Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nothing Beyond Crap

I finished the half on Lakeshore Drive and I'm happy to report that it was EZ.
Not that I think 13.1 miles is half of anything. It's half of NOTHING. At least that was what I was being told through most of the race. Actually, it was what I read through most of the race as the gentleman in front of me served nicely as a pacesetter for a 9:30 mile. It was a good race, an easy race. Lots of great volunteers and cheerleaders pretty much the entire route. The weather was perfect and then maybe started getting hot during the last couple miles.

So the real news is that my basement has been tiled. The very same day I ran the race. Not so smart. Because I didn't hire help. I first got up early and raced to the race where I raced for 13.1 miles, then I ran back home and ripped all the carpet off the floor and started cementing slate tiles to the poured concrete. Then I proceeded to grout the whole project but by this time I was BEYOND exhausted. So my grout job looks like CRAP.

So to top it off, did you know that some corporations have now started using automated "Go to hell," letters when they send out bulk notes of, "We don't want you to work here, thank you very much..."

Yeah. Yeah. We are all too familiar with the bulk go to hell note that includes the following line, "Do not respond to this email. It was automatically generated..."

But have you got a go to hell letter that didn't actually tell you to get to hell. You know why the body of the letter didn't have to tell you? Because it's in the f'ing subject line. I kid you not.

To: Jeni on the Run
Subject: The position has been filled. You were not selected.
From: Large Insurance Company in the Midwest that should know better than to treat people like numbers (or do they?)

And then in the body of the letter, they also include a "Do not respond..." line and another note or two about how they would prefer that you were never born or something heartfelt like that. Now, I jest of course, but the truth is that every person - a copywriter - who writes up a letter like that in standard form absolutely has to lead with something a million times more appealing than what I actually received in my inbox. I have to think that college educated literature buffs are more human, humane and personable than a note that reads, "You were not selected," in the subject line.

So what happens between that little letter of lost love and my inbox? Crap. Only crap happens. Supervisors, managers, editors, department heads, lawyers, HR managers, more managers and more...until the original copywriter says, "I gotta eat. Whatever you want..."

And then goes to lunch. And then that copywriter finds that nothing except crap is available at the shoddy cafeteria and slowly over the course of a day - a year - a career - loses interest in remaining humane and eventually starts spitting out crap the first draft.

To make up for it, we run marathons. Half marathons. Tile perfectly pleasant carpeted basements and purchase unnecessary Pottery Barn components to sit atop new tile. Unsightly grout and all.