The Green Study Grumps It Up

canstockphoto2656328Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of introspective posts. It’s winter and churning in my own neuroses seems to be the sport of choice. With no lift fees. But I’m irritable and when I’m irritable, I remember every single little thing that has ever irritated me since the beginning of time. I’m going to let it all out here. And then I’m dragging my ass to the gym, because those endorphins aren’t going to manufacture themselves. Wait. Whatever – you know what I mean.

Song Lyrics that Irritate Me

Ever since I got lectured in front of the entire English class about subjunctive verbs, I can no longer listen to Paul Simon sing Homeward bound, I wish I was, without correcting him to “were”. He never listens.

The lyrics to Katy Perry’s “Firework” baffle me:

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?

I don’t know Katy, do you ever feel like a chair? Ascribing to inanimate objects emotions is just weird. I’m sorry, plastic bag, if you want to start again, but you’re just going to end up hanging out with those plastic pop holder rings and maybe kill a whale or two.

Kodaline’s “All I Want” is a simple, emotive song about being left by someone. It’s immensely singable, except when I get to this line:

You took my soul and wiped it clean
Our love was made for movie screens

First of all, nowhere in the song does it explain why he/she left him. Maybe your love was made for a restraining order. Maybe she left because the guy could only make love on a bed of toenail clippings or kept accidentally calling her by his mother’s name. Vague, throwaway sentimental lines that just happen to rhyme. Blech.

When the Corporate Overlords Try Their Hand at Customer Service

Occasionally, I don’t like to cook (on any day that ends in “y”), so I will make a dinner run for the family. Subway is one of my husband’s and daughter’s favorite places, because they like playing Russian roulette with food poisoning and have no class.

canstockphoto19454172I almost peed myself when I opened the door to our local Subway and someone screamed “Welcome to Subway!” Here’s the thing about working stoned – you can’t tell how loud you are. So I hear. I think that scaring the bejeezus out of your customers might be the opposite of what your HQ sires wish.

The Wells Fargo bank does this now, including asking loud, invasive questions about what you are doing there. Last time, I turned around and went to the ATM. I’ll store this 5 gallon bucket of change for some other time, you nosy bastards.

Walgreen’s always says some shit like be well as you leave the store. When I can smell your cigarette breath across the counter and see that 2 liter of Orange Crush that you’ve been guzzling all day, you are not going to be an arbiter of good health. Now, let me take this box of Oreos that I will be doing shots of on the way home and be on my unwell, frigging way.

I feel sorry for the poor bastards who have to wear special hats, or shout out greetings or ask me for my email/zipcode/cup size while I’m trying to make a hasty exit. I know it’s not their fault. I once worked for Radio Shack and had to answer the phone with “You’ve got questions -we’ve got answers!” Never felt so stupid in my whole life, especially since my answer was always, “Hold on, let me ask Bob” and then I’d track down my sweaty, wide-tied, polyester-shirted manager.

Here’s the thing, you corporate peckerheads – you’re not very good at this. The only thing that makes me think you give a rat’s ass about me or my community is if you hire some of these people on full-time with benefits and stop Walmarting my neighbors and friends. Stop treating them like organ-grinding monkeys doing whatever stupid dance you’ve come up with for that week. It’s the least you can do.

The Soundtracks of Our Lives

canstockphoto4075725.jpgHold music. I was on hold with my health insurance company. In between reminding me that I could go online every 5 seconds, where I’d just spent two hours trying to navigate their convoluted shit, they had the unmitigated gall to play “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”. 40 minutes later I hung up. To throw myself in traffic. Expensive, massive surgery seems to get the insurance company’s attention like nothing else.

Loud theaters. Now, I know I’m a middle-aged broad with sensory issues, but my family no longer wants to go to movie theaters. My daughter sat through “The LEGO Movie” with her hands over her ears the entire time. I don’t think my teeth are supposed to vibrate during a kid’s movie.

Commercials playing on the TVs in doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms. I am the asshole who will ask them to turn it off. I mean, as much as I love to see mouths full of rotten teeth transformed and the precision bowel resections, I am reminded of all the pharmacy ads exhorting us to ask our doctors. Am I going from the waiting room into the examination room with dreams full of elective shit I don’t need so they can make a profit? No, but I am completely tense and nauseous. Excuse me if my blood pressure seems a little high.canstockphoto7609379

Well, off to the gym to be annoyed by oblivious cell phone chatters and grunting protein freaks and the Spandex apocalypse. I’ll be surrounded by superheroes without capes.

