Friday, August 27, 2010

10 Ways To Enrage Your Boss

1. Have a personality that completely goes against his cultural and possibly religious values. For example, if he believes that women are subservient and lacking in intelligence then by all means, disagree with him publicly. I guarantee you'll see that vein throbbing in his temple inside of 3 seconds.

2. Follow his instructions to the letter then be prepared to acknowledge that you must have misunderstood his instructions when the result is less than he expected and therefore blames you for said results. If you can master the art of a demure smile complete with the proper head dip showing your shame, then you'll be a step ahead of the game. Practice in front of a mirror or even in front of your friends. Remember, practice makes perfect!

3. Fail to read his mind. If like me, you somehow managed to sleep through mind reading class in school, learn the art of fortune telling or possibly invest in a crystal ball. Although if you go the crystal ball route, my sincere recommendation is that you go top of the line. If you waste your hard earned money on a cheap one, you may wind up seeing your crazy neighbor's future instead of your own. I understand the newest ones are easily concealed in one's desk.

4. Make the decisions you were hired to make. However, when those decisions are not in keeping with your company's practice of dealing only with salespeople and the ridiculousness that accompanies working with such people, begin questioning your years of expertise in your field and start running every decision by your bosses per their request. If you plan ahead well enough you may be able to ascertain quite early in the week what they would like you to have for lunch on Friday. But remember, their time is far more valuable than yours so be sure to put in your request no later than Monday or you may wind up foraging for leftover crackers and taco sauce stuffed away in the kitchenette drawer.

5. Be honest and show integrity. One should always point out one's own errors and the solution you came up with to correct those errors. Oh wait a second, I've mislead you here. Those errors will be meticulously catalogued by subject, date, severity, and how much you caused your boss's fanny to pucker.

6. Truthfully answer his questions when asked your opinion on a situation. Evidently when they hired you they neglected to mention their preference to having smoke blown up their nether regions rather than hearing intelligent opinions from their employees.

7. Be uncomfortable with his business practices and have a really hard time hiding it. Particularly when asked to lie and use "back door" practices in dealing with customers and vendors. Caution: this may cause permanent sneering, eye bulging, and I can say with relative certainty that increased blood pressure will likely result. Remember, you are playing with another human being's health here.

8. Have trouble working in a bull pen environment. When attempting to have professional conversation with your vendors, expect to have your every word overheard and duly noted in detail regardless of whether a one sided conversation cannot possibly be accurately understood. Shock and appall your coworkers! At this point, you have very little to lose!

9. Begin to immediately question the recent complete turnover of the entire department in which you work. Within two months of your employment, start cautiously asking questions about what became of the aforementioned employees. Show shock and dismay when you discover the entire department turned over within a couple of weeks. Want to really enrage your boss? Ask him why he can't keep anyone in that department for more than a few months at a time. Then ask if he's by any chance considered that he's the only common thread.

10. During a disciplinary meeting, respectfully disagree with something he says then ask him to refrain from reprimands and corrections in front of coworkers. I can practically guarantee that he'll not only come out of his chair and begin shouting but that he'll actually levitate and begin spewing green goo. Take pictures.

Witty quip of the day: Smile and nod. If nothing else, you'll develop terrific facial and neck muscles!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ooohhh, witchy woman...

We've made some terrific friends in the 4 months in which we've lived in our new home. Finding couples that share similar interests and similar values as your own family is an incredible experience. Our three families spend many an evening breaking bread, enjoying our children, and exploring titillating conversation. The fact that we live mere steps from one another is a terrific bonus! Need a cup of sugar? Come on by! Need a shoulder to cry on? You don't have to knock, just come on in. Want to spend some time wondering at our crazy neighbors down the block? We're ready to laugh and point!

Anyone who knows me will likely readily admit, that I'm rarely at a loss for words. It happened though. It happened on April 3rd, 2010. Yes, I actually remember the date. That was the day we moved in to our new home. That was also the day that several of our new neighbors came by and introduced themselves (I'm sure sheer curiosity had nothing to do with it!). The day had been incredibly long and my family and dearest friends were taking a well deserved break from moving and unpacking and were visiting in the garage. Another of my new neighbors popped in for a chat and proceeded to render me utterly speechless! She introduced herself (names shall be withheld) and welcomed us to this fabulous little neighborhood. Then launched into a diatribe about the previous tenants and all of the terrible things that had befallen them. She regaled me with stories of their sordid affairs involving drugs and lost custody of their children. All the while I'm smiling and nodding and searching for an avenue to escape. Then she switches gears, blazes a toothy grin, and informs me that it was completely fine now, that "they had come through the house once it was empty and performed a spiritual cleansing so there would be no bad energy left for us."

