Posts Tagged ‘Goodwill’

The Sucker Factor

Monday, August 24th, 2015

For every credibility gap there is a gullibility gap__Where Excuses Go to DieThe sucker factor is off the charts: mass consumption has seen to it that we all have oral fixations in one form or another. So how do you excuse yours – or the ones you’re aware of, anyway?

Before we proceed, let’s get it out there that I know as much about Freudian psychosexual development of “oral character” and behavioral science in general as I do about piloting commercial aircraft. But we seem to be naturally equipped with onboard behavioral science labs, where finger-pointers in our heads tell us who pays retail, who doesn’t, who’s most likely to be struck by a bus crossing the street, and who will probably marry a drummer, speak the truth, or become a pain in the ass.

Designer Water Bottle Worship_Where Excuses Go to DieSo while I may have no “official” business offering my theories of the internal and external forces shaping our personalities, I’ll feel free to ask, what’s your excuse? How many bottles that look like toy spaceships do you purchase, maintain, nurse from, neglect, or collect? Of the seemingly endless choices, how do you decide which ones are right for you?

  • Capacity?Absurdly Pretentious Horseshit__Where Excuses Go to Die
  • Innovative appearance?
  • Important looking millimeter measurements up the side?
  • iPhone connectivity?
  • Spill proof-ness?
  • Polymer resin construction per NASA specifications?
  • Easy grip?
  • Percentage of sales profits donated to eco-friendly charities?

How about the thermosy thing that tracks all of the disposable plastic bottles you’re not buying (a self-important do-gooder tug job if there ever was one)? My favorite is the one that opens and closes for you, in case you’re too fatigued to do it yourself.

The point is, many of these impulse buys can go for $90 and up. What’s your limit?  (more…)

Court Referred Community Service Diary – 4

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Where Excuses Go to Poop“My brain processed disgust and fault, but fairness also factored”

I meant to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time had passed I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center. Welcome to #4 in a series…(Here’s parts 12, and 3)

March/April 2014 – Goodwill Donation Center, Friday.

It’s one thing to work alongside Goodwill’s physically challenged employees and see the nonprofit’s bighearted claims of helping the disabled play out before you. It’s quite another thing to use a toilet after them.

HAIL SATAN_Where Excuses Go to DieBut first, a little scene setting…

Disabled persons selected to work at this particular Goodwill are essentially removed from the non-disabled. To use the employee break room, for example, they have to pass through the “regular” employees’ work areas, but not the other way around –because they’re stuck in a corner. They’re not banished in any way, but they do work in a rather lonesome neighborhood of the building.

I’d rather not exaggerate things by adding that their primary function –sorting donated clothes– is the most repellent of Goodwill tasks, but it’s true. It doesn’t help that the neighborhood in question is surrounded by a wall of six-foot roller-bins, clothing racks, and giant piles of donated garments. Benjamin Netanyahu would be jealous.

Donated Clothing Fun Fact: even by the time garments reach the floor, soiled handkerchiefs and, er, other items, can often be found in pockets. It’s dicey, sure, but my guess is everyone goes through a checking-pockets phase regardless. You can’t watch how nonchalantly bags of expensive clothing are thrown from luxury cars by people who decline receipts without letting your curiosity get the best of you. (more…)

Court Referred Community Service Diary – 3

Monday, March 17th, 2014

“His jaw was working harder than a hog’s hips at a crowded trough.”

I really did mean to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time passed that I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center. Welcome to #3 in a series…(Parts 1 and 2 are here and here.)

March 10, 2014 – Goodwill Donation Center, Wednesday

Microwave Isotropic and Anisotropic SuperconductorsOnly when you’re outta your mind on blow do you pay $59 for a thrift-store microwave oven circa 1995 by leaving a deposit with the manager, going to your car, and coming back for the thing a mere 15 minutes later. Only when your head is reeling from cocaine psychosis do you not realize you’re wiping your mouth in a forward motion with the back of your hands like a rat. And only when you’re anxious about returning to your car for more booger-sugar does your “inside voice” become your Dodger Stadium voice.

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Court Referred Community Service Diary – 2

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Blotchy the Bear“Where Pleated Pants Go to Die” – Thursday morning, March 5, 2014.

I really did mean to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time passed that I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center. This is the second in a series…

Day one’s “Top Five Items that Qualify as Most Disgusting.”

  • Food-encrusted plates and utensils
  • Matted stuffed animals
  • Pillows
  • Crumb-sprinkling toasters
  • Hairdryers and curling irons

Three hours was all I could do. I thought for sure I’d be able to push it to four, but both the headache and the pre-judgment I’d arrived with had worsened.  And yet, even failing to scratch the surface of my commitment, I began to appreciate the septic funhouse I’d entered. (more…)

Court Referred Community Service Diary – 1

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I meant to pay the speeding ticket right away; now I owe 50 hours.

Goodwill-Logo-Registered-TrademarkI really did mean to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time passed that I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center.

March, 2014 – Goodwill Donation Center, Monday

Ten feet inside the door, a 20-something young lady at the counter took one look at the yellow triplicate form in my hand and rolled her eyes. Turning to a tiny Asian woman helping her stock sunglasses, I heard her say, “typical community service,” as she walked off.

The Asian woman, though, threw out her hand, shook mine, accepted my paperwork, and started walking backwards toward a pair of beat up, swinging metal doors. “I’m Julie,” she began, “and I’m afraid you can’t work in those.” She pointed to my 501s. “Do you have black pants and a white business shirt?”

“Not that I can work in, no,” I admitted. “But thrift store clothes and I go way back, so I’ll just buy something now. That cool?”

(more…)