cube life – the end of times

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I live in a cube next to a girl who just got married and talks incessantly about her wedding. I call her Wedding Girl. Her work friend sits across the aisle from her and hates noise. I call her the Noise Police.

 

So this just happened –

Wedding Girl (clearly reading the news and not working): Oh my god…there was a break in right by my house this morning.

Noise Police: Yea I heard about that…but that was last week.

Wedding Girl: No it says it happened July 3. (Today is the 8th)

Wedding Girl: Dang, this is end of the world stuff man. We need to get strapped up.

I don’t know what that means.

Happy Monday!

a little ditty about wine coolers and 90s music

ID-10043337.jpgI like bad boys.  Always have, still do.  They chased me on playgrounds, kissed me under bleachers at the high school football game and broke my heart.  I ultimately married one and, to this day, new ones still randomly gravitate to me.  After almost  40 years on the planet, I now know they fulfill that part of me that always wanted to let go but never did…ever.

This bad boy’s name was Joe.  He had that long, blonde untamed hair of the middle 90s.  Drove a beat up old Ford truck.  Wore a leather jacket.  Smoked.  And skipped class on a regular basis.  So when he asked me out, I of course said yes.

I don’t remember much about the few dates we went on. But I do remember the one where we went to a bowling alley on a Wednesday night (it was the 90s, don’t judge me) because Joe knew the bartender at their crappy little bar.  And because I’m sure this guy loathed his job…and probably didn’t care if he lost it…he served ‘underage us’ wine coolers.

See, it was everything an early 90s date should have been, right?

The best part of the night though (and the point of this rambling story) happened on the way back to his parent’s house.  We were listening to whatever was on the radio and Joe suddenly says to me, “do you like STP?”

Now what you need to know is this was WAY before I met my best friend who would later expand my music knowledge and make me fall in love with music.  And WAY before I was even a little bit cool…although the husband would  argue I am still not cool.  And I’m ok with that.

But because of these two factors, when Joe asked me that question, I had NO idea what STP was.  But because I didn’t want to sound like a complete dipshit, I said yes.

I know now I got lucky.  Lucky it was a band (yes I actually now know that, I heard them this morning on my commute…hence this story) and not some new fangled drug.  But to this day, everytime I hear Stone Temple Pilots, I remember how…oh so many years ago…for a brief moment…I thought they maybe WERE a drug.

And I think of Joe.

the asylum

ID-10023154.jpg12:58 – I wanders into the conference room.  I have been asked to attend a webinar about sales lead generation.  I am not in sales…but whatever.

1:05 – The Boss wanders in with her lunch, but no pen or paper.

1:08 – VP Sales Guy finds something in his teeth and spends the next 5 minutes trying to extricate it.

1:11 – The Boss gets on her phone and starts playing a game.  The sound is still on.

1:15 – VP Sales Guy chews on his thumb for 2 minutes.

1:23 – The Boss takes off her scarf, unfolds it, holds it up and looks at it perplexed.  She then licks her thumb and tries to get off the schmeg she dropped on it while eating.

1:27 – VP Sales Guy sends some texts.

1:32 – VP Sales Guy chews on his thumb some more.

1:35 – Webinar speaker announces one lucky listener will win a free sales book.  VP Sales Guy fist pumps.

1:40 – The Boss starts frantically texting during the Q&A.

1:45 – The webinar ends and everyone sits in silence for 2 full minutes.

1:47 – VP Sales Guy thanks the room (I am not sure what for) and I bolt as soon as the door opens.

boston

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Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid

I’m a runner.

And while I was not running in Boston at the time of the bombings, the news affected me on a personal level.  I didn’t even know anyone running and was grateful those I knew who did have someone running received good news later that day.  And while I was glued to the footage for a while, I eventually had to turn it off.  I kept thinking how if I HAD been running that day, my husband would have been somewhere at that finish line waiting for me.  And, because I’m slow, I would have been stopped somewhere on that course.  With no idea how to get to my husband.  With no idea if he was okay or not.  And then I would have had to find my way back to him in a foreign city.

A few weekends before Boston, I had run a local 47 mile relay, and for many miles I had been out on the course…alone.  And at the time, all I wanted was to find the next drop point so I could reunite with my crew.  And while I live in a much smaller city, there is still a chance a local crazy could have done the same thing here.  It chills me to the bone.

I’ve only been running for 6 years, but along the way I have found the running community is one of the greatest communities you could ever become a part of.  Whatever age, ability, ethnicity or sex, they support us all.  There is nothing better than to be rounding the corner to the finish line at your slowest time ever and have the runners who finished minutes ahead of you still standing there, cheering you to the end.

Unbeknown to them, the Boston bombers targeted one of the greatest groups of people on the planet.  And that sucks.  But what they also didn’t know is, they targeted one of the STRONGEST groups of people. A group who already knows how to deal with pain and suffering.  Who already knows how to stay strong.  Who already knows how to pull through to the other side.

