Open Letter(s) to Target Managers, or Why I Hate Your Cashiers’ Bagging Skills

Dear Target Manager,

I appreciate that Target offers me a discount for using reusable bags. I especially appreciate that the policy changed from 5 cents off to 5 cents per bag. I like getting financial incentives to recycle, reuse, all that crap.

reusable bags, reusable totes, tote bags, reusable shopping bags, shopping bags
My reusable bag stash that I keep in my car.

What I do NOT appreciate is how you’ve very obviously instructed your employees to pack as much as possible into one reusable bag. Today’s shopping experience involved me watch the cashier play Tetris with my items – canned tomatoes on top of a soft item?! are you for real?! – because she was hell bent on not using my second bag. She even asked me, “Do you want this in a bag?” when I had two items left, one of which couldn’t be easily carried out (bottle with no handle) and one which would be much easier for me to carry in a bag (small case of sparkling water). I made her use the second bag, but I could tell she wasn’t thrilled about it.

This reusable-bag overloading wasn’t the first time this has happened, either: I’ve had the same experience at the same Target store, with different cashiers. They all seem a bit squirrely as they are bagging the items, too, as if they know the customer may curse them out for overloading one bag. I suspect many customers have complained, yet the practice continues.

As a single woman, I don’t enjoy schlepping bags upstairs to my apartment, no matter what’s inside them: new shoes, makeup, groceries, cleaning products, a grumpy cat post-vet visit. I particularly hate it when the bags are packed so damn heavy that I fear I will topple over on the stairs, landing at the bottom covered in dry beans, white vinegar and quinoa. (I’m looking at you, Trader Joe’s, with your friendly hipster cashiers who pack fairly efficiently but again, all the heavy stuff seems to wind up in one bag. Space them out, dammit!) It’s much more tolerable if the bags are packed for transport AND efficiency, not just efficiency. (The issue of keeping frozen/refrigerated items together is a post for another time.)

But I digress. Here’s the thing, Mr/Ms. Target Manager: if you’ve given your cashiers some sort of lecture or warning about too many reusable bag credits per shift, shame on you. If this edict is coming from corporate, then y’all need to rethink your strategy here. If California enacts the plastic bag ban law, I figure you’ll eliminate the reusable bag discount, at least in CA. In the meantime, stop overloading my bags.

Thanks,

Moxie

Mindy, We Are So Over

Turns out most of my blog traffic lately has been due to my post on Mindy Kaling and the Hermès Birkin bag sighting on her show. I find it rather amusing, but also interesting that people are trying to find out more about the bag.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my rants about the second Birkin bag Mindy was carting around. (I’ve posted the tweets below, since it’s been a while.)

 

The second Birkin was a lovely shade of geranium pink (not a true red, as it were) and it goes for 16,999 here.

Then there were three.

The third Hermès Birkin bag, according to the folks over at Createurs de Luxe, is valued at over $22,750.

Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum

It was after this third bag that I decided to stop watching this show. I couldn’t even make it to the season finale this past week, which according to a couple TV pundits & bloggers was quite good.

But I have tapped out. All because of three expensive handbags.

Now, to be clear, I don’t have a problem with Hermès, or the Birkin bag. I think they are gorgeous and lovely, and if I had the income that allowed me to purchase one without having to live in my car for a year three years, I would totally do it. My problem is with the production team for “The Mindy Project” and Mindy herself for having this character lug around $56,748 (according to my math) in purses. It requires a major suspension of disbelief that I’m unwilling to do.

If you watched “Sex and the City” you may remember the Season 4 episode “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” where Samantha (Kim Cattrall) uses client Lucy Liu’s name as a way to get herself bumped up on the waiting list at Hermès for a Birkin. That was believable. And I’m willing to give Mindy the luxury of one Birkin bag – the initial Bleu Jean Leather Birkin, to be exact. I can find it believable that a female OB-GYN in Manhattan would have one mega-expensive handbag in her accessory repertoire. But for a character to lug around three different Birkin bags in the course of one season, without any other female character making a comment or wisecrack about the purses, is highly suspect to me.

