Monthly Archives: January 2009

Well, I do work, sir, so if you don’t mind…

At my workplace, there are two main offices that are in the same location, but aren’t connected to each other. One office is for Administration and one office is for Operations. In the Administration office, people do administrative work and in the Operations office, people get actual work accomplished.

No one in either office thinks anyone in the other office works as hard as they do. This is understandable. Yet,  most people have worked in both offices, so you’d think they’d have some empathy for “the other office”.

Someone in the Administration office suggested that one of them spend a day in the Operations office in order to “observe” what actual work gets accomplished. They couched it in terms of “getting to know what happens each day in Operations”.

I said that was fine. We should also be afforded the same opportunity to sit over in their office and watch THEM work all day.
But wait! I worked in the Administration office and I already know the schedule:

  • Arrive an hour and a half after scheduled start time, but before anyone else – modify time card.
  • Surf internet.
  • Make personal phone calls.
  • Look busy.
  • Once pals arrive, spend about 30 minutes discussing what everyone wants for breakfast, even though everyone orders the same thing everyday, anyway.
  • Order breakfast, then wait around for it.
  • Maybe walk outside for a smoke and a personal cell phone call.
  • When breakfast arrives, occupy conference room for one and a half hours, during which time you are “on break” and can’t help with customer calls.
  • Wander back to desk and open a spreadsheet or your mail.
  • Maybe listen to voice mails.
  • Get pals together to discuss lunch and where it should be ordered from. Spend a lot of time on this discussion.
  • Order lunch, then wait around for it.
  • Maybe walk to another office in the vicinity and visit with workers.
  • When lunch arrives, occupy conference room for one and a half hours, during which time you are “on break” and can’t help with customer calls.
  • Wander back to desk and maybe do some data entry.
  • Realize that an important request has been sitting on your desk for a week and then involve everyone in your BIG PANIC to get the crisis resolved.
  • Take a break and start talking about going home.
  • Go home, but be sure to come in on weekends when it “isn’t as busy” so you can “get some work done” at time and a half OT pay.



As long as there is, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock ‘n’ roll

There’s a person of indeterminate gender who has been hanging around the recycling containers in the alley.

S/he wears gender neutral clothing which tends to the 70’s glam rock star, what with the sheer sleeves, glitter, leather trousers and boots. His/her buggy of choice is a baby jogging stroller, but it is outfitted in a non-interesting way – without stickers, streamers, stuffed animals or sequins.

His/her hair is mid-shoulder length, which means nothing. Moobs/boobs – hard to say.

So! When we got home from grocery shopping and I saw this person of interest go behind one of the recycling containers, drop his/her trousers and squat over an open milk carton, I was sure all doubt would be dispelled!

Someone, who shall remain nameless, implored me to “go inside, already” and stop watching the free show. As I tried to explain while being pushed towards the gate, I turned away at that critical moment when I might’ve seen all.

When I turned back, s/he was already standing back up, closing the milk carton and carefully placing it inside the recycling container. Now I’ll never know.

But I’ll rise above it. I’m a professional, right?

Once again, I have to pack up my office. This time, though, I don’t have to move to a new location. Instead, I just have to put everything in a box that can go in a box. Non-boxable items get labels with my name on them.

The event? New flooring is going to be installed over the holiday weekend. After the big disaster that was the water leak in the ceiling of my prior office, the manager has decided that all carpets should be removed and replaced with vinyl tiles… and not just the mold-encrusted carpet, but all the carpet in all the offices will be replaced, much to the irkment of all my co-workers.

There is no point settling in once everything is put back on Tuesday morning. It’s surely only a matter of time before someone notices how happy I am and decides to try to break my spirit with another office relocation.

Speaking of office relocations, one of the supervisors retired and a co-worker was named as a temporary “acting supervisor” in the interim until a new supervisor can be hired.

Her first statement upon accepting the “acting” position was that she “wouldn’t change”. The body wasn’t even cold before things started changing. Right after this statement was made, she set about moving her desk in to the freshly vacant office. She ordered a signature stamp and some new business cards to reflect her new title. Drunk with power, she told me she’d need a name plate for her door – something no one else, not even the manager, has for themselves.

Mom Has Caller ID

More cartoon movie goodness for you!

Smoking is prohibited

In an attempt to bring this blog up to current 2009 technical standards, I’ve decided to show you a conversation that happened today at work, instead of just writing about it.

Were you listening to the Dude’s story?

I was thinking that, what with the blog going on six years and all (not counting those sabbaticals I took in which I returned totally refreshed and full of fantastic stories to share), I could really just start posting reruns from original posts written in 2003. Seriously, I could change the names (or not) and no one would be the wiser.

Here’s an example of how this would work:

January 26, 2003 2009

All I wanted to do today was spend the day in bed with some Ibuprofen every four to six hours. I read some of the newspaper, some of Pale Fire Middlemarch by Nabokov Eliot, and some of Worth magazine (which just served to depress me about all the people my age who have so much money they don’t know what to do with it). I took a nap, but got up in time to watch the Super Bowl some wacky YouTube video.

See? Easy peasey, lemon squeezy.

Sure, I’d have to heavily edit all those posts that deal with the snow and subfreezing temperatures, and mowing the lawn and home improvement, and small town weirdness and goofy customers, and McGriddles and… hmm… maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, after all.

Did I urinate on your rug?

The other day I was talking to a co-worker about the new flooring that’s scheduled to be installed in my previous office. I don’t much care what kind of flooring is installed, since I don’t get to move back in once the work is complete. I never should have called maintenance about that water leak!

My co-worker said that her family had hardwood flooring throughout the house when she was growing up. I told her my mother insisted on wall-to-wall carpeting. My co-worker didn’t think that was unusual.

What I didn’t tell her was that when I say “wall-to-wall”, I mean “wall-to-wall”. All the walls to all the walls, no matter the room. We had carpet on the concrete floor in the basement, on the front porch, in both bathrooms AND in the kitchen.

I remember the kitchen carpet well. It was golden yellow with a dark brown diamond pattern overlay. If you spilled Hershey’s syrup on to the floor in between the fridge and the counter, you prayed it would land on one of the brown diamond outlines.

My father used our very own rug shampooing machine to scrub the kitchen carpet clean once per month. And I have to admit that the floor was very warm in the winter on non-slippered feet.

The basement carpet was another story altogether. It was of the “indoor-outdoor” variety and I don’t think there was any kind of padding between it and the concrete floor. Like dark-green Astroturf, it lay uninvitingly at the bottom of the stairs. That carpet regularly wore holes in the seat and knees of my flame-retardant polyester pajamas as I sat in front of the console TV set.

Of all the rooms, the bathroom was the best. Done up in plush blue deep-pile, somewhere beyond velvet but before shag, that carpet was like stepping on to a warm cloud as you exited the shower. I found out later I was supposed to be stepping out of the shower on to the blue throw rug placed there for that very purpose. Who knew? I thought it was for decoration, like that blue toilet tank cover and those other two throw rugs in the room.