kokopellinelli: (Fat Ass)
I went to the deli at the grocery store today to pick up a sandwich for lunch. There was a woman there with her two sons, who looked to be about 3 and 5. As I waited in the sandwich line, she came up to the deli with kids in tow.

Gee, I thought. What cute little boys.

"SHRIEEEEEEEK!"

...maybe not.

Their mom asked what they wanted from the deli. The older boy, while holding a lollipop out of his brother's reach ("SHRIEEEEK!") pointed at a 12-pack of Pepsi along the wall.

"I told you!" the mom snapped. "I don't want to carry a big 12-pack all the way back to the motorhome!"

"SHRIEEEEEEEEEK!"

She turned back to the girl behind the counter and started giving her order. The kids decided that it was an excellent time to play tag.

'Round and 'round the cart they ran, with the youngest still loudly expressing his displeasure about not having a lollipop.

'Round and 'round.

Then they took off behind me, disappearing into the aisles. They were no longer visible, but the girl who was making my sandwich exchanged a small smile with me. We knew where they were.

"SHRIEEEK! SHRI-SHRI-SHRI-SHRIEK! SHRIEK! SHRIEEEEK!"

Undeterred, Momma kept ordering. "...and one large container of mac and cheese, two mild burritos..."

"SHRIEK!"

As she loaded her food into her cart, the oldest boy ran back to her side. They walked away. At first I wondered why she wasn't worried that her 3-year-old could be kidnapped, but then it became obvious that there's no way someone would be able to take that kid out of the store without the mom noticing; the sudden silence would be deafening.

They walked the aisles as I picked up a candy bar and stood in line at the register. As I was paying, they got into line at the next register.

"SHRIEK!"

"FINE! You want candy? YOU WANT CANDY??" asked the mom oh so quietly and gently.

"YEAH!" said the older boy.

"SHRIEK!" said the younger.

I walked into the store feeling a little tired and burnt out. I walked out again with a BIG smile on my face, one thought stuck in my head: At least I don't have kids.
kokopellinelli: (Processing Giveadamn)
Fourth grade Kids Club was this past Thursday. Now, it seems like, whenever Kids Club comes about, I'm on here complaining about it.

Today is no exception.

Actually, I don't dislike Kids Club. Sometimes I think I do, but I don't.

What I mean is, I enjoy the thought of Kids Club, and I like most of the kids who come to read. But, just like everything in life, it's not all good.

Out of the maybe 25 kids who encompass the participants in the recording sessions, there are about 3 or 4 who make me thoroughly uncomfortable. And by uncomfortable, I mean I want to throttle them.

This one girl whines all the freakin' time. I just want to say, "You know what? Don't bother coming here, if you're going to be so unpleasant." And a couple times I've said something along those lines to her (well, it was more like, "If you don't want to be here, you don't have to be. The door is right there.") The problem with her is that she'll show up and, for the first half of the session, be completely pleasant. She smiles, participates...she's a good reader, too. Good enunciation.

Then I think she starts getting tired or something, and Whiny McWhinypants appears. I asked the kids this time to come up with some ideas of things they want for a theme for next month's session. First, she said she didn't want to do it, because she "hates thinking up things." I told her she didn't have to.

A couple minutes later, I was handing out paper to write ideas on, and asked if she wanted to do it, and she said yes. As we brainstormed, she whimpered, "I can't think of anything."

I said, "Well, you don't have to do it if you don't want."

And she snapped, "I WANT to do it, I SAID I just can't THINK of anything!"

Well, okay there, Scary McYellybutt.

The boss told the kids to come up with things they want their parents to know about (one girl said, "Mom, I'm starting to like boys.") Another girl said, "Ooh, how 'bout driving safety! Like learning to drive!"

Cranky McWhinerson (in the snottiest voice possible): "Our parents already KNOW how to drive. They have drivers licenses!"

"Hey," I said. "No naysaying, please." I doubt she knows what "naysaying" means, but I couldn't think of another way to say SHUT YER HOLE, ANNOYING GIRL without actually, you know, saying it.

After work, mom and Chaz took me out to Thai food. They picked me up at the trailer. As I slumped in my armchair, mom asked "How was work?" And I immediately went into a rant about whiny little Bratz doll wannabes. Mom turned to Chaz and said, "Oooh...I forgot it was Kids Club day. You shouldn't talk to her on Kids Club day."

Heh. I didn't realize I was that cranky.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
I'm at work, looking up stuff to put in the Kid's Club Newsletter, and I just thought these were really cute. Found them here.

New Twists on Deep Thoughts!

The following responses were received during a newspaper contest in which contestants from ages 4 to 15 were asked to provide their own "Deep Thoughts" (like those prepared by Jack Handey).