What’s interesting is that the folks over at Hermès Purse Forum don’t know if the bags belong to Mindy or if they are on loan from a production company. Not sure if the company would tell them, or anyone else for that matter, if the bags belong to Mindy. And if they do belong to Ms. Kaling, it’s time to keep the bags off the show and on her arm in tabloid photos, where they belong. From what I’ve read, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, her character on the show, is supposedly going to Haiti, where, for the cost of just one Birkin bag, you could feed the entire country for a month.

So that’s it for us, Mindy. We’re over. Maybe, in time, we’ll look back on this period in our lives and laugh about how silly it was for me to get hung up on some expensive purse. But for now, it’s best we part. And when I sell my novel and can buy a Birkin of my very own, I promise to consult you first.

 

You Can’t Fool Me, Mindy Kaling

Last week I was catching up on my stories, by which I mean going through the shows in my Hulu queue and watching them. One of those stories shows is “The Mindy Project”, starring the fabulously funny Mindy Kaling. I was the one person in America who did not watch “The Office” (TV is supposed to be an escape from reality and “The Office” was never that for me), but I liked her. I may be biased because my cousin Susie* looks like her. So much like Mindy, in fact, that people have called her Mindy on the street and had their picture taken with her and asked for her autograph. I could be making that last part up. But I think she told me that once. In any event it’s a good story. (Update: Susie confirms this has actually happened on several occasions.)

Back to my point. I was watching Episode 2, titled “Hiring and Firing.” It starts with Mindy riding the New York subway with her colleague. She’s carrying a beautiful blue handbag, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t known what kind of bag it was.

It was a Hermes Birkin bag.

Some of you savvy fashionista types will not need to read the next two paragraphs, because you know all about this handbag. For those of you who are unaware of the value or significance of this bag, please continue.

Now I’ve only seen a Birkin once before in the wild, and it was a long time ago. (Oddly enough, it’s been almost exactly 7 years.) You don’t see these bags on the arm of just anyone, mind you. That’s because they are expensive. And when I say expensive, I mean you could buy a 2012 Honda Civic LX with a few nice options for just about the same price. I know this because I just went on Honda’s website and priced a 2012 Honda Civic Coupe LX.

Honda, Civic, car
The car I could buy for the same price as Mindy Kaling’s handbag. Nice, isn’t it?

The same bag Mindy’s carrying on the show is sold here for $19,999.00.

I’ll give you a minute to pick up your jaw, which should have dropped at least twice by now. The fashionistas can keep sipping their lattes while they wait for us to catch up.

The character Mindy plays on the show is a OB/GYN. And she’s based in New York. Okay, based on those two facts alone, it’s conceivable that the character could afford a Birkin. Or that she’d have a gang of wealthy friends who all chipped in to buy her a Birkin once she graduated from med school. It’s possible.

But where my disbelief refused to be suspended, and where the title of this blog post comes from, is the fact that she is carrying a $20,000 handbag on the subway.

 

This, my friends, is a Hermes Birkin bag. Photo courtesy Hermes Purse Forum and mindy-kaling.com

Sorry, Mindy. You can’t fool me into thinking this character is willing to carry her Birkin on the subway. Not just because of the possibility of theft. But also because someone might breathe on it, or touch it without wearing cotton gloves. That is how I would be if I had a Birkin. Maybe I’m weird like that.

Because I have nothing else to do except avoid deadlines, I presented this inconsistency to Giles and Ms. Chick for their feedback. Giles was understanding but does not have the Expensive Handbag gene which tells you taxis are the only way to travel if you are carrying a handbag that could be traded for a kidney on the black market. Ms. Chick was unaware of the Hermes Birkin’s significance, but once I educated her, she was just as horrified as I was.

Since I figure I can’t get access to Mindy Kaling to question her on the handbag choice for her character on “The Mindy Project”, I called my cousin Susie, the one who looks like Mindy Kaling, to ask her what she had to say about all of this.

“I would definitely not take it on the subway,” said Susie. “She may have not even known what it was, as the character.”

“Oh, I think she knows,” I said.

“I could see her character thinking ‘Oh it’s so cool!’ but not have any idea how much the purse is. So she just carries it everywhere. I do that. One time I got a Coach purse as a gift and I was blown away at how much it cost,” said Susie.

