In the past, I have made reference to a blog that I find funny. It has been a while so I thought I would point to it again, lest you forget.
There appears to be an emerging theme of late: "Adventures of Cubicle Dweller, and his transcendant encounters with business.
"No... thank YOU"
Friday, June 03, 2005
Sadly, I have to admit that today I lunched at the Scottish restaurant. I had avoided it for months, but while passing McDonald's I succumbed to a combination of hunger pangs and delicious posters of hamburgers. (No, that wasn't a misplaced modifier -- the posters are far more delicious than the hamburgers.)
I'm pleased to report that the menu is exactly as I remember it -- a lineup of vaguely beef-related sandwiches accompanied by tallow-soaked potato product. After consuming the 'McDeal' of the day, I dumped the remains of the day into the nearest garbage receptacle, and was startled when it spoke to me.
'Thank you,' it said. Its voice was deep and gentle, and imbued with paternal kindness, as if someone's dad had accidentally fallen into the garbage can and decided to make the best of it by thanking passers-by for cleaning up after themselves. It turned out not to be my dad or anyone else's, thankfully. It's actually an electronic recording that's triggered each time someone throws something away -- an innovative way to imbue a feeling of warmth and personal attention that doesn't actually exist at McDonald's.
I can't wait to see what else speaks to me next time I need to satisfy my hamburger addiction. Maybe my chair will thank me for sitting down, and my table will thank me for placing objects on it. And toilets too! 'Thank you.'"
Guilt and redemption
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I visited Black Dog Video yesterday to pick up a couple of movies. Black Dog is one of the few remaining independent video rental shops in Vancouver, and have managed to stay in business by keeping in stock a stunning number of art and foreign films. This places them in a niche market with little competition from the low-brow megastore, Blockbuster, which stocks only hit movies, and whose clientele tends to get confused if the title contains one or more polysyllabic words. Black Dog customers are film connoiseurs who appreciate the true art of filmmaking.
So as the clerk checked out my copies of Ocean's Twelve and Ladder 49, something strange and wholly unexpected happened. "You have a late charge," she said, adjusting her black-rimmed glasses to peer at her computer screen.
It was true. It was true: I had returned a movie an entire day late last week. Upon being caught, I was almost overwhelmed with guilt. I lowered my eyes, and felt the flush of shame creeping into my cheeks, edging around my ears, and leaking out my scalp in the form of sweat.
But then something remarkable happened.
"But... I'll forgive you," she said simply, as if it were nothing. But it was everything! I was forgiven! She forgave me. I could barely contain my relief. I wanted to shout out loud! I wanted to reach over the counter and embrace her with joy, but fortunately I stopped myself because the last time I did that -- well I won't get into that. I thanked her, and left Black Dog feeling purified in spirit. I had been forgiven.
It had happened so quickly, and without ceremony, in dramatic contrast with the early days of video rental, where late-fee forgiveness often required penance, the presence of a priest or rabbi, and on occasion a bout of self-flagellation. Times change, I suppose, and as is so often the case, tradition falls by the wayside.
For more on the 'haiku' of life, jump on over there.. Vancouver CA
NOTE: I still dispute his trademarking 'The'.. Thats(tm) mine dude!