This is what it looks like, exactly. 

Now, in the normal way of things, these things are not in and of themselves dangerous. It literally just shoots a big puff of air into you with a slightly loud noise that, when unexpected, can make you jump. I was talking to Jelly and Fun Fiance with my back turned to Padawan and Dizzy when I heard a loud noise as I felt a puff of air hit my head. It didn't hurt, but it surprised me. I jumped and turned around and saw what caused the noise. I laughed and turned back around, warning Dizzy not to do it again. (The gun was in his hand.) 

A moment later I felt a sharp stabbing pain in the back of my head as I heard the noise of the puff gun. I felt the puff of air, too, but it I can't remember which registered first. I do remember the pain, though. Sudden, red hot and angry, my head throbbed. I screamed and clamped my hands to my head, turning to give Dizzy a verbal tongue lashing. This time, however, the gun was in Padawan's hand. 

I laughed and said, "Hey! That hurt!"

And everybody laughed and tried to figure out what exactly had hurt about it. I was trying not to cry as I kept my hands clamped to the spot that was still throbbing. And then something started to feel warm on my hands. I said, "Guys, I think I'm bleeding."

And this resulted in another round of drunken laughter followed by, "Chanel, it's an air gun. There's nothing in there to hurt you, let alone make you bleed!" 

Then I made the simple mistake of taking my hands away from my head and looking at them.

Instant tunnel vision. My eyes focused on the blood that was covering my palms and finger tips. I manged to get out one, "Oh my god!" before the hysterics and hyperventilating kicked in. Tears and sobs choked their way out between huge gasps of air. Faintly I heard Jelly turn to her husband and say, "Jesus Christ, she's going to faint! Get a pillow!"

And suddenly there was a voice, loud and controlled. "Chanel, breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Somebody get me a wet washcloth. For god's sake, Chanel, stop looking at your hands! Somebody, put her hands down so she can't see the blood!" Something cold and wet pressed down on my head, someone pulled my face up and my hands out of my sight. I managed to start breathing through my nose and out of my mouth, slowly. The tunnel vision returned to normal vision, but I was still crying.

I looked to my left, and there was Fun Fiance, all medical student and fully trained to deal with an emergency, keeping my wound from bleeding. She said, "It's okay. I can see it. It's not deep, but it's pretty big. It's shaped like a triangle. I don't know what hit you, but something definitely got you good. No, I promise it's not deep and you don't need stitches, stop looking at me like that. Head wounds bleed a lot, but it's not dangerous. I promise."

Well, I've had stitches in my head before and I happen to know that for a head wound to need stitches there would need to be a LOT more blood than that, so I calmed down a little more and finally stopped sobbing, though I was still breathing carefully. They finally got me up to go into the bathroom, and I heard Dizzy, baffled, saying "'s an air puff gun! How do you get a bloody head wound from a puff of air?" as the other guys teasingly congratulated Padawan on "trying to get rid of her" and gave him playful shoulder punches.

Jelly helped me wipe the mascara tracks off of my face. (Well how the hell was I supposed to know I needed waterproof? I hadn't intended to cry! It was a party for crying out loud, and I was sober!) She asked, "Are you mad at Padawan for doing this?"

I looked up, surprised. "What? No! It was an accident! Besides, you just wait and see. I'm getting an ice cream out of this at the very least!"

Everybody in the other room heard me and laughed. Dizzy said, "See, dude, she's not even mad! Just buy her some ice cream and she might not even bring up in a fight six months from now!"

Of course I had to get up and shower the next day. Not fun. And brushing my hair? Even worse. Dizzy, however, had the brilliant idea of getting the camera scope and using it to show me on the big screen at work what my injury looked like the next day. 

From the picture he showed me of the wound and my own study of the offending weapon, I have decided that the following situation took place. Use the below picture for visual aide. 

On either side of the rounded barrel where the air shoots out is a spike from the lightning design. (What lightning has to do with puffs of air, I have no idea.) When Padawan attempted to shoot the air at me, he was too close, and the gun jerked forward with the release of the part that shoots forward when let go. It hammered me right in the head.

Padawan tried to act offended when we left because I cried. I quickly set him straight on that account. I was the victim of his childish pranks! 

And all I have the energy for right now.


  1. Holy Crap! I need a minute to make sure I'm responding to everything here...

    Okay, about work. Raver needs to be fired. I'm sitting here REALLY hoping that she will screw up and piss of a customer as soon as possible. This is for your sake, as well as for the sake of everyone else in that store--especially those that have to look at her thong whenever she bends over, (EEEWWWW!!!), and the ones that she continually tries to screw over in various ways.

    Making a mistake like the one with that clarinet is definitely upsetting, but at least you got Manager Man's approval before doing it. That gives you some protection. Stupid, dishonest people mess up everything for everyone! I hereby nominate Dishonest Clarinet Lady for being added to The List!

    About your nearly drowning: Panic is one of the most dangerous emotions for anyone to feel! I know it's designed to help keep us alive in an emergency situation, but a sufficiently frightened person can easily kill someone else in the desperate attempt to save themselves. I'm just glad you're okay. (And that kid is still on The List).

    I think people become about nine new levels of crazy and stupid the moment they sit behind the steering wheel of a car. Sad, but true. We all become so full of ourselves and the idea that: "I need to get there now, and everyone that gets in my way is going to pay with their lives!" It needs to change, but until it does, just keep being careful!

    Ouch! That head injury must have hurt. Seeing all that blood had to be SUCH a freaky experience, wasn't it? I know I had a small head wound once, and I froze with terror when I saw how much blood was coming out of that little cut.

