chemaccino good, but not good for you
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
I went to the fish market today...
I went to get a second cup of Dark Magic (TM), and discovered, to my dismay, that the cafeteria totally reeks of fish. It's like a fish market in there, except all the fish and vendors are invisible and can only detected by the reek of fish. I'm glad my cube doesn't (yet) smell fishy. I think that would be worse than the cedar chip stink.
So glad I'm not the only one
This brief note came from a friend who also works in an office.
To her I say, thanks for writing. Also, my condolences.
I got a new (additional) boss on Monday. Today he asked me to create a form for him. I asked whether he'd prefer I do it in Excel or Word. He replied, "Oh, I always keep everything in 'My Documents.'"
Monday, June 23, 2003
Fun with words
Ever notice that if you say the words "case law" in your head a few times, it kind of becomes "cole slaw"? That totally just happened to me, and now these file tabs I'm making crack me up. Seriously. You don't have to say it out loud, just in your head. Go ahead, try it. Case law case law case law cole slaw.
Hey, it's a lot more harmless than some of my previous word fun.
HIM: Are we out of letterhead envelopes?
ME: Yes, we are.
HIM: How come?
ME: Because we had to use some, and then there weren't any left.
(The order will arrive at the end of the week.)
There's one in every office.
Today I explore a few of the different types of co-workers one can encounter in a typical office. The bigger the office, the more likely that you'll have a representative of each. Which do you have where you work?
Jokerman There might be a few of these around, and they are invariably male. They think they are funny, and they think you think they are funny, even if you don't laugh. These men make very weak jokes, on par with "working hard, or hardly working?" You'd roll your eyes if you weren't so deathly afraid that one day you actually will find his jokes funny.
Looks-Pregnant Lady This is the woman who, when one first arrives in an office, one wonders when she's going on maternity leave. Three months later, you figure it out and thank your personal God that you never touched her belly or made any comments about it. Or, if you did, you've learned your lesson, I hope. Please never do that to someone you don't know very well.
Very Bad Teeth You try not to stare and you try to look like you aren't trying not to stare. These folks usually work in Accounting or some other behind-the-scenes job. Why not just get braces? There has got to be a story as to why they don't get braces. After all, they have a good job, right? They can probably afford it.
Incredibly Fat Man He also works some behind-the-scenes job, possibly with computers. Sometimes, you might wonder how he fits down all the cube hallways. The fun fact about the Fat Man is that either he does not think he's so very fat, or, if he does, he probably makes all kinds of inappropriate, uncomfortable jokes about it. For example, this one place I worked, I bought myself a bag of Cheez-Its one afternoon, and on my way back to my cube, the resident Fat Man remarked to me that I shouldn't eat them, because they'll make me gain weight. I suppose that's meant to be self-depricating, but it came out pure obnoxious. I could have killed him. I would have, too, if only I had had my harpoon with me.
The Pissah (That's "pisser" with a thick New England accent) This is basically the office equivalent of a 70-year-old diner waitress. You should be so lucky as to have a pissah in your office. Usually a woman, she has been around for a while, (probably in the same position for years), has everyone figured out, and occasionally you will be blessed with one of her scathing-yet-dead-on insights about another co-worker -- a comment that is true, funny, and yet somehow, not cruel at all when she says it, but if you repeat what she said to someone else, you'll come off as a total bitch. She usually works in a position where she's the reason the office operates at all -- she's probably the office manager, or supply manager, or in charge of purchasing.
Chronic Illness Person It's not so much that this person has (or thinks s/he has) an illness of some kind. That's not nearly special enough. The Chronic Illness Person feels the need to constantly update everyone about how the illness is going. Everyone else stopped asking "how are you?" long ago, but you're still going to hear the latest about the arthritis/lower-back-pain/hypoglycemia/surgery-recovery/cough-that-won't-go-away.
