and how does that make you feel? by raychel james

October 7, 2009

the pink card

Filed under: Uncategorized — raycheljames @ 12:13 am

so, last week i went to a workshop. while there, a colleague was showing me her pink bank card. it was the mostly lovely shade of pink. and, it was for a good cause–breast cancer awareness. i knew, immediately, i wanted one of those cards. and not just wanted, i needed it. it’s pink, it’s me, and it’s for a good cause. and, just my luck, there’s a bank branch that carries those cards just down the street from my house.

i did what any woman in my situation would do. i convinced my husband i needed one. despite the fact that it would mean opening a new checking account and giving him yet another financial thing to balance and budget; he agreed. my hero. he even went online and chatted with someone from the bank and got everything all set up. the final step: go to the bank and sign on the dotted line. and wait by the mailbox for that pink card….that’s what pto days are for, yes?

saturday, i managed to get out of bed, shower, and put on clothes -instead of clean jammies, which are normal saturday attire, in my opinion. clean sweatpants and t-shirt, i was set to go. we drove to the bank…..

those who know me know that i despise banks. not only is there the perpetual fear of would-be bank robbers (which in my head, i always manage to outsmart and de-arm), there’s the typical bank environment. and this bank had zero personality –no color, only the absence of it. no cozy, victorian era chairs, only small, impersonal ones. no tellers who greeted me, just silent ones.

the guy who ended up gracing me with his presence wore a suit jacket that didn’t quite go with his shirt. and i don’t think it was on purpose, b/c he wasn’t bubbly and unique. he was demeaning and grouchy. he didn’t call me by name. but, i think he wanted to call me names by the time we were finished meeting.

my kids started clamouring the minute we walked in: “can we get some coffee”. there was a small, round table, neatly covered in a linen tablecloth with a coffee pot and creamers (both liquid and powder) off to one side –away from the view of the camers, so anyone could have stolen that coffee/cream ensemble and no one would have been the wiser about the culprit.

we sat with mr. impersonal. he wanted to briefly talk about the nuances of his amazing checking account. he asked me what i was going to use the checking account for and why i chose this particular bank.

my response: i only want the checking account so that i can have a pink check card.

his response: imagine high levels of loathing in his face. he didn’t say much of anything. not even a chuckle or a “hey, you tellers, this idiot woman is opening up a checking account to get a pink check card”. nothing. nada.

suffice it to say he didn’t bother telling me anything about the checking account. the one thing he did tell me: we don’t carry the pink card anymore.

my whole day felt ruined with that statement. how could you not carry the pink check card? mr. fashionable went on to say that if i wanted to, i could choose between two other “personalized” cards —both of which carried some sports team logo/colors. um, thanks, but no thanks.

i mentioned the pink checks they carried –he said, they do carry them. i told him i didn’t want them, but if you carry pink checks affiliated with the race for the cure, surely you carry a pink check card. apparently not. i asked him if there was anyone else i could ask about the pink card. he said no. my only guess: perhaps the other people in the building didn’t talk? or they weren’t allowed to answer questions? i’m not sure.

after several minutes, the guy was done with me. and he could have cared less if i ever got a pink check card. my kids were still asking for coffee. i decided to tell them like it was; just like the guy told me. —just like the pink check card was discontinued, so were the coffee cups. remember; on that pretty little table there was a table cloth, coffee pot, and creamers.

no cups

and no pink check card

February 26, 2009

professional perfectionism

Filed under: Uncategorized — raycheljames @ 12:27 am

have you ever noticed that some people (this rare breed, if you will) are always “dressed to the nines”? you know the type; the skirt matches the hose, which match the shoes. and, of course, the blouse is the perfect shape (along w/their body), the hair is perfectly styled, and from the waist down these people are all one, solid color. if they were up against a back drop that matched the color of their waist-down wardrobe; it would look as if they were only the top half of a person.

exactly where do these folks shop? i mean, really. did they copy off of meg ryan in “you’ve got mail”? her wardrobe person must have been what i like to refer to as “quirky bland” –(s)he can make a statement w/out hardly opening his/her mouth. you know it’s true; meg ryan wore a myriad of blouses w/the same black pencil skirt, matching black tights, and short-heeled black shoes. and she looked awesome, as usual. but, not everyone can pull of that look! –ok, i can’t anyway.

that’s right, even though i am a size one, i do have hips (thanks kids!) and the only way i could pull off a skirt like that meg’s (and her followers) is if i sucked in all the air i contain and not breathe… not gonna happen, as i kind of like breathing. and, while that look is great, i like some color too. what’s so wrong with wearing striped socks or socks with butterflies on them to work? is that look unprofessional or am i stuck at a younger age than my birth certificate claims i really am?

don’t even get me started on the hair. i don’t have professional, chic hair. i have a mop of store bought curls that go past my shoulders and that i haven’t touched with a comb or brush for years. i’m just not a “high maintenance” kind of woman. shoot, i’m barely low maintenance; i get my hair trimmed or permed when gre*t clips sends me those little cards in the mail that read: “hi, it’s been so long since you’ve come in for a haircut, we’re sure you look horrid. and since people are likely laughing and pointing now when you walk through the office building, this cut’s on us b/c frankly, we know that if you go another day without our services you’ll be fired & you won’t have even the $12 it costs to get your hair cut in our stores. can’t wait to see you!” and not a minute sooner.

i know, i know, you’re thinking “i’m now reading the blog of some rarely showered, dreadlock haired, non-matching idiot woman who somehow is able to convince others that she is a professional”, which is steady making you (reader) feel like a bigger idiot for continuing to read. well, that’s untrue (about me anyway, i have no idea what your intelligence level is). i shower daily (sometimes twice, but only b/c i go to the gym four times a week & not because I’m ocd), i don’t have dreads (mostly because i hate doing anything more than scrunching my hair), and….well….ok. i don’t match all the time; but i do “blend”, which i’m told is the new matching.

do i ever wish i was a meg-ryan-from-you’ve-got-mail follower? absolutely. meg and i have a love-hate relationship; she doesn’t know it, but it’s true. but, i’ve learned a lot in my lifetime such as:

1. just because i’ve got milk doesn’t mean i’m going to drink it and end up with a stupid milk mustache

2. when people say “don’t hate me because i’m beautiful”, it’s too late; someone already does

3. if i pick out a hairstyle from one of those “hairstyle books” (who gets paid to put those things together anyway), you might as well cut out the picture and staple it to my forehead, because i’m so not going to look like the person in the picture unless you do

4. and wearing black low-heeled shoes, a black pencil skirt, black tights, & a blouse won’t make me look anymore like meg ryan than i do now……….so, really, what’s the use?

February 21, 2009

environmentalist wanna-be

Filed under: Uncategorized — raycheljames @ 6:00 pm

i’ve recently become an environmentalist wanna-be. you know the type as you’ve probably been one at one time or other. i don’t like it when the grocery clerk double bags the chapstick i’ve just purchased, but my spouse is an anti-environmentalist so he “forgets” to bring the (cheap) reusable totes that all major chains are selling these days when we shop.

apparently, someone, somewhere has the job of producing those horrid plastic grocery sacks that rip when you put insert a package of tube socks, yet cashiers nationwide are insisting on putting a bag of apples (notice the apples are already in a bag) into the plastic contraption of a sack and then goes on to double bag that bag of apples for fear the first plastic sack will tear and the bagged apples will then unfortunately slip through the hole as big as the grand canyon and thus fall on the floor getting the apple bag dirty. an absolute tragedy waiting to happen, i know. better triple sack those bagged apples, right?

although my heart screams “save the earth” and “do you know how long that will sit in the landfill” when i see those dratted plastic sacks, i just can’t engage my brain enough to bring those reusable totes into the store when i shop. the follow through part of purchasing those totes is what gets me every time. yet, every time i go to the store, i nearly have an anxiety attack when i get to the register & miss cashier (no that’s not sexist; i rarely encounter a male cashier) starts double bagging everything in sight. does she get commission for using the most sacks? is there a cashier contest to see who can get the least amount of items into a sack? i mean, really! in fact, i was so disturbed in the check-out line the last time i went to the grocery/department store w/my family that i nearly shouted at the woman “we don’t need any sacks” and proceeded to “bag” all our items into the two aluminum pans i was purchasing for my kids’ valentine party. miss cashier was appalled to say the least and i’m sure she and her co-workers have had a hearty laugh or two about my antics. and, unfortunately, i’m sure they all laugh at my husband behind his back when they see him in the store w/out me. i can almost hear the gossip “psst….there’s the poor guy whose wife won’t let him use plastic grocery sacks. you know the woman –she nearly pops a prozac when she hits the check-out b/c she’s too stupid to remember to bring in her reusable totes”…..those store cashiers, they’re probably in cahoots w/the bank tellers who can’t stand me either.

if only i had the gumption to “go green” completely (and the brains to remember how to be green on a daily basis). don’t get me wrong, i’m not so anti-green that i’m piling up trash from coast to coast. i’m really not. but i’m bad about implementing all the “going green” skills i’ve learned in the last few years. i’m the environmentalist w/good intentions….and then i end up finding myself in the local starbucks drive-through ordering a latte and thinking: “i can’t believe i forgot my earth friendly reusable travel mug that would not only save a patch of grass from becoming landfill but that would also save me 10 cents”. what can i say….a master’s degree is only as good as the paper it’s written on. hmmm, i wonder if i can get my degree put on computer so that when potential employers want proof of it, i can give them the URL so that we don’t waste paper by having them make a copy.

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