chemaccino good, but not good for you

Friday, January 30, 2004
Snarky Friday

Sally: I'm so glad my son's test came back negative. You know, once a person's a mother, you never stop worrying, even when you're in Heaven.

Adminho: If Family Circus has taught me anything, it's that.

Flat-bottom files, you make this rockin' world go round.
I actually said that yesterday, in reference to the flat-bottom Pendaflex files Sally and I wanted to order for over-taxed regular files. She didn't get the Queen reference, which I didn't try to explain. But I amused myself greatly.
Today, the files have come in, so I've been relieving some of the wee, puny ones of their burden.
Get to your drawers and file, girls!

This whore can be bought with wine and jewelry
It's most likely my very last day at this assignment (pending confirmation from Office Pimp), and this morning over our bagels and coffee, Sally gave me a very sweet thank-you card and a silver bracelet.

Oh my god, you guys, she bought me a bracelet! That's so sweet of her. For real.

Well, this hasn't been the Greatest Temp Assignment Ever, but it hasn't been all that bad, especially when you consider that in addition to free coffee and Bagel Fridays, I scored a bracelet and a bottle of wine.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
Polish Sesame Whore
So, lately, I've seen a few blogs mention what search words in Google have their blog as the first returned response.

The following searches WILL return this blog (chemaccino) (duh) as the first response:
polish sesame fudge (wonder why)
polish sesame whore
admin sesame fudge

The following searches do NOT return this blog first:
admin whore (do this search to see some kind of bizarre closely-named blog that's not me!)
chronicles admin
adminwhore (apparently, the phrase is more popular than I thought)
sesame ccino
admin fudge
fudge drama

There's DRAMA afoot!
I'm well enough to work, so I'm back, and BOY, did I miss drama in the two days I was gone. Sally's told me much, and below, I will reprint it a bit more organizationally.
Tuesday, Mario, who has been massively overworked the past few weeks, left early.
Wednesday, Steve-the-HR-guy was in Mario's cube throwing stuff into boxes, and clicking around on his computer.
Today, Paul-the-contractor is now using Mario's office.
Mario got a new job, and had given notice, and that's why Paul's been contracting for the past few weeks, or
Mario quit unexpectedly and they threw Paul in there to give him more space, or
Mario was fired, or
They purposefully overworked Mario for weeks to get him to quit.

Nobody's talking about it. It's all very mysterious. I'll post any updates if I learn more.

UPDATE: 10:45am
I tried making nice with the guy, joking about now that he has a cube of his own, he'll be expected to sign the birthday cards next time I come around, but to no avail. The only clue-like sign I got from him is that when I returned to my side of the cube, he called out jokingly, "Don't worry, I won't steal that job from you."
That one didn't sit well with Sally, or with me, for that matter.
1) I wish he WOULD steal that job!
2) Who said anything about stealing jobs? Are you stealing someone's job? What's going on? Somebody TELL me!
The thing that's setting us at so much unease is that, up until now, all departures and arrivals are widely heralded and announced through company emails, and there's been nothing about this.

UPDATE: 11am

Hello? Mario's no longer here. I'm filling in.

UPDATE: 3:30pm
I just talked with the gossipy lady who works on the other side of this office-floor. She had the scoop. Mario had been a bit disgruntled, not just because of being overloaded with projects of unrealistic deadlines, but apparently, he had been "promised things" that "weren't delivered" and he didn't get his end-of-year bonus. Allegedly, on Tuesday he complained to his supervisor about this imperfect confluence, and Wednesday, he received an email or phone call (not sure which) from the HR-dude letting him go.
The way the gossipy lady put it was to silently run her finger across her throat, which says it better than I could.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
My Top Five Worst Interview Questions Yet
So, over on the sidebar, I have this definition of adminwhore as someone who's working in admin just for the money, while trying to get a job doing something else. In my case, the 'something else' can be loosely described as "Youth Programming." I mention this to explain the breadth, in addition to the number, of job interviews I have been on over the past few years. I have a super interview lined up for Monday morning, and during my mid-morning nap attempt today (still sick), I couldn't stop thinking about some of the Worst Interview Questions I Have Had. Then I realized it's great blog-fodder, so here they are in no particular order, with commentary and advice, should you encounter these questions yourself.

When is it okay to hit a child?
Honest to God, I was asked this in an interview. I thought maybe it was a trick, like there's an answer that's a play on the word "hit" somehow, that makes it okay. I mean, she said WHEN, right? I was really thrown. I ended up responding "never", which is the only correct answer, in case you were wondering.