“Did they get it from the Coach Outlet?” I asked.

“I have no idea.”

“Okay, well, the point is, you wouldn’t take a $20,000 bag on the subway,” I said.

“Right. Love you!” she said, and hung up. Susie is a very busy woman and does not have time for long rambling phone interviews with bloggers who only blog when they are avoiding deadlines.

So Mindy, you can’t fool me and you can’t fool your doppelganger, either. We are on to your Birkin-loving ways.

*Name changed to protect her identity, though if you see a woman who looks a LOT like Mindy Kaling it’s either Mindy or my cousin.

 

Words and Phrases I Don’t Want to Hear or Read Ever again

Earlier this year I started compiling a list of words and phrases I was so sick of reading or hearing people use. Today a Facebook friend’s post on grammar and proper usage made me decide it was time to finish up the post and hit the Publish button. You’re welcome.

Über I knew a woman who used this word so much that it lost all meaning. You’re not German, and I bet Germans don’t even use this word as much as we do. So shut up.
Douche, douchebag, douche-y I hate that the French word for shower has been adopted by Americans as the word for complete asshole. I cringe whenever I read it or hear it being used as an insult. For some reason I hate this word more than the see-you-next-Tuesday word (say this out loud and you’ll figure out what I’m referring to), and I am unclear why that word is so offensive when douche is not.
delish Do we really need to abbreviate delicious? I think some people use this word because they think it’s cute, like Rachael Ray with her damn EVOO for extra virgin olive oil and “yum-o” for yummy. I doubt my foodie friends use this term to describe their $50 meals out, so here’s the rule: you can only use delish to describe meals from Jack in the Box. That should kill delish.
Schadenfreude, Zeitgeist, Sturm und Drang, Deus ex Machina; aka, a phrase seen in Vanity Fair at least once per issue I have been reading Vanity Fair since Demi Moore was on the cover back in 1992. And I feel fairly confident in saying that every issue contains at least one of these words or phrases. Hey, Graydon Carter, how about putting these words in the VF style guide under the “Do Not Use If You Ever Want to Write for Us again” header?
inorite?! This is why society is so screwed up: no one knows how to spell so they spell everything phonetically.
unique This word has gotten so abused that it means absolutely nothing. Yes, I get that the word also means “unusual” but my impression is that more folks use the word with its first definition in mind: “being the only one.” I’m not buying it. On “The Voice” the coaches use this word all the freakin’ time to describe the competitors and it makes me batty. Thesaurus to the stage, please!
SMH or any variation thereof, OMG or ZOMG, FML Enough of the melodramatic acronyms and abbreviations, especially FML. Really? Whatever you’re going through is so awful that you feel the need to say “f*** my life”? If it’s truly that bad, then you need to get some offline therapy. We all know you are just trying to get attention and sympathy by way of a long list of comments on Facebook. It’s not cute, it’s annoying. Knock it off.
totes Last time I checked, Totes was a company that made umbrellas. Oh look – it still is.
LOL Personally I prefer “Ha!” to show that I’m actually laughing out loud when I’m reading something funny. Maybe that’s just me. But my impression is that LOL has turned into the social media version of nervous laughter.
Using. A. Period. After. Every. Word. To. Emphasize. It was cute for a hot minute and now it’s just tiresome. Take your passive-aggressive attention whore self elsewhere.
Spelling words and phrases as if they were spoken by someone with major orthodontic work (e.g., Ermagerd for “Oh my god”) Explain to me how this isn’t insulting and derogatory to people who are putting themselves through hell just to have perfectly aligned teeth. When I started seeing this all over social media I had to look it up to figure out what the hell people were abbreviating. If you’re gonna rag on people for using the phrase “retard” or “retarded,” then this little bit of shtick has to go as well.

What words or phrases make your head explode? 

The Five F’s of Moxie – and the One F That Is the Most F’ed of All

Many years ago, Momcat told me about the five F’s of her life: female, fat, forty, fatigued, and fed up. At the time, I could sympathize, but I couldn’t quite empathize.

