Thursday, March 6, 2008

Random Acts of Meanness

I’ll admit it. I’ve been sort of a grump lately. I’m won’t bore you with the details of what's motivating the grumpiness, but I’ve noticed a sort of unexpected side effect that I will tell you about. I can be really mean when provoked. In my current State of Grumpy, it doesn’t take much to provoke me.

Earlier this afternoon, I went to the kitchen at my job to get a bit more of my sausage and rice concoction. I’m all set up and waiting to get in the refrigerator because some guy is standing in front of it talking to another man at the table. Finally the guy moves and I open the door just as one of the security guards comes in. I guess he thinks I’m opening the door for him because he just went straight in and put a tiny little bottle of chocolate milk inside.

So now I'm really annoyed at his presumption and he doesn’t even bother to acknowledge me with a nod or even say thank you. I may as well have been invisible. Really? Is he convinced he’s so important that fairies randomly open refrigerator doors for him?

But in that split second before I remembered I’m saved, I considered dumping his milk down the drain and putting the empty bottle back. That’s what I’m talking about. Just a random act of meanness.

Last week, I finally got my first romance novel critiqued, revised and ready to submit. Thursday was going to be a very exciting day for me. I found a post office that had early hours and planned to get there the moment they opened. Except, I’m very good at finding more stuff to do than I have time for so I ended up being a half an hour late. Instead of going to the post office I’d planned, I figured I could just find one closer to my job so I wouldn’t be late to work.

So much for that plan. I did find post offices along my route to work. The problem is that none of them had window hours before 9a. By the third post office, it was 10 til 9 so I just stayed put. I ended up 2nd in a line of about fifteen people. And to make things even more fun, they didn’t actually open until about 9:03a.

The line moved into the window area. Despite having seen more employees on the premises, only one window was open. After another minute or so, another employee sauntered out to her window. She took her good ole sweet time shuffling whatever it was she had to shuffle before gesturing to me to approach.

One of my address labels started to peel so I asked her for some tape. She plopped the tape dispenser on the counter and proceeded to weigh the inside contents. She handed them back to me to seal inside the outer envelope. When I got ready to tape the envelop she snatched the dispenser back with the declaration that she didn’t have all day.

Really? You don’t have all day? To do your stupid job? Are you kidding me? I’ve been standing here for the last 20 minutes waiting for you to earn your fricking pay check and now you don’t have all day?!?!?! Then I remembered my salvation, smiled, thanked her for her time and headed off to work. I arrived there almost an hour late.

And to make this morning complete, while on the freeway, I ended up behind a van from the clean up company that totally ripped me off and stole my property when my apartment building burned down. I’m telling you, these people turned an already brutal situation into a complete and utter nightmare. I’m talking five months solid of fighting these people and they were still able to get away with stealing things like my high school class ring. And don’t get me started on the landlord who allowed all this to happen or the one arm guy he hired to oversee the property retrieval and thought it was very funny when tenants’ property came up missing.

The point is, it took the complete power of the Holy Spirit in me not to run this van off the road and be thrilled about it. It was full of employees and I can only imagine they were on their way to another job site to steal more property from fire victims. I’m still considering writing “DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY” on the side of one of their boxes and posting it in the back window of my car. I still need some prayer on this one.

And just when I thought I could let the one arm guy go… After the fire, I went to building to retrieve what had already been salvaged of my property. To give a little background on the fire, it went to six alarms and two people died. I saw video of flames shooting out of a window that was only one apartment over from mine. Yet, God is good. I had no fire damage or water damage in my place at all. You’d think it’d be easy to get my stuff back, right? You'd be horribly mistaken.

Back to the meeting with the one arm man. He was having all the tenants sign forms supposedly to release our property to us. I guess they didn’t count on anyone actually reading the form. It said nothing about releasing the property. What it did say is that I wouldn’t sue the above mentioned clean up company. I ended up going around and around with the one arm man about what the form said. Finally, I told him to point out the section that says it releases my property to me. He pointed to a paragraph which I read aloud for everyone in the room. It was the 'will not sue' clause. I refused to sign it.

He gets all huffy and threatens to call the landlord. I can’t believe he actually expected me to be scared by that. I settle in to wait. The landlord tells him just to give me my things. To make this already too long story shorter, the one arm guy takes me to an apartment where my things are supposed to be. Except, they’re not my things. He doesn’t want to believe me when I tell him this. What if someone wasn’t as honest? Were they just going to give away property willy nilly?

After two more tries, he finally finds my stuff. As I’m going through it I’m pointing out things that are missing. Which is what set off his little laugh attack. He thought it was hysterical. He says jokingly that they should make a list of all the things that have come up missing. I turned a glare on the man. It was only by the power of God that I didn’t tell him that we should add his arm to that list ‘cause I was certainly thinking it.

And that brings this rant to a much overdue close. Thank you for reading.

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