Friday, August 31, 2012

There's a Sucker in Every Shoe Size

Lilly was insistant on a pink bridesmaids dress -- this you already knew -- so now I have to buy pink shoes.  Shoes I'll never wear again. Well, maybe I'll wear them again as an accent color.  But I'll never wear the dress again for sure.  Too, yew, ugly.

I went to PaySome Shoe Source to pick out a pair of white shoes that they'll dye the appropriate color.  There were a handful of styles.  Lilly said to pick out which ever kind I liked best so I did.  It has little flowers that go across the foot.

The sales woman asked me my size.  I told her 6.  I have worn a size six since I was 14.  Well, I tried them on and they felt tight.

"When's the last time you bought shoes," she asked.

 "About a year ago."

"Hum, I think we need to measure your foot."

My foot?  I thought they only did that with kids.  So, okay, I nodded and she brought the device over and measured.

"You're a six and a half."

"My foot grew?"

"Yes," she said.  "That can happen due to pregnancy, weight gain and age."


"Yes, age.  Are these the shoes you want?  We have them in your size."

I nodded.  Yes, my size.  Just what I always wanted:  Pink shoes and a growing, aging foot.

I placed my order and left the store feeling, well, different and not in a good way.  Who wants a larger foot?  Really, what's going to get larger next?  My butt?  My stomach?  My thighs?  Certainly not my ego.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Moon Over Hickville

I've said before that I live in small town.  Too small sometimes.  We're large enough that everyone doesn't know everyone else but small enough that we're all related if you go back far enough.

There is a social club here.  There is no membership; you just have to live within village limits.  I haven't been there in years so, for whatever reason, tonight I decided to go. 

What a mistake.  There was no one there whom I would be interested in.  They were either teenagers, old retirees or freaks and geeks.  (Freaks and Geeks, remember that TV show?)

One of the geeks is Hal.  He likes going around telling everyone he was named after the computer in 2001: A Space Odessey.  And he has the movie memorized, too.  Every single line of it.  It's a scary thing to see.

As I ordered myself a hotdog and a bag of chips I could feel Hal watching me.  I sat down at a table and Hal sat across from me, uninvited, and grabbed one of my chips.

"Hello, Fran.  How's it shaking?"

"It's, uh, shaking just fine, Hal.  What about you?"

"I was thinking of going to a Star Wars convention dressed as Han Solo.  Want to come and be my princess Leila?"

I rolled my eyes and sighed.  Really a geek sci-fi convention?  I just walked through the door.

"I bet you'd look real cute with your hair up in buns."

"OK, sure, Hal."


He reached forward and try to touch my hand.  I pulled back.  I only intended to pull back my hand but in reality I stood and then yelled at him, "No, Hal, I don't want to go with you.  I don't want to be your geeky princess.  And I certainly don't want you to regale me with stories of how you're named after some damn fictional, psycho computer."

The entire room was staring at me. I struggled my shoulders and shook my head.

Hal look mortified.  I grabbed my hotdog and left.

I'm never going there again.

Monday, August 27, 2012

When I Grow Up

Since Working Women Wednesday a few a weeks ago I have been thinking about my future.  I mean what future do I currently have?  My job with SAT TV is unbearable.  It's getting to the point where I don't want to go in anymore.  This is affecting my work performance.

So once again I am back to the idea of going back to school, but who wants to be the oldest student there?  It's embaressing. 

But really I have no idea what I want to do with my life and I should by now.  I should know.

I found myself again looking over the college website and dreaming.  Dreaming of what, I'm not sure.  Everything seems like it would take too long or cost too much or not be the perfect fit for me.  But what would be the perfect fit for me?

At one point I found myself looking at the graphic design page and daydreaming of Bill who works in the office building.  If I learned graphic design, in theory, I would be qualified to work for the same company he does.  It was a wonderful fantasy that I almost -- almost -- clicked on the "get more information" link.  I'm just not there yet.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The End is Near

I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror.  I looked haggard and tired.  I felt haggard and tired.

At breakfast I happened to look at the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall.  I caught sight of the date.  My birthday is exactly one month away.  That's it.  One month.  In one month I'll be 30.

How could I be almost 30?  I should be much further along in my life than this.  I should have a stable relationship, maybe have children.  I should live in a better house, drive a better car.  I should be in a career I enjoy.  I should know what I want to do with my life.

How can I turn 30?  I haven't even gotten out of my quarter life crisis yet.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pretty in Pink

As you recall, I promised Lilly I would go dress shopping with her.  It is only because I love her like a sister that I will do this.

We went to Amy's Bridal, which was having a special sale, and it was jammed packed with crazy brides-to-be looking for a great deal.

It took a while before we were waited on.  Had I known this I wouldn't have had to take off of work early.  Our consultant was named Rita.  Rita showed us around the store. 

Lilly had to pick her dress out first  -- and it took forever.  So she had to try on, like, a million dresses, asking maddening questions all the while about how her boobs look and her butt looks, straps or strapless, train or no train, it's too expensive, not expensive enough.  Finally, she picked something to my relief.

Then we went to the bridesmaids section and Lilly picks a dress right away.  She only had me try on three, like they do on the bride's shows on TV, and, boom, she made a decision.  And it's pink.  Ugh.  I'm going to look like a blown-up piece of bubble gum in front of all those people.  How could she?  She must really be afraid her bridesmaids will outshine her.

Monday, August 20, 2012

From Here to the 19th Floor

This morning I went into work early to make up for some time I'm talking off later in the month to help Lilly go dress shopping.  This, believe me, is not how I would want to spend my day but I do it because, in the long term, it will make my friend happy. 

As I walked to the elevator I was thinking about Lilly and how I hope she doesn't pick pink for the bridesmaids dress.  I hate pink.  It's the same color as the flush in our cheeks or a baby's butt.  Who would want to wear pink?  I wasn't paying any attention to the guy who walked into the elevator with me.

"Hey, aren't you lunch bag lady?" he said.

"Excuse me."

I looked up and there was Bill, the guy I had meet in the cafeteria who works in the company above mine.  He seemed more handsome than the first time I saw him.

"Remember, we met in the cafeteria?  We both brought a bag lunch."  He held up his lunch bag.  "See I brought mine."

"Oh."  My arms were full with my coat, my purse, my umbrella and my lunch bag.  "Mine's here somewhere."

"Hum, what floor are you getting off on?"

"The, uh, nineteenth."

"Oh, that's right."  He laughed.  "You work below me."

"That's right."

"What's your name again."


"Oh, that's right."

We rode the rest of the elevator ride in silence.  I couldn't get to the 19th floor fast enough.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Working Women Wednesday

I try to associate with my co-workers as little as possible.  They remind me too much of work for any friendship to really be enjoyable.  But sometimes you turn down an invitation enough times you owe them one.

I went out tonight with a bunch of the SAT TV ladies for Working Women's Wednesday at a bar down the street from our office building.

Something happened while we were there, enjoying a drink and a light dinner.  The women began to talk about themselves.  But it wasn't just talking about themselves.  They were talking about their backgrounds and what brought them to SAT TV. 

All of them had stories that were oddly familiar.  They needed a job, they were deep in debt so they found what they could yet they were still deeply in debt and still dissatisfied.  What was worse was none of them had a college degree.  These women reminded me of me.  I had goosebumps listening to their stories.

They are all middle age and with my birthday coming up I am fearful of becoming like them.  I don't want to become like them  --  bitter and stuck.  I want to have a job I like and a little money in the bank.  I want to be happy, ya know?

Maybe I need to revisit that college site after all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blind Date Fred

Never let your mother set you up on a blind date.  It will never work out.  She'll describe him to be perfect when in fact he's, well, you'll figure it out.

What she said:  "He'd be perfect for you, Fran.  You're names sound so cute together, too.  Fran and Fred.  He's named after his grandfather, you know."

What really happened:  "I was named after Fred Flintstone which is kinda good because I sorta look like him."

What she said:  "He in a career field that's in demand."

What really happened:  "I work in sanitation maintenance.  Yep, I'm a janitor."

What she said:  "He's very polite."

What really happened:  BURP!

What she said:  "He's interested in settling down and starting a family."

What really happened:  "I hate kids."

What she said:  "He's highly educated." 

What really happened:  "I'm kinda thinkin' I should go get my GED."

What she said:  "You're both in the same place in your life."

Huh?  What, Mom?  What do you mean by that?  The same place in our lives?  What does that say about me?  Mom?  Really?  Mom, what were you thinking?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Old Hat

You know how guys have lucky baseball caps?  I, too, have a lucky hat.  I've had it forever.  It's a lovely, little cloche hat that reminds me of the 1920s.  It's been with me every time something good has happened in my life.

The other day I was at Flor-Mart.  I was there to pick up a few odds and ends and check out the bargains.  I put my hat in my coat pocket.  I always put it there, in the same pocket.

After paying for my purchases, I reached into my pocket to find my hat and it was gone.  I felt my body get all tingly.  Where was it?  I searched both pockets, my purse, my bags, the floor around me.  No hat.  That's when I began to panic.

With my bags in hand I began running around the store like a mother searching for her lost child.  I retraced my footsteps.  I looked under things in case my hat fell and was kicked.  I looked everywhere.  Everywhere.  But I couldn't find it.

By this time, store security had found me and wondered what I was doing.  They were convinced I was attempting to shoplift.  I was taken in a backroom where they searched my purse, bags and pockets and patted me down.  I explained the situation to them.

One of the guards laughed.  "Why don't you buy a new hat?  You're at Flor-Mart.  Ten thousand square foot of every product under the sun."

I told them it was my lucky hat and I couldn't possibly ever replace it.  It was too precious to me.  Both guards laughed at me before telling me to leave the store.

I left with my heart heavy and my head hung low.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sensitivity Training

Every once in a while, the powers that be at SAT TV feel the need to give us some additional training in something.  One year it was in how to be more polite while answering the phone.  Another year it was a computer course.  This year it was sensitivity training.

The training course was conducted in the conference room.  A screen was set up and the facilitator showed us different slides.  There was a test afterward.

The course talked about all kinds of things.  I don't remember most of it.  The thing that struck a cord with me was when he discussed sexual harassment.  He went through all the verbal forms of harassment then talked about inappropriate touch.

Did you know an inappropriate touch is any touch?  I didn't either.  Turns out inappropriate touch includes things I though were innocent like touching some one's arm during conversation or giving them a hug.

A hug?  As he was talking, my mind went back to the day before.  I had given our receptionist Carol a hug.  Carol has been going through a tough time lately.  Her husband left her for a man and her children are moochers.  Anyway, I felt sorry for her -- she started to tear up -- so I reach over her desk and gave her a hug.

Carol hadn't actually given me permission to hug her.  I just did.  Realization stuck me.  I'm a sexual harasser.  I slumped in my chair.  Was anyone looking at me?  Did they know what a horrible person I am?  How will I ever be able to look anyone in the eye there again?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Here Comes the Bridesmaid

Lilly is having lunch with me today.  It was nice seeing her.  We haven't really hung out much since she got engaged to Jerry.  I knew that would happen.  It happened with Jessica and my other friends, too.  No one has time for me anymore.

We went to a nice coffeeshop between our hometown and the city.  We ordered sandwhiches and high caffeinated beverages then started to catch up.

Of course Lilly had to bring up the wedding.  I groaned inside.  So she was planning that thing out already?  Like, what, two years in advance?

"Oooh, oooh, oooh, I have something important to ask you," Lilly said taking my hands.  "You're my best friend.  Will you be my maid of honor?"

I was speechless.  The maid of honor?  How could I do that when I was secretly jealous she was getting married in the first place?  But at the same time she is my best friend.  It would hurt her feelings if I said no.

Lilly was sitting there, smiling, waiting for a response. 

Say something, you idiot, I thought.  "Yes, I'll do it."

"Wonderful.  You'll have to come dress shopping with me and be my second opinion on everything."

Her second opinion on everything?  Like, literally, everything?  She didn't ask me my opinion on marrying Jerry.

Lilly started to dig through her purse.  "We'll have to schedule a shopping day!"

Yes, a shopping day.

"Fun."  I smiled.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Lunch is the only time I can get out of my stifling office.  SAT TV's headquarters is part of a larger office building, a skyscraper downtown.  The building has a shared cafeteria.  Each company has its own break room with a coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator.  But the only place to eat is the cafeteria.

I go down there every day, although most days I can't afford to buy a lunch.  I bring my own, usually left overs from dinner.  Sometimes I eat with co-workers but that can be such a drag when all they do is talk about work.  I want to get away from work.  So I eat by myself by a window so I can look out and daydream.

Today I sat down and began eating, looking outside.

"It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who brown bagged it."

I looked over to the adjacent table and saw a guy I had never seen before, not that was too unusual; I don't know everyone in the building.  He was cute, very cute, and sat there with this shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows.  I could tell in his office he must wear a suit because he also had on a tie.

"Yeah," I responded.

Stupid!  Why didn't I say something more intelligent?

"You never know when you're the new guy," he said.

Now my attention was peaked.  A new guy?  Hum, maybe I wouldn't make a fool of myself if I watched what I said from here on out.

"You just started work today?"

"Yes.  I'm the new marketing manager at Net Tech."

"Net Tech.  I work under you, I mean on the floor beneath you, at SAT TV."

"And what do you do there?"

Um, what to say, what to say?  I wanted to be impressive.   "I handle three accounts including California."

"Oh, inside sales."

I didn't correct him and let him believe I was in inside sales.  He finished his lunch, stood and extended his hand to me.

"I'm Bill, by the way.  Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you, Bill.  I'm Fran."

He shook my hand and told me he had to get going.  Then he was gone. 

I hope I see Bill again although I'm not sure why.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

I hate my job.  Have I ever told you?  Sometimes I think that I'd like to go back to school and become something else.  But if I do, I'd be, like, the oldest student there.  I don't know that I could stand that embarrassment for four years.

I decided today to take a look at some college websites just to see what there is out there for me.  I mean what could I do with what I already have a high school diploma, some minimum wage jobs while I was in school and customer service?  Um, nothing.

What am I good at?  Um, nothing.  So I just took a look around.

I could be a teacher.  I'd have summers off, but I'd have to talk in front of students, so that's out.

I could be an accountant.  Some of them work from home.  But, no, I'd risk running into Jack.

I could go into office administration, but I'd risk running into Elliot.

I'm bad with computers, so IT is out.  I don't think I can string a coherent sentence together to save my life so journalism is out.

What can be done without any brains or embarrassment.  Um, nothing.

OK, I'm done looking around.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Usedta Coulda

I've been telling you a lot about work and my boss but not a lot about what I really do for SAT TV.

I answer phone calls and lots of them for all the territories I manage.  The calls vary but mostly focus on billing issues and technical issues.  It's the billing issues that kill me because it is usually something I can't fix because it was their fault or the company never received payment or never recorded the payment.  Stuff like that.

Today is a perfect example of how such calls go.  The call went something like this:

"Hello, this is Fran.  Thank you for calling SAT TV.  How may I help you?"

"Why do I have a charge of $39.99 on my bill for Knowtime on this month's bill?"

"Let me look into that for you, sir.  Can I get some more information from you?"

I find out his name and account number and look up his bill.  Sure enough, there is an extra $39.99 charge there."

"Your account shows you're subscribed to Knowtime, sir.  You didn't cancel after your free 30 trial."

"You have to cancel.  I thought it automatically cancelled."

"No, sir, you needed to call and cancel.  I can't remove the charge"

"Well, you usedta coulda.  Thanks for nothing."

Click.  He hangs up on me.  Then I record everything that happened during the call.  If they don't believe me, or if he calls and complains, they will review the phone call to see if I am lying. 

This happens about once every five to ten minutes all day long.  I'm tired.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...