Work Signs… Working to make me Laugh

Work Signs… Working to make me Laugh

My day job is your standard 8 hours a day, paid every two weeks, paying more each year for less insurance coverage kind of job. So and average American kind of job, I guess. The kind you commonly hear about, and that has been known to raise a fair amount of grumbling from the main stream working class. Yes, we are grateful for the job, but we’re still going to complain about it. Hey, it’s our right to do so and more importantly we are not getting paid enough to not complain.

Bitching about work is one of those unifying past times. Much like smoking is the universal make a friend anywhere in world… for other smokers I mean. It’s also the device responsible for the universal “you dirty bastard stop trying to kill me with your cigarette smoke” look that all non smokers seem so proficient at giving to all the smokers. Still, if a smoker from Germany finds himself, or herself, in Canada waiting at the bus stop and someone walks up next to them and lights a smoke, and then the German lights a smoke… next thing you know the two smokers are chatting and making plans to hang out… or at the very least they exchange addresses so they can become pen pals. The only other thing I can really think of that brings people together like that is babies or little kids. I mean people with kids making friends with other people with kids… not smokers and people with babies making friends. You really don’t ever see that happening.

Complaining about work seems to be that same kind of thing. It’s a universal that I believe most people have done at some point, and some continue to do on a daily basis. It’s so traditional it’s even become a Hollywood cliché. Hey if there is one thing Hollywood does well it’s create and over use cliché after cliché. It’s what they do best. Although, sometimes I wish they’d get a hobby or something.

So the other day I noticed something at work. Something I could not pass up sharing with you. To date I believe I’ve only written one other time about work. What surprises me is that the setting for this story takes place in the exact same location that my previous work story did. It’s not in my office, or the training room, or a meeting room, or even the parking lot. No, today’s story, just like last time, takes place in… the restroom, toilet, lavatory, bathroom, crapper, jon, powder room, potty, just to name a few.

The way I got there was rather standard. I had finished some tea, Earl Gray… oddly enough I do need to thank the Germans for my affinity for Earl Gray. Odd I know, but it was in German that I was first introduced to a cup of Earl Gray with a smile of milk and a quarter packet of sugar. It’s absolutely lovely.

The tea, being tea, did what tea does best. It satisfied me and then, after a while, it urged me to stop working and get a little exercise, via a little stroll to the “facilities” and back. When I got into the restroom, I walked up to the urinal, assumed the position and notice that the urinal next to me had been wrapped in a big plastic bad. This was not the odd bit. The restroom has always had a history of abuse and repair. I personally think it has something to do with the fact that we hire a bunch of mentally evolving boys, ages 17 to 24. Hey being of the male persuasion I feel perfectly qualified saying that usually we really don’t begin getting a mental grasp of anything more than ourselves until after 25.

Right, so the urinal wrapped in plastic has been something that I’ve seen before. The thing I wasn’t prepared for was the sign that accompanied the plastic wrapped urinal. Here is an actual photo… don’t worry it’s safe for work.

Yes, a sign in all capital letters saying “DO NOT PEE ON PLASTIC BAG.” I couldn’t help but start chuckling.

Then the realization hit me… there is only one reason why a sign like that would exist… sigh. I put had to put my head down in shame because of my Y chromosomic tie to the male race, more so, to the male whose actions resulted in that sign being made in the first place. Yep, there’s always that one exceptionally under evolved member of your phylum that ends up doing some like that making an entire group of people look bad.

Still, I do laugh a bit every time I look at that sign. I guess you could call it toilet humor… in an odd kind of way that really isn’t all that funny if you start to analyze it too much. Still, at face value, I thought some of you might get a bit of an unprepared smile from it. I think that’s it then. I wash my hands of it. I just hope that the next time share a working observation, it takes place in a different room.

Any thoughts?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: desk job, Office Space, and Earl Gray.

