Tag Archives: boss

Strangers and Pixie Dust

Please note: All names have been changed to protect the guilty. Don’t worry, I still love you.

Strangers.

They’re everywhere.

We grew up being told not to talk to them and look what happens! We grow up and start talking to them.  Just throw that spray can called CAUTION right out the window.  While you’re at it, you might as well dump COMMON SENSE down the drain and flush SELF PRESERVATION right down the toilette with your daily dump.

I mean really, it’s quite obvious.  Mr. Rodgers kicks the bucket and we’re all going to Hell in a hand basket.  Talking to strangers as if they’re as common as the pickles on our plate.  Really?  Do you know who handled that pickle?  I think not.

The Beaver would be horrified as would Big Bird if they had any inkling the kind of people we were associating with on a daily basis.  Next time you’re on line at the grocery – take a gander at your local strangers.

Creepers.

Yet, we’re addicted.

It’s no different than being told, “don’t touch that!” You simply can’t help yourself so you do it. Just to see what happens. Nine times out of ten – nothing exciting occurs. But that tenth time- yowzers!

They come in all shapes and sizes.

There are ones you wouldn’t touch with a four foot pole, while riding past them on your Orange County Chopper while going to work.

There are others you certainly wouldn’t mind being trapped on a desert island for several days with before help arrived.

Lastly there are others you routinely have to pick your lower mandible up off the floor by and can’t help but think one thing: WTF is wrong with you?!

This past week I was sailing on a cruise liner for work and had such an encounter. Seemed harmless enough at first. Similar to if a mosquito landed on you and you had no clue what it was until it poked it’s giant beak into your virgin skin to suck your blood to give itself life. THEN, you realize….this is a problem.

SMACK…..no, that’s not the sound of you ending the life of the blood-sucking mosquito.  That’s the sound of you thinking….WTF have I gotten myself into and who the hell is going to get me out of this?

Nobody.  Buck up and carry on.  You are in it.  Now get out of it.

It happened at the Martini Bar.

Enter the swaggering Johnny Boy who saunters up to me and begins to chat me up at the bar.

Great.

First thing I notice?

This man has a beak on him that I don’t think he could get inside a coffee mug if he tried.  It may be handy for dialing on iPhones.  Wow.  That’s quite the pointer you got there.  Does it act like a compass as well?  Or wait, do you do search and rescue missions?  That can’t be right, you don’t have a barrel of whiskey under your chin, but then again we aren’t in the Alps.  What the hell do I know, we’re in the Caribbean.

He begins to ask how my evening is going and how lovely I look in my dress.   Did I enjoy dinner.  Was I enjoying the cruise?  Oh the questions of common chat.

Shoot me.

Yatta.  Yatta.  Yatta.  Insert nice comments.

Then he hits me with, “So the guy you’re with….” nodding to the guy to my right…. “is that your husband?”

(Note:  said man in question is large bald man to my right)

I quietly pick up my velvet sledge hammer and casually position it above my head….ready, aim…release:

No, he’s my boss.  And that guy over there…..(and I point to a gentleman across the bar…(another larger muscled man) that’s my VP.  I’m surrounded by men who own me.  Sorry.

Blink.  Blink.  Bambi smile.  Blink.

>>>>  awkward moment goes here <<<<<

Oh, that’s too bad, the pointy nose man says.  Did I forget to mention he was baked to a crispy bacon color?  And wearing a lovely tank top by the way.  Oh yes, he was also a good stiff breeze into his Long Island Teas by now, which made the interaction all the more entertaining as we launched into Act Two:

Blink.  Blink.

He then turns to his other side and asks about the ladies sitting to our left side.

“Who are these lovely ladies?  From Sex in the City?”  Obviously, I am seeing my out approaching as quickly as the Lexington Avenue stop on the NY Metro when you’ve dozed off unexpectedly.  SNAP….got to go.

WHY, yes, aren’t they lovely ladies?  And you know what?  They’re also with me!  Don’t they look FABULOUS?

