Saturday, January 17, 2009

Important Life Lessons

When I as in the 4th grade my teacher, Mrs. Hawkins, told me something that I never forgot. She told me something that has influenced my life and many decisions I have made throughout the years.

While helping me prepare for an oral report about Francis Scott Key, she suggested that I sing the Star Spangled Banner in front of the class. The idea of making such a spectacle of myself in front of my entire class frightened me out of my little mind, so I said simply, "I can't". She frowned and barked, "Can't?! Can't is for the weak minded. Can't never did anything". Powerful stuff. Thank you Mrs. Hawkins.

Mrs. Hawkins was right, you should never say that you can't do something.

To this day I think of Mrs. Hawkins, those words, and the valuable lesson she taught me whenever I am confronted with difficult situations or am asked to perform difficult tasks. I never say that I can't do something.

Instead I say - "No way you crazy bitch", "I don't want to", "No thank you", or "I am far too busy".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Sound of One Hand Slapping

Some people have laughs that I truly love. My friend Nature Boy has a great, infectious laugh as I've mentioned before, and my dad too. When those guys are laughing, you can't help but join in. Also there are certain people who don’t laugh quite so easily, so when they finally do, it's a wonderful sound. This is true of my mom, my husband and my friend Dan.

In theory I think that the sound of laughter is a beautiful thing and just as I like to believe that there are no ugly babies or kittens, until recently I have also liked to believe that are no ugly laughs.

I was wrong. There are ugly laughs.

There is a person who works in my office who has the ugliest laugh I have ever heard. I hear it all day long echoing amongst the rose and mint colored cloth cubicles, but I have never quite figured out exactly who it is. She has a laugh that grates on my last nerve and causes me stumble around my cube when I hear it, frantically reaching for my headphones and the volume control on my iPod. I need to make the horrible noise go away as quickly as possible.

Her laugh makes the laughs of Fran Drescher and Janice from Friends sound like angel choirs singing on gossamer clouds.

It's a laugh that sounds like a robotic goat is being sodomized. Only more fake.

It is a laugh that is both human and machine-like. This laugh has no joy, no inflection, and no volume control. It is a laugh that occurs often enough during my workday that I think this person must not have enough work to do. I mean, what kind of wacko finds every single thing funny enough to bleat out a disturbing cackle like that all day long? This person is either constantly laughing at really stupid shit or constantly fucking a robotic goat anus.

I just don't know. It's hard to tell.

To be fair I think her laugh must be a bad habit, or a nervous tic. At least this is what I tell myself in order to be able drum up enough sympathy to make it through the work day without shoving felt tipped markers in my ears to drown out the sound.

I think I know who this person is, but I have no proof as I have never actually seen her honking out this noise. If it's who I think it is, it's someone who you would never guess. She's a really beautiful woman with perfectly coiffed hair, impeccable make-up and a lean, yoga-toned body. At least she has that going for her because beautiful as she is, the sound of her laugh is so horrific that I think her husband must either be deaf or too depressed to ever crack a joke in her presence.

Anyhoo... it has been a long day and sometimes when I hear that lady laughing, as much as I like my job, I wish I worked from home again, far from the teeming masses.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The World Should Revolve Around Me

I've always been a big fan of Imani Coppola. She writes songs, has a beautiful singing voice, plays the fiddle and her lyrics are always so clever and funny. Now she's doing this new thing called Little Jackie. Has anybody but me ever heard of this? These days I'm an old fart who doesn't get out much and don't listen to any radio other than NPR, so I have no idea what the kids are listening to these days. Not that I much care what the kids are listening to, but in case you give a shit, this is what I'm listening to.

Anyhoo... I downloaded the album from iTunes this weekend and it has been my constant companion all weekend. I decided to see if there were any videos on YouTube and low and behold, there were. Here's one called The World Should Revolve Around Me, and to that I say, Amen sister...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B

Updates, Apologies, Corrections, and a Confession, In No Particular Order

What a morning. Drama-O-Rama.

I would like to take a moment to thank you for all of your kind words and disturbing, yet somehow uplifting, suggestions for violence to be wielded upon the dastardly villains who didn't see fit to hire me. You have all helped me cope with my most recent bummer. Also, as indicated in the title I want inform you of updates, corrections, apologies and a confession having to do with events in my life that have occurred in the past 24 hours or so.

