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4.12.02 - Scratch That Twitch

At my current assignment, the previous temp apparently subscribed to about 46 different magazines.  I have new stuff to read every day.  Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and all sorts of different catalogs.  Thanks!

The best, however, is this weekly newsletter called Administrative Assistant Adviser.  It's a little paper eight-pager, hastily thrown together and completely useless as a resource.  Entertaining, though.  Vaguely office-related articles, suggestions (Spread Some Cheer with an Office Plant!), tips and tricks (Learn how to Control The Double-Click Speed of your Mouse!), and so on.

My personal favorite, however, is the back page feature, called "What Would You Do?"  It has a title, such as "I Have Reasons to Believe my Co-Worker is Stealing From the Company", and it then plays out the scenario for you in unrealistic dialogue:

"Wendy, you don't look like a happy camper," Glenda said, surprising the firm's other AA in the supply room.

Replacing the box of pens on the shelf, Wendy admitted, "I'm not."

"Well, maybe this will cheer you up," Glenda purred, unbuttoning her blouse to reveal her firm, luscious--

Er, no.  Sorry.  Glenda doesn't disrobe, sadly, but instead questions Wendy on what's bothering her.  Wendy dramatically reveals that she thinks someone is stealing office supplies, they talk it over, and it ends with the question:  What would you do?  Then, readers (supposedly) write in with their suggestions of the appropriate action to take.  It's all very bland and predictable.

Until this week.

Title:  "I Can't Help Mimicking My Co-Workers [sic] Twitch When I'm Around Her"

"Why the secret meeting?" asked admin Diane of admin Kim.

"You're going to think I'm an awful person, but I don't know what I'm going to do!" Kim said wringing her hands.

Blah, blah, blah.  Turns out, one of their co-workers has a twitch.  The problem, as you may have guessed, is that idiot Kim can't help but mirror the twitch when she's around this person.  She's tried avoiding the twitcher, but it doesn't work, and she (Kim) is afraid El Twitcherino will think she (Twitchy) is being made fun of.  Diane, brainchild that she is, suggests Kim put a rubber band around her wrist, and snap it every time she feels a need to twitch.

"I'm trying not to twitch, not stop smoking.  Seriously, what am I going to do?" Kim wailed.

What do you think Kim should do?

I think Kim should stop wailing, first of all.  Jesus.  Then I'd suggest she throw herself in front of a train.  But, hey, it's too late to write in my suggestions.

Now, I really don't know if actual readers wrote these replies.  God, I hope not.

Ann, an executive assistant, says:  I'd gently find out what caused her twitch.  Being around the person would give me a chance to learn what I needed to know.  When I knew what was causing the twitch, I'd look into it and learn all I could about it.  By educating myself about her problem I hope I'd also find a way of dealing with it.

Wow!  What a ton of bullshit!  But wait!  It gets better!

Troy, a plant manager of a Hardee's Restaurant, agrees with Ann:  I'm a big believer in getting things out in the open.  So, I'd arrange to talk with the person who had the problem.  

Talking the problem over would prevent the situation from getting blown out of proportion.  If the person knew picking up the twitch was not done in a mean way, I think they'd understand.

Um.  Okay.  Let's forget the obvious question, namely:  What the hell is this doing in an administrative assistant newsletter?  Is this really a common, widespread problem?  Imitating people's twitches?  I've never heard of such a thing.

Anyway, I don't know a thing about twitches.  Dunno what causes them, don't know if the people with twitches know what causes them.  But, Christ.  How do you ask someone you work with about their twitch?  They're horribly self-conscious about it already, I'm certain, and no matter how "gently" you broach the topic, Ann, you're going to make the person feel bad (or worse) about something they can't control.  Stop being an idiot.

And don't tell me you're going to bone up on the subject of twitching, you huge faker.  Man.  Attend management seminars much?

And Troy.  Troy, Troy, Troy.  I can just see this colossal jackass, undoubtedly a loud, obnoxious, in-your-face kind of guy, the kind who honks at women from his car and shouts "WOOOOO", first arranging to talk with the person ("Gladys!  Pencil me in a half hour after lunch for that twitch-meeting!  With the twitcher!") and then explaining that, although he was mimicking the person's twitch, he certainly wasn't doing it to be mean.  "See, you have this uncontrollable twitch, right?  All twitchy and stuff!  There!  You just did it.  There again!  And, see, that makes me twitch!  Nothin' personal, honey!  Just wanted to get it out in the open before it was blown out of proportion.  Now take your jerking little backside outta here and rustle me up some coffee.  And try not to spill it, haw haw!  See, we're havin' fun with this thing now!"

And I love the phrasing Troy uses: I'd arrange to talk with the person who had the problem. Um, that'd be you, Troy.  You have the problem.  You are a moron.

And by the way, Hardee's food sucks, asshole.

e:mail: temp@notmydesk.com

4.11.02 - SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS!!!!

I listen to the radio in the morning before work, on the way to work, and sometimes, while working.  I listen to it on the way home as well.  Aren't you glad to know that?

We've got this DJ on one of the local rock stations.  No Name.  That's his name.  He is the DJ with no name, therefore, he is DJ No Name, the DJ With No Name.

See, the other DJ's have names, but not him!  He has NO NAME!!!  He is DJ No Name, The DJ With No Name!  It's FUNNY!

Guh.  The first time I heard a gimmick like this was when I was living in Florida, and there were all these wacky DJ's with wacky names.  I can't remember specifically what they were, but it was along the lines Screamin' Jack and Hollerin' Hal and Crazy Ray and Pissed-Off Pete and so on.  Basically, a word describing what huge annoying jackasses they were, followed by their first name.

But this one DJ called himself Just Plain Mark, and it was actually kind of funny, mainly because he was funny.  He was very dry and had a deadpan delivery, sarcastic without being obvious about it, and when the traffic chopper, called Chopper-One, broke down for a week, they did the traffic reports from a car, which he started calling Car-One.  Okay, not gut-busting by any means, but it's the only specific thing I can remember, and I liked the guy.

Back to this DJ No Name.  He's a screamer.

He's generally not on when I'm listening, but he reads a lot of ads for them during the breaks, and when I say "reads" I mean "reads and then screams loud enough to loosen your fillings".

He screams about car sales.  He screams about ski slopes.  He screams about sporting goods.  He screams about night clubs.

Okay.  He's excited.  I'm sure the advertiser would like whoever reads the ads to show a certain degree of excitement.  And yes, if there are cars for sale, and you need a car, you might be excited about visiting a car sale.  Still, there should be a line as to what is scream-worthy and what is not, and I say this because:

He.  Screams.  About.  Mattresses.

Mattresses.

Mattresses are not exciting, and no amount of screaming will make them so.  It can't be done.  Why?  Because they're just mattresses.  You can't even make them sound sexy without using the word bed and speaking in a sultry voice, and he doesn't use the word bed, he uses the word mattress, and he screams the word mattress.  In a screaming voice.

You know, I don't see how you go through college or broadcasting school or whatever, get your degree, get a job in radio, and then just start screaming your fucking head off indiscriminately about every single goddamn thing.  I don't see how that works.  

Doctors don't get their degree, set up their practice, and then just start slicing people open, regardless of their ailments.  They decide the procedure based on a case-by-case analysis of the symptoms of each particular patient.  Sorry, Doc!  Not everything requires the rib-spreader, no matter how much you enjoy that particular tool!  And they know this.  They don't snap on the glove and ram their hand up your ass if you've got a runny nose.  Even on the golf course, they may start out with the driver, but they eventually move to irons and then finally, the putter.

No Name doesn't seem to have any tool other than screaming.  I feel like he must have some actual medical problem where he simply can't stop.  So, perhaps instead of hating him, I should be sad for him.  It can't be easy.  I picture other things he must scream about during his day.

"YES I'D LIKE A BIG MAC WITH SOME FRIES!  FRIES!  FRIES!"

"LISTEN UP EVERYBODY, BECAUSE I'VE GOT TO GO HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT!!!!"

"PSSST!  HEY JIM, HAVE YOU NOTICED SHELLY IS PUTTING ON WEIGHT???"

"WOULD I LIKE TO BUY SOME MARIJUANA?  SURE, YOU BET, PAL!!!"

"SAY, BOB, ARE YOU STILL HAVING TROUBLE ACHIEVING AN ERECTION?  ARE YOU STILL FLOPPY FLOPPY FLOPPY??"

"BABY, YOU ARE SO INCREDIBLY SEXY!  LET'S PUT THE KIDS TO BED AND HAVE SEX!  I'D LIKE NOTHING MORE THAN TO TAKE YOU IN THE BEDROOM AND GET YOU ONTO THE MATTRESS MATTRESS MATTRESS!"

e:mail: temp@notmydesk.com

4.10.02 - Go 'Way

I am taking a night off.  I am drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and listening to a baseball game over the wireless.  This is making me monumentally happy.

You'll just have to amuse yourself today!  Sorry, suckers!

Also, long overdue thanks to cardhouse.com for having me linked for, like, ever.

e:mail: temp@notmydesk.com

4.9.02 - Screwing With Your Head

Men.  We're all shallow, disgusting, sex-obsessed pigs.  But we get all the chicks!  HA HA HA HA HA!

Sure, women get some of the chicks, too.  And, by the looks of a website I saw today, horses, dogs, and appliances are also scoring with chicks fairly regularly.  So, men don't get all the chicks, but we get the most, despite being perpetually in a haze of rude sexual fantasies that would make most women blanch.

How many times have I seen studies about how much men think about sex?  It's always something about men thinking about sex x % of the day, or men thinking about sex every x minutes, or x seconds or whatever.  The numbers vary, though, and I'm not even sure how they come up with them.  Did they pay guys to sit in a room and push a button every time they thought about sex?  It doesn't seem possible to get an actual scientific measure;  plus, if any of the scientists in the room were female, it would completely spike the results.

So, I decided to see how often I thought about sex, by keeping a log of my thoughts yesterday.  Here's how it went:

7:00AM - Wake up. Thinking about sex due to a dream involving Shakira and a very naughty golf lesson.

7:09AM - Trying to stop thinking about sex so I can whizz properly.

7:17AM - In shower.  Thinking about sex.  Also thinking about how much I need to clean the shower.  But mostly thinking about sex.

7:30AM - Thinking about sex.  Wondering if this is going to be truly accurate record of how much I think about sex, since remembering to keep a journal about how much I think about sex may be causing me to think about sex more than I would normally think about sex.

7:33AM - Thinking about sex.

7:35AM - Having a cigarette and coffee.  Wondering, since I am a smoker and I smoke after sex, do people with other habits engage in them after sex, too? Do nail-biters bite their nails after sex?  Do pocket-change jinglers quickly put on their pants and jingle change after sex?  Do health-food nuts leisurely chew on some tofu?  Do karate guys leap out of bed and break a board with their heads?

7:51AM - Walking to bus stop.

7:52AM - Passing an attractive woman, thinking about having sex with her.

7:53AM - Passing a plain-looking woman, thinking about having sex with her.

7:54AM - Passing two older women who are trying to give me a copy of Watchtower, definitely not thinking about having sex with them.

7:55AM - No more women in sight.  Thinking about having sex with the two older Watchtower women now.

7:59AM - Two extremely cute women at bus stop.  Have had sex with them in my head 14 times already.  Pretty sure I've seen them before and thought about having sex with them then, too.

8:15AM - On bus.  Not thinking about sex, thinking about how bad the bus smells.

8:16AM - Holding breath and thinking about sex.

9:04AM - Arrive at work.  Thinking about Excel spreadsheets.

9:28AM - Thinking about a particular female who reads this site, who I would very much like to have sex with, and SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS!!! xoxo :)

9:29AM - Thinking about how clever my last statement was, because several or perhaps even all female readers may think I am talking about them, and therefore I have made them all feel good and will reap the benefits later, perhaps.  The emoticon was a nice touch, also.

10:11AM - Thinking about sex with a very cute female 20 year-old disadvantaged person who came into the youth center.  Feeling guilty for thinking about this.

10:12AM - Sorry, but she's really cute.  Thinking about having sex with her while apologizing profusely.  As is often the case, anyway.

10:55AM - Wondering if you're having sex on a boat, and you see two other people having sex on a different boat, if you wave to them or not.

11:05AM - Bored with spreadsheets.  Thinking about sex with various female celebrities.

12:08PM - Having run out of celebrities, briefly thinking about having sex with the guy who delivers the giant bottles of water for the water cooler.  Well, you know, those guys are always ridiculously good-looking, and these things happen.  Okay?  OKAY???  SO SUE ME.

12:09PM - To make up for thinking about sex with a man, thinking about sex with those Watchtower women again, plus the girls from the bus stop, and the female Olympic bobsled team.  All at once.  On a boat.

1:00PM - Lunchtime.  Thinking about honey barbeque wings, which is almost the same thing as thinking about sex, in my mind.

2:47PM - Thinking about making coffee and having sex with a cute visiting social worker.

2:51PM - Realizing I am late paying my rent.  Wondering if I could have sex with my landlord and maybe knock a little off the payment.

2:52PM - Translating my sexual prowess into dollar amount.  Staring at result, depressed.

2:53PM - Redoing math.

2:54PM - Redoing math again with different and hopefully kinder calculator.

3:04PM - 5:17PM - Consoling self by thinking about threesome with Shakira and Thora Birch.

6:00PM - Time to go home and think about sex.

7:00PM - Home, thinking about sex.  Thought about sex on bus approximately 370 times.

8:00PM - 8:50PM - Thinking about writing update about how often I think about sex.

8:51PM - 9:46PM - Writing update.

9:47PM - Thinking, for real this time, about that very special female reader, who I would really like to be having sex with, and SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS, AND I MEAN IT FOR REAL THIS TIME!!!  xoxoxo :)

9:48PM - Wondering if they'll fall for it again.

11:00PM - Am really tired of thinking about thinking about sex.  Thinking about sex is one thing, but thinking about thinking about it is another.  Thought about sex a million times today, at least, and thought about thinking about it at least twice that.  I think.  Had mental sex with absolutely everyone I encountered.  Decide I will not think about sex anymore today.  No more.  Will think about baseball instead.

11:01PM - Well, that didn't work.  Then again, it never does.

e:mail: temp@notmydesk.com

4.8.02 - Tidal Waves

Diversions!  Today!  For you!  There's Brad, The Game, a nice text-based adventure that I haven't really played yet, so when I say 'nice' I really have no idea.  Also, an engaging Shockwave game called Castlemouse, which takes a little while to learn (due to an incredibly infantile tutorial) but is a lot of fun.  And, what's your nickname at work?  Find out with the Work Nickname Generator.  It will tell you what your nickname is at work, apparently.  Mine is "Mangler."  Links are in the 5th box down on the left-hand side... the fifth box down on the left-hand side to the X-TREME!!!  Sorry, just trying to make it sound exciting.

I was thinking, today, about how much I miss taking the ferry to work.  It's such a civilized way to commute.  People are polite, there's no shoving and jostling, there's always room to sit.  The ferry serves coffee in the morning and drinks in the evening.  You can smoke on the top deck.  There's never any concern about traffic jams or honking horns or smelly homeless people falling asleep on your shoulder.  It's completely relaxing.

There is kind of an odd phenomenon, however, involved with riding the ferry:  the tendency to wave to other people on boats.  I'm don't know why we do this, but if you're sitting on the top deck of the ferry, and a sailboat or whatever slowly cruises by in the other direction, the people on the boat wave, and you wave back.

I'm not quite sure why this is.  I don't wave to strangers under any other circumstances.  If I'm walking down the sidewalk, and someone on the other side of the street is walking in the other direction, I don't wave to them.  If I did, they'd squint at me, wondering if I was someone they knew, maybe raise a hand uncertainly and then drop it, deciding I was either nuts or that I'd made a mistake.  If I'm on a bus, and I see someone on another bus, they don't wave to me.  And if they did, I'd be thinking, "Are they waving to me?  The guy behind me?  The driver?  Do they just have an arm spasm?"

This doesn't happen on a boat.  If someone on another boat waves, you don't look around, wondering if they've spotted someone they know who might be standing near you.  The wave is for you, for all of you.  There's no second-guessing.

It just must be a boat thing.  Because we're on a boat, and people, as a general rule, aren't on boats all that often, except for sailors and pirates and Cubans, I mean.  Therefore, some acknowledgement must be made of being on a boat, and what better way to accomplish this than by waving at a complete stranger, right?

And, of course, there must be more than one boat involved.  You can't walk around the ferry, waving to people who are riding the same ferry with you.  If you're in a canoe with someone, you don't stare at them and wave from two feet away.  That'd just be stupid.  And you don't wave to fish or pieces of driftwood that are floating nearby, right?  It's a two-boat operation.  So, you look for other boats, and wave to the people on them, or if you don't want to seem like a rookie, wait for them to wave to you.

"Hi!  I am on a boat!"  their wave tells me.

"Hello!  I am also on a boat!"  I wave back.

"I see that you are on a boat, and I am communicating that fact with my hand and arm!" they reply.

"It is great to be on a boat and see another person on a different boat!  Is it not?"

"It sure is!  Hey, a buoy!  If only there were someone on it, I could wave to them!"

"Ha, ha, yes!  If only!"

Whatever it is, it seems unique to boats.  But hey, I could be wrong.  Maybe it's just a thing you do when you're on a slightly novel form of transportation.  The space shuttle astronauts probably wave to the people on the International Space Station while they're docking.  If I were ever riding an ostrich, and saw someone else on an ostrich, I might at least nod to them.  Cowboys who have fallen off their horses and are being dragged by one foot might tip their hats to other cowboys passing by in the other direction, provided they were also being dragged. 

And if those jetpacks we were promised in the 50's ever come to fruition, I bet we'll all be a bunch of crazy flying waving sunsabitches for a while.  

e:mail: temp@notmydesk.com

Last Week on Not My Desk!

Alas, Alack, Alarm
Bag Reel
A Hyena ate my Dingo Baby!
Missed Connections
Prefont-Pain

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Smurf Rescue
Donkey Kong
Space Panic

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Mary Jo Pehl Interview
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Publishing Progress
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