chemaccino good, but not good for you

Tuesday, December 30, 2003
BEHOLD my mighty power of ass-kissing
...another year over...

-----Original Message-----
From: [adminho]
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 1:43 PM
To: [supervisor, "Rachel"]
Subject: this afternoon

I am covering reception this afternoon from 2:30 - 5:30, and I think that I can probably enter references on that computer. If you find time today, could you sort out a few more for me to enter? I still have a stack to get through, but just in case, it'd be nice to have too much rather than too little.


Thursday, December 25, 2003
Merry Christmas from the adminho-ho-ho!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
This post + this post =
...and what have you done...

Do you know, I think the very best way to spread germs around an office is by offering a huge tub of popcorn in the breakroom. I started to reach for the caramel side this morning, and almost smacked my own hand away when I realized that it must be a seething germfest.

Monday, December 22, 2003
Food Items Available To Employees In The Breakroom Today
...and so this is Christmas...

Popcorn: your choice of butter, orange-cheese, or caramel
Orange Crisps (cookies)
Macadamia Nut Cookies
Bar of biscotti that looks like poop
Salted Mixed Nuts
Organic Cheese Straws

Friday, December 19, 2003
OK, I know I said I wouldn't blog, but oh my GOD, one of the women I work for just gave me a bottle of Australian Shiraz as a Christmas gift.
I had to share this news with the world.

Friday Five
I am so excited about the weekend, that I really want to feel virtuous by getting some work done before I leave today. Therefore, instead of a regular, thoughtful little blog, I'm going to do the Friday Five.

1. List your five favorite beverages.
French Roast Coffee
Diet Coke
Harpoon IPA
Yellowtail wine (any varietal)

2. List your five favorite websites.
Rabbit Blog

3. List your five favorite snack foods.
chips-n-salsa, with cheddar cheese
dried mango slices
banana chips
Cool Ranch Doritos

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.
Drinking/Strip Boggle

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.
Tetris (Orig. Nintendo)
Crash Team Racing (PS1)
River City Ransom (Orig. Nintendo)
Riven (as soon as I have my own computer, I am THERE!)

Yes, yes, please choose one or more of these lists to answer in the comments. We can all amuse one another. Also acceptable are comments regarding how awesome the game Store is.

Thursday, December 18, 2003
Polish Sesame Fudge
It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like, and that's what I get for trying a free treat in the break room.

I think I'm going to start using the term Polish sesame fudge to describe something that sounds bad, but might be good if you just give it a try, but then turns out to be bad, after all.
As in,
"Even though it's data entry, I thought it might be interesting to learn a new software program, but it turned out to just be Polish sesame fudge."

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
My tempy-sense is tingling....
I sense danger. Danger that comes without warning, the kind of danger that always lurks just around the corner, and strikes when it's just too late.

There are many foes to the admin whore, and this is the Joker to my temping Batman.

That's right. My Archnemesis: Data Entry.


I wondered why my Office Pimp wanted me to stay here until January 9th, when the woman I'm covering for will be back on December 29th. Now I know, and so it begins. I have to make the phone call... the phone call to my pimp telling him I'm worth more than data entry, he can put me onto tougher jobs than that, this data-entry gig can be done by someone with less skillbase, someone who doesn't test 100% on Microsoft Word and Excel.

You know what's still funny? Assmann.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
The Guy Next Door
Today I started a conversation with the guy in the cube next to mine, the one who orders all the stuff, like special hand soap dispensers. When I was being trained by the woman I'm covering for, she warned me that she and this guy, "Mario", have a little war of crumpled-paper-over-the-cube. He had not engaged in warfare with me until today, possibly encouraged by the revelation that I had once had a job that included work similar to what he does.
I took the crumpled paper thing into a new realm by finding jpg's of crumpled paper and emailing them to him.
This I find more inspiring than his idiotic "I'm-bored" emails that just read:


....and variations on that theme. For those, I am truly sorry. Lame-tastic.

I attempted to improve on the emailing by empathizing with his stressful day, and this developed into almost-flirty responses from him.

Watch as I bring it back to office banter!
(read from the bottom up for it to make sense)

-----Original Message-----
From: Mario
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:32 PM
To: [adminho]
Subject: RE:

covered of course.

-----Original Message-----
From: [adminho]
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:27 PM
To: Mario

is this covered at 100%, or does some of it come out of your paycheck?

