Monday, November 30, 2009

Owning The Process

Isn't it funny how, in an office full of people, you can feel lonely?

Anna is away from me again today. And without her to banter with I feel disconnected and alone. No one to roll their eyes with me today. No one to discuss this weekend's sports- the Grey Cup (if she watched it I'm sure she is overjoyed with the result. Personally I was hoping the Roughriders would take it), or our home hockey team's back to back games (at once such a high and such a low). But mostly I miss the bantering.

Did I mention that its raining? The Heavens are crying too.

Anna's absence is making everything more poignant today. That's right kids, the Cubicle life is poignant today.

Basically what I'm trying to say (most ineloquently) is that I am a mess today. No clear thought process today. No sliver of a topic that I can work with. Nothing interesting even happening on to get my creative juices flowing (that's right, no Kardashian news today. Yet. You know they have something. I mean, it was Thanksgiving. There was Black Friday. There has to be something).

I tried to kill part of my morning (the first part, before many people were in) looking at blogs. Didn't get through too many- I clicked on one link and my browser went bananas. It started opening dozens of windows. All of them showing a forbidden blog encounter. I frantically tried to close them all, hoping that there was an end in sight. Usually this little spasm hits 50 and then goes away. Not today though. Today we were over 200 and it was still going. I had to shut down my computer. I'm a little shell shocked to be honest.

Plus, I think I wasted all my caring on Friday. Friday, after Amy's attempt at a meeting, I was hell bent on covering my own a**. I know how things work around here, I've seen it before. Hell, I've been there before. Not this time. I'm onto you.

I ended up sending an email to John and Amy outlining all the things that Amy had told me to do, including that sticking point that I was no longer to follow up with the representatives when it was clear to me that the clients were not in the loop. I was told that this was now the representative's responsibility. Well I know how that's going to go- the reps won't follow up and will start complaining that they didn't know and that will find its way back to me. Absolutely not.

The email, was a masterpiece. It was pure John. I knew he would respond positively. My favourite part was "let's make the list work for us, instead of working for the list". Diabolical.

John set up a real meeting for 3.15.

In it I was a superstar. And Amy looked like she had no idea what I was talking about. Which, of course, she didn't. John said that he was glad that I was really "owning the process". Who says that? Exactly. Anyway I made it through the meeting, totally on top. I even get someone to help me work through all the backlog.

One for me, zero for John.

But all that caring has left me depleted. And without Anna to restore me to my former glory, I am just a shell of my former self. Hopefully Claire will email me soon and help to shake me out of my funk.

Until then, I remain, desolately staring out the window (there is a lot of dust on the jewellery store's droppped ceiling across the street) wishing I were anywhere but here.

PS In the time it took to write this, there is still no word on the Kardashians. I'm worried.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Breaking Tradition

I am fairly disgruntled this morning. I know, I know. Its not really that surprising. I'm disgruntled most days. Although not normally on Fridays. Fridays make me happy. Fridays signal the end of the week, the beginning of play time, the start of the glorious weekend. Its even sunny today. All of that is wasted on me.

But its gotta make for good reading right?

Maybe. Maybe it will just piss you off too. I will try to make it funny. That was, after all, the reason that I started this blog in the first place. To see the funny. Some days its harder than others.

Breaking with tradition somewhat, the following is a rant about my personal life and not so much about the Cubicle. But I don't want to alarm you so don't worry, I will end with a Cubicle Conundrum. I love alliteration- so sue me.

Ok. Some background. I enjoy hosting parties for my nearest and dearest. I enjoy coming up with themes, decorating my apartment, getting food (sometimes we'll even make it ourselves. I say We because anyone who actually knows me knows that I have no business in the kitchen but that The Boyfriend is actually quite culinarily talented. I'm spoiled I know), and making sure that everyone is engaged and having a good time. I don't even mind cleaning up afterwards and my favourite part is when people are still hanging out in the wee hours of the morning. I try to have a few such gatherings every year.

I have one coming up. To celebrate the world's greatest (and least PC) holiday, Sinterklaas . I love Sinterklaas, even if it has been ever so slightly bastardized by my time in North America. The spirit remains. I sent an invitation a couple of weeks ago (since people complained last time that they would have come if I had given them more time) and have received exactly 4 confirmed yes's. Two of those come from me and The Boyfriend (although in protest he is now showing as Maybe Attending).

A handful are Maybe Attending. And most still haven't responded. I have no beef with those that said No as soon as they read it. Realizing that they had conflicting plans and couldn't make it. That's cool- you had a prior commitment. That's cool, I respect that. No no, my beef lies with those that are Maybe Attending or, worse, have not responded at all. I know what you are doing. You don' t think that an intimate gathering with some people up a mountain will be as much fun as throwing your money away on some night at the club. You are waiting for something better to come along and that really gets my goat. Yeah that's right, my goat.

OK, not everyone checks their facebook religiously (obsessively). I get that. Sometimes the event invites are overlooked. And I'm understanding and want to give you every opportunity to come to my party. So I send a follow up text to those that have yet to respond. I know you're phone is practically glued to your hand. You'll get it. Don't pretend like you don't have that phone glued to your hand. You are stalling. Its not that hard. Either you can make it or you can't.

I need to know numbers damn it!

This is why facebook and cell phones have ruined the world. No one has common decency anymore. Gone are the days when one sends thank you notes. I don't think anyone really has dinner parties anymore. Phone calls? What phone calls? Talking on the phone is so passe when you can just send someone a quick message on facecrack.

I just want some commitment people. Is that so much to ask? Yes. Or no.

I think I have gotten that off my chest. I'm still annoyed though.

Ok. So onto work annoyances.

For the past 2 weeks (ish) I have been working on a new list that John promised would simplify the way that I do my job. He always was a promise breaker. This new list has just moved the emphasis off one set of problems onto another. I guess that's one way of solving problems.

So I have been working on it and John wanted me to think about it and write down any issues that I had, or any holes that I was seeing in the process. I actually did this (wasn't snotty to him or anything), coming up with over 10 points that I thought we should go over, or things that I thought could be improved upon. I thought that they were taking it seriously, so I could too. I thought that maybe there would be a meeting with Amy, John and Turd to go over and improve the process.

I was all ready for my meeting first thing this morning (I had asked for one). It was to have been at 9.30. First thing Amy comes to me and says can we make it 10.30. Annoying but what can I say? No sorry, I have another meeting to be at then? No, so I said "sure!" all cooperative like.

10.30 comes. And goes.

I despise lateness.

Finally 10 minutes later Amy comes back and says OK I'm ready. I start to get up to follow her to a meeting room and realize that she's not moving.

This isn't a real meeting. She's giving me time only for an informal chat. Sans John or Turd, the people that will actually change the process.

She didn't take it seriously at all. What's worse is that she really didn't understand what I was saying (since she has had no experience working with this list) so she was making decisions on the fly, kind of blindly.

