chemaccino good, but not good for you

Friday, April 30, 2004
Did I not say that out loud?
I've been blogging today, but only in my head. Here are some of the posts that I've already written, but in my head:

Hooray! No onions today with the bagels! This is the happiest day of my life!

To that guy ahead of me in traffic, driving the Miata: Dude; loud music, shiny hubcaps and a loud motor do not make you cool and hip. Why not? Because you are driving a Miata. Even my mother rejects them as uncool.
(The funniest thing about this guy in the Miata is that when a light would turn green, he would "step on it" and the car would make this loud vroom-vroom noise as it gently rolled forward. It was the most hilarious, profound physical manifestation of impotent power ever.)

More than two hours over my monthly minute limit? Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Damn my breakedy-down car troubles.

I should write a post about how I'm discovering that I have negative reactions to Almay products. Yeah! I know! Almay! The title on the post could be some play off of All My Almay or something. Last year, the anti-perspirant gel ruined several shirts with its Superior Bleaching Power, and the foundation I bought earlier this week has proven the culprit of the burning sensation I've had on my face the past few days. So screw that. I returned it at lunch today.

Thursday, April 29, 2004
You don't know what it's like
For a while now, I've suspected that things have changed in the past year or two, but then figured maybe it's just me; maybe my attitude has changed. Most of my friends do have full-time jobs now, and I know that most of them feel less secure than they did a few years ago, or at least, feel more indebted to their job security, which they repay in overtime. But this shift in how people feel at jobs has changed not only for those who have, but also for those who have-not.

It's different now for people in temp jobs, in part-time jobs, in back-up jobs. It's different for those who have to find something to do that isn't what we want to do. Think of it as the underclass, and if you're reading a weblog, chances are you are not part of this underclass.
This article at sums it up nicely. You can read it for free by watching an ad for Audi. (Don't think about that too much.)

One of my least favorite memories involves a fellow waiter. He was stooped and gray, but he worked harder than anyone else in my department. I'd never seen him bothered by anything. Then on a fall afternoon a party of golfing buddies came into the resort's sports bar. From their last visit, they remembered that he knew some good stories about a famous golfer.

"Tell him to come over here," the men said. "We want him to entertain us."

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Oh my GOD, PEOPLE! Did you know that you can get a discount at CVS just by showing your AAA card? I am SO UPSET I didn't know about this before. I could have saved.
I could have saved!!!

I tried to save, but the CVS lady had never heard of such a discount. I guess it's only their special prescription deal-thingie. Ultimately, I feel a little better for knowing that I wasn't missing out.

My Burgeoning Fantasy Life
In my imaginary world where I have disposable income and I live in an area friendly to unmarried, childless twenty-somethings, and I actually work out and visit with friends and and and...
...anyway, in my imaginary world, there are things I would have that I don't have now. And lately, in order to better indulge in this fantasy life, I have been spending my downtime at work building up my Wish List at with all the items I would have in this parallel universe. The PS2 has been on my Wish List for years, but lately I've been adding PS2 GAMES to the List, which borders on the crazy. But I have reconciled that the list is, after all, my WISHES, and I wish I had games to play once I get the console I wish for. I also wish I had a computer, so I picked out a laptop and added it to the list. After some really excellent egg-white-beating last night, I added a handheld mixer to the list, too. I just realized I should add a treadmill. I wish I had one, so that's enough for it to go on the list.

Now, please understand, I certainly don't expect anyone to BUY these things for me. Things like laptops and mixers need a bit more research than a few Customer Reviews. And who would pay for the shipping on a treadmill? It's more of a therapeutic exercise. And I do recommend trying it out for yourselves.

Yes, egg-white-beating is also therapeutic, and can even lead to the making of treats, which Wish List pseudo-shopping cannot. But only one can be done at work.

Monday, April 26, 2004
Unapologetic Bathroom Update
It's that time again - the time when suddenly, all the complimentary feminine supplies disappear from their little basket in the bathroom faster than custodial services can replace them.

And, since I know you've been wondering, I have found a way to avoid a surprise flush from the automatic-flusher toilets. The sensor, luckily, is on a piece of extruding toilet equipment which makes it possible to take a length of toilet paper and drape it over the sensor until such time as one is ready for the toilet to flush, and one can remove the draped paper and flush it down with the rest.