Bad Medication Reaction = Office Mulligan

Bad Medication Reaction = Office Mulligan

So last weeks little day-time cold medicine topic got me thinking about a somewhat related subject. My explanation of how day-time cold medicine left me feeling a little off kilter reminded me of the discovery that I was, in fact, allergic to Percocet. And for the record, this was a legitimate discovery, as opposed to an experimental discovery.

It was a number of years ago. I ended up getting a wee bit of shoulder surgery and to help with the pain during my recovery, I was prescribed Percocet. Up to this point I had never been given this substance. In fact, when it came to prescribed meds I had only tried Tylenol with Codeine. They gave it to me when I had my appendix removed. I had also tried penicillin for the numerous times I got Tonsillitis growing up, which were never removed.

Seriously, I got Tonsillitis 4 or 5 times growing up. And no, it was not because I was a make-out man-whore. I mean sure, at the time I wished I was, but hanging out with friends always took precedence over the prospect of making out. Ok, and, more accurately, it was the fact that I was shy and a bit of a social retard when it came to figuring how to chat up members of the opposite sex in such a manner that would result in sucking face.

So… right! I ended up with a prescription for Percocet, which I found was very misleading name in my opinion. When I initially heard the name pronounced it sounded like perk-o-set. It sounded great. I figured with a name like that I would not only remove my pain, but it would also set me up as a perky individual in the process. How brilliant was that? I’d be perky, happy, and pain free right? Wrong!

Like any drug commercial you see on television these days the one thing you can count on 100% of the time is that the drug will have side effects. These side effects are quickly discussed, and it always seems to take longer to list these effects than it does to go over the actual benefits of the drug. Percocet is no different. Only no one at the hospital offered to spend thirty seconds to a minute to quickly list all the possible side effects I could experience.

So I started taking my pills, as directed, and I started experiencing some things that I hadn’t noticed before the operation. Things like dizziness and lightheadedness for a start. There was drowsiness, nausea (without vomiting), and an unexplained unpleasant feeling (dysphoria). And then there was the itching… oh god the itching. It always seems to creep across my back. Yes, the one place that someone who just had shoulder surgery would have the most difficult time getting to. I felt like Baloo, but instead of singing the Bare Necessities while trying to scratch my back by rubbing it against any protruding wall, or tree, or anything I could find, I was mostly just swearing loudly, at… at everything. Yeah, for me Percocet = instant turrets.

Instead of calling it “Perk-o-set” they should have called it “grumpybastard-o-set”. Because every time I took a pill you could be sure I’d be set as a grumpy bastard for the rest of the day. I was actually back to work a few days later, but I had no idea what the problem was and why I was feeling so ornery, and that it how it happened. I was at a weekly departmental meeting, all jacked up on my grumpy bastard pills, and I was asked to share. Ok, so here’s what happened…

I did a wonderful job staying silent through the whole meeting, until… See, at some point in the weekly meeting there was always a period near the end were we would go around the table and everyone would take a few moments and report what they were working on and how things were coming along. Well during this time I had been assigned to work with the boss’s niece, whose father was one of the main shareholders for the company. So, as is always the case in this type of situation, she was given a well paying position for a job she had absolutely no experience in doing, and most the time didn’t. It was a summer job for her, so she could make some money to go shopping before college started.

She was assigned to head a project that I was ultimately responsible for. She needed to do some testing on a new product and get with me so I could get the documentation done for it. At the time of the meeting it had been over a month since the testing had been assigned and I had still gotten nothing from this girl. In fact by this point in the summer she was only showing up for work about twice a week for 4 to 5 hours at a time, and, if I remember right, spent most of her time IMing her boyfriend from her work computer.

Now in normal times and in times where I was not full of drugs I was having an allergic reaction to, I would have been able to address the situation in a much more diplomatic way. BUT, because of my induced state at the time, diplomacy was not on my list of things to consider, nor was the always reliable “think before you speak”. So when they asked how the project was going, I just blurted out exactly what I was experiencing and what I thought. I believe my response sounded a bit like this, “I have no idea. Alice (not her real name /wink) has been in charge of this for almost two months and she has not given me any information yet. I keep trying to meet with her to talk about the project, but it’s not like I have a lot of options. She’s only here maybe two days a week, if that.”