He had a name for each of the ladies and as he figured who was who, I was gathering my hand bag and martini….positioning my stilettos for lift off and preparing for a pole vault from my seated position.

He was simply amazed and at a loss for words as he approached my friend Bernice.  With the quickness of a forest mouse on crack, I hop from my bar stool and quickly join friends at the back of the bar.  Just a simple three steps away from Bernice, we’re anxiously watching the drama unfold.

From our vantage point, the Pointer was very interested.

From Bernice’s vantage point, it was quite a different engagement.

Pats on her purse.  Comments on her earrings.  Here a pat, there a comment, every where a pat ‘n comment.

Old McNose had a pat ‘n comment….e i e i o……and on this pat he had an drunken comment!  E I E I O.

Alas, we weren’t too concerned.

I, all 5’1 and filled with Pixie glitter was able to survive the brief moments of stranger commentary of The Nose.  The spectator crowd in the back figured Bernice could do the same…..and we were quite enjoying the several minutes of conversational exchange between strangers.   Actually hoping to snap a photo if possible.

Fact or fiction you decide:  It all came to a screeching halt and we were later discovered to our horror…. he wanted to sell her Boy Scout Popcorn but the deal was only good if she could trade with her stash  Ginsu Knives.  You know they cut through cans AND then tomatoes.   The Nose said he didn’t swing that way so the deal was off on the Ginsu Knives.but wait until I tell you about the Pocket Hoses he was ready to deal on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Could I Get Any More Annoyed?

It’s always one thing after another.
It doesn’t matter what it is….it’s always something.
Do you have those kinds of days?
Where it’s gone way beyond the, “Are you kidding me? Give me a break!” stage to the “For Fuck’s Sake!” Death Con 4 stage.

I’m having a day like that today.

Hard to tell if it’s anger or annoyance. Or both. It’s no one thing – it’s everything!

Yes, I did take my happy pills this morning and contemplated doubling the dosage. Thank goodness for Mr. Happy Camper. Although being happy does not mean I want to go camping. Thank you. Camping would not make me happy today, it would be another thing to annoy the hell out of me.

It started with a 4:00AM wake up.
Coughing.
Blowing crap out my nose.
Coughing.
Sneezing crap out my nose.
Praying the dog doesn’t hear me because sure as hell she’ll want to go out. I’m not getting out of the bed at 4:00AM.

Better half was up at 4:30AM – his own choice, as he had to take the dog out before work. No, we’re not the kind that let’s our dog out the front door and expects her to understand to look both ways before crossing the street. We actually walk her. On a leash. Daily. Four times.

I can attest to people who think their dogs are smart enough to get out of the way of vehicles – they’re not! My 35 foot bus will kill your dog. I’ve been there, personally. Your dog isn’t a human and doesn’t understand. Of course, some humans aren’t smart enough to look both ways before crossing either. Come to Juneau, Alaska in the summer and the tourists think they’re in a Disney World resort town. Step off the sidewalks. Aimlessly wander the streets. Hello? Yes, we are in fact, a functioning city. Actually…we are the capital city of Alaska – now get back on the sidewalk you nutter.

After I flush out my nasal cavities – as a good friend of my swears by…which by the way I think the same thing every morning:

Nostril one: Really? This works? I’m having doubts.
Nostril two: I’m on day seven of this damn cold and can’t shake the snot.

Onwards and upwards, while today is an official day off for me…I do check emails as it’s a Wednesday and in reality, a work day for others. Provided they aren’t updating Facebook or watching the latest download on iTunes.

Yesterday evening, at 5:05PM exactly, I put a disclaimer on my email that I would be out of my office today. Which is good as there are multiple messages where after reading them, I search for the large rock I like to beat my head against. Don’t ask what the emails were about, let’s just say I now have a bloody mass on the right side of my forehead.

Must.
Keep.
Hitting.
Head.
Rock.

Emails….they’re an addiction. Would you rather bring your device to check emails on a deserted island – if that was all you could use your device for OR bring a fully stocked 40 foot trailer worth of food? I’d wager most would prefer to have email access. You never get alone time anymore. We’re all tethered to the universe.

