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Posts Tagged ‘Requests’

Dear Spammers,

This is not the first time I’ve written to you (see here, here or here for a memory refresher). This time, I’m prompted because I’m just mystified at why I am the recipient for such strange things.

I don’t wear dentures.
I haven’t bought flowers lately.
I’m not looking to hook up with singles, not even desperate Asian girls.

The only thing on this list that fits is Smithsonian Magazine. It’s time to renew my subscription.

So help me out here. I’m not the target audience, so why am I targeted?

You’re barking up the wrong tree.

Good luck finding your MILF hunter,
Beth

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Dear Trump, GOP and NRA assholes representatives,

I am a teacher, and I DO NOT want to carry a gun to class. I’m there to instruct, not take down a “bad guy.” (Armed teachers = unusually bad idea, even for you)

I have one goal in class: Teach. I work with college students, so they are paying my salary. My goal is to give them their money’s worth and more. I want to be the life-changing (life-saving in a different way) professor like Dr. Brightman was for me.

Part of my job is figuring out what each student needs (and I guarantee that it is not an AR-15 in their hands or mine).

Students usually come in a handful of personas. Here’s a field guide:

The Tracy Flick
Hand up first. Already has an A, but wants extra credit. “Overachiever” doesn’t even begin to encompass this student. Also can dissolve quickly if mastery doesn’t come easy.

The Ferris Bueller
Seems like he doesn’t care and isn’t paying attention, but he is smarter than the average bear. Often turns in the best work in the class without even trying.

The Jeff Spicoli
Sigh. What do you do about a student who is paying money to go to college, but is just a complete slacker? Love them anyway.

The Summer “Tinkerbell” Hathaway
This student is suspicious of you from the get-go, but you will slowly win her over if you do, in fact, know what you are talking about. And then she will try to push you to see how far she can go.

The Will Hunting
This student may appear to hate your guts during the class, but he will surprise you later on when he tells you that he learned so much from you. It is an unexpected, but joyful moment.

The John Bender
Hard candy shell with a liquid center. Seems confrontational, but is masking a deep-seated vulnerability. I love to see these kinds in five years when they are all well-adjusted and shit.

The Regina George
This student often is the most challenging because she has created a particular persona, and may resist your efforts to get her to think about anything/anyone other than herself. The trick is to help her figure out how to make assignments interesting enough to her so that she will enjoy doing them (thus learning in the process).

The Steve Stifler
Every female faculty member has this student’s number (meaning we know exactly who he is). No, we cannot have a meeting with my office door closed. No, we are not going together to the fraternity party Friday night. It’s great to see this student mature and even <gasp> get married.

The Sam Baker
This student is smart but can be quiet and thus overlooked. Pay attention to this one. Still waters run deep, as they say. This student often ends up being as close to you as students in the next category.

The Todd Anderson
With this student, you know early on that he/she will be in your life forever — and that is a good thing. You “get” them, they “get” you, and it is a lovely, symbiotic relationship. You start out as professor/student and morph into colleagues and friends later on. Some people in the aforementioned categories will end up in this one, and that is a lovely thing too.

I live to make a difference. And I live for notes like these:

That’s from a student who graduated five years ago. No surprise that she was a Todd.

I want to learn how to better reach every student. I do not want to learn how to better reach my gun.

I want to be accurate with grading. I do not want to be accurate with aim.

I want to get paid to carry full classes. I do not want to get paid to carry a gun.

Please, please, please find a different way to achieve the one goal we all want: peace in schools (and everywhere, for that matter). The answer is not arming teachers.

Thanks,
Beth

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Dear Helicopter Parents:

I’m going to have to ask you to stand down. Before you get your knickers in a twist*, know that I know you: I too am a member of Gen X. Like you, I was raised by Baby Boomers who never knew where I was until the streetlights came on.

(Or when Chris Marosy’s dad rang the dinner bell in the Marosys’ front yard, whichever came first.)

Stop checking your child’s calendar, Snap and Insta for a hot second and listen to me.

What happened to you?

You know good and well that we didn’t have play dates or Pinterest-inspired birthday parties or gender-reveal parties or baby wipe warmers or organic food. (We ate Chef Boyardee ravioli out of the can, FFS!)

You know what else we didn’t have?

  • Car seats or (many times) seat belts. We just rolled around in the back of cars, putting on shows with our feet in the back window.
  • Hand sanitizer. We barely washed our hands.
  • Awards unless we came in first place. Not first? Loser.
  • Remote controls. We got up to change the channel on the TV. Only four channels; not much of a workout.
  • Cable, Netflix, Hulu, etc. See above.
  • A ride to the corner store. We walked our asses there to get our fix of Bubble Yum, Atomic Fire Balls, Bottle Caps and candy cigarettes.
  • A choice when it came to chores, the food on our plates, sitting quietly at events (no tablets or smartphones to keep us occupied).
  • Parental supervision. We were latchkey kids. We were babysitting by age 10 (sometimes earlier). The only goal was to keep the kids alive until their parents came home.
  • Words of encouragement. “Good job” not typically in a Boomer’s vocabulary.
  • Attention. Not even for injuries. That is, unless a bone was sticking out of the skin. Then we might get a Band-Aid.
  • Timeouts. We got the belt if we were acting up. Or, in my case, a whack with a flyswatter.

