You get a kick in the ass! And you get a kick in the ass!

It’s one of those days at work. The kind where everything goes wrong for the dumbest of reasons and you want to murder everyone even more than usual, which if we’re being honest is already a lot.

However, as murder is generally frowned upon in the workplace (even when your coworkers are as inept as mine? yes, even then, dang it) I’ll have to settle for giving everyone a big ol’ kick in the ass instead.

The manager who I constantly have to chase down for missing paperwork and who still can’t spell my four letter name correctly after seven years? He gets a kick in the ass.

The coworker who after five years still doesn’t understand how warranty exchanges work and paid a massive bill for a rotable part outright when she should have waited for a credit memo, just like the NINE BILLION OTHER TIMES WE HAVE EXCHANGED PARTS UNDER WARRANTY? She gets a kick in the ass.

The manager who blamed me for “letting” my dumb shit coworker pay said massive bill, as if I’m supposed to be looking over her shoulder at all times making sure she doesn’t do anything stupid? She gets a kick in the ass.

The contractor who only just now, in November, has decided to dispute his wages for the period of February through June, causing me to have to go back through our records and audit his hours for those five months? You better believe he gets a kick in the ass.

The IT guy walking by and telling me to smile because I look too frowny while I go through and add up five months’ worth of scrawled time sheets? Kick + ass = he gets it.

When I worked retail, I once had a customer tell me not to wish him a nice day. When I asked why, he said, “I’ve made other plans.”

If that grumpy old man were a workplace, it would be mine. I swear this dump and the people in it are determined not to let one single iota of joy or job satisfaction run free within their domain.

So they all get a kick in the ass.

Hi. I don’t care. Thanks.

I’m getting pretty good at not giving a fuck at work. Funny how the possibility of losing a job you basically loathe you’re not that attached to will do that. I’m more heartbroken about the fact that I couldn’t eat a delicious-looking  scone in the lunchroom this morning thanks to the Elimination Diet of Sadness than I am about the idea that I might potentially be unemployed by The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

It’s pretty liberating, actually. All my life I’ve had issues with perfectionism. I’m more or less guaranteed to stress out over stupid details that no rational human being would fault another human being for overlooking. If overthinking stupid shit were an Olympic sport, I wouldn’t be able to walk under the weight of all my medals. And the second I step into a professional environment, my innate need to be above reproach skyrockets even more out of control.

For example, I have a habit of double- and triple-checking any kind of business correspondence several dozen times over (and then once more for good measure) before sending, just in case the first fifty-odd readings didn’t catch a typo like “Kind retards,” which I would never make in the first place because a zillion viral internet posts concerning that particular mistake have drummed it into my head that I need to be hypervigilant about ensuring my regards are pejorative-free.

Later, I’ll hit up my Sent folder and read the whole thing through a few more times just to make sure nothing slipped by my radar. Y’know, ’cause I could totally do anything about it at that point.

Or, at least, that’s how things would have been once upon a time (i.e. a few weeks ago). Now?

I mean, I’m not gonna stop proofreading anytime soon (let’s not be crazy), but for once in my life I feel okay with leaving things at “I’ll just give this a solid once-over” instead of “I have read this email so many times that the text has lost all meaning. ‘From’ is a weird fucking word, isn’t it? It is a word, isn’t it…? Shit. What if I made it up? Should I check a dictionary? Hm. Maybe I should take a half hour break and revisit this when I can brain again. Right after I make sure I didn’t actually type out ‘shit’ when I thought it just then.”

That’s just one example. Now take the time I wasted stressing over the simplest of emails and add it to the time I spent stressing over report formatting, coworker interaction, filling out routine paperwork and even just signing on the dotted line for a delivery, to name a few others. I knew it was idiotic. I knew it was a waste of perfectly good time and effort. But I still couldn’t bring myself to ease up. Not until now.

It’s like someone stuck a plunger into my mind and fumbled it around until my entire workplace thought process suddenly became unclogged. And just like that, the big red “THIS IS LITERALLY LIFE OR DEATH” emergency stop button in my head that used to be so trigger-happy finally learned to calm its damn britches.

Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll even stop compulsively readjusting the contents of my cubicle’s recycling bin so everything lays nice and flat and even.

Or not.

Baby steps.

Oh we did, did we?

BABIES. BABIES EVERYWHERE.

My workplace has baby fever. Please for the love of god send help.

Our receptionist’s daughter-in-law just popped a kid out at 4am the other morning, and she won’t shut up about it.

Our chatty janitor knows someone-or-other whose due date is in less than a week, and she won’t shut up about it.

And yesterday one of the department managers and his wife brought their four day old baby by the office to show him off and not shut up about it in stereo.

GOOD JOB YOU MADE A THING THANKS FOR SHARING NOW CAN YOU BACK OFF AND LET ME GET BACK TO MY SPREADSHEETS PLEASE?

…uh, I mean…congrats?

I know it’s hard to believe, but some of us just have no interest in any of this miracle of life stuff.

It’s not that I don’t like babies. They’re great and quirky and portable, and necessary for the continued survival of the human race (or so I’m told). I just happen to prefer them from a distance and with minimal conversation about their entrance into this world. Sorry I don’t feel any pressing need to take a deep whiff of your little bundle of joy’s “new baby smell” or be regaled with the birth story of a woman I’ve never met. Especially when my boss has just asked me to drop everything and put together a giant report breaking down five years of sales data before the end of the day.

So when New Dad Manager showed up with wifey and their swaddled collective DNA in tow, I stayed tucked behind my computer hoping I looked either invisible or busy enough that they’d leave me be.

HAHAHAHAHA yeah no, we all know I don’t have that kind of luck.
They made a beeline straight for me.

