The Watering Hole: July 10 – Delicatessen

Some non-events turn into major game changers now and again in my life. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately as I’m wont to do, when life is in turmoil anyway. I keep coming up with a in itself very insignificant occurrence from the 1980s.

During my time at University I used to work in a delicatessen to earn my keep. Money was paid in cash, I had the key to the place, which was right there in Schwabing where we used to party and the storage locker there was full of cigarettes, in case we ran out of smokes. (For the record: I listed every pack and had them deducted from my salary later) Life was a lark and I was a young and bright thing and eventually would go and be a journalist waiting for her Pulitzer.

One morning I attended a history seminar, had a lively discussion with the tutor and then went on to work. I donned my white apron, went behind the counter and started selling snacks. The same tutor I had spoken to only two hours earlier came in, bought some sandwiches and a drink and while he was actually speaking to me he neither recognized me nor greeted me.

That hurt like a bitch. Obviously I wasn’t all that bright and nowhere near the Pulitzer, but just the sandwich girl in a slightly seedy delicatessen.

So I went home in the evening, started writing applications, started taking University serious again and party a little less (but only a little). I found a full time job, got my degree and never went back to the delicatessen.

And I always treat sandwich girls (and gas station attendants and shop assistants and burger flippers and everyone else) as respectful as I want to be treated myself. I was one and who knows, with life as it is, I may still be one again.

What’s on your mind today? Join in. It’s our Open Thread


166 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: July 10 – Delicatessen

  1. Arrogance and academia often get wrapped around the axel with each other.

  2. Good story, EV. I feel the same way. Money and status does not make one person more valuable than another. Everyone should be treated with respect. Professors are often self-absorbed. I have some as clients and there is no humility among them and they NEVER tip. My wealthier clients never leave a tip. The poorer clients that struggle to get by every day are the ones that leave a tip. Just for the record, I don’t expect tips from my clients. I graciously accept tips because people feel insulted when you refuse their money.

  3. While I didn’t confront these individuals personally, I observed some janitors at our college sitting around a table in the dining hall. One was discussing his birthday and the presents he got, which included a nice ink pen. He was quite proud of that pen. I happened to own the same pen, which was a fine writing instrument, but I didn’t value it nearly as much as he did. I didn’t consider myself rich, but the lesson told me that there were people who were worse off (financially) then our family. (And I already knew the reverse was true; that many people had more than we did.)

    The only reason I remember this moment so vividly is I ended up writing a Sociology paper about it; about the relative value of common objects across different groups.

    I don’t recall the grade I got on the paper, but I think I got a more important life lesson than any classroom experience. I tried to be more empathetic and humble from that moment on.

    • It’s the little things that bring joy to our lives. Many times, experiences are more valuable and memorable than things. One time when I was sick during my childhood, my mother felt bad because she had to leave for work and leave me alone for 1 hour until my older brothers came home from school. She gave me a little metal toy bus to play with so that I could occupy my time. The writing on the side of the bus read “Greyhound”. I was only about 7 years old at the time and I still remember the gift because there was so much love in that gift that my mother gave to me. Funny how some things stay with you.

  4. Here’s an example of how the media can twist the truth.

    I spent 18 years working in the pharmaceutical industry. For years, Americans have been picking up the tab for the cheaper drugs that are sold around the world. High drug prices in America allow other countries to sell drugs at a much lower price, sometimes below profits. As for the poor in developing countries, most of their antibiotics and antivirals are paid for by charitable foundations and get this, drug donations from the pharmaceutical industry. Yes, they give away drugs to developing nations. Having said all this, why should the poor in America pay higher drug prices just so that the poor in other developed nations can pay less? Are the poor in America better off than the poor in nations that have socialized health care?

    • Teh poor in America are much better off, because, you know, we have God on our side, bein’ a Christian Nation and all. So God takes care of our poor, so we don’t have to. But God doesn’t take care of poor heathens in Godless countries, so we have to. It’s our Christian duty, doncha know?

    • “But at the hearing, Rea said she planned to deploy the pressure it has used against India in other countries, too. “This is front and center,” Rea said. “[We are] trying to stop the granting of further compulsory licenses.”

