This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Birth of Captain Nubbin!

Good afternoon!

So this week on Face Book I promised that I had a new nickname for NBM my boss at Stuff, Installed.  

I did not get out of bed Monday morning expecting to be putting a new name into the record for my boss, but wow, did he earn it this week.

Last week I shared with you five things he did that made Michael Scott, the oblivious goofball boss from "The Office."  If you haven't read my Five for Friday last week, go read it.  We'll wait.

 Okay welcome back.

So this week I thought it couldn't get any worse.  Surely, I thought to myself, we've hit the peek of the ridiculous, childish, gross, icky behavior and NBM will, certainly, at some point return to proper boss behavior.

I'm starting to wonder if proper boss behavior is just that: childish, gross and icky.

And then, on Wednesday, NBM answered that question and earned himself a new nickname.

To be honest, NGTJ, PM, and I had been tossing around new nicknames for him.  Officially, NBM didn't have a nickname.  We would just listen to him rant about this or that, or make some kind of ridiculous proclamation and then retire into his office to watch golf or basketball on his phone.  And we'd whisper, like those filthy raggeddy people in "Les Miserables" when they sang songs about revolution, we'd whisper, What is it, you say, you do here?"

On Wednesday, the skies cleared and it became obvious just, exactly, what NBM's new name would be.

It went like this:  at 8:25 Tuesday morning I place a phone call to a potential client.  The phone rang once, clicked and went dead. This happens frequently in my line of work.  It means one of a couple things:  The client has hung up without the courtesy of saying any words to me or there was a disconnection in the phone.  I chose to call the number again.  This time the man answered and before I could tell him who I was, he laid in to me with a tirade about how this was too early to call a home  (for the record, he'd asked us to call him...and he'd not answered his phone at other times of the day and evening.)  and that his wife had had a rough night  (oh, dude, do NOT go there with me.) and that I was basically a horrible person for, you know, doing my job and what he'd asked us to do.  I said, "What would a good time be to reach you?"  He spouted something.  I don't know.  I don't care.  I was busy killing his lead so that NGTJ and I would not have to suffer this abuse again.

At 9 AM Wednesday morning a gentleman called the office demanding, rudely, to speak to the branch manager.  Well, that's not going to happen unless he proves he needs to talk to the branch manager because, see, NBM never takes calls.  I mean never.  I mean if someone calls and asks for him by name we've been instructed to tell them he's not in, he's never in.  If someone walks into the office for any reason, he dives into his office and informs us, like he has to, that he's not there.  He takes no calls...he talks to no one.  Because his time is spent in much other, more important ways, like watching golf and basketball on his phone or writing poorly spelled, woefully constructed rants for the local newspaper, which he then puts on my desk to edit down to 300 words or less.

After the verbal dance that is my duty every time someone asks to speak to the branch manager, it became clear this guy was not going to leave a message, he was not going away, and he was really outraged about something.  I wasn't in the mood to take more abuse.  By Wednesday morning I'm pretty much battle scarred anyway.  So I put him through.  NBM talked to the guy for about twenty minutes.

After the conversation, NBM walked out of his office and spent the next fifteen minutes talking about how rude the man was and what a jerk he was and how unreasonable he was.  We dissected this phone conversation  (It was a big deal...after all, it was the first incoming phone call he'd taken in more than a month.) for a long time and I explained and rexplained exactly what I'd said the day before.

None of this was necessary, because NBM has the capability to listen to any and all phone calls made or received on my phone and on NGTJ's phone.  No, not all phone calls are recorded for "training purposes" just the ones she and I make because, well, NBM is always perfection on the phone. So, we could have saved ourselves quite a bit of time on Wednesday had he just gone in and listened to the original phone call.

At least, that's what should have happened.  Instead, he spent two hours NOT being able to listen to the phone call and not knowing why.  See, remember last week he got a new computer, and he installed it by himself and swore up and down he didn't know why anyone else was having issues with their new computer because his was working PERFECTLY...and then he went golfing?  Yeah, well, turns out, maybe his ability to install a computer wasn't so perfect because he spent two hours on Wednesday stomping around, cursing, calling people at our corporate office and cursing at them, all all because for some reason he couldn't "access" the database that allows him to listen to our calls.

