spinn | zomp | lore | lance | dave
"If it would make you... feel more comfortable about handling the mail, you can order some latex gloves and even face masks if you like." -- e-mail excerpt from Human Resources at my current assignment
11-01-01 - CLONK
Aww. As a kid, I always found it somewhat endearing when a young polar bear, testing his agility, would fly smack dab into the picture window of our living room. Generally, they'd just wind up stunned for a moment before taking flight again, flitting off to land in the branches of a nearby tree, chirping and singing gaily. (Just a tip: You can cut the silhouette of a Canadian poacher out of some black construction paper and stick it in the window to help avoid such accidents.)
Okay, I beat that joke into the ground. What else?
Today at work, as you can see from the excerpt at the top of the page, HR sent me an e-mail offering to buy me some gloves and a mask, since I sort and open all the mail for the company and there's this whole anthrax thing happening. The second line of the e-mail read:
"Let me know and I will talk to Donald about approving it."
Donald is our Head of Finance, and he's one of those delusional sorts of guys who doesn't blink at the stacks of expense reports and airline bills from all the managers who fly all over the country to attend meetings, but instead focuses on saving the company money by picking apart every office supply order. The company is still in the process of moving into their new offices and hiring new staff members, so every day we get requests for supplies. Half of what is requested gets turned down by Donald, and half of what's left gets cut in half.
Just an example, also from today: A woman asked if I would order her an electric pencil sharpener. I stared at her blankly for a few moments before she said, "Oh, that's right," and walked away.
Just last week, Donald hadn't allowed us to order pencils.
Maybe he's got a point. After all, you know what caused the dot-com collapse: outlandish pencil budgets.
I've been sitting amidst piles of files since I started there, because he will only order one file cabinet at a time. "Just let me know if you fill this one, and I'll order another," he says in my general direction, not being able to pinpoint my exact location since I'm sitting behind stacks and stacks of folders. Sure enough, I've filled seven cabinets so far, which has barely put a dent in the stacks, but he still won't order more than one a week.
Which makes me wonder if he'd actually approve the order for any anti-anthax supplies, such as gloves or a mask. "You can order one glove, and if you contract anthrax, we'll order another." Or "We'll order a mask, but when you're not using it, remove the elastic band from it and use it to hold papers together."
It would be fun to test him. Forget gloves. I could try to order a complete biohazard suit. Bring a few assistants on to the payroll to spray me down with hoses after each mail delivery. Have him pay for an elaborate electron beam system to decontaminate mail.
Anyway, I'm not worried about contracting anthrax. Of course, if I do...
"Okay, we'll pay to have one of his lungs treated, and if there's no improvement in his condition, we'll treat the other one."
10-31-01 - Temp Chat! Now 33% Steamier!
Decided to infiltrate the chat channels again on IRC. Why not? It beats actually writing material, and besides, I figured I was due to actually run into some temps this time around.
Wrong! Took a while to even get people to talk to me this time, despite my new approach to chatting: blending in. Instead of just announcing I was a temp ISO same, I thought this time I'd try to assimilate myself a bit. The best way I could think to accomplish this was by changing my /nick (chat name) to suit the room, and by talking about things they would find appropriate, while slyly working in the temping angle. A chameleon! That's what I was! A veritable chameleon!
Now talking in #fitness
Three channels and not so much as a peep from anyone. I started
getting desperate. I even forgot to change my name before entering
the next channel. -----
least I knew my computer was working. I left them and moved on with
renewed enthusiasm, and finally got into a conversation. Just a
warning, there are some very dirty words ahead. -----
talking in #100%bigdicks *** Topic
is: Welcome to #100%bigdicks; 18+ ONLY, state age/sex upon entry, no
cumdrinking or cumthirsty channels, no MSG/DCC without permission, no
kiddie, incest, animal, etc... AND GOD BLESS THE USA!
Man. Three channels and not so much as a peep from anyone. I started getting desperate. I even forgot to change my name before entering the next channel.
Well, at least I knew my computer was working. I left them and moved on with renewed enthusiasm, and finally got into a conversation. Just a warning, there are some very dirty words ahead.
*** Now talking in #100%bigdicks
*** Topic is: Welcome to #100%bigdicks; 18+ ONLY, state age/sex upon entry, no cumdrinking or cumthirsty channels, no MSG/DCC without permission, no kiddie, incest, animal, etc... AND GOD BLESS THE USA!
10-30-01 - Stolen Art
As you might guess from looking at my art page, I love it when people make me logos or graphics or whatever. Still, I know there must be more artists out there, just dying to lend their skills to my site.
They just don't know it yet.
So, I did a little probing into Google's image search, looking for people who may not have even heard of Not My Desk, yet who still felt some strange calling, some unknown desire to make me cool junk. Here's what I found searching for 'NMD.' (A lot of these images are linked directly, but hopefully they'll all load.)