I am so going to get f**ked for this later.

But if I have learned anything since I have been here (the list is short) its been to CYA: Cover Your A**. I'm going to send her and John an email running through the points and the answers I was given so that she can respond, John can see where I got my answers from and later when it all blows up in their faces none of their s**t gets on me.

Happy Weekend everyone. Lord knows we all deserve one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Mayhem

I swear that I have a good reason for having been so delinquent with posting.

Are you ready?

Maybe you had better sit down.

Already sitting?

Stalling? I'm not stalling. Why would you say that?

OK here we go.

I was hit by a car.

You should know that I am back at work today so it wasn't that bad. But it was bad enough to miss 2 days of work.

Whats that? You want to know how it happened? I guess that's only fair, since I left you hanging for 2 whole days.

It was a rainy day. I decided that I wanted to get outside for some fresh air and start my Christmas shopping. The more I can do in the evenings and on lunches the less I have to do on the weekends when everyone else is out as well. I don't like crowds of people and I especially despise holiday shoppers. Do you really not have anywhere else to be? Are you really walking that slowly? Its like they have never been in a mall decorated for Christmas before and their walking is impeded by the fact that they are staring at the sparkly things on the ceiling. Move it or lose it people!

Before we go any further I should point out that I do like Christmas. I enjoy the tree decorating, the food, having parties, going to parties, I love wrapping presents, the drinking is good too- in general I enjoy the season. I just do not enjoy hustling through the overheated mall with thousands of other people, standing in line and forking over hundreds of dollars.

But I digress. Where was I? Ah yes, getting a head start on the Christmas shopping. So Anna agreed to come along and like the gentleman I am, I was walking curbside (to protect the lady). We are crossing an alley between the streets and there is a car that is already half way into traffic, looking to turn right. Well she must have decided that she was too far out because she backed up. Right into me.

I got hipchecked by a car.

And before we get into all that, no I did not get her information. Its not like she even got out of the car. I definitely swore in her general direction, muttering to myself about incompetence as Anna and I kept walking, but failed to get her information (I can tell you The Boyfriend was not impressed with me. Might also have had to do with the text I sent about getting hit by a car. Technology eh? Turning us all into a-holes, none of us are safe). In the beginning I was too distracted by the pain in my hand (her car brand decal or whatever its called) smashed right into my hand- initially I thought it was bleeding but it wasn't.

When I got back to the office (Yes, I did manage to get some Christmas presents. I can cross 3 people off my list) I started to notice that my hip was bothering me.

I sent a message to Amy to let her know that, no big deal, I got hit by a car on my lunch.

To her credit she did come over to see if I was OK. But she did not suggest that I get checked by a doctor or take the rest of the day off (which would have been an hour at this point). Its more the offer that I was looking for here.

The next morning was worse. I did not even hesitate to call it in. I felt bad about abandoning you lot, but oddly enough, there was no guilt associated with my decision not to go into the office. When I called in yesterday, there was some guilt. But all of that is gone now that I am here (as I suspected it would be).

So what did I miss? Apparently there was a birthday yesterday, so I missed cake. There were doughnuts too (this is what Veronica told me was the important stuff that I missed. One track mind that one) I missed Veronica prancing around the office in a paperclip necklace. And other than that, I think it was basically business as usual.

Today I will do some catching up, try to figure out how to get rid of the red blinking light on my phone that says that I have messages when in fact I don't, hope that I don't lose my mind listening to Veronica go on about how important she is as she trains another newbie (this is like the 4th one in a month) and try to get through the day sans Anna who is MIA.

Just today and tomorrow before the weekend right?

PS Does anyone else in Canada find it weird to be working today? I started the day off watching the Today show and they were talking about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and I kind of felt ripped off that I had to work.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Great Motivator

I'm going to be honest. I was thisclose to calling it in today.

My alarm clock (I'm openly hostile to my alarm clock. The sound of an alarm clock alone is enough to put me in a foul mood. And the other day it woke me up to the sounds of Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA. Not OK) interrupted a perfectly nice dream. I wanted to know how it would end. Meryl Streep was in my dream and it was like a quest. Meryl came to me early in the dream asking me to make sure that I got Stanley Tucci out of some kind of institution without making any notes in the system. So there was a lot of thinking required, and some espionage. And I thought that I had figured it out so I was going to Meryl to tell her and I saw her at the other end of the room...and my alarm clock went off. Now I will never know how it all turns out. But I bet Meryl was amazing.

I hate alarm clocks. Who invented it? Terrible idea. And once again, its Monday. And I wasn't ready to wake up. The night went by way too quickly.

So aside from the fact that I am now dreaming about Meryl Streep, I'm feeling all kinds of horrible this morning. I'm fairly certain that whatever disease John has, he coughed it all over me last week and I'm now in the early stages of some kind of mutated death grip. Should be fun.

I just needed someone to validate my need to skip out on work. So I turned around and casually mentioned that I didn't want to go to work today. And The Boyfriend wisely concurred. So I say "Let's just not go to work" hoping that he will agree to that as well. But for whatever reason The Boyfriend's work ethic kicked in at the break of dawn (not even, the sun was most definitely not up) and he said that he had to go to work.

And then the guilt set in. There really is nothing like guilt to motivate is there? Why do we go to the gym? Guilt over that extra cookie or slice of cake we had. Why do we go to our parents for dinner? Guilt that we haven't seen them in a while (or we need to do laundry). Why did I go to work this morning? Guilt.

Guilt that everyone else would be here and they would think I was abandoning them. Guilt because even though it sucks balls, I still do have a job. Guilt that I don't have to worry about paying my rent.

However, now that I am at work, the guilt has somewhat subsided and I'm once again just plain annoyed. I'm hoping for some kind of cataclysmic event that will shut my office down, at least for the rest of the day so that I can go home and watch Ellen. If it would make you feel better I could say that I will go to the gym and watch Ellen (but really, that would be a lie and then you would feel let down and I would feel more guilty). I'm thinking that with the way the weather has been of late, a good old fashioned power outage wouldn't be too much of a stretch.

I have also just been reminded that the Big Wigs are coming in today (anyone know the origin of that expression? I would look it up but that seems like a lot of work, and I'm totally opposed to any kind of working today) which means that we will be observed and shown off in an attempt to illustrate that we are all happy, productive members of a cohesive team working towards a common goal. In short, we will lie. Together. As a team. I suppose that its a start.

I hate these days though, the ones where the higher ups come to visit. They are so dishonest. Everyone laughs a little harder at bad jokes. There are more handshakes, most of them so limp its a wonder their owners made it as far as they have (I'm thinking we're running out of hand sanitizer today). I'm going to have to smile and pretend I care that Jim or Fred or Harry is here to see what we're doing. I'm going to have to listen to John or Turd explain what my role is while Turd struggles to pronounce my name correctly. Oh God, I'm going to have to listen to them mispronounce my name all day. You're right- I'm assuming that they care what it is.