It was at this point I notice how big everyone’s eyes had become and that everyone at the conference table was staring at me, but at the same time trying not to make any eye contact. The thing was I didn’t see anything wrong with anything I had said. Everyone stayed pretty clear of me the rest of that week. On a plus side, it sort of worked. Someone else was reassigned the project and we got it done about two weeks later. Plus, I didn’t get canned for pointing out the complete lack of performance from the boss’s niece, so that what a good.

It was a week later while at physical therapy that I mentioned some of what I was experiencing, and they suggested that I talked to my doctor about getting a new and different prescription as soon as possible. The next day I was on new pain killers and life was back to normal. When my boss noticed my return to normality we had a little talk about my behavior at the meeting. I was a touch surprised when she explained my demeanor and candidness during that meeting, which I had completely forgotten about until she brought it up.

After explaining my prescription problem and how it had been corrected, I was pretty much off the hook. It’s amazing how forgiving people can be when you legitimately use the excuse, “I had a bad reaction to some new meds.” It seems everyone has, “been there” at some point in their life, and seems pretty willing to forgive that one. I think it’s a sort of karma thing, a sort of cosmic at work get out of jail free card due to a bad meds reaction. I mean when I hear someone use that excuse on me I’m very willing to be very forgiving, because, hey, I’ve been there.

Any bad meds days you care to share?

Image Source:
Google Images, key words: Percocet, baloo, and office meeting.

Bad Medication Reaction = Office Mulligan

I Got Better

I’m alive! Not that there was any doubt mind you. But let’s just say there was more than once that I wouldn’t have minded performing a Kryten inspired head replacement for one that was functioning a little more properly. Yes, so maybe I watched some Red Dwarf while I was confined to my bed. Still, you can imagine my elation when I woke up this morning and didn’t have the sudden urge to blow my nose and take more pills.

It’s amazing how a morning of breathing normally after being sick in bed for three days can invoke a rather strong bipolar reaction to something that I’m normally not all the excited about. As I got out of bed this morning I was actually looking forward to the prospect of going to work. Yes, excited and happy to be going to work. Have you ever had that? Were you’ve felt so crappy for so long that even the crappy things you do daily like your commute to work, or for some simply going to work, no longer seem crappy?

As it turns out, this morning was a case of premature wellness. With the euphoria of being able to breathe through both nostrils at the same time, and after getting out of my first shower in three days I was cured! At least it felt that way at the time. Even the drive to work was a pleasant endeavor. I even finished Strata (a Terry Pratchett book), which Stephen Briggs was kind enough to read to me during my commute. And for the record, Stephen Briggs is no Ethan Hawke, so thank (insert deity of your preference here) for that! Still, about an hour after being at work the drudgery of my cold started to creep over me like cold honey being pored over a freshly steamed cabbage.

This motivated me to take some day-time cold medicine, which eventually helped. But let’s just say I have a few issues with the stuff. Night-time cold medicine at least lets you sleep through the mental sludge your brain start to wander through after you take the medicine. The day-time stuff enables you to stay awake for all the mental discombobulation.

Day-time cold medicine makes me feel like my brain was just tightly wrapped in duct tape causing a small empty space between where my brain and my skull meet. Now fill that empty space maple syrup. It makes me feel like there’s a half second delay between me and my brain with every body movement.

I walked to my boss’s office and stopped at his door to knock. As I stopped walking it felt like my brain kept moving bouncing off the front inside of my skull about half a second after I stop moving forward. It wasn’t a sharp pain, just a subtle wobbly pressure, kind of like watching someone get hit in the head with a water balloon made out of Jell-o in slow motion. Just not as messy.