Well today, I’m saying, “screw the universe.”

Although, I will admit I sent one email this morning. A rant to my boss about a charter. In the end I thanked him for listening and told him not to worry, I’ve got it covered. We’ve worked together over 11 years. No, he hasn’t responded. Our relationship is like a marriage but different.

Annoyance level is at about 40%.

Apparently the e-collar we borrowed for the dog is no longer working. I had to apologize to our fat cat, Liggy. She’s on her own. Defend yourself as the zapper is out of zap. Mrs. Pickles, the dog, would love Liggy to play with her. Liggy, the 18 pound cat, while secretly hoping the dog will play with her, continues to growl every time the dog exhales. It’s exhausting. I finally told Liggy, if she didn’t like looking at the dog, to go into the other room. Instead, Liggy lays down next to the dog bed. Game on!

So after the rock thumping email reading and cat chasing drama. I proceeded to wash the dog. She’s about 45 pounds now. Well she stunk and needed a bath. I’m bigger than her, so I win, get in the tub. Me, in my pj’s, wrestling the dog into the tub. Twice.

Made me ponder alligator wrestling. There’s a sport I might succeed in actually. Picking up a 45 pound, unhappy, wriggling dog might be similar. Only if I was to wrestle a baby alligator. Without teeth. Or claws.

Accomplished the bath for the dog and then proceeded to prepare myself for the day. By this time I realized the roofers weren’t showing up again today. So my annoyance level was hovering at about 87.9%. I contacted my better half (who is more level headed in all regards than myself) and suggested, since I was already bitchy maybe I should send an email to the roofing company owner. We call that “Going Philly” in our house, since I’m from there. (Which, side note…those of you who look on kindness as a weakness….well that’s stupid) We had an earlier conversation with our neighbor, who we’re attached to, about the lack of work on behalf of the roofer. Our neighbor summed it up perfectly when they didn’t show up on Monday: “fuckers.”

Roofer man replied and said due to the weather and not wanting to get water in our roofs they’ve had some delays. Really? Today it’s 65 and not a cloud in the sky, where the hell are you? Oh, previous commitment. Half the roof is ripped apart, half of it remains with the old shingles. Are you waiting for the second coming of Noah’s Ark before you bust a gut trying to get our roof finished? Seriously, the longer you wait into the summer season in Juneau, the better chance you have of torrential downpours that remind you of those log flume rides at Great Adventure Amusement Parks! Fear not, two hummingbirds just arrived in our back yard, followed by two Labrador retrievers and strangely enough…two squirrels. I’ll get the check list.

Nice sunny day, I decide on my day off, I will take my book outside, with a cup of coffee, slice of cinnamon coffee cake and put the dog on the run. Sitting outside on the deck, on a sunny day is fantastic! Still snow capped Thunder Mountain off to my left and a nice little green belt of forest off to my right, concealing the neighbors. Love it. Mrs. Pickles can chase butterflies and poop in the forest. Perfect.

Upon arriving into the kitchen, I notice Liggy’s food bowl is under the kitchen table. Licked clean. Wrong! Someone got the food bowl down off the counter and ate everything. Since the cats are NOT counter surfers, there was only one culprit. Mrs. Pickles. I scolded her with “NO! BAD DOG!” and picked up the bowl. I turned around to throw something into the garbage and found a huge wad of plastic wrap by the trash can. No, my first assumption was incorrect. Mrs. Pickles did NOT go through the garbage, as the lid was still on. Instead she ate what was left of the cinnamon coffee cake! 3/4 of a loaf.

I was not happy.
Annoyance level was now firmly planted at a 105%.

So annoyed I put myself in a time out and counted to 50.
Still annoyed.
YOU ATE THE ENTIRE FUCKIN COFFEE CAKE!
So annoyed, I couldn’t even look at her as it was beyond, “NO! BAD DOG!”

On our way outside, my cell phone rings. It’s my girlfriend’s daughter. Her mom sold me on some new beauty gadget I had to get from Nordstroms. Today, yes, I will gladly buy that gadget, here’s my credit card number. Her daughter was so upbeat and happy – she turned my annoyance down to about 75% by the time we hung up. Mrs. Pickles and I played fetch for a while in the yard. Growling and running around. I was growling. She was running. Thank you.

