Monday, August 31, 2009

How Swede It Is

Absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder. But either I have no heart or the absence wasn’t long enough. I definitely had no feelings of fondness coming in to work this morning. But I did manage to drag my butt out of bed and shower so a good start all around.

I had a lovely weekend. My Swedish friend arrived safe and sound and we spent the weekend catching up and doing touristy things. The kinds of things that you never do in your own city because its right there and you never have the time nor the inclination to go see them. You need a Swede to show you the way. I live in a pretty glorious place!

But now I am back.

So before I forget, some housekeeping. I was told on Thursday by an HR personality that our new employers do actually keep a record of all websites that you visit. If you are visiting websites too frequently (by their standards) they will talk to you about it and it could mean the end of your job. Plus, given the nature of my blog I don’t really need/want them reading it. So. I fear that this will be my last post written during work. I will obviously continue to blog. I need it now. And undoubtedly in the coming days and weeks John and Amy and the rest of the collection of imbeciles I call colleagues will have plenty of opportunity to f**k things up. And I will be on the front lines reporting. I just wanted to let you know so that you weren’t left wondering why I abandoned you. I won’t. I just might be posting later in the day.

So Monday mornings are always a pain in the a**. A whole week to get through, backlogged emails from the weekend, reminiscing about the weekend and how great it was etc. Its tough. This morning was introduced to yet another new temp. Seems nice. Seems really smart actually which is unusual in the new people. Guess they are starting to have standards when they hire people. Weird. He’s asking a lot of questions. Smart questions. And I’m learning nothing, except that Veronica is full of s**t. But this isn’t something I didn’t already know, so I guess I’m learning nothing. I met this new guy after reading an email notifying us that 2 of our temps would be going back to school in the fall and leaving us at the end of the week. As is customary, the departing colleagues sent an email wishing us luck in our future endeavors. And one of them decided to kiss a little a** on the way out. Apparently John and Amy are the “most rational, down to earth and in touch with reality bosses” she has ever had. Am left wondering what kind of people she worked for before? Drug smugglers? Pimps?

Also on the weekend, started to experience the first of what I am convinced is carpal tunnel syndrome. Every time I put any pressure on my mouse wrist I get pain, kind of like the pain you get when you roll your ankle. Am annoyed. To add to the fun, my shoulder and neck (which did not give my any problems on the weekend when I wasn’t working) have seized up and worked themselves into a hard knot. I cannot turn my head. I don’t think I need to tell you how impressed I am. So John comes over and starts talking about getting me a second keyboard and mouse. That’s the absolute last thing that I need. Against my better judgment I tell him that actually I think I am starting to actually experience carpal tunnel syndrome (or at least something similar).

Do you know what he does?

He laughs!

He laughed at my pain. One of these days, one of these days! POW! Right in the kisser! I can’t wait.

In the meantime, I’m still in pain, still disgruntled, still without hope, still without a puppy (puppies make everything better). But I do have my Swede!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small Triumph

Yesterday I got to have another meeting with the powers that be. Amy and John. My favourite part of any day. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got the email notifying me that we would be resuming these meetings. But this time I planned to be the one in control. I had no desire to have another hand holding session where John tries to convince me that all that unhappiness I experience at work is my own fault. After the last meeting I swear he was considering a career change: Life Coaching.

The purpose of these meetings according to John is to work through my “issues” and make this hellhole a more pleasant work environment. A losing battle if you ask my opinion, but no one does. The purpose of these meetings for me is to try and take the attention off me and keep them talking about…whatever they want…for the full hour so that I have less time to get through until I go home. As you can see, we are at odds before we even begin.

After a month of not having to deal with this crap (and working on the assumption that we were done, having all recognized what a waste of time it was) I found myself sitting in the conference room facing the two of them once again. Yay.

And because they have no idea what they are doing, they started to read through the list of things that were expected of me going forward. This list was something they came up with months ago. The first thing they want me to do to make things better here? Make sure that I take my breaks and lunch. Thanks Tips, I hadn’t thought of that. I can’t take my breaks together though, and I definitely can’t use one break to take off 15 minutes early, but I need to make sure that I take them all. Check.

I’m supposed to limit all my outside internet use. Epic fail. But they have no idea. I said yes, that was happening and they smiled at me. They are so clueless. Whatever, I’m not going to push it. Then they ask me if I have been hitting all my targets. My response: Isn’t that kind of up to you guys to decide? Some chuckling (honestly, who are these clowns?) and then they decide that yes I have been meeting expectations (awwww, shucks guys).

