Thursday, November 08, 2007

workplace hazards

I wonder if it's possible to dislocate something in my eyes from all the eye-rolling that takes place at work while listening to co-workers complaining. I wonder if irony unrecognized by my coworkers will eventually do me in. I wonder if the not-so-subtle passive agressive behavior of coworkers will eventually be too much for me and i will end up as an evening news item "Woman goes on rampage with stapler." I wonder if the tension in my back and neck will eventually work itself into such a state that i will curl up into a ball and never come out of it.

Sigh. Where's a sugar-daddy when you need one?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Standing Ovation

My new job is stressing me out. The work load (way more than they mentioned in the interview), the learning curve, the hostile environment created by a caustic co-worker...

I just re-discovered something I had discovered last year around this time:

Songs from recordings of live performances on your iPod (or similar) give you a chance to pretend that you are being given a round of applause. My new workspace is in a cubicle (which, after years of being at reception or similar, i LOVE! privacy-ish!). The next time a "live" song comes up on shuffle, I'm taking a bow.

**btw: I realize it's been way way way too long since i've posted here. I think I may end up starting up here again, due to the aforementioned stressful job and relative privacy at work... shh...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


1. Yesterday evening it was really warm (for May)(in Calgary)(it was about 25C at 7-ish pm) so I went for a walk down to the St*rb*cks just down the road to get a fr*pp*cino.
I ordered: "Grande Decaf Fr*pp*cino".
The Overly Made Up and Hair-Done (OMUHD) girl at the cash register said back to me: "Grande Decaf Fr*pp*cino?" She then turned to the B*rista behind her and repeated: "Grande Decaf Cappucino."
"Fr*pp*cino", I corrected.
"Right, Cappucino." OMUHD asserted.
I corrected again: "No, Fr*pp*cino."
OMUHD looked confused and said (to me): "Fr*pp*cino?" At my assurance that this was correct, she turned back to B*rista girl and said "Fr*pp*cino. Right. Grande Fr*pp*cino."
I reminded OMUHD of the "Decaf" portion of the order. She turned, once again to the B*rista girl and said "Grande Decaf Cappucino I mean Fr*pp*cino."
That established, it was B*rista girl's turn to be confused.
"Decaf?" she asked. "We don't have Decaf."
There was then a brief discussion between B*rista and Overly Made Up and Hair-Done (OMUHD) girl about the availability of the Decaf (whatever it is they needed. I missed that part). OMUHD turned back to me and told me that they couldn't do a decaf Fr*pp*cino. I asked her why not and got a long story about the missing (whatever it is). OMUHD had the look of a trapped (overly made up and hair-done) deer as she tried to find a solution for me.
"We have Regular and Coffee Lite."
"What is 'Coffee Lite'?" I asked, trying to figure out how that could be a substitute for decaf.
"Well, um. It's lighter. Like it has less calories?"

2. This afternoon at work, a coworker stood behind me for 5 minutes not saying anything. I finally realized she must be there to talk to me, so I asked her "Are you waiting for me?"
"Yes," she said. "I didn't want to bother you."
So I assured her she wasn't bothering me and asked what I could do to help.
"Do you have any undone paperwork for the City?" she asked.
"Like pending invoices?" I asked her.
"No, invoices you haven't done yet." she corrected in the sort of tone one uses with small children.
I told her I didn't have anything for her so she went to find out what was going on. Later, she came back to me with some paperwork that needed to be invoiced.
I asked her, "Do you need me to enter that?" indicating the paperwork in her hand.
"No," she replied. "You just need to enter this," also indicating the paperwork in her hand.

Monday, April 16, 2007

moment of silence

I was just about to post yesterday. It was profound. It was witty. It was my finest work*...

Have I ever mentioned how clumsy I am? It will be on my yet-to-be-completed list of interesting (wierd) things about me. I'm clumsy. I consistently misjudge the height of car door frames, the distance between my body and a table, the length of my arms, the placement of items on the floor within toe-stubbing distance.

Amazingly (and this too should be on my yet-to-be-completed list) I've never broken a bone. Considering how truly clumsy I am, this is a minor miracle.

