Tool Selection

Could be someone I know, someone I don't know, fictional characters, dead people. I don't care, I'm an equal opportunity complainer when it comes to complete dickwads.

Wherever there's a Complete Tool, I'll follow closely behind with my anonymous bitching. 'Cuz that'll show 'em.

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Awesomeness
You will be blinded by my awesomeness.
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Righteous Indignation




On the heels of recovering from both the black plague and ebola (um, strep and a crazy stomach bug), the last thing I needed was the possibility of having to break up a cat fight in my lobby.

It isn't often that our customers talk to one another, and the conversations are usually helpful and friendly when it does happen. Yesterday was the exception.

An older lady came in and decided that we wanted to hear all about her harrowing experience of being asked for spare change in our parking lot. She made it sound like she just escaped an ass-raping.

A younger lady heard her nowhere-near-death tale and, surprisingly, wasn't moved. The conversation that followed didn't start off too wildly, but it declined. Fast.

Young: If you don't feel comfortable getting out of your car in this neighborhood, there are other locations you can go to.

Old: No, I know. I like coming here, but I just didn't feel safe when he approached me.

Young: Well, he was probably just hungry. I don't know why anyone would be afraid of a hungry person.

Old: It wasn't that he was hungry, he looked like he was on meth.

Young: Well, when I first saw you, I thought you were on meth.

Old: I'm not continuing this conversation with you.

Young: [something about Old being too good to talk to anyone]

Old: [something about Young growing up]

Young: [something immature and hippyish]

Old: [something about Young having a nice life]

(I don't know, after the meth comment they started talking over one another. This is what I picked out anyway.)

Now, of course, it's completely amusing, but yesterday I wanted to grab both of those two by the scruff of the neck and shake 'em.

And so ends 2010. Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 5, 2010

Build Your Own Hell

While I'm recovering from ebola (strep), I have plenty of time for extra-curricular activities, such as building my own Hell:

Riceboys
Circle I Limbo
Hipsters
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind
PETA Members
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow
General asshats
Circle IV Rolling Weights
Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled
River Styx
Militant Vegans
Circle VI Buried for Eternity
River Phlegyas
Osama bin Laden
Circle VII Burning Sands
Scientologists
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement
NAMBLA Members
Circle IX Frozen in Ice
Design your own hell
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Online Articles



I'm either a simple girl or a spoiled one.  One of those character traits means that I enjoy uncomplicated interactions with the things around me.

For instance, when I'm online trying to read news and information articles, I like to browse a list of titles and click on the ones that sound interesting or informative and read (or, to be more accurate, skim for highlights).  Here are the 2 things I don't want to see when I click on a link:

1. Videos: If I wanted to watch a video of a news article, I would just tune in to the fucking news.  I'm online because I seriously just want to silently skim read articles at my leisure.  What I don't want is a surprise check on the volume of my speakers.  Getting blasted away by a news clip on the nutritional value of seeds is not how I prefer to start the morning.  Or even better, when I'm treated to a surprise Old Navy ad.  I have never shopped at Old Navy, exclusively because their commercials are super obnoxious.

2. The never-ending chain of links:  This one usually goes like... "Oh hey! An article on how to stay healthy during the holidays.  I think I'd like to read that...." *click* "Where's the damn article?  Oh, there it is, buried halfway down the page as a small blurb...curious.  Okay, so I'll just click on this one...." *click*  "What the fuck is this?!  A slideshow?  A 30-part slideshow?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Can no one just write paragraphs in a column anymore?  WHY??????!!!!!!"  The rage I feel by the time I get to slide 9 ruins the whole article-reading experience for me.  By then I feel like I'm trapped reading a shitty Choose Your Own Adventure book.  It's also usually where I give up reading.

So, news folk, please remember: words, columns, the end.
Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Ebola...Or Karma

Whatever it is, I'm sick as hell and unable to think.  Instead, here is a video of warm and fuzzy well-wishes:


Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Have A Life ... Or Something That Closely Resembles One



Dear Inconsiderate Assclown:

I don't actually live at the office, Mr. Business Partner.  I like to go home right after we close.  Why in the world would you schedule a meeting with a client right at closing time?  When I say closing time, I mean the client was running up to the doors as we were locking them.

You informed one of my sales girls that you were meeting someone, but left out the time.  In the future we will know how important it is to ask you.  It apparently means the difference between getting home in time for dinner and getting home in time for breakfast.

When your client left, you never apologized for keeping me late.  You didn't even acknowledge the fact that you pulled a shitty douchebag move.  I know I'm supposed to refer clients to you, but this isn't a good way to get me to keep you in mind.  Please, in the future, feel free to meet with your clients right at closing time at someone else's office.

Sincerely,

Awesomeness
Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Rules of Engagement



Yesterday it finally happened.  EmployeeVonMunchausen called up the head of our H.R. department to complain about me.  I've been expecting this for months and months, so there was no surprise that it actually happened.

I have a couple of rules for you to follow, EVM, the next time you want to lodge a complaint:

1. Make your lies even a little believable.  Calling up a lady that I've worked with for almost 10 years and telling her that I yelled at you in front of your coworkers is extremely unbelievable.  When I yell, I sound like someone stepped on a rabid chihuahua.  Sometimes, my voice also starts cracking like a teenage boy's when it's raised.  Yelling is something that embarrasses me more than it does you, so I don't do it.  I've never done it (at work).

This is not something that would ever be substantiated by anyone who's ever worked for me.  This is the important part for you to remember EVM, because when H.R. gets caught in the middle of a she-said-she-said showdown, they start interviewing other parties.

Crap, you're screwed.

2. I would highly recommend that one of your complaints about me not be how I didn't respond apologetically to you when you accused me of being just like your abusive father.

Oh yeah, it happened.  Twice.

The response I gave you, "That really offends me.  I'm not your father and I don't appreciate the comparison," was the only response you were getting.  Tough shit that you didn't like it; that's your problem, not mine.  You have no idea how much trouble you're in for that remark.  H.R. lady is offended that you would even say that to me.  So is MisManager.  MisManager's manager wanted to march into the office and throw you out on your ass.  Bodily.  I find it hilarious.

What does H.R. lady think of your complaints?  I quote:

"She is obviously mentally disturbed.  She knows that her job is in serious jeopardy and she's desperate to keep it."
Also, about your vague charges that I "treat you differently from everyone else:"

"It sounds like you reprimand her more than anyone else because she's the only one acting up..."

YES!  HOLY CRAP, YEEEEEESSS!!  Not that everyone else on my staff is perfect, but I haven't had to warn anyone else, in writing, 5 times in a year about their absences and tardies.  Actually, no other employee I've ever had in all the 8 years I've been a supervisor has racked up so many disciplinary warnings as you, EVM.  Too bad it's almost impossible for anyone to get fired at this company.

But....

But, EVM, you need to keep in mind that, after the first of the year, they're looking at doing some layoffs.  MisManager, MisManager's manager and H.R. lady are all involved in that decision.

So maybe you should forget these rules and keep up your insane assault.  I'm sure they need at least one easy decision when it comes time to decide who goes on the chopping block.
Monday, November 8, 2010

Unhappy, Eh?

This has nothing to do with the post.  I just needed a laugh right after I wrote it.


Today was my first day back at work after a whole week of laying around in my pajamas not being pissed off by spastic assholes.  It's a good thing I came back in a good mood, because EmployeeVonMunchausen cranked the dial up to 11 today.

