April 30, 2005


Movie ratings are screwy. Tonight we had an employee movie night for the movie Constantine, which is rated R. There was no nudity, sex, or language, and it wasn't particularly scary. Heck, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom had grosser special effects. So why on earth was this film rated R? According to the MPAA, it's "Rated R for violence and demonic images." Huh. Well, we are also showing Boogeyman, which has a PG-13 rating: "Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of horror and terror/violence, and some partial nudity."

"Intense" horror and terror/violence gets a PG-13, but violence (and not even any partial nudity) gets an R. You know what I think? I think what the ratings board found offensive was that Constantine took a moral/religious position: sinners go to hell. Mustn't let our impressionable children hear about good and evil, when they can be watching partial nudity and "intense" horror instead....

Posted by Susie at 02:39 AM | Comments (3)

April 29, 2005

If you ever need a spare scroll mouse, I'm your woman....

My dad was the baby of his family--his nearest sibling who survived infancy was a decade older than he, and thus I grew up influenced by relatives who not only lived during the Great Depression but actually remembered it. Nothing went to waste in my aunts' households. There was no such thing as "recycling" because the motto "use it up...wear it out...make it do--or do without" didn't require it.

Their attitudes influenced me. And the fact that I am a pack rat was brought home strongly to me in my blog-wandering today, via a pair of posts from fellow Munuvians Stephen Macklin and S. Faolán Wolf. S. wrote about her (his?) tendency to give away or dispose of excess (and sometimes not-so-excess) clothing and furniture, while Stephen's post about throwing the baby out with the bathwater starting me thinking about how often most people just buy a new whatever when something breaks.

I personally combine the worst of both worlds. When the DVD player on my combination DVD/VCR broke, I got a new one--but I kept the broken one. My preference would have been to have the original one repaired. Unfortunately, the part that needed to be replaced cost more than an entirely new one, and that wasn't even considering the labor estimate. But the original one wasn't "worn out"--the VCR part of the combo still works--so I still have it, taking up valuable closet space, because I was raised to squeeze every last opportunity for usage out of every scrap of aluminum foil and every old, unmatched sock.

While there is a touch of OCD in my tendency to save, oh, the old sound card that came out of my computer when I upgraded, I don't want you to get the impression that my house is a rabbit warren of neatly-folded and ceiling-high piled back-issues of Field & Stream--I'm not that bad...yet. But I do have a surprisingly large collection of pencil stubs, and I cannot bear to throw away a still-functional paperclip. As for clothing, well...tie-dye did come back, didn't it?

Posted by Susie at 11:01 AM | Comments (6)

Captions, anyone?


I love this photo of my newest niece, and what the heck, entering it in the Karnival Of Kidz doesn't preclude captions, does it?

Posted by Susie at 12:33 AM | Comments (14)

April 28, 2005

Gardening Metaphor--Hey, It's Spring!

Ok, believe it or not I got the blogrolls pruned. I largely just took off the dead wood, although there were a few that had reverted to their rootstock that I yanked out because the colors didn't go anymore (don't you hate it when you plant a Chicago Peace and after a bad winter you get Dr. Huey?). Anyway, I still have some transplanting to do, and then I may mulch...

Posted by Susie at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2005

I'm considering reverse alphabetization

Now that I've got the Alliance blogroll all sorted out, it's time to start working on Spring cleaning here at my home. My various blogrolls are disorganized and slapdash (which, I note in astonishment, is rather like a metaphor for my life) and some contain links to sites that I have not visited in so long that they might just as well be bookmarks (my favorites list has several thousand links in no particular order except for the occasional, random alphabetization that I suspect my browser executed on the sly, few, if any, of which I have ever revisited--especially since I discovered it is so much quicker to type "Amazon.com" in the Google search bar and feel lucky about it). I therefore have decided to winnow out the chaff, and perhaps rearrange things a bit.

That's all. No pressure. I just wanted you all to know.

Posted by Susie at 12:16 PM | Comments (2)

April 26, 2005

Listen up!!!!!

Everyone rush over and wish Tiger a Happy Birthday--and I do mean rush, since he's the Big Five Oh today, and once AARP gets their hands on him, he's probably going to start asking us for Senior Discounts and preferential pinging....