So, back to my post from yesterday that did not get posted:

I was sitting at my desk at home, composing the previously mentioned amazing post, when I set a glass of water down. I thought to myself "Be careful. Those particular glasses are somewhat unstable and you wouldn't want something bad to happen." (well, actually I thought to myself "hmm... watch it" and then was distracted by something shiny).

You can see where this is going, right?

No sooner had I set the glass down than I bumped the desk and it went flying. I grabbed my iBook and picked it up and unplugged it but it was too late.

It was all I could do to not cry/scream/throw up. I called a service place today and the prognosis, cost-wise, doesn't look good.

The worst part? Aside from not having my computer, not being able to google whatever strange things pop up at any given moment. Aside from not being able to email/MSN/lurk on various blogs. Aside from the sick feeling of having potentially destroyed data/photos on my computer. The worst part?

I have no one to blame but myself.


So, I'm posting from work. I'm trying to figure out when/how I can take poor poor computer in for assessment/repair. Not that it will make much noticeable difference in the regular appearance of posts here. ehem.

Wish me luck.

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket... and put foam on all sharp corners around me.

*okay, so it was probably just a nothing post but work with me here. I'm grieving the loss of my computer. and feeling stupid. and poor. and stupid.

7:08 pm (MST)
Update: IT. IS. A. MIRACLE!!!

I spent most of my day fighting back the sinking feeling that comes from knowing that I will have to spend a large sum of money to fix something that needs fixing because I messed up. That's not a fun feeling. Sort of ranks up there with the feeling of needing a rootcanal... on ALL of your teeth.

Talking to the repair technician earlier in the day made me feel worse, since he said that the WORST thing I could have done was try to turn the computer back on after the water incident (well, it was after the water had drained off and the computer was mostly dry). All afternoon, I sort of had a running conversation with God, begging for my computer to work when I got home. It didn't work when I tried it a bunch of times last night, nor did it this morning when I left for work, so I figured I had nothing to lose when I got home, put the battery back in and plugged it in.

Well, sign me up for a Mac commercial: My computer "healed" itself. I'm writing this update on my formerly soaked iBook. Take THAT service tech with your scary proclamations of doom. Take THAT know-it-alls who laughed at me. Take THAT self for panicking and all the self-recrimination.


Now to set up the impenetrable moisture barriers around my desk.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


*still not doing too good at the posting regularly thing. or at the grammar thing. sorry. for both.*

I wish I was faster with the camera function on my camera phone (phone camera?). I often see "interesting" things around me but never seem to a) remember I have a camera phone/phone camera; b) get to it quickly enough; c) get it to open the camera function, focus, take a picture fast enough.

Like today. I was driving back to work after lunch and was stuck at a light behind a woman in a small car. She had stuffed animals in the back window and something furry/stuffed hanging from the rearview mirror. Now, I have something hanging from my rearview mirror (a pendant I bought in Pakistan just before I moved back to Canada), so I get having something decorating your car. But I don't understand the stuffed animals in the back window. Are they there so you can have something to play with if you ever get stranded? Are they there to communicate with other drivers? "I'm cute!" or, alternately: "I'm somewhat eerily unstable! Don't tailgate!!"

As confused as the stuffed animals left me, they were not the most confusing part. This vehicle had Winnie the Pooh decals in the window. And, the part that pushed me over the top from mindlessly following along on the city street to contemplating the wording of this story for the next 10 hours before I finally sat down here to write it; the part that confused me the most? A Winnie the Pooh LICENSE PLATE HOLDER. ??

Now, I like children's cartoons as much as the next childless 36 year old woman, but, Come ON! I see women with cartoon characters on otherwise fairly normal items of clothing, or decorating their workspaces and I can't help but wonder what the men around them think of this behavior.

It should be noted that I'm not referring to an ironic use of cartoons or characters, nor am i referring to any cartoons aimed more at adults (Simpsons, Family Guy etc). It's the Winnie/Mickey/Tweety phenomenon.

Can anyone explain it?

Have I gone off on a rant?

Yes, yes I have.