I knew she was going to call in.  She's so predictable.  It's Monday, her favorite day to call in.  She did surprise us though by only calling in late.  Apparently, since our last discussion when I mentioned that she almost exclusively calls in on Mondays, she has been trying extra hard to show that she's a buddy fucker every day of the week.  Now she won't call all the way in on Mondays anymore.

< sarcasm >Well, that's a relief!< /sarcasm >

At first, she called and said that she'd be an hour late -- which meant that she would leisurely languish around her house in her bunny slippers until 9:15.  She calls again and said "Nah, I think I'll come in at 9:30 instead."  This time though, she doesn't even bother to talk to either me or MisManager.  She leaves the message with one of her coworkers.

I understand, EVM, that the law provides you some protection because of your "condition" (whatever it is this week), but you can still get shit-canned for not following procedure.  You will find out tomorrow how much your spiteful little stunt will put your job in jeopardy.

I would have preferred to talk to her today, but today was filled with other EVM goodness.  She casually announced to us -- within earshot of her coworkers -- that she was applying for a transfer to one of our other offices.  She said it was because she was unhappy...

Guess what, asshole.  Me too.  I would love to transfer your undependable, whiny, mopey ass to someone else and just be rid of you, but there isn't anyone I would do that to.  Besides, we have you on a corrective action, which means you don't even get the privilege of interviewing.

This was the big mystery.  Why was H.R. calling you to schedule an interview?  I know that there are 2 questions that you have to answer in order to post for a transfer: "Does your current manager know that you wish to transfer?" (Followed by: "If no, then why not?") and "Are you currently on a corrective action or Performance Improvement Plan?"

We spent all day finding out why.  After numerous calls to the recruiter, it turns out that you circumvented answering those crucial questions by posting for the position as an external candidate.

This is it.  Tomorrow when we talk, this is all coming out.  You're "unhappy" because you're being accountable to do a job that you've admitted that you're no longer interested in doing.  Tough shit, cookie.  You have altogether told me that you expect to not have to do any work outside of your basic responsibilities.  Tough shit, cookie.  You don't like the way this is going?  Tough shit, cookie.  You will be asked tomorrow to get with the program or tender your resignation.  I usually dread these kinds of talks, but I'm looking forward to this one.  Big time.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Update: Breaking News!



It has been brought to my attention that I'm an asshole for not updating since my last post.  I'm sure I'm also an asshole for many other reasons, this one just being the most recent.  So, here's what we heard when we got to the meeting last Friday:

The company's stock has been downgraded after some disappointing 3rd quarter numbers.  Rumors are starting to fly around that we'll be bought out by our competitors.  The rumors are false.

Our company is, however, looking to close down a few of its under-performing offices.  Honestly, this really needed to happen.  When the housing market exploded, we built about 20 new offices in the markets where housing was going up the quickest in anticipation that they might be well-utilized there.  Unfortunately, quite a few of these locations have not turned any sort of profit since they've opened -- for some of them, that was well over 5 years ago.  They've had their chance.

My office will not be one of the closures.  We're highly profitable and we're crazy busy.  I'm actually hopeful that, in the displacement of the employees from the other locations, we might actually take on another part-timer.

Also, there will be additional layoffs.  In the last round of layoffs, we were able to oust a woman who, quite frankly, was probably EmployeeVonMunchausen's idol and mentor.  If we need to "sacrifice a lamb" guess who my pick will be.

So, I'm actually hopeful for the changes that are coming down.
Friday, October 29, 2010

Breaking News!




There are certain qualities that a manager should possess.  Without rattling off an entire list, we will focus on the one quality my manager lacks -- completely -- that would have come in handy today: composure.

Composure.  So important.  You panic, your team panics, the situation devolves into utter chaos.  You stay calm, put your thinking cap on, start to brainstorm, your team feels like things are under control.  That's really all there is to that lesson.

Do not do what MisManager did today.  She calls me from across town:

MisManager: (In a purely panicked tone.) Have you heard any rumors?
Awesomeness: Uh, no.  Is there something I need to know?
MisManager: Yeah....Can you tell everyone we're going to have a meeting tomorrow morning?
Awesomeness: Sure.  What time do you need us all here?
MisManager: Oh, normal time, but we're just going to have a meeting before we open.
Awesomeness: Is this a bad thing?
MisManager: (Confused.) Why? No.  I don't know.  (Again, panicky.) Are you sure you haven't heard anything?  I can try to make it back to the office tonight, but I'm about 45 minutes away....I don't think I'll make it....  Uh, I wish I didn't have to go to this meeting.... Are you sure you haven't heard anything??!! 
Awesomeness: (I give up on trying to get any information and now I just want to get her crazy ass off the phone.) I haven't heard anything.  I'll see you in the morning.

So, based on her panicked tone and lack of details, what is the first thing I want to do?  Damn right I want to call the other offices to see if anyone else knows about this mystery announcement.  I don't; a decision I'm still kicking myself for, because this is torture.

Is the company going out of business?  Are we getting bought out?  Are there going to be more layoffs?  Are they cutting benefits?  Are they freezing salaries?  Are they closing down offices?  These are all the questions that are running through my head right now.  Questions that I now have to wait until this meeting to have answered.

The worst part is now I have to try to spin this out to my staff.  I couldn't manage "positive", so I went for "indifferent" instead.  "Que sera sera," on the outside.  "OH MY FUCKING GOD!  AM I GOING TO HAVE A JOB TOMORROW?" on the inside.

So, we'll wait and see....
Thursday, October 21, 2010

No, Diego, No!



We watch a lot of the Nick Jr. channel in this house.  For the uninitiated, Nick Jr. encompasses all of the OHMYGODI'MGONNALOSEMYFUCKINGMIND shows.  Programming such as Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Blue's Clues and Ni Hao Kai-Lan.  These shows have actually proven to be a good way for the kids to learn shapes, colors, numbers and even some basic math, so I don't mind leaving it turned on for a while.

In between the shows, they have little mini-lessons in lieu of commercials.  I hate commercials, so this is also another point in their plus column.  One of these segments is called "Say It Two Ways".  I feel that the segment is a great way for kids to learn Spanish words, but I'm not quite sure about the logic of the words they're choosing.

Let's see....

Lightning: el relámpago
Bat: murciélago
Fire truck: Autocamión de bomberos

Seriously, guys, these are not words that little kids will use in their every day lives.  Maybe find something useful for your next segment, eh?
Monday, October 18, 2010

I Guess That's A No...

8:35 a.m.



Awesomeness: Hey, MisManager, I got your message that you needed to speak with me.  Did you have time this morning or is after lunches better?





MisManager: NO!  I don't have time right now.  I have a conference call and then a meeting with the business partners and then I have to...Ya know what? No one cleaned out that damn popcorn machine and I've had it.  No more popcorn machine!  They weren't busy on Saturday, I know they weren't, so I can't believe no one took any initiative to...Oh yeah, and since no one is going to work the daily reports for sales opportunities, you might as well just give them to me.  I'll work 'em.  I need sales too!





Awesomeness: ....  okay .... crazy lady
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This Means War

One, two, three, four;
I declare total war.

I declare war on your laziness, EmployeeVonMunchausen.

I have now called you to task on working on your goals for improvement.  I am done sitting across from you week after week, listing all of the tasks that you can complete to become a better person, coworker, employee.  I have given you resources to aid in your efforts.  I have cheered you forward with all the sincerity and positiveness I could muster.  In the race of life, you stand lamely at the starting gate.  I will not whip you to the finish line.

