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Dumb Phones

My company has a very strict policy regarding cell phone usage.  During my orientation, we were all warned that using our phones during training can and will result in immediate termination.  Once out of training, every employee must follow very strict rules regarding cell phone usage.  Other than the designated break rooms, the cafeteria, and outside of the building, cell phone use is prohibited.  You can’t text while getting coffee or using the microwave; you have to get your food and/or drink and go to a designated break room before pulling out your phone.  You can’t throw a post on Facebook while walking through the hallways; any spot but the designated spots are strictly off limits.  Because of this, my phone is shut down before I leave for work and doesn’t get turned back on until I’m in my car and ready to drive home.

The cell phone policy is an easy one, thanks to the countless signs posted around the office.  We have them above the microwaves and coffee machines, on the bathroom door and on every stall, and in other rooms where people could try to go for privacy.  Supervisors give strict instructions that the phones are not to be seen or heard unless in one of the specific zones.  You would think it’s an easy policy to follow, but I’ve already seen more than one person lose their job because they’d rather text than pay attention and take notes during training.  To be honest, part of me wants to be sympathetic, as I had 4 hours of training and was frustrated and bored; they have two weeks.  But the bigger part of me wants to slap them upside the head for being so stupid.  Can’t you survive for two hours at a time without a phone?  Can’t it wait until you go on break?

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People get desperate though without that little device always available to use at their leisure.  As a result, the bathroom is a major hotspot for cell phone use during regular breaks or “emergency” restroom breaks.  Call me crazy, but I never find myself in a situation that requires me to be on the john and on the phone at the same time.  One or the other can wait.  As far as hiding places go, a bathroom stall is a last resort in my book; I don’t want to have a conversation in a place where people do their business.  But here?  People literally multitask, talking in between… well, you get the gist of it.  It’s absolutely disgusting.

The amount of dependence we have on these little electronic devices is staggeringly high.  When people are at the point to where they would rather go hide out in a cobweb infested abandoned part of campus than just wait until their break to text a friend, it’s a problem.  When people are willing to risk their jobs because they absolutely cannot live without Twitter, it’s a problem.  This job forced me to go from having my phone always within reach to having it 100% out of sight and out of mind, and it drove me nuts for about a week until I realized how much better off I was without it.  I let my email pile up, I get behind on tweets, and I’m cool with it.

Being without a phone, and seeing how people around me refuse to go without, has made me realize how much I was missing by having my eyes glued to that tiny screen so often.  What is the point in walking around like a zombie all the time?  Is it really THAT important to see who said what on Facebook?  Do we really have to document every moment with a selfie or some overly filtered fancy Instagram shot?  And please, someone explain to me, what can be so important to make bathroom time become a group activity so you can have a conversation with your mom?  Just chill.  Unplug.  I’m always glad to turn my phone back on when I leave the office for the day, but I’m equally as glad to turn the damn thing off and not deal with it for the eight and a half hours I’m supposed to be working.  It didn’t kill me, and it sure as hell won’t kill you.

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It’s Not That Hard

For almost four years now, I’ve been responsible for handling time cards for a handful of people in my office.  I collect their leave slips, their tracked overtime forms, and their travel compensation requests.  I check their claimed time against the reports and our attendance report prior to getting all their paperwork signed by our Branch Chief and submitted to D.C.  I do this every two weeks, and in the nearly four years that I’ve been completing this task, I’ve only made one mistake which was 50% the fault of the employee submitting paperwork (he forgot a few things, so his leave was a bit screwy for one pay period).  It’s a glamorous job, I know.

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Due to some issues in the states we assist, which are insanely boring and zero fun to discuss, we have a few people who travel for weeks at a time all over the country.  Their absence means that they either have to submit their time card to me while on the road or get it to me before they depart.  Easy, right?  The first time around, half of them completely forgot about it and had to scramble to fax everything over to me by the cut off time.  I’d like to tell you that particular problem has worked itself out, but they still forget on a regular basis, and I’m currently still chasing down one time card submission from an angry guy twenty feet away from me that’s been ignoring my requests.  It boggles my mind; when my time card is due, it’s signed and submitted first thing in the morning.  I want to get paid on time and paid properly.

