Friday, November 14, 2014

Extra, extra! ATG gets an award and Ruffles loses her shit!

Jobs and career paths change, but clearly the types of people you work with never do. I write this blog in my shiny new office, in a shiny new building, now armed with a degree with my name on it and a “career” instead of a shitty travel agency job that was not only unfulfilling, but the travel perks were non-existent. And the amount of hair-pulling I endured in the name of good customer service wasn’t worth my sanity or my soul.

So, here I am. Back at this blog again. And it’s all because of my shiny new job, in the shiny building with the shiny office. Turns out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I bring to you today, a story of… Ruffles. Aptly called because of the GIANT FUCKING BAG OF RUFFLES CHIPS SHE MOWS DOWN ON EVERY WEEK.

I first joined The Company three years hence, and I swear to God/Buddha/Flying Spaghetti Monster she hasn’t shut the blessed fuck up since. I didn’t think she was that bad when I started, just a bit hyper, maybe. Or not. I don’t know. Any and all facts my brain held on to have since been replaced by EVERY FUCKING THING RUFFLES HAS EVER DONE IN HER ENTIRE LIFE.

Ruffles is one of those co-workers that anyone would hate to share an office with. She talks. A lot. All the time. Every day, about everything that is happening in her life. I know more about her husband, her son, her father, her dead mother, her dog, her father’s dog, her sister, her niece, her sister’s dog, her friend Maggie, her other friend Lisa, and her other other other friend Leslie than I do any other general knowledge. I think I have lost any retention of my college education because of her.

If you think I’m being dramatic, imagine being on an airplane. Okay, are you there? You’re in an aisle or a window seat. You have a long flight ahead of you. You put your headphones in and try to relax the best you can, when suddenly, the person in the middle seat (BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS THE PERSON IN THE GODDAMN MIDDLE SEAT) taps you on the shoulder, totally oblivious to your headphones and says, “Hi! I’m Ruffles! Where are you going? What hotel are you staying at? What are you planning on doing there? What are you listening to? Let me tell you about my son’s Boy Scout project! Would you like to see a stupid cat picture you’ve already seen on Facebook at least 5 times? Here, look! LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOK LOOKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!”

That’s what it’s like being in an office with this woman for eight hours a day, five days a week.

It’s because of people like Ruffles that people like me commit office homicides and co-workers gasp and sob, “But she was so nice! How could she just bludgeon Ruffles with a three-hole punch like that?! We never saw it coming!”

Let’s start with why I call her Ruffles.

As previously mentioned, every week, she drags in the biggest bag of Ruffles potato chips you can legally buy in this country. (‘MURICA.) Not the whimpy “Party” sized bags; I’m talking the “Family” Costco-sized bags (pictured thusly) that could feed, you know, a FAMILY for A MONTH. She stashes these chips in her desk drawer and fills a plate with them once or twice a day. And then… THE CRUNCHING, THE CHOMPING, THE CHEWING, THE SNACK SNACK SNACKING. I get into the office at 8:30am, and she’s already eating chips. (Or a Pop Tart that she breaks all the crusts off of because “they fill her up". BULLSHIT. You refuse to eat the crust because you're the worst adult picky fucking eater I've ever met and GODDAMN IT RUFFLES THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

She continues to eat these potato chips throughout the day, for breakfast, before lunch, after lunch, for a snack… my whole three years of working here, I have never once been offered any of her chips. Not that I want them, but it’s the principle of the thing.

Another thing about Ruffles: she thinks she’s my mom. In fact, she thinks she’s everyone’s mom. To the point of actually SLAPPING myself and other co-workers upside the head when she thinks they’ve misbehaved. The first time she did it to me, I was so stunned and caught off guard, I had no idea what to say. Second time she did it, I let her know that if she put hands on me again, not only would I break her goddamned arm, but then I would go to HR. She hasn’t touched me since.

Every night before she goes home, (she leaves before me) she tells me the same mantra: “Be good and stay out of trouble!” You know what? Fuck you! I’m a 28-year-old woman who pays her taxes and has a mortgage. My OWN mother doesn’t tell me to ‘be good’ anymore. I don’t even know what that means in this context! Don’t get arrested? Don’t do drugs? Don’t have fun sexytimes with my husband? Don't have a life that exists outside a poor set of standards you create for yourself? WHAT???

