The Death of an Empire

What the fuck are we doing? Has everyone lost their goddamn mind? What in the hell is wrong with you people? We have people killing eachother over the right to protest, we have a president who should’ve been sent off to pasture years ago, and we have a percentage of the country that just wants to see the world burn.

I want to believe that we’re better than this, I want to believe that we’re still the greatest country on Earth. It’s kind of like being a Browns fan: you see their potential, but they keep fucking it up.

That picture of Minneapolis burning is iconic, it should be someone’s album cover, it speaks to everything that needs to be said right now. I’m not a good mouthpiece for change, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, so don’t make me delve too deep into the stupid shit I say to give me that momentary serotonin hit that keeps me going.

Are You Fucking Kidding Me?

I don’t like politics, but I feel compelled to talk about the protests and the response by the police.

I’ve definitely gotten out of trouble a few times due to white privilege. I’ve gotten pulled over before, yelled the officer because I’m awkward and don’t handle stress well, and still gotten a verbal warning. If I wasn’t an upper middle-class white person, I’d probably be dead right now.

I don’t like politics, I’m not very informed, but I try to keep up with the deluge of information that flows freely through the Internet. Yes, most of the information we get is probably full of shit, and presented in a way meant to divide us, but is it better to be ignorant, or misinformed?

I know that some people feel differently, that these protests are unnecessary and an excuse to rob businesses and riot, but I disagree. Think of it this way: if you bully someone for years, and prevent them from living a normal life, you don’t get to dictate how they react when they finally stand up to you. Would you apologize for punching someone in the face after they punch you and kick you every day?

I’m torn on whether it’s best to leave this situation alone because of who I am and how I look, but I also think I have a duty to tell people that this is wrong, and we need to change.

I don’t have many suggestions on how we can change, my only halfway decent thought is that police departments need to charge officers for their crimes, and if the public sues them, they should show their full support. Additionally, maybe there could be some system like malpractice insurance that keeps police officers honest and accountable. Maybe that already exists, and I just don’t know about it.

I’ve gotta say: Minneapolis picked the worse possible time to do something shitty. We’re facing a global pandemic that has kept millions scared and unemployed, sports and concerts are canceled, so people have nothing else to keep them entertained, and no job to consider while they protest. It’s literally the dumbest possible time to kill an innocent man on camera.

We’re better than this. I don’t believe in my government, but I believe in the people of my country. We can fix this.

Fuck the Coronavirus

I know, I know, you’re sick of hearing this shit too. The Coronavirus is a pandemic, and it’s killing hundreds of people every day. It couldn’tve picked a worse time to occur. I just transitioned into a new job that I really liked, the only job I’ve had in over a decade that I liked going into every day, but when this fucking disease started scaring old white people with nothing better to do than watch the news all day, my place of work started going nuts with their safety protocols, to the point where I spend Tuesday in the ER with severe chemical burns. The sanitizer we switched to decided to eat away at my skin and make my arm look like someone spread guacamole on it. To make matters even worse, when I went to work to drop off my doctor’s note saying that I would be out for a week, I discovered that I would be out of work for far longer than that. Great. Now, I haven’t really had a day off in a few months due to school and work, so this should be a blessing, but I’d rather go to work and do something that I enjoy.

Look, the Coronavirus thing is going to get bad. I’m not a doctor, but all my friends who are look like they’ve been up for days, and all of them have the thousand-yard-stare that veterans usually have, so I’m guessing it’s pretty rough out there. Too many stupid people are still doing stupid people things, I saw a “Lick a Toilet-seat Challenge” on Instagram the other day, so I’m guessing that things will only get worse as long as we’re all acting like everything’s normal. I know that everyone’s going to go crazy as we isolate ourselves and watch TV and do drugs and avoid people, but I’m actually excited: I needed a reason to avoid people, and now I have a great one.  Stay safe out there, don’t go out, stop watching the news before you give yourself an anxiety attack.

My Last Day

Today’s the day. It’s finally here. I’ve thought about this moment so many times that whatever happens, I know it won’t live up to the fantasy I’ve created. I’ve decided that instead of doing all the usual unnecessary shit that I do throughout my work day, I’m going to take stock and think about what I’ll miss about this place, and what I look forward to never doing again.

