30 entries categorized "Work"

Conversations You Have When Your Sister Is a Psychology Teacher

(This is in reference to a story about how, very early on in my first ever professional job, I ripped my cheap pants clear open when dropping to a squat in the file room to grab some binders and then had to spend the rest of the day holding said binders over my ass whenever I walked down the hall.)

Kate: told your story about being at work and splitting your pants in my afternoon classes
  it was so relevant, and the only example I could come up with
  it worked so well with my 6th pd, that I had to use it for my 7th as well
me: relevant to WHAT
Kate: Explanatory Style and Locus of Control
me: not sure what that all means
Kate: they loved it
 it basically means you're someone who didn't fall apart even though that was really embarassing
me: oh, awesome
  i thought it meant i had no locus of control over my pants

In all honesty, this is probably the most complimentary outcome you can expect to a conversation that starts with someone saying they just finished systematically telling 70 people about the time you split your pants open.


A Tina Fey Story

I'm a pretty big Tina Fey fan, so when I heard she was going to be in DC to do a reading/signing for her new book Bossypants, I snatched a ticket up on the ASAP. Tragically, though, the day of the signing ended up colliding with a huge work meeting that I couldn't miss. (Meeting topic: "Business Business Businessy Things That Are Sure As Hell Not Tina Fey.")

Emily and I had bought tickets together, so I asked her to give mine to someone else and still get a book signed for me. I also told her to ask Tina to write "Dear Lauren: Sorry you'll never be the funniest person born on May 18. Love, Tina Fey" in my book, because Tina and I have the same birthday.

A bit later, Emily texted me from the event and broke the news that sadly, the organizers were telling people that Tina would not be personalizing books as she signed them. Oh, well. So much for that, right? No! Because Emily is a champ. As Tina was signing the books Emily handed her, Em mentioned that one was going to someone who had the same birthday as her. And that is how I got the only book that was personalized at the entire signing:

 May 18th, indeed.

(Thanks, Em)

Your Flu Shot Is in Another Castle

My company gives us free flu shots, but I had to drive to a different (bigger) office to get mine. I went over there at lunch today and asked the security guard if she could tell me where the flu shots were being done. "Sure," she said. "They're doing them in the Medicine Room. Take a right at that second hallway and go to the end." I was kind of impressed that this particular office had a Medicine Room. (I'm pretty sure that the kitchen in my own office building used to be a bathroom. It has a shower drain.)

Anyway, I followed her instructions, turned right, and went to the end of a very long hallway; unfortunately, there was no Medicine Room at the end of it--just some conference room. I backtracked and returned to the beginning of the hallway, sure that I had turned down the wrong one--but no, there was, in fact, a "Flu Vaccinations this way" sign posted there, pointing me right back in the direction I had come from. I walked down the hall again, paying very careful attention, looking for signs of nearby a Medicine Room. (A red cross, maybe. Or Sandra Bullock in a nurse's uniform.) Alas, I dead-ended yet again in front of that same conference room--the Madson Room, according to its sign.

I turned back around. I thought maybe I should just forget it. I started back down the hall, and was almost back to the lobby when the revelation hit me. "'Madson' sounds like 'medicine,'" I mumbled to myself. Then, louder, like a hero in a movie who has just cracked the code in a ransom note and figured out how to save the president's son: "'MADSON' SOUNDS LIKE 'MEDICINE!'" I had misheard the security guard!!

I turned right back around and skip-walked the length of that hallway for the fifth time that day, and then burst elatedly into the Madson Room. A nurse sat there, clicking her pen and looking bored. I, on the other hand, was BEAMING. She looked at me like I was crazy, presumably because most people don't approach being stabbed in the arm by grinning like they just beat a video game. But, man--that is exactly how I felt.

Guidette Update

I checked on guidette again this morning.  I gotta say--she looked bigger, but not necessarily better.

Here is a somewhat harsh-looking closeup:

Yikes.  In retrospect, it seems clear that I should have stored the bottle horizontally so that she could have had more space to stretch her legs.  Now she is sadly crippled, and no amount of bending will help.  I present this final before-and-after shot, in which poor guidette can't even stand:

Bigger is not always better, my friends.  But toys that cost $1?  Always worth the money.

For Kelly, Who Bought Me a Present

Recently I went to see Kelly, who excitedly informed me that she had a present to give me.  Yesss!  I love presents.  This is what she handed me:

I am not even being sarcastic when I say that I LOVE receiving presents that still have their $1.00 price tag on them.  I mean, a tiny guidette figurine I could grow in water?  Obviously that is an essential thing for every 27-year-old to own.  I tucked my new possession into my purse and we headed for dinner.

Cut to yesterday.  I was at work, rummaging through my purse, when I came across the grow-a-guidette.  I had totally forgotten she was in there!  It was time to get to work.  I consulted the instructions on the back of the package.

Three days?  That is a long time!  I had to get to work immediately.  I found an empty water bottle and filled it.

FxCam_1283282625019Next, I took the tiny guidette out of the package.  I include this next picture both so you can see how small she is, and so I can show off my fave new nail polish shade.

And here is "before" guidette hanging out with the August 31 chihuahua on my beloved dog calendar.

Once the Before photoshoot was over, it was time to send our gal for a swim.  I gently put her into the water bottle.  She immediately sank to the bottom and landed in a somewhat distressing facedown position.