The other night I had to go grab something from my car, on the way out of the office she yells “TAKE A COAT!” at me. I actually came back into the office to ask her what the actual fuck that’s about, and remind her, once again, that I’m a grown-up and if I want to freeze to death that’s my own damned business.

Ruffles and I have the same job. We sit in the same office. Ruffles is shit at her job. I am a goddamn rockstar at mine, because I don’t half-ass my shit. This was evident when I received an award for my work performance and she didn’t and she called me on the phone wailing “IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MEEEEEEE!”

This leads me into the actual reason for this post. Sore losership. (It’s not a word. Look at all the fucks I give.) Last summer, Ruffles and I were assigned a project that involved physically moving over 20,000 boxes of records. Every single file had to be labeled, re-boxed, and placed into storage in our shiny new building. This was a HUGE undertaking (obviously) and I did most of the work.

Well, let’s not be modest here, I did ALL of the work. I hucked boxes from the old building to the new one, physically running up and downstairs all day. I lost 8 pounds during the move. EIGHT. POUNDS. That’s how much running around I did. All Ruffles did was SIT and scan out boxes, and complain that the moving crew wasn’t moving fast enough. I did not have the luxury of sitting. I actually had blisters from running around and standing all day.

Fast forward a year, when my hard work paid off. I received Employee of the Year at The Company at an award’s ceremony I wasn’t able to attend because I was working in ANOTHER PART OF THE STATE, DOING THE EXACT SAME JOB. (Moving files.) I have no idea any of this is happening until I get a text from my BFF (who also works at The Company, and, incidentally was one of the only ones helping me move) saying I’d won.

Cuuuueeee phone call. At another office. Across the state. It’s Ruffles, and she’s crying. I’m concerned someone has died. “You got an award!” Sob sob! Oh, happy tears? “But it should have been me!” Sob sob. Oh, angry tears then. “They didn’t even mention me! All that work and they just forgot me!” Sob sob sob sob.

On the plane home that night, with my headphones in, no one in the middle seat, I ordered two glasses of wine and double-fisted Merlot in the tiniest bit of victory I think I’ve ever gotten.

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Open Letter to Starbucks Coffee Company

Dear Starbucks,

I write you today to express my anguish for the atrocity you’ve committed against the manna called Tiramisu. Upon a visit to your store this morning, I impulsively purchased one of your so-called “Tiramisu Cake Pops”. The sign on the menu was so inciting, so… promising. It filled my head with decadent thoughts of leisurely dining on an Italian via, sipping a fine dessert wine whilst locals bustled by, arms full of groceries, and tourists chattering in a cornucopia of languages, snapping pictures obnoxiously.

I thought of delicate lady fingers dipped in espresso and layered between sweet and creamy mascarpone cheese, dusted with fine Dutch cocoa and OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO HAVE ONE OF THESE. Your friendly Barista handed me my Italian-Vacation-On-a-Stick and I happily drove back to my office to enjoy my treat.

Imagine my surprise, and utter disillusionment, when I took a bite and discovered that the “Cake Pop” was little more than artificially-coffee-flavored raw cookie dough, and dipped in a paste that could have either been fondant or plumbing caulk. The “bean” topping the Pop wasn’t even a real chocolate-covered espresso bean, (which would have been a nice touch,) but instead a bean-shaped piece of bittersweet chocolate.

One bite and my sunny day in Italy suddenly transformed into a rainy afternoon in New Jersey, complete with unscrupulous types dumping a body/barrel of toxic waste into the Hudson River. It was a travesty.

I submit to you, underpaid letter reader, the attached photographic evidence of this crime. I seek no compensation, (I’ve since learned my lesson on purchasing your other Cake Pop flavors,) but I hope that this will serve as a warning to others. (Others mainly being my friends and family on my Facebook and Twitter Feeds.)

Thank you in advance for considering the removal of this item from your ever-changing menu,

United States, The Planet
Continue Reading...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I’m Not Pregnant, But Thanks for Assuming I’m an Irresponsible Slut

I’m not pregnant.

