Archive for the ‘The Office’ Category

Y’all, I’m too tired to be funny.

September 8, 2006

It’s Friday, and the only thing I can think of to blog about is the fact that it’s Friday. I went out last night with some friends after work, and went to bed after 12, so do you think when my supervisor called me at 5:30, over an hour before my usual waking time, while it was still dark outside, to ask me to come to work an hour early, that I was a) thrilled, or b) not thrilled, or c) all of the above.

Answer: b) Not Thrilled.

Interestingly (or, actually, not interestingly, now that I re-read this), I have been less tired than usual this week, and have been going to bed at 12 instead of my usual 11, yet waking up more refreshed. However, I have a feeling my winning streak is over. Today I’m tired, restless and irritable, and am counting the minutes (11!) until I can go to lunch! And I get to eat with my friend Virginia today, who only works on Fridays, which is a big deal, because usually we all have to stagger our lunches, and I go all by myself, every day, day in and day out, all by my lonely little self. So today Virginia and I are going to Chili’s, and I’m going to get some kind of delicious chicken with some tasty side dishes, and I would get a celebratory cocktail, but if I did I would surely fall asleep at my desk after lunch.

Sometimes when I write stuff like that I feel very much like I’m a young adult working in an office. That makes me chuckle to myself. When I got my very first office job a few years ago as a travel agent, I would walk through the office and think, “Haha, I’m in the breakroom! Hahaha!” “Haha, here I am in the mailroom! I’m making copies! Hahaha, I’m using the FedEx machine! Oh, man, this is too much.” I totally felt like the target audience for “Cosmopolitan” magazine, like in those articles they would always write about, like, “How to Avoid Nasty Office Gossip,” or “Which clothes go seamlessly from office to happy hour?” I was all, “That’s me now! Hahaha, What a hoot!”

3 years later, I have to say, a bit of the novelty has worn off, and by “a bit” I mean like 99%, but there are times I still look at myself and have a good chuckle, because I’m just such an f-ing cliche right now. I’m that girl in that movie, the tired one, sitting at her desk counting the minutes! Oh yes, that’s me! Isn’t life a lark! It’s a lark!

And now it’s time for lunch!

Toilets 2, Me 0

August 30, 2006

UM…. Am I in Pergatory? My worst nightmare is coming true. I was peeing in my favorite bathroom stall at the office yesterday (for information on which one is my favorite and why, see Appendix A), and mid-pee, what do you think happened? Yes. It flushed itself. I was all, “Wha…???” because as you may or may not know, one of the reasons I took this job in the first place was because the office did NOT have automatic flush toilets. If you’re unfamiliar with my stance on these evil, wicked beasts, please refer back to this blentry.

Angry Toilet
Apparently I go on vacation and everything goes to pot around here (no pun intended). Adding insult to injury, I discovered that an entire bag of UNexpired yogurts I had in the fridge had been thrown out while I was away. Argh!

So anyway, they’ve replaced my favorite manual-flush toilet with an evil automatic one. I don’t know if they’re changing all of them and just starting with one, or just changing the one, but I do know this f-ing sucks, and I may have to start job-hunting again.

Appendix A: OK, so there are four stalls in the ladies’ room. The last one, the big handicapped one, is the worst, because the toilet seat sits up on stilts, causing a big gap between the seat and the rim, and when you pee, unless you concentrate very hard, your pee shoots out the front of the toilet and gets you, the floor, and everything wet, with pee. All the women here seem to have made that mistake once, and God willing, only once.

The first stall has horrible water pressure, and if you use a toilet seat cover and/or any toilet paper at all, which most of us do, it all creates a tight ball that refuses to flush and just rolls around in the hole, even if you flush it over and over.

The second stall is not ideal because, and this may get complicated, but hear me out here: Since the last one is by far the worst, nobody wants to use it. If you’re in the second stall and someone else comes in, she is almost definitely going to choose the first or third stall, thus settling in right next to you. Some poeple don’t mind this, but I get stage fright when someone is too close to me and find it nearly impossible to pee, try as I might, and you can just forget anything else (not that I do anything else, Jeff, don’t worry, girls don’t go #2, least of all me). Same goes for people talking to me while I’m in the stall. If you ask me, it’s common sense that conversation should end when the stall door closes.