This is an extra step, and it of course completely undermines the reason for an auto-flusher, but it beats the hell out of having to do the pants-around-the-ankles-unwanted-bidet-avoiding-shuffle required by allowing the auto-flusher to work its magic on its own. Sometimes I can hear it happen in other stalls - I hear the door close, then the flush comes WAY too soon for them to be ready for it.

Friday, April 23, 2004
I started this blog a year ago today, and I feel like should share what I've learned in a year, or how I've grown as a person, or all the things that have changed or turned out differently than I expected. Unfortunately, I haven't learned much, or grown, and things that changed were pretty much expected to do so, except maybe this crap with the car.

I started this blog as a way of giving my friends some insight into what I'm up to; what I do all day. I've found that it has been a valuable tool in that capacity: now when I see or talk to friends, I don't have to constantly re-hash what I'm up to (telling the same lame story over and over), and there's more time for me to hear about what they are up to, which is usually a cheerier, happier story, anyway.

It was around this time last year that I set a goal for myself that if I couldn't find a steady (non-temp) job (whether part- or full-time) that would cover the bills -by August-, then I would indeed have to move in with my parents, because I could barely scrape through the summer, much less another winter, without steady income. When all my interviews and applications came to naught, by the end of the summer, I had to stick to the plan and just keep temping until I moved in late October.

The new plan was to get a permanent, full-time job with a nice salary, and build up savings so I could move back to the area that I had just left, and start over. But then my car was destroyed, and I had to buy a new one, and my father talked me into spending more so the car I bought would last longer and be more reliable. So I spend thousands more than the insurance I received for the destroyed car to buy the new car. And then a couple thousand more to fix the damn thing, which kept stranding me on the way to work. And the work was supposed to become permanent, but they kept interviewing people and putting me off.

So now I am a year older and deeper in debt. And, like this time last year, I have to plan for change. I'm applying for a paralegal certification course for the summer. (My parents will loan me the tuition.) I'm moving officially in the fall, and looking for a job, but I'll be armed with a professional certification which should help substantially. I accept that it will be years before I can pursue the work I'd like to do; that's just an economic fact.

What does this mean for chemaccino year two: this time, it's personal? A year of archives means compromised anonymity. Expect that by June at the latest, there won't be as many temping-related posts (if any). But expect "paralegal school" to provide hilarious blog-fodder. Beyond that, we'll have to see what the job fairy brings.

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Funniest. search query hit. ever.

ninja decal -motorcycle -kawasaki -teenage -farley -cat -turtle

(Why -cat?)

The Small Token from the Other Agency
So, I was given one of the Small Tokens referenced in yesterday's post, from the other temp agency. It's a pint glass filled with Hershey's Kisses. Hey, free pint glass! I'm so going to drink a beer from it tonight.

This brings up another issue that I'd like to mention: Hershey Kisses taste like Crisco. Who do they think they are kidding, passing these off as chocolate? I'm very ungrateful about this "chocolate" gift, and I'm not going to eat even one of these kisses, even though I've been eating like a monster lately. I've been eating like mad. Last night, I had seconds on salad, which is kind of weird when there were leftover pork chops. But then for dessert, I had two cookies, two glasses of wine, and a hefty helping of pretzels.

I think it might be stress.

But my overall point is that no matter how hungry I get, no matter how much I eat, I cannot bring myself to eat Hershey Kisses. Well, just not the regular ones. If they dress it up with mint, almonds, or white chocolate, then it's okay. But for the most part, I eschew them in favor of ...well, anything else.

Take Your Daughter Child To Work Day
When first conceived, this concept was exciting and somewhat noble: mothers take daughters to work, to show them that women can work at jobs alongside men. By the 1990's, or therabouts, the concept of gender equality in the workplace (such as it is) had become so widespread that there wasn't as much of a need for the day. Little girls were seeing images of women and men working together in all facets of the media.

The need, or the point, for taking girls to work having disappeared, it certainly did seem unfair that girls got a day off from school when boys didn't. And thus, the more-fair taking of ALL children to work concept evolved. This meant that twice as many children were coming into the workplace as before, not to mention the increased visibility of the Day, which means that it probably has become MORE than twice as many.
That's just too many kids running around.

