Fall 2003 Archives

February 3, 2004

Back at Work

So, yeah, I worked yesterday and today, and I’ll be working tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. Saturday, I’m going out with Gina. Sunday, sigh.

Read "Back at Work" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on February 3, 2004 10:36 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

January 30, 2004


In which I discover I was supposed to have been working through the semester break.

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 30, 2004 2:29 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

January 24, 2004

South Side, or: The Culture of Fear, or: I’m a Big Wuss

Longtime readers of this blog have, I’m sure, drawn many strange and accurate conclusions about me. Chief among them: I’m sort of paranoid. I like to think of myself as “cautious,” but I’m apparently not a very good judge of character. So, when I learned two weeks ago that my Fiction Writing II professor was having a going-away party today (she’s moving to Maine) at a house on 77th Street, I decided to cautiously not go.

Then, my friend Anne said, “I think I’m going to go to that party.”

I said, “Yeah, me too.”

Read "South Side, or: The Culture of Fear, or: I’m a Big Wuss" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 24, 2004 11:59 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

January 10, 2004

Exes on a Train

I’m not fatalistic by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes coincidences occur that make me sort of shudder, briefly contemplate the nature reality, and then dismiss it. One such fortuitous incident happened on Thursday night, after I got off work. I walked down to LaSalle Street, as I always do, and waited for a train at the Clinton station.

Read "Exes on a Train" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 10, 2004 2:52 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)


I was sort of bummed Thursday because I got a fairly mediocre performance review from Jenna, who stopped in briefly and gave it to me. Like most evaluations on the planet, it had an assload of categories with a “rate 1 to 5” deal. I got straight 3’s, except for 4’s (above average!) “interpersonal relationships” and “punctuality.” I guess it shouldn’t bug me, even though it means I’m mediocre, because the sheet says “satisfactory,” which means that, even though I ain’t “outstanding,” I don’t “need improvement.”

I guess, overall, that’s not even what bugs me. The specific comments really frustrate me. Under “areas in need of improvement” (which, incidentally, contradicts her marking me satisfactory in the multiple-choice section), Jenna wrote, “needs to work on obtaining a better understanding of the job requirements and attendance.” Yowza, that smarts.

Read "Evaluation" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 10, 2004 2:50 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

The Death and Return of Oh Face

I vaguely recall mentioning that the infamous and illustrious Oh Face disappeared from work almost immediately after he began. It’s sort of become a running joke in the office as to whether or not he’s going to come in; he worked for about a week when he first started, and since then Oh Face has come in maybe three times total. Two of those times, he left early; three of those times, he came in late.

Read "The Death and Return of Oh Face" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 10, 2004 2:37 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

January 5, 2004

Can I Get a Jump?


Read "Can I Get a Jump?" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 5, 2004 9:04 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (2)


In which the U-Passes go missing.

Posted by D. B. Bates on January 5, 2004 8:45 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

December 31, 2003

Malicious Glee!

Not too long ago, I cried and whined to Sara when I found out The Ex was in some band. A few months later, I found out that the band broke up, and I said, “Tee-hee,” but it never really resonated. I think this was because I still assumed that, even with the band broken up, she was still sleeping with all the former members (hehe…members).

Read "Malicious Glee!" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on December 31, 2003 11:29 AM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

December 27, 2003

The Girl Who Hates Me Strikes Again

Julie, the girl who hates me, talks to me now. She does it grudgingly and disdainfully, but she talks to me. Something weird happened a few days ago, though. I was working the front, and she was the only other student worker around, so she came up to me, looked right at me, and said, very slowly because I’m retarded, “I have to leave for a few minutes. If anyone calls the back looking for Julie or Leigh, that’s me. Tell them I had to run an errand and I’ll be right back. It’s very important.”

Read "The Girl Who Hates Me Strikes Again" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on December 27, 2003 12:16 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

December 15, 2003

Body Odor

I break my 30-minute vow of silence to rant about why a girl would happen to rush to another seat after sitting next to me on the train for a few minutes.

Posted by D. B. Bates on December 15, 2003 9:26 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (2)

December 9, 2003

Limit: 3 Per Day (3)

A guy came in today and immediately dunked his hand into the condom box, pulling out no less than 478 million condoms and shoved them into his pocket.

“Hey!” I shouted as he walked away. He froze. “That looks like more than three to me!”

He fidgeted, then jammed his hand into his pocket for about 30 seconds, feeling around. All I could hear were the weird plastic sounds of the zillions of condom wrappers rubbing against one another. Finally, he pulled his hand out with three condoms.

“No way, man!” he yelled. “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

He turned around and kept walking.

Sigh. They don’t pay me enough to even bother.

