chemaccino good, but not good for you

Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Delivery of a dozen roses!
Who could they be for??
For the preggers lady who thinks I'm a moron.
They're from her husband. It's their anniversary.

Fortunate people irritate me.

UPDATE: (9pm-ish)
I just want to clarify that I have nothing against people getting flowers in the office, it's just that I wish they had been for this other woman there. She's not married and doesn't have kids, her cubicle is tiny and in the worst location in the office, and she's nice to me and I would have been happier if the flowers had been for her. I felt bad walking by her cube with them... luckily, her back was turned.

The copier is broken.
The copier was obtained free-of-charge from the previous tenant.
Free copier with no service plan.

The copier is broken.
The copier will stay broken because it has no service plan.
Long live the new table.

How many temps does it take....
When I came in this morning, there were two bags of lightbulbs on the desk and an email from the bossman explaining that he was tired of waiting for building management, and could I install the lightbulbs he had bought?

In order to install the lightbulbs, I have to stand on someting to reach them, and the obvious thing to stand on is a chair. The funny part of this is that all the chairs here have wheels and swivel-bases. The wheels make little-to-no difference on the thick industrial carpet, but the swivel is something else. Let's just say it's more challenging to screw in a lightbulb when you start spinning with it. And standing up on the chair without the swivel throwing me off was a whole other trick involving some yoga moves.

I have to say, though, it was worth it to have some decent light around here. It makes a difference.

Monday, September 29, 2003
Oh, Brother. Spare me.

Once I had some scissors -- they cut well...
They at least made the graaade...
Once I had some scissors -- ...what the hell?
Brother, please return my blade.

You in khaki pants -- gee, you look swell
Smug 'cause you're full-time and well paaaid....
But, despite all that, you're going to Hell
Unless you soon return my blade.

(Apologies to E.Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney.)

It's all in the open now
And I'm glad. Glad, glad, glad.

So, the temp company told me that you have to leave us soon. You know, you could have told me.

No, I couldn't have; they told me that they are supposed to tell you, and that I shouldn't.

I've thought about this whole witholding-of-my-imminent-departure, and I think it's most likely a ploy to keep this client company from having the ahead-of-time knowledge to hire someone permanent at a convenient juncture. It would be convenient for them to try to hire someone on their own when they know I'm leaving soon; that feels natural. But then when there's the immediacy of a two week window, they become grateful to the temp company for being able to find a replacement so quickly. And, of course, once that person is installed, the client will be lulled into not thinking about hiring someone for a while.
Deliciously diabolical.

Still, the lightbulbs have not been replaced. Unbelievable. They still have the sticky notes I put on them as markers, and AND, there are more that have gone out.

Friday, September 26, 2003
I am underestimated in the workplace. (Part II)
Everyone has to walk by my desk to leave the office for any reason, including the bathroom. Today, for the second time this month, this one lady here mentioned on her way out the door,
"You must think I'm so crazy, going to the bathroom all the time."
No, lady, I think you are pregnant. I base this conclusion on mounting evidence which includes (a) your maternity clothes and (b) the maternity leave paperwork I'm preparing for you.
I swear, I think this woman thinks I'm mildly retarded.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Finally, some more coffee talk!
What these people do to Starbucks coffee is a crime for which they are punishing themselves. Thus far, I have held off on doing anything about it, for the following reasons:

1. If I start making the coffee, it will be expected that I always make the coffee.
2. I bring in my own coffee every morning, thereby avoiding the need to drink their ungodly swill-brew.
3. They grind their own beans, and I know from experience that I am no good at grinding beans.

See, that third point has to do with knowing one's own limitations, and adjusting accordingly. (By buying pre-ground coffee.) I think these people do not realize that they're screwing up their coffee with their grinding endeavors. Instead, they think they are all hip and cool for grinding it themselves. If it is hip and cool to drink strung-out ashtray-flavored coffee, then call me square.

But I'm only here for a total of five more days, and so maybe I will bless them with a good coffee experience.

Holy crap, they didn't change the lightbulbs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
I am underestimated in the workplace. (Part I)

Hey, [bossman], how can I get the lightbulbs in the Reception area changed?

Oh, yeah, look at that, only one of them works.

Yeah, I don't know why the other nine are all out.

Say, could you leave a note for maintenance to fix that? They don't speak English very well... you don't happen to know Spanish, do you? Ha, ha.




