Monday, May 24, 2010

When People Stand Too Close to You While Waiting In Line

Schoolwork has been keeping me too busy to write about all the things I hate, but yesterday I decided I hated that so here I am. Plus, yesterday I really hated something enough for me to put homework down for a few minutes.

I was waiting at CVS to pick up a prescription. There is a little counter and when it's your turn you approach the counter, talk to the pharmacist, get your meds and go on your merry way. I didn't have any particular questions about the medication I was picking up, but sometimes people do. Like the time I thought I had Lyme Disease and my doctor put me on doxycycline just in case. I had a whole bunch of questions because I was told not to eat dairy but then the pill bottle said not to eat anything. (As a side note, if you ever have to go on Doxy, don't take it on a totally empty stomach. Eat a few crackers. It is quite rough on the stomach and booting at school is pretty lame.) Anyway, long story short, I had to ask the pharmacist some questions. Doxycycline isn't really a medication that people would be embarrassed about, but sometimes people have to go on somewhat embarrassing medications. Eg. Viagra, Plan B, Prozac, Flomax... or maybe a person had a question about an over the counter medication such as yeast infection treatment or hemorrhoid cream. For this reason while at a pharmacy and waiting in line for your turn it is courteous to stand back several feet while the person ahead of you is speaking with the pharmacist. So why did the man yesterday insist on not only declining to give me enough room for privacy but stand so close to me that he was almost touching me?? The same thing happened at Trader Joe's later that day. Maybe it was the same jerk, I don't know, I didn't see his face. At TJs there isn't exactly the same issue of privacy, but seriously, you do not need to be standing in my shadow. The line will not go any faster if you step on the back of my shoe or hit me in the back repeatedly with your basket full of nuts and dried fruit. I'm not saying you should stand 4 feet back, but please, give me at least a foot! Sometimes I will back up suddenly and try to step on the person's toes just to let them know their behavior is inappropriate.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Recycling Failures

I'm not actually that smart. If you read my post about how I can forget things right in front of my door, you probably already agree with that statement. Or maybe this story will convince you: Last weekend after a road trip, I went to go pull my bags out of the trunk and in the process I lost my car keys. I knew they couldn't have gone far because we had literally just pulled up to my building. I checked my pockets repeatedly, checked in the car, emptied my purse, looked under the car, under the seats, in the trunk... I was panicking thinking that some how I had dropped them, not heard them fall (recall my ability to go temporarily deaf, blind and unbalanced from the post cited above), and then someone walking by had stolen them thinking I would not notice. Well, they were actually in the key slot for the trunk because I had used them to unlock my trunk. Yes, literally right in front of my face.

Despite the fact that I should probably not be allowed out in public without a chaperone who can help me find my lost items and keep me from hating on everything that crosses my path, I have managed to figure out the complex system that is recycling. I know it's tough, deciding whether something is garbage, paper or plastic/glass/metal, but if I have mastered this concept, I'm sure the people of the world can, too. I'm not sure why it is so difficult to tell the difference between paper and plastic, but it seems to be a common problem in society.

Here is an example of a recycling fail that made me particularly angry. Last night I went to empty my recycling into the communal recycling bin in my building. There is one person on my floor who does not understand the concept of recycling. I often walk in the little garbage room to find a Trader Joe's paper bag full of recyclable and non-recyclable items all jumbled together. Used paper plates, newspapers, wrappers, milk jugs, water bottles, toilet paper rolls... just all in one bag. Last night I took a little peek in the bag as I was adjusting it to make room for my own plastic/glass/metal things, and I found a full, unopened container of buttermilk. The issues I have with this finding are numerous. First of all, that buttermilk could have been used to make delicious pancakes. Secondly, milk/juice containers like that go in paper recycling. And thirdly, you can't recycle a full container of something. Okay? You can't recycle the actual buttermilk, just the container it is in. You can't take old buttermilk and melt it down to make recycled buttermilk. It doesn't work that way. It would have taken about 30 seconds to open the container, pour it down the sink (or into pancake batter which would have been my choice but whatever), give the container a little rinse, and put it in the paper recycling.

Recycling fails always make me angry. I just don't understand why it seems so complicated to people. You can look up specific information for your town which describes exactly what you can (eg. newspaper) and cannot (eg. used paper plates) recycle. They even make little charts with pictures on them. But perhaps the person described above needs just a little more help. Perhaps some of you out there reading this need some help with your own recycling. In order to help you, I created a simple little test so you can tell the difference between the two main types of recycling. Have someone hurl the item in question at your head. If it hurts a lot, put it in the plastic/glass/metal bag. If it doesn't hurt so much, put it in paper. If you live alone I would be happy to assist you with this project by throwing your recyclables at your head. It's the least I can do. Just let me find my keys...

Update (July 29, 2010): Last night the recycling bin contained a whole plastic plant, with the ceramic pot and wicker basket included. I think it was from the same geniuses who brought us the buttermilk incident, but I have little to no proof. I have since drafted a poster instructing people what they can (magazines! empty boxes! soda cans!) and cannot (Light bulbs! Buttermilk! FAKE PLANTS!) recycle.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When You Leave Something By Your Front Door and Forget it Anyway

Last night I had to go to a meeting at the state medical society. I didn't want to be late so I specifically left extra early to account for rush hour traffic. I got on the Pike and started driving, thinking to myself how traffic was bad but not horrible and that I should get there in plenty of time. I was about 15 minutes into my drive when I came to a horrible realization. The shopping bag full of end-of-the-year gifts for which I was responsible was still in my apartment. I cursed a lot and then got off at the next exit, only to realize I wasn't exactly sure where I was. Of course then all of the traffic lights were against me, people kept cutting me off, and I cursed a lot more on my way home. I finally rush in the door, grab the bag, run back outside, and go on my way. I managed to only be 20 minutes late to the meeting despite all of this because I had left so early in the first place, but still... I was supposed to be early.
I wish I could say that this was a one-time event, but it wasn't. This happens to me all the time. I still don't know how I can place something immediately in front of the only door to my apartment and still ignore it on the way out the door. I must have literally done a flying leap out of my apartment last night because that is the only way I could have avoided tripping over the bag on my way out. Or I temporarily lost all of my senses so that I was blind and couldn't see the bag, deaf so I couldn't hear myself tripping on the bag, and without my inner ear's sense of balance so that I could not feel myself falling over. It frustrates and angers me to no end that I have this incredible talent for ignoring all objects in my path to the front door, because I have to turn around at least 2-3x a month to get something I have forgotten. This morning I forgot my T pass and had to turn around halfway to the T stop to go get it. You may think this is not a big deal but someone let me into medical school and I'm pretty sure forgetfulness is not really a desirable skill for a doctor.