I should have just called it in. I could still be in bed.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shattering Office Zen

For the past 2 or 3 days, I have been as busy as a bee. I have been processing like a madwoman, fixing mistakes, closing up gaps, getting s**t done. It has even made time go by somewhat more quickly. I have felt productive.

I should have known that my state of office zen was only a momentary blip on the radar.

Amy is in a good mood today. She must be feeling better. Or she hit a child with her car on the way in to work. But she seems in fine spirits. Which should mean that she is back to being on top of things.

But she isn't. Yesterday I discovered huge gaps in things that should have been completed that weren't. It sounds vague because this is all kind of anonymous and I can't really share the details. Although, I'm not sure that it would make a difference. When I tell The Boyfriend the specifics, his eyes kind of glaze over. I'm not offended. I work here all day, I know its dull.

So anyway, I found these date gaps and told Amy to run it by her and let her have some semblance of control. I made it sound like less of a big deal because I didn't want Anna to get in trouble (her name was attached to a whack of them but because she is constantly getting pulled off her duties to do something else "more urgent" it wasn't her fault at all. I didn't think that Amy would see it that way in her desperation to pin the blame elsewhere) and offered to take care of it.

Amy was visibly relieved.

I would be too if my minion totally saved the day. And my a**.

There I am, contentedly plugging away, making progress, feeling good about my contribution to the efforts of the team.

Then this morning Maurice spoke. Apparently he had been looking at the same list and noticed that I was doing the same thing as him. Turns out he had been assigned another job. Still only one at a time, but this is some kind of progress right? He turns to me and says:

"Hey. Are you looking at the list?"
Me: "yes"
Maurice: "For the 17th?"
Me: "yes"
Maurice: "Oh OK, if you are going to do that, then I have other things I could be doing"
Me: "Well I'm only doing this because it was missed in the first place. If you have been assigned them then I can go back to my own list and sort all the other ones out"
Maurice: "No no, that's OK. Don't worry about it. Carry on."

Me: "??????????????????????"

What just happened? Did I just get told to carry on? By Maurice??? Are you kidding me???

In case you are wondering, I have carried on. Mostly because I am still too stunned at being told what to do by Maurice. I have no response to that. How does one respond to being told to carry on by the office dunce?

And let's not forget about the bigger issue here. When Amy came around this morning we discussed what I was going to do. And I told her that I was planning on finishing the 17th. And she said that that was great. After that, I was lost in my work and didn't do enough eavesdropping. But evidently she turned around and told Maurice the same thing? Or that's what he got out of it.

How is she so out of the loop that she is unaware of what 2 people sharing a workspace are doing?

As an added bonus, I'm fairly certain that once Amy realizes her mistake (sorry, our mistake) she will have a chat with us about not having come to her to work it out. Making your own decisions is a no-no in the Cubicle Kingdom.

All I have to say about that is that its Friday. I can't care anymore. All my caring was used up. Not that there was very much to begin with. I do get to wear my jeans today and that always helps to take the sting out. Oh and you know what? We get to have a cleaning party this afternoon! I'm a firm believer that if you attach the word "Party" to anything it instantly becomes more fun. Cleaning Party? Awesome, I'm there. Study Party? I'll bring the dip! Moving Party? I've saved the date!

A cleaning party in the afternoon of a Friday? You know that that is going to be a Prime Waste of Time (I love it when I rhyme).

I can't wait.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Office Warrior

This morning my internal clock woke me up at 4.31am. Just so that I could open my eyes, look at the clock, note the time and congratulate myself that, thank God it was Saturday.

Those of you that aren't delirious with sleep will of course know that it is not Saturday, that we are still 2 days away from Saturday.

Strike one.

A couple of hours later, I get out of bed, slightly unbalanced (for someone like me that is balance challenged, those first few steps can be precarious, kind of like you are slightly drunk. drunk with sleep). I followed the line of the bed, walked out the bedroom door right into the open closet door. I had a fight with said closet door, loudly slamming it back in its place. I'm sure I woke The Boyfriend (he has since e-mailed me telling me he heard my "fight with the closet") but at that point I was trying to sooth the rage that was already bubbling inside me. It was only 6.45 and already rage was bubbling.

Strike two.

I got overcharged for my tea misto yesterday and then made to wait as they realized that I said earl grey tea misto, not vanilla latte. No free drink though. Because I'm actually nice in my real life. Walked back to the office with Anna, who was bewildered because whenever that happens to her she gets a coupon for a free drink. This morning Anna got a coupon for a free drink at Starbucks.

Strike three.

Any sane person would have called it a day, but I am a glutton for punishment. Mostly I don't want to go all the way home again and then have schlep my stuff all the way back and then some to go to my Dutch class tonight.

So here I am, an office warrior.

And Anna sacrificed her free drink for me. Said I needed it more. And I do really appreciate that.

And if I had gone home, I would have missed the following.

I needed to go find John because he left out kind of an important step on this new project of ours. I found him talking to a co-worker who works part time (because he is in school full time). John was saying that the guy would need to start sharing his workspace because we have so many people here and we don't want to start "putting peope in the hall" (Oh John, you're hilarious). And that he would have to disinfect his workspace at the end of every day. I understand that there is flu going around. But telling someone to disinfect their workspace seems unduly harsh. Maybe let him know that he could wipe it down when he came in in the morning- insinuating that you think the other person is diseased. Or make it a policy for everyone.

Oh and I most certainly wanted to tell you about the showdown yesterday. Just another example of how messed up my office is. No big deal.

Basically because we're going through a changeover, processes are changing and evolving every single day. Its impossible to keep it all straight. And inevitably, as soon as you get used to one process, it changes. For the average bear this is a lot to take in and work with.

For Maurice, its basically a death knell.

Maurice really only has one duty. And they changed his process yesterday. And he made the mistake of doing the opposite one time. And Amy, who has been sick and therefore more stone faced than usual, came over yesterday afternoon and started berating him. I think she probably intended to just remind him about it but he became defensive and she kind of lost it a little bit. So I am sitting with my back to them and their voices are getting louder (I'm pretty damn uncomfortable, I mean Maurice is not my favourite person, but like when my brother got in trouble in front of me, the rage could get directed at me at any time!), Amy telling him that he should know better, that he has one job and she should be able to count on him to do it and do it 100% properly and Maurice countering that he was only told about it the day before and he made one mistake. It probably would have been over a lot sooner but Maurice kept fighting it. Amy was really ticked off.

Probably not appropriate to rip someone a new one in front of their co-workers.

It gets better though.

