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Friday, September 28, 2012

Lumbergh vs. the basic laws of biology.

Good morning!

As many of you know, one of my very favorite movies is "Office Space."  I used to think it was very funny.  This week I realized I'm living the movie plot.

Fact:  I loathe the office copier/fax machine.

Fact:  I have a commute that sometimes takes a lifetime.

Fact:  My boss has few social skills and no concept of personal life outside the office...other than his own.

Fact:  Half the office escapes the office because take it, and then return talking about how awesome such and such an eaterie was.

Fact: I am very protective of my stapler.


So, without changing jobs, I went from the whimsical mad cap world of Dunder Mifflin to the soul breaking, mind numbing world of Initech.  And yes, if I really bust my A## and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see an extra dime.

My review's coming up next week.  My one year review.  Lumbergh...that's my new name for NBM...had me fill out my own review on my own time.  I suggested he do it since it was an evaluation of my performance based on his expectations.  He declined.  I started calling him Lumberg.

yeah, I'm going to have to have you come
in on Saturday and take
care of the fruit flies.

BUT, that is not why I'm blogging this morning.  No I'm blogging because once again I seem to be working for someone with half my brain power, half my practical skills, and half my ability to function on the planet. 

Case in point:  Our chronic fruit fly problem.  Ladies and gentleman, I may have been too harsh on Elsie W for this last year.  Granted, the woman drank soda from 2 liter bottles and then left the bottles uncapped, on her desk, with a little bit of soda in the bottom. And granted, she did bring a bowl of chocolate chips from home, and when she opened the bowl a swarm of fruit flies flew out.

HOWEVER...she is gone.  The fruit flies are not.

We noticed this in August, and Lumbergh (NBM) tried to figure out where they were coming from.  I suggested, since the man is NEVER NOT EATING, that they might be coming from his bucket of banana peals he keeps under his desk.  Seriously, not one man in that office is capable of emptying his own garbage can.  Me, I eat little at the office and never put the remains in the can under my desk.  Hence, no fruit flies originate from my spot.

And Noelle C, for all her whackiness, does manage to take out the trash on Saturdays when she's there.  So the kitchen trash gets emptied every week.

Lumbergh's trash, however, sits until the can is full.  And he eats fruit and crackers and yogurt and fruit all day long.  And he puts the remains in his office trash and it sits there, in his 90 degree office, until it's full.

And he wonders why he has flies.

Check that, he's completely befuddled as to what the flies are, where they come from, and what he needs to do to get rid of them.
Because I still don't know what to do
about the fruit flies...or how to
wash a spoon.


He's one of those guys who just has to be the boss because he has no actual skills.

Anyway, I digress.  (Can we tell I'm not over the whole having to fill out my own evaluation yet?) 

So I suggested he empty his personal trash more than once a quarter.  Now he does it every three days.  And still, we have flies. Many, many fruit flies.

He expressed amazement to me the other day when a swarm seemed to be hovering over the sink.  "Why are there flies here?"

Yes I'll be happy to explain every aspect of the database to you...
even though I never got trained on it and I've been here less time that
any of you people, I'll be happy to explain how the basic operating system of
the company works.

I walked over and pushed my way through a cloud of fruit flies...yep...just what I thought.

See, Lumbergh does two things every single day.  In the morning he eats a bowl of cereal.  In the afternoon he has a bowl of something else, usually yogurt.  He uses one spoon, it's the only spoon in the office kitchen.  He licks it clean and puts it in the drawer.  The bowls he fills with water and sets in the sink...maybe thinking fairies will come and wash them properly.  And usually a fairy by the name of Noelle C does...because she loves him...but that's for another blog.

However, Noelle C was out sick the other day...and his bowls did not get washed.  So there they were, swampy with fetid water, fruit flies teeming over the bits of food still stuck to the bowls.

And he was absolutely, and without any doubt, clueless about where those darn critters were coming from.

Did I tell him?  Did I wash the bowls?

Nope, and ARE YOU KIDDING?

See, I'm the lowest paid employee in the building and it's become increasingly clear that I'm the only one who truly understands how the company's database works. Lumbergh, Noelle C...they all make WAY more money than I do...and I have to explain crap to them every single day.  Crap they should know because it's their...you know...JOB.  And I don't see that changing any time soon.  So no, I did not explain to my boss how fruit flies work.  I told him how to clean up things to keep them away, he didn't do it.  It would take away from his face book time on his cell phone.  (We aren't allowed on Face book at work...but he can access it by phone...so there's that.)   I don't feel the need to repeat myself and I certainly don't feel need to
clean up after him.  I've got a family at home I don't clean up after.