      This is nothing more than political theatrics on the part of Rea as Bayer drug has worked out a deal with India.

  5. A game-changer for me happened in the 6th grade – I got glasses. Up until then, I wanted to be an astronaut. Not having 20/20 vision put an end to that dream.

  6. This is the age-old, if there’s nothing to hide they just release them. The “I don’t know where they are” excuse is lame. He gonna use that one during foreign affairs. “Gee Sorry, I know I had a copy of that treaty here somewhere. Guess I don’t know where it is.”

    Romney Says There’s Nothing Hidden in His Unreleased Tax Returns – Yahoo! News

    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Mitt Romney said there is “nothing hidden” in his tax returns that have yet to be released, responding to a question during a radio interview set to air later today regarding an onslaught of criticism from Democrats – including President Obama – on his refusal to be more transparent with his financial records.

    “I don’t manage them. I don’t even know where they are,” said Romney in an interview with Iowa Radio. “That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate.”

    “All of them have been reported to the government,” said Romney, adding, “There’s nothing hidden there.”

    • You know your rich when you have a trustee who does all your tax evasion returns.

    • Then, surely he won’t have a problem with his ‘trustee’ disclosing his financial holdings in say, the Caymans, and Switzerland???

    • Best talking point from this weekend:

      GOV. MARTIN O’MALLEY: “I’ve never known of a Swiss bank account to build an American bridge, a Swiss bank account to create American jobs or Swiss bank accounts to rebuild the levees to protect the people of New Orleans.”

    • There’s a conservabot over at The Morning Plum making the same claim: the IRS accepted them and a CPA put them together! CPAs never fudge, as we all know.

      The point isn’t whether or not Rmoney pays his taxes legally. I have no doubt his accountants are scrupulous about using every legal dodge possible to reduce his taxes. The point is that the uber-rich have built all those loopholes into the system but the loopholes are no use to 90% of us. Maybe 99%. I mean, seriously, they took a deduction for the fucking horse!

        • I just learned this fact. A person never owns an “adopted” horse. You can own an adopted cat or dog but not an adopted horse. The horse adoption agency remains the owner of the horse but the person that is “fostering” the horse can take tax deductions for the cost of the care of the horse. The reason is that the horse adoption agencies don’t want the horses to be sold and resold and resold because horses are an expensive pet. My friend has an adopted horse and relayed this information.

          The Romney’s did not adopt a horse. They bought a very expensive horse.

  7. Lawdy, I just had a vision of Mittens, with a puppet named ‘trustee’ on his hand, practicing his ventriloquist act…
    Tell them where the money is, trustee…..

    Neveeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr! screeches the puppet!

  8. EV… It may have been that your tutor did not recognize you because you were simply out of context. You were dressed in the garb of a deli worker instead of a student. Sometimes, I will see someone that I recognize in a grocery store or someplace where I don’t normally see them…a receptionist at the Dentist’s office, or the receptionist from the nearby school. Or if I only see someone in their workout clothes at thy gym, If I see them after they have cleaned up, it is less likely that they are immediately recognizable to me- with makeup on and their hair washed and styled. I might recognize this person and acknowledge that I know them in some way and then try to figure out where I know them from for hours or days, but sometimes, I don’t figure out who they are until the next time that I see them “in context.”

    But you do bring up an interesting point, that relatively insignificant encountered changed you in an instant. It is interesting how life can turn on a dime like that, and it does. Is it the hand of destiny that stepped in? Or Free will? It’s funny to me that a wrong turn while traveling can take one to the most interesting places. And for this reason, I never really ever feel “lost.”

    • LL, that was my assumption as well. I have a terrible time with remembering names as it is, but take someone out of context and I’m usually flummoxed completely. And, of course, this is when the other person greets me and knows my name — and knows the context that we’ve encountered each other in. Even if I realize I know the person and (rarely) where I know them from, when I can’t pull up a name I’m all “Oh, yeah, hi! Gotta run!”

      • I have the same problem. I hate running into a co-worker with my wife and I can’t remember their name. Stupid brain!!!

