Posted tagged ‘tulsa’

Less than full service

March 21, 2010

This morning, Lady T & I set out to have breakfast at a local haunt.  With a light snow adding to the few inches already on the ground, we weren’t sure what to expect trafficwise inside the diner.  When we arrived, we were not too surprised to see the place sparsely populated but were surprised to see more staff behind the counter than customers in the restaurant. 

We were warmly welcomed by a busser who brought us coffee & menus.  After a small wait, we received an oddly warm greeting from a waitress with whom we only have a negative memory: a previous encounter began with being seated in her section & not seeing her for at least 15 minutes.  We had to chase down other staff for drinks, menus, her presence, etc.  That happened a while back & having worked food service in my past & having experienced its difficulties, I tended to think of it as an isolated incident. 

We placed our orders & the food shortly arrived, delivered by 2 other servers.  During the course of our meal, we never received that usually obnoxious “how is everything?” interaction from our server.  In fact, we received no interaction from her.  We received refills from another server & had to chase down a busser for our check.  Yet another server came to our table & apologized that due to the slow number of customers, presumably caused by the snow, our waitress had gone home!! It was only at this moment that I remembered seeing her leave during our meal, carrying a bag, and thinking to myself, “Huh. I didn’t know they did deliveries.”

Now, I understand sending staff home when it is slow but she left while she still had customers!  Even after we received the check, my wave of empathy for servers was impairing what should have been a clear choice to not leave a tip: “Would the tip go to her? Did the staff work on tipshare? Would the tip go to the server who wrote our check?”  For the first time that I can remember, I didn’t leave a tip.  Clearly, she didn’t care too much about receiving it.

Even though we had received such awful (and frankly no) service, it was still difficult to walk without tipping.  Food service is a shitty, thankless job that everyone should be legally mandated to do at some point in their life.  My brother is currently suffering in its clutches I don’t envy his plight for one second.  However, ditching your customers mid-shift, customers who usually tip well at that, just ain’t right.  I’m hoping we don’t happen upon her as our server again as I usually don’t feel like dealing with conflict on Sunday mornings unless it involves a Wiimote.

A sales delight

March 20, 2010

Being the white people that we are, Lady T & I decided to do some shopping for the new place.  She has “helped me” liquidate some of my current furnishings (a couch, love seat, dresser & 8 grocery bags of clothing) in order to make room for new stuff, namely living room furniture.  We made our Hajj to Ikea in Frisco, TX to find some stylish, appropriately middle-classed fare.  After a couple of hours in the store, our cause was lost.  Yes, we picked up some knick-knacks, but we needed some serious items! A chair(s)! A couch! A coffee table! A mattress! A futon for the guest room! (note: we’re both technically opposed to the idea of a futon but after sleeping on a futon from Ikea, we were willing to reconsider)

All of our dreams for those items collapsed.  None of the couches were right.  The mattress, being too large for the car, only shipped in-state & to ship it to Tulsa would be $318 for shipping & handling alone.  We couldn’t find a chair we both liked although I’m laying the groundwork for this bad boy. (Lady T: if you’re reading this, I value your opinion & in no way mean anything sinister with that previous sentence.  Kisses!)   We realized once we sat on the futons: “Oh, that’s right! We hate futons! We forgot!”

Heading back to T-town with our heads hanging low, we decided to hit some local furniture stores.  As fate would have it, we drove all the way to Frisco & back (just from OKC) in one day to realize the furniture we wanted was in Tulsa.  We first visited the giant fustercluck that is Mathis Brothers.  We were immediately pounced upon by the salesman who “moved the most inventory last year but I’m not knocking these other guys…but I’m the best.”  Literally: these were his words.

After escaping his grasp, we wandered around & found a couple of chairs we liked.  As soon as our asses hit the fabric,  salesman #2 appeared with the kind of stealth to make Voldemort look like Helen Keller in an antique shop.  He was able & willing to give us the status update on these chairs, the special they were running, the sales pitch & a litany of other facts.  We said thanks & kept looking.

Wandering over to the beds, we laid down on one, only to be interrupted by salesman #3.  He blathered about sleep stages, delta sleep & his position as the top mattress salesman.  His 5 minute pitch gave me Lady T ample time to bury plenty of farts into the floor model.  We rose from the bed & made our way around the store, chatting about our options.  Without having to look too hard, we noticed salesman #3 hovering quite closely.  We made our way back to the chairs we liked & again, as soon as our asses hit the fabric, salesman #3 sat in a chair right across the aisle from us, no more than 7 feet away!

