Friday, July 22, 2011

Mrs. CrabApple

I swear I wasn't trying to keep up with the Joneses, especially my friend Sarah Jones, whom had recently purchased stock In Apple with her first generation iPad, her iPhone and a MacBook. I wasn't even "trying to hear it" when a very rich friend offered to give me an iPad.

I just knew I had to have my very own iPad 2. It was something I considered to be the mother of all iTouch, and since I was ready to upgrade from my iTouch, a very touching gift from my former colleagues for my 30th birthday two years ago, the iPad seemed like the logical step. For Mother's Day, my husband agreed to let me ogle them at the Apple Store (he knew I would buy one on the spot).

Still, I should have done my research. If I had, I probably wouldn't have gotten this tablet, even though that glass front reflects your smile when you hold it's slender body in your arms, and the black Apple logo on the back makes you feel like taking a bite out of your own awesomeness.

The very first disappointment came almost immediately after purchase upon learning that Apple and Adobe don't like each other, therefore preventing iPad owners the pleasure of watching anything that requires a Flash Player. I'm sure this is spelled out all the Internet in most geek hideouts, but I missed that slice of info and have been paying the price, to the (i)tune of $800 for the cost of the device, since.

Now, I'm not a complainer by nature, but if I'm paying a boat load of money for something that should guarantee happiness and mind-numbing entertainment for hours, I expect to feel lobotomized instead of bitter and full of buyer's remorse.

My 8 year-old nephew saved his money and bought his own iPad last week. When his mother told me he was having trouble viewing some of his favourite gaming sites, I felt sick for having neglected to tell them about the quarrel betwixt Apple and Adobe, thus resulting child very disappointed child. Damnit, Apple, I didn't do it, you did! Why am I taking the fall for your shortcomings?

A more recent blow came when a very dear friend recommended a show to be watched on an Internet television site. He went as far as to say it was my kind of humour. I was eager to check it out and find out if my friend had me pegged. After downloading the app, and spending twenty minutes registering on the aforementioned site, I learned that the iPad doesn't support the app, even though it boldly states it does. IT DOESN'T!!!

Apple, at my core, I want to love you. But you leave me feeling like I just ate a worm whenever I'm denied viewing pleasure. And that happens way more than it should. I'm not condoning or condemning, but I will say this: next time, I won't be taken for a ill-informed follower.

Until I buy a MacBook Pro.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Small child face twist

He was asking for it. So I pinched the neck of that annoying little boy at the museum of bounce houses today.

That is a lie. There is no such place as a bounce house museum.

That little bastard (I mean that both literally and figuratively) kept choke-holding several of the little girls on the ship-shaped bouncer and throwing them to the floor, wherein the abused children would just bounce right back into the clutches of the bully and the whole scenario would happen again and again. Sure, it was comical in that sense, but the jerk deserved to get slugged.

I stood by and watched this occur for a few minutes before finally confronting the boy (like any overly-interjecting parent should do at a bounce house).

"Hey! hands to yourself, please!" I firmly told all the kids, though I really meant it for the offender.

He smiled a shit-grin and looked directly into my soul when he stuck out his arm and clothes-lined another kid.

"Oh, you think your tough?" I asked him, our faces separated only by the mesh veil of the ship.

Again, he smirked. He was taunting me. Or begging me to beat him bloody.

I waited until he turned his back for a moment, no doubt scanning the area for his next victim. In a moment I stuck two fingers, like pincers, through the mesh and gave him a quick pinch on his neck. He cried out in a shock and pain, twisting and contorting his face until it was a mystery whether or not he was even a human boy.

I turned away, partly because I was laughing so hard at the situation, but also because I wanted to be sure the child's mother didn't see me. She didn't. She was too busy flirting with a strong, bald Asian man.

The boy canvassed the area inside the bouncer but gave up, assuming one of the girls had fought back.

One girl did. Me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The makings of a douchebag boss

You know that feeling you get in your stomach and lower bowel when you have to approach your boss about a matter, even something relatively benign, and you just know it's not going to be well received? I refer to that feeling as having "shit chills," and its direct cause is created by having a douchebag for a boss. I've had quite a few of these types of bosses in my working lifetime. And let me say this: you never get over the chills when dealing with a douche.

For instance, I had one previous employer who used every opportunity to belittle me as an employee, as a woman, and as a human being, and met every work-related question I had with a snarky answer. He was the type of jerk who might answer a question WITH a question. Not to teach a lesson like a college professor or life mentor might. No, this dill hole would do it just to watch me squirm. I knew whatever answer I gave was going to be wrong, thus, making me the dumbest person alive in his eyes. Sometimes, if I had a question, I would get the shit chills just realizing I had to go into his office to get the answer. More than two years later I can still see him now, smugly mulling his shitty response while leaning in his chair, picking his ear with a pen tip. What a douche.

