Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review (Catchy Title Right?)

I started to write stuff, but it was crap. So I'm starting again. No promises that this will be any better, but I didn't want to insult you with the sh*t I just wrote.

Not sure what is happening to my vocabulary, but lately? Poor blog showing. I apologize (I do that a lot eh?) and will try to work on it for the new year.

Speaking of which (professional segueway much?), today is the last day of 2009. So perhaps a recap is in order?

Its probably not in order but let's be honest, I have nothing else to offer you. I am suffering from a consecutive nights' lack of sleep. I don't even think that makes sense- basically I didn't sleep at all on Tuesday night and then last night, when I was so tired I wanted to cry, I still did not have a restful night's sleep. I'm counting on the coma-inducing quality of alcohol to give me the rest I so richly deserve.

So 2009. What a year.

This year I learned that managers do not have your best interests in mind. Ever. They are selfish, bottom-line, power hungry, money grubbing scum suckers that don't deserve to lick my shoe, let alone earn my respect. I learned that no matter how much work you get done its never good enough and that while supervisors and management can flout rules and dress codes, you can't. You might even get a letter in your file despite all your efforts. Yay management.

2009 (I know I'm not supposed to start a sentence with numbers, but I figure that given the informality of blogs and the state of mind I'm in, you will forgive me this transgression?) was the year I went to Mexico, to come back with what might have been Swine Flu (it was still called Swine Flu then, not the H1N1 we know and love today). I slipped on ice, gave myself whiplash, and got hit by a car. I also lost my Oma (thats my grandmother for those of you not in the know (who I still think about and miss each and every single day)).

Not one of these things was deemed to be worthy of sympathy or worry. Oh well the Swine Flu thing was, but only in the sense that they didn't want me infecting my co-workers. Think of the lost productivity! Well there was concern in June when they looked at how many days I was missing (due to whiplash and Oma passing and swine flu) and they wanted me to tell them why I was away on each day. Apparently the death of a grandparent is not a good enough reason to miss work.

This was also the year that I spent a lot of time with John. Going over nothing. A lot of the time I fantasized about various ways that I could cause him pain. It started with harmeless ideas like stapling things to his face (a la Bridget Jones and her Perpetua), or sticking my foot out so that he would trip and graduated to things like him getting hit by a car, or falling into a manhole, setting him on fire or stabbing him. Sounds violent, but I mean it in a cartoon violence kind of way.

I had a lot of ups and downs with Veronica this year as well. There are days when I can get along with her (like just now, I called her a hoodrat and she laughed. But she really does look like a hoodrat) and we have a laugh. And there are other days when I want to kick her head in. Days when she wears flip flops to work, or snaps at me, points out errors when I'm training, talks about her growing knowledge of South Africa etc. I can't decide if there are more times that I want to hit her or that I feel pity for her. Because I do feel bad for her. I mean, she works here and she likes it and she's a lifer. A lifer.

That's worse than anything else that I could ever do to her.

This was the year that we learned more about Maurice. We learned that Maurice has no concept of the world around him, likes flashy clothes and will defend his Blackberry to the death (despite the fact that my iPhone is so much better). We learned that it was fun to torment him and that if he leaves his email open, it is totally OK to send "I love you" emails to co-workers. In many ways, Maurice is the perfect cubicle buddy. He provides light hearted entertainment on days when, let's face it, I need a laugh. Just don't ask him to actually do any work. Don't let the blank expression fool you- the guy is a Class A Pass-the-Bucker.

Obviously this was also the year that I started the blog. It has been a wonderful release to whine, complain, bitch and moan about all the bad things that happen to me at work and an even better way to make fun of all the people that make life here so unbearable. I owe a lot of gratitude to you stalwart supporters of the blog. I feel good when you read, love when you comment and just all around like having you around.

Finally this was the year that I learned that my expensive post-secondary education is worth exactly nothing. Turns out that promises of a raise once I completed my degree were just lies and the economy crashing provided the perfect excuse not to follow through. So when the new guys came in and took over they offered me the same salary as before. Well what I was told was the same, but am still pretty sure is less than before. Thanks for looking out for me John. I guess an even bigger thanks is owed to the d-bag manager with no name who came before John who never even gave me a letter outlining my salary.

Looking forward - well it can't get any worse can it? No matter what I will not be working here in the fall (they will shut the department down). Now the only decision is whether to get out before then or ride it out and take the compensation. I'm still clinging to the positive messages of my 2010 horoscope. Mainly all that stuff about moneybags Jupiter being in my sign for 8 months and that my job prospects have never been better.

Good news for my professional well being. Finally.

And speaking of professional well being, today is the blog muse's last day. Claire will be going back to school to finish what she started. And let's face it, she was through being sh*t on every day. The position of Gatekeeper (for all the crazies) is not an easy one, but she performed it every day with style and grace and they are going to miss her so much. Not as much as I will miss her daily words! Not like I won't see her- but the words. The words! I hope you will still check in every once in a while Claire -a great procrastination tool!

Alright everyone, from the Cubicle, I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2010! Have fun tonight!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm No Wordsworth

Well we all know that the first day back is the worst. I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned this about 10 billion times. But I thought once more couldn't hurt.

I came back on a good day though. I have the announcement of the men's Olympic hockey team roster (Canadian of course) to distract me (update: I trust Stevie Y). And also, I wrote a poem to my friend Claire (one could say she is the blog muse) to mark her last day tomorrow. It was pretty damn fantastic. I was kind of going for tears. If only for the thought (probably not the words - I'm no Wordsworth (although, does anyone actually like Wordsworth? I think they just say they do)).

But its still early in the day. And surprise, surprise, I did not sleep last night. I'm not really sure what it is about "mondays" that I am unable to sleep the night before. Is it that my brain just can't stop thinking about my body's return to hell? Is it that my body is trying to hold off the return as long as possible? Whatever the reason, it sucks and it should probably stop before people start losing their lives.

In other news, Starbucks managed to not f**k the dog this morning and actually a) get me my caffeine in a timely and orderly manner and b) managed to get it right. Props to the drive thru Starbucks this morning. Seriously, this never happens.

Also, its official. The holidays are over. I know that technically tomorrow is New Years Eve, but Starbucks has retired their jolly red holiday cups so clearly the festivities are over.

Its only a bummer because the next holiday (aside from New Years Day obviously) isn't until...Easter? Christ, I cannot make it that long. Seriously? I'm not missing one? MK I don't even want to hear about how soon your next bank holiday is. No wonder Ireland is in such a bad way- you lot never work!

So Anna was kind enough to keep me in the loop a little bit yesterday while I was away. And I have to share with you my favourite part of that. Apparently Veronica told her that her New Years Resolution (my take on Resolutions? I don't believe in them. No one keeps them. If you want to make a change, just make a change. Do it today. Don't wait til Monday, or the New Year or tomorrow. Just do it. Otherwise, shut up about it) is to stop eating sweets and start eating healthy. Why? Because she needs to get in shape for South Africa.

Not "to avoid diabetes" or "so that I fit in my clothes". No no, all for South Africa. Its 6 months until the World Cup. She might not make it if I have to hear about things like this on a daily basis.

Basically I'm just all around grumpy. I was waiting for those holidays for months. Months! I was counting down work days, planning, packing, arranging- all for those 7 days away from this place. And all those days leading up to it went by so slowly! And the actual vacation? Went by in a snap. Before I really had time to think about it all and enjoy it, it was over. OVER. And I was back in the car on my way home. And to this place. So depressing.

Sure, I have a half day tomorrow. And Friday off (but that's a write off because I will be hungover, lying quietly on the couch until the room stops moving) but after that? Its back to the Monday-Friday grind. And there's nothing I can do about it. I can't give up my benefits to get an extra week's holiday so I only have 3 weeks. Three weeks. I have actually been told that this is a lot of time.