      • It’s embarrassing. But many times I cop to it and admit to my poor memory and ask, “Where do I know you from?”

    • ll, that’s exactly what I was saying. Somehow this not recognizing me made me think. Do I want to stay here or do I want to pursue my ambitions? I decided on the latter. Still waiting for that blasted Pulitzer though 😉

    • People do often “look through” the people that serve them though. I’ve eaten with customers at a hunt club dinner who behaved as though they had never seen me before, even though they had bought from me weekly for a year. It really was as though they never really saw me when I was selling flowers, or could not conceive of the flower seller meeting them as an equal at their fancy event.

        • I’ve had friends who were otherwise nice people, but treated servers and store clerks like they were shit on the bottom of their shoes.

          They’re not my friends anymore.

      • I agree and I am sure that happens more than we care to admit. I wish that I could say that I have never looked through someone like that, because I am sure that I probably have while being wrapped up in my own thoughts or problems. I do believe and have taught my children to believe that you can learn from every job and every person you meet and that everyone has value and should be treated with respect. I even try to look homeless people in the eye and smile even when I cannot give them money. I think we all reach out for that human connection.

  9. “If there’s an outsourcer-in-chief” it’s Obama, Romney told a town hall in Colorado, “not the guy running to replace him.”

    I’m rubber, you’re glue! Neener, neener!!

  10. From TPM:

    Protesters greeted Mitt Romney during his weekend fundraising jaunt in the Hamptons, hiring a local pilot to fly with a banner that read “Mitt Romney has a Koch problem.” But Romney doesn’t see it that way. Quoted by the New York Post, Romney said: “I understand there is a plane out there saying ‘Mitt Romney has a Koch problem.’ I don’t see it as a problem; I look at it as an asset.

    Shades of the “haves, and the have mores.”

    • YES! and…


      Splatter Willard all over the country with his Koch addiction….

    • Can it detect when I am having a bit of a gas problem? If so, I will make sure to eat beans before I fly in the future.

      • Is a fart considered a “harmful chemical”?

        Personally, I think all Republicans are “harmful chemicals”. I wonder if the machine can spot them in a crowd? If so, it could ultimately be of some use.

        • A fart is technically made up mostly of methane which is indeed a lethal gas in enclosed spaces and therefore is a harmful chemical.

          I’ll bet the machine can detect that Republicans have consumed mass quantities of alcohol, hohos and deep-fried twinkies.

    • Time to invest in Renolds Wrap. Not the Stock – but to stockpile tin foil….

  11. Heard from the winodw of a Range Rover arriving at Sunday’s $50,000 a plate Kochsuckers-for-Rmoney event in the Hamptons:

    ” “I don’t think the common person is getting it…Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them. We’ve got the message…But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact,”

    … the baby sitters, the nails ladies…. the serfs …. the peasants who ‘do’ for you … so they don’t get it, eh? Watch out lady, they *may* get it, and they *may* get angry enough to *get* you.

    • Wealth, especially inherited wealth, does not mean a person is not deep down stupid. I also am willing to bet that this woman has no idea how to raise hogs. She’s just not educated. If being wealthy would require me to attend events with such people, I’d pass.

      • Raising health animals takes a lot of knowledge. This woman couldn’t paint her own fingernails if she had to do it. It’s a wonder she can clean her own dupa.

      • Wealth, especially inherited wealth, does not mean a person is not deep down stupid.

        Ah, so you’ve met my cousin then, sounds like! Deepest sympathies. 😀

  12. A nephew turns 21 today. He’s the physics major who currently is on a National Science Foundation grant working/research project in Italy.

    This is also the birthday of

    Nikola Tesla 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was an inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and futurist.

    • Dean, in the notice, goes so far as to say Judge Zeldon’s “bias” is evident in her “acting like a ‘woman scorned.’”

      Keep digging, dooshbag. 😆

      • The misogyny shines through.

        Is it written in the holybook that disparaging women is a must for ‘ministers’ of faith?

