Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Ferd Who Ruined Christmas and Most of January as Well

I wouldn't say a monkey can do my job, but it's not like I'm welding jet engines together or taming lions or something. I'd say 25% of my job is meticulous organization, another 25% research, and the rest all public relations. Because honestly, sometimes I feel like I am this place's presidential press secretary. I've learned how to soothe people, smarm my way into getting what I want, and deflect questions so deftly that the person asking them ends up asking something totally different, and usually is happy with the answer they weren't looking for in the first place.

But sometimes I wish I had a monkey's sensitivity. That I didn't worry so much about what other monkeys thought, and could just respond in kind to the screeching and poop-flinging that inevitably comes my way. Case in point: the past 4 weeks.

The situation is complicated and silly, but in the end, simplistically stupid. We get stuff for people. Sometimes we end up failing to get that stuff on time and the people get mad.

Last October I began fielding orders for books needed in January. It's particularly important I receive orders for foreign titles early, as they have to cross the pond to get to us. Well I placed the foreign orders in November thinking all was well, that the books would be in by December. Because that is how a normal organization works. You acquire things from other people for a fee, then sell said product for a profit. Well, when December came around and still no foreign books I began to get worried.

Turns out our man paying the fees wasn't actually paying them. "Got to pick your battles," they said, referring to the fact that we were doling out what $$$$ we could to whom we could when we could. 'Stupid recession,' I thought to myself, but surely they'd get around to paying folks who needed a lot of extra time, right? Not so much. And since certain foreign countries take extra long amounts of time off for the Winter holidays (a month!? Can I live there?), my books were never sent out until January. As in when the classes they were needed for had already begun.

So for the last 3 weeks I've been fielding calls that should never have been necessary in the first place from white hot angry professors, confused secretaries caught in the middle, and uppity TAs trying to play hero calling to find out when their books might arrive. And I have absolutely nothing to tell them. I've endured dismissive exasperated shrugs, a truckload of yelling, cursing that would make a teamster blanch, and perhaps worst of all, polite little professors saying things like "I'm just dismayed by all this" which is somehow much worse than Mr. Named Professor popping his top like some sort of King yelling "off with his head!"

And it all could have been avoided. If the distributors were paid on time. If I'd emailed the professors and told them there was problem back in December when i first found out (see I'm partly to blame after all. But what could I have said besides your books aren't here? people usually require more information than that, and i wasn't comfortable defaming my place of employment or others who work therein). If the damn books were just here when they were supposed to be.

But in an odd twist of irony, if the books were actually here, well, I wouldn't have much of a job to do, would I.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dream Cheating

Last night I dream cheated on my wife. Relax, it was rated PG-13. And didn't make a whole lot of sense. But for the purposes of giving Dream-L the details so that she can hunt down and kill the woman who 'stole her man' here's the low-down.

I was in college or more likely high-school and my class was holed up in a big fancy hotel for some sort of academic conference. I remember taking rides up glass elevators and there were security dudes in black suits all over the place. Also my brother was getting married, only in the dream my brother was older than me and most likely my cousin Kevin. I spent a long time in the cafeteria eating pizza.

We were then assigned small groups to work on our projects which were kind of like biographies. I'm pretty sure mine was on populist statesman William Jennings Bryant but it might also have been on the Arizona Cardinals all-pro WR Larry Fitzgerald. Anyhow, we had to present our reports as partners, and a short girl in a vintage concert t-shirt with very short black hair picked me and we went to her room to practice. Then she seduced me with indie-pop. I still remember when she handed me the CD (CDs, how quaint!) and the band was called Chase and the cover looked kind of like the Shins 'Chutes Too Narrow'. They sounded pretty good too. Then she totally kissed me.

