Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirits.*

Oh, I’m going to get shit for this one, readers. I can feel it. Your frustration is inevitably palpable. So before we go crazily into details on today's reviewee, I am going to give you a blurb about the kinds of blogs that keep me engaged.

As far as individual entries go, I prefer blog posts with high tension and distinct personal energy. Sometimes they're sonnets, entries that flow around like a Midgard serpent, sometimes they're brief and ironic. But each of them have one very, very distinguishing characteristic that carries on throughout their whole blog: these people tell fucking stories with that incorporeal business that the collective They refers to as Voice.

Voice is hard to come by. It takes fuckloads of character to swing properly without resorting to cheap gimmicky tricks that you play for the clicks (that means memes, you a-holes). When someone has Voice, you don't need bullets for family members or fucking TMI days or favorite things to masturbate to on a Saturday, because you can glean the personality the writers want to portray distinctly based upon their writing. Voice does not require a colossal vocabulary, it does not require a battalion of metaphor. It's fueled by spirit. Or spirits. Whatever.

Sure, sometimes the blog itself is a gimmick. Perhaps it's one that may spiral into something more personal someday. But for now, Confessions of a Cashier is exactly what it says on the tin, and I love it.

Our Cashier has a voice that is effortlessly plain and snarky and completely effective at painting a life working at a gas station convenience store. This woman is...how do I put this? It's like she's an alert but lazy Scottish Terrier who aspires to be a hardcore Doberman, and ends up doing the job of a dumbass bulldog. And she knows it, and plays up to it on a level she established herself, without "Awesome Sauce" and "I'm just sayin" and all those other fucking ridiculous idioms. She doesn't say "I'm crazy, but you love me!" or "I'm a bitch, deal with it!" or make any unjustified claims. In fact, there are limited claims and exclamations throughout the entire blog. Thank you, from depths of my guts thank you, I loveyousomuch.

She goes on power trips and exacts meager revenge on annoying-ass customers. She's passive aggressive and resigned to the inevitable, she plays mind games with idiots and invents words that I am totally going to start using in everyday life. I am obsessed with her.

Sure, there are, very few, extraneous commas, and perhaps, a poor word choice, sometimes. But fuck if I don’t give a shit. There's that generic feminine template with those girly swirls that look like tramp stamps. I'd like to see something that's a bit more laminate and drab, with like, a popping header. Maybe I'll try to dig something up. Oohhh, but maybe the tramp stamp look is perfect...okay, same template, but stick with just black and white.

She's been blogging since the beginning of the year, and at first things were a little bit clunky and formal, but since then she's loosened and softened. I found myself copying the links to entries and typing little notes like, "relay that conversation or tell those stories you mention and throw away like pizza crust - bitch, pizza ain't pizza without effing crust" and then, like I fucking incepted the idea in her brain or something, because I totally did, there it is: she has the conversation instead of saying she had a conversation, and I had to grab my totem to make sure I wasn't dreaming, because I love it when people listen to me without me telling them to do so.

So get out your vexation with me now, haters. I love me a solid, lucid blog, one that's not trying to be someone else. She gets it done.

* title courtesy of Studs Terkel.


  1. You won't get any shit from me. This blog is highly entertaining. I love it.

    Have y'all ever heard someone say that everyone should be required to work in customer service at some point, just so they know what it's like? Really, everyone should just read blogs like this. It'll work the same way.

    Too bad most of the asshat customers probably can't even read though.

  2. ah. now I know who 'you' are. had a feeling. not that i know if it was a big secret or anything

    I am still using tramp stamp. will read review properly when it is not 5am where I am.

  3. I love it. Thank you for the review.

    When I first found this site and wanted to get a review, I read through the directions and quickly changed my standard blogger template to what I have now so I wouldn't get shit from you guys about it. See? I listened. :-)

    One of these days I'll get around to changing it to something cooler. Like a header with me punching a customer in the throat.

  4. OK, look, in just one post I read this

    "But a pube is just fucking nasty. I swear it was moving, flaunting its curly pube body at me, begging to get wrapped around my finger like some kind of trophy."

    and this

    "Thankfully I don't like the person on the next shift. I didn't tell her about the pube. I left it for her to discover. Let's just call it a little Christmas in July present."

    Are you kidding me? I'd give her an additional 'I fucking love you' if I could.
    Instead? I'm offering to stand around outside the convenience store during that 5 day carnival from hell thing she wrote about and beat the fuck out of shitty teenagers for her.

  5. I've been lurking there for a while. Wish I remember where I found it. Is this Shiner's first IFLY? Cause for merriment all around.

  6. Good to get an idea of the sort of blogs you like. From them, I can tell that we have pretty different tastes but fortunately they meet at this blog which I very much enjoyed. It'll be interesting to see where it goes.

  7. Nice blog but not the kinda one I would rave about. Diverting enough for a time. Like Mr LS says - good to get an idea on what Shiny truly loves.

  8. I like her a lot. Love her snark and I agree with her, having done my time in retail.

  9. Hey thanks Shiny. Now let me just settle in and discover some new loves...ooooh I've been needing some fresh blood.

  10. I seriously taped my fists in my mind and waited for the fight to come. I was all like, "Okay, they're gonna show me this post, and I'll be like BAM--WRONG. THIS SHIT IS WHY."

  11. it's been way to fucking long since we've had an IFLY around here. She's funny as hell. Will definitely be back.

  12. I really wonder what it would take to get an IFLY from me. I can't possibly imagine the awesomeness that would have to exist.

  13. I felt the same way for awhile. I was all, you need to drop a bomb on me to get an IFLY, and then I was going through everything, realized I didn't care about a lot of rules. I never got bored reading her blog, even when she repeated herself. I was fascinated, I wanted to learn more about her, I wanted to watch her in action, I seriously bummed that I couldn't see her in her natural environment, like an elephant. Or an antelope. Or a black mamba.

    This was the first submission that made me feel that way.

  14. Hey Scorps, wanna give some examples? I'm thinking we could benefit from adding some of our favorite bits of blog writing to our profiles or something.

  15. That's a really good idea.

    A couple of favorites from reviews over the years include:

    Your Pharmacist May Hate You
    Tourette's Cat

    But truth to tell, I read few blogs regularly anymore.

  16. I had to look up Midgard serpent. *Shaking head in embarrassment*. Glad to see a good review; inspires me to read the Internet a little bit more profoundly.

  17. lovin this Blog too. this is the one i read out loud to whoever is in the room...good or bad, it's real!

  18. I love her voice on this one. One thing I really liked about this one is it made me want to take something she wrote as a jumping off point for a short story.

    So I guess the word I would be forced to use is inspirational.

    I also like blogs where even in the absence of a clear photo or lengthy profile, I can conjure up a picture of the author in my head.


Grow a pair.