Here you'll find essays on all manner of things: hyenas, wedgies, the
Grand Canyon, car alarms, butter, and Frank Langella's scrotum.
But mostly, they're about temping. Scroll through the categories
manually, or click one of the links below to find what you're looking
and Working / Pop-Culture
Science and Nature / Life, and Other Disasters
Remember Clifford the Big Red Dog? With his immense size, you'd
think he'd probably have crushed a few innocent children by now.
Spot, another canine book star, is smaller, but when I impersonated him
for a children's story hour at a bookstore, I put Clifford to shame,
damage-wise, while learning what an enormous yellow head can do for your
on your breaks at work can be dangerous. Especially if you're the only one
you ever sent a company-wide e-mail out, only to have to send another, moments
later, to correct an error? Well, I have. Approximately three hundred times. In
the same day.
Bout The Truth
Research shows that the average person tells about two lies a day,
but I recently spent eight hours doing little else but spewing
complete bullshit in downtown San Francisco. Oh, yeah, and I
got paid to do it! Get the skinny on perhaps my weirdest
temp job to date.
This essay could also be titled "My Adventures in Malaysia" but it
wouldnít make sense, since itís about elevators, mostly. I get off on the
wrong floor at a new job and write an essay about it. It was a slow week,
sue me. Also discussed is the embarrassment of being in a foul-smelling
restroom when your boss walks in. Classy stuff.
On Monday I am bright-eyed and ready to tackle a new career, and by Wednesday I
am blinking in confusion and back to a pack-a-day smoking habit. This essay
chronicles my first week of temping, including my brief, non-interview with the
temp agency, my first two sobering temporary assignments, and my first contact
with the now-familiar label of "The Temp".
My boss shares a name with a bodily excretion, which makes for a lot of fun
while answering his phone. It's a real pisser, in fact.
This is Only A Test
I didnít even want the job, so there was no reason for me to sweat the
interview. That was untilÖ the test. Watch how quickly my confidence
was shattered when asked by my interviewer to take a skills test so simple a
mollusk could ace it. Go ahead, laugh. Mock me. You donít understand. She had
The Hot Seat
Two embarrassing situations arise in the same day; in
the presence of a co-worker, I make a noise that sounds like a fart, yet is not
(honest!), and a dastardly hydraulic office chair pins me in an awkward
position. Hilarity ensues, Tony Danza is mentioned.
of the Bored
Ennui sets in at an accounting position, so I invent
games that can be played with office equipment and expound upon the difficulties
of napping on the job. I call attention to my abnormally giant head, and point
out that liquid paper should not be ingested. It makes more sense in context.
God helps those who help themselves. But what does God do to
those who help those who can't help themselves? Like, say, a
temp? Like, say, me? Well, He punishes. Hard.
lost on the way to a new job is one thing. Getting lost on the way
to a new job you don't even have is another.
Of Rice and Men
Yes, I worked for Rice-A-Roni, and Iíll wait for you
to finish singing the jingle before I continue. Done? Good. During the course of
this job, I am constantly given thoughtful, uplifting words of encouragement and
inspiring speeches from a guy named Rich, whom I can barely restrain from
strangling. I also meet a nice woman named Olga, but have to avoid her because I
think her name is funny. Olga. Heh.
It's not so bad being a doorman, unless you're four floors away
from the door. And the intercom doesn't really work.
And you're stationed at a lunch table in a hallway. And you
have a pager that vibrates hard enough to separate your spine.
Whom The Bell Tolls
In this essay, I closely examine and dissect the
modern philosophy ofÖ ah, hell. I just bitch a lot about phones.
Once more, I find myself in charge of security for a small office.
The two reasons this is generally a bad idea: first, I'm
tiny and pathetic, and not much of a deterrent to criminals or
even malicious, palsied school children. Second, I'm
planning on stealing a ton of stuff, and here I am, guarding the
door. Plus, with this job, there's a catch. A really
Stinging in the
I can't remember what this essay is about,
but it probably consists of me complaining about some temp job.
of my Discontent
After a working for hours on an important report on
pollution control facilities (yes, itís that exciting), I finally get
to print the damn thingÖ over twenty pages of well-formatted, spell-checked
glory. Of course, it's never that simple. Something goes wrong, leaving me with
the choice to either cuss like a sailor or heave the printer out of the sixth
floor window. Instead, I stand in full sight of the upper echelon of the office
and try to find my happy place. I fail.
The Temp That Time
The office Iím
placed in is behind the times, technologically speaking, and I repeatedly
compare it to a medieval society, complete with peasants and superstitious
rituals. I also compose what I consider to be a witty company-wide memo, which
is met with blank stares of incomprehension from most of the staff and a few of
A Man, A Plan, A Fan
Keeping cool at work turns out to be tough, due to a fan that makes me hot under
the collar. That's a lame teaser, but I was kinda tired when I wrote this.
The key to successful product marketing? Assume your target
audience have had their brains replaced with foam packing peanuts.
Those content warnings they put before films need to get waaaaaay more
The theme song is certainly catchy,
but does Spider-Man really do whatever a spider can?
Some of your favorite movies contain some ridiculous blunders in logic.
Like in Superman, where he flies around and bends steel? That
would never happen.
Where does he get those wonderful
toys? And for God's sake, why?
Few Bad Kids
Finally, someone is thinking of the children.
Relativity Don't Upset Us
A patent clerk thought it up, a file clerk explains it.
Darwin, evolution, and wedgies.
You heard it here first.
The World Churns
Thoughts on butter. Yes, butter.
Hyena Ate My Dingo Baby!
Hyenas are dicks, aren't they?
"Oh, that? Yeah, we're gonna have that filled in."
AND OTHER DISASTERS
The Kitchen With Chris
Grab a wine glass, twenty knives, and a fire extinguisher: it's time to
I got it in my head one night that I should start jogging. It
worked out really well, except for the jogging part.
Okay, so, jogging isn't my thing.
Only makes sense I should try biking. Right? Doesn't that
Reading this essay will help tone your abs! Well, maybe not, but
it will work about as well as the Ab-Rocker did.
League of My Own
A field of dreams... sorta.
If only we could download a patch
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Sure, my seat cushion can be used
as a flotation device... but can it be used as a bludgeon?
I hiked down into the Grand Canyon in June! And no one was even
pointing a gun at me!
Nothing ever happens to me, but if
it does, I'll sure as hell be ready.
Cow Says: Boo
Zombies? Lame. Vampires? Tame. If you want
horror, try cattle.
Torn from the headlines! Well, not the headlines, the personals.
And not 'torn' so much as 'made-up'.
You're walking funny and you didn't even know it.