Archive for the ‘Office’ Category

If The Pig Fits

June 17, 2010

Okay, I’m not sure whether to get serious help or to just chuckle.

I was cleaning up some old files, pitching what I could in my never ending attempt to declutter my life, when I found this.  Presented as I found it (with a minor mod).

circa 1990? -ish?

Scanning this in, I lost some detail…

–  the curly tail was actually a piece of wire

–  the ‘mountain oysters’ were added sometime afterwards

Irrespective, I look at it now and alternately laugh at my cleverness… and consider dialing a psychiatric help line for my weirdness.

Which do you suggest?

There Oughta Be A Law

May 21, 2010

It’s Friday, people.

The weekend beckons.  The work week winds down.  Let me reiterate that… DOWN.  Not up.

One of the teams I consult with is a bit dysfunctional.  Not only the team itself, but the project that they’re working on.  As such, it gets a lot of oversight from senior management in my organization.  Today was just such a meeting.  Scheduled from 1300 – 1500… a mere two hours and a couple hours before the end of the work day, it had the feeling of not interfering with the start of my weekend.

However, I know better.

Given that the team and the project are dysfunctional, the meeting did not start on time.  Nor did it end on time.  That two hour block of time, which I knew in my heart would forever be lost to me, edged its way to four hours.

Four.  Fucking.  Hours.*

And to what end?  Nothing was really accomplished during the meeting other than “change that word ‘happy’ to ‘glad’ if you will”.  You know, real impact changes.  There was pontificating by the pompous, mouth-breathing senior managers.  There was toady-ing, sycophantic agreement from the I’m-faultless-but-know-I’m-a-mere-peon leader of the team.**

I had an appointment with Dear Friend to go to the gym to work off some of this never departing baby fat.  The scheduled time approached.  Passed.  Excessively passed.  No gym today.***

And, almost losing intelligent consciousness and feeling my brains fleeing my skull in self-defense, I noticed something.

Now, to preface, I have what is known as Hamster Bladder or “TB” (Tiny Bladder).  If I drink a cup of coffee, I end up, none to soon afterwards, feeling the urge to have to pee.  And, amazingly (call Guinness World Records), seem to pee two cups of coffee in return for the one input.  It’s not awful.  But annoying at times.

Now, I need some perspective from my readers – –

During that four hour meeting, I had to go pee at least twice honestly, having drank (drunk?) a couple water bottles before and during the meeting.  I also left another time when I didn’t have to pee just to avoid screaming over the inanity of the meeting.

Now, I know there are “pee camels” (Dear Friend being one of them).  Those are people who seem to have bladders made of cast iron.  They feel no discomfort for a long time.  Nonetheless, I was mightily impressed that, of the 13 people in the meeting****, 4 (maybe 5) of them never left the room!  For four hours, they did not have to go use the necessary room.  How?  Give me perspective people.  I know I have Hamster Bladder, but is four hours a long time or not?  Okay, maybe they were using a “Coachman’s Friend”*****.

(And, in reality, I know it can be done under duress.  Attending a concert with Dear Friend, we snagged awesome spots right at the front of the stage.  But, to do so, we had to get to that place at least two hours before our band of preference was scheduled to play (with many other bands playing beforehand).  But, the place quickly filled up.  To avoid losing my spot, and after at least two beers, I was able to avoid leaving to hit the facilities for two or three hours, yet still enjoyed the show.  It can be done.)

But, above and beyond the excursion into the bladder-tory habits of people … it’s just plain WRONG to have a meeting run that long on a Friday afternoon… especially one that sucked!

I’m glad the weekend is here…

I’m having another bourbon, thankyewvurymuch!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

*Yes, I came right home and became a tad inebriated on bourbon to forget the experience.  Why do you ask?

**…who also seems to have his wardrobe perpetually locked into the 1980s.  Even his deputy has offered to take him clothes shopping to bring him up to date.

***On a good note, Dear Friend found it necessary to skip gym as well, instead brilliantly deciding to imbibe alcoholic refreshments with members of her work tribe, washing away the detritus of their work week as well…

****And, yes, I did sit and guesstimate the salaries of the people involved in this useless goat rope of a meeting.  Horrendous waste of time and money.

*****Now, I couldn’t find a picture, but I know it used to exist.  A device with a condom like thing you put over your junk, with a tube leading to a reservoir that strapped around your leg.

Meeting Survival, Part 37a

March 31, 2010

Day 2 and 3 of the meeting are now over.

My cohort, who helped preserve my sanity (please, forgive the exaggeration) on that first day, made a wise decision.  She walked into her boss’ office and said, “If I have to sit through one more day of that useless tripe, I will end up bitching someone out after bitch slapping them.”  Her boss, just as wisely, said, “No problem, skip the rest of the meeting.”

Which begs the question, “Why isn’t GnuKid just as wise and bailing out on the class?”

“Good question,” I retort (having not torted in the first place, but still…).

My job requires that I get so many hours of training each year.  If I don’t get that many hours, I could be smacked around by those job people who do such smacking when called for.  I am woefully short of training hours, so this class is necessary if I’m to meet my goal.