(My guess?  He couldn't remember the website address and since it wasn't in his FAVORITES list on his computer yet, he was convinced his computer was malfunctioning for reasons that were NOT his fault or that Corporate was loaded with liars and criminals or that everyone everywhere was wrong and stupid except for him.  Really, when he gets lit this, it's like watching a second graders struggle with a math problem to the point of hysterics.  

NBM kept talking about how this man told him he was convinced NBM wouldn't do anything about the problem.  That's pretty much our attitude around here.  A problem comes up, NBM stomps around cursing for a couple hours, and then someone else will solve the issue.  Either he'll pass it up to the owner, or PM and I, or the sales guys, or NGTJ will figure it out, but NBM rarely actually DOES anything.  I sort of have to applaud the man for being that intuitive. 

After wrestling unsuccessfully with this for two hours, and talking about it with me for the same amount of time a sick thought dawned on me.  He wanted me to apologize to this guy.

FOR WHAT?  For doing my job?

I let this wash over me for a while and about the fourth time he brought the phone call up to me that morning I said, "So, would you like me to apologize to him?"

I have not seen that expression on anyone's face since the day I told the math department in my high school that I wasn't going to take physics.  There was relief, joy, and a certain light of "oh good, you've finally realized you're a moron" in his expression.

We stared at each other for a few seconds and then he said, "Well what you should say, what I would say, would be this..." and he launched into a long soliloquy on what he'd say to make things right between Stuff, Installed and the guy NBM had spent the last several hours insulting and cussing out.

Apparently I have no self esteem.  I dialed the number and left a groveling message apologizing for my rude tone of voice and promising that if he gave Stuff, Installed another chance he would certainly never experience such awful treatment.

Satisfied that the problem was solved, and that he'd proven he would DO SOMETHING, and exhausted from a morning of not looking at basketball scores, NBM went on a long lunch that didn't end until Thursday morning.

Thursday morning he attacked the problem with renewed vigor for reasons I don't understand.  After all, I apologized. We were just waiting, I thought, for the man to call back and do business with us.

But this was far from over.This time...and remember I never make anything up....NBM decided to hook up his old computer, find his FAVORITES list and listen to the call that way.  Which he did...although it took him two hours of yelling and stomping and crawling on the floor around my desk  (he decided that rather than hook his computer up in the privacy of his own office, he'd do it at my old desk next to where I sit now.  His noisiness crushed any ability I had to do my job for most of the morning.)  He managed to hook up the computer and TAH DAH "found" the phone call.  (It wasn't lost.  He is just one of those guys that commits NOTHING to memory and therefore if he can't find a web address then there must be a malfunction in the computer.)

He made me listen to the phone call.  And what do you know?  I WAS PERFECTLY LOVELY AND POLITE and the man was A COMPLETE AND TOTAL JERK.

NBM looked at me and said, "Well you didn't say anything the way he told me you said it.  You did everything just right."

I glared at him.  "And you made me apologize to him."

NBM said, "Yes I did."

He then decided he needed this man's email address.  Why?  Well isn't it obvious?  Having proved HE WAS RIGHT, NBM was now going to send the evidence to the man proving that I wasn't a horrible rude person and that yes, he IS A GOOD AND PRODUCTIVE manager who DID SOMETHING.

I looked up the email address, what do you know?  Turns out, this guy pulled the same nonsense on NGTJ back in September when he asked us to call him and then she called and he hung up on her twice.  So...it really wasn't me, this guy is just one of those people...you know the type, the ones who just live to be rude.

No one torments my office girls but me.
NBM saw that and moved into a whole different gear of upset.  He started talking about how he was going to write all of this in an email and he was going to give the man what for for being rude to his office girls. 