I’m not saying all this was great, but I am saying that we all turned out fine. We are suspicious of authority, skeptical of everything, but fine.

Our kids will be fine too. You DO NOT need to hover — I promise. We made mistakes, and we learned from them. You are making it harder for them to be adults by doing everything for them.

These are things you’ve said to me or around me (names changed to protect them like you want):

  • “Kyle is having trouble making his morning class. Can you go to his room in the mornings and wake him up?”
  • “Madison needs to learn to advocate for herself.” (Yet you come to every meeting and interrupt her when she tries to speak up.)
  • “Who will be doing Dylan’s laundry in the dorms?”

I heard a story about a dad who came to his son’s job interview. The kid did not get the job. Of course.

Poor kids.

It’s not their fault. You made them this way.

I would have DIED if my parents had talked to any of my professors or college staff. You would have too.

My parents showed up at college twice:

  • To move me in.
  • To see me graduate.

That’s it.

Times have changed. I get it. And I know there are positives to being more involved in your child’s life (like maybe fewer snatchings, less drug use, a feeling of being more connected — loved even).

I’m just asking you to back off — just a bit — when little Connor goes to college.

All of us who work at universities will thank you.

And that means you will have more free time to take up new hobbies like:

  • Finally watching “Game of Thrones.”
  • Exercising (that stomach isn’t going to flatten itself).
  • Day drinking.
  • Napping.
  • Both of the above in that order.

Thank you, from the bottom of my after-school-special-loving heart.
Beth

* I’m British now. Didn’t I tell you?

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Dear Fashion Gods,

You don’t know me (clearly) but I have a favor to ask you: Please could you make the jacked-up booty shorts trend for women go away?

They are high waisted, which makes them look like mom jeans. (We know that’s not good.)

Yet they are so short they often let a little labia loose. Don’t even get me started on how much air the ass is getting.

Lest you think I’m a prude, it’s not the near nudity that troubles me. It’s the fact that they don’t look good on ANYONE.

You’re not in Hazzard County.

Many beautiful women have been taken down by the most recent iteration of Daisy Dukes. Ariel Winter, I’m looking at you.

No, girl.

While you are at it, please eradicate skinny jeans for men.

Again, this is a trend that favors no body style.

This dude looks like he has childbearing hips thanks to these pants.

Not even Harry Styles is immune.

Yuck.

And when they are paired with a whole aesthetic, well then …

Hipsters or Civil War soldiers? (I can’t take credit for that; it’s been going around.)

If you would be so kind as to address these issues, I would be so thrilled.

In your debt,
Beth

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I and Part II,” do that now.

Just over 36 hours later, I was in another church: a Methodist church near my house.

Unlike my mother-in-law’s church where parishioners were on me like sharks to chum, the Methodist folks smiled, nodded and generally left me alone. Only the pastor, sporting an Irish brogue and a green jacket perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, officially greeted me.

The start of the ceremony resembled a town hall meeting. Announcements ranged from the results of the bake sale to what the county’s industrial development authority was planning to do with a parcel of land up the road. I noticed that the dress code has changed since I was a regular churchgoer. My parents would not have been pleased if I wore jeans to church, but now it appears jeans, T-shirts, cut-offs and flip-flops are all just fine to wear to hang out with God.

Apparently, this is appropriate church attire.

During the sermon, which was about what Jesus must have been like as a child, I took a look at the bulletin. On the back of the bulletin, under the heading “Prayer Concerns,” was a list of people asking for special thoughts and why. In addition to the expected, such as “fell and broke hip,” “gall bladder surgery” and “soldier injured in Iraq,” there were a few that made me feel as if I now knew too much. Apparently, Bobbie is “causing family problems” and Paige has “legal problems.” I guess those are the times when you chat with God the most.

Up next: “Welcome, sister”

 

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Dear Facebook Friends:

Happy new year! I appreciate that your posts have been filled with love and light for the holidays.

In just a little over two weeks, though, we will inaugurate a new president. And I’m sure that’s going to bring back all the nasty political posts.

This is how I feel about that:

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Let’s start off on the right foot for 2017 by making Facebook a palatable place again. And by that, I mean I need you to stop writing the following:

You say: “I’m tired of being politically correct.”
I hear: “I want to be able to say the same horrible stuff I’ve always said without someone calling me out.”
The truth: You have freedom of speech, but that does not mean you have freedom from consequences. If you want to say, “That’s so gay,” like you did in the ’80s, I’m going to have to chastise you or delete you. Your choice.

You say: “I like Trump because he speaks his mind.”
I hear: “He is saying the horrible stuff I want to say but I can’t because I have to be politically correct (see above).”
The truth (as I see it): Despite his assertions that he has a very good brain, his mind is full of cobwebs, tumbleweeds and pictures of naked ladies. He’s gross. Sorry, not sorry.

