Saturday, December 16, 2006 ______________________________________________________________________________

Are You Sure This Isn't Climate Change? 

Over the past three weeks we have had 3 windstorms and a week long snowstorm. The windstorms were bad enough to deprive large communities in the Lower Mainland of power (some areas were without power for 3-4 days, there is a community oustide of the Lower Mainland that still doesn't have power since the first windstorm). The freak snowstorm (supposedly caused by an "arctic front") essentially paralyzed the city. Transit services were running at a diminished capacity. The trains which typically pilot themselves around the track had to be manned by transit personnel. The announcement over the speaker system said that this was to allow them to stop abruptly should there be anything on the tracks. Truth of the matter is that snow was setting off the track alarm (that lets the train know to stop because there's a jumper on the tracks, or something more benign, like a shopping bag full of oranges) and the humans were there because they had to tell the train to ignore the alarms.

What the hell.

No seriously.

There was a foot of snow the first night alone. Do you know how weird that is for Vancouver? In November? Winds were blowing at over 90mph. Trees were falling over everything. Most of the power outages were due to branches and trees severing power lines. I was out of power for 48hours. It gets fucking COLD in here man.

Before this slew of storms, we received an unusually large amount of rainfall. If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest is that it's always raining. Always. I mean even at the best of times it rains once a day, or at least several times a week. Before the storms though, so much rain came down that we experienced massive landslides. Massive landslides which brought mud and wild animal shit into our reservoirs. Vancouver, North Vancouver and Burnaby were under a water advisory for two weeks because the filtration system we currently have were unable to deal with the load. Water was sold out everywhere.

Since I've moved, I've been unable to drink tap water (luckily my neighbourhood was only under water advisory for a day), had my internet knocked out for long stretches of time, had Jim's car stranded at the mechanics because the power cut out before they could lower it, had to wash my hair in frigid water and am now having to rely on a ceramic space heater for heat because for some reason, when the power went out, it also took out the central heating system.

Excuse me, but really. What the fuck is going on?

On a completely different note, stick this in your customer service pipe and smoke it.

Lady [waves at me from 50ft away and runs up to me]: Are you the only one on the floor tonight?

Me [looks around and sees five other employees]: Uhh no.

Lady: Well I haven't been able to find anyone to help me.

Me: I'm here, what can I do for you?

Lady [pulls out our latest flyer and starts to speak slowly]: Okay. This is your latest flyer. See? [shows me the front and back cover and riffles through it] You sent it to me just this week. Okay?

[I nod]

Lady [still talking really slowly]: I want these two items. Do you know where they are?

Me: No, but I have a good idea of where they could be.

Lady [starting to freak out]: What do you mean you don't know where it is? It's in the latest flyer! You work here don't you? Isn't there anyone on this floor who knows anything about THE THINGS IN THE FLYER YOU SEND OUT TO EVERYONE?

[Lady proceeds to grab another employee who is helping another customer]

Lady [shoving the flyer in other employee's face]: Do you know where these things are?

Employee [barely able to see what's being shoved in her face]: No.

Me: I have a good idea of where these things might be. Why don't you come with me.

[I look around to see if there's a free computer where I can look things up, but there isn't. At any rate I think she would flip out if I took her to a computer to find out where things are.]

Lady [talking slowly again]: Okay. Remember, I'm looking for a wine journal and wine label coasters.

[We have a table with wine paraphenalia displayed on it. This is where I take her first. I see some coasters with a vintage-y print on it. They are round. I open it up to take a look at them.]

Lady: Those are not the coasters. These are ROUND. Do you know what wine labels are? Wine labels are not...

Me: I know what wine labels are. And if you want me to help you, you are going to have to not be so nasty.

Lady: That's not the best way to treat your customer, making her feel stupid.

Me: This is not the best way to get me to help you.

Lady [almost yelling now]: You don't need this sale badly enough.

Me: You're right. I don't.

Lady [yelling]: I'm leaving. I'm not going to spend my money here. I'm going to take my money somewhere else.

Me: Okay. [makes shooing motions with my hands] Go.

[Lady storms off.]

Me [to a pair of customers waiting for the lady to be done so I can help them]: Hey guys, how can I help you? [smile]

Awesomeness. :P

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posted by Joie! at 10:17 PM

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