I declare war on your excuses, EmployeeVonMunchausen.

When you can't get your work done correctly, it's not that I haven't given you answers; you haven't asked any questions.  When you can't get to work on time, it's not that traffic held you up; you haven't left home at a reasonable time.  When you can't meet your sales goals, it's not that no one's interested; you haven't explained the benefits of the products.

The old saying goes something like, "When you point your finger at someone, the other three point right back at you."  If I could, I would have it tattooed on your forearm.  Or your forehead.

I declare war on your lies, EmployeeVonMunchausen.

To hear you talk, your doctors expect you to keel over at any moment.  To hear you talk, you're the only one in the office that works.  To hear you talk, you're the most overwhelmed human being on the planet.

You're unhealthy because you're seriously overweight and you crave the attention that faking sick gets you.  Jog, eat celery, smile.  Repeat.  I just cured your "illness."  Shut the fuck up.

You are overwhelmed because you confuse action with accomplishment.  I can work all day at a whole lot of nothing too, dipshit.  You don't get kudos for working five times harder than you need to at the most basic aspects of your job and not allotting yourself time for the rest of your responsibilities, dumbass.

So what's my battle plan?

Total annihilation.  You were 10 minutes late.  I gave you a documented verbal warning.

You decided to sit on your fat ass while a client needed your help.  You got another documented warning for your file.

You must see the writing on the wall, because you didn't step a toe outta line today.  Watch your back EVM, I'm all over it.
Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Bowl Burglar

WANTED:
BOWL THIEF

DEAD OR ALIVE

There are 16 bowls in this house.  This number does not include plastic storage bowls or the kids' dishes, only the bowls that an adult would pick out to use for soup or cereal.  Sixteen is a lot of bowls.  I believe it's reasonable to expect to be able to walk to the cupboard and find at least one bowl.  Apparently, I am delusional.

Sixteen bowls in the house.  Zero bowls in the cupboard.  Zero bowls in the dishwasher.  Zero bowls in the sink.  Curious.

I know a certain gentleman who prefers to eat from bowls.  His blog nickname rhymes with Sister Possum Mess.  This nameless suspect has an office that he frequently eats in.  This office is not kept in an orderly fashion.  To put it nicely, this office reminds me of a possum mess.

I wonder what I might find in there...

I'm guessing 16 bowls.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Apocalypse

Imagine yourself in the middle of a 100 + degree desert.  You're going about your business despite the unusually high fall heat when all of a sudden:


Yeah, this isn't good.  Not at all.  Soon it starts raining so hard you can't make out the palm trees in the background.  That's not so bad.  You start getting hopeful that the power will cut out and you can go home and just curl up with your book.  

Then the hail starts up and your thoughts are scattered. "Wow!  Look at the size of that shit!" becomes "Wow!  I hope my car's not getting dented," becomes "Wasn't it just sunny and 100 degrees, like, 10 minutes ago?"  

You're bummed because the power does not go out, but as a consolation prize, the phone lines do.  Small victory is still victory.  Except when that victory only lasts 15 minutes.

The sky clears and you go back to business as usual trading war stories with everyone you encounter about your memories of the Great Storm of '10.  

You notice the sky start to darken again a couple of hours later.  This time, the hail -- which was incidentally the size of golf balls -- came first. 

This is when you remember that your 2 small children are down the road and the street in front of them tends to flood like crazy.  P - A - N - I - C !!  But there's no need to fear, your hubby's on his way to get them.

Just in the nick of time too.  The street is flooded just above the curbs.  Any more water on the road and no one would have been able to get in there without a truck.  Or a rowboat.

You're finally on your way home, excited to be on your way to leaving this weather behind you.  You start to dream about your fuzzy pink throw blanket and the chocolate caramel flavored hot chocolate you know is sitting in your cupboard.

Then, about 15 minutes into the commute, you realize you're not moving.  This is bad.  You look over to see other commuters getting out of their car and walking around.  This has just now gone from "not good" to "I hope I don't have to sleep in my car tonight."

For 2 hours you're stuck on the freeway, moving about a foot every couple of minutes or so.  You've got a hungry and thirsty couple of kids in the back seat of your car.  All you have to offer is a snack baggie of Goldfish crackers.  Thirty seconds after they're offered up, the fish are gone and you get treated to a cacophony of unhappy children crying.  The urge to get out of the car and walk home is now overwhelming.

You're finally diverted off to the surface streets.  Hooraaaaa..... oh, damn.  Where's the power?  Downed power lines quickly give you your answer.  The traffic lights are out everywhere.  You can see police presence at some of the intersections directing traffic, but they can't be everywhere.

At another intersection, you see the National Guard directing traffic.  Later, you'll realize that the men you saw out there didn't have any sort of reflecting clothing on.  They were probably just called straight out to direct traffic in the dark.  In camouflage clothes.  You spend the rest of your commute worried about their safety.

You make it about halfway through the surface streets that will take you to the highway leading to your home. The water is just rushing in little rivulets on the sides of the road.  The further south you go, the deeper the water gets.  At some point, you realize that it's actually up to the bottom of the passenger-side door.

An hour on the surface streets and you make it alive and well to the highway.  By this time, one of your kids is overcome by exhaustion.  You're grateful.  The other one is entertained by the catchy music you put on to lighten the mood.  You don't even care at this point that your four-year old is trying to sing along to "Dick In A Box."  You just care about getting home.

Over three hours after you leave work, you finally arrive home.

This was my Tuesday.




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Presenting My Ass



Every other month I meet with a group of my peer supervisors in our market.  The meetings are led by MisManager (lucky me!) and two of her counterparts.  The meetings are really just good for nothing else besides bringing us together as a group so we can use each other as additional resources.  There, so far, is not too much information to be gained there.

In our last meeting, MisManager's team dropped a bomb on us. "Oh, by the way, you all will be presenting the majority of the content for our next four meetings."  Oh really.  So instead of being subjected to your sage advice, we're going to be half-assing our way through a 45-minute long presentation.  Goody!  They did let us know we would be paired off, though, so I thought maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

Guess who goes first.  Yeah. Me.

Guess who got partnered up with the balding, cross-eyed, stuttering girl with facial hair.  Yeah, me.

So, because I'm a shallow asshole, my partner's personal appearance means I can't concentrate on what the poor girl is saying when we have in-person meetings.  I've done most of my communication with her by email.  It's just better this way, please trust me.

We were charged with the topic of "One-On-One Coaching".  At the time we were told that we could talk about whatever aspect of that we wanted, just so long as it was closely tied with the main topic.  Great!  We chose to focus on the difference between a coaching discussion and a disciplinary discussion.  Mostly, I wanted to do this because a lot of times my peers will intermingle the two and they really should be separate.

So we break all the work up in half.  I'm the more comfortable presenter, so I took the discussion piece.  I had to make up my own notes and materials.  It was no problem though.  One-on-one coaching is a part of my job that I enjoy and I have a lot to say about it.

My partner's job: tools and resources.  There are a lot of different forms that can be used.  We also have a lot of good advice and guidelines available to us on the company's intranet site.  Best of all, this woman is terrified of public speaking, so this gives her something very structured to put together.  She also doesn't have to get overly elaborate, just basically describe the materials she's pulled and call it good.

