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So now I'm the jerk!

I'm struggling a little bit with my Digital Illustration One class. Somehow I've missed some information, and I've slipped a bit behind in what I feel I should know by this time. It feels that way, anyway - there seem to be people of varying familiarity with Adobe Illustrator in my class, and some of them have been turning out some beautiful work. I've been trying to put together a comics page I sketched out, and it looks like something I might have done when I was working with Koala Paint on the Commodore 64. I must assume that there are ways that one can do simple things - like draw a line - in Illustrator, but the ones I'm aware of are more complicated than they really need to be. It frustrates me, because I want to be better with it. The Digital Illustration class is one of the primary reasons I wanted to go to art school in the first place. The teacher is helpful enough - that is to say, he's available when I have questions - but his demonstrations leave a bit to be desired. I really have to force myself to pay attention to every word, since he speaks softly and tends to verbally amble. I wish that his personality or presence was a bit more forceful. Not to mention that since we're working on computers that have super-quick broadband connections all the time, it's a huge temptation to take advantage of every pause in his instruction, checking my e-mail or reading a blog every moment he stops for a breath. Fortunately, we'll be switching to Photoshop pretty soon, which I'm a bit more adept with, and many people here say they use more than Illustrator for comics work.

Back to my opening words - I was finishing up class today, closing up my Koala Pad-rendered comic, when the teacher started handing out these little orange slips of paper. They were offers for two free pieces of pizza from a local pizzaria, "New York Style" or something like that. Well, I was a little peckish, and after laboring over a shoddy comic page for the past four hours, I felt I could stand a short walk. I headed over with a classmate, and we were greeted at the door by a thick-necked fellow with forms and pens. He handed us each an application for a CitiBank credit card, which, apparently, would be good for one pizza voucher after we'd filled out the paperwork. I shoved the paperwork into my sketchbook unsigned, went to the counter, and asked for some pizza, showing them the slip of paper I got. They told me that I needed to "participate in the promotion" and then I would get a slip for pizza. I refused, telling them that there was nothing about filling out paperwork anywhere on the slip I was given. They told me the same thing. One of the other students there (there were about 8 or 9 in the little pizzaria at this point) told me that the slips said you had to participate in order to get the pizza, but I showed them that the slip I had didn't say anything of the sort. They were photocopies, and apparently I got a copy that omitted the last line. I repeated myself to the guys behind the counter, and again they refused, and started to ignore me. I was feeling pretty belligerent at this point. Not only did I not feel like filling out paperwork for a credit card I didn't want in the first place (I already get plenty of junk mail from credit card companies every other day), but my slip clearly didn't say anything of the sort. I admit, I was annoyed enough by their adamant stance that I decided to play up my irritation. I didn't mind the walk, but I started complaining that I'd walked all the way over from the school for nothing, and that the pizzaria was engaging in deceptive advertising. I told the guys over the counter that I'd be telling my friends about the entire incident. They asked me to talk to the guy running the promotion, the thick-necked fellow in the back. I did so, though on reflection, I think perhaps I should have refused to do so, as my issue was not with them, it was with the pizzaria, and so I should have asked to speak to the manager. Well, I was getting a little tired of it - it was only two pieces of pizza, and frankly, the pieces that they were slinging around didn't look that appetizing - so I spoke to the guy. He explained that they were just trying to have a "light" promotion, and that while they could have just canvassed the campus, they decided to make a "fun" promotion deal. I guess I could have pressed the issue, saying that the promotion wasn't what I was upset about, but that I had not been informed of the promotion when the offer was made to me...but I'd already gotten people's attention by that point, and I was starting to wonder whether I should have been making as much of a fuss as I was - I'm supposed to be a representative of Christ, after all, and it was an argument over pizza that I hadn't paid for in the first place. Besides, it says a lot about a place of business when they absolutely refuse to appease a customer over such a misunderstanding. They didn't strike me as the kind of place I'd choose to patronize.

Anyway, I finished my conversation with Thick-Necked Credit Card Guy amiably enough, telling him that I appreciated where he was coming from, that I knew I was being a bit of a jerk about it, but I was miffed that the card said nothing about signing anything. Then I left.

I came back to talk with Chris, another guy in a couple of my classes. I told him about my pizza denial experience, and he laughed - he himself had done the whole thing, filling out the paperwork without really giving it a second thought (mainly, he explained, because he knew he wouldn't be approved, which is logic I would have followed before meeting Marilyn, since I had no credit then, either). He had found it amusing to hear the varying reactions different students had to the offer; some had responded without hesitation, others had complained bitterly about parasitic credit card companies. Count me among the latter.

Having said that, after doing our taxes, Marilyn has made a fairly sunny prediction regarding our debt-paying schedule - it should be shorter than we had originally thought it would be. If she begins working at Northwestern, we'd be in an even better situation. We're also getting a nice chunk of change back from the IRS. We've discussed the possibility of Marilyn getting a keyboard at long last. I'm encouraging her to do it.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 at Thursday, February 03, 2005 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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