Posted by Susie at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

I had to break out my push-up bra...

This week's Alliance Precision Guided Humor Assignment is to determine what new weapons the military will be deploying in the War on Terror. This is a tough one, since almost all of the new weapons under consideration are still classified. However, I used my womanly wiles to good effect (spectator pumps--bird colonels find 'em irresistible!) and learned that the next new anti-terrorist weapon to come down the pipe is expected to be


That baby's gonna have terrorists soiling their undies!

Posted by Susie at 11:11 AM | Comments (2)

Later we will be hugging some trees

Somehow, Earth Day passed by without my participation. I only became aware of that when I stumbled across a few posts offering suggestions on how best to observe it. Citizen Grim over at Right Hand of God had some great suggestions that I'm gonna try and copy next year.

In the meantime, I can rejoice in the fact that the bank my company uses is a responsible corporate citizen--they practice "supplier diversity" as well as supporting "community development." They also instituted a new policy for businesses making deposits, and it was just in time for Earth Day.

Beginning last week, my theater was "encouraged" to change the way we package our deposits for the night drop. The encouragement came in the form of massive service charges if we didn't change. Makes sense--tax the behavior you want to discourage. And so to avoid the expensive penalties, we switched over; now, instead of dropping our deposit every night in zipped cloth bags that we would pick up from the bank every few days to reuse, we now must employ plastic, tamper-evident (must be destroyed to be opened) bags. Since plastic is a petroleum-based product, we are doing our part to use up the planet's scarce resources, and because the bags are single-use, we are contributing to the non-biodegradable refuse clogging our landfills. I'm pretty sure there's some environmental pollution thrown in there, too, in the production of the bags, so it's a trifecta!

I came up with a slogan for them....
5/3 Bank: Doing Our Part For The Environment, One Deposit At A Time

Posted by Susie at 10:15 AM | Comments (3)

April 25, 2005

I Am Too, Two!

Happy Blogiversary to me! And Thank You to Harv for reminding me....When you hit two, memory is the first thing to go...

Posted by Susie at 08:45 AM | Comments (8)

The Bear is having a contest

to redesign his logo--but that's not important right now. Since I can't seem to reach him via email, I thought I'd try a ping to inquire: How much longer until Alliance maintenance is re-enabled? The backlog is killing me!!!

Posted by Susie at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2005

Just call me the S.E.E.E.R.D.*

One of the reasons I enjoy reading Eric of Classical Values is his impatience with all the silly trappings of the politically correct. This post on more ego-massaging titles for jobs (think "sanitation engineer") made me realize how out of step we are in my workplace. "Concessions Clerk"? "Cashier"? How belittling to the employees staff humans who wait on assist enhance the movie-going experience of other humans! (Wait; is "human" one of those bad words because it has "man" in it?)

In order to avoid crushing the delicate spirits of the persons who enhance the movie-going experience of other persons (uh, "person" has the word "son" in it...dang! it's tough being PC!), new titles for the jobs revenue-generating activities must be found!

Now, Director of First Impressions would work great if it weren't already taken. Besides, that would be the Cashier, which would make the Clerks Directors of Second Impressions and we can't have that! It clearly indicates a hierarchy (shudder!). Hmmm....


    ♦ Popcorn Delivery Engineer
    ♦ Beverage Conveyance Specialist
    ♦ Transaction Technician
    ♦ Refreshment Consultant
    ♦ Snack Offerings Expert


    ♦ Entertainment Choice Coordinator
    ♦ Ticketing Professional
    ♦ Monetary Inflow Authority
    ♦ Director of Admissions
    ♦ Voucher Delivery Practitioner

Ok now what about the Assistant Manager? Can't have her thinking she's not as important as the manager, right?

    ♦ Patron Advocate
    ♦ Activity Flow Specialist
    ♦ Productivity Châtelaine
    ♦ Customer Experience Enhancement Professional
    ♦ Mediation Artist

Ok, I know you're dying to take a crack at this! You may offer any suggestions you have in the comments. Meanwhile, I have to get ready to Coordinate Activity Flow and Supervise Ticketing and Refreshment Specialists....

