Tuesday, March 10

Give Me Your Muddled Masses

Yes, I know it's not really "muddled". No need to leave that in the comment section. Nothin' to see here, folks, move along.

Today, I had a unique experience (that's unique from the Church of St. Euphemistic, not unique as in singular). It made me shake my head--not that it's all that unusual for me to have a head-shaking experience--and set me off. It set me off even more because of some recent "skirmishes" (also from the aforementioned church) with the same organization. I know. You want me to tell you which organization. I'm not gonna. I'm guessing you'll figure it out. Sit yerself down and getcha a nice cupatea. This is gonna be a long story.

Yes, I am considering the possibility that I'm just bred for unique skirmishes, so you don't need to point that out, either. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, though.

Back to today. I had a pretty busy day. In between meetings, and before coming home to walk the dog in order to leave again to go to chorus, I had to attend to a critical errand.

I had to pick up cookies.

I had to pick up cookies because f I didn't, I might never be able to go back to chorus again, and I really like it there. (I know this because I was supposed to bring the cookies last week, and I didn't get the order in on time, and believe me, there was nearly a riot). Today, I remembered. Yay, me.

So I drove to the "cookie cupboard", as they call it. I would call it more like a garage, but hey, it was full of cookies--they can call it whatever they want. They were supposed to be expecting me--I was supposed to give them my name (and I know my name, so I figured I was well prepared, for once). There was no one at the counter (and no other customers in the cupboard) but a man who was hanging around said she'd "be right back". A few minutes later, she appeared. By all appearances, she was a loyal follower.

First thing, she asked me for my "number". Huh? My number? Oh...my group (okay, it's not a group, but it does rhyme with group) number. I said I didn't know off hand. This did NOT make the woman happy. She got a grumpy face. I said I could go to the car and look it up. This solution did not seem to impress. She said "Well, maybe I can look it up" (how hard could THAT be?). I mentioned that I was supposed to be on some list for pickup. She looked on her computer and said "Are you Robin?" I said yes because, well, as I said, I still remember my name.

But, get this... I think she somehow didn't quite believe me. She asked for my phone number. I gave it to her. She said, skeptically, that that wasn't the phone number she was given, and might it be another number. I gave her all possible numbers, including the now defunct land line from the house that I don't live in anymore, and including any other phone numbers that the person who called in the order might have possibly given. "Nope, it's not any of those."

Here's where I got sharp (or tried to). I said, "Oh, I bet she gave you her phone number when she called it in, rather than mine." Mystery solved, I'm thinkin'. No such luck. But I guess she decided to move forward anyway (even if only to get me out of there!).

So then she asks me for some ID (you'd think I was picking up contraband!). I gave her my drivers license. She looks at my license, she looks at her computer screen. She looks at the computer screen, she looks at my license. She says "this isn't the right address". I say "Oh, right, sorry, I've moved, I'll give you the right address". She says "I have [insert address]". I say no, that's not my address, that must be the address of the leader who called in the cookie order--she must have given you her address instead.

By this point, it is clear that she regards me as the devil incarnate, sent especially to make her day a living hell.

She says "Well, I have to put your address in here" and she starts typing it off of my license. I remind her that it's not my correct address anymore and start to give her the right address.

This is where it gets good.

She says "Well, I have to put in this address that's on your license". I say "but it's not my address anymore". She says (drum roll, please), "Well, I have to put this one in because it's the one that the registry has".

By "the registry", she means the RMV, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (known as the Department of Motor Vehicles where I come from, but no matter). And the connection between the RMV and picking up cookies is.....? (come on, somebody help me here) Is it that they need to be able to track me if I cross state lines with 28 boxes of cookies? Is it that they want to reserve the right to suspend my license if my trunk should fall open and a box of cookies should fall out and sustain a major injury? Vehicular cookieslaughter? God forbid.

Things were movin' along. I had to review and approve the list. I had to move my car up to the door. I had to cross check the list with the cookies she had pulled from the inventory. I had to put the cookies in my car. I had to get the hell out of Dodge.

See what I go through for you?

The scary part is that this is such a tiny example, such a "nothing" illustration. It could be so much more important than cookies. Maybe you've adjusted. Maybe you're resigned. You've conceded that this is just the way it is. I'm not that type. I'm more the I-won't-rest-until-the-asteroid-that-stops-people-from-unthinkingly-following-rules-and-procedures-falls-to-earth type.

If you all chip in a couple of bucks, you could probably buy me a real good telescope for my birthday. I promise to let you know if I see something coming.

Here. Have a cookie.

1 comment:

Audrey said...

I bet you're one a them fake cookie ID varmints. Ya give 'em a fake ID, and ya steal someone else's cookie order. I bet it's rampant nowadays, what with the bad economy and people goin' hungry 'n all. I bet you even erase all yer cookies when you shut yer computer at night. Yer one a them commie pinkos that hates organizations like the one that sells these cookies. Just cuz they wanna follow mindless rules? Sheesh--that's what this country of ours, God Bless It, was built from.

You may now burst into a chorus of "God Bless America". Please stand when you do so, and hold a box of them mint cookies to yer heart. You'll feel better. You'll feel patriotic. You'll feel...um...er...like everyone else. And after all, isn't that what we aspire to, after all?