Here is the aerial view:
FxCam_1283282893408I spent the next five minutes holding the bottle up, scrutinizing its contents, and willing my guidette to grow.  I noticed no immediate changes.  I was skeptical.

At the end of the day, she still looked the same.  Even though the package said it would take three days, I had still thought maybe my guidette would be faster.  I was wrong.  I left for the night.

Cut to this morning.  I checked on guidette first thing.  She was bigger!  I jiggled the bottle to put her in a happier, face-up position.  Witness her current size:FxCam_1283354371969

According to the instructions, she should nearly double in size again tonight.  I am excited to check on her tomorrow, and I will obviously report back on her progress.

A Love Letter to My Dog-a-Day Calendar

Dear Dog-a-Day Calendar,

 I'm writing this letter to thank you for the excellent work you've done while sitting on my office desk for the past few months.  I have not been this happy with a calendar since those Far Side ones I used throughout every year of high school, until I got to college and stopped caring about lame things like what day of the week it was.

100_1367Your method is not complicated: every day, I get a new dog picture from you, along with some kind of caption about the dog, or a whimsical quote about dogs and dog ownership.  Plus--and this is the thing that also makes you a calendar--the upper left corner of each calendar page also tells me that day's date.  The pictures are always adorable, and the quotes are usually spot-on.  Last month, for example, I couldn't help but nod in agreement that the April 9 Irish Setter did indeed look like "the picture of leisure" on that white sofa he was sitting on.  And I chuckled when, on January 15, you showed me a picture of a terrier carrying a suitcase and conjectured that it must have contained "everything he needs for a fabulous trip."  I bet you're right!

Sometimes, you give me interesting facts about dog breeds, like on February 18, when you told me that Salukis are an ancient breed once known as the Persian Greyhound.  Other times, you just state the truth, plan and simple--like on February 26, when you presented me with a sleeping Labrador puppy and reminded me that "Being cute is hard work!"  I appreciate these bits of wisdom almost as much as that miniature dachshund on April 13 must have appreciated his miniature rocking chair.

One thing you may not know, dear calendar, is how hard I had to work to get you in the first place.  I saw you on a coworker's desk, proudly displaying that day's picture of a bulldog puppy in a swing (January 5 was the date, as I'm sure you recall); I knew at that moment that I had to have my very own Dog-a-Day calendar.  But it was already mid-January, and you were sold out everywhere I looked!  Finally, I found one remaining copy available for purchase from a dubious online retailer whose site was done entirely in Comic Sans.  I was slightly afraid of giving my credit card information to this merchant, but I'm glad I did--because nine days later, you arrived at my door.  I immediately brought you to my office and set you on my desk, where you remain to this very day.

You are often the first thing people comment on upon entering my office, unless I happen to have my sweater on backwards.  I love that I am often able to avoid work conversations entirely by instead distracting coworkers with conversations about dog pictures.  I owe this to you.  But that is not all you've given me.

Dear calendar, I love you because you make me dream big.  I now aspire to live in a world where we discard our lame system of remembering important dates by calling them stupid things like "Monday," "April 11," and other predictable crap.  Instead, I look forward to a world in which we standardize the dog calendar as our method of tracking time, and I can proudly describe my birthday not as "Tuesday, May 18," but as "Airedale Terrier Carrying a Stick in His Mouth Day."  Wouldn't it be nice if I could order people to bring me their status reports "by the time the tiny Pomeranian in a pink bicycle basket appears?"  Think of how much more pleasant the world would be.

Dog calendar, I realize that we will not be together forever; when 2010 runs out, so does our time together.  But we still have more than half of the year to go, and I continue to look forward to seeing you every morning.

Yours till 2011,


Retirement Planning

It came to my attention today that my projected early retirement date is May 18, 2043, a.k.a. INFINITY YEARS AWAY.  (Thank you, company HR system, for providing this mind-boggling information.)  Time to start planning!

Things I Can Maybe Do When I Stop Working in 2043

  1. Retire to jetpack community in Florida
  2. Spend more time with grand-bots
  3. Take up knitting . . . WITH MY MIND
  4. See parts of the country that have not fallen into the ocean
  5. Learn to play shuffleborg
  6. Quietly bide my time (approx. 15 minutes) till the Apocalypse

 Jetpack acres

Did I forget anything?  Let me know, because clearly I need to figure this out ASAP.

T-Rex Splatter Is the Worst

Back when I was commuting to Tysons Corner every day, I subscribed to an alert system that would send me a personalized e-mail whenever there was particularly bad traffic on my travel route.  Now, the trip to Tysons Corner is horrible on a good day, so you can only imagine what "particularly bad" signifies; it basically means a dead Tyrannosaurus Rex is covering all lanes of the Beltway in both directions, and scientists have decided that the best way to move it involves toothpicks and fishing wire.  (This happens more than you would think.)

So anyway, even though I quit that job over a year ago for one with a much shorter commute, I have yet to unsubscribe to my e-mail alerts for Tysons Corner traffic.  It is very easy to unsubscribe--you just have to click a link--but I have avoided doing so because I actually like getting those e-mail alerts every now and then as a reminder of the traffic I don't have to deal with.  This either means that I am a total crazy, or that Beltway traffic is so horrible it makes otherwise normal people do crazy things, like continue subscribing to a service that is no longer useful in order to continue receiving, once every two or three weeks, the slight feeling of triumph that comes from knowing you are taking an extra couple of minutes on your hair while all those other suckers sit on 495, hating life and wondering how they will get the T-rex splatter off the hoods of their cars.