Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Squeal Like A Mermaid

Sometimes I have to wonder what the programmers at NetFlix are smoking.

I have rated over 1350 movie titles since joining in January, so I would assume the program that makes movie suggestions would have a good grasp on what kind of movies I like.

But perhaps not.

Today is gave me the suggested genre of Suspenseful Movies (based on my previous choices). Here are some of the movies it suggested:

- Traffic
- Chinatown
- Street Kings
- Apocalypto
- Deliverance

Okay, so those all make sense. But when I tabbed over for more suggestions, remind you from the same category, it suggested these movies:

- Get Smart
- Wall-E
- Nim’s Island
- The Little Mermaid
- Sleeping Beauty
- Barbie & the Diamond Castle

And my personal favorite:

- Pirates Who Won’t Do Anything – A Veggie Tales Movie

Because there is nothing like watching Roman Polanski slit someone’s nose open followed by a singing crab…

~The Office Scribe

Monday, March 30, 2009

Inside Voices (And not the ones in my head)

Did you ever have a teacher in grammar school remind you to use your “inside voice”? No, this was not some new age concept about dealing with your inner self but merely a reminder that if you are inside there is no reason to shout at volume 11 to the person sitting next to you. One of my teachers even went as far as to label it the “12 inch voice” or the volume you would use to speak to someone who is just 12 inches away from you.

I’m guess that there are a lot of people who work in my office who are not familiar with this concept. Perhaps because they simply forgot everything that happened to them in grammar school because they graduated the same year as Lincoln or maybe they repressed those memories because something horrible happened to them one day on the jungle gym. Whatever the reason may be these co-workers of mine need to be reminded that if you are in your cubicle, talking to another person in the same cubicle, that there is no reason that I should be able to hear every word you are saying when I sit 3 cubicles over.

And while listening into other peoples conversations is generally a guilty pleasure of mine, it does not mean that I find the following topics interesting enough that I want to pause what I am working on and takes notes:

- Your children and how horrible/adorable/smart/backstabbing they are

- Any medical issues you are having (the more detailed the conversation the worse it generally is)

- Spouse problems that have the dramatic power of a Charmin commercial

- A 15 minute conversation about what you brought for lunch and how long is will take to heat up

- A recap of what happened on “Dancing with the Stars”

If you want to share with the world you feeling about another co-worker or how you think the Fun Committee (which I am a proud member of) could be doing better, by all means, shout it from on high* and let me hate you just a bit more.

Otherwise please use your inside voices because what you have to say is only interesting to you.

~The Office Scribe

* It would be much appreciated if you could duplicate that scene from Dead Poet's Society and stand on your desk and shout (Walt Whitman quote is optional)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It Smells Like Someone Slaughtered Snuggles

I have no idea what an office is supposed to smell like.  Possibly a combination of coffee and that weird inky smell the printer gives off when it overheats.  

What I do know is that it is not supposed to have the overwhelming sent of dryer sheets.  I walked over to a co-workers cubicle today (if you are reading this you know who you are...) to answer a simple question.  As I was chatting with him I couldn't help but noticed a strong odor what smelled like clean laundry.  Really, really clean laundry.

I was about to walk away but I had to find out what the scent was, so I asked.

"Oh," he replied, "it's my reed diffusor, you like?"

Now there are few things that I do in life that I would describe as "especially girly".  Baking gourmet cupcakes is one.  My love of all things scented - candles, air fresheners, oil heaters - is another.  I have candles scattered around my apartment.  I light them all the time.  I like the smell and have been told by some that I have an unhealthy attraction to fire - but that's another blog post.

But I really don't understand why people need air fresheners at work.  There is nothing at work that I feel like I need to mask with the scent of freesia, patchoulli, or pine needles.

And I know that what I think smells nice may not smell nice to a co-worker.  And when stink like that gets trapped in cubicles it practically explodes out each time the person leaves, sending waves of scent rippling over us like the cloud of ash from a recent volcanic explosion.