So, cohort-less, I faced the last two days alone (well, except for a few well timed and needed text messages from Dear Friend).

Not too far into Day 2 of the class, I again found myself wishing to rise up and proclaim “BULLSHIT!”.  But, knowing that would only create more opportunities for me to talk and participate, scribbled furiously in my notebook my standard cautionary message – –

Words to live by...

You may notice a few doodles off to the side.  I started doodling more, just for mental self preservation.

Now, I never was good at drawing.  Art was something that just never clicked in my brain.  I can visualize what I want a picture to look like, but it never does in reality.  So, forgive the crudeness of these and just consider them a glimpse into my mind.

First came just some random scenery…

Busy hands means I keep quiet and sane

This was followed by my mind randomly firing neurons in obtuse places – –

really...i have no clue

Then I started hearing catch phrases thrown out by the instructors and started doodling whatever popped in my head there.  Here are a few examples of what came out…

“The elephant in the room”

what's with the tail?

“Bow Wave”

Ship name stolen from a cartoon I once saw

“Chomping at the bit”

sometimes a drill bit is just a drill bit

“No perfect matches”

I need professional help

and “Getting over the hump”

yes, that's supposed to be a camel.

I survived the class.  It’s done.  My brain is still semi-intact, thanks to these diversionary tactics.

Hmmm… I recall doing this many years ago.  Maybe I should scan a couple of those in and share here?

Meeting Survival, Part 37

March 29, 2010

While one of you is pretending to work in an exotic locale (you know who you are), I was condemned to the hell of enjoying a lively training session with one of the teams that I consult.  The trainers, hired in from a university, theoretically had a ‘better’ way of doing business.  Our bosses were convinced that this was true and forced us to attend.

It quickly became apparent that these trainers had nothing really new to say.  That, coupled with the team leader’s propensity to ramble endlessly, enjoying the sound of his own voice, led me to start to wander off in my mind (yes, a short and dangerous trip, that).  Yes, I was brought back occasionally to retort when the trainers or the resident narcissist team leader said something stupid or, more often, blatantly apparent to all of us.  I felt I needed to defend the team, saying that we, indeed, did do our job correctly, so get off our fucking backs thankyewverymuch!  I also learned that my attempts at defense were doing nothing but prolonging the agony of the meeting.

Sitting next to me was the deputy adjacent assistant team leader…one of the more functional people on the team.  I felt I needed to share my pain with her, as I knew she was in pain as well.

First, I had to share one of my scribblings in my organizer – –

Slammed solid to the bottom

After one of my wasted attempts at defending the team, I also recalled a helpful piece of advice that I’d given myself in other interminable meetings.  That advice to myself?

Saved me in many a meeting

That simple message to myself has saved me much anxiety.  The less I talk, the less I get frustrated by the lunacy.  To emphasize that point to myself in this meeting, I then took to doodling in the class a subtly gentle reminder to myself – –

A calligrapher I am not...

My cohort next to me obviously was not feeling the pain and felt the meeting was going well, as she doodled the following – –

Okay, it did make me smile...for a moment

But, the inexorable pressure of listening to the drivel of the team leader and the trainers, finally – –

Hints of lunacy...

[sniffle]  It really gets to you… my little cohort is all meeting-grown up!

Two days left to suffer through…

Random Restroom Reflections

January 20, 2010

Had an experience in the men’s room today that got me thinking.

Now, before all you rude and crude people (you know who you are) start chomping at the bit to comment, no, I’m not talking the Congressman Craig kind of scenario.

I’m just going to throw out some restroom observations… random neurons firing off.

There are no real rules and etiquette for behavior in public restrooms.  Some have written on it, but what’s acceptable in one part of the country may not be acceptable in another.  And, of course, cross country borders and all bets are off on what’s okay (for example, walking into a Belgian restroom to take a stand at the urinal…while the cleaning lady was nonchalantly scrubbing away nearby).

So, first, the toilet – –

Now get all comfortable sitting down...

The Poo Interrupter: This guy wants to hold a conversation while you’re in mid-deuce.  We’re talking co-workers here.  Without getting into the psychology of what horrible emotional damage potty training did to me us all, does anyone else find it mildly disturbing to be holding a discussion punctuated by grunts, escaping body gasses, and, not to mention (which I am anyway), the occasional sounds of “the kids being dropped off at the pool”?  If this were a loved one, it may be a bit different, but when I’m safely athroned in my stall, I’d sort of like some privacy.  Talking can wait for the water cooler.  This is not to say that my co-workers should wait on me to finish before telling me the building is on fire and I should skedaddle out of there or ask if I’ve got today’s paper in my stall or some such.  I’m not a total recluse there.

Now, I also know that there are such people as “Nervous Poo-ers” who’s butt hole clenches up tighter than Joan River’s face  if anybody tries talking to them while on the toilet.  I’m not one of those, but if you were to get a Poo Interrupter talking to a Nervous Poo-er?  There could be some physical damage done there.

