Monday, June 29, 2009

Manic Monday #7

A good way to sneak up on your co-workers is to wear moose hide moccasins like an Indian. Unfortunately pairing them with corduroy pants kind of negates the stealthiness.

I was, and still am, in a weird mood today.  Probably because all I did yesterday was watch horror movies.  So what am I watching tonight?  Dead Silence - it's about killer puppets.  And if that doesn't hook you then how about the fact that it stars Jason from True Blood and Donnie Wahlberg from NKOTB?  It's like an hour and a half of awesomeness but will most likely keep me in a weird mood.

About halfway through the day the pain from my sunburn turned itchy and started to use the back of my desk chair like a bear uses a tree.  And yes, this will continue tomorrow.

Have you ever come back to work on Monday and seen something you jotted down before you left on Friday and have no idea what it means?

I went to a presentation this afternoon and it was awesome.  Why?  Not because it was an interesting topic (though it was) or because it had an enjoyable slide show (which it did) but because the presenter brought in a basket of mini desserts from Panera.  Kudos to that presenter.  She knows our employees well!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Story Behind This Weeks Poll

Last Friday night I went to the NKOTB concert in Chicago with some friends.  During the evening the topic of conversation turned to the White Sox (kept checking the score to see if they were beating the Cubs) and I said I hadn't been to a game yet this season.  My friend Stubbs said we should get tickets to Mullet Night, the annual celebration of the preferred hair style of trailer trash.

She then said she would wear a mullet wig if we did go.

I said she should just cut her hair into a mullet.  

She reminded me that we had this same idea last year and had nearly $300 collected in order to encourage her to do so.

Since money didn't work, I'm hoping a random online poll will...

So, if you think my friend Stubbs, a person I have know for 10+ years, should go ahead and adopt a business in the front/party in the back style, vote on this weeks poll.

Maybe, together, we can convince her it would be an awesome look.

~ The Office Scribe

P.S. - Tell your friends and family to vote too.  I think I might have to have a lot of votes to make her want to do this...

The Results Are In: The Batman Poll

So this week I didn't think the poll results were shocking.  I would have put good money on Mr. Bale coming out on top but I have to say I was rather pleased to see Michael Keaton come in at a strong #2.  (He was the one I voted for.)

Who Was the Best Batman?
Christian Bale - 9 
Michael Keaton - 7
Adam West - 4
George Clooney - 2
Val Kilmer - 1

(Glad someone out there tossed a pity for in there for Val.)

Next weeks poll is going to be a little unorthodox.  Basically, I need a lot of people to vote so I can get one of my friends to do something that only peer pressure from strangers on the web can accomplish.

~ The Office Scribe

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Job Is Just Like 24

4:48 PM - Co-worker in the cubicle behind me receives text which indicates Michael Jackson has died.

4:49 PM - I, and a few other co-workers, jump onto various news websites trying to confirm what was stated in the text message.  One co-worker says he found a website that confirms it.  The only website I can find that says he has died is The Brisbane Times out of Australia.

4:50PM - Co-worker from other side of the wall runs over and asks if we heard about Michael Jackson and how he has died.  I inform co-worker that it can not be confirmed yet because no credible news source (i.e. MSNBC, FOX News, CNN) is running such a story.  All articles from this continent state that Mr. Jackson was found not breathing at his home and taken to a hospital in Los Angeles.

4:51 PM - Read somewhere that TMZ is confirming that he has died but I don't believe anything TMZ reports.  It's like believing that Perez Hilton didn't deserve that beat down from

4:52 PM - Decide to take action and call the best source for news I know - My mother.  She picks up on the third ring and I tell her the rumors and ask for verification.  She has no knowledge of such news and goes to turn on the TV.

4:53 PM - Third co-worker approaches desk and asks what is going on.  I inform her about the current status as I was waiting for the commercial break to end on the station my mom is watching.

4:54 PM - My mom tells me that Shephard Smith is reporting that Jackson was taken to an LA Hospital but they can not confirm that he has died.  Co-worker in cubicle next to me goes off to spread the news around the office.