I’m supposed to maintain a positive attitude. I must have lied about this one. Seemed to satisfy them. My favourite one on the checklist had to be “participates in weekly or biweekly meetings to address desired outcomes”—EPIC FAIL. That’s all on them though. Like I said, I thought I wasn’t broken anymore. I was wrong. I’m OK with being broken. Better broken then up John’s a** right?

The best part of the meeting had to be when I triumphed over John. He’s such a know it all and he has to please everyone. Which means that he is always trying to fix processes. Since he doesn’t actually use any of them he has no idea what a pain in the butt his interference is. So I’m telling him that because of his interference I am basically doing the same thing twice and he is just not understanding. I told him that I couldn’t do what he wanted me to, because industry rules made it impossible. Nothing is impossible to John. So he hauls in the manager from another department (who really knows her stuff) and asks her if this is possible, am I wrong? He’s really hoping I’m wrong. And because she is the best human being ever she tells John the same thing I told him. You should have seen his face—it was like I had kicked his puppy (I would never kick a puppy. Not even John’s puppy. Its not the puppy’s fault that he lives with John. I don’t even think John has a puppy. He’s probably a cat person-blech).

So I let his wrongness sink in for a few minutes. Then I just couldn’t resist having a good natured (by all appearances) go at him:

“Can’t win them all can you John?”
John just shook his head sadly.
“Sucks to be wrong doesn’t it?”
John nods miserably.
“Can’t please everyone all the time can you? You’re just wrong. Feels bad doesn’t it?”

Felt good to me. I enjoyed watching his confident smiley exterior crumble.

Ugh. So as I have mentioned, Maurice is away. We’re all falling apart without his knowledgeable presence. Not. But you know how when you take a vacation, you farm out your work and it should get done? I always do that but the work never gets done. Does Maurice take the time to make sure his work is done while he is away? He doesn’t even know how to set his out of office, what do you think?

Oh but don’t worry. Amy and Veronica will make sure his work gets done. By me. Never mind that I have a pile of my own s**t to do, can I please do Maurice’s work too?

I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off. I have tomorrow off…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Power Lunch

I wish that I was in charge. I know I know, I would have all those extra responsibilities, I would be the one that gets blamed if things went wrong. But I would also be able to do so much good! People wouldn’t hate their jobs as much anymore…well they might still hate their jobs (we’re not exactly curing cancer here) but they wouldn’t hate coming to work.

Isn’t it important for your ‘mental health’ not to hate coming to work every morning? Can you imagine waking up every morning and contemplating if its worth taking a sick day? Will it come back to bite you in the a** later? Can you imagine having to work with a rag tag bunch of imbeciles? It happens every day.

Yesterday, shortly after I posted, the power went out. All the computers shut down. The lights came back on directly, we all moaned thinking that the power had come right back on. But it hadn’t. Just the lights. For nearly three hours we sat without power. In most normal offices, we would have been let go after about an hour, hour and a half. The new team that is now sharing our space, they were let go. The rest of us? We were told to clean the office. We had to clean the office. Anna and I took our lunch at 2-- an hour and a half after the power had gone out. At 2.30 Amy comes into the lunchroom and tells us that everyone is cleaning the office and that we will see where things are at at 3.30—meaning if they can keep us busy until the power comes back on they don’t have to let us go home. I don’t know what she expected really. Did she think that Anna and I were going to jump up, forgo the rest of our lunch break and help? To be scammed out of the rest of our lunch and an afternoon off due to power loss? I don’t think so.

We didn’t move.

Fifteen minutes later she comes back in and with her steel face (not blue steel, just scary steel) on she says to us, still seated enjoying our lunch break, “I guess you guys are cleaning the kitchen!”.

“We’re on our lunch.”

In the end, the power came back on at 3.10. Did I mention that I lost practically all the work that I had done that morning?

And today Amy came in and had a chat with me. But she seemed normal again. I tell you, it is exhausting trying to keep up with the mood swings of these managers! I never know if I am going to chastised or rewarded (well rewarded is a strong word, left alone is better), if a reaction will be a smile or a scowl. Its impossible to get it right. Its also slightly unnerving. I wonder if she feels like she has to be extra nice to me today because in our meeting this afternoon she is going to rake me over the coals? That would be bad.

