Category Archives: employees

10259330_715172081854832_8992840686047184098_nWhat happened to nice?

I wouldn’t even bother to say society needs a good dose of Miss Manners, Emily Post and a decent wrap on the knuckles with a ruler.  (except, I just did) Honestly, I think the concept of being nice or even remotely polite has gone along the way of the chicken trying to cross the damn road.

Forget the road, that chicken is trying to survive to  see another day of cracked corn and hope that little old couple comes down to feed them if they’re lucky…so it doesn’t have to cross the road!

Society has given up on the concept of NICE.  It’s better off walking in the ditch.  Not worth the effort.  Why even bother?

It’s short attention spans, loud volumes, fast paced environments, in the NOW technology, constantly walking up my ass at the grocery store and honking your damn (insert whatever model car here) horn before the light even turns green because I may be color blind and not realize the change in brightness indicates I should remove my foot from the brake…..these are some of the things that has led us down this path of….. fuck off behavior.

Seriously.

Laura Ingalls would be appalled.

Jack Hannah would say animals behave better.

Charlie Brown would say even Lucy, when she removes the football, is a kinder person.

What the hell has happened to being nice?  I don’t mean you have to be overly polite, like you’re trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize or hoping to be crowned Miss America and need to over compensate for your lack of not knowing the answer to your random question on politics, world peace or child labor.  Nor am I suggesting you pretend you’re up for an Academy Award and have to buy your way to the winners circle….enjoying this person’s company and clinking glasses with that person say they “really like you.”

That’s not it at all.

But. Damn, people.

Get a clue.

Get some common sense at least.

Maybe that’s what it is.  No common sense.  Can you get a pill at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for Common Sense deficiency?  If you made it a dummy pill – and labeled it would people automatically gain common sense just by thinking they were enhancing their common sense?

At work recently they’ve adopted a campaign.  A be kind to your co-worker campaign – it’s a nice place to work campaign.  I don’t know, maybe employees are getting beat up in the parking lot after work for their lunch money.   They want us to be friendly.  You know…..hold the elevator for people…..don’t hide behind plants….say hello….because after all “smiles are contagious.”

Yeah well so’s herpes.

You can get herpes from a friendly environment.

Thanks.

Every time I see a stranger, they greet me.  It’s like a secret email has gone out, “We don’t work among strangers.  We work among F R I E N D S.  If you see a stranger, don’t point and scream….just say hello!”

Are you shitting me?

I’m an Only Child.  I prefer strangers, they don’t bother me.  (Unless they want to kidnap you, then you have a problem.)  Strangers are usually quiet, unless they are my old upstairs neighbor but you know that already and that’s not a stranger, that was a neighbor.  Anyhow, most strangers are Q U I E T.

Now. At work. I can’t go to the bathroom without everyone I pass greeting me.  It’s like I’m on a parade.   You would think I’m running for a governmental office.  I’m hoping the next installment to this campaign will be confetti cannons.  Those of you who know me, know my love of confetti….and confetti cannons.

The first day it happened I was walking down the hallway and everyone I passed was “Hi-ing” and “Hello-ing” me.  About the third person that greeted me….I started to wonder what the hell was going on.  I mean it’s a big company, but have I EVER met any of these people?  Who the hell are these people?  Am I loosing my mind?  We don’t even work in the same department….

Tell me.

Now when I leave my padded desk area is it required I be on campaign mode?  Is this the goal? Should I automatically turn on the Queen’s wave (which, if you didn’t already know…it’s wrist, wrist, wrist….elbow, elbow, elbow) and royal co-worker charm?

What if I am NOT in THE MOOD? Can I help it if I have an “at rest bitch face” when in deep contemplative thought or just not wanting to be bothered?  No amount of my Happy Camper pills are going to help and certainly you don’t want me eating pea soup if it’s one of those types of days.

Perhaps I need to fashion a board around my neck that says, “In a mobile time out.”

