What's Wrong, Part 1.

I wish I actually blogged more...I feel that I am constantly writing things in my head and when it comes to putting it to paper (or computer) I just get overwhelmed... But this has been bothering me for a few years now and I really just need a place to write my thoughts, and vent...

There is so much speculation by every Tom, Mick and Mary (get Mick and Mary, HA!) about what's wrong with this country...how we got into the mess we're in, and how we are going to get out.   Fundamentally I feel the reason American is  failing has nothing to do with party politics as much as it does with  Americans cumulatively.  Americans, or a great number of them are lazy whiners, looking for a handout...unwilling to work, and who believe rules and regulations are for everyone else.  I see this "I'm above the rules" attitude everyday.  In addition to simply ignoring the rules set up by our society to make life not only safe but smooth, people are just plain inconsiderate.  Let me give a few hundred examples, okay, maybe just a few of the ones that really pissed me off just yesterday.

MJ's list of things that would fix the world (or at least bring a little more manners to it):

The Parking Garage: Yesterday I drove into work.  Now, we don't normally drive, we take the train and bus, and they have their own set of problems - most notably the punk kids who are rude, swear and think I want to hear their craptastic music on a loud speaker.  If the kids aren't the ones being rude it's the guy in the Armani Exchange suit who refuses to get up for a elderly person or pregnant woman, or hell even move his legs over to his side of the seat so someone else may sit comfortably on the train/bus...but I digress, this is about the parking garage.  As I said, we don't usually drive downtown except when we both need to be downtown.  If we both take the CTA round trip it is $10 total for our travel and if we drive it is $10 for our parking...and we get to be in our car and listen to our music and sit comfortably in our own seats so....we indulge when we can.  However, after the hour+ it took me to get downtown with normal rush hour traffic and the other idiots on the road I arrived at the parking garage.  I love this garage, it's close to work, I have always been able to find a spot and I get it for $10, win win right...but I couldn't help getting angrier and angrier as I drove through looking for a spot.  Some turns up to the next level were almost impassible because cars were parked in spaces CLEARLY MARKED for Compact Cars Only.  What makes these people feel it's okay to park there.  Their total lack for rules, doesn't put them out...just everyone else in Chicago trying to get into the garage.  And it wasn't just one asshole...level after level every single Compact Only Car space was occupied by Explorers, CR-V's etc. Then there's the jerks who take up TWO spots when they park.  I heard that some people do this because they don't want people to ding their doors...well it just makes me want to kick their cars all the more...then of course there's the person who always parks next to me...and parks so close I can't get in...they do this of course so they have plenty of room to get out of their car but seriously..how rude! Why are AMERICANS so in fucking considerate??!?!?!? I mean we have LINES on the damn parking lot floor...if you have a license you should be able to follow lines! I proudly announce that when someone blocks me in I most certainly open my door and hard as I can...I know...you're thinking you're no better...but the thing is... I parked in the lines...and I quite frankly I am so tired of putting up with people bullshit.  If you park that close to someone expect your car to get jacked up...bottom line.

Escalator etiquette: In America it is a standard protocol when on a moving sidewalk, or a normal sidewalk if you are going to stand you get to the right, if you want to walk, run etc you should be on the left side...it's the same when driving, faster traffic is to the left and slower cars on the right.  So why is it so hard for the people here at the City Colleges of Chicago to understand this.  I can't tell you how many times I get on the escalator trying to get to my office and there are people standing on both the right AND left sides of the escalator, therefore blocking anyone who wishes to walk up?  I might add as well that it is always the same people...when I say this I mean no offense but really, it's the same ethnicity of people...every time...I keep track and it is a total fact.  Maybe these individuals don't know their left from the right, it's possible, half of the college kids I tutor can't read and they don't want to...I'll get to that one in a second.  But come on people...you are being rude....you are holding up the line.  If you'd like to stand and talk to your friend, stand on the effing right side of the escalator and you can be there all day...BE CONSIDERATE!

City Colleges of Chicago, Harold Washington College - Students: 