I’m going to need a really, really long run. Be well. Hey – I heard that.

124 Comments on “The Green Study Grumps It Up

  1. Amen to the hold music. I can’t deal – what’s worse than bad hold music is completely dead air! Terrible.
    Loved this by the way.

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  2. “Stop treating them like organ-grinding monkeys doing whatever stupid dance you’ve come up with for that week.” Yes, yes, YES!!! If the peckerheads were the ones who actually had to suffer the consequences of their brilliant ideas this insanity might stop.

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    • This is what I find so appalling. The pay and hours are shit, but on top of that, they have to remove any dignity that could be found being at other people’s beck and call.

      I’ve worked a lot of these retail jobs – with the ridiculous uniforms, the stupid catchphrases and goofy greetings. And I thank every one of those twenty-something PowerPointed marketing grads who generated these campaigns from the bottom of my black little heart.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed this. My sense of humor has been in short supply of late, so it was fun to let loose a bit.
      Fortunately, Radio Shack was just a seasonal job. I did learn a lot about VCRs, though. That’s been super useful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TVs where you can’t get away with them. Yup — red button issue. I was in my doctor’s office waiting and demanded the remote when they had Donald Trump playing on a stream in a loop (the staff wasn’t paying attention, some other idiot had put it on …)) sorry. I got away from myself there!

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  4. Commercials playing on the TVs in doctors’ and dentists’ waiting rooms.

    One of my all-time pet peeves. Hate that. By the time I see the doc I’m convinced I have one of the maladies mentioned on the commercial. I don’t think those commercial are there to inform us, I think they’re there to brainwash us.

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    • Ha- you make a good point. It also sounds like you’re one of those people who needs to avoid WebMD, where one symptom leads to a minor malady…or a brain tumor. I’m always amazed when I look something up and in the next moment wondering if I need to update my will.

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  5. You make me laugh a lot because what you say is so true. I was in a store and the lady at the cash ask me if i have find all i was looking for …Grrr!!! it was a day i didn’t feel for that … and i told her… sorry but this day i really can’t answer to that question .
    Or when we wait to someone for answer after having so many time choice to make…if you want to …press 2 and if you want thant …press 5 etc etc
    with the same music playing…then a voice who tell you again and again,
    that Your call is important to us… Thank you !

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    • That’s the new thing – “Did you find what you were looking for?” I always want to say “Well, I didn’t find good luck, the remnants of my soul or world peace, so no.” But the poor schmucks don’t deserve that kind of snarkiness. Plus, I’m rarely able to pull off humor at the register – the cashier just stares at me blankly and I feel like an idiot.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. All your blog posts are ‘must reads’. Almost every one wants me to write my own post in reply. Sometimes I do, but then don’t post them, because it would be a bit creepy if every one of my posts started off “I just read this great post on The Green Study and…” The Radio Shack story was perfect. Incidentally I love the fact that Wells Fargo is still about; the Wild West is still alive and well even if cowboy and injun films are out of fashion.

    The funny thing about all the over-the-top meaningless customer service stories in the U.S. is that as soon as American expats arrive here (the Netherlands), they start moaning about the lack of customer service. As does my husband who spends too much of his life having his sheets and shirts laundered every day in faceless international hotels and expects the same service at home (fat chance!). Fortunately keeping people on hold for ages seems to have been solved on the whole here, and doctors and medicines are ‘free’ at point of use and so we have no adverts for medicines or procedures because we get given what the doctor prescribes, and that’s usually the cheapest equivalent. Some shops will come over and ask “Can we help you?” but you only have to say you’re just looking and they melt into the background, then you can’t find them if you do need something. And when you leave the shop, you’re lucky if they say goodbye. And that’s just fine with me. Us Europeans tend to think things like “Have a nice day!” are completely false and insincere and (sorry) American and they make us feel really uncomfortable. Maybe you’re just living in the wrong country. I hear customer service in France is appalling.

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    • My preference is a well-organized store, good products and decent pricing and an employee in sight, in case I have questions. All that other stuff is just insincere fluff that they’re forcing these employees to mime. And you’re likely right about American customs of insincere patter.