In other news, our newly confirmed Senior Rep is parading around here today in flip flips and pigtails. Braided pigtails, the likes of which haven’t been seen since…well since I was on the playground. So authoritative. I’m really taking her seriously today. But in a small measure of karma, she tripped over a box and hurt her ankle. Am I a horrible person? Probably. But the Universe obviously thinks things need to be evened out a bit. And who am I to stand in the Universe’s way?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

You Asked For It

Apparently my posts have been too short lately. I guess their length is not sufficient to waste enough company time. I am sorry that I have been letting you down. Slackers. But I will try harder. You know what that means though don’t you? That there will be fewer coherent thoughts, fewer anecdotes that have a point and there will be more rambling.

But this is what you are asking for, and I’m nothing if not a slave to my public. Let the ranting begin.

Rant #1.
Don’t be a disgusting pig Veronica. I agree, it was very nice of Amy to bring in delicious looking (I didn’t eat one) mini apple pies that were still warm from the oven. But I don’t think it was necessary for you to shove them into your mouth in the middle of a team meeting while everyone is watching. I also don’t think it was necessary for you to grab 2 in the space of 20 minutes. I’m all for enjoying a snack, but didn’t your mother ever tell you to bring your food to your face, not your face to your food? I was appalled that our newly confirmed Senior Rep was shoveling food into her mouth like a greedy 2 year old that still hadn’t mastered the art of utensils. You know that motivational poster with the large bridge shoving cake into her mouth? The caption reads: “Nom nom nom nom nom”- that’s what it was like.

I seriously hope now that “acting” positions (manager and senior rep) have been made official, you stick to your word and butt the f**k out John. That’s really all that I have to say on that. Will keep you posted on any noteworthy non-word-keeping moments – don’t worry, I’m sure there will be plenty.

Rant #3.
I know that we are forced to work together and there are plenty of us that are totally disgruntled. I understand that you want to vent and that the lunch room seems like the perfect place to do it. And sometimes it is. But here’s the thing—sometimes, I’m just trying to eat my lunch and for one glorious hour forget that I work in this s**thole, that John doesn’t write my horoscope every day (ie if you work harder at the office, things will get better), and pretend like I do have prospects that will lift me out the gates of hell soon. So please don’t bring up all the idiotic things that people have done in the last 4 hours. I’m not surprised—I work with the same people. I can’t change anything, I have no power. Let’s just eat lunch ok? And another thing- we work together, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all friends. So while occasionally its ok to discuss things in our personal lives like boyfriends and parents, pets and parties, I don’t need to be dragged into your family drama. I don’t know you that well. I don’t know your family (and by the sounds of it, I don’t want to either…) and really, you just make me uncomfortable.

Rant #4
Creating a problem so that I am forced to have a weekly meeting with you while you discuss what I can do to make my situation at work better, doesn’t help anyone John. And when you forget about it for a month, I am going to assume one of two things. 1. We are finished “fixing” me or 2. This was never really that important to you in the first place. I don’t really care which one it is honestly, as long as I don’t have to have those meetings anymore. Oh, but that was never your plan was it John? No no no, you wanted me to think that we were done didn’t you? It’s all a part of your sick game isn’t it? I am not impressed that after a month of thinking I was in the clear, you decided to book another meeting. Honestly, how about I use that hour to…I don’t know, this could be a stretch, but I could work?

Rant #5
What does Time have against me? I am looking forward to Thursday—my friend is coming from Sweden for an extended stay. And yesterday, a Monday no less, went by really quickly. I thought today would be more of the same: keep my head down, get to work, day is done like that (snap fingers)! We even had a bogus meeting this morning. And it was all for nought. Time has frozen. Only when you have something to look forward to. It can’t speed up when you are bored to death, or want something to be over with already (like going to the dentist). No no Time doesn’t roll like that. I’m bored, disgruntled and I have a glorious day of freedom to look forward to on Friday and Time is not on my side at all. Bastard.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What Shall I Do Today?

Aside from work, obviously. Because working is lame. Although, actually (and I'm ashamed to admit this) aside from a devious facebook tour this morning I have been working. I know I know, not at all up to my usual standards. I don't even know what it is really. Whenever Maurice is away (as he currently is, to stock up on loud shirts and figure out a new hairstyle) I seem to get so much more done. Its not even like we talk. But he distracts me. Can't explain it.

So aside from the monster pile of policies that I have already managed to plough through (gotta love farm language), I have been muli-tasking like mad. Because if you can't are a man.

My friend Claire has come back from her vacation. Thank God. Her email this morning made things a million times better. Claire- next time you go on a vacay, I'm coming with. Have spent lovely moments learning about her trip: sunshine, raccoon tan, hair cut, dead camera battery, and did I mention sunshine? I say sunshine like its not sunshine-y here. Or as if i like sunshine. Weird.