*Supervisor of Enhanced Entertainment Experience and Refreshment Delivery

Posted by Susie at 10:17 AM | Comments (9)

April 23, 2005

2005: A Retail Odyssey

I hate having to email "Customer Service" when I have a problem.

Dear Company, the thing I ordered from you on Feb 2 (invoice #123456) didn't work, so I returned it and your website shows you shipped a replacement on Mar 1 (order #abcdefg). I have not yet received it. Could you trace the shipment?

Dear Customer, we value your business very much and thank you for contacting us. To place an order on our website, simply click on the item you wish to purchase and when it appears in a new window choose "add to cart." When you have finished shopping, click on the button that says "check out." Thank you for letting us be of service to you.

I suspect that no humans actually work in any "Customer Service" department anywhere; like help desks, email support is operated by a computer named Hal....

Posted by Susie at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2005

A Sensible Proposal

Ok, I just don't get it. If Daylight Savings Time is so great that they are going to add two months to it, making it from March until November, why don't they just bump everyone's time zones and be done with it? Put the East Coast on Nova Scotia time, the Midwest on Eastern Standard, the Rockies on Central time and the West Coast on Mountain Standard. Or is that too sensible for government?

Posted by Susie at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2005

My Resume

I am seeking a position which offers maximum remuneration for minimal effort.

I am bad tempered, acerbic-witted and persnickety. My weaknesses include punctuality, attention to detail and foresight.

Manager, Dollar Movies
I was hired in as Manager because I was willing to work long hours for minimal pay and no benefits, despite the fact I knew absolutely nothing about the theater business. After 2 years I could probably open my own, having learned to be projectionist, cashier, concessions clerk, and pacifier of teenage angst, as well as a long list of “what not to do” from observing the strategy and behavior of the theater’s owner. I have become expert in how to deal with utilities being turned off, payroll checks bouncing, equipment failure and roof leaks. Duct tape is my friend.

Store Manager, Video Store
Starting as a part-time clerk , I worked my way up to the manager of the West location, which position I held from January 1999 to October 2002, when I threw my store keys at the owner’s bitch of a wife and walked out. Responsibilities included hiring, scheduling, customer service, nagging employees to keep their uniform shirts tucked in, not killing the owner's bitch of a wife and trouble-shooting.

Fairly worthless BA in English
Slightly less worthless MS in Management

Posted by Susie at 10:38 AM | Comments (2)

Your call cannot be connected

It was very quiet at work last night--no phone calls and hardly any customers. The head office neglected to pay our telephone bill, you see, so the few customers we did have were the hardy souls who got in their cars to see if we'd gone out of business because the information line was no longer in service. They're blaming the Office Manager who quit, of course. It would never do to blame the person who made her quit, now would it?

Why do I keep taking jobs with autocratic regimes? Is it a character flaw?

Posted by Susie at 09:09 AM | Comments (2)

April 20, 2005

Let the Gnashing of Teeth Commence!

Now that I'm done with school I have a little more time for other stuff, like resuming my Alliance Membership Chairwoman duties. It's been a venture fraught with intrigue and danger, let me tell you! Because as long as I'm trying a new membership roster script to replace the Bear's, I've been prunig the dead wood. Thank goodness it's 50¢ day at work! I could use the recovery time....

Posted by Susie at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)

April 19, 2005

Academia vs. the Government: The Runaround Race

I'm stuck in that endless bureaucratic loop where A tells me I have to talk to B but B tells me I have to talk to A and when I talk to A to tell them that B sent me back, they say I need to talk to C. Of course, C was at lunch and would get back to me...
Still waiting.

Posted by Susie at 12:57 PM | Comments (3)

April 18, 2005

If God had intended me to draw he'd have given me graphite fingernails

I'm still in a mood, but I managed to type up our Fire Safety Plan anyway. I also designed a form to document our quartely fire drill, since we need to keep copious records of when we held the drill, who participated, and how many customers were trampled in the chaos. I'm not happy with the "map" we made to visually represent the various escape routes, but I don't have any graph paper on hand (I couldn't draw a straight line if you paid me a million dollars) so I'll have to buy some when I stop for Equal. To tide me over, I downloaded some from the internet. I love the internet. It's not just for perverts anymore...