The Walking Dead Chances are, if you're over 25, you've been one of these. These are the people who have given notice and have a last day coming up in a few weeks and have their minds on everything else but their job. They are thinking about the next thing: new-job/school/wedding/relocation, etc. The only motivation to do any work at all is so that they don't screw up the reference they'll be getting from their boss. Talking to the Walking Dead can be alternatively inspiring or annoying, and will rarely help you enjoy your job.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Cloudy Attitude, Chance of Blog
A Thousand Petty Gripes
Oops, they did it again: I got the call last night. They don't need me in the office today. My blogging has been spotty recently because once or twice a week, I don't work at the office - I go out and do work I actually enjoy: adventure teambuilding with youth. So that has contributed to the spotty blogging, but has also contributed to my annoyance at these last-minute work cancellations. I mean, I'm not there every day to begin with. And they need me even less?
Pimp Wars: So, it seems this assignment is winding down for me, since 32 hours is too much for them. So I'm looking to get a new assignment, and this means, of course, talking with a rival agency. This is totally kosher in the world of temping, as long as you don't screw the company currently pimping you. "Sarah" at the other agency asked how it was going, and I told her about how there doesn't seem to be much work for me, because of these last-minute cancellations which are difficult because I don't have time to plan other work for those days. She said, and I quote, "Oh, those cancellations bother you?" Umm, yes, they do, duh. Like, who would not be bothered? Anyone who would not be bothered probably does not really need to whore themselves out in the first place. Sarah did suggest that I call her as soon as I get these last-minute cancellations, and maybe she can find me a one-day gig so I can still work. Then I will serve two masters.
Bwa ha ha ha haaaaa...
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Blasts from the Past
Here are some updates on issues that have come up in previous posts. I know you are all relieved that there is follow-up.
+ The Hello Kitty oddity has vanished from its former home near the reception area. Where has it gone? The world may never know.
+ The latest replacement temp was in here on Friday and possibly Thursday. What the hell is that about, since they did not need me on Wednesday? Something's rotten in the state of Office Pimp.
+ Dark Magic is still the k-cup coffee of choice. In response to my post, one person admitted that Dark Magic is the only reason she doesn't call in sick to work. This morning I was thinking about having a cup of Dark Magic, only when I thought of it, I thought of it as "Dark Victory", which would also be a good name for it. This led to thoughts about the Bette Davis movie of the same name. Dark Victory was a great movie, one of what I consider the superlative Bette Davis films in which the characters are people, not anthopomorphised ideas or ideals. This particular picture was very controversial, because the whole premise is that Davis' character is dying and does die at the end of the movie. The studio thought it would be too depressing. The beauty of this type of Davis movie is that she's not some lovely perfect saint who's tragically perishing -- she's a real person who has trouble taking the news gracefully. Two other Davis films with wonderful multifaceted characters with a range of human flaws rarely seen in current mainstram Hollywood dreck are All About Eve and Now, Voyager.
+ My paperclip supply is still dwindling, but at a slower rate -- probably because there has been less work to do lately. I am still investigating the possible leads as to where they disappear. to.
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Truth, Beauty, Justice
Somebody found this website through a search engine by typing in the keywords
working with a bitchy supervisor
Considering that nowhere before on this blog have I used the words "bitchy" or "supervisor", I am totally impressed that I came up in that search. Thanks, Google or MSN, whichever of you sent that person. It's.... it's like they know me.
Wait... shouldn't that freak me out?
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Last Minute Lameness
A Thousand Petty Gripes
On my answering machine when I got home from work on Tuesday:
Hi, this is Lisa* with Office Pimp, [the client] called and said that they won't need you tomorrow, in addition to the days you'll be gone on Thursday, Friday and Monday.
I found this hard to believe, so Wednesday morning I called the temp company to find out what the deal was, and, indeed, I am not needed for the rest of the week. Which was expected for those other three days, when I am working elsewhere, but this whole don't-need-you-tomorrow thing feels bogus to me. I mean, Lisa said, and I know, that "that's the nature of temp work" but it seems like if you work at a place steadily for over three months, they owe you a little more notice than the night before. Hell, the temp company wants me to give a full two weeks' notice if (when) I decide to leave this position.
This all just made me feel like the cheap disposable admin whore that I am. But don't cry for me; I spent yesterday afternoon playing video games and going bowling. Of course I would have rather used the day to make some money to pay for little things like rent, but on that kind of notice, it just wasn't going to happen.