So the next time you want to make your cubicle more "homey", get a bobble head like a normal office worker...

~The Office Scribe

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Parking Lot Equivalent of Crop Circles

I believe that life from distant planets is trying to communicate with my office building. No, there haven’t been any weird objects spotted in the skies overhead. Nor has anyone been abducted from my company. (Unless the whole layoff thing was a complicated scheme helmed by said aliens…)

But extraterrestrials are the only explanation I have found that would explain why the hell there are rocks on the top of the parking deck where I park. And I am not talking small pebbles that would fall off a tire. These are like those decorative river rocks that people use to landscape around bushes.

There are dozens of them and not a stick of landscaping around that they could have rolled from. They also just happen to appear a few days ago, so it wasn’t like a snow plow deposited them while clearing the parking deck since it is roughly 50 degrees outside and we haven’t had snow in like a month.

So attention all you little green men out there. Feel free to contact me directly at TheOfficeScribe@yahoo.com instead of leaving cryptic stones lying about like the British or the characters in the newly released Nicholas Cage move “Knowing”.

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about earthlings and the goings-on in office buildings.

~The Office Scribe

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cause That's The Way We Get High....

I was sitting at my desk today, working like a mad women when I looked over and saw a co-worker sniffing a black Magic Marker.  We then proceeded to have a nice little conversation about the smell of permanent markers and assorted other office supplies that had weird smells. Though nothing has fumes worse than the shipping tape we use to package the boxes.  I actually get a bit woozy whenever I have to ship something.

But wait, that wasn't the only talk of drugs in the office today.  

Another co-worker and I had a conversation about acid reflux and the best medication to use to handle that situation.  Personally, I am a fan of Pepcid.  Cures stuff really fast.  But my co-worker told me that she prefers something that is usually locked up with stuff like Sudafed and Claritin.  I told her that all the best medications were kept locked up because you could use them to make Meth.  She said she didn't know anything about that.

I told her I wasn't going to afford a new car on my salary alone.  

Everyone needs a side job*.

~The Office Scribe

*Okay, so I know I have a side job with the bar and all that.  But it hasn't started yet, so there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mozart Makes Mondays Less Mundane and More Movie-like

So I am back in the office, ensconced within the comfy confines of my cubicle, and though I had about 65 e-mails to go through this morning, things have been relatively quiet. I can’t imagine I missed much in the three days I was gone last week. So when I got back from lunch and was about to slip into a traditional afternoon coma I decided in order to remain sitting upright and thus draw less attention to myself I would pop my iPod earbud in one ear and let the tunes make the day go faster.

I am not sure why but this weekend I was feeling very classical and downloaded about 30 songs from such musical heavyweights as Beethoven and Wagner. The kind of stuff that I play when I am cleaning my house. Those pieces that make an otherwise insignificant scene in a movie packed with drama.

And wouldn’t you know it had the same effect on my Monday afternoon?

When the iPod was on it was like I was in a cinematic masterpiece where the main character was about to crack some ever important computer code or watch as the office was blown apart in some sort of slow motion explosion that would send her flying through the window. Or perhaps a phone call from a mysterious stranger would come through and send out heroine one a chase around the city Run Lola Run style.

When the iPod was off it was like being snapped back to reality. Clicking computer keys, incoherent voices on phones, the general office din that makes time come to a grinding halt.

This little musical revelation has given me the urge to seek out some sort of speaker system and play music that would inspire my fellow co-workers, like that scene in Shawshank Redemption.

I think it would definitely be worth a month in the hole, or perhaps a broom closet…

~The Office Scribe

Friday, March 20, 2009

Can The Office Scribe Also Be The Bar Scribe?

The title of this post was a question posed to me by my sainted mother...