This was probably my own fault. I got really excited when they brought in their new puppy to visit a while back. They most likely assumed I’d be just as thrilled, if not more so, to meet their kid.

Welp, can’t be right all the time.

Like, sure, he was a cute baby. No elongated alien skull or I-just-ran-into-a-glass-door smooshy face going on or anything. But we’re all well aware I’m as socially awkward as they come. And despite babies’ stellar reputation for being the solution to everyone’s problems, oddly enough shoving a newborn in my face doesn’t do anything to help me be less terrible around people.

So there was a moment of complete silence as I tried to come up with something to say that was more original than, “Congrats, he’s beautiful,” and then I realized I was taking too long and ended up just blurting out, “Hi there, little one…you’re so new!” Which sounded lame as fuck but I couldn’t think of anything else to follow it up with to make it less lame, and on top of that I got distracted by the gorgeous hand-knitted blanket the kid was wrapped in and instinctively started trying to figure out the pattern, but then my coworker rescued us all by coming around the corner and shrieking, “OH MY GOD, IS THAT THE BABY?!”

That brought everyone else out of the woodwork pretty quickly, and soon there was just a big cooing mass of people in the middle of the office and I could safely duck out and return to tearing my hair out over financial records from half a decade ago.

And I would’ve stayed happily mentally checked out from the whole baby ordeal from that point onward, if something New Dad Manager said hadn’t rung out clear as a bell above the babble and smacked me right in the angries.

“Oh, we had a C-section.”

My ears must need cleaning, I could’ve sworn I just heard you say, “WE had a C-section.”
Oh, you did? Haha, well in that case…

NO. BAD HUSBAND. NO NO NO NO NO.

Allow me to dust off my soapbox.

You (pl.) most certainly did not have a C-section, unless your doctor was just that inept that he had you, the father, prepped for surgery and cut open before realizing whoops, duh, the baby’s in the lady. And if that was the case, please tell me at which hospital this took place so I can NEVER GO THERE.

No sir, it was your dear wife – who by the way is some kind of goddamn superhero for climbing the stairs to our office only four days after major abdominal surgery – who got carved up to bring this small creature with the delicate eyelashes and tiny toes into your life. It was your wife whose uterus just had the out of body experience, your wife who now has parenthood permanently etched into her flesh whether she likes it or not.

Let’s not cheapen that by throwing around thoughtless plurals, shall we?

And if you think I’m overreacting and you’re just trying to be supportive and a team player, humor me and take a minute to consider how supported and appreciative you’d feel hearing your wife say, “Three kids was enough, so we had a vasectomy.”

I thought so.

Good talk.

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The unbearable liftlessness of being.

2015 is going to get better, right?

Right?

Okay, so it’s not my worst start to a year ever. There was that one vacation with my parents where we all spent New Year’s Day sweating equally from the flu and the desert heat of southern California and taking turns puking our guts out. This year I at least had the sense to wait until I was due back at work before getting horribly ill.

(Apologies to anyone who did spend their New Year’s puking their guts out…I know there were a lot of you.)

Nonetheless, things aren’t looking too great.

Continue reading

The return of Madam Rorschach.

Remember how I told you about Madam Rorschach’s unsavory oeuvres d’art? And how she was coming back from vacation after two weeks of the office toilet being spoiled spotless?

Well, either she was suffering from a creative block (mental or physical, take your pick) or just decided to give the toilet and I a grace period to readjust to her presence, because her first week back came and went without any new additions to the Sistine Crapper. And silly me, I made a terrible mistake. I got my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, she had had some miraculous epiphany during her time away and realized that the art world was not for her after all.

Live and learn, people, live and learn. Because today I discovered…

This is what I get for being an optimist.

Even so, I’m suitably impressed that she made it through a whole week without any displays of shartistry. Maybe I’ll bake her a cake to commemorate the achievement.

Although a bran muffin might be more appropriate.

We need to talk about toilets.

Warning: this post primarily concerns bodily functions. I’m sorry, I know we’re still just getting to know each other and I’m springing bathroom talk on you already, but I never promised this blog would be pretty.

You see, my office has an “artist” in its midst. A Jackson Pollock imitator most foul. Her canvas, the loo; her medium, poo.

…I sincerely apologize for that, but I couldn’t resist the rhyme.

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Don’t mess with my Zen, man.

Things my office has in common with the innermost depths of an Egyptian pyramid:

1) They’re both silent as the grave.
2) Those who disturb that silence will be cursed.

U mad, Imhotep?

This is how we like it here. Quiet. Peaceful. Contemplative.

And after more years working in customer service than I care to remember, listening to the same god-awful corporate radio playlist on a loop and enduring verbal beatdowns from customers because they thought Yogurt A was on sale, not Yogurt B, and by god, they WILL have their 10¢ discount if they have to escalate all the way to the regional manager, I prize my quiet workplace.

Safely ensconced in my muted accounting haven, I am under no obligation to suffer fools who won’t take two seconds to read something before they come pestering me for the information instead. I do not need to listen to Britney Spears expel yet another identical song out through her nose twenty times a day. Our soundtrack is the gentle hum of powered-up computers and the clickety-clack of fingers on keyboards.

Because it is the general consensus among the small population of our office that key-clacking, mouse-clicking and the occasional din of the air conditioner roaring to life are the loudest it ought to get in here. Personal calls and unnecessary chit-chat? Take it outside, Talky Talkerson. Computer speakers? Disabled unless you really, really need to show everyone that hilarious cat video right now. And there’s no need to bicker over whose turn it is to pick the radio station, because there is no radio!

We do not delude ourselves that this is everyone’s ideal workplace, but it works for us.

So why must there always be someone who has to ruin it?

Continue reading