*Names changed to protect ...me. Just in case.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Good vs Bad
I pressed the wrong button on the vending machine and now I have to eat potato chips. I find all potato chips to be greasy and disgusting. I know, I know, I'm a freak, you can say it, but it won't make me change my mind or feel better about having to eat these salty oil slabs instead of the desired Chex Mix.
There's a new k-cup coffee flavor in town (town = the cafeteria), which I have heard much about in the past. It's a Green Mountain blend called "Dark Magic" and it exceeds expectations, even, dare I say, living up to its name. Dark Magic, indeed.
To make myself feel better about the potato chip situation, I made myself a second cup of Dark Magic this afternoon, and added a packet of Swiss Miss. What will happen when the pure little Swiss girl is exposed to these evil superpowers? Will the sweet little Swiss Miss turn corrupt? Will she now blend her powers of chocolatey goodness with this new Dark Magic to become a psychotic-yet-delicious Destroyer of Worlds? Will the additional strength of the caffeine bean cause her to be utterly unstoppable as she wreaks havoc across the countryside? Will my consumption of this double-strength beverage make me her zombie slave?
Let's find out.
The Wet-Ones® Government Conspiracy
From the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security website:
Flashlight and extra batteries
Battery powered radio and extra batteries
Plastic garbage bags, ties and toilet paper for personal sanitation
First aid kit
Map of the area for evacuation or for locating shelters
A whistle to signal for help
I think maybe the Department of Homeland Security has some kind of sweetheart deal with the moist towelette industry. Why else would they be an essential component of a 9-item (plus extra batteries) emergency supply kit? Is anyone else disturbed by this?
[update: June 10, 1:28PM]
Apparently, pre-moistened, disposable towelettes are really big with politicians, and I'm waaaay behind on this story. In addition to the U.S. Government's interest in moist towelettes, other governments are also fans. See this link at Little Green Footballs' Arafat Baby Wipe Mystery for more info.
Long Walk Off A Short Pier 1
One time Cheers' star Kirstie Alley is fat and happy at 200 pounds ...Kirstie, who loves to eat ...[is] also devoting herself to the campaign against hooking kids on psychotropic drugs like Ritalin.
from The London Free Press
...does this mean she won't be doing any more ads for Pier 1 Imports? I was just starting to get used to her freaky face (what is going on there? botox? bad facelift? too-tight ponytails?) in those bizarre TV commercials. And I'm all for minimizing children's use of prescription drugs, but wouldn't her time be better spent devoting herself to helping find out why the kids need or are prescribed the drugs?
At least she has a hobby. Eat a pint of Cherry Garcia for me, Kirstie.
Friday, June 06, 2003
Still Nothing To Do Here
....but they are happy I am back.
The replacement temp had nothing to do except some filing.
I have done some "retroactive stalking" about this woman who took my useless temp job for two days, and I learned Ever So Much about her, mostly because she signed into AIM while she was here, and her Buddy Info included a link to her blog.
She just finished sophomore year at UMich, is living at home for the summer, and will soon be starting a job at a local Panera. She did not do much web-surfing while she was here; apparently, she was satiated by the BBC homepage. She honestly believes that she has a shot at Harvard Law School, and her parents tease her about her weight.
Interesting note: they had her in here at 9am. What is that about? Did she leave early? Why can't I come in at 9am? I think Office Pimp scammed even more time from the client.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
I'm going to be out of this office for the next two days, and Office Pimp is sending someone else in my stead for Wednesday and Thursday. I swear, they run such a damn racket. I have not had a whit, a quantum, of work to do since 1:15pm today. Well, not any work for them, anyway. I keep myself busy. I pay my bills, search for jobs, apply to jobs, consider calling places where I once interviewed for a job but didn't get that job but maybe they have an opening by now? but ultimately decide it's been too soon since the last time I made one of those phone calls, browse websites, IM with friends... there's always something to do, no matter how unproductive. What's funny about it all is that right now, as I type this, I must seem very industrious to anyone walking by, typing so sincerely. If I were instead reading a book, they'd probably be a bit concerned. But as long as I'm working on the computer, all is well. How long has it been since I've had anything to do?
Oh, but by all means, don't let two days pile up, you sucker-client! Pay us to send someone there absolutely every day!