The point is, the only really desirable stall, the one that used to offer me a peaceful sanctuary of relaxation, has now been turned into something that will only infuriate me and cause me stress and nervous breakdowns. Why is life so cruel?!!!

UPDATE: Well, after someone read this blentry he was totally incredulous about my stage fright comment, and in retrospect I may have been exaggerating a little (ME???). Usually I can pee fine with someone next door, unless they’re talking to me. I really do find it impossible to carry on a conversation and pee at the same time. Chalk it up to my not being the best multi-tasker. But really it’s the poo thing that gets me (which, again, Jeff, I do NOT do, I’m just saying I imagine if I did it would be difficult to do so with someone in the next stall). The worst is when two people (not me) are sitting in stalls next to each other, and we’re they’re totally silent and can hear each other breathing, each one waiting for the other to finish and flush so she can let the poo make the noise it makes when it lands in the water. I mean, not that I’m familiar with that; I’m just saying.

Pop Quiz, Hotshot:

July 27, 2006

You start to step onto the elevator at your office building, but it smells like a giant fart. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO??????

****

You’ve just arrived to work and innocently walk into the elevator, when you are assaulted with a stank most foul, an overpowering, dizzying stank. You immediately do a 180 and stand there weighing your options. It’s almost 8 AM, and you don’t have time to walk up the stairs to the 10th floor, and plus you don’t want to start off your day all sweaty from the exercise.

You can’t push the button to call another elevator, because this one is sitting with the doors open, and until it goes up, none of the others will open.

The last thing you would ever do is get IN the elevator and take it upstairs, because a) You’re not sure if you can hold your breath until the 10th floor, and even if you can, this is the type of fart that will probably stick to your clothes and hair and follow you around all day; And b) If someone else gets on the elevator at another floor, they’ll think YOU are the perpetrator!!! So…

WHAT DO YOU DO???

***

In a moment, the fog created by inhaling the toxic fumes clears, and your brilliant instincts return. You hold your breath, rush into the elevator, and push “8,” then run back out. This will get it as far away as possible from you on the ground floor without getting it too close to the 10th floor, because you’re pretty sure the smell would carry up through the elevator shaft and permeate your entire office floor, making your office shut down for the day, thus causing the downfall of the entire company.

Once that elevator is safely headed up to the poor, unsuspecting 8th floor (snicker), you call another elevator, step inside, take a deep breath, and inhale the fresh air of your genius.

Your Breath Smells… Musky

July 20, 2006

I’ve decided that the “Wall Street Cafe” downstairs in my office building buys all their food at a big discount warehouse that sells things nobody else wants. Like, they have Starburst, but only the tropical flavors. And they have Orbit gum, but only the two strangest flavors: citrus and sweet mint. I am actually quite fond of sweet mint, but that is a sheer coincidence. They also have Eclipse gum, but only “Cinnamon Inferno.” No other flavors. Personally, I do not want to put anything with the name “Inferno” into my mouth, much less chew on it for an hour. Yikes! They have two other brands of cinnamon-only gum, and then you stumble across the Beechies. Yes, the brand of gum called Beechies. The flavors are: strawberry (normal), violet (not normal — I smelled it, and it smells like a Glade Plug-In), Apricot Passion (didn’t smell this one), and the most baffling of all: Musk. Do you think I’m making this up? I’m not, and to prove it, I took a photograph:

Stuff2 003.jpg

I smelled this Musk gum, and as the name describes, it smells like cheap drugstore cologne mixed with a hint of B.O. Why, oh why would anyone want to put something that tastes like an awkward adolescent boy into their mouth? WTF?? Oh, and did you notice the “Stride” gum on the top left? Stride?? Have y’all ever heard of that? I might get confused and think I was at the 99-cent store, but unfortunately all of these things cost more than 99 cents.