Think of it this way:  If they start paying me what they're paying Whackadoodledoo Noelle C...I might think about showing Lumbergh how to wash a dish.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Chronicles of Skippy!

Good afternoon!

As many of you know, my oldest, Skippy, is an independent, learn on his own sort of kid.

He's taking a year off between high school and college to travel the US and maybe find something he'd like to do for a job...you know, something other than picking out music on iTunes and watching "The Hunger Games" for the 19th time.

Last week Thursday he turned 19.  He planned a major driving trip around the western US as a celebration.

This is a travelogue of his adventures.

Wednesday, September 19. 

Skippy meets me at the door informing me that he's decided he needs to stay at a KOA in Nebraska instead of driving 23 hours straight to my sister-in-law's home in Colorado.  I'm coming home from one of my very best 16 hour work days.  I point out that he owns a phone and that most people are able to make a phone call by dialing the number and talking the person who answers on the other end.

He says, "I don't know what to say."

So I call KOA and a make the reservation.  He watches, and pays for it.  It takes me four minutes.  And now he has a campsite, with electric and water.

Thursday, September 20.

Birthday boy gets himself a tattoo.  He's never had a tattoo, and we always said he had to be 18 and he had to pay for it himself.  We also said he might not want to get a tattoo 12 hours before leaving on a long driving trip.  He initially was going to travel with someone, but his friend dropped out at the last minute.  Apparently we ARE the only parents who let our kid wander the country for nearly three weeks without supervision.  I thought everyone did that. 

Anyway, Skippy has a cleaning regimen for this tattoo.  Molly, Skippy's girlfriend, shows him how to wash it and lotion it.  He isn't paying attention because it hurts.  Hubby and I are mildly amused and very, very quiet.

Friday, September 21

Skippy loads up the car...and then watches a couple movies with Molly in the afternoon before getting in the car and actually leaving for his first leg of the trip, a leg that, under the very best circumstances, will take 9 hours.  Skippy leaves at 6:30 PM.  He has not practiced setting up the tent yet, but Hubby said he "talked him through it." 

I know, I know...but he'll
always be my baby.
I leave for my writer's group in Madison, but remain in contact with Skippy late, late late into the night. He's decided he doesnt' like KOA. Why?  Well, apparently his GPS didn't lead him directly TO the campground so he had to read signs and whatnot...and then it took him longer because it was DARK to find his spot.  He did not set up the tent.  He slept in his car.

Saturday, September 22

This is the Nebraska to Colorado leg.  AT the end is family, so we are all very certain nothing can go wrong.  I don't hear from Skippy for several hours, so I text him, and ask how he's doing. He says, "Tired, hungry, something wrong with the car, and I'm at a WENDY'S."

I feel his pain.  I don't like Wendy's.


I ask him how the tattoo is.  He says, "Scabby and sore."  (He's learning something on this trip.)


I'm more worried about the car.  So I text hubby who is midnight bowling with the church youth group.  (Yes, this really is our life.)  No response, and Skippy is starting to sound like they're going to kick him out of the Wendy's.  So I go old school.  I call the bowling center, and I have Hubby paged.

Hubby and Skippy talk. Turns out his aging vehicle isn't used to mountain driving and therefore balks at the idea of cruising at more than 50 MPH up and down the Rockies. After making several unplanned stops, and texting me play by play at each stop, he gets to my sister in law's house at about 4 AM.  He's concerned her dogs will eat him.  I'm concerned the bear the dogs are there to drive away will eat him.  At least he thinks her cat is cute.

Oh, and his bank shut down his debit card.


Sunday, September 23
Sunday is uneventful, thank goodness.  Autie takes him into the mountains, they have a good time, he hangs out with the cute cat. 

The car is fine. The cat is cute.  The debit card is restarted. Turns out the bank was worried about the out of state activity and shut it down.  Yay, for the bank. 

The official drink of the 19 year old cross country driver who just got a tattoo.
So the first two legs of his 17 day trip are in complete.  He's headed to see my cousin in Arizona as we speak.  He says it's been raining hard the whole way.  I'll be he arrives at about 4 AM.  That's sort of his thing.

