Sunday, February 28, 2010

Let's Play Mirror, Mirror

Hey, you.  Yeah you.  The one who decided to follow this blog.  I see you have stuck around.  I like that in a person.  You know, dedication.  And an interest in me to boot.

But, have you ever wanted to ask me something?  Anything?  Something about work?  Or my homelife?  Or what scent from Bath & Body Works best describes me?

I am sure you have.

Yeah, you could send me an e-mail but there is all that typing and formalities one must abide by when typing such a thing.  Don't you wish there was an easier way to ask me those questions which have been burning in your heart, head, and trunk of your car*?

Well, there is!

Head over to Formspring and ask away! I'll answer any question asked of me.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may have already noticed the desperate pleas for questions.  But don't blame me.  Blame A Vapid Blonde. She put the idea in my head.  It's all her fault.

~ The Office Scribe       

Friday, February 26, 2010

Um Yeah...

So as you know, I love my job and all, but today irked me.

And since my mom didn't teach me that if I can't say anything nice I should write it on a blog on the internet I am going to keep silent for this evening, relax with a nice glass of water (damn this self imposed prohibition) and watch some bad TV.

Here's to a better post tomorrow.

~ The Office Scribe

P.S. - Don't worry.  No one got fired.  No one died.  No one spiked the coffee or stole from the vending machine.  It is really a dumb reason I am in a mood but hey, I can be in a mood if I want.  You're not my mother.

P.P.S - Unless you are, then "hi mom!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Evil Eye

When I went to Greece a few years back (crap, I just realized that was 10 years ago and now I feel old) a little old shopkeeper in the Plaka gave my friends and I each a small evil eye because he was a little pervy but hey, free goodies!  I cherished it for the rest of that summer when I wore it on the same necklace as the vial which contained my name written on a grain of sand and a Jerry Bear.  Sadly, somewhere along the way, I lost the evil eye.

But don't fret people, because guess what showed up at work today?

That's right!  My evil eye!

But Office Scribe, you didn't work in that office 10 years ago...hell, didn't you just move into the building like 18 months ago?

Good point.

See, it wasn't my little blue adorable evil eye from the pervy shopkeeper.  It was my own right eye that decided to go evil on me.  Ever see "The Evil Dead II"?  Yeah, something along those lines.

The little bastard won't stop twitching and it is getting on my nerves.  Which is funny, because they say it is a sign of stress and nerves, so I am thinking this will never go away because I am stuck in some sort of vicious eye twitching cycle.

I was totally aware of it while talking to coworkers.  Even though they told me they couldn't see it I knew it was twitching.  At one point I swear it was keeping the beat along with Postal Service song playing on my iPod.  I thought I would just relax at home tonight and perhaps it would go away.  So far, no dice.  And now I have a headache on top of it.

When I gouge this puppy out and start wearing a patch to work I will be pissed if no one refers to me as Captain.

~ The Office Scribe

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic Monday #22

I spent a good portion of my day on Friday trying to figure out what kind of leave the Jolly Green Giant's toga was made out of.  I did some math and used a ruler and figured those things have to be like 4 feet long.  So I came to the conclusion that they must be from a tropical plant.  But the JGG is always standing in what looks to be Ohio.  Does he have them imported?  And if so, I would assume they have to be checked at the border since it is vegetation.

I broke my own personal record and actually used the bathroom twice at work today.  I blame the giant latte I grabbed on my way in and the snow I absorbed through my head since I didn't want to wear a hat and mess up my hair.

I don't know whether to be impressed by women who wear heels in weather like this or openly mock them for their poor choice in footwear.

All day I had the song "I Got A Feeling" stuck in my head.  FYI - Tonight was a good night - if you consider laundry, reruns of "Veronica Mars", and eggplant parm a good night.

I understand why people wear headsets to talk on the phone, but my company needs to invest in the ones that light up when someone is on a call because quite often, I approach a person, start talking, and get no reaction because they are listening to the person on the other line.  And that makes me look like a fool.  And I don't like to look like a fool.  Unless it is by my choosing.  Or because of the Jell-O shots.

~ The Office Scribe

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lunch Room Slot Machine

You know one of the main reasons why I hate cold weather?  No, it's not that I have to bundle up like an Inuit going to prom.  Or that my skin becomes so dry that I am afraid the friction of my skin on the sheets at night may start some sort of fire.  It's that my fancy Jeep Liberty constantly tells me that one of the tires is a few PSI lower than it should be.  So I have become an expert on which gas stations have free air and which ones I have to pay mad bank for.