The other day a group of us were walking between the buildings, coming back from a meeting.  We knew everyone in our group – safety in numbers.  A single person was heading towards us.  The single greeted us.  Most of us kind of did a soft response back hello….”who the hell are these people.”

I asked the loudest in my little gang of responders…..”did you know that person?”

No…not really, I mean they kind of looked familiar but I don’t know them.

Okay, it’s not just me.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Suck on This!

Oral fixations.

Babies have them.  They’ll put anything into their mouth.

Dogs have them.  They’ll chew on anything.

Turkey vultures have them.  They’ll eat anything rubber off your car.

I have an oral fixation.

Boys, get your mind out of the gutter.  It’s not that kind of oral fixation.  Although for you, that’s a oral visual stimulation fixation.  Yes, I agree. Some woman do look better when they have something in their mouth – mainly because it shuts them up.  But, I won’t go down that road right now.

It’s the NOISE that comes out of that orifice that irritates the shit out of me.

Please. Don’t even start with your tsk, tsk, tsk and tell me to be more patient and understanding of those around me – you can just sit down and listen up.  There are people in this world who are ignorant of their personal noise levels and their disruption to my peace and quiet.

I’m talking about those cheeky little fuckers who give no thought to their mouthy acoustics.  There are no words strong enough to describe the annoyance.  They’re simply being:

Insensitive.

Obnoxious.

Barbaric.

Impolite.

Cheeky Little Fucker Case #1:  

Decible Level 70

funny ostrich

Were these people raised by hyenas?

Nope, must have been ostriches.

Let’s see how much food you can stuff into that hole and then  try and carry on a conversation…shall we?

1….2…..3…..GO!

Fail.

I enjoy nothing more than someone stuffing their mouth full of food and THEN talking to me.   Could you not wait two minutes to come and speak to me?  After you swallowed  whatever that is you have crammed into your hole?  Apparently, not.  That’s just great.  Cause you know not only do I understand everything perfectly, but I also really enjoy when the bits and pieces of soggy whatever the hell that is….. come flying out of  your mouth.

It’s even better when you have SO MUCH crammed in there – you have to actually move it from side to side in order to talk.  Looking at you, you’d think you’re working on a giant wad of chew in your jaw.  Nope, that’s just your fucking tuna sandwich.

Are you kidding me?

It happened the other day and it was all I could do to dig my hands into my chair – to keep my own trap shut.  I was on the verge of saying:  “You sound like you have a mouth full of sweat socks.  Can you please finish your danish and then talk to me.”

We’re adults people – use your common sense.

Cheeky Little Fucker Case #2:

Decibel Level 110

fingers down chalkboark

What is worse than the stuffed mouth full of food issues?  Combine it with a nasally voice.  Add an accent.  Include VOLUME.  Oh and for giggles, let’s just as a cherry on top.  This voice is like nails down a chalkboard.

On a regular day her voice, to me, could unscrew lightbulbs  out of the socket.

Combine it with her eating, what I can only imagine as Andre the Giant sized bites and then talking loudly to her co-workers.  It’s enough to make me pack up and leave my cubicle.  Enough.  I’m done.

It’s that or I’m going to start shouting SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!

This woman constantly, constantly, constantly…..sends me over the edge.  I could leap the Eiffel Tower in a single bound when it starts.  My one remaining nerve gets such a workout with her that it packs up and leaves before I can even get my headphones out of the drawer.

When I do get the headphones out, I don’t know which music to listen to….something calming like Enya?  Spa relaxation channel?  Give the spa three minutes.  Click.  Not feeling it.  I switch over to something with a little more edge….to match my burned out nerve.  Eminem does the trick. UFC music channel….excellent.

Cheeky Little Fucker Case #3:  

Decibel Level 90

false teeth

False teeth?

No teeth?

Something in your teeth?

For the love of humanity far and wide, do us all a favor – excuse yourself and go brush your fucking teeth and remove whatever god awful boulder is in your cavity that is causing you to suck and slurp like a hooker trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

ENOUGH ALREADY!

