Thursday, January 29, 2015

True Life: I Hold the Title for Shittiest Receptionist in San Francisco

"I don't think it's many little girls' dream to be a receptionist forever."

I remember watching the Office about 4 years ago and hearing Pam say this.  I thought to myself "Speak for yourself Pamela.  I'd be happy as a pig in shit to be a receptionist for the rest of my life.  Or at least for longer than a month."  At that point I'd been canned from 3 reception jobs and was feeling pretty down on myself.  Seriously, failing at 3 consecutive front desk jobs?  If I couldn't succeed at answering phones, putting paper in a printer, emptying a shredder and asking people if they want coffee then what the fuck could I do?  What did I even want to do?  Clearly, adhering to office life was not my Will forte.
am i not just the breast artist ever? 
The truth is, I didn't know what I wanted to do - growing up I dreamed of marrying Axl Rose and becoming an actress or a forensic psychologist like Jodie Foster's character in Silence of the Lambs.  At one point I considered inventing vibrating tampons (aka Vibrons). All of my friends seemed to have important jobs working at private equity firms or VCs - I never could grasp what they did exactly, but I was always envious of them for knowing their way around an excel spreadsheet, having real life clients and being able to thrive in the corporate world.  

So there I sat on my air mattress, knee deep in empty frozen egg roll boxes, thousands of miles away from home with no job, barely any money and a knack for fucking up royally as a receptionist: the most basic, entry-level office job in the universe.  My self-esteem had been chipped away at more and more with each job I'd lost and was eventually whittled down until it was so low that I was scared to even go on a simple temp assignment (I have played with that sentence for the past 2 days.  It will never not be wordy, nor will it ever really make sense.  Don't shart with me, ok?)

This brings me to one of the worst days of my life. I realize I've written about this before, so without going into too much detail I'll summarize the story for you as it is pertinent to the point of this post:

As the Bachelor's Chris B. Harrison would say: It was the most dramatic ending to a receptionist job in Receptionist history.  I'd been at a company I unlovingly refer to as "Micromanaging Inc." for almost 2 weeks.  My micromanaging boss had entrusted me to place my first Costco order for the office.  This was a big deal.  Big.  Huge.  (I have to go shopping now!) The office consisted of picky engineers/techies who barked orders at me on the reg ("Andrea!  I need to add lightly salted, gluten free, vegan swan to the Costco order!") hipsters who wore skinny jeans and lived off of organic birdseed or whatever it is that Hipsters ingest, and gluten-free ladies who were all likely on the same cycle.

These people had specific needs and thus took the Costco order very seriously.  Perhaps the person who took it most seriously was my boss Rhonda.  In fact, I'd venture to guess that for Rhonda Costco day was the pinnacle of her existence.  It didn't help that the girl before me was the Larry Bird of receptionists; she'd been with the company for 9 years and from the way people in the office raved about her I assumed she was Ghandi did everything short of wiping their asses for them.  She appeared to be the opposite of me: extremely detail-oriented, organized, anal-retentive and quite capable of executing a Costco order sans blunders. 

So when "Costco Day" came, my apprehension was palpable.  I knew that if the order wasn't perfect, one of the hipsters was bound to rip his skinny jeans off and beat me with them.  This was my chance to prove to everyone that I could actually do something right which was vital to my survival at MI, especially following a slew of mishaps from forgetting to refill the super-pluses in the ladies room to mistakenly booking our CFO's flight to Chicago from Oakland instead of SFO.

So when Satan himself the Costco delivery guy came to the door bearing an enormous cart I was elated.  I opened the door for him excitedly, and greeted him with a hearty, "Hi!  You're here!  Just in time for lunch!"  People had intuitively begun to convene in the lobby, like a pack of rabid raccoons preparing to raid a trash can.  As I went to close the door behind Karl with a K (I can't remember his name - he looked like a Karl with a K, okay?), he muttered 3 words that I will never forget as long as I live.  "Ma'am, there's more." It was as if I'd just been hit with a death sentence.  I wanted to jump into Karl with a K's arms, have him pet my head and tell me he was just being silly.  Silly, silly Karl with a K.