So a friend of my mom's is opening up an English pub up near where she lives and guess what, they offered me a job. Now seeing as how I did go to bartending school and spend over nine years as a butcher, you would think that this would be the best possible job in the world for me. Instead of sitting in a bland cubicle I could be pouring pints and baking Cornish pasties for pub patrons.

So you are probably wondering what has stopped me from throwing all of my work possesions into a box and booking it for this soon-to-be-opened establishment? Well, aside the pub not offering me any sort of medical coverage my mom lives an hour and a half away from me. I only get up to her place a few times a month.

But I didn't turn it down either.

So folks, I soon hope to bring you exciting news and tales from something called a second job. Apprently people obtain second jobs when they are in poor economic straights, like me, or want to make their lives better through the purchase of a new automobile, also like me. I have never had more than one job at a time and I am looking forward to it. And seeing as how my mom will be working there too I won't actually be sacraficing quality family time either.

Best of both worlds*? An office job and a bar job?

I think so.

~The Office Scribe

*Now when I collapse from exhaustion that will be another thing...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Lady of Leisure

Today I am not at work.  And no, I didn't call of sick, though according to Facebook everyone and their mother has some sort of illness.  Nope, I took a few days off to just do some truly exciting stuff.

Okay, that's a lie.

So far today I have cleaned my kitchen and done some laundry.  Tomorrow I am headed to my mom's house to help her empty a storage shed.  Perhaps I will even help clean her garage.

What does it say about my life that doing chores is a vacation for me?

~The Office Scribe

Monday, March 16, 2009

Does "Punching Out For Lunch" Imply Violence?

Last week, in the midst of people getting let go and general chaos it was brought to the attention of some employees that they were not following proper procedures regarding their time for lunch. See, here we use a computer-based “time clock” which we use to punch in, out and for lunch breaks. But it would seem that some people were scamming the system, and this was happening in several ways.

WAY # 1 – The “Faux Punch”

Method: The approach to this way of getting more out of your lunch time would be to punch out from say 11:30-12:00 but not to go to lunch. You just punch out and continue working and 30 minutes later punch back in. Then you can go to lunch and take as long as you want.

Pros: It is an easy way to make sure you are only taking your 30 minutes

Cons: If you then go to lunch at the same time everyday your manager, who approves your time sheets, is going to start to notice that the time you punch out and when you are away from your desk doesn’t match up.

WAY # 2 – The “Going Out To Grab Something”

Method: Say you don’t feel like brown-bagging your lunch (though in this economy that is the smarter way to go) and you want to run out to grab a sandwich. So you leave you desk and are gone for the 15 minutes it takes you to pick up something from Panera, come back, and then punch out for lunch.

Pros: You have turned your 30 minute lunch into a 45 minute lunch (or more) and you can still eat lunch with your work friends while getting the latest gossip from around the office.

Cons: This is a risk because if you are detained outside the office, say for a traffic ticket or 30 car pile up, your manager is going to find out that you haven’t been honest in your lunch time.

WAY # 3: The “Smoking Isn’t Lunch”

Method: After your 30 minutes are up you come back to your desk, clock in, and then proceed to disappear for another 10 minutes as you go outside to have a cigarette.

Pros: I can’t really determine any pros in this racket since smoking is bad for your health and your wallet

Cons: The smoky smell of a turkey sandwich will not tip off your manager that you were shirking your duties but the smoky smell of some menthols will.

Most of the people that were reprimanded complained that 30 minutes wasn’t long enough to eat lunch but the thing is, you can take a longer lunch. That is completely allowed. You just have to then work some extra time at the end of the day. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure it out.

I heard about people getting scolded for such practices and had a good giggle, until my VP informed us that because people were abusing the system, my team now has to punch in and out for lunch, a practice we haven’t honored since I moved into this department over a year ago. See, the program automatically deducts 30 minutes for lunch if you don’t clock out, and since we didn’t push the limits, we didn’t have to use the system for lunch. Hell, about half the time I work straight through lunch and just don’t get paid for that half hour. But I don’t complain, because about once or twice a month I would go take an hour lunch to run some errands and not feel guilty about it.