The sucking noises have got to stop immediately.  

IMMEDIATELY.

Rule #23 in life: When you have people in your office don’t suck your teeth.  And while I can’t see….I am going to gamble a bet that this person is probably fishing around in their mouth trying to pick out the offending seed of mayhem.

Just.

Stop.

It.

That’s correct, I can only gamble a guess because I never see it.  I only hear it.  Occurs on the other side of the cubicle wall.  God help me.

You’re wondering the same thing I am aren’t you?  If they find the pick – do they eat it?  I don’t know and I don’t care.  It makes me nauseous thinking about it.  I would rather watch guts and gore than see that crap.  Like picking your nose and eating it.

Cheeky Fucker Case #4:  

Decible Level 85

noisy eater

I don’t need to say anything.

You get the picture.

Eating is not supposed to  a recital of your orifice’s abilities to entertain various types of food items and their forms.

Same goes for those of you who moan and groan through your meals.  If you’re going to climax during any course – appetizer to dessert – you need to order room service or go eat in the closet.  They probably have private clubs devoted to food orgies, which I suggest you research but I’m not interested so keep it to yourself, so I too can enjoy my meal.

Those of you who have issues with people who can’t eat in a civilized manner – those who smack their lips, suck their teeth, click their tongues, moan and burp.you have my permission to get up and move away when they sit next to you.

When the offender sits with you, simply choose one of these excuses to move away:

“I’m sorry, my phone is ringing.  Excuse me.”

“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m multitasking today.  Meditating and eating.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m trying to be more in touch with my insensitive side.  Excuse me.”

“The baby is upset today….sorry.”

Then leave.

Enough people.  Just knock it off and respect others.  Get a clue.

Suck on something worth while.

We’re Flying Where?

What if, when birds are squawking in high places they aren’t talking to each other about the fabulous grub hole they found or singing love songs.  What if they’re really bitching cause they’re afraid of heights or are about to pee-their-feathers because they’re afraid to fly?  What if when they’re floating along on the water, they’re not feeling all peaceful and blissful but are really paralyzed with fear because they hate water and can’t swim?

I’m just saying.

What if?

Same could be said when you go to the animal park and those monkeys you see sitting together on a limb, combing one another’s hair.  They’re so cute.  Picking gnats and bugs out of each other’s fur.  What you don’t know is in their reality, the little fucker wouldn’t stop rubbing his head in the ant hill so his head is covered in fire ant bites and the parent is picking scabs off his scalp.

I’m just saying.

What if.?

You really think dogs are smelling each other’s asses to identify one another?  Hey Stan, how’s it hanging?  Oh, sorry.  They’re checking to see what they all  had for dinner.  Are you kidding me?  Max had Mighty Dog?  OMG! Fluffy had that fresh ground beef kibble from the new trendy doggie cafe on Madison Avenue!  The nerve!! That’s it!  When I go home I am going to eat my dinner and then promptly throw it up on the couch.  The new carpet.  The bedspread.  The new jacket mom just bought.  In dad’s car!  Then I’ll get the good stuff.

I’m just saying.

What if?

Life is full of What If moments.  Take for example yesterday at work.

I’m delighted.  This time next month, I will be in Auckland, New Zealand.  Don’t worry, I have already alerted the local authorities, they are preparing for my arrival.  (It is the ONLY place in the world I have received a speeding ticket….thank you.)

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to make travel arrangements through our work system, I asked the co-worker I am traveling….we’ll call him Calvin….to showed me how it’s done.   Yesterday afternoon Calvin and I booked his ticket to go from Miami to Auckland.

Things were going all fine and dandy.  We punched in the details.  Miami to Auckland and the date.  The various combinations came up on the screen.  We could pick everything from 14 days worth of traveling in a tin can to just about 35 hours in a tin can.

International travel these days offers so many amenities it is astonishing.  There were options to fly with circus animals, farm animals or domestic animals.  Another section included circus performers, ring leaders or classroom pranksters.  Meal service included selections for prison rations,  weight watchers cardboard, things confiscated by customs and forbidden fruits.