Now I can empathize. And that one F – fat – pisses me off to no end.

I am dealing with the fatigue part pretty well – giving up gluten has helped immensely with the brain fog, fatigue and tiredness I used to feel after eating. (Not to mention that sixth F, flatulence. But we don’t need to go there.) Being female, well, I’m okay with that too, though peri-menopause is a bitch. I really believe we leave the menstrual years the way we came in: with unpredictable cycles, uncontrolled mood swings, and an intense desire for sweets. Honestly, I welcome the crone years. I think it will be very liberating in the same way that being a child was so freeing. There’s nothing I can do about being forty, so I am being with it as best I can. As for being fed up, I journal, blog, tweet, meditate, and listen to self-hypnosis MP3s to help me not get so frustrated. It does make a difference.

But the F I cannot abide is fat. A week ago I saw a picture of myself at an event and was so disgusted. What the hell happened to my body? I never was blessed with fast metabolism, but really?

I admit that I haven’t exercised regularly for about 3 months now. I am the kind of person who needs to commit to a class and pay money in order to get into a steady pattern with working out. I will work out at home occasionally, but it’s not something I’m in the habit of doing. This summer has been very difficult financially, so the exercise classes I’d normally be paying for (aerobics and lap swimming at public pools) I couldn’t afford.

And apparently giving up soda (which happened accidentally on purpose around the same time as the gluten-free thing) doesn’t make a huge difference unless you drink more than 1 can a day. It’s been nearly 3 months and my weight hasn’t dropped at all. This pisses me off too. I have read that going gluten-free sometimes means you put on weight because you’re eating gluten-free processed foods that are higher in fat/calories/sugar than their glutentastic counterparts. Now, I admit to doing this, and to sometimes forgetting that gluten free does not mean fat/calorie free. But how is this fair? Why do all those gluten eaters get to have all the gluten AND the skinny jeans, too?

So now I’m the angry fat chick reading tweets and blog posts and Facebook updates from friends who are all losing weight and they are so happy and I want to punch them all in their skinny little faces. Except I don’t know how to throw a decent punch, unless you count Tae Bo videos or cardio kickboxing classes.

I will get my shit together and release some weight. Notice I said “release” and not “lose”. I’m not going to lose weight, mind you, because if I lose it, I may go looking for it again. It’s happened before. But all you skinny bitch friends of mine – and you know who you are – if you see me giving you the evil eye, or perhaps shooting a blow dart in your general direction, you know why.

What Would AGB Do?

Earlier today I was at the farmers market, picking out some squash and zucchini so I could make zucchini noodles with tofu (it’s really good). Standing right in front of the produce was a tall guy on his cell phone. He seemed completely oblivious to the fact that he was blocking other people’s access to the stand – he was too busy yammering away to give a damn. I manuevered around him, picked my items, and paid. Did the dude hang up? No – he actually took another call and stood there complaining about being bothered while he was trying to shop. Based on what he was muttering, I think the second call was actually work-related. The nerve. One of the salespeople at the produce stand was waiting for him to finish, because she stood there looking at him, not sure if she should say anything. It was annoying to watch.

Then this afternoon I read an article on Consumerist about how businesses are dealing with customers who are on their cell phones, and they asked readers to comment on what techniques would work. Many people suggested violence, others suggested signage, while others offered some phrases such as “I’m going to help the person behind you so you can finish your call, please step to the side and let me know when you’re ready.” All I can think is: how did we get here? And WWAGBD, which is short for What Would Alexander Graham Bell Do?

Alexander Graham Bell, telephone, inventor, phone
WWAGBD? Our boy Alec wouldn’t be texting while driving, that’s for damn sure.

I ask this because there are times when I am out and I am very aware of the high number of people more engaged with their phone than with their surroundings. I often think how weird we would look to an alien race who communicates telepathically and they don’t understand these little boxes we carry around and poke at occasionally. And sometimes I find myself getting irrationally angry at people who cannot seem to put down the damn phone and TALK TO ME BECAUSE I AM RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. You know who you are.