It says here you went to (prestigious university). Why do you want to work HERE?
Um, why indeed, if you take that attitude with me? Oh, oops, I mean, something about finding myself and missing working with kids while in school and stuff and ....don't you think highly of your own program? What is WRONG with you?

Have you done ANYTHING in the past two years?
Oh, man. This was an interview at a placement agency. This question made me cry. I was able to hold off on crying until after the interview, but it started in the elevator. I mean, you go 2 years without steady work, but you do as much as you can, and it's a lot of employers and they're listed on your resume, but when she puts it like that, you're left wondering if perhaps you're actually just a lazy piece of shit who'd serve society better in a coma.
With perspective, I realized that that lady is just a piss-poor interviewer.

What salary are you looking for?
Alert! Trap! You're looking for exactly what they expect to give you, and if you can't read their minds, be vague! If it's some kind of youth programming position, for God's sake and yours, don't quote something exorbitant like $30,000. You mention a king's ransom like that, and they black-ball you immediately. Try being vague, like, that you want enough to keep up with living expenses. At admin interviews, you can ask for whatever the going rate is for that type of job in that area, which you know because you did at least 5 minutes' research (when you came out of the coma).

Where else are you interviewing/applying?
None of your damn business!
Actually, this one is the least bad of the five, because it's the most understandable. There are several reasons for asking: to get an idea of the range of jobs you're considering, to do market research about who else is hiring, to figure out if you'd take the job if offered.
But it still feels intrusive and unprofessional to actually ASK.

Monday, January 26, 2004
WWSD: What Would Sally Do?
Someone just stopped by Sally's desk, looking for a file. Here is a paraphrased transcription between her, "Janet", and Sally:

Janet: I know I haven't been by today, but I was wondering if I left a file here.
Sally: No, I don't think so, have a look around.
Janet: I don't see it. Oh, well.
Sally: Sit at your desk and commune with your cat. That will help. Mew!

This is only funny because Sally wasn't being sarcastic. I think it was her way of soothing Janet, who's been having a stressful time at work lately. I do not understand the cult of cat-lovers. I mean, I like cats alright, and I had a wonderful cat when I was growing up, but I really don't get the cult wherein one communes with her cat to locate files and feel at peace. Or where one must surround one's cube with photos of cats everywhere.

It's funny 'cause it's true
I just told Sally about how I'm not feeling well, and maybe I have a fever, and I'm going to take some ibuprofen, and as I talked, she felt my forehead, then, when I mentioned it might be the flu, she sat back in her chair, and covered her mouth with her hands.

Um, so, you don't want to catch my flu. So, hold my forehead germs right up to your mouth. There's nothing I can do about it, so all I can do is share the funny. I promised her that if I didn't feel better tonight and tomorrow morning, that I'd stay home "For both of us."
Yes, yes, and for my upcoming ski weekend. Especially since it costs the nonrefundable equivalent of three days' work.

Not Well = not well written
It's difficult to gauge how much is the illness setting in and how much is having forgotten breakfast, but since I attribute forgetting breakfast to the illness, it's all about the illness. The gland is not better, but when it was just the gland, it was really freaky. I wondered if it was a lump. I wondered if it was tooth-related. I wondered if it was a systemic infection. Now, I think it's a cold, which still could be a tooth-related-systemic-infection, but at least it's something I recognize. I mean, I know a sore throat, and today I have a sore throat. Also a bit weak and shaky, but that could be the coffee-and-no-breakfast. Is that a fever? Probably. I'll take some ibu. ...and an early lunch, to get some food into me.

In other news, by Friday, Sally and I settled into our roles. She's taken over all the day-to-day stuff, and I'm dealing with re-building the database. I have a laptop setup in one corner of her office, and it's nice - no more annoying overlap. She talks a lot, but it's a welcome interruption from data entry.

Is it nap time yet? I could use a good sleep.

Friday, January 23, 2004
Two haikus for the left side of my neck

swollen gland, thank you
you must be neutralizing
a really bad flu

it has been five days
your hard work makes achey pain
now please go away

Another full week of this shit?
Yes, that's right. I'm here until the end of next week, at the earliest. Originally, I was supposed to be here until January 9th. Then it was extended to the 23rd, today. But yesterday, I called Office Pimp and explained to Justin that it certainly seemed like they expect me to stick around for a while longer, what's up with that? Just now, I called him again to check in and yes, they want me for at least all of next week and also the HR contact he talked to (two states away from this office) is going to ask around and see if they can't place me somewhere in the office permanently.