But to those people I say you are crazy.

Three weeks is nothing. If you want to plan a trip to somewhere awesome, like South Africa, 3 weeks is barely enough time. And thats all your vacation. For the year.

I tell you, when I get my new job (and I will get a new job, my 2010 horoscope said I would) I will definitely be getting more than 3 weeks vacation. Or I will like my job. Its not so bad when you like your job. I remember the days of liking my job, I got no vacation. And I was fine with that.

Course I was making no money and living at home so it didn't seem like I really needed lots of vacation time to actually go anywhere...

But I liked my job. I think that was the point that I was trying to make.

So to sum up. I wrote a poem. Got no sleep. Starbucks didn't ruin my day. And my 2010 horoscope looks good (apparently money bags Jupiter stays for about 8 months this year).

Good post.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two Post Kind Of Day

Turns out my little plan not to text Veronica to let her know about the trains is going to have no effect whatsoever.

She's sick today.

Who's in charge you ask?

Turd Ferguson.

F**k. Me.

He showed up at 8am to make sure that Maurice and I were already here because we were the ones that were leaving early. He looks at Maurice "what time are you leaving?" then me "and what time are you leaving?"

I fought the urge to kick him in the face.

Then he announces that Veronica is sick today. Maurice wants to know who is in charge. Turd can barely keep the glee out of his voice when he announces "me!". Focker. Maurice is thrilled too- Maurice and Turd (I know othis will shock you) go way back. Turd is one of the reasons Maurice isn't living in his parent's basement playing video games.

But for me (and for Anna) this is a disaster. I texted her a heads up and even tried to suggest she take this day off. But she was too far to turn back.

Turd walks up and down the halls a few times (no doubt some OCD ritual to make him a success) and then pops back in to talk about reassigning work or some such crap. I had to find out what to do with my work from yesterday- usually Veronica takes it. Turd comes over and perches on my desk (we know how much I love that) and breathes into my face , telling me that he would be happy to take my work instead, and to just send it over to him.

Its a pile of paper that I have just pointed out to him. Does he want me to have it Fed-exed to his desk? I'm afraid that I was unable to keep the sarcasm out of my voice when I asked him if he maybe just wanted to take it with him now?

He leaves.

Only to return 10 minutes later (seriously, he has no work) to shoot the sh*t with Maurice. Maurice decides to ask about break schedule today since we are working a shortened day.

For all you heathens out there (you know who you are) tomorrow is Christmas Eve and traditionally employers let you work a half day (unless you work in retail and then Lord help you). Ours ends at 2 (some half day) but you still get an hour lunch and a 15 minute break. For those of you not as good at math as me, if you work at 9 and take an hour break, leaving at 2 you are really only working for 4 hours.

So even though I'm not here tomorrow I still get the benefit of that time, I just use it today and use a half a vacation day.

Which is why I started at 7 this morning. To leave at 11. That's 4 hours, no break, just work (and blog). Same as everyone else tomorrow (more really, because of the blogging).

This was all arranged, everyone was happy.

Until about 20 minutes ago when Turd, laughing, tells Maurice that we're not entitled to the half day today because its not Christmas Eve.

I'm seriously going to go over there and punch him in the face. I will gladly forgo all my pay today if I can do that.

I never though I would say this but...I wish Veronica was here. At least she doesn't question anything like that. She's simple to manipulate. "Hey Veronica, I'm going to leave at 11 instead of 12 because then we get an extra hour of daylight on the road which is safer, OK?".

I'm leaving in 2 and a half hours.

And finally- because of the transit delay everyone is late. And magically this is fine. But the one time (OK it was twice but out of my control, it was a bus) that this happened to me I got a talking to, told that I should have made other arrangements. Like I have The Sight or something.

Serenity now.

Please read the other post from today. I had to update you. But this really is the last post until next week.

Happy Holidays!

PS - Maurice got his hair "did". A brand new design shaved into it. Pretty!

Auf Wiedersehen (For Now)

It is so quiet here in the morning. Almost peaceful. I can't hear Veronica screeching away about something, no one else is clacking away at their computers, John isn't here to annoy me.

It's almost nice.

But it won't last very long- Maurice will be here in about 40 minutes to spread some more of his wisdom around (yesterday when Veronica said that she had just watched a movie that was about 25 years old he asked her if it was in black and white. I said that I was pretty sure they were already experimenting with colour movies in the 80s) and then the peace will be shattered.

I figured that this was as good a time as any to be reflective about my time here. Well not my time here, more about my time away from here.

Because you see, in 3 and a half hours I will be on the road on my way to sunshine and lollipops. Or at least booze and alcohol. I know they are the same thing. That's how much of it there will be.

But for now. Serenity.

Chaos on the way into town though. Apparently one of the main forms of transit into the city is having problems with the switch and no trains are getting in (on 2 lines). I'm fairly certain that Veronica takes one of these. I texted Anna to make sure that she was aware of the issue. Turns out she is not affected. I have Veronica's number- I could send her a message letting her know as well.

But I'm not going to.

Its my own personal form of spite today. She put Anna through a lot yesterday and then refused to take responsibility, placing the blame on Turd instead. And while I'm sure that a lot of it had to to with Turd (its becoming apparent that Turd has no more work, so because he is a "consultant" he is creating work for himself so that they keep paying him. At least twice as much as they pay me. And I'm still waiting on a raise. WTF?), Veronica is the supervisor and she should be responsible for her team. That's why she gets paid the big bucks.

Plus I asked her who would be in charge of sorting the emails every morning while I was away. Everyone has a folder and I go through and sort them, make sure that important ones are flagged. We have a 24 hour email turnaround time. Her response? "Amy says that its not a priority so we will just leave them for when you get back."

Not a priority??? We have a 24 hour turnaround time! I found like 5 emails this morning that needed to be dealt with immediately. But yeah, not a priority. Its kind of like telling me that my job is unnecessary.

So let her be late. Not like she has any consequences to face for it anyway. It just makes her look bad.

In 3 and a half hours I will be on the road to 7 glorious days away from here. I can make it right?

I won't have to deal with snotty reps sending me emails. Or hear Veronica or Turd speak. I won't have to look at John's face until next year (even better). I won't have to answer the phone or chip my nails typing. No paperwork. No meetings.

Just magic.

Of course, this is a double edged sword. I have become accustomed to venting on this here blog and while I am away you will have to do without me. I know it will be tough, it will be difficult to be away from you too. But we will get through it. Its only a week. And when I get back I'm sure there will be LOTS of problems to address and we will all be reunited in my misery.

I'd get guest bloggers, but let's face it, this is a hobby not a job. Plus you guys will be off work, on your own holidays. I'd say that I would try and post while I'm away but I like you guys and I don't want to lie to you. And there is a good chance that the copious amounts of alcohol I will be consuming will impede my ability to type. Could come out in Dutch and then where would be we? Actually only my spoken Dutch gets better when I drink...I have never tried out my written Dutch when drinking but I don't think that the results would be all that positive.

And on that note...I will be back next week. I will try to think of some interesting things to write about while I am gone so that my return is triumphant. Or not. Like I said, drinking.

Oh oh oh, before I go. Kardashians! Khloe was at some cupcake store and obviously congratulations are in order for Kourtney who had her baby boy last week. Kim needs to figure something out ASAP because she is definitely being overshadowed by baby.


PS Auf Wiedersehen just sounded cooler than Good Bye or Au revoir etc. And no one would know what the Dutch version meant. Well except for you Mom. and Emily. And Angela. And Mona. But the rest of you...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Universe Owes Me One

Well Merry Christmas to me!

John has left the building, not to return until the New Year! Sure, he's going to Mexico but there are plenty of diseases and calamities that could find him there. Right? The Universe owes me one.

