30 entries categorized "Work"

Materials: Ink on Copy Paper; Free Time

A few weeks ago, after seeing the new Batman movie, I started to think about what superpowers I would want to have if I were a superhero too.  Unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that the only superpowers I could get real use out of would be ones I could use at work, because that's where I am most of the time.  Here's an illustrated list of the lame superpowers I could actually use.







Did I forget anything?

I Guess I Am Highlighting Work Topics This Week

I read a washingtonpost.com online discussion about workplace behavior today, and I have to say, this is definitely the grossest work-related question I have ever seen in my life:

I work in an enclosed office with several others. A new person was recently hired who has what can be described as a festering wound on her foot. She is a very nice person but the problem is she cleans it in the office and it often causes a nauseating smell to permeate the room that bothers all of us. We have no HR people on site.

We are at a loss as how to politely ask this individual to clean the wound in the restroom, not in the office. But we of course don't want to offend or embarrass her. She clearly has an infected would that she is trying to get to heal, but cleaning it out in an enclosed office space while the smell from the infection permeates the room is proving to be hard for us to tolerate much longer. This has been going on for about a month and is not improving. Thanks.


New Word Needed

OK, I realize that this the only reason this anecdote could be considered interesting is that it's so uninteresting that its uninteresting-ness is interesting in itself, but it's been freaking me out all day: I have found my ringtone doppleganger.  Someone down the hall from me has the exact same ringtone, text-messaging alert, and voicemail alert on his/her phone as I have on mine!

I wish there was a word for the bizarre sense of deja-vu/Pavlovian false alarm that results from overhearing such familiar sounds all day, but slightly more distant and not directed to me.  Suggestions?

Why Quitting Your Job Is A Lot Like That Hillary Swank Movie You Never Saw

You know that movie from a few months back where that guy knows he's dying, so he writes his wife all these letters and instructions and she's not allowed to look at them until he's gone, and then he dies and she reads the letters and does all these little activities that he designed to get her to heal herself and become a better person?  Preparing to leave a job is like that, except instead of lovingly writing instructions for a person you know and love, you are blindly trying to document the procedures of a job you already checked out of for a replacement you met a week ago.  And you get the feeling that instead of finding herself magically a better person at the end of it all, the person replacing you is going to feel screwed and lost.

That's not to say I'm not trying to be helpful; I've been going in early and staying late all week trying to make sure my files are transferred to the right people and my responsibilities are covered and primed for transition.  Still, it's really hard to anticipate what someone's going to need to know, and some of it you can't really explain anyway.  Otherwise, I would need to make the following instructional documents:

  • Powerpoint presentation entitled, "How to play along with the client-site Office Supervisor's borderline-racist jokes without actually appearing racist yourself"
  • A copy of the Weekly Status Meeting agenda, annotated to show which segments are ideal times for bathroom breaks and which topics must be paid attention to "for real for real"
  • Org Chart identifying the various people whose authorization you will need for certain tasks, as well as the people along the way you have to pretend to ask first so you don't look like you're hassling someone important
  • Treasure Map leading to the supply cabinet with the good folders (the ones in the bright colors)

I feel bad that the new person will have to figure these things out for herself, but only to an extent.  After all, aren't I going to be in the exact same position on Monday when I start my new job?  I highly doubt I will arrive my desk and find a neat stack of papers explaining who's cool, who's mean, and who's the office perv.  I will have to find that out for myself as the weeks go by, and maybe if I am lucky when it's over I'll be happy and fulfilled and living the kind of life where it never occurs to me to make analogies based on romantic comedies I never saw.


If You Think Working Is Hard, Try Quitting

Seriously, I havent been this busy in I dont know how long.  (Also, the cat knocked water onto my keyboard and now the apostrophe doesnt work.)  There is so much to be done--people to inform, duties to transition, desks to clean out--and just one more week to finish it all.

People, please take care of the Internet while Im doing all this crap.

In Conclusion, I Give Myself an A++ At Life

What I'm about to say is probably the most shocking thing a blogger ever could, and no, it's not that I'm quitting, because please--that would not be a shocking thing for a blogger to say.  Bloggers quit all the time.  Actually, what I want to say is this:

I am sooooo sick of talking about myself today.

I know, I know: gasps all around, Earth screeches to a halt, etc.  But people, I have been writing my annual self-assessment for work all day today, and it has been no picnic.  It turns out that even I have my limits when it comes to writing endless paragraphs about myself.  Weird.

On top of all of that, I'm not so keen about the concept of the self-assessment in general.  Shouldn't it go without saying that I think I'm great at my job?  Aren't I pretty much the least objective person in the entire world when it comes to judging the performance of . . . me?  Why are my standards so important?  Maybe I consider it a productive day if I manage to do a near-professional hemming job on my pants with only a stapler and some Wite-Out tape. 

These are all things I thought today as I stared at my computer screen and attempted to brag about myself without sounding completely ridiculous.

So, what did I end up saying?  The usual: I'm awesome, people love me, I invented sunshine, and I currently have six major motion picture studios interested in producing a biopic about my life starring Hillary Swank as the desktop publisher with a heart of gold.

And a pant leg ful of staples.

"Here, Go Buy Yourself An Ice Cream Cone--Or Part of One, at Least"

The other week I was having dinner with someone I know--someone who has asked to remain nameless for reasons that will become clear pretty soon--and as I was getting ready to go she told me she wanted to show me the prize she had received for reaching a significant sales milestone at work.  She pointed to an envelope and said, "It's a gift certificate.  Guess how much it's for."

Having heard stories of her company's less-than-generous ways with its employees before, I guessed on the low side.  "Oh, God," I said.  "Don't tell me they gave you, like, a $5 gift certificate to McDonald's."

"Nope, not quite," she replied, handing me the envelope.  "See for yourself."

See for your self:


Yes, that is a $2 gift certificate to Baskin Robbins, and it's not part of a whole stack of them, either--that's it.  That's the prize.  $2.  In case you're counting, that's less than the price of a small cone.

Slow Day

From: Kelly
To: Lauren
Subj: ugh im so bored

entertaaaaaaaaaaain me

From: Lauren
To: Kelly
Subj: Re: ugh im so bored

oh, let me just regale you with the story of how today at work in the communal kitchen we had a birthday party for bob from accounting and we all wore hats and had cake and phil said the most hilarious thing about how kids today just dont know about good music--

oh wait, nevermind,that would actually be more fun than the truth, which is that i havent talked to anybody and the highlight of my day is that i am eating soup right now

From: Kelly
To: Lauren
Subj: Re: ugh im so bored

my day is equally exciting. I instructed the children about how to travel through time. One particularly disaffected youth decided to go explore a cellar door which was somehow a door to the future or something.
Oh wait that was the plot to donnie darko, my day sucks and is boring. i am eating yogurt, which is less exciting than soup, i think.

From: Lauren

To: Kelly
Subj: Re: ugh im so bored

what kind of yogurt

. . . Anyway, the worst of it was that she never got back to me on the type of yogurt, and I was kind of looking forward to comparing it to chicken barley soup and deciding which was really more boring.