Discovered that someone else at work saw Inglourious Basterds. Am grateful for this as it gives me more to discuss than just "omg you have to see it"--because you do. But you can only say that so many times before people tune you out (Anna). Anyway, if you haven't seen it, you must. I don't even like Quentin Tarantino and this was the best movie I have seen all year!

In my early morning Facebook patrol I discovered that a friend of mine from my exchange days has a) moved back to our exchange city and b) started blogging about it. I put a link up on the side--am not computer savvy enough to create one of those highlighted blue words that will take you there. I'm working on it. In the meantime, check out TSVenture on the side here. I miss my city.

I downloaded a new app on my iphone. Optimistic Pessimist (again, you will have to actually click on her link on the side...seriously I will learn this), I know you will appreciate this. My friend is coming for an exchange here this week. Naturally I want to be able to track her flight like a creepy stalker. And "there's an app for that". So I downloaded it. And I'm keeping track of the route to see what the average time is for this week, get a better idea of if her flight will be delayed. And on the big day, I will get real time updates about her flight. Creepy or convenient? I choose to think convenient.

And now, in an effort not to piss anyone off (and get my remaining vacation days taken away, like they are trying to do, always something new) I am going to end my break on time. Look at me, ending breaks when I'm supposed to. I'm such an excellent employee.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Searching for a Cure

I have this disease. Its called Foot in Mouth. Its inherited—I happened to have inherited it from my mother, who has a much worse case than me. It can be monitored, and mine is usually kept under control, but every now and then I tend to have an outburst.

Here are a few examples of when my Foot in Mouth disease outbursts strike at the office.

I told my asian boss who has blonde streaks in her hair that I hate it when asian girls dye their hair blonde. I told her that I thought that it was stupid to dye lovely dark thick hair blonde because it will just break and look like you are trying to be something you aren’t. When she said “but I have blonde in my hair” I had to tell her that I didn’t mean her (because I didn’t) I meant when asian girls dye their whole head. I told her that her blonde streaks looked awesome because they were ‘edgy’ (thanks Tyra Banks, next I would have said Fierce!).

I told the following joke: What do you call an epileptic in a pile of leaves? Russell; to a guy who then told me that his father is an epileptic. He wasn’t joking. In all fairness, his joke was better (what do you do when an epileptic is in the bathtub? Throw in your laundry) but for those first 5 seconds, I wanted to die.

After discovering that someone wanted to insure a $20K ring, we all gathered to look at the picture. We were nonplussed. Especially when we discovered that it was yellow gold. We all loudly started exclaiming that we hate yellow gold jewellery, that its tacky etc before one of our new coworkers pops up, covered in yellow gold jewellery. Rings on each finger, chains, earrings. I said that yellow gold just didn’t work with my complexion. I don’t know if she bought it.

My disease crosses media boundaries as well. An outburst has an equal chance of popping up in verbal conversation or in electronic media. For example, we have an office messenger. And we all abuse it. But in the past I have meant to use it to talk about what a dumbass Veronica is and in my haste to make judgmental comments to someone like Anna (who will appreciate them) I will click on Veronica. And tell Veronica what a dips**t Veronica is. And then Veronica will get confused. And I will LOL because…I have nothing better to say.

Currently there is no cure. I can’t change it, its gotten a lot better as I have gotten older and I hope that one day, with the continued support of communities around the world, a cure will be found. So please, won’t you give today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pain Day

Yesterday I was on the couch suffering from excruciating cramps in a stuffy hot apartment.

It was awesome.

A sign of what my working life has become that I would rather be in pain at home, then not in pain at work. At home in my overly warm apartment I didn’t have to listen to John’s voice. Or get patronizing emails from him. At home I had the comfort of Maury –you think you have problems. This guy slept with sisters and now he doesn’t know if he’s both of their baby daddy!

It was so nice yesterday. Just me and my pain. And crap day time television. What a magical day.

Today am back to it. Had some nice emails waiting for me from John. What a tool. Apparently he has become concerned with my mental health. What a dipshit. I mean really. Who does he think he is? I would worry about my mental health too, but I’m too busy trying to keep it all together. And looking for a new job.

Which brings me to the thought that is rambling around in my head today (thank you Anna for putting me on the right track). I love Bridget Jones Diary. Love it. And today it’s a scene in particular that is putting happy thoughts in my head (hear that John? Happy thoughts for once). You know that part where Bridget gets a new job in television? And she quits her current job, the one where Hugh Grant has been parading his fiancĂ©e around all the time? She walks out of his office and quits in front of everyone. Has snappy comebacks too.