4:55 PM - Still nothing on any of the websites.  My mom asks how much longer I will be at work.  I tell her approximately 8 minutes.  She tells me that if she hears anything she will call back.

4:56 PM - Co-worker from clear across the office appears in my cubicle and asks me if I heard about it.  I answer in the positive.  She says her brother called her and said the news of his death is all over TV.  I balk at this because I still have yet to find any information online.  She insists that her brother is a credible source and I should just go with it.

4:57 PM - Discuss with co-worker how celebrity deaths always happen in threes - in this case: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and now possibly, Michael Jackson.  I think this started with Richie Vallens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper - perhaps when I get a chance I should research this.

4:58 PM - Still no news from my mother or the internet.  Start to doubt the rumors that he is dead.  Possibly trying to fake an illness to get out of the massive concert tour he has planned.

4:59 PM - Stand up and stretch.  Co-worker from the cubicle next to me returns and says someone else found a page confirming Jackson's death.  I start to get upset with myself because my internet research skills are usually impeccible.

5:00 PM - Time to leave.  I shut down my computer and bid everyone aduei and pray I can make it to my car quickly so I can listen to talk radio (yeah, I listen to talk radio) and see that the news is.

5:01 PM - Realize I left my cell phone on my kitchen table.  Bummer.

And as you know by now, Michael Jackson, an icon of my youth has passed away, most likely from some sort of heart attack.  It almost seems surreal.  Sure, he was most likely a pedophile who went absolutely crazy in the last 20 years or so, but the first thought I had was of singing "Beat It" with my dad in his old Volkswagen Rabbit.  Sure, I cracked a few jokes on Twitter and Facebook, but part of me is a little sad.  

But seriously, there is nothing like a celebrity death to rally the troops at work. 

~ The Office Scribe

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Manic Monday: The Out Of Office Edition

Yeah, so I wasn't at work yesterday.  I took the day off to work on my tan up at my mom's.  I thought it would happen as I was chilling on the dock, bot deciding to mow and re-seed her lawn.  But the sun gets to you either way.  

I was designated driver on Saturday night and I didn't get to sleep until 4am.  (I know, I am wild...)  At 5am I woke up with one thought in my mind:  I forgot to set my out of office message telling people I wasn't going to be at work on Monday.  Yeah, as a co-worker told me, that says all kinds of crazy about my mental state.

I just noticed today that the doors in my office are HUGE.  Not really that wide but super tall.  They go all the way to the ceiling.  I know people have become taller over time (especially if you are Dutch) but come on office architects.  Do you expect a 7 foot tall guy to come in and work in the corporate world?  Sure, if he is dumb and has never heard of the NBA or the circus...

Helpful Hint:  Don't leave Crystal Light Fruit Punch sit in a Nalgeen bottle for a long weekend.  Sure, it will come clean but unless you have small hands you'll be forced to paw through the drawers in the kitchen until you find a cheap metal kitchen tong which you can straighten like a Slinky and use to reach the bottom with a damp paper towel just as your co-worker walks in and gives you are "What the hell are you doing look?" and instead of taking the time to explain you just ask in an unassuming tone "And how was your weekend?"

There is nothing quite like sitting at your desk, trying to figure out if you took the garbage out before you left for a long weekend or if you will have to call in a Haz-Mat crew in order to enter your apartment...

My page-a-day calendar started out really funny with short little jokes and sayings but now each page is full of a paragraph or more of tiny writing that i just don't have the energy to read.  If it wasn't June I would consider replacing it.  I am sure I could still find one at Barnes & Noble for 75% off.  (Though my luck they would all be Twilight calendars)

For anyone out there with a G-Mail account:  You know how the advertisements on the right hand side are tailored to the contents of your e-mail?  For example - you type a letter about liking office supplies and the ads the next time you check are all for pens and paper?  I know this is a program concocted by some smart programmer, but I like to think that there is a room full of people forced to read really boring e-mails and tailor the ads to them.  Why do this job?  The secrets.  It's all about the secrets.