Posted by D. B. Bates on December 9, 2003 9:06 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (3)

Accidental Narc

After my screenwriting class, I went to talk to my adaptation professor. I’m floundering in that class, and I’m extremely incompetent, and she’s cool enough to not let me slide my fat ass by because I’m a decent enough writer. I wanted to talk to her about several ideas I had and asked her if I could turn in the (pitiful) first draft I’d already finished, since I wouldn’t have time to write another draft with the newer stuff.*

Read "Accidental Narc" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on December 9, 2003 7:31 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

December 4, 2003

Limit: 3 Per Day (2)

A girl came into the office today. She noticed the “Limit: 3 per day” condom display and said to me, “Jesus! Three per day? What the hell are these people doing?” Then she paused for a second, looked at me, and shrugged. “Oh, I guess we pretty much know the answer to that.”

Posted by D. B. Bates on December 4, 2003 9:00 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

November 24, 2003

The Girl Who Hates Me Hates Me Less

As I’ve mentioned, this girl Julie can’t stand me. But lately, she’s been somewhat more pleasant. In fact, now she actually talks to me. And when I say something to her, she doesn’t just grunt noncommittally and pretend she’s invisible — I actually get a response! It makes the job less stressful and irritating, if nothing else. Also: it’s snowing right now, and the wind is blowing strong, and it’s pretty fucking cold. I know it’s supposed to warm up the rest of the week, but I’m so fucking happy that winter is wedging itself into the city. I love winter!

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 24, 2003 1:35 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

November 17, 2003

My Day at Work

In which I have a dull, mostly uneventful day and worry about what this job will do to my reputation.

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 17, 2003 7:54 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

The Girl at Work Who Hates Me

There’s this girl at work, who I’ve started to call Julie, and she absolutely hates me for no particular reason.

Now, okay, I know you, having read more than one blog entry here, are probably thinking, “But Derek, look at all the things you say and do, and then reevaluate your assessment that she has no reason to hate you. I think you’ll find that there are, in fact, many reasons.”

“But,” I cautiously respond, “I haven’t even had the chance to alienate her yet!”

Read "The Girl at Work Who Hates Me" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 17, 2003 7:49 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (2)

November 13, 2003

Why Nobody Ever Answers VoiceMail Questions

Ever since I started going to Columbia, I’ve been leaving VoiceMail messages in the virtual boxes of administrators. I have never, to this date, received a response to any of those messages. I have received responses to in-person complaints, but I’m still waiting for them to return my calls. I always wondered why — it’s so easy to hear the VoiceMail, jot down the pertinent information, and return the call.

Read "Why Nobody Ever Answers VoiceMail Questions" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 13, 2003 9:58 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (4)

November 11, 2003


I had this big, pent-up rant in my head this afternoon. It was gonna be all about how, after overhearing the conversation of a group of yuppie assholes, I realized how people are so dependent on machines they barely have any concept of how to use properly, and how that makes me very, very sad and also reminds me of some bad sci-fi. But I got bored with that concept and moved on.

Read "Rants" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 11, 2003 10:00 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (3)

November 10, 2003

EVERYBODY IS GOING TO DIE!, or: Emergency Evacuation

I started working the front desk at one o’clock. I was late because I was only supposed to take a half hour for lunch since I start at 10 now instead of 9, and I had shit to do.

Anyway, I got a weak-ass wireless signal and fucked around online for awhile, but then a really loud, intermittent buzzing sound came from the hall.

Read "EVERYBODY IS GOING TO DIE!, or: Emergency Evacuation" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 10, 2003 9:14 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)


A girl came into the office today. I recognized her as having come in last week, looking for her U-Pass. She recognized me, too. I could tell because she sighed with heavy frustration. I am not the most compassionate employee, and I figured she didn’t particularly want to deal with me yet again.

It was strange, though, because she acted like I should remember everything about her. I did recall her face, and I remembered her name once she told it to me, but it wasn’t all there. Should it have been? They don’t pay me enough to remember people. But she was acting sort of shocked and irritated that I had totally forgotten. Fortunately, her U-Pass was in; if it hadn’t been, I’d wager she would have thrown some form of shit-fit.

Read "Recognition" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 10, 2003 8:53 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

November 6, 2003

Staff Meeting

First things first: I did get an iBook, and I am now taking it to work. But it can only connect to a wireless network (and when it does, only barely) when I’m working the front desk. I get no access in the back office. As I’ll explain in a bit, we now have scheduled time at the front desk, and I don’t have much of it. This is a blessing in the sense that I don’t have to deal with any actual people for the majority of my shifts, but a curse for my loyal and devoted fan, because I cannot blog from work.

So, compromise time: I’ll probably draft entries in MS Word from work and post them when I get home. The operative word, though, is “probably.” I got a lot of actual work done today, which was the purpose of investing in a laptop to begin with, and I plan to continue to get a lot of actual work done. Hopefully I won’t be too tired to blog when I get home in the evening.

We’ll see how it works out.

And now, on with the show…

Read "Staff Meeting" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 6, 2003 9:52 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

November 1, 2003

One Time Sara Thought She Was Dating a Tranny

About a year and a half ago, Lucy dumped her longtime boyfriend and decided it would be a good idea to fail at some relationships before getting back together with him. She went on a few dates with random guys before settling on some guy. Let’s call him Rufus, for a nice Bill & Ted reference.