Now, we all know I'm not in love with this place, but I need money. Even without having to pay for rent and food, I still have to pay various car-related things, as well as school loans. I also want to save money so I can afford to move outta here before the end of the calendar year, with or without a job waiting for me.
A "permanent" job here means the following:
- health insurance (instead of my current 'disaster coverage', another monthly expense)
- free coffee every day
- I get to choose how long I stay here, instead of being at someone else's whim
- I would not have to work in the same cube as Sally (well, many things lead to that, but you get my drift)

Let me clarify that I don't necessarily expect to be offerred a job here. Justin's been handing me that bullshit line for over a month. "Oh, they really like you, and they're considering you for an upcoming opening..."
Is that right, Justin? Then why have they brought in 3 more temps in the time I've been working here, all in temp-to-perm positions?
Riddle me that, bitch.

No matter what, I am grateful to have work lined up for next week. And if you still don't understand why I would rather come in to this shitty work-with-Sally job next week instead of staying home, to you I say only this:

What part of "whore" don't you understand?

Thursday, January 22, 2004


Quick, while she's at lunch...
Oh my god, this woman is so insane. Sally's back. In full-force flakiness.
2:00pm, and she's finally realized she should eat something.
Before she left for lunch, she was trying to do the following things all at once:
- Catch up on what's been going on during the past two months
- Get a gigantic filing project underway/done
- Create a new digital database/library of said files
- Do all the day-to-day article retrieval and general support.

Now, since she's doing all of that, there's no room for me to do any work.
Here is what I have done today:
- Alphabetized articles
- Hole-punched articles
- Put articles in binders
- Alphabetized more articles

I don't mind; it's very Zen. Unfortunately, it's very-low-priority work, and if she would just calm the fuck down and take a few minutes to look around and figure out what's going on and maybe make a list of the various projects and a sensible outline of how two people with one computer can get them done, then I could actually do something to help her.
But she doesn't think to do that, and if I were to make that list right now instead of typing this post, and try to show it to her upon her return, I swear to god she would say, "Oh, we don't have time for that, let me just get through this one stack of files and what's going on with Kevin's project, have you gotten through to him, what does he want and oh, did you hear back about ...." and we'll be off.

I swear, if I actually had to work with this woman for a living, like for a real job, I would be talking to my supervisor about her within a week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
I am going to be a good bunny today and do work. Of course, I meant to do that yesterday, and then a man fell off his boat. But maybe today will be different. No more posting unless something really crazy happens.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Guess who's getting O-to-the-T
Well, since I'm not working a full week, I guess I won't get overtime.
This is the stupidest thing, though:
5:00pm, editor comes to me and absolutely needs the article ordered rush, no matter what. Need it by morning. So I put together the paperwork for ordering it, but no project code. Hunt her down for it. Make purchase order. Print. Ooo, citation can't be faxed on that sheet. Have to re-type it. Retype. Print. Save? No, it's just a citation. Close Word. Go to printer to retrieve and fax.

5:38pm now, but I figure, hey, I came in a little late, 'salright. I'm pissed, but it's fair. Why is the printer taking so long? back to computer, check Printer Queue window. There are 8 documents lined up before mine on the slow-ass printer. Usually the printer is fine for small jobs, but there this one gigantor job someone is using it for. Call Office Pimp, explain situation to Justin.
"If you need to stay late, then stay late. Do what you gotta do to get the job done."
In my mind, I see him wringing his scrawny hands with glee at extra whore-bucks.
I got nothing else going on tonight.
Ahh, while typing, the damn thing printed.
And do you know who was printing a slow-ass huge article on the little printer when there's a big printer just as easily accessible? The Southern Cheerleader.
Urge to kill rising.

What I would like to tell everyone here in the office today.
That horrible little scab just below the bottom of my lip is not herpes.
See, on Friday, this incredibly painful little zit started to form there, and by Saturday, my body was already fighting whatever this freaky little virus is, and none of the troops were sent to heal the damn thing.
This is also why my lips are chapped despite the lipgloss.
I am not usually a heinous, left-turn-only freak!

Also, don't you think my hair looks good? I totally bought a new brush this weekend.