Lately, our traveling employees have been trying to be good about submitting their time cards early so I have them on file and ready to go when they are due.  Unfortunately, this has also proven to be an incredible challenge.  Because many of them work late hours and are still hanging around when I’m gone for the day, I’m not always at my desk when they get ready to turn in their paperwork.  Most just leave it on my keyboard or in my chair, but some are less cautious to let papers with their social security number just lie around.  Sometimes they give it to my boss (who often loses it, as his office is a crazy black hole filled with random papers and empty coffee cups).  Other times they leave it with whoever also happens to be in the office, giving an unsuspecting person a responsibility they likely do not want.

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My solution for the crowd that submitted paperwork when I was away and wasn’t comfortable leaving it out was to simply scan and email the documents to me.  Every part of my office has a scanner that takes the document straight to a convenient folder on the shared drive.  It takes me about five minutes to scan and email all 13 of the time cards I currently process, and that includes time waiting on Outlook to catch up and time spent naming the documents before scanning.  To me, this was the best solution in keeping time cards secure while still ensuring I received them.  But sadly this has proven to be impossible for one special person.  She acts as if I haven’t requested she do this three times in the past (four counting today) and continues to needlessly make my life difficult and jeopardize her own pay by not ensuring that accurate information has been received.

Putting the paperwork together for each time card is very easy and takes only a few moments; I do it for my boss every two weeks.  None of our employees are new to the process and confused about how things work.  And I don’t care who you are, no one is too busy to take two minutes and complete a couple forms to make sure they get their paycheck on time and in full.  My special case constantly waits until the last possible second to submit her paperwork, meaning that she often drops by after 4pm on Fridays when I’m already gone.  This is the fourth time she has made her time card an issue by submitting it late, giving it to the wrong person (who thankfully is one of the good ones around here and kept it safe), and ignoring my requests that would ensure I received everything I needed on time.

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Most of these people are old enough to be my parent, have worked here for years, and are competent enough to hold their position successfully.  They have homes, bills, and other adult responsibilities.  They manage to feed themselves while at work every day and always sprint down to the main office when we have a pitch-in or free donuts.  And still, EVERY time and without fail, I am chasing half of them down up until the last second to get their time card paperwork so they can get paid.  If they fail, I must submit either a basic card for them (80 hours straight pay, no overtime or comp time recorded) or I must submit a card with only the leave I am able to track from their leave slips, if any.  This obviously leads to errors in pay that can sometimes take a month to fix.  My job is complete so long as each employee has a time card, so my insistence on timeliness and accuracy is solely for their benefit.

I’ve begun to be a tad less understanding with these folk when it comes to their inability to follow simple directions.  I hate to come off as bitchy, but being nice isn’t working so a more direct approach is much needed. The feedback I’ve received from my special case’s supervisor is positive, but who knows if she’ll actually have it sink in or if I’ll just be frustrated once again two weeks from now.  As much as I’d love to quit playing babysitter to these people, I can’t help but go out of my way to help, as I know how pay issues can really screw a person up.  Keeping my fingers crossed that one of these days, they act like they care about their paychecks as much as I do.

Wandering The Halls

In our effort to stay in shape and to escape the boredom of sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, my husband and I do an average of six laps around the halls of our enormous building every day we’re here.  To give you a visual of how long a lap around this place is, here’s a view from Google Maps.  Notice the teeny tiny cars:

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Roaming the halls of this place has caused me to notice a few things about the behaviors and habits of people in my building and about people in general:

1.  Personal Space:  People get very attached to their personal bubble surrounding them and are very reluctant to shift it so that it doesn’t overlap with anyone else’s space.  This is mostly noticeable when we encounter two or more people walking down the hall from the opposite direction.  They will be taking up the entire hallway, walking side by side by side, and act incredibly irritated to have to have one member of the group fall back in order to accommodate people walking in the opposite direction.  If someone is approaching, move to give them room.  Unfortunately, people are determined to stay in their exact path regardless of what obstacles lie ahead.  In my opinion, the hallway should be split in two, with the flow of food traffic going in opposite directions down each half.  And while we’re on that subject….

2.  Flow of Traffic:  The hallway should be like a roadway; stay to the right unless passing a slow mover.  Not in this place; we get the rogue rebels who plant themselves on the wrong side and march down the hallway, oblivious to the fact that they are putting themselves in the face of everyone who is walking properly.  Unless you’re trying to get into your office, there’s no reason to go against the flow of traffic.  It’s frustrating, especially when the person sees that everyone is having to make an effort to avoid them, but doesn’t care enough to make the shift over to their right.  I’m not quite sure if it’s a mindful decision to go against the grain or if these people are from Europe.

