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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Thanks, Murphy, for Keeping My Life Exciting

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Thanks, Murphy, for Keeping My Life Exciting

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So we're driving home from SCA on Friday night. It's a little after midnight because we're both always so hyper after meetings (especially Bobby, having just spent two hours bashing people with wooden swords) that we always go with the other heavy fighters to Pizza Hut. Mind, we have to be up at six the next morning for our shift at the Aquarium.

It is the coldest night we've had in Maryland so far this year. The temperature is hovering around 26F/-3C, we're driving north through Carroll County, in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch blackness ...

... and we get a flat tire.


Okay, not funny, Murphy!

We were following the marshal who's training Bobby (Graham) and his wife (Dawn!), and luckily, we got a flat right in front of a gas station, but probably for that reason, Graham and Dawn didn't think much of the fact that we were limping into a gas station and didn't stop. We watched their taillights dwindle into the darkness. I think I wubbled a little bit.

Changing a tire in below-freezing temperatures, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, while exhausted and knowing that the alarm will be ringing mighty early--like in five hours--does not make futzing with a flat tire much fun.

Oddly, we got a flat on the same tire on the exactly a year earlier, minus one day, while driving home from Ocean City with Sharon and Kirsty. Much as we like Bobby's car (well, as much as two eco-radicals can like a car that's not a hybrid), it does terribly on tires. This is the fourth tire we've put on that spot. Luckily, Bobby bought the warranty after last year's flat.

Since I received quite the outpouring of sympathy for my MIA pie plate, then I will tell of the outcome.

It ain't good, folks.

In fact, it's about as bad an outcome as one could have expected in such a situation.

As I think I noted, I posted a note on the communal fridge, asking for information leading to the arrest recovery of my missing pie plate.

Becky, our office secretary, came into my office yesterday to tell me that someone had asked her to tell me that the pie and the plate had both been thrown into the garbage.

Yes. Thrown into the fucking garbage.

Apparently, they--meaning my officemates--decided to clean out the refrigerator, so they had some inmates come up to do it. Only rather than supervising the clean-out or even checking that everything in the fridge/freezer should be thrown out first, they instructed the inmates to throw everything away and left them to it.

So my pie and pie plate got thrown into the garbage.

Poor Becky. I ranted when I heard this and she bore the brunt of it. I cannot believe the lack of respect that these people have shown.

They ask me to bring something to a potluck feast. I do. They don't eat it. I wish to take it home. They ask me to leave it so that they can have it as leftovers.

They still don't fucking eat it.

Less than a week later, without telling me that they've not used my dessert, without asking me what I want done with it, they just let a bunch of inmates throw the whole thing in the garbage.

Yes. Because I spent my money (heavy cream is expensive) and took an evening of my time to make something that I thought people would like and enjoy so that they could throw it--and my dish--into the garbage like it's worth nothing more than a loaf of moldy Wonderbread.

I told Becky that this is the first and last time that I will participate in one of their potlucks. I don't need to be shown the middle finger twice to get the hint.

Becky understood. She's been through worse with these people. She'd bought for our office a bunch of Crockpots and Sternos especially for potlucks, asking for no money, only that if people use them, that they clean and return them. She told me that after one event, nothing was returned and, six months later, was found scattered around the building, still filthy. And half of it missing, never to be seen again, meaning that it had either been stolen or thrown out.

She took it all home and put it in her attic.

That's a complete lack of respect. I get it. I'll gladly eat my own food in my own office and save my efforts for people capable of showing--if not appreciation--at least consideration for the property and efforts of others.

I was so upset by this. Part of me knows that it's just a stupid pie and plate and there's genocide and war and persecution in the world; most of the world would probably love to take my "problems" in exchange for theirs. Still, the lack of respect and basic decency among fat, healthy, professional people who should surely know better--and who work in a field, nonetheless, where the primary mission is rehabilitating people who have shown a lack of respect and consideration for the laws of society--makes me slightly ill.

Then the craven fuckers couldn't even come and tell me themselves--like, maybe apologize?--but had to get Becky to do it.


No good deed goes unpunished.
  • :( Sucks. It's one thing to throw out the pie, but the plate? Freaking stupid.

    I'd say you should plot revenge and bring dust bunnies or something to the next potluck, but that might be too mean...
    • I just won't participate. Most of the people in my office had nothing to do with the incident, so I don't want to punish them, only those who decided to go all control-freak and demand that the fridge be cleaned ... only not control-freakish enough to do it themselves but to get a bunch of inmates who have no interest in showing any discretion about what got tossed. I'm surprised they didn't throw out the whole fucking fridge.
      • The fridge wouldn't fit in the bin.
        • *snort* I can see them tossing it into the alley, though ...