Better yet was the option to pre-select your TSA screening.  This I had no idea was possible.  Now you can sign up for a Pass Go card that allows you to skip the back handed,  gloved pat down and go straight to the private room strip search.  I mean who knew?   Did you want a glass of wine and a smoke with that?  If so, please acknowledge and your credit card will be charged an additional $25.00.  If you want to include the drug sniffing K9 that is an additional $500.

I confess to Calvin, I’m not the biggest fan of flying, but it’s the only way to get anywhere fast so I do it.  We choose a flight that has a short flight time.  The first flight is operated by Alaska Air to LAX.

Of course I’m delighted it’s Alaska Air.  And then the delight is immediately squashed by the thought of going through LAX international hell again.  That place, I swear, is operated by the Orcs, from Lord of the Rings.  The last time I went through….I experienced every level of Dante’s inferno as well.  Insanity.  They made me a stand by passenger, even though I was a full fare passenger with ticket in hand.  Took my carry on – made me check it.  Lost all of my luggage.

I.

Was.

NOT.

Happy.

The first helpful person I encountered was in Australia.  Where they said, “this happens all the time with LAX.”  Great.  Anything happens this time, I will politely excuse myself and reintroduce myself as the Honey Badger.

Back to the story.

Okay so we get to LAX and change planes.  Looking at the screen.  I swear it says we get on Asia Air.  Calvin says, “this looks like a good one.”  I’m thinking to myself……really?  Isn’t that a third world airline?  Do they even speak English?  I’m terrible with accents.  How am I going to understand the safety briefing?  Do they translate the announcements?  Do they have a drink cart?  Can I just have the drink cart?  Are the drinks free?  How much are the drinks?  Do they take American?

Then he says to me……

“It goes from LAX to NAN.”

..

.

.

.

.

Excuse me?

“NAN.”

NAN?

“NAN.   N. A. N.    NAN”

..

..

..

Where the hell is NAN?

“Well, I don’t know.”

>>Enter the Bambi stare.  blink. blink. blink. blink.<<

NAN?  I’ve never heard of NAN.

“Me either.”

?

I get out my phone and Google NAN.

Well, according to Google it says NAN stands for:  Nadi, the western portion of Fiji.

“Nadi?”

Nadi.  N. A. D. I.    Nadi.

>>blink. blink.<<

NADI!  Good god man!  We look at Calvin’s giant world map on his office wall.  Way down in the far right hand corner.  Way down further than all the other countries.   Way down past New Zealand.  Way down past the compass.  Past the mile marker.  Almost like a speck of tomato soup on the map…..is a tiny little blip of a smudge on the map.

Fiji.

But no Nadi.

I look at Calvin.

Calvin looks at me.

My upper lip breaks out into a sweat.

My throat goes dry.

My hands start to sweat as do my feet and my pits.

Cripes, I say, WHAT IF they don’t have a big enough runway for a jet?  That place is represented by a poppy seed!

Apparently You’re Broken

I have a complaint.

Why have I not heard about the fundraising effort to assist cashiers across America?  Di you know, they have all broken their arms.  Shocking news isn’t it?

You must be kidding me.  Seriously, you can’t lift the head of lettuce, chili pepper, bottle of shampoo and loaf of bread out of my basket?  The basket is on the conveyor belt.  It’s waist high!  No, you still can’t empty it?  What on earth is wrong with this customer service world?   It’s not like I’m carrying around 50 pounds of cement mix in my basket…..if I can carry it with one arm, you would think the cashiers would be able to lift each item out individually to ring them up.

WRONG.  It’s happened to me at Target and now at Whole Foods.

“Is this your basket?”

No, I’m standing here to ask you if you prefer your orange juice with or without pulp.

YES, it’s my basket.  Who else would it belong to?

“Oh well can you help me empty out the items?”

A look of disbelief crosses my face like a tumbleweed in a desert ghost town.

