Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Sad Soul on the PA

There’s always that one person in your office that’s on the PA way too much. Announcing phone calls, forgets to hang up the line, the one who laughs really hard or talks RIGHT against the phone so you can hear their haggard breathing from having walked up the stairs.

There’s also the sad soul.
The voice of a man or woman that comes on and behind it hides all the tones of sadness. Not happy with their job, or marriage or just disappointed with their life. There’s always one at the office.

Luckily here it’s all rolled into one; the lifer in customer service. Or well, one of the lifers.
 She’s a ‘round’ woman, so says the girl who’s a little ‘round’ herself. But like, really round and sounds round. She breaths so hard into the phone and when she goes on that some of our phone receivers crack out. Then there’s the tension, anger and underlying sadness mingled together in a sloppy insipid soup. You don’t even get this sort of strained attempt of emotion when listening to that stupid sad CSI music; you know the one where they uncover the dead body of a young woman that died for all the wrong reasons and one of the cast is all sad-face because THIS ONE really grinds their gears.

Like really depressing tones you just can’t miss and sometimes I think all of us in the office take a moment to mourn her, until we all remember the way she blares over the PA in the morning stifling sympathy as we all wince with minor headaches.

Then there’s radio voice guy. No explanation required. Countered with angry middle-eastern VP, impossible to understand Mediterranean Zibby (real name, super nice sweet man), younger female co-worker who is afraid to use it and older male co-worker who doesn’t know how and gets cute younger one to do it for him.

Oh how we have our PA atrocity diversity nailed.
I’m the girl with the slight lisp. I pronounce my s’s a little strong. I’m sure it drives everyone mad! But that’s for another day I think.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stealth Tips for Going Online at Work...

...when you shouldn't.

I don’t know about you, but I am ‘not permitted’ to be online while at work. This has resulted into hours of sneaking and boredom trying to find a way into the interwebs to satisfy my need to be connected.
At all times.

So I thought, I could pass on some tips! For sneaky Ninja like surfing to hopefully get you through the day of mindless day job tasks.

1.Don’t get caught. 
Seems obvious? Yeah, not so much. Just because you think you’re not caught, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. I recently was pulled in for a ‘meeting’ where the internet policy was run by me again. Not for Twitter or Facebook (which I did scam) but for Weather Network and LinkedIn, sites that I would think wouldn’t be work inappropriate.
But I didn’t know I was caught. I continued to use, continued to head online and check updates until this meeting. Now I’m more wary. Still go online (it’s an addiction) but much more cautious.

2.Rotate Monitor.
If you’re lucky enough to be in your own office GOLDEN! If you’re not, this simply technique will help in keeping your free from awkward internet usage meetings (unless they’re tracking you – then you’re fucked). It’s simple too, just pretend to reorganize your desk. Move your in Tray so you HAVE to move your monitor to face away from any openings.
I unfortunately, am right by the entrance/exit. My cubicle leaves only one spot for a monitor which is a perfect viewing station for ANYONE walking by. Despite that, I’ve gone 1.5 years without getting caught online. Or at least without anyone giving a damn.

3. Windowed view.
Make your interwebs as small as possible. If you’re talking just on msn have just that window available. If you’re on twitter, minimize so it looks like a small section on your screen. THEN when someone walks by you can click elsewhere and what you were doing will disappear instantly. It makes less of a visual distraction than if you minimize a huge screen.

4. Type into word before typing into a web browser.
They don’t expect you to be typing in word, but they also can’t often tell the difference when walking by between word and an email. SO type all your business in one area (I’m typing into word as we speak!) and then past it later. When you have the opportune time. This also helps with spelling if you’re a fan of spell check.

5. Cell Phone Interwebs
This is all hypothetical but I can’t wait until it’s not: get a cell phone with internet capabilities. That way you can ‘go out for a smoke’, ‘get some fresh air’ or ‘take a piss’ and you too can surf the web on your mobile device. Worst case is they ask you to put your cell away. Just be sure that you do it out of sight, if you do it at your desk without reason to check at your desk (I don’t have my work email sent to a Blackberry and never will while here) than you’re a target for a rules and regulations smack down!