          In truth, that probably would have been easier than dealing with some of the ancient food that was in there. >:-Þ
  • That is so inconsiderate, that I lack words... (and I just have to ask: you have inmates to clean your workplace? As in people who are in prison?) And then get some person, who had nothing to do with it, but is the only one with a conscience to go in and take the rant. Mind-boggling..
    I get the same feeling as you sometimes that I get upset by really minor things, when other people live each day in fear of their lives and unable to do anything about it - but luckily mine and your society is a safe environment which should allow for people to pull out their conscience and exercise respect for one another. Really!
    (And I apparently I didn't lack for words after all. ;) )
    • My unit is now part of the agency that oversees home detention/house-arrest inmates, so yep, we have prisoners--more or less--working at my office. :) If they can't find jobs in the outside world, then they come to work for us: emptying trash cans, vacuuming, moving furniture, throwing out expensive dishware ...

      I think that your comment about safe worlds expressed perfectly what I wanted to say in this post. In too many places in the world, they can't be worried about manners and etiquette. We can. You know what, I think we should. Such standards evolve out of a desire to consider the feelings of other people, and I'm sorry, I think that's a good thing, if our culture can afford to concern itself with those sorts of things. A lack of respect and consideration does in the end lead to aggression and violence. Just look at idiot American drivers and road-rage if you want an example.

      No one fears for their life or their job at my workplace. So how long would it have taken someone to come and ask me if what I wanted done with the untouched dessert that I had spent a lot of time and money on? I can spend hours on them, but they can't spend thirty seconds on me? Okay, that defines our relationship then. I get it. And I'm not falling for it again.
  • Oh, dear! I do hope the plate was not expensive. And I would never participate in any of their potlucks again, either. Or, if I had to, buy the cheapest cake I could find in a supermarket and give them that. But invest any more own time, effort, and cookware? Not bloody likely...

    What puzzles me, though, is the complete lack of decency, in that they not even could tell you: "uh, there was a mistake, your plate got thrown away by accident, so how should we replace it?"

    Because that is what I would have expected if something like that had happened. It would have been what I had *done* if I was one of the persons responsible. Obviously, these people... not so much.

    Sorry to hear about the incident with the flat tire. :(

    Edited at 2007-11-28 08:42 am (UTC)
    • The plate wasn't expensive; it was free ... as in, it was a gift from my parents. :)

      A few days before the potluck, I was with my parents, lamenting how I wanted to make two pies for my colleagues but had only one pan to use. Since they know how busy my weeks become, and how much I love sharing my ice cream with other people, they kindly gave me one of theirs to use.

      And it's gone now.

      In a way, that's more hurtful to me than if I had spent a lot of money on it. My mom mentioned reading about our flat tire on LJ the other day, so I knew she had seen about the pie plate too. And I didn't have the courage to tell her that it was her gift that got tossed because I was too foolish to trust that my coworkers would value my efforts as I value theirs. So maybe I am no better than them, in this. :)

      But yes, it was a slap in the face that they had our secretary give the news to me because they know that I'm friendly with her and she's good at diffusing difficult situations. It would have hurt a lot less if someone who'd made the decision had come to my office, called, or emailed me to say, "I'm so sorry but we made a mistake and we regret it terribly. We didn't mean to be thoughtless or hurtful when we did what we did."

      But no. No one could be bothered to do that. Which is perhaps just as thoughtless and hurtful as the original act.

      Ai, the angst surrounding Dawn's cookery ... but thanks for the comment, the support, and the kind ear. :)
  • That's awful! (The tire too, but particularly the plate) The least the anonymous person who threw it away could do is replace it for you if they couldn't bring themselves to actually speak to you.
    • Or email me or leave an anonymous note on my desk ... in retrospect, I think that the way the incident was handled by the guilty bothers me just as much as the incident itself. By no one having the courage or courtesy to own up to the mistake and apologize, it's like they think it doesn't matter. As if my thoughts on further potlucks hadn't been solidified already ... ;)
  • *huggles* I feel a bit the same way about the food situations at work. Luckily we don't have any jerkoffs stealing lunches. They instituted a new rule last year that everyone had to put a name and date on their food and that the fridge would be cleaned out like every thursday or so. The first day they they put the new rule into effect, they cleaned it out BEFORE lunch time. I had been gone on a trip and hadn't read the email yet about it and I come to find my lunch GONE when I came to go eat. I was pissed and made a scene about it because it was a rather good container I had bought in a set and the fact my food wasn't in there the whole week nor moldy or something... They just said its the rule. :p and I'm like yea but you could've waited for after lunch hours! grrr... I gave up on the out to eat birthday luncheons when people were being cheap bastards and I had to shell out twice as much as what my food cost plus of course covering the peeps who had birthdays that day. I was fairly vocal about that too and said I didn't appreciate it since the folks at the large table did the bill before the threee of us at a small table got it and got stuck with the bill and the $50 extra that obviously didnt come from us (stupid people who didnt rsvp showed up so we got pushed off the table). arg! ok but that's enough ranting for now but I totally understand your situation.

