Remembering Cool: Resharing Some Posts for an Old Friend

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A few days ago I learned that a friend from my college days died.

Sue was one of the heroes in a two-part comedy story I did about my awkward time working in a grocery store bank. Here are the links:

Sue was an artist. She was hilarious with a very dark sense of humor. She was wicked smart. It took me a few months to figure out when she was actually caring about what I was saying or when she was just saving it away for a story she would tell others later. Of course, either way you had her undivided attention.

One of the valuable thing she did for me is show me how someone who is more on the artistic side of things can survive in the real world. And many times since then whenever I was in an office setting I would wonder if I was acting like Sue at that moment.

I lost touch with Sue after college but then a few years ago she found me on Facebook. I verified that everything I said in these two blogpost were correct with her. When she said they were and said how much she liked them I couldn’t stop smiling for days. I felt like that was something I earned. She went on to also read some of my books which made me soar.

Today, I regret not reaching out more outside of Facebook. It would have been interesting for me to see her life since our bizarre banking days. But like most people I always felt like there was more time.

I hope you will check out these blogposts.

Goodbye Sue. You were one of the coolest.

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Flashback Monday: “Cereal, Milk, and a Bank Loan” from ME STUFF

Bag of MoneyFor today’s Flashback Monday, I’m diving back into my experience in banking. Well, a bank at a grocery store, which to me still seems a weird idea. But this article has bank robbers, psychics, strippers, everything you could want in a story about high finance… or grocery financing.

This is the seventh installment in my doing these Flashback Mondays. You can check out the others installments here, herehere, here, here. and here. They are all included in my new book ME STUFF. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of my banking misadventures:

I own a copy of The Satanic Bible because of my time working at a bank.

Let me begin by pointing out that this was not a normal bank. For some reason, the higher-ups in the banking world (who I always like to imagine as fat pigs in suits with cigars) thought it would be a good idea to have a bank in a grocery store. Really? Okay, sure. This grocery store was also in the heart of a more struggling community, so the idea of a bank being in that store in that area made the entire experience that much odder.  Sometimes it would leave me feeling like we were taunting the more struggling citizens (those shopping with food stamps). Not for you…

No one that knows me would have argued that banking is the best career choice for me. Yes, I enjoy interacting with people and customer service to a certain extent, but numbers are not my thing. The one time I had ever (ever!) needed a tutor was for a beginning college course in Accounting. I remember the tutor having a hard time explaining something to me and so she would talk slower and slower as if it was the speed of her explanation that was the problem. For all I know that tutor is still sitting someplace trying to finish that sentence.

I was in grad school at the time (working towards a master’s in English Literature), and the job worked around my busy classroom schedule, so I couldn’t say no, no matter how off this position was for me.  It almost made me feel like I had a secret identity. At school I was in cool t-shirts and hoodies, talking about Virginia Woolf and William Shakespeare; at work, I was a business professional talking about mortgages. I was the English major’s version of Clark Kent.Me Stuff, front cover

This article was presented in two parts on the site; the first part can be found here, and the second here. Or, better yet, you can grab a copy of ME STUFF which contains 40 editorials like this one and it is super cheap-o.

The eBook version of the book is only $1.99 (here on Amazon) and in print for only $8.99 (here on Amazon).

ME STUFF (my new book) is out today! More info! Enter to win an autographed copy!

Me Stuff, front cover

I’m happy to announce today the release of my new book Me Stuff!

When I began this site three years ago, I never thought I would be releasing a book like this or that even people would be interested in my little blog and ramblings. And yet, here we are and I can’t wait for you to check out this fun collection. I’m really proud of it and it has a little bit of everything, containing 40 popular entries. A little humor, a little romance, a little song and dance.

It is exclusively available via Amazon.com. The print copy is only $9.99 and the eBook version is just $1.99! You can find Me Stuff here.

To help celebrate the release of Me Stuff, two lucky readers on GoodReads.com will win an autographed copy of the book. The sweepstakes is through July 15. You can enter by clicking below.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Me Stuff by Scott D. Southard

Me Stuff

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends July 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Good luck to all of the entries!