He just sat there silently while we talked & gave him nervous peripheral glances.  As soon as we looked right at him, he started up again.  Deciding that we wanted the mattress, I fell on the grenade & accompanied him back to the bedding area, leaving Lady T to take photos of the chair.  Being the #1 mattress salesman, he deployed his characteristic charm to sell me on the protective polyurethane pad with this little gem: His 2 year old spent the night with him at his apartment (a place which I will dub the “Virginity Cave” in spite of his son’s existence) the previous weekend & barfed all his bed.  Thanks to the polyurethane cover, not a drop got through to the mattress. SOLD! So keep that in mind all you barfy toddlers when you come over and…wait. That sounded wrong. Great, now the FBI’s going to catch wind of this. Shit, I hope I don’t get derailed from blogging this time because of prison.

Anway, as #3 is ringing me up, I notice that #1 & #2 have gathered no more than 20 feet away & are crowded around a cell phone listening to some “jamz,” judging them with such reviews as “hot” & “that’s tight.”  Finding it odd that they were doing this not only on the clock but out on the showroom floor, I turned back to the paperwork.  After a few more minutes, I look up to notice they have moved behind me to an opposite aisle & are even closer than before.  Making eye contact with #2, I realize what an impala must feel like right after it has been caught by a predator but just before it becomes a carcass.  I took their unintelligible banter to be the sounds of jackals.

After we left, we headed over to the poorly-named Sofa Mart.  Dammit if they not only had better inventory (we bought a couch & coffee table), but the staff was great!  Tex was right: we should have sought out a female salesperson from the get go.  This experience at Sofa Mart left me feeling like an impala who had been rescued & nursed back to health.

A housing we will go

March 16, 2010

So I’m in the process of buying a home.  Rather, I should say WE are in the process of buying a home as Lady T & I are doing it together.  It’s a big step down the path towards her becoming the future ex-Mrs. Guy Gadbois.  It is technically my 2nd home but this buying experience is a more “authentic” experience than the 1st one.  The previous go-round, I “bought” my grandmother’s house via a promissory note & my old man did all the legwork compiling the papers I had to sign.  There were no inspections, no appraisal & no realtors involved.  For a check of about $1000 & 45 minutes at an attorney’s office, I had the place.

When my grandmother’s health declined to the point she had to accept the socialist handout that is Medicaid, I had to actually buy the home from her & pay off the promissory note.  Again, no big deal.  I had an appraisal done & had to create a new title as the previous one was lost but again, there were no inspections (thankfully, as I had been battling mold probs) & no realtors.

The process of buying this current house  is drastically different from my previous experiences.  It is all new to me but certainly not unique when compared to the experiences of others.  Closing costs?  Discount points?  TRR?  *forehead slap* FML.  I now understand how the mortgage crisis occurred by selling homes to people who couldn’t afford it & didn’t know\care.

On the front of selling my previous home, it is once again an in-family transaction so I don’t have to worry about inspections or realtors.  A great reward of 72 Dungeons & Dragons players awaits my parents in heaven for the help they’ve given me by buying this house.

As Lady T & I are buying the house together, it has been a great help in having a partner with whom to share the experience of buying & the burden that comes with the process.  Also, since she’s a first time home buyer, we are able to take advantage of the guvment’s largesse & the $8000 tax credit.  Man, that’s gonna be some sweet, sweet coin.

I have some photos of the house so you can all coo over it.  In the meanwhile, here are some interesting tidbits relating to our search:

  • *We only looked at 3 houses with number 3 being the clear winner
  • *We drove around Midtown for nearly 3 hours (whilst I battled a raging sinus infection, I might add) looking at homes for sale & following that up with another hour of online research over these addresses
  • *Our realtor, specializing in Midtown, knew the owners of 2 of the 3 houses we toured
  • *This house is exactly $100,000 more than I paid for my first house
  • *The property taxes on this house are over 3x those of the previous house
  • *A realtor we interviewed  responded to our request for references with “Why? What’s the problem?” The same person asked Lady T & I the same question without the presence of the other, giving us the impression that they were trying to squeeze as much info from us in as sneaky a way as possible

We close at the end of this month & are looking forward to being done with it.  Home buying’s a douche but just like real douche, it’s a normal & necessary thing*.

*Disclaimer: Douche is neither normal nor necessary.

