This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You want me to take a survey? How about you say "pretty please?"

Hello all!

Well, I'm getting ready for the Oscars, how about you?  I'm going to my very first Oscar party with my critique partner, Linda, and I can't wait!

I don't know if you've noticed, but it seems like everyone we come in contact with needs us to do a survey.  Now, I'm an American, I'm used to getting surveyed for political issues.  (Okay, I'm not.  I've never ONCE been polled for anything.  Seriously, I'm right here.  My number is listed.  Everyone seems to be able to find me when they want me to vote, how about asking me my opinion on something...anything?)

Wait, I'm getting off track.

I think I really started noticing this survey mania when Kohl's  employees held up my receipt and said, "On the bottom is a web site where there's a survey.  Please let us know how we did today."

I smile, and say, "Sure!"

I never do the surveys, of course.  Who has the time?  Okay, reality, who keeps the receipt long enough to have the website at hand when you are at the computer to do the survey.  Taking this one step further...it's Kohl's.  Why do they even bother printing a receipt?  They'll take anything back, as long as you will accept store credit, so why bother?

Again, I'm getting off topic.

Fast food places started doing it, and they were offering free stuff.  I actually took an on the spot survey at Culvers  (If you don't live in a place that has a Culvers, you need to move.)  I won a free drink!  Whoo hoo!

That awakened me to just how many times a day I'm asked to take a survey.  The big capper came yesterday.  Hubby and I were at Sam's Club  (Think Costco...only more like Walmart.)  and the woman at the door  (you know, the person who has to make sure than in the ten feet from the register to the door you didn't lift something and put it in your cart) circled a web address at the bottom of the reciept and said, "take the survey."

Wait.  "Take the survey?"  No "please?"  No, "Win a free lunch?"  Just "Take the survey?"

I was so insulted, I wanted to go home and take everyone else's survey just to make the Sam's Club survey feel bad!

On the way home I looked over my work life and recalled the times I've had to beg people to take a survey.  I briefly worked for a car dealership who had me calling warranty customers and asking them if they were "mostly satisfied, fully satisfied, or completely satisfied."

I lasted about two weeks in that job.

In my current position I call customers we've installed and asked them to take a two question email survey that coporate may, or may not have, put in their email in boxes.  I beg, plead, appeal to their better nature, implore them to help us evaluate that ever so nice young man who came and installed the item.

I rock at getting people to take the survey.  I know I rock because I have a 96% positive response to corporate surveys.  Before I took over, that number was 14%.  (But Elsie is the one getting the bonuses.)

Wait, I'm off track again.

Anyway, I realize that that businesses need feedback from their customers and apparently just having us continue to shop in the store isn't enough.  So, we must do the surveys.  I get it.

But maybe use a magic word...you'd be surprised just how well "please" and "Thank you" work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How was your day, honey?

I dare any of you to top the day I had.  Go ahead try.

After not falling asleep until well after 2 AM, I was shaken awake at 4:30 AM by Skippy who informed me that it was raining in the basement....again.

For those of you following along, this happened a couple months ago when a clog the size of Toledo closed up in our main plumbing stack , backing up the toilets and flooding the bathrooms, which caused it to rain in the basement.

Sure enough it was doing it again.  So I shook Hubby awake and we sopped up the delicious sewer mess with every available towel.  Hubby then decided to remove the offending toilet and try and spoon out the clog this time.

The thing about removing a toilet without draining it is that there's quite a lot of water sort of hovering between the toilet and the pipe it's connected to.  Once you move it, that water is freed to flood the bathroom and yes, make it rain in the basement again.

Hubby cleared up that mess and headed to Walmart for a new wax ring for the toilet.  He should have picked up some towels. 

Now, normal people would have stayed home and cleaned up the mess completely.  We are not normal people.  We are both fairly new in our jobs and taking a random day off is not in the cards.  So hubby mopped up, bleached down, shut doors so the cats wouldn't get in and went to work.

(Have I mentioned that I haven't been feeling all that great but haven't called in sick because OWNER finally decided to come to our office and said he wanted to talk to me?  So I've been dragging my butt to work every day this week so he could have this meeting.)

Elsie, however, already HAD her meeting.  She called in sick today.  And then she called four more times to tell me that she was coming in after her urgent care appointment to work so I wouldn't be stressed out.

A big part of the reason I was stressed out is that the woman wouldn't stop calling.  And since OWNER and NBM and PM were all in a closed door meeting with everyone BUT me, I was the only manning the phones today.  Which would have been fine if I didn't have to listen to Typhoid Elsie every twenty minutes.