You say: “Trump is surrounding himself with good people.”
I hear: “I don’t really like him, but I voted for him and now I have to double down on that decision. I’m going to be optimistic despite all evidence to the contrary. Gingrich, Giuliani and Christie — the Larry, Darryl and Darryl of the campaign — didn’t worry me enough. Oh look over there — a squirrel!”
The truth: So much for draining the swamp. I can’t even with this.

You say: “I’m so glad Clinton didn’t win. Clinton is corrupt.” Also, “she is a career politician.”
I hear that you don’t like her. I get it. But …
The truth: If you really cared about corruption, you wouldn’t have voted for Trump. He’s got a list of shady maneuvers longer than Santa’s naughty list. As for the other, I’m still pissed that her ambition is seen as a bad thing. Clinton worked her whole life toward one goal and she loses to a dude (of course) who seemingly ran on a whim.

You say: “Suck it up. Get over it. He won. Now you know how I felt when Obama won twice.”
I hear: “Nyah, nyah” and “neener, neener.”
The truth: Obama and Trump are very different people and very different politicians. Both wins reflected a desire for change from the prior administration. I’m better off now than I was eight years ago and so are most people I know. I guess you aren’t. Either that, or you are voting against your own best interests.

You say: “There is a war on Christianity.”
I hear: “I’m pissed that everyone doesn’t believe what I believe.”
The truth: Not everyone is a Christian. We have separation of church and state for a reason.

You say anything nasty regarding the mainstream media.
I hear you attacking my integrity as I have spent my life working in and researching local news.
The truth: Without the mainstream media, we would have no reliable information about what is happening in our communities, our nation, our world. The fourth estate is crucial for an informed citizenry. Also,

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As you should know, I am not a straight-ticket kind of person. I would love to hear your point of view. But I want to hear it in person over coffee. I’m not interested in the talking points or meme you got from some fake news site run by a bored teen in Macedonia. Fair warning: This is the year that I stop being polite and start getting real. (More so than usual.) 

We are all human here. Let’s try to make the world a better place. We can disagree about how we are going to do that, but let’s schedule a play date to discuss.

Love and kisses in 2017!
Beth

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1280px-IHOP_Restaurant_logo.svgDear IHOP:

To borrow from Taylor Swift, “Why you gotta be so mean?

Let me explain.

My family and I recently visited the newly open restaurant in Pooler. We walked in and immediately were struck by the fact that servers outnumbered diners four to one. When I asked for a booth, the hostess gave me such a dirty look that I backed down and meekly took the table.

It was our server’s second day on the job and about to be her last, she said. Why? The owners and corporate reps were in town — hence the reason there were about 24 servers on duty. She said servers weren’t making any money because they had just a couple of tables all day. (This explains why we had to sit at a certain table.)

I watched her carry our four drinks, spilling mine because she didn’t have a tray. “Why don’t you have a tray?,” I asked, remembering my days as a server at Western Sizzlin’. She said there were only a couple of trays in the whole restaurant, and they could only use them for certain purposes. Carrying drinks apparently was not one of them.

Um … what?!?

I’m a chatty sort, so chat we did. She told me all the servers had just been barked at by one of the suits because they had too many cutlery bundles on the tables. They had put four bundles out for a four-person table. That makes sense to me, but it is not OK in IHOPland. Four-tops get two bundles; six-tops get four. No wonder we always have to ask for silverware.

o

I happened to spot one of the suits. As I was riled up, I marched over to talk to him. Topics: excessive amount of servers, trays, silverware. This fellow, a vice president according to his business card, could not have been smarmier. He was incredibly dismissive of me and simply said that “corporate” has determined all of the policies so that all IHOPs are the same.

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

Me: “But not allowing trays makes it harder for servers to do their jobs.”

Him: “They can use trays.”

Me: “They can’t use trays to carry drinks.”

Him: “No, they can. They just can’t put the trays on the table.”

Me: “But no one is using trays here.”

Him: “Yes, they are.”

Our server: (overhearing conversation but out of the VP’s eye line, meets my eyes and shakes her head, “No.”)

I did not see anyone use a tray the entire time I was there.

Another excerpt:

Me: “It doesn’t seem logical that tables for four people would only have two bundles of silverware.”

Him: “Yes, it does. IHOP corporate wants all IHOPs to look the same when customers walk in.”

Me: “But they could look the same if they had the right amount of silverware on the tables as well. We always have to ask for silverware.”

Him: “The hostess should count the number of people and bring the amount needed.”

Me: “Well, first of all, that makes extra work for people, which doesn’t make sense. Second, our hostess didn’t bring two extra bundles for us.”

Him: “Yes, she did.”

Me: (Looking at him with my patented “Are you effing kidding me?” glare) OK. I give up.

Good job, IHOP, for selecting a person for a vice president role who has such a handle on (inane) IHOP policies yet a complete inability to grasp why policies exist: to help customers have an enjoyable dining experience and want to return.

So we are not going to return. Sorry, IHOP. You need to rethink your rules and leadership.

Came hungry, left unhappy,
Beth

 

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