We met twice before the presentation.  The first meeting, she showed me her materials and the fact that she even wanted to organize them into a folder.  Beautiful!  She sounded confident in her presentation.  We discussed some weak points and worked them out.  She was good to go.

The second meeting, same thing.  There was no way she was going to fuck this up.  Except I'm writing about her on my "you're an asshole" blog, so we all know better.

Day of the presentation: she shows up with all of her notebooks and looks confident and then.... she starts telling me that she's not going to do the presentation we discussed.  She's just going to hand out her notebooks, but she has no plans anymore to discuss what's in them.  Are you fucking shitting me?  This is what we've planned for over a month now.  Our second meeting was the day before the presentation.  What the fuck changed your feeble little mind in one day lady?

I panicked.  She was going to sink the whole thing.  So what did I do?  I talked for 40 of our 45 minutes.  I let her mumble on for about the 5 minutes, but I kept directing her back to the materials in her folders.  I'm not sure anyone really noticed because they all liked the presentation, but I was on fire when I left there.

Guess who gets to do another presentation at the beginning of next year.  Yeah, me.

Guess who's going to beg for a new presentation partner.  Yeah, me.
Friday, September 24, 2010

Thanks Blogger

Thanks to Blogger's new Stats option, I now have to wonder why my blog can be found using the search phrase "the reason therapists don't like guns".






Yeah, that's seriously all I've got right now.  Sorry!
Sunday, September 19, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed....



WARNING: Regardless of what you've read here in the past, I'm normally not a hateful asshole.  The following post comes from one of the darkest corners of my heart and, as horrible as it is, I mean every dark, spite-filled word of it.

Dear EmployeeVonMunchausen:

For the past three years, I've had to put up with some craziness from you that would try the patience of a Buddhist monk. For starters, you're a liar.  I don't want to hear any more about the 40,000 medical conditions that your 60,000 doctors are currently testing you for.  There's nothing wrong with you that couldn't be fixed very easily with some in-patient time in a mental ward.

Please stop trying to tug on my heartstrings with fake stories about being diagnosed with cancer.  Your claim of the dreaded "C" word came at a time when you knew you were in line for a disciplinary discussion.  That is the lowest way that any of my employees have tried to get out of a written warning.  How dare you spit in the faces of people who are sincerely struggling with this deadly illness.  Take responsibility for your actions like a grown up.

Anyone who thinks that's harsh: she magically didn't have cancer anymore once a) we administered the warning even after her tearful claim; b) she called Human Resources to verify that we, indeed, had the right to put her on a warning; and also consider c) the kind of cancer she supposedly had changed more frequently than her underpants.  Now, if you thought that was harsh....

For three years, I've heard all about your depression.  I've heard countless numbers of times about your feelings of overwhelming sadness.  You've even expressed a few times that you've thought about suicide.  The first year, I was shocked and saddened.  I referred you to our employee assistance hotline who put you in touch with a counselor.  The second year, I highly recommended that you step up your periodic visits to a counselor or see an actual therapist.  You did, for a little while.  This year, I'm just ignoring you.

You know what your life means to you.  The decision to live or die is yours, just as your decision to continue to live in misery for no reason is yours.  If you have decided that your life is worthless and you don't deserve good experiences, then you are beyond my help or advice.  Your claims of overwhelming sadness and cries for help are not my problem or my responsibility.  I will not try to fix you and I no longer pity you.  You mope around making depressing statements about yourself and your life and you expect everyone else to lift you up.  You are a happiness leech and I despise you for using us.

Now, you're on an intermittent leave (can call in any damn time she chooses) for "psychological reasons".  I know why and MisManager knows why.  The rest of the staff has been very unaware of the exact nature of your latest dependability issues.  MisManager and I prefer to keep it that way.  Apparently though, because you're no longer able to get the responses you need from us, you've moved on to your coworkers.  This is unacceptable.

The other day you called in, crying.  You don't have to tell me what's wrong anymore and, believe me when I say, it's a relief not to get spoon-fed horseshit.  When you came back in the next day, you thought it was appropriate to slip a note to Jailbait that said:

I didn't come in to work yesterday because I tried to kill myself.
He's a 20-year old kid, who I'm sure has not had to deal with the likes of this in his life.  It took that poor boy 6 hours to finally decide to come forward and say something to us.  He feels responsible for you now.  I know this was your intended result and I hate you for it.  I hate you with every ounce of emotion that I can stomach wasting on you.

Try to end your life or don't, but don't you think for one minute I'm going to allow you to emotionally terrorize anyone else on my staff you stupid sack of shit.

Very sincerely,

Awesomeness
Friday, September 17, 2010

I Hate The Grocery Store




Mr. A always goes grocery shopping with me.  Part of the reason he always accompanies me is because we carpool and stop by the store on the way home.  The rest of his purpose in escorting me through the store is to keep me from stabbing people like this in the eye:

Deaf old lady: You were in no less than 4 aisles with me.  In each of these aisles you somehow managed to park your damn cart in front of the one item I needed.  For example, if I wanted raisins, you parked your cart in front of the raisins to look at the pudding.  You studied that damn pudding like there was going to be a big test on it when you got to the front of the store.  "Excuse me please," didn't work.  You ignored me.

The Queen of Overshare: It makes sense that you would need to occupy yourself in some way in the checkout line.  You brought your 2 kids with you and they were busy chasing each other around, kicking each other and spilling their water all over the place.  I guess your only option was to turn around and talk to the girl that's trapped in line behind you.  Oh, joy.  I now know: where you live, where you work, what you do for a living, the fact that you got a ticket that morning, what you were cooking for dinner that night and about 80 other factoids that replaced useful information in my head.  I'm sure of that.

The bigger problem: You separated your groceries into 3 groups: the groceries you intended to pay for in cash, the groceries you intended to pay for with WIC vouchers and the groceries you intended to pay for with your food stamp card.  When the cashier rang up your cash items, you came up short.  You put some items back and we (eventually) moved on.  When she rang up your WIC items, you presented a couple of WIC vouchers that were no good.  Ugh.  So we finally get to your food stamp purchases.  You were 88 cents short.  Once again I had to wait while you went through and picked out an item that you could live without.

Half an hour.  This is how long I was in line behind her.  You would think after half an hour of waiting on one customer constantly blathering in her face that the cashier would be craving a little quiet time.  No, this was not my day.

Babbling Betty the Cashier: You are the biggest asshole of the night.  When you finally get to my purchases, you felt an almost desperate need to start explaining to me that you were supposed to be off work 15 minutes ago.  Less talky, more scanny asshole.  You were supposed to be off 15 minutes ago, you stayed late by 45 minutes 2 days ago.  I don't care.  I really and very, very sincerely just do not give a shit.  My silence during your tirade should have been a hint.  At the end of my transaction, a coworker walked up and let you know that your manager needed to see you when you were done.  Then I had to hear about that.  "I hope I'm not in trouble!  I mean, I don't think I did anything wrong.  She probably just wants to talk to me about my schedule...."  Ohmygodshutthefuckupandgetmeouttahere!!!!

This is why I hate the grocery store.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Communication Breakdown



Dear Speech Therapy Clinic:

Thank you so much for being willing to see my kids on a weekly basis.  We were almost stunned that you didn't want to put us on a waiting list like the rest of the clinics in town.  We were even more shocked that you all were willing to come out to our house to work with our kids in their own environment.  When we get this process going, it's going to make an amazing difference for my family.

