30 July 2008

My Big Mouth

Vacation posts are coming, it is just that what has happened since returning from said vacation is much more interesting and important right now. Regular readers know that the office I work for has some interesting personalities. It is also a fairly casual office, the uniform being jeans and sneakers or flip flops. Well, while I was on vacation, someone visited the office looking for the law office next door.  The owner of the law office next door is also TheOwner of our office. TheBoss, our day-to-day manager is out of town for five weeks fishing in Alaska.The visitor informed TheOwner that our office was unprofessional. Which prompted a flurry of stress and a few changes. 

Change one was that all time off such as vacation, absences, sick days, doctors' appointments etc. have to be cleared through TheOwner. Second, if we go to TheBoss first for these things, like we used to do, we will be dismissed. Finally, any conversation not directly related to work had to take place in the break room or the conference room. He told everyone that he was open to a response for two weeks and then he would consider it a closed topic. Monday, when I got back from vacation, I got an earful from everyone. Nearly everyone was prepping their resumes and planning to leave. There was an unspoken agreement not to ruin TheBoss's vacation, although he found out anyway and asked TheBarista what was going on.

Cut to me. I was completely annoyed with the turn of events and, having an eye appointment, I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and send the following:


I have an eye appointment scheduled on ------. I will be using my lunch hour to cover the appointment. I understand that we now have to clear all absences, appointments, sick days, etc. with you.

Since I was out of the office when the new system was instituted, I would like to get your confirmation on what was explained to me as the new system.
  • As stated above, any time away from the office between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, excepting the lunch hour, needs to be cleared through you via email or phone.
  • If we speak to Mike about any absence mentioned above before we contact you, we will be dismissed.
  • All non-work related conversations must take place either in the conference room or in the break area by the file cabinets. Any such conversations taking place outside these designated areas will prompt our dismissal.
Have I missed anything? I understand that this new system was adopted in response to a complaint about the professionalism, or lack thereof, of our office. I also understand that you are open to a response on this system.

First and foremost, if I had not already given notice that I was leaving, I would be seriously considering my future with this company. While I do not know the details of what occurred, the results of the incident completely undermines any sense of employee well-being for the following reasons:
  • The institution of the new system while TheBoss is gone, combined with your insistence that TheBoss be excluded from any managerial decision-making not only professionally emasculates TheBoss, but puts all employees in a difficult situation. We are forced to choose between ignoring our day-to-day manager and boss or being dismissed by one who is, for the most part, absent on a day-to-day basis. If you have issues with TheBoss's management style or dislike how the office is being run, it should first be discussed between you and TheBoss and then discussed with the employees. It is uncomfortable to be stuck in the middle of an executive-level disagreement.
  • The new system is insulting to your employees. You valued the subjective observations of someone who spent a fraction of an hour in the office and who has absolutely no knowledge of the workings of the office over the record of employees who have worked for you for years and with whom you trust multi-million dollar deals, significant sums of money, and the related bank account information. Either you trust your employees with the future of this company or you don't. We can't do our jobs effectively if our skills, decision-making, work ethic, and integrity can be undermined by one individual.
  • If we did indeed do something wrong, we need more specific direction than 'unprofessional.' What, exactly, did the individual making these accusations find unprofessional? If we have only a vague understanding of what we did wrong, how can we ever hope to fix it? Additionally, without details we can never successfully defend ourselves.
  • I understand that hearing the title company pronounced 'unprofessional' by a valued client would be upsetting. However, the anger and rapidity with which the new system was instituted and the severity of its nature underscore that is was done in anger and with a sense of retribution. This is unjust. It is your company and your investment, but your employees also invest in this company. If we feel we have no recourse or voice we will have no alternative but to leave a place that, up until now, was a fulfilling place to work; a place where we felt valued. That has changed.
I hope that you take my suggestions seriously. I don't know exactly how the rest of the office is feeling, but I think it necessary to tell you how I feel. This has been a good place to work and I have been treated well during some very difficult circumstances. It would be a shame for this company to lose the personality and environment that made it unique.

Thank you,


I sent it at 9 AM yesterday. He apparently got it yesterday evening, as I was promptly dismissed before 9 AM today. I actually feel pretty good about it. I was expecting it, actually. Sure, it would have been nice to have two more paychecks before I leave for school, but I felt it was really important that something be said, and since I was leaving anyway and didn't have a huge pile of bills or a family to support I felt I could be the one to say something. So I'll have a lot more time to do things I enjoy, like blog and read,  and things I desperately need to do, like find a place to live at school. and yard work.  And I promise a vacation blog is next!

28 July 2008

I Need A Vacation To Recover From My Vacation

I had loads of fun, saw several good movies, enjoyed lots of time with friends and family and desperately need to sleep.  I promise to write more later.  I just need to get some sleep first.