On Friday morning, as I was running out the door in my usual "crap I have to be at work in 15 minutes" kinda way, my car alerted me to the fact that I could use some air.  Since I wasn't about to be late to work, I thought I would do it on the way home.  Unfortunately, the gas station between my office and the highway (I was headed out of town right after work) cost 75 cents to use the air machine.  Knowing that I was all out of quarters I had to figure out how to break a $1 bill.

Ah ha!  I thought.  The vending machine!

The crafty wench that I am came up with the idea to put my $1 bill into the vending machine but, instead of selecting a package of Oreos (my fav) I hit refund and it would spit out 4 quarters.

I headed off the the break room and was about to put my dollar in when I noticed a bag of Lay's chips stuck about halfway.  Here is a little known fact about modern vending machines: If the item doesn't fall past the "eye" then the machine will refund you the money.  It is a better system than having to purchse a second item to push the first item down.  I say this is a little known fact because no one in my office seems to know about it.  Which is why when I saw the Lay's stuck, I decided to push the refund button and low and behold, I was granted with an extra 80 cents.  I then proceeded to get my quarters (because the 80 cents came out with too many dimes for the air machine) and happily walked back to my desk.

You may not think 80 cents is a lot but since this is not the first time this has happened, nor do I think it will be the last, that stuff really adds up.  Which is good, because soon I will need a new laptop*.

~ The Office Scribe

* Should you have extra change sitting around and want to donate it to the "Office Scribe Mac Book Pro Fund" let me know.  I'll set up a PayPal account and praise you for spending your money on a worthy cause instead of the likes of Haitian orphans or Lindsay Lohan.

P.S. - If you are looking for a new blog to read, head over to I Like To Fish and watch the video where Travis sticks an entire Q-tip in his navel.  It's both disturbing and fascinating.  Like German porn.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Can Make Candles Too!

So, as I said on Monday, and numerous times before, in my past I was a butcher.

And now, I enjoy making my coworkers happy by baking for them on occasion.

So, if you are knocked up and work with me, this is along the lines of what you can expect to be served at your lunch room baby shower...

That's right folks!  All it takes it a will to procreate and a custom mini cupcake cake can be yours!

~ The Office Scribe

Monday, February 15, 2010

Memoir Monday #1 - Welcome to the Chop Shop

Believe it or not, I was not born in a cubicle.  There was life before the office and I am sure there will be life after the office.  Inspired by Travis over at I Like To Fish I have decided to hop on his ever expanding bandwagon and sometimes replace my usual Manic Monday post with something called a Memoir Monday.  But it will not just be any story about my past.  True to form, all of these posts will be about a job I have held in the past, be it paid or volunteer.

As anyone who is a frequent reader of my blog knows, before I was a cubicle monkey, I worked in a butcher shop.  Yes, an honest to goodness butcher shop.  So how does a teenage girl from the suburbs of Chicago end up working in a place where the main business was hacking dead animals apart?

I'll tell you.

I am an only child.  I have been one my whole life.  And since there is a certain stigma that goes with being an only child (i.e. spoiled brat) my parents did everything in life to keep me grounded.  This included encouraging me to get a job when I came of age.

Five months before my 16th birthday, my mom was shopping at the town's meat market and noticed a sign that they were looking for a dishwasher.  So she talked to the owner about it, and found out he wasn't looking for an illegal immigrant but a high school kid who could come by after school and help clean the place up before it closed for the evening.  I am surprised that no one saw the lightbulb pop on over her head.

That night, at dinner, she asked if I was still interested in becoming a chef.  I said sure.  (My grand plan, oh so many years ago, was to get a degree in business, head to the Culinary Institute of America, and then open my own restaurant.  Ah the dreams of the young...).  So she said she found a job which could help prepare me for the future.

The next day, the two of us were down at the shop, talking to the owner.  The amazing thing is, even though I am a girl, he didn't even hesitate.  He told me to come by around 4 the following Monday.

I was pretty excited.  I mean, here I was, underage, and about to start my first job.  A few of my friends had some babysitting gigs, but this was a real job.  I felt like an adult.  I imagined all the money I would be earning and how I would use it to buy all kinds of cool stuff, like alternative band T-shirts and rounds at Laser Quest.

Turns out, I kind of forgot about the whole "cleaning up at a butcher shop" angle to the job.  On my first day, I wore my school uniform: khaki pants and a navy blue sweater.  Not the best thing to wash dishes in.  But I scrubbed and wiped my way through blood, chicken juice, and bone meal for two hours.