Walking the wrong way

3.  Loitering:  I don’t know when it happened or why it happened, but somewhere along the line, someone decided that the middle of the hallway is a great place to hold a meeting.  It can be a group of people discussing a system implementation or a few friends talking about weekend plans; whatever the subject, people have developed the awful habit of congesting the hallways so they can flap their jaw.  It’s somewhat forgivable if they stand off to the side, but even then they become a hazard for everyone who is trying to get from point A to B.  They’ll laugh and flail their arms while acting annoyed at the people walking around them.  You know, the people using the hallway for what it was built for.

4.  Blindness:  Every few feet down any hallway in here, there is a door to an office, a utility room, a stairwell, or an elevator.  Common sense would dictate that anyone coming out of a door would take a second to glance down the hall to make sure they were not about to run right into someone.  This building is devoid of common sense.  People will pop out of doorways with their head down, sometimes focused on their phones, paying no attention to the people walking.  If they bump you or come close to doing so, they usually will react with shock as if it’s your fault for not announcing your arrival at the doorway or peeking in the door to ensure that their absentminded little self wasn’t playing with their iPod instead of looking where they’re going.

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5.  Bringing SexyBack:  I don’t know many people who haven’t, at least once, had an accidental slip of the pants that exposed a bit of butt crack.  Maybe you were lucky and it happened at home, or maybe you shamed yourself by getting cheeky at the mall.  Come walk the halls with me and you’ll see more crack than [insert your favorite celebrity addict here].  Aside from that, you will see fat stomachs hanging out from the bottoms of shirts, all the sweatpants your heart could desire, and spectacles that rival the People Of Walmart site.  I don’t know if working here for over 10 years makes you give up on life, but it sure as hell seems that way.

6.  Bathroom Parties:  Public bathrooms are gross.  Even the ones that have just been cleaned from top to bottom are gross.  They are nasty places and I won’t even get into the horrors I’ve seen here.  For some reason, these vile places have become excellent places to catch up with friends while taking a break from a hard day of work.  Right inside the doorway, a group will gab and cackle away while the poor people in the stalls are likely cringing and silently praying for the loud rabble to move along so they can finish dropping off the kids in peace.  It’s particularly unnerving when men make up part of the bathroom group in front of the ladies room; no woman wants to hear a deep booming voice as she tries to hover over the germy seat and not pee on her shoes.

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7.  NOISE POLLUTION:  This building is a finance and accounting center that does a lot of incredibly important (and boring) things for the military and civilians.  We have hundreds of offices contained within these walls, each with an important mission.  Don’t try telling that to anyone in the hallway though, as they seem to think that escaping the office into the hall is equal to being at a bar with their friends on a Friday night.  They will get loud, and then they’ll get louder.  The raucous laughter, the crazy high pitched shrieks, and the constant chatter can be clearly heard in offices with closed doors where people are trying to get their job done.  They may be en route to a break area to carry on frantically about the latest gossip, but you can be sure that they’re not about to keep the volume down on their journey there.

8.  Weak Arms:  There are a good number of restaurants that deliver to this building, something that most employees take advantage of.  Sometimes, people will place an order for a small group of people or order a few pizzas for the office.  Rarely to never will a person be willing to use a bit of muscle to get that order back to their office, opting instead to bring a rolling cart to the security area to carry their grub.  If someone has ordered something large and heavy, with multiple bags, I totally get it.  Qdoba catering, for example, definitely calls for a cart with all their containers and packages.  When I see a woman pushing a cart with a tiny Jimmy John’s bag on it, containing two subs and maybe some chips, I cry a little on the inside.

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9.  ScooterMania:  There are some people in motorized chairs in this building that have a valid need to be in one.  There are more of them in a scooter because they’re just too fat and lazy to walk around like the rest of us.  The scooter crew in this place act like an elderly gang of bikers.  Don’t get too close to them or they’ll run you down or attempt to kill your with their steely glare.  You better jump out of their way when they crank it up to 10mph on their way to the cafeteria or be subjected to as much wrath as an obese person can manage without running out of breath.  I don’t have issue with people who have to use a scooter, or even those who choose to.  It’s the entitled “I’m special, treat me that way” attitude that I cannot stand.