I start to empty out the items and she turns to start talking to the bagger guy.  Since the conveyor belt keeps moving forward I have to pile all of my items together.  This is ridiculous.  After I empty out my plethora of heavy items she turns to me and asks how I’m doing today.

The only reason I can figure why this has now become the norm (I’ve had this happen to me both at Target and today at Whole Foods) is someone has undoubtedly thrown their back out by lifting out a can of chickpeas or a 4-pack of toilette paper out of a basket sitting on the conveyor belt.

Cashiers don’t even have to enter numbers any longer except when multiple quantities or a produce item comes across their stand.  When I was a casher in high school, at the local grocery, we had to actually ring in items.  Imagine that.  Then I had to walk home without shoes, up hill and in the desert sun.

At Costco here in South Florida, they unload your cart for you.  THAT’S service.  Of course, their management probably figures after heaving that overladen cart around their football field of items you’re arms are fatigued and you need help.

My purchases are finally rung through and as I’m preparing to swipe my card for payment (cashiers don’t even have to do that any more shocking) the cashier points to the basket and says, “Can you put this on the floor for me?”

Gobsmacked.

Are you kidding me?  Seriously?  Are your arms painted onto your torso?  What happened to customer service?  Here, move over and let me ring up and bag my own groceries.  Oh wait, I can already do that.  In fact, I did just that earlier today at Ikea.

What is it exactly that we’re paying cashiers to do these days anyway?  Drag items across a scanner that rings up the item.  Wow.  Difficult.

Imagine the qualifications for the job:  able to keep right arm bent at elbow for hours while dragging items across scanning device and shoving item with left hand to the bagger for packaging.  Smiling and pleasant chatting is not required or expected.  Prefer individuals with sour personality and frown hanging down to their knee caps.  If you can sweat sheer exhaustion and boredom, you’re hired!

Few cashiers are pleasant.  Most are annoyed you are standing in front of them.  Very rarely do they even greet you or ask if you found everything.  They’re too busy discussing with their coworkers when their next smoke break is and if they can borrow a cigarette.  TRUE, happened last week at Target.  If one should actually thank you for shopping at their place of employment, pigs would fly.  Actually monkeys would probably shoot out of my butt if good customer service was normal at retail stores.

Even the girl at Barnes and Noble was annoyed today.  When you are angry at the world, try not to take it out on me.  If being nice to customers isn’t your thing, may I suggest a job change.  You probably want to stay away from people so I would look into office cleaning in the evenings, back-room stock person or counting beans in a basement somewhere.  Maybe you could pass as a sultry 900 number operator, there you could wear a headset and not even have to use your arms at all.  There’s a bonus!

Seriously, I think owners and managers alike should do their own version of Undercover Boss and experience first hand just how rude their front line staff can be to customers.  It isn’t even rude as it’s down right anti-customer service.

I’m thinking of starting a rating system.  If you provide great customer service, I will thank you and give you a high five.  Actually, we have stopped managers in stores and restaurants to compliment a particular employee.  Maybe I’ll just start telling the anti-service cashiers, I hope their day gets better……let them ponder that one.

 

AN ADDENDUM:

I would also like to comment at this time that The Public should learn some manners as well.  The woman in front of me at Whole Foods today…..her son, maybe 8 years old, nearly ran me down as he was obviously hopped up on sugar and decided to run back into the aisles like a fox chasing a hare.  No excuse me.  No I’m sorry.  No pardon me.  NOTHING.  Even the man behind me raised his eyebrows and shook his head.

I don’t care WHAT country you are from people.  It’s never okay not to be nice.  Running down a stranger is not acceptable, unless they have a mafia hit on them.

 

So. How You Liking Miami?

Over the last few days several people have asked me the same thing.  It’s always with hesitation they ask.

“So.”

l o n g        p a u s e      h e r e

“How you liking Miami?”

Then I swear they hold their breath and squint their eyes.  Waiting for me to sucker punch them or something.  It’s quite odd.