I'm still weak and ineffectual at work, but I really have to get things done, albeit slowly and scatter-brain-ed-ly. IM-ing, of course, comes first at all times, so in the name of efficiency, I'm going to post a partial transcript of a JUST-NOW IM to a friend of mine. It is imperfect and unedited, but I am torn: I really have to get stuff done, but this news MUST be reported immediately. sorta.

adminho: happy grades??
lawstudentpal: i got the highest grade in a class!!
lawstudentpal: now i wait patiently for the rest.
adminho: oh, man. Peep this:
"How do you get 911? How do you dial 911? This is ridiculous that I can't dial 911."
lawstudentpal: whoa
adminho: oh somebody swallowed something
lawstudentpal: ummm... okay.
adminho: "...he wasn't moving, but they carried him inside."
adminho: oh, gotta go check the printer - error message. brb
adminho: I’m back. it was only out of paper. I hear a siren.
lawstudentpal: something is not right at your workplace.
adminho: the printer is fine.
But I'm not so sure about the guy who swallowed something and isn't moving.
lawstudentpal: is there a commotion? or just fiddle dee dee, guy not moving.
adminho: like, nothing. I didn’t even see anyone on the way to the printer.
adminho: oh printer error again.
I wish these trips to the printer would pay off in information.
lawstudentpal: printer works! man still prostrate.
adminho: Okay. Here's what happened:
adminho: 1. printer is fine - dunno what that other error is.
adminho: 2. here's what happened.
adminho: Office overlooks a small harbor.
Someone with a window that overlooks the boats saw a guy working on his boat and the guy fell off his boat into the water.
adminho: So ran down to help get him out.
An office lady called 911 - or, TRIED to call 911.
The swallowing must refer to water.
adminho: She had to call the local police station instead.
lawstudentpal: oh.
lawstudentpal: ok, you know what, that's gimpy.
adminho: TOTALLY. I feel like this needs to go on chemaccino.

I'm some kind of Mirror-Image, Secretarial Zoolander
This painful, swollen gland in the left side of my neck means that I can't turn right!
Luckily, if someone walks up to my desk, they approach from the left, which is not a painful direction to turn.

Gas? or Walking Pneumonia?
So, the good news is, I didn't have to deal with that sucktacular Monday. The bad news is twofold: (1) I don't get paid when I don't work, and (2) I'm illin'.

I have this swollen gland on the inside of the left side of my neck that is just really annoying and painful. Part of what's irritating about it is that there's no accompanying sore throat, just the gland pain. I'm also tired and weak and achey, all indications that my body is fighting something off. Also, there's this tightness in my chest that comes and goes, which is new and interesting. Sometimes I think it's just gas, but sometimes I worry, hey, maybe this is walking pneumonia. I've never had walking pneumonia, so as far as I know, this could be it. Then, at the coffee machine this morning, I thought maybe it's the kind of flu that weakens the muscles and tissue of your heart, like what happened to the girlfriend of that guy who tells that sad story on NPR, about how they both got the flu and she died in her sleep on an airplane because the flu had weakened her heart muscles.

I took yesterday off to let my body focus on the fight, and I would have liked to take today off, except that I only have this temp job until Friday, and after that, I don't know when I'll work next. So it's better for me to come in as much as I can this week, and that way, even if I get sick next week, at least I won't miss work. Or, I won't miss the certainty of work.

So today I'm in the office, and I'm thinking about washing my hands less, and spreading the love. (love=germs) Sally isn't here after all, but there are indications she will be in tomorrow, at least for part of the day. If I'm worse tomorrow morning, I may consult with the temp co., because it would be very unkind for me to be around Sally when her post-operative immunity is still down. I like making money, but not at the cost of my soul.

Friday, January 16, 2004
Monday is going to suck blue whale, the largest mammal to roam the planet Earth.

From: [building administration]
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 3:24 PM
Subject: Monday Jan. 19. 2004 work scheduled

On Monday January 19, 2004, the water for your building will be turned off for repair of the domestic water lines. The restroom facilities will be unavailable for use. Building 208 is accessible via the freight elevator entrance. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Management office.

Thank you for your patience. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

Oh, thanks so much, no inconvenience whatsoever having to walk over to a different building in below-freezing weather every time I have to pee. Talk about adding insult to the injury of having to work on a holiday.

I take it back. It's going to suck that blue whale's father.

The Purging
Today is the day for The Purging. Sally is expected back, at least for a few hours, on Monday, and that means I have until the end of today to get her workspace back to looking the way it did when she left. Luckily, this is not the first time I have temped to cover a leave, so I knew what I was getting into, and everytime I moved or changed something, I added it to a list kept on a post-it on the side of the computer monitor. You may say that's anal or overorganized; I call it survival. Here is a transcript - the "0"s represent the little check boxes that I make next to every task I write down:


0 Folder/Book/Pad Stack goes back ONTO Inbox - one big pile

0 Tilt monitor up so girl+kitty photo sits under on CPU

0 Tack up Ordered Articles on wall and trash folder used

0 Reply font back to blue

0 Delete C:\temp and IM program

0 Take home mug, tissue box, hand cream

0 Save resume docs in yahoo briefcase - delete from computer

0 I Explorer- clear history and all files

0 Empty desktop Recy Items

I just realized this might have been a really good list for McSweeney's, but it's too late now. Anyway, it takes about 2 months for them to publish a list, if they even choose it. I'm just saying.