Long story short: my failure to recognize Costco as a bulk store resulted in an onslaught of big burly Costco delivery men pushing carts filled to the brim with pretzels, tomatoes, tubs of peanut butter the size of my face the morning after eating too much soy sauce, more milk than Octomom had in her boobs directly after giving birth, and a fucking orchard of apples.  Office small-talk morphed from weather chatter to "Oh my god, can you believe the receptionist ordered like, $4,000 worth of food?  Does she like, have some kind of syndrome or something?" I was reduced to putting some of the excess jugs of milk in the fucking freezer and setting an enormous basket of apples on my desk.  Every time someone passed me I would beg them to "Take one, please!  An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
Needless to write, I got fired that day.  "I'm afraid we have to let you go," my boss said.  "Let go" is such a euphemistic term.  Like was I a dove or something?  I can remember sitting on a bench in front of my house with my roommate after I'd gotten home from work that day.  Her shoulder looked like a crime scene after I'd spent about 45 minutes crying on it.  (Life lesson: wear water proof 'scara next time you fuck up a Costco order.)

I never wanted to be reminded of that day - I even turned down an invitation from my mom to go on a Costco run with her when I was home over the holidays, which says a lot because I'm sure she would've bought me shampoo and Neosporin and stuff.  There was also that one time I had to meet a friend for Happy Hour a few months ago near Micromanaging, Inc. and I took the most roundabout route to get there just so I wouldn't have to pass the scene of the crime.

Ergo, you can imagine my despair the other day when a candidate I'd scheduled a meeting with walked into my office bearing a striking resemblance to one of my former colleagues at MI.  We greeted each other and she did a double take.  My heart started to beat to the point of near-protrusion from my non-existent chest as I realized that she was indeed one of the HR assistants at MI and was likely behind my swift removal from the company.  

"I know you!  You worked at Micromanaging, Inc for a little while didn't you?  Wow, how are you doing?

Sidenote: My office is wide open and my boss sits directly in front of me. The office was dead silent as HR lady began to reminisce about our overlap at Micromanaging, Inc.  I panicked and winked at her as if to say "please for the love of Costco keep your mouth shut." She likely thought I was hitting on her because she didn't get the hint and continued to talk about my stint at MI. 

"Wow - so you're not doing reception anymore.  Seems like things are going well."

"Yeah, I mean, like, I wasn't really any good at it.  It's nice to be in a smaller office and stuff, you know?"  I quickly switched gears and we continued on with our meeting.  It was the most painful 24 minutes of my life.  I can't even talk about it anymore.  

Moving forward:  Muni has been on fire lately.  From hot new fashion statements to in your face drama - things have certainly been spicing up on the ol' 45.  

You know those days you just don't feel like getting out of bed but you simply have to?  This girl figured out a solution to this problem - simply wear your bedding to work.  YAY!
This guy is quite the illusionist.  It looks like he's wearing a toupee but in actuality it's his real hair.TRICKSTER!
 Fuck Foldgers, the worst breast part of waking up is ASS IN MY FACE.
I don't speak Chinese but I assume these 3 are involved in a torrid love triangle based on the heated exchange I witnessed betwixt the 2 embattled, passionate and likely wronged women.
 Meanwhile, back on the streets of SF, I spotted Stephen King's doppelganger. Love your work Stephen!  Espesh Misery.

Lastly, in case you're wondering what I talk about with my fellow single girlfriends here's a little taste:

Take note, boys: my dear friend Sarah would like her engagement ring to look like a skyscraper.  

OK. That's all I have.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How to Lose a Guy on Tinder; Featuring Debbie Downer and Amanda Knox

Well hello there.  Before we get sharted on the main course I'd like to offer you an appetizer.  A lot of girl blogs feature "what's hot right now"-esque lists so in the spirit of solidarity I've decided to give this a shart shot (cue nerd chills): 

6 Things I am Currently Obsessed With:

When I was home sick I spent a day rubbing my own back and cooing to myself in an attempt to self-soothe watching the entire season.  I'll be honest, I'm really not a TV person; I only tell people I watch Game of Thrones or House of Tards so I don't feel left out of conversations, and up until 2 weeks ago I thought Downton Abbey was actually Downtown Abbey - a show about a hip girl named Abbey who hung out downtown.  Ergo, I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself consumed by The Affair - a show that really makes 0ne question the sanctity of marriage.  It's terrifically scandalous and Dominic West is sexy, although I probably only like him because he's an asshole.  Also, Pacey's in it so it's kind of like everyone wins.