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  7. P.S. Is there a bug on here that changes f and i round in every word, because I noticed it in your post and in my comment too. Most peculiar. Testing, testing, 123: film, find, benefit, traffic…

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    • I didn’t know what you were talking about until I re-read my post. There appears to be typos, but when I go to edit them, they’re correct. I’ll drop a line to WordPress. I’m sure they’re hearing from bloggers already.

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  8. Oh, gawd, you do grumpus so well.
    I cringed at being the one who sent you the Kodaline song, but what are friends for if not to provide blog fodder!
    Hope that peckerhead flu is on the way out.

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    • I love that song, but every time I get to that one line, I bemoan the 5 minutes that it would have taken the guy to write something a little more, I don’t know, engaging. It’s sort of like when you read a great writer and then they have that one detail or sentence that throws you out of the story.
      I thought the flu was done with me. It’s not and now the kid woke up sick this morning. Wheeeee…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. You sound completely manic. Haha. There’s nothing like snapping at someone that just approached you like, “What the fuck do you want?” Moments later you realize that you are in a public setting heading for the bathroom and they weren’t even in the building to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You said sensory issues. What exactly do you experience sensory wise? I wont walk on tiles easily especially if they are wet. If you hug me i will tell you i hate you. If you put lettuce on my f****** food ill find out where you live!. Thats honestly it for me. I dont have problems hearing unless its a loud environment. I dont have a diagnosis of sensory issues. But asd overrides it i guess.

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        • Anything to do with personal hygiene grosses me out and I hear it clearly – nail clipping and picking at teeth. Also don’t like loud anything – am easily persuaded to leave stores and restaurants if the music is too loud.

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        • The latter causes mood and energy levels to fluctuate for me. Loud places make me have so much energy i cant sit still. I find myself tapping my feet, rocking back and forth, running around and talking to everyone. Its part of the reason i cant have certain jobs.

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  10. Particularly good one, Michelle. I couldn’t help thinking of Paul McCartney’s masterful line, “But in this ever-changing world in which we live in.” Geez. And I have a friend who for a few years loved to call people a “peckerhead” and didn’t realize quite what she was saying. Har.

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    • Oh no, another McCartney song by which to be irritated by (just a hat tip, there).
      It might be a sign of my lack of class that I do know what peckerhead means and still use it. Although, it’s usually in my own head or writing. It’s funny to imagine someone using it out loud in a casual context.

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      • Correct-a-mundo. Peckerhead = Dickhead, I do believe. My friend thought it referred to a bird’s head, as in a woodpecker. We still laugh over that one.

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        • Historically it is a derogatory term for white people (learned from a college Afro-American studies) but it can also be used to describe someone who’s not all intellectually there.

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        • And then there’s “peckerwood,” disparaging slang for a poor, white southerner. The list is endless, ay?

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  11. That’s why I only listen to EWF. I spend more time listening to the tune than the actual words. First time reader, you have great fans, they love your humor, enjoyable read.

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    • I wasn’t a fan of that movie, but it might be a stretch to find cinematic allusion in that line. But that’s okay. We can all sing the heck out of nonsensical lyrics without ascribing deeper meaning. Glad you enjoyed the read!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on BLUE SUN and commented:
    I love wit and sarcasm, and this bash on current culture pet peeves from Michelle at The Green Study as plenty of both. It really made me laugh. I had to share it!

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  14. You had me cracking up and shouting “PREACH!” the whole time!! Cinema volume levels are horrible, even overseas. When they do their commercials the sound is even louder too! Worst can be the movie stop intermission (in Turkey) where you get a break from the audio onslaught only to be battered again with more even louder commercials before they rewind and deja-vous your dropped off movie scene at then even higher decibels. I now bring earplugs for everyone – it helps A LOT!

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    • I’m not sure what the point is – perhaps to distract us from the shitty quality of the movie. We’ll just wait a couple years until movies show up on Netflix and DVD. There’s not much that compels us to go anymore. Although I do miss the trough bucket of buttered popcorn.

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      • I like going because the audience you share it with is also part of the experience. There are the almost empty matinees where you can tell exactly which part each group/person finds funny, the bust out midnight premieres where fans dress up and wait together anticipating how good it will be, kids reactions and exclamations. More and more, though, it’s every one plugged into their cell phones All.The.Time. I think I’m a dying breed of a dying time. sigh.