I try to avoid using my phone for calls when I’m out shopping. If I do, I usually look for an out-of-the-way spot to hide in while I have my conversation. And I don’t make or take calls while I’m at a restaurant eating with someone else – it has to be an urgent matter for me to answer the phone. Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one who has a sense of cell phone etiquette – and mind you, I slip up at times, especially if I am stressed out or I’m attempting to multitask (which I really am horrible at doing).

But back to my question: when confronted with poor phone etiquette, what would Alexander Graham Bell – or Alec, as he was known in his later years – do? For years the rumor has been that he hated the telephone. But according to his wife Mabel, that wasn’t the case at all – he just didn’t want one in his study because that’s where he did all his work. Check out this excerpt from a letter she wrote to the head of AT&T, long before the days of the iPhone:

Dear Mr. Carty:
I am beginning to get distressed over the many statements the papers have been publishing of Mr. Bell’s dislike of the telephone. Of course, he never had one in his study. That was where he went when he wanted to be alone with his thoughts and his work. The telephone, of course, means intrusion by the outside world. And the little difficulties and delays often attending the establishment of conversation in even well managed telephone circuits did irritate him, so that as a rule he preferred having others send and receive messages. But all really important business over the telephone he transacted himself.
There are few private houses more completely equipped with telephones than ours at 1331 Connecticut Avenue, and there was nothing that Mr. Bell was more particular about than our telephone service here. [Beinn Bhreagh, N.S.]. For nearly all of the thirty-five odd years we have been here he saw personally to its proper working. We never could have come here in the first place or continued here, but for the telephone which kept us in close touch with doctors and neighbors and the regular telegraph office. . . .Mr. Bell did like to say in fun, “Why did I ever invent the Telephone,” but no one had a higher appreciation of its indispensableness or used it more freely when need was—either personally or by deputy—and he was really tremendously proud of it and all it was accomplishing.

Two things pop out here:

  1. Alec didn’t have a phone in his study because that’s where he did his work.
  2. He appreciated its usefulness and “indispensableness” when he had need for the phone.

With those things in mind, I think it’s safe to assume that Mr. Bell would encourage people to use their phones while in line at Starbucks only when it is absolutely necessary. He would define necessity as being a matter of life or death, not figuring out your officemate’s drink order. He would remind Mr. Chats-a-Lot at the farmer’s market that the telephone can be too much of a distraction. And he would applaud businesses that establish rules for dealing with customers on cell phones.

Then he would get on his iPhone 4s and text his wife “OMG u wont believe what just happened at the farmers mkt.”

 

If the Black & Hot Pink Athletic Shoe Fits

Last week I went shopping for shoes for my aerobics class. There were plenty of shoes to choose from, but the color selection freaked me out. I’m talking neon colors of pink and chartreuse and orange on a black or grey canvas mesh. What happened to standard white sneakers with blue or silver accents?

I suppose I’m incorrectly assuming that the resurgence of old-school aerobic dance classes means that white high-top aerobic shoes are back, too. I did find out that Reebok still makes the ubiquitous-in-the-80s Freestyle high-top aerobic shoes. And you can get them in white. But if you go to their website, you will find crazy color combinations that look like the shoes were dipped in rainbow sherbet gone horribly wrong.

Since I had limited funds, I narrowed it down to two choices, seen below.

image

Want to guess which one I picked?

Repost If You Agree: Why Your Facebook Status Is Not Activism

A week ago a friend on a social network I use often (no, it’s not Facebook or Twitter) posted the following, prefaced by “Oh Lord, here we go again”:

“Okay pretty ladies,it’s that time of the year again….Support of Breast Cancer Awareness!!So we all remember last year’s game of writing your bra color as your status or the way we like to have our handbag handy?Last year,So many people took part that it made national news and the Constant Updating vstatus reminded everyone why were doing this and helped raised Awareness!!Do not tell any males….what thestatus mean…keep them guessing!!and please Copy and Paste (in a message)this to all your females friends. It’s time to confuse the men again (Its not really that hard to do)the idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born.(Pass this on the GIRLS ONLY!!and lets see how it reaches around.The last one about the bra went around all over the world.Your status should say “I am going to_________for__________months”. The day you were born should be for how many months you are going. Janauary-mexico February-London March-miami April-Dominican Republic May-france June-St.Petersburg July-Austria August-Germany September-New York October-Amster Dam November-Las Vegas December-Columbia”

I groaned as well when I read this, because I knew eventually this meme would hit someone within my group of Facebook friends and I’d be seeing this in my Messages. So far I haven’t seen it – but it’s only a matter of time.