I remember reading some fashion mag (probably Cosmo) in 1997ish, that had an article about what they did to 'celebrate' the day. I think it was still only daughters who came in to work, but they had special programs for the girls. The littler ones made their own little magazine, and the older ones got to work together to produce an interview article that actually was published in that issue.

While it's neat-o to get to do a little project and meet new friends at Mommy or Daddy's workplace, it's just NOT the same as sitting next to your parent in a cubicle or office all day. If we want our children to see what we do, we should take them WITH US. Not drop them off at the once-a-year day-care. In fact, I've come up with a new name for the Day:

Workplace Day-Care For A Day

It's especially true today, when most of the kids running around here have been out of school for Spring Vacation this week. There are women here where I'm working who are treating the day as what it is: free day-care. And maybe this new incarnation of the Day is the next step in the battle for gender equality. So let's not get rid of these special programs. But let's call them what they are, and hope that one day they aren't so special.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Cue the dueling banjoes.
Games, games, marketing games. Of note: nobody here went to the breakfast (I don't even know where the "boardroom" is), and nobody's picked up their gift at reception.

-----Original Message-----
From: [HR Bobbsey Twin #1]
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 11:19 AM
To: [secretaries]
Subject: Staff Appreciation Day!

OfficePimp would like to invite the administrative staff of [company] to join enjoy a light breakfast in the boardroom the morning of April 21st, 10:30am, to celebrate Administrative Professional's Day! Please stop by and join your peers in celebration of all of your hard work and dedication as well as picking up valuable information and tools that are beneficial to your career. We look forward to seeing you!


-----Original Message-----
From: [HR Bobbsey Twin #1]
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 11:05 AM
To: [secretaries]
Subject: FW: Happy Administrative Professional's Day

Please see the note below.

-----Original Message-----
From: [Other Agency]
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 9:08 AM
To: [HR Bobbsey Twin #1]
Subject: Happy Administrative Professional's Day

In celebration of Administrative Professional’s Day, I will be stopping by this afternoon to deliver a small token of appreciation to you all! As I know that you are very busy, I will be leaving the gifts with [Boobalicious Non-Retiree] at the reception desk so please come by at your convenience.
[Other Agency] has been working with [company] for many years and we truly value our relationship. I want you to know that it is a pleasure to work with each and every one of you!
Enjoy your special day as it is well deserved!

Staff Appreciation Day, or what you will.
That's what they are calling it here, anyway. The Bobbsey Twins of HR came around to deliver gifts to all the secretaries this morning. If they are only going to give gifts to the secretaries, why call it Staff Appreciation? Why not just go with the more traditional Secretaries' Day, or even the more recent Administrative Professionals' Day? I mean, there are a great many jobs at this company that can be considered "staff" jobs that are generally underappreciated, but I don't see anyone handing the mailroom workers nicely-wrapped gifts of personalized stationery.

No, of course I didn't get a gift. I'm not a member of the staff here.
On the sweeter side of it, the paralegal who Betty supports gave Betty a little bouquet of roses, and it just absolutely made her day. She was so cute and happy about it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Brave New Word
There should be a word for the phenomenon of having the back of your hands get so dry from air conditioning that they actually start to feel like they are burning. I have come up with a word for this phenomenon, and I think I'm going to start using it nonchalantly around the office.
Man, it's really dry today. (wringing my hands) It's not even noon, and already I've got trogdor.
Yes, I think the perfect word for the experience of hands so dry they burn is trogdor. Yes, as in The Burninator himself. And I think that if we all work together and keep our cool, we can get people using the word trogdor so often that eventually it will make its way into a Lubriderm commercial.
See ya later, alligator. Trogdor is coming.

I never thought I'd see the day
Wow. I never thought it would happen, but it did. And in my lifetime.
They took her name off the plaque on the outside of my desk.
Naturally, I find myself wondering who did this? when? was it while I was at lunch just now, or has it been like that a few days? will they leave the space blank?