I almost got ACORN’d

November 5, 2008

America: I understand that volunteers staff the polling stations, but is it too much to ask for competence?

I went to vote yesterday & upon feeding my ballot into the machine, it made the standard sound that it had accepted my ballot.  However, the tally on the machine did not change.  I thought since I was voting on 2 ballots, it would change after I fed through the second ballot.  It did not.  Apparently, there were 15 or so machines in Tulsa that malfunctioned yesterday.

I alerted a volunteer & she had the next person in line submit one of their ballots & the number again stayed the same.  Concerned, she placed a call to the election board (whose website, incidentally, doesn’t appear to have changed since it was first created).  While doing this, I peeked at the machine’s receipt roll & noticed that it had repeated entries of “stuck ballot.”

After conversing with the election board, she came back to inform me that she couldn’t do anything.  I asked if I should fill out a provisional ballot.  She said no & that she was sorry but it seemed that my vote was lost.  At this point, I began to suspect she was an ACORN secret agent.  Shaking that idea, I determined she was simply incompetence, so I called the election board & after receiving the spiel about how Oklahoma’s voting system is so great because it leaves a paper trail, I was assured that my vote would be counted.  After double-checking with the technician who had arrived on site during my call, he informed me, after repeating the aforementioned spiel, that my vote would be manually re-fed through the machine.

The fact that my vote was nearly derailed by a doofus, while initially grating & ultimately meaningless on the federal level, has since turned into a great story.

What a life

October 21, 2008

From Oktoberfest to the 1st Annual White City Bocce Tournament to pumpkin carving, I had quite the bourgeois weekend.

The unnatural order of things

July 23, 2008

So after quite the busy weekend, which included 1 midnight movie (Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) in Tulsa, 1 drive-in movie (Jaws) in OKC, 1 IMAX movie (The Dark Knight with 1 friend) in Tulsa, 1 “regular” movie (The Dark Knight with other friends) in Moore, and LaserTag (nothing wrong with 20- & 30-somethings drinking wine from single serving boxes in the parking lot of LaserQuest on a Friday night. That was the original premise for The Outsiders), I have to say the most memorable moment came courtesy of my grandmother.  She turned 92 this past Saturday so I thought I’d make it to the Big City to see her.  I’ve chronicled her unintentional comedic timing previously so I guess I should have been expecting a gem. Boy did she deliver.

I was visiting her at her nursing home, futilely trying to remind her that I wasn’t my cousin which worked every time I stated it except that I grew tired from doing it so frequently. As I had awoken her from a nap, she was laying in bed and I was kneeling on the floor by her bed while we conversed.

Quick back story: my grandmother is a strict prude: socially, religiously and all other -lys. So, with this in mind, I’m kneeling on the floor by her bed and, in her eternal quest to make everybody comfortable, she states, “Well, you could get up here on the bed and lay by me although it wouldn’t be natural you know.”

Thanks for the laugh, grandma. Happy birfday.

Kill me, Jesus. Kill me now.

March 29, 2008

Silly me. Here I am, suffering with allergies bad enough to necessitate 2 trips the doctor over the course of 2 days with a result of 3 prescriptions & 3 over the counter meds, thinking I will be able to draw the blinds, watch tv, mope & recover all day. Oh no.

There’s some kind of fun run in town that has wrapped up & in the park not too far from my place, they are having some kind of post-race celebration concert, no doubt full of “family fun” and “all ages welcome.” There are a couple of military helicopters on the park’s grounds, so I guess they were running to find the cure for terrorism.

The worst part of this event is that I can hear the music. Now, normally, this would be ok. BUT, in this instance, there are 2 women singing who sound exactly like Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn when they did those skits on SNL in the 80s as those hokey lounge singers. Sorry, I can’t find any videos of them, but if you watched SNL in the 80s or have seen a Best of SNL special, you’ll know who I mean.

So today’s “performers” are singing in the same lounge act style, running songs together in a medley broken up with wit only a Branson audience could appreciate. Here’s the performance (remember: medley) I’ve been subjected to today:

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Chattanooga Choo-Choo
(indecipherable banter)
I Will Always Love You
Breaking Up is Hard to Do
What’s Love Got to Do With It?
(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You
Unchained Melody
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher
(indecipherable banter)
Proud Mary
Under the Boardwalk
(indecipherable banter)
God Bless the USA
(jingoistic banter)
America the Beautiful
The Army Goes Rolling Along
Anchors Away
(me grumbling & digging around for a sniper rifle)