All in all, I'm proud of him.  We wanted him to stay in touch, so I can't say a word about the late night texts.  He's dealing with stuff as it comes, and he sorted out the bank thing on his own.  So if that's not growing up, I don't know what is.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Move over Katniss...I've got my own "Girl on Fire.'

Good morning!

Many of you know I once upon a time sold Partylite candles.  Some of you know I recently returned to the candle selling business after I realized that I really hate working in an office and I really love selling candles to women who are happy to be drinking wine on a weeknight.

I have shared some of my hilarious mishaps in the past here on this blog and at my parties.  It seems that, while in the office I'm not funny at all, when I'm out in front of people extolling the joys of scented fire, I'm hilarious.  Most of the time people like to laugh at me as I trip, make mistakes, break stuff, and sometimes set a household pet on fire.
So pretty...so peaceful...so full of
ways I can be funny.
Yes, I am always the most hilarious thing in the room during a Partylite party.

Until last night.

Last night I was doing a party at my friend Dinah's.  (remember, I never use real names)  Dinah's parties tend to be a little wild because 1)  most of her family members come and they are a riot and 2)  Dinah's work friends and neighbors are also ridiculously hilarious.  It's usually a wild, loud couple of hours and I love it.

Last night Dinah introduced me to her friends Darla and Kiki.  Darla and Kiki sat in the corner of the room right next to my display.  Darla and Kiki were also drinking what turned out to be very strong chocolate wine.

Throughout my presentation, Darla, being the person on the end of the row, would put whatever item I was sending around the room back on my display.  I got to the point where I trusted that Darla would just get stuff back to where it was supposed to be without mishap.

I should not have trusted her that far.

Do we really need to put a warning
label on these?
One of the few rules I have during a party is that I don't walk about with something lit.  I've learned that the hard way too many times.  I've burnt myself...I've scalded my hands with melted wax, and I've done damage to a couple pets and countless carpets.  (seriously, I'm a disaster and I work with fire...who wouldn't want me to come do a party?)  HOWEVER, Partylite recently developed a really cool candle with a wood wick.  The wick crackles like a little campfire when lit.

You can see where this is going.  I walked the candle around the room, holding it close to each person, close enough that they could hear the wick above the din in the room, but not so close as they would...you know...set themselves on fire.

I held the candle to Kiki's ear, and then handed the candles, as I had done with everything else that evening, to Darla.  I then turned and was about to answer a question when I heard Kiki shriek, and laugh.  I turned to see Kiki whacking Darla in the head.

Darla's hair was on fire.

Does NOT make middle aged
women impervious
to fire.  Only makes them
think they are.
I'm not sure what is more disturbing, and therefore more hilarious:  The howling of laughter that erupted from the rest of the room...or the fact that Darla, for a very long second, was not aware that Kiki was trying to put out flames on her head.  I took the candle from her and Kiki batted out the flames and everyone, and I do mean everyone, laughed.  (Made me wonder what, exactly, was in that chocolate wine.)

It's not a Partylite party until someone is
on fire.
But they laughed harder when Darla said, "Oh this isn't so bad.  I've burned my fingernails before."

Folks, I've worked with candles and fire for a long time.  I've done a lot of things to my fingers with a curling iron.  But I cannot recall EVER burning my fingernails.  This is a woman who needs to be selling things that are on fire.  She NEEDS to be on my team!

She did make the suggestion to Kiki that instead of smacking her in the head, she should have put out the flames by pouring the wine on her hair.
I don't know about the rest of the guests, but I saw two problems with that suggestion.  1)  Kiki's glass was empty, as was Darla's.  (Who could blame them?  Chocolate wine?  YUM!)  2)  Doesn't wine contain alcohol...and isn't alcohol, you know, FLAMMABLE?

Dinah should keep plenty on
hand...in case of fire.
To put your mind at rest, she's fine.  Not much of her hair actually burned off.  However, there has now been a suggestion that Partylite make a "burned hair" scent for their candles.

I don't see that happening too soon.  Burned hair won't be pushing "Black Raspberry" out of the PLG lineup any time soon.





Would you like to have me do a Partylite party for you and your friends sometime?  Maybe I'll set your pet on fire...maybe one of your guests will burst into flames.  I can promise you a fun time and lots of free gifts and candles.  Check it out
www.partylite.biz/sarahjbradley





Friday, September 14, 2012

Five for Friday: Maybe God likes me Fluffy.

Good Friday morning!