What I’ll Miss:

1. Free Coffee.

2. The few nice Customers.

3. Getting out at 7 on Sunday’s.

4. Fucking with rude people.

5. Locking the doors on people after we close.

6. Listening to music on the store speakers.

7. Trying new flavor combos in my coffee.

8. Hashbrowns.

9. Customers leaving nice reviews on Yelp.

10. Customers leaving ridiculous reviews on Yelp.

11. Giving stressed-out people free coffee, because we’ve all been there.

12. Listening to Raj yell at people for unreasonable things, like using the bathroom he just cleaned.

13. Listening to Raj act super nice when his boss is around.

14. Scaring new Dunks employees with customer horror stories.

15. Listening to full albums at work.

16. Introducing customers to music.

What I Won’t Miss Even A Little:

1. That On-The-Go ringtone that never shuts up.

2. Getting yelled at by entitled morons who think this is an upscale restaurant.

3. People throwing money at me like I’m a bad stripper.

4. Customers complaining because the prices aren’t the same as they were in 1976.

5. Coming home covered in greasy fat and coffee stains.

6. Customers assuming I speak perfect Spanish because I work at Dunks.

7. People placing $50+ orders, and not tipping after.

8. Customers taking money out of my tip jar to avoid breaking a bill.

9. People snapping their fingers while I make their food because they think it’ll speed things up.

10. Blatant heroin users coughing on their money and handing it to me.

11. Drunk people asking if I can add liquor to their drinks.

12. Customers making up flavors and expecting me to know what they are.

13. Parents who bring their crying kid in, and leave them at the counter.

14. Getting 4am calls from the District Manager, asking where the TV remote is.

15. Getting calls at 4:15am from said manager after she finds the remote.

16. Getting called in at 8:30am for a 12pm shift.

17. Having to work 3am-8pm because someone didn’t show up.

18. Coffee “connoisseurs” who can apparently tell the difference between 17 creams and 18 creams in their small iced coffee.

19. People who want their coffee “extra extra light”, then complain that their coffee is too light.

20. Having customers talk on their phone at the counter when they should be ordering.

21. Getting called racist because I ask someone to repeat themselves after they order in another language.

22. Getting cold brew thrown at me because “It’s not cold enough!”

23. Customers getting angry that we don’t have Pumpkin Spice in July.

24. Customers getting offended when I ask if they want their coffee iced or hot.

25. Old people telling me that “Hey Yeah” is The Devil’s Music™️.

26. People who try and order food 45 minutes after the ovens are off.

27. Customers who order small coffees in extra-large cups because they think they’re beating the system.

28. Getting yelled at because I didn’t finish the work that someone else was supposed to do.

29. Getting asked 6 times in a row if the decaf coffee they ordered is actually decaf.

30. Customers who don’t understand what “regular” means, and get mad when they order a regular and it’s not what they wanted.

31. Being told I got a raise, and making the same amount of money every week.

32. Having to do my boss’s paperwork because she wants to go home early.

33. Customers paying for big orders with change.

34. When I greet customers at the counter, and they look at me like I’m offending them.

35. Confused customers who try and get me to pump their gas because they don’t understand how 2 stores can share a building.

36. Customers who get mad that their coffee is on the counter, and not wherever they want to wait for it.

37. Parents who point at me and tell their kids “This is what happens when you don’t go to college!”

38. Overly-complicated sandwich orders that make no sense

39. Having to fix at least one piece of equipment every shift, none of which is ever replaced.

40. Always being out of something that multiple customers want

41. Getting yelled at because we’re out of something a customer wants.

42. Being treated like I’m less than a person because I work at Dunks.

43. Having to pee outside like an animal because the bathroom doesn’t work.

Goodbye, and good riddance

On Anger

It’s been a shitty day. It shouldn’tve been, but it was. I’ve always been intrigued by anger, why is it such a powerful emotion?

Anger is the emotion I probably feel the most, which is probably why I’m unhappy, but it’s also a key component in my accomplishments. Anger is the only truly renewable resource: you will never stop getting angry, you just have to channel that into something productive, or you’ll end up sticking the barrel of a shotgun in your mouth and clocking out. I’ve done so many things because people told me I couldn’t. My 6th grade English teacher told me I’d never make it to high school, I did. My junior science teacher told me I’d never get into college, I did. My first college advisor told me I should drop out, I did, but because I ran out of money, not because I flunked out. I think getting angry fuels you more than any drug could even dream of.

I think our rage comes from a biological place, prehistoric humans wouldn’t be able to bash a sabre tooth tiger’s head in without that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get right before you absolutely lose your shit. Think about how many things productive rage has accomplished; punk rock, Prince changing his name to something no one can pronounce, every political uprising, that monk who set himself on fire to protest the Vietnam War, all of it done because “Fuck you, that’s why.”

Is there anything better than meeting someone who hates the same things you do? Anger brings us together. Fuck Tinder, bring me an app where I can match with other people who hate people who put their phone on speakerphone in public. If we bonded over what we hate rather than hiding it, we’d be a more productive society. We need to teach people that being an asshole has consequences, and in the era of social media, public shaming is the best weapon we have. For every douche in McDonald’s, we have thousands of YouTube comments making fun of that person, and that’s how it should be. Every time I see someone absolutely lose it, I learn something. If the anger is justified, I learn that it’s okay to feel that way, and that I’m not a psycho for feeling the same way. If it’s not justified, I learn how to make the other person feel like shit so that if I’m ever in the same situation, I can respond accordingly.