OK, moving on: If you want some Corn Nuts, go to the Wall Street Cafe downstairs in my building, and you can get every flavor ever created. Surprisingly, many of these are actually missing, meaning people eat them. Even more surprisingly, the “chili picante” flavor (far right) seems especially popular.
Corn Nuts

I would say about 95% of the Wall Street Cafe consists of weird junk food. They even have several flavors of Warheads candy, which I’m pretty sure I haven’t eaten since I was 14. Is this an office building or a high school football game concession stand? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

In fact, you know what it reminds me of? When I was in middle school, they built a supermarket nearby called the “Grocery Outlet.” My friend Devin aptly called it the “Groce-Out” for short. Here they sold food that was expired, dented, usually stale, and otherwise unappealing to everyone but my mother and people just like her. Somehow the moms thought it was the best thing to hit Asheville, North Carolina, and that it would be a good idea to drag their children along for two-hour-long shopping trips.

Anyway, I’m tempted to get a pack of the musk gum just to let you know what it’s like to chew on someone’s deodorant. If I get the courage I’ll keep you posted.

Just to Make Things Complicated

July 7, 2006

They switched our phone system at work. The new phone system requires us to dial “8″ to get an outside line. Eight. Not nine, Eight. Every other phone system in the entire universe requires you to dial 9. Why did this phone company choose eight? Did someone get a patent or a copyright on 9? Or was this company just trying to be different? Are they trying to be hip and cool? Avant-garde? Ooooooh, y’all are soooooooo cooool, because you picked 8 instead of 9 . You guys are soooooooooo, like, un-mainstream. You’re really sticking it to the man, dudes.

Every time I pick up my phone I dial 9. This has been going on for about a week. Every time. I think once maybe I remembered to hit 8 first, but every single other time I have first hit 9. Do I think I will ever learn to use 8? Probably not. And even if I do, the next time I’m using a normal phone where you have to dial nine, I will inevitably first hit 8. Jerks.

Heed My Warning!

June 28, 2006

Pointy shoes cause ugly feet! And how do you walk in those things?

pointyshoes.jpg

The other day I saw someone in my office literally hobbling across the floor. She could barely lift her feet and was kind of sliding them across the carpet, pumping her arms violently to propel her forward. Observation: When you can’t walk in your shoes, your shoes are not serving their purpose. Something is wrong here! Everywhere you look, a woman is wearing pointy shoes. Don’t y’all know!? You’re giving yourselves bunions! Gross! And if you really, really look at the shoes, they’re ugly — ranging from kind of ugly to really really ugly. How did they ever become trendy?!

Pointy shoes are so weird looking. They look like something evil dragon creatures would wear, and they make your foot look twice as long as it is. What annoys me is that at work, in order to adhere to the dress code you pretty much have to wear uncomfortable shoes — which is why I rarely adhere to it completely. It’s funny because most people in my department pretty much always wear just what we can squeak by with. We’re all way on the casual side of business casual. But over in the sales department, you’d be hard-pressed to find a round-toed shoe. Even last week on “Casual Friday” (that phrase will always make me shudder), I saw someone in sales wearing jeans and pointy black shoes! She can’t even give her feet a rest for one day, when we’re actually allowed to wear sneakers! I shiver to think of all those women’s feet over in that department. I’ll probably start having nightmares of them all removing their shoes and taking off in flight after me with their dragon feet, bony talons ready to scrape off my face.

Don’t get me wrong — I know they, like most people in sales-type and many other type jobs, have gotten pressure from “above” to dress all business like. What sucks is that somehow for women, smart, professional outfits include high heels only, usually pointy. If you see a woman in a great suit and flats, she automatically seems less professional than one in heels. What the f?

