28 June 2008

This Is A Trend We Should Encourage

So the past few not-fun-for-Singletons events I have had to attend, like baby showers and wedding receptions etc., instead of getting the standard pitying comments, I have had people tell me I look fabulous.  Tonight, at a wedding reception, one lady told me I was looking gorgeous and svelte and really choosing wonderful and flattering clothes.  How much better is that than having someone tell me that they are sure I'm next?  Especially considering I have NOT been feeling gorgeous and svelte, but rather exhausted and pudgy.  I know for a fact, despite the woman's assurances of the opposite tonight, that I have put on weight since I moved home.  But bless her for trying to convince me otherwise.  Also, this should go in the manual I'm sure someone is publishing on how Marrieds (Smug or otherwise) should address Singletons at potentially awkward events, like wedding receptions for people 8 years younger than they are.

27 June 2008

Things I Am Currently Obsessed With

  1. Rockferry by Duffy.  She has a similar vocal quality to Amy Winehouse, but her songs don't remind you of how sad and lost the singer is.
  2. Coldplay.  I bought their new album Viva La Vida and I found a used copy of Parachutes, which I didn't own because when it came out I thought if 107.5 The End played the song "Yellow" one more time, someone would have to die.  But I've spent the past few days listening to the four albums and I really like them.  Check out the band's appearance on The Daily Show here.
  3. Making chocolate chip cookies.  I can't leave the cookie jar empty.  My secret recipe involves changing the 2 tsps of vanila to 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of almond extract.
  4. Catching up on the first season of Burn Notice on hulu.com.  I caught an episode at my aunt's earlier this month and now I'm hooked.  Everything looks so pretty on my Mac!
  5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  I loved this book.  I'm thinking of reading it again, just to enjoy the details that I rushed through to finish the story.

22 June 2008

I Need A Vacation (or I Don't Get Paid Enough To Deal With This Crap)

It seems I have been away from the blogging world for so very long, even though I have posted. Part of the problem is that work has been SO tense lately, I'm completely drained and have no energy for anything I need to do, like start my soon-to-arrive niece's baby quilt or deadhead the roses or clean the kitchen or finding a place to live this fall or navigating the complicated world of student loans etc.  Of course all this tension has to do with my favorite coworker, Dwight. First, a little background.  You can guess Dwight's mood by how loudly he stomps back and forth from his office to the map room or the water cooler. The more stressed, irritated, or mad he gets, the louder the stomping. Additionally, Dwight always thinks he works harder than anyone else in the office, despite his 3-5, 20-30 minute trips to Safeway a day, his weekly haircuts, his 35 minute lunches, and his penchant for watching sports tournaments on his computer. None of which he clocks out for.  Ever.  So on his time card it looks as though he puts in 10-12 hour days, even though anyone who pays attention knows he only works about 5 of those. Finally, he is the reason myriad employees have quit over the years, especially the receptionist/typists as they seem to be his favorite target.  Our current receptionist/typist ChattyCathy is at the top of his poop list at all times and there is absolutely no love lost between them.  Oh, and Dwight is a bully unless someone stands up to him.  (See this post about his interaction with my father).

Now we can embark on this week.  Monday, ChattyCathy went home at 9 am because she still wasn't over whatever stomach bug she had over the weekend. Which we were all fine with, as we didn't want to get it.  Dwight was stompy. When I got back from lunch I heard all about his temper tantrum regarding a file cabinet not being shuffled, despite a drawer being overstuffed. He shouted about how people (read: ChattyCathy) were so lazy they couldn't take 5 minutes out of their day to shuffle a few files and now he had to take time out of his day to do it.  Everyone ignored him and he got stompier.  The kicker - he spent most of that day doing nothing but watching the U.S. Open on his computer.

Tuesday he was even stompier and gave a huge aggrieved sigh any time anyone asked him to do something.  It was so bad that one of the other examiners (MrCynic) said that Dwight's nickname should be 'Stampy' like the elephant Bart Simpson adopted.  MrCynic got so frustrated with Dwight that afternoon that he forwarded this picture to us:

Wednesday morning he was a little less stompy, but it turned out to be the calm before the storm.  See, it has been fairly slow for the real estate market of late and our orders are probably less than half of what they were last year.  So most of us are able to get all our work done during the day AND have a little time to socialize.  So after I got back from lunch, I was talking to NewGirl and TheBarista for about 20 minutes, in between phone calls, as ChattyCathy was at lunch.  Dwight got stompier and stompier  as he walked past NewGirl and TheBarrsta's office where I was leaning against the door and chatting.  Mostly I think because he as a very apparent obsession with TheBarista (to the point that if there is any after hours thing that TheBarista has to attend at which Dwight will also be present, TheBarista's husband insists he be there.) and I was blocking his access to her and partly because we weren't "working" even though the whole conversation started because I went into their office to ask a work-related question.  But note: Dwight never said anything.  The conversation ended when the phone rang and I went to answer it.  Shortly thereafter ChattyCathy returned from lunch and Dwight STOMPED over to her desk and started yelling at her about an order that needed to be open, but that hadn't been.  The order hadn't been open because there was a bug in the program what wouldn't let her print.  She contacted our office computer guru, but since he is the boss's son, he never gets in until after 2pm. Since the program is a shared program on the server, she didn't think anyone else would be able to print anything else.  This answer threw Dwight into even more of a rage.  To the point that I felt it absolutely imperative to start defending ChattyCathy (I would have anyway, because Dwight is such a pain).  He was so out of control the thought that he might hit her crossed my mind.  Seriously. Finally he STOMPED away, but not before scaring ChattyCathy so badly she started sobbing.  I was so mad I was shaking as was NewGirl.  TheBarista called our boss and told him to tell Dwight to go home, as he was out of line. Our computer guru arrived in the midst of this and told Dwight the program did have a bug, but that didn't really change anything.  Needless to say, we all went home exhausted and totally distracted.

