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7-11-00 - Bozo
My current boss and I have this mental thing going on. He can say something like "Did we get something from somebody, about whatsisname?" and I will instantly and without hesitation have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. In fact, even when he peppers his questions with useful information, such as names or dates, I still have no idea what he's talking about. The real problem comes in when I think I know exactly what he's talking about, which is always. He'll vaguely mention some memo or report or assignment and a bell will go off in my head, and I'll scurry off and work on it for an hour, and then it'll turn out I had misunderstood him completely, and then we'll have to scramble to get the actual work done in half the time. It's kind of a phenomenon, really. Not once have we ever been on the same "wavelength" and we read each other's minds about as often as John Rocker reads The Advocate.
Other times, I feel he doesn't give me quite enough information for me to do a decent job. He walked over the other day and told me he was looking for a folder on work that had been done on the fifth floor of the building. I went through the huge file cabinet behind my desk, and pulled every folder that dealt with fifth floor construction or renovation, some of them dating back to the early 1970's. My boss strolled by about a half-hour later, glanced at the stack of about 25 folders, and then said "No, I'm looking for furniture we ordered for the fifth floor." Then he walked away, leaving me to paw through the folders again, this time narrowing my search to anything relating to furniture. I make a new stack of everything that has orders for desks, chairs, file cabinets, bookcases, and cabinets, and wait for him to come back.
He blinked at the stack of folders, then shook his head. "I'm trying to find out what chairs we ordered for the fifth floor," he said impatiently. "We only ordered them about four months ago."
Well, that would be the Fifth Floor Chairs folder I found just after he vanished again. Clearly labeled, and certainly easy to find if you know what you're looking for, which, after an hour I finally did. Meanwhile, I had to re-file all the crap I pulled out, and by the time that was done, half the morning was gone.
But enough bitching. Let's talk about clowns.
Do they frighten you?
Give you night sweats?
Well, it's payback time. Today I received an e-mail from Bill Ross, President of Office Playground. He informed me that they now sell Clown Stretchies. He also informed me that he was naked and surrounded by goblins, but I think he might be working too hard and suffering from stress-related hallucinations. Take a vacation, Bill!
Anyway, pick up some Clown Stretchies and get some revenge. Twist 'em, bend 'em, curse 'em for giving you nightmares. Click on the hideous clown picture to check them out for yourself, or click the Office Playground logo below to see the rest of the toys they sell.
7-10-00 - (Don't forget to put something here)
We've got two new temps in the office this week. Last week we had two different temps, two smart, capable, quiet and pleasant people that I got along with quite well. Of course, they quit. One moved to Chicago, the other went on a trip to Bolivia. I was sad to see them go, particularly the one who went to Bolivia, because Bolivia sounds like a place where Americans get locked up in horrible, medieval, rat-infested prisons and are tortured by cruel guards with scraggly facial hair. I met their replacements today, one male temp and one female, and didn't quite hit it off so well.
Don't get me wrong, they both seem very nice. But during our initial introductions, they both confused the hell out of me, and I'm afraid I may have come off a bit badly.
I try to bond a little with temps that I meet on the job, and it's usually not too difficult, provided I get off to a good start and let them know I'm one of them. I've always had this idea that I'll become part of this crew of temps, becoming close friends with them, working with them all over the city, meeting them in bars after work, listening to their stories, and reproducing them here under the guise of my own writing. So far, it hasn't happened.
I met the guy temp first. I walked by his desk, got his name, and we shook hands. I was about to chat him up a bit when he said "Wow, that's a really nice tie." I thanked him, and then he said "Boy, you better watch it. When you take a nap, you might wake up and your tie will be gone."
I didn't know what this meant. I had no idea how to respond. Nap? Who is taking a nap? Sure, I'd like to take a nap. In fact, I'm going to take one right now.
Okay, I'm back. Anyway, I could think of nothing to say to this, so I said, and I quote, "Yeah. Huh, I, yeah, it's, uh... thanks. It's, I better, um, it'll probably get shredded."
I think I was trying to make a joke about getting my tie getting caught in the shredder, but I don't think my point came across at all. He had thrown me completely. I retreated to my desk, took a nap, and avoided him for the rest of the afternoon.
The second temp, a pleasant-looking woman in her forties, walked over and introduced herself. I opened my mouth to ask her something, like how long she'd been temping, and she suddenly got this panicked look and started kind of whirling around. "I have to sneeze!" she exclaimed. "I'm a little nervous!"
I don't know what sneezing has to do with nervousness, but she sprinted away, and then came flying back in my direction. I held out a box of tissues, she took one, put it in her pocket, and then stood there smiling brightly at me.
About thirty seconds passed before I finally said, and I quote, "Bless you."
Not that she had sneezed or anything.
7-4-00 GOOD MORNING
This is the scene outside my window at roughly 10am. Sure, it's the Fourth of July, it's a parade, it's Stars and Stripes Forever, but after playing Unreal Tournament until 4am last night, I am viewing the festivities as an alarm clock with no snooze button.
There's a lot going on out there. We've got a convertible packed with withered former mayors, the highly anticipated Disadvantaged-Youths-Pelting-Hard-Candy-Into-The-Crowd-Float, what appears to be an army of homeless people on recumbent bicycles, a pick-up truck urging me to watch Disney's Mulan on Tuesday night, and best of all, a float demonstrating how the disabled can use a swing to get from their bathtubs to their toilets. Pasty people with tank-tops line the sidewalks, laughing as their children dart into the street to pick up lollypops from the litter-strewn asphalt while bewildered horses with sharp hooves tramp nervously and empty their bowels just inches away.
What else can I say? God bless America.
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