Welcome to the builder’s bum… estimate! You gave me a quote and I agreed with the number listed under total – how the hell did you manage to find so many extra things to do that I’m suddenly four thousand dollars over it? I asked for a quote so I knew what to expect, jackass, not so you could play the lottery with my money. You have no problem demolishing; oh no, that takes five seconds. But to actually finish things? I’ve been waiting for 3 months! And now you want to get snippy with me when I don’t offer you the check BEFORE I get what I’m paying for? Maybe if you managed to get it right the first time – without trying to wring me for the last penny in my pocket – I’d be more willing to part with it, but from where I’m standing, this job ain’t finished and you ain’t getting paid for something that’s not done.
Sarah, retail, Washington Heights.
Tut tut, guys, United We Stand
There is a woman at my job, let’s call her Fern. Fern is my superior, not necessarily my boss, but within the same rank. No matter what I am doing, she has the uncanny knack to put me down for something. At first I thought it was just me, but then I saw how she behaved toward my female co-workers as well and it confirmed my suspicions. She doesn’t like women. She’s subconsciously threatened by the presence of other vaginas in the room. It’s like she feels backed into a corner and therefore always needs to come out swinging, asserting her dominance in the room so no one can even come close. It’s beyond rude. It’s further than condescending, it’s borderline harassment and verbal abuse. If I wasn’t so broke, I’d quit my job. Then I’d kick her ass.
Mary, machinist, Bronx
Ah! Those little bundles of… Joy?
Parents of the World: Your iPhone is not a pacifier. Your iPad is not a blankie. If you can’t figure out that your little thing keeps talking because it is unhappy because it’s being made to sit through the loud movie you’ve been dying to see (and DISTURBING EVERYONE IN THE THEATER), you aren’t fit to be a parent. And if I see another portable DVD player while I’m eating at a nice restaurant, I’m going to up-end your table. I’m sorry you chose to burden yourselves with a small thing that cries, screams, and wiggles a lot, but that was your choice and now you have to make some sacrifices. And sacrifices mean that if you can’t get a babysitter, you may not be able to go to that new Thai place that opened up last month. Bringing the ankle-biter and sticking a DVD in front of it doesn’t make your child any more pleasant to be around – and having to listen to the DVD play is NOT what I’m looking for while I’m trying to eat with my friend. If your kid is at that stage where they don’t enjoy eating out, guess what? Too. Damn. Bad.
Maxine, server, LES
Cab Drvers of the World, UNITE!
What happened to the cab drivers who used to pick you up and drop you off at your destination without saying a word to you? I miss those brave men and women who I could blindly trust with my life to remain silent for the duration of the journey while I politely ignored them. We would travel together in this blissfully comfortable silence that just coincidentally had a transaction at the end of the ride. But now, they talk about the shitty weather or their shitty kids or whatever they used to do with their shitty lives in whatever shitty country they’re from, before they ended up in New York City as a cab driver. Well, buddy, here’s the honest truth. I really don’t care. I don’t care to discuss the current state of Mother Nature. I am completely apathetic towards the unlucky offspring you brought into this world. And I sure as shit don’t care about who were way back when because of who you are now. I’m a paying customer and you’re providing me a beneficial service, so would you kindly just shut the fuck up and drive.
Rudy, fishmonger, Queens
Gobshites of the world UNITE !
Niceties have come to bother me lately. If you say something that offends someone else, don’t try and cover your ass so much. Be genuine. Explain yourself rather than try and cover yourself and in turn make yourself look like a bumbling idiot. You’re never going to please everyone, ever. So why pretend, or stress yourself out, trying to do so? On the other hand, if you make a sweeping generalization, and someone calls you out on it, take the blow of being wrong— there’s nothing wrong with that either. Don’t just ramble and try and make yourself right!
Rich, gobshite, Hendon
Strangers in the Night
It’s so awkward when you see someone you’ve met a long time ago and you act like you don’t know each other. I am so guilty of this, mainly if I don’t remember their name or where I remember them from. But is it better to act like I don’t know you, or possibly offend you with not knowing where I know you from? In turn, how many times I’ve gotten around to finally talking to these people, and they remember exactly who I am and exactly where they know me from. Why wouldn’t you just say hey? Why act like I need to make the first move in reacquainting us? If I remembered, I’d definitely say something to you! But I can’t tell if I’m the bad person of the situation for having the terrible memory…
Frank, singer, Hoboken
Hey, Hey Good Lookin’…
Attractive people, men and women, tend to travel in packs. Attractive friends, often have attractive siblings. Every so often, those good looking genes skip a generation, but for the most part, mother nature is good and just. But what are the rules on dating or sleeping with a friend’s sibling or a sibling’s friend–are they off limits or are they fair game? Normally, it’s “Back the fuck up.” But now and then, there are these occasions that warrant revisiting the original friend clauses you signed when your friendship first began. Situations get so sticky (pun intended) that you have to mentally lawyer up in order to prevent physical repercussions, as in beatings from your friends.