The bombers had no idea this horrible act of hate and destruction would only make this group of people stronger and more determined.  The races will go on much like they did in my area this weekend, and the runners will continue on with a vengeance.

I’m still sad.  I’m still a little broken.  And I still grieve for those who lost their lives and for those who were wounded.  But today as I ran my 3 miles, I also celebrated the fact that here in America, we still know how to stand strong in the face of terror.

 

the worker

The husband and I are out grocery shopping a few Saturdays ago in the day-before-Easter madness.  After negotiating the packed aisles of parents searching for candy and toys and dessert fixings, we find ourselves waiting in a reasonably short line.  

While I’m too far back to hear the conversation, the gal working the checkout seems chatty.  And I think great…I hate chatty.  I usually avoid chatty at all costs. But the line is short and moving fast, so we stay put. Then it’s our turn and I’m the one who has all the recyclable bags to hand to the check out gal, so of course chatty hits me up.  

But as she starts chatting, I realize her’s is a story I don’t mind hearing.  

She is fairly young….maybe early 30s.  And she is working her 6th day in a row. Checking out grocery shoppers. She normally gets to sleep in on Saturdays, but she volunteered for an extra shift because next month her daughter turns 13. And she wants some extra money so her birthday can be great.  
Her husband had to work that morning too.  He runs a fertilizer truck and with all the moisture from the recent snow, there is fertilizing work to do.  But she’s just happy he has work.  Last year was so dry he hardly worked.  Which meant a small Xmas bonus. She prefers big Xmas bonuses…because they just make Xmas so much better.  
 Her husband makes three times what she does but she’s okay with that.  She works AND takes care of the house.  Some days her husband works 15 hours and comes home and falls asleep in his chair.  But she lets him…she can’t imagine doing that much work.  
She used her income tax return to pay off some debt.  She hopes to be debt free by next year.  
Her story is tough and sad.  
But as she stands there working and telling me her story, she also tells me how she can’t wait to get off work.  Because tomorrow is Easter.  And Easter has her excited.  She’s excited for cakes and food and family.  She is happy…after 6 days of working a crap job. After a week of working and also taking care of the house and her husband.  
 Ironically, I am listening to this story while standing in a town about 45 miles from one of the richest counties in America. I can’t help but stand there and think this woman is probably happier than any of those people out there in the land of Range Rovers and Prada bags who are NOT working on Saturday.  Who are probably out spending more money than they have.  Who are not worried about their debt even a little bit.  
 And I can’t help but think maybe more of us should take a lesson from this woman’s playbook.

the asylum

snoop dog, asylum, groundhog dayA building exists in a random city in the middle of nowhere.  Inside this building is a business.  A business with 50 employees.  A business making money and creating products. Or so they want you to believe. This “business” is actually a social experiment. Employees are legitimately hired and paid. But what the employees don’t know is they are there for one man’s entertainment.  “Supervisors” and extra “employees” have been planted and “real” employees are subjected to beyond absurd situations.  Anyone who stays on board for 2 years will win $2 million.  No one has lasted that long.  

Welcome to the Asylum


Episode 7

It’s time for the Groundhog Day meeting again.  The twice weekly meeting where they talk about the same stuff that never moves anywhere.  Especially between the Tuesday and Thursday meetings. But they MUST talk about it over and over.

Today’s meeting starts with The Boss arriving with a pen…but nothing to write on.  Max sits at the other end of the table because she is tired of lending The Boss paper.

Half way through the meeting, this conversation happens about some ads The Boss wants created:

The Boss: You should look at the ads that one company did for us.

Max (in her head): That is NOT enough information

No one responds.


The Boss: You know…that one company. Snoop Dog.  Doggy Dog.  Something to do with a dog.

Max has NO clue what is happening. She tries not to make eye contact with anyone for fear of laughing.

The Boss tries again: You know, the re-targeting company we used.

Max: Fetchback?

The Boss:  Yea!! I knew it had to do with a dog.

Annoying Co-Worker then tries to give his employee some art direction.  Not being a designer himself, the direction is usually ridiculous.  Today’s feedback

Let it Breathe

The meeting ends on a high note (yes that’s sarcasm) as The Boss looks at a print out of their website’s home page and actually asks if that is how the home page currently looks. Max wanders off wondering how the hell The Boss doesn’t know what the damn website looks like.

favorite 5 of the week + 5

I assume most of you know I do my favorite 5 posts because some weeks suck and it’s a struggle to find anything positive.  These posts keep things in perspective.  Some weeks I struggle to even find five.  But this week, I found myself lucky enough to find 10.  Enjoy!

