Tag Archives: the future is bright

hey there stranger

I am carefully avoiding looking at the calendar section that says how long it’s been since I wrote anything in here because I know it’s been a long time and I’m sorry. I have no reason not to be here; I actually sit in front of a computer between seven and infinity hours a day now, so this should be easy as pie. I don’t know; to be honest my new job is one of the least hard and least interesting things I have ever done, and somehow it has this effect where my head feels like it is full of cotton and the most complicated mental task I am capable of is online shopping. Is this what America is? If so, I don’t think I get it.

I keep having posts planned out, and some of them are even half written, but so far all of them have ended in me staring at them motionlessly for a while before clicking over to a different tab and eventually getting up to find tea or crackers or a handful of raisins. To be honest, I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. I can’t remember a time since the new year when I was able to think much beyond a handful of raisins. I also can’t think in a particularly focused or structured or Team Player way at work, which I keep feeling guilty about in a halfhearted way and then giving up. I doodle during conference calls and research haircuts if I don’t have an urgent assignment. Maybe writing that on the internet can get me fired. I don’t know! Here are my top 15 ways to waste corporate time.

  1. Browse eBay for things you can convince yourself you need
  2. Walk to the kitchenette to get more tea, walk back
  3. Repeat, walking the long way
  4. Read your RSS feed, avoiding the ‘not work appropriate’ blogs but thinking the IT people can probably see them anyway
  5. Walk through kitchenette to go the long way to the bathroom, check to see if any free food has appeared
  6. Start to write heartfelt and detailed emails about yourself/your life that you owe to loved one, stop because you wonder if the IT guy can read it
  7. Email your parents
  8. On conference calls: draw realistic pen sketches of boats or seashells on PostIts, make small pieces of origami
  9. Research new origami folds
  10. Write secret journal entries/story sketches in an actual physical notebook that the IT guy cannot read
  11. Figure out what groceries you need at the store on your way home, what you will eat that night
  12. Heat up the lunch you brought to work, eat it slowly, realize you still have a half hour of lunch left and don’t know what to do
  13. Open up the page where you can see what your paycheck will be this week, stare at the number
  14. Check on Amazon to see if there are any legwarmers or pastry bags or hoodies or notebooks on sale with free shipping
  15. Jiggle the mouse occasionally so that your boss doesn’t see your status in Outlook go from “active” to “idle”


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Hello friends. We have not updated this blog in a very long time. This is a result of several factors, one of which is that both Heather and I are changing jobs. I feel like “changing jobs” feels very suburban, very adult, like maybe you are looking into transferring your 401(k). In actuality we are both going from jobs where we are expected to smile at people from behind a cash register into jobs where we have our own email addresses and aren’t supposed to let anyone know if we show up to work hungover. I have many feelings about this and suspect Heather does too, but I have already inflicted them on everyone else in my life, so I’m going to try to  let go of that or at least deal with it in private, like a motherfucking adult. What I wanna talk about here is the good things, the things I am happy about and will remember fondly. I’ve bitched about crazy, rude customers enough for a lifetime. Today was my last day at [place of employment], and now I would like to share about my favorite customers, in ascending order.

5. Christian

Christian is a Lebanese biker who wears spandex bodysuits at all times and loves beef wellington. He comes in almost every day and refuses to order off the menu. He either coaxes us into modifying actual menu items until they meet his specifications, or takes a retail prepared food item out of the refrigerated case and makes us reheat it in the oven. He exhibits Grade A annoying customer behavior but he is so goofy and heavily accented about it that you can’t really take it seriously, and he’s so good-natured and friendly (he knows all of our names!) that it’s pretty enjoyable. It’s annoying to put his shrimp in the oven for exactly 18 minutes, but on a day when you think a customer might actually stab you in the eye with a compostable fork it’s a huge relief to have someone so consistently weird. He will not eat anything on the  menu that is of Syrian origin out of national pride.

4. Sausage Flatbread, Light on the Peppers and Extra Feta, With Iced Tea To Go

I do not know this woman’s name but I am worried about her health. She orders a sausage flatbread (pork-and-beef sausage with olives and hot peppers on a flatbread spread with feta butter – that is CHEESE MIXED WITH BUTTER – and then rolled up, COATED IN OIL and grilled) every single day basically. I am afraid we are going to give her heart disease and kill her. I think she heard me say this to a coworker once and tried ordering other things for a while, but now she’s back to her usual. She is very courteous and I like her a lot. Sorry if we kill you, nice lady. Thanks for tipping.

