Thursday, September 30, 2010


A couple of day ago someone showed me the website of a new literary magazine called Wake.  They are associated with GVSU, and they're looking to publish works about the Great Lakes.  Since MSU is right smack dab in the middle of several lakes, I thought some of my readers might like the link.   
I actually heard about this literary magazine about a year and a half ago, when they were first starting.  I happened across a bookmark from them, promoting their about-to-start journal. 
There's not much on the website, but I did find this little piece about an "Okie" who identifies with being from the Midwest.  It's an interesting piece.  I've never thought of Oklahoma as Midwest, or, as this author comments, from the Southwest.  I've always thought of it as Great Plains sort of place, which may or may not be right.   I once knew someone from Oklahoma , but he defined the place as Southern, which, again, totally not what I thought. 
Maybe I need to go to this Oklahoma.  Just because it seems to be a place in-between or at the very least, unidentifiable in some way.  And that's the sort of place that would be interesting to me. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Talk is Cheap

Talk radio is generally one of those things that I don't have a lot of patience with.  I hated eating in the cafeteria in the morning and listening to one angry man carry on about hair arm pit lesbians in Ann Arbor and how people just "don't get it."  At one point, about three years ago, I considered calling in and agreeing with everything he said and then adding "And you know, that's the same reason why I think I should be allowed to eat babies."  And then prattling on with some completely bogus idea about baby eating, and thus making him look completely ridiculous.  I would inevitably get cut off, sure, but the idea's stayed with me. 
I was in the car with Ashley, which was probably the first mistake.  No, on second thought, the first mistake was being up so early.  The second mistake was being in that car. 
But we were listening to another one of these heinous programs.  This one was all about the misogyny, and it made me sick.  A bunch of (mostly, but not all) men.  They were infatuated with the idea of the penis, saying it a lot.  All this worship of a sexual organ, one that is valued above another sexual organ, one that is gendered differently.  Oh goodie, I thought.  I'm so glad I got up for this. 
And then some woman called in with a story about some lesser-known sexual act that her boyfriend wanted to do, and this prompted a whole slew of carrying on about how this act, no matter if it was consensual, was automatically bad.  No one who called to comment or was hosting the show could stop from laughing nervously.  We get it people: you're afraid of sex.  Especially something where a woman is dominating a man. 
Ashley felt the need to ask me how I felt, and, God, I wish she wouldn't, because I was already smart enough to know we weren't going to agree.  I told her how I felt, that it wasn't that big of a deal, it wasn't really that strange, and that making something forbidden often just made it more desirable. 
She said how much she disapproved on this act.  Ashley disapproves of anything that people do that she wouldn't, and I think she is so judgemental and ridiculous.  I don't pretend for a moment that I should be running every aspect of everyone's life; I don't even have time for all the things I want to do with my life. 
"Maybe I'm a prude," she said at one point.  It was the most honest thing I heard that whole morning. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Parents Just Don't Understand

I happened upon this post about recently banned books.  I notice they're almost all young adult books, which makes me shake my head and quote a particularly great rapper: Parents just don't understand.

If you look at that list, you don't seen poetry books by Charles Bukowski or novels by John Updike.  No, it's the stuff that teens read.  I feel terrible having read only two of the books on that list, but some of these books weren't even out when I was a teen, and I can already tell you, my teen!self would be totally all over at least one of them just based on the title alone.
And if there's anything my parents failed to do, it was stopping me reading, especially if I decided I needed to read it.  I worked through a lot of romance novels and religious books as a teen because I wanted to. 
So, besides all the other problems with censoring books, I'm pretty sure it's a useless endeavor because bookish teens are usually the last people who are going to be told what they can't or shouldn't read.  And if anything probably encourages them, it's telling them no. I can say from personal experience that it is really easy to hide books from your parents.  I just removed the jackets of my Danielle Steele books and put all my religious books under the bed for easy night time access.  (That's right: normal teens put porn under their bed; I put The Book of Mormon.) 
So make sure you celebrate banned book week by doing something naughty: getting into bed with an "illicit" book.  Trust me when I say it doesn't have to be a dramatic choice like Story of O