Thursday, January 15, 2004
I swear I have gotten more done today than I did yesterday.
But still, I'm slacktacular.
Today, I'm enjoying catching up on my mcsweeney's; my favorite of the day is this one.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I am SO immature. How funny is this.

Menace 2 Society
Or, How I learned to stop worrying and pump the brakes.

7:04am Snow this morning. Put on NPR, hear news that there are all sorts of accidents all over major and secondary roadways in my area. Let's get ready for work!

7:55am Call Office Pimp, my temp company. Get machine, informing me they opened at 7:30, but nobody can take my call. Does this mean they aren't open, possibly due to weather, or the switchboard just isn't flicked on yet?

7:56am Call switchboard of company where I work, hoping there's some kind of snow message or some clue. If they were closed, they wouldn't be able to reach me directly. I just get a machine.

8:03am Call Office Pimp: maybe switchboard on now? Bingo! Talk to my dude, Justin, who informs me that I can head in whenever I feel safe doing so. I tell him I'll start working on it right away.

8:15am Corolla cleaned, and warmed up. Unfortunately, does not have snow tires or anti-lock brakes, but come on, I mean, people have been on the roads for hours, it should be clear, right?

8:16am No problem getting down unplowed gravel driveway onto road.

8:20am Hills seem fine, as long as I get some speed going first.

8:37am The first stoplight of the day (yes, that's how rural my suburb is) there it is, up ahead, and it's red. Hit the brakes. Seems like car is slowing, but in a too-smooth way, and kinda to the right. Turn steering wheel a bit to the left. Nothing. Car still slowly heading to right. Clearly, I am sliding. Foot off brake. Foot on brake. I have slowed to a stop, just in front of the light. Is that End justified by the Means, which included not having traction and unintentionally employing a fortuitous roadside snowbank? I assume from the racing adrenaline: perhaps not.
This is when it occurs to me that if I don't figure out how to get my brakes to work, I need to pull over and have a donut and some coffee and take a break from steering what would effectively be a sliding metal deathbox.
But hey, now I have traction again! Off I go, slower than before. If I go slow, it'll be okay and I won't have to pull over. It's a two-to-three lane roadway now; pass me if you want to speed, you four-wheel fucks.

8:40am I am successfully nagivating this wide commercial street that is littered with stores, suicide-left-hand-turn lanes, Ford-Explorer-sized Monstermobiles, and what must be suicide pedestrians. ("Don't cross in front of my car, dumbass, unless you want to die!")
Still kinda testing/pumping brakes as I go, it seems to be getting better. Less slide-y. Am I getting better at it, or is the car getting better, or is the road improving? Difficult to say.

8:49am Best. Downhill. Right-Hand Turn. In Snow. At big intersection traffic light. Ever. I am so proud of me!

8:52am Time for left-hand turn at train station with light - the turn goes downhill a little, then uphill. On green-arrow signal, I follow the Audi in front of me. A bit slide-y on the downhill part, and it takes a while to coax my car up the wee incline.
I am comforted that the Audi had the same problems, then disturbed that this comforts me. Then angry: nobody should be sliding right by the goddamn train station! It should be the clearest of the roadways, by virtue of so much traffic!

9:01am The parking lot! At last! Only a half-hour late! There is much choice to be had, as far as what kind of spot to choose. Lot is on a bit of a hill/incline. I choose a pull-through, facing downhill. This will minimize chance of spin-out when leaving, and it's probable that nobody will be parked in the space that I might slide into.
Oh, I won't slide when I leave. It'll be fine by then.

Sidenote: I don't know what the smell of fear is, because I used a spritz of perfume this morning.
But it is possible that fear smells a bit like vanilla.

As if it wasn't bad enough.
Just because you both work here, doesn't mean you can bring in your baby!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
I am just ABSOLUTELY OBSESSED with not doing work today.
This website about not buying CDs cracks me up; thanks, Buttafly.
Also, there's a new Maddox, about how much Garfield sucks. I really, really liked Garfield when I was in sixth grade, and now, as an adult, I cannot figure out why. It's really such a weak comic.
Also always fun is trying to read Dan Savage's latest column at work.

