It’s a good thing…

My relatively new boss has a sense of humor, and just perhaps understands redneck women…

Frazzled and sleep deprived at my desk this morning, i was halfway through the tempermental web-based process we use for making travel arrangements.  A four-day, two-city trip toward the end of the month, with enough options to require both hands on the keyboard and both active brain cells focused on the task at hand…

The boss stepped into the office at the most critical juncture in my travel preparation process — the moment i was about to hit the “accept” button.  This is the magical make-or-break point when you learn whether the system has arbitrarily hacked up an ether-loogie forcing you to start over, or you get a happy, smiling screen of success.

We all know this dance, and seeing what was on the screen in front of me, he waited quietly behind me as i did a last check for accuracy before pulling the lever on the “Travel Slot Machine”. 

Lemons. 

daisyfae:  “Suck. My. DICK!”*  i said it before thinking.  Took a breath.  Cringed.  Then turned around to face the boss, apologetic look on my face, knowing that it is possible to cross the line.  And perhaps i had just done so…

boss:  “Too much information!” while fighting back the grin… followed quickly with “Did you get the request from…”

He’s ok. 

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* Once, while dealing with a freakishly annoying series of asshole drivers, i directed this phrase toward another driver.  With my 16 year old son in the car.  He simply said “Um, Mom… That’s pretty freaky… Can you come up with something else?”

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An alarming trend…

My daily lunch break provides respite from mind-numbing meetings, endless annoying interchanges with colleagues* and the general cacophony that is my day-to-day existence.  There has been a frightening trend of late – regularly scheduled “brown bag lunch” meetings – and i must take action.  Nine – ten hours without escape will destroy my remaining nerve.

My Friday two-hour drinking lunch has been replaced with a weekly “seminar” – mandatory persecution and torment professional development coursework.  This will continue through late November, unless the seminar group disbands in a fit of salivating rage at the injustice wrought from far above our pay grades.

Another “informal brown bagger”** has encroached on my Tuesday lunch hour… Within the organization, there are eight of us with a common job function.  Four of us fully comprehend what is expected of us.  The other four special needs children individuals argued for a weekly communal lunch – to “share best practices” and “develop common vision” – both phrases that strike fear in the heart of a burnt out, cynical seasoned professional. 

And the latest?  A Monday meeting, every other week, with a group of young, impressionable colleagues – where i am one of the old fucks “mentors” shaping their professional development, sharing hopes and dreams and imparting useful nuggets of wisdom from my playbook.  Seriously, do you expect me not to be cranky on Monday without a dirty martini in my hand?

The loss of my lunch hour is bad enough.  Even scarier?  Being too lazy disorganized to bring suitable food from home, i am at the mercy of our in-house cafeteria, lovingly named The Ptomaine Palace.  While the helpful tapeworm to assist me with my weight loss goals lurks in the pantry, i would like to avoid contracting something that will lead to a massive colon blow during an afternoon meeting.  There are some incidents in the workplace from which there is no recovery.

On a good day, i dive on the pre-packaged food – yogurt and fresh fruit are sometimes available if i get there early enough.  By mid-week the salad selection is somewhat dessicated – but will do if i’m in the mood for lettuce with the texture of old chewing gum.  The soup is always dicey – recycled lumps of mystery meat bobbing on the surface of grey broth nearly sweats dysentery.

For now there is only one option.  Get organized.  Pack that lunch.  And include a flask… i am supposed to be setting an example for the young ‘uns.  Being resourceful?  Priceless…

* An example?  The senior scientist who will appear in my doorway exactly one minute after i receive an e-mail from him.  He then says “I sent you an e-mail… ” and proceeds to tell me what was in it.  For thirty minutes.

** Not to be confused with at “tea-bagger”.  We have those too.  One particular supply closet is rumored to need weekly disinfection…

Braveheart

Due primarily to a lack of news, i haven’t written much about The Park lately. This is just the quiet before the storm.  The Clampett’s shall ride again…

Mom’s bypass surgery is scheduled in three weeks.  In the meantime, she has exceeded all expectations in her quest to quit the demon tobacco!  i’m very proud of her, and although she hasn’t completely quit, she’s only smoking about 5 cigarettes a day.  Given that she has been chain-smoking for 65 years, this is remarkable*!

i’m even more proud of her for finally standing up to her quack family physician, Dr. Bonehead**.  In the past, this man has misdiagnosed many a malady.  Among other things, he prescribed arthritis medication for “leg trouble” which was due to circulation problems, and an early indicator of heart failure.  His office staff is equally incompetent, and excel at finding ways to charge Mom for unnecessary procedures.  A recent example:  Because they used the wrong code for lab tests, which the insurance company then refused to pay, Mom was forced to drop an unexpected $200 on lab work.

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Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Much to my complete and total amazement, i got some serious ‘linky love’ today.  While sitting in a hotel room in Cornhole, USA, wearing not much other than boxer shorts and attempting to scratch myself into consciousness while booting up the laptop, it was brought to my attention by the suave, debonair* and digitally astute kyknoord.

It seems that my recent post, Pimp-in-Training,** was featured on the WordPress Dashboard.

i had to look at it three times before i noticed where it had been categorized***:

Holy Crap.  That’s funny… Who said the folks at WordPress don’t have a sense of humor?

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* Pronounced “soo-AH-vey and de-BOH-ner”.  At least that’s how we pronounce it here in The Park.