Katherine, entrepreneur, Hong Kong
Things That Go BUMP In The Night
So last Halloween got off work in the West Village at around 1:30am. Good fucking times. So not only is it late, it’s late on the sketchiest night of the year, in one of the most eccentric neighborhoods in NYC. Now I am one of those people that isn’t afraid of late night transit. Living in the city that never sleeps, you either make it part of your lifestyle, or you make a shit ton of money and take cabs all the time. Now, it’s late, I’m tired, and I’m waiting for the subway. It arrives, on time, I love the 1 train (When in doubt, take the 1 train). I step into the subway car, and as I’m readjusting my bag on my lap, I take a gander at my surroundings, preparing to scope out the hot mess costumers either headed home or onto the next bar. Instead, I get a much more frightening picture. Not only is no one in costume, I realize that I am the only female on the subway car. I am surrounded by at least a dozen men. It is the most undesirable position to be in as a woman. My guard instantly went up. And unconsciously, all of the sexual assault headlines that I have ever read in my entire life start popping in my brain. “The woman in India who got gang raped on a bus.” “The woman who was raped and stabbed to death who ultimately brought awareness to the bystander effect.” It was worse than paranoia. Why? Because it that type of fear is completely justifiable based on the insurmountable evidence that besides breast cancer, men pose the greatest threat to women’s health, mentality, and physical well being. It I love my job, I love this city, I love the subway…just not at 1am when I have to be in constant fear for my life.
Laurie, tv researcher, midtown
Two Timing Gal
Have My Cake… And Eat It! This particular phrase is pertinent to dating, or rather promiscuous dating. Dating two guys at once can be perilous sure; but not if you know what you’re doing. I’m currently dating two men (about to tack on a third, but that’s beside the point). They live in different boroughs, which means they live in completely different worlds, if not opposing universes. I like both of these men, equally, but for quite contradictory reasons. They are total opposites, nothing alike. And what can I say? Dating is sort of like fashion; we women like to have options. So until it blows up in my face, don’t bother me, I’m eating cake.
Sue, pr, Clinton
Subterranean Homesick Blues
Its 8am or 9 for you luckier ones and you’re going into the subway. There’s about forty people stuffing themselves down the stairs of the station, all on the same side, because we are going the same way, at least for a little while. Familiar image for many I am sure. You are going along your not-so-merry way when there seems to be a sudden tidal wave in the herd, everyone is pushing to the side stepping on foreign heels and loafers and the flow is stopped as are you. Well it’s all for that one adventurous non-conformist who has decided not to go up the side of the stairs that is obviously meant for the few who make their way up and venture into the crowd to go against the grain. Yes, we will all surely survive this one but for those of us for whom a bagel and coffee isn’t enough to mitigate the early morning snappishness, it can seriously cramp your style. I am all for independence and I agreethat the commute is always a little robotic but we all get to work like sardines so what can we do but stay in line and try not to throw the whole process out of balance. Don’t be a subway maverick. Come on now.
I’m no Michael Moore so I will refrain from ranting on and on and on about the evil semantics of the American healthcare system but 2000 dollars a month? I couldn’t possibly need enough pap smears and teeth cleanings to justify that. Michelle, nurse, Flatiron
Friends that flake.
You know, those people in your life who you genuinely enjoy spending time with–that is whenever you actually see them, of course. You always invite them to events, big or small, on the Hail Maryof a chance that they’ll show up. Which they almost never do. To quote Anchorman, “60% of the time, it works, every time.” Even when they initiate plans with you, they always bail. Whether it’s the day of or only an hour prior to go-time, you can basically predict the text that reads, “Hey, sorry, I totally forgot (insert bullshit excuse here). Can we raincheck?” And when they first flake, it’s no big deal, because hey, shit happens. But once they drop the plans you both have had on your calendar for weeks for what seems like the millionth time, it’s time to re-evaluate how much you value this person in your life. For those of you that are like me, the people that invite these oath-breakers out of sheer courtesy, start to ween them off your guest list. You’ve made it clear that you want to seem them. Let them prove how much they want to see you. They’ll either get the hint, or they’ll step into that black hole that contains everyone and everything you’ve forgotten since you were 5. You get your friend back, or you move on with your life. Win-win.
Nicky, healthcare, SI
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