I even took some Jackson 5 to listen to at work today. They have a way of bringing a smile to my face. There’s something about their songs that just makes my head start doing that Night at the Roxbury head bobbing thing, while tapping my foot in rhythm… or as close to rhythm as someone of my musical aptitude is capable of. The problem I found was the head bobbing is it’s more involuntary than not. The second I Want You Back started playing my head automatically started bobbing. I kept trying to stop it, but then ABC started playing and there it went again.

My brain felt like a small 5th grader trying to play on the seesaw with John Goodman. And every few seconds John would try to figure out how to get off the damned contraption, but would keep running out of energy each few seconds and flopping back down on the seat. All the while my brain holding on for all it’s might to avoid being flung uncontrollably into the air at any given second. Sadly, I had to turn off the little Michael and the brothers just to keep my brain from triggering any mental air bags.

Damn you day-time cold medicine.

On a plus note, I did leave a little early today. The decision happened shortly after I asked a coworker to come into my office to see if the heat was on too high. He thought it was nice, and much cooler than his own office. I was wiping sweat from my forehead when he told me that. Yeah, like I said it’s been a premature wellness kind of day. At least I got home before the rush hour traffic hit. And on a plus note, I didn’t get ill at all until after the holidays, so I guess there’s that.

How about you, any crazy day-time cold medicine stories… that won’t get you in trouble at work?

Image Source:
Google Images, key words: sick at work, seesaw, Jackson 5, and Strata.

Bad Medication Reaction = Office Mulligan

Oh the Horror – The Male Chest V Patch

friday-13thFor this Friday the 13th I figured I’d write about something that has always baffled and, quite honestly, scares me a little, and I don’t mean Jason Voorhees. Oh no, it’s something much more terrifying. Unless of course Jason Voorhees himself is sporting the horror that I refer to as the male chest V patch…ohhh, that would be like scary squared, you know, with the little 2 at the end.

Ok, so here’s what happened. Earlier this week I went to a little business opportunity / presentation thingy after work. The men putting on the presentation were all in suits, projecting that image of what the business world had defined as the “successful” look, aka the nice suit and tie look. So as the key presenter was introduced, it was conveyed to the group that used to clean pools for a living and one day he saw an ad, made a call, and is now a millionaire. Ok, yes, there was more to it than that, but this is the short version.

As the guy walked out and start talking there was something about him that confused me just enough to keep me from paying attention to anything he was really saying. Here’s what went through my mind when he first walked out and started talking… ahem… “Is that… what the hell? Really! You really chose to go with that look for your presentation. I’m not sure how… whacachicka, whacachicka, whacachicka… hehe, he looks funny.”

carmen-mirandaThere are certain looks that I’ve never really understood. Like the Carmen Miranda fruit hats for example. Now don’t get me wrong, I love those hats. In fact I wish I had some of my very own that I could sport them on lazy Saturday’s or on Sunday afternoon drives, but I still just don’t get them.

There is one look though, which has always baffled me, and leaves me feeling a little dirty after seeing someone trying to pull it off as a legitimate style instead of trying to be funny. Yes, as stated earlier it is the male chest V patch look, or as many choose to call it, the 1970s porn star open collar bare chest look, or 70’s male porn star look.

NavinHairy chest or no, it doesn’t matter. There is something about a man that intentionally undoes those top few buttons of his shirt and then purposely pulls it open to show off that little V patch of chest that instantly reminds me of Navin R. Johnson, particularly where he finds himself instantly wealthy and attempts to slide into the “high society” classification of people, but fails miserably.

Amusingly enough there was even one point in the presentation where V patch guy actually said, there were some people in the company he was in making 30 to 50 thousand dollars a month that had no business making that kind of money. Something about them being good people, but they were simple people, with no formal business know how. See, there were a few things that he said that I actually retained.

Open_ShirtThe thing that made me smirk about him saying that was that in my opinion he was referring to people like himself, without considering himself one of those people. I guess it would be like some white trash chap making fun of hillbillies. Talk about the donkey calling jackass the stubborn, or something like that.