I know this makes me sound like an asshole, and I definitely am sometimes, but it’s also good to learn how to use that assholishness to achieve a goal. Don’t bottle all that rage up, use it to shove your success down the throats of everyone who has ever doubted you.

What The Fuck Am I Doing?

I’m not a functional person right now. I’m trying to fix that though. I just wish I could skip all the annoying middle parts and go straight to being awesome.

I always question the things I do, how do you ever know if you’re doing what’s best for you? I wish it was easier to figure out.

My ego loves the idea of muscling through adversity, but let’s be real here, there are millions of people who would kill for the life I’ve taken for granted. Life’s hard, but I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with it by myself.

My parents are getting older, and the idea that they won’t be there every step of the way is terrifying. They’re the best people I know, and they mean the world to me. I hope we make some improvements in medicine so that my dad can live long enough to go to space, and that my mom can meet my kids, if I ever have any. I want them to enjoy the rest of their lives, they’ve done enough to be allowed to relax a bit.

I think this website will be one of those things I look back on in 10 years and groan about, like the “newspaper” I made in middle school, or the Applebees campaign I came up with last week. It’s helpful for me to write all this shit down though, so I can see it and realize how dumb most of my random thoughts are. Maybe all that embarrassing crap is important to who I am as a person now. Or maybe it’s just bullshit I should drink away. I’ve also been having these weird dreams where I die in super mundane ways, like slipping on soap in the shower, or getting hit by an asteroid. I’ve always liked the idea of having a vault of unreleased material discovered after you die, so maybe that’s why I keep having gnarly dreams about dying.

Does anyone’s life plan actually work out the same way they thought it would? Does it even make sense to plan things out, given the unpredictable nature of life? Fuck, man, I wish Google answered questions like that, instead of pointing me towards the closest Starbucks.

The Moment I Decided to Quit

“You should quit ya job to this!” Wise words from the great modern philosopher Kanye West. I’m done. I’ve had enough of dunks. My friend works at a restaurant, and says that they’re looking for people, so I’m going to give that a shot.

I’m so done with this stupid place, as well as all the bullshit that goes with it. I’ve had 7 managers in 9 months, that should’ve been a giant red flag, but it wasn’t. While doing payroll, I discovered that not only did I not get the raise I’d been promised, but I’d been getting paid less than minimum-wage. That’s what did it for me; not all the rude, over-privileged customers who come in, or the fact that our bathroom hasn’t worked in months, forcing me to piss outside like an animal. Fuck them.

I’ve worked at dunks for almost 6 years, I know the place inside, out and backwards, but I still didn’t get paid a fair wage.

I’ve had to give up every weekend for the last 5 years, I get home at 8:30 every night, tired and angry, and still have to make dinner. I’m done. I’ve given this stupid place way too much effort for what it’s given me.

Working here has given me a whole bunch of stories, but it’s also given me a caffeine addiction, anger issues, and killed whatever outgoing personality traits I might’ve had. I met a crack dealer named Animal, a gang member with a heart of gold, an old, dreadlocked hippy who tips in beer, and other sitcom-worthy characters who generally made my days less boring.

I’m certainly not going to miss it here. As I write this, the gas station owner is yelling at a customer who asked if they could use the bathroom, and even from across the store, I can see the veins popping out of his face as he yells. Hopefully the restaurant works out, I won’t come back here.

Dumbasses at Dunkin: Part Two

In today’s issue of Dumbasses at Dunkin, I’d like to share with you one of the interesting customers who makes my day a little less shitty, by being a piece of shit themselves.

First thing’s first, I should give a little context. Our bathroom’s been acting up lately, and since it’s the only one in the store, we’ve had some unhappy customers complain. Usually, they understand that the absence of a bathroom is not a big deal for the 5 minutes they spend in out store. Not this man.

This gentleman comes into the store, and immediately demands a bathroom. When I informed him of the bathroom situation, he became quite enraged, insisting that it is illegal to keep him from the out-of-order bathroom, ( spoiler alert: it’s not) and insisted I provide him access. Now, usually people understand that our bathroom is broken because they know how terribly the general public treats bathrooms they don’t have to clean, but this man was different.

After 5 minutes of trying to communicate to the gentleman that the only bathroom in the store was out of order, he exploded. He proceeded to go on a racially-charged rant about how the owner of the gas station was discriminating against him because he was Pakastani, which has probably happened before, so I tried to stay composed. After another round of arguement, the man told me that he would be calling the State House, and that we’d be shut down. Lovely.