3. Jim (Skim Latte To Go)

If our coffeeshop had a mascot, he would be it. He is a squat older dude in glasses who comes in every single day and orders a skim latte, either iced or hot depending on the season. Usually whoever is on drinks will signal to him from across the cafe to figure out which kind to make, and then make sure to have it finished before he makes it to the front of the line. He tips every single day. He is a rock star, and every single employee loves him. One of us recently petsat for him. There are few more authentic ways to express affection for someone than medicating their cat, even if you are being paid. LOVE YOU JIM.

2. Susan (Half-Caf Skim Latte For Here)

This is just the nicest woman alive. That’s all there is to it. She is small and older and has inexpertly dyed hair and she is so polite and timid that you almost want to apologize to her just in case you’ve made the register transaction stressful at all. She left a whole box of chocolates and glitter hand lotion (???) for the staff at Christmas, as well as a card. Also, there is something so endearingly careful and restrained and completely characterizing about a half-caf skim latte. I mean – I don’t know. It’s not even decaf. It’s half-caf. Do you know what I mean? Say you know what I mean.

1. Vanilla Coffee To Go

This is my favorite customer, hands down. It’s a controversial choice; I think everyone else thinks he is a pretty ok dude who looks vaguely like the grownup version of the ‘bad kid’ in The Breakfast Club. I don’t know. He comes in every day and orders a vanilla coffee, then adds milk. He makes conversation, and he’s so bad at it that it has to be completely genuine; I mean, clearly it’s not out of habit, you know? He is Jewish and unemployed and goes to AA meetings, which means I feel like we already get each other on a lot of levels. Once he came in dressed up and I told him he looked nice and he said “Thanks for saying that, that was a really nice thing to do.” It was so sincere it made me uncomfortable, which is a quality I kind of admire in people. He isn’t funny, and I like that. Tonight I told him I was leaving; he is the only customer I feel like I owe that too, because he’s the only one who might actually notice I’m gone (with possible exception of Sausage Flatbread, I am not sure anyone else knows her order by heart). He immediately knew that it wasn’t an unequivocally positive thing, asked if I had ever considered teaching English, agreed with me that teaching probably meant a lot of obnoxious children, and then wrote down on a napkin MATT GROENIG – WORK IS HELL, which is the title of a book. He said he thought it might help. He also wrote down LIFE IS HELL and LOVE IS HELL, which I don’t think are part of the book titles. I said thank you, that was really nice, and got him another coffee.


Then I went out and drank and also hugged some people. Things could be worse, is what I’m saying.



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the future: it’s coming

Today in coffeeshop news: one of the baristas at Nearby Coffeeshop of Choice has a portafilter TATTOOED ON HER ARM. I’m throwing in the towel. This is too intense for me. YOU WIN, OTHER BARISTA.

In other news, I would like to highlight some exciting events taking place in the near future, in rough chronological order:

+ it will be my birthday soon! I had planned to write a whole post about things I want, in the hope that we have some secret crazed fan who will buy it for me, but actually I don’t want that much stuff and most of the things I do want are embarrassing (i.e. a knife sharpener, someone to repair my broken flip-flops.) I think what I mostly want is for that day at work to not suck, and there isn’t much that any of you can do about that.

+ it will be Batia’s birthday soon too! Also, Batia’s coming home! Batia, like Emma, shares the dual title of Rachel’s Roommate and Friend of the Blog. She is also a fellow Chickpea Enthusiast, Ranbir Kapoor Fan, and Dosa Connoisseur. I am excited to have her back, and also to eat dosa with her.

+ actually though around exactly the time that Batia comes back/turns 22, I am going to visit my dad for like 4 days. So get ready for that. Jesus God.

+ someday Emma and I are going to watch My So-Called Life, which is an apparently formative experience that neither of us have ever had. I am excited about this. I don’t ask for much.

+ because Sarah apparently has life plans outside of copyediting articles on Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, I am going to be relatively higher on the hierarchy of unpaid leadership excellence at autostraddle soon. This is terrifying but presumably there are many intangible benefits, like getting snarky emails from people involved with the production of The Real L Word, and forcing Sarah to endure panicked gchats late at night.

So yeah, this is kind of a shitty post, but mostly I am here to apologize for the lack of real posts lately, and to express my vague optimism that the situation might improve in the near future. I think maybe Heather and I are both kind of ground to a pulp by the monotony of living with parents and making “babycinos” for $9 an hour respectively, and that lately all we’ve felt up to is morosely browsing Craigslist. If we’re being completely honest. BUT I hear they have pills for that now, so get excited! It’s all going to be fun and games from here on out. Like Sorry. That’s a game.


Filed under Rachel