-----Original Message-----
From: Mario
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:23 PM
To: [adminho]

How about1 hour massages every Monday , Wed, Fri. Shopping spree Tues and Thurs. and dinner at Morton on Sat and rest on Sun

-----Original Message-----
From: Mario
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:21 PM
To: [adminho]
Subject: RE:

getting a little carried away are we?

-----Original Message-----
From: [adminho]
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:20 PM
To: Mario

...and non-bagel thursdays were replaced with bagel thursdays
and those bagel thursdays were then replaced with free trips to Six Flags once a month, but in the winter a ski trip

and non-bagel Mondays were replaced with free days off.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mario
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:16 PM
To: [adminho]
Subject: RE:

a woman after my own heart. That would be awesome.

-----Original Message-----
From: [adminho]
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:15 PM
To: Mario

You and everyone else.
What if bagel fridays got replaced with 10-minute-massage fridays?
that would be cool once a month.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mario
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:14 PM
To: [adminho]
Subject: RE:

I'm always under a lot of stress. I need a back massage. my back is one big knot

-----Original Message-----
From: [adminho]
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:12 PM
To: Mario

what happened to stressed-out?

-----Original Message-----
From: Mario
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 3:08 PM
To: [adminho]

How you do'n?!

Monday, December 15, 2003
There is a woman who works for the company out of an office in a different city who has the exact same first and last name as I do. This is causing minor havoc of the email persuasion. Mostly because it took us a while to figure out the problem.

Friday, December 12, 2003
I apologize for the low-brow humor here, but I just have to share with everyone that today, I had to order an article by the author

hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee.....

Awkwardness II of II
Today is the "Company Holiday Lunch", when everyone takes a bus from work into The City and has a nice long luncheon and then is back at the office by 5:30 in time to go home.
I was invited, but I didn't think it was the right thing to do, two weeks into a 4-week job. I mean, ew. Who would get stuck sitting next to the temp? What would we talk about? The other temp here in the office had the same thoughts about it, so we're both here, along with a few other people who felt too busy to go.
About a half-hour after everyone left, a security guard lady walked by my desk. I have never seen a security person in the office before, but I figured maybe she was here to talk with the IT guy about the recent theft and other issues. She was here, walking the halls, for four hours, at which point, another security guy showed up and took over for her. I finally talked with the other temp, "Gina", about it, asking why they're here. She said she thinks it has to do with the recent theft, and also because we're basically the only ones around.
It feels really good to know that this company cares enough to hire babysitters for us.

Actually, the people who should feel insulted are the full-time staffers who have stayed behind. There's only two that I've seen around, and imagine how it must feel to them. I mean, at least there's a good reason not to trust me.

On Monday, I broke down and
cleaned the keypad on the fax machine
with a damp tissue spiked with a bit of hand soap
it was so disgusting before that I was afraid to touch it
but maybe
I acted
too late

Last night, when the sinus headache started,
it was accompanied by a pain in my jaw
on the left side
when I swallowed.
I thought maybe it was lockjaw from the staple impalement of Wednesday
but my last tetanus shot was in 2000
which is recent enough, right?

I started this morning with
2,000mg of Vitamin C
Two ibuprofen for the sinus headache
is it weather-related,
or is it the sinus infection
from which my temporary supervisor is recovering?

Why do they think it's funny to talk about the cold that's been going around?
I don't want it
I don't get paid sick days, people.
Get away from me.


I am freaking out.

Thursday, December 11, 2003
Ninja Reloaded
My thumb still hurts from yesterday's staple incident, and I'm not one to take that kind of shit from staples. They are my bitches, after all.

There is this printer that is big and fast, and I use it for printing anything longer than 2 pages. But lots of people print to it, so I'm always sifting through other people's printouts. Also, once I do get my articles out, I still have to flip through them and then staple them. I have suspected for some time that I was not taking full advantage of the printer's features, and this afternoon I discovered how to make the printer staple each copy for me. Since this is done in the "finishing" unit of the printer, it all sits in a special place with nobody else's stuff around. I can now, at my leisure, drop by and pick up my pre-stapled copies.

From: Kevin
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:31 PM
To: [adminho]
Subject: Rebecca - Document from Web

Hi Rebecca

Please would you locate this document and save it/e-mail it to me. Also let me have a print-out unless it is more than about 50 pp in which case I'll look at it first. Would you do this on Thursday/Friday pls


Now, of course, this is much funnier when you know that my name is nothing like Rebecca. It neither starts with an "R" nor sounds like Rebecca (what does?). It's understandable that he might forget my name; I've only been here two weeks. But he DOES get the stupid attendance email that has my name at the bottom of it.
Please vote in the comments: Should I
(A) Ignore the slip and get the article, or
(B) Reply and ask if maybe he sent this to the wrong person; who is Rebecca?