10.  Power Munching:  As I said earlier, my husband and I do laps around the building in an effort to stay healthy and not become glued to our chairs.  There are quite a few people in this building who do the same, donning an iPod or grabbing a buddy to hopefully walk off the effects of their lunch.  Sadly, too many people confuse a short brisk walk with a power workout.  They will power walk their way right into our C-Store for a bag of chips, or some will grab their snack and do their walk while eating.  There are people I know who walk enough to be in supermodel shape, but they’ll never get there due to their love of sweet and salty snacks.

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11.  Men Are Perverts:  I expect to be eyeballed by the dirty old man on the bench at the mall and by the group of guys hanging out outside of Target, but I don’t expect it when I come to work.  At least, I used to never expect it.  From janitors to young guys to old fat men to more janitors to leadership, no halfway decent woman in this building is safe.  It’s not only the bold looks at cleavage and rear ends, it’s the “hey baby, how you doin’, you lookin’ so fine” that reminds me of my days riding MARTA through Atlanta.  I suppose it’s good for the ego, but it’s also creepy as all get out.  In fairness, there are a few female offenders as well wandering these halls.  Very few.

12.  Hand Holding:  There are some couples who work here together that I suspect will wither away and die if they are not clasping their hands together whenever they are around each other.  Barely a hello is exchanged, it’s simply a frantic grab of the hand as soon as their love is within arms reach.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy holding hands with my husband now and again, but I also enjoy not having a sweaty palm while being attached to a 6’8″ man and trying to navigate these halls stuck to another human being.

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13.  General Rudeness:  Overall, one can’t help but notice that people have become poor mannered and oblivious to everyone around them.  No more “excuse me,” no apologies for anything, no care for anyone else’s personal space or desires; it’s a selfish world and it gets worse every day.  Doors get slammed in my face, women bump into me because they refuse to move and don’t care that I am already shoved against a wall, trash is spilled on the floor, messes left behind, and no one cares.  I enjoy my walks with my husband, but it’s frustrating to see the decline in our behavior.  On the positive side, the cast of characters we see always gives us a bit of entertainment as we make our rounds.

Two Little Words

I’m very big on manners.  I was always taught to say please and thank you, call adults by their last name unless otherwise instructed, and to be polite to people regardless of their own attitudes and demeanor.  In the workplace, my need to be polite is magnified, as I have to deal with my coworkers in a friendly manner as well as deal with whoever may come in the office or call with an issue or concern.  It can be challenging, especially when people yell at me over the phone about things that are out of my control, but I make due and just make fun of them later in private or take a walk around the building to cool down.  It does take more effort to be nice at times, but I think it’s worth the effort.

I received an email this morning from one of my coworkers that just rubbed me the wrong way.  We have had a new person handling all time card entries for our civilians and this new person has been making mistake after mistake.  His paychecks are a mess, as well as everyone else’s, so he wanted to get copies of his time cards for the entire month of December in order to try to get his issues fixed.  I don’t mind getting these to people at all, but the way he asked just bothered me.  It wasn’t “can you get this for me,” it was “Need a copy of what I submitted.”  No “thanks” at the end, no “please” anywhere, nothing remotely polite.  Just “need a copy” with the expectation that I’d get right on it.

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I sat on the request for as long as I could, which was about an hour since I can’t stand to have things unfinished.  I sent the information along to him, expecting some sort of response.  Nada.  I know he’s here because he’s been sending me memo requests all day, along with follow-up emails fifteen minutes later to see if they have been forwarded to our branch chief.  If you can do all that, sir, the least you can do is type THANKS in a reply email and make me feel like I didn’t just waste my time pulling up documents that you should have already had and emailing them along to you.

An employee’s daily duties don’t warrant constant thank you’s, but it is nice to give them a nod in appreciation now and then if they are helping you out.  Everyone loves a compliment and it can work to increase productivity and lighten the mood.  When an employee does something that goes outside the scope of their duties however, especially when it’s in response to a request for help from you, you owe them a please when asking and a thank you when the task is complete.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the ask is, it needs to be presented politely and rewarded with a bit of gratitude.  It doesn’t even have to be sincere as long as it is said in some form or another.  Expecting heaps of praise after helping a coworker file some papers is silly, but you are well within your rights to expect and receive a thank you.