Really, I’m not. But, for some reason, everyone I come into contact with thinks I am. And the ones that don’t think I am, assume (and think) I should get that way ASAP.

What the fuck?

No, seriously. WHAT THE FUCK, PEOPLE?

Why is my fertility, (or lack thereof,) such an interesting conversation topic for you voyeuristic bastards? What is your problem?

And most importantly, why is it that I can’t start a conversation with “GUESS WHAT!” without one of you gibbering pieholes gasping and saying, “OMG, you’re pregnant?” What? No! Fuck you!

WHY WOULD YOU ASSUME THAT ABOUT SOMEONE?? I’m not fat, (I mean, I have a winter layer, but I live on the Goddamn Arctic tundra, so that’s reasonable…) I don’t wear size XXXL shirts outside of the gym and painting the occasional bedroom, so, it’s not like anyone might even think that, but still… it persists…

Oh yeah? Don’t believe me?

This is me. I’m not even sucking my gut in or anything, (I had a good gym week.) Do I look pregnant to you? (The bump is just my stomach. No, really, like the actual organ. Because I’d just eaten a huge dinner, and because its January… winter layer, remember? GET OFF MY BACK, NATIONAL INQUIRER! )

I digress.

But there, you see, not pregnant.

I have no idea when all this baby-talk started, I know I certainly didn’t say anything about it, but I started noticing the snarky comments about a year or so ago. After my first niece was born, it was like all of the in-law’s eyes suddenly whipped over to husband and I and the questions began:

“ATG, when are you and Husband going to have kids?”

Um? How about let’s actually get married first and forget this common-law bullshit?

(Actual comment from Mother-In-Law) “You don’t need to be married to have kids!”

Yeah, that’s super. But I have a lot of nice, breakable shit in my house, and a baby would totally screw that up right now.

(Actual comment from Father-in-Law) “I hope (Husband) taught you how baby-makin’ works!”


“Don’t you want any kids? Any little babies? You would make a good mom!”

How in the fuck would you know that? How? How do you know I don’t live in total and complete squalor and hide it like an episode of Hoarders blown totally out of control? (The good A&E version, not the knock-off TLC version.) How do you know I don’t actually dismember people in my basement for fun?

HOW DO YOU KNOW I WOULD MAKE A GOOD PARENT? You won’t know that until I actually pop out some small humans and guess what, that shit ain’t happening anytime soon!

I was just assuming this annoying banter was to be contained within the in-laws house, where I could tamp it all down and let it fester quietly as a mental illness. But, then, in December 2009, it did the unthinkable and spilled over into my working life. It happened in Las Vegas, (the way most good stories start) when some of my co-workers and I flew to Vegas for a business meeting. Now, those of you who’ve followed this blog from Day Uno, know that I’m the youngest one in my company, right? Remember that, you’re going to be tested on that later.

The co-workers and I, who ranged in ages from 37 to 56, (I’m 24. Yeah. You try sneaking away from a gaggle of old bitties to play some slots at 2:00am. It’s bad sitcom fodder, I tell ya,) stayed at the MGM Grand, Hotel & Casino. Have you ever been to the MGM Grand? If you haven’t, just take my word for it when I say it’s fucking huge. Like, Mall of America huge. Like, Disney World huge. Like, someone took the Google Car inside and probably mapped that shit for Street View huge. (“Oh, the TCBY? You take a left over there by the CSI Experience, and then head down two miles, past the Craps tables.”)

It’s at this point in my rambling that I need to declare my eating habits. I am seriously one of those people who can eat a full Thanksgiving dinner and be hungry an hour later. I either have a high metabolism or I just digest really, really fast. And when I get very hungry, I get very cranky. VERY cranky. Like, stab-you-in-the-Goddamn-eye-if-you-don’t-get-me-a-cheeseburger cranky. Anywho.

My hotel room was on the 14th floor of the east wing of the hotel. EAST WING. 14TH FLOOR. IN LAS VEGAS. Know where the meeting center was? FIVE MILES AWAY IN FUCKING HENDERSON! Not really, but the meeting center, (by the time we cut through the casino and then through all the shopping areas) was, literally, probably a mile and half away from the actual hotel.