Yep, we live in 1955 and he's Don Stinkin' Draper and we are the office girls.

I don't know how this will end, but I know this:  NGTJ and I will wind up taking the brunt of whatever rage the man has left in him because if he calls back, he probably will, we all know NBM won't take that call.

Somehow, it will wind up still being our fault.

So, I promised you a new nickname for NBM and you shall have it.  Ladies and gentlemen, my boss will now be known as...

CAPTAIN NUBBIN!

Why Captain Nubbin?

Well, those of you who watch the TV shows "Friends" will recognize the word "nubbin" as the affectionate term Chandler used for his third nipple. A body part that really doesn't belong, and has NO practical use, and only serves to annoy people or gross them out.


I find the nickname appropriate...





Friday, March 21, 2014

Five for Friday: 5 reasons Michael Scott would be an upgrade.

Good morning!

My issues with coworkers at Stuff, Installed is well documented both in this blog and in my two books, "Not While I'm Chewing" and Unsafe at Any Speed..
  We all know the workplace is a tremendous gold mine for humor.  Just look at movies like, "Office Space" or the wonderful TV comedy, "The Office."  There have been many boss-directed jokes in movies like "Horrible Bosses" or in TV shows like "Rules of Engagement."  (Timmy, I feel your pain.)

We all work at jobs and the vast majority of us are working in jobs we don't particularly adore, but hey it fits our schedules and it pays the bills...sort of.  Besides, if we really think about it, the people we work with are pretty cool, most of the time, and at the end of the day, it's not a terrible way to live.

Well, I thought that about my job until this week.  With Elsie W. and Noelle C. a distant memory, I've been pretty happy at work.  

And then I realized something:

My boss might be a horrible boss. He might be a child unable to do any job other than management...because that's where he can do the least amount of damage to the day to day work at Stuff, Installed.

I was thinking this yesterday, when, reviewing my week, I realized that TV disaster boss Michael Scott might just be an upgrade from NBM.

Don't believe me?

Here are five things NBM did this week that proves Michael Scott would be, at worst, a sideways moves.  And I maintain he would be an upgrade.

5)  Keeps the knife he licks after every use on top of the office jar of peanut butter.

I've chronicled NBM's inability to wash the spoon and bowl he uses for his breakfast every morning.  (Reminder:  He licks the spoon, rinses the bowl, and puts them in the cabinet where we keep food.)

The knife thing is new.  His lunch of late has consisted of an English muffin  (which he always burns, which means we get to work in an atmosphere of burnt English muffin all afternoon) topped with peanut butter.  And every day, once he's done using the knife, he licks it and sets it on top of the jar of peanut butter which we keep, again, other food.

I understand marking your territory, but could you maybe pee all over one of the cabinet shelves?  It would be more sanitary.

4)  Asked me what poking on Face Book meant...and then didn't like my answer.

I'm not saying NBM doesn't have enough to do in his day.  But earlier this week he was truly troubled about what, exactly, it meant when someone poked him on Face Book.  Face Book has been a favorite of his.  Every couple of weeks he'll ask me how to do something on Face Book.  I try to explain it to him, but giving him verbal directions is like telling a five year old how to put together a vacuum cleaner.  Most of these conversations end with me saying, "Well, NBM, I could show you, but company rules say I can be fired to going on Face Book during the work day."

So this week he discovered the "poke."  I explained to him that it was like someone waving at him or saying hello.  I told him he could poke back or ignore it.

He didn't like that.  So he walked down the Tunnel of Sound to PM (who has all the time in the world for topics like this) and they discussed it.  

Gee, glad no one actually needed his attention for work things.  Of course, this is the type of time you have in a work day when you never take a phone call and when you are always "out" if someone comes in to see you.  Unless, of course, it's a TV rep who is coming to take you to lunch.

3) Started golfing on his "lunch."