Posted by Susie at 12:59 PM | Comments (4)

April 17, 2005

It's a long way to tip a rarie

I'm in a mood. Sort of restless and bored at the same time. It's too early to go to bed, but I don't feel like reading or watching a movie or playing a game. I have to type up our evacuation plan for the Fire Marshal, but I don't feel like doing that either. And I forgot to stop to buy Equal on my way home from work, so I'm going to have a Bad Coffee Day tomorrow.

The fire drill went well. We got out of the theater and to our assemby point in a minute and a half. Of course, that's without customers to slow us down. Maybe we could just leave the customers in case of a fire....

Kidding. I'm kidding. But they are going to kill our "record" time. You know, wanting to be sure they will get their fifty cents back since the movie's stopped, and demanding they get their free refill because they wouldn't have bought a large if they'd known the building was going to catch on fire--the sort of thing they absolutely have to talk to the manager about before they will budge an inch.

Of course, the manager is going to be at the assemby point with the employees, and you can be damned sure she didn't stop to grab a handful of passes on her way out.

Maybe I need a new sign: View image

By the way, don't buy the Star Wars M&Ms--the colors are ugly.

Posted by Susie at 10:21 PM | Comments (4)

Second only to men in kilts...

We've got a store meeting today, so I have to go in earlier than usual. Mostly the meeting is for our first fire drill (mandated by the Fire Marshal). Unfortunately, there won't be any firemen in attendence.

Posted by Susie at 10:04 AM | Comments (2)

April 16, 2005

Color me.....

Thanks to the Cheesemistress

You scored as Turqoise. You are turquoise!
You tend to be a little bit different than the common,
and your originality makes you beautiful!



Blood Red


Carrot Orange


Hot Pink


Royal Violet


Lime Green


Jet Black


Pure White


Gloomy Grey


Bright Yellow


Which Crayon Color Are Youu??
created with QuizFarm.com
Posted by Susie at 11:25 AM | Comments (3)

My other option is to start drinking Folgers....

I've wondered about this before: is weekend blogging a futile pursuit? On the one hand, traffic is at a low on the weekend; on the other hand, blog readers in search of something "fresh" will be more likely to stop by. Of course, that really only matters if you are blogging for others rather than yourself. If you don't much care if anyone else reads what you write, the weekend is as good a time as any to expound on your pet peeves (I hate trackback spam!!) or ramble on about what you're planning on having for lunch (salad with chicken and avocado slices).

Of course, for me, Saturday and Sunday are just two more work days. That's a killer to my social life since most of my friends and family have "normal" jobs and have a hard time getting together on a Tuesday evening or Thursday afternoon. And you can just forget holidays, even if they fall on my usual days off, because if the rest of the world is at leisure, then I'm at work.

All along as I've studied for my master's I've never had any plans to change jobs, despite the negative effect on my social life, because most of the time I enjoy what I do. However, now that my student loans (over $20k) will become due for repayment, the fact that I haven't had a raise since January 2004 is beginning to bother me more and more. And it's not like I suddenly got health insurance or vacation time or even sick days in lieu of a raise, because that would be an acceptable explanation.

Granted, business has fallen off in the last year--but I can honestly say without a twinge of conscience that it's not my fault. A competitor opened up last year--a competitor with thirteen screens, rather than three. That's definitely cutting into our business. Customers are getting fed up with our uncomfortable seats and machinery that breaks down all the time, and who could blame them? But why does the owner blame me? I'm not the one who buys used equipment that should have been tossed on a trash heap a decade ago and then bitches that repair costs are killing him. I think if the other dollar house were as old and decrepit as ours we'd have a level playing field--only they completely gutted and refurbished the place before they opened so they are nicer than a couple of the first-runs, and they still only charge a dollar. How can we compete*?

That was a rhetorical question. Anyway, I might start looking for a new job. Those loan payments are really going to cut into my book budget....

*(No, Harv--I don't think the owner would go for topless concessions clerks...)

Posted by Susie at 09:54 AM | Comments (4)

April 15, 2005

Of Blogs and Men

It feels a little strange to not have homework anymore. I actually had a day off yesterday where I didn't have a chapter to read or an assignment to complete and I kind of miss it.