Hey, these look just fine! I like the colors. Still, I'd like to see something with maybe a bit more... y'know. Punch.
Yeah! This is what I'm talking about! Nation Missile Defense! You hear me, bin Laden? Don't FUCK with the TEMPS, beeotch!
Same for you, McDonalds! Get yer damn golden arches outta my town! Blam! Blooie! Zap! Yes, I'd like to value size... your DEATH!!!
Oooh. This is rad. This is from a design company called National Boston. Not really sure why National Boston has the initials NMD, though. Maybe it's National Media Design. Or maybe they just worship me. Either way, it's a cool guy in glasses holding a silly straw! I dig it!
I don't know what this means. So, I fed 'Altenhilfe', 'Familienhilfe', 'Haushaltshilfe', and 'Kinderbetreuung' into babel, and got back 'Old help,' 'Family help,' Domestic help', and 'Care of children.' Looks like a very helpful logo, indeed!
Of course, then I fed 'Notmutterdienst' into babel and got back "NOT-NUT-SERVE." So, uh... you can draw your own conclusions.
Okay with me! Keep the royalty checks a-comin'! Or, a-startin', at least. Just send me some damn money!
Hey, Doc, I appreciate it. It ain't pretty, but you've been around since '96, so I guess it has that retro feel.
And I guess the 'M' is, like, teeth, or something. Pretty clever.
Still, you might think about the fact that you made the teeth red.
Hey, people might get the wrong idea about dentistry.
10-29-01 - Temping Exposed!
MSN recently ran an article called "The Downsides of Temping", written by Jennifer Lynham. Several considerate readers sent me the link, and I thank them for doing so, for the article was quite an education. Honestly. For instance, the title alone seems to hint that there are upsides to temping, a fact I was previously ignorant to.
Anyway, here are some excepts, along with my sarcastic rejoinders.
On some levels, signing on with a temporary staffing agency sounds like a brilliant way to develop or discover your career. You can gain new skills, meet smart people, try different companies on for size, and research new fields, all while maintaining a sense of flexibility and enjoying basic benefits like health insurance.
Well, let me tell you, I... uh... huh. Well, I was planning on being sarcastic, but maybe she's already doing it? She must be. She can't be serious. Can't. Simply can't.
Temp recruiters do care about your day-to-day happiness and your career goals, but they focus mainly on their clients' short-term needs, not on your long-term wants.
Okay, I'm starting to get the feeling that Jennifer Lynham never temped. I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, been asked by my temp agent if I was "happy."
One time I called in to tell them I was unhappy, and they assured me they'd replace me immediately. Instead, they called the client, told them I was unhappy, and I spent the next three days at the same assignment (because they didn't replace me) enduring either scathing looks or profuse apologies from the employees. So, in addition to being unhappy, I was incredibly uncomfortable as well.
Assignments may disappear without warning. You may think you're set for a few months with a great position, but one day you could get a call that tells you not to report to duty.
Man, I wish this would happen to me. Just once! Just once, can't I get a call from my "great" position, telling me not to come in anymore? It'd be like the excitement of a snow-day when I was in grade school.
You're not always treated with the respect you deserve. Because co-workers know you're short-term, they may leave you out of the loop on long-term decisions, or forget to invite you to important meetings.
This is presented as a negative, but it's not. Fine, leave me out of the loop! Please leave me out of the loop. And, gasp! No! Forgetting to invite me to a meeting? Heaven forbid!
Temping may get in the way of finding your passion. If you don't know what you want to do, temping may provide a nice testing ground and you may fall into something you love. But if you have a career goal in mind, it may make more sense to spend your time researching and making contacts in that field.
I hate phrases like "finding your passion." And such useful advice, Jennifer! Yes, if you have a goal, you might want to take steps toward that goal, instead of not taking steps toward that goal. Like, say, if you want to have a steak dinner, go to a steakhouse, but don't sit in the street rubbing leaves into your face. That won't get you anywhere! Thanks!
In general, if you temp because you need a way to pay the bills while you work on another part of your life--writing a novel, planning a trip around the world, getting ready to move--then you'll probably be happy with nearly any situation you're given.
I won't even dignify that with a response. Oh, wait, yes I will... FAT CHANCE, LADY!
If you're interested, here's a link to the entire article.
Also, since I'm linking things, don't forget there's an interview with me over at zompist.com!
Diversions: I'm hoping this will be a calm, uneventful week, website material be damned. So, to massage karma a bit, here are some nice, relaxing Diversions. First, Post-It Note Theater! Sent in by Karen, these are little flip-book style movies done on Post-It's! Very cute. Also, a mellow Flash game called The Truth is Up There, where you videotape flying saucers and sell the tape for cash. And another low-stress Flash game, Chicken Wings, where you throw umbrellas to falling chicks (it's fun, really). Those were both sent in by Sam. Links are on the sidebar, same as it ever was.
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All material © 2000 - 2001 by Christopher Livingston. Yeah. That'll hold up in court.