Monday, April 19, 2004
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming
Hey, remember when I used to blog about the misadventures of temping? I should get back to that. I went off on a tangent last week, because the bullshit I've been going through with my car (which I had purposefully not blogged about because it was just boring broken-car-bullshit) finally reached epic, cartoonish proportions with this last breakdown. Now I'm driving a loaner car plastered with the dealer's name/number/website. It's pretty funny. Of course, it's the Town B dealer, and I'm driving it around Town A, which means I'm not advertising to the right people. This makes it even funnier to me.


Q: Why is Tardy Marty so hardily tardy?
A: Because before she was given this job, she temped in a different department in this same company where she was the only person maintaining all the files for the department, and every morning she comes in early to clean up whatever 'mess' the subsequent temps have made of the job, and she doesn't make it up to Legal until c. 10am every day.
(To me, this sounds like she has trouble giving up the job, not that Office Pimp is putting in bad people. After all, it can be intoxicating, the power of being Lord Of The Files.)

Q: Does "Betty" laugh like Betty Rubble did, on The Flintstones?
A: Kinda, yeah. But in a more grown-up way. It's cute.

Q: When are you going to post about the elderly receptionist with the big bazoombas?
A: When I figure out how to do justice to describing the grace and majesty of a 70-something petite little-old-white-with-white-hair lady who wears at least a DD cup. How does she keep them so perky and round and firm? I really do want to ask; there must be some kind of secret to it.

Q: Are you afraid, very afraid, of this Thursday?
A: No, because they will have all sorts of special arts-n-crafts, etc. programming to keep the kids busy for Take Your Daughter Child to Work Day.

Q: Doesn't 'special programming' defeat the entire goddamn purpose of the day?
A: Absolutely, and don't think I won't blog my heart out about it.

Friday, April 16, 2004
Things just get worse before they get worse
That's a saying from a friend's mom.
Here’s what you need to know to understand the following:
I work in Town A, bfriend lives in Town B. There’s over 200 miles between them. The Possessed, Accursed Car Of Doom has broken down in both towns. bfriend is coming through Town A tonight on his way somewhere else. Town C, if you will.

adminho: I am spending the day trying not to cry
adminho: Currently, I'm transcribing a voicemail
adminho: and voicemail doesn't have a goddam PAUSE function, so I keep having to replay it.
bfriend: I know, that sucks. You have to keep listening over and over to the same shit you've already written down just to get to the rest of it.
adminho: ah. found pause, and cleaned it up.
adminho: so I can pay attention to you now.
bfriend: Hooray.
adminho: oh shit on phone w/roger at Town B Toyota
adminho: could I have your apt keys tonight?
bfriend: Huh? Why?
adminho: so I can drive up my car to drop at Town B Toyota for roger's peeps and stay over then drive rental car they provide
bfriend: Is your car working again?
adminho: ok. off with roger.
adminho: here is the CAR deal:
adminho: Town A Toyota does not know what's up with the car.
adminho: it is working now, IMO, because it dried off overnight.
adminho: they are stumped.
adminho: roger called this morning, all, "why haven't they called us? we have ideas!"
adminho: so I lit into Daniel [from Town A Toyota, where the car currently resides], like, dude, let's get the car fixed.
adminho: Daniel doesn't really want to see it go, but they've exhausted their knowledge of cars
adminho: so now roger called, saying hey, we want the car in our shop.
adminho: we think we are more likely to be able to fix it.
adminho: we have ideas.
adminho: And I'm all, hell yeah, Town A are losers
adminho: so what I kinda hafta do is pick up my car and drive it to Town B tomorrow morning
adminho: it shouldn't be raining
adminho: so, I drive it up there, and drop it off and Roger already has a 2004 Matrix reserved for me to drive at no extra cost to me.
adminho: as well as a mechanic who thinks he's seen something similar before, albeit on a Land Cruiser.
adminho: /car
bfriend: Well it sounds better than leaving it with the Town A jackasses.
adminho: I'm scared to drive it back up.
adminho: I'll have to make a sign in advance, in case there’s no cell reception:
adminho: Please Call Police To Report Breakdown
bfriend: Yeah, I can understand that. But Roger's peeps have a better chance of fixing it. They have ideas!
adminho: the way this would work best for me would be if you gave me your apt. keys so I have place to stay, and I can drive my badass Matrixed self back to Town A on Sunday and maybe catch you on the way out to return the keys
bfriend: So I would take the commuter rail out to Town A early to meet you, and then catch the same Amtrak train when it came through.
adminho: well whatever but i have to call roger to confirm.
adminho: it WILL be a beautiful day for it.
adminho: what a day for a break down
bfriend: you can confirm with Roger. I'll give you my apartment keys. I'll definitely be able to get to Town A in time to get them back from you and catch my train.
bfriend: you should stay over [in Town B] and see people
adminho: yeah, that'd be nice. I'll put a call out.