Right near the end, Veronica, who sits on the other side of the wall in a pod of 4 people, suddenly realizes what's going on and yells "oooooooo Maurice is getting in trouble!". She's totally delighted and says it loud enough for the whole office to stop and listen. So if you hadn't been aware of it before then, you certainly became aware.

I can't make this stuff up!

I hope it doesn't get any worse because I have 2 packages of my favourite Dutch treat in my bag (little iced cakes) and if it gets any worse my Dutch class isn't going to get any of them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is the Deal?

I received a very nice compliment this morning. The woman on the other side of the wall told me that I remind of her of House . You know? House MD? Hugh Laurie. Of course you know. Anyway, it was nice to start the day with a compliment. Because Hugh Laurie is like the gold standard of sarcasm.

The rest of the morning has been a...challenge. And if you have been reading for a while, you know that I dislike that word. And if you are new, I dislike it because it was my former King-of-the-D-bags-manager's favourite word. But I can't think of anything else in my heightened state of disgust.

Before I had had any caffeine (OK that's not a totally fair start--I almost never drink coffee and occasionally have tea in the morning)...Before I had any time to wrap my head around another day at the office, John popped by. All of this popping by really cramps my Internet time. I have to be on high alert all the time. Apparently, without my being completely aware of it, we are now working on some kind of project. Together. We have the same goal. In a way. But while he was the "brains" (I use the term loosely) behind the operation, I'm the one that gets to do all the work. I loves me some Cubicle today.

Do you know what John has managed to do? He has somehow managed to take all the words out of my job. Everything that I was doing he has now turned into a sequence of numbered codes. The better for him to run his reports I guess. But for someone who values the presence of letters, words and sentences in her daily life, this is nothing short of catastrophic. I mean, I quit math after Grade 11 for a reason. I'm rubbish with numbers. And now my whole job, which really had no meaning to begin with, has been reduced to a series of numbers.

So he came by and explained how it was all going to work. And then he got Turd Furgason to come by and explain the rest. Turns out that besides being a tool, Turd also smells. Halitosis. I feel like in the 21st century we are all kind of aware of this and, as a social courtesy, know that there are things that you can do to reduce it. Some of the things that come to mind? Brushing your tongue. Oh and mints or gum maybe? Just off the top of my head, I mean I'm not doctor or anything...There I am listening to Turd drone on and on and on and all I can think about is avoiding his breathing in my face. But he's literally sitting over me, in perfect position to exhale in my face. Dis.Gusting.

He also has no idea what it is that I actually do here. And as much as I love being spoken to like I'm a moron...there is only so much of him I can take. I did my best to look like everything made perfect sense, took the literature (words are words right? no. so wrong. there is nothing awesome about this "literature" at all) and hope I'll be able to figure it out when he leaves. I'm sure I will. Turd is not that smart. It can't be that hard.

I sure hope that I get lots of follow up emails from him.

Now, a story that should prove to you that I am in fact a total a-hole. I'm sure you will disagree Mom (maybe you won't), but some days, I am a total a-hole. I'm strangely OK with that. So there was this new girl that started last week. The really good looking one? She started last week and then was away Monday and Tuesday this week. She comes in today, very nicely dressed with these HUGE movie star sunglasses. Now, the last time I checked it was November and the sun definitely isn't shining. And if it was, it probably wouldn't be shining inside. So I'm totally ready to mock her (not to her face) a little and wonder what the hell is going on. I might have mentioned it to Anna. She agreed, but more so that it was strange. She didn't go full a-hole.

Turns out she was away because she got laser eye surgery.

The glasses are mandatory.


I can't be on all the time you know?

Consolations? My nails look great (OPI's Merry Midnight) and I think there might be Starbucks in my future (I love that I say might like its not my decision to make). Those of you that are groaning at this choice, sighing about how I should patronize a Mom and Pop shop should know that no one makes a grande vanilla earl grey tea misto quite like Starbucks does. It must be the crack they add. Also, I found a new blog that makes me laugh like no other, and although I have never done this, I think you will find My Masonic Apron hilarious too. Unless you are easily offended. And then...what are you doing here?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Office Politics 101

I have been working in this office for almost 2 years (I am so ashamed of myself) and offices in general for about 4 years now. I have a wealth of experience for new employers to pull from. But mostly, I have observations to share with you. Yesterday, in passing, Anna inadvertantly stumbled on today's topic.

We were innocently chatting (on our office messenger) trying to kill time at the end of the day. Honestly, we were probably whining about something else F-ed up that happened. Could have been anything: how Maurice messed up my printer mojo yesterday by touching things he shouldn't, how Lily was suddenly a convert to Passing the Buck, maybe even how John decided to say "hey" because "we hadn't talked in a while" (you know what John? We have nothing to discuss. You are no longer my boss, you and I have nothing in common, I basically find you repulsive in every way, get the hint and leave me alone). Like I said, it might have been anything. Then it happened. Anna opened her mouth (typed some words) and poured forth the gem: Office Politics 101.

And it evolved from there into a sort of list of office Commandments (we came up with 10 things).

Because I'm a sharer (read: imparter of wisdom) I have compiled the list, fine tuned it and am now posting it here. Obviously this was a long, complicated process, spanning several months of intensive research and experimentation. It could never be something that I just threw together. That would be embarassing.

In no particular order of importance, I give you your first lesson in Office Politics 101. Take notes, people, there will be a quiz on this. But not really. I don't have time to mark that.

1. The more money you make, the less actual work you do. (Enough said).

2. The louder you are, the more important you are (Or the more important you perceive yourself to be).

3. Emails are an effective way to passive aggressively micro-manage your team. Are people not hand washing enough? Let the m know with an email. Is there one person on the team not pulling their weight? Send out a mass email clearly outlining the problem but no names! Leaving out names will cause people to speculate amongst themselves. Too much work? Send out a mass email letting everyone know what targets they are supposed to be hitting.

4. Criticism and withholding rewards are an effective way of getting things done. If you are behind schedule due to your own lack of efficient management, pull people aside and place some of the blame on their lack of production. If you have someone asking for a raise (how impertinent! Cost of living? Not part of your vocabulary) let them know that they would have been eligible had their production been better. This will quash the subject and force the employee in question to work harder. Everybody wins.

5. Flexibility is a sign of weakness. Dress codes are set in stone. Doctor's appointments are to be scheduled on your own time. Flex hours are not permissable.

6. Dress codes do not apply to superiors. Flip flops in November are the perfect showcase for your newly pedicured feet. Pedicures paid for by your increasing-yearly salary.

7. Flex hours are an excellent way to get things done as a Manager/Supervisor. They allow you to rearrange your own schedule conveniently and get things done when no one else is around.

8. Passing the Buck shows that you are ready for a promotion. See Rule 1. If you are at the stage in your career where you are already passing the buck, being too busy and important to even do the work that is assigned, you are ready for bigger and better!

