Archive for January, 2010

Thoughts on working retail

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve worked retail twice in my life–once at an arts and crafts store and currently at a gas station. I have amazing respect for those who have worked in this industry for 30 years. From behind the counter, you often see people’s true colors as they often go out of their way to be rude to you. My wife suggests it stems from them feeling that sales clerks are serving them and, therefore, are beneath them.

It’s always fun to get angry looks when explaining policies and procedures and how the angry looks seldom fade even when you utter the words, “I didn’t make the rules–I just work here.”


President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I didn’t watch it.

Not because I don’t care for President Obama (well, to be honest, I don’t), but because I was working at the gas station. The only strong link I had to the outside world, besides the phone, was the radio set to 96 WHNN. None of the customers we had last night seemed interested enough to talk about it.

Yes, if I’d been home I might’ve tried to watch it to have something to blog about. The keyword, of course, is tried. I never really liked watching President George W. Bush’s State of the Unions, even though I voted twice for him without regrets. Whether the president is liberal or conservative, the SOTU is pretty much an infomercial that they’ve rehearsed, rewritten and tested. It consists of these thoughts:

Here are all the great things I’ve done as president.

I’ve done lousy things, but I blame it on the lousy situation I inherited from the previous president.

Vote for me again!

Maybe I’ll catch the next one.

Richard Zowie blogs at several sites. Send comments below or e-mail

From my mailbag…

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s a sampling of e-mail feedback I’ve received from my blogs. Some of it gets posted on my blogs while the ones with profanity or tasteless content don’t.

Regarding my Writer’s Blog posting of my entry into Writer’s Digest‘s My Story Contest about something strange happening on a first date, this gent wrote:

You could have a winner here. I’d need to see the competition. Similar stories with more emotional endings could beat this out. A nice slice of life with a Christian theme. Nice work while burning the midnight oil. Visit and read BEN, A STORY ABOUT COLLECTING for a comparison story. Write me. I still want a face to face with you. Thanks   RJ 

Indeed, I shall, RJ.

Back in July, I posted about the simplicity of Hebrew (a language I don’t speak but would love to learn). A reader named Mike wrote this:

While I’ve always been drawn to Hebrew’s melodic expressions…I only know a few words and phrases in the language… but then I suppose that sense of yerning it invokes is true for all Jews. Presently I’m making an effort to learn the language of Our Ancestors and find reading opinions such as those posted here an encouragement… Thanks!  ~ Mike

Mazel tov, Mike!

And, yes, I get my fair share of hate e-mail, mostly from my Ponderings From Pluto blog from readers who neither realize the site’s satirical nor understand what satire’s supposed to be. More recently, I posted a satire piece of Van Halen firing on-again, off-again lead singer David Lee Roth and hiring Wolfgang Van Halen to be lead singer besides the bass player.

Someone named Kelly, whom I presume is a huge Van Halen fan, took exception to this. Of their printable comments they called me an idiot, said they bet my IQ level was below 50 and stated the post was a result of incest.

Absolutely not true, Kelly. My parents aren’t related. If only you’d written the post instead.

Against my better judgment, I sent Kelly a private response explaining why their post wasn’t getting published, and I received a testy response back from them. The gist of it is they’re an adolescent. C’est la vie.

Too-good-to-be-true prospective job revisited

January 24, 2010 Leave a comment

About a month ago on my writer’s blog, I blogged about my fruitless attempts to twice get a too-good-to-be-true, $25/hour job that, indeed, turned out to be too good to be true. Of course, you the discerning reader with common sense and wisdom are no means surprised by that.

A co-worker had told me her brother worked briefly for this energy company (again, it’s neither DTE nor Consumers Energy) and how he quit after a week. It was commission only, door-to-door.

Now, another lady from work tells me her husband actually signed up to switch their energy services to this company. She read over the contract he signed, saw the potentially-exhorbitant energy rates they’d have to pay and decided to take this company up on its grace period of backing out of the contract.

I suppose that was great news to the door-to-door salesman hoping for  the commission So he or she could pay their rent.