you're buying. and driving.
please respond by email.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

(According to The sun'll come out
bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow,
there'll be sun.

Just thinkin' about
my car, oh,
gave my bottom dollar for that car, oh,
now I've none.

When I'm stuck with the bill
it still
is broken,
And it strands me once more,
I roar
and saaaaaaay,
Goddamn monkeyfucker dealer mechanics, why can't they fix the car right, for chrissakes, I've been stranded on the road three times already in less than two months and every time they say they've found it and fixed it and it's okay to drive but no, it will never be okay to drive, not really, not anymore, I've been burned too many times and I wish I could get a different car because I'll never really trust this one again, even if they ever DO get around to finding the problem which, by the way, they have not figured out yet and its been in the shop an entire day this time around not to mention they had it all last week, too, from that breakdown.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
These two jokers are the highlight of my day
I spent most of the afternoon curled up deep in the library and in a book, but I wanted to check me email before I left. There are these two teenage (maybe older; but not acting it) guys sitting at the two computers on my right, and from what they are saying to one another, it seems they are in a chat room together talking with at least one other female chat room participant. I have not yet discerned whether they know her.

In library-hushed voices, they bicker...
Dude, why did you say that about me?
hey, man, stop harshin' on me..
what's that about, dumbass?
awww, what's she talking about...
why'd you go and tell her that, man?

Sadly, their time is up and they've been forced away from the terminals. I'm sorry to see them go. It was pretty funny; and just the kind of levity I needed after an update from the dealer saying my car still won't start, and they can't find the problem, and the guy whose worked there for 32 years has never seen its like, and isn't it the strangest thing?

Then he says that this car has really been a problem, huh? When it's finally fixed, we should open a bottle of champagne or something.

All I could think of was that yeah, he'll be able to live on Champagne when he's handed me the bill, and if he were to bring out a bottle at the unveiling of my fixed car, I'd probably unhinge completely and grab the bottle by the neck, smash it on the pavement, and wheel around, clutching my jagged weapon and threatening the mechanics.
Who wants some? YOU? You want some?

Let me preface by letting y'all know that I'm writing this from a public library terminal, while my car. is in. the shop. again. That's right, folks: it broke down on me this morning on the way to work. I really don't want to go into it right now, so I'm going to tell you about the coffee I had this morning instead.

So, I got towed to the dealer, and the dealer gave me a lift to the train station, and I took the train to the town where my father works, and I'm hanging out at the library down the street from his office until the dealer calls to say what's wrong, how long it will be, etc.

When I was waiting for the train, I got some coffee at a local kiosk. I had a bit of a headache, so I asked for a cappuccino with an extra shot. It was seriously strong stuff. Seriously. I mean, when I was done drinking it, the aftertaste was like the aftertaste of a cigarette. It kind of hit me like a narcotic, too. It reminds me of the way that bad batch of percoset set in on me when I had my prescription refilled after I had me wisdom teeth out a few years ago.

I'm happy to report, however, that it has not hit me as badly as the frosting did a few months back.

I don't know if it's this chair or the guy next to me, but there is some kind of B.O. issue afoot here. Too bad I left the febreze in the car.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Today has been busy, because Lawyer2 has decided to get a huge stack of papers filed into their appropriate files, and this means he brought this stack to me for filing. Like I know where they go.

So I had to go through the pile with a printout list of all the files he has, and figure out...
which papers belong in an existing file
which papers need a new file to be made
which papers I don't know where they go and I'll have to ask him about them.

THEN I can do the filing. This is the stage I am at right now; I haven't gone to file the ones that belong in an existing file yet. I'm going to. But he also figured out a way to get his expense reports done.