Real Person Fanfiction

I told this story to Dan, Jimmy and Kristina, and I thought I'd share it with some of my other readers, since it's based on my experiences with real people.
"So, Alex is going to be a director and make movies.  Every time there's a premier, Nick is going to be all 'God!  Do we have to go to this movie!?!  Alex is a terrible director, and he's an even worse writer.'"
'He's not that bad.'
'Oh, please, you have no taste.'
But Nick will always still go, along with everyone else who likes Alex.  And every movie, there's going to be a character that is clearly based on Justin.  The person who will hate these characters the most?  Justin. 
'That Trustin character was hella annoying.  And fugly.  If I knew someone like that, I would just slap them in the face.'
I would turn to look at Dan and we would exchange a look.  'Justin,' I would say, as gently as possible.  'Trustin was based on you.'
'No he wasn't!  You're just being mean!'
'No, really, I think that-'
'You're wrong!  You're just trying to make me feel bad!' And then Justin would march out, slamming the door behind him.  And then-"
And then I stopped telling this story, realizing I was basically writing real person fanfiction.  Dan once told me that I read too much fanfiction and that it was affecting how I looked at people, and I must admit, it is changing how I view things.  But whereas Dan was viewing it as a bad thing, I'm thinking it's actually both a good and bad thing.  It's bad because, well, there's something really random and potentially creepy about these thoughts.  But it's also good because it allows me to take another angle at the people in my life.  It gives me a way of analyzing them but in a more creative way.  If that makes any sense.  Possibly this is one of those things that makes sense only to me, like my surreal poetry.  
And I think we should all be grateful that story was G rated.  I think we all know I'm capable of writing stories that are totally not. 

Lefty Loosey

A young girl and a mother came in.  They asked if I had anything with just Taylor Lautner and not the rest of the Twilight cast.  "No, we don't," I answered.  And then the young girl and I talked about how cute Lautner is.
This actually happens a lot.  Someone will come in asking for something, and it'll occur to me that "Oh, hey, we should sell that." 
I also broke one of the rules about work and called Dan.  Dan hates texting, which I really don't understand.  I don't text people I know who can't get texts or have to pay for them, but neither of these is true with Dan.
"I didn't think you were going to call my bluff," he said on the phone. 
"Yeah, well, I'm not suppose to be doing this.  If I have to put this down for a moment, that's why." 
Dan went into one of rants about why texting is a terrible medium for communication.  He carried on for a bit, complaining about how you can't get the timber of someone's voice. 
He brought up some good points, but the thing that hung in the back of my mind as he was talking was how much of my communication is written.  I'm a writer, so, duh, of course my communication often takes place in written form.  But even disregarding that, I spend a lot of time writing to people.  Obviously, I write on this blog.  I write emails and keep correspondences up with several friends (Ashley, Robert, Josie, Caryn and Jennifer as of right now.)  I even use instant messaging to talk to people, particularly Christine.  And then I texted about twenty-five people within the last week.  If I could only use my voice to communicate, I'd be cut off from a lot more people.  And I would miss them.  (And in some cases, would have trouble getting things done, since some of those communications are work-related and not just making small chat about lip piercings, made-up words, and homework.)  I didn't really get to making this argument back to him. 
A couple of customers kept asking me questions (which I didn't mind, because that's what I'm there for, dur.)  This ticked Dan off, and he hung up on me, which of course ticked me off.
I know that I explained where I was and how I was breaking the rules for him, I thought to myself.  But then I decided to carry on.  I can't let this kind of stuff bother me.  I've clearly got a full plate of drama.
Later on in the evening, a woman was asking me about a particular model we had out for people to try out.  It runs on batteries, and I noticed a small amount of liquid around that area.  My breath sort of held.  It looked like pop, but maybe I was wrong.  I told her it just needed new batteries. 
It took me a few minutes to take off the lid, just because it didn't adhere to the whole "righty tighty, lefty loosey" concept.  But even as I was trying to work it off, more liquid was coming out and all I could think was "Eww."
Midway through my battery incident, I turned around, an older woman was standing there.  I had one of those scare moments, but she just had a question. 
I finally opened it up, and indeed, there was a nasty oil over everything.  Great.  Someone had left these batteries in here so long they leaked out.  I picked them each out and discovered only one of them was spilling out, which I guess I should have been grateful for.  I picked up the two good ones and threw them into the recycling batteries bin.  I went to the back to get papertowel and lifted the bad, leaky battery.  And then used more paper towel to clean the rest of the mess up. 
Then I nearly face palmed over how stupid I was.  I was treating this like what happened when batteries exploded with white Manganese.  This wasn't that, and maybe I was doing something unsafe or unsanitary. 
I wasn't sure what to do then.  Who among my friends would possibly know what to do?  And then I realized the only answer: Dan. 
So I texted Dan, even though I know he hates texting.  I asked him what to do.  And then I waited.  About a half and hour later he texted me back, recommending baking soda.  Oh, bloody hell, I thought.  We can't even get enough room for our stock.  I sure as hell don't have baking soda, and of course, I'm working alone, so I can't even leave to try to find some nearby.
Maybe this is like one of those things where I can substitute something, like in baking.  So I texted him back asking if there was something else I could use.  He told me no.  Frak. 
So I ended up just doing what I had done and then leaving the model out for an extra half an hour to make sure it dried out.  And then I put new batteries in it and it worked, no problem. 
Speaking of batteries, this woman came in and demanded that I sell her batteries.  We don't sell batteries, but we use them in our models.  And we have gone weeks without them, because the boss hasn't purchased any.  So I didn't sell her any, and boy, did she let me know how much she disapproved of that.  A part of me felt like I should just sell her the batteries for an ungodly sum and pocket the money, but that would be dishonest. 
I've been closing a lot at work lately.  I think I would prefer to open, just because it involves less work.  I also wonder if my brain's just too tired to make things work, because after a shift of six or seven hours, it feels like I'm moving really slowly and in that sluggish way that signifies nothing good.  
It's also so cold where I work.  We're suppose to have the door open, and I try to keep it open for as long as possible.  Even after I put on a sweater I find myself shivering.  The good and bad thing about shutting the door is I think it makes some people think we're closed even though the lights are clearly on.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturdays in the Fall