9. When you are the Boss a large amount of your day will be spent watching and reprimanding your staff for inocuous socializing. You don't want them getting the idea that work is fun. However when your lurking time is over, feel free to destroy personal relationships, plan cruises where you run into an ex and his new husband. Things of that nature.

10. Friends and significant others have no business being in the workplace. If they are picking staff up, they can wait downstairs. However, if you are a supervisor, your boyfriend is allowed to pop in for a juice box, or to bring by some carnations. Friends needing help with school projects are also OK- make sure to book a meeting room. Finally, personal phone calls are expected and encouraged. If you are a supervisor.

There you go Folks, a list of rules to follow if you want to get ahead. If you are not currently the boss, make sure that you do all the opposite things. Until you get to that Passing the Buck level.

Also, in gratitude for faithful reading (and address sending) an official Cubicle shout out to my friend Angela in Madrid. Hopefully you are no longer subjected to the whims of an ornary and stupid supervisor. And a big Congratulations to Claire, the inspiration behind the blog, for quitting her own personal Cubicle-like hell. When you stop hyperventilating I know you will see that you made the right choice!!!!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Cubicle Funk

So after 5 glorious days away, I am back. For those of you that are curious about what a cubicle dweller does with her days of freedom I read, went away for a night, drank some (more than I probably should have really), went to a hockey game, watched a hockey game and a football game, went shopping, and there was also some drinking (I think its warranted to mention it twice).

And I had almost managed to forget how much I hate this place. Its your mind's way of protecting you. That old saying: Absence makes the heart grow fonder (I'm a sucker for cliches)? Its a saying because its true. For whatever reason, when I'm away from here I manage to forget all the horses**t and convince myself that its not so bad. I sit in front of a computer all day, it could go by faster if I was just concentrating. Right?

But I would be wrong. Because in my delirious happiness at not being in the office I glazed over the grating irritant that is Veronica's voice, managed to blur out the cold steel of Amy's icy stare, and completely denied the existence of a certain grinning fool named John.

And although igorance is bliss, there really is nothing like a Monday morning to bring it all rushing clearly back.

And Dustin is gone. The lucky boy has managed to free himself from the grasping tentacles of this cubicle kingdom. I miss him though. Although he did leave me a very nice note (I hope so Dustin, I hope so). In fact his note got me thinking and was the inspiration behind this post. So thank you Dustin.

I obviously need a new job. I spend my weekends fantasizing about what it would be like to come into work on a Monday and not want to slice your wrists. I take the bus in the mornings and look at the other people and wonder what their jobs are and if they like them. I wonder what it would be like to work in a creative and warm work environment (this comes from staring into other people's work space...I love this time of year, it makes it so much easier to see everything through an open window...I mean, in my mind's eye...).

But when I sit and really think about how to go about getting this new magical job, I stall. See the last two jobs I have heard about and gotten from knowing someone that already worked here. And the ones before that were as a gym receptionist and a cashier at an arts and crafts megastore- the kinds of jobs that are listed in the newspaper or on a bulletin outside the store asking for applicants.

Somehow, I don't think that that is how it works anymore.

Which is a shame, because I was really good at that.

I don't know anyone in the industry that I want to be in. I look at job postings on industry magazine's websites but so far they only have jobs on the east coast (and I'm not willing to relocate). I subscribe to industry magazines but for about a year now all the articles have been about how the economy seems to be hitting the industry hardest. I don't trust Craigslist- I feel like I will apply for a job, go for an interview in a fake office and end up selling myself into some kind of white slavery. Or end up in a different version of this. Which would kind of defeat the purpose.

So I'm kind of lost as to how to go about this. I'm not sure what good a degree is if they don't show you how to get a job to use it. I remember one time, when I was in university, going to the liquor store and using my student card as ID and the girl that was working there was like "Oh I went to that school, what are you studying?" and I told her Communications and she was like "Oh wow, I just got my degree in Communications!" I remember being kind of dumbfounded that she had a degree but she was working in a liquor store. And look at me today. I might as well be working in a liquor store. Actually I think the government liquor store employees get paid pretty decently.

Yes folks, I'm in a cubicle funk. But one day I will look back at all of this and laugh. Especially if I pull a Julie Powell and all of this gets turned into a book, and then a movie starring Meryl Streep.

But I guess until then, I will continue to beg for followers, stare into other people's windows and gripe about what a truly heinous cubicle life this can be.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PollyAnna Tribute

While trying to come up with something for today (because of yesterday's lacklustre performance there was more pressure) I realized that today is my Friday. My Friday. I was talking to Anna about my inability to come up with something to write. Again. And because she has a one track mind, Anna told me that it was our Friday. That we don't have to come back to work for 5 whole days. So I guess we're both on the same page today.

Anyway, it got me thinking (don't worry, I took the necessary safety precautions). Today being my Friday, when it is in fact a Tuesday, is a positive thing. This is good news. I just have to get through today. That's it. I can totally do that right?

So I decided that today's post would be positive for a change. Don't worry- by Monday morning I will be back to my cantankerous old self. But for today, I'm Polly-f**king-Anna!

Almost. Let's not go crazy. After all, my positive and someone else'se positive are probably really different.

For example, the first positive thing is that I don't have to deal with Veronica's bulls**t for the next 5 days. I don't have to listen to her point out other people's errors in a voice loud enough for a stage production. I don't have to watch her waddle around in flip flops in November. Or admire her manicure (she has coloured tips. I'm sorry- I think that looks cheap). Or her pedicure. I don't have to listen to comments like "Its funny that I come in later than you but get to leave earlier". Or watch her have 2 slider burgers from a local fast food place as an appetizer to the lunch her mom made her. I don't have to see her bra poking out of her plunging necklines or hear about her friends' babies. I don't have to deal with her at all. For 5 glorious days.

The next positive hits closer to home. Well to my cubicle home anyway. Maurice. I don't have to deal with his attempts at being social. There will be no vocabulary lessons , or pithy dialogue. Of course, into every life a little rain must fall and there is a good chance that he will wear my favourite lime green shirt while I am away, but I think that its a chance I'm willing to take. The next 5 days will be Maurice-free and that is A-OK with me!

John has returned from his ocean adventure/swine flu outbreak. Which means that he can currently be found lurking around corners, spying on everyone and generally stirring up the pot. I don't think he has done any work since his return (although there is a rumour that he was responsible for the permanent hiring of the Temps last week. He probably was since they will now be earning less than before) and just his presence irks me. So the next 5 days will also be free of John and his life coach lectures. No lame jokes or short shirt sleeves. No sh*t eating grin to stalk my working hours. Just peace.

So it seems that so far my positives have all been about the people that I don't have to deal with. Let's shake it up a bit. The next positive thing about being away from the office for 5 days archaic computers to contend with! I cannot begin to describe the frustration this morning (and most mornings) when my computer stubbornly refused to print, instead freezing up and taunting me with its unwillingness to finish the task. PC's suck. That's really all there is to it. The sooner the world makes Macs the norm, the happier and more productive we all shall be.