That is my fantasy. I think I want to do it in front of everyone. I want to leave a trail of open mouths behind me as I go. I want to just stand up and tell them all that actually I don’t have to take this s**t anymore, I quit. And then I will have some snappy comeback to John’s entreaties for me to stay.

So if you live in my area (and you know if you do) and you have any contacts in the publishing world please please let me whore myself out. I am a good writer (don’t judge me solely on this blog, its written by the seat of my pants in moments of time snatched from my daily grind), I learn quickly, I’m hilarious, work well as part of a team or on my own. If you know anyone in PR, that would work too—I can spin anything. TV. Communications. Anything creative like that.

Until that day comes, I will just keep reliving my quitting fantasies. And avoiding group lunch dates like that one that is going on right now. Eating with John? Please. That’s enough to make anyone lose their appetite.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Think My Bubble Burst

I am honestly amazed that everyone is still alive here. It was just one of those mornings, which is doing an excellent job of being one of those afternoons.

It all started when I couldn’t find the right sweater. There might have been some dryer door slamming. And maybe a little bit of yelling at my boyfriend, who was just trying to be helpful. And then there was the cereal fiasco. Couldn’t find the right knife to cut the tops off the strawberries. Had to fish it out of the dishwasher. I’m thinking that if it hadn’t been clean already I would have had a meltdown. I’m also not feeling well today and would have called it in, but last week Amy made it very clear that there would be no more sick days for me until September 1st.

So I got here in a dark dark cloud. Animals and small children scattered as I walked. Was content to sit in my cubicle and stew but Veronica just had to talk to me. About nothing. Couldn’t even find up the energy to act like I cared what she was saying.

Then there was a meeting with the new HR rep, going over our new benefits. And then, lucky us, individual meetings with her and John. The new HR lady actually seems really really nice. I don’t hate her on sight anyway, but to have John sitting in on this with me--too much. Especially today. So it was supposed to go in alphabetical order (the individual meetings) which meant that I was 3rd (it was alphabetically by first name, not last). Except that John didn’t take into account anyone’s lunch times (which are staggered) or how long each meeting would take. So now its after 1, I still haven’t had a meeting and I’m supposed to go for lunch in a half an hour.

John has pushed my meeting to 2.30 because not only did he forget to take into account our lunch breaks, he forgot to schedule a lunch for himself and the nice lady. What a tool. Does he seem like he has his shit together to you? Does he seem competent? Like he could run a department unsupervised? I don’t think so either, but someone clearly does, because he is still in charge somehow.

Ugh. Where do they find these dinks? Is there a special place? Do they all congregate on a street corner? Are they part of a special work program? They just know the right people don’t they? And kiss the right ass? When did it stop being about the ability to be able to do the job, and become about who’s ass your kissing? Has it always been like this and I just didn’t know? Did my bubble just burst?


Friday, August 14, 2009

Lonely Days

After a couple of days of terrible neglect, I am back to soothe you with my words.

Yeah..there’s not a lot that soothing about this blog is there? No, its pretty much a toxic cocktail of vengeance, sarcasm and rage. But admit it, you missed me.

So let’s recap shall we? Its been an eventful couple of days that has prevented me from posting anything spiteful here. On Wednesday somehow, I become embroiled in a battle of equality and fairness. Nothing major, definitely no civil rights involved. Its actually stupid. And I don’t even want to go into it now. Its all tres complicated and pointless. A veritable portrait of life in general in this waiting room to Hell. Let’s just say that managers and supervisors here have a lot to learn in terms of what is fair. Bastards.

Then yesterday I had to endure an entire day of training. Training on a new system for when we are officially taken over on September 1st. Training for a new system that I can already foresee will have so many problems. So many things are going to go wrong. Its going to be a labour intensive pain in the a$$ to get this all sorted out. Should be fun. Oh, but lunch was provided. Nasty sandwiches, something that looked suspiciously like it may have been a salad once, some sliced fruit and some teeny weeny funny tasting desserts. I brought my own lunch thank you very much.

And today. It is Friday. Such relief. But I think that I will be forced to make it through the day all on my own. The people that I most depend on to get me through each day are either on vacation, in training, or have moved to another office.