8:25am - The Correction
When I arrived at the office this morning, tear swollen and red rimmed from last night's crying jag, I found a new appointment in my schedule for a short meeting with the co-managers who had interviewed me for the job I wanted and did not get.

The appointment was titled "Hiring Decision" and was set to occur in 20 minutes. I barely had time to remove my snow boots and the furrow from my brow, get coffee or practice thinking about the whole situation without crying.

8:45am - Apology #1
They were shocked to discover that I already knew I didn't get the job because, as it turns out, HR sent me the robo-rejection by mistake and they had intended all along to let me down in person. They were very sorry for the robo-rejection.

9:15am - The Confession
As the meeting was wrapping up we were all smiles and sunshine. Then one of the co-managers insisted on giving me a hug. Under normal circumstances this would have been fine. I'm all about the hugging. I like hugs for the most part and under the right circumstances I find them perfectly acceptable at work and I think that our meeting totally qualified as the right circumstances.


Due to serious downward mood swing caused by the previous evenings robo-rejection, I didn't pay as close attention to my wardrobe selection this morning as I might normally. I chose a pair of slightly too loose corduroy pants paired with a slightly too short sweater, thus causing a theater curtain sized portion of my flabby be-stretch-marked midsection to be exposed to daylight during the hug. I have since learned that stretch marks have nerve endings that are extremely sensitive to air and daylight because I swear to god I felt physical pain.

9:30 am - You're Killing Me
I had just started to recover from meeting and the whole exposed midsection incident and get back to work when I looked up and saw the sweet, kindly co-worker I bitched about yesterday. The one who keeps asking me if I've heard anything about the job. She had that look on her face. I knew what was coming so I cut her off at the pass. People, I didn't even take off my headphones or give her enough time to speak. I just looked her square in the eye and sharply said, "No!" As if I was correcting a bad dog.

And then I pointed down the hall as if to say keep walking.

9:50 am - Apology #2
I received a phone call from HR with a formal apology. I was in no mood to answer the phone and accept the apology graciously or in person, so I let the pathetic HR dude leave a grovelling voice mail. Also this way I get to listen to it over and over again and that can be very satisfying. That's right HR dude. Bow and cower in my presence.

10:15 am - Unfucking Believable
I checked my gmail only to discover that I had received yet again the exact same robo-rejection from HR that was apologized for not 30 minutes ago. Yes. The asshole apologized and then RE-SENT it.

Update - Yippee! I'm Number Two
Here's the poop: It was down to me and one other person who happened to be an internal candidate. They hired someone internally. No surprise there. It is very difficult to get a job here. They almost always hire internally. They have since changed the rules and you can only contract here for a year and a half before you get shit canned, but I know people that were contractors for as long as 6 years before getting hired. So my beef was not so much that I didn't get the job. No. My beef was the robo-rejection. Today they gave me my love, so I'm feeling much better.

Apology #3
I am sorry I called my co-worker friend a Twat in my post yesterday. She doesn't read my blog, but still.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery

Gloom, despair and agony on me.

I didn't get the job.

Not only that, but I was informed of it via automated robo-email sent to my gmail account. We appreciate your interest... careful consideration... decided on another candidate. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I see these people every day and have known them for almost a year and they couldn't even be bothered to send me a real email? Motherfuck. It was so impersonal. I cried when I read it. I might cry again thinking about reading it. Bastards.

So I remain a temp. (An angry temp.)

All I can think of is Bag O'Mice, my monumentally stupid old man past retirement age co-worker. How has someone like him remained gainfully employed for so long? We're talking over 30 years. He is a very stupid man.

Do you know I walked into the break room the other day and found him leaning down, with his face almost pressed against the window of the microwave staring at his lunch spinning round and round? He was riveted.

Holding Back

I've been pretty hush-hush about the fact that I applied for a job with the company where I'm currently a contractor. I don't like to keep secrets, so it's been rather a strain on my nerves.

Add to that the fact that I work in very close quarters, share a printer, ladies room, and break room with the people who interviewed me, and you will understand that there have been some awkward moments here and there as I run into these nice people and try to restrain myself from shaking them by the collar and begging them to please put me out of my misery and let me know if they are going to hire me already.

So far, so good, but I'll be glad when this whole thing is over.