I just thought of another most excellent positive about my impending vacation: no commute. I don't have to drag my butt out of bed on cold rainy mornings, fight with my umbrella on the way to the bus while icy wind attacks my face and hands (I need a hat. And gloves). I don't have to deal with a bus driver who is kind of a b***h. She will totally call you out on the bus if you didn't pay enough, or if you walked in front of the bus. If people won't shuffle down the bus, she won't move either. Most let it go. Not her.You gotta admire her guts, but she's liable to get killed. And in the morning, I just don't want to hear it. I also don't have to sit beside large, smelly people, or loud cell phone talkers, or those that have no concept of personal space. If I'm taking the bus at all in the next 5 days, it will be because I am drunk. Safety first.

Of course before all of these wonderful things happen, I have to get through today. And since it is still really early (I haven't even been here for 2 hours yet) I'm fairly certain that it's going to be a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong day. But when it's done....oh man will it have been worth it.

Hope you all survive the rest of the week! I'll be back on Monday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brain Bust

I didn't win the lottery. So depressing.

And nothing has really happened in the office that will make for a funny, interesting or heart racing post (I guess heart racing isn't really appropriate terminology since I talk about work in a cubicle). How tragic is that? I will tell you how tragic it is: Very.

Plus, it is making time stand virtually still. Sure it moves, but I don't see it. It's like Santa. You know he's out there, but you have yet to find any actual proof.

Normally I am a pretty excellent BS-er. I like to joke that I got my degree in BS. I mean Communications? Please. I swear that the only purpose of writing papers for my classes was to see how well I was able to make things up and sound like I knew what I was talking about.

But blogging is different. Blogging matters. I feel like I need to think of something interesting and witty to say before I send it out in the blogosphere to be read and judged. I like to think that some days I even succeed in this. But most days, I admit, I struggle to pull something out of my a** that strikes the fine balance between being funny, yet poignant, and kind of offensive but not enough for hate mail.

And this week, because nothing will happen and because I am only here for 2 days before a little well deserved rest, this bloggers'-block is really making me mental. Well, more mental than normal.

I guess I could write about the 2 new people that started this morning. But not particularly caring about them, I choose not to. I mean, I could write about how the new girl is gorgeous and how Dustin is training her which we all find hilarious because Dustin usually ogles the pretties from afar but now she's sitting next to him all day. I admit, I enjoy the harassment I get to participate in. I actually used messenger to send him a message about her, not knowing that she was sitting beside him. It embarassed him no end (success!) but I guess now I will have to explain myself should the new girl and I ever actually talk.

Or I could pull out another random (can we take a minute to talk about how much I dislike the word random?? I think it stems from overuse of Facecrack and all the a-holes that post albums with names like "Random Summer Shots" or "Random Album". Does it take so much time for you to stop, think of a theme, a play on words or something interesting to christen your album with??) attack of my thought process. But I feel like if I overuse that, it gets old fast. And my 7 followers (I know it says 6, but believe me there are a whole 7. Lucky 7? I hope so!) will abandon me for more interesting cubicles.

This is kind of reminding me of that Ellen Degeneres HBO special, where she talks about procrastinating and does her whole routine going from one crazy topic to another, seemingly totally unrelated until at the end she amazingly ties it all together by going back to procrastination.

I can promise you that that won't happen here. I'm not that good.

I'm just sitting silently in my cubicle, no thoughts running around in my head. At all.

I just want this day to end so that I only have one more to get through!!!!

My sincerest apologies to all of you. This was lame. It almost would have been better to have left it alone. But since there will probably only be 2 posts this week...I felt like I couldnt do that.

Please come back tomorrow and I will have prepared something better.

Hope you get through your monday ok!

PS: If you haven't already done so, please vote on my poll on the top...right hand corner (I don't know my right and left, I had to take a minute to figure it out). There are no prizes and it doesn't accomplish anything but I think its fun.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Please Let Me Win The Lottery

Friday is here again!!! Who else is thrilled about that? I know, all of you! Because Fridays are the best. Friday at the end of the day? The best time all week. Why? Because that is the furthest you can possibly get from a Monday.

But Friday aside, the funk is still in the air. People are stressed. Which makes them annoyed. Which makes them lash out. Which causes unpleasantness. Which digs the hole deeper. We'll never get out.

But there is light. A glimmer. Tonight (tomorrow night?) there is a huge jackpot up for grabs. Biggest in Canadian history. Which when compared to the mammoth American jackpots is nothing, but we're simpler folks, we don't need as much? Please join me in keeping your fingers crossed that I will win the lottery and I can quit this place.

Veronica is on the phone, with what I can only assume to be a rep. This rep has been away for a while. With Swine Flu. Pardon me, H1N1. Yay confirmed case in our office system. I sure hope they were up here for training in the days before they got sick.

Please let me win the lottery.

In all seriousness, people are dropping like flies around here. While I'm sure most of them are suffering from the common cold, or a regular flu, people are freaking out and my nostrils are starting to burn from the pungent aroma of hand sanitizer. I hate the smell of that stuff. I'm no doctor, but I'm fairly certain that the only thing that hand sanitizer accomplishes is dry skin on your hands. And then you have to muck around with moisturizer and then you get it all over your keyboard and your mouse and everything gets all slimey. No thanks. Call me old fashioned but I prefer good ol' soap and water. So traditional. So effective. So simple.

What else, what else?

I was thinking about office supplies earlier. Don't really know why. Or how. But I was thinking about how office supplies are so exciting initially. How you can walk into your supply cupboard or drawer (we have a drawer, kind of sad) and look around and try to think of uses for all the fun, colourful post-its and highliters, the different pens, pads of paper. Did I mention the post-its? I can't explain why, but I love post-its. Their bright little stacks in so many different colours just astound me. So you pile your arms full of these post-its and highliters, new pens and delightful little pads of paper and you get back to your desk and you start rearranging them, managing to waste a good 20 minutes in the process. And then, the excitement kind of wears off because you realize that most of your work is done on the computer and you don't really have that many uses for concrete office supplies. I rarely highlight anything. Post-its seem to fall off. And pads of paper sit unused all over my desk because nothing noteworthy happens (at least nothing that I would write down and then leave lying around the office).

My office supply buzz has worn off.

Please let me win the lottery.

I'm the office B*tch today. Apparently everyone has made a big mess and it has fallen to me to clean it up. It was hurriedly explained to me (read: not explained to me at all) and then Veronica abandoned me to sit at her four monitors and bask in supermonster glory. She is not available to answer questions because she is very busy and important (busy basking) and when I do manage to sneak a question past her she sighs really loudly, pauses for effect and then answers with such exasperation in her voice, to make it really clear that she thinks I am an imbecile.