    Either way, I hope Padawan has done SOMETHING to make it up to you. You deserve it, dang it!

    Okay, I think that's everything. Do I win "Comment of the Day" or something? I totally think I should!

    All in all, I'm just THRILLED to see a nice, long post from you. I hope things will calm down nicely, and that we can all have you back soon. Let's face it. We're greedy. :)

  2. I'm glad to hear that it was merely a flesh wound. What flavor ice cream did you get?

  3. Wow. Quite a busy and traumatic time you have had. I will say that in a drowning situation it is perfectly legal to punch somebody in the nose if they are trying to drown you by panicking. I've done it myself. Efficiency experts are usually anything but efficient. And I'm willing to bet that clarinet that's missing is in a pawn shop somewhere, sold by the woman who claimed it was stolen. And Padawan? Hey, if he wasn't one of those silly as*ed act like a kid sometimes types you probably wouldn't love him so much in the first place. Right?

  4. Good start. Sorry about the wave pool, but I am of the mind that one should never dwell where kids occupy the same space. It's just dangerous.

  5. I bet the offical name of the air gun has thunder in the name. Hence the lightning design. Glad you are ok.

    Happy belated b-day btw!

  6. I hate to nitpick (who am I kidding?), but shouldn't it be, "...but it never fails that someone always ALMOST hits me."? Otherwise, forget about the air gun, let's hear about how many times these left-turning cars have hit you. I imagine you'd be pretty beaten up by now ;)

    The trick that lady pulled with the clarinet, I should try that when the lease is up on my car. I'll take a rusted-out '96 Dodge Neon down there. (Incidently, I thought POS only made lawnmowers and cell phones. Apparently they have a wide line of products.)

  7. Candice, you totally get the comment of the day award. You hit EVERY point! Yes, all of those people can be on the list. (We're also adding Dog Kicking Bitch a second time for her behavior this morning.)

    George, me too. I'm sick of stitches. Three times is enough for me, thanks. And it was Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, the only kind of ice cream that can cure all hurts.

    Rev, it might be LEGAL know...I have moral scruples about hitting children. Even preteeny ones. And that clarinet probably IS in a Pawn Shop somewhere. Stupid, really. They don't even know how to care for instruments there! And of course I love Padawan's quirks. I just can't stand it when someone tries to take something that is seriously ALL ABOUT ME and make it all about them.

    Scott, well I didn't want to get in the water in the first place. I don't like swimming, and I DON'T like children or crowds.

    Rebecca, Thunder Dome Of DOOM or something might be the name. I simply refer to it as, "The soon to be melted lump of plastic." I have already told Dizzy and Fun Fiance that I intend to destroy at my earliest opportunity. And you, too, for the birthday.

    Bryan, yes well...I honestly didn't proofread at all this time. I just typed it all out, hit post, and then went to bed. I'm actually a walking medical miracle, according to my own confessions up there. Interesting how errors can completely change the context.

    You could TRY that trick. But I think a car leasing place would probably not have two hundred people asking questions at the same time and trying to get instruments. YOu might have to paint it first.

  8. I just had a thought. People at a music store should care about music and instruments. I love music but can't play anything. I can't even tap my feet in time to the music. But if I were to open a music store and need applicants I would say "Bring along your instrument to the interview" and I would see what kind of shape it was in and how they handled it. There's a big difference between well worn and a little beat up from constant use and just neglected. I knew a guy once who played clarinet on the street for money. He got it out of a pawnshop cheap and it was banged up and a little cracked and even had a couple of keys missing. The case looked like it had been thrown down a few flights of stairs. But he kept it clean and had new reeds and he had to learn to play around those missing keys and he was very good. I would have hired him in a heartbeat. His musical partner had a likewise streetworn cello (bass violin? Viol? I don't know the difference) with only three strings and some cracks. His bow was in pretty sad shape as well. But he played, plucked, bowed and thumped on that thing like it was his best friend in the world. They made an awesome team. Those are the kind of people you need to have working there.

    Sorry. Just random thoughts.

  9. Not necessarily instruments. For Pro Audio you need someone who knows sound systems. I guess you couldn't really ask a pro audio guy to lug in his equipment for an interview. You'd just have to wing it with that one...

  10. I guess for that aspect you could have a few room diagrams and ask "How would you rig this room?" And maybe you could have a sound board wired up wrong and say "This doesn't work. Fix it."


    Okay, that head injury story? Totally traumatic. But what traumatized me even more? THE DROWNING STORY. HOLY CRAP. That sounds freaking terrifying. I don't know how you resisted from punching that little leechkid in the face.

    My bike is currently awaiting new tires, so I'm jealous of your biking adventures and your jaunts out for coffee and your glaring confrontations with bad drivers. Okay, not the last part.

    Selfishly, I kind of never want Raver to get fired because she is SUCH good blog material.

  12. That bites about the plastic instrument. If that woman intentionally tried to defraud you guys should sue her.

  13. OMGOSH! Reading about your head wound was seriously horrifying--totally think he was holding it too close and the thing slammed into your head. Ugh, that must have been a horrible feeling. :(

    When I was reading about Raver, I was wondering how it is that she is still employed. Then, I read what you said about the next complaint she gets being her last. Does she even realize what she does? I've known people like her, though--some absolutely know what they're doing, others are clueless.

    The wave pool: Major respect for not socking the guy in the stomach. He could have killed you!!!! IDIOT GUY!!!!

    Okay, the woman with the plastic ethics, er, instrument is a dishonest hag-troll-beast. I wouldn't want her Karma.


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