But like Amy before him, he just could not help himself and had to come in this morning to make sure that everything was OK. I don't think it helped matters that Veronica decided to take her time getting to work today and as a result she was "late" by all standards- except, of course, her own.

I guess his early morning presence says more about Veronica's leadership capabilities than my own work ethic. Although admittedly, with my own holiday looming and my complete lack of faith in my management "team", I have been a little blase about my workload. Don't get me wrong, I'm obviously still working. And as far as they can tell there is nothing amiss with my production. But I know I'm capable of more, and I'm just not delivering.

I ask you, what would be the point? I have more important things to do.

Obviously Kardashian Katch-Up (see what I did there?)! News, gossip, emails, blogs.

And... starting on a list of things that make me want to quit. The list is called For When I Quit and its all the things I want to make sure I mention when that glorious day comes and I get to have an exit interview with an unbiased (thats probably not even possible) person.

Assuming of course I don't win the lottery because then quitting will probably take more of a general F**k-you format.

Things on the list so far?

Dress code- we all work on the same floor but apparently there is a different dress code for each department. So Accounting can wear jeans any day of the week, so can pretty well every other department- except ours. That's crap.We're head office, no one sees us. If you want to impress the VIPs give us a heads up and we will turn out in style. Otherwise, let me fade into my Cubicle in a mirage of denim. Please.

The confusion with the management team. Technically Veronica is my direct supervisor, Amy is her boss and John is Amy's boss. And actually I'm not even sure about that last part. Point is, if there is an occasion for a chat or whatever, John has no business giving it- he's not my boss. That's right, he's not the boss of me. They need to sort their sh*t out!

How I'm constantly treated like I have a learning disability. Seriously. I get it, I'm blonde and I have boobs- I must be a moron. However I feel like I have demonstrated time and again that I am in fact a genius and you need to flipping listen to me! I'm tired of bringing up valid points, getting ignored, only to be reamed out a month later for not doing what I said we should be doing after you told me not to do it.

But it's Christmas so I should be more generous.

I can't help but be cranky this morning though. They took Anna away from me. She is sitting in a room with all the other lackeys so that they can get through a "Processing Blitz". Cut off from me. This is Veronica's attempt at showing them that she can get things done. Anna says she feels like a monkey. I would add that you look like one too.


I heard this strange thing one time. That if you respect and value your employees they will work harder for you. Isn't that the craziest idea that you ever heard?? Messed up I tell you. That would never work. If you treat them like crap and keep them down they will work harder out of fear.

Except that we're not peasants, we have rights and stuff and if we're treated like crap we can throw words out like Human Resources, lawyers, harassment etc (or quit). Although honestly (and I'm going to tell you a secret) HR reps? They work for the company. They are not there to help you, they are actually there to F**k you over in any way possible. Bottom line people.

So where am I going with all this? You had high hopes for me today didn't you? Thought I would be elated to be going away tomorrow, only having to get through today and 4 hours tomorrow and this post would be filled with hilarity.

Well I'm not. They took Anna away, I have to re-train my Bitch because its been so long since they let me use him and John had the bad manners to show up here and RUIN MY DAY.

What's going around in Mexico these days? I hope he catches it.

We will give it one more try tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Artfully Stubbly

Oh man I love me the smell of a Monday morning.

If you know me at all you know that this is a blatant lie. Blatant.

I'm trying to be chipper. I'm not very good at it. But I think that this week its a little easier to pretend, if only because this is a 2 and a half day work week. They should all be like this. Except we'd probably get greedy and start asking for a 1 and a half day work week.

I'd be OK with that.

But back to 2 and a half day weeks. Awesomeness no? Yes. I love me some two and a half day weeks.

And to celebrate I have a treat for all of you that love Maurice. Well the character of Maurice anyway. Although, aside from his name, none of Maurice is made up. He's 100% natural baby. Which is so gross to say. If you knew Maurice.

I wonder how many times I can naturally say Maurice? Maurice.

Anywhoodle. Maurice and I have been getting closer. And by closer I mean that we have gotten to the point in our relationship where I can mercilessly tease him all the time and follow up with "just kidding Maurice! ha ha ha" and he thinks that its all in good fun. But mostly, I mean everything I say. I'm serious. Like the plague serious.

So Maurice has a Blackberry that he cherishes more than the parents that bought him an apartment. And I have an iPhone that is basically my firstborn child. Obviously we all know that iPhones are superior (it pains me to admit this, but even Veronica knows this) yet Maurice clings to his Blackberry like Rose held onto the plank of wood as Jack floated away to the bottom of the ocean. I put a poster of an iPhone ad on the Cubicle wall as a constant reminder of its greatness and the Blackberry's inferiority.

And Maurice defaced it.

I wrote him a note telling him that this ad listed 16 more reasons why the iPhone is better than the Blackberry. And always one to be eloquent, Maurice responded with "Ya right! You wish". I said that jealousy does not become him and he responded with "The Truth hurt dosen't it!".

And no, that is not a typo (well it is but...) that is exactly what Maurice wrote down. Its not even an exclamation, its a question. Sort of. I mean, I know where he's going with it but...well, you know. Don't worry Laurie, I didn't point it out. That would have been rude. Except that I'm sort of pointing it out now. But you guys needed to know!

So Friday afternoon, its 4 and Maurice has packed up his stuff and is coming into the lunch room to wait for his bus companion. I'm there. Maurice let Anna go into the lunch room ahead of him and Anna, with a significant look at me said "Oh Maurice you're so chivalrous!"

Maurice: "What? I'm not cold."

So he hasn't learned anything from me. I feel kind of like I failed him.

After the laughter had died down, I said that its a shame that he didn't have an iPhone because he could download the dictionary app and he would be able to look these words up all the time. Anna said that we could probably just get him a real dictionary and someone else chimed in that he could just look at because they also have a thesaurus. Maurice, clearly unimpressed by his Blackberry's failures, told us that we could just "get me a book that reads and stuff".

Laughter. More laughter. Some more laughter.

Me: You mean like a Leap Frog?"

More laughter.

And Maurice left.

I'm pretty sure we laughed some more. I've relayed this story to people since. I even wrote the quote down for posterity. It was just too good.

I would like to leave you with some more Maurice faux pas: Maurice does not even have a basic knowledge of who Milli Vanilli is. Doesn't know about the Grammy fracas. Or even their greatest hits: Girl You Know Its True and Blame It On the Rain. I tried to enlighten him by showing him the youtube videos on my iPhone (seriously, is there anything it can't do? Nope) but I think I just confused him.

Finally- he has no recollection of Full House. No enjoyment out of phrases like "How Rude!" or knowledge of Danny Tanner cleaning mania. He doesn't understand Uncle Jesse hair references or have any recollection of those comforting life lesson moments with the instrumental music in the background. Its like he didn't have a childhood.

Which maybe explains more than anything else ever could about Maurice.

Finally (actually finally this time), in case you are wondering about the title of this post, I just talked The Boyfriend out of growing a beard until New Years Eve when he planned to shave. I said that I didn't want his mother to think that I didn't take care of him by allowing him to look like a homeless man. I told him that I wanted him to be "artfully stubbly" for NYE and he said that he thought I should work the phrase into today's post. Always one to please, I did just that.

~ Fin ~

Friday, December 18, 2009


Before we get into things, let's catch up with the events of yesterday afternoon.

The much anticipated Potluck arrived! Which meant a table full of sub-par foods and truck loads of overly sweet desserts (aside from the delicious chocolate cheesecake-sicles). I'm serious when I say the food was sub par. There was a pizza which was pretty good and some samosas. But then there was this brocoli-peppers-and-cheese concoction, stuffed mushroom caps, and macaroni and cheese with mushrooms- I don't like mushrooms. Hate them. Always have. Something about the texture. There were chips too. And mango pudding- Veronica's mom's potluck staple.

