Friday, June 25, 2010

The Wonders of Coprorate America

Cool, quiet, dim office. Practically vacant. That's why it's nice to be the first one here.

Plus it's Friday. Plus it's Summertime.

Wow, I think I just saw a tumbleweed roll by cubicle town.

So, I haven't posted in a while. I know, I know. You're all very angry with me for leaving you thirsty, hanging....craving any crumb of a detail about my life.

Oh yeah…I forgot. No one actually reads this blog.

But clearly that doesn't stop me!

Anyway….as I was saying….office. Have you ever seen the movie Office Space? If not, you MUST rent it. And if you actually work in any kind of office - especially one involving a lot of cubicles, irritating co-workers and malfunctioning fax machines - you must rent it IMMEDIATELY!!

I work in a place even more corporate than the company depicted in Office Space. And for those of you familiar with Dilbert - I personally KNOW the Pointy Haired Boss and the Evil HR director. They. Exist.

But here are some of the things I find absolutely FASCINATING (and by that I mean completely ridiculous and/or idioitic) about working in Corporate-ville.

1) ACRONYMS: We have an online dictionary that allows us to type in any acronym typically used in this company (and there are MANY) and it will give you the definition. Are you getting this peeps? Read that again. We have a DICTIONARY for our ACRONYMS. I can actually speak in WHOLE SENTENCES using only acronyms and be perfectly understood. WTF??

2) CATCH PHRASES: Seriously…if I hear the expression "think outside the box" ONE MORE TIME my head might explode. Or, get this…around here we don't use the word "problem" - we say "challenge". Because if you're not paying attention and/or you're an idiot, you might not realize that the CHALLENGE of actually achieving your unresourced, unrealistic corporate goals, is in actuality, a big ass PROBLEM.

3) SPORTS ANALOGIES: I admit it. I am one of those females who know next to nothing about sports. But I work in a male dominated organization. So guess what? Sports Analogies. Earlier in my career, I might have smiled politely and acted like I actually comprehended what on God’s Green Earth mr. corporate dude was referring to. Now? I JUST. DON'T. CARE. Exhibit A: I was in a meeting the other day with 2 other females. Our manager (gender=MALE) was making a point to the 3 of us and launched into an elaborate baseball analogy. Could he not see our glazed and vacant stares?? Was our drool simply not evident?? I couldn't help myself. I responded as follows: "I have absolutely NO idea what you just said". Puh-leeze. I've been doing this far too long to pretend I have even the slightest clue as to what the hell a 3rd baseman and a bunch of outfielders have to do with the excel spreadsheet we've been dissecting for the last 3 hours. Speaking of which…

4) SPREADSHEETS: Who knew Excel and I would be such close friends? I spend more time with Excel than I do with my own family. Pivot tables are my life. I actually got excited about a recently offered Pivot Table class which would totally-completely-further-expand-the-powerful-use-of-this-tool!!!!

OMG. who AM i?

5) COMPANY PARTIES: This really should have been at the top of this list. In all fairness, I'm not exactly an extrovert. But there is almost NOTHING I hate more than running a 3-legged race with my co-workers. Grrrlfriend -- don’t EVEN get me started on the egg-toss and water balloon events (insert ferocious triple snap here). Additionally, people get drunk at company parties. And act inappropriately. Totally not interested in watching those horrors play out. I spend enough time at work so if I'm going to socialize, I would rather do it with my family and friends. To me, these events are the exact definition of Forced Fun. And lest you DARE consider skipping out, you'll be getting all sorts of emails prior to the event "reminding" you that if you prefer not to participate in said Fun (subtext: DIE LOSER DIE!) you are EXPECTED to stay in the office and work *)$&*@%#!

Peeps - I hope your weekend is full of sparkly fun involving zero office work.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Thurs. Eve / Fri. Morn: Random Musings

I went out to dinner with a girlfriend last night. Cocktails. Appetizers. Dinner. AND Dessert. Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am! Stick a fork in me - I'm done. Incredibly decadent 'twas. Plus uber expensive (for little old "living paycheck to paycheck" me). But sometimes it just feels goooood to be bad.

