Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Have you ever been on one of those marathon conference calls at work, you know, the ones where some guy all the way in Montreal is blabbering on about something, god knows what (the only thing worse than the speakers on your phone are the speakers on his), and the only productive thing you've done is learning how to crunch those inter-office memos into the tightest, most aerodynamic projectiles ever, and using them to sink three-pointers in the office-ho's cleavage?

Well, it's not just me is it? I think companies would actually waste less money if they paid job coaches to come in and help us fine-tune our resumes.

Ah, work. Nothing raises your blood pressure and lowers your self esteem quite like it.

The cubicle thing is pretty amusing though. I mean, any situation that has you praying that your nearest compatriot doesn't buy cheapo dollar-store deodorant is okay by me. And way to capitalize on the spill-proof mug industry! I mean, when your elbows can cause someone else's coffee to spill all over a third person's computer, you'd better make damn sure that lid's screwed down tight. Of course, I've just happened to notice that "spill proof" really means "spill possible", but since you mistakenly think you're safe, the spill is surprising, and all the more spectacular because of it. Not to worry, though. Third degree burns totally get you the afternoon off, paid! Score! But be prepared to kiss those TPS reports goodbye.

I'm not sure if there's any such thing as cubicle-feng-shui, but I do believe that your pen cup should not be anywhere near your mouse wire. Because then it tips over every time you play minesweeper....erm, I mean, every time you good, solid work. Hard work. Quality work. Work that causes your pens to fall over. A lot. And the sound of 20 Bics hitting the desk, rolling toward the edge, then you swearing but reacting too slowly, and then all 20 Bics tumbling to the floor below and scattering to all 4 corners of the earth...well, that's a godawful sound. Especially when you're hungover. Or so I've heard. And especially when it's already happened 4 times. In the last half hour. And you never get all 20 Bics back. No, you're lucky if the return ratio is 80%, and at that rate, it gets quite costly to be dumping your writing instruments all over the place. But let's face it - if you move the pen cup to the other side, where your elbow routinely knocks over the coffee, then you'll have twice the mess, and your pens will be sticky for the whole goddamn rest of the day. What I prefer to do is tie a single pen to one end of a piece of string, and the other end around my wrist. True, I still can never find my pen, but I have started a revolutionary new office trend, and having these kinds of priorities is what surviving the work day is all about. Now I only need 3 martinis when I'm done work, and hardly any anti-depressants at all!

I love people who decorate their little spaces. I have a rubber duckie dressed as a cheerleader on mine. I think it's supposed to remind me that life doesn't suck or something. Sometimes it's hard to tell. Sometimes I think the duck is mocking me. My friend suggested that I decorate my wall with a large mirror so that I can watch myself throughout the day. It's already largely known that I enjoy the sound of my voice. In fact, my boss has taken to calling me Diva, and I'm sure I haven't the foggiest idea why (fake british accents aside), but honestly, I have a hard enough time getting my work done as it is without a hot blonde winking at me all day long!

Today a woman was going around handing out snacks, and she stopped at my desk to point out that there were rice krispie treats hidden underneath the cheesies. Nice. But then she said my name. Twice. And I was a bit taken aback - yes, I know I've recently been the subject of some office gossip, but how did she know my name? Elliott, who sits nearby, felt the need to point out that my name is plastered across my computer in large red lettering. It's even punctuated - Jamie!, it says. Jamie! Even my computer knows my name. When I sign on, it says HELLO JAMIE. I imagine it having a creepy computer voice, like Hal. I imagine it knowing too much. I imagine it somehow watching me undress at night. Almost every application I open at work says Not Jamie? Click here. And goddamn if I'm not tempted to click there, Jamie or not Jamie. And frankly, since we're on the topic, I'm also a little offended by my computer. You'd think after the quality time we've spent together it would start calling me Jay already. But my stupid computer is formal. It is so insistent on keeping things stiff and polite between us that I've taken to curtsying to it every time I leave my desk....and considering I was born without a bladder, that's kind of a lot. So now my computer and I are locked in a vicious battle of etiquette, and the question remains.....who will win???

Yeah, I know. I don't really stand a chance. Even my stapler is betting against me.

By and large, though, I am vastly entertained at work. I love how cough drops in the vending machine have gone up 50 cents in price in the time it took me to catch a cold and then get rid of it. I love how the company puts hand sanitizer in the bathrooms because it's faster than soap and water, and since they've already let you pee on company time, don't be thinking you'll be washing yourself too! I love Juanita, who gives me the giggles. Juanita sounds like a stripper name, and though I don't know for sure if she does any part-time pole dancing, I do know that she has terrific knockers that would certainly give a nice home to crumpled dollar bills. Just sayin'.

Of course, my "just sayin" policy likes to get me into trouble. People like to yell the phrase "HR issue!" as I walk by, and I'm pretty sure they're not just referring to the length of my skirts, though that probably doesn't help. However, was it me who made the thumb-tack penis? No, it was not. Okay, technically it IS on my cork board. And technically they are my thumb-tacks. And I suppose while I'm confessing I may as well admit that I may have goaded on the artist. But it wasn't me. And it's not to scale, I don't care what you've heard.

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