Anyway unless you had an iron stomach you weren't getting a decent lunch. You could gorge yourself on sweets I suppose but for me, the abillity to do that ended when I turned about 16. My 16 wasn't sweet enough I guess (see what I did there? clever right?). Mostly when it was all over I just felt vaguely ill.

But then it was time for White Elephanting (disappointingly enough the powers that be were spot on for time- we began potluck at noon and were finished with White Elephant by 1). I'm proud to say that my gift was among the first chosen- a cleverly disguised Starbucks gift card (what can I say? I would like others to experience the pain in the a$$ that is ordering at Starbucks). Anna's was also among the first, a diamond in the rough. Seriously, she wrapped it in a High School Musical holiday box. Its a miracle it got chosen at all. No one chose Veronica's.

So when we were talking about her Office Space Work Sucks kit I said that it would be hilarious if this one woman in accounting opened it because she would have no idea what it was and it would be funny to watch her be even more confused then usual.

What can I say- my words came to pass.

She had no idea what it was, thought the box was hiding the real present and she ripped the box. Anna and I were both appalled.

Anyway, the game took a while (hate to admit it but it was fun). Anna stole the Office Space kit and then I stole it from her and then the Mail Guy, egged on by everyone else, stole it from me. Anna stole it back from him towards the end, the last time it could be stolen. I had a tower of Lindt chocolates and in the end, I traded the chocolates for the Kit.

I have some flair on the wall now. A banner that says "Is this good for the Company" is also pinned up. I lay down my Jump To Conclusions mat (I'm sure I'm going to have to move that one, slipping hazard. Let's be real, I'm going to be the one to slip). And the piece de resistance- my Initech coffee mug. There were also some TPS cover sheets that I'm going to photocopy and distribute for sh*ts and giggles.

Anyway, like Tom Brady on the birth of his son, I'm glad that that's all over. Now we can all stop pretending we like each other and there will be no more enforced together time.

So with Amy away, it seems like things should be so much more relaxed. I guess in a way they are- for Veronica. Even though Amy came in on her day off and collected all the work so that Veronica would have that time to focus on other stuff, Veronica still found the time to dick around for most of the day.

In particular, there was a payment issue that I had emailed the rep about and the rep wanted to know what the next step was to correct it. I didn't know so I had emailed Veronica about it. Three days ago. In the meantime, I received an email from Amy telling me that the payment had been made online and I could close the Reminder. Finally yesterday Veronica gets involved in it and I'm not even exaggerating, spends the entire day asking various people about it. Including me. And I don't even think I was able to pretend to be nice about it. I think the inner snark just broke her chain and every word out of my mouth was bitchy.

My bad.

I don't know how she has the time to learn so much about South Africa. She's going to the World Cup of Soccer remember? So she's gearing up to see Invictus because its "all about South Africa you know". Also Matt Damon is in it-- not sure what that has to do with South Africa but...hey I guess it is Matt Damon. She also spent the weekend watching The Gods Must Be Crazy and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls to get "Africanized". She's going to get herself killed.

Other Veronica annoyances from the past 24 hours. She just told someone that she was unable to help because she was "busy leading". She 'jokingly' berated the executive team for handing out chocolate because it was going to hop "her team" up on sugar. She hoped that someone would ask her another question because she didn't feel like working. And she chose her own gift in the White Elephant game.


Alright I think that thats long enough. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend- the last one before Christmas! Cousin- I will see you Sunday! Be gentle- I have to go to my parents' after that too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When The Cat's Away, The Mice Will Play

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Did you miss me?

OK it was only one day, but I like to think that you missed me. You would be the only ones you see. Here in the Cubicle world, no one really notices.

The good news is that Amy has left for her vacation and will not be back until the new year. The bad news is that Amy has left for her vacation and will not be back until the new year. Leaving Veronica in charge.

We are all screwed.

Amy actually came in this morning (even though she's off) so that she could collect everyone's work and get a few things done. The work collection is Veronica's job. Amy said that she wanted to do it so that Veronica would be able to concentrate on the work that she has. Clearly Amy is not trusting that things will get done while she is away.

And she's right of course.

Veronica still came over to check on things. She asked me "so! hows it going?" 3 times in the course of our 5 minute conversation. Clueless wonder that one. And even though I had instructions from Amy to work on The List, Veronica decided that there were too many Reminders set in the system and gave me 100 of them to do. I just finished the ones that she had given me so that I could take another stab at The List. Way to disregard instructions Veronica. You know who's going to take the fall for this though right? Yup, me.

There were some gift exchanges happening today as well. Veronica bought a pair of pyjamas for one of the other girls and then tried to convince her to put them on. I think she might have succeeded (don't know for sure, I'm segregated from the "fun") and pictures were definitely taken. Amy had been out of the office for approximately 10 minutes at this point.

There was screeching and laughing, definitely no working (Veronica has yet to turn on her computer) and the folks in the other department, the hard working folks on the other side of my wall, started commenting about how loud it was in here. And they are right. Its so loud.

Veronica has no concept of what it means to be in charge. Except that now no one else can tell her to be quiet and we can all be friends. She reminds me of an indulgent parent --she wants to be the "cool" parent. The one that can't stand to be thought of as a parent, just wants to be one of the kids.

Well just like in parenting, if you want a productive, coherent, contributing team working for you, you can't be their friend. You have to be the boss. Veronica's still working on this novel idea.

Of course today is the big Potluck and White Elephant game. I'm confident that I will end up with some piece of crap that I will have to drag home before I can throw it away. Unless I end up with that Office Space giftie. Then I can decorate the Cubicle with Flair. I'm hopeful that there will be a fair amount of time wasting in either case. I think that John is still here but if he wasn't, I'm pretty sure that our hour lunch would be extended. I can't imagine that an hour is enough time for Putlucking and White Elephanting, can you?

I had something else to say, what was it? As my mom used to say, if you can't remember, it must not have been important. Which I always found kind of offensive. I mean, who are you to judge that its not important? Maybe it was an its just early onset Alzheimers you know? It will come to me...probably tomorrow.

In the meantime, Roy Disney died! He died yesterday at the age of 79. Incidentally last night (I was feeling better) I went to go watch their newest masterpiece, The Princess and the Frog. I was transported back to the beginning of the 90s when Disney animation was at its finest with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The Princess and the Frog totally wins. Its magical. And the new prince is hotter than Prince Eric. Don't even pretend like you don't think that Prince Eric is hot.

Finally, some shout outs to my peeps. When I act gangsta I feel like I can get through the day better. Here we go. Mona, your prof is a class A d-bag and I'm sorry about the re-sit. But like I said, karaoke makes everything better. You should belt out Dont Stop Believin' . Journey makes everything alright. Claire, I'm sorry for the neglect. I'm here for you now. Til wednesday morning. And for the Record- thank you for still checking in. I've been trying to think of a way to anonymously add you in here and I'm happy with the results. I can't believe it hadn't occurred to me before!

Happy Thursday! One more day til Weekend. What are your plans?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gift for Grumpy

I am in no mood to be pleasant today. If you came here today looking for affirmation or warm and fuzzy thoughts you might want to come back tomorrow. Although, that's not really what I stand for so you must be lost if that's what you're looking for...

Anyway. I am grumpy. I'm pretty sure that The Boyfriend is still in bed, having decided to throw in the towel before the day ever got underway (he's in a kind of limbo having been promised a new job and having trained someone to fully take over his old job so I guess people don't notice if he's not around since everything still gets done). And that snow from yesterday? Well overnight it started to rain and then this morning it was a slushy icy mess and I don't know how, but I didn't even fall. But it was close. Several times. Thanks for the well wishes Anna (before I left yesterday she said she hoped I fell. I pointed out that this was unfair as it was pretty likely to actually happen and then how would she feel?).