I collapsed into Jimmy's arms.  It had been a while since I had a hug.
Someone observed to me a few weeks ago that Saturdays in the Fall are basically always holidays.  And today it certainly felt like it.  We were all going to watch football and hang out and have a good time.  Even my sister was in town.  She had asked me (me!) for advice on alcohol, so I got her some peach schnapps and orange juice and told her she was going to love Fuzzy Navels.  Most women do. 
The hallway flooded with various young'uns who were going to the game.  They were dressed in their gear, and I got hugs from people I knew, all surprised to see me there.  I met several of the new freshmen, one of whom is super proud of his Polish heritage.  Man.  Freshmen just keep getting younger and younger.    
Paul, Jimmy, Kristina, Dan and I all sat in Jimmy's room, chatting it up.  Apparently some of the freshmen girls decided to decorate people's doors with silly nicknames.  For example, they're calling Jeff Diesel now, which just weirds me out, because I went to high school with a boy nicknamed Diesel and I hated him.
The nickname thing brings up how I have lots of nicknames for certain friends.  I told everyone the story of how, over the summer, I had decided my superhero persona was The Giver, because I gave people nicknames.  And then I told Jimmy he should be my sidekick, Sensitive Man, because then he could tell me if my nicknames were insensitive or not. 
"And then," I said, finishing up my story "Jimmy goes 'Will you still call me Juicebox?'" Everyone laughed. 
"You know how you call me Honey?" I asked Dan. 
"Oh, I'm sorry.  Everyone in my family does that.  We call each other all of those names."
"Oh no, I'm not angry about it.  I was just going to tell you that I like it when you call me Honey.  It sounds nice in your voice." 
And then the conversation shifted to something else, and I never got a chance to tell Dan that I had been working on a nickname for him, and I was thinking about calling him Dan Nobilissimus.  It is Latin for most noble, and when I had been reading about it, it had kind of struck me as an appropriate faux title for him.  I had considered going with Christianissimus (Most Christian) after reading about the title for Kings of France, but decided that I'm unclear about Dan's religious beliefs, something more secular was in order. 
We decided to go out to one of the bars, so after getting all dressed in appropriate wear, we headed out.  (Nate had given me the key to his room by "accidentally" losing it in Paul's room.)  Being a pseudo-holiday, everything was in full swing.  Walking along, I was so excited and happy.  We stopped for a little while to hear the band play some songs.  I danced a little. 
We ran into Justin and talked briefly.  He looks great, as always.  I can't believe how adult and grown up he is. 
As we walked along, I even spotted one of my TAs from four years ago.  We greeted each other. 
We went really early to the bar because we were afraid of getting seats, but we waited less than five minutes for a hightop table.  The one lone guy standing there looked completely out of it, and his buddy came over and yelled at him.  (Something about a cell phone, it was hard to hear.)  And then they left, which of course means a woman came over and sat a large glass of beer in front of me. 
"Should I drink it?" I asked everyone.  Everyone voted no. 
We had a nice time.  I scared everyone right off the bat by drinking two shots of whiskey in a row.  And then following it with a Long Island Ice Tea. 
Being as I am a fan of Long Island Ice Teas, I have them a lot, and they are not all equal.  This particular bar had ones that made me happy, so I knew I wanted to have one.  Paul ordered one too, and I thought for a moment about how this was the bar where I first turned Paul on to these.  I know just about nothing about alcohol, so it's strange that anyone would take my advice on the subject. 
We watched the first half of the game there.  There was a lot of excitement and cheering.  I nearly hit a waitress in the face when I threw my arms out.
We had planned to leave at halftime and walk home, but Paul left early.  Paul's sometimes does that, and I didn't think anything of it.  I just enjoyed my wings, fries, and Red Headed Slut.  I've had really good Red Headed Sluts, but this one was terrible.
We did leave home at halftime.  I paid about twenty four dollars for four alcoholic drinks, pop, wings, and fries, which is by far the best I've done at a bar before.  This was gloriously good.
Meanwhile, behind us, several guys were hanging out.  They were drinking, but they weren't drunk.  One of the guys was getting his friends to slap him across the face.  When this group of guys saw that we were about to leave, they asked for our table, and we happily gave it to them.  After all, that's how we had gotten the table and I'm a big believer in East Lansing manners.
As we were about to leave, I turned to the guy who was taking slaps.  "Can I slap you?" I asked. 
I pulled back and whack! right on his left cheek.  I aimed it perfectly, my fingers just hitting the area above his beard, getting my upper palm right on the thickest part of his face.  It pleasantly stung my hand.  Dan, Jimmy and Kristina looked at me like I was crazy. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Medicine and Minds