I'm still trying to remember how to say it in Russian.

....did I mention how goddam dark it is around here?

Oh, yes, I am going to Hell. But which level?
Find out where you're going, using Dante's Inferno Test (found on Buttafly)

My fate, it seems, is sealed.

Level 8- the Malebolge
Many and varied sinners suffer eternally in the multi-leveled Malebolge, an ampitheatre-shapped pit of despair Wholly of stone and of an iron colour: Those guilty of fraudulence and malice; the seducers and pimps, who are whipped by horned demons; the hypocrites, who struggle to walk in lead-lined cloaks; the barraters, who are ducked in boiling pitch by demons known as the Malebranche. The simonists, wedged into stone holes, and whose feet are licked by flames, kick and writhe desperately. The magicians, diviners, fortune tellers, and panderers are all here, as are the thieves. Some wallow in human excrement. Serpents writhe and wrap around men, sometimes fusing into each other. Bodies are torn apart. When you arrive, you will want to put your hands over your ears because of the lamentations of the sinners here, who are afflicted with scabs like leprosy, and lay sick on the ground, furiously scratching their skin off with their nails. Indeed, justice divine doth smite them with its hammer.

I think this has something to do with stealing office supplies.

Monday, September 22, 2003
Fun With Liability
The bossman here keeps asking me to run errands. He asked me to drop some stuff off two towns away "while I'm at lunch". First of all, I don't have the kind of mad cash wherein I can go buying lunch every day. I have a pita of hummus and taboule in my lunch bag for that. Second of all, it didn't sit right with me, running errands when I'm a temp. So I called my Office Pimp, to check in to see if it was okay.

Of course, it is not okay, because of the driving issues of liability. Since Office Pimp is technically my employer, if something were to happen while I was driving, they would be the ones I would sue, not this place where I'm temping. So they can't have me out on the road for work. I called the bossman to tell him this, and he totally did the exasperated sigh thing. I can tell he's pissed about it, but tough shit. That's what you get when you choose to use temp workers instead of committing to an actual employee.

Apparently, Friday was Talk Like A Pirate Day. Who made that happen? Apparently, Dave Barry and two raquetball players. Learn more here. I learned all this from a bunch of high schoolers I was working with on Saturday, and I asked them why it was Talk Like A Pirate day, because I really didn't know, and I was curious.

They said, (and I am not making this up) that it's to celebrate the history of pirates.
Who is the joke on, here? The students? The faculty?

Oh, let me translate that for all the pirates in my readership:
They said, (and I be not makin' this up) that it'st'celebrate t'historyo'pirates. Who be t'joke on, here? T'students? T'faculty?

Friday, September 19, 2003
Word up? NO. Word down. WORD DOWN! Mayday! Mayday!
Creating a form letter to all Customers from Quickbooks into Word keeps crashing Word. How stupid.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Intergalactic Planetary Planetary Interactive
I finally got in touch with my Office Pimp to tell her that I am moving to another state over Columbus Day weekend and therefore will no longer be able to do this temp assignment. Of course, I can't tell the people here. She can't tell the people here. Some guy in client relations will tell the people here. That's friendly. So basically, I have to sit around and wait until the bossman comes over and lets me know he knows.

Here's the tricky part: I need to post a monthly calendar with my schedule on it - how do I do that without making it clear that I'm leaving halfway through October?
No, really: it's not a rhetorical question.
Leave your suggestions in the comment box for this post.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Old people ignite my imagination
So, last week when I had to go shopping for this company, I went to the local supermarket: Victory Supermarket. And let me tell you: at 2pm on a Thursday, I was the only customer in the store who does NOT remember our victory over the Germans. Surrounded as I was by these hunched, toothless representatives of the Greatest Generation, I..........well, actually, at the time, I was really irritated because they move really slowly and won't get out of my way. But later, later back at work, I started thinking about how these same people were once young and vibrant, like Christian Bale's character in Swing Kids.

This morning, on my drive to work, I passed Victory again, and there were these two old men in the parking lot, and one of them was trying to get his leg over the steel barrier that separates the parking lot from the sidewalk, and the other guy was kind of reaching out, in case the first guy needed help. This made me reflect that that same guy who today had trouble getting his leg over that barrier would have easily, jauntily, jumped it 50 years ago. Then that made me reflect that maybe those two men were thinking the exact same thing about themselves, about how they could have jumped it in their youth.

