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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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



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.