I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life? --Age 15

Give me the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I cannot, and a great big bag of money. --Age 13

It sure would be nice if we got a day off for the president's birthday, like they do for the queen's. Of course, then we would have a lot of people voting for a candidate born on July 3 or December 26, just for the long weekends. --Age 8

Democracy is a beautiful thing, except for that part about letting just any old yokel vote. --Age 10

Home is where your house is. --Age 6

For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out. --Age 6

As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year, you'll have a couple of days saved up. --Age 7

Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number. --Age 15

It would be terrible if the Red Cross Bloodmobile got into an accident. No, wait. That would be good because if anyone needed it, the blood would be right there. --Age 5

Think of the biggest number you can. Now add five. Then, imagine if you had that many Twinkies. Wow, that's five more than the biggest number you could come up with! --Age 6

The only stupid question is the one that is never asked, except maybe "Don't you think it is about time you audited my return?" or "Isn't it morally wrong to give me a warning when, in fact, I was speeding?" --Age 15

If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started. --Age 15
kokopellinelli: (Default)
We saw orcas again today. Yay! It was a pretty nice day all around.

Ryan and Cap'n John convinced some poor 8-year-old girl that Ryan's given name was "Diva Boy," that I was his mother, and that Charles was his brother. I came into the galley where she was talking to Charles and Susan and she asked me, "Are you Diva Boy's mom?"

Me: ...Yes.

Little Girl: Will you make him dance?

Me: Uh...okay. *follows the little girl upstairs, where "Diva Boy" and John are looking quite smug.

Little Girl: *whispers* I think they're lying.

Me: I think you're a very smart little girl.

Little Girl: *plants herself next to Cap'n John, folds her arms, stares at him* If I was your mother, I'd ground you! For two years!

John: Two years? I'm GLAD you're not my mom! I think you made the right choice when you decided not to have kids.

Little Girl: *whispers to me* Is his name really Diva Boy?

John: *overhears* I've seen his birth certificate. It says "Diva D. Boy."

Me: His name is Ryan.

Little Girl: *glares at Ryan* Well, hello, RYAN.

Ryan: I don't know what you're talking about. That's not my name.

Then it was time to dock the boat, so I went downstairs.

Okay, and one more thing.

Parents,

If you rent a pair of our (sorta crappy) binoculars, PLEASE don't give them to your 3-year-old for the day and let him run around with them, drag them on the ground, swing them into walls, and bang them on the floor. The reason they suck is because people keep DOING that.

Bite me, and have a nice day.

Your friendly crew chief. (No, I'm not a stewardess. No, I'm not the captain. No, you do NOT have permission to come aboard.)
kokopellinelli: (Default)
We saw orcas today. Twice.

A resident pod.

3 big males with crooked fins, a couple females, and a baby.

They swam right under our bow.

TWICE.

Yes, you may be jealous now.

Also, we had kids on the boat. One little girl, I wanted to throw over the side. Her parents were nowhere in sight, and I had to tell her numerous times to not run, not to lay in the aisle, not to climb the poles, not to stand on the seats. These people stopped me at one point and said, "Miss, you really need to find that girl's parents. She's being a little pain." and I was like, "Oh! I thought she was with you!" because she'd been hanging around them all day. So I took her to her mom and told her she needed to stay with her the rest of the day. Unfortunately, that was like an hour before we got back to port. Oh, well.

But seriously, people. WATCH YOUR FREAKING KIDS.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
I was scheduled for the long trip today. I got to work at 9 am. At 9:10, Amanda came in and told me that they'd tried to call me at home, but had missed me by 5 minutes. Mary Helen was sick and couldn't crew chief the 6 hour, so they wanted me to do it. So I helped get the big boat ready and then spent the next 2 hours in the office, playing on the computer. Sucked because I was there 3 hours before I needed to be, rocked because I got payed for the 9 hour while only doing the 6 hour.

There was a family from Ecuador on the boat today. It was a woman (originally American, I believe, who has lived in South America for years), her brother (from Fairbanks), her very South American daughter, son-in-law, 3 grandkids, son-in-laws parents and aunt and uncle. Very nice, all of them, but I lost count of how many times I said, "No salte, no corre, por favor," (No jumping, no running, please) to the children. I had to ask the grandma how to say those things, because I've forgotten what little Spanish I once knew.

As I said, really nice people, but it would have been nice if they had helped me out a little when they noticed me trying to get their children to NOT KILL THEMSELVES.

At one point, another lady on the boat leaned over the galley counter and whispered to me, "Don't you just want to STRANGLE the little brats?"

My brain: YES.

Me: They're okay.

Also, the grandma hit her head on the window at one point, hard enough to cause swelling above her eye and bend her glasses slightly. We were watching the sea lions in slightly swelly seas (how's that for awesome alliteration?) and a random big one hit us broadside. She was standing in front of the window putting the cap on her camera so she didn't have a hand to steady herself. I heard the CLONK from half a boat away and brought her some ice. We filled out an incident report. She was okay.