While I was immersed in my final project for my final class my 100k visitor dropped by unnoticed, but since I still owe the prize for the 4000th commenter I guess that's just as well--you sadistic fiends probably would have demanded a novel (or a lap dance) for the person who turned over the odometer.

Thanks to the Great and Powerful Pixy Misa I was reminded that my own blogiversary is coming up on the 25th. Send cash or pictures of scantily-clad fireman.

Posted by Susie at 10:48 AM | Comments (3)

April 14, 2005

Don't you just hate it...

...when you sit down at the computer in your nightie to catch up on your blog reading, and when you get up for a ginger ale you realize that all the curtains are open and it's gotten dark outside?

Posted by Susie at 08:12 PM | Comments (5)


I read the most shocking news headline! "Laws Let Parents Attend Kids' School Events." Outrageous! To think that the government is actually going to permit parents to observe their children in their educational environment! Why, that's a blow to the very foundations of government indoctrination re-education!

Oh. Wait. Some parent wants a law so she can take off from work to watch her kid in the school play.

Headline writers must have an IQ of about 37.

Posted by Susie at 11:49 AM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2005

I wonder if the owner would spring for water skis?

Work has been fairly routine lately; even during Spring Break the most excitement was the occasional customer requesting tickets for a mangled movie title (Meet the Fockers was an obvious target, but we had quite a few people who didn't seem to get that the movie they wanted was called National Treasure, and a large number who believed that Are We There Yet was entitled Are You There Yet). Obviously Fred, our theater ghost, couldn't let the week pass without some sort of mischief, and so he worked his vile magic late Sunday night after everyone had gone home.

As I opened up on Monday I was both relieved that Spring Break was behind us and looking forward to Tuesday off so I could wrap up my final project for school. After turning on all the breakers so there would be light, I headed around the concessions counter to unlock my office.

At first my brain wouldn't process what I was seeing. I flipped on the lights behind concessions to get a better look. The floor on the far side of the concessions area was completely covered with a dark liquid. Was the roof leaking again? No, there was too much liquid and it was too dark to be roof water. Could one of the buckets that catch fountain drain-off have been moved? No, that would just be clear water from ice melting over night.

What the hell was that?

I moved closer and realized that the liquid was coming from underneath the kitchen door and had spread out from there toward where the roof usually leaks and the buckets usually drain when they overflow. It was also thick. Very thick. It was as thick as...syrup.

Oh. My. God.

For anyone unfamiliar with the secret workings of fast food establishments, fountain soda pop is actually manufactured on the premises by combining water, CO2 and flavored syrup. The syrup comes in 3 or 5 gallon Bag-in-a-Box containers, the size depending on the type of pop. For example, Sierra Mist comes in a 3 gallon box, and Mountain Dew in a 5 gallon. The lake of syrup covering half of my concessions tile was obviously either Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or Root Beer. Please God, let it be Root Beer--the other three all come in 5 gallon containers....

I opened my office, dumped my purse and jacket, and headed to the mop room for our rolling wringer bucket and cloth mop. Sop up syrup, dip mop in water, wring out, repeat. After a few minutes of not making much progress (I needed to get into the kitchen to see what the hell had happened) I went to the stock room, dumped some candy packages on the shelves and tore the corrugated cardboard cartons open to use as a walkway across the syrup. One M&Ms box got me within reach of the door handle and one Sqwigglies box got me into the kitchen and dry tile.

The bad news was it was Pepsi. The really bad news was that Pepsi syrup, unlike other pops, is dispensed from two side-by-side, connected containers. They were both empty. Yesterday they had both been three-quarters full. That meant I had about 7 or 8 gallons of Pepsi syrup creating a small lake on my floor. Wonderful. (At $43 a box x 2 boxes x 75%...about $60 worth of Pepsi syrup was literally going to go down the drain.)

Since I couldn't find a hole in either of the boxes, and the dispensing nozzles were still correctly attached, I was at a loss as to the cause....until I noticed that the back of the kitchen door and much of the sink area were covered in little droplets of dried Pepsi. Being a mystery novel aficionado I knew that this would have been called "arterial spray" if it had been blood, and, even without the help of the CSI unit, I determined that it had originated from the connection point where the syrup feeds into the thingee that adds the water and CO2. My next action was to call Pepsi Repair and declare a Pepsi Emergency. I was assured that a Repair Technician would be speeding my way in the next several hours.