So grouchy before I even got here. This does not bode well for those around me. Do you feel bad for them that they work with me? Or jealous that they get to work with me? I mean, I'm pretty awesome. Unless I don't like you. Then, watch out.

I had a point. What was it?

Oh yes. Potluck.

For those of you that don't know how I feel about Potlucks , let's just say I'm not a fan.

It's not that I don't like the free food, I do (although what is the deal with mango pudding?). Its the awkwardness of being forced into a room with everyone that works here. There are no commonalities, except that we all work here. And its so early. I eat my lunch at 1.30 (so that there are less people I have to deal with AND so that my afternoon is shorter) so forcing me to stomach food at noon seems kind of cruel. I'm just not ready you know?

Anyway, its the holidays and what better way to spread some office cheer than food? What's that? You think an office Christmas party is in order? Darlin' I haven't been to my own office party since 2006. In 2007 I was too busy living the life of a student in the greatest city in the world and an office wasn't a part of that life. Last year my office didn't have one, claiming poverty (actually I think they turned the quarterly meeting into a "party". I claimed poverty). And this year, our office holiday party is in...January.

Needless to say I will not be attending. Not that I didn't want to spend $10 to go to the casino and get no free food or drinks. Well no, I didn't. I won't. And now I don't need to spend more time with these fools either. But in January? In January all the warm, fuzzy holiday feelings that one feels now will be replaced with bitterness, 10lbs extra and a bank account thats showing a negative balance. And its not like I can drink to forget where I work. Drinking too much at your office party can have so many negative consequences. Who knows what I might say? And I can't bring The Boyfriend because he has often said that if he is ever in the same room as John, bad things will happen.

On the other hand, maybe I should arrange for that to happen...

Nah, that would be cruel. It's one thing for me to have to deal with John all the time, its another thing to subject others to him.

But back to Potluck. This time. There are gifts. Not Secret Santa like last year. White Elephant. You know the game where everyone brings a wrapped gift and then the first person grabs a gift and unwraps it and then the next person can either steal that gift or choose a new one and so on until all the gifts have been unwrapped and you walk away with what you have? Last year with the Secret Santa I walked away with some weird box that you could charge a bunch of different electronics with. Clearly it was a man. I actually think it was Turd. I no longer have the box.

This year, I'm hoping I end up with this . I already know its being brought in by someone awesome. And I'm going to do my best to end up with it. Its all I have going for me this week (aside from Its A Wonderful Life, obviously).

To sum up: I'm grumpy, its icy out, we have a potluck this week and I'm being managed by fools.

I love this time of year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your Attitude is Your Altitude

I spent the morning in a meeting. Monday morning. Meeting. All words that individually cause me pain and together make me want to curl up in the fetal position and sob.

Not even quietly sob, but like all out, full on cringe inducing sobbing. Complete with follow up hiccups. And lots of snot.

You love snot, please!

So anyway. Monday morning meeting *shudder*. You may or may not know that the company that I worked for was sold this summer and my department will become obsolete by September. Good and bad news. On the one hand, there is a light at the end of the tunnel no matter what. On the other hand I have never been unemployed and the prospect of that happening (should I be unable to find anything in the meantime) is terrifying. Plus if I got some amazing job what would I blog about? Horrific idea.

Except that I wouldn't work here anymore and honestly, that would be better. I will find something else inane and complain worthy to blog about.

Right, the meeting. Everyone in the department was "encouraged" to attend. I thought it would be a good waste of time- and it was. An hour and 20 minutes of my day gone, just like that. And I didn't even have to do anything! So we all sit in this room and eagerly await news of what this new company's system will look like and "where we fit in the picture".

Basically I fit nowhere, which isn't exactly foundation rocking news. I already knew that. But I guess its good to have it confirmed? In the meantime I had to listen to things like "what do you want to be when you grow up?", "career pathing" and the very best: "your attitude is your altitude".

If I'm understanding that last one correctly (the sky is the limit, its all up to you and all that) then I'm not going to go very far. I'm pretty sure that I have a poor attitude. That was a little discouraging.

Until I remembered that I hate this job, this industry and a lot of the people that I associate with this industry so going further here is really not an option. So I guess it was liberating?

Veronica was listening with rapt attention- she will basically have to demote herself to fit into the new system. Can't imagine that she will have people report to her. I mean, she does a crap job of that now and she didn't even earn the job, she was just appointed it because no one else wanted it. Well, no one else was given the chance to apply because it was a forgone conclusion that she would get it. Point is the people in charge now are noticing that she's useless and I don't think that they are impressed. I could have gone over this with them all months ago and saved everyone the trouble...

Anyway, she was doing her very best impression of a good supervisor, someone with goals and stuff. The best thing that ever happened to her was being plucked out of a drugstore and appointed a job in this department when they started it. She rocks her seniority.

Although- funny story. She took Friday off because she wanted New Year's Eve off but she wasn't allowed because Amy and John and all the other managers have that day off and "someone has to stay here with all of you".

She was really pissed about it. I think its funny. Its not like we're even working a full day. Someone made a mistake and we're all off at 2pm!

So aside from the fact that its Monday (nothing I could do about that (except maybe soldiered on through Friday and taken today off, but then I would have missed that delightful meeting)) and I just had to sit through a meeting about career paths that I won't be taking, and that it snowed last night (I hate snow. I live on the west coast for a reason people. its not even like its a lot, but enough for it to be on the sidewalks, unshoveled, turning into hard packed ice waiting for me to fall on it and crack my head open) things are...ok?

I mean I have to get through the 5 days this week (and at the end of it I get to go see Its A Wonderful Life- I have been promised songs as we were supposed to go see White Christmas but it was sold out. Because its better than Its A Wonderful Life. Suicide and Christmas? No thanks. Musical numbers and Christmas? yes please!) and then I have to get through only 2.5 days next week and then I don't have to be back in this miserable box until the 30th. And that's pretty alright.

I will, of course, miss all of you. But I will drink to your health. All day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Usually mornings here are very quiet. Everyone is completely stunned from a lack of caffeine and the fact that they work here. No one meant to start working here. It just kind of happened. Some are making a go of it and turning it into a career. Some are just content to float along and see what happens. And the rest are like me, watching and waiting and looking for an opportunity to get the hell out. Lottery tickets are an important part of that dream.

But today it was downright lively in here.

Calendars were handed out like candy (little desk calendars that stand upright- I'm doing a very poor job of explaining this properly. you shall just have to take my word for it that they are awesome), Veronica was keen to perch on my desk and chat and everyone joined ina lively game of Maurice-baiting (like bear baiting of old).

Where to begin?

Chronologically perhaps?

Veronica came to sit on my desk. Perched on it like a sexy secretary on a sitcom. Except that I have no power and she's not sexy. But thats how it was nonetheless. She's keen to have a chat. I'm keen to be back in bed (I have a headache. couldn't be from working here, that's crazy) so clearly we're not on the same page. But for the sake of my new POA (plan of action- namely that I'm mocking them by being like them) I thought I would try and play along.

Enter John.

In his hot little hands he has a ruler that is also a calculator. What will they come up with next! For all those measuring, calculating emergencies right? John asked if we wanted one, I told him that I don't do a whole lot of measuring these days. Veronica asked about the calendars (hot commodity those) and he left.

In the meantime our attentions were focused on the unfortunate Maurice. One night this week one of the HR people decorated the Cubicle hall with Christmas garlands. All different colours: blue, red, gold etc. Its supposed to distract us from the beige I think. Anyway in the (momentary, Veronica took a breath) silence Anna asked Maurice how he felt about the garland pinned on the outside of his Cubicle? In her words its a "dinky blue one". Maurice, ever the vocabulary master, replied with "What? What's a garland?"

We all laughed at him.

Maybe this was wrong. But seriously. Didn't know what a garland was.

This turned into a game. First we laughed, then we explained about garlands. Then we started throwing out other Christmas terminology.