Yeah, let's see if we can get there, though.  When we started scheduling our weekly sessions, we agreed on Wednesday morning.  You quoted August 18 as our start date.  I was excited; I even took the day off so I didn't feel rushed at the end of our session to get into work.

August 18, 8:00 a.m.: we're all, all of us, sitting around waiting.  At 8:05, I figured the therapist had some troubles finding our house.  In suburbia, you almost need a Sherpa.  I could forgive that.  At 8:15 and no phone call, I started to wonder about our appointment.  I call the office and, sure enough: miscommunication.  I don't need to point out the irony of a clinic that deals in effective communication having communication problems, right?  Well, maybe.

I was told that future home visits were "most likely" set and I would get a call on Monday to confirm the appointment next week.  Okaaaaaaaaay...  When your "Scheduling Specialist" said, "Every Wednesday from 8:00 - 10:00," I guess I shouldn't have taken her so literally.

Next Monday: no call.  I waited until after 4:00 before calling you to confirm my appointment.  Your "Scheduling Specialist" said we were a go, and your therapist did show up the next Wednesday at 8:00, as promised.  Okay then.  One communication error does not constitute a total breech of confidence.

Two, on the other hand, has me on guard.

My kids went in for their initial evaluation in July.  The charge for the session went to my insurance and they paid their portion.  On August 1st, you billed me for the difference.  This was an amount that was substantially more than I thought I would pay.  Luckily, my paycheck at the end of the month is not dedicated to any of our bills in any firm kind of way.  It was going to hurt, but I could cover it.

Your bill stated that I have until September 2nd to pay.  Today is September 1st.  On August 31st, I received a second bill dated for September 1st, stating that the amount of the first bill was no longer current; it was posted in the 31-60 day column.

Now, I understand that August has 31 days, and technically if the bill was not paid on September 1st, that it would be on the 31st day.  However, this was obviously sent off well before September 1st.  You didn't even give me until the date that you set to pay this bill before counting it as past due.

I had plans to stop by your office today anyhow to pay this, as it's on my way in to work.  Now you'll get your stinkin' money, but it's going to come with a piece of my mind that might not be worth the trouble.  The next time you give me a fucking date to pay the fucking bill, you better motherfucking intend to fucking give me until that fucking day to pay it.

(I might be a little upset over this...)
Saturday, August 28, 2010

This Has To Be Illegal



For once, I don't have a beef with anyone I work with.  No, this time my problem is with Mr. Awesomeness's boss.  It's about time I got around to this dickhead.

A little bit of background:

Mr. A has been working for this company for 9 ½ years.  He started out drafting for them and has slowly worked his way into every other job that the division he works for handles.  Eventually, this lead to a sales position.  This was a great thing because the salesmen make bonuses.  Bonuses rock.

And then the housing market fell apart.  This company is a subcontractor for the housing industry, so this was a huge stress.  Thankfully, Mr. A was not one of the 75% of the company's employees that were laid off.

Unfortunately, every time someone from Mr. A's division got laid off, his boss just dumped their job into his lap. He now performs the duties that 4 people used to handle.

And that bonus he was supposed to be getting: gone.  He's never seen more than a couple of dollars beyond his regular paycheck for all the sales he's pulled in.  His regular pay has been the same since 2006.  As in, the man hasn't gotten a raise in 4 years.  It's a good thing he negotiated a pretty good raise then.

In this job market, this might be somewhat tolerable -- I mean, he could be unemployed, so we can't really bitch too much -- but now we get to the point of the story: Mr. A is a salaried worker who works in the office 45-50 hours every week.  Then he comes home and works from home.  He has a mobile work phone that, seriously, does. not. stop. ringing.  The other morning, when we took a couple of hours to deal with our children at home, his phone rang more in 2 hours than mine does all day.

The reason we had to stay home with our kids is that they need speech therapy.  Our kids don't do good with the talking thing.  We found a clinic that's willing to send a therapist to our home every Wednesday for a 2 hour session and, with insurance, it's very cheap.  I'm excited to do this for my kids; it will really help our family.

When I asked MisManager about the prospect of taking the time off once a week for the next year (yep, yikes), she was accommodating.  I work the same number of office hours every week and it's only logical that I should be able to take some of them back.  Of course, sometimes there will be meetings and other staffing situations that I won't be able to miss, but they'll be few and far between (hopefully).

When Mr. A asked his boss if he can come in late on Wednesdays, the answer was, "Sure!........... but you'll have to request the time you need in advance and take it all out of your paid time off."  Mr. A works well beyond the 40 hours expected of him every week, but if he wants to take any of his hours back, he has to take it out of his vacation/sick time?  Wha?  He only gets 80 hours per year for sick, personal and vacation time.  This is not enough.

What it boils down to is that his boss is a coward.  The reason for not making the small schedule accommodation is that the other employees might want the same thing.  ANARCHY!!  You gutless sack of shit.  Most of your employees' work can be done from home or can be done in off hours, but you still want to hold everyone to this arbitrary 8:00-5:00, Monday-Friday schedule.  This isn't the 1950s.  Technology is your friend.

So now, I don't know what I'm going to do on the Wednesdays that I can't be there.  This is way too important for my kids for us to pass up this opportunity.  I guess we'll just take this as it comes, but it's still depressing.
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Toilet Paper or...Toilet Paper? Hmmmmm.....



I know it's confusing EVM.  When I revamped the office's "Frequently Ordered Supplies" list, I listed toilet paper twice; once under office supplies and once again under cleaning supplies.  I did not do this to make your head explode, I was just being a flake.

So when you couldn't find toilet paper in the women's bathroom (because it's kept in the cleaning closet with all the other cleaning supplies), you decided to document your torturous experience in the following email:

We are out of toilet paper in the women's restroom.  I had to go into the men's room to find a spare roll.  I was going to list the fact that we were out on the new supply order list, but it's written on there twice and I didn't know which one I should pick.  - Sincerely confused (I am not making this up) EmployeeVonMunchausen
 So instead of asking someone else where the spare toilet paper was kept or checking either toilet paper box on the list, you decided to take the time and draft a dissertation of your harrowing toilet paper adventure.  Good call.  My response:

I'm not sure why you found this so confusing -- it was obviously an oversight.  The next time your faced with this situation, please check one box or the other and, if you feel it necessary, either write in your observation about the duplicate entry on the checklist or just tell someone.  For future reference, spare toilet paper is kept in the cleaning supply closet.  -- Awesomeness
  Don't forget to breathe in and out during your hike to the supply closet EVM.  For instructions on how to pick up your legs and feet in a fashion that will carry you in a forward motion, I will follow with a technical manual.  Complete with illustrations and shit.
Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Popcorn Machine



Once a month, the company lends our office a popcorn machine.  MisManager loves the thing and thinks it's fun for the clients.  MisManager does not have to set up the popcorn machine.  MisManager does not have to make the popcorn.  MisManager certainly never cleans the damn thing.

Yesterday we were shorthanded and everyone launched right in to work (you know, what we're paid for) and MisManager got a bug up her ass about the fact that no one was setting up the popcorn machine.  When she complained to me, I just shrugged at her.  I'm not messing with the damn thing.  I've complained numerous times about how time consuming it is to have the thing there in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I love popcorn, but I don't think that we need to pop it once a month just for the fuck of it.

Angry that no one else was taking ownership of a machine that no one but her really wants there anyway, MisManager decides to make a schedule.  Since no one wanted to set up the machine and throw some popcorn in, now we all have to stand at the entrance and hand out bags of popcorn to the customers when they walk in the door.