He called them up, and I could slowly see his face fall as they presumably told him not only was this the wrong place to call, but that he didn’t have a case. As he hung up the phone, he turned to me and called me “Another one of those racist Brazilians” which is a fucking ridiculous sentance, since I’m about as white as you can be, and I don’t speak Portuguese. As Mr. Grumpypants left, he shouted that he would “Shut this place down, and sue the shit out of you! Just you wait!” Well, tick tock, I don’t have all day.

Mental Quicksand

Fear is quick sand. It’s a pair of cement shoes weighing you down. It pulls you down and envelopes you until there is no light, no escape, and no forward progress. You can fight as much as you want, but it will only drown you quicker. You see the world pass you by as you suffer in silence. You wish you could do something, but no matter what you do, no matter how close you get to the surface, you still drown. The only way to escape it is to accept it and let it take you.

There’s a Pixar movie called “Inside Out” that really made me think. Essentially, your emotions are anthropomorphized beings who work in your head, effecting how you perceive the world, with one emotion holding the wheel. Ever since I saw that movie, I’ve wondered which emotion of mine holds the proverbial wheel, is it anger, fear, sadness, joy? I’m torn between anger and fear. I’m angry because I have ridiculously high expectations of myself and everyone around me, and get upset when they don’t live up to my expectations. I’m angry because I’m an emotional punching bag for hundreds of assholes at my bullshit minimum-wage job. I’m angry because I could’ve been better and achieved everything I wanted. But I’m also scared of everything, which is probably why I’m miserable.

It shouldn’t be this hard. Why can’t I overcome my fear when so many others can? Do you think that a Russian Infantryman in Stalingrad wasn’t terrified? No, but he muscled through his fear and achieved his goal, or died trying. What the fuck is my excuse? I want to be better, but there is this mental brick wall that I keep running into preventing me from advancing, and nothing I do can penetrate it. I wonder what the future holds, if this is just a temporary setback, or if it’s the battle of a lifetime.

4 Types of Customers Nobody Likes

I get a wide variety of customers at work, most of them are decent enough people, or harmless. There are always outliers though, people like…

4. The Barely-Awake Stoner

Look, there’s nothing wrong with hitting the ol’ electric lettuce, but c’mon people, get it together before you venture out in public. Sometimes these customers are awesome, they’re usually open to suggestions, they’re funny most of the time, and you might get a big tip if you joke about how baked they look. You can tell you’re in for a bad time when you can smell the reefer before you see the customer, this usually means you’re in for 5 minutes of silence while they figure out where they are, and what they might want to eat. Further signs someone might be catastrophically cooked are when they have trouble relaying their order to you, or if they get distracted in the middle of their sentence and stop talking so they can think. Please smoke responsibly people.

3. The Soccer Mom

I don’t know how common these are everywhere else, but in my pasty-white slice of suburbia they run rampant. This sub-genre of white person is identified by their superior attitude, their cropped haircut, and their complete inability to control their children, who usually have ridiculous names like Braedyn or Jaedon. These woman are about 2 cups of coffee and a Xanax away from total meltdown, so they don’t have time for things like manners or complete sentences. Soccer Moms usually hate the taste of coffee, but rely on the caffeine, so they order drinks that are 95% sugary garbage and 5% coffee, and they expect you to know how much of each of the 7 ingredients to put in without telling you. Jesus help you if it’s even a little off, they’ll make you redo it 4 or 5 times until they think it’s right, even if you make it the same way each time. God forbid, they bring their kids in, forcing you to deal with whatever future asshole they’ve raised to talk down to retail workers. These people have never worked a service job on their lives, so they don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong.

2. The Conspiracy Nut

There are different stages of conspiracy nuts: the first layer is my favorite, they just vomit out whatever clickbait headline they just skimmed so you think they know what they’re talking about. The layer below that is where I start to get annoyed. These people are usually a couple crayons short of a box, and lack the awareness to realize that I’m not interested in listening to them talk about how Obama was a lizard person, or how the government is secretly giving us Lyme Disease to keep us from getting insurance. Every time one of these Alex Jones- level nuts come by, I pray for someone else to come along so I have an excuse to stop listening to them.

1. The Asshole

These are way too common. I don’t know what these people are like outside of the store, but it seems like the second they get into the store they evolve into some sort of enraged nuclear bomb. For the most part, these people are miserable people who get shat on in their own lives so much that they feel the need to make someone else’s day miserable. I deal with this type of customer every day, and I’ve noticed there are more of them than ever, which provides great material, but I’m getting tired of old people yelling at me because I can’t read their minds. Today, I got yelledat because apparently I didn’t get that “Black Coffee” means small iced with extra cream and sugar. I guess I’ve gotta work on that. I’ve found that laughing at these assholes works like a charm, as does being overly nice to them. Both approaches fry their circuits and leave then speechless, which is alway nice after 5 continuous mintues of verbal abuse.