UPDATE 9:10am: Ohmigod, and call him "Keith" in the email reply message.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
In other news, this morning I seriously impaled my thumb on a messed-up staple during a routine extraction, and to keep from bleeding all over the document, the thumb is now wrapped in Scotch tape.

From: [adminho]
Sent: 9:19 AM
To: Ed. Staff
Subject: Attendance: Wednesday, Dec. 10th

Janice - out sick today
Kathryn- personal 1/2 day in pm
Lara - leaving at 11:30am


From: Barbara
Sent: 9:48 AM
To: [adminho]
Subject: RE: Attendance: Wednesday, Dec. 10th

Leaving at noon for Conference in Chicago


From: [adminho]
Sent: 9:53 AM
To: Ed. Staff
Subject: FW: Attendance: Wednesday, Dec. 10th

Barbara - Leaving at noon for Conference in Chicago


From: Alison
Sent: 10:04 AM
To: [adminho]
Subject: RE: Attendance: Wednesday, Dec. 10th

I will be leaving at 1:30 pm for a doctor's appointment.


From: [adminho]
Sent: 10:57 AM
To: Ed. Staff
Subject: A more complete attendance for Wednesday, Dec. 10th

Alison - leaving at 1:30 pm for a doctor's appointment.
Barbara - Leaving at noon for Conference in Chicago
Janice - out sick today
Kathryn- personal 1/2 day in pm
Lara - leaving at 11:30am

Am I supposed to be doing something today?
Or just this?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Come see the uncomfortable side...
Awkwardness I of II
There's a staff meeting that pretty much everyone is at right now, and it started while I was at lunch. Nobody told me to go, so I'm just going to hang out here at my desk and "work". There are two big platters of brownies, blondies and other gooey desserts, which seem to be set up for everyone to have right after the meeting.

I thought it would be really hilarious if everyone came out of the meeting for the food, and found only crumbs on the plate and me slumped against the filing cabinets, rubbing my belly.

In my imaginary sitcom world, that actually happened.
Oh, Fatty McGee, You're the fattest!

How would YOU escape from your office?
A reader comment inspired me to investigate the possibilites.
Read about it in the comments to this post.

I finally came prepared.
It took me a week to remember the stuff, but I finally came prepared today: I brought hand lotion and a box of tissues.

Gee, when I say it like that, it sounds kinda....

Hey, it's not like that! Let me explain!
Offices are really dry. I keep a Nalgene at my desk, despite its unprofessional appearance, because I don't want to be constantly getting up for little cups of water all the time. And this dryness is external, too - my hands get dry, like onionskin-dry. Crazy dry. Put-lotion-on-and-ten-minutes-later-they're-still-dry dry. Thus, the hand lotion. Maybe not every 10 minutes, but better than not at all.
The tissues are so I can blow my nose. I don't sneeze all the time, but I tend to have a good sneeze attack about once a day.

I'd really like a convenient Viagra dispenser for my lotion. I wonder if they have Allegra tissue-box cozys, too.

Monday, December 08, 2003
Today I was the go-to person to cover for reception.
While this meant very little blogging, it also meant very little else, because it meant zoning out receptionist-style for a half-hour in the am, and hour before lunch, and an hour in the pm.
I barely did anything all day, and I never got burned out. Never had time to!
Reception sucks, but COVERING FOR reception isn't so bad.
Today, anyway.

Friday, December 05, 2003
Today I forgot the little electric pass-thingy they gave me so I can get in and out of the office, like, to go to lunch or to the bathroom, etc. I figured this wouldn't be a problem, since there's always someone at the receptionist's desk. And it hasn't been a problem until just now, when I realized that with so many people gone, maybe the receptionist is gone, too. And she is. And with so few people around, if I have to go to the bathroom, I'm screwed.

It seems as though most of the people here have already left because of the snow. It is really really snowing a LOT out there. At lunch, driving back from the mall, my father's Volvo lost traction, and the snow had just started. It made me realize that the reason Volvo makes their cars so safe is because they have about as much traction as .... ....well, as something without much traction.
I'm fried.
Can I go yet? Who would tell me if I can go? Who will sign my time sheet? Who will help me plant the seeds? Who will help me cut the wheat? Who will help me make the dough? Where is that lazy cat?
Where is that lazy fox?