Please please PLEASE let me win the lottery.

What to cap off this randomness with? I'm ashamed of my randomness just so you know. I like there to be a certain flow to my posts. Sometimes that just isn't possible. I hope that this won't deter you from coming back again. I like knowing that you're reading. I feel bad some days when I don't post (like when I am at home sick). Or if I post late, I feel bad then too. But the randomness. Its shameful. It doesn't make sense, its not particularly funny, or insightful. It just happens. And I'm sorry.

It felt like a herd of elephants just ran through the office. I'm not sure what is so important that Veronica needs to run through the office, but I'm not a supermonster so I can't possibly understand. But why the running. Fast walking doesn't work? Running seems more professional? I can see how one makes that mistake, as nothing screams professionalism quite like the sounds of someone tearing through the office with lead feet.

Please oh please let me win the lottery. I promise I will still blog about it. But it will be about how fabulous my life is sans working. And about how I won the lottery. You will love reading about all the things that I will do with my winnings.

Fingers crossed for me! Enjoy the weekend. Hopefully when you return on Monday it will be to read the tale of how I quit my job here. Wouldn't that be the best present of all?

PS Kim Kardashian is house shopping with her on-again BF. This makes me happy. Against my better judgment I like Kim. I want her to be happy. When I win the lottery, Kim and I will be BFFs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

Something rotten is in the air today. And for once it isn't Maurice's breakfast. But it is making everybody grumpy and surly and generally unpleasant.

I can't totally blame anyone here for being in a pissy mood. I mean, we all do work here. And it sucks here a lot. And its another beautiful rainy, windy, dark West Coast morning. That impacts one's mood rather severely. Unless of course you are still a) tucked cozily in your bed or b) on the couch with a warm blanket, a book and a cup of tea. God that sounds good right now. I would take a) or b).

But no. I braved the winds and the cold and the rain to be here this morning. Can't say the same for the me yesterday that preferred to stay cozy at home. With a migraine. But still. Not here.

So I was braving the elements and arrived here. And immediately any fragment of a good mood that I was building while I lost myself in the pages of Little Women (how is that for a book that makes you want to appreciate everything that you have and try to be good?) was lost. Just like that I was swept up in the surly, crusty emotions that everyone else seems to be harbouring.

I think its partly all the Temp tension. They have no idea what is happening from week to week and some of them are getting downright rude. I'm really only thinking of one. The Wiccan. Normally a sweet girl but this week has lost all sense of manners and has finally unleashed her fury on anyone who has the misfortune to cross her path. It really was only a matter of time, but I am sad for her. Sad that she doesn't realize that we are technically all on the same team (Team F U Reps) and sad that she has become so embittered at the ripe old age of 20. Barely 20 no less.

I also think all this discontent is partly to do with the weather. No matter where you live, weather is a big topic of conversation. If you don't have anything to talk about with a person, how about that weather? I happen to live in a city that is the laughing stock of the country for our "mild" (not to us!) winters. Furthermore, while other city's weathercasters seem to be able to predict what the weather is going to do day to day, here they have no idea. I don't know if its because they are incompetent or because the weather changes so quickly they can't keep up but I hate when they tell you its going to be beautiful and it rains. Or that it will be raining, not to plan anything outdoors, and magically you get gorgeous sunshine. Admittedly we have been spoiled with an unusually long, warm and sunshiney fall. I think thats what makes it so difficult to face the endless months of rain that are now in store for us. Maybe we will get lucky and it will snow? HA! You have no idea what happens to a city that's not used to snow when it snows 1cm. Buses are late, cars crash, people fall--the whole city basically comes to a grinding halt. So please, don't wish snow on us.

Finally, I think that all of us are just plain sick and tired of working here. I think we might have all gotten to a point where we realized that we are 24 (most of us are) and working here. I earned my degree (I finally got it this year) and I make less than it cost me to get it. I really don't care if anything gets done today because guess what? It will all still be here tomorrow.

OK I'm going to come clean. I have job envy. Sort of. I watched that Obama campaign documentary last night and I gotta say, I wish I had a job that made me cry like the campaign workers. Obviously that was a once in a lifetime experience and there won't be an opportunity like that in my life time (and I'm Canadian. So politically...that probably won't ever happen. Like ever) BUT I would settle for a job where I am happy to come to work and happy to see my co-workers. Where we could work towards a common goal and be proud of our efforts at the end of the day. The movie should have filled me with hope (and it did for the state of the world etc) but mostly it filled me with despair that I work here.

So I decided to come to work today and take it out on people.

Before I leave you to dive into this impressive stockpile of candy on my desk (I mean work...), I will tell you one more thing that makes this place so unbearable. There is this guy, we shall just refer to him as SF. He's a larger fellow. A mouth breather. Has an unsettling habit of walking into a room, standing in the middle for about 2 minutes and then walking back out again. Or standing behind you and breathing. Maybe smelling hair I don't know (don't want to know). Anyway. There is a file cabinet behind me that everyone uses. And the other day, right before I went home I turned around to find SF bending down to the lowest drawer, full a** crack exposed. (I'm sorry I shared, Mom)

I wish I was exaggerating when I tell you that I almost puked. I did gag a few times. And even now the image is so clearly burned onto my brain that I wake up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat asking why this happened to me. So why did I share it? Because I feel like I shouldn't be the only one to suffer. And also to serve as a cautionary tale? Maybe more the first one.

And finally- did you all look at Google today? Cookie Monster! That kind of makes up for hairy a** crack (yeah not even close, I thought if I wrote it, it would make it true. It didn't).

I have a headache. Way too much excitement for one morning.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Should Have Stayed At Home

Well Boys and Girls, I have been in the office for a whopping 20 minutes and already I'm wishing that I stayed at home. I have a feeling that this could be an angry post. If you don't want me to kill your good mood, I would suggest coming back tomorrow.

OK, for those brave souls that decided to stick around, let's get into it.

I work with a bunch of imbeciles. I don't know where they found these inbred morons but for some reason the powers that be saw fit to promote them and give them more money. So that they could do what exactly? Mess things up with less accountability?

What is it about being in management that allows you to float around the office completely unaccountable for anything that you do? Are managers promoted because they do less harm when they are paid more to do less? Is it a way of keeping the dimwits out of the way? Seriously.

Yesterday I was told to get through as many products as I could, send as many out to the customers as possible. So I did 64. Doesn't sound like a lot but its fairly respectable. When I send things out to customers, there is generally a letter explaining what exactly is going on. We have set letters for certain situations because it saves time when the computer generates all the appropriate information for us. This way we don't waste time looking for all the pertinant information and it also cuts down (in theory) on spelling and grammar errors.

But of courses these standardized letters need to be created by someone.