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Part of the reasoning behind the lack of thank you’s is that certain people feel that they are above other people, therefore they can make demands rather than requests and expect them to be fulfilled without another word.  Perhaps they have seniority over you, maybe they’re the head of their department down the hall, or they just might see themselves as more valuable than you.  Whatever the reasoning, this view of “I matter more than you” can cause people to forget basic manners and turn requests into demands.  Working your way into a position of power is something to be proud of, no doubt, but it won’t kill you to throw a thank you to the person who empties your trash every once in a while.  It’s not about doing it because you have to, it’s about doing it because it’s the right thing to do.

Another reason is that we’re simply used to rude people.  I’ve had more doors slam in my face than held open for me, I get bumped into more than I hear “excuse me,” and I get flicked off by drivers who cut me off in traffic.  It’s not surprising that we forget our manners in the workplace after dealing with rude people in virtually every other area of our lives.  It’s even forgivable in a way for someone who has dealt with angry customers for eight hours to then be a bit snippy with their coworkers.  That all said, it’s still the wrong path to go down.  Your coworkers shouldn’t be made to feel like they’re beneath you or as if they don’t matter just because you’re having a crummy day.

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As I was typing this, two emails came in for me, both requests to set up a total of eight teleconferences.  The request was as follows:  “I am trying schedule a teleconference.  [Dates, times]”  That’s it.  Broken English and all.  Honestly, I don’t need to get a bucketload of “pleases” to process something, but I at least would like it phrased “Can you schedule these for me?”  The one person in my office who requests the most and who is also busy as all hell always throws me a please and a thank you for handing her conferences.  Getting these two emails from my coworker just bummed me out.  I was planning on ending this on a positive note but now I’m left feeling as if there is zero hope of things ever getting any better.

At the very least, I urge you to take a minute and think about how you interact with people.  Do you say “get me ___” or do you say “can I get ____?”  Do you say thank you or do you remain silent, assuming a thank you was implied?  Are you generous with compliments and words of thanks or do you think it’s undeserved when people are “just” doing their job?  Are you happy with what you get from others or do you feel that you deserved a word of thanks after going out of your way to assist a coworker or supervisor?  Do you think that all of us can maybe do a little better than we’re doing now?  Will you make an effort?

Anger Monster!!

I am not a morning person.  Understatement of the year; I am the worst person to share a space with in the early hours of the day.  I generally don’t sleep through the night due to being easily woken up by our dog Ripley making himself comfortable or snoring, or my husband rolling over and rocking the bed.  Sometimes I’ll imagine I hear my alarm clock and be unable to drift back into slumber and sometimes it’s for no reason at all, but I always seem to lose precious sleep over something silly.  When I wake, I shower and take the dog outside before going to wake up the boy.  Normally I fight to get him up and dressed and at the table for breakfast; he has to eat prior to leaving for daycare because he will skip the breakfast they serve so he can play.  After the boy and pup dog are fed and I’m as prettied up as I’ll get, I head to the car to wait on my husband; we’ve worked in the same building for over a year now and ride together nearly every morning.  We bring the boy to daycare and then head to work.  Once we’re at the building, we have a decent hike across the parking lot before passing through security and finally making it to our desks.  I hate mornings.

This morning was grating on my nerves.  Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion, mainly my son who took 35 minutes to eat a small plate of food which he didn’t even finish.  I was 5 minutes late to work due to a detour we had to take because of construction equipment parked in the middle of the road for no apparent reason; thankfully my husband dropped me at the door and saved me about ten minutes of walking time through the parking lot to my desk.  We also drive to work during the time kids are being picked up for school and always manage to get held up by a bus or two.  Once I got here, my office nemesis was being extra nosy and while I was at the printer, I caught her reaching for my schoolbooks and the pad I take notes on.  I guess she thought I wasn’t paying attention.