      • I’ll donate a bulldozer or other earth moving device to the little shit…Just to help, you understand…

    • In all of the quoted language, I saw nothing to indicate bias on the part of the judge. I think Dean and his attorney are perilously close to committing contempt of court. Keep us posted on this story, if you can.

    • It is!

      Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and futurist.
      Born: July 10, 1856, Smiljan
      Died: January 7, 1943, New York City

  13. My Honeybump spent the morning at the vet’s office, and now she’s minus 13 teeth. Poor old girl. I hope this eases her pain, and some of her physical problems.

    • Poor baby. Well her breath will definitely improve. Hope she’s feeling better soon. What are you going to be able to feed her?

      • I had no idea things were so bad, poor old thing. The vet says that once she’s healed, she should be able to eat anything she wants. Okay!

          • Oh yes, she’s got some very nice pain killers onboard. 🙂

            The vet said she’s probably feeling less pain now than she was before the extractions. I’m glad she’s in less pain now, but I feel bad that I didn’t realize how much she was hurting.

    • Well sure, the Second War of Northern Aggression started when that Kenyan carpetbagger imposed Sharia law, expanded Medicaid and made health insurance available to millions of Southerners against their will ….. not surprised that it’s time to pass out the muskets again and open fire on Fort Sumter.

  14. I’m infamous.
    From here:
    Brad Pitt’s Mom Receiving Death Threats Over Anti-Obama Letter

    You go to here:
    No H8? Tolerance bullies hurl vile slurs at Brad Pitt’s pro-Romney Christian mom
    And I’m Zoocritter. I was wondering why so many RWNJ were attacking me. Funny how when they do it it’s not bullying. My reason for saying Brad should cut his mother off is because they work so hard for the underdog and Brad and Angelina have children of color. I was just guessing he gives his mother money as so many actors do. Oddly Jane Pitt’s letter was in response to a local Christian who said he couldn’t vote for a Mormon.

  15. Regarding Rmoney’s response about having nothing to hide in regards to his taxes. Those on the right don’t give a crap if he has been avoiding paying his fair share in taxes. They don’t give a damn if Rmoney has money in a Swiss bank account, or in a tax shelter in the Cayman Islands, or in a trust in his wife’s name.

    To these dumbed downed right wing lemmings, Mitt earned his wealth.They think they already pay too much in taxes and are too stupid to understand or care that all of the Rmoney’s and corporations in this country who play the rigged game to hide their wealth actually hurt the rest of us and our country. To them President Obama is just starting the class warfare all over again….and these idiots get to vote. *sigh*

  16. And one more thing….so many of these right wing idiots have no problem with corporations, banks, Wall Street, etc, etc, owning our elections and government officials. Isn’t that so patriotic of them not not care or be concerned that our government has been rendered useless and impotent by power and money.

    I guess Citizens United and voter suppression is the GOP response to the changing political landscape where minorities are outnumbering the stupid white people who tend to vote for the guns, life and God party.

    These right wing neanderthals keep saying they want their country back…back from who? Bank of America? Exxon? GE? BP? Midland-Archer-Daniels? Monsanto? JP Morgan-Chase? Goldman Sachs? Koch Industries? DuPont? Lockheed-Martin? Northrup Grumman?

    • I have one RW co-worker who was bragging the other day about the $37,000 he contributed to a candidate.

      Dumbnuts doesn’t even know he broke the law…sheesh.

    • BP? That’s some Johnny Foreigners right there – would have thought the Teabaggers would have had a fit of the vapours learning that a British megacorporation was calling the shots once again….

      • Ha! If the teabaggers were around during the revolutionary war, we’d still be a colony of England. Money talks. If it speaks the same language as the teabaggers, the truth doesn’t really matter anymore, as long as their side wins.

    • Personally, I would like it back from the likes of Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Frank Luntz, Rush Limbaugh, Sean HAnnity, etc. etc. etc.

    • They’ll only start caring if Dems start winning elections because of corporate contributions.

      Whenever CU is finally overturned, the repiggies will be wailing about how the ruling came down under a Dem president, and they were against it all along, and they want TRANSPARENCY for heaven’s sake!