I understand why these awareness memes started: it’s very easy to support a cause when all you have to do is copy and paste, or use an arbitrary algorithm (and I’m using the word “algorithm” very loosely here) to figure out what city you’re going to and for how many months. For me, this particular meme suggests I’ll be in London for 8 months, which sounds pretty fabulous, to be honest.

But the reality is that a cryptic, cutesy status update – or even a tweet – is not activism. Telling people what color your bra is or where you like to leave your purse doesn’t raise awareness of breast cancer. It merely confuses people. Social media confusion does not equal awareness; it equals irritation and unfriending and unfollowing.

Righteous – or even non-righteous – indignation over a dreaded disease, the poor and downtrodden masses, or even an abused puppy is common on the Internet. I get it. I get indignant too and I will share stories that particularly piss me off. What I’ve discovered, however, is that spreading those stories doesn’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. What does make a difference is actively doing something to show my feelings about the issue.

So ladies, rather than tell me you’re going to France for 16 months, why not give a few bucks to the American Cancer Society or Susan G. Komen? Or if you’re low on funds, how about going to your local hospital and reading or playing games in the pediatric cancer ward? Or call the nearest hospice and volunteer to deliver a meal to the family of a woman with breast cancer, or babysit her kids while she’s at chemo? It doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. It just needs to come from your heart.

I can’t stop these silly memes or trends with one blog post, I know. But that doesn’t stop me from hoping we’ll move from passive support of issues and causes to more active support.

The Toenail Clipping Bandit*

I have lived in my current apartment for a little over a year now. Aside from the lack of closet & storage space and the minimal natural light, I really like my place. I’m within walking distance of several good restaurants and a discount grocery store, and when the state workers are off work for the weekend or a holiday, it’s very quiet down here. My building management also has security people walking around at night, so I feel very safe.

But I have an issue with my neighbor. His hygiene habits, to be specific.

To explain this in further detail let’s go back to last year, when I was sitting at my desk, faffing about on the Internet, and I heard this unusual sound coming from outside. The tink-tink-tink sound made me think of metal clippers or scissors of some sort. I go to the kitchen and look out the window. Sure enough, my neighbor is sitting at the top of the stairs, clipping his toenails.

Now having been married for a few years, and having observed men’s feet at various times in my life, I am well aware that men aren’t always particularly adept at DIY pedicures. I honestly think they don’t have toenail maintenance on their radar until they are awakened at 2 a.m. by their partner or spouse screaming in pain because they have just been stabbed in the calf with an inch-long toenail. So I applaud Neighbor for paying attention to his feet. And judging by the women I’ve seen going in and out of his apartment, I suspect the ladies appreciate it as well. No one wants to have sex with Talon Foot Man.

Here’s where the problem comes in. After Neighbor finishes clipping his toenails, he does not dispose of the clippings. He doesn’t even sweep them off the stairs. The damn little pieces of toenail just lie there on the landing, grossing me out.

After that first occurrence, I thought maybe his lack of follow-through on his foot hygiene was a one-off. But nope. A month later Neighbor was out there trimming up the tootsies for Christmas and sure enough, the clippings remained on the stairs. Every month or so, I hear the unmistakable tink-tink-tink of clippers and I throw up a little in my mouth, because I know what’s coming.

A couple months ago I gathered some photographic evidence.

toenails, toenail clippings, pedicure
The cold, hard evidence of toenail clippings on the landing.
toenails, toenail clippings, pedicure
Another closeup of the toenail clippings.

Once or twice I swept away the clippings, but now I refuse to do it. They aren’t my toenails, after all. Sometimes I brush away the bigger pieces with my sneakered foot as I head down the stairs, but mostly I just get disgusted.