I walked that sucker three times a day, for four days straight, in high heels. And, in between classes and meetings, I was provided a small, “business” lunch by the meeting holders. You know, light pasta… a sandwich… etc. The food sucked, that was for sure, but when you’re about to sever your own finger with a rusty paperclip and gnaw on it, anything is better than nothing. I even tried to stop at the Starbucks in between the meeting center and the hotel, but the line stretched across the state line into Idaho, and with 10 minutes between classes, I was destined to starve. (In the end, I actually lost about five pounds on that trip from all the walking.)

So, on the last night of our “Rah-Rah, sell more travel!” bullshit meetings, by the time dinner rolled around, I was nearly ready to attack the waiters, bludgeon them with the bricks that they called dinner rolls, and steal an entire tray of shitty entrees. The preppy-annoying girl (she’s her own blog) decides all of the co-workers should sit together, even the folks from the other out-of-state offices that we can’t stand.

There I sat, 7:00pm in the evening, in one of the biggest food-consuming capitals outside of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, listening to Preppy-Annoying blither on about how much she learned from the meetings and how she just loves everything and everyone… just shut the fuck up and bring me some Goddamn food before I go all Edward Cullen and rip someone’s head off and drink their blood!

FINALLY, a waiter drops a plate/bowl thing in front of me. It looks like a Caprese salad. I mean… I THINK it’s a Caprese salad. If you can call two tomato slices, one piece of cheese and ONE basil leaf a salad. REALLY? I mean, REALLY? I stared down into the bowl looking like some sort of downtrodden British child from the Charles Dickens era, wondering if God hated me. Whatever. I preformed what the Internet calls a snarfgobble and cleaned the bowl in less than two minutes.

One of my co-workers, Technologically Inept, looks over at me, discreetly poking at the “salad”. “Angry,” she hisses, blasting spittle at me, “Do you want my salad? This food is gross!” No shit, it’s gross. I’m less than a block from some 5-star steakhouse (I’m sure) and they’re feeding us shit they wouldn’t feed to prisoners in GitMo. But, I really was that desperate. “OMG, YES!” I yell, startling everyone at the table and grabbing TI’s salad thing from her.

All of my co-workers suddenly realized I was the dog you fed under the table. Instead of covering their nasty food with their napkins and pushing it away until they could sneak to the casino, they quietly started passing their unwanted portions to me. By the time the main course came around, (which was some sort of white mystery meat in what I assumed was a badly mixed mushroom gravy) it was something of a game to them.

When dessert finally came, all my old co-workers are laughing hysterically at my epic hunger, like I’m some sort of calorie-ingesting party game, until, finally, one of those awkward moments of silence happens and my (male) then-boss drops the P bomb loud enough for everyone at our two tables to hear:

“Are you eating for two?”

*pin drop/silverware clatter*

Dude. Dude.

What. The. Fuck.

My jaw fell open, and thirteen pairs of eyes whipped around to look at me and scrutinize my abdomen.

“Excuse me?” I ask, totally stunned.

“Are you pregnant?” He asks, slowly, like I didn’t fucking know what that meant.

“Um, you know it’s sort of illegal for you to ask me that right?”

Others chuckled, but my dumbshit of a boss turned bright red from the neck up. Good. The fucker. Now we matched. He huffed, “But, you’re eating a lot! I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m fine,” I replied tersely. “Just hungry.”

“You can’t be that hungry!” He exclaimed.

“Oh, oh my gosh,” Preppy-Annoying tittered, trying to break the awkwardness. “The awards are starting! Haaaa!”

OH, CRAM IT, YOU TARD! I wanted to scream. Instead, I excused myself under the pretense of going to powder my nose or some shit, grabbed my purse and left. I hauled my ass down the strip to the New York New York, where I sat at the penny slots, downing martinis, eating a basket of French fries, and generally glowering about humanity in general. Because, as far as I know, pregnant chicks probably shouldn’t drink, gamble or eat like a fatty. Go me.