~ The Office Scribe

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dude. Your Boss Sucks.

It was quiet today at work.  Nothing too exciting happened.  Just did my 7.5 hours and decided to head home from some quality TV and the impending thunderstorm that was headed my way.  See, as mentioned in the umbrella post Chicago has seen its share of wet weather lately.  Actually, I was driving home I was waiting for my mom to come out of the basement* because the tornado sirens had told her to head for safety.

Well, as I was driving home I saw someone working at a job where is his boss must be the biggest dick in the world.  What as the job?


Holy hell good man!  There was a severe weather warning with lightning and crazy wind.  Trees were blowing around like a scene from "Twister".  If I had seen a cow go by my car I wouldn't have been surprised.

But there you were, behind the controls of your itty bitty plane, flying into the black with your ever so important banner reading "REAL ESTATE:  INVEST NOW!" with a phone number so small no one could read it.

I pray that you landed safely then choked your boss with the banner.  Because that dude deserved it.

~ The Office Scribe

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Results Are In: The Highlighter Poll

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise...  The most boring color of all time for highlighters was the top vote-getter in the poll.  I thought you guys were more creative than that...

Here were the results:

1) Yellow
2) Green
3) Orange
4) Pink and Blue (Tie!)
5) I'm Color Blind (Somehow I doubt that...)
6) Purple

Stayed tuned for a new poll whenever I can think of something interesting that I want to know about you guys...

~ The Office Scribe

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Your Umbrella Says About You

Umbrellas play an important role in our lives.  Rhinana sang about them pre-Grammy night "incident" and remember all the ones that the Penguin used against Batman?  I mean, who didn't pretend their umbrella doubled as a machine gun as a kid...

But in the average everyday world we don't have such cool umbrellas.  Generally, they are used to keep the sun from scorching us like the southern belles we are or protecting us from the rain that doesn't seem to ever end in the Chicagoland area even though it is June and we are supposed to be swarmed with mosquitoes and sweating like a politician in a courtroom but no,  the weather gods see fit to send wave after wave of rain down on us complete with flash flood warnings and turning my thoughts from buying a Jeep Liberty to building an ark...

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, umbrellas...

So I was thinking the other day that the type of umbrella a person uses says a lot about them.  So I launched a long, drawn out study which lasted an entire episode of "Harper's Island" and came to some conclusions, which I would like to share with you.

The Collapsible Umbrella
You are a practical person.  
You pack your lunch everyday.  
You own a Hybrid car.  
You haven't had fun since the late 80's. 

The Cartoon Umbrella
While at Target one day your little one saw that "Hello Kitty" umbrella and just had to have it.  She begged and begged and begged until you gave in.  You also gave in when she begged and begged and begged you not to make her wait for the bus in the rain and drove her to school.  And when you ran to the store to get her some snacks you saw it in the back of the SUV and didn't want it to go to waste so you might as well use it.

The Golf Umbrella
Wow, you sure are nice, carrying such a big umbrella as you walk down the narrow sidewalk, trying to keep everyone around you dry.  Sadly that bumbershoot was designed for the links and not an urban environment and while you may think you are doing us all a favor it is pretty damn annoying that your umbrella makes it impossible for anyone to walk within a four feet radius of you.  Plus, we all know you're just overcompensating...

The Umbrella Hat
Because you were at the Monster Truck show at the fairgrounds and saw those little gems being sold out of the back of a camper and thought, "That dang thing would keep my mullet dry and keep my hands free for TWO beers!"

The Tote Bag
This is the category that I fall into.  Sure, I own at least seven of the above mentioned umbrellas, but when I am at the office I left it in the car.  When I am in the car the umbrella is in my apartment.  And when I am in my apartment I can't find a single one which leads me to believe that I have gnomes...

I guess we could just dress like the Gordon's Fisherman.  But what would people think about us then?

~ The Office Scribe

Monday, June 15, 2009

Manic Monday #6 (I think it's 6...I lost track)

Note to self - remove sunglasses before walking down the stairwell.  You don't want to have to explain to your coworkers that you took a header into a cement wall because you want to maintain that veil of mystery that sunglasses provide...