Oh yeah...and then she SHOWED UP.  Walked in all diseased looking and telling everyone she was there to do the stuff I was too stressed to do.

Oh yeah, and every person who walks through the front door always either needs me to do something or needs me to check something or needs me to find something.  I'm the lowest paid employee, I have the least amount of seniority, and I rarely move from my desk.  And yet somehow I am the EXPERT when it comes to sales, installations, marketing, phone repair, banking, advertising, and oh yeah, babysitting the sales guys who seriously must think I'm their nanny.  And bonus, today the Events lady dumped a fistful of leads on me, leads that MUST BE CALLED RIGHT NOW.  (And every single one of those people either denied ever filling out a card or wanting any estimates.)

But wait, it gets better.

So about ten minutes before I ALWAYS TAKE MY LUNCH, NBM and OWNER vanish.  Just leave.  No word to me, even though I'm right there.  They just leave.  And PM is already out of the office.  So.....no lunch for me.

Seriously. No lunch for me.  NBM and OWNER come back forty minutes later and NBM is all magnanimous..."aren't you taking a lunch today?  I'm back now."

Thanks pal.

But wait, customers come in to the showroom.  So NBM talks to them until the point when they actually need to book an appointment.  THEN he turned them over to me.  And they talked to me for another twenty minutes.    That gave my MOTHER the opportunity to show up.

Now  I thought she was going to return a hat she'd mended for Peaches.  No, that was just to get her in the door.  Her real reason for showing up AT MY PLACE OF BUSINESS was to again stress how important it was that I see her chiropractor..the one who waved a can of corn over her belly button and pronounced that she was gluten intolerant, corn intolerant, and had a general food chemical imbalance.  The chiropractor then sent my parents home with several brown bottles, not the type you'd get at a reputable pharmacy...oh no, the type you see in old movies behind the apothecary's table...the apothecary who will sell you illegal things.  Since she's been on this new "DIET"  she is convinced that since I eat corn, and I like corn, that's why I have arthritis and if I give up corn my arthritis will go away.

I've seen the x-rays.  Cutting out corn is not going to make the cartilage grow back in my thumbs.

But wait, she wasn't done there.  She then informed me that if I cut out corn and gluten,  my intestines will be clear.  "I DON'T HAVE GAS ANYMORE!"  she proclaims to the office in general.

THEN she tells me that she's called her chiropractor and made arrangements for me to get the corn can waved over my belly and that she's paying for it.

You know, I have a facial hair thing I'd like taken care of.  Could we pay for THAT?

THEN she goes into this completely loopy monologue about my brother's new neighbor, the former lesbian who has two full blooded sibling children she got from a sperm bank.

DID I MENTION SHE IS STANDING IN MY OFFICE?

At this point all I want to do is go back to my sewer soaked house, wash some towels in my new washing machine, and go to bed.  But no, remember, OWNER wants to talk to me.

Except he doesn't.  Oh, he had time to talk to Elsie.  In fact, he talked to her about a

wait for it

BONUS SCHEDULE FOR HER JOB.

Yep, you read that right.  Elsie has bonus money structured into her job now.  Owner doesn't even have six minutes to spend with me.

The last hour of the day I spent fighting back tears of rage while serving as nanny to the sales guys, whipping boy to NBM and personal slave to the Events lady.

Driving home I thought, "I'll get some laundry done.  It will be okay.

Except my new washing machine won't start if the load is unbalanced.  Which means I have to JENGA the poop soaked towels.  After trying to do that for fifteen minutes, I gave up.  Hubby bought the machine, hubby can play jenga with the nasty towels.  I'm getting some fried chicken and I'm going to bed.  And tomorrow I may not go to work.

Why should I?  If I'm just a piece of furniture to the owner, and not worth the price they pay to have Elsie chew and spew everywhere, why should I bother?

So, how was your day?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sarah entertains the cool guy and a Conda crushing update.

Good evening!

I believe I've mentioned that when I am driving, I am a rock star.  The only place I sing, really sing, is in the car.  (Those of you who have heard me in choir...well, yeah, that's my church singing.)  In  the car I am Pat Benatar, Mary (from Peter, Paul, and Mary) and Cyndi Lauper.  Sorry, Barry Manilow, in my car I am Music, and I write the songs.

Of course my favorite stuff to sing is Rick Springfield.  Call it kismet if you will, but his songs are generally in a good key for me.  In fact, I typically sing better with male singers than with women.  I just don't have a great high range.  (who am I kidding...I dont have  a range.)