Just as I was really starting to enjoy myself, (I was up to $8.00 in winnings!) I hear what can only be a mother scolding a child. I turn around and find a woman my age with a toddler tucked under her arm, cigarette between her lips, as she whooped it up with a guy who was probably her pimp in front of a row of video poker machines.

My eyelid twitched and I may have had a mild stroke. Oh, for fuck’s sake!
Continue Reading...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sorry, I don't speak... picture?

Just had a little short man in; he sits at my desk and starts rocking back and forth. He kind of makes me think of my ex-boyfriend, Paul, who was a short, fat, Serbian guy.

“Uh, uh, uh!” Says Paul-look-a-like.

“Um? Can I help you?” I say.

“TICKET!” He says, motioning his hands wide, like he’s holding a big hula hoop. Oh, shit. An Engrish person.

“WHERE TO?” I say.

“ME! I fly to … SDJKF;SKDJF;!”


“KLfjks;djkl Miami lskjfk;sdhgklsd Venezuela dskfj;dfj;sj SEATTLE!”

“Um? Okay, you’re trying to go to Seattle, so you can go to Miami, and then Venezuela?”


“Okkkay… one way?”




“… two weeks?”


“Tree man? What? … OH, three months?”


“Okay, $540, round trip, Seattle to Miami.”




“Ugh.” I give him a piece of paper.

He draws three dots.

“Seattle,” he says, pointing to one dot in the corner. “Miami,” another dot. “Venezuela. 50 percent.”

Whiskey… tango… foxtrot.

What? Just… what?

“I don’t understand…” I said.

“Seattle only 50 percent!” He roars.

“Sir, I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. The round trip price is $540.00.”


“Are you asking for a one way?”

“RAAWWW!” He gets up and leaves. With my pen.

Continue Reading...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cancer? So? I'm a Gemini.

Me: *answers phone*
Client: I have cancer.
Me: Oh. Um... I’m very sorry to hear about that…
Client: So what sort of discount do I get?
Me: I’m sorry, we don’t offer discounts for medical conditions…
Me: Yes, but…
Client: CANCER!
Me: Again, I’m sorry, but I can’t waive a service fee or give any sort of discounts for your medical conditions.
Client: But, I could die!
Me: Well, that’s going to happen to me eventually, too, but in the mean time, I can’t give you a discount.
Client: … cancer?
Me: *sigh*
Continue Reading...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Oatmeal is None of Your Business. So Fuck Off.

Allow me to introduce another one of my co-workers. I call her Technologically Inept, or TI, for short. I want to start by pointing out that TI is a super nice lady. I mean, really. She volunteers her time at homeless shelters, senior homes, and several local committees. She cooks for the office, and will gladly take a nasty-ass international exchange if I ask her to. She’s really great.

Except for the fact that she makes me fucking batshit crazy.

TI is nearly fifty, and just can’t seem to accept the fact that being a travel agent has evolved. We’ve evolved past writing out airline tickets by hand, evolved beyond calling the airlines to verify every little detail. The travel industry has evolved, period, end of story. Everything is electronic now, and for a woman who can’t operate a computer, a phone, a fax machine, or e-mail, or a cell phone or anything else with microchips in it, I imagine it must suck.

That’s where I come in, apparently. I’m 24, and I’ve been attached to a computer for nearly half of my lifespan. Operating Microsoft Outlook is not rocket science. This is very simple stuff we’re dealing with. But every day, without fail, she manages to screw something up so bad, I practically have to take apart the computer to figure out WTF she did. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to fix her phone, computer or cell phone because “something happened… I didn’t even do anything!”

Never mind the fact that the woman cannot use her words, (to the point where it infuriates me into losing my own words and I communicate my displeasure in a random pattern of angry grunts, shrieks and groans. I digress. She also seems to think everyone’s name (including her own mother’s) is Honey. Last week, I shuffled into work, five minutes late as usual and before I could even sit down, this is what she says to me:

“ATG, if you hear a beep in the back, well, it’s because we’re getting those weird calls from Africa again.”

Go ahead, read it again. If you can understand what the fuck that means, I will fly to wherever you are and buy you a steak dinner.