My response?

It’s fine.  Honestly, I have nothing to really compare it to logically.  It’s completely different from anything I’ve experienced in the last 18 years.  Below, I thought I’d take a moment or ten, to tell you what I think…..

First off.  It is the polar opposite of living in Juneau, Alaska.

  1. People here use umbrellas.  In Juneau, we use the hoods on our coats and tough it out.    A little rain never hurt anyone.
  2. However, the rain in Miami is a torrential downpour that floods streets and the car wipers don’t go fast enough.  Thunder, lightening and rivers…..30 minutes later and we’re done with the rain.  Out of Mother Nature’s system and moving on to better things.
  3. Lots of things I don’t need to see.  Such as that lady’s nipple, as she waited for the crosswalk signal.  Her bikini top was just a little off kilter.  Or that lady in front of me on my golf course walk, with the wrinkled and saggy skin…..with her short shorts tucked up on the sides under her thong (not kidding) so anyone behind her could see the loose bags of skin that used to be her butt cheeks…..but more like an overcooked potato skin….flopping around under her shorts.  She would have made a better impression keeping the shorts down and covering the cheeks.
  4. I’ve never seen so many BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Lexus and Cadillacs in one area.  So much so that I have forgotten what a Subaru looks like, let alone a pick up truck.
  5. If you are trying to grow an alien out of your stomach, hip or butt…..please, encase that in spandex, we all need to see that.  And it’s better if you can encase it in spandex that has horizontal stripes.  See below:
  6. One day I went to work in a new work outfit.  Gone are the jeans and hiking boots.  I now wear dresses, skirts and platform heels.  I texted my cousin and said, “I think I picked the wrong skirt it seems tight and short.”  Her reply, “you are in Miami it’s all about butts and boobs.”  Noted.
  7. The land of 18 languages.  Russian, French, Czech, Yiddish and oh yeah… Spanish.
  8. Hey!  It’s not all Asian food here!  What a break!
  9. It starts to drizzle and the traffic slows down from 80 mph to 40mph.  I’m the only one weaving in and out of traffic at that point.
  10. Whole cases of freshly cut fruit at the grocery stores.  Not to mention the celebrity sightings there too.
  11. Beaches without rocks.  A novelty.
  12. Sunshine.  Lots of sunshine.
  13. I can get a manicure for $15.00 and a full service pedicure for $20.  Seriously.  With a massaging recliner chair to boot.
  14. Costco…..easily twice the size of ours.  I can get my prescription, fresh flowers, produce, gas, eyeglasses AND funeral casket all in one place.

It has been interesting.  Yes, living in the suburbs of Miami definitely has it’s challenges.  The traffic is something fierce but you learn to work around it.  The people aren’t always the nicest but you deal with it.  For example if I start talking to people in the grocery or Costco people automatically know I’m not from here and it either gets them interested in where I’m from or causes them to choose another check out lane.

My job is great.  I love my job.  It’s tough.  Every day is a challenge and you don’t know what’s coming next.  I’ve never slept so good – all because I’m mentally drained by the time I get home at night.

Working for a giant company is definitely odd.  The closest thing I have to compare it to is working for the State of Alaska.  Huge machine and we’re only responsible for the left big toe portion.  I’ve met two of the presidents, which is very exciting.  One of which thought I brought a great conversation to the table!  Okay!  Believe it or not he is British and I actually got about every third word he said —- rather than my usual every sixth word.

I laugh a lot every day and yet there are still lots of things I need to learn.  When the VP says, “DO IT.”  I at first think, “really?  He can’t be serious.”  No, really, he is serious.  This is soooo backwards from what I’m used to that it takes me a bit to roll it around before I swallow and say, “okay, well if he’s serious, then hell yeah!  Let’s do this.”

Many times people have asked me, “what do you do on the weekends?”  I am here by myself and it makes people worry about my sanity and social life.  The first thing I tell people is this is the SECOND time I’ve packed up and moved somewhere I didn’t know anyone or anything.  How do you think I ended up in Alaska for 18 years?  I’m a Philly girl!  Come on!