Now, if I had any sort of relationship with Neighbor, other than saying hello when our paths cross, I could make a joke about it. “Dude, what the hell is up with these toenails? Clean up your shit, man,” I would say, and that would be the end of it. I have considered getting all passive-aggressive: sweeping them up and dumping them on his doormat. Pops suggested mailing them to the guy, but that would require more physical contact than I am able to stomach.

So, for those readers who have not run away from this post retching with disgust, I ask you: what would you do in this situation?

*He’s not a true toenail clipping bandit, since I know who is doing it.

How to Really Deal with an Unemployed Person

Earlier today I read a post on The Awl about proper etiquette in dealing with someone who is unemployed and how to talk to them. The more I read, the more annoyed I got. “This writer obviously has no freakin’ idea what it’s like to be unemployed for longer than 3 months,” I muttered to myself. “She also has no idea what it’s like to be unemployed when you’ve already been in the workforce for at least 10 years.” I read through the comments and while some people had truly helpful comments, the others were just as clueless as the author. I sent the post to my friend Giles, who is brilliant and wise, and who also happens to be unemployed. He was just as disgusted as I was.

Since the whole point of a personal blog is to tell the world what you think, regardless of anyone else’s opinion on the subject at hand, I figured I would use my blog to publish a counter-argument to the list of do’s and don’ts provided by Ms. Georgopulos. Having spent long periods of time being unemployed and/or underemployed, I think I have a decent grasp of the subject matter.

She writes: Stop calling it funemployment.

Moxie says: Who the hell is using that term anymore?

She writes: Get them out of the house early on…Have fun when you go out together.

Moxie says: Respect their wishes and don’t make their unemployment about YOU.Yes, it’s uncomfortable to know people who aren’t working while you still have your job. But unless you were actively involved in screwing up the economy and/or forcing my employer to lay me off, I am not blaming you or holding you personally responsible for my unemployment. Are you doing something fun and you want my company? Then call me up and ask me to go with you. I know my money situation, you don’t. Let me decide if I can or want to join you.

She writes: Try to think of them when opportunities come up.

Moxie says: I’m only going to say this once, so pay attention: the ONLY time it’s okay to send along job listings from CareerBuilder, Monster or any other website is if the person you are sending it to said it was okay. I did not ask you to be my headhunter. If and when I do, trust me, I will let you know.

She writes: Consider a barter system.

Moxie says: If you’re someone I don’t know very well, I don’t want to barter with you because most of the time it smacks of pity and charity. If you want help with a DIY project at your house, ask me. If I want to do it, I will. Otherwise shut up.

She writes: Avoid asking how their day went.

Moxie says: You know what? I may be doing a hell of a lot more than you think. I have time to read, write, figure out HTML, and bring peace to the Middle East. Don’t assume my answer is going to be full of complaints and bitching, or weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

She writes: Don’t take it out on them when you’ve had a bad day.

Moxie says: If you have any semblance of intelligence, you know to avoid doing this to anyone, much less someone who doesn’t have a full-time job. If you want to vent about the moron who keeps stealing your stapler at work without getting any sort of advice in return, then preface your conversation with, “May I vent for a couple minutes?” T-Wizzle and I do this with each other and it works beautifully.

She writes: Don’t shrug off their weird habits.

Moxie says: I don’t even know what this means. What business is it of yours if I’m constantly muttering to myself? I could be working out peace treaties with the PLO by talking them out – how the hell would you know? You’re too busy bitching about your missing stapler at the office.

She writes: Keep in touch during the day.

Moxie says: Just because I don’t have a job doesn’t mean I want to hear from your sorry ass 24-7. And this suggestion from the article’s author is extremely insulting:

Maybe even forward them “classified” emails from work that illustrate how B-O-R-I-N-G the 9-to-5 is. “Just got an email from HR about keeping the office kitchen clean—again! I bet you’re at home doing something really creative or on the verge of doing so! Miss you!” Forward. That’s all.

NO. Do not do this. Because while you think you’re being cute by pointing out how silly the corporate lifestyle is, you are subtly suggesting you are better than the person receiving this message because you have to put up with it. If we want to be reminded of how wackadoodle corporations can be, we can watch reruns of “The Office.”