Now, before I claim utter innocence, I do have a way of making bosses want to punch me in the face. I usually care very little about the actual work being performed, instead using work time to entertain coworkers with quips, high kicks and antics, write a blog or make personal phone calls. I rarely go beyond the call of duty and will never be rewarded for putting in the extra time. Some say I have a work attitude that is to be admired. They are usually not the ones who hired me.

Still, I always manage to get my work done and on time. I try never to bother managers or bosses with trivialities and often seek the help of others before finally breaking down and asking a superior for help. The way i figure it, out of sight, out of mind. I dont need to be on a boss's radar, especially if its not for good. But I have a way of finding trouble anyway. Some bosses have told me I laugh too loudly in the lunchroom. Some managers resent the fact that my coworkers typically like me and enjoy my company. Others think so little of me they outsource my job to Texas. Mostly, I have little respect for bosses. I do have a problem with people in authoritative positions, but that's only because they are often more lazy than me!

My younger, much younger, aforementioned boss has a passive-aggressive approach to managing, which typicially involves her feigning some small interest in my day, weaseling her way up to my cube and asking how it's going ... before dropping her lazy hammer upon my head. Yes, it's true. I am her bitch. And I will continue to take it with a smile until Texas calls in a few weeks to take over for me. She is saccharin-sweet and everyone just wants to "eat her up!" Except me. I'm waiting for it to rain.

Her boyfriend (also aforementioned) is a greasy fuck who manages a smaller group within his girlfriend's department. He is the one who most resembles a douchbag in training. He twists his face around iced-coffees and rocks in his chair while working on a sketch of something witty and hipster-like. He wears tattoos and low-slung jeans and all the corporate fuckers seem to want to eat him up too! They love this dickhead! And when I'm studying him instead of working, I conclude that he is useless, ineffectual, and has a fantastic way of looking busy, pleasing others and making friends. He is the ultimate DIT!

He has every reason to believe that someday he will be calling the serious shots. He will be the one giving his staff the shit chills and making them feel worthless. His ears will bleed but not because of my words. He is too high above me to hear them.

This is just the tip of his pen cap.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bleeding For Work

But, oh! The humanity!

My boss – my younger, much younger, primed for great things boss – asked me how my day was going.
No. it's was not a sigh that time! That time, a light bulb went off, a spark was ignited, a fire burned in me!
“I'm not okay,” I rationally explained (which seems like a very irrational thing to say to a boss). “I'm not okay knowing that my job has been outsourced to someone in Texas. I'm not okay with that.
This is a New York newspaper. News from here should be written here. Not sent away to be processed and returned.”
She was taken aback, as if I'd literally punched her in the stomach. She set her hands on the top of my cubicle wall for security.
“This is fucked,” I continued, as a matter of fact. “I'm doing my work, and someone else, three thousand miles away is doing it too. There is something inherently wrong with this.”
She gave me an uneasy smile, showing me her awkward teeth, which clearly could have used braces a few years ago when she was still a kid.
She is still a kid.
She picked at a patch of old tape crusted to my cubicle wall. She was making the best of this situation I'd just put her in.
“Heh,” she uttered. “Well, you's an uncertain time for sure. No one really knows what's going to happen with the outsourcing. It's definitely a wait-and-see time. For sure.”
I continued to tell her all about my worries and they came out 1. literally, 2. comically, 3. uneasy, 4. honestly.
She let go of the wall.
“This is a weird time for all of us,” and she took a step away.
This is Corporate America. One nation of assholes taking one collective step away from everyone else.
“I guess I'll just take it on the chin,” I said, looking her square in the face. “This is all I have.”
She was gone and I'm sure feeling sorry for asking me about my day, my week, my life. She was back to her own cube in a few seconds, possibly thinking about dinner that night and her greasy boyfriend to whom she was going to go home and fuck.
I cautiously rose from my chair, the only thing that keeps my hidden away in this tiny cubicle. I glanced around the newsroom - today a ghost town because news doesn't happen on Thursdays.
The ground shifted and I was in the bathroom. Three stalls. Three sinks. I flipped my view and scoured the floor for feet. No one. In the handicapped stall, I locked the door and headed for the toilet. Seated with my head in my hands, I could only laugh. I needed a tampon.
I was just a girl. Just a girl. I was alone in a bathroom, in a stall. Laughing. Bleeding. This was my life. I finished and washed my hands. As hot as the water would go.

I exited the bathroom. And then the building.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eunice Boring Face

I'm telling you...she has a face for radio. But unfortunately, she works in news. Someone might actually throw up should they see her twisted up, busted up face in the paper. I'm surprised people can actually stand to work near her without constantly puking their guts out.

For me, it's less about wretching, and more about being curious, and not in a good curious way. I mean, I'm curious how someone with a face lacking definition, like each feature just runs into the next and nothing stands out with beauty or intrigue, can walk around being so smug.

When I see Eunice Boring Face at work, I always feel obligated to smile at her. Like it might make it a little easier to take her ugliness if I just make nice. But each time I try to reach out and make some sort of subtle contact, such as a nod or a quick wave, I'm shut down by Her Royal Boringness.

