Fast food joint, Lake Stevens. The human behind the counter had that nearsighted, sullen, and pugnacious look. All that was missing was the tattoo across his forehead: "No exception handling." I asked if he accepted plastic. "Oh, yes sir." We ordered food that came to $6.04. Without even waiting for me to produce my card, he tendered a twenty, and looked positively shocked when I offered him my card. "Uhh." Wide-eyed and looking down and to his left. It all became obvious in a flash, in a vision: this person had a history for doing this exact thing, and if his shift manager manager found out he did it again, he'd be sent packing. Agitated, he stabbed at some buttons on the register and somehow managed to move the sale off the register and onto the debit terminal, but in doing so unwittingly charged the change from a twenty -- that's $13.96 if you're out there, Mac -- to the transaction. I brought this discrepancy to his attention, but before I could get persuasive on him, he leaned forward, palms upturned: "Just let it be, man. Come in tomorrow and I'll buy you lunch. Just don't tell my manager, huh ?" Question: did I just get scammed ? Is this addlebrained incompetence in the service industry -- quite authentic-looking and very convincing -- the newest in cons ? Or am I just imputing to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity ?
Not a scam story. Zakka again. New shipment: porcelain handpainted "first communion" sculptures featuring Jesus and some little childen, probably á la the new Sport Jesus theme. But these were handpainted with a hamfistedness telling of some Asian sweatshop produktivity-úber-alles attitude where each worker has to bang one out every fifteen seconds. Jesus came out looking more like a bearded Marty Feldman. At first I felt quite bad about expressing the ridicule that the product deserves in light of that which it was designed to represent, but now I figure that if they didn't mind, I shouldn't either.
Moving to a new office building starting next Monday. Got to take a walk-through tour this afternoon. It looks like a cross between the FBI Academy Building at Quantico, Virginia, and a Crate&Barrel. I will be moving from a cube to a 10x15 office which I will be sharing with two other programmers. I don't know who's responsible for this abysmal arrangement. I don't care. All I know is that I will be eating kim chi and pickled garlic every day until I am the only one in that office. I am so not a team player.