I love cute shoes as much as the next girl, and in many cases, more. But I have one policy I try to stick to: If I have to choose between cute shoes and cute feet, I choose cute feet. I actually bought the cutest pair of shoes ever — these:

Seychelles1.jpgseychelles3.jpg

Aren’t they cute? And although they adhered to my no-pointy rule, they still squished my toes all up. So I took them back. I didn’t even get my money back; I got a store credit, which will be very hard to use because it was a tiny store, and that was the only pair in there that I really liked. But those are the breaks, Man. When I’m 65 years old I won’t miss those cute shoes or that seventy bucks, but I will be glad my feet aren’t all deformed like nasty monkey claws.

I think I have my mom to thank for my foot-care consciousness. When I was little I always wanted to wear slip-on flats instead of mary janes, and my mom would not let me, because she said they would slip up and down on my ankle and cause callouses on the back of my heels like hers. For some reason I thought straps across shoes were sooooo four years old, and I was five now, and if I could only wear shoes without straps I would be cool. But now I’m glad I didn’t, because my heels are callous free!

It all goes to show that we have to think about our futures, Ladies! Finding cute shoes that won’t ruin our feet is hard, but it can be done. And just think: We’ll be able to walk, both now and when we’re old! Yay!

A Typical Workday Conversation

June 20, 2006

marcymint23: fakescreenname1: so there was this client yesterday who when i told her (at 5pm when she called) that her edgar would be filed tomorrow said 'You make me want to stand on my desk and scream'

fakescreenname2: was it Linda? she's ridiculous. i dealt w/ her yesterday, too

fakescreenname2: yesterday was like the day from hell

marcymint23: i'm so glad i have mondays off. i always get the impression mondays are worse than jumping into a lake of angry scorpions.

fakescreenname2: yes, times 10

marcymint23: like, mutant, overgrown angry scorpions?

fakescreenname2: on PMS

marcymint23: LOL

Is It Opposite Day?

May 16, 2006

I saw this sign in the cafe downstairs in my office building.  "Mmmm," I thought. "I would like some hot, fresh soup!" 

soup_resized.jpg

Then I looked at the soup.

soup_ew_resized.jpg

Hmmmm.

It’s a Good Thing “Dorky-Chic” Is Coming Back In

May 5, 2006

Just now I kind of jogged / trotted / power-walked to the bathroom, because: a. I had to pee pretty badly,and b. I am all jacked up on a big thing of tea I just drank.  I drink caffeine only often enough so that when I do, in any form, I get super jumpy and jittery, with energy to spare – so anyway, as I was trotting to the bathroom I thought about power walking, and how dorky it looks.

When I was younger, sometimes I would go on walks around the neighborhood with my mom, and she would always do that really ridiculous power-walking thing where you take really long steps, pump your arms like you're a jogger on speed, and swing your butt wildly back and forth.  It's a good workout, because it's a lot of high-powered dorkiness, all concentrated into one fluid motion.  I used to get all embarassed and loudly whisper, "Mom! Stop it!  That is soooo embarrassing!"

Then the summer after 8th grade I decided to do the Junior Olympics for track & field.  This is the part where you're all impressed, like, "Oooh, Jr. Olympics? Marcy, I had no idea you were such an athlete!"  And now here's the part where I come clean and admit that although I'd like you to go on thinking I was a star athlete in middle school, no, junior olympics was nothing to write home about, pretty much anyone could do it.  I did it because some of my friends did, and it was a good way to go socialize with them during the day rather than being made to do chores around the house. 

So anyway, we were at a meet one Saturday afternoon, and my events — the 800m and the high jump — were already done, and no, I hadn't won anything, especially not in high jump, I don't know why they always made me do that event, I was terrible at it.  I've never been very springy, and half the time I didn't jump at all because I was scared of hitting the bar — ouch!  I would just run at it, then scutter to a stop, then go back and try again, over and over until I either closed my eyes and threw my body directly into the bar or just got disqualified for too many false starts. 