I mean I get no response from her! For instance, this week, we passed each other three times in the cafeteria. Each time, I mustered a nod while looking right into her dead eyes. And guess what. No return on any of those communicative attempts! In fact, she often goes out of her way to not look at me. Most people, even if uncomfortable, would give an awkward nod or nervous smirk. But not Eunice. No. She won't even do the "Oops!-We-walked-into-each-other's-path, I-guess-we-should-acknowledge-one-another" smile.

I mean, I know I'm no beauty queen, but I think most people are not entirely put off by my face. I may compensate with a flashy nose ring, but typically people don't turn away in disgust. If I was 'Ol Boring Face, I think I'd work a little harder to make people not want to punch me in my ugly face.

But, just so she knows there are no hard feelings, I won a child's cosmetic mirror at Chuck E. Cheese's today and I'm going to surprise her with it by leaving it open on her desk. I'll also leave the bag in which it came - just in case she has an urge to purge.

That ought to help smooth things over between us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today, for instance

I’m listening to a corporate meeting taking place right now. I’m working the front desk, filling in for a fool on medical leave. I am a peon. That is why I was asked to take this shift to begin with. As I sat answering phones, “Good morning, Terri Medina speaking..." very important people began to file in through the front doors, laughing in suits and heels, make-up and polished heads. Talking heads. They were followed by a man carrying premium roasted coffee from Wegmans. I mean the good stuff. Not some Dunkin’ Donuts put-on. I mean the good stuff. And he has stacks and stacks of thick paper cups with strong rims and lids. And suddenly, I was less interested in what the corporate mumbo meeting was about, and more interested in how he procured those cups. When he was at Wegmans, did he ask for “x” amount of cups, or did they just recognize him as someone important and, some slack-jawed A-hole in a position similar to my own, just handed them over to him. I don’t wear suits. I hardly even own a suit. I am like a man from the 1970s whose only suit is used for funerals. I don’t wear make-up, perfume, or high heels. Yes, yes. I have these things. But it couldn’t be more contrived when I put them on. The thought of appealing “sexy” at work makes me want to throw up, which, of course, would be a very non sexy thing to do. Suddenly, the conference room breaks into another round of claps, cheers and high-fives. For a moment, they are as pedestrian as me. But what keeps us separated in this building, in this business world, in this life, is the sheer fact that these corporate punks are not going to eat those classy Wegmans bagels that were trucked in. They will only guzzle the coffee and clap for each other. It’s like a chugging contest for bureaucrats. And I’ll sit down here with a tummy ache, trying hard not to look like the person I really am; a girl who is dressed in snug jeans and a barrette, answering a phone at the front desk while eating a bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts.

Monday, September 13, 2010

a seasoned drink


I apologize for being away so long. I guess life, you know, the part that's not so funny, was happening. I got swept up in NOT finding the humour of a birthday, baby's surgery and a bad sickness.

I will say, you have all not missed too much. There has been nary a spotting of My Janitor and things have been really calm at work as we make way for fall.  I know he's been around, but our paths have not crossed in weeks. I know, because the dead grasshopper, which graced the stairwell landing for more than two months, was finally vacuumed up recently. I passed its dead carcass for so long that, when it was gone, I felt like a part of me had been sucked up too.

Leaves are falling fast now and I'm putting summer away. Today, instead of buying that Coffee Coolata (lol) from Dunkin Donuts, I went for the hot apple cider instead. The Coolata was the only thing that got me through my two week illness of strep throat. Well, OK, the love from my family and friends helped too. But dang. It was only a short bit ago that I was cursing that beverage as a choking hazard and then I found its medicinal purpose as a cure-all for strep throat. I'd like to believe that anyway. The way that frozen treat helped me then, this apple cider is sure to conquer all of my fears about starting a new season now.

Yes, fall will be an interesting time for sure. My child will begin school, and for the first time in her young life, she will be in the care of someone other than myself of a family member. And while it brings a mixed bag of emotions for me, I'm kind of jazzed that someone else will be told, "No!" for a change. Though I will admit, since she had her tonsils removed, her voice has risen what seems like several octaves, rendering her even more adorable. It's hard to get mad at her when she's throwing a temper tantrum and it sounds like kittens mewing. I bet that's how parents of primordial dwarfs feel. I bet they can never get angry at an 11 inch human being with a helium-drenched voice box.

Soon I'll be starting fall hours at work, which is also sure to leave me feeling out of sorts for a while. Arriving at work and coming home in the dark is no way to go through life. The only saving grace may be having consistent four-day work weeks. But the idea of sitting in that office for 10 hours a day is maddening too.  Especially since almost half of my office is dating each other. Yeah, that's right. They are all dating. Fucking weird, right? I imagine that they all arrive and go home together (now in the dark) and since this will be my first cold season working there, I can only imagine how many office couples will be curled up sipping hot apple ciders while I toil away for 10.

I'll keep you all posted.  It's good to be back.