Went to hang out at my Grandma's today.  It was mostly uneventful.  My Mom showed me how to give her breathing medicine.  Basically, my Grandma now needs to get hooked up to this device that puts a medicine into air and she breaths it in.  I'm not actually sure what it's for, but my Mom was giving me directions about it as I tried to eat my dinner and watch Criminal Minds.  "Can I eat my dinner in peace?" I wanted to ask, but refrained. 
It occurred to me (earlier) before my Mom was showing me this new kind of medicine, that I like Criminal Minds for a couple of different reasons, and not solely because of Dr. Reid.  I like that, even though the world is a dark and terrible place, all the characters on the show respect each other, and a lot of them have affections for one another.  There's something rather family like about them, and they sort of remind me of some of my groups of friends.  I also like how there are always literary quotes scattered throughout the show.
I think maybe it's time I learn how to use a needle.  My Grandma occasionally needs injections, and it's another way I could help.  I'm a little scared to use a needle, especially on my Grandma, who busies easily.  I don't want to hurt her (even accidentally) and she has a tendency to fixate on her bruises. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In My Face

I was working with Danielle, who I've worked with a couple of times before and is really nice.  Based on the last time we hung out, I had some questions for her about how the last few days had gone (since in that time she had classes and dates she was looking forward too.)  I didn't really mean to come up with a list of questions (the way Ryan does), but I realized about two minutes after she first came in that I did.  She's very talkative, which is nice, but I only got through a couple of my questions before two of her guy friends came in and wanted to hang with her. 
We were busy, but it was okay.  I spent my time wandering around, straightening things on the shelves and talking to customers.  I'm pretty good at remembering who I talk to, so I always make a point at going up to customers early on and asking if they need help finding something.  Most of the time they don't, but sometimes someone asks for something and I do my best. 
It was mostly uneventful.  Several young boys came in and reeked the window display so that it looked like several things were having sex.  I gave them my best school marm looks, and they thankfully left.  And then I fixed the display. 
Danielle was a little upset because she was afraid that she was going to have to work on her birthday.  She got a call from the boss while we were there that she could have the day off, and she was very grateful.  One of our other co-workers, Lucy, came in to see us, bringing Danielle a drink and her birthday present, a necklace with a bird on it.
"I love birds!" she exclaimed. 
Lucy brought a male friend with her who's name I didn't catch. 
"You're Lucy's boyfriend?" I asked while shaking his hand. 
"Oh, no."  Okay. 
Near the end of the night, one guy had this tendency to get right up into my face.  Later, I remembered Dan once complaining about my tendency to get up into his face.  He's the only person who's ever complained about that with me, but I think I understand now why it bothers him.  A lot of men do that to me, and it's a little creepy. 
He was one of the last people in the store.  (Fifteen minutes after closing!  For the love of God, please, leave!)  He asked Danielle at one point if she worked out.  He talked her ear off, and I wished he would just go.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Working Women