2. George Clooney's wife, Amal
Could she BE any chicer or more beautiful (to be said like Chandler Bing)? Plus she's super smart and accomplished.  My roommate thinks Amal has a big nose and is funny looking but I'm not going to let her opinion sway mine because one of my New Year's resolutions is to think for myself and to stop asking people for their opinions and jesus I just got off-track. Don't you think?

Amal like, can I please be her?
Amal shook up.
oh dear.  i wish i could un-think those puns just as much as i bet amal wishes she could re-think those white gloves.

3. On the flipside, I'm obsessed with not being obsessed with Chrissy Teigen.  People are so into this chick and I find her to be spectacularly irritating, from her I'm-so-funny tweets to her "Look at me, I'm so pretty but I make ugly faces!" shtick , I just can't get on board (all of meee, is annoyed by all of youuuuu). 
ON NOTICE: Zoe Deschanel.  

Ugh, I feel mean - it's just because I found a suspicious black hair in my oatmeal this morning and now I'm in a bad mood.  

4. Gyoza 

5.  Amanda Knox
I've been intermittently following this case through the years and just recently got back into it when I learned that next month Italy will decide if they want to ask the US to extradite her - in which case she'll likely spend 28 years in an Italian prison. (She was found guilty for the 3rd time last year) I wasn't familiar with the intricacies of the case so I decided to watch a few documentaries over the weekend and read 100 some articles.  I gotta ask, why do so many people think Amanda Knox is innocent?  The evidence against her is overwhelming, her behavior (false implications, cartwheels, written+verbal confessions, etc) following the murder is reprehensible, she lied about her alibi thrice and it's just so obvious to me that she was in some way a participant that night.  OK, now I feel like Nancy Grace.  Cawl me.   

6. My  
new hair dryer I got for Christmas.  
This fucking thing is what Ronald MacDonald has wet dreams about.  It dries my fro in less than 4 minutes, it's ceramic and it penetrates from root to tip by locking moisture into each hair follicle and OH MY FUCKING GOD I'm not good at this shit, I'm going to stop now and stick to what I know: Prank Tindering.

If you've never read my Toe Pick VS tinder posts I am hurt and don't think it's fair you can get yourself caught up here.  In a nutshell, I take on different personas as I communicate with the strapping lads of tinder.  And I wonder why I'm single.  Lettuce begin:


This girl has sand in her underwear.  She just can't win.  We all have that friend who responds to a simple "How are you?" with "Well, I've got that Ovarian cyst and my rent check bounced this morning."  Deborah Downer is that girl.  Simply put: she was dealt a shitty hand and she has no problem venting to whoever will listen to her.  

 Oh. Hi Cody.

hi nader. bye nader.

The Gurl who Spits Out Complete Nonsense.
Who the fuck knows what's going on in this girls head.  She spits out nonsensical jargon and consequently confuses everyone she comes into contact with including Kamal and John.

johnny boi

The Cat-Lady
This girl's brood consists of cats, and lots of them.  She'd jump through fiery hoops for her meowing maidens.  Before she got evicted, she and her frisky felines lived amongst hairballs, cat nip and kitty litter, OH MY!  Her oldest cat named Tabby is the decision maker of the purring posse and dictates every fucking move they make.  

The Girl Who is Probably Really, Really Annoying on Instagram
Sometimes I find myself cringing when I'm scrolling through instagram and come across vacation photos captioned with things like #NotBadForAWednesday or #NotTooShabby or #JustAnotherDayAtTheOffice.  This person is like the bastard stepchild of the humblebragger in that he or she does not possess an ounce of humility and has no qualms with showcasing his or her life in such a way that says "My life is better than yours na na na boo boo."  I'm all for posting pretty pictures so long as they're not accompanied by obnoxious, taunting captions.  Based on this character's rhetoric, we can safely assume that she is a real dick on instagram.  Also, she says "Mom" or "Dad" when referring to her parents as opposed to "my mom" or "my dad."  This is perhaps my biggest pet peeve in the universe.  

The Meddling Mom
This woman is a nurturer.  She's the type of person who would take a wet wipe to your face if she saw spaghetti sauce on it or shove a Kleenex under your nose and command you to "blow," because "your allergies are acting up, Mr. Sniffles!"  She probably carries around a little zip lock baggie of gold fish in her purse just in case your lil tummy wummy starts grumbling.  She is the queen of nagging, she wears mom jeans and her name is probably something like Brie.  