And don't girlfriends R.....O.....C.....K in the USA???? Poor manly man men. No giggling over hunky hunks. No sharing of recipes, cute websites and jewelry. No hugs Before Dinner. No hugs After Dinner. No shedding of tears During Dinner. Ok...could I stereotype any MORE?!? But seriously. My intention is good. Which is to say sometimes there's nothing more nourishing than comfort food and some soul talk with your gal pal. My thanks to you Babs for listening, talking, & laughing with me last night.

Then I get home from said dinner. And I set my alarm for f'ing 5:40 AM but of course wake up even earlier with no hope of falling back asleep. HATE that. I shower, I pack lunches, I wake toddler (a.k.a. nutter butter, munchkin, snoopy-snoop, cutest child EVER; oh and he's a genius too), Try to convince toddler that 1/2 eaten yogurt from yesterday is truly delectable and not to be missed. Toddler throws giant tantrum. Hmmm...maybe NOT cutest kid ever. But luckily (!!) it's not MY turn to bring Crankenheimer to daycare. NAY! It's hubby's turn to do drop off AND pick up. She Shoots! She Scores!! (I know what you're thinking....Mother-of-The-Year material. Don't worry...I'm not expecting a gold statue any time soon).

So I drag my sorry, tired, mid-life crisis arse into my favorite little hole-in-the-wall, locally owned coffee shop. God - I'm a LOSER BABY. Because truth be told - I went where I go EVERY goddamn morning...Starbucks. Yeah that's right. I said it. And you're not going to believe me but I really, truly DON'T LIKE most chains - chain restaurants, chain theme parks, chain letters, chain gangs...

But STARBUCKS.....can you hear the angels singing? I admit it. THIS chain I love. I love their mugs and their cute little pastries. I love their annoying little CD mixes and their friendly banter. I feel like Norm at Cheers. Everybody knows my name!! How do they DO that? If I ever get canned at my current job...well...I'm just sayin'. Might be a green apron in my future.

Now here's the ridiculousosity of it all. I Don't Actually Drink Coffee. I know! Abzzzzurd! But I likes me a tall cooool Iced Tea in the summer. And a warm version in the winter. And YES...I know that for the price of my Starbucks tea...I could get a whole box, maybe 3, of Lipton tea bags. Shame on me. But Lipton is Red And Yellow. And comes in a Box. And I don't waaaahnnaaah make it myself. And Lipton doesn't know WHO the hell I am.

SO I figure...if a spot of tea and a dab of scone (when did I become British??) can brighten the bijillion-hour day I have in front of me then I say....what the hell. I mean c'mon...I recycle. I let people cut in front of me in traffic. I donate to cancer research and NPR and Girl Scouts (and no - not just because I get cookies in return. But really it's because I get cookies in return).

Happy Friday Everyone! (Which is to say No One because that's exactly how many people are reading this blog. Where are you all?? I need some Peeps!!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday (again)

As a kid, I dreaded Sunday. It meant school the next day. Waking up early. New homework assignments. More tests. No fun. And although I enjoyed school for the most part, there was just something about that part of the weekend that brought me D-O-W-N.

Ironically, Sundays are often made out to be lovely, relaxing, picnic-inducing, church-going, family supper 'oil-on-canvas' moments. And granted, I'm sure there are many folk out there who feel that way. I'm just not one of them.

That said however...had I known what was in store for me in the working world, I would have kept my griping schoolkid trap shut.

I envy people who jump out of bed with the excitement of a new day; who look forward to a job/career/purpose they love. I don't personally know ANY of you, but I do envy you. Don't get me wrong, I actually like to work. But as a full-time working mother sometimes I just need an EVER-LOVIN' BREAK ALREADY. When you wake up each morning feeling like it's groundhog's day....over and over and kinda (desperately) wish you were independently wealthy.

Every weekday morning I'm dying for a few more minutes (ok, more like a few more HOURS) of sleep. In a groggy, foggy haze I shower, dress, feed my toddler, get him dressed and get out the door. But that's a VERY simplified, not-so-daunting summary of my morning...