Understandably, my husband gets frustrated with me in the mornings.  I’m easily irritated and tend to be vocal about the things that bother me; whether it be the moron slamming on his brakes in front of us or the dog taking 10 minutes to find a good spot to pee.  He’s told me to relax, there’s nothing I can do to control or change the idiots on the road, I can’t make the pup dog take a leak any faster than he already does, nor can I turn my son into an obedient ball of energy first thing in the morning.  I’ve told him that I can’t help being a bit crazy in the morning; my internal wiring demands that I arrive at work early or the world will crumble.  I have insanely horrible road rage issues.  I have a low tolerance for stupidity in general.  I’m not built to handle annoyances well.  I’m surprised my husband hasn’t opened the car door and shoved me out.  Yet.

My husband, the voice of reason in our marriage, has also said to me that I shouldn’t act as if everyone is out to get me because they’re not.  I hate when he says this because it sounds silly.  Of course I don’t think the world is working against me.  When I look at it objectively though, I see his point.  When I’m behind the idiot driver who goes 20 MPH below the limit, I think “WHY is this guy driving like this??  Doesn’t he realize people need to get to work!!?!??”  Well, maybe he’s oblivious to the fact that it’s the morning rush hour, but eve if he is aware, it’s NOT HIS PROBLEM!  He doesn’t give a damn that he’s holding up traffic and he doesn’t have to.  My son doesn’t move like a snail in the morning to bother me, he does it because getting dressed and eating breakfast are not his top choices on what he would like to do in the early hours.  My husband doesn’t…. well, he definitely does do a few things here and there to get a rise out of me, but he doesn’t try to make us late to work, it just happens sometimes.  If I can just stop and think to myself that these events are not taking place in order to upset me, maybe I can avoid getting upset.

This logic unfortunately doesn’t work with my work nemesis, AKA Paula Deen, because this evil wench has proven time and again that she is indeed out to get me, I’m just fortunate that she’s too dumb to cause any real damage to anything but my nerves.  But how do I deal with her?  I can block out the 4 or 5 people who clip their nails at work and the loud chip crunchers to my right, but how do I block out Paula Deen, a woman the size of a small planet with a mouth bigger than the Cheshire Cat?  My husband has said that her goal is to annoy me and if I allow it, she wins.  For the most part, I act as though she’s invisible, but I still step away from my desk sometimes when she gets into a gossip groove and I tire of hearing her verbally assault her family or when she begins cracking her gum every ten seconds.  I’m not sure how to handle something like today though when she was nearly busted with her hands on my personal property.  A soldier headed towards my desk stopped her in her tracks and she was out the door before I could get back to my desk, but what would I have said if she managed to lay a fat finger on my things?  My instinct is to say “What the FUCK are you doing?” but I’d like to keep my job, so I’d probably drop the F-bomb.  She’s the most vile person I’ve ever worked with and none of the tactics I’ve used in the past to deal with difficult people work on her.  Other than leaving this office, I’m at a loss.  Unless….

It’s odd, when I’m in a customer service setting and forced to deal with obnoxious customers, I am okay because customers eventually leave, it’s my job, and I can mock them later with my coworkers to feel better.  Coworkers on the other hand, I’m stuck with.  Shitty drivers aren’t going anywhere.  My dog will continue to be a picky pup when going potty.  My son most likely inherited my hatred of mornings and won’t improve.  The only thing I can do is fix ME.  Learn to let annoyances slide off my back and not consume the early hours of the day.  Stop letting other people dictate whether or not I’m happy.  Quit allowing the anger monster to sit in the driver’s seat.  Sadly, I don’t have the slightest idea how to do it, but hopefully by using the small starting points that I have and putting my brain to use, I can reach a zen state of mind.  Or at least quit wishing people would fall off of cliffs.  I’ll take either one.

Quote Me!

I feel as though my tone on here has been too serious for the past few days.  There has been a lot going on and my husband and I have been working through and getting past some nastiness that was thrown in our direction.  We’ve been heavily involved in a spiritual spring cleaning of sorts since Friday and we’re moving forward with plans to improve on our life in general.  It’s been a positive thing overall, but I’m tired of the seriousness.  I need a change of pace.  For the past couple weeks, I’ve been writing down various quotes from the people I work with.  Now seems a good a time as any to post what I’ve gathered so far.  Enjoy.

“I’m on a diet, so I’m just having a salad.  I forgot sour cream though. Maybe I can have a scoop of ice cream instead?” (5 minutes later) “Well, I put ice cream on the salad, and with the peppers, it turned out pretty good!”

“Oh my God!  Facebook is like the Bible!”