At the end of the day, the boss asked if I thought I would be back tomorrow and I answered "Absolutely."  No pause.  No hesitation.  Nothing.

Where else does a person get to be around that much cool shit outside of a horror movie?  It was perfect for the macabre teenager that I was.

So be prepared for more tales from the Chop Shop - this is just the beginning.

~ The Office Scribe

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Reason...For Making Whoopie

Sorry to disappoint but this is not a post about shagging a coworker, but it is about making them insanely happy.

With Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting.

As you know, I have always baked for my coworkers.  It started because my mom bought me a cookbook about cupcakes so I decided to use my coworkers as guinea pigs.  But I keep baking because they love it.

In honor of Valentine's Day I made the above mentioned confection because they love Red Velvet and nothing says V-Day like something with the word "Whoopie" in it.

When I eventually get around to writing my book about making the office a happier place, in the section on recipes, this one is going to be at the top of the list.

~ The Office Scribe

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heroes vs. Villains

I am a huge Survivor fan.  Ever since the first season, with good ol' nekkid Richard Hatch strutting around that beach while people eat rats, I have been hooked.

So imagine how stoked I was when I found out someone organized a Survivor office pool where I work?

For $10 you are assigned someone who is competing.  Top three people get money.  It's like gambling for idiots.

Normally, I am the first person out.  My Survivor either gets injured or decides to quit.

But not this week.  One week down and my person is still going strong.


The person voted out belonged to the guy in the cubicle next to me.

I don't imagine he will be in a good mood tomorrow.

So I have decided to blame Jeff Probst for ruining my Friday.

Thanks Probst.  I hope you loose your Puka shells in the sand.

~ The Office Scribe

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nature's Alarm Clock - 3 Hours Too Soon

I suffer from insomnia.  Sure, I could dope myself into a false coma with some sort of pill, but some of my best writing happens in those hours after midnight and before dawn.

Right now I am in the midst of a wicked bought of it.  I was up until 2:30 last night, not even the slightest bit sleepy.  I was writing and watching episode after episode of "Veronica Mars" (aka - one of the best TV shows canceled before its time - like "Firefly" and "Arrested Development")

But eventually I thought it was time to hit the hay.  So I snuggled down in my bed, and let sleep take me away.

Fast forward to around 4:00 AM.  There I am, in bed, sleeping as soundly as a baby when I am jolted awake by my bed shaking.  Two thoughts go through my head, in this order:

1) Oh god, I'm possessed by Pazuzu

2) Perhaps that is a snow plow.

I then heard my dishes rattling in the kitchen and thought "earthquake?" which lasted for about 3 seconds and I passed out again.

When my alarm went off, it was set to a new radio station (because I am a 76 year old man...) and all I could make out in my morning pre-coffee haze was the word "earthquake".

Hmm, I thought.  I was right.

Yes people.  The Chicagoland area had a slight earthquake last night.  Yeah, we get snow and earthquakes, so you people on the coasts can quit your whining.

Midwesterners are the shit.

~ The Office Scribe

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Beet It

Ever since the first snowfall hit my fair city, I have been perplexed by the dark substance that is splashed all over the top of the parking deck where I joyfully put my Jeep each day as I head to cubicle land.  At first, I thought it was an oil leak.  But then it was there the next day.  And the next.  And the next.

Turns out, it is some sort of magical de-icing agent made from, get this, beet juice.

I let my fingers do the Googling and I guess the natural sugars or something in beet juice make it an excellent substitute for chemical melting agents and it it much greener than, say, rock salt.

Awesome, right?

No.  It's not awesome.  You know why?  Salt and other chemical melting agents wash off your clothes.  Beet juice on the other hand is a wonderful natural dye.  The kind of dye that Native Americans used to make their teepees more colorful and old Amish women still use in, um, knitting or something.

How do I know this?  Well, aside from being a wasteland of useless knowledge, I used to be a costumed guide at a historical village. (Think Ren Faire sans the bad British accents.)  My specialty was an 1830 log house where I taught people all about life during the time where Little House on the Prairie was fact and not a sappy TV show.  I would churn butter, card wool, and yes, dye cloth with that which nature provides.

Hence the reason that the bottoms of my favorite pair of lichen colored cords from Eddie Bauer are now a nice shade of purplish black.  And when I mentioned this to someone, their reply was "Well it's better than falling on the ice, isn't it?"