NBM is a salaried guy.  He pretty much comes in when he wants to and leaves when he wants to.  I can't fault him for showing up in the AM, he's always there early.  And I will give him this:  When he leaves before 4 PM, he's always got a legitimate reason to leave.  (The fact that he picked a car repair place a block from his house is just a coincidence...all of our company vans need service all the time, especially when we have very nice golfing weather.)

As a salaried guy, he doesn't so much have a "lunch" as he has time
Something we would love to ask him...but
he's out golfing/having lunch/checking/basketball scores.
when he eats at his desk.  And his pay doesn't vary regardless of when or for how long he takes lunch, unlike us hourly wagers.  This much just have occurred to him recently because this week his golf bag moved into the office.  And now,  after he's burned his English muffin and licked his knife, he heads out to some indoor golf place where he hits balls for 30-45 minutes.  I shouldn't complain because life is just better when he's not in the office (because when he's not disrupting my day with nonsense, he's asking me why I'm not accomplishing enough in my day.) but since the golf clubs live in the office, he now feels the need to discuss golf WAY more than before.  And that's saying something.  (I could be thankful, he talks about golf so much now, he's backed off a little bit of his political ranting...but only a little.)


2)  Completed the computer install...as far as he was concerned.

Computer issues have been a major sore spot in the office for the past couple months.  I wound up getting a new computer because, like most of the computers in the office, mine was woefully outdated and loaded with who knows how many viruses and gremlins.  Well, this week NBM pulled some money out of the owner's wallet  (replacing anything cuts into our bottom line, and NBM's whole deal is he shows a profit more than any other branch...of course, we all have to bring in our own pens and he locks up copier paper so I have to ask him for paper when the copier is empty and I have to tell him why I need it.) and got new computers for himself, NGTJ and PM.  Yesterday was the day of installation.  PM managed to get his installed all by himself because PM knows a thing or two about computers.  PM then showed NBM how to install his.  Four seconds after PM left NBM's office, I was summoned to show him how to transfer his files.  I told him how I would do it.  He said, "That's now how PM showed me."  I said, "well, then do it the way PM told you."  He said, "I don't remember what he said."

But the biggest SNAFU happened when he took what little he could remember and he tried to install NGTJ's computer.  I don't know what he did, but it wasn't what he was supposed to.  I know this because when she tried to use it, it not only didn't work, it scolded her and insulted her wardrobe.  She tried to ask NBM what he'd done.  He said, "Mine works just fine."  And then he went to the golf place leaving NGTJ unable to use her computer and therefore do her job.

And OF COURSE his worked just fine.  He rarely, if ever, USES his computer.  He's on his smart phone all day, checking golf and basketball scores, and political stuff.  For the record, his computer was not working because we looked at it while he was golfing. Whatever he'd done to NGTJ's, he'd done to his own.

His question to her, upon returning from golf, was, "Why aren't you at your desk working?"

1) Needed me to help him see his bracket.

I didn't say much when, a couple weeks ago, he had me fill out an Oscar's score sheet so he could enter a contest sponsored by a local TV station.

Tuesday of this week he called me into his office.  He had just filled out his March Madness bracket so he could win a contest sponsored by another local TV station and he was unable to print the bracket from his computer.  (This was one of the reasons we got new computers.  Mine was the only one in the office that played nicely with the printer.)

I gave him several tips, but, like a parent dealing with a whiny child, I finally said, "Email it to me, I'll print it."

He emailed me, not a file to print, but a LINK to a WEBSITE (one of those I would be fired for being on during working hours). I opened the link and realized I would need his account password.  I asked him for it and he gave me three passwords, none of which worked.  

Not the worst thing I was asked to do this week.
He then stomped around the office, swinging his putter, asking the air what his password was.

Meanwhile, I did the whole "forgotten password" thing and told him to check his email, that he now had a temporary password.  But that was not good enough for him.  Nope, he then decided he would reset his password and give it to me.

Except in the time it took him to speak the actual password to me, he forgot how he spelled it.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

At least Michael Scott never complained
that their outgoing call totals were too low.
This took about 45 minutes of my day.  And he asked me at the end of the day why my outgoing call total was so low.