Second thing I have to tell people:  I’m an only child.

I was taught to fend for myself since third grade.  True.  While others in this world need outside people to complete them….I am comfortable doing my own thing, on my own time at my own speed.  Often times people are dumbfounded when I tell them I do all kinds of things by myself.

I take myself out to dinner and not just fast food.  Sit down, order a glass of wine, salad, dinner etc.  When I walk up to the hostess stand I always tell them, “I am a giant party of one.”  The facial expression is priceless!  What a relief!

I have gone to movies and art museums by myself.

I have even gone to theatre productions by myself in major cities.

It’s no big deal to me.  I can do it.  Contrary to what is difficult to lots of people in this world…..I am very, very comfortable being with myself.  By myself.  I don’t need a giant circle of people to validate me or my actions.  Here I am….love me or not….it’s not my problem.

Yes, I have a small circle of friends, around this globe and they are what matters.  I don’t need a huge friend base of 200 people to make me feel valued or accomplished.  I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old and I’m proud to say I’m quite independent.

So when people are astonished I can do this life in Miami, by myself, I am perplexed because to me, this is a huge adventure.  I may take myself on a 3 mile walk and enjoy my thoughts or music as I go.  Maybe I will drive to Barnes & Noble and get lost for a few hours in the shelves of books.  There’s a great movie out….maybe I will treat myself to snacks and a glass of wine then hit the movie.  I have signed up for Conversational Spanish at the college and have a GroupOn for pole dancing lessons – all on my own.  No big deal.

I go to the gym at work during the week – first thing in the morning.  Do my work, on the third floor of the 1080 building until 6:30 or 7:00 at night and head home.  At home I cook a nice healthy meal, watch some tv or read….play Words with Friends and then off off to bed.  Rewind and repeat the next day.

The complex I’m in has a pool, if I should choose to jump in, but that’s not for me yet.

Yes, there are massages and nail appointments.  My new hair stylist Greta is great!  I have been to the beach once in all my time here….go figure.  But have enjoyed my balcony and potted plants just as much.  I have my usual weekly chores and food shopping to get through.  Snore.

It all comes from how you were raised.  My mom made me a strong and very independent person – which I am proud to be in this world.  Yet there are times when I think, “what the hell?”  Those moments come from not having experienced this life style before and just having to get used to the flow of things.

When I moved to Alaska I had no clue what Xtra Tuffs were – and I have my second pair with me now.  My co-workers are often teaching me about local customs and flavors, which is fantastic.  “OH, you have to try this Cuban dessert.”

I truly enjoy my coworkers sharing their local knowledge – especially the Cuban side of things.  As it turns out, my great-great- great grandparents were from Cuba.  They owned a tobacco plantation.

So see, I’m not so foreign in this land after all!

I Can’t Make This Stuff Up….

I have gone from a job, where my desk was literally a folding table in the area of town called, “The Rock Dump” to a cubicle in a corporate office in one of the world’s headlining cities…..Miami.

My days have gone from trying to keep busy to being so busy I barely have time to pee.  My brain is filled with so much information I have to make a mental note as to where I park because I may not remember at the end of the day.  I can only put so much in this little nutshell on a daily basis.  Pretty soon, I’ll end up like the Coneheads from Saturday Night Live….trying to stuff too much into this little walnut.

I brought in a couple of temporary employees to help with our increasing workload.  (Just trying to get ahead of the giant snowball that’s currently trying to run us down. What the snowball didn’t count on was ME running with a blowtorch…)

The temps trained with several of our team members before being set loose on their own.    Apparently, in hindsight,  I should have left the training wheels on a little longer for one.  Or maybe upgraded them to a Big Wheel bike.

I knew we were in trouble on our first solo attempt.

Some things, when you see them – you know it’s not a good sign.

For example:

When employees come running into your cubicle, nearly knocking down everyone in their way, with eyes as big as saucers….you just know…..like you know the traffic is going to suck in the morning….something has gone south.