I started thinking though; maybe it was just me. Maybe guys’ trying to pull off that look is just a personal aversion and no one else really cares. So I asked some friends what they first thought of when they think about a man trying to pull off that look as a serious fashion statement. Here’s what some said:

  • “Eww.”
  • “He’s a male whore.”
  • “I’d guess he was really arrogant and self important.”
  • “He’s a swinger.”
  • “Sounds like a Dirk Diggler wannabe.”
  • “He’s a wild and crazy guy!”

The list keeps going, but sadly none of the feedback I got portrayed the image that fit what this man was trying to convey about himself and about the business he was representing.

So as a public service announcement, business men, actually make that all men everywhere, please don’t try to pull off this look, especially in business situations, well, unless that business is… yeah, just don’t do it. It’s kind of tacky, distracting, and a little creepy. Not to mention people will probably listen to what you have to say with a bit more interest. Also, the people in the back row will probably not be pointing and giggling at you.

Bad Medication Reaction = Office Mulligan

Costumes at work equals… Well, you'll see what it equals.

pumpkinIt’s Friday, and not just any Friday but it is the Friday before Halloween. Normally the day before Halloween is the same as any other day, but because Halloween is on Saturday, that means that the work party and dress up day is today.

As previously posted I am a definite supporter of playing dress up. And Halloween is the yearly grand celebration that allowed people all over the world to play dress up, go to stranger’s houses and be rewarded for play dress up with the gift of candy. Unless of course you live in a culture that does not celebrate Halloween, which if that’s the case, you really should adopt the holiday, it can be pretty fun.

slim_jimAll that being said, there was one experience today concerning the “where your costume to work” celebration that proved to be a little, not scary, just odd. The culprit was this guy… yep the “Snap into a Slim Jim” guy. Well, at least someone dressed like him.

First off, no I did not dress up today, although I did try to come up with a title for what I was wearing. I initially told people I was dressed up like that guy that doesn’t dress up for Halloween. A few people smiled, but most booed me.

klepto_penSo I became a klepto. Not a real one, well not a real one for long. I told people I was dressed like one and to show them I was serious, I went around and took everyone’s pen from their desk when they were not looking. Eventually people started getting mad because someone had stolen all their pens then they had work they needed to do. I was beat, so after returning all of the missing pens, I opted out of clever titles for what I was wearing and accepted my plot as one of the people that did not dress up.

So at some point during the day I needed to use the restroom, my water bottle was empty and I was not. I walked in the men’s room and to position in front of a urinal. There I was standing, doing my thing and the next thing I know, there was the “Slim Jim” guy standing at the urinal next to me, trying desperately to undo a certain facet of his costume so that he could take care of his business.

UrinalSo maybe my female readers don’t fully understand the oddness of this situation, but trust me there is an inner conflict that happens. First off, it’s the bloody “Slim Jim” guy, part of you wants to look over at the 7 foot tall costume, but you’re doing your business, so you can’t, but you want to.

Then you have the psychological concerns, like is it possible that he could explode if doesn’t go right away. I mean, I remember some of those commercials that guy blows up all the time.

cheech_chongAnother concern arises, what if a coworker decides to dress up like Cheech or Chong and decides to get started before work instead of after and walked into the restroom with the “Super Munchies” see’s a big piece of jerky standing at the urinals and decides to take a bite. It’s a huge mess just waiting to happen.

I got out of there as fast as I could. Say what you want, but taking a leak next to the “Slim Jim” is both confusing and unsettling, and it’s definitely not the type of thing I was hoping to or even concerned about experiencing at work today. Thankfully no mishaps occurred and we both did our thing in piece and quiet.

run_awayNow I can’t be certain, but after I walked out of the men’s room I think a heard a faint, “Snap into a Slim Jim!” being said behind the door. I don’t even know what that means, but I did find it very disturbing. Mr. Slim Jim guy, you suck, and if I ever come face to face with you again… I’ll probably just awkwardly avoid you, but if you make any sudden movements there’s a fair chance I’ll spit at you, and run away as fast as I can.

Hey, I’m not proud, but I am honest.