So, I stare at her for a second. “Come again?” I ask, blinking. She repeats the sentence, verbatim. Nope, I still don’t get it. So I ask if she’s screwing with me. She gets very severe, and dare I say, pissed off, and glares at me. “ATG! I’m being serious; we’re getting those calls about Africa again.”

Ah. The Africa thing.

As I’ve mentioned previously, TI is stuck in 1981, and assumes every person who calls about a trip to Africa is a “scammer.” This comes a day after I post this tweet about a $13,000 ticket I sold to a BP employee flying business class to Africa for work. She freaked out for days after that, convinced the guy was a scammer and he was running drugs or something. Whatever.

At this point, I just picked up my phone and ignored her.

I think she is also in the throes of menopause. Or maybe she just really is this bipolar. Now, in order for this story to make sense, a little background: I have a habit, that I’m sure grosses my co-workers out, but no one has ever said anything to me about it, so I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on. I like pre-packaged instant oatmeal, (read: Quaker Instant Oatmeal. Apples & Cinnamon.) I like to put the oatmeal in a coffee mug at about 10:00am, mix in just a LITTLE hot water, so it’s all sticky and gooey and YUM in the cup, and I munch happily away at my desk.

Two weeks yonder, TI was in an indescribably awful mood. She was grinding her teeth, swearing, the whole lot. An older version of me. Funny, right? Apparently not. I go and fetch my oatmeal. Nom, nom, nom at my desk. I’m not a gross eater, okay? I chew with my mouth closed, use a napkin, don’t talk with food in my mouth, and I don’t smack my lips. Gross. Unlike TI, who does all that while on the phone… but that’s another blog.

TI asks me something, and I turn to her, oatmeal spoon halfway to my piehole. This is what ensues:

Me: (stunned) “Oh… I’m sorry, I’ll, um, take it in the kitchen? Eat outside? Does the smell bother you? Sorry…”
Me: *blink* “I like it like this.”
TI: “It’s too dry, it needs more water. You need to go put more water in it!”
Me: “Um, I don’t like runny oatmeal.”
TI: “Well, I don’t like dry oatmeal!”

And, it doesn’t stop there! Later that same day, I had an incredibly creepy man sitting at my desk who couldn’t seem to figure out where my eyes were. He seemed to think they were in the general area of my girls, and asked me to repeat the itinerary three different times because the sight of my awesome boobs obviously made him forget. Turns out he was one of TI’s clients. Once he leaves, she asks…

TI: “What was that guy’s name?” (Not so good with names, either.)
Me: “Who? Creepy guy?”
Me: “Um, HELLO! I repeated the itinerary THREE TIMES because he was too busy STARING AT MY TITS TO REMEMBER WHAT TIME HE WAS LEAVING!”
TI: “Whatever!”

WTF!! Seriously?? You’re going to cop a fucking ‘tude with me, because your client WAS STARING AT MY CHEST and I got offended? Wow. Just wow.

She is also the one who asked me today what a PDF was.

I have no idea what to do with this one.
Continue Reading...

Damn, I Hate it When They Move My House...

Old Man Whom I'VE NEVER SPOKEN TO: ATG! I need to give you my credit card number!
Me: Um, I’m sorry, who is this?
Old Man: *tells me, he is calling to pay for another client’s ticket*
Me: Okay, she never called me back, I have no information for her, she called me to ask prices and that was it.
Me: *repeats*
OM: Let me give you a credit card number!
Me: Fine, I’ll take the card number. (thinking, I'll throw it in the trash if client doesn't call back.)
Me: YES!
OM: Well, hold your horses, I have to get it out!!
Me: … omfg.
OM: WOW! There’s a lotta numbers on here… which ones ya want??
Me: ... all of them.
OM: Well, there's a lot! You gotta pen ready?
Me: *sobs* Yes, I have a pen.
OM: *gives cc number*
Me: Expiration date?
OM: What’s that?
OM: … oh, November of 11. Whenever that is.
Me: And what’s a billing address for you?
OM: Um… a wha?
OM: In Elko, NV!
OM: OH! I dunno! I gotta go look. They keep moving the house.
Me: !!!!!!
Continue Reading...


Follow The Author