As if walking around pretending to be all normal and shit while I wait to find out whether or not I got the job isn't difficult enough, I also have had to put up with a well meaning, fellow contractor friend of mine, one of the very few and privileged people I happened to let in on my secret job interviewing, who comes sniffing around my cube twice daily, asking in loud whispers, if I've heard anything about the job.

She has been doing this for what has now become weeks, like ever since I applied for the job and began the interview process. I'm ready to kill her.

Like dead.

Or at least maim her in some serious way that will leave marks, blisters and/or bald spots.

On Monday I asked her, in what I perceived to be the nicest way possible, to please not ask me about it any more. I assured her in calm and soothing tones that she would be the first to know. She seemed taken aback and quite stung by my request. I felt bad and wondered if I had used a harsher tone that I intended because I swear I saw tears well up in her eyes. So I promised that I would call her to let her know before I even call my own husband with the good (or bad, but I'm trying to remain optimistic) news.

I promised that she would be the first to know. Promised.

It seems that she has taken my request seriously because she doesn't come over to my cube twice a day and ask me about the job anymore. Thanks for that.

No. Now she comes over to my cube twice a day and in an understanding, wink-wink, overly sunshiny tone asks how am I "doing today". Insert air quotes here.

I'm not sure she knows it, but I immediately recognized this as a poorly disguised way of asking me if I've heard anything about the job. I'm pretty smart that way. I catch on.

I have so far responded by giving her one of those lip less smiles of mine where I don't show any teeth and my lips are pressed together, nod my head a little and say, "I'm fine, thanks for asking".

What I really want to do is leap from my chair, press her into a headlock and shove the contents of my recycling bin up her nose and scream,
"For fuck's sake you nosy twat, leave me the fuck alone. Stop fucking asking me about it. Fuck!" and then storm around my cube and knock shit over until I calm down, professional wrestler style.

I fear doing this may jeopardize my chances of getting the job.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

10 True Things

1. Every night I read myself to sleep. Depending on the book and how much my head is chattering it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours before I'm soothed enough for sleeping, and sometimes not at all, so I end up reading quite a lot. I have to have a book going at all times, but I can only read one book at a time, unlike MDH who tends to have several things going at once.

2. I have trouble mingling with the general public. It doesn't take much, a kicked movie seat, half a second of an overly loud cell phone conversation or dodging people who stand and chat at the foot of a staircase or in front of a door is enough to make me wish I never had to leave the house again. Hell, actual human beings don't even have to be present. The sight of a blatantly lopsided parked car inspires me to drop from society entirely and go live in a cave.

3. I am overly dramatic. See above.

4. Like Gwen, I too have been blessed with an excellent set of choppers. I get compliments on my teeth all the time, which used to bother me when I was younger as I would have rather gotten compliments on numerous other features, qualities and body parts, but these days I don't mind and will take any compliment bone that anyone is willing to throw my way.

5. I don't always brush my teeth before I go to bed, which considering the amount of garlic and onions I consume on a daily basis probably accounts greatly for the decline of my sex life. Ah, my poor darling, MDH. Although, I suppose that on the nights that I do decide to brush my teeth before bed, it's easier for him to tell when it's cool to make a move because the minty freshness is clearly a sign that the sexual green light is lit. It's practically foreplay.

6. I'm writing this post as a draft in my email while I'm working today because I cannot concentrate on my work. This typically never happens. When I'm working I usually have pretty intense focus, but lately I can't get my shit together. I'm blaming the holidays and the fact that there is hardly anyone else here and see below.

7. Thursday before last I had my 3rd interview for a full time, whoopi-di-do, big deal, permanant position with the company I am currently contracting for, in a different but nearby department. The whoopi-di-do and the big deal I refer to come from deep within my gut and contain not one single ounce of sarcasm. As much as I don't like to get my hopes up, about anything really, I have turned around and pinned all of my hopes and dreams on getting this job.

8. Outwardly I have been very cool about the whole thing and making attempts to distract myself from worrying, but on the inside I'm screaming and jumping up and down and won't stop until I find out if I got the job. Oh, and reading your blogs instead of working. Thanks guys.

9. My current pet peeve while driving is people who come to a complete stop, when there is no stop sign or red light, before making a right turn. See #2 above.

10. I hoard chocolate candy in the desk drawer of my home office. It's usually chocolates because MDH tends to put chocolate in the refrigerator and I really can't stand for chocolate to be cold and crunchy unless it has nuts or puffed rice in it. Chocolate should be room temperature and all for me.