Thursday I got to work and only TheBarista was there.  She was upset because she had accidentally left the window in her office open and someone had removed the screen and broken in.  The alarm went off and the cops came and the boss had to be called in at 1:30 in the morning. (Note: Dwight was at the boss's house drinking scotch and having a grand old time with the boss and his visiting Australian friends.  Nice.) So she was worried that she was due for a lecture from TheOwner.  Now the boss and TheOwner are brothers.  TheOwner put up the original investment and has his law office next door.  He has a habit of being absent for weeks on end then returning and finding something not to his liking and then going on a tear to remake the office in his vision.  Which doesn't really work because he disappears again shortly thereafter.  So he caught wind of what went on and conducted multiple inteviews, the result of which ChattyCathy was told she could choose to move to his office or stay where she was, but realize that she couldn't hold a grudge or force her coworkers to choose sides. Dwight was apparently read the riot act for two hours and then sent home early by TheOwner.

Friday, Dwight was somewhat subdued and seemed unable to cope with anything. ChattyCathy had to ask him a question for the first time, but that conversation seemed to go okay and Dwight even caught himself when he started to go into lecture mode.  Which is a miniscule amount of progress. If only I thought it would last.  Sadly, I think that the boss and TheOwner are totally enablers of this behavior because they never actually fire Dwight for things like this. They think he is too valuable to lose and so Dwight gets away with crap that no corporation in America would tolerate.  Just from a liability standpoint.  And with ChattyCathy, NewGirl, TheBarista, and I all planning on leaving by the end of the year, I think they are going to have a huge wake-up call.  Especially when everyone of us lists Dwight as a reason we thought about leaving in the first place.

Hopefully next week will be better and I'll have time to write the posts still percolating in my head.

18 June 2008

To Tide You All Over

Because in my head I have legions of lurking readers.  Anyway, I know I have been very lax in blogging of late, but I swear I have been busy.  Plus, I have stories to tell, should I ever have more than 15 minutes to blog.  But for now I will do a fun little meme I found on a blog I occasionally read and recently, due to a very slow work schedule, caught up on.  First the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book. If you are currently reading something, that'll be fine too.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!
6. Tag 5 people.

On the floor by my bed was the book I'm currently reading for book club, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.  I've read the first 25 pages and am looking forward to reading the rest.  For now, here is pg. 123, sentences 5 through 8:

A fabulist. A liar. And the plea that had so moved me -- Tell me the truth -- had been uttered by a man who was not even real.

I was at a loss to explain to myself the bitterness of my disappointment.

I tag the following, although anyone who wants to should totally participate:
  1. Parker @ TheCentre
  2. Esperanza @ EsperanzaK2
  3. Treat Queen @ Crazie Place
  4. Aquamarine @ A Deep Blue Sea
  5. Katie @ Trivial Smorgasbord

I promise to be back soon, hopefully this weekend.  Now I must be off to take the cookies I'm baking for the YW Book of Mormon read-a-thon that is happening tonight out of the oven.  

11 June 2008

In Which My Darkest Suspicions Are Confirmed

Last night I attended a baby shower. There were no games and wonderful food, so all told a pretty good shower as such things go. Except for one disturbing conversation that took place around me. In the last couple of weeks several families I know through church have had loved ones pass away. And one of the ladies at the shower hadn't heard of the most recent passing.  So three ladies were discussing the details:

Lady 1:  I have just had to send out too many sympathy cards lately.

Lady 2:  What?

Lady 3:  So-and-so's sister passed away.

Lady 2:  Sister A or sister B?

Lady 1:  Sister B.

Lady 2: Wait I thought sister A was the one that was sick.

Lady 3:  No, it was sister B

Lady 1:  Which is just so tragic.  She is leaving behind a 10 year-old daughter

Lady 3:  No, she is 15.  The same age as my daughter.

Lady 2:  Oh, how sad.

I have long had the sneaking suspicion that single people are looked at as second-class citizens in our conservative, religious culture.  Single people aren't the norm in most congregations and are often expected to pick up extra slack because we don't have a husband or children.  It also happens to married women without children, I suspect. But to hear a conversation in which some participants intimate that it is somehow more tragic for one 40-something woman to die than another simply because one has children is awful.  A life ended is a life ended, regardless of circumstance.  It is appalling to hear that people think otherwise.

03 June 2008

Sorry George

But my heart now belongs to another man, even if he is only 24 and 1/2 inches tall.

(The Peanut, telling me a story.)