Today I went to work an extra day to help a friend + my workplace. I figure today was putting in the hours for money I'll spend on a nice dinner or something two weeks from now. When I put it in that perspective, it makes everything feel a little lighter. I spent a large chunk of time working on organizing the books we received that had been transferred to us from other stores per customer requests. I also had to call each of these customers to tell them that their book(s) had arrived. Usually this is done Thursday morning, but I wanted to lighten their load tomorrow as much as possible since they will still be short two people. When you call in the morning, mostly people don't pick up. I'm used to leaving the same generic "your book has arrived, please come pick up your book" schpiel on their voicemail. At 7PM, however, most people are home and not doing anything. I'd say about half the people I called tonight actually picked up and it's so hard not repeating your programmed patterns. I replied "cool" a lot of times in places where it didn't make much sense.

Me: Hi, this is Lorelei from ____.
Customer: Oh, hello!
Me: Cool. So I'm just calling to let you know that the book ____ that you wanted transferred has arrived and...

The problem is I'm used to phone calls at work where the conversation generally goes like this:

Customer: I'm looking for a book! It's ____.
Me: Ok! Let me put you on hold while I find it.
[minutes go by]
Me: All right, I found the book and it's $7.99. Would you like me to put it on hold?
Customer: Yes, please.
Me: Cool! What is your name...

So now I just respond "cool" a lot more often to people on the phone without really taking in what they're saying. I called one customer and was leaving a flawless message on her voicemail when she picked up the phone mid-message and said "thank you." I was caught completely off-guard and was totally nervous-laughing and sputtering for a little while. And then I ended up repeating most of what I'd already said from the beginning! Talking is hard.

(Photo by Kyle Head)

Having programmed responses to things makes life a little weird. This morning I went to Zumba and had a grand old time. Then today one of the songs that plays during our Zumba workouts played on the work radio. I really wanted to dance the entire time I heard it. I've just been conditioned to want to dance to certain songs and I haven't even been to Zumba that many times yet. It's fascinating and terrifying how quickly your brain establishes patterns and routine.

The reason this post is late tonight is right after work, I watched the new Jumanji movie with my family. I actually watched it with my cousins the week it came out in theatres, but it was nice watching it at home with my parents. I think this sequel nailed a lot of things and it was a huge surprise to me how good it is. Jack Black seriously deserves an Oscar. I do think some of the writing at the beginning was weak, but the movie got better as it went and it was soooo good by the end. I'm hoping this doesn't start a huge franchise or anything, though. I think as a society we lean too heavily on the familiar—on remakes and sequels and franchises. I'm tired of watching books turned into movies and movies turned into slightly different movies. There's so many screenwriters trying to make it—can't we have something new[1]?

That being said, I'm stoked for the Crazy Rich Asians movie and am tentatively excited for the Mulan live-action, even despite the dumpster fire of bad press for the latter. Maybe I'm part of the problem since I'm actively throwing my money and attention at these things, but... Gosh, growing up in the 90's, the only bit of representation I had in fiction/media was the Yellow Ranger in Power Rangers, Jubilee from X-Men, and Claudia from The Babysitter's Club. It's honestly really gratifying to see Asians—people who look like me—on magazine covers and stuff. Kelly Marie Tran is even Vietnamese! And born the same year as me!

What a time to be alive.

  1. New and inclusive and diverse? Maybe that's asking for too much. Oh wait, it's totally not. ↩︎