Posted in Lessons Learned

Really? And these kids want to what?

As I went about my day, I found that I really have little patience for stupidity. And I am sure that someone will label me a fuddy-duddy for this anectdote. I no longer care whether or not I am considered hip, cool, or fashionable. I’m not trendy. And I like what I like and despise what I please without reservation. I’m too old to play these games and hide the fact that I have a brain and can use it. So, I’m going to use this experience from earlier to make a point or two about things, I believe to be, wrong in our society.

For a bit of back story. I work for a loan company. It’s one of those places that are a chain and offer astronomically priced loan products. It is the sort where customers are desperate without alternatives and well, they take advantage of a bad situation and generally make it worse. Quite frequently we are mistaken to be a place where people can pay bills or cash checks without the need for a bank account. It happens. And as a rule, I explain that it isn’t a service we offer. They ask where they can and I give a couple of local options and people are frustrated but, they go about their way to get their cash.

Today however, was a different story. About an hour prior to closing a maroon Chevy sedan pulls up outside. Clearly Momma is driving since a young man got out of the pasenger side. Now, his sagging pants, hoodie, and ball cap turned to the side didn’t make for a good first impression to begin with. But, he came in and I was my chipper friendly self. He asks the question I figured was coming. “Do you cash personal checks?”

This is the conversation that ensued:

Me: Sorry, that’s not a service we offer here. I’m simply a loan company.

Him: But Google said you do.

Me: Well, Google is mistaken. I don’t do any check cashing at all personal, payroll, or otherwise.

Him: But Google says you did.

Me: (loosing my patience) Yeah well, I’ve been here for three years and we’ve never cashed checks. Sorry about that.

Him: But it says-

Me: Honey, Google is wrong! I cannot and will not cash that check for you. Period. End of discussion about Google. You can try  **** or ****. See if they can help you out.

Him: I’ve already been there.

Me: May I suggest getting a bank account with one of the local banks. Or taking the check to the bank that it is written from.

Him: Huh?

Me: Where is the check from?

Him: My mom.

Me: No, what bank.

Him: I don’t know my mom gave it to me.

Me: Okay so, I can’t help you with your check. Good luck and have a nice day!

Took another two minutes of blank stares and me refusing to say anything further before he took the hint that it was time to leave.

This kid was likely 17 or 18 and seemed perfectly normal otherwise. I didn’t ask for an I.D. But, all I could think to myself was that these kids are going to be running the country some day. Our educations system is failing them if we can’t even get them to comprehend something as simple as the answer to that question.

Do you do X?

No, I don’t. We provide product/service Y.

The exchange seemed surreal to me. Like he honestly believed that Google was God and that if he told me enough that Google said we did something that it would somehow make me start doing what he wanted. Fortunately, I’m not easily swayed in that way. But, then again, I head about things others in the same business (company) do and I wonder about their ability to reason and think logically.

I see this more often now and it is truly disturbing to me. Sadly it isn’t only the kids I see this with. It is adults too. And these experiences really take a toll on my optimism for the direction of human evolution.

Honestly, this is a case of life being stranger than, or at least as strange, as fiction.

Posted in Lessons Learned, The Writer's Life

The Writer’s Life : Technical Fails

I’ve been virtually pulling my hair out for two weeks after a technical mishap with my current work in progress (WIP). I’ve been working on this series idea for years. It is complex, will be five books long (as it is currently planned)and has caused me many sleepless nights trying fix plot elements and character flaws and researching various elements for the story. I already have months worth of time invested in this project. So you can imagine my absolute panic when 15,000 words just disappeared from the manuscript.

scrivenerI use Scrivener for writing. I compose practically every piece of writing using this interface because it is vastly more reliable than any other word processor I’ve used in the past. The major features are incredible and I may discuss them in detail later however, the feature that is most relevant to this situation is that Scrivener actually saves if you stop typing for two seconds. It is an automatic thing that happens when your fingers stop moving across the keys. It has saved me a lot of hassle. When you close the program at the end of your session or day, it creates a back up, which I typically email to myself and then back up onto an external drive on a regular basis for safe keeping. So, that this large of a chunk was missing absolutely baffled me.

It isn’t as though I haven’t lost manuscripts in the past. Every writer has. Whether it is misplacing handwritten pages in notebooks or losing a flash drive, or an email lost in cyberspace, it happens to the best of us. What was strange about my experience is that it wasn’t just the last 15,000 words that I’d typed that were missing. Chunks were gone from various scenes in odd places. But mostly what was gone were the parts that I’d found the most challenging to write.

angel1This project has some very profound thematic elements that are deeply rooted in Christianity. I suppose I can admit that I feel a sort of divine inspiration through this series and for the most part, it has just flowed. That the words are gone is a bummer but, I’m trying to take it in stride. In fact, I’ve sort of taken on the idea that the way it was written just wasn’t how it was meant to be. I’ve gone back to the drawing board with the missing parts and have tried to sort out the continuity issues with what was missing. Ultimately there isn’t much I can do besides plug on.

I’m not sure that there is really a lesson in all of this. I back my work up regularly to avoid these mishaps. Perhaps the lesson is that sometimes things really are just out of our control.

Tomorrow is the Big Game Day. I was invited for the day to spend time with some dear friends and my boyfriend. I think I need a day off from it actually; just to recharge a bit and get my bearings again. I’ll be talking shop helping a friend set up a blog of her own and likely looking over a story for another friend but, I don’t mind talking shop and helping people out when I can. The guys may likely be engrossed in the game. While I am not necessarily a football fan, I’ll be enjoying the company and laughing all the same.