He is familiar with wreaths and tinsel. But mangers, frankincense and myrrh are a bit of a mystery to him.

So then we laughed at him some more.

Now John returns with calendars. White ones and brightly coloured ones. Initially I was drawn to the brightly coloured ones (it had pencil crayons on the cover and each page was a different colour) but then I saw that there was a lot of advertising and the paper was glossy which doesn't make for good writing of events. So I asked for a white one, because it was better.

Veronica called me a calendar racist. I guess its true.

Finally Veronica left and I started going through the emails. I even got some answers to questions I asked just yesterday (this is a rarity, usually I get emails weeks later asking why something wasn't taken care of and I have to reply that I need additional info which I have asked about 2 times already) and was able to complete something which I then left on Veronica's desk to look over and assign to someone else (this is actually the process not me engaging in more POA games like passing-the-buck).

She returns to her desk and I shout over the Cubicle wall that I left something on her desk so that she could assign it. And she asks me if I want to walk over to so-and-so and give it to them.

So-and-so works on the other side of the office in extremely cold temperatures (even worse than where I sit) and as much as I would like to go say hi, I would much rather not.

So I simply say "No".

And instead of the usual "Well I don't have time to do it so it will just sit here on my desk if you don't" or "I wasn't really asking" she just says "OK".

Seriously the POA is working.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stone Heart

I wonder if I could get away with calling in sick today. Could say that I have a sore throat from sitting in a freezing cold office for 2 days? When was the last time I was away from the office. November 24th and 25th- but that was because I got hit by a car. But I have that coffee date tonight. OK, guess I'm going to work. I have that new book for the bus anyway.

This was my thought process when I first gained consciousness this morning. Hardly surprising. This is pretty much what goes on in my head every morning. Funny how I wasn't motivated by all the people at work that would be "let down" if I didn't show up (if they even noticed) but by the fact that I had a coffee date after work. Ish.

So I'm here. Was just scouring headlines to see if there was anything good that happened today. As it happens there was. An anonymous donor in Windsor, Ontario made a generous gesture, that allowed 1000 people to have a warm meal and some entertainment. This warmed my cold, frozen stone (heart) a little bit.

But then John walked by and a noticeable chill was back in the air. I am convinced that he has no soul.

Yesterday after I posted, I got word that we were each having a little pow-wow with Amy and Veronica. About what was happening in the department and what our career goals were. And if you read yesterday's post, you might have deduced that I was in no mood to play nice. You would have been right. Even though I had an epiphany last week, I found it hard to be anything other than brutally honest.

I don't want to be here. I don't want to go into a branch. I don't like what I do. I'm bored out of my mind. And most people here piss me off.

That would have summed it up I think.

I was really caught off guard by Amy and Veronica treating me almost as an equal. And laughing and joking with me. Immediately I was placated. My groundwork last week totally paid off. There were no discussions about furthering my career or even my qualifications. They were just telling me what was going on.

Points for me.

But then, just now, as I was merrily typing away words of my astounding (albeit very small) victory, who should appear at my shoulder like a creepy perv, but John. I very slowly and deliberately closed this window and went back into our system all the while loudly discussing some concerns that I had about what I was doing. The loudness is key. It makes them think that you really are working hard and really do have legitimate concerns about stuff.

Yes, stuff.

Do you know what he was doing the whole time he was looming over me? Slurping his coffee. SLURPING. Are grown ups even allowed to slurp? Wasn't that something your mother always told you was rude? Didn't you get in trouble for that? If my mom heard me slurping she just looked at me and I stopped. Slurping! Disgusting. And he's in charge of me!

The cherry on top of my day? Veronica's boyfriend confirmed for her last night that they have tickets to the World Cup of Soccer in South Africa. She will be going to at least 4 games, but maybe 6. In South Africa. For 3 weeks. Must be nice to have so much vacation time. Not to mention the money to spend on tickets to world cup soccer and flights to South Africa. Anna did point out to me that they live with their parents and have no expenses other than their cars and expensive clothes. Even better that I will get to hear about it and have to be enthusiastic about it for...oh the next 6 months? They're going to cheer on a country that hasn't a prayer of making it out of the qualifiers though (not like the Dutch. Its our year. For sure). But they still get to go!

I've had enough. I'm going to keep looking for stories of Christmas spirit. Those should cheer me up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Black Hole of Boredom

I just googled Boredom . And according to wikipedia, I am there.

All of the things that wikipedia says, I am. And you know that if wikipedia says it, it has to be true.

Why google it? Just felt like it. I do that a lot, google things. Today's google home page made me smile. Popeye. Must be an anniversary. I'm liking when they do that. The Sesame Street tribute was hands down the best. Cookie monster. Bert and Ernie! My love for Bert and Ernie runs deep. They crack me up.

You can learn a lot by googling things. Of course, first you have to think of things to google. So I will sit here and think. And today, clearly, I thought about how bored I am. Then I wanted to know more about boredom, and that's how we got here.

Sometimes it will stem from something I am reading. Like when I read, Five Granddaughters about the five granddaughters (catchy title right?) of Queen Victoria who each became a Queen in her own right- of Greece, Norway, Romania, Russia and Spain. Each was kind of unlucky as it turned out (like for example Alexandra of Russia getting killed with her entire family by the Bolsheviks, and Victoria Eugenia of Spain getting her wedding procession bombed). So I wanted to know more- mainly about how that all works out now. Basically, a lot of crowned heads in Europe are cousins. Which isn't that surprising I suppose, but it is surprising that they really aren't that far removed from each other.

But back to being bored. I spend a good 8 hours a day (a day!) being bored. Its not a temporary boredom that can be remedied by switching tasks or taking a quick break to have a chat. No. Its an all encompassing, suffocating kind of boredom that ensnares me all day long without stopping.

Chatting is of course, frowned upon. And I really only have one task. To get through the list that John designed for me, where he took out all the need for me to use words. He really knows me well, that John. He must have sat there by himself and thought "you know what would make her really happy? If her whole day was numbers! No more pesky words, she hates words". Douche.

I remind myself of movies like Garden State and Office Space. Although, obviously a whole lot less quirky or funny. And without Natalie Portman or scams to slowly steal thousands of dollars. So not really like them at all, but having that lack of any kind of purpose or feeling in a work environment.

What's really insulting is that when I am this bored I can't think of anything good or funny to write about! I just went back and reread this and really, I need to say sorry to you. Sorry that this is the best that I could come up with. I even thought about deleting it and starting again but I know that nothing better would come and take its place.

And on top of all of this, my face has now adopted a kind of permanent expression of disappointment and disdain. I have people asking me all the time why I'm so angry. It can't be helped. But it sucks because now I will be one of those old women that has a saggy, droopy, angry old face and that's not going to help me get nice young men to help me cross the street is it?

I'm afraid that if I keep going I'm just going to make it worse and you lot won't even come back to see if I have redeemed myself tomorrow.

So I shall stop.


Monday, December 7, 2009

The Good, The Bad And The Monday

Its happened again. I thought I had more time to prepare. I thought maybe this time would be different, that maybe things had changed.

But there was no stopping it. Nothing I could do.

Its Monday again. And will be all day.

I kind of want to cry about it.

Shall we start with the good? These are always so few and I can get through them so quickly. Maybe it will even put me in the right frame of mind to get through it.

Don't worry- I'm not holding my breath.

OK, the good. The good.

I only have to get through 11 and a half more work days until I get to leave the city and the Cubicle for Christmas. This will mean snow, lots of liquor and that I won't have to lie to The Boyfriend about his present anymore. Because quite frankly, its exhausting and I'm terrible at it.

On my morning sojourn on facebook I found perhaps the greatest picture of all time. The person in the picture will know what I mean and I don't want to embarass her any more, but I would like to say that I'm so proud. And your mom will be too. Also, am impressed by the speed with which I received an email (after I commented on said picture) asking me how I saw that picture since she had untagged it.