See, I'm supposed to do their expense reports, but since I'm not an actual employee, there's no way to give me "proxy status" or whatever. But today, he sent me his sign-on info, so I could do it for him, as him, on the computer. This is pretty great, since he's been all freaking out about not getting reimbursed. But it's kept me busy. Which is nice, actually. It's nice to be busy.

Monday, April 12, 2004
It's not you, it's me.
Informational or 'exploratory' interviews are kind of like first dates. You've heard about the guy, maybe, from friends, or you've had some sort of first encounter, but the date is the time when you get a better picture of whether this is someone you want to hang out with or not. In an exploratory interview, you learn a little more about a job, so you can decide whether you're interested or not.

Friday, I had one of these interviews by phone, and had to cut it short a bit, because we arrived at the theatre two minutes before showtime and the next Hellboy showing wasn't 'til 4pm. But more substantial than that, his description of the job made me realize in quick order that this was not a job that I wanted. And why should I miss a convenient showtime to waste his time talking about a job I knew I didn't want?

Anyway, so I put him off until today, and when I called him today, I told him that I just wasn't interested. It sounds like a great job, but not a great job for me.
I'm sure you'll make a lucky someone very happy one day.

P.S. Yes, the movie was fun and cool, but my recommendation is that EVERYONE call their local 333-FILM and listen to Mr.Moviephone say "Hellboy". He says it all serious and tough-like. It's awesome.

Thursday, April 08, 2004
She stole my scissors, I'm sure it was her she.
I looked all over for them, I even asked the temp covering for Daniela if she had seen anyone borrow my scissors, I made a mild show of where are my scissors?
I bet it was Marty. I just know it.

And people, you KNOW how I don't like my scissors stolen.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Search query site visits, by the numbers

Number of visitors who were looking for information on a certain overweight celebrity whose name rhymes with Fiercely Sally: 7

Number of searches leading to my site that include the word "tampon": 2

#1 Funniest-yet-saddest search query someone found me using, though I'm not sure how I came up: imodium overdose
I'm so sorry for you, whoever you are.

Would you like a puff pastry?
Today's corporate casual outfit has me looking a little too much like a waitstaff at a wedding or other formal function. Black pants, white button-down, and a red cardigan. It's the red cardigan that makes it. With a matching hat, I'd be a perfect bell-hop.

Mmmmm, puff pastry. Back when I wasn't living with my parents, my roommate and I would sometimes keep some assorted puff pastries in the freezer, and have them as dinner on movie night. Delicious!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Tolls taken, and the prices paid
I think I have been doing pretty well, considering the various and concurrent life-stresses I have been managing these past few months (years). But managing situations is substantially different from not having the problems at all. And all that tension has to go somewhere.

The past week or two, it's been in my jaw. I wake up to find my teeth clenched, the way they get if I'm trying to move something heavy. During the day, I'll suddenly notice my jaw clenched again, and I'll have to kind of move it around, to loosen it back up.
Today, it has a copilot: Headache. Hi, headache, long time no see. You are easy to medicate away if I get sick of you, but I'm going to keep you around a bit longer, because you are a well-known companion.

I suppose stress-related bodily complaints could be prevented or controlled through anti-anxiety medication, but I suspect that without insurance coverage, the medication is very expensive.

Even if I could afford it, I'm not sure that I would want to get rid of the clenched jaw, tension headaches, twitchy eye, and achy limbs. Without them, I probably would end up fooling myself into thinking that everything is perfectly fine.

Tardy Marty Update
When I came in this morning, my document stand was at her desk, and on my desk, in its place, was a shitty little plastic replacement. I guess she had switched out with the temp who was in for me.
When she came in (9:40, for those keeping track), she said to let her know when I would need it back.

This isn't directly rude, I guess, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. Like, it wouldn't be right for me to take her stapler and tape and just say, Oh, just let me know when you want these back. That's not the way offices work.
I wonder whether she would do this to me if I weren't a temp?

Here are two things I have but do not need today:

#1 My email account all broken down.

#2 A slice of cheesecake.

I am going to add to my already numerous problems if there continues to be cheesecake available to all in the pantry.