Monthly Archives: March 2003

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Happy Birthday to Ewan McGregor!

To celebrate the occasion, I thought about calling in to my second job and telling them I couldn’t make it. But then I remembered that I needed the money, so I didn’t call anyone. Instead, I dusted the Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode II doll on my desk, and put a picture of Ewan and a cat on my computer desktop.

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I get this “HomeSolutions” newsletter every month…it’s really just a bunch of articles that tell you how much better your house could look if you bought whatever it is they’re selling, like Lysol or Pledge. Or maybe how your dishes would be cleaner if you used Cascade. Sometimes they give you recipes, but the ingredients always contain something they’re selling, too.

Anyway, I was interested in the answers when I read last month’s poll results. The question was, “What does your kitchen most need to become your fantasy kitchen?” While my potential answers would be, “A new roof so that it won’t leak when it rains”, “A new ceiling to replace the fallen plaster where the leak was”, “A daily maid to come in and clean it”, “An insecticide I can use around food to get rid of the ants that want to live in my house each Spring”, I was disturbed that none of these were options. The big winner was “Custom Cabinets”, and “New Floor” came in second. Guess those people don’t have my kitchen problems.

At least it’s an ethos

The other day at work, KIA had a picture of Hermann Goehring on her computer desktop. It had some quote about it being easy to lead people to war if you lie to them. The Angry Old Woman stomped over to KIA’s desk and demanded to know “if that was Hitler” on the screen. KIA told her no. The Angry Old Woman persisted, and said that it was a “Nazi of some sort”. KIA told her who it was and The Angry Old Woman stomped back to her own desk. KIA then came into my office, chuckling that The Angry Old Woman “doesn’t even know what Hitler looks like”, so unfortunately, I had to ask her what that was all about.

The next day, when it looked like the US was going to war in Iraq, KIA put up a new picture. This one was of women and children in a Baghdad bakery. She told CK that we should “at least see the faces of the people we’re murdering”. CK ignored the statement. The Angry Old Woman stomped over to KIA’s desk and demanded to know why she had a picture of Saddam Hussein on her desktop. That startled KIA for a minute, since that wasn’t “why” the picture was up. But, upon further inspection, she saw that there was a poster of Hussein outside the bakery. Well, it’s a police state, and he has his poster everywhere, so even a bakery photo might have this in the background.

The Angry Old Woman go so worked up over this that she could no longer function. She wigged out. She cried. She denounced the picture as unpatriotic. She brought in people who don’t even work in our office to look at the picture to see if they were also “deeply offended” by its presence. Finally, she filed a complaint with The Boss.

After seeing the repeated outbursts, which surely was the intended response, KIA changed the picture. The new picture contained one man repairing a Koran. His location isn’t *obvious*, as he could be doing this anywhere. But he is dressed in traditional Muslim wear and there are Arabic words written around the photo.

Nevertheless, a *meeting* had to be held to deal with The Angry Old Woman’s being offended by a picture on someone’s computer. She could just not understand that in the US, people really are allowed to think differently than other people. She refused to accept the idea that other people may not agree with her political stance. When told she could put up a picture of the American flag on her own computer, The Angry Old Woman complained that “no one would see it”, due to the location of her desk. She then said that KIA could get away with anything, and that wasn’t right. The Boss attempted to explain that the picture wasn’t “hurting anyone” and that didn’t go over well… especially since The Angry Old Woman thinks it is hurting her.

Tensions remain high in the office.

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Yesterday morning Karen removed several orders from the fax machine, time-stamped them and passed them out. Several were given to Ms. Drug Seeker. Apparently, Ms. Drug Seeker brought the orders over to D., and told D. she needed to look over them to make sure some particular information on them was correct. D. told Ms. Drug Seeker that she (D.) didn’t take orders off the fax and check them, and that everyone was given a copy of the correct information to use. Ms. Drug Seeker apparently persisted in telling D. it was her “job” to make sure the object codes were right (more specifically, “Why don’t you just do your job, for God’s sake?!”). D. became angry (more specifically, “If some people would just look up the right information to begin with, I wouldn’t have to correct anything!”) and began to slam things around on her desk and finally threw her pen. She gathered her bike helmet and bag and acted like she was going to leave.

About this time, a customer had come in and was talking to Karen. The customer wanted to use a voucher from the state to pay for some stuff and Karen asked D. to help her. D. said no, that she wouldn’t help. Since it looked like D. was leaving, Karen asked D., “Before you go, can you tell me if she can use thi…” and D. cut her off and told her no.

D. then came in to my office and said that she was leaving because she was “sick of being told” how to do her f***ing job. She said that she would return once The Boss had “removed the abuse in the workplace”. She said that she came in sick to do the month-end reports and that as far as she was concerned, The Boss just wouldn’t get one this month. She said that it was her neck on the line, not The Boss’s if there was ever some type of audit. She said that she couldn’t do her work in the morning because Ms. Drug Seeker was “always” coming in and out the door, complaining about everyone else at the store, but she won’t help customers on the floor while she’s walking past them. D. said that once Ms. Drug Seeker is here in the mornings, that all manner of building personnel wander in and out while D. is trying to do the deposit. She said that she feels uncomfortable having $200,000 worth of checks on her desk while the other people stroll about the store unsupervised. D. then stomped away and Karen asked if I could help her with the customer.

D. left the store for awhile, but did not take her helmet and bag. Karen and I helped the customer with the voucher, and then I returned to my office. D. came in and said that she wasn’t leaving because she didn’t want to give The Boss a “reason to fire” her. She asked if it was her “job” to take orders off the fax machine. I told her that it wasn’t her “job”, though anyone here can take orders off….and that The Boss had discussed the possibility of having one person take off every order and log everything. D. appeared to calm down and take interest in this concept. We talked about her ideas for awhile and she returned to her desk.

Once The Boss returned, I told him what had happened and we all had to sit in on a “disciplinary” meeting to discuss what had happened. Ms. Drug Seeker apologized, but only for “not knowing” it wasn’t D.’s job to check the orders. D. apologized, but only for “allowing” Ms. Drug Seeker to upset her.