The Toilet Yakker: A slightly different version of the first one (or, perhaps, it is the first one who doesn’t care when and where he yaks).  This is the guy who wants to carry on a conversation while he’s in mid-deuce.  Okay, maybe there is an intriguing psychological study in this about how toilet training affects restroom comfort.  Hmmm…

–        The recent example of this one I ran into was not, thankfully, talking to me.  However, he WAS talking on his cell phone (sounded like a business call, too).  I missed my chance to make all kinds of noise to interrupt – like grunting loudly, flushing often, making a loud “Phew!”… I’ll be better prepared next time.

Next, the urinals – –

don’t stand TOO closely

Which urinal to stand at? There have been many well written article on this, so I won’t linger.  Some guys go to the first available.  Some go to the one offering the most separation from the next nearest guy.  One guy I know purposely takes the middle one so he maximizes his chances for company (and, no, I’ve no clue if he has wandering eyes or not).

How to stand at the urinal? This is a weird one.  Now, I’m not really an OCD germaphobe, but there’ve been some instances that just make me go “eww”.  I’ve seen a guy who felt he had to hold onto the urinal plumbing.  More common, are the guys who put one, or even both, hands up against the wall.  And, lately with the explosion of smartphones?   Guys who use both hands to text on their phones (sort of a e-version of the Toilet Yakker?).   I hope those last guys have good aim.

Like I said…just random observations.  No real moral to this story.  No resolutions.  No dramatic findings.  Just a few thoughts.

I’m just sayin’…

Inner Voice, Released

January 14, 2010

Most of us have an inner dialogue (or, good Lord, I hope I’m not the only one).  We also have the filter that let’s us say the appropriate thing in any given situation, despite what we’re really thinking.  But there are times that filter fails.  Today was just such a day.

Tired and stressed by life and work, I found myself having to attend a later afternoon meeting.  I knew the guy talking would be long-winded and unlikely to finish anywhere near my usual time to go home, so was looking at a long and late day.

Waiting for the meeting to start, I was checking out who else was around.  I noticed the boss of the guy giving the presentation on the other side of the room.  I also noticed that she had her thumb all wrapped up in surgical gauze.  Knowing there was time before the meeting started, I wandered over and inquired if she stuck her thumb in something, but didn’t pull out a plum (I can be so clever sometimes, can’t I).

She allowed as how she’d cut her thumb, quite badly, on a sharp piece of metal in a poorly opened food can.  Then she proceeded to tell me that the cut didn’t hurt as much as when they went in later to remove her thumbnail because it was infected.  Ewww.  Continuing, she started talking about how you knew some of the thumb was infected and how some wasn’t (“…if it looks like raw hamburger, it’s okay…”).  Ewwww some more!  And she kept talking about it…

Now, I’m not a real queasy kind of guy usually, but for some reason, this started to get to me.  Since she is of an equivalent level of my supervisor, I felt I couldn’t just walk away, but had to say something.  Looking to be clever again, my mind formulated a quip that would get a chuckle and allow me to make a calm exit from the conversation.  I thought I’d say something like, “My, this discussion makes you very attractive to me.”  Not really politically correct, but not awful.

What really came out?

GnuKid: “My, but you are one damn, fine sexy bitch!”

Mortified, of course

I knew as soon as it rolled off my lips, that I’d screwed up royally.  Luckily, one of the other ladies who was listening in burst out laughing and said, “Well, when he puts it like that, how can you get mad?”

Tail between my legs, I slunk back to my seat on the other side of the room.

Just waiting for tomorrow to see when I get the phone call from my boss demanding an explanation.

Aw, crap…

Telling It Like It Is

January 13, 2010

I work with some pretty great people.  And, unfortunately, with some not-so-great.  But, we try and be professional with each other and respect our individual skills and limitations.

…mostly…

Every now and again, the tension just builds up and someone will let fly with their true feelings about other office mates.  Now this has been done in a more private forums — small, confidante groups — and not out loud in one of our group meetings.

Today was one such day that those tensions got the best of one of us.

We’ve been a tad overloaded of late by a boss who doesn’t know how to say “NO!” to unreasonable requests…well, hell, to ANY request it seems…but there are those of us who still want to make sure that we provide quality support to our customers that we provide consultation for.  So we worry when an important customer comes in and has to be assigned one of our less experienced and capable consultants.

One of our most functional and capable guys, Big Dan, came to me to ask about a meeting run by EB, a good-hearted, but not too competent consultant on our team.

==–==–==

Big Dan: Listen, Hoss*, will you be supporting the consultation meeting EB is leading?   I only ask that because I’m looking into EB’s eyes and staring all the way to the back of his skull.

==–==–==

Now THAT was an elegant and descriptive way of saying there doesn’t seem to be a brain in EB’s head.

I’m going to have to start listening more closely to the gems coming from Big Dan (and, of course, will share here).

…and…I wonder what they’re saying about me… [chuckle]…

=-=-=-=-=-=

*Okay, he calls most every guy in the office “Hoss”, but I still get a kick out of it when he calls me that.