So, yeah, I'm pretty sure Michael Scott, a guy who burned his foot on a George Foreman grill, would be an upgrade.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The MOST Unnecessary Cooking Tip...Ever.

Good evening!

Those of you who follow this blog know three things about me:  

1)  I do not do well when I have to wait in a line.

2)  I hate Pick n Save, and especially the one near my work which I call the "racist" Pick n Save because the soda, liquor, junk food and FRIED CHICKEN is in the front of the store while the fresh fruits and veggies are relegated to a back corner that's actually blocked off from site.

3)  I'm a terrible cook.

The last one is especially true.  I'm not so much terrible as I am uninspired.  See, like every home cook, I have six recipes in my head and about another half dozen I can look up quickly and generally have everything I need on hand.  BUT, a couple years ago, Hubby went vegetarian on me, which wiped out every single one of my recipes.  Thusly, for the last couple years, not only have I been not a great cook...I haven't really cooked much.

Case in point:  Last night, deciding we can't get yet another cheese pizza, I decided to try a little creativity in the kitchen.  Hey, I'm a writer, I'm creative, I should be able to build a recipe with what I have in the kitchen.

I came up with a casserole, the food of my PEOPLE, and I called this wondrous thing: STUFF IN BOWL.

I can't remember exactly what I put in there.  It started out as some sort of tuna/rice casserole and wound up being a "clean out the fridge" sort of collection of ingredients.  I'm pretty sure nacho sauce was involved.  

It was NOT a rousing success.

So today I decided I would do a bit better.  I did manage to come up with a recipe for vegetarian tater tot casserole a few weeks back and everyone seemed to like that.  So I went to the Pick n Save by my work, against my better judgement, and I picked up everything I needed for dinner, plus a couple more items.  I broke my golden rule of shopping at that stupid store:  I went over 15 items.  And thus I was forced to wait in line behind the senior citizens who pay with a check, never have two forms of ID, and have 97 coupons, half of which are expired, and yet they feel the need to debate all of them.

After waiting in line for roughly half my lunch hour, it was finally my turn.  I loaded my stuff on the belt, waited for the woman to scan everything, and paid her.  Then, it happened.

We have Cream of Mushroom Soup? WHERE IS THAT?
The woman bagging my groceries  (my other rule is that if I MUST shop at Pick n Save, I WILL go to the aisle with a bagger.) was studying my items.  Seriously. She was STUDYING my items.  I felt like I was in that SNL skit where their at Target and the cashier runs away to get something off a shelf.

I must have made some sort of noise that resembled that of a dying goose...or possibly what I thought I was screaming in my head, "YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS RIGHT NOW!"  came out in actual out loud verbabl words, but the bagger looked at me.  

"Oh yum," says she, "I love those taters tots!"

"Oh?" says I, barely keeping a grip on my patience.

"Oh yeah...you put them in the oven, you know."

I smiled and nodded, but inside my head was EXPLODING with snappy comebacks such as, 

"Really?  I've been eating them right out of the bag."

"Oh yeah?  Well, see, I was planning on setting them out in the sun to solar cook."  (See that's funny because we in Wisconsin don't get much sun January-May.)

"An oven?  Oh, wait, tater tots are food?  Geez, I've been throwing them in the drier like drier sheets!  The laundry gets greasy, but everything smells so good!"

But mostly, what I wanted to yell was, "YES, I KNOW!  AND THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE MOST UNNECESSARY COOKING TIP EVER!"

I have really got to start looking into Peapod.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sarah has to stand in line again...and nothing good comes of it.

Good afternoon!

Those of you who follow me on Face Book know that Peaches has mono, and that I've been pretty sick myself with a rotten one-two punch of a death cold and a massive sore throat.  