And not just a little south., like you missed the turn off on I-95.

I’m talking full on, slippery slope, greased up with Crisco and sliding down on a freshly polished baking sheet kind of slippery.

Without a crash helmet.

In the middle of the night.

During a blizzard.

Without your shoes.

Snot freezing to your upper lip.

Bad.

Very.  Bad.

The employee I was speaking with suddenly stops …. mid-sentence…. and quickly vanishes before being run over.   I swear, she must be related to David Copperfield cause she disappeared so quickly I saw a little puff of smoke and some white rabbit fur in the air.

My immediate thought was, “Well, this can’t be good.”

The first thing out of my mouth?

“Hey.  What’s shaking?”

Looking at the sight in front of me….one temp and a distraught employee.

Another deep breath.

Better hitch up your waders, things are about to get deep

Oh yeah….and we’re going to step in it.

3

2

1

The employee says, “I was trying to explain how I would answer the email.”

Okay so tell me about the email.

BACKGROUND (Cue elevator music):  One of the jobs in our department is to answer inquires that arrive via email.  An email had come in that morning from an individual we will call Ms. Smith.  The message, in its entirety, said:

“I had sent a previous email but haven’t heard back.  Could you please call me at (000) 123-4567?  Thank you, Ms. Smith”

All right then, so what’s the problem?  The employee says she advised the temp to look for the previous email, find out their question and get the answer before calling.  Please note, this employee is about the most gentle and mild mannered employee one could ask for anywhere.  She’s fantastic, so I was a little baffled by the current situation.

Apparently, the temp ignored the employee’s suggestion and picked up the phone and called Ms. Smith.   Why?  “To make the connection with our customer,” she said.  Which was something I stressed in an earlier meeting with the temps.

Okay.

And?

CUE:  The crickets – about 20 of them.

Clearing of the throat…..waiting.

The employee explains her position again and how she pulled the temp aside and very quietly told her that she would have advised to approach it differently.  She goes on to say she was trying to explain her approach but maybe she didn’t explain it as best she could have in reality.

Now, the temp is wiping tears away and standing with her arms crossed.  Looking at the floor.  Well hell, this is awkward on several levels:

A.) We’re all fully certified grown adults.

B.) I can’t figure out what all the drama is about.

C.) I don’t do tears.

Okay.  I explain how everyone has a different way of seeing things.  While we work for a giant corporation, which you could call the giant pink panda in the room….in reality, our portion is just a toenail of the entire process.  We’re not even a whole toe….just the toenail.  No big deal – we just have this tiny little area to concern ourselves with in order to make the big pink panda a complete pink panda.

They both agree.

Okay…great.

But?

The employee says, “She wanted a manager present.”

?

Blink.  Blink.

Blink.  Blink.

For?  What?

Here I am….in my hip-waders.  Can’t get any more present than I am currently.

“For the apology.”

Blink .  Blink.

“She wanted a manager present for the apology.”

I look at the temp.  She confirmed, “I wanted a manager present.”  Eyes back to the floor.

Now I’m totally confused.  Apology?  It’s obvious, I must have nodded off somewhere between the tears and the toenail.   Apology for what exactly?

The employee explains, “She didn’t like my tone of voice. I’m sorry.”

CUE:  The crickets.  Strike that.  CRICKET.  Only one required.  One slightly confused cricket would be perfect.

Oh.

Ok.

Apology noted on behalf of all parties via the manager.  (Seriously?  I mean seriously? WHERE was the entrance to the rabbit hold I just fell down?)

Temp accepts the apology and walks out of the cubicle.

I reassure the employee life will go on and it’s fine – don’t worry.  She leaves the cubicle.

Very quietly, I stand up.  Listen to the surroundings.  No indication of anyone approaching the immediate area.  I take off the hip-waders, hang them up on the peg and ponder to myself….

Why do I have such a pain in my side?

Oh yeah, I have to go pee.