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        • As I’m an introvert and crowds make me uneasy, this might be the part I don’t get. The only time I really enjoy being in a crowd is when I watch good stand-up comedians – there’s something energizing about being around so much laughter.
          I feel the same about those #$% cell phones. I see this now at live music performances – even symphonies. I feel like it shows a great deal of disrespect for the artists (as well as the audience).

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  15. Brilliant post, half way through I started imagining Eminem rapping your words in a kind of 8mile style- Rap really takes to anger, have you considered it?

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    • My rap skills are right up there with my cooking skills. I have a couple of Eminem songs for running because of the anger, but there are some lyrics of his that set me on edge. I try not to listen to a lot of music that just makes me want to punch things.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I wish I was, I wish I were — it’s odd, I stopped on this this morning while writing and wasn’t sure which was right, because I’ve gotten used to hearing it wrong so long it’s righted itself in my head, and my head can’t be trusted much these days. Well, so much of this is everywhere like germs, like data mining our buying habits and then not doing a damned thing with it because it’s too difficult to sift through and launch a personalized marketing campaign even if you’re Costco and have access to all the data, and still send the same coupons to everyone, regardless of what they buy. You sound better. Go flick some gravel in someone’s driveway, the fucks.

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    • Bill, you make me laugh. I forced myself to read through the was/were rules and it’s like every other English grammar rule, loaded to the gills with exceptions.

      I wish I were better. This flu retreated only to return with a vengeance, so I sit here, sweaty and feverish, trying to sound less cantankerous than I feel. Plus, I’m having some seriously weird-ass dreams – great stuff for incoherent notes that I might never be able to use anywhere, though.

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  17. So in love with this post!!! Love the raw realness you’ve got going. I myself Just Started this blogging thing n published my first post yesterday. Wish me luck, btw ill be reading the rest of ur posts, you’ve captivated my attention …

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  18. I think we all have those days where we just hate everyone! This post is so funny and I can relate to it so well! Definitely a new blog I plan on keeping up with!

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  20. I burst out laughing as soon as I read the Katy remark. What a great post. I read in one of your comments above that a song line will stop you in the same way as reading something by a great author and stumbling on a sentence will stop you. Yes, I was wildly paraphrasing, lol. I feel exactly the same way when I read. If I have to stop and reread a sentence, or a phrase, a couple of times, it throws me off. I reread one of my old blog posts a few days ago and I came to a visual standstill reading something I had written that had an awkward phrase. Are you kidding me? I proofread and edit up the wazoo and I didn’t catch that? I got mad at myself.
    This post was hysterical.

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    • Every once in awhile, when I’m feeling masochistic, I’ll go back and read my posts and find myself editing 4 year old posts. On the other hand, this is not something I expect people to pay for, so I think we can ease up on ourselves.
      Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  21. “Russian roulette with food poisoning” yes! There are a few food places I lost that game with. Great post! Any time someone uses the phrase “Grumps it up” I’m in.

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    • Thanks. I had a very specific incident with a Subway in Texas. Lesson learned: never eat at a place attached to a gas station. I’m more frequently grumpy than not, so glad you enjoyed this!

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  23. I enjoyed your honesty! I’m someone who rationalizes any irritability until it goes away.. Needless to say it was refreshing hearing someone not hold their tongue for a second.

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    • Thanks. I never have the wherewithal to rationalize my irritability, but I spend a lot of time alone. If you’re irritable alone and no one’s there to see it, are you really irritable?

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      • You definently can. If you can describe your irritable reaction after its already happened, whether other people know you were irritable or not it doesn’t change the fact that you were..

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  24. At first I thought this post was about self-improvement and I laughed a lot.

    About me, I really hate someone how turns off their music by pressing the stop button right off the bat. That would make me very annoyed, all my feelings and emotions just kinda drop in a micro second. Why don’t they just turn the music down gradually by using the volume feature?

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    • That is a bit jarring, isn’t it? Great, now I’m really going to notice when someone does that!

      I hate it when someone is listening to music so loud on their earbuds that you can sort of, but not quite, make out what they are listening to. I’m wondering if I’m old enough to be a nosy old lady yet: What are you listening to? I suppose that would be as annoying as the oblivious people who ask you what you are reading.

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  26. This was hilarious. And to be honest, after reading your post I am going to be using this app more and more. This was an amazing post!

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