    sucky about the tire too, glad the warranty will cover it! was it a nail or something weird that cause it?

    Edited at 2007-11-28 05:04 pm (UTC)
    • It seems that in the comments to my first post and now this one that food situations in general at work tend to be a Bad Idea (tm). ;)

      I empathize with you on all of the above. I have a mini-fridge in my office now that my boss gave me from our old office (unfortunately, the freezer compartment doesn't work, else I'd never have had this problem in the first place), so I've never had my lunch stolen ... but heartofoshun's comment on my first post about how well-to-do lawyers in an office where she used to work used to steal the secretaries' food and then blame the cleaning staff ... yeah, I can see how that would be infuriating.

      Communal meals are nice in principle but rarely work out, I've learned. I remember that for my first skating group we used to have a traditional dinner between the two Saturday shows we would perform; we'd all go out together to a restaurant. One year, all the "nice" places were crowded and booked, so we ended up at Pizza Hut. Being vegetarian, I had only a soda and about two slices of cheese pizza, but when it came time to settle the bill, ended up putting in about twenty dollars to cover a shortage. Now, I was the oldest in the group and kind of a big sister to the other skaters; I made more money than they did at my job, so it was easier than nitpicking over who had come up short, so I just did it, to be nice. We recalculated the bill with my $20 added in, and it was still short. And know what they did? They all turned and looked at me!

      Pardon the bluntness, but fuck that.

      Or we would go out to dinner every Saturday after getting off from work at The Piece, and one person would always leave early and drop a ten to cover his meal ... only $10 didn't cover his meal, much less tax and tip.

      It amazes me the scummy things people will do to their colleagues or friends just to save $3. I'm sorry, there were plenty of people who couldn't afford to go out to dinner but used to come and order a soda and nothing else, just to enjoy the company, so there's no excuse to order a fancy platter if you can't pay for it.


      And the tire ... who knows. Bobby's car wears tires down like no one's business. It's only three years old and now had four tires in that one place. It's a wonderful car otherwise, but that tends to be a pain in the neck.
      • We recalculated the bill with my $20 added in, and it was still short. And know what they did? They all turned and looked at me!

        Pardon the bluntness, but fuck that.

        ugh yea that's the worst and I always stand my ground when I get to that point. grrr rude folks. agreed though about some folks not affording going out... we had a few get togethers for the political forum I frequent for those in the area here. I had suggested Islands (dunno if you guys have that place) but its a basic burger joint but better than wendy's or mcdonalds. someone then said i was being a cheapwad and lowclass and to go somewhere like this huge brewery steakhouse thing where there was nothing under $15. :p I said fuck that, don't expect me to plan anymore of these things if you're going to be that ungrateful.
        • ...

          Umm ... no, imho, you were being very polite in suggesting a place that almost anyone could afford. To me, it is rude to assume that everyone that frequents the same online forum makes the same gross quantities of cash that Brewery Dude clearly makes--or wants to lend the impression that s/he makes.

          Bobby and I make decent money and can afford a $50 dinner every now and then, but when we meet up with a group, we'll always suggest a less-expensive place unless we know that everyone can--and is willing--to go to a more expensive restaurant. And it's hardly something that you can ask, even to people you know well: "Can you afford this place?" And beyond that, hardly something that people are going to answer honestly.

          So yep, I say again: fuck that. :^P

          (And I love your Patrick-Stewart-for-every-occasion icon line! Never fails to amuse me! :^D)
  • *hugs you quietly*
  • Ugh, that's horrible. And it was your parents' pie plate, as well - eesh.

    That's a complete lack of respect. I get it. I'll gladly eat my own food in my own office and save my efforts for people capable of showing--if not appreciation--at least consideration for the property and efforts of others.

    Damn straight!