I should be so lucky to live as long as they have.
I plan to celebrate it in 50 years by moving slowly down the middle of supermaket aisles.

Monday, September 15, 2003
I've got chills, they're multiplyin'
Last week when I restocked the fridge with soda, I discovered that the two bottom drawers in there don't get used. So I put Diet Coke in one of them and Sprite in the other. I then created labels that said "Diet Coke" and Sprite" and put the adhesive labels on the shelf just above each drawer. I also mentioned to people that the sodas were in the drawers at the little birthday celebration that afternoon for one of the employees.

This afternoon, I open the fridge, and there are cans of Diet Coke standing all around the main shelf of the fridge. Why? Why? I checked the drawer and they were still there, and the label is still very readable. It's kind of freaky, all these cans standing around in there like multiplying viruses at a party.

I bet whoever put them there is the same person who told me to buy coffee when there was a 2lb bag in the freezer.

Job Stats At-A-Glance

Responsibilities at current temping assignment include:
-Office Manager (my 'official title')
-A/R Manager
-Shipping Clerk
-Internal Events Planner

Hours per week spent at this job: 18

Number more weeks bossman thinks I'll be here: infinite

Number more weeks I'll actually be here: 4

Thursday, September 11, 2003
Hooray! White-Out! Finally!
More specifically, PaperMate Liquid Paper Multi Fluid Correction Fluid with Foam Applicator.
Or, as WB Mason calls it, FLUID, CORRECT, MULTI PUPR, WE

Office Supplies II
So today I have to go out at lunch and buy supplies for the breakroom area. Soda, coffee, etc. So I investigated all the cabinets to see what was there and what was running low. Low on Diet Coke, low on Sprite, not low on sugar, low on plastic spoons, not low on Bacardi, ......hey, wait a minute....

The office has a small liquor bar in the bottom shelf next to the sink. It sits back in the cabinet, on a shelf, so you have to squat down to get to it. Bacardi, Seagrams' 7, Jack, Jim... I think I even saw some triple sec.

Now I know why they stock up on soda.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Office Supplies I
Bossman wanted to save money on office supplies, so I had to order whatever I could from W.B.Mason, but their website is terrible and so I only ordered items we needed that I found in the flyer, using the 10-character alphanumeric item code, and then I ordered the rest from Staples. Seriously, WB, get it together. I don't think you can even browse without an account, and there are almost no item pictures and all the product names are like, "PAPER,8.5X11,20#,WE" instead of real words. Please, no, don't use descriptions, that would make it too easy. We'll all just guess that it's 84 bright copy paper in a box of 5,000 sheets.
Who but, indeed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Urge to Kill Rising
A Thousand Petty Gripes
I swear, I have reprinted this email in its entirety, just as I received it, except for the part where I cut out my name so I don't get busted too quickly by my temp agencies.

I think we are out of manila file folders and paper cups.

-----Original Message-----
From: (me, the adminho)
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 2:09 PM
To: office
Subject: Office Supply Order

I will be placing an order for office supplies with Staples tomorrow afternoon; please let me know if there is anything you would like added to the order, which already includes manila folders, plastic cups, and more copy paper.
Please be as specific as you can, otherwise I will have to guess at what you want. has a great search function, but for most items, it is enough to give me a description and dimensions.

Simple Pleasures
The parking spaces here are pretty tight, and when a minivan parks just a little off-center, it results in one side of the vehicle being just shy of the white line. This morning, there were two minivans parked like this, with a space in-between them -- a space with no extra room on the far side of its own white lines.
Challenge Accepted.
The key here, besides not hitting the minivans, is to get a bit more to the right, so that driver will have to use the passenger side to get in her (his?) car. In the end, though, I threaded the needle pretty evenly, resulting in a perfect parking job. Of course, this still leaves the cars Very Tight, and I suspect that the minivan on the right might decide to work late, once she's had a look at the alternative.

But what about the safety of my own car?
Well, I plan to drive it 'til it dies, so I really don't care if it gets a bit banged up, AND I suspect these minivan-ers are Fine Upstanding Citizens who would leave a note, especially since MY car is parked in its spot absolutely impeccably.

What the hell?
I'm away from this temp assignment for c. 10 days, and when I return, my computer is totally reconfigured?
What the hell is that about?
Of course there isn't anyone around this ghost town to ask about it....

UPDATE, five minutes later:
Oh. Restarting is cool.