Here is the description of the book from the back cover:

Thieves, psychics, evil poets, mad men, car companies, literary greats, tornadoes, models, vasectomies, bankers, children, Satanists, princesses, truckers, comics, rock stars, strippers, superheroes…

Me Stuff is a collection of some of the most popular blogposts from Scott Southard’s writing site “The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard.” Made for both the fan and the newbie, Me Stuff has something for everyone… Well, except for those who don’t like entertaining stories. This book can’t help those people.

If you have enjoyed this site in the past, I hope you will grab a copy of my new book  (here) and maybe even tell a friend. And, as always, thank you for reading. This book wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the support of readers like you. Thank you!

Cereal, Milk, and a Bank Loan (Part 2)

purple-wig-with-bangs-3This is part 2 of a remembrance. Part 1 can be found here

The idea of going to a psychic was like a dozen Christmases! This was my most wonderful time of the year, Andy Williams! And this wasn’t just any pretend psychic like on a 1-900 line, but one that my boss (the person who kept me employed and paid me) swore up and down was completely legit. I was giddy, giggling throughout the week up to my appointment like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Yes, I had to make an appointment, this psychic didn’t meet with just anyone. She also wanted to talk to me on the phone for ten minutes before agreeing to the meeting. It was an awkward conversation (which I did in the branch office with my manager looking on), almost feeling like I was attending a job interview. Of course here my soul, not my resume, was under review.  Finally, she said that I was okay and she would meet with me.

 Merry Christmas!

This, by the way, is not to say that I really believed any of this kind of stuff. But… But… But if this was an actual, real psychic like in a movie and I was about to have an experience like that? Well, just imagine that!

Quests have begun with lesser moments than that! By the way, that is the problem with having my imagination, it can carry me away just like a bear with a picnic basket. And at this point, it was a very wonderful picnic basket, full of magic and possible future joy and success. I couldn’t help but get excited by the fantastical possibility of it all.

Yes, I am in many ways a cynic and a realist, but a part of me has always wanted to believe in more than what I can see in front of me. I want to believe in a destiny and purpose, even though in my heart I know it is all a bunch of baloney. Continue reading

Cereal, Milk, and a Bank Loan (Part 1)

Bag of MoneyI own a copy of The Satanic Bible because of my time working at a bank.

Let me begin by pointing out that this was not a normal bank. For some reason, the higher-ups in the banking world (who I always like to imagine as fat pigs in suits with cigars) thought it would be a good idea to have a bank in a grocery store. Really? Okay, sure. This grocery store was also in the heart of a more struggling community, so the idea of a bank being in that store in that area made the entire experience that much odder.  Sometimes it would leave me feeling like we were taunting the more struggling citizens (those shopping with food stamps). Not for you…

No one that knows me would have argued that banking is the best career choice for me. Yes, I enjoy interacting with people and customer service to a certain extent, but numbers are not my thing. The one time I had ever (ever!) needed a tutor was for a beginning college course in Accounting. I remember the tutor having a hard time explaining something to me and so she would talk slower and slower as if it was the speed of her explanation that was the problem. For all I know that tutor is still sitting someplace trying to finish that sentence.

I was in grad school at the time (working towards a master’s in English Literature), and the job worked around my busy classroom schedule, so I couldn’t say no, no matter how off this position was for me.  It almost made me feel like I had a secret identity. At school I was in cool t-shirts and hoodies, talking about Virginia Woolf and William Shakespeare; at work, I was a business professional talking about mortgages. I was the English major’s version of Clark Kent.

Being in a grocery store, the bank looked more like a pharmacy, with one back office and a long counter. But instead of pills we were pushing financial obligations and long-term debt.  We were there to open accounts, sell the services of the bank. We were the front line of a financial war, and the shoppers walking around were the targets. Our weapons were free rulers and pens and other minor office supplies with our logo on them. It was also my job every thirty minutes or so to wander around those grocery aisles, interrupting strangers who were in the middle of shopping.  Honestly, it all felt so very rude and I hated it.

“Hi, I noticed you are buying groceries. Would you like a free notepad for your grocery list? No… Okay… Well, I’m with the bank over there and we are offering a new special on an equity loan… And… I’m sorry for bothering you.”

I said sorry a lot when I was on that job. Continue reading