This...except me, and in a car.
Today, However, I had my Night Ranger Greatest Hits in, and "Don't Tell me You Love me" was playing.  IF you know that song and your blood doesn't race just a tiny bit when you hear it, you may want to see a doctor, because you are probably dead.  It is the most awesome driving song.  Which is what I was doing.  Driving.  Until I came to a really, really, REALLY long stop light.  Then I was not driving.  Then I was Kelly Keagy, lead singer and DRUMMER for Night Ranger.  (And oh yeah, I was wearing my thumb braces which, from a distance, look like fingerless gloves.  Very 80's chic.

So I was drumming and singing and jamming there in my front seat when I caught a glimpse in my rear view mirror.  Cool dude, shades and all, sitting above me in a white SUV gas sucking world ending suburban assault vehicle was smoothing his $100 hair cut and laughing....at me.

Go ahead...laugh.  Your botoxed, siliconed girlfriend can't sing Night Ranger and you
KNOW you wish she could.
Now there was a time when a cool looking well coifed dude guy could, with a simple smirk, crush my hopes and dreams and make me feel stupid.  But you know what?  I'm over 40, I'm overweight and I have teens.  What little is left of my hopes and dreams can't be moved because it's my foundation.  So cool dude laughing at me can suck it.  I was having fun at a stop light.

Hey, Conda...WINNING?  NOT!
Now, for a Conda Crushing update.  Last week I weighed myself and in a fit of complete insanity I said I would lose half the weight Conda did on Biggest Loser.

Well, in two weighs I've lost 5 pounds.  In two weighs in, thanks to Conda's inability to be near anyone who doesn't lie down and worship her, Conda lost 8 pounds  (she gained two this week.)  So, if my math is right, I lost more than half her weight and she can also suck it because I am CRUSHING HER.

Finally, today is Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent.  I'm Lutheran, so we don't really HAVE to give up anything for Lent, but I have over the years because it's been a good way to jumpstart good habits and to focus on what Lent, Holy Week, and Easter are all about.

So this year, since I've all but given up meat, and since I haven't eaten a Cheeto in months, I've decided to really make my self suffer.  For the next six weeks, I will give up eating at restaurants for lunch.  It's a really bad habit I got into a couple months ago when Hubby got a different job and I started driving myself to work.  The pleasure is two fold because while I don't eat meat on these outings, I typically do get fries.  Also, elsie does not follow me to the eateries. 

I tried it today.  Elsie has no respect for the concept of my lunch hour because, unlike her, I cannot shut my office door.  Because I don't have an office door.  So while I was trying to get some peace in the conference room where I'm forced to eat, unlike everyone else in my office, she kept shouting work questions, and coughing and gagging and talking to me.

This is going to be a long six weeks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

KRAM and Conda: I must crush you

Good evening!

Just in from a workout at Gold's.  Got to chat with KRAM a bit, which was nice, until I realized he was taking a moment to preach to me.

Here's how this went:

Me:  I lost three pounds this week.

KRAM:  Good job.  (A bit grudgingly since he's convinced, I think that I can't seriously lose weight until I commit to coming to Gold's seven days a week.)

KRAM:  Did you see the Grammys the other night?

ME:  Yep.

KRAM:  What did you think of it?"

ME:  Uh...I love Adele.

KRAM:  Yeah, she's good.  I was amazed to see she's just 23.  She looks thirty five.

ME:  Well, sometimes a little fluffy will add some years.

As Homer Simpson would say:  D'OH!

I fell into his trap.  Sneaky, Sneaky KRAM.  And this is where I knew he was preaching to me.

KRAM:  So, how old do you want to look?

ME:  (wondering just how old I look...)  Well, I liked 32.  32 was a good age for me.  (It was also twelve years ago.)

KRAM:  Well, I'm turning 30 this year and I want to stay looking 24, 25.

It's at this point I realize that I can, and will crush KRAM.  It will take time.  I can, because I'm a girl, lotion, cover, pat, color, blow dry, and self tan a few years away.  Plus...if I do get into shape, I've got that.  I can only go up from where i am.

KRAM, on the other hand, is pretty much at the peak of his physical game.  His baby is a baby...and the bald thing he's got going on works for him.  But the years are going to pile up.  And that baby is going to get older and demand more of his time, and suddenly he'll, one day, he'll go through the drive through just like everyone else and he'll find himself counting a quicker than normal stroll to the restroom as a jog. 