The reality is I usually leave the house with wet hair - regardless of season. Which means of course in the middle of winter I show up to work with my hair frozen in popsicle-like chunks. (Oh-so-attractive not to mention extremely professional). I've also arrived at the office, on more than one occasion, wearing my sweater inside out and of course not noticing (and nobody telling me) until I happen to wander into the ladies room and see myself in the mirror. There was also the time I wore my underwear inside out and the other time I wore my thong backwards (call me crazy but I swear-to-god it was more comfortable that way). And please...I can't COUNT the number of times I've put on mis-matched socks. But Ok - so maybe none of those things are completely disastrous, but that's because I'm not fully conveying to you the "picture" this creates.

Let me tell you a little story...

I work for a big corporation and they're...well....very corporate. The other morning, I blew into work as I normally do...with a hair style that was less of a style and more like a half damp, half frizzy, Cousin It-type coiffe. I had a hobo bag slung across me bulging with god-knows-what, another bag hanging on my shoulder and an iced tea in each hand. Certainly that image is bad enough right? But it just so happens it had recently been a swampy 90+ degrees. Did you hear me??? The 90s!!! I live in the NORTHEAST. Suffice it to say, I don't "do" tropical. So on top of everything else, I'm a sweaty Cousin It-like mess.

But here's the thing -- because I prefer to start work early and then get home at a reasonable hour - I'm often the first one in the office which means I can tidy up a bit and make myself more presentable before the rest of the masses arrive. This morning was no different....or so I thought....

I entered the cool air conditioned building and quietly slipped into the elevator to bring me to my floor. Just as the doors were closing, (you can see it right? just like in the movies), a slim, well-dressed gentleman joined me. He smiled politely and graciously made easy chit-chat. But as soon as he had gotten onto the elevator I recognized him. He was my boss's boss's boss's...oh forget's easier to start with the CEO and work my way down...that's how high up he is. He never (well, clearly not never) visits our office.

Ratty-haired, (sweaty), bag lady, (sweaty), beverage carrying, (sweaty) ME and cool, slim, impeccably dressed Mr. Corporate. (How can he not be sweating in all that corporate garb?!). It sort of felt like I imagined career suicide would feel. Now I don't want to sound overly dramatic. I did manage to hold up my end of the chit-chat and show a teensy bit of confidence, but anyone else in my shoes would have pounced at the opportunity and made the most of this rare big-game sighting...would have introduced themselves, would have offered a nice strong handshake (assuming they weren't gluttonously double fisting their iced tea that morning) and would have promptly launched their "elevator speech". And while it did actually cross my mind to introduce myself, I wasn't quite sure I wanted to give him a name to put with this Cousin It-sweaty faced-employee.

The point being...all this occurred on a Monday morning. Which only further supports my case for disliking Sundays. Hope you all have a lovely week ahead.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Really? I'm a blogger??

Seriously? A blog? Aren't I a bit long in the tooth for this? Granted at 41 years of age I'm not exactly doing the shuffle board circuit yet, but it all seems a bit "mid-life crisis" (i.e. lame). Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Honestly, I'm not sure why I decided to start blogging...or more specifically, why now. Maybe it's because screaming in my office during the work day can scare the other employees and giving the finger to everyone who CAN'T DRIVE TO SAVE THEIR LIVES could possibly lead to getting arrested.

I'm told I have a good sense of humor, but then again that's feedback from relatives - people who love you no matter what and don't tell you that when you went to the prom wearing that hideous pink Gunne Sax dress (with a lace BIB!!!) you looked like some tragically modern version of Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Did I mention the BIB???)

So maybe I can let it all hang out on this blog, entertain a couple of people and also save on a therapy bill (or bail money). We'll see how it goes. As a full-time working mother (wife, daughter, sister, ex-circus employee -- more on that later) who constantly feels the current is about to suck her under, this may be a short-lived "finding myself" project. (A box of wine might be more gratifying.)

Ok - my first blog is behind me. We'll see how I feel tomorrow when I re-read this post and cringe. Now surely there's a brownie somewhere with my name on it...