But anyway, I had already finished not winning those two events when my coach came over to my friend Cherie and me and told us he had entered us in the race walk, because nobody else was registered in our division, meaning we would automatically win first and second place.  Was winning Race Walk a good thing or a bad thing?  Winning is usually a good thing, but I think the fact that it was race walk more than cancelled out anything "cool" about winning, not to mention that to win we didn't even have to beat anyone.  Well, it didn't matter, because our coach had already registered us, so we had to do it; we race-walked a whole mile, and it HURT!  Not only does that exercise look ridiculous, it uses muscles in the front of your shins that you never ever use for any other activity.  The rule with race walk is that you must have at least one foot on the ground at all times.  I've never wanted to run so badly in my life!  But we finished the race, giggling embarrassedly the whole time, and counted our steps up to the finish line so we would tie for first place: "One, two, three, STEP."  And we both got blue ribbons, which looked impressive until you turned them over and saw that the event was "Who can most quickly complete the ridiculous mom-walk."

I.Am.Starving.

May 5, 2006

Why do I keep buying those microwave Lean Cuisine meals?  They taste delicious, but they do not make me any less hungry than I was prior to eating them.  I'm serious — I would expect them not necessarily to fill me up, because it's not a lot of food, volume wise.  But I sat here eating one today and I literally felt NO less hungry after I finished eating.  I was still every single bit as hungry as before.  Now I'm in a tough situation, because Jeff is taking me out to dinner tonight at Lola's, which we used to go to all the time but haven't in a while, and I plan to eat a lot of food, including their amazing mac & cheese, and also to drink my favorite alcoholic beverage of all time, their canteloupe martini.  However, I'm starving to death now!  Do I eat something now and risk not being hungry enough later?  Or do I sit here wasting away until dinnertime, which by the time we're eating will be 8:30 at the earliest?  At least I'll be a cheap date!  I'll probably be drunk after one martini!

Cheers to that!

By the way, I just re-read this post and realized that a huge number of my blentries are about food.  I'm going to have to create a food category!

I Am Smarter Than Myself

May 3, 2006

In the kitchen at work, there's a big whiteboard on one wall.  Sometimes when I'm microwaving something in there, I draw on the whiteboard to pass the time.  For example, I've drawn two cups of coffee over the last few weeks, which no one has erased yet: one in an old-fashioned tea-cup or restaurant-style coffee cup, the other in a mug with the company logo on it.

On Friday I played tic-tac-toe with myself, and do you know, I beat myself??  I was sure it would be the cat's game, but I ended up winning.  And losing.  I up and outsmarted myself!  Well.  Wonders never cease. 

All Must Heed the Traffic Cop

April 25, 2006

You will never believe what they're doing at my office building. When you pull up to the entrance to the parking structure, there's a 3-way stop sign, and speed bumps at each sign. But apparently that wasn't enough, because now they have a traffic cop there, wearing a smart suit and white gloves! As I approached the stop sign today he held up a white glove and gave me an admonishing look, as though saying, "I emplore you to slow down and come to a stop, Madam."

Wow, a real live, white-gloved traffic cop. It reminds me of a song I used to play on the piano when I was little, from John Thompson's First Grade Book, that went like this:

Traffic Go, Traffic Stop!
All must heed the Traffic Cop!
When I'm grown, I shall be
Just as fine a cop as he!

It was a jolly little song which I quite enjoyed playing. That was a great songbook, come to think of it. It also included such favorites as "Runaway River" and "Swans on the Lake."  And OH my goodness, if you thought this entry couldn't get any better, you were wrong!  I have found on Amazon.com an excerpt out of John Thompson's First Grade Book, and Lo!  Click four times on the right arrow and you will come face to face with none other than "The Traffic Cop"!  It is better than I could have imagined!  And don't forget to enjoy the beautiful illustrations on all the pages.  As a super extra bonus, the aforementioned "Runaway River" is also one of the excerpts for you to enjoy.  Clearly, they have chosen a "best of" selection of songs.

This is turning out to be a fine day indeed.

 *Amendment, 4/27/06: I realize now that I didn't make this clear, and this is an important bit of information: The traffic cop does not seem to be an actual policeman.  He is simply a man in a suit with white gloves who makes "stop" and "OK, go" signs with his white gloves. 