So I am lonely today. And I might be slightly hungover thanks to an abundance of wine at my parent’s house last night. How will I get through the day without Claire’s email updates on the happenings in the branch. Or what she did last night. Or general hilarity? How can I gripe and rage without Anna on the other side of our office messenger holding my hand? Or going for lunch with me? I need to get clothes for an outing tonight and she won’t be there. How am I going to find anything?! PLUS today it has been an entire year since my partner in crime Mary Kate left me here to fend for myself. I miss you MK. Come back. And I can’t even make up for all this with Sebastien’s side splitting analysis on this farce of an office, because he was moved to another location.

So am forced to…work. Is very lame. Am hoping it will all be of very short duration.

Happy Weekend all!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pearls of Wisdom

So I literally have nothing to say today. I am so bored that it is taking everything that I have to stay sitting upright with my eyes open. Some modicum of focus would be most welcome as well. But I don’t want to leave you all hanging, I know that you wait breathlessly for whatever comes next. And I did get an extremely terrific email yesterday.

You know the sort: emails that make a mockery of the work that you do, point out the flaws in human nature through hilarious photos or cartoons, jokes about naughty children or husbands (same thing?) etc. A bright spot in an otherwise dull and lifeless cubicle existence.

Here are some of my favourite pearls of wisdom from yesterday’s email (thank you Stacey!). Apologies to those of you that have already read it (especially those that I sent it to…)..

* More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

* I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

* Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

* Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or faq's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

* There is a great need for sarcasm font

* I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

* Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say

* I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger

* Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

* Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

* MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

* Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

* I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

*You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

*Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

* "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

* I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my itunes.

* It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

…It was a long email and I have a hard time making things concise. But I bet you enjoyed it!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Meltdown

What a morning! I definitely should have stayed in bed—don’t think that the thought didn’t cross my mind when I had to drag my exhausted butt out of bed today. But since I don’t actually have any “sick” days left, here I am.

It all started with a restless night. Could not sleep. Even though there was the delightful and oh so welcome sound of rain pouring down outside my window, I still could not get proper sleep. Made all kinds of bargains with God and the sleep fairies to let me get some sleep, but they must have been busy last night because nothing came of it.

So I arrived at work, slightly damp with burning eyes in a haze, just hoping to be left alone.

I get through my emails without any problems and am starting to think that despite the burning eyes, this Monday might be ok. Silly, silly girl.

I began processing the stack of documents on my desk. Now all last week I kept getting this error message that caused my whole processing system to freeze. There was no way to get around it and I had to keep shutting down the whole system. I was finally sufficiently annoyed to call our Tech Support team to see if they could make it stop. Now of course I decided to call them after my computer was rebooted and the message was gone. Try as I might, I couldn’t duplicate the message while I was on the phone with them. They told me to call them when the message appeared again because they “can’t fix what they can’t see”. In other words, I’m being a spaz.

So today the message appeared again for the bajillionth time and this time I left it all as is and called the Tech people back. They logged onto my computer and I had an enjoyable moment of watching them click OK on the message, thinking they had fixed it and clicking anywhere else, only to have the message pop right back up. I know they thought a) that I’m an idiot and b) that they would be able to fix it quickly. HA! They had to go to a Level 2 Techie and their answer was: talk to your Tech Support guy, Eugene.

Eugene. Damn it. By calling the general Tech Support I had hoped to avoid exactly this, but apparently Eugene is the expert on this particular system. I track him down and drag him over to my desk to show him this message and how irritating it is and that it needs to be fixed. He looks at the message, and nods knowledgeably. I’m getting all excited because Eugene seems to know what the problem is and might even have a simple solution. He looks at me matter-of-factly and tells me that its because Word isn’t closing quickly enough when I go to log a message. So I ask him what can be done. Do you know what he tells me?

“You shouldn’t work so quickly. Slow down.”

Helpful. Really friggin’ helpful. I called the general Tech Support back and told them to do what they had to in order to restart my profile on the system. Fingers crossed it will be sorted out tomorrow. As for Eugene…I really don’t think that there is any solution for him.

At the same time that I was having a computer meltdown I went to check my texts on my phone. I flicked open my texts and then my phone went black. No matter what I did, nothing helped. In my state of mind, I thought something was seriously wrong and was all set to march over to the Apple store and demand that they tell me what was wrong.

Then this little voice of reason (who doesn’t make an appearance that often to be honest) piped up in my head asking me if maybe the battery was dead? I brushed that off as absurd, initially. I mean really! The battery? I would have to be really stupid for it to just be the battery no? Akin to taking your car to a mechanic when it only needs gas!