If you, dear reader, are a cartoon character wearer/decorator, please forgive me my insensitivity. And explain it so I understand. Cause I really don't understand it. Really.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I don't use a phone book anymore. Not the yellow pages, not the white pages. Not the trying-to-compete-with-the-official-phone-book book. If I need information or a phone number I find it online.

I have at least 5 or 6 old phone books taking up valuable real estate in my apartment right now* and someone just dumped another trying-to-compete-with-the-official-phone-book book outside my apartment door when I said I didn't want one.

It's like tangible spam. Well, not Spam, it's like the email type. But in book form.

At work this afternoon, a slightly twitchy delivery guy foisted a dozen trying-to-compete-with-the-official-phone-book books on us, even though we said we didn't need/want them.

Then, he said to me "And, I have something special for you."

I oh-so-subtly backed even further behind my desk as he reached into what appeared to be the back of his pants. With a flourish he presented me with a CD in a cardboard mailer. "The whole book on disk" he bragged as he walked out the door, ignoring the WTF expression on my face.

I looked at the disk. It reads: "search online at". Well, if i can search your directory ON LINE on my COMPUTER why would I need a CD version of it?

I'm going to spend the rest of my afternoon coming up with a craft to do with the CD. I want to stick it in the microwave to make it crackle and split, but that may raise more eyebrows in the office than I'm comfortable with.

*I plan to take the old phone books to the recycling place, but i just keep forgetting**
**yes, for 4 years now i keep forgetting. This should tell you something about me and procrastinating.
***sorry it's been 2 months. I have written several dozen hilarious posts in my head and just never get them OUT here. I'll be back soon.

Friday, February 02, 2007

reason why

People used to ask me why I wasn't married, why I didn't have a boyfriend etc. They don't much anymore. (Not sure why that is. Maybe they think I'm single by choice, or that I'm terribly picky, or maybe there is some reason that is glaringly obvious that no one has pointed out to me--because they think it is glaringly obvious). Anyway, the point being, I'm glad that I don't get asked anymore because that was a massive pain in the ass but at the same time, not ever being asked anymore makes me wonder if people have just given up hope for me and are prepared for my spinster-hood (not to mention the fact that I now own a spinning wheel. So I really am a spinster. Both kinds.)

I used to try to come up with the BEST response to the question. The response that would set people in their place and let them know how rude it was to ask and how unbothered I was (whether or not that was true) by the situation. It was quite amusing to think of answers but I never used any of them. (I tend to back down when faced with a situation to put someone in their place)(most of the time).

I spent time trying to think of answers because the true reason only would have led to awkward pity and a sudden urge to change the subject and/or flee. The true reason is that I never had much chance to change my "status" in this area. I've had lots of guy friends in my life and the occasional guy who was "interested" in me but these situations never led to anything more.

The guys who were "interested" generally quickly lost interest after either:
a)10 days or b) 2 dates, which ever came first. Almost without exception those guys used some variation of one of the following to indicate their desire to flee the scene:
1. "We can still be friends"
2. "I think we should spend more time with our own friends"
3. They would employ the tried and tested "avoid her until she gets the hint" maneuver.
Also almost without exception, these guys ended up either getting back together with an ex or meeting someone else within a couple of weeks and most of them ended up marrying that person. In one case, the guy met his next girlfriend WHILE he and I were on a date. That was fun.

Of the guy friends that I've had, once in a while, one of them would turn into a slightly-more-than-just-a-buddy type friend. There might be a bit of flirting, or other non-buddy type behavior. Increased contact, more time spent together etc. Then, just when the girl part of my brain starts to think "huh. This is new. Maybe I AM interested in him." one of the following happens:
1. The guy friend declares his interest/affection/undying love for my close girl friend. He asks for my assistance in wooing her.
2. He starts dating someone and stops talking to me altogether
3. The topic of whether there would ever be something more comes up or is suggested by an outside person and the guy-friend's response is a horrified "Oh God NO! Never!" after which I am relegated to the former friend pile and left to deal with the loss of a friend AND the fact that I had become interested in him.

Other than the 2 types of male interaction above, I've been hit on by married guys, by guys who are 12 or more years younger than me, by really annoying guys who have very little sense of personal hygene... Maybe I should be studied by a team of scientists for my amazing powers of both attracting unsuitable types and repelling any potential interests. I wonder what that would pay?