Well, Friday being a day out of the office for me, I planned to do quite a bit of writing.  But, since Peaches needed a prescription for a narcotic, plans changed.  Instead of calling the script in to the pharmacy, because it was for a narcotic, I had to first stop at the doctor's office and pick up the script from the doctor, after showing the nurse my ID.  I've been taking the kids to the same doctor for more than 20 years.  He's seen me at my best and worst...and my worst was pretty much yesterday.  I'd been up most of the night, nursing Peaches and my cough, which is determined to stay with me forever.  I was exhausted and I looked it.  No matter, I drove to the doctor's office, chatted with the nurse while waiting for the doc to give me the script.  Then, off to the pharmacy.


If you read this blog you know that I go to the Sam's club pharmacy.  I don't particularly like it, but it's on my way to work and they are usually pretty quick about filling scripts.  What's not quick, however, is the line to get the scripts.

Yesterday was no different.  I got there and handed the woman the script.  She said it would be twenty minutes.  I spent the time picking out seven grocery items.  Then I took the cart back to the pharmacy.  At the register was an old couple who, of course, were getting multiple scripts filled and apparently needed detailed instructions on how to take every single one of them.  Normally my reaction would be one of rage, but I was there during old people hours, so it was my own fault I had to wait.  I calmed myself.

There was a gent with a cart,  much like mine with a few items in it, and he seemed to be waiting.  I asked him if he was in line.  He said yes.  Good.  Now the line formed behind me.

At least, that's what I thought.

While waiting for old couple to complete their drug instruction, I noticed a guy wandering around.  He was really, really creepy looking, like some kind of TV rapist.  I could almost see his white panel van with no windows parked in the lot.  He had no cart, he was just sort of wandering around those of us in line.  Yes, he very clearly saw me lined up behind the other guy with a cart.

Old people were finally finishing up and Cart Guy was called up.  As he was getting his scripts and laying his 4 items out on the counter, I noticed that Creepy Guy had parked himself in front of me and directly in front of the pharmacy window.

Now, at this point I'd been waiting in line for at least fifteen minutes.  I'd been in the store for almost an hour and at home I had a child in tremendous pain.  I was not about to let Creepy Panel Van Rapist Guy butt in front of me.  No way.

Face it Creepy Guy, I'm older than you and I've
got way better reasons to pick up this
prescription.
So, as Old Couple and Cart Guy moved slowly away from the window, I made my move.  And, much like my hero, Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes" I moved my cart in front of Creepy Guy. 

Now, that should have been the end of it, right?  I was in line before him, I got to the counter before him.  That is the end of the story, right?

If it were, I wouldn't be blogging.

Oh no, counter chick acted like Creepy Guy was ahead of me and I was the one butting.  She looked over my shoulder and said "good Morning" to him!  I looked at her, four feet from me, and I said, "GOOD MORNING!"  She then looked at me, and said, "What do you want?"

I'm not even kidding.  Suddenly, I was the one in the wrong.  Because I didn't let Creepy Guy butt a head of me.  Oh no, now I'm getting attitude from the Sam's Club Pharmacy cashier?  Oh honey, this is not a battle you're going to win.

"I am picking up prescriptions for Peaches and for Skippy."  (Oh yeah, Skippy also had two scripts I needed to get.)

She heaves a heavy sigh and turns around to the rack and picks up a bag.  "I have one bag here, but it has three bottles in it.  One for Peaches and two for Skippy."

"That sounds right."

"Do you have anything else you need to pick up?"  This said with all the weary impatience of a First Grade Teacher reprimanding a naughty child.


"No, that's about it."


"Are you sure?"  And add a side of major sarcasm.

"Yes.  I had three prescriptions, you're holding three bottles of pills.  I think we're good here."

She looked at my cart.  Remember, the guy in front of me had four items and she checked him through with no problem.  I had seven items, and I know they've checked me out with several more than that.  "I suppose you want to pay for those, too."

No, you bitchy hag, I'd like to walk out of here with free stuff.  

"I suppose you could pay for them here.  But you could pay for them up front, too."