1. The Bloggess Rainy Day Books’ event in Kansas City.  She was hysterical and crude…just as anticipated! This also included dinner at Tomfooleries with the husband.

2. Hanging with a friend I had not seen in a while.

3.  A friend’s shower and the fact that a great group of women still consider me their friend.

4. 48 hours with the boys.  This visit included glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, baking cookies and Wreck It Ralph.

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5. A love letter from my dog. Although we know she doesn’t love us. She’s a jerk and I’m surprised she didn’t poop in the middle of the heart.

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6. JT and the 20/20 Experience.  It’s so good it will melt your face off.

7. KU making it to the Sweet 16.

8. Zero Dark Thirty.  I KNEW we should have seen that one instead of Lincoln in the theaters.

9. 13 Miles ran in one week.

10. Cheeseballs.

the asylum

asylumA building exists in a random city in the middle of nowhere.  Inside this building is a business.  A business with 50 employees.  A business making money and creating products.  Or so they want you to believe. This “business” is actually a social experiment. Employees are legitimately hired and paid. But what the employees don’t know is they are there for one man’s entertainment.  “Supervisors” and extra “employees” have been planted and “real” employees are subjected to beyond absurd situations.  Anyone who stays on board for 2 years will win $2 million.  No one has lasted that long.  

Welcome to the Asylum


Episode 6

Max wanders over to the little corner kitchen to clean out her cup and load up on more caffeine.  As she rounds the corner, The Boss is standing in front of the fridge with the freezer door open. She has just taken out an Eggo. It is 3:00 in the afternoon, but whatever…it’s about par for course. But she is still standing there with the door open.

Max stands there rinsing out her cup wondering what the hell The Boss is doing.

Suddenly The Boss closes the door and says ‘moji.’ Max looks at her confused and thinks come again? She figures The Boss will say something else to explain the situation. But nope…she just walks away.

What the hell?

Max opens the freezer hoping there is some indication in the freezer to explain what just happened. There is a drink in the freezer with a label that says ‘modjo.’
Awe…it suddenly all makes sense. The boss must have been reading the label but mispronounced it. Max has no idea, however, how The Boss thought a word ending in with an ‘o’ would be pronounced ‘modji.’

the asylum

asylum, work, the daily grindA building exists in a random city in the middle of nowhere.  Inside this building is a business. A business with 50 employees.  A business making money and creating products.  Or so they want you to believe. This “business” is actually a social experiment. Employees are legitimately hired and paid. But what the employees don’t know is they are there for one man’s entertainment.  “Supervisors” and extra “employees” have been planted and “real” employees are subjected to beyond absurd situations.  Anyone who stays on board for 2 years will win $2 million.  No one has lasted that long.  

Welcome to the Asylum

Episode 5

Its been two months since the last weekly meeting with sales, but it seems all the players are in the office this morning and on time.  Unfortunately for Max, it looks like the meeting might happen.

Sure enough.  10:00 rolls around and The Boss buzzes by to pick her up.

They get upstairs at 10:02 and find only VP Sales Guy’s assistant. They proceed to wait.  After 5 agonizing minutes of silence, Assistant finally calls his office.

VP Sales Guy: Yea, yea I’m coming.

He obviously knew what time it was.  Max enjoys the fact he clearly thinks his time is more important than theirs.

VP Sales Guy saunters in, sits down, kicks his feet up on the chair next to Max and stretches his arms back behind his head.  And as he does, Max realizes he is wearing a ridiculously short sweatshirt that looks like it was bought in 1980…a shirt so short that she is now looking at about an inch of his belly.

Oh god.  And of course he has now asked her a question.  As she answers, it is nearly impossible to look him in the eye and pretend to not notice the ring of exposed belly. She assumes he thinks this is sexy.

VP Sales Guy is now upset about a 3rd party vendor whose product is not performing as expected. He decides his solution is to go to their offices and beat someone up.  I’m not kidding even a little, he says.

Of course, the mature and legal way to handle things.

Max now sees The Boss frantically looking around.

Max (in her head): What the hell is she doing?

The Boss: I didn’t bring a pen.

Max (again in her head): How do you come to a meeting and bring paper but not a pen?

The Boss (looking at Assistant) : Can I borrow yours?
For the rest of the meeting Max watches The Boss take The Assistant’s pen every time she needs to make a note and then hand it back to her.

The final topic involves the next ad plan.  Max is tasked with new ideas so she asks for the reporting on how the past ads performed.

VP Sales Guy: The reporting won’t provide any substantial support.  You’re just going to have to use your gut.

Max (in her head): My gut? I am supposed to make marketing decisions based on gut feelings?  Its 2013 and there is so much reporting available i’ts not even funny and you want me to use my gut?

Awesome.

As she wanders back downstairs to her cage, Max thinks if she had known she could find a marketing job where she just had to depend on her gut, she would never have wasted her time and money on college.