Sunday, November 07, 2010

3155 Wrecking wrapping

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month."


Sometimes some small thing will get stuck in my head, and I can't get rid of it. Like an earworm song, but different in that it's something I want to do or say, but I know I can't, and it just gets stuck.

And that's one of the reasons I have this journal. I can say stuff here that I can't say out loud or to whomever I want. That's also why very few people who know me know where this blog is, especially not people who might know the person I want to complain about or to. (There's exactly one of those - and I trust him to not spread what I'm about to complain about now.)

There's a woman in Mensa that I find very difficult to take. She's actually an innocent soul, not a bad person, but she's a drama queen. Fakes an asthma attack at the sight of an electronic cigarette, or real cigarettes across the street and downwind. (Fake because it stops when she wants to say something, then starts up again.) Believes that no one should have children, and wanted to deny financial assistance to another member because he had children. When another woman and I were in menopause and having hot flashes, she decided she was in menopause, too, even though it was about 15 or more years too soon for her. She just didn't like sharing the spotlight (or heat lamp, as it were).

She sets up one of the group annual scholarship fund money makers - gift wrapping at Barnes & Nobel, sometime in early December. There have to be two people at the table at all times. I had volunteered for the full day for many years, most other people would put in a 4-hour shift, and then one day I decided I wasn't going to do it any more.

My reasons were many, but I never really expressed any because I'd get the reaction, "Well, then, why don't you just do it yourself?"

One complaint is that we wrap purchases for free (materials, table, etc. provided by B&N) but there's a donation box, so people know they are expected to donate a dollar or so. Now, people who will pay to have a gift wrapped with store wrapping are usually getting a last-minute gift. So scheduling the gift wrapping three weeks before the holiday doesn't work as well as doing it three days before. This woman also schedules the same wrapping gig for Sierra Club, and I noticed that Sierra Club always gets better dates.

Second, she always comes for a four to six hour shift herself, but she's NEVER on time. She is consistently one or two hours late, and I have occasionally had to cover that time alone, skipping lunch. Usually the previous person stays over, and once they see how she wraps, they stay the full time.

Third, she is the sloppiest wrapper I have ever seen. We're wrapping books and boxes, for Pete's sake! There's no excuse for not having sharp neat corners. But she just pokes and bunches and scrunches the paper at the ends, she tears the paper unevenly, the "wrong side" of the paper sticks out from the scrunch at the ends, she covers the gifts in so much tape it's like she plans to mail them --- they are messy! I've seen six-year-old children do a better job. I am embarrassed for Mensa that we're handing that mess to a customer. I and others at the table, many of us, have offered to show her how to measure and cut to fit, how to center the seam, how to trim the ends and crease folds, how to use at most three tiny strips of tape, but she simply says "Oh, I can't do that" and flatly refuses to learn.

She sees nothing wrong.

We've tried edging her out, getting the packages before she can destroy them. But she's enthusiastic and leaps, elbows flying. She wraps very quickly, and grabs the next. She never notices the dismayed look on the face of the customer when she hands them their gift. You know that the customer rewraps the book after they get it home.

That embarrassment and her refusal to learn was the reason I quit. I no longer wanted to have anything to do with it. I was tired of cringing. Of not being able to look customers in the eye. Others who have refused to go back have said the same thing.

So, a few days ago she sent out a call for volunteers for this year's wrapping. In the email, she says, "And believe me, you don't need to be an expert at wrapping; heaven knows I'm not."

You have no idea how much that pisses me off. She complains that she can't get volunteers, and I want so very very badly to tell her why!


rockygrace said...

Heck, what's her email address? I'll tell her! (Anonymously, of course.) :)

Becs said...

There are people in Newark - and possibly Perth Amboy - who would take her out for $50.