In this battle of wills...time is on my side.  (Love you KRAM...LOL!)


So I'll continue to work out, eat less crap, find a good foundation make up, remove unwanted hair and color unwanted colored hair...and I will look better.  And then, when he least expects it, I  (with significant help from Father Time)  will (try to)  CRUSH HIM!
Yeah, team green.  Green like jealous which is what you'll be, of me...if anyone tells you.
And if, you care.  And if I actually succeed.

On to Conda.  For those of you who watch "Biggest Loser" you are familiar with Conda the contestant's constant whining, bullying, and over all nastiness.  The woman enrages me.  She's all mouth.  Those of us who are all mouth, in a nice way, get tired of people who all mouth in a nasty way.  

Lest you ladies think I'm mean to
KRAM...picture a white Dolvet.
Yeah, I've got some work to do before
can crush him!  LOL!
Anyway, After losing 3 pounds this week  (I'd like to be 21 pounds down by the end of April) I thought, "I wonder if I could beat Conda in a weight loss challenge."

Now, Conda's got a lot going to for her.  1)  She's on the ranch.  I have a sit down, chained to the desk job.  2)  She's got Dolvett.  I've got a few stolen moments here and there with KRAM or Dee, or whomever else will take pity on me at Gold's.  3)  She's on the ranch where the food it top notch and healthy.  I work just off 124th street where  there's every sort of fast, greasy, oh so wonderful food places beckoning to me with their bright lights and their dollar menus.

But I have two things Conda does not have.

1)  I'm in a writing mode and when I'm writing, when I'm really writing, I'm not eating.  I drink coffee, tea, and wine, but I have no time for food.  I'm typing too fast and I hate sticky keys.

2)  I have rage.  I have rage that a very unpleasant woman like that gets the opportunity to be on the ranch when there are millions of very nice, lovely ladies who could do with the chance and simply cannot take time out of their lives  (I know KRAM, like most trainers, finds this impossible to believe, but there is such a thing as not enough hours in the day.)

So I'm starting today.  I lost 3 pounds this week.  I'm going to be realistic here, and say, if I can lose half the weight each week that she loses, then I will officially CRUSH HER.

And if I don't:  What, you think I'm afraid of making a fool of myself?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

All I need is a movie...and this sweater...and this necklace...

Good morning!

Pick up a movie.  Pay a bill.  That's it.  That's all we have to do today.
So yesterday Hubby and I ran out to do some errands.  We deposited his check, we went to get the best old world oatmeal on the planet at the Steaming Cup, we were going to pick up a DVD copy of "Breaking Dawn."  (That was really the only reason I had to leave the house yesterday.  I'm too old to go to the midnight release/costume party...although I haven't shaved my legs in a while, so i could probably have gone as a werewolf.)

And, while we were out, I wanted to pay down my Kohl's bill.

For those of you who don't know, Kohl's is a Wisconsin based retailer who is taking the country over with their ridiculous discounts, their sensible clothing, their big name designers, and their most delicious clearance racks.  Kohl's is so huge on making sure you know you're getting a good deal, they announce how much you've "saved" at the end of your transaction.  Oh, and if you use your Kohl's card, you get 15-30% off every transaction.  Hence, my Kohl's bill, while not out of control, does have a bit of a balance.  2012, I'm paying off a couple credit cards if it kills me.

Clearly, the Kohl's card is not going to be one of them.

All I needed was a cream colored mock turtle neck.  Hubby was paying the bill, I was going to run to the men's department and get one because men's mock necks are warmer, better made, and usually less expensive.

Hubby saw a sign for suit coats on clearance.  Now he doesn't wear a suit to work...he doesn't wear them to church.  I'm not sure why he wanted to try them on, but hey, I had to use the restroom, so I left him to his own devices.

That's where I went wrong.

Not with leaving Hubby...with using the bathroom.  My issues with public restrooms is well documented, but I will use Kohl's bathrooms because I  know they are clean and since I used to work at a Kohls' it feels more like an office bathroom than a public one.

For those of you who dwell in wintry zones, you know that your coat and purse can get cumbersome.  The stores are hot, and the coat is heavy.   I got out of the restroom, and didn't want to lug my coat around.  So I went to the front of the store to get a cart.  Then I headed back to where Hubby was.  My path took my right past the women's department.

I wasn't going to shop.  In fact, I've sworn to myself that I wouldn't buy any new clothes until I crossed a weight loss goal.  Well, there's something bigger than a weight loss goal, and that's cuddly sweaters discounted by 80 and 85%.  