So, that, is why I am single. And why I just avoided the question whenever I was asked. And why I'm glad it's no longer being asked.

(sorry. this wasn't funny either. I'll work on that)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My dad

(I haven't posted in so so so long. I keep composing posts in my head but not actually posting them. I've been trying to come up with 5 interesting things for the meme Antonia tagged me with, but I can't think of 5 things period, let alone 5 interesting things. I'll work on it)

Four years ago today (Feb. 1) my dad died. I wrote about him on his birthday a couple of years ago (here) and I wanted to share it here today.

I miss him still, although I realized recently that it's been easier as the days and years go by. Today I was a little bit weepy and emotional but mostly I was able to remember happy things about my dad. I hope that as time goes by I will be able to keep all those happy, funny memories and let the memories of his last days slide from the forefront.

(I'll try to be funny next time. Or at least not so sedate.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I resolve (pt.2)

I found this random resolution generator by way of (someone's) blog. I decided to keep hitting refresh and come up with a workable list of resolutions. I think I can live with these. (these are the first 10 that I was presented with. I think they're better than my REAL resolutions)


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Eat more junk food.

Get your resolution here.

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this one myself.


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Dedicate my life to making someone else's horribly miserable.

All I have to do is pick the lucky person.


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Wear more lacy black lingerie.

um. hmm... well... um... ehem...


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Make the FBIs most wanted list.

This could be interesting. I'll have to brainstorm methods.


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Find Bin-Laden.

No problem. I used to live in Pakistan after all. I wonder if I could use this one to negotiate when I acheive #4?


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Become an online stalker.

NO. PROBLEM. (wink)


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Stop wearing pants again.

This could create some interesting situations. Especially if I follow through on #3.


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Watch more TV.

NO. PROBLEM. The new season of 24 starts next week. This will dovetail nicely with #1.


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Stop being a sissy and fight the bully who keeps stealing my milk money.

Well, it has been a long time coming. Maybe THIS is how I can make the FBI's most wanted list!


In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Forget my New Year's Resolution.

My what now?

a list! with sub points and sub sub points! and no real POINT!

1. New Mattress=first really good night(s) sleep I've had in years. Who knew that crappy thin mattresses where you can actually feel the springs through the surface of the mattress would not be conducive to good sleep? Huh. Interesting.

2. The parade of sick people (FLU!) at work that began mid-December continues still.
2. a. Each and every sick person at work was met, by myself & my coworker sitting at the front desk with the following statement: "Why are you here? Go home! You're sick!"
2. b. Having successfully avoided the first 2 or 3 waves of the flu (Yay Cold FX!!) it seems to have tracked me down finally. I'b sick. hack hack
2. c. I went in to work on Friday, feeling like I had been run over by a truck of some sort.
2. c. i. I went to work because I'm still new there and I don't know what the sick day policy is and somewhere in the back of my head is this belief that if I just call in they may not believe me and it will look bad and they will be disappointed in me.
2. c. ii. My coworker (who is still sitting at the front desk with me*) said "You shouldn't have come in" and sent me home at 10 am.

3. I have a slightly over-active "I don't want to disappoint (person who will be disappointed) so I'll just (do thing that I shouldn't/can't/don't want to do) so they won't be disappointed" gene. (also a slightly over-active obtuse sentence structure gene)
3. a. My friend (my closest friend) is moving today and I had told her that I would help if I wasn't too sick. She knows that I'm sick. She told me yesterday that she understands if I'm not able to make it and that more than help she really just wanted company. She understands, I know that.
3. a. i. I feel horrible as though I have deeply disappointed her.
3. a. ii. It's possible I should just get some more Tylenol and go to sleep.