***to be rewritten tomorrow as blogspot keep losing my text!***

City Colleges of Chicago, Harold Washington College - Staff and Teachers: I guess on some level I shouldn't be surprised at the students behavior when I look around at who their role models are here at HWC.  Not all, but MANY of the teachers I work with are lazy, and expect others to do their work.  Let's start with something as simple as supplies.  Mick has been here for over 5 years, I am working on my third - I think? And we both learned early on that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  We've tried all sorts of ways to make sure we have paper, ink in the printer, and dry erase markers...but alas sometimes no matter how many times we ask, for whatever reason, we are ignored.  Well it's kind of hard to do your job with out dry erase markers so we learned early on to buy our own.  When we were located in the actual music computer/piano keyboard lab, we kept the markers on our desk but they started to get destroyed (I'm still not sure why people feel the need to press in every marker when they use it) or they would simply disappear.  When we moved to our office here in 307 (which we have to share with various adjuncts) we started to keep them behind the dry erase board, out of sight, and since we are the only ones who use the board in here thought it was an appropriate place...but no...markers started disappearing again and being destroyed... I think I went through 4 new markers in one week...and I didn't even get to use ONE! So we decided to mark a draw in the communal desk here in our office and put all of our items in it.  To be fair, Mick and I are in here a total of 50hrs a week.  Adjuncts come in for maybe 5 total each week.  Anyhow, I labeled the lowest draw "Music Tutor Drawer" and we shoved all our stuff in there, hidden under an extra shirt we keep here (it can get cold in this office).  Well a few weeks later we decided to take the dry erase board out of here due to space and with that decided to take our markers home as well, I mean we did pay for them. Imagine my surprise when I saw not one, but TWO of the teachers who share this office with us open our clearly marked drawer and rifled through looking for said markers.  They both made comments about them being gone to which I replied that I took them home and to which they both sort of sighed in disgust...I never realized how dastardly I was when I decided to take  home something that I bought to assist me in my job.  I even mentioned to one of the teachers that they could/should go up to the music secretary to request a marker and they gruffly said, "I don't have time for that".  Well, I guess you'd better get used to lecturing with out the dry erase board if you're not going to take the initiative to request or bring your own gosh darn markers.  This I am sure seems like such a small issue but all these little things really add up! In addition to being taken advantage of with regards to supplies teachers use our handouts as their own, which in all actuality is okay, we are all working for the same purpose, to get students to understand/love music but teachers get paid a lot more than we do.  Where is their dedication to creating worksheets and aids for their classes? and while I'm on  the topic...I find it frustrating that a select number of teachers here neither hold their required office hours -  nor do they hold their own make up exams...instead they slough it off on us.  Most of the time, no, actually I think they have NEVER asked if we could/would do a test...they just demand it.  Those are the same teachers who never, EVER knock on the office door.  Really, grown men, just bust into our office about once a week.  Where is the common courtesy? I know for myself I am usually lost in thought (take right now as I write this blog) and when someone just barges in it is unnerving.  It got so bad that we had to make a sign asking people to knock, though the highest offenders still haven't noticed it.  I could go on and on about various other items, for example, we have a department chair here who refuses to answer the phone and keep their voicemail box full on purpose.  The rumor is that this person does this so that all correspondence is through email and therefore documented.  Honestly, I can't blame this person.  I've seen how things work here and the rest of the world and there is something to be said for having something in writing but COME ON! If you aren't going to answer your phone, or allow voice mails respond to emails sent in a timely manner! 

Customer Service, Cosi @Clark and Lake: After dealing with the parking, the students, and the staff/faculty at work yesterday I decided to treat myself to lunch.  I've been on Weight Watchers since October and admittedly got a little off plan when my Mom was here so I was being good and researching my options BEFORE I headed out to buy something to just shove into my mouthhole;) I ended up deciding to go to the Cosi @ Clark and Lake.  I haven't been to a Cosi in years.  I usually head right across the street to Potbelly's Sandwiches.  I like their subs, they handle the noon time lunch crowd really efficiently I think and it's close.  But I wanted to try something different and while Cosi is a few blocks away I pass it everyday as I leave the train station on my way to work.  I looked up ahead of time what I wanted and headed out.  The place was crowded and a little confusing to understand where I was suppose to stand to place my order (some lines or signage would be helpful, such as order sandwiches here, etc) but I figured it out and all in all it was pretty quick.  My issue came when I went to check out.  The clerk barked at me what my order was, and as it took me a second to remember the name (there are no menus right where you check out for reference) she barked at me a second time.  Then she grabbed my card from me and said thanks...pushing me out the door.  I stopped and asked for a receipt to which she replied and I quote "ptssch" with a neck snap.  "What?" I asked...I thought she was kidding, you know like when you ask someone for something and they say no but they are just kidding around...except she wasn't kidding...when I asked again she mumbled. "don't got no receipt paper".  I was aghast...first of all, it's noon rush, and food is a common tax deduction for many working professionals eating downtown...secondly you should never talk like this to a customer.  I was so enraged I called Mick and promptly said that we would never be eating at Cosi again.  I love Mick because we share the same principles, he's a firm believer that the only way we have a voice here in America is with the dollar.  So we decided that's what we would do...but then I got to thinking about how I always say "you can't bitch if you don't vote" and how if I didn't tell someone at Cosi about my experience it would never get better, it's like being mad at someone but refusing to tell them why...so I wrote them this morning.  I feel good about it because I told them the positives I found, the sandwich was actually really good, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover an email back with in 5 hours apologizing, asking what mailing address could they send me some coupons to and that the idea of proper customer service would be addressed promptly at that location.  *sigh* So for the first time in a while I feel like I may have made a difference.  I spoke my mind, I was polite, and I feel like someone heard me.  

I've been rambling for a while and I have much more to post on this subject but in closing I just want to ask, why can't Americans, if they can't be considerate or polite, at the very least follow the rules.  If everyone did what they were suppose to we'd be a lower blood pressured, well oiled machine...Think about that the next time you want to creep in as that last car trying to turn left on a light that obviously is changing and will leave your car's ass in the intersection and therefore make those with the green light wait...


  1. ACK my section on students somehow got chopped...please excuse that section right now while I try and find it again!


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