6. Company Website
If you need to be online at all, or if you can scam it off as [art of your job, just be sure to always have one of the tabs set to the company website. THAT way you can quickly switch tabs to the right website when someone walks up and say ‘Oh hey, sorry one sec. Just checking (insert Bullshit here) on the website. I can never remember’. You’re golden.

Moral of the story:
Don’t go mad at your job, but don’t get fired for stupid things.
Despite really hating the fact that they’re watching our office really closely for internet usage and violations of contract, blah blah blah, I need this job for now and won’t f-it up to post nonsense on twitter. Nor should you.

However if you can get away with it, JAWESOME!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bathroom Misadventures: Stickies = Tool

Bathroom Misadventures: Stickies are a Viable and Effective Communication Tool  

I am an honest person, or at least would like to think so. So I’ll be an honest lass and tell you that I did not do this! But it did happen at work, and with such popularity of TMGP I think some more bathroom misadventures need some attention.

I just went to the bathroom. Hurray for me!
When I went in to sit down I found this on the toilet seat.

No joke- it took two stickies to encapsulate this rage.

Now most of us have experienced sharing a bathroom with a guy. Aim is a luxury, not a necessity it would appear but I have NEVER thought this of women.
I’m more fascinated with the fact that right there, below the little yellow notes were little yellow dots of liquid splashed upon the seat. How in GODS NAME DID SHE DO IT!? Which one of us women is the magical piss monster who urinates a trail to let others know she’s been there.

We’ve all been there sister! We don’t need droplet’s to prove it!

Anyways, it’s still there now. I laughed pretty hard when I read the notes (not by me I swear! And I’m not the Phantom Pisser either. ) So hard I had to photocopy them.
Before pasting them back on the toilet seat.

I’m pretty miffed about peed on seats buddy.

This is where I open the flood gates (OH WHAT A PUN!) and ask for your Potty Stories: and no, we don’t need ACTUAL pictures, but renditions ala stickies and scribbles are always appreciated.


Yeah, that's right. A little MS Paint makes everyone happy. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

TMGP + Bathroom Campers

I HATE Bathroom Campers.

It’s exactly as it sounds: people who camp in bathroom stalls. Now I know no one likes to talk about poop, or pee or other bodily functions. Or well, it’s not considered ‘high-brow’ but because of that bathroom etiquette is all kinds of important.

Especially at the goddamn office.

I work for a job I don’t like, and there are quite a few people here who I think are in the same situation, or were and have never left. It’s life, I understand how sad it is and how much we all hate our jobs BUT COME ON!

We only have two stalls at this office (problem 1) and one woman from customer service, every day, takes a shit. I’m happy she’s regular, I understand some people have a ‘schedule’ and like to adhere to it.

This does not include reading a book for an hour.
On the toilet.
One of only two.

So she sits there. And sits there. Turning her pages, grumbling, laughing sometimes at what she’s reading. I understand how sometimes we all just need a break, but don’t take it with your pants down (she’s one of those women who lets them go alllll the way to the floor with a very public view of her granny panties) on the toilet after you’ve done your business.


I’ve gone 3x’s now and each time she’s still in there, and someone else is in the other stall. I don’t blame the other person at all, but this one woman.... How long does one want to sit above their poop reading!? I wouldn’t want to! Poop Stinks! AND I NEED TO PEE!

Anyhoo, I think I’ve met my quota for saying ‘poop’ in under 300 words.

I’ll probably just resort to a Tim’s break and grab me an IceCap before tackling RIB FEST TONIGHT! Yeah, jealous? I bet you are. I’m jealous of future me.
I want ribs, but that’s for later. (Update because I wrote this on Friday : ribs were pretty good, bloomin' onion was MUCH better)

Because it's not enough that only I had to see it! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nostalgia and Mr. Williams

It came to my attention this morning, an email from a friend reminded me that I haven’t heard the Good Morning Vietnam CD in years.

Do you know how this makes me feel? Super Bad-News-Bears.

This CD could probably claim to have raised me through a better part of my childhood, and proudly I’d call it an active agent in rearing me into the slightly cynical, bitter and super silly gal I am today.