Whereby I Point the Smoking Car Gun Toward My Head and Pull the Trigger

April 23, 2006

And bubbles come out!  Haha, Got You!  Really, though, get this: It wasn't a belt that had slipped loose.  It was the water pump. and the timing belt. and the thermostat. and about five other things, ringing up a grand total of… fourteen hundred dollars.  That's $1400.  One thousand, four hundred smackers.  In case you didn't hear me, I'll tell you once more that the repairs for my car cost one four zero zero.  1400.  At least I saved money on gas by getting rides to and from work all week.  I will need those pennies to buy myself food, as my bank account is now sadly much emptier than it was last week at this time. 

I make it sound bad for dramatic effect, but in truth this hasn't been much of a hardship at all, and for that I'm extremely thankful.  I've gotten rides to work, my dad helped me foot the bill (although I still forked over a healthy chunk myself, mind you), and I'm so relieved that I was close to work when it happened.  In any case, it is humbling to realize that although I may think of myself as totally independent, in truth I rely on people a lot.  And yet, realizing that those people are there to help, are happy to help, that I have that support system, is liberating.  It's a pretty amazing paradox, I think.  So maybe it's good to fall a little sometimes, just so we can feel the safety net that is right there, ready to catch us, and we can be grateful.

The Smoking Gun (Car)

April 19, 2006

So, on my way to work this morning, thankfully at a red light right outside my office building, my car suddenly started to squeal and whine, like “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” and stinky, burning smoke (as opposed to non-burning smoke) started billowing out of the hood. At first I thought it was someone else, because my car is reliable, dammit! My car is never the smoking, screetching car. But this time it was, and I was like, “Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.” And I turned it off, and I was in the lane going straight, but the left turn lane next to me got a green arrow, so I turned my car back on and leaned out the window and looked as pitiful as possible until a truck let me turn left in front of him, and I went in the side entrance of my building and parked, and grabbed my stuff and got the hell out of there in case the car was planning to catch on fire. It didn’t, though I guess I wouldn’t know because I didn’t stick around to find out, but anyway, wow, that was scary, and I’m so glad I was already almost here or I would be stuck somewhere in maybe-not-the-worst-but-certainly-not-the-best-either part of town, waiting for AAA and having no idea where to tell AAA to tow me. But instead I’m at work making money, which will surely come in handy for whatever repairs will need to be done, and waiting for my co-worker Steve to give me the name of his trustworthy mechanic, and it can hopefully all be taken care of while I’m here, although I’m not crossing my fingers. Steve said it sounded like a belt had slipped loose, and I hope that’s all it is, because I don’t exactly have a new car budget set aside. And interestingly, I just got an oil change last weekend. Hmmmm….. could Jiffy Lube have done this? In any case, here we are, and there you go. I feel like such a young adult. A young woman caught in the rat race, working an office job and dealing with car problems. It’s like an initiation into the American Experience. Gross.

Where Are My W-2s?

April 14, 2006

I have three of them. One from my last job, then another one from that same job, because I guess they messed up on the first one, and one from my current job. Every time I got one in the mail I was sure to put it in a "safe place" where I would be sure to find it when I needed it. I was also determined to do my taxes early this year, and for the first time in history, not wait until the very last possible minute. Ha. Ha. Ha.

And so begins the annual search for the W-2s and last-minute scramble to file my taxes. And yet instead of commencing searching or cooking myself a healthy dinner, two things I need to do, I am instead typing this blentry and absentmindedly stuffing Reese's pieces into my mouth.

Can we just all take a minute to pat me on the back for being the World's Best Procrastinator?

Thanks. I do what I can (modest smile).

**OK, I actually wrote this post two nights ago (yet procrastinated posting it) and have since found my W-2s.  Have I filed my taxes?  Well… not exactly.  I did start… and technically I have until Monday.  So it appears I have topped even my own ability to procrastinate.  Mwahahahaha!  I showed me!