At work two days ago, a man came in looking for a product that my Grandfather used to love.  My Grandfather has been dead for many years now, and hearing this man talk about, who was also almost certainly a Grandfather himself, made me strangely sad. 
I don't think about my Grandfather too often, and usually when I do, it's not in a way that affects my mood. 
It makes me so happy when people in the store are happy or nice to me.  Yesterday, a woman named Jenny came in who gushed over our stuff, telling me how much she liked it.  She talked my ear off about her life, telling me about her sons in their late twenties and what they like to drink and mentioning that her husband has cancer.  She told me all sorts of things that I never knew. 
I'm not sure why, but I relate well to random older women.  Everyone talks about age gaps and generational differences, and I'm sure there are some, but the only people I consistently feel that with are my parents.  Otherwise, I've had plenty of opportunities over the years to do things like giggle over how much we like Keeping Up Appearances or beans on toast or chatting about creative writing.  I like old ladies, which makes me confident that one day I'm going to be a great old lady. 
I told Jenny she should considering working there, since we're hiring.  At first she was like "Oh, no," and then I could see the idea forming in the back of her mind, like watching a flower bloom in real time.  I suspect she probably will consider it, and if she does work there, I'll be happy for the coworker.  
In other work news, I came in yesterday to find Ashley at the counter (which we're not suppose to do unless we're doing something that specifically has to be done behind the counter) reading a book (which I've never heard anyone say we couldn't do, but I've never heard anyone say we could.)  I decided not to comment on the book situation, because it's not my business and because I probably wouldn't want Ashley telling me how to do my job. 
Right before she left, Ashley turned to me.  "Don't you have a book?"
I did, actually, in my purse, but that's because I try not to go anywhere now without carrying some reading material along.  But I didn't want to get it out and I sort of skirted around it. 
"There's nothing else to do," she commented.  "We can't clean anymore and all the stock's out."
That was true, though I managed to find stuff to do.  I flipped over a puzzle and made in upside down, which was challenging, but I managed to muddle through it after two hours.  And then, after that, I worked on replacing a few extra things sitting in back by putting them on the shelves.  It didn't even occur to me to get a book. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Family Project

My Mom told me a few days ago that she wants to make getting me into graduate school "a family project."  No thanks.
As much as I like where I ended up, I'm still angry and bitter at them for forcing me to go there.  Even though I had decent grades and had offers to try elsewhere, my family wouldn't hear of it.  They were too concerned for what was good for them to care about what might be good for me.  I don't think I'm ever forgiving them for cajoling me into those circumstances, especially after they have spent so much lip service carrying on about how important education is to them, and how they always support their children.  Please. 

And then my Dad felt the need to tell me that he wanted to meet with my professors to talk to them about this.  First off, I don't think my Dad (or Mom) deserve to meet anyone from school.  I was involved in extra curricular activities and they had plenty of opportunities to come to those, which they rarely did, even though I invited them.  They could have easily met people there, but I feel like now, especially after events in which very publicly, I was the only one without a family, they don't really deserve that opportunity. 
Also, I'm angry that my Dad can't just accept that what I'm saying is true.  I've spent the last four years or so working on either getting into graduate school or working on plan B, which was entering the publishing industry.  I went to lectures, and I have experience.  Mostly, I think my Dad just doesn't want to give in, and would rather make me do a program I don't want to do because I would waste another at least another two years instead of doing things I want to do. 
I'd appreciate some support, sure, but my parents are never really interested in what I want, and, frankly, dealing with them is just another distraction I don't need.  At least when I was at school they weren't around so I didn't have to worry about them.  They're not really about supporting me, they're about doing what is easy.  I am never a priority when I need them, but when they decide they don't like something, that's when they pay attention and meddle. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Channel Surfing