UPDATE, 2:30pm

Jessica Seigel took one for the team. Bless her heart. I would never feel comfortable putting on a famous actress' clothing, much less have pictures of it posted. Also very excellent is her article on bras and how the women who sell bras are heartless stone bitches and how bras almost never fit. It's ALL TRUE!!

Look Who's Weighing In On the Low-Carb Craze.

If you're cutting back on carbs, simply order the low carb version of your favorite WHOPPER® Sandwich. Without the bun you'll really be able to experience the great fire-grilled taste of our burgers.
from The Burger King Website.

This whole thing cracks me up, for two reasons:
1) The whole point of "fast food" is to not need it "Served on a plate w/ a fork and knife". You don't have to read Fast Food Nation to know that.
2) So, the bun was in the way of the taste experience before? It's been holding us back all this time?

I have to hand it to the folks at Burger King, though: I'm impressed that they have found a way to use the popularity of low-carb diets to market their "have it your way" branding.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Wow, this piece of cake is like, half frosting. Cool.

This from a woman I don't know; I think she's new, or possibly another temp. In time, she will learn.

I couldn't make this up if I tried
No joke. I just went into the breakroom to look for a plastic spoon for my yogurt. In the utensil drawer there wasn't plasticware, only real silverware that needs washing afterwards and....
...what's this? Can it be? What is this doing in here?
I have no words for this.

UPDATE, 3:22pm
Found a plastic spoon. Avoided cake. Hooray for Yoplait Whips! Key Lime Pie flavor.

For those of you with REAL jobs and who can actually get paid for sick days, this page will come in very handy: it tells you when to plan your sick days for maximum holiday fun. Many thanks to elfcakes for the link.

I just want to thank Julia at for posting her favorite weblogs. I'm working hard at hardly working. If you want to join the fun, click.

While I'm at it, I also want to thank for linking to ME. Now I'm on, like, at least three people's blogrolls. I'm famous!
Famous, unemployed, and living in my parents' basement! Let the good times roll.

Omigod, and in other news, there's another birthday in the office today. There will be cake. Again. I don't know if I am brave enought to partake in cake after what happened on Friday, but I will report back about the Frosting Situation.

New Jersey: chemaccino capital of the world?
I meant to mention earlier that I was in NJ over the holidays and went to a Wawa's for the first time ever. They had SIX VARIETIES OF CHEMACCINOS, as well as a few non-coffee options that included hot chocolate and a caramel steamer. There were at least 9 push-button spouts, and my eyes went wide as saucers and I got very excited. Regular, English Toffee, Hazelnut, French Vanilla.... the list went on and on across the top of the machine.

My boyfriend, tickled, I think, at my unrestrained awe and excitement, offered to buy me the chemaccino of my choice. It was a very difficult decision which took several minutes, but ultimately, I went with the English Toffee.

And it was good.

Friday, January 09, 2004
Oh, good lord.
Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Gaia.

That cake I had earlier, that was a whole other celebratory cake - I didn't know, because by the time I got to it, there wasn't much left to read the wording on it. Their cake was much bigger, though it appears to be the same all-chocolate/mostly-frosting concoction. I didn't even get close to it. I ran. I ran so far away.

Actually, I walked back to my desk, my eyes kind of welling up from the sheer horror of it all. My mother would say I'm overreacting, but so what if I am?
Maybe everyone else is underreacting, have you ever thought of that?

Frosting! Frosting!
I spent most of the morning going around the office, getting everyone in sight to sign birthday cards for two of the editors and asking people to contribute towards getting them a cake.

Here's the thing of it: I'm working for these people, these editors, who are constantly requesting medical journal articles that I have to go find for them. Recently, I have had to research and find many articles related to metabolic syndrome. The short-short version is that this syndrome has to do with having several or all of five main problem/issue/thingies: "glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance, central obesity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension."

Now, I have, obviously, no background or training in medical anything, as evidenced in my need to use the technical term "thingies." I am not the MedicHo. But I am not stupid, and I do read and observe my surroundings, and there's something wrong with all of this.

"There are 3 factors that cause insulin resistance to worsen and lead to diabetes: getting older, gaining weight, and becoming more sedentary. ."

Like, sitting around an office all day editing papers and eating cake. And Friday bagels.

And let me tell you, when I started writing this post, I had just made it through a HALF a slice of this cake - I had to stop eating it because I was having these I-don't-know-whats, I think they were heart palpatations. I'm still TOTALLY FREAKED OUT on sugar - I feel like someone set me on "hummingbird." And really, as anyone who knows me could tell you, the only way I'd actually spend time blogging/talking about anything this technically medical is if I am seriously ON something.