Also, for something a little different and WTFish, a lady on the short trip yesterday (which I was not on) accused the company of discrimination.

We offer free coffee, tea, and lemonade all day. We offer hot chocolate, hot cider, and Russian tea for the price of 50 cents.

This lady told the crew (and wrote in the guest book) that we discriminate against people who don't like coffee by charging for hot chocolate.

Gee, I wish the only problem in my life was having to pay 50 cents for a cup of hot chocolate.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
I spotted a whale today! The first one on the boat to spot it! My first whale (that I spotted) this season! And my very first EVER humpback!

I saw a ginormous splash a long way off while we were at Bullhead, and I started lookin'. I looked for 15 minutes and saw NOTHING. Then I saw a black back. When I got my binocs up to my eyes, it was gone. Cap'n John asked if I was SURE I'd seen something. I was like, "Uhhh...I think so." So we headed out there. 15 more minutes and nary a PEEP. Just as I was giving up hope, I glanced out the port side window, and...THERE! 9 o'clock! I'M NOT CRAZY!!!

And there were some 9-year-old boys on the boat who sort of drove me crazy while I was at the helm.

Boy 1: Does this boat have a self-destruct button?


Me: ...Yes.

Boy 2: Where is it?

Me: Not telling you.

Boy 1: Why??

Me: Cuz you'll push it.

Boy 2: Why does the boat need a self-destruct button?

Me: What else would we do if we were attacked by aliens?

Then, John told them the self-destruct was on Nichole's shoulder, and she convinced them it was on MY shoulder, and all they had to do was press my shoulder REALLY HARD 10 times!

Boys: *POKEPOKEPOKEPOKEPOKEPOKEPOKEPOKEPOKEPOKE*

Me: *to Nichole* You're cleaning the heads tonight.

AND. We saw a FLOATING DEAD SEA LION.

Me: What's that?

John: That...is a dead sea lion.

Boy 1 was on the boat with his parents and his sister, who has what I assumed is some sort of accelerated aging disease like Progeria or something. She was the sweetest thing ever, and though her brother was a little...trying, he was very gentle and loving with her.

There were some other kids on, too. A 2-year-old named Rylissa, and her 3-year-old brother. Her brother was VERY excited when we saw the whale. I was upstairs and he was downstairs, but every time the whale came to the surface to take a breath, I could hear, "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALE! IT'S A WHALE! IT'S A WHALE! IT'S A WHALE!" The whale would go down again, and there would be silence, then as soon as it made another appearance: "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALE!"

Fun day. :)
kokopellinelli: (Default)
We had 50 hojillion girl scouts on the boat today. They were actually pretty good, and their chaperones were awesome. A bunch of the girls congregated around Cap'n John and just annoyed him all day.

There's a phone in the pilot house and one in the galley so if the captain needs something, he can call down and vice versa if one of the crew wants something and doesn't want to go upstairs.

John had these girls (4th and 5th grade, mostly) crank-calling the galley.

Phone: *BEEP*

Me: *answers, expecting to hear a masculine voice* Hello?

Voice of Young Female: Ummm... *click*

I went upstairs and saw John giggling to himself while one of the girls said, "HE MADE ME DO IT!"

Me: Don't do anything he says. He's a very bad man.

Also, at one point, he told them that if they wanted to see the gerbils that kept the engine running, they had to come down and ask me. I told them that the gerbils could only be seen by someone who stayed after the boat docked and cleaned the heads. The girl said, "I'll do it!" So I drew a gerbil on a paper cup and wrote "Frank" underneath it. One of the girls asked if Cap'n John was afraid of gerbils.

Me: I dunno.

Girl: *runs upstairs, comes back down* He says he is! Hey, we're gonna play a joke on him! *takes the cup and goes back upstairs*

I still don't know what the joke was.

The girl showed me the cup later. She'd crossed out "Frank" and written "Francesca."

And when we got back to the dock today, Ryan (a crew member) was on the docks with Amanda and Colleen, dressed in a disco suit the color of tomato sauce. Being at least 6 feet tall and built like a telephone pole, it looked perfect on him, especially when he did the walk. Picture a cartoon from the '70s, much like the credits at the beginning of Grease, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Ryan's nickname, given to him by the 9 year old daughter of one of the captains, is "Diiiiiva Booooooooooooyyy."

I got sort of pissed off today, too. When were at Bullhead, looking at sea lions, I was on the bow making sure no one did anything stupid like stand on the bench. One of the things that make our tours interesting and special (I think) is that the captains all have a spiel for all the areas and animals we see that is somewhat unique to each of them, while holding basically the same information. So John is talking about sea lions and he ends with "And you may notice that Stellar sea lions don't bark like California sea lions...their vocalizations sound more like groans, grumbles, and growls."