*The 2 girls who have been sitting at the desk with me (there are 2 work stations at the reception desk) "training me" didn't ever say how long they planned to sit there. I had thought a week, then they were still there so I thought, oh, okay. 2 weeks. Still there. Finally they said that because of all of the horrendous experiences** with the previous 3 or 4 employees at that desk, they had decided before I was hired that for the next one, 3 MONTHS. MONTHS. I'm the receptionist. I need to deal with the phones, and with processing walk in orders and invoicing service repair bills. Thankfully, they have since reconsidered and they had said that I would be on my own after Christmas. Well, I wasn't on my own last week. Hopefully this coming week I will be. I'm trying to not feel insulted by this, I mean, I've been doing reception type work for about 15 years off and on, and I've been doing industry-specific order desk and invoicing for over 2 years. I think I can handle it.

That said, I really like the 2 girls I work with***, I just can't deal with having someone sitting behind me ALL. DAY. LONG. (plus, the one who is there most frequently narrates her day to herself all day long.)(yeah.)

**I never met any of the previous employees who had my job, but one of them, apparently, would sleep at her desk. When I first heard this, I thought they meant "when it was slow and there was no one in the reception area". Apparently, it was any time of day, while there were customers coming and going, and while the girl training her was still sitting at the other work station.

***Sadly, not a muffin-top to be found. I need to find some other sort of coworker stories to tell.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

I just realized it's been a full month since I last posted. Wow. Well, I promise to get back into posting more frequently, but I just wanted to do a New Year's post.

(quick aside: I didn't ever say anything about the new job, so I'll do a real post about it sometime soon. I like it, the people are fun for the most part and I think in the end it was the right choice over all. More on that another time)

I was going to post last night, but, as it turns out, I was in the midst of a somewhat "single-still-yet-again-at-New-Year's" mope, so, I decided to spare you all that agony. I decided instead that I need to figure out what I want to try to do to change the mope part (since the cynical side of me doesn't have high hopes about the "single still" part)(sorry, that was slightly "mope-ish").

So, I started mentally listing things. I do love lists, as you may have noticed. I don't know if these are proper resolutions or not, but they are things I think I need to do something about. (I think "improve overall grammar usage" should be on that list)

(before I start, I just have to say this: I think that almost any time in the past year that I have truly been in a "wah poor me all alone" mope phase, Bridget Jones' Diary is on TV somewhere, either that day or the day after. How is that possible? I always end up watching at least part of it, and always end up laughing, cheered up but also wishing that, just once, someone would like ME "just as i am". sigh.)(it's on right now)(sigh)

Okay then, on to the not-really-resolutions-list:
1. I tend to be far too hermit like, and the more hermit-like I am the harder it is to get out and do things. So, I want to do new things, even by myself. I will try to find things to do that will get me out of the house now and then.
2. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people, even people in the city. I tend to not call if I don't have anything specific to say because I don't want to bother people who probably have more stuff going on than I do. So, I will call people I know more regularly, even when I don’t have anything specific to say.
3. I have started to realize that I have gotten so used to always being home by myself that when someone actually wants to spend time with me, I am mentally deciding if it's worth giving up whatever I had planned to do at home. (i.e. knitting/spinning/tv) So, I will stop planning my evenings alone in such a way that I consider the evenings plans mentally before accepting offers of something to do.
4. I will watch "24". (I wanted at least ONE thing on the list that i will GLADLY and EASILY do.)(I planned to do this one anyway)
5. I will make an effort to speak to people and moderate how rambling/blabby I get when and if I do speak to people (side-effect of the shyness is that I get overly chatty and can't seem to turn it off. whee)
6. I will write (here? anywhere?) at least 3 times a week.
7. I will look into the possibility of pursuing my master's. eventually. (eventually pursue, not eventually look into it.)
8. I will make more of an effort to maintain a presence in my nieces and nephews' lives, not just at holidays.
9. Make a decision about (situation I can't/won't spell out here) I wasn't going to do this, because why include it on this list if I'm not going to spell it out since I can't give details here for a whole bunch of reasons, but I can't stand a list with a strange number of items. It needs to be a good round number. sorry.
10. Add one more day per week on the bike OR add 10 more minutes each day that I do ride the bike. One of the two.

So, there you have it. A list. With 10 items. Sort of resolutions, sort of just things I've been thinking about for a month or two (or 6 as the case may be).

Hope the New Year started well for all of you. Thanks for piping up from time to time to let me know you're here. Here's to a super interesting 2007!