But if they did, we'd probably just break into groups of two or three. I have to remind myself that the problem with working the front desk wasn't working with people, just being trapped and having to deal with whatever came through the door. No control, no comfort. Some people are good at that sort of thing, but not me.
These cartoons go together: I don't deal well with a lack of sleep, and I was commuting a fair distance both ways which meant that working the evening shift and coming back in for the morning shift meant that I had about eight hours total between shifts--not really a good thing. It didn't happen all that often, but again seemed to be a way in which Mai would schedule us to do things she wouldn't really want to do herself.
The sun is shining here today, although it didn't look so good this morning--much to cold for the end of April. But things should warm up a bit now. I think the primary complaint I had about Mai at the hotel was that she--in her capacity as Assistant Manager, with a brand-new shiny bachelor's degree in Hotel/Motel Management from some school in Tennessee--wasn't doing, and had never done the work she was directing us to do. I liked Lisa, the real manager: even though her politics were pretty horrendous, she had real experience working the front desk in a hotel, and understood the issues we faced. In any case, I have always been more inclined to passive-aggression, and that actually fits better with a job where you're stuck behind a counter eight hours a day. [Some traits: obstructionism, fostering chaos, procrastination, forgetfulness... ] Think of me next time you're checking into a hotel.
More fan art. This was accompanied with the caveat, "you'll understand this better than I do." The ducks and pigeons are the Republicans, Mr. Miro and Mini-Miro are the Democrats, and they're shooting arrows at each other. You'd think I was giving him my back issues of the Nation.
When I was in high school, my English teachers skipped grammar. They said that we would pick up most of the rules simply by seeing them in action. For the most part, I think that is true: I still can't diagram a sentence, but I can pick out a problem when I see it. (The main problem I've encountered because of this has been learning other languages: the terms of the parts and functions of language are useful things to know.)
"Some people have a way with words. Some no have way." -Steve Martin
Like any truly great artist, I have fans who also enjoy writing their own cartoons. For instance, this cartoon explores the different ways Mr. Miro might appear in different situations: I've drawn Mr. Miro as a Roman soldier, but never as a caveman or a sailor. Or a lion. I think this is really, really cool. Keep 'em coming!
Julie asked if the Muzak made the rooms go faster: the answer is no, but here's the cartoon that prompted the question. The Muzak was good for passing the time when there wasn't anyone around (except Mai, and it was good for annoying her, something I was particularly good at). Also, I wasn't able to hear the music playing from behind the desk unless it was really cranked up, and as you may have guessed, I really enjoy music. (Read the article and you'll see why "Muzak" and music aren't necessarily in conflict with each other any more.)
I realize that it's still Apryl for another week, but here she is. I think there's something that makes "assistant managers" evil; I don't know what exactly. Perhaps "evil" is too strong a word. Maybe not, though: it certainly fits Mai. She's better now that she's left the Onim Hotel. Well, a little better.
And others never quite get started. I hate the feeling of having a lot to do, but not being able to get to work because other things--or people--are holding me up. I'm not really good at waiting. Unless I have something to read. Or I have my guitar. But then, as H.R. Niebuhr said, there is a "grace of doing nothing." Procrastinating is, of course, a completely different issue.
A friend sent me a link to a Myers-Briggs site that includes a test and a profile. I actually prefer their personality typology better than the Enneagram, probably because I like Jung, and had read this book before I even heard of Myers and Briggs. I'm amused that the INFP is the only type that seems to have a theme song:
“I go – but where, o gods since for his torment and my pleas Heaven offers no pity?
You who speak to my heart, Guide my steps, dear love; Ease that uncertainty, That urges me to doubt.”
- LORENZO DA PONTE (1749-1838)
The INFP is identified on this web site as the "Lyricist." Judging from the results of the PoF Robot-Song-Off, not a stellar lyricist...
I guess I should be clear: this was a very nice hotel, the best in town. It probably still is, although I haven't been back there in over a decade. Because of this, the blockhead with the fine, fortified wine probably isn't a guest. These days, though, helping someone such as this is exactly what I hope to do. Not really in the job description of a desk clerk, however.
Despite only getting "honorable" mention in the PoF 2006 Robot-Song-Off, I'm still glad I was able to participate. On a different note, someone--perhaps August J. Pollak--has provided a link to yet another cartoon site on the web. Perhaps it wasn't August J. himself, however--I don't want to draw any unwarranted conclusions. In any case, I'm not really up for the whole "Self-martyr magazine" today, even though I think there is a legitimate fear of censorship from the Önim Hotel chain. As I mentioned before, however, it wasn't so much a dislike of the hotel as it was a dislike of the hotel-industry in general and the assistant manager in particular. Watch as the saga unfolds!
I liked having a desk, but I don't think I ever had a giant wall-clock hanging over my head. This cartoon was drawn before I got the job at the law firm, but it could be about my time there. Speaking of which, it might be time to start posting the cartoons about working at a hotel which shall remain nameless. I can't really blame the hotel itself for my dissatisfaction, of course. Being a 5, that kind of hospitality work isn't my gig; and the evil assistant manager really made it much, much worse. (Mai has since reformed. Well, sort of.)
