People Things that piss me off

That's What She Said

February 7, 2010

I talk to myself a lot. I also think out loud. Normally this isn’t a problem because I work from home and no one is around to hear me except the cat and the dog. When I have to make an important phone call I often practice the conversation. I consider what the other person would say so that I could have a response ready. I used to do this little exercise in my head but I have noticed lately that I am actually speaking the conversation out loud. I have even noticed that I don’t give them much air time. Even in  my practices I manage to hog the conversation. More often than not I speak the post I am thinking of writing before I sit down and bang it out on the keyboard. I hope I am not the only one who does this.

If I am in my home this is not a problem. The problem is that more often than not I catch myself as I am walking to the car or grocery shopping having conversations with myself. Several times I have commented to myself, out loud of course, that I have turned into one of those people you occasionally see on the street talking to no one. The people who usually live in a group home somewhere or on the street. I have also considered purchasing a BlueTooth headset so that I don’t look so silly or crazy. I have tried to hold my phone to my ear while having these practice conversations but usually they start spontaneously and I am talking long before I get the chance to get the phone to my ear. Putting the phone to my ear ultimately confuses me since I know I am not talking to someone. And, I worry that while I am holding the phone to my ear, pretending to talk to someone so I don’t look crazy,  the phone might actually ring. I don’t know how I would explain that but I am sure I would talk it out.

The reason I tell you this is because today I went to Office Max to get some office supplies. I picked out what I needed and brought them to the counter to have them rung up. The cashier, or team member, was a young man with piercings all over his face. He was also very tall. I purchased some card stock that was packaged in a cardboard envelope. The corner of all the packages of card stock had been crushed. I asked if I could open the package to make sure the card stock was not crushed as well since it would then have a difficult time going through my printer. He said no, not until I purchased it.

I didn’t get into it with him but I was a little irritated. I was also not properly dressed to have an argument with a team member. I had been preparing food for the big game and noticed, as I got out of my car at Office Max, that I had BBQ sauce all over the front of my shirt.

I let it go.

He scanned my two items as I swiped my card in the terminal. I thought to myself, as I always do when I have to swipe my card in the terminal, that there are very few things cashiers do anymore. In most grocery stores we have to bag our own items after running our cards ourselves. Cashiers used to do things like help you find things, answer your questions, ring up your purchase and bag your items. Now they just stand there to make sure the transaction is complete.

As I was thinking these thoughts the receipt printed and was spit out of the cash register. The receipt was right in front of me but I still think of the handing over of the receipt as the cashiers job. In fact I believe so strongly that this is their job I fear if I had grabbed it I would have been reprimanded, and rightfully so.

I stood there waiting for him to hand me my receipt but he didn’t. For a short moment we both stood there waiting for the other one to make a move.

Eventually he told me that I could grab my receipt.

“Don’t you do anything anymore?” I said not realizing I had actually said it.

“I suppose I could but you’re closer to it.” He said like a typical male teenager.

I grabbed my receipt and started walking away.

“I don’t know what the hell they pay you for. You’d think you could tear off one little receipt but I guess I can’t complain since you did bag my stuff for me, though you asked me if I needed a bag…” my little commentary went on but I was long out of the store by then.

Please tell me I am not the only one who does this.


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  • Reply Buggys February 7, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I know I do it but I’m pretty sure I have these talks in my head only. Then again, maybe that’s why the security guy was following me through the Food Lion last week. I’ll have to pay more attention.
    Thanks for sending more snow my way. Would you do me a huge favor and redirect it? I’ve had enough.
    .-= Buggys´s last blog ..Blizzard Busts Super Bowl Plans =-.

  • Reply Theta Mom February 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Wow – customer service at it’s best? lol
    And thanks so much for your comment at Theta Mom – I agree, it’s all about building relationships. 🙂

  • Reply injaynesworld February 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I talk to myself all the time. But I’m an old fart. People just think it’s dementia. I get a lot of hand-patting and patronizing smiles.
    .-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld it’s the "Sunday Recap…" =-.

  • Reply mike February 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Customer Service is dying a slow horrible death. I can go on an on about it and probably will at some point. But this is the society that automation is creating.

    I work from home when I’m on call and talk to myself, I talk to the phone (while it’s ringing), I talk to my monitor, and I talk to servers that are not polite at all.
    .-= mike´s last blog ..Brave New Parka =-.

  • Reply Lola February 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I catch myself doing it once in awhile. I think it’s hard for those of us who are home (usually alone except for pets) all day. When I have an errand to do and I’m exiting the house you’ll usually find me talking out loud about the things I have to remember. Thankfully I never get caught.
    .-= Lola´s last blog ..Sick day =-.

  • Reply MsDarkstar February 7, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    The problem I have with being unemployed is that when I DO get a job, I can’t seem to stop the talking to myself that I did when I was home all day so I get the reputation as “THAT lady” at the office. Once I know I have the reputation, I usually up the number of cats I confess to having in most conversations so I can at least be “the crazy cat lady” rather than just “the crazy b**ch in facilities”…
    .-= MsDarkstar´s last blog ..Non-Coffeehouse Sunday Post =-.