** How about that!  An opportunity for me to exploit my son, in a perverse form of reverse-pimpage, finding a means where i can personally benefit. 

*** In case you can’t read it, that would be filed under “Business”

Mid-Life Marketing

On the road again for another panel session – this one without the opportunities for drinking and whoring networking i encountered at my last alcohol immersion event last panel session.  i’m actually working – even though it’s a day and a half blitzkrieg.

As part of a “board of directors” for a day, we provide a brutal assessment of technologies, intellectual property portfolios, business strategies, public relations.  This is all done in the interest of helping the companies who volunteer for this abuse to “bridge the chasm” from research and development into commercialization.

Once again, i’m a bit of an anomaly on the panel.  The average age of the “board members” is somewhere between “65” and “decayed”.  The average gender is somewhere between “male” and “formerly contained male body parts before they decayed”.  The other board members are accomplished* folks, making it a great learning opportunity for me – fun to see them at work.

This session is being held in a small town, so i wasn’t surprised to run into several colleagues at the airport.  While we jockeyed to snag one of the few cabs, a gentleman i’ve known for years grabbed me and said “Look at you!  How do you get better looking every time I see you?” and then proceeded to drag me off, away from the pack, so we could share a taxi to the meeting and chat.

A light bulb moment:  i’ve discovered the secret to “everlasting hotness”.  From now on, i’m only attending senior citizen events.  i could probably put back on some of the weight and still get treated like a beauty queen!  Just dumping a box of Lady Clairol on my head every few months would be about all of the maintenance i’d need – Macro-Beauty! No more waxing, tweezing, face-painting, exfoliation, or exercise.  My friend is clearly suffering some form of macular degeneration – and i for one am thankful! 

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*  i’m here for the comic relief… or perhaps it’s the new rack?

Pimp-in-training

The Boy, a university student, picked up a job at a local pizza place in the town where he resides – as much to pass the time as to make some cash.  This isn’t a chain pizza parlor, rather a family run business.  After a few months, he’s starting to get better acquainted with his co-workers.

There are only a few non-family members on the payroll.  The Boy has befriended one of the young ladies, an attractive woman in her mid-20’s.  Last weekend, he shared his attempts to help this woman improve her financial standing by teaching her some “Manage The Boss” skills.

It seems his co-worker is being aggressively pursued by the restaurant owner.  The Boy has pointed out to her that it would be in her best interests to think this through carefully before getting more involved. 

The Boy:  I told her that she’s got to be ready to walk away from the job before giving in to him.   I also recommnded that she hold out before putting out.  She didn’t realize that she could actually use the power over him for personal benefit.

daisyfae:  This sounds awful.  Why are you in the middle of this?

The Boy:  Well, I wanted Monday off, but the boss said “No”.  So I suggested that she test her powers with the boss – just ask him on my behalf for the day off to see what happens.  I’m trying to empower her!

daisyfae:  You got Monday off?

The Boy:  Precisely.  So now she’s working on getting us both a raise.  Once i turn it into financial gain, I can officially claim “Pimp” status.

Am i proud?  Sort of… i mean, he’s using the powers for good, and he’s imparting a valuable lesson on this young lady.  i think…. Then again, this is the kid that was trying to loan shark his sister when he was 5 years old. 

Semper Fido

Dragged Mr. Pickles the Wonder Mutt out with me for a walk tonight after work. He’s not good on a leash, and at almost 100 lbs, can knock me over while chasing invisible bunnies and following orders received from his handlers on The Dog Planet.

Rather than the choke collar – which didn’t work, and made the local animal rights people put my face on the “Evil Dog Mommy” posters displayed at the post office – i’ve started using something called “the gentle leader“.  This is a head harness that presses on the snout when pulled. He hates this thing. But he loves walks, so once we’re out of the Jeep, he’s forgotten his annoyance and is back to being the Marco Polo of the doggie set…

It was a beautiful evening… and it didn’t seem unreasonable to go out for an hour. At the halfway point Mr. Pickles had other plans. I’d brought a dog water bottle, and as he drank from the spout, he flopped to the ground with an audible plop – effectively telling me he was on strike.

Just as a human can appear to be in good health but have no cardiovasular strength, i suddenly realized that the Couch-Meister was in dire need of a fitness improvement program… yet i was 30 minutes away from the Jeep and had to deal with the immediate problem at hand. Thinking through several possible outcomes, i realized i might need to sling 100 lbs of squirming fur, poo and saliva around my neck to carry him back*.

Fortunately, he recovered enough to make the return trip… and i now have an additional workout buddy. Even though he’s a lean, not-even-close-to-mean, slobberin’ machine, my canine life partner dog is seriously out of shape.

Misery loves company, and Mr. Pickles better get used to evening treks with the old lady.  And i’m going to have to get used to seeing this when i get him home…

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* Not only would i be slinging the dog around my neck, but i’d be juggling the water bottle (which could have been tucked into my shorts) and the bag of lukewarm poo (which could NOT have been tucked into my shorts).

When Geese Go Bad…

A good friend, former boss, and coincidently, fellow trailer park refugee is now chief of operations for my organization. This spring, he has had to deal with a most ridiculous situation… Captured below, for your reading pleasure, are his words as he battles feathered foe, marginally functional tree-hugging co-workers, and armed militiamen on the organizational payroll…

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