The rest of the incident was rather anti-climactic. My cashier and clerk showed up and took over the tile-reclamation project. The Pepsi Repair Technician eventually arrived and we were able to serve Pepsi once again by the second set. By 8pm, all evidence of the Great Syrup Explosion had been erased from everything except memory.

I love my job!

Posted by Susie at 12:26 PM | Comments (3)

April 12, 2005

Are we there yet?

My Power Point and Excel spreadsheet are done; now I just need to finish my paper and turn it all in and I will be done with school. Hurray!

As soon as that's done, I will tell you the story of Lake Pepsi....

Posted by Susie at 11:52 AM | Comments (2)

April 11, 2005

Fair Warning

Spring Break is over, my final project is almost done--in other words, look for more frequent blogging in the near future!

Also, a Belated Happy Sixth Anniversary to Mr. Bad Example and his Beloved Wife, TNT. Your present is in the mail....

Posted by Susie at 10:09 AM | Comments (1)

April 08, 2005

Before I get charged with Blog Neglect....

I'm not deliberately avoiding you, my loyal reader(s). I'm just overwhelmed.

Posted by Susie at 08:32 AM | Comments (4)

April 06, 2005


Work. School. I'm dragging. Which I guess is better than being dragged or being "in drag". 'Tho' since I am a woman, and I frequently wear dresses and makeup, that does mean I'm usually in drag? Or would I have to wear men's clothes to qualify? Only, I sometimes wear slacks and a shirt. So is that drag?

I need more coffee.

Posted by Susie at 10:23 AM | Comments (5)

April 04, 2005

Is it May yet?

I'm working on my final project for my class and it's making me crazy. It comprises an eight page paper, a Power Point presentation and numerous spreadsheets. Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi!

In other news, yesterday's Customer of the Day Award goes to the woman who asked "If I don't like the popcorn, can I come back and get more?"

Of course you can! And if you want us to spit in your pop we can do that, too! Anything to please our customers....

Posted by Susie at 09:19 AM | Comments (5)

April 03, 2005

Inane Post #934

Couldn't sleep so did some Alliance stuff. Have to work in an hour and a half. You guys had to change your clocks and I didn't---nahner nahner! I have to change my MT time zone, though, and you don't....pout pout. I now have the same time as Chicago instead of Toledo.

Like you care.

Posted by Susie at 10:00 AM | Comments (2)

April 02, 2005

Fun with City Ordinances

Well, yesterday wasn't too bad--I only had one April Fools joke played on me, and it was a fairly innocuous one: my Assistant Manager gave me a couple of puzzles that were impossible to solve (one was a word search that didn't have any of the listed words in it).

I had a fairly hectic day, though. I had to spend half of my normal inventory time giving the Fire Marshal a tour of the premises. She found a few things that we have to change (we can no longer keep the wheeled trash barrels that we use for cleaning the theaters between shows in the conveniently and centrally located space beneath the stairs--the steel girder stairs, by the way--to the projection booth, and we have to find a new place to keep our bottled water so it's no longer within 30 inches of the breakers in the kitchen, and we can't stack our paper towels and toilet paper with 18 inches of the sprinklers in the mop room, ad infinitum), most of which are going to be a major headache since the only place we have to store anything has the sprinkler system controls in it, and thus nothing can be stored there. I also have to devise a fire evacuation plan and conduct quarterly fire drills.

The employees are quite excited about the fire drills, although they were somewhat disappointed we don't have to conduct them during normal business hours when they would get to herd the patrons out into the cold.

Well, I'm off the the Safety Sign Builder--the room with the sprinkler controls needs to be labeled.

Posted by Susie at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

No salt in the sugarbowl

Now that I'm old and crotchety, I don't find most April Fools pranks funny. Actually, I never have found practical jokes to be funny. It's like slapstick comedy--I just can't laugh at somebody being injured, even if it is only a movie, and I certainly can't laugh at somebody being embarrassed or humiliated in real life. So, I hope my employees keep their hijinks out of the workplace today. I would hate to have to kill them--there's really nowhere to hide the bodies.

Posted by Susie at 09:15 AM | Comments (2)