So now I have been personally affected by a few employees who thought they could put one past the man. Some of whom I have threatened to beat with a sock full of quarters for putting a hitch in my daily routine.

What’s that saying about a few bad apples?

Oh yeah, squash them into apple sauce…

~The Office Scribe

Friday, March 13, 2009

An Office Full of the Non-Dead

Before you start to get a mental picture of zombies stumbling around copies, slowly spinning in their desk chairs and eating the brains of workers from other departments, let me remind you that zombies are the UN-Dead, not the Non-Dead.

Before you start to get a mental picture of zombies stumbling around copies, slowly spinning in their desk chairs and eating the brains of workers from other departments, let me remind you that zombies are the UN-Dead, not the Non-Dead.

Non-Dead is a reference to all the people in my office who didn’t die on the job this year. And you know how many that is? ALL OF US. And there is even proof.

I was walking out of the lunch room yesterday and saw a piece of paper randomly tacked up on one of the bulletin boards. Because I am curious and read every piece of paper that I see (you never know when that information might save your life) I took a gander at what it had to say. It was the annual OSHA report stating that not only had no one been injured on the job but also that no one in my office died in a work related injury in 2008.

So congratulations to all my co-workers for not getting a severe paper cut and bleeding out. Or accidently being crushed by the copier that tipped over when you were looking for that mysterious paper jam. Or not freaking out when they took our casual Fridays away twice this year and enacting revenge with a spray of bullets.

Here’s to hoping 2009 is just as injury and death free!

~The Office Scribe

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Screw The Economy, I Blame The Full Moon

So it was yet another interesting day in my office yesterday as people were pulled into managers’ offices and told that there was no reason for them to come into work ever again because their positions had become obsolete.

The upside is that no one in my department was axed. The downside is that some really great employees who had been with this company for ages and knew everything there was to know about doing their jobs were let go. And while I know that things like this happen here in the big bad corporate world everyday and without these cuts the company would sink faster than the Titanic it does make today a little blue. There is nothing more depressing than walking by a bunch of cubicles that yesterday were occupied and decorated with whatever people decorate their cubicles with (Jim Thome pics and some gargoyles in case your interested…) only to see them completely deserted.

And of course it made me start to think about how I would react should I be laid off tomorrow. Aside from frantically looking for another job with everyone else in the world I don’t know what I would do. Some people look at being laid off like some temporary vacation, and while I would like to think I would be chill enough to look at it this way methinks my OCD regarding knowing plans for the future would come into play and I would drive myself into the asylum because I didn’t know what I would do with myself.

So, in order to avoid impending lunacy, I am just going to work diligently and to the best of my abilities and do whatever in my power to not piss anyone in an authoritative position off.

Plus, if I lost my job, whatever would I write about?

~ The Office Scribe

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Corporate “Art”

Remember that scene from Fight Club where a bunch of the Project Mayhem members bring in a very dead Meat Loaf and explain how he was shot during an operation to destroy a piece of corporate art? Do you also remember what that piece of corporate art was?

Yeah, it was a giant sphere that they rolled into a Starbucks. And while it was awesome and did end with one of my favorite guilty pleasure singers of all time with a gaping head wound, I remember thinking at the time, “that is not art”.

Fast forward ten years to today when I walked out into my buildings atrium and noticed the giant piece of artwork that hangs from the third story all the way to the first floor. I stopped and stared at it, trying to figure out what the hell it looked liked. It took me a few minutes, staring at it’s shiny silver surface until I realized that it looked like a giant fish skeleton. Because nothing says “Welcome to Executive Towers, where we do business” like a giant metal abstract fish skeleton.

So it got me thinking of a lot of the corporate art I see when I walk into buildings downtown. And I came to the conclusion that referring to any of it as art is damn near an impossibility. Now I am all for abstract shapes and concepts, but when it looks like the artist took a giant piece of sheet metal and wrapped it into a cylinder and plopped it down in a marbled lobby, I can’t put that in the same category as say, the Mona Lisa.

