John has frequently called me “the cloud” for my seemingly eternal pessimistic outlook on just about everything. After re-reading my previous blogs, he’s probably right. Kudos for him for sticking by me for so long. Maybe one day he’ll come inside from the rain…or maybe one day I’ll stop shitting contempt? Which will come first? I doubt I’ll ever don a hockey mask and pick up a hatchet from Canadian Tire but…
Two weeks ago on the holiday weekend-Sunday we awoke to a call from the cops (negative); someone had thrown a brick through our front door at our store (negative). It sat that way presumably from 2am until 8am (negative) when the cop walked in and the alarm went off. Fortunately, nothing was stolen (positive). $250 later, we had a new door (positive, in that I thought it would be worse).
Four or five times in the past two weeks I have taken Hokie swimming at Muskoka Beach (positive). I’ll try to do that more often as today a customer told me that he thought she was becoming fat (negative). I politely (positive) disagreed but he got mildly argumentative and claimed I was either feeding her too much or not giving her enough exercise (negative). At that point I returned to my work and let him browse, in essence ignoring him (negative, but it depends on how you look at it).
Thursday a surly (negative) woman came in to kick tires in the hopes of scoring a deal on a laptop. A “The Source” flier in hand (negative) she proceeded to get me to compare what I could get for her vs. what they could sell to her. Could I match their price after mail-in rebate? What would happen to her pyramid solitaire game that she downloaded from an already-erased incredimail email account? Would windows 7 be a big improvement over Vista on her old machine? Should she just upgrade her old machine? Would I just make the decision for her? I tried listing off pros and cons, but got a (negative) response to both. “I thought YOU were the computer expert,” she said. At that point I got a bit abrupt to the point of “take it or leave it”. She took it (positive). Yesterday she came in to pick it up but tried one last time to bargain me down (negative). “Says here they give free software.” “Well, I transferred your data for free; they wouldn’t. I also did all the updates, found and installed your solitaire game so you wouldn’t have to buy it again, and even left a picture of my penis as your wallpaper” (positive, but it didn’t really happen that way, but it made me smile just now (positive)). “That will be $452 after tax.” I ran her debit card and she left (positive).
Yesterday John was out on his usual assortment of service calls when I got a call from a shrew (negative) asking if John could “pop out” to Bala. “Well, he is pretty much booked today; usually these calls are booked a day or two in advance.” “Well, they’re not for Dan & Kevin (mutual friends of ours).” “Uhhh…well no one gets preferential treatment. He can’t exactly stop what he’s doing.” “Well, if I bring it in I can’t leave it there, I’d need it back the same day.” “I can’t work on anything while people wait. There are too many interruptions….here, call John, bye.” Later that afternoon she shows up with her tower and gigantic laser printer and her much older husband who bears the emotional scars of being whipped during their lengthy marriage. A friend of mine and John’s who has just come back from British Columbia for a visit is sitting at our center table. I ask this woman for her password so I can get into her desktop. “Here, I’ll type it in,” she says. “I can’t tell you out loud because HE’S sitting here.” “It’s ok, he’s a friend of ours.” “He’s NOT a friend of MINE,” she exclaims (negative). Apparently anarchy would reign supreme in my store if not for customers like her. Hell, I usually just let random strangers fool around with other customers’ machines when they’re not around (negative). John returns from his service calls and takes over (positive). I don’t say another word to her for the remaining 20 minutes she’s in the store. Today she returns a half hour before closing to pick up the machine (positive) and gets John to spend 20 minutes proving to her he did his job correctly. I am focused on building a machine at the center table so that she won’t talk to me. On her way out she fakes a “Thanks to you too, Dave, for your help in this matter.” “Ya ya, no problem,” I’m sure not to make any eye contact. “Can’t I get a smile out of you before I leave,” she says. I make a pfft type of noise. “Pathetic,” she says (negative). “Suck my balls, you fat troll!” But the door had shut (both positive and negative, I guess).
This evening I got the old “gotta wash my hair” response from a friend when I asked if he wanted to do anything. Well, not washing his hair, but “might have to go somewhere.” Maybe that was the truth, maybe it wasn’t.
Dad had told me a while ago after reading my blogs that he thought they were good but that some might find them a bit “caustic”. I imagine I have corroded more friendships with my winning personality that I’d like to admit and I’ll agree my positives are outnumbered by the negatives; at the very least with my verbiage, or lack-thereof, and my inability to smile on demand. This is probably the result of my proverbial jumper-cables being put on backwards sometime after my conception.
And I’m no mechanic.