No!  Because while the beet juice on my pants won't fade, bruises do.

~ The Office Scribe

Monday, February 8, 2010

Manic Monday - The Birthday Review

Celebrating your birthday at your place of employment can be a truly horrific event.  Hoards of bored co-workers, forced to sing "Happy Birthday" to you as they stand in line for crappy grocery store cake.

Or, it could be a pretty sweet day if you happen to work in an office full of cool people who actually like you.

Like me!

Last Friday, as some of you may have known, was my birthday.  And once again, my co-workers have proven to me how lucky I am to work in an office with people I don't hate.  And here are some of those ways...

Flowers in my cubicle.  Want to make a girl smile the moment she walks into the office?  Put some flowers in her cubicle.  I can be the most evil, sarcastic bitch on the planet sometimes, but a vase of yellow daises will make me more sappy than anything Nicolas Sparks can write.

Cupcakes.  Normally I am the one who makes cupcakes for my coworkers.  But, this time, one of my coworkers came in with a dozen Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting made by his wife.  My favorite flavor and I didn't even have to bake them?  Sweet!

No boring lunches.  I hate packing my lunch so how cool is it that instead of brown bagging it, my co-workers bought me lunch.  And not just any lunch, but pasta.  As in Fettucini Alfredo which I don't usually eat because it is horrible for you, but all calories consumed on your birthday don't count, right?

More baked goods.  In addition to the cupcakes, one person on my team made this insanely delicious Irish Cheesecake which was light as a feather and tasted like what I would imagine Colin Farrell would taste like if I licked him.  

Group card.  It's nice when a co-worker tells you how good you are.  It's even better to get it in writing.

Lack of singing.  When I made it known I didn't like when people sang "Happy Birthday" to me, instead of being smug assholes my team granted my wish and kept their traps shut.

After work drinks.  Some people went out to celebrate another co-workers birthday, but the moment they found out that it was actually MY birthday, there was a Gin & Tonic in my hand and a shot of Tequila waiting after that.

Basically, I have two rules for happy employment.

1) Never be afraid of your boss

2) Like the people you work with

Thank god I can put a check mark next to both of these.

~ The Office Scribe

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Answer To The Soap Thing

Wow, I didn't think it would be that big of a riddle you pop culture morons....

I win.

~ The Office Scribe

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Arch Nemesis of an Office Building

The Thundercats had Mumm-Ra.

Batman has these guys.

Vampires have this chick.

And this.

And this*.

But the number one enemy of an office building is one of these...

Which is why I have been VERY nervous at work the past couple of days.  On Tuesday we heard a noise outside the office building around 2:30 PM.  It sounded like a leaf blower, which would have been a normal sound if it wasn't February in Chicago.  So me and a few co-workers head to the windows and see a helicopter.

So what?  I know, my building is along a major highway.  Traffic copters are all over the place.

But this wasn't a traffic copter.  It was hovering right outside my building, about 50 feet off the ground.  And as soon as we peaked out the windows it took off.


And it got even weirder when it appeared again yesterday.  And once again, took off as soon as it saw us  looking at it.

It could be that I have seen WAY too many movies, but all I could think about were the scenes where the bad guy is piloting a helicopter, chasing the action star, and loses control and the copter goes smashing into the innocent office building, killing god only knows how many cubicle dwellers.

I swear, if I see Bruce Willis anywhere NEAR my office in the next few days I am done.  Gone.  Grabbing my bag and hitting the road.

I am not going to be an action movie casualty.

~ The Office Scribe

* Please tell me someone got this picture?  Please...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Too Weird To Blog

Okay, I don't know what it is about this week, but things are super, super weird.  At work as well as at home.

I really want to blog about it all, but I am still working on the best way to present it to you.

Where to start?

With the helicopter?

Or the constant search for a corkscrew?

Or the fact that I think everyone has lost their minds?

Perhaps when I get a free moment in between self medicating and shaking my Pope Snow Globe at people who may be possessed I will sit down and write the best blog about work EVER.

But first, I have to find a corkscrew.

~ The Office Scribe

Monday, February 1, 2010

Manic Monday #21

Because sometimes a Manic Monday post can be summed up with the following, and just the following:

I got out of my car today at my office and saw a goose standing on top of a 30 foot light post.  When I slammed my car door, it startled to goose, who flew down and almost hit me.

Huh?  What?

Who does this happen to?

Oh, me, I guess...

~ The Office Scribe