Oh hell no.  I declined a shift and she said, "This really isn't optional."  Oh hell no.  The look in my eye must have said, "Bitch, I will ax murder you," because she immediately followed up with, "C'mon, let's discuss this off the floor."  That went a little something like this:

MisManager: You know, as a leader, you really need to set a good example for your employees.
Awesomeness: It's a popcorn machine.  It doesn't take leadership skills to hand out popcorn.
MisManager: It's a nice friendly greeting for the clients when they first walk in the door.
Awesomeness: We can greet and talk to the clients from our desks...like we always do.  And, you know, like, get our work done at the same time.  The popcorn is right there next to the door.  They can just grab some on the way out.
MisManager: I need you to have my back on this.
Awesomeness: Then stop punishing us for no reason by making us go into the lobby and hand out popcorn when we have work to do.
MisManager: It's not a punishment, and, you know, you're being very insubordinate right now.

This is the part where my fucking head explodes.  She uses that term a little too liberally, and always for the most inappropriate circumstances; like this one.  I hope she knows that insubordination only applies to reasonable instruction.  Something tells me no.

Awesomeness: Don't you dare write me up for insubordination because I don't want to man a popcorn machine that you know damn well I can't stand having here anyway.  I. Will. Fight. You.

MisManager must have had a flash of what the write up would look like run through her head at that moment, (On August 20, 2010, you refused to leave your desk and go out into the lobby to hand out popcorn to the clients as instructed.  This caused the clients to have to retrieve their own popcorn, which severely damaged this company's reputation.) because she backed down a bit.

MisManager: What would it take to convince you to take your turn out there?
Awesomeness: Turn it into something fun and not a punishment.  Maybe we see how many clients we can get over to the sales people (you know, a big part of the work we'd be doing at our desks...) and the winner gets a prize of some kind.  
MisManager: *Roots through her desk and pulls out two $10.00 Starbucks cards.* I have these.  What if we gave them to the operations employee and the sales employee who gets the most clients to commit to sitting down and talking about services?
Awesomeness: You've got a deal.

I'm not unreasonable, but there was no way I was going to stand in the lobby and hand out little baggies of popcorn and not get any work done for nothing.

By the way, I will be enjoying my 1 ½ cups of Starbucks coffee.  Winnah!
Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seating Snafu



Wow, MisManager.  You've finally taken your control-freaky antics to a new low.  I understand that you see my saying even one word out of line to your sales staff as a usurping of your authority, but I never would have suspected you would see something as simple as the conversation I had with the summer intern as anything but a casual conversation.

Summer Intern:  When I come back next summer to learn the sales position, am I going to have my own cubicle?
Awesomeness: Not necessarily.  We will always have a place for you to work, but there are only 3 cubicles and they're spoken for.  We have a vacant spot at the end of the service department that you'll do the majority of your work out of.

See, we were talking about physical location.  Later when I told you about the conversation, you said this to me:

MisManager: When she has those kinds of questions, you really need to direct her to me.  Service and operation is your area, sales questions should always come to me.

Um, that wasn't a "sales" question, that was a "where the fuck am I going to sit" question.  I don't have a degree in Workspace Organization, but I still feel that I'm qualified to answer this.  When I asked you what you would have said differently, you acknowledged that you would have said the exact same thing.

Sooooooo......shut the fuck up.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Double Whammy



EmployeeVonMunchausen:

I'm done with you.  If it were up to me, I would tell you to just stay the hell home.  You called in again yesterday.  This is now the 7th Monday that you've called in this year.  The other days: a Tuesday after a holiday, a Friday (you also called in the following Monday) and the day after you were scheduled for a day off.

To say that I see an unhealthy pattern is like saying I see the sky is blue.  I like 3-day weekends as much as the next girl, but you're going to need to bite the bullet and get your ass into work on Mondays going forward.

Oh, and also, I don't know who the hell you worked for before me, but please kindly get out of this mindset that you don't need to give me any information about why you're not making it into work.

Your actual conversation with me:
I won't be able to make it in today.  I pulled the daily reports when I was in on Saturday, they're in the green filing cabinet in the middle part under (something unintelligible).
This is really all you have to say to me?  (F.Y.I.: we don't even have a green filing cabinet...)  I had to dig to find out that you were calling out sick for your ailment-of-the-week: The Blood Pressure.

Lady, if your blood pressure is truly so out of control that you can't stand up, as you claim, I'm sure your tests would not have "come back inconclusive" and your doctor would have put you on some medication.  Please come up with a better excuse.

MisManager:

You used to work in Human Resources.  Your husband does work in Human Resources.  Maybe you should either remember your training or ask his advice before proceeding the next time you lose your shit when an employee calls in.

What did you do?  You called EVM and demanded that she come in.  Really?  I'm just as frustrated as you that she's calling in -- again.  Actually, I'm more frustrated than you because I have to do her job when she's not there.  Somehow I'm also supposed to write up her documentation and a formal warning while doing her job and my job while she's gone too.  Yeah, I'm not her biggest fan right now.

But to call someone who's claiming to have serious health issues and demand she come in?  Please.  That's a rookie mistake.  Especially someone who is as potentially litigious as EVM.  Remember that?  The whole reason we call H.R. every time she's absent?  We've finally got enough background on her to start the disciplinary process, but now she's got a good reason to complain about us too.  Thanks for handing that to her.

Oh, and also...

Why are you fighting so hard to make her Employee Of The Month for last month?  (Oh no, no one is misreading that.)

She is so unreliable it is beyond believable.  She performed so poorly during my vacation, in fact, that I'm afraid to leave her alone with my staff in the office again.  I've begun a very serious program of leadership skill training with her because I really need to impress on her that she is far from where she needs to be to lead my staff in my absence.  She's either going to take to that or she's going get told that she had better keep to her regularly scheduled job duties.

I don't care that one of the other employees nominated her.  She was nominated by one of your sales staff that she helped with one problem while I was gone.  An employee who did not incur her wrath at all while I was gone, unlike the rest of my staff.  I finally got done unraveling all of that bullshit and I sure as hell am not rewarding her for being an asshole just because she straightened something out while I was gone.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who Flipped On The Crazy? Part 3 - The Final Chapter





An open letter to EmployeeVonMunchausen

Yesterday, when I had to take you aside and ask you to get your shit straight, I wasn't expecting a complete turn around.  Not only did you come back out relieved and happy-looking, you were chit-chatting and acting like a normal person.  I was amazed!  For a moment I felt like I must have said something profound -- like in the movies.  

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'. -- Andy Dufresne "The Shawshank Redemption"
I thought maybe I should give up this 9-5 shit and just start inspiring people for a living like that douche Dr. Phil (but with more hair...and less slime).  Until you started chit-chatting about the new book series that you're reading.  It started out great: you were totally excited about some books that you found.  I was happy to hear the passion in your voice as you were describing the plot of this amazing new series.  And then the details start pouring in:

It's a teen series.

About vampires.

Or, I'm sorry, people who are "marked" by vampires.

And they have to go to vampire school.

Where they learn to ...? I guess give each other blowies in front of their classmates?

Vampire porn.

You're talking to me about your vampire porn?  On a list of things I don't want to know about you, this ranks at #2.  It's only holding the #2 spot because I'm sure there's something else about you that will eventually top that.  I just hope I never find out.

