Friday, September 28, 2007

Gold Tooth Guy

I came across a new saying a couple of days ago. I was walking behind two guys on Ludlow Ave, and I was shamelessly eavesdropping on their conversation. One guy was talking about how he used to be the best football player on his high school team. He was saying how he would do anything for the team and the team really counted on him to do whatever they needed. Then he said something that truly perplexed me. He said, "Man, I was the Gold Tooth Guy." What? What on earth could this possibly mean? He clearly said Gold Tooth Guy. His friend just nodded in recognition,so he must have known what it meant. Then I realized that this man meant that he was the Go To Guy on the team. Other phrases like this have changed in the past. A chest of drawers had now become Chester drawers. Some people have started calling Alzheimer's disease Old-timers disease. I'm sure we have all heard that it is a Doggy dog world instead of a dog eat dog world. But Gold Tooth Guy? This was really interesting to me and more than just a tad hilarious.

I've only had two linguistics classes in my life and I couldn't think of a term for what I had just heard. I raced home and told David, our resident linguist, the entire story. I then asked him what the term was for this kind of mispronunciation. David told me, "I don't know. That doesn't even sound like real linguistics. It sounds more like sociolinguistics." Great. A linguistics elitist. Anyhow, when I get home tonight (I'm at school right now) I'm going to look through my linguistics books to see if their is a more professional term for what I heard.

But something else came out of this discussion of Gold Tooth Guy Vs. Go To Guy. Apparently, I don't know what the term "Go To Guy" even means. I told David that it meant a person on the team who would "Go to it." He's the guy who does what the coaches ask of him no matter what. The Go To Guy is a hard worker. David found this about as hilarious as the original Good Tooth Guy discussion. He told me that, in fact, this is not what Go To Guy means. David says Go To Guy means that there is a person on the team that everyone "Goes to" in a clutch or important situation. We had a half hour long discussion about it. I'll admit that David has better evidence, but I've decided that I think it means both. What do you think? Also, if you have ever heard the expression Gold Tooth Guy or any other mispronunciation of a common phrase, leave a comment and tell me all about it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

CVS Psychic?

We live right across the street from a CVS. Most of you know my hatred for CVS. I worked at Osco for eight years. I didn't love, love, love the job, but it was really very little work. Most times I would go to work, hang out in the stock room talking to my supervisors, ignore calls for price checks, take a long break and call it a day. I'm sure most of you are getting a bad impression of my work ethic. I assure you that it is good, but only for non-corporate things. I'm not one to complain about "the man," but I'm really bad at memorising stupid corporate acronyms such as "P.R.I.D.E." and the like. I think "P.R.I.D.E" had something to do with customer service, but I can't remember. I'm also not good at smiling just because someone tells me to smile. Anyhow, after eight years, I actually formed a loyalty to Osco. I told myself that Osco was much better than Walgreen's and it was certainly better than those crappy CVS stores. I mean really, who the hell carpets a drug store? It's wrong.

Well, I quit when I got the job teaching Latin, and less than 6 months later, CVS bought out Osco. I was crushed. Any company that let me get away with so little work for eight years had my sympathy. I also felt guilt. Had I played a part in Osco's demise? Did I take one 45 minute break too many? And I was worried that CVS would try to screw over my aunt, who worked for Osco for 27 years and had loads saved up in retirement. CVS fired lots of people, including my favorite supervisor, but they did keep my aunt. But I've heard that they have awful employment practices and everyone is always in fear of being fired.

So it is hard for me to go into a CVS. But as I live in a big(ger) city now, I feel that I should walk to the places I can because I don't want to move my non-power steering truck and come back to wrestle this vehicle in between two Jettas.