I think the only thing more depressing to a creative mine than these giant instillations is hotel room art, and at least that has a frame around it…

~The Office Scribe

Monday, March 9, 2009

Silence Is Golden – Unless You Work In My Office

In my office I know it is time to go home when the ventilation systems shuts off at 5:58 PM each night. The white noise it provides just disappears and makes the office an incredibly eerie environment, prompting those of us still in the office to quickly pack up our stuff and head out for the day.

Which is why when the ventilation system kicked off at about 3:00 PM today it though me for a loop. I was on the phone with my mom when the comforting hum stopped. It was as if the day had slammed into some invisible wall. The rest of the sounds of the office became that much sharper and irritating. The co-worker in the cubicle next to me said the lack of noise was giving him a headache. I found myself unable to concentrate on typing an e-mail.

Luckily, the cure was simple; place an ear bud attached to an iPod into one ear and listen to music at a low enough volume that you can still hear co-workers talk to you and the phone ring.

But it is only a temporary solution. Because now I am left listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, wondering if when the air system stopped if that meant fresh air is no longer being pumped into the building. If every time I inhale I am inhaling air that was expelled by a sick co-worker. If it will soon be like space with the lack of oxygen and if I screamed would anyone hear me?

No wonder those sound machine alarm clocks have a white noise setting…

~The Office Scribe

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another One Bites The Desk

So it was a little sad around the office today as my co-worker LaG just left. In her honor we had a nice little pizza lunch where we rehashed tales of co-workers who had left our companies ranks. And not just any co-workers. The ones that seemed to disappear into thin air.

Pam Who Didn’t Like Desk Work
Pam, who used to be a flight attendant, came to work at my company shortly after I did in the same entry level position I was in. Our duties required us to spend about 75% of our day at computers entering forms into our database. Well, after about a week Pam decided that she was going to leave because she didn’t “think there was going to be so much time spent in front of a computer”.

That Chick Who Won The Raffle Then Left
One of the first things the Fun Committee ever did was throw a fiesta with chips and dip and raffle off a lovely picnic pack. (I say lovely because I put it together.) The winner was this woman who had been in my department just shy of two weeks. And when I say in my department I mean in only the physical sense because she spent her hours doing her homework from night school. But no sooner had she won the prize (valued at $50) then she whispered to a co-worker “nice working with you” and didn’t show up the next day.

The One Who Made A Break At During Her Lunch Break
My mom, who used to work her, told me a tale about a woman who left for lunch and never came back. I like to think she just had one too many martinis and forgot how to get back to the office.

And Who Could Forget – D
D came to our company bragging about being a returning employee. Seems she worked for us back in the dark ages when the company was run out of a horse barn. And it was part time. And only for three months. But when she came back she thought she was the shit. And of course, she was delighted that I was the one training her, being that I was about 40 years younger than her.

Either I am awesome at training people or something fishy was afoot because even though she was horrible at data entry she got a promotion to sales in no time. I was so baffled I actually called off sick the next day and chalked it up to a Mental Health Day.

This woman, who sat comfortably in her sixties, liked to dress like a hooker who worked the corner in Soviet block nation. Once, and I kid you not, she showed up to work in a see through top. Because I don’t know about you, but nothing makes my work day complete like seeing old lady bra.

But her most shining achievement came during the company Christmas party. She was wasted out of her mind and hanging all over a fellow sales person much to the disgust of those forced to look at her act. She downed cocktails like she had a disease and they were the cure. And then she disappeared. Her name was announced as the winner of one of the prizes and no one could find her.

That is, until a few of my co-workers decided to hit the bathroom and found her puking all over a stall. And then these co-workers informed HR about it, and the rest of us employees still milling about the party.

So I guess it came as no shock that she didn’t last that much longer in the company.