You're a 33-year old lonely gal who craves attention and has a strong fixation with the current vampire craze. I have a hard time hearing about your smut books without also picturing...

Anyway, for the love of all that is holy, please shut the fuck up about your porno books.

Sincerely,

Awesomeness
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who Flipped On The Crazy? Part 2



The continuing saga...

I get in to work yesterday, fully anticipating a craptacular time.  I was not disappointed.  It was moments after arriving that I discover two things: 1) EmployeeVonMunchausen is piiiiiiiiiiiiiiissed about something.  I don't really have time to coddle her, so I chose to ignore the shit out of her and 2) the intern was not coming in until later that day.  Oh, awesome.  Me and Lil Miss Sunshine alone.  For hours.  Spectacular.

This, of course, does not stop MisManager from calling a meeting with me.  She's been dying to give me a report about the things that happened while I was gone.  The more she talked the more I began to mentally sort her list of complaints into different categories:

I. The Stuff She Actually Witnessed

She can give firsthand testimony to:
  • The fact that one of the crew ("Carlos") was spinning around on his chair while talking to his coworkers during some down time.
  • MisManager brought the whole crew potted flowers.  "Carlos" colored one of the 2 flowers that bloomed on my Lead's potted daisy with a black Sharpie.  She told him that was rude and she couldn't believe he would do that (he's a 20 year old kid who lives to antagonize my Lead....why was she so surprised?).  Then she got mad at him for trying to exchange the defaced plant with his own.  She accused him of being ungrateful.  Make up your damn mind lady.
All of this amounts to "who gives a shit."

II. The Stuff She Heard From Other People

Not too many details in this category.  Apparently when my people complain to her, she doesn't think too much of doing that pesky "asking questions" thing.  This is why I didn't want to get too worked up over the list she gave me until I'd had a chance to talk to my people.

She said that others complained to her about:
  • "Carlos" and Jailbait (hereafter referred to collectively as The Boys) were playing the whole time.  They, according to second hand story, partied all week and snapped at anyone who tried to get them to do anything.
  • The Boys didn't help perform any of the tasks to open the office.
  • The Boys didn't help perform any of the tasks to close the office.
All of this is stupid petty bullshit that I obliterated with about 2 minutes of investigation.  Uh, we have record logs of the times that we interacted with our clients.  We also have a checklist that employees initial for closing.  It's not hard to work that shit out.  Oh, and the strenuous opening tasks: get the mail bag ready and make sure we take the customer pick-up tray out of lock up.  Even if they didn't help participate, who gives a fuck?

The conclusion: they helped a proportionate amount of clients and Jailbait himself initialed more than half the crap on the nightly checklist.

This is why details are important.  Next time she needs to do what I do when I get this pettiness in front of me: explain to them exactly what they need to "put in that person's file".  Yeah....I'm taking you seriously and we're in it together.  Gimme the goods, Tiger (that's what she said)....  What ends up happening, most of the time, is a lot of immediate back pedaling.  That's what I thought.  Shaddup! 

III. The Only Actual Problem That Occurred While I Was Out

MisManager and Lead were off to a development class, which left EmployeeVonMunchausen alone with The Boys for half a day.  I know she was dreading it, but she's been dying for opportunities to show how ready she is for a promotion.  There you go EVM.  You can do it!

But she didn't.  At all.  Her big plan to make nice and ensure a pleasant day, was to bake The Boys a pan of brownies.  YES!!  Then she follows it up with a speech that went like this:

I made you guys some brownies because I want us to have a good day.  I want to make it clear, though, that if you screw around I will tell MisManager.

Facepalm.

Oh, EmployeeVonMunchausen, no.  You had them at brownies!!!  Really, with them you just had to say, "Brownies!" (if you had to say anything) and they would have been your best friends.

This was my big concern because, according to MisManager The Boys were avoiding EVM for the rest of the week and their cooperation and communication totally broke down.  Oh man, I do not like coming back to personnel squabbles.

What did I do today?

I got everyone's stories.  Funny enough, no one else thought that The Boys were a problem.  Hmmmmm...  Oh, except for EmployeeVonMunchausen.  Surprise!  She actually started crying when I talked to her because last week was HELL for her.  Yeah, well, that's what happen when you say stupid shit to your coworkers and they don't want to talk to you.  Funny how that works.

Things are back to normal now.  I declared a "breather" day and we all just concentrated on having fun.  Together.  Even you EVM, even you.

Get ready for Part 3, however, because EmployeeVonMunchausen has a very interesting idea of how to contribute to group fun...

Sigh.  Thanks for the blog fodder, EVM.
Monday, July 19, 2010

Who Flipped On The Crazy? Part 1



The Monday after vacation is never pleasant, but this Monday was horrible for all the wrong reasons.  This will be in 2 parts, as I can pretty much guarantee I will get the rest of the story from my employees tomorrow--if they bother to show up, that is.

Here's what happened before I ever even made it in the door to work today:

  • I felt a little off.  I haven't been feeling very well the last couple of days, and I did have a scratchy throat, but I was in full-on illness denial mode.  Until I checked my temperature and, sure enough, 100.2.  Awesome.  Of course, calling in the day after your vacation is extremely douche-baggy, so I just though I'd go in and hang out at my desk for 8 hours "catching up" on the no work that I would probably have.  Not to mention all 20 emails...  I could have stretched it out, but then....
  • Jailbait called in.  Was he sick too?  Nope.  His brand new baby niece was in the hospital, so he stayed there all night with his family.  I don't want to be an asshole about that, but that's really not cool. Unless you're going to actually perform the medical functions necessary to save that baby's life, just get some rest and get in to work.  We could have made allowances for him to make and take calls from them all day, not to mention an extended lunch to visit in the middle of the day.  There were alternatives.  And because Jailbait called in...
  • I was stuck with a sourpuss EmployeeVonMunchausen all day.  OH YEAH!  Her, the brand new intern and me.  Holy crap was I excited about the day. (<--- real irony Alanis)
  • But before I can start my glorious day, I have to drop my daughter off at the preschool.  Her school is currently undergoing some renovations right now to add on 2 rooms, which is outstanding, except when the lady at the front desk doesn't know where to send us.

    Typically, what happens is that all of the kids get gathered up into one room until around 8:00 or so and then they're all shipped off to their age-appropriate classes.  So we were a little confused when the front desk lady told us to take our daughter straight to her class.  We questioned it further when the door that takes you out of the main building and leads out to the classrooms was locked.  She said, "It's okay to unlock it.  Someone must have accidentally done that."  Ooookaaaaaaay....

    My daughter's classroom is the farthest away from the main building and we have to cross 2 playgrounds to get there.  So imagine how pissed we are when we get there and THERE'S NO ONE IN THE FUCKING CLASSROOM.  We walked over to the class next door, where the slightly confused teacher told us to take our daughter back to the main building and put her in the room she usually starts out in.

    The trek back was filled with visions of violently shaking the front desk lady.  I get my daughter where he needs to go, while Mr. A tells Bad Direction Bertha that she's a dumbass.  Her response, "Heehee.  Oops!  I thought I saw them take the big kids over there." My daughter is a "big" kid only in height.  She seriously towers over everyone in her class and even some of the kids in the class ahead of her.  However, the lady's been there long enough to know that she's not a kindergartener.  I don't know what she was smoking today, but it was good shit.