    I hate the fact that people like this exist - to me, it's rather incomprehensible. The self-absorption and lack of consideration that some people are capable of is just appalling. And on one hand, when I've had experiences like this, I tell myself that these people are worth getting worked up over, but it really hits a sore spot with me.

    *hugs* I'm sorry you had to go through this.
    • *hugs back* Thank you. :) Unfortunately, rude and inconsiderate people seem to be a universal experience in our culture.

      I unfortunately do tend to get worked up over rude behavior. Perhaps it's not worth it, but it doesn't take any time or cost a penny to ask oneself before doing something rude, "How will this affect the people around me? Would I want someone to do this to me?" so I don't see any excuse for people behaving like heathens.

      I know I'm preaching to the choir but still ... ;)
  • OMG, I'm so sorry! That's horrible... not surprising :-/, but horrible. I swear common decency and responsibility just doesn't exist anymore!

    Maybe Santa will bring you a nice, new pie plate for Christmas? And you can take pictures of all the beautiful, delicious desserts you make and put the photos in the office fridge? Okay, maybe the last bit would be too evil... :-P

    Kirsty has a million stories of work/food disasters. Being in a large office (several hundred people) it is always someone's birthday, anniversary, or ass-scratching day and - without fail - there is always a monetary collection for them. It gets rather taxing on the finances, especially for the people who live paycheque-to-paycheque - even GBP5.00 will add up when you're multiplying it by everyone's damn 33rd and a half birthday party.

    Managers are also expected to take their team out (13 people) for dinner around Christmastime, but even a cheap meal would come to WELL over GBP100-200. Who has that kind of money at Christmas (or any time)?!

    Anywayyy, rant aside, I'm really, really sorry about the whole potluck fiasco (and the flat tire - what is wrong with that tire?). :(
    • Thank you, Sharon. *hugs*

      Now, in all this workplace collection for personal holidays, do they manage to remember Kirsty too, at the least?

      That is very annoying, however. It seems the sort of thing that people should be able to opt in or out of. To draw a really weird analogy that will probably make you laugh at me and make faces in my general direction (west), it's sort of like the Henneth-Annun archive has a special forum for birthday requests. People can post what they'd like to receive for their birthday, and other members will write at least a drabble about it.

      But it's optional. So people who can't afford (time-wise) or don't want to do it are under no obligation.

      It's also one of those things where, I'm sorry, I don't want to pay part of a gift for someone who doesn't even know my name when we pass in the hall. For the people I work closely with, yes, I would do something special for them. I make Johnny candy, for example. But the others ...?

      It turns a nice thing into an obligation that generates eye rolls from some and drives the less-fortunate into penury.

      The only collections we take at the WAU is for funerals: We each chip in five bucks or so for flowers. I will never forget the look of alarm on Aunt Naomi's face when she read, " 'Warrant Apprehension Unit?' Who's that?!" on one of the cards at Nanny's funeral. Prolly thinking it was the cops come to arrest Buzz Lightyear for all his dealings in hot electronics ... >;^)))
      • Now, in all this workplace collection for personal holidays, do they manage to remember Kirsty too, at the least?

        Yeah, she gets the same kind of generic gift that everyone else gets, but whereas she has to buy 13 generic gifts for her team and one for her manager, she only ends up with one of marginally similar value in return.

        The collections at her work are optional, but it goes like this. *Kirsty walks in* "Hi, Kirsty, we need 5 pounds for Dot's colonoscopy party." :-|

        Someone once tried to not contribute to a room buffet because he hadn't been at the meeting where the decision was made to make the managers buy a buffet for everyone and he, understandably, was getting sick of being accosted with monetary requests before he even got both feet in the room. He was approached like that *points up* and took a stand, and it caused a gigantic uproar and he got plenty of whispers in his direction and protests about why he "can't just pay it".

        I've no doubt that there are a fair amount of people who feel the same way he - and Kirsty - does, but when your senior managers don't make it sound optional then where does that leave you?

        The only collections we take at the WAU is for funerals: We each chip in five bucks or so for flowers. I will never forget the look of alarm on Aunt Naomi's face when she read, " 'Warrant Apprehension Unit?' Who's that?!" on one of the cards at Nanny's funeral. Prolly thinking it was the cops come to arrest Buzz Lightyear for all his dealings in hot electronics ... >;^)))

        Haha! That is priceless (but what's this about hot electronics?)! And I think collections for things like that - which are not uber-frequent and are occurring among a group smaller than 200 anyway - are a very nice gesture. I mean, how many times in your entire career at the WAU have you had to put in for a funeral? Less than ten in four (?) years?
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