And then my favorite pants were marked down and since I'm down a size in those I picked up a new pair.

And I still needed a cream colored mock neck...but they didn't have those, so I picked up a really pretty cream colored top.  And of course I had to get a top to go under one of the sweaters and wouldn't you know it?  Those tops were on sale for 70% off.  PLUS, it was early, so it was Power Hours, and we would save even more! 

By the time I found, or rather tripped over, hubby on my way to accessories.  He was loaded down with two suit coats and a plethora of other things, all from the 80% rack.  We then spent some time picking out necklaces  (I need to "Girl up" my wardrobe a bit.  I wear a man's wedding ring, I have short hair and a fat face, and I spend a lot of time in men's sweaters and mock necks.  I can't wear bracelets because of the thumb braces, which look like sparring gloves.  I need something girlie around my neck!) 

By the time we got to the check out, we were playing the "over under" game that we play.  Usually it's "Are we over/under $100" and we play it at the grocery store.  Yesterday it was $200.  Hubby said under, I said over.  Then I said, "But we'll have "saved" $600.

I won on both counts.  The bill was $205, but, thanks in part to the clerk who gave us 20% off everything even though we didn't bring in the coupon,  we "saved" over $700.  (Great marketing ploy, this savings thing, but if you're paying full price at Kohl's, you're just not trying.  They never charge full price.)

So we about broke even on the credit card bill...and I put the receipt on the fridge.  (My kids don't bring me artwork anymore, so I have to put something up there.)    The really good news is that I never buy anything that trendy  (mostly because they don't make trendy clothes for fluffy girls.)  and what I got was meant to be worn loosely.  Which means I'll be wearing these clothes right through my weight loss.  (I'm down another pound this week.  Still re losing the six pounds I initially lost last year as part of my 24 pound loss, but I'm going in the right direction.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sarah discovers the root of her weight loss issues and now it must die.

Good evening!

So I was killing time between the time I get home from work and the time I have to leave the house again to "do something."  I was sitting in the bathroom, reading.  (Don't just me, everyone reads best in the bathroom.)  I have itchy winter skin and as I was scratching my thigh, I noticed something.

It was firm.

It was tight.

It had actually broken through the protective layers of fat I've grown on my legs.

Oh my stars!  I have a muscle!

I haven't had a muscle in my leg since high school when I was in the Fox River Valley Lutheran Youth Band.  (A shout out to BUS #4 on the Washington DC trip!  WE RULE!) 

Okay, I just had my 80's flashback.  And I was thin.

Anyway, so I found this muscle on my leg.  My right leg.  My left leg hasn't apparently caught up yet.  And now I'm wondering...how did this muscle get there.  Will it be leaving?  With others follow?

I'll admit, I was waiting for some sort of result.  I mean, I've been working out at Gold's Gym 2-3 a week since the first of the year.  I've been doing the treadmill, and yes, running has been involved.  (Marie, I know that's all passive...I refuse to take ownership of my running style!)  But there's been no weight loss, though my pants do seem to be a touch more loose.

So I'm sitting there in the Room of Requirement, admiring this one lonely muscle and it hits me:

 I've been working out, and since I cut out my Starbucks trips COMPLETELY in the last four weeks, AND I'm still eating a largely vegetarian diet AND  I haven't touched a Cheeto since Christmas...and there's been no weight loss.

I've found the reason.

Muscle weighs more than fat.

THE MUSCLE MUST DIE!

It would be easy.  It's just there, right under the skin.  I could just hack it out, magically lose 80 pounds, and call it a day.  Then KRAM and Naturally Balding Mark wouldn't greet me like I'm one of those cute old ladies who gets a smile no matter what when I walk in to Gold's.  Then I could stand next to that woman in the locker room, the one who blow dries her hair while she's naked because SHE'S JUST SO AWESOME.

I could leave the scale in the ladies' locker room on my weight so the girl behind me would feel bad about herself.

All I have to do is remove this one stupid muscle.

Or....

I rethink this.  If I cut out the muscle, I'll bleed and I just don't have any bandages and I really don't feel like going to Walgreen's because I'm tired and I have a chapter to write and frankly this all sounds like a lot of work. 

Maybe...maybe if I get a good night's sleep, the muscle will invite some friends and I'll be all buff.  And then it won't matter how much I weigh because I'll be buff.  And KRAM and Naturally Balding Mark will high five me, and I could tell that woman in the locker room to PUT ON SOME FREAKING CLOTHES.  And I would abolish the scale in the locker room because weight is a number.