Well, it's a good day for me.  Why?  First, NBM went to the Green Bay Packers game last night and stayed out past his bedtime.  This means there will be no NBM in the office today.  Also, it's a Noelle C Free day, so there'll be No whackadoodle doo.  Finally, The Green Bay Packers WON last night over their arch rivals, the Chicago Bears in a game that was so fun to watch, it made me feel sorry for countries who DON'T have American football on a regular basis. 

Today's Five list is the product of a lot of thought.  I've got a birthday coming up in a few months and I realize that I'm really, really tired of a lot of things and fighting what is turning out to be a losing battle might just be one of those things.

Anyway, enjoy!

Five reasons I might be meant to be fluffy.

5)  All my favorite relatives are fluffy.

Even as a kid I didn't enjoy the company of my less fluffed relatives as much as I did those who were fully fluffy.  I'm starting to resemble my beloved God mother, my Aunt Carrie, and each day I look in the mirror, I realize that's not a completely bad thing.

4)  Something always seems to get in the way, and it's not just that I'm slowly forming a physical bond with my couch.

I've been trying to lose weight for years, but the past nine months I wanted to train for a 5K.  I never said anything about weight loss, I just wanted to train for the race.  But it was one thing after another, starting with the speedy degeneration of my thumb joints earlier this spring to the car accident this summer.  Now my after work time is filled with doctor's appointments and physical therapy and I'm starting to feel like maybe God likes me fluffy.  (I don't want KRAM or any of my friends at Gold's Gym to fear, however.  My PT has given me a laundry list of exercises I must do everyday.  It's very nearly a 20 minute workout.)

3)  Randy Mantooth, Rick Springfield, David James Elliott, and Russell Crowe aren't showing up on my doorstep to sweep me away and my Hubby loves me the way I am.

If you lost weight, I'd write
a song about you.
If you got skinny you could ride
in the squad.
Oh if only you'd lose weight, then I'd fly you off in my F14.

Are you NOT THIN YET?  ARE YOU NOT THIN?


Ladies, we all do this:  We all dream of a day our favorite actor/musician/whatever shows up and takes us away from everything...right after we lose twenty pounds.  Shoot, it's a big part of the premise for my book Dream in Color.  And while the daydream is nice, and a good motivator (How many years have I said I'm dropping twenty by the time Rick Springfield shows up in town?  What do I really think is going to happen?  He's going to look out over the of women and say, "hey, look, Sarah's lost some weight.  I love her now."

Meanwhile, my Hubby loves me, and has loved me for more than 25 years, just the way I freaking am.

2)  I'm starting to sort of like my clothes.

Don't let the double X fool you.
There's no room for Fluffy.
See the heart?
Even their logo loves
the fluffy girl
As much as I've griped over the years about the lack of selection for fluffy girls in normal stores  (and seriously, TJ MAXX?  You're a glorified rummage sale store....and the best you can do for 52% of the female shopping population is ONE RACK of fluffy clothes?  Guess I won't be a Maxx-inista.  And guess what?  I drive my daughter and her friends shopping all the time.  I don't go where I can't shop.  Burlington Coat Factory is the same type of store and yet I've found some awesome clothes there.  Ponder it.)  I looked at my closet the other day and I realized I may have found my groove stylistically speaking.  I have a wardrobe full of comfortable, semi stylish, clothes.  Would I like to be a size 10 and shop in the normal departments?  OH YEAH!  But then, what would I do with all these great clothes I have NOW? 

1)  Just how ugly would I be if I weren't fluffy?

My fluff is filling out what would be wrinkles and my double chin is actually overlapping my unwanted facial hair.  If I lost the fluff, I might be more hideous than I am now!  I'm not sure I can take that chance!
But I'm thin!

Does this mean I'm going to stop going to Gold's altogether?  No, of course now.  Half my hilarious material comes from that place.  My PT has moved into a maintainance phase, as we slowly realize that my neck injury may not get better.  So they've got me working on some machines now, machines I can use at Gold's.  (You know that thing you see on the health channel where the super obese people get their sweat on by pedaling with their hands because they're too huge to move anything else?  Yep,  that's what I can do now.)

What this does mean is that I might just stop beating myself up for my weight. Hey, who knows...maybe I'll get lucky and I'll be one of those old women who just sort of shrink as they age.  By the time I'm 80 I might be my ideal size.

Meanwhile, maybe I just need to work on being happy instead of working on being thin.

We now know what Hubby does NOT have in his pants.

Good morning! So last weekend Hubby and I joined my parents, brother, and my brother's kids on a trek to Kentucky to see the Crea...