And that about rounds out the positive.

Told you, short list.

Let's delve right back into why this day (and all Mondays) suck.

In an effort to save the planet (more like save money, but whatever) the building turns off all the heat over the weekend. Which means that when we all get here on Monday morning its colder inside the building than outside. I wish that I had fingerless gloves to type right now. The skin on my face is now so dry that its starting to itch (despite having liberally applied moisturizer this morning), and so is the skin inside my nose. Super unpleasant. I'm cold, damn it!

The woman on the other side of the wall has been decorating her Cubicle for Christmas for weeks. She brings a little bit extra every week. That's fine- I'm all for vomiting Christmas spirit all over the place. But today she committed the cardinal holiday sin of adding something that makes noise. And she has to show everyone. So now I have to contend with the high pitched sounds of christmas emitting from some snowman, santa or penguin. Awesome. Like Veronica's voice wasn't enough.

I caught the same bus as always but for some inexplicable reason, there was absolutely no traffic on the roads, no one got on or off the bus and we got here in record time. Fantastic- more time to get through here. Like I don't spend enough time here as it is, now the bus has to drop me off earlier? Please! And its not like I can get here at 8.10 and leave at 4.10. No, no no- Cubicle World doesn't work that way. I get here at 8.10 and I stay til 4.30. Otherwise its not fair to everyone else.

My eyes are burning because I didn't get enough sleep. I probably would have had enough sleep (I did get 8 hours) but my body was still recovering from what I did to it Saturday night. Mainly I ingested large quantities of vodka and energy drink. Sunday morning saw me up at 8 because I couldn't sleep any more due to the gentle murmers of my heart hammering out of my chest. The rest of the day was spent curled up under a duvet on the couch, in a surprisingly stuffy apartment watching hangover MTV (did you know they are doing a Spinoff of 16 and Pregnant? LOVE it). So anyway, by the time Sunday night rolled around, my body was exhausted and used all the sleep to regenerate from Saturday night, so really I'm a day behind on the recovery and sleep.

My mom is going to be so proud reading this. Almost as proud as the mom of the person in the picture.

I'm pretty seriously disappointed in myself for this, but I might need to go get sprinkled with a little Starbucks fairy dust to make this day worthwhile. Although come to think of it, the last time I went to Starbucks to make the day right, they made it worse by making me wait for my drink and then not offering me a free one for their f**k up.When all is said and done, at least I'm not the only one braving the Monday. You're all suffering through one as well, right? And there is strength in numbers.

Except that none of you are here with me (except Anna) and its still Monday and its not like once I get through this day it will magically be Friday night. No, it will only be Tuesday. And that's really only marginally better.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Epiphany

You kills more flies with honey than vinegar.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

I love cliches. Obviously there is also a kernel of truth in them, or they wouldn't have become cliches. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of lemonade (unless its pink and has blueberry vodka in it. Haven't tried it? You must) but I know that these are true. However actually practising them...well it feels so much better to be bitter and openly hostile.

Or does it?

I remember, months ago, when John wanted to try and be my life coach (back when he told me that he didn't really want to get to know me because he thought I wasn't a nice person. such a charmer that John) he would say things like "if you pretend that you're happy you will start to feel happy" and "it takes 30 days for something to become a habit".

Well John, you may be onto something.

But I don't think that you intended for me to use these against you.

I guess one could say that I have had an epiphany of sorts. But while some would choose to use their powers for good, I choose evil.

I'm going to mess with their heads and claw my way into favour.

You know how it works. The superiors have blatant favourites, and these chosen few are able to chat all day, pass their work off to others, and generally dick around without consequences. And I want to be that a-hole. I want to check my facebook openly and have no fear of reprimand. I want to chat on the phone, text about weekend plans and know that no one will say anything.

I'm not going to do it by kissing a**. I can't stand that. I'm not going to compliment anyone's hair or clothing choices (unless actually earned- Veronica looked nice today and she has low self esteem, I thought I'd give her a boost), or blow smoke up John's a** ever. Like EVER. I'm not going to work harder, come in earlier or stay later.

No, no. I'm going to get there by playing their game. Because it is a game. And I've been watching. It doesn't look that hard.

You can do it too.


Step 1. Find your niche. Create a process or a duty that makes you indispensable. If you are the only one that knows how to do it, no one else can fill in for you. Make sure you tell everyone that you're the only one that knows how to do this, that its really challenging and that they should be glad they don't have to do it.

Step 2. Always speak loudly so that everyone knows that you are talking about important work things. It might just be a really normal conversation, but that's OK. Louder is better.

Step 3. Engage in banal conversation with your superiors. Weather is best. Ask them about conferences and weekend plans. Pretend to care. They will warm up to you and wonder why you never talked like this before. Make sure to greet them in the morning and say good bye when they leave (because they always leave first).

Step 4. Inside jokes. Pay attention to what happens around you and when engaged in conversation with any superior, sharpen your wit and create harmless jokes about your co-workers that everyone can appreciate. If said superior begins a joke (rare but not unwelcome) roll with it. Bring it back to a work question if you can. This way they will know that you are always thinking about work (when in fact, you rarely think about work).

Step 5. Always have a list of questions at the ready to ask. Looking at Quickly minimize and turn around, pre-emptively asking about sending letters to clients, or making a list of reminders- anything to distract from the fact that you were looking at Kim Kardashian's makeunder. This goes along with C.Y.A- Cover Your A** and is probably the single most important part of this ingratiating process. The superiors do it all the time, and now you can too. Make sure to include a smattering of Management-appropriate terminology such as "challenging", "team work" and "owning the process".

Follow these 5 simple and effective steps and you will quickly find yourself in a favoured position, complete with less work and fewer consequences. After one week I'm definitely on my way.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Haven't I Learned Yet?

Turns out I'm not 20 anymore. And while I'm not exactly in my 30s either, 24 is starting to feel old. Today I am hungover at work. Not for the first time, not for the last probably either.

(If you read that link, like I just did, I think you will laugh at the fact that apparently I learn nothing. And how similar the posts. I would delete this and start again, but like I said, I have a hangover. Do you even know how much energy it took to write this for the 2nd time?)

People working in cubicles shouldn't show up to work hungover. It makes the monotony and the politics so much more grating. You're apt to snap at people much more when you're craving a little hair of the dog. Let's not even talk about the lack of focus. I can't even put a sent...

I need water. Lots more water. And the kitchen is so far away. My mom's going to be so proud reading this. I can hear her voice in my head, from back in the day when I would walk out of the house in an outfit specially designed for free drinks. I believe she called me a "hussy" once or twice. Yes you did. And she definitely showed concern that I was "drinking too much". But I was just being young and carefree.

Those were the days when I could go out on a Wednesday for some kind of karaoke or cheap drinks night, drink my face off, get home on the bus (or shell out the big bucks for a cab) and still get up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready for work. And it wasn't painful at all. I'd even do it again on the Thursday.

But now? Drinking with your friend (who has a broken heart) after work for a few hours (I didn't even get home that late! In enough time to watch Steven Seagall: Lawman. Everything I hoped it would be, and more) is not a good idea. Because one drink turns into 3, which turns into one more for the road. And obviously they were all doubles. My friend's heart is broken! If rum doesn't help, what will?

I was told that I smelled like a brewery when The Boyfriend (read Saint) picked my butt up.

Man, was that mac and cheese gooooooooooooood.

But I didn't sleep well. All restless like. My body's way of making sure I was still breathing even though I was half coma tose (I is classy). Got up on time though. Even showered (can you imagine if I didn't? I would smell like an old brewery this morning. Maurice would be hella unimpressed). And here I am. Guzzling little office sized glasses of water like I'm in the G damned Sahara.