When I was a girl my dad would take us up to the cottage. Not really ‘our’ cottage but the cottage of my Dads wife’s (my stepmom), sister’s husband’s family cottage. It was just outside of Bancroft and probably one of my favourite places on the whole planet. Foster Lake, a small tiny lake I used to swim across on warm days, where we used to sit on the dock during rain storms and watch the five seconds where the rain hit the other side of the lake before it hit us.
It’s was the place you read about in books, the smell of wood burning, mosquito’s buzzing in your ears, bats in the rafters of this original log cabin built by Uncle Rick’s grand-someone (Dad’s wife’s, sister’s husband) a long long time ago. We would fish, there was a kamikaze seagull named Kirby and a snapping turtle that is still there.
The seagull is immortal. I’m convinced. And I’ll explain him later, he gets a post all on his own.

But this cottage was a refuge from the digital and crowded world. There were only five cottages on the lake when I was a kid. Now there’s five cottages and a ridiculous house... don’t know why but anyways. It was secluded. Because it was not really connected to any other lakes by anything but a stream or two few people ever came. Rick’s family owns two cottages on the lake (now three, the old ladies gave it to him because he was such a nice guy and maintained it for them for years!), these two old spinsters who he helped out, a cop and an old military man. The military man’s cottage had no road so they often got a small private plan in. Super cool but I haven’t seen that in probably 15+ years.

It’s where I first started writing, playing D&D with my brother, where I started and stopped fishing (I don’t like hurting fishies), where I learned to shoot a bb-gun, a riffle and chop wood. I was taught how to react when a bear comes into the cold room where the kids tiny potty was (Not fun) and how to create a mosquito proof tent to sleep in at night, only to stay up because the bats or cute mice were squeaking.

This place was heaven. Probably still is, if Rick hasn’t updated it. The running water was from the lake, can’t drink it. And the lights were made of gas. They hummed at night, with the occasional fizzle if a moth got too close.

At night there were fires and guitar singing by my Dad and during the day there was Good Morning Vietnam. I think it started one year when we came up and left all the music at home. No CD’s, no tapes and we were left to go through Rick’s CD collection.

It sucked, let me tell you. For a girl who loved Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and Our Lady Peace (yeah I know, weird combo) his strange mix of country and weird comedy CD’s was maddening. My dad would play at first but he couldn’t do things and play guitar at the same time.
So we put on a CD to a movie I’d never seen.

Its stars Robin Williams, and if you don’t know the movie go watch it now. It’s great, sad, wonderful, hilarious, strange and beautiful. He’s a radio announcer who instead of reading the normal crap to the troops  in Vietnam he has a fake radio show called ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. Short form: he’s ridiculous on it. He makes literature references, cracks silly jokes and even explains some things in his strange range of fictional character voices.

I fell in love with the CD. We would play it from beginning to end, the put it on again because it was better than the movie. It was something we sang to, laughed to, repeated the jokes all week long. We hooked the CD played up to a car battery to keep it going and we listened until Dad picked up his guitar and took over the show ‘round the fire at night.
Good Morning Vietnam was my personal cottage tour guide, telling me about a war I didn’t know about, introducing me to music that, despite hating anywhere else, I loved in the sequence of the CD (example: TimeWarp)

We would go out fishing in the boat and leave the CD playing, we’d swim with Robin Williams imitating the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys.
“We represent the ARVN army, the ARVN army. Oh no! Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail! Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail!”
“Oh! I'll get you my pretty!”
“Oh my God! It's the wicked Witch of the North! It's Hanoi Hannah!”
“Now, little GI, you and your little Toto too!”

I didn’t know what half of it was referencing but I loved it. I still love it.

Now, there’s a beauty to knowing something before you know it. This CD, I’m pretty damn sure I knew off by heart before I ever watched the movie. Seeing the movie was nostalgic, and reminded me of all the good times at the cottage. Whenever I hear a reference to this I remember the rules I was taught up there.
Don’t leave garbage on the ground, bears will come.
Leave the beavers alone, they bite (don’t know if they do, but I believed it!)
You hold the BB-Gun next to your cheek, but not against it.
This is how you take a lure out of a fishies cheek.
Build a Tepee when making your fire. Shields it from the wind.

This CD and the Cottage song (A song my dad sings that I never learned the name to that thus became dubbed the cottage song) always remind me of my youth and the outdoors.

I’m a sad panda for not having listened to it lately, but if I do see it at an HMV, movie or CD, that shit is mine.

I heart you Robin Williams, you and Good Morning Vietnam.