Someone asked me how it was outside and I said, "When I walked outside I felt like a solar panel; the sun seemed to charge me right up."  When it was pointed out that this was an odd analogy I said, "I could have gone with a Superman reference about Earth's yellow sun but I didn't think you'd get it."  (Turns out she wouldn't have an appreciated the solar panel comment more.)

Yes, the reason I looked tired today was because I had a long weekend.  And I don't mean I had an extra day off.  It that were the case, I would probably look better.

Best moment of my day today?  I called someone back and when I was put on hold the song that came on was "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" by Bryan Adams.  And yes, I did catch myself starting to sing along with it while thinking about Robin Hood.  Admit it, you would have been doing the exact same thing.

Speaking of music and quality jams, it is my belief that we need music piped into the reception area of my office.  Nothing too "dentist-like" (I don't want the receptionist to go crazy) but it is really quiet up there when the phones are ringing and I don't enjoy silence.

~ The Office Scribe

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I've Gone To The Dark Side

Yeah, that's right;  I am on Twitter now.  You can find me at TheOfficeScribe. (Or however you search for people...)

I have no idea what I am doing or what the point of it all is, but I like to jump on technology bandwagons when they come rolling my way.  

So any suggestions or tips or insults about me joining would be appreciated.

~The Office Scribe

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Office Supplies I Can't Live Without

I am one of those crazy people who spends more time looking around an Office Depot than an entire mall.  There is just something about rows and rows of pens and pencils, organizers of all shapes and sizes and ream after ream of paper waiting to be filled with words.  I adore all kinds of office supplies, but there are some that I would be lost without more than others.


When you spend a good chunk of your day looking at black ink on a white background you
 occasionally need a way to make something jump off the page.  In my case, I need 5 somethings. Orange, pink, blue, purple and yellow.  Now if I could just find a green one somewhere my armada of neon ink would be complete...

Part of my job requires me to read things and type at the same time.  It saves my neck muscles if I don't have to look down at my desk.  So when a co-worker of mine left and we raided her desk for whatever was left, I claimed this as my own.  It is complicated and I don't quite know what that plastic strip in the middle does, but apparently it was really expensive which like most things in life means that it must be awesome.  (And yes, this is the exact model I have. Jealous?)


Because sometimes you need a ruler to show a co-worker how deep 30 inches is... (Oh, and I love how the image I found was a rule that told you to call 911 in case of an emergency.  Do we really need to keep reminding people of this fact?)


Normal push pins don't work in our cubicle walls.  So these handy little things are the only way I can post pictures of Jim Thome on my cubicle wall.  Oh, or you know, work stuff.

As far as I know, I am the only person in the company who has one of these and I guard it like that old knight gaurded the Holy Grail in the third Indiana Jones movie.  If I could build boobie-traps around it to protect it, I would.  I found it on my desk like a gift from god when we moved into the new building.  Sure you could say it was left behind by the people who occupied our suite before us, but I prefer to think there was a more heavenly aspect to it.

~ The Office Scribe

And a note to my co-workers who read this:  If anything is missing off my desk - not cool.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Manic Monday - The Distraction Edition

Okay, so I know I have not been posting with my usual fervor lately, but I can totally explain why, and in blog form...
I have been CRAZY busy at work lately, which is awesome because it is better than staring at the cubicle walls for hours on end, but being busy really doesn't present itself as a viable topic to blog about.  Sure, I could tell you about how I blink and three hours go by.  Or that I forgot to go to lunch twice last week.  But where is the fun in that?

I drove to Wisconsin this weekend and bought myself a 37 inch flat screen TV.  So, you would assume that I ran home tonight and passed out on the couch to watch the White Sox trounce the Tigers...  which is what I was planning to do except it turns out you need an advanced degree in engineering in order to figure out how to hook it up.  Oh, and I think I need to buy a new TV stand for it because it is too big for the one I have.