Or maybe I should just stop reading in the bathroom.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Braveheart, Gladiator...and Sarah?

Hello all.

Today, I did something I have never done in the work place.  (And I used to teach a classroom of primary grade kids.)

I raised my voice in anger.

Not in private, not in the parking lot to a coworker while having a smoke...although I do envy the smokers their time of peace and Elsie-free quiet.  No, I raised my voice to a coworker, in the office, in anger.

Three guesses.

The day started like any other.  I drove to work, got there early, was ready to make a pot of coffee for those of us who enjoy coffee that doesn't have the power to restart a dead man's heart...and then keep him awake for two solid days.  But PM beat me to it, because he, unlike Elsie, was able to FIND the big pot of fresh grounds NEXT TO THE COFFEE MAKER.  (seriously, this book is going to be epic.)

So I didn't have to make coffee.  I was checking my email when NBM called me into the office and asked me a simple question.

"Why wasn't this lead saved the same way as all the others?"

Friends, this has been the battle beyond words.  Saving leads and recording every contact we make, or attempt to make, with potential customers.  Elsie has made this the topic of conversation, debate, and outright revolt.  It's how she spends the first 90 minutes of her day almost every day.  Either I'm explaining, again, how to do it, or NBM is asking, again, why she's doing it wrong.  (And when I say wrong, I mean after weeks of debate, we finally agreed to do it HER WAY.  Only she doesn't want to do it HER way, because, as I've now been proved right, HER WAY involves extra steps on the computer.)

I said, "Well, you'll have to ask Elsie."

He said, "I want you to ask her for me and tell her that I want every lead saved and recorded exactly the same way so we don't lose leads in the system."

I said, "Why do I have to tell her?"

He said, "Because I'm going to be out of the office all day, and I won't see her."

Coward.

So, at 11:07, when she arrived, I informed her that NBM noticed she wasn't saving the leads the way we all agreed we would, and that he wanted her to do so from now on.  And I furthermore went on to say that I was frustrated that I had to constantly check up on and correct mistakes that NBM found in the system that she created.

Yeah, that didn't sit well.

That touched off a 47 minute lecture on her part about how she never has enough time in a day to do...and I'm quoting here...EVERYTHING SHE HAS TO DO IN A DAY.

Friend, if I haven't mentioned it, all she has to do is ATTEMPT to make 100 outgoing phone calls in a day.  She's fed new leads, she's given plenty of follow up leads.  She never has to move from her desk if she doesn't want to.  All she has to do in the course of an 8 hour day is make 100 or so outgoing phone calls and record them in the system.

I average 40-60 outgoing phone calls every day.  I also have a laundry list of other duties that are not phone involved, and usually keep me away from my desk.  I out call her every day.  EVERY DAY.

After the 47 minute lecture from her, when I did NOT RAISE MY VOICE, she got no joy from me. So she stopped, made herself a tiny snack of warmed up chicken wings, mashed potatoes, and a toasted bagel.  She ate that.  Then she went down to PM's office and SHUT THE DOOR.

PM hates having his door shut.  He also hates having to fill in for NBM when NBM drops a potential bomb like that and then leaves.

That particular conversation lasted over half an hour.  I don't have the exact time because I was, well, doing my job...AND HERS.

So, the woman who doesn't have time to do her job properly in the course of a day spent the first two hours of her day complaining how she doesn't have time to do her job.  And then she broke for feeding.

But that's not why I yelled at her.

Nope, that came later.  I went to lunch, took my usual 56minute lunch, and came back at 2:27.  This gives her two hours and three minutes to fit her lunch in before I leave for the day. 

She has yet to do that.

I have been on the new work schedule for over a week.  We aren't in kindergarten.  I did not remind her to take her lunch.  So, at 3:47, she howled how she had to get her lunch in before I left and how she never gets a full lunch.

Yes, I know...it's hard to work a 70 minute lunch into a day when you've already spent 2 hours eating and arguing, another forty minutes in the bathroom, and twenty minutes making personal phone calls.

So PM left for the day, and NMB was gone.  I answered the phone and it was a potential customer...like so many I have to talk to, who was irate that Elsie was calling and calling and calling him to schedule a free estimate...when he'd already had one done.

I hit F12, and put in his number and sure enough. He was in there twice.  Once as a person who had an estimate and once as a person who didn't.

Since I was already mad at her, and itching for a fight, I called her over, "Elsie, look at this. Now this customer is upset that you keep calling him to schedule an estimate when clearly he has already had that done."