Not long after I sat down on the deck….enjoying the sunshine and I will admit a jelly jar glass of wine….my cell phone rings and another friend is on the line. Word travels fast as she’s heard about the cinnamon coffee cake incident already. Oy. Laughter ensues and my annoyance is down to about 40%.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see two shapes: a brown and a black, barreling towards our yard. The neighbor’s dogs. These two dogs weigh easily close to 100 pounds. They are big labs. More than twice the size of Mrs. Pickles. All goes well until they start to chase each other. Mrs. Pickles on her line, running in circles trying to get away. Or get caught, hard to tell. The owner comes over to collect his two dogs and all is well.

Until.
One of the labs….hovers over my newly planted shrubs.
And pees.

I Love My Boss…(but here’s the awkward bit)

I love my boss.
We’ll call him Morris – to protect the identity of the innocent.
He hired me in 2000.
We’ve been together ever since.
We’ve worked together longer than either one of our first marriages lasted.

Now, that says something.

Of course, it is probably due to the fact that we live/work in separate cities. He’s in Anchorage. I’m in Juneau. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not like working in Boston, jumping in your car and going to see a colleague in Cambridge. Or having an office in Seattle and one in Renton, or even a division in Orlando and another field office in Miami.

Why?

Juneau doesn’t have any roads out. (Our main road extends all of 40 miles before it has a lovely yellow sign that reads: Dead End) If Morris wants to come and see me, it involves jumping on Alaskan Airlines and flying 1.5 hours or almost 600 miles/900 km. The upside is I learned early on in our relationship that when Morris says he’s coming to Juneau – chances are – he ISN’T REALLY coming to Juneau. If he actually did show up, then it was one of those days when it was painful for me to sit, because obviously monkeys were flying out of my butt.

It was common for him to say in the beginning, “I’ll be there on the morning flight on Thursday.” Then Thursday morning I’d get a call from Morris, “Yeah, I’m not coming.” At first, I was crushed, but then realized, Morris obviously thought I was handling things okay! I think in our first five years I only saw the man ten times.

What cracks me up nowadays, is …. well, wait, I have to back up.

So Morris hired me in 2000 for a job that didn’t exist with the company at the time. Okay, so I jumped in with both feet and like a mountain goat whose afraid of heights, I stumbled and whined and did the best I could out on the skinny ass ledge. We’re lucky that I didn’t take up chain smoking during this period. Although I did realize early on that sensible shoes made a huge difference when working 12 hour days.

Of course, I should have taken a note from my gut that this job was going to be like a roller coaster when I answered the phone one day and they asked for “Pees Lots.” I turned to the manager and thinking this was a crank call told her who they were looking for. She thought I was nuts cause obviously I should have known…duh, of course…..Pees Lots…he’s in the maintenance hangar.

Oh great. So I go down and throw open the door to the hangar and yell out: PEES LOTS phone call line 1. (Of course we didn’t have an intercom system, this is Alaska. We’re lucky we’re not still using tin cans and string.) Some time later, I did come to find out that Pees Lots was actually someone’s name – obviously – but his name was Paul Lott (name changed to protect my buddy). From there on out, I understood it was P. Lott….not so much the Pees Lots.

ANYHOW. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, fast forward five years and our parent company decides to sell off our part of the company. Long story short (cause of course there is always some drama, and there were quite a few moments that left me either wondering if I fell down the stupid rabbit hole again, or going in for hearing tests cause that can’t be what the new owners just said….out loud….to me…right?) I tell Morris, I’m not staying to work for these new lunatics without him.

Enter a new job with Morris!

Reason #2 I love my boss: When talk of leaving the one company to start a brand new company. (Yes, that’s right…starting up a brand new company…talk about moments of insanity.) I have heard Morris on several occasions say, “I took the one good employee with me.”

Cue Self: Gleaming bright shiny star enters stage left and takes a bow.