  • Reply Jen February 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Buggys: I didn’t think I was doing it aloud but I was. Ask someone next time. Sorry about the snow. I’ll put in a call to Al Gore to see if he can do something to stop the global warming.

    Theta Mom: Thank you for stopping by. Customer service is really not what it used to be, of course if it was, and I didn’t sound like my grandfather, I wouldn’t have a whole lot to write about. Heh, of course I would, I still have two kids to keep me insane.

    Jayne: You know, when I first started getting called Ma’am I was horrified, I still don’t like it but have stopped insisting they call me Miss. I am pretty sure the day I get a hand patting is going to be the day I lose it. Patronizing smiles I am used to.

    Mike: Yes, but when you are talking to all those inanimate objects you are alone. I take it on the road. You haven’t reached creepy/crazy status yet. The BBQ sauce helps.

    Lola: I really didn’t expect you here today, go back to bed and get some rest.
    I started that way, reminding myself what I needed to do or get, but then it morphed into more elaborate conversations. Honestly, I think I like them because I know I can win any argument this way.

  • Reply Jen February 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    MsDarkstar: You can say “bitch” here. I won’t tell. So crazy cat lady is preferable to the bitch in facilities? Who knew? Maybe I should get another cat or ten.

  • Reply Lea February 7, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I am so happy you stopped by today! You crack me up. I do this all the time! In fact, I used to be a retail rep which required me to visit stores all day and make sure that things were where they were supposed to be. I worked alone, but in public. And yes, I was that crazy woman! In fact, I would hold complete conversations with myself during each two hour visit. I would say, “Oh no, I’m just talking to myself. Carry on.” at least two or three times a day. I am so happy not to be the only one.
    .-= Lea´s last blog ..Six Word Saturday =-.

  • Reply Grandy February 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Alright…I can’t say I’ve spoken my blog post out-loud (although maybe I should) before typing, but I TOTALLY use my out-loud voice more than I should.

    In fact, while reading your post, I was talking to the computer all pissed off at the cashier for you. Grrrr…
    .-= Grandy´s last blog ..It’s About Time =-.

  • Reply Mee2 February 8, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Ewww. I hate people who are supposed to be in customer service. And I mean, like help people with a smile. At least pretend like you like what you’re doing. If ya hate your job THAT much, then maybe you should find something else. Ya know? Please excuse my basically uncorhreble (honestly, I cannot quite think of the right word that belongs here, but it sounds sort of like what I typed. and if you believe that I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free) rambling. I just wrote a lab report. And it sucked. And I still have to find the emmer effing peer reviewed articles for references. It sucks.
    .-= Mee2´s last blog ..Shit – I Mean Osmosis, Filtration, And Diffusion =-.

  • Reply Jen February 8, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Lea: To work alone yet in public would be the worst. I would be the one talking all the time to no one in particular. I’d be bitching while I do it too.

    Grandy: When I am upset with the computer or my children I just make the Marge Simpson noise. My son pointed this out to me not too long ago. Apparently I sound just like her.

    Mee2: I think that due to the economy and this kids young age it is safe to say he really doesn’t like customer service very much but he probably isn’t going to switch jobs anytime soon. The piercings all over his head probably prevent him from getting a corporate job as well. Retail sales positions don’t pay well and of course now they don’t need to since the sales person usually doesn’t do anything but stand there.

    I went to four bookstores over the weekend to find a book for my son’s school project. No one had it and only one of the sales people offered any assistance in finding a book that would work for the project. That was Borders. She was helpful but the rest looked at me like I had sprouted a their eye right on the spot.

  • Reply moooooog35 February 8, 2010 at 7:30 am

    That’s why I only go to teenage girl checkouts.

    I take the receipt, and I look chivalrous.

    And old and creepy..but whatever.
    .-= moooooog35´s last blog ..Panning for Golden Showers =-.

  • Reply The Mother February 8, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I talk to myself. I’m often the only intelligent person around.
    .-= The Mother´s last blog ..Done. =-.

  • Reply Japanese Kimonos February 8, 2010 at 8:55 am

    What did you think about the google commercial on the superbowl last night?

  • Reply meleah rebeccah February 8, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I talk to myself, OUT LOUD, and ALL THE TIME. And that little ‘trait’ has led to one too many ‘Foot In Mouth’ situations because I end up blurting what I am thinking. And I am usually NOT thinking something NICE.

    I also wonder what happened to the days when cashiers were actually HELPFUL?
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently – My Week In Review =-.

  • Reply Sheila Sultani February 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I talk to myself anytime, anywhere. This morning I was bitching in my car after taking the kids to school because some thoughtless woman stopped in the middle of the road to let her brat out of the car, instead of pulling over – so I start talking to myself as soon as it happens and then I keep on all the way into the school. When I get to the pre-k room the teacher thought I said something to her – so I pretended that I WAS talking to her even though I was just mumbling under my breathe. As far as customer service, I only shop at the grocery store that still bags AND takes your cart out to load the groceries into your car. What I love is how they ask you “Did you find everything ok?” Have you ever said no? I did once and the girl said, “OK”.
    .-= Sheila Sultani´s last blog ..Want Some Poop Pals? Try I-Poo =-.