Last night I needed quarters to do laundry, and I thought I would go to CVS to get them. David says there is a man who works Sunday nights there and he is really friendly. Not only that, but when David went to buy aluminum foil at CVS, this man guessed that he needed the foil for grilling. Without a word from David hinting at such. Weird. So I'm in CVS and I pick up a tube of toothpaste and take it up to this friendly guy. He rings up the toothpaste and I debit five dollars back. Without a word from me, he says, "Doing laundry? I can give that back to you in quarters." My jaw dropped. I said that that would be great. I could have wanted the five dollars for anything, but this man knew it was for laundry. It's not like he said "Oh toothpaste. You gonna brush your teeth?" Just like the foil, it was not obvious what I was going to do with this money.

So I've devised this plan to find out for sure whether this guy has some kind of extra sense. The next time I have indigestion, I'm going to go in and buy a box of baking soda. It works wonders on an upset stomach. My dad uses baking soda for any stomach ailment. If he'd ever get an ulcer he'd just drink some baking soda and water, and I half believe it would repair the ulcer. Well, there have been entire books written about the thousands of uses of baking soda. Will the man from CVS "guess" that I have indigestion, or will he kindly posit that I'm trying to clean the grout between my bathroom tile? Or will he just flat out tell me that he knows I'm running an experiment to see if he's psychic? I'll be sure to let you know.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Came, I Saw, I Worked, I Quit

The job at the bagel place did not work out. I'm sure many of you are gearing up the parental phrase, "If you commit to something, you have to stick with it." So ground me. This job sucked in every way imaginable. I knew after two hours that I didn't want to work there, and I stuck with it for three days.

Here's what I thought working at a bagel shop would be like- Setting: A sleepy little corner bagel shop. A couple of old people would come in and ask me to make them a toasted bagel with some cream cheese. I'd smile and tell a funny anecdote while I poured a fresh cup of coffee for the both of them. Ten minutes later, another couple of people would drift in, and I would start the process over again. Well, this surely did not happen.

I was told on the day I started that this was the busiest Bruegger's Bagels in the country. I worried a little at that, but I asked myself, "How many people could possibly want to eat bagels?" A freaking lot! The "rush" at this store lasted from 9 am to 2pm. My shoe came untied at 9:30 and I did not have a chance to tie it until I clocked out to go home. Some people might be able to handle this pace, but I cannot. I don't think I'm lazy. I just can't handle the "bustle," as David calls it. And what does it mean that I can't handle the bustle? Does it mean I pout? No. Does it mean I get tired? No. Does it mean I want to yell curse words at the patrons? Well, sometimes. But mostly when I have to rush around for hours on end, it means I get panic attacks. So while I'm making some lady's $2.19 cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, she doesn't know that I'm so hot I could pass out, my left arm is going numb, and I'm envisioning that my windpipe is closing up. So yeah, I get panic attacks from bagels. After two days of this, I started asking myself if panic attacks and constantly smelling like red onions were worth $7.25 an hour. I determined that they are not. I don't think I'm above that type of work. I don't think I'm better than anybody who does that work. I'm just not good at it. Perhaps if I was 16 and this was my first job I could stand it. But as it is, I hated it with a passion.

So on my second (and second to last day), I pulled the manager aside and told her that I hated working at the bagel place. My mom asked if I really used the work "hate" when I told the manager. Yeah, I did. Why beat around the bush? I told the manager I would finish out my schedule, which was only one more day, and then I would not be returning. She was frustrated but nice about it. I felt bad because they went through all the trouble to "train" me(i.e. show me videos from the 90's and then throw me into the fray). But I did hate it and didn't want to go back.

I'll start looking for another second job soon, but David says I don't have to if I don't want to.

Well, admonish me in a parental fashion if you must.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Grindstone

I should most definitely be preparing for class that starts in an hour right now, but instead I want to write to my pals.

I got the job at the bagel place and I start tomorrow. I am promised 15-20 hours a week with no Sundays and two or three Saturdays a month off. I told the manager that I wanted to keep every other weekend completely free so I could come home frequently if I wanted. At the interview, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I had the job, but that didn't stop me from being nervous. I was almost as nervous about this bagel job as I was about my interview for the college. I guess I'm just an equal opportunity worrier.

