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Let’s get back for a moment to that thing about me being mean. I have to tell you that I had the best time talking with some mall…. uh…. twerps today. Three very young girls (more on this later) came charging into the store. Only, of course, they think of it as their personal internet cafe/arcade. One was miffed that she couldn’t use “her” machine because I was using it myself. I allowed that, indeed, we weren’t an internet cafe, we were a store and I was using this computer.
OK, so they get on with their real mission which is to talk to each other via AOL Instant Messenger. They’re 6 feet away from each other but they’re chatting via the net. The one closest to me said she was going to go over to help one of the other ones, but she was going to leave her IM stuff open ok? she’d be right back.
Well, I said, that’s not really a good idea because someone, like me, might go over and use your IM account or take it by changing the password. This totally horrified the girl. I wouldn’t really do that, would I, she asked? Oh yes. I have and I will (which is true). And I tried to explain how if you wanted to and found someone’s account open you could pretend to be them, or change their password or get their profile information. But WHY would I do this, she asked? Well, that would be because I’m mean.
This blew this young girl away. She asked me a bunch of times – are you really mean? Oh yes. Matt walked by, so I asked him – hey matt, am I mean? OOOOoooh yeah, he said.
Eventually the girl didn’t quite know what to do about this so she went back to chatting. No doubt they were chatting about this rather authorative older woman who made no bones about being mean!
Awhile later the same girl comes back and wants to ask me a question. Are you really mean? Oh yes, I answered. Definitely. Why? Just because. But are you really mean? Yes, we’ve established that. I explain again why it’s important to log out of your email and IM account when using a public computer. But are you mean? Yes.
Suddenly she asks “How old do you think we are?” Now I’d been puzzling over this. These were very short girls, and no real frame or physical development. They were wearing the uniform of much older mall rats – low slung jeans with skimpy tops. I really thought they might be 9. I hedged my bets. FIrst I asked how old she thought I was. She thought maybe in my thirties. I told her I thought that was very nice. Then I said – I think you’re all probably 11.
well! I had seriously dissed them. what!??? How can you say that???? we’re THIRTEEN! Of course I was laughing about this. I don’t believe they were thirteen at all. One of the other girls came over the and got in my face asking how I could believe they were anything but 13. My reply — well I believe you’re about to be out of this store if you don’t get out of my face! LOL
We did a couple more rounds of “are you really mean?” and then the game ended and they went off to play with someone else.
So let’s be clear here folks – I’m mean. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. A few minutes later I went to lunch and I really hoped to meet them in the food court. I was going to go over and tell them that they were going to buy my lunch or at least a soda. I imagined their howls of protest. And my reply would be – of course you’re buying my lunch. Because I’m mean!
The first time I saw this ad for H&R Block I couldn’t believe it. The next time, I marched myself down to the computer, poked around in H&R Block’s web site til I found some suitable email addresses and winged off the following. If you’ve seen the ad, feel free to send your own email. I’ll let you know if I hear anything back from these corporate types.
Dear Mr. Schneider and Ms Smiley,
It was with great dismay and disbelief that I watched your current TV ad showing what first seems to be very small pieces of paper blowing through a city, out windows. Not sure what this was supposed to be, I kept watching while the small pieces became a cloud thick enough to darken the sky. People looked up from the street with a look of fear.
Does September 11th and the cloud of small pieces of paper blown from the World Trade Center ring any bells?
Tacky. Tacky. Tacky.
PS Yes I did watch the whole ad: The small pieces of paper are apparently supposed to be the large sums of money that people overpay the government. Whatever. The ad was too full of painful images. Whatever were you thinking?
Minor tweaks here and there on this page. All while waiting for the beef soup (from scratch folks, from scratch!) to be done simmering. Added a new link too – Gotta encourage newcomers to the blog-thing. Us bloggers will prevail (insert evil laugh here).
Did I mention that Blogger passed one million users? uh huh! I heard some rumour about Ev buying us all a drink but I lost the scrap of paper I’d written it down on. Goes to show ya – if it’s important put it into your blog. For the rest of you – leave a comment!
want soup of your own? Check out the soup lady and encourage her with new soup recipes and comments too. Chat it up folks!
Gotta love that Walter Mossberg at the WSJ. First thing I see in today’s paper is an article by him giving a thumbs up review of iPhoto vs the other windows attempts. Then I follow a link to this great article about the new 12 inch powerbook. Thanks Walt, I was already drooling. Want to read more Walter?
update: thanks janet for the typo-find.
In case you’re wondering – yes I am a quilter. I’m starting a new quilt and still working on another. Don’t worry – fabric shots soon!
Now a message from our sponsor…
Remember the old saw about “give someone a fish and feed them for a day, teach them how to fish, feed them for life?” I hope you’ll all remember that spirit next time someone asks you about a problem they have on their computer. It’s one thing to reach over and hit some keys or say – that’s easy, here. It’s another thing to empower the person — this is what it’s called, this is where to find it, this is where to find more information about doing these things.
Why am I bringing this up? Because I got seriously dissed while trying to help a woman (yeah it was a woman, poor helpless woman, oh woe is me, woman). She had no idea how seriously she was dissing me. She kept asking for the person she’d dealt with previously even though I was trying very hard to find a solution for her. When she showed up in person she kept right on, in the same way that she had on the phone, through the whole demonstration of how easy it would be install the bit of software blah blah blah.
Finally, when she sort of complained that one of the selling points of the computer was that everything was loaded in it and set up, I put my foot down. Better get over that, I said. Wha wha wha? Yeah. It’s NICE that the software is loaded and that the dock has things in it, but you better start preparing yourself for needing to load new things or fixing things that get lost. It’s no big deal and you WILL have to do it.
yeah, I’m the mean one. Here, have a dose of reality with that, will ya?
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