I'm not going to bore you with her side of the argument.  It's the same every time.  What it boils down to is that she doesn't feel the need to do an F12 search before she dials a phone number.  She just dials and it hopes the angels will make what falls out of her mouth be intelligent...and something other than a slab of turkey and lettuce on toasted whole wheat bread, a massive serving of wild rice, and something that looked sort of like microwaved cottage cheese.  (oh yeah, it was eating time again.)

I was trying to get out of the office.  I have been informed that I am not to work overtime.  Office drones of the world will feel my pain when I say, if I'm not getting paid over time, I'm not staying late.  Period.  I start early every day.  I'm not staying late.

So when she started snapping at me  (with her mouth full)  about how I wasn't understanding what she was saying and how she was explaining things, that's when I raised my voice.  I said, "The fact remains that you refuse to hit F12 every time you dial a phone number. And that's why this keeps happening.  I'm not staying any longer, I have to go.  No, I'm not listening to this argument anymore, this is the same thing over and over and I HAVE TO GO."

With that I walked out the door.

I SAID HIT F12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's not exactly "They may take out lives, but they can never take our FREEDOM!"

Have you not hit F12????  HAVE YOU NOT HIT F12????
It's really more like: "My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."

Either way, I felt victorious.  Oh I know...tomorrow...as Scarlett O'Hara would say, is another day.  OWNER is coming.

Should be fun.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'd be a best selling novelist...if I didn't have to buy concert tickets!

Good evening!

I was going to tell you the story today of how and why Elsie asked me to check and see if she'd wet her pants.

I'm not telling you that story.  I'm saving that one for the book.

Instead, something almost as hilarious, and twice as teeth nashingly fun happened this afternoon.  Best of all, Skippy, after it was all over, acknowledged my blog.

Skippy does not have a credit card.  It isn't often hubby and I consider ourselves smart, but not giving our kids credit cards in an age where you can buy anything...ANYTHING online without any one's knowledge ranks right up there.  Unfortunately for Skippy, this means that every time he wants to buy concert tickets to some musical ensemble made up of underfed white kids who all need a sandwich and hug, I have to be asked, begged, to buy them.

Oh yeah, and I've learned...get the cash up front.

Today I got home and Skippy told me he wanted to see a band at a place in Chicago.  I was stunned to get that much information. Chicago.  Wow....he'd finally opened up to me about his life.  (Sad thing is...I'm being completely serious here.)  So we went through the usual routine:  he emailed me a link, I followed the link, bought the tickets and continued work on my new novel which, I am convinced, will be the one that breaks me free of my indentured servitude to Dunder Mifflin.

Well, if it had worked out like that, I wouldn't be blogging, would I?

This ticket site was new.  I rarely recognize the band names and I almost never recognize the venue names.  But there aren't that many websites that sell tickets to concerts involving bands whose audiences still include their parents.  This was a new website.

No matter.  Debit card in hand, I sat down for what should have been a five minute process.  Concert, ticket, click, buy.

"But I want two tickets."

Okay, concert, tickets, two, update cart, buy.

"Wait, now you're buying three tickets."

Weird.  okay, update cart...

"Now you're buying five."

WHAT?

I try the "edit cart" button on the site. That gives me nothing.  Fine.  We'll start from the beginning.

Email, link, concert, tickets, cart, buy.

"Mom, you have seven tickets in your cart."

I try to back up and start over...I manage to add another ticket to the cart. At this point I inform Skippy that he's to go to his computer and buy the darn things. 

"I can't, my printer doesn't work."

"Then have them mail you actual tickets."

"But that will cost a dollar more."

Oh, he's so frugal...

So I give it one more go.  And I wind up with 10 tickets in my cart.  And, trying again to empty my online cart and start over, I'm informed  there are no more tickets available for this event.

"Awesome..." says the boy.  "You've sucked up all the tickets available.  Guess it's a private party for me and my friend."

(And the saddest part is that having claimed 10 of these tickets, I still hadn't accumulated a bill as big as the last time I bought a pair of tickets to see Rick Springfield.  Guess if you want to see someone who has eaten this week, and doesn't ask the audience to collect beer and gas money for them, you have to pay a little more.)

"GO TO YOUR COMPUTER AND BUY THESE TICKETS."

"Fine!" 

Four minutes later, I get this text:  "I win."

Elapsed time:  40 minutes.  My total time available to write:  50 minutes.

Skippy says, "At least now you have something to blog about."

