Sunday, January 31, 2010

How many of you are still going to the gym?

Raise your hand if you've been a good girl or boy and kept your New Year's Resolution. You know, the one about working out/running/hitting the gym/doing Couch Potato Pilates every week.

Don't worry, I won't tell if you haven't kept up. We all slack off or make commitments we don't really mean, anyway. (see: the divorce rate in this country.)

But if you are going to the gym, yoga, whatever, please continue to (because you already do, right?) be mindful of others around you.

  • Bathe, or at least wipe up, your private parts and pits before you go. Sweating is one thing. Reeking like a bathroom garbage can is another.
  • Deodorant wouldn't kill you, either.
  • Men: Keep that shirt on. Ladies: you, too. Men: No disagreeing with me on that last one.
And of course all the other rules I've bitched about apply.

Let's not get all, "But I want to..." with the excuses and reasoning. That's the problem with society -- we've forgotten how to be considerate of one another and have put our "I want" or "My kids want" whining ahead of respect for others around us.

In the privacy of your own home? Do whatever the fuck you want.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where do manners apply?

Apparently, everywhere.

I'm being a little sarcastic, a little tongue-in-cheek. Yes, I get pissed off when some trash-talker is dropping the f-bomb every two seconds behind me in the checkout line at Target. Someone swears on their blog, podcast or via twitter? I'm not so bothered.

But if I see a blog entry with the F-word or S-word every few words, I'm thinking this is a classless a-hole.

There's no hard-and-fast twitiquette rule for how much you can or can't swear, just as long as you do it in less than 140 characters.

Facebook, on the other hand, will make you enter a Captcha code if you're a little too judicious with your swearing.

So be mindful. When are cuss words allowed? Not in public, but sometimes in private (or online) for emphasis.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Garbage goes in -- shocker! -- garbage cans

I don't want to shop among your garbage.

Just because every store now has a coffee shop in it, and just because they are kind enough to let you drink and eat while you shop, doesn't mean the store is your personal dumpster.

Throw your effing garbage OUT. Find a trash can. I promise you there are about five by the doors, two near the bathrooms, one behind every cashier station, and, oh yeah, about three in that coffee shop where you purchased your now-garbage.

I don't buy that everyone is this "forgetful." Try "lazy." Resist the urge to be a lazy-ass, and carry your disgusting, used, ful-of-your-germs beverage cup a whopping two feet, and throw it out. Thank you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I didn't want to really know

Please learn when niceties (e.g., "how are you?" reply: "fine.") are appropriate, and when the truth (e.g., "how's it going?" reply: "Not great. I just had my second rectal exam and they still can't find the cause of the bursting polyps.") is not.

Save the personal chit chat for: a) the right people and b) the right time.

Work time is not the time to bare your soul. (Or polyps.) After work, with a trusted friend, partner, or tenth date might be okay.

Also, please, clueless people, please just sit back for a moment and observe body language. Your office mate with his coat on, briefcase closed, heading out the door to pick up his kid does not want to, nor does he have time to, hear about how stressful it was for you to discover that Just Tires only had three of your Goodyears in today, not the four you needed.

The co-worker who's making tea with her head down and shoving her mouth full of cookies probably needs to get back to her desk for good reason. So, no, she doesn't want to share her cookies, and no, sorry, but she doesn't want to hear about the check you bounced last week.

I'm not saying we can't have close friendships or trusted confidantes at work. We can -- in fact, it's a good thing. But if someone a) isn't a trusted confidante, or, b) needs to get to work (or to their kid, or some other pressing commitment), no need to share your deepest darkest.

Try, instead, something like, "I'm fine, thanks. Weekend was rough, but maybe we can talk at lunch?" And leave it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Please don't act like you know me then spam me

I realize that putting one's self out there in cyberspace and publishing one's email address is going to open one (me and every other blogger/writer/douchebag) up to a lot of unsolicited email. And crap. That's fine. That's why the spam folder exists (thank the web gods).

But for the love of pete, please don't cyber-stalk someone (like the person in the example below did), pretend to have some sort of connection or valid reason for writing to them, and hit them up for sales. It's tacky and a waste of the reader's time. Plus, you'll piss off the reader for pretending to have a valid reason for contacting her. And she'll blog about you and tell everyone else to mark you as "Spam."

Here's what I got from someone named Melanie claiming to know someone I know. All the typos are hers alone, as I did a straight-on copy & paste, with minimal editing:

subject: I got your email from XXXX [writer]'s site

Hi! I love XXX and love her site and her XXX book. she is my inspiration.

I started a business www.ispampeopleidon' about 2 yrs ago. I then started a second business with [product] and I am running that as my main business now.

(EB says: And I care, why?)

I found the most amazing [MLM] that I now sell accounts to and basically ask anyone I can if they want to sell too and make some extra money. You need to have a computer and so that is why I contact a lot of people online, 'cause I know you have a computer!

(EB SAYS: What makes you think I have a computer? Because I blog? For all you know, I sneak this shit in at my day job, and email at night from the free Library computers.)


I know this is strange to contact you this way, but I tell as many people as I can about my new business, so if you aren't interested just delete this email and I won't contact you again.

(EB SAYS: Please don't. Ever. Thanks.)

If you want me to mail you a sample, email me your real address and I will send you one.

[EB SAYS: Right, like I'm going to send my address to a complete stranger. Are you also a Nigerian prince who has a great investment for me?]

So, folks, got it? I don't give a crap if you've started a new business and the training they give you tells you to reach out to everyone in the most unconventional ways (I used to sell that shit -- I know how it goes). Don't pester those who probably don't want what you're selling!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm Hot on ChicagoNow!

Cool to be one of ChicagoNow's Hot Blogs of the Day.

In case you haven't been following, it's a new year, and that means the gyms are packed with New Year's Resolutioners...who get in your way, show up late, and make the workout experience miserable for many of us regulars.

Don't want to be sneered at? Then follow these workout etiquette guidelines. I'll letcha stand next to me at dance class.