It was just the battery. I guess I'm holding off on the whole car thing...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Technical Difficulties

**Please note: Post is appallingly late today because for some reason blogspot did not like my web browser. Rest assured physical action has been taken against my offending computer. Enjoy!**

There are a couple of things that have helped to make today amazing. Amazing is a pretty strong word. How about…a couple things happened today that allowed today to be less shite than usual. That will work.

The first I didn’t even notice until John pointed it out. I hate that John informed me of something so awesome. See, normally when I walk into my cubicle, Maurice is already there but there is no eye contact, no greeting. We both kind of ignore the other. Social, I know. But its how we do. Anyway. Turns out that Maurice got a haircut. A really awesome haircut. Now? There is nothing faux about his hawke. Yeah, I said it. Forgive me?

I wish I could somehow take a picture of this new haircut. Its an honest to goodness mowhawke, last seen on the likes of Maddox Jolie-Pitt. Awesome on a famous toddler, oddly misplaced on a 20 something cubicle worker. But also, hilarious. And I am thrilled.

The second thing (when I said a couple I was being literal, there are exactly 2 things that have made today bearable) has to do with Veronica and our email showdown yesterday. I was kind of worried about lingering awkwardness. But I didn’t need to. Veronica is nothing if not passive aggressive. So while she can come across as a condescending twit in an email, she doesn’t have the balls to do it to my face. So today we are back to exchanging pleasantries, ranging in topics from Jon and Kate to her anger with John.

Perhaps this is why she is not annoying me today. Today she has as much hatred and anger towards John as I harbor on any given day. He has committed the cardinal sin of getting in her business. Veronica likes to be in control. So does John. Naturally a power struggle ensues. John tends to win. But Veronica will grumble the whole way. Its great to watch. The highlight of all this really is that later I get to put together policies. Its basically a glorified mail job—so why am I so excited? Um, because I get out of the cubicle and get to talk to people that’s why!

And its Friday! Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Secret to Success

This morning I realized the secret to success. Well the secret to success in a cubicle world anyway. I'm pretty sure that if Donald Trump applied this secret to his line of work, he'd be bankrupt again. But for a cubicle world, success is simple: don't do anything.

Pretty simple right?

There's a little more to it than that, but essentially if you don't do anything, you will be rewarded.

When I got to work this morning, there was an email waiting for me. From Veronica. Our psuedo boss. Amy is away for a few days, which means that Veronica is in charge. And Veronica loves to be in charge. Problem is, she doesn't actually know what she is doing. But she makes up for that by adopting a condescending tone and sending emails outlining things that we all already know.

But back to my email. Basically, after I brought up the fact that I was having trouble getting a co-worker to help me out with a task, I was berated for not doing my job. Again. I am getting so tired of this.

And this is when I discovered the secret to cubicle success. The co-worker in question didn't do anything, she actually acts really stupid and people buy it. Nevermind the girl has a science degree, when it comes to mundane tasks in a cubicle, she is "hopeless". All about the stupid questions too. She has perfected this act--I'm jealous. No one expects anything of her. No one questions her. No one accuses her of not doing her work. They are just proud that she managed to put her shoes on the correct feet this morning and all her buttons are done up. She's a genius.

I started to appraise other co-workers. Maurice, my cubicle buddy. I seriously don't know how he functions. But he got the job because he grew up with Amy. Small wonder. Otherwise...well I really don't know what would become of poor Maurice. But again, no one questions him. They let him move around his stacks of paper and reward him for moving it all to one side of his desk.

Then there is Veronica herself. She's not stupid, but she has perfected the art of passing the buck. She also flagrantly disobeys shoe rules. I know, I know--I do it too. But she is a supervisor. She is supposed to be setting standards here. But she waltzes in with runners or flip flops on a shockingly regular basis. She sends pointless emails, always managing to capture a patronizing and inappropriate tone. And when you ask questions, you are waved off. She is too busy trying to pass things off to pay attention you see.

If I pulled any of this stuff, you can bet your a$$ I would be hauled into a small meeting room pronto. And would be forced to listen to that crock of s**t teamwork speech that John has handy at all times.

Its all a big joke. I'm still waiting for someone to jump out and scream "GOTCHA" because this can't seriously be my life. For now I guess I will pretend that I'm a moron. Apparently this is how one gets ahead. And I could use the money.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sad State of Affairs

I am falling apart.

There was a time, back in the day, where I took pride in my work appearance. I reveled in the chance to wear cute skirts and adorable pumps to work. I enjoyed putting on my make up and never would have allowed myself to walk out of the house with wet hair! It would have dried in odd waves- and people would see it!