School is starting again for everyone else, and so my Mom, Dad and I had to move a bunch of stuff in to the townhouse my sister's living in this year.  I was a little annoyed, since my sister didn't actually come this trip to move stuff.  She had to study, which also apparently including going out with her friends to a festival.
After I did some small things around the house, my Mom told me there wasn't anything else to do, so I was stuck there.  So I ended up watching tv, something I don't usually just do.  I have my shows that I'm crazy about, and that's what I watch, but I don't channel surf too often. 
I ended up on Criminal Minds, which I've decided (after about four episodes,) I like.  I like mysteries and police procedurals, and obviously have watched a lot of Law and Order, so this isn't surprising.
Also unsurprising: I'm enamored of Dr. Reid.  I don't usually think of myself as having a type, other than to say I love a smart man.  And Dr. Reid has all sorts of degrees and a mind that solves puzzles.  Hot.  Also, he's all dark and broody because he's afraid his mind is potentially dangerous.  So, basically, nerd plus Angel.  Love it.  Oh, and did I mention he has fabulous hair? 
Speaking of great minds: Bazinga, I am in love with Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PhD.  I really don't need to watch anymore tv, but I made the mistake of coming across the fanfiction, and, actually, yes, I prefer the fanfiction to the actual show.  There's something very mean spirited about the show.  None of the male characters seem to like each other that much, they just sort of tolerate one another.  And so much of the humor on the show is "Tee-hee!  These guys are nerds!  They have no self-awareness!"  Oh, and I'm annoyed that the one female character's a moron.  I hang out with a lot of nerds (sorry, guys, it's true), and much of the interactions ring false.  I guess I can't expect these guys to come off as charming and ultimately family-like to one another the want all my nerd friends do. 
But Sheldon himself is intriguing and bizarrely charming.  His accent, which I've honestly never heard, directly subverts the stereotypes about nerds.  And he is unabashedly himself, which I find admirable in a world where everyone's trying to sell themselves all the time. 
Fangirling it up sort of makes up for what I really wanted to do that day which was 1.) Go to a concert or 2.) Sleep.  (In that order.)  My Mom reminded me that my sister helped me move out, but that's not the same as I asked her not to come and was actually there for it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meltdowns and Mistakes

Ashley and I have been working a lot together the last week (which is part of why I haven't been posting as much lately.  Sorry, guys.  Will try to do better in the future.)  Mostly, work's been fine.
We do have the occasional child meltdown, which I always feel bad about.  A woman with three kids, two older boys and the youngest, a girl, came in. The girl was told she could choose only one thing, and she immediately began to cry.  (It was later in the day, so that might have been part of it.)  Watching her face crumble made me so bad for anyone. 
Another woman asked me for help finding something, so I walked with her to another part of the store to find her something.  She had thankfully asked for something I knew exactly where it was. 
"Do you get criers a lot?" she asked. 
"Just today."
"Oh, you're a saint!" 
Just hearing that (especially from a woman who looked like a Mom) made me feel a lot better. 
The next day, an older woman was looking for a certain thing, and I led her to that area of the store.  I noticed that some, though not every one of them, were marked 75% off.  When ever anything is marked like that, it goes on certain shelves, and this was not one of them.  I couldn't tell the woman that she wouldn't get her discount, but I took the others off the shelf and asked her to excuse me.
I went into the back and gave them to one of the other people working there, explaining things.  Then I called the boss and took directions from her about it.  ("Leave them in back, I'll fix it.")  And then I went back out on the floor and rung her stuff up for her. 
She told me as I was doing that she had worked as a head hunter for a large corporation for twenty some years, and that I had handled myself like a professional.  She said she was really impressed and she would totally hire me, if she could. 
And then this nice old lady just walked out. 
This is one of the things that I've been (happily) surprised with: people can be so nice!  (People have also been rude and difficult at this job, but I expected that.)  The nice people make me feel so good. 
So, nice people: keep shopping.  It makes our days better.