For reasons never made clear to me (why would they be? I'm just an insignificant underling) Turd Fergason was entrusted with this job.Turd just...he makes me angry. He has an annoying laugh, he's a consultant (so he makes like 3 times as much money as me) and I can't for the life of me understand what it is that he gets paid so much money to do.

But I digress.

Turd Fergason is responsible for creating all of these letters that are supposed to make my life easier. Except that he f**ks them up so often that I don't really know why he bothers. I could write the letters faster by hand with all of the mistakes that he has made and all the time that he has cost me.

So I sent out 64 letters yesterday that explained what was enclosed was "for to your review".

This morning Veronica brings one back and points out my error. Tells me that I should be checking my work to make sure that mistakes like this don't happen.

OK, wait, I'm sorry but I need a Time Out. The point of those letters is to save me time not looking over each letter. I check over the names, make sure the address is correct but the actual body of letter? Not my problem. That's Turd's department. So Turd made the mistake. Which cost me time. And a lecture.

But oh- and this is the best part- I may need to correct them all.

I don't think I need to tell you how I feel about this. I think you can probably tell. Super impressed. I'm hoping that Amy vetoes Veronica's dumb-a**-ness. If anyone should be making these corrections its Turd. Or at least side with me that Turd is an idiot and apologize for making me redo them.

I still haven't heard which way this is going to go. I'm hoping that Amy will just send them out in light of the fact that we are all so behind. Again.

And we're losing a member of our team. Its not someone that I have ever mentioned, namely because he's not a dumba** and he keeps his head down and works. We shall call him Dustin. He works hard, he's a nice guy and he was so thoroughly unhappy here and in the city that he is moving home all the way to the other side of the world. He could not get far enough away. I feel that.

And while we are all going to miss him and the work that he ploughs through, this does open up a position to move one of the Temps into. A permanent full time position, with benefits and sick days.

What's that? They aren't going to move a Temp into that position? Well what are they going to do with it it then?

Hire someone new.

Of course.

So while the Temps get their balls busted for coming in sick, while they are strung along so that the company can figure out if they can hire them on, we'll just hire a brand new person who doesn't know how to do anything and give them benefits and sick days. And a salary. Yeah, that does make a whole lot of sense. My idea sucks. Why would you want to reward someone who has worked hard for over a year, knows how to do everything and has proven themselves to be reliable and a team player? That's crazy talk.

Do you all see what happens when John is here? As soon as he comes back, drama and anger explodes all over this little cubicle I call home. Unfairness lurks at every turn and if you're not careful, there's a good chance that you will trip over some hypocrisy.

I hate this place. I am jealous that Dustin got to quit. I also watched Bridget Jones' Diary the other night and I swear I got a contact high from that part where she tells Daniel Cleaver and her old job where to shove it.

In a Cubicle World there really is nothing like the bottom line.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall-Back Backlash

Who doesn't love a Fall Back weekend?

Ok actually I can think of some people that would hate a Fall Back weekend- like perhaps those folks that work night shifts, police officers, nurses and firefighters come to mind. And can you imagine working a night shift on Halloween that is also Fall Back? That would be a nightmare.

But for the rest of us, Fall Back is like a gift. The gift of time. And really, that's the best gift of all because there is never enough time to do anything. But an extra hour? That's amazing. You can use it to sleep, to run extra errands, to go for a hike, to watch a movie, to do laundry, to have a nice dinner.

Whatever you want.

Incidentally, I did all of those things yesterday with my extra hour. It was the longest, greatest Sunday that there ever was. I kept looking at the time, amazed at how early it was and how much time there still was on my weekend. I like to think that I took full advantage.

But now its Monday. And although I was hella greatful for the extra hour's snooze this morning, I am now incurring all kinds of other problems this morning because of it. Not to mention that The Boyfriend decided he was plenty snug in bed and would "go in later today". I hate it because I don't have that kind of freedom and I am accustomed to him getting out of bed before me. Mostly its just jealousy.

But back to the time change issues. Up first is the phone. My office phone, the one that I really rely on to tell me what time it is, is not updated yet. I had a mini heart attack this morning when I got to my desk and it said 9.17. I had to take a moment, step back, look around (almost no one was here, so if I was late, so was everyone else) before finally checking my cell phone and reassuring myself that it was in fact only 8.17 and I was early. Its one of those system phones that I have no way of updating myself because it is hooked up to a network. It's going to mess with me all day because I think its later than it is. Currently it says 10.04 and I'm pretty excited that I have already gotten through an hour and a half of the day.

Yeah, I know. Its only been a half hour. Do you see why this is going to be a problem?

Part of the fun of Fall Back and Spring Forward is mentally you know what time it actually is, for the first few days anyway. When you wake up in the morning you tell yourself, well its actually an hour later than this. Which is awesome. But on the flip side, right now its only 9. I still have a full day to get through and I know that its actually already 10. This is torture of the cruelest kind. Am I really getting an hour back at this rate? I'm not am I? That happens at Spring Forward. But everyone really likes Fall Back better because we are all lazy and hate our jobs and would just prefer to sleep an extra hour.

Fall Back also signals the beginning of November, possibly the drabbest most depressing month of the year. Nothing happens in November, the trees are pretty well bare, there is no spectacular sunshine and blue skies like in October, there are no holidays (I'm in Canada remember?), and the weather sucks. November is basically just a buffer between the harmless pagan celebrations of Halloween (let's face it, you all need some time to recuperate) and the money-hemorraging food-stuffing alcohol-induced- coma that we will all find ourselves in in December. 'Tis the season and all that.

But I suppose that these things pale in comparison to the very worst Monday news of all. John did not die on his cruise, he didn't die of H1N1. He is back at work today, chipper as ever, ready to get in everybody's way. I cannot explain to you the shiver of horror that passed down my spine when I heard it's voice in the corridor. I wanted to cry and scream and yell all at the same time. Perhaps most effective would have been maniacal laughter but I think I used that all up on the weekend, Halloween and such.

OK, positive things about this post- Fall Back Monday. There is candy on my desk that I saved from Friday. So I should be able to get up a mini sugar rush to last until lunch. That will make me hyperactive. For a short while until I crash spectacularly. Can't wait.

I received a salacious text from a friend this morning about a walk-of-shame cab ride (on a Monday no less!) and am anxiously awaiting all the scandalous details in an email.

Next week I have 3 spectacular days off so if I can get through this week, I only have to get through 2 more work days and then I will have 5 glorious days off. That's pretty excellent.

I spent 15 minutes updating the vacation calendar. It's all colourful, has a nice poppy picture on the 11th (I got Veronica in on the action, bonding you know?) and at the end of it: December. And we all like December. Its not a particularly productive time of year, but there is a lot of alcohol and parties and I like both of those things.

Look at that, I ended on a high note. Kodak moment people.

Actually I think all the positivity has given me a headache. Way too much effort for a Monday.