At this new job I have I make tons of phone calls, which is fine, but I have to dial 9 to get an outside line, and I’m not used to that. I keep on dialing numbers without dialing 9 first, and fortunately haven’t yet been connected to any of my cow-orkers.
In college, I lived in the dorms (as did almost everyone), and you could dial other dorm rooms with a 5-digit extension or dial 9 for an outside line. Our local pizza deliverer was Round Table; one of the dorm room lines had the same number as the first 5 digits of the Round Table number. So, every year (particularly for the first few weeks), the unlucky posessor of this number would be inundated with calls for delivery. More than one resident cursed with this number took to answering the phone “Round Table, can I take your order please.” Of course they didn’t pass the order on or anything; they just took all the information, hung up and forgot about it. Most often, the person ordering pizza remembered do dial 9 when they called Round Table an hour later to bitch them out.
Even worse was the older brother of my friend David from elementary school. David’s house was one digit off from Chuck E. Cheese, and, if somebody accidentally called their house to make a party reservation for their kids, David’s brother would take the reservation. Of course, weeks later, the party would show up and the restaurant would not be booked! Even as a small child, feared the bad karma that must have built up from that.
The first of my school visits was today; I started out with a local option, USC. As I was already passingly familiar with the campus, and had taken some time to become fairly knowledgeable about the program, this seemed like a comfortable place to begin. Of course, it helped that I was very interested in the school and excited to attend a class and meet students at what was becoming, based on my research, one of my top choices.
I watched episode one of that World Series thing, and it wasn’t so bad. I mean, at least the Yankees lost a game, right? Means that, this year, they’ll give us a little hope before shooting us down with the inevitable Steinbrenner-financed victory.
I have to admit, I was entirely crushed when the Marlins and Yanks ended up in this year’s Fall Classic. There was so much potential, and all lost! Who wouldn’t have loved a Cubs-Red Sox World Series? Americans are all about sentimental favorites. The ratings would’ve been through the roof, every game would’ve been sold out with passionate fans who cared about baseball, and somebody’s string of bad luck would’ve been broken. Hearts across the country would’ve been warmed.
Instead, fans of the Great Statan Of The New York Metropolitan Area get to see their team in yet another World Series. And the Marlins? Who watches the Marlins? Does anybody in south Florida actually care, or are they too busy plotting to overthrow Castro? We all know it’s the latter.
I feel bad for Chicogoans, sure, but they’re used to it after 50 years of utter futility. The Red Sox made it to the Series just a couple of decades ago but, let’s face it, Sox fans are numb to the futility of it. So, while it’s a sad story, I don’t feel sorry for Bostonians either.
No, the people I really feel sorry for are the folks at Fox Broadcasting. They’re stuck with this dud of a series when we could’ve had a historic good time. Now that’s just uncapitalistic! Where’s the folks fixing the games when you need ‘em?
I’m not all about cooking quick and easy things — a little effort in cooking usually pays off with incredible flavor, and, frankly, I love the zen of getting into a good cooking run — but I felt like fajitas one night, and, well, they’re easy to make.
The quest is at its end. The odyssey is over. I’ve taken the GMAT, and it was, well, not so bad.
*Dear Roofing Contractors Working On The Apartment Across The Alley:*
Mmm, your roofing tar sure smells good! Good thing I like the odor, since you’ve parked your tar truck under my window all day long. That heavy thing you dropped that made my entire room shake was sure cool!
*Dear Southern California Drivers:*
It’s not that hard to get into the left turn lane for that turn you’d like to make up ahead. Just plan for your turn and get over when the lane opens up! Easy, eh? There ya go.
I’d really appreciate it if you could follow those instructions and thereby not block my lane while you wait to make a left turn into traffic. Because that lane is plenty big for you.
*Dear Yves Brand:*
Mmmm, those vegetarian chili dogs you make are sure tasty! Those are going to be a regular in my fridge!
Shopping for my weekly groceries at Whole Foods was a nightmare; the store was filled with lost, confused, inconsiderate upper-middle-class women. Of course, it was my fault for shopping on Columbus Day. It was also my fault for shopping at one of the few supermarket chains in Southern California that wasn’t surrounded by a picket line. For, you see, the “supermarket checkers, stockers and baggers are on strike”:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-super13oct13,1,7855067.story?coll=la-home-headlines
I’m all for this strike. Seems that the supermarkets want to make employees begin contributing to the cost of their own health insurance. Now, “this is a very competitive environment for supermarkets”:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-superecon13oct13,1,5041710.story?coll=la-home-headlines, and I’m sympathetic to the big chains’ need to compete with big-box stores like Wal-Mart. But it’s an awful thing to cut health care for workers in marginal positions like these (while skilled butchers make upwards of $20/hour, most employees are in non-skilled blue-collar positions). It’s tough to tell someone making $25,000 a year to pay nearly $1000 to keep the same health insurance they currently have — that’s, in a very real way, a $1000 cut in their annual salary.
And it’s just these marginal workers who need health care the most to keep them in the workforce. Especially for employees making less than $20,000/year, welfare remains very attractive — not least because it comes complete with Medi-Cal, very comprehensive state health-care coverage. And for single parents, the need to secure health coverage for their minor children can be a tremendously compelling reason to seek state or federal aid. Extensive studies of work behavior in lower-income individuals done in Wisconsin in the early ’90s indicated that lack of health care coverage was one of the most major reasons these individuals *left* the workforce and went on welfare. It’s a simple economic question — why work and take a big risk that you’ll either be healthy or unemployed and broke, when you can stay at home and not have to worry if you get hurt or sick.
I don’t understand how cutting the salary of someone in the bottom few percent of the economic pyramid so that somebody in the top few dozen of a percent can get a better Ralph’s Club deal benefits society as a whole. Seems like we’re best off if everybody has a reasonably-paying job (of course, we wouldn’t have this whole problem if the health care system wasn’t so outrageously expensive).
So, I’m not shopping at Ralph’s until this strike ends. And I’m more than happy to pay a buck or two more on each trip to pick up the slack for the workers. I don’t need extra-low prices on Tropicana orange juice; if I really want to save money, I’ll buy the generic brand. Keep those generic brands cheap so that everyone can afford to eat, cut back a few Ralph’s Club buys so that I pay a dollar or more every week, don’t make employees pay for their health insurance and everything will be fine.
If you’re going to have a Web site, it needs to look like _your_ web site, or at least such is my philosophy. So I built this new green-and-gray look for wadearmstrong.com.
The last major step in preparing for the GMAT on Wednesday was taking a practice test today. Did all of the studying have a payoff? This evening, I found out.