I got a chance to see how lonely I am getting at the interview. I haven't talked to anyone in Cincinnati but David for more than two sentences. So while I was being interviewed, I found myself wanting to elaborate on anything and everything just to talk to someone. I tried to cap myself off, but I'm sure I rambled a couple of times. Oh well, maybe they'll just think I'm friendly. The bagel place might be a good place to meet people, too. I don't really have a chance to talk to any of my co-workers at the college and I can't just strike up a casual conversation with my students outside of class. Having no friends will definitely lend itself work, work, work, and paying off debt. I guess there's an upside.

Oh, I did meet the chair of the English department yesterday. Again, I found myself wanting to ramble to him, but I kept it short. He's a pretty cool, young-ish, punk rock kind of a guy. As I was leaving his office, I saw that he had a Guided By Voices bumper sticker on the wall. I wanted to launch into a spiel about how they were one of my favorite bands, and how we should talk about music sometime, ect, but I didn't. Instead I just said, "You like Guided By Voices? Thumbs up." Then I walked off. I am soooooo cool.

My students are having a class discussion today about the essays we read. I really hope that these guys want to talk because I'm not good at prodding responses out of people. I assigned reading questions that specific people in class are personally responsible for answering during the discussion. I hope that facilitates discussion. Does anyone out there have any other suggestions for getting people to talk in class? I might not need it, but I want to be on the safe side. I can't remember my teachers employing any special methods, but I usually had my mind made up before class whether or not I was going to talk about anything we read the day before.

Well, I really should prepare now.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Assault Rifle for Debt

Okay, so I finally have regular internet that will let me sign in on blogger again. I just finished planning my first lesson, which I will introduce tomorrow. It is on the completely boring topic of prewriting. Hey, you gotta start somewhere. Wednesday was my real first day, but I just went over the syllabus and stuff like that. I was nervous, but i wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. I'm really liking work so far. CState buildings and campus reminds me more of a small four year college than a community college, but I only have Ivy Tech to compare. Actually, I thought Ivy Tech was a nice school, but it doesn't have anything on CState. All their classrooms are smart and easily workable and they have really awesome cafeterias and cafes on campus. Oh, this is cool. All the culinary arts majors have to take a class on pastry making. They don't do anything with all the pastries they make afterward so they just haul them to the cafe. So there are gourmet pastries available to everyone. This could be good or bad for me. Anyway, it seems like a really cool place. I still have no idea who my boss is or where the English adjuncts' office is, but I figure someone will tell me when they get angry that I didn't report somewhere or do something I was supposed to.

In other news, David has decided he wants to take a machine gun approach to our debt and gun it down all in one Ramboesque blaze of glory. What sparked this proposed debt massacre? Well, there's this talk radio station down here that has The Dave Ramsey Show on. David loves this guy. I think he's kind of a jerk who just gives people common sense advise.

Example: Person in debt: Hi Dave. Love the show. Listen, I've got 50,000 dollars in credit card debt, a $1200 a month mortgage, and three new cars. How do I get out of debt?

Dave Ramsey, Debt Management Guru: Wow, stupid isn't illegal, but it should be. Sell your house, sell your cars, cut up the credit cards, and get three jobs. If you do this, you can have your debt paid off in four years.

Person in debt: Gee, why didn't I think of that? Dave you're a genius.

Anyway, all of this means that David already has himself a second job and is on the lookout for another and now it is my turn. So, I have applied and gotten an interview for the glamorous world of Bruegger's Bagels. Basically, it's Einstein Bagels with a different name. It's located just down the street and I'll be able to walk to work if I get the job. I hope I'm qualified enough. I hope the manager doesn't google my name and see this post. Oh well if she does. I really do want the job. I'm hoping there will be some cool perk like free coffee.

That's pretty much it for now.