16 July 2008

It Is Confession Time

First of all, I just wanted to tell all five of my readers that I haven't disappeared nor abandoned you.  Most of my free time has been spent making this for my soon-to-be-born niece, Gummi Bear:

Which is why this post has been sitting around waiting for me to blow the dust off and finish it. Without further ado, onto the confessions!

I spent a great many years of my life trying to keep people from realizing what a huge dork I am.  I knew I would never be 'popular' but I did want to preserve some semblance of cool. However, in retrospect, this quest for coolness meant I kept a lot of things locked up in my head because they weren't respected by my friends or peers.  It is my goal to stop worrying so much about others' opinions of me and just be myself.  So as a first, tentative, step toward full disclosure, I thought I would start with a blog post revealing something I normally wouldn't.

I wasn't quite sure what I was ready to share.  I had to start out small, but not something insignificant. But obviously it couldn't be an admission that any mocking would send me into a catatonic state. It all came together when I saw Get Smart. (Side note:  I thought it was a fun movie.  I would recommend it just because Steve Carrell could make me laugh just reading the phone book. But there is fun to be had outside of Mr. Carrell, so go see it!) What was the epiphany that led me to this post?  That Dwayne Johnson ('The Rock' is apparently out) is kind of hot. Maybe it was the wardrobe (I have no defenses against a secret agent in a French blue button down w/ rolled up sleeves. None. I blame David Duchovny.  And Michael Vartan). But that confession is not all, my friends. I have compiled a list of other actors who I have heretofore been loathe to admit finding attractive.  You may mock, I won't be offended.  But I'll be ecstatic if any of you agree!

Back to Mr. Johnson, I was originally very dismissive, as he was a professional wrestler.  Then I saw him a few years ago on SNL and he wasn't half bad.  Then he stopped being so beefy and put on the Standard-Issue Government Agent Uniform I mentioned above and was all nice to Steve Carrell in Get Smart and all of sudden he is attractive.  

Next up is another actor who kind of grew on me.  I never got into Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel although two roommates tried valiantly to get me hooked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But while I never got obsessed (which I think had more to do with my love of the original movie than the quality of the show.) I kept tabs on David Boreanaz and now that he's not in a show as a character whose only moods are sad and evil, I can say that he is hot. And the fact he wears the Standard-Issue Government Agent Uniform the majority of the time is a plus.

The Matrix worked because Keanu Reeves needed only to look confused and/or concerned through the entire 136 minutes of the film. Also, the all black look works on most men. The thing is, even though his acting genius seems to have peaked with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, I feel compelled to watch him. As in, literally stare at him. He is the worst thing about Much Ado About Nothing, but he also spends some time shirtless. 

George of the Jungle, The Mummy I & II, School Ties, Bedazzled: these are movies I have seen multiple times. Not because they are necessarily good; most of them are not. Why do I watch them repeatedly? Because I find Brendan Fraser to be completely disarming. He spends most of the time in these films being the affable goof. A very tall affable goof with a six pack.

I have long been at the mercy of class clowns. I loved several during my school career. Currently I am quite enamored with one Mr. Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live. His dry delivery on Weekend Update nearly always sets me giggling. And a man who makes me laugh is always attractive.

And finally my deepest, darkest, most difficult confession. I find Denis Leary to be dead sexy. I don’t even know how I came to this conclusion, as I think I have seen maybe one movie he has ever done, a long forgotten Disney flick called Operation Dumbo Drop (Research shows he also played Smalls’ step-dad in The Sandlot. So that’s two). Everything else is pretty much unwatchable, as he is known to be a foul-mouthed comedian. But I still have to stop and stare whenever I see an ad for Rescue Me.

So there you are, dear readers.  Secrets I have been loathe to admit for some time and which will definitely cause a few of my friends' eyebrows to go up.  Now I'm off on vacation. I'll be back with stories and pictures!

09 July 2008

A Few Small Things

ZB has a photo blog that does weekly challenges. This week's challenge is titled "The Little Things" so I thought I would share some little things I have been preoccupied with lately.

This is one of about 10 miniature rose bushes my mom planted in our yard. They are miraculously tiny and take an insane amount of time to deadhead. 

Another small thing, but one that is crazy exciting - I only have 5 work days left until I hit the road for Idaho and Utah.  Starting on the 22nd, I will be footloose and fancy-free so everyone I know in Utah, we MUST get together - email me!  The only definitive appointment I have is a Friday night showing of the new X-Files movie!  

03 July 2008

Just Some Visual Fun

For YW last night we went on a short hike on a random little trail about 25 minutes outside of town. Supposedly it goes to an old Native American site where tribes would meet and trade. I don't know if that is true, but I had a enjoyable evening despite the 95 degree weather. I miraculously remembered my camera and actually used it!  So here are a couple of the shots with which I am particularly pleased.