    So now were running late thanks to Captain Dipshit...
  • And we run into road construction.  A megaton of it.  Everything is blocked off to one lane (down from 3 + a turn lane) in both directions.  Oh my fucking god.
  • We finally make it to Mr. A's work and laugh about the crappy day we're about to have.  Aww.
  • On to my work, where I do a last minute check in the mirror to make sure I don't look hideous and I found IT.  A gray hair.  My first.  Bummer.  I wouldn't even so much care, because at 34 it's just a matter of when anymore, but today?  Really?
Then the work day actually started...

(To Be Continued)
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Workplace Harassment: The Continuing Saga



The back story:

A few months ago, we ran a production contest and the prize was a coupon for shopping in the company catalog.  Not a super exciting prize, but whatever.  We had fun and made our goals.

My Lead employee won (I really need to come up with a nickname for her...) and she was all jazzed about ordering a travel mug.  Seriously, seriously way jazzed about this mug.

"Carlos" does the ordering, and was actually placing an order at the time that the contest ended.  Unfortunately, he forgot the mug.  We order every 2-4 weeks to cut shipping costs, so she had to wait a little longer for her mug.

The next order, she was up his ass about that mug.  Until she saw a confirmation, she reminded him every 30 minutes that she expected her prize on the next shipment over.  It got a little annoying, but we got her taken care of.

Until we got a notice a week later that the mug was on backorder.  It's like the groundhog saw his shadow.  It was potentially 6-8 more weeks of a blizzard of bitching.  I was hoping for some good news.

Well, we got news.  News that the mug was never going to come.  Oh, shit.  Okay. . . Maybe we can find a different travel mug in the catalog.  No.  Oh, shit.

Now she's whining about how she doesn't want anything else and she feels like she got ripped off.  Oh my god, please shoot me.  It took everything for me to not shake her and tell her to just SHUT THE FUCK UP.  We're on it.

We were so on it that we start to search the internet for a goddam mug.  If we do this, we know we have to pay for it out of our own pockets, but we don't care.  We just wanted her to shut the hell up about this mug.

We finally found this personalization website.  Thank goodness.  We though it would be sweet, after all that waiting, to have the mug engraved with her name.  Then we noticed that we had 4 lines of engraving available to us, so we thought it would be funny to put a special message on there for her.  Had we known that, in the week and a half it took for the thing to get here, that MisManager was going to take everything we did and label it as harassment -- despite the lack of actual complaint -- we would have thought twice about getting it delivered to the office...

So, during this week's meeting, she announces that our completion certificate for the harassment course is due by the end of the day.  She lays out her list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and topics.  She made sure we all know we would get either written up or fired if she caught us violating the rules.

Ten minutes later, the mug arrives.  We were trying desperately to get the girl's attention to let her know that maybe she should wait to open it, but she made such a huge deal about finally getting her mug that a crowd formed.  So, in front of everyone, she gets her mug with her special message from all of us:

Dear (Name)
Here's your freakin' mug
Quit your bitching

She loved it!  She was laughing her ass off.  She couldn't wait to take it home and show her family.

MisManager...not so thrilled with it.  So how did I get out of the write up she wanted to give me? By pointing out:

  • We ordered the mug before this whole mess started.
  • We ordered the mug on our own time.
  • We used our own money.
I escaped impending doom, but the sweet mug was thereafter banished from the office.  Bummer.
Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Eye Of The Beholder's Manager




Workplace Harassment.  We have an online course for it at work.  Lucky us, we get to take it whenever it's deemed necessary. Like last week.  I'm not going to say that we were angels, but it's not like we were completely out of control.  Well, perhaps we were, but I'll let you judge for yourself:

Exhibit 1: On Tuesdays we have a staff meeting.  To lead off the meeting and wake everyone up, we play an "icebreaker" game. These exercises are traditionally reserved for meetings where people need to get to know one another, but we do them anyway because it helps wake us up.  This week, MisManager was out of the office (as usual), so the employees in charge of the game decided we should all say our favorite pick up line.

I know.  Not appropriate.  I really didn't understand what the harm was, though.  We stuck to the cheesy stuff like, "Did you fart?  Because you just blew me away." and stayed away from the sexually suggestive ones like, "Do you have a little German in you?  [No.]  Do you want some?"  Honestly, it's the most fun we've had doing one of those things.

Eventually it got back to MisManager that we had done this in her absence and, even though no one actually took offense and everyone had a good time, she decided that we were no longer allowed to play an icebreaker game when she was out of the office.  Evidently, she felt that it was beyond us to tone it down to mere "What 3 things would you bring with you to a deserted island?" games.

Exhibit 2: "That's what she said."  Most of us are big fans of The Office.  Over the last year and a half that my crew has been working together, we've slowly worked that in (that's what she said) to our office conversation.  So when MisManager walks in and says (about our beach themed decorations for a promotion), "You'll have to explain some of that to me...I mean, I get the crabs..."  We trip over ourselves to let her know she just left herself wide open (that's what he said).

It's gotten to the point where the two boys have actually spent some of their own money and a good deal of downtime modifying a Staples "That was easy!" (that's what he said) button to actually say "that's what she said," when you push it.  I think it'll be a time saver.

Exhibit 3: Two of my four employees were born in Juarez, Mexico.  The town is not notorious for being a vacation paradise.  As a matter of fact, even to hear them talk about going back, it sounds like all the bad things you ever heard about going to Mexico.  Unless you're a woman, then it's a lot worse.  You'll be comforted to know, though, that I've been assured by one of my employees that the killing of their women "almost doesn't happen anymore."  Yeah...I still wouldn't go there.

So, when my Lead was describing her recent trip home in which she had to carry a lot of bribe money for the police (what you actually say is that you'd like to "buy them a cup of coffee" wink, wink) and she was afraid to go out with any less than 3 of her male relatives, another of my employees ("Carlos") chimed in and called Juarez "ghetto."

Now, Carlos is from the area just outside Cancun, which is a vacation paradise.  The comment could have been taken a lot of different ways, but she just thought it was snobby and annoying.  She also did whatever an employee should do when a comment bothers them, she let him know she was bothered by it.

By throwing water on him.

This exchange took place after work hours, so there weren't any witnesses to this outside our little group.  The girl from Juarez felt that she made her point to the snob from Cancun.  He thought it was funny.  Everyone had a good laugh.

Except MisManager.  For her, this was a final straw.  We are now officially "out of control."  So, as of her decree last week, all conversation has to be business appropriate.  Her exact words were, "Just imagine that a member of the Human Resources department were in the room with you at all times."  Oh, and the Workplace Harassment course.

That went well.  I decided that we needed to listen to it in between client visits.  Imagine my dismay when a client walked in as the lesson began explaining examples of "hostile work environment.  This is what she heard:

I can't stand that Ron.  I wish he'd go hang out in the corner with the other queers.

Holy crap!  Where the fuck is that mute button?!  I'd like to say I learned my lesson, but no.  Further into the slides, another client walked in on:

...his female supervisor often made sexual comments about his appearance, even going as far as to say she dreams about him naked.

Fuck.  That didn't go well.

It wasn't all bad though.  The highlight of my week was when we got a visit from MisManager's manager and the regional Vice President.  MisManager's manager got a call from her teenage daughter, who wanted to come by and get some money from her.  There was some concern expressed over the appropriateness of her dress, then some relief at the fact that "thankfully she's flat-chested."  We spent the next 7 minutes or so talking about our breasts.

Suck it MisManager.

For a closer, more frightening look at the murders of the women of Juarez, I can recommend The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez.