The Customer is Usually Wrong

The customer is ultimately the one who gives you money, but that shouldn’t make them right. Customers should implore some common sense before they go asking inane questions to store associates.

I worked in retail for a few years at Office Depot and it was quite frustrating to deal with some people. Most of the time people would come in asking for ink refills or typewriter ribbons. I would ask what model they own and they couldn’t remember nor would they bring the empty with them. They bought it at Office Depot, so I guess that was enough.

Of course on the other end of the spectrum, if you work at a place you should know your store and what you stock. There have been times where I’ve asked someone at Best Buy where a certain item is located. They are quick to reply they don’t carry the item and go about killing time until their break or shift ends. I always make it a point to find the item, and locate said employee and show them the item they don’t carry. Then proceed to order it from amazon from my smartphone.

Recommended website. Not Always Right

How to sleep pain free through the night

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Wait, what?

Sometimes I wake up and feel like someone has bitten my ear off. Turns out, I’ve only been sleeping on my ear. I don’t know how it happens, but somehow my ear folds upon itself and the cartilage bends to become painful enough to wake me. It’s one of the worst pains I’ve felt while sleeping. It’s almost as bad as waking up with your calf muscle behind your kneecap causing you to leap out of bed only to find you can’t bend your foot to straighten it out.

So how do you sleep pain free through the night? Get your room as dark and cold as possible. I target my room temperature at 65 degrees and make sure no LED lights are illuminated. Blackout shades and curtains are a must for those pesky morning sun rays.  I also run some white noise. I use a Rainmate and squirt a few drops of essential oil in the tank to circulate a relaxing plume of lavender. I also pop a melatonin about 30 minutes before shuteye as to get some good REM sleep. With melatonin, be mindful of what you watch on TV before bed. One night, after watching Black Mirror, I dreamed that 3 of my friends killed themselves in three separate nightmares in a single night. Oh yeah, get a good mattress!

This meal will keep you out of the hospital

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Fish and Chips from Long John Silvers

There is no question that Fish and Chips is one my favorite meals. Whenever traveling I always look for a good basket of authentic old country goodness.

I think it all stems back to my childhood when I was having my double hernia operation. The doctors wouldn’t release me from the hospital until I stopped throwing up. It was due to the hospital food being quite terrible and bland. One evening, it seemed as if a super hero entered my room with a long flowing cape. Under that cape was Fish and Chips from Long John Silvers. Nothing that I remember has ever tasted so delicious. Needless to say the next meal that the hospital placed before me stayed down with no problem. Turns out, my stomach was missing an essential layer of grease that would help the bland food stick to my innards. I was released thanks to the healing power of Long John Silvers!

You can never stop drinking coffee

I don’t know why, but I decided to start drinking coffee in 2002. Having just started a new job, I was finding it difficult to adjust to the time zone difference, recovering from the move, and dealing with new co-workers. I called a friend who had commended something called a “press pot”. I started from there skipping over the whole drip coffee maker ordeal that my parents had when I was growing up. No wonder I never liked coffee.

At first I bought ground coffee. Millstone Foglifter to be exact. Then I discovered that the coffee tasted better if I bought the whole beans in the store and ground them and brought them home. Next I found out that I could grind my own beans at home right before brewing, big improvement. Then I figured out filtered water tastes even better with the coffee.

Next I formed an alliance with co-workers and formed a super-hero coffee club. We vowed to fight coffee injustice by only grinding the freshest beans and preparing the coffee at the right brewing temperature. It was a in-house debate which temperature was superior. I preferred 192.5 F and others preferred 185 F. We bickered about grind settings complaining that some were too coarse while others were too fine. We hurled insults if someone let the coffee steep too long, so we had to start using a timer.

We then discovered that we could roast our own green coffee beans. That opened up new layers of complexity that we could fight about. Roast settings, under or over roastings and how the coffee sometimes tasted like drinking boiled string bean water out of a brown grocery bag. I finally had to move away to a new job to get out of the coffee club. I now know the secrets to true coffee bliss. Throw a K-cup into a machine and drink the contents once it squirts out. So easy…

One star reviews are the most accurate.

oneStarThis is where product review gold is found. You will find the most minuscule of complaints about how a product didn’t meet expectations. Complaints like, the a golf GPS not lowering your score because you are not able to hit your pitching wedge 170 yards like Dustin Johnson.

My favorite so far is reading a Yelp one star restaurant review. The restaurant wasn’t known for making wraps. In fact, they didn’t have wraps on their menu. The lady asked them to make her a wrap and she had to explain what a wrap was. So when the wrap didn’t come back as she liked she complained and gave a 1 star review of the entire place.

I understand one star reviews for products that are terrible, but bringing your subjectivity into the complaint is another thing. I tend to either leave five or one star reviews. There is no middle ground for me. All it takes is one small experience and I will never go back.

Selection Anxiety with Coca-Cola Freestyle

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I like the idea of the Coca-Cola Freestyle and I love the options, however it’s not worth the anxiety attack. Once you get to the front of the line you are inundated with a plethora of beverage configurations. As you are mashing buttons a line begins forming with anxious patrons with lids half cocked waiting to fill their containers with carbonated corn syrup and artificial flavoring.

I’m all for consumer options but this machine basically causes a traffic jam. I’ve even seen these in airports, a place where there is enough traffic. I’m a bit disappointed that there’s no button for an extra shot of caffeine, which would turbo charge any beverage selection. This would also be a great product placement for a Xanax button for a shot of relaxation. This would ease the anxiety about the five people in line waiting to stab you in the orbital socket with a bendy straw.

JUST PICK ONE!

While great in theory the execution can be painful. If you have these in your restaurant then have a minimum of two machines. People have enough trouble retrieving sporks and straws and now you present them with thousands of flavor combinations?

Think about what flavor you want beforehand.  There is nothing more frustrating that watching someone hunt and peck for Orange Flavored Sunkist when it’s not even a Coke product. Have an additional dispenser for just ice and water, this will speed up the queue and reduce the glacier of ice that has formed because of trigger happy customers. I would also be nice if these machines could detect the type of drinking vessel so that you don’t cascade the soda over the cup onto your hand. Or maybe just have one size for this machine and tune it for proper filling.

Where are you really from?


Where do you really call Home? Is it the place you were born or the place where you’ve lived the longest? Is it the place where all of your stuff is? I would say it’s where you want it to be. I mean, my kids were both born in Tennessee, but they are really from South Carolina. Even though my son wears Mountaineer gear and my daughter wants to constantly visit Orlando. But just remember nobody wants a backstory. They just want to know where you currently live because they want to judge your accent and speech patterns.

When I tell people I’m from West Virginia I usually hear. “Oh what part? I love Roanoke and the Shenandoah Valley!” I have to say. “You know West Virginia is a whole separate state right?” It’s like having to explain to someone. “I’m from South Carolina” and hearing. “Oh, I just love the Charlotte area!”

When I travel up North I hear, “You don’t sound like you are from South Carolina”. Yeah, I know! I’ve picked up a hybrid accent from West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, and the Carolina’s. I do my best to enunciate and speak clearly,  but once I’m tired I’m not sure which dialect will surface. Sorry for the backstory.

Cleaning up your child’s vomit.

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Vomit Trampoline Effect

I don’t puke that easily, so cleaning up my kids vomit is not an issue. It’s weird, it’s like God gives you an anti-upchuck receptors for you own children.

However, once I smell my own own stomach contents the upchuck flows effortlessly. While I’m down there commode hugging, if I haven’t cleaned the toilet recently, it moves matters forward as well. The worst case is when I was staying with my Granny in Nitro when I was about 10 years old. I was sleeping on a cot in the dining room and woke up hollering vomit into my pillow and it splashing all over my face and overflowing into the floor. It just kept flowing and woke everyone up in the house. It had to be the butter flavored Crisco popcorn and Cool Ranch Doritos having an argument on who gets the last bite of overcooked fried chicken.

What are you greatest puke moments?

Why do motorcycle people wave?

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Flippin’ good time!

I would like to buy a motorcycle one day. One thing that is stopping me is that I don’t want to wave at everyone else riding a motorcycle. I’m just not that friendly. The other thing stopping me is fear of scraping my face on the pavement. Even if I’m wearing a helmet it would still not be pleasant. There are two memorable moments in my life that keep me on four wheels.

The first major memory comes from living in Hampton Virginia. My father had this co-worker that launched himself and wife/girlfriend onto the asphalt close to the beach. I remember visiting them in the hospital. The lady kept assuring me she was feeling great despite having her face covered in dried blood and her appendages encased in plaster. It was probably the little button she was pushing that gave her such high spirits.

The second major memory is when I obtained a Honda Trail Bike at the age of 15. On it’s maiden voyage I propelled myself over the handlebars into a creek. Once I landed in the creek I couldn’t feel my legs for about 5 seconds. I walked the bike back home and didn’t ride again.

So why do they wave at each other? I think it’s because they are part of secret society. To be honest, they should keep both hands on the grips. You know, the whole face pavement scraping thing.

Marriage Advice from Tony Chachere

 

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Yellow cloud?

When I was first married, I thought it would be nice to slowly introduce the spouse to some of the food I enjoyed while living in the Deep South. One night I prepared Red Beans and Rice with cornbread. I went all out and bought two boxes of Tony Chachere’s from the local Food Lion. Well after a few bites in she decided it was too spicy, and plus I forgot about her terrible acid reflux.

So what now? I had a huge pot of red beans and rice that I didn’t want all that Cajun goodness to go to waste. Well, I suffered through and consumed red beans and rice for every meal for the next few days until it was gone. Let me tell you, re-hydrated red beans are probably the most gassy. At first I thought all the farting was hilarious! But after a full day of constant farts every 5 to 10 minutes and gut wrenching gas that felt like someone was using an air compressor to inflate my large intestine, my pucker muscle was fatigued. I just wanted it to stop and so did my wife.

I was starting to leave permanent odors on my office chair from trying to hold them in. I didn’t want to kill any of the office plants or cause workman’s comp cases for my co-workers. Some lessons you learn the hard way.

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