  • Reply Jen February 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Mooog: That doesn’t surprise me at all. The creepy part that is.

    Mother: Of course that’s the case, you are like the most intelligent person on the planet.

    Meleah: It’s difficult to put ones foot in ones mouth when talking to oneself. I still manage to do it but it is a challenge most are not up to. I don’t know when they stopped being helpful, probably when the shops all turned into chains and mom and pop shops were pushed out. It’s sad really.

    Sheila: Your school sounds like my daughter’s. Each day I drop her off I think of the movie Mr. Mom, “You’re doing it wrong, Jack”.
    I have said said that I couldn’t find everything I was looking for but usually let them off the hook by saying something stupid like “but I didn’t want it all that badly anyway” you’d think they’d find it for me but no.

  • Reply Pricilla February 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I am not sure what teenagers do any more…although I have to admit that food shopping out here is a much nicer experience than in NJ
    .-= Pricilla´s last blog ..Goatucation: Can You Be Friends with Your Buck =-.

  • Reply Stephanie February 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I find myself doing this more and more. I blame it on being home alone so much of the time and who else do I have to talk to?
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Super Bowl Sunday =-.

  • Reply Man Over Board February 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    You would think having a blog, you would actually talk less, but that isn’t the case….

    Customer service went a long time ago. I mean real customer service when people actually cared. Now they have to say greetings and go by the companies customer rules of engagement.

    I think that is why internet sales are going up and up, Walmart posted 46% gains online over last year.
    .-= Man Over Board´s last blog ..The Kama Sutra and the 21st Century Guy =-.

  • Reply mrsblogalot February 9, 2010 at 6:24 am

    So many voices I don’t know who’s talking inside or out.

    I usually go to the self checkout line. I find it easier and faster to do it myself. My son thinks it’s fun but I know the stores are secretly laughing at us because when he’s a teenager and ready to apply for his first cashier job-he’ll already be fully trained from years of self check out!
    .-= mrsblogalot´s last blog ..The Secret Is Out =-.

  • Reply Jen February 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Pricilla: I’m pretty sure food shopping is better here than in NJ too. I really miss the farmer’s markets but that has more to do with wanting fresh veggies than a different shopping experience.

    Stephanie: I’m pretty sure I do it more but I really don’t know for sure. I have always talked to myself and I notice when my daughter plays dolls she does this very thing. I may have never not been doing it.

    MOB: I thought that too, that since I “get out” what I want to say everyday I shouldn’t talk to myself but that just gives me more to talk about.

    Mrsblogalot: Except all the check out lines will be self check out and there won’t be jobs for humans in the store, except for the people who stock things but don’t actually know where anything is.

    Why are canned tomatoes in one aisle and tomato sauce, Ragu and diced tomatoes in another aisle? Every grocery store out here is set up this way. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • Reply Anne February 9, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I have always been one of those people who talks to myself. In my case, I think it is a reaction to being an only child. I have found myself accidentally complaining about people aloud. It seems to tick them off.

  • Reply Mee2 February 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    My oldest is a 5th grader, and will bring home math worksheets, sometimes with math that is a little more advanced. Which is great! I love that he’s being challenged. But there are NEVER any instructions and he doesn’t have a book to use as a reference, if her were to need it. Occasionally he doesn’t remember what to do. Drives me NUTS!! I feel your pain sister. And I’m sorry, but it hasn’t gotten any easier from the time he was in 1st grade. 🙁
    .-= Mee2´s last blog ..I Don’t Know What =-.

  • Reply Sasha February 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    OK, after reading two of your posts, I officially love you. Laughed out loud. Yes, I talk to myself. Yes, I rehearse. And yes, I walk out the door with some commentary of what I coulda, shoulda, woulda had I been rehearsed…
    .-= Sasha´s last blog ..Listen to Isaac and Yourself, Come As You Are =-.

  • Reply I Think I Will Be OK « Shoot Me Now February 11, 2010 at 8:01 am

    […] know, I think I should be more like Jen and talk to myself out loud.  Or be like little Brick on The Middle who speaks a sentence, looks […]

  • Reply Coryanne February 12, 2010 at 4:53 am

    first off thanks for all the ‘love’ on twitter moms and mbc. Love this post. Now following, thought I was before but somehow was not. Will be back.
    .-= Coryanne ´s last blog ..If I were hit by a bus =-.

  • Reply Alison Rowe February 12, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Wow! I completely feel you on the customer service thing. I have found that if you even ask a simple question they get this annoyed look on their face as if you have just inconvenienced them. Heaven forbid! I have even greeted a few cashiers only to be ignored, not even a nod of acknowledgement. I then usually mumble something that I was thinking inside of my head like “good afternoon to you too ma’am” sarcastically, of course!
    .-= Alison Rowe´s last blog ..I heart cherry blossoms! =-.

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