I'm on the BBC! Well, sort of; you'll have to scroll down, and it ultimately links Pieces of Flair rather than this site--which is just as well, since I haven't posted any of my own music. But I'm given credit for the "song that begged" for the competition. He also notes the Ted Peters connection, which I'm happy about. Also: hear "Tiny Robots" unplugged on the 25th! I hope Rodney is happy about the competition, although I can't be sure he'd be happy about the songs themselves. A lot of ignorance about robots there. But perhaps he'll send the winner a robot. After all, what have you got to lose? In case your wondering about the cartoon, I've finally confirmed that I'm a 5 on the Enneagram, which, among other things, means that I'll pretty much be happy wherever I am, as long as I have something to read. Speaking of which, I was happy to make the connection between the Synod of Dort and Patti Smith today: the opening words of her debut album Horses are, "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine"--which is an excellent summary of limited atonement, although usually people like to include themselves in the elect. I don't really know where I may end up, but like I said, as long as I have something to read I'll be happy.
Sometimes I think I ought to be writing about things that matter, and maybe my thoughts on politics and the world and such. A friend of mine occasionally posts very long, thoughtful analyses of various issues (on Mel Gibson's The Passion, Leo Strauss, and Reagan among other things); but I haven't really used my power for either good or evil. Just cartoons. Maybe I should have said, Everyone is entitled to my cartoons. Hmm...
In most respects, I prefer Sonny Rollins to John Coltrane. If I were to actually play the saxophone (as opposed to a "saxamaphone") I'd probably play more like Hank Mobley (except not as good, of course).
I was reflecting on Brian's inquiry as to whether our inner tubes are tied together, and it occurred to me that we often don't use the resources that are available to us. Or at least, I don't. The key here is of course symbolic (standing under a streetlight, locked out of the car might also work, but that's not really what I was getting at here). Another friend was commenting on the gloom of Good Friday, which is only loosely associated with the idea of neglecting resources at hand, but it seemed sufficient to warrant that title on a sunny day.
There was an interesting discussion this morning that revolved around status; it was good to be reminded that sometimes simply maintaining one's place in a bad situation seems better than trading it in for... something else, I know not what. That is, stability can be an end in itself. I was trying to represent the Stoic point of view, but in that context it more or less meant being quiet. Others dominated the conversation, as often happens; like a dog tied to a cart, we're all going along in any case, and the only thing we have control over is how we go. Some find this an unpleasant image--a dog trotting alongside a cart to avoid being dragged behind--so feel free to substitute floating in a river. That fits the mood of the day better in any case.
I had a discussion of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator last night; this morning's pronoucement is in light of the "perceiver" portion of my score. I think it's interesting, but necesarily limited; some have even suggested that it could be replaced by a pig. Needless to say, Mr. Miro's pig had small ears and a large tail, things which wouldn't necessarily be indicated on the MBTI.
Ethics is a funny sub-discipline... on some level, everyone agrees on the basic principles, something along the lines of "don't harm others." But the way that gets applied is another matter. In my darker hours I tend towards emotivism: it seems to be the best theory in terms of describing not only my own reactions towards things, but also in characterizing the reactions of others. For instance: an old quote from Pat Robertson was brought to mind yesterday, that feminism is a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Not only is this not empirically supportable, it also isn't Biblical. It seems easiest to say that this is Robertson's emotional reaction to feminism, and further, that it expresses nothing but his own emotional reaction. My fear is that all moral judgments are essentially the same.
I did not go to "Central High," or anywhere with such a lackluster name. But graduation ceremonies of all sorts have always seemed rather pointless. Part of me continues to resist ceremonies of all sorts: they never quite seem to accomplish what they're supposed to accomplish. That is, they may memorialize (and make memorable) a certain day that would otherwise fade into the dim reaches of memory, but in the ceremony itself can never effect the sort of transformation that is implied. I realize that graduation is supposed to mark the transformation rather than cause it, but really it just means that you either get to stop taking classes--not a bad thing--or else that you get to start taking classes somewhere else--also, not necessarily a bad thing. I don't think I'm done with this train of thought, but I may be out of steam for the moment.
I used to fly a lot more than I do now; today this would probably be about Delta rather than TWA. I wonder if Sartre got the idea that "hell is other people" from sitting on an airplane between two people across the Atlantic... maybe, maybe not. I guess there are lots of other opportunties to make that observation.
Mai has more trouble with philosophy than most, but she's around me enough to take a stab once in a while... she's not a big fan of Nietzsche (as should be obvious here--and of course she's not the only one, although I would stop short of saying that she's in good company) but then, it's fairly clear that she doesn't really understand what's going on. And in that respect, she's basically the opposite of me: I understand what's going on in Nietzsche, but not the rest of the world. Hmmm...