At this point, she's keeping her eyes away from me and firmly on Creepy Guy.  Okay, fine. Clearly I'm going to be the bad guy in this scenario.  And the romance writer in me imagines all kinds of scenes involving her and Creepy Guy in the frozen foods section.  "No, I suppose if it's easier for you I can go check out up front." I try to muster my very best bitchy voice.  You know, to match hers.

"Yes, that would be best. Just take this up to the front and they will scan it."

Yes, woman, I'm very aware of how the process works.

I take the meds and make my way to the front where I'm forced to wait in line behind, you guessed it, masses of old people who apparently have never been to Sam's Club and all of them have 90 items in their cart, and none of them have valid club cards.  As I'm stuck in line waiting hell, I watch Creepy Guy stalk his way out of the building.

Next time, I'm sending Hubby to the pharmacy.


Friday, March 7, 2014

The road to (my) low self esteem is paved with good intentions...and fat pants.

Good morning!


The fact that I work seven minutes from my parents' house has, in the last few years, been a source of mild annoyance and awkward hilarity for me.  My mother finds the oddest reasons to drop in to my place of business and, in the course of a conversation, will forget that we're in my place of business.  She has no problem discussing, out loud, in my office, in front of NBM with his bat-like hearing about her various issues, including gas and bowel movements.  She's brought up tender topics like my own approaching menopause and always, always, always this new health thing or that to battle my life long war against my weight.

I've always blushed easily, so to say these visits leave me red faced is really not a big deal.  Still, hey, I bet no one else has their parents drop in at their work and talk about hemeroids.  Right?

Well, this week I believe my parents hit an all time high water mark for uncomfortable visits to my office.  And honestly, I'm sure they meant it in the best possible light...but given the fact that my mother has always been a size 4-6 where I've been shopping on the plus side of the aisle for more than fifteen years, this was a stinger.
You're the only one
big enough for these pants...and no more
wire hangers.

See, here's what went down:

My grandmother lives in a very nice old people's home where they play bingo and win little prizes.  I'm not sure what grand prize bingo tourney g-ma won, but the prize was a plus size pair of women's sweat pants...in turquoise.  

My grandmother used to be a sturdy woman.  I take after her and my aunt that way.  Old age  (She's 97) has taken its toll and she's shrunk a bit as old women will.  She's no longer that sturdy of a woman.  "She still thinks she's this big," says my mother, "but she's much smaller."

At this point, my mother is holding the sweat pants up...while standing in my office...and I know all too well just where this is going.  But I'm a good daughter.  I have to wait for the boom.

"So I tried them on, and they are way too large for me."  She says, a smile on her face.

At this point my face is so hot I can feel the make up sliding down my neck.

"So I figured they'd fit you just fine.  You know, for when you're writing."

She hands me that rolled up wad of soft material and I take it.

"See, hold it up...look, they'll be just fine on you."

Did I mention NGTJ and PM are both witnessing this?  Thank heavens NBM, who is a health nut and will, on ocassion, express enthusiasm when NGTJ and I talk about diet and exercise.  (He's nothing like my old Evil Bossman, though, so I give him points for that.)  

Yes, my coworkers are witnessing my mother and father standing there, handing me these massive sweat pants, and talking about how all the females in my family tried them on and decided I alone was large enough to wear them.

Earlier in the day PM, who had a fairly lousy week, expressed the desire to shoot himself.  When parents left (but NOT until after they then launched into all the gory details of my father's upcoming cataract surgery...the perfect diet plan.  Have a parent give details of an upcoming procedure.  You'll never want to eat again.)  I asked him if he did, indeed have a firearm with him, because I, too, wanted to shoot myself.

Peaches' boyfriend, a very sweet boy who is funny and awkward and fits in around here pretty well, heard this story and made me feel a bit better:  "I'm sure she meant it in a nice way, though, right?"

She probably did.  

And, curse it all, they are comfortable pants.

Yes, I'm wearing them right now.

Shoot me.

The difference between a Meijer employee and a heart attack? Not much.

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Holidays! When I was little I lived in Michigan, home to a wonderful store called Meijer's Thrif...