Anyhow, I’m getting there…

With the new company, the employees who hadn’t had the pleasure of working with Morris before would corner me and say: “OMG! Did you hear? Morris is coming to Juneau on Wednesday!” For days the proclamation would be shouted throughout the offices….Morris is coming….Morris is coming! It was like kids waiting for the Easter Bunny to show up. They wanted to know: What does he looked like? Is he nice? Will he be here for the whole week? Does he like donuts? How long have I worked with him? Is he mean? Does he like beer? What religion is he? It was exhausting to be one of the only ones who had ever met Morris. After a while I took to hiding in the maintenance shop’s furnace room. Employees would either be on the verge of peeing their pants or have beads of sweat breaking out on their upper lips. It was hard to tell if they were excited or fearful.

My standard response: “Don’t worry about it. He’s not coming.”

After 11 years of our working marriage, I’m right 90% of the time.

So here’s my awkward bit: after all these years of working together, our interaction is 80% phone calls and emails. When he comes to town, it’s generally to check in with the operations teams and while we’ll have our minutes together – we don’t really spend a huge amount of time together.

That’s our flow. He knows, I know, what I’m doing, which is another reason I love my boss. He points me in the direction, pulls the rip cord sticking out my back and off I go. Easy. This is why we work so well together.

So you can imagine my befuddlement when he tells me last week that we’re going to go to Miami together. Wait. What? We’ve never traveled together, unless you count the times I drive him to the airport. I’m thinking…holy shit…we’re going to spend four days together. What on earth are we going to talk about? I’ve only got so much “chatty” stuff in my arsenal before I start to talk out my ass. Mental note: bring breath mints.

Oh and did I mention, neither one of us likes flying. So this trip has the potential to be entertainment in it’s highest form. Almost like the time I was on an Alaskan Airlines flight with my better half, his boss and co-workers when the pilot came on and said:

“Excuse me folks. In case you feel the plane jerk a little bit as we approach our landing, I wanted to let you know the plane will be landing itself today. It’ll do the whole thing on auto pilot. I won’t have my hands on the controls.”

I literally started yelling out as I started to get out of my seat: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN AUTO PILOT?” Luckily I was in the middle seat between my better half and the Director of Safety for his company – or else I would have been up and out of my seat, no doubt ending with a take down by the Air Marshal.

If I don’t like flying and Morris doesn’t like flying, then how many little bottles of alcohol can I have during each flight? Hummm. An 8:30AM departure, I could have mimosas at the airport bar. Do I invite him too? Or is it better to just mimosa by myself? He could have a beer. Does he drink beer at 8:30AM? In all reality, it’ll be more like 7:30AM as the flight leave at 8:30AM.

Just wait until he sees me break out my sanitary wipes on the plane. Not for my hands but for my seat/tray table/seat belt. Then I’ll offer him one. Okay, maybe I’ll just have to run around him and board early with “those who need extra time or assistance.” Then I can get both our seat areas cleaned before he gets on.

What to talk about on the plane? Two out of four flights we’re sitting next to each other. So, did you see the latest UFC fight? Love that Forrest Griffin. Yeah, then he’ll think I’m nuts. Luckily with the sound of the airplane engines, you won’t be able to hear the awkward crickets chirping away in our silence. Then there’s the car ride to the hotel, meals….down time. Really?

Now, I can’t decide if am I more nervous about the flights (we’re going through Chicago so we’re definitely going to get stuck), trying to pack everything in a carry on, or spending four days with my boss… with whom the longest one-on-one time has probably been the length of a meal.

This morning I get my flight details and Morris tells me, “I may take an earlier flight to Seattle.” Yeah, well this is how it all starts. He changes one flight and then the next….until he gets frustrated enough he doesn’t fly at all. I told him, “I’ll see you in Miami.”

Anyone who knows me, you know my boss. If you send this to him, I will break into your home and unleash three hearty crickets. The first cricket the pet will find and eat. The second cricket will be the one you find and release outside. The third cricket….that’s the ninja cricket that will torment you with their chirp for days and days to come.