The Girl who Still Lives with Her Parents, is Really Annoying on Instagram and speaks English, Spanish and Ebonics.

The Girl who Only Communicates via Cheesy 80's love song lyrics

If you find yourself feeling sorry for the men of tinder who've fallen victim to one of my harmless pranks you can redistribute some of that sympathy to me.  I've had to deal with some reaaaal winners throughout my Tinder tenure.  Here are some examps (ps. Mom - EYE MUFFS, please):

I tried to communicate with Tom using John Legend's "All of Me" lyrics but he went and FUCKED IT ALL UP FOR ME.  Thanks very little Tom!

 Emanuel cut the small talk and got straight to the point because ROMANCE.

On that note, I'm going to sleep.  

Good night!


Friday, January 9, 2015

TRUE LIFE: I spent New Year's Eve in the Emergency Room

"Excuse me, sir?  Ca-can you tell me where the ER is?  I asked a clearly occupied ambulance driver in between sobs and contrived convulsions.  I'd somehow ended up in the parking lot at the hospital on account of my incompetence inability to follow spectacularly obvious directional signs.  The EMT, likely taken aback by my theatrical plea for help and giant jheri curl, shot me an uneasy smile as he pointed to a door clearly marked with "EMERGENCY ROOM" in blazing red letters.  I thanked him as I let out a dramatic, wheezy breath and exaggerated cough.  

"Just act the same way you're acting now," my mom instructed me matter-of-factly as I charged into the the ER, prompting everyone in the waiting room to look up.  "Sob, wail, cough and pretend you're practically at death's door.  They'll see you right away.'

"But mom, I'm not acting!  I'M REALLY AND TRULY SICK!  And I have no one.  And my heat doesn't work!  A-a-a-and my luggage is lost, and I just want to be HOME!"  I cried into the phone.  

I'd just returned to San Francisco from Christmas on the east coast, and every single one of my friends was still on vacation - which I was made painfully aware of as I sat in the ER and scrolled through instagram only to be inundated with filtered vacation pictures captioned with things like "Just another day in #Aspen #IDontHateIt."

Lest you think I am a dramatic little bitch who books it to the ER on account of a single sneeze, I'd like to assert that it takes a lot for me to panic when something ails me.  I have a pretty high tolerance for pain - one time I hiked 2 8 miles in the Australian bush with blisters the size of Rosie O'Donnell's head on my feet, and I did it sans band-aids or Second Skin. There was also that time I was 12 and got a 4 inch splinter in my heel.  I didn't even wince as the doctor pulled it out (that's what she said).  

"Alexandra Punting." The woman at the check-in counter beckoned me to come forward.  It was time to turn it on.  There were approximately 27 people in the waiting room and it was already 6pm.  I knew I had to market my sickness in a way that would ensure I'd be out of there by 8pm. I stood up and walked toward the front desk much like a lamb being led to her slaughter.

"Auhhuhhhuh.  I am so SICK." I cried as the woman looked up at me.  She was not amused.  A tattoo of a sword wrapped in a rose adorned her shoulder and her scowl rivaled Grumpy Cat's.  This was going to be hard.  (that's what he said)

"I have to ax you a couple questions, Ms. Punting." she said in the most robotic tone ever in the history of tones.

"Marital status?"

"What do you think?" I asked her as I pointed to my jheri curl.

Teresa remained serious.  (I didn't know her name but she looked like a Teresa, OK?)


I looked at her in disbelief.  "Y'all are allowed to ask that?"

Teresa remained serious.

"Uh, I believe in God. But right now he's making that very difficult for me."  I cried as I wiped snot off my forehead. 

I was desperate to garner some kind of empathy from dear, sweet Teresa so I threw my head into my hands and dove into a diatribe about how I'd never felt so sick, and how I was sicker than all of the sick people in the free world.

"Ma'am, unless you have Ebola, you're not getting out of here for another 6 hours.  Now take a seat," she ordered as she handed me a yellow mask.  "And put this on."

I was so excited that Teresa finally acknowledged my condition that I didn't care about the fact that I looked like a germ with a jheri curl rocking a urine colored mask.   It dawned on me as I sat in the ER that this could be my karma for the evil things I'd done in 2014: Like hacking into my sisters Facebook account while I was home, drinking all of my mom's egg nog she had planned to serve at our Christmas party, ruining hundreds of people's flying experiences on account of my chronic Aviatophobia or losing my office's bathroom key and blaming it on the janitor.  Then I thought about what my brother said to me on my way to the ER: "Well you know, you've been living off of Parliament Lights and Pino Grigio for the past 9 days, I'm sure that hasn't helped matters."  Maybe I deserved this.  Maybe this was a sign I needed to be a kinder, healthier person.