Awwww...he does care!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I don't so much digest veggies as I reconstruct them in a different form.

Good evening!

Most of you know that Peaches and Hubby are vegetarians.  I, too, have dabbled it in, and sort of follow a 5 day a week meat free life.  (Hubby has lost 25 pounds in 3 months.  I gained 2.)

Those of you who know me know I have an issue with using bathrooms that are not my own.  I am uncomfortable using restrooms in gas stations, other people's homes, and the mall.  Porta potties are right out.

Over the holidays, and not enough time has passed for me to give any more details than "over the holidays"  I attended a gathering of people I know at a home to which I'd never been.  (I'm using correct grammar to cover up the vile horror that follows.) 

It was one of those gatherings where you need to be fairly polite, and food and beverage is involved, but a ready restroom might not be.  In situations like that, when I know I will be unable to use a restroom separated from the festivities, I will curtail  (it's a word) my intake of food and drink until such time as I can be sure a restroom is private...and nearby.

Following a fairly strict vegetarian diet, as I did during the holidays, I found that my output was far different than it had been when I was consuming cooked animal flesh on a daily basis. I won't go into great detail  (yet)  but it's just different.  Any change in diet will do that.

So at this gathering, even though I was being good, I realized that I was in need of a room of requirement.  (Thanks J.K. Rowlings.)  Having never been to the home in question, I asked the host where the nearest restroom was.

Oh goody...a tiny powder room four steps from the kitchen table.

Seriously.  Who decided having a one holer next to where people eat was a good plan?  My grandparents stuck their outhouse a city block away from the kitchen.  I realize that it's easier to put rooms that need plumbing next to each other, but a powder room next to the place where people are eating is NOT my first, second, or third choice in design.

Like this...only smaller...with more decorations...and oh yeah...and NO FLOW TOILET!
But needs are needs, so I went in to the tiniest  (And I grew up in a home that had one of these powder rooms.  It was was so small, an adult couldn't sit facing forward.) most decorated powder room I've ever seen.  Potpourri and tiny little nick nacks filled the limited space.  I almost didn't see the throne because it was covered in one of those decorative fuzzy deals.  (If you come to my house you get an uncovered seat, and you'll like it.  I feel no need to camouflage the toilet.)

You know how when you're at a gathering you start a mental clock once you're in the bathroom so that you don't stay in there too long, thus drawing looks and comments from those outside?

Well, this wasn't one of those breaks I could just take and get out in the respectable amount of time.  So I was already at the red zone time wise when I flushed.  I washed my hands and, because I have these issues about bathrooms, I double checked to make sure I hadn't...you know...left anything.

I was horrified to see...twigs and leaves.

At first I thought, "It's such a small space, I must have bumped a bit of potpourri into the bowl."

I could not get that lucky.

My next thought was, "When was I chewing on an elm tree?"  Because that's what it looked like.

Did I mention, by the way, that the tiny toilet was also a water saving low flow toilet?

After about the sixth flush...and I'm beyond my time limit here, the clock in my head is screaming...I resort to the only thing I can do: 

I fish what's left out and put it in the sink...and rinse it down.

Don't you judge me.  I'm not making it up. These were twigs and leaves.  TWIGS AND LEAVES.  Like they'd just fallen off a tree.

I'd been in that tiny room for a lifetime...probably nine minutes.  I emerged after pretty much using up all the soap  (I even thought about using one of those decorative little soaps) to wash my hands.  I didn't make eye contact for the rest of the night.
I'm not eating chicken. 
I'm helping the digestive
process.
Since the holidays I eat a little meat now and then.  I find that, in the digestive world there's a food chain, and the meat devours the plants even on the inside.  And I think I'm good with that.


A couple palate cleansers:

See, I wanted something cool and defining, but the "Rachel" was already taken.  So I got this.
The Kate Gosslein haircut is OVER. It looks like a porcupine got flattened and then stuck on your head.  It looks like a bed head nightmare.  You look stupid and people are making fun of you.  Kate, the creator of this nightmare, isn't even wearing it anymore.  Stop wearing it!

Something no one will EVER say to me:  Your underwear is ruining your butt.  Stop wearing underwear.

Elsie and NBM have begun a battle over Elsie's George Foreman grill that would make George proud.  Who will emerge with the championship belt?  It's even money right now.  Stay tuned.

Two adults discuss...achieving their Fitbit goals.

Many of you know that I've been getting up before work and taking a walk for my health and weight loss goals.  (Don't get ex...