I haven’t actually given it much thought, how I would like my exit to go. Sure, it would be nice to be carried out on the shoulder of my fellow employees while flower petals were strewn about and people lamented my departure. But then another part of me wants to go out in a blaze of glory that will be added to company lore.

But in this economy, perhaps it is best to think about how to keep a job and not how to leave one.

~The Office Scribe

Thursday, March 5, 2009

To Whom It May Concern: Hire This Goddess

One of my co-workers, LaG, who is moving to Atlanta next week asked if I would be willing to write her a letter of recommendation since I have the authoritative title of Team Lead which provides me with such powers as writing the schedules and, well, I think that might be the only power I have. Since she is a fabulous co-worker who will be missed I of course agreed. She even forwarded me one of the other letters someone had written for her so I could see it.

Unfortunately the other letter was one of the most beautifully crafted pieces of prose I have ever seen and I knew I would never be able to top it. That is, unless I lied. So while I brainstorm a way to convey to potential employers what a great asset LaG is I decided to come up with a version of the recommendation letter that no one could pass up. And while I took some creative license with it, I think it does her justice.

To Whom It May Concern:

My first encounter with LaG was when she saved my life. It was a dark and story night, rain pouring from the heavens not in mere drops but in buckets. As I was crossing the bridge over the Kankakee River I lost control of my car, smashed through the guard rail, and plunged into the icy waters below. Fearing that I was about make my exit from this mortal coil I began to pray, something I hadn’t done since child hood. At the exact moment I was sure all hope was lost, I saw a figure making its way towards my car which was quickly filling with water. With the strength of all the Justice League members combinen LaG smashed through my windshield, ripped me from my seatbelt, and pulled me to safety.

Sputtering from the shock of what had just happened I knew the only way I could repay her was by making sure she would work by my side for the next seven months. It was during this time, the best of my life, that I learned so much more about my savior and the woman I one day hoped would be canonized as a saint.

During our tenure together I learned that LaG has the gifts of a photographic memory and mental telepathy. She knew what our clients were going to ask for before they knew it themselves. No one was ever disappointed with anything that she had ever done for them which made her a darling of the Client Relations department.

And talk about flexible. If you looked up this word in the dictionary you would see a picture of LaG. Never have I heard her turn down a favor requested by a co-worker. For example, someone we worked with once lost their home in a terrible fire. Because we don’t make millions at our job this unfortunate soul was left on the streets; that is, until LaG offered up her own home for as long as the family needed to get back on their feet.

The day that she announced she would be moving has been marked in the annals of my company as a day of mourning. From now on we shall hang black bunting and remember the exemplary employee that she was. The other 364 days a year will be spent in celebration that we were lucky to have her in out lives. I was honored that she allowed me to write this tale of the affect she has had on me as an employee and more importantly, as a human being.

She will be a blessing to any employer who is lucky enough to hire her.

~The Office Scribe

If recommendation letters really sounded like this I think the country would have a 0% unemployment rate.

~ The Office Scribe

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Temporary Solution Is Still A Solution

Earlier today I heard something making a faint vibrating/rattling sound somewhere to the left of me. So I leaned my head closer to my cubicle wall and listened, trying to trace the origin of the sound. It wasn’t my fan (this being March I haven’t even turned it on in months) nor was is my paper holder with picture of Jim Thome. It took me a few minutes but I then realized it was coming from somewhere in my covered shelves that are lofted over a section of my desk.

This was a problem. While most people keep important work related documents in their overhead storage areas, I keep things like coffee creamers, an empty fishbowl, my highly coveted roll of paper towels, paper plates, Christmas wrapping paper and other assorted goodies. Aside from my Atlas I don’t think anything up there is really critical. Since there is so much stuff up there I knew finding the exact item that was distracting me wouldn’t be easy to find, so I fixed the problem the way I do so often: I shoved stuff around until the rattling stopped.