Much of my time lately is spent wondering how much longer my car is going to last.  I had a dream the other night that we heard an explosion at work and I looked out the window and there was a giant fireball where my car was parked.  Bad news; I had to buy everyone who was parked around me a new car.  Good news; that yellow SUV with the kayaks was one of them - I bought him a smart car and a Funoodle.

Oh well, maybe this week will spark something in the old brain and I'll be back to my observational work related ways.

~The Office Scribe

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Office Scribe Reviews: Starbucks Via Instant Coffee

I used to be a Starbucks addict.  It was bad.  Back when I worked at the butcher shop I would get a Venti-Quad non-fat iced latte everyday on the way into work and most days I would get one on the way home too.  Yeah, that's a lot of esspresso.  And not only did it start to give me heart palpatations but let's face it, spending approximately $10 a day on coffee when you make about $70 dollars a day wasn't that smart.  Hence the reason I was only able to to afford a Kia Sportage and not something that isn't currently rattling like a skeleton during an earthquake.

So when I got my new job I decided that I had to become for financially responsible and cut down on the Starbucks consumption. Which gave birth to a tradition I hold true to this day.  Except on Mondays when I am headed back from my mom's house because I need the caffeine to get through the 1.5 hour commute into work.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, the new Starbucks Via Instant Coffee.

When I saw that there was a way for me to have dark, angry Starbucks coffee anywhere I started to get the same itch that I assume a crackhead sees when they see rock candy at the five-and-dime.  I wanted to grab packets from the display and blow an entire weeks salary on them.  I wanted to toss them up in the air and watch as they rained down on me.

But then, the little logic that is left in my addled brain told me that buying expensive instant coffee without trying it first would not only be illogical but pretty damn stupid.  So the next time I went into get my drink on a Friday I thought perhaps they will be giving out samples.  That would be the smart thing to do, from a marketing angle, right?

Sadly, they were never giving out free packets of Via.

So what did I do?  I voiced my angst at work.  I let it be known that I was not happy with Starbucks not giving a loyal customer a free packet of Via.  

And what happened?

One of my awesome co-workers got a free sample from... well I don't know where she got it from but she gave it to me.  And I was happy.  It sat, waiting in my day planner until a day when I really needed it.  And that day came this week.  

My thoughts on it?

It tastes like instant coffee.  Yeah, like regular instant coffee if you added an extra teaspoon of grounds to the cup when you make it.  It didn't hold the thrill that I thought it would.  No magical caffeine fairies appeared.  

So take my advice and save yourself a couple bucks and just stick to drinking the stuff at work.  Because you can bitch all you want but you know and I know that it isn't that bad.

~The Office Scribe

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Newest Green Trend - Parking Lot Composting!!!

There is nothing more trendy today that being considered "green".  (Okay, wait, maybe Twitter is more trendy.  But since I know absofrickenlutley nothing about Twitter, tweeting, or anything related to it, I will abstain from making commentary...for now.)

So going green it is.  You know, all the steps you can take in life to make your carbon footprint smaller. Like getting rid of your perfectly drivable car by sending it to a junk yard where it can rot and spew toxins into the ground and replacing it with a zippy little Hybrid that is so quiet that the chances of you running down a blind person is off the charts.  

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, the newest trend - Parking Lot Composting!

This trend is so new that I just learned about it today, as I was walking to my car, when I stepped on a blackened banana peel that someone had obviously placed there so that is could become one with the earth again.  I felt so much closer to my fellow greenies as I scraped the rotting (strike that) decomposing mush off my Doc Martens* so that I wouldn't track it into my car.

So the next time you are munching on a piece of organic fruit that you bought for $6.99 a pound at Whole Foods and you don't know the best way to dispose of it, simply chuck it out your car window and let nature take its course.

Love the Earth!

~ The Office Scribe

* Yeah, I still have Doc Martens.  This particular pair I have had for almost 10 years and they still look awesome, even as I am stepping in the goop deposited by someone too lazy to wait and throw their trash in a garbage can or at least the bushes...