      I have looked into my crystal ball…

    • They want their country back to where people of color know their place. They are always protesting that it isn’t about race. I have this to say, ” I think the lady doth protest too much.”

  17. I’d like to make a call for every person who shows up at an election polling place, and is not allowed to vote due to a new ID law, to occupy the polling place, call the local TV and radio, and sit down until the cops have to drag them away with cameras rolling….

    • The PA voter ID law gets challenged in court on July 25. The PA State Constitution protects the right to vote. Not all stat constitutions protect voters rights. Another part of the challenge is inequality and discrimination. Absentee ballots do NOT require a voter ID whereas voting at the polls does. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    • That’s what is truly needed. Can you imagine the uproar from the right if the Democrats pushed for a voter IQ law. Cripes, if the Democratic Party were the ones pushing for voter ID laws, right wing conspiracy theorists and the Christian right would be screaming that it was some Satanic plot to bring on a national ID card which would then lead to some version of the mark of the beast.

  18. God particle redux:

    Ben Richmond explains why the Higgs Boson has often been called “the God particle”:

    ‘ “God particle” can be traced back to a single source. In 1993 Nobel Prize winner and head of Fermilab Leon Lederman, along with writer Dick Teresis, released a book called The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question? Lederman called the Higgs boson the “God Particle,” as a tribute to its significance, and because its discovery would bring all of physics into a much simpler, more comprehensible form. The authors never claim that the Higgs boson’s discovery would prove or disprove God, in a Christian or otherwise, sense.”

    • I’ve always found the term “fart particle” to be amusing.
      A fart is, of course, enough of an accumulation of said particles to become noticeable.
      When enough Higg’s Bosons accumulate to become noticeable as a god, then I may take notice.

  19. Heh, Honey and I just met a bouncy young black lab and his owner in the hallway. She was not amused, and as dopey and toothless as she is, she put him in his place.

    That’s my girl!

  20. I do not have words to adequately describe what a vile, nasty shit smear Nikki Haley is. Here is her justification for vetoing the funding for a program fighting domestic abuse and rape.

    Each of these lines attempts to serve a portion of our population for which we extend our sympathy and encouragement,” Haley said. “But nevertheless, it is only a small portion of South Carolina’s chronically ill or abused. Overall, these special add-on lines distract from the agency’s broader mission of protecting South Carolina’s public health.”

    If it’s such a small portion, Nikki, then it can’t be very expensive, right? You …

    h/t to Shayne, who posted this link on Facebook.

      • That would be Nikki “women don’t care about contraception” and War on women? There’s no war on women!” Haley.

      • I do own the house.The kids are in protective custody, they would not hand them over to me without a hearing.

          • The social services lady says it could be tomorrow, they are supposed to call me. I hope they really do. In any event, I’ll call my lawyer in the morning and have him find out where and when. I don’t know about the house. I imagine it will need decontamination which I can ill afford.

            • Poor kids. Is your son in a position to take the kids, or will that fall to you?

              What a giant pain in the ass!!

            • Sorry, please don’t feel like you have to go into this on a public thread. I’m always full of questions.

  21. Ran out of replies. I don’t mind discussing this on a public thread. I live in a small town, it will all be public by morning. I discuss it here as you folks won’t repeat it over coffee tomorrow.Son has straigtened out his life though he still has no job. I don’t know if that is a deal breaker. I’m willing, though the disruption will no doubt be a setback for my lovely peaceful autistic child who does not do chaos well. If one tries to discipline these children, the reply is frequently “fucking asshole”.

    • Keeping positive thoughts all works out for the best with the children.
      Their mother – rehab for six months to a year then jail.
      She’s fortunate the place didn’t explode.

  22. test….Just changing my name from insidiousprophet to invictuscorruptus and seeing if my gravatar also changed….

  23. So sorry oimf. out of the blue, you just want to dance, and then this happens; parenthood never ends, even if we wish at times it would. It’s good you have a lawyer to direct you through this labrinyth. Peace to you and your family.

  24. oimf this is for you. It wont help, but maybe it says how we, Zoosters,
    are here for you…

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