“I was trying to save money of decorations, so I made toilet paper bows. You can’t tell.”

“Do you think I need my boobs?”

“It’s hard… it’s like trying to pat your head and clap your hands at the same time.”

“So like, I don’t think it’s actually stalking if the person doesn’t know you’re stalking them.”

“I have coffee Frito breath, it’s disgusting, and I went to talk to Don this morning and it was so bad that he walked away while I was talking.”

Girl:  “Why was there a spider the size of my dog in my kitchen this morning?”  Guy:  “Maybe you need to clean your kitchen?”  Girl:  “Umm… no!  Spiders like it when you mop, it won’t help.”

“Mexican chocolate is darker than American chocolate.  It has to do with the atmosphere.”

“There’s a little man inside me.  Or maybe my necklace is just on too tight.”

“I love him more than a room full of rocking chairs!”

“Can you send a fax on the fax machine?”

“I think I should get an STD, it would make me more interesting.”

“Cubed chicken isn’t real.  You don’t kill a chicken and have it come apart in cubes, now do you?  That cubed chicken stuff is all chemicals and plastic. The only real chicken you can buy is one that isn’t taken apart!”

Girl 1:  “I need you to tease my hair” Girl 2:  “Is that like flossing?”

Note Wars

I work with some people who are seriously lacking in the manners department.  My 5 year old son would put these women to shame with his excellent table manners, and this is a kid I have to remind to eat with his mouth closed on occasion.  We have about 4 people who use nail clippers in the office at various points during the day, an activity that should be kept at home or at least in the restroom here.  There are a couple loud farters and burpers who refuse to say “excuse me” or “sorry” after they let one rip.  I hear people loudly crunching chips, smacking while they eat, and talking with their mouths completely full all the time.  As I type, the girl next to me is chomping on some Fritos, and I can hear it clearly over my headphones.  And of course, there are the gum crackers/smackers/poppers.  The worst offender of all the listed behavior is a giant waste of space that sits behind me.  I’ve included the pictures below so you can get an idea of what she looks like.  If you can imagine combining the two, you’ll get a perfect mental image.

This woman love to gossip and will talk trash about anyone; she is the most two-faced person I have ever met and will just as easily spout off horrible things about her own family as she will her worst enemy.  She invented a rumor that I cheat on my husband with one of the most annoying soldiers in our office.  I’ve lost 35 pounds in 4 months by calorie counting, something she likes to loudly proclaim would NEVER work while describing her own weight loss methods (she is morbidly obese).   She couldn’t find sour cream one day so she put ice cream on her salad.  I wish I was kidding.

One of the worst things she does is crack and pop her gum; she will do this all day long and various people have complained.  Every once in a while, an anonymous person will print off an article or a note regarding how rude it is to crack/pop gum, especially in a work environment.  Yesterday, her immediate supervisor walked over to her and said “I think this is meant for you,” handing her paper from the printer.  The paper said, in caps, “PLEASE STOP CRACKING YOUR GUM!”  At first she was taken aback, thinking her supervisor printed it himself to give to her (which he may have, we don’t know who is doing it), but after he said it wasn’t him, she proceeded to make a joke out of the whole thing.  She added “Whoever prints these needs more work to do” at the top and hung the paper by our printer.  A few more things have been added:

It’s pretty much turned into our version of Pam’s microwave note war from The Office, and the point was obviously lost on Paula Deen’s fat clone sister because today she is still popping her gum loudly while proclaiming that the note writer is jealous of her, but regardless of how the message was delivered, it should carry some weight.  I don’t work in a park or a street corner where rude and gross behavior is tolerated or at least expected, I work in a government building that won’t even let you in the door unless you have an ID issued by them that you get after passing through various background checks that take months to complete.  My office has strict dress and conduct codes; I can’t wear jeans or sandals to work, forget to shower in the morning & show up a stank mess, or cuss people out (even though I think the last one would greatly improve my morale).

Sure, the notes may be a bit juvenile, but is it any worse that the gum cracking/popping, the nail clipping, farting, or open mouth chewing?  They are a cry for help from a person who is frustrated over having to deal with disrespectful people who don’t care about how their actions affect and bother those around them.  In a way, I hope the notes continue to appear, because at least it means I’m not the only person in this office who would love to see adults acting like adults and not acting like gross teenage boys who just discovered body function humor.

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