It should be for lotion, not soap.
Oh my GOD, you guys, I can hear the guy in the cube next door ordering, or maybe discussing possible alterations to, the Viagra Hand Soap Dispenser.
Please allow me to explain; I've been meaning to.
The company works with Pfizer a lot.
In the breakroom by the sink is a hand-soap dispenser. It works and looks exactly like this whimsical floating fishie item, (please click so you know what I mean), but instead of fishies floating around inside, there are oversized Viagra pills.

I'm trying to figure out a plan to steal it. It would totally work in my bathroom at home, which is white with blue accents.
Anyway, so I guess the guy next door is helping Pfizer make more of these things or something.

Hooray for "Bagel Fridays"!
If only someone had told me beforehand; I ate breakfast in the car.
Oh, well. Free lunch!

Thursday, December 04, 2003
Actual Work?
So, in my first two days of training, I learned that most of the job involves looking up articles for people here, and printing them out, and saving them as pdfs, etc. The editor people seem to order one or two articles, one guy ordered 5, a few orders for as much as 15. Today, this woman came to me with a list of...
...yes, that's right. A list of 75 articles.
So, blogging will be light.

FMOAB: Flavia Mother Of All Beverages
That's right, pronounce it with the FM as a blend. /fmoh-ahb/
You can have one, too, if you have access to the necessary Flavia products.
Here's how:
1) Dump packet of "cappuccino creamer" into cup.
2) Put cup in place, and make Flavia Choco (cocoa) into that cup.
3) Keep cup in place, and get a packet of French Roast coffee, but make it "Espresso-style" into the Choco.
4) Drink up, buttercup!
5) Never sleep again.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Another revelation today:
Within the confines of my hour-long lunch break, I can drive to the local mall within 12 min each way, which means about 30 min of shopping time. Sweet!! I need that time to walk the mall aimlessly, figuring out what to get for my family.

UPDATE on the ceramic saluting Asian cat paperweight:
It's a piggy-bank. There's a slot in the back of the cat's head.

Back in the Saddle
I've got a gig for a few weeks as an "Editorial Assistant", whatever that is. I have to get articles from medical journals for editor people. I have no idea why they need these articles or what they do with them, or even what this entire department does.
I guess that information is on a need-to-know basis, and I really don't need to know.
Anyway, I had two days of training with the woman who I'm covering for, which is why I'm posting today and not on my Very First Day. So. Time for the all-important review of the important aspect of temping.
Click here for the review from my last temp gig.

Food and Beverages:
Coffee: Score! There's a Flavia machine in the breakroom, and rumor has it there's a K-Cup machine downstairs, but nobody's taken me down there. Flavia, despite the name, does not come in a variety of flavors. It is rather limited. Or perhaps that's the ordering strategy here. Doesn't matter to me, as long as they keep the French Roast in stock. Also, today I tried using the "Cappuccino Creamer" which you dump in the cup beofre making the coffee, and it stood up to its claim: once the coffee was all done, it was magically morphed into a cappuccino! Of sorts. The sorts made from dry creamer flakes. But still, more authentic than your run-of-the-mill chemaccino.
Soda: No soda available. At least there's coffee. And it's winter, so hot bevs are in season.
Food: Even on day three, I can already discern a culture of erratic cookie/candy donations. These can be found in the breakroom. Monday there were bagels, which is a score, but I think the norm is dessert-type stuff, which does not make for a healthy lunch alternative.
Office Supplies:
Stapler: desktop Swingline. Purple, of course, like the post-its and the mug-and-mug-warmer set and the weird ceramic saluting Asian cat paperweight.
Stapler remover: Crappy jaws-style, with not a good one around. And you KNOW I looked.
Mouse: The scroller is filthy and hard to manipulate - lots of resistance.
Computer: Oh, ye of GIGANTIC MONITOR IN MY FACE! So big. And reflects the windows behind me a bit. And slow internet connection, and have to use blogger lofi interface. Otherwise ok.
Keyboard: Dell QuietKey. Nice.
Chair: Pretty good. Nice lumbar support.
Space: Relatively large cube, but one wall is entirely file drawers, so it's not a prestige thing. I sit facing the hall, and the cube is clear, so I see everyone as they walk by and they see me, but they don't see what I'm typing, ha-ha. The window is nice to have; it improves the lighting.