Nog.  Egg Nog.
I thought about my life and what I wanted to change about myself.  Then, I brainstormed resolutions.  I know, I know: resolutions are for the most part wildly pointless, but I genuinely do intend to at least try and honor one of mine.

1.  I resolve to stay present.
I have a difficult time living in the present moment.  It's a huge setback.  I'm either thinking about an event in the past or focusing on what might happen in the future. If I could master the art of being present I am certain a lot of my anxiety would disappear.  I've heard one way to stay present is to observe your surroundings and name things in your head that you see in front of you, so I'll do that right now.  In this moment I see my boss picking her wedgie, my computer screen which boasts a resume that I am pretending to edit (I'm a recruiter) but in actuality am using as a decoy so I can work on Toe Pick, my flat-faced, bitchy stapler and my coworker discreetly putting on deodorant.  Ahhh, I feel calmer already.

this book is everything.
2. I resolve to stop caring what people think of me.
I know what you're thinking: a girl who puts her life out there on a pube-lic blog should expect to be judged.  Maybe so, and I guess I accept that but I still worry about how I'm perceived, which is a terrific waste of my energy.  Not only is it presumptuous and self-indulgent, but to quote my mother "No one cares about you!  No one's looking at you!  No one thinks about you!  They're all thinking about themselves."  

What do you think about this resolution?  Do you think I'm being overly ambitious?
Shit. Fuck. Cock. Balls. I've already screwed up.

3. I resolve to swear less and be less crass.  

4.  I resolve to quit making penises out of my burnt food.  


5. I resolve to conquer my fear of flying.
(if you don't know what movie this is from we can't be friends.)

6.  I resolve to spend less time on social media.
Instagram and Facebook enable people to market themselves and their lives in a way that isn't always an accurate depiction of reality.  I'm guilty of it, you're guilty of it, my great Aunt Edna with an extra nipple is guilty of it.  Consequently, we all become envious of each other's vacations, pristine office views, fancy dinners, and seemingly idyllic lives when in reality, we all have problems.  We all face hardships.  We all get sad.  We're all human.  

7.  I resolve to spend less time on my phone.  
It was nice to be home with family for the holidays even though we all spent the majority of the time on our iphones, itouches, ipads, ipods and iDontThinkWeHadAnyDirectContactWithEachOther.

8. I resolve to finally figure out what these paradoxical traffic signals mean:
Should I stay or should I go now?
After I'd spent approximately 7 hours contemplating my resolutions, the nurse called me in to the doctor's office. It was there that I learned I had a fever of 102.8 and the varsity flu. I was given a perscription, two inhalers and a lecture about how I needed to stop smoking, even if "I only do it socially Doctor, I SWEAR!". I was discharged at around 2am.

At that point I'd sunken into a state of delirium.  My high fever coupled with exhaustion made made my trek to Walgreens to pick up my prescription from a less-than-obliging pharmacist almost unbearable.  I somehow managed to do it before heading home to my cold house and wrapping myself in my comforter. I thought about how, in that moment, if God had instagram he’d caption my life with #nofilter and laugh ironically.  Then I thought about how often I misuse the word ironic.   

This is real life, I thought to myself, as I took a few puffs off my inhaler and stroked my matted hair.  And real life is hard. This, I thought, is what you don't see on instagram: a horridly disheveled sick girl who will likely be in debt on account of the massive medical bill she'd just been hit with.  I thought about how much I wanted someone there to rub my back and tell me everything would be okay... I wanted to tell someone the story about Teresa's tragic tattoo and how she made me wear an Ebola mask for the entirety of my stay in the waiting room.  I thought about how I wished I had someone with me at Walgreens to tell the unfriendly pharmacist to eat a dick every time she scoffed at one of my absurd questions regarding my medication.  

I can't remember a time I felt more sick.
I can't remember a time I felt more single.
I can't remember a time I felt more alone.

Then, morning came as it always does.  And with the reliable morning light came comfort and reassurance. I realized I wasn't alone at all that night. As trite as it may sound, I had myself.  

And I was enough.