How can people read these articles and then eat this cake? The cake itself is like, mostly frosting too, which is just sugar and milk, basically. Cakey frosting! Frosting cake! I'm freaking out all over!
Anyway. I don't plan on being here for my birthday (October) but if I were, I think I'd make a special request that instead of cake, I want the office to get me (and everyone who wants some) a big plate of steamed broccoli with lemon and butter.
Damn, that would be SO GOOD right now. I'm not kidding. I've been fantasizing about having broccoli since I started typing this post. I wish I had brought some veggies with me. I have a banana and some cheese; maybe they will make me feel better.

The punchline to all of this is that, if you've been paying attention to today's posts, you'll realize that my desk is now littered with Rejected Free Food. There are two little paper plates on my desk; one has 2/3s of a blueberry muffin, the other, half a slice of cake. I should probably toss them out. It's nasty, they way they taunt me.

Look what you made me do.
Are you happy?
I'm not even hungry anymore, and I've eaten one third of this blueberry muffin, just because I touched it by mistake.
I feel yucky and bloaty, and don't even tell me not to post about that, because it's all your fault.

Bagel Fridays
I stopped by the breakroom again, after having my initial bagel and coffee, and thought, well, maybe some of a corn muffin would be good. So I picked one up, and noticed it was blueberry. So I put it back. There aren't any corn ones left.

What do you mean, that's gross? Now I have to go eat it? Because I touched it? Are you serious? I don't really have to, do I? In fact, I'm not even all that hungry anymore.

Thursday, January 08, 2004
Teaser post
I swear that one day, I will write a nice little post about this woman who works here who is the absolute Southern Cheerleader Of The Editing Department. She seems to be about 28ish, and I'm pretty sure her dyed-red hair is kept in curlers every night. She never stops smiling. Every time she stops by someone's office, I expect her to start the conversation with "Ready? Okay!"
She needs a real write up when I have some time, but until then, I want you all to just imagine what it's like having that around.

Covering Reception
I'm covering the front desk again today, and just now, there was a man from the local Nice Italian Restaurant with a lunch delivery for someone in the office.

Hello, beautiful girl. Is the right office?

Yes. Do you have a name of who ordered?

Ah, no. Only the address.

Hold on; I'll page the office.
(over pager)
(turning back to delivery man)
Well, we'll see what fish we catch with that announcement.

You must catch a lot of fish with those beautiful blue eyes.

Thank you!
Oh, this must be the person who ordered.

Is there something wrong with me that I don't mind these kinds of compliments when they come from older Italian men? I mean, from pretty much any other person on the planet, I'd be pissed off, but not from a nice Italian deliveryman. Is it the accent? No it's not just that; it's also that he's not really flirting, you can tell he's just always like that.

Anyway, it was nice. And it's true; I have lovely blue eyes.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004
One Month Late to the party
Omigod omigod omigod sourbob is back! Not only that, but he has merchandise.
thanks to tequilamockingbird who caught on a month ago.

I know I should be doing work, but whatever.

I need to vent.
Yesterday I was asked to get permissions for reprints, or something like that, and I didn't know how to do it because, obviously, I'd never done it before. In the course of trying to work it out from various angles, I left a message for Sally (she with whom I share an Inbox, who is telecommuting from home) to call me so I could ask her about it.
BIG mistake.

She called back this morning, and immediately launched into a monologue that included the History of Permissions, Reprints I Have Ordered, Difficulties Encountered and How Expensive They Are, etc. This speech, however, was not answering or addressing my concerns, so I tried to explain my particular situation to her. My attempt was met with an irritated "Wait a minute, let me finish." That pretty much silenced me, because her speech was not so much about answering my question as it was about talking about what she does at her job.

That's when I realized I was no longer a co-worker looking for an answer to her question: I was a teddy bear at Sally's Stuffed Animal Tea Party. And I was expected to behave like every teddy bear at every tea party; I do not talk, but listen attentively to everything my hostess feels like saying. Our teleconference tea party continued for TWENTY-THREE MINUTES. I know this, because the phone has a timer that tells you how long the call is lasting. At about minute 14, I was able to explain the situation when she stopped for a breath, but it didn't really help. At minute 16, I started having stomach cramps, but couldn't find an opening in the "conversation" where I could gracefully bow out. Ultimately, the only new piece of helpful information was that I should ask Mario, the Guy Next Door, because he had done this before. The phone call finally came to an end after she had started in on a completely unrelated topic and, once finished, noted that she had started to ramble and perhaps should get going.