Brunching is dead. Long Live Brunching!
I'm going to, as they say, "geek-out" for a post here. I was sad to find that the (relatively) long-standing brunching.com had closed its proverbial doors. Lately, I popped over to their site to see what kind of gravestone they had made of their front page. But Lo! Those things which once made them great are not dead! There are still Ratings, and the Self-Made Critic is still at large. It's a pleasure and a relief to see these features persevere. Here, for those of you who are not yet familiar with the Self-Made Critic, is an excerpt from his review/interpretation of The Matrix Reloaded:
"You are The One. But not The One. The One who is not The One, but is Another One. But you are that One who is The One who is The Other One who is, in fact, The One. All is lost."
Monday, June 02, 2003
A.J. Brown in Durham, North Carolina, ...was visited at her home by Secret Service agents and local police. The agents were looking for a poster on the wall of the young woman’s house that an anonymous snitch had reported as “anti-American.”
You know what's really neat-o about The United States of America, this country I live in? All the freedom and rights we get.
Oh, wait, I must be thinking of some other country.
Click here to read the rest of the article while I rush home during my lunch break and rip down all wall-hangings which might possibly be considered anti-American.
I didn't take anything down, just tidied up the place a bit and readied the coffeemaker. It'd be nice to have some company.
Thursday, May 29, 2003
I am the Ninja Queen of Complicated Copying Tasks!
I am kicking these staples' asses. If they had asses, consider said asses to be thoroughly kicked. And yes, it is the recovered Swingline staple remover with which I inflict my damage. Oh, it is so satisfying just to look at the pile of mangled staple-bodies on my desk. These little broken-backed staples are my bitches!
Quiver before me, wee metal bits!
And now, to put my Mad Ninja Skillz to work...
First, I hide out in my Ninja Lair, and plan my strategy.
Then I attack the copier with force and efficiency!
When the task is finished, I cover my tracks (by hitting the "Panel Reset" button)
and return to my Lair, where the copies and originals will be correctly collated,
thus minimizing my time at the copier, leaving it available to others.
Strangest. Tchochke. Ever.
Approximately once a week, I have to cover for the receptionist while she goes to lunch. Today, for the first time, I noticed a Very Strange Item sitting on top some file cabinets, acting as a bookend to some binders. I will endeavor to describe it to you, Dear Reader.
It seems to be a desktop lamp-type contraption. The base is made of blue plastic, and is an oval that is about 6"x10". In the backside is the lamp-bulb, a clear, round bulb. In front of where the bulb goes is an upright circle of white plastic, to serve as cheap frosted glass, I guess, to diffuse the light. In front of that circle is a smaller circle, also upright. It has a decal of Hello Kitty's head, with a text decal underneath that reads "Hello Kitty". I know what you're thinking right now: you're thinking, this just sounds like a Hello Kitty light. Well, it WOULD be, if not for the finishing touch: In front of the two circles and decals is a silver wire sculpture of a stick figure riding a bicycle.
1. What do Hello Kitty and silver, bicycle-riding stick figures have to do with one another? ...and what makes them a good pair for a lamp?
2. Why is it here, on a file cabinet, as a bookend?
3. What does it all mean?
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
I'm usually a fan of personality quizzes -- at the least, for the entertainment value of them. But this one at colorgenics is just bizarre. I mean, I was dubious to begin with when it claimed that it would give an accurate read in 20 questions, but it gets worse... so much worse.
Here are just two of the questions you will be asked:
Which shape owes you money?
Which shape wants to kill you?
Indulge your morbid curiosity.
Disturbing: listening over headphones to a dictation tape where the speaker is constantly shifting in a leather chair.
Disgusting: listening over headphones to a dictation tape where the speaker is eating while dictating.
Degrading: being the one who has to wear the headphones and transcribe these speakers' words.
One day I'll fly away...Leave all this to yesterday...
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
It's hard enough to return to work after a nice, three-day weekend. Nobody needs to listen to me bitch today. Instead, play this fun, odd little Dilbert game. Do we get bonus scores for pointing out misspellings? Play to win; there's nothing quite like dancing on the grave of your nemesis.