Monday, May 18, 2009

Substandard Avatars

This is an old argument, and so I'll be as brief and concise as possible.

You may know that I work in a music store. My job description falls neatly under the moniker of Customer Service, and consists primarily of helping people find and purchase things.

A woman approached me tonight asking for a particular Christian artist, one I'd never heard of, but which she insisted was, "extremely popular". After looking for several minutes, and exhausting every method available to me in an attempt to locate it, I informed her as politely as I was able that I couldn't find it, we didn't have it, and I wouldn't be able to sell it to her. This sequence of events repeats itself often, and I am no stranger to the rigors of its execution. Normally this is where the story stops, and as one can see, is so unremarkable that it hardly warrants being called a story at all.

But this time was different, and it remains in the forefront of my mind more than two hours later.

Her demeanor was that of a person who's time is being wasted by someone far less intelligent than herself. She repeated no fewer than three times, "Well if you just check your thing I'm sure you'll find it." I explained to her just as many times that there is no "thing" to check, but that I require the correct spelling of an artist's name in order to look them up in the system. She was unable to provide me with said spelling.

Her two young children (aged perhaps six and eight respectively [this is a rough approximation]) were allowed to roam unsupervised throughout the entirety of my store, running this way and that while playing havoc with the organization of the CD racks. At one point I caught them rooting through the "adult" DVDs like pigs after carrots. It should not fall to me to stop the children of a "Christian" woman from burrowing into a stack of pornography, but I did it anyway.

After finally managing to convince her that the CD was nowhere to be found and that there was nothing more I could do for her, she dismissed me with, "well I guess you just don't carry the most popular artists." And then she just left.

Every single thing that you do serves as a representation of Christ's character, and whether or not it's an accurate one is beside the point. When you trump around a retail store like you own it, disrespect the employees, allow your children to run rampant, and do so in pursuit of a Christian album that you just have to get your hands on, you make us all out to be self-serving morons.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that people like this are the ones which often serve as the face of Christianity. Never mind world hunger relief efforts or pregnancy centers when there are arrogant and irresponsible jerks to talk about.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Late night brain storming is a favorite of mine. If it’s on the beach, walking down the street (singing “doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo”), driving your car with the music blaring, lying in a hammock looking up at the stars, biking around the neighborhood while children are at play, or in front of a computer to compile them all…it’s great. Nothing flexes the mind more than a rigorous study of what you’re into. Let me manifest….

I love to ask myself the question, “What do you want?” Yes, I ask in third person to seem outside myself. This question arises emotions aplenty and requires an exploration of where someone is headed. My first answer is always, “I want a cookie.” But alas, this wish has not been granted. I will continue to create a ruckus until this indelible desire is placated.

The problem with asking myself this question is I never know what I want until it comes and smacks me in the face with blunt force trauma. Does anyone really know what they want? Wanting means “to be deficient by the absence of some part or thing.” That’s just it. At the point in time we ask ourselves what we want, we don’t know because it’s unattainable. When someone accepts Jesus into their lives, we always say to them, “your life will never be the same.” They don’t know what is going to change or how Jesus will interact with them, but they step out because they want something. What we long for cannot be something because something isn’t good enough. It needs to be someone. Jesus.

This isn’t about that though. Frustration impedes on me whenever what I want comes up because I just don’t know sometimes. Prior to this post I made a list of things I wanted. Anything that came to mind. After, I scanned through and checked the ones I’d experienced before but were wanting again. That was 50%. It included material things like violin strings, Publix green iced tea, and that cookie which still haunts me. The other 50% I’ve had before but wanted in a totally different way or on a deeper level. My relationship with Jesus is something that was on the list. I already have a good one with him right now, but it’s not good enough. I don’t know what’s coming next. Or else I’d already be there. A female companion was on the list also. I’ve had a few female companions, but the one coming won’t be the same as past. When love is ushered in with a relationship, it won’t be the same love I felt for the others. It will be an unknown. And like Jesus, the further we get in, the more we know.

Props to Ryan Olsen for filling the void. Thanks man.