After I got back from a much-needed bathroom trip, I talked to Mario and he said sorry, no, he's never done that before, and he doesn't know why Sally thinks he had.
This is the LAST TIME I ever ask that woman a question.

What the HELL, yo?
This is about the fifth time since yesterday afternoon that half the overhead lights have blinked off for 20 seconds, then back on. This time, it happened twice in a row. Also, yesterday when it happened, I heard the frightening, silent, white-noise-scream of a computer's lost power. Will this Dell be next?

I think it's worth mentioning that none of the lights are going out in actual offices; only in the administrative cubicle area.

Ginger of Crispy Duck with Ginger has closed one shop and opened another, going from solo to duet. Check out her new digs at Candied Ginger.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
...And the beat goes on...

From: Sally [actually me, the adminho]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 8:49 AM
To: Sally
Subject: Deleting?

I'm going through the inbox, and things keep disappearing....I'm assuming you're deleting things that you think I don't need to read. Which is great; I'm just confirming that point.

Oh, yes, it's so great that you're deleting emails after you read them. I'm ever so certain that you're only deleting those you think I don't need to read.
No! NO! Bad temp. Do NOT think sarcastic thoughts! They taint your feigned sincerity...
.....must be sincere in emails.....
....must not ...let....true feelings.... seep into ...emails that must sound sincere....
....false sincerity...

Monday, January 05, 2004
Oh, the irony. Is that irony?

I see this message from Kurt, and the other that you sent, but not the original ...was there a staffwide email that was sent that you read and deleted while I was away at lunch/reception?
It doesn't matter much in this case, but it might cause difficulty in the future if you read and delete emails that I might need to review.

I know it must be tricky for you, having to share an inbox. The situation has been kind of odd, because there already IS a [adminho name here]who works out of the Boston office, to whom people keep accidently sending emails meant for me.

Isn't that the craziest thing?!


-----Original Message-----
From: Kurt
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 12:50 PM
To: Sally
Subject: RE: Welcome to the fold!

Thanks! I hope you are doing well. I understand your recovery has taken a little longer than expected. I hope you are able to make it back in very soon. I look forward to seeing you!

-----Original Message-----
From: Sally
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 12:34 PM
To: Kurt
Subject: Welcome to the fold!

Hi Kurt,
Glad to learn you are on board. Welcome. I hope to see you soon.

But Wait! It gets better.
Sally replied to my email a little later on, reprinted below. But the irony (not irony?) is that I found her reply by noticing that there was a Reply icon next to the message I had left for her. I ran a search function to find her reply, which was not in the Inbox. It was in the Deleted Items box.

From: Sally
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 3:36 PM
To: Sally [meaning me, the 'ho]
Subject: RE: Welcome to the fold!

That was an entirely original email to Kurt. I worked with him at my prior job. Sorry for the confusion.

Now, those of you who understand what I'm talking about and like trying to solve mysteries have probably figured out the sequence of events:
1. She replied to my email (to herself, because we share an account, and I had written from her own account).
2. She noticed, "Hey, a new message in my Inbox! What is this?"
3. She opened this new message, which was actually the one she had just written to me.
4. She read it and closed it, recognizing her mistake.
5. She had a look at her Inbox, maybe did some work...
6. She noticed that her message to me was read, and so she deleted it.

So. Is this considered irony, considering the content of the email that she had responded to?

Gross Beef
Ew ew ew. I went to the supermarket during my lunch break today, which I've been doing regularly, and I bought, among other things, a roast beef sandwich, which I figured I would have 1/3 of as part of my lunch the next three days. It's a BIG sandwich. Anyway, as this post's title suggests, it did not taste good. The meat was not good roast beef, and the cheese was smooshy and nasty. After three bites, I decided life was too short to ingest calories in this unpleasant form, and wrapped it up and threw it out.
I would apologize to the starving children of the world, but this sandwich would cause a village-worth of grief and havoc.

In other news, Babybel Light is a nice cheese. I was concerned by the "light" part, but it turns out it is pretty tasty.

Her absence has been sorely missed
...and a new one just begun...

The woman I'm covering for sent out an email this weekend to the editorial staff from the laptop she had taken home with her, saying hello and reminding folks to back up their files. Two people have already written back to her (and thus to me), and one woman had this to say:

Well, Happy New Year to you, too! I hope you're feeling much better! Your absence has been sorely missed!

Yeah, you know what? My absence is sorely missed, I think. By me, anyway.