I stood with a smile plastered on my face and managed to keep from allowing my normal sarcasm to fall out of my mouth ie., "great, can you take it back?!?". I'm almost certain I heard my best friend, who was seated behind me in the garage, let out a muffled giggle. When the woman finally said her goodbyes, my family and friends and I were simultaneously horrified yet oddly entertained. Somehow, I had a sneaking suspicion that this woman would provide endless fodder for future discussion. Turns out I was right!

She's in some way connected to her next door neighbor. At the very least they share in her decidedly odd beliefs. Peering down from my master bedroom window, I can clearly see both of their houses and while folding laundry in my room a couple of weeks ago I glanced out to see both of them sitting in his garage, door up, in chairs with a table between them. Crowded on this table were multiple lit candles. He was seated with his hands raised as if in prayer, and she was seated opposite him, holding what appeared to be a short stick, and waving it over the candles then drawing it to her face. She repeated this action over and over while he maintained his pose and didn't move for some time. Uhhh.... creepy! Then there was the morning I awoke and opened the blinds in my room to find that after a party the night before, the neighbor had multiple cauldrons scattered about his driveway. One was quite large, and from my vantage point I could see it was full of something. Lets just say that I didn't rush right over to inquire as to its contents!

There have been lots of crazy goings-on but I'll save them for a later post. Let's leave this little drama with the fact that I've renamed my odd neighbor and now refer to her as crazy-mystic-lady. Politically correct? Nope! But I'm really OK with that.

Today's witty quip: in the absence of something to believe in, people will believe anything. (I'm sure someone besides me said that, but I've paraphrased and claim artistic license!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Relocation... Again!

Having recently celebrated my 40th birthday (ugh! did I really just ADMIT that?) I find my family and I facing our newest adventure. This adventure is commonly known as relocation. Again. We were afforded the opportunity to come back home to the Northwest and frankly, didn't hesitate to grasp that opportunity with the jaws of life in order to get out of California and move back to the land of green. Thank you Lord, we're home!

Part of the adventure of relocating to another state is of course finding a place to call your own. We were terrifically blessed to have friends that allowed us to stay with them temporarily while we attempted to located said home. Over the course of 6 weeks we quickly learned that "beautiful family home, lots of updates" translates to "it's got four walls and was painted some time in the late 60's". We watched our options diminish like the stock market and started to get a bit desperate.

We viewed a fantastic tri-level townhouse in a neighborhood the likes of which belonged not in our beloved Vancouver but rather Portland's inner city. We saw a bizarre townhouse in a terrific neighborhood where the only bathroom in the joint was on the third floor. Then, by luck or the hand of the Almighty himself (queue the triumphant angel music) we saw a great little house in a great little neighborhood, full of well, great people! Could it be? Had we finally attained the Holy Grail? The mother of all rental houses in the greater Vancouver area? A three bedroom, one and a half bath, little bit of personal solitude and spacious comfort? Oh yes! Sweet success! Except...

The master bedroom is spacious and includes a large vanity complete with sink and cabinet, a huge bay window with window seat, and a large walk in closet. With a cable outlet. In the closet. While I pondered that, hubby says, "Babe! Check out the closet!" "I am," I say. He grabs me by the shoulders and pulls me out of the closet and says, "Noooo.... LOOK at the closet!" And there, glaring at me in all of it's brass-like boldness, hangs a chain lock. Attached to the OUTSIDE of the closet door and molding. I'm sort of ashamed to admit, that it actually took me a moment to get it. "Holy crap!" I say. "What in the world... why would they... and the cable outlet in there too... OH NOOOOO..." I stammered. Hubby had this bemused look on his face, and while shaking his head muttered something like "wow...", then went and checked out the bathroom.

We did wind up taking the house by the way and have decided that really if it comes down to it, we can use the lock on the closet door as a great conversation starter during one of the many dinner parties to come.

Today's witty quip: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But when in doubt, trick them into checking out your walk in closet.