Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pants Down

The title sounds kind of sexual, but I assure you that this blog is nothing of the sort. It is about fashion, or the lack thereof. My father was a stickler for always looking your best. From the clothes you wore to your hair. Everything had to be in place. He insisted that we carry a comb around with us, but I didn't like to do that. I was a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. But, I also knew that there was a time and place for what to wear. The times have changed for some people.

Case in point: I was riding on the bus this morning, and a guy got on dressed in jeans, shirt, jacket and cap. Nothing out of the ordinary there, except his jeans were pulled down over his butt, and we could see his underwear clearly. The good news is that is underwear was bright red which matched his bright red cap. Even his belt had red in it, so at least he was color-coordinated. However, no one wanted to see his butt. Covered or not. If he had pulled up his pants, they would have been more like capri pants, so I got to thinking.

I was a buyer for a large department store. What we bought was based on what we sold. So, if a clothing buyer saw that they were selling a lot of jeans of a particular size, they would buy more of that size. But, if the customer was buying jeans that were too small or short for them normally, just so their butts would show, the buyer would assume that a convention of short squatty people had bought their jeans. Do you see how this would mess up an inventory? How can 6-foot tall men buy jeans made for 5-foot tall men without messing up an inventory?

I am not the fashion police. After all, I don't pretend to wear designer clothes. Nor, do I subscribe to GQ Magazine. But, I do not what looks good on people, and this fashion trend just doesn't. Without being racist, I would assume that it is inspired by some rapper or something, but it just looks wrong. There really needs to be someone to come along and tell these clueless individuals that they look stupid. And, how do they run? They can't. It is more like a waddle. Or else, they just fall on their faces.

Pull your pants up. Please!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bus Pass

If I write politically charged blogs, I tend to censor myself, because I don't want to offend any relatives or friends that it might directly affect. I used not to be this way. When I was in school, I used to write things all the time that were controversial. As I got older, I became more aware of how my words would affect people close to me. However, today I must revert back to those school days.

The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (CMRTA) runs our buses. It used to be run by SCANA, which was the local elcctric company, but the buses were taken over by this entity several years ago. One plus was that the buses followed their schedules more closely. One minus was that some routes were eliminated. All in all, I have had a positive impression of the bus system, until last week. Because I have to ride the buses, since my car blew up last year, it has been my major form of getting around. I walk a lot too. In order to ride the bus, you need either cash (you better have exact change) or you need a pass of some sort. Generally, there are two kinds of passes. The first is a monthly bus pass. This costs $40, and it entitles you to ride the buses for a month, no matter how many times. The second pass is the 10-ride pass which costs $12. Since it costs $1.50 to ride the bus each way, the 10-ride pass basically gives you one trip free.

So last week, my monthly bus pass ran out, and I needed a new one. I took my $40 to the transit station downtown (which is the only place one can purchase a pass), and I was told that they didn't have any. Upon further discussion with the worker there, I found out that they only have 10 of these passes per employee shift. They had plenty of the 10-ride pass, so I bought one of those. I used it up in two days. I went back to the station and was told they still didn't have any month passes with the same excuse. I had seen others with these passes riding the buses. How could they get them and not me? I had to buy a 10-ride pass again. I used it up in 3 days. So today, I went back to the transit station to see about a month pass and was told to come back at 2, when the employee shift changed, and maybe I could get one then.

I was livid. So, I called customer service for the CMRTA. I had actually done that last week too, and left my name and number for them to get back with me, since they are too afraid to answer the phone, but no one got back with me. I emailed them too, with no response from them. Of course, today the customer service supervisor didn't answer her phone (her name is Brittany), so I left antother message. This one was a bit more terse, even though I apologized to her if I seemed rude. But, she hasn't called back. What does "customer service" mean? I did it for 30 years and won awards. Does it mean that they just sit back in their offices and do nothing but get a paycheck and go home? Who cares about the customer?

With the economy being as it is, a lot of people are riding the buses now. I know that the $40 bus pass does not generate as much revenue as the $12 pass or the $1.50 cash ride, but it is convenient to use. I wonder if they trust their employees not to handle large amounts of cash, as they sit behind a bullet-proof glass window at the station. And, why does one have to go to the transit station to get a pass? Why can't you order one online and have them mail it to you? And, why do you have to use cash? Why can't you use debit or credit cards to purchase these passes. They know they have me over a barrel here, because I am downtown, and I am staying 10 miles away. I could walk it, I suppose, but they know I won't, so I will pay whatever they want me to pay.

People need to wake up and see how this company treats its riders. Their customer service is a joke. Now that I have vented, I will return to more nice thoughts. Maybe.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Catching Up

Well, you know I don't write this blog every day anymore. I don't know why. I guess I am feeling a lack to say anything important. Things are kind of mundane right now. Oh, there are things going on. I had a job interview on Tuesday with Macy's. Yes, Macy's. The same Macy's that I left 2 years ago, because they hadn't given me a raise in 4 years, and I could no longer afford to live, so I moved to Greenville. The same Macy's that I was supposed to transfer to the Greenville store, but no one did the paperwork. The same Macy's where I tried to get hired back on numerous occasions, but they said no. Well, finally they said yes. Come in for an interview, so I did. It turned out that the job was for a floater with no set hours, but a job is a job, and I will find out next week. They also want a full-time furniture associate, and I asked to be considered for that, despite the fact that the supervisor doesn't want me. Jealousy is a bad thing in business. Can't we all just get along; bury the hatchet; and move on? I can, but others can't.

I am still trying to find a stable and secure place to live. Right now, I am staying with a friend at a motel, but I don't know how long that can last. He doesn't have a car, and I have to ride the bus, and I don't have money to ride the bus. The bus doesn't come by here on weekends, so I have to walk 3 miles to the nearest bus stop to get to church. Someone did offer a place to me that would be much cheaper near USC, but if I got the job at Macy's, it would be impossible to get there. I also have a friend who tells me that he will protect me, if I choose to live outdoors in a sleeping bag. That is a scary option. At least, I am not around a lot of homeless people right now. Many of them are good people with unfortunate things that have happened to them, which has put them in this position. Others choose to be homeless and don't want to better themselves. They live off of society. They are rather sad. But, one needs to show them respect at any rate. We are all God's children, after all.

I have a few things up on eBay right now. If you do a seller search for "wdurst", you'll find them. Please bid on them, if you can. I need the money. I'll try to do more later, if I can get help getting to my storage place to get them. I continue to have a strained relationship with some friends, but this experience has helped me develop new friendships. I wonder what I would have been like had I not left Macy's and moved to Greenville and then back to Columbia. Things would have been vastly different, and I am not sure I would have liked it. Sometimes, change is good. Sometimes, one needs to radically shake things up. That is where we are right now. And, if you can spare a few dollars, please paypal me at I really need a $40 monthly bus pass. And $100 to continue staying here another week.

God bless us all.