Of course as soon as one of the cleaning people bumps my desk cleaning at night or I absent mindly walk into the cubicle wall I am sure I will knock something loose and start the noise all over again.

But until then there is one less thing to distract me at work. Only 4897298437 other things to go.

~The Office Scribe

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Please Hold While I Run For The Nearest Door

It has been all about the emergency evacuation procedures around my office the past couple days. Even though we have been in this space for six months we are just finding out where we have to all meet in case of some sort of emergency. At the last office we all filed out the nearest door and met in the parking lot. Same plan at this building, except that after we exit the building we have to hike completely around the building, down a bit of street, past the loading docs, and up a ramp to the second floor of the parking deck.

Of course I can’t see anything wrong happening in this scenario, can you?

So after much discussion someone decided that we, the lowly employees, needed to see the emergency preparedness manual that is issued to supervisors. Sure there were instructions about fleeing fires and in case of tornados, but there were some even more fascinating procedures on what to do in case of a hostage situation and the ever hilarious “How To Handle A Bomb Threat.”

There is a whole list of questions that one should ask if they receive a call about a bomb, including:

-What is the location of the bomb?
-Is the bomb outside or inside the building?
-What does the bomb look like?
-How did it get into the building? Was it mailed or was it hand carried?
-Who are you?
-Where are you calling from?
-Why was the bomb placed there?

But first, you are supposed to alert the fine people of the HR department and possibly the authorities.

So my co-worker, who copied the list to keep by his phone, and I decided that if he gets a call he is going to throw something from his desk at my to get my attention, put his phone on mute, tell me there is a bomb threat on the line, then ask the above mentioned questions. My job it to run screaming from the building, not informing HR or the authorities until I am a safe distance away, preferably seated with a latte at the Panera Bread across the street.

The situation only got funnier today when the monthly test of the emergency siren went off. See, in the state of Illinois on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. This has been going on since I was at least in Kindergarten because I have vivid memories of being in the middle of coloring when the siren would go off and some kids in my class would start crying* and my first thought, at the tender age of 5, was “shut up”.

So today being the first Tuesday in March the siren went off promptly at 10:00 a.m. and after some joking comments we pretty much all ignored it. Except for the two ladies in the department next to mine who were completely and utterly confused. They were discussing if it was an actual threat and if they should take some action. They were wondering why there were not alarms or flashing lights going off in the building.

Lucky for them my bomb-threat obsessed co-worker went over and explained the situation to them. Which while it was nice was a shame because I wanted to listen to the nonsensical panic for a few more minutes.

But now I am left wondering if they hear that sound this spring, as a tornado is bearing down on us, if they will just calmly continue to work as chalk it up to some sort of test…

I’ll let you know in April.

~The Office Scribe

Monday, March 2, 2009

Define “Offensive”…

In our weekly HR Newsletter there was a whole section about dressing properly for the work place. Apparently infractions on the Business Casual code have been running rampant and needs to be shut down immediately. Now I know I have talked about this before but I love the clarity with which they spelled out what is not appropriate workplace attire.

Unacceptable Attire: Monday – Thursday
· Jeans, Shorts, Sweatpants, Athletic Attire
· Sweatshirts, T-shirts
· Athletic Shoes, Work Boots, Flip Flops,
· Stretch pants, Leggings, Short Skirts
· Tank Tops, Halter Tops, Spaghetti Straps
· Hats

Unacceptable Attire: Casual Friday
· Shorts, Short Skirts
· Flip Flops
· Tank Tops, Halter Tops, Spaghetti Straps
· Athletic Attire, Sweatpants
· Offensive T-shirts
· Hats

I look over this list and while most of it is grounded in common sense, I see that with the item if “Offensive t-shirt” we could have some misunderstandings. Don’t get what I mean? Well, let’s turn to the visuals. I am compiled a collection of shirts that offend me.

Disagree and I’ll report you to HR.

~The Office Scribe