Those days are long gone it seems. I can’t remember the last time I even bothered to look for cute clothes for work. Every morning I stand in front of my closet (ok, piles of clothes) and try to pick something to wear. My criteria? Can’t have worn it the day before, needs to be stain free, not too wrinkled and comfortable. Sad state of affairs this.

Sometimes I shower in the morning, sometimes the night before. Doesn’t really matter. I don’t plan to make my hair look pretty. Its long now, so it kind of straightens itself out as it dries. I got straight across bangs cut a few months back, but I’m not sure why now. If I shower in the morning, I may or may not blow dry it. Its actually dependant on the weather. If its cold, I will blow dry (no sense getting sick), if its hot, I will not (too sticky, might as well shower again). As for make up, I have some in my house. I use it for special occasions. I used to put it on every day. But now? Why? So I can waste it here? No thanks. These days, I’m all about sunscreen and mascara.

John has told me that I have a tendency to exhibit “exit behavior” so maybe this is more of the same. I would like to counter and say that its not the clothes that make the (wo)man, but that would be pretentious horse s**t. Everyone knows that appearances matter, but at this point I can’t be bothered to care. Why make the effort? So that I can come to work and have sick days taken? Why blow dry my hair to be hauled into a meeting to talk about my feelings? Why buy a pretty new dress to spend the day sitting alone in my cubicle not talking to anyone? The dress will go unnoticed and its feelings will be hurt. And I don’t want to put a dress through that.

I should clarify (in light of my recent rant on appropriate office attire) that I don’t dress like I am going a club, working in construction or as an homage to a decade gone by. But I don’t buy new work clothes. I wear flip flops (my own personal f**k you). I don’t wear make up. And I wear a sad expression on my face. One day I will have a shiny new job and I will be wearing shiny new shoes to celebrate.

But for now? I don’t want to subject my shoes to miles of beige.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


A lot of thoughts today. None of them particularly life changing, interesting or worthy of an entire post. But thoughts nonetheless. I guess rather than try to hone my focus (believe me, not happening today) I will just start running off these random thoughts.

It is not in fact Monday. It feels like Monday. But because of the long weekend (thank you Long Weekend Gods) today is in fact Tuesday. This should cheer me up. But alas, I am caught up in the despondency of a Monday. I can’t seem to break free of the mental chains that tell me its Monday. So Monday it shall be. Hopefully I will think Friday is Thursday, a nice mental boost heading into the weekend- which is still…4 days away. Help.

Here’s something else that should cheer me up. John is not here. He is sick. I hope its something really bad. Something that sees him within grasp of the cold clammy hand of death. Too harsh? Ok. Fine. But I hope it’s a stomach flu or something really nasty. He found his way into my weekend in the most unpleasant way on Friday. He actually had the nerve to show up at the patio where I was happily having drinks to celebrate the beginning of the long weekend. And there he was. With his stupid smug face and ugly striped shirt. Having a beer. How dare he?! On the same patio? This city is not big enough. If he hadn’t moved off soon after, my whole night would have been ruined.

These are all (both) good things. Yet the overwhelming fact of the matter is, I’m still at work. And I still work here in the 7th circle of Hell. Do you think God had cubicles in mind when he thought about Hell? Is there anything less motivational than sitting in a felt box alone for 7 hours a day? I hate my felt box. Even attempts to cheer it up (my puppy calendar, complete with ugly August puppies seriously just lazily fell off the wall. It’s a sign) haven’t done jack s**t to make it more inspiring.

Well inspiring is probably not the right word. Less toxic? Less depressing? Less…beige?

Today its really clear to me that the only reason I took this job was because I needed money. The only reason I stayed in this job was because I needed money to finish school. And now the only reason that I am still in this job is because I still need money and will continue to need money until I find another job. I need a sugar daddy or something. Are all office jobs like this? Is this what I got an education for? Am I doomed to spend my working life in a felt box, processing meaningless documents, listening to inane chatter (“I totally packed my spike heels for LA and then I’m all hello? I sprained my ankle, like it would be well enough for my spike heels. Its not like I sprained my ankle on my trip, I sprained them before, like why did I think I could wear them?”)?

I told you. Random thoughts. Not forming any kind of cohesive thought. Just words. Strung together. I can’t even concentrate long enough to whine about how much my working life sucks in a remotely funny or interesting way. Bottom of the barrel today folks. I wouldn’t even post it but…its not like anything better is going to come along today.