Read "One Time Sara Thought She Was Dating a Tranny" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 1, 2003 3:00 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (5)

Old Friend

After script analysis, I ran into a guy from my production class, Hunter. He’s about the nicest guy in the world, and I hardly ever see him, so it was kinda cool that he happened to randomly be there while I was frantically checking my phone for missed calls.

Read "Old Friend" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on November 1, 2003 11:32 AM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

October 30, 2003


Since I really have very few interesting things to do at my current place of employment, I spend a lot of time listening to what others are saying. It’s not malicious (necessarily) or snoopy — it’s unavoidable, actually. This is why I’d never make or take a personal phone call in this office. Of course, that point is moot since we have the cell phone reception of a nuclear bomb shelter.

Read "Eavesdropping" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 30, 2003 9:55 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

October 28, 2003

How I Managed to Hit on a Transvestite and a Lesbian All in One Night

Here’s the thing: I don’t like being around people. It’s not because I’m antisocial, although I am. It’s not because I’m claustrophobic, although I am. It’s not because I think listening to people who love the sound of their own voices — people who are abundant in social situations — is a fate worse than death, although I do.

No, the problem is that, like all other humans, I am a social animal. When I am around people, I feed off of their energy. I start to loosen up. And I’m a tight-ass, and I like it that way, so this becomes a major problem for me. When I loosen up, I start to act like myself. I hate acting like myself — I’m such a jackass.

Read "How I Managed to Hit on a Transvestite and a Lesbian All in One Night" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 28, 2003 12:46 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (4)

October 23, 2003

Pitch Session

Yesterday in my adaptation class, I pitched possibly the funniest concept I’ve ever come up with. The assignment was to find a magazine article and turn it into a story for a 30-minute film. I found an article that referred to some quotes Mark Twain gave in 1900, after returning from a speaking tour around the world. He said some disparaging things about the Jameson raid prisoners, whom he visited in Pretoria, South Africa. He said they shouldn’t be sitting around — they should be doing something constructive, like writing Don Quixote.

Read "Pitch Session" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 23, 2003 9:53 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

I Broke the Office Computer

The computer station at work is essentially good for browsing the Internet and nothing more, and even then, it’s sorta 50-50 on whether or not the website’s actually going to work. It’s an old Pentium-based (I’m guessing an original Pentium; my half-assed spec-hunt didn’t turn up any megahertz info or any indication it was a Pentium II, III, or IV) with 32MB of RAM, straining (not unlike a steam locomotive ascending an arduous hill) to run Windows 98SE.

I managed to single-handedly take down this machine today while trying to make it run better.

I should’ve just left it alone.

Read "I Broke the Office Computer" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 23, 2003 9:27 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

October 21, 2003

Limit: 3 Per Day

In which a student steals a bunch of condoms.

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 21, 2003 4:42 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

October 20, 2003

Weird First Day

I started work at 11 this morning to find my boss, Jenna, missing in action. This would not have been a problem, except nobody knew who the hell I was.

I approached the desk and explained to the desk girl, Bianca, that I was working there and was supposed to start at 11.

“Um,” she replied.

Read "Weird First Day" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 20, 2003 9:16 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

Good Deed

I’d just finished breakfast and started reading when this guy who looked like a lankier version of Jeff Conaway, from the sitcom Taxi, approached me. “Hey, man,” he said in a far-out voice that indicated he was a real artiste, “you wanna help me out on this project for image design?”

“Um,” I responded.

Read "Good Deed" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 20, 2003 7:28 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

October 13, 2003

Job Interview

I’ve been granted permission to be a federal work-study employee this year, which is nice because I have a tendency to spend money like normal people drink water, so it’d be good to have an income.

The day after I turned in my application, I got a call from a woman asking me if I wanted a job in the Student Activities department. Since I was too lazy to actually find something else, I figured I may as well go for it, so I set up an interview for this afternoon.

Read "Job Interview" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 13, 2003 6:05 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (1)

October 9, 2003


The thing you have to understand about me and this new girl I mentioned a little while ago is that we both have foul tempers. That’s why we get along so well. It’s also why we don’t get along well at all. We’re a strange pair, she and I, her and me. We’re also not a pair at all anymore.

See, that was sort of like Dickens, except I’m not paid by the word — I just ramble incoherently.

Read "Spillage" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 9, 2003 2:17 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

October 6, 2003

That Lab Assistant

You’ll be happy to know that while most of my blog this summer was occupied by me writing about sexual fantasies with women who had no interest in me, I was still playing the field and actually attempting to find a disinterested woman who would be too lazy to fend off my advances. Which brings me to a tale I’ve never related: the story of the blonde chick in the lab.

Read "That Lab Assistant" »

Posted by D. B. Bates on October 6, 2003 12:15 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)

September 27, 2003

First Week

In which I describe the events of the first week of the fall 2003 semester.

Posted by D. B. Bates on September 27, 2003 2:45 PM  | Permalink  | Print-Friendly  | Comments (0)