Feces… possibly of canine origin…
My career (if you can call it that) is one that is firmly grounded in the customer service industry. This is not so much the result of conscious decision-making as it is the consequence of having two degrees in a field that no one on the outside (of the field) gives a damn about: fine art. I find this ironic, as the
sophism bullshit I beheld in the many student critiques I have had the (mis)fortune of attending over the years in art school, can does qualify me to work in the upper echelons of public service. There is no better place to learn how to spin shit into Shinola than art school. Period. That said, I do not think even I could (or even care to try to) redress the damage our current Chimp in Chief has unfurled on the international community. So it goes.
While the pay to be had working in customer service is generally poor, as are the working conditions (disgrunted lunatics yelling at you 40+ hours a week), it is not entirely without its benefits.
Case in point:
Having nine months to burn between completing my BFA and starting my MFA, I entered the world of temporary employment. The first (and only) assignment I had was in a workmens compensation unit whose clientele consisted of fast food restaurant employees. This unit had gone through at least five temps (one of which went into labor on her first day and another arrived one day wearing a tiara); I (with my stellar 35 words per minute typing speed) proved to be the right “fit”. The people I worked with were fantastic, by far the best I have ever had encountered— which was a good thing, given the (bull)shit we all had to deal with every day.
It is a commonly held belief that fast food workers are not the brightest bulbs to be found. My experiences at this job did absolutely nothing to refute this. If anything, it (re)affirmed this urban myth in spades. Every day I fielded phone calls and retrieved the new claims that copiously spewed forth from the fax machine. A few of my all time faves are as follows:
- An employee who (for reasons one can only imagine) burned his ass with oven cleaner.
- A fist fight between two female employees who harbored amorous sentiments towards the store manager.
- A drive-thru window employee who got punched out (through the drive-in window) by a customer.
The list goes on and on…
I also handled a lot of inquiries that were erroneously sent to my unit’s office. Customer claims, mostly. I do not think I will ever forget the day I was eating my lunch (Mexican food) at my desk when a call came in: it was a manager asking who he should contact regarding a customer’s complaint of having “explosive fits of diarrhea” after eating his restaurant’s product. After ditching the remains of my lunch in the garbage can, I told him who to call. But this pales in comparison to the following “turd” that circulated in my department.
Per the nastygram I opened from some attorney’s office, it seems that a woman in Rio Rancho, New Mexico bought a take out meal from Taco Culo* and took it home to her family. After taking a second bite into her taco, mamasan discovered a bad taste and “unusual” texture. Not being able to decipher the source of said bad taste or unusual texture on her own, she summoned the professionals: the New Mexico Department of Health. Being the crack professionals that they are, the NMDOH concluded that the foreign object in this taco malo was a “long piece of feces… probably of feline origin”.
My husband and I (collectively) have five cats. Yes, cinco gatos. And to this day I (still) find it incomprehensible that anyone, A-N-Y-O-N-E, would require more than a sniff— much less, more than one bite— of a food item in order to determine that it has cat shit in it.
Which brings me to the “Dung of the Day”. I found this big boy next door to our apartment building. My husband says it’s human, but I’m not too sure. It looks too firm to be bum shit. Enjoy!
*As it happened, years later my parents moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. One of the first things I did when I visited there was dine at this very establishment. My mother drove me, as I did not have a valid driver’s license. There was no shit, human, feline, canine, or otherwise, to be found in my food. Then again, I was very, VERY polite to the restaurant staff. I didn’t even complain when they fucked up my order.