And I still have to work. I still have to act like I'm not in 7 different kinds of pain from that devil Alcohol (he always starts off so nice, all those promises), still have to fire off chipper emails (a challenge in the best of times), and make nice, polite, office appropriate banter. Booooooo.

The moral of the story is...I should have taken a sick day?

No no, I actually have a strict policy about hangovers. They are my own fault, so I have to go to work. I knew I had to work in the morning. But my friend was so sad, and the bartender so persuasive. And let me tell you, by the end of the night she was doing better already, scouring the bar for her next potential life mate.

Maybe this hangover could be a good thing. Maybe I could just broadcast it to the office and everyone will stay away from me. Maybe a hangover will be an excuse to act like a total cow to everyone, smile and say something about being sorry, but I have a hangover. Everyone will smile knowledgeably. I mean, some of the people in here can be cool. Some of them have had a drink before, I'm sure of it. Probably not Amy really. And Veronica claims she is allergic. But I think by allergic she means a lightweight. And that's something that one can work on. With the right combination of determination and encouragement.

But more than likely, I will keep my hangover to myself. Try to soldier on heroically, alone in my Cubicle. Maybe there will be some McDonald's in my future- everyone knows their breakfast is the cure-all for a hangover. Maybe some tea would be better? Better for me, but better as in more effective. Probably not.

Send me good thoughts today people. Lord knows I'm gonna need them to get through today without saying something super offensive to the wrong person. But hey *shrug* sorry, I have a hangover.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gold Star

Well if I wasn't exhausted before, I most certainly am now!

I haven't slept well in days. I would like to tell myself that its because I am not being challenged enough at work and thus not tired when I get home, but I have been working here for almost 2 years (kill me, please, end it now) and I haven't really had trouble sleeping before. It certainly hasn't gotten easier, if anything, its all become more complicated what with the constant changes. No I suspect its a signal that I need to get my a** back to the gym. Easier said than done when you come home, out of the cold, and a nice warm glow is waiting for you, complete with sparkly Christmas tree, books, a home cooked meal and The Boyfriend.

Guess I had better add that to the list of things that I should be doing. Along with: Not Working Here and Being in Charge of the Universe. Working out is probably the easier thing to fix right now (my mom will be so happy to read this) though eh?

Anyway. That's not really what I was getting at. Except the whole tired thing. I am tired. Eye-burny tired.

But this morning was a big morning (which is why the post is, apologetically, so late). Today I got to train My Bitch. I don't mean it in the "you stupid b***h" derogatory way. I mean it in the I-don't-have-time-to-do-all-this-so-you-will-bitch kind of way.

After months of hinting, weeks of spelling it out and days of flat out demanding, I finally have my very own work Bitch to help me out. Sure there are caveats- he still has other work to do and he's new so he's not as experienced as I would have liked. But out of the crop of newbies, he is one of the less new (which has got to be a start) AND he's not an imbecile.

All very promising.

I have to admit, I was nervous about the whole thing. I mean, the last time they let me train someone, he ended up quitting 2 weeks later. I'm exaggerating. I mean, he did quit, but I don't think it had anything to do with me telling him he was slow and repeatedly yelling obscenities at him.

But aside from that, I was nervous because I want My Bitch to be good at his job. I want him to excel and then I want him to attribute it to the good start I gave him. But the process I was teaching him is still under construction. I struggle with it every day. And to teach someone else, when my day seems to be peppered with "I don't know" and "what does that even mean?" (in my inner monologue. everyone should have one) seems like a...challenge (in my state there was no other word to use. My apologies).

But once I started. Oh man, it was something. I was amazing. I really knew my stuff.

There was of course, one dark spot in my cloud of contentment. Early in the process, when I was explaining to My Bitch how to go about finding out if something is paid for (rather than asking the rep to confirm it), Veronica found her way into my Cubicle to point out how wrong I was.

She proceeded to go over exactly what I had gone over with her yesterday. And telling me (in front of my minion!) how I shouldn't be following up anyway because its now the responsibility of the individual representative (this is actually why I will no longer have a job here in a year's time). Well she wasn't there when I discussed the inefficacy of this process with John, who agreed that for the time being, we would be following up. Apparently John doesn't think she is important enough to be notified of process changes. Bonus round points to me!

Don't worry, I put her in her place.

And it felt good.

My point is, all that talking and caring, it took everything that I had (and there wasn't a lot to work with this morning) right out of me. And I'm left depleted and looking towards a well deserved break.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Turns out this blog project is much more of a collaborative effort than I thought. Sans Anna here I didn't know where to turn to bounce ideas, or be handed ideas on a silver platter. Without Anna, I was left to wander the Internet alone, unguided in my quest for Kardashian knowledge (success today: photos from a TrimSpa ad- I knew Kim and Khloe would find a way), unaided in my need to blog.

The result? If you read yesterday's post, you will be happy to know that Anna is back. She is wondering why there was no archive of Veronica's professionalism from last week. The answer is simple: you weren't here.

You see Veronica is somehow responsible for opening the mail. The mail is mostly full of cheques but sometimes, complaints find their way into the pile of unopened envelopes, waiting for Veronica's discreet eyes to find them and quietly send them to the right person.

Except when I say discreet and quietly, I mean the opposite of that.

Last week Veronica (I seriously keep almost using her real name. One of these days I will mess up and actually use it and then what will I do?) came across a particularly juicy account of a client's heinous encounter with a rep. I'm the first to say that we have some pretty terrible reps. But on the flip side (and I've been on the other side, dealing with the public- you know who you are) there are some pretty horrible clients. I would think that you give the rep the benefit of the doubt until you hear otherwise, and quietly slip the offending letter to Amy so that she can deal with it appropriately.

Oh no. That is not Veronica's style at all. Its storytime kids! She proceeds to read the letter out loud (Veronica has never grasped the idea of an inside voice), shrieking with delight that this person has recieved such a scathing letter! It's right up there with her excitement over Maurice's dressing down.

On the flip side, she was begging like a dog for the District Coordinator to notice her and be her friend. See the DC used to be a Temp, but he was a special kind of Temp. She trained him, but his being a good 10 years older than her (and having experience of the world) intimidated her and she was desperate to show him that she was cool and that she had earned her position (which she didn't- she knew the people hiring, and now knows the people in charge). Well the DC totally saw through that. The DC is a cool guy, we actually get along really well and I am really glad for him that he was able to get an actual permanent, grown up position.

Well now Veronica is in the position of being junior to someone that she hired. And she doesn't like it at all. So she wants the DC to remember how cool she is and how she is the Supervisor of a whole department. DC isn't buying. But its fun for me to watch her try and sell it. Yesterday morning she was all "heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey DC, thanks for coming to see me!" and he's like "well the scanner is over here...", some more 'witty' banter from Veronica before she finally takes the hint and admits defeat (she was training a new girl at the time- Veronica hates to be shown up in front of the underlings). Minutes later, she starts getting all hot and bothered about something a rep did and DC responds to her childish tantrum with "come on now Veronica, its way too early in the week for you to be so bitter".

It was like Christmas had arrived.

The DC always puts Veronica in her place, leaving her with her mouth hanging open unsure of how to proceed. She desperately wants to be on his good side, able to joke around with him, enjoy together the perks of being Superior. But she is also scared of him and keenly aware of the fact that she is junior to him, both in terms of hierarchy and you know, knowledge.

I love to watch her squirm. Its so well deserved.

NEWS BULLETIN: I just totally schooled Veronica. She was working under the assumption that there was no way to find out if something had been paid for (new systems and stuff, we're all getting used to it). But she is wrong. So wrong. I just tried to get her to follow up about getting a payment set up and she told me that it was the reps job and if they didn't do it, there was no way for us to find out and that the auditors would get after them.


There is a way, it hasn't been paid. Follow up Be-yotch!