And the guy standing next to me mutters, "No, they sound like a guy who doesn't know when to get off the microphone and stop telling us stuff."

It took all my willpower not to turn to him and say something like, "Well gee, I'm sorry sir, but you see, MOST people actually LIKE to learn." I mean, it seemed sort of like he was a local or had at least been there before, but seriously, there were 67 other people on the boat who were actually ENJOYING the information they were hearing.

I have such a headache. Long trip tomorrow, too. Oy.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Dear boat passengers:

I understand that it's a gorgeous day and you want to stay out on the bow. I like the bow, too. When the captain announces that we're going to serve lunch and that we can do that anywhere on the boat except the bow, that's your cue to come inside. You can go upstairs and sit outside, that's fine. The bow is too windy a place to serve lunch. We'd get chowder all over. And you know, as soon as you're done, you are welcome to return to the bow. Hell, you can even stand up at the counter right inside and look out the windows over the bow, so you don't miss anything.

The thing is, I don't like having to go out and make sure you heard the announcement. When I come onto the bow and say, "Hey, are you guys going to eat lunch?" and you say, "Yes," and I say "Then you're going to have to come inside because we can't serve out here," don't look surprised and say "Really?" because I know you heard the captain make his announcement.

Additionally, please please PLEASE, boat passengers, when we are serving lunch, don't let your kids run around and stand in the aisles and run down to the galley and say "I'M HUNGRY!" We are getting the food out as fast as we can. We have to distribute the trays, utensils, and beverages first, and only then can we give out the food, and the food trays only carry six plates at a time.

And PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, once you choose a seat to sit in for lunch, STAY THERE. Don't wait until I've given you your tray, utensils, and beverage, and served almost everyone else on the deck, and then suddenly decide to move inside or downstairs. When that happens, if I don't see you move, I think I've miscounted or gone crazy. Also, I'm carrying a heavy tray with hot soup on it, coming up steep stairs and we're hitting the ferry's wake. I get to finish coming up the stairs. You don't get to start down and then stand in my way until I back up. No.

And, dear boat passengers, I know I've said this already, but seriously. WATCH YOUR KIDS. When your child is running loose, screaming, and jumping down stairs, and I say, "Don't run, sweetie, okay?" don't assume that I'll babysit them the rest of the day. I like kids. If they're nice, I'll play with them a little bit in between my other duties. I may even let them help me carry around the ice or show them pictures of animals in our children's books or even HOLD them. But when I ask you to please watch your kid, and you say, "Oh, we're on a boat. Where could he go?" and I say, "Uh...over the side, maybe?" I AM NOT JOKING.

And sir? No, you may not stand on the bench. Not even to take the photo. And ma'am, when we say "Don't stand on the benches or sit on the railings," and I remind you again that you cannot stand on the bench, your retaliation of "It's okay, I'm not sitting on the railing!" makes me think you really didn't get the point of that announcement.

Thank you for going with us, I hope you enjoyed the trip.
-Boat Wench

X-Posted to [livejournal.com profile] customers_suck
kokopellinelli: (Default)
So today, we were supposed to have 50-something people on the boat, and 27 of them were gonna be elementary-aged kids from Kenny Lake on their annual educational trip to PWS (with 7 chaperones). They were late. We were ready to board, so we loaded up the 35 passengers who were waiting at the dock and then sat around wondering where in hell the kids were.

Amanda: They're probably singin'.

Me: Singing?

Amanda: Yeah. "Kumbaya" and shit.

Me: Oh god. You think they're gonna be like those people on the port cruise who started singing and formed a congo line?

Amanda: Y'ever seen Children of the Corn?

Me: Uh...the first part. Why, are the Kenny Lake kids like that?

Amanda: Children of the Lake.

John: It's like a cross between that and John Carpenter's Village of the Damned.

Me: Fantastic. Really looking forward to it.

About 10 minutes till cast off, another boat went by our slip, a smaller aluminum boat. There were kids in it. They waved at us.

Me: *jokingly* Think those are the Kenny Lake kids?

Turns out, they were.

Either the chaperones had called our office to cancel but there was a miscommunication, or they just didn't call to cancel. Nice.

Anyway, nothing much else to report. No whales (except a possible Minke that I spotted that we didn't bother to go see because it was being boring) but we did see a pregnant mountain goat down really low on a cliff, napping in a grassy patch.

Oh, and yesterday, I watched a sea lion at Bullhead hump a rock.

And Colleen offered me crew chief.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Okay, remember this?

This is worse.

Text under cut )

They have a 15-seat van. That. is not. big enough. They need a bus.

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