So there you go, L. Sick your dream-self on that hussy who dreamkissed your man. I'm sure there will be little left of her when you'r through.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Naked Mitosis

CNN is an evil bastard who pretends to be above the sensationalism of the 'lesser' news outlets but then puts this kind of article link on their front page:

Teens' naked cell pix draw porn charges

Now, I check CNN a few times a day to learn about Barack Obama's recent purchase of a slimjim and a pack of mentos as well as any odd air-travel happenings (which it appears occur everyday, by hero-pilots and 'crudball' dudes trying to fake their deaths). Sooner or later I'm going to see the link that contains the phrase "naked pix." I'm not made of stone. Although I am either incredibly niave or there is something wrong with that title blurb structure because initially I thought some high-schooler had drawn cells in biology class that had boobies and penises and stuff. But apparently kids aren't that wierd and are just hormonal and kind of slutty (shocking?).

Again, too bashful/afraid to actually click the video link I cut and paste the title into google so that i might at least read about the discussion of this story. And people delivered. The most interesting discussion I found was this. My favorite comment has to be from 'XopherMV':

"I think it is ridiculous that she's facing the ADULT charges of CHILD pornography for photographing HERSELF.

Either she's an adult or she is a child. The prosecutor can't have it both ways."

Indeed, a real LOL moment. However this only goes to reconfirm the notion that when/if L and I actually have our hypothetical children and any of them happens to be girls they are certainly not going to be allowed to leave the attic until they are maladjusted 40 year-olds.

Oh and right. So totally not going to do my typical google image search for an appropriate pic to upload for this entry. Not happening.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cold out There, How Could is it?

It's so cold that after a half block of walking my jeans feel as if they are made of cold rolled aluminum, the kind they make heating and air-conditioning ducts out of.

It's so cold that after a full block of walking, it feels as if the Icy Hand of Death itself has reached inside and is wringing my bladder.

It's so cold I went through 3 faces on my walk from the Jeep to the building I work in. My own face, which crumbled away only to be replaced by the Efron face (I wanted to be pretty, however I quickly learned that this was not effective against the cold), which failed and was replaced by the Jake Gyllenhaal face, which I thought was masculine enough, yet it too failed. Now i have the Eastwood Grimace, which has actually made the cold tuck its tail between its legs and run away like a little girl... for the time being.

It's so cold this makes my winters in Buffalo feel like winters in Kuala Lumpur.

It's so cold I had to frighten a family of abominable snow people from squatting in the Jeep overnight. They don't like fire, or coke zero, apparently.

It's so cold they found Jake Frost dead of hypothermia on the near west side.

It's so cold pigeons will actually crystallize if they fly 3 or 4 stories up in the air, plummeting to earth where they shatter like that robot guy in Terminator 2. All of the pigeon peices will one day pool back together in the sewers of Northern Gary where a 300 foot tall Pigeon King will wreak havoc on the populace, eating babies and pecking away the eyes of all the monuments and statues.

It's so cold that hot no longer exists, mild is in critical condition, warm is being given its last rites, and chilly moved to Florida to spend its remaining days voting republican and messing up the electoral college in peace and quiet away from its annoying grandkids.

It's so cold that everybody died. true story.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Awkward thy name is Douglas

I've never considered myself socially adept. I'm not smooth, I don't finish sentences, I'm easily distracted, and prone to pauses. Mostly because I over-think, and over-analyze everything. This effect is multiplied a hundredfold when I am around others who share my special disease or when I am around persons of the opposite sex, especially when I was single. The effect is somewhat dulled if I have drank either excessive amounts of caffiene or just the right amount of alcohol. All in all I seem to have a gift of steering the most casual, normal, everyday situation straight on down to Awkwardtown.

Case in point:

Yesterday, a girl I work with was hurrying to leave. I was fairly busy and the rest of the store was nightmare of customers. She is not the type to say goodbye, and neither am I. But as she walked by my desk something fell from the bundle of wool and Ipod accessories she was juggling for the door. It was some sort of plastic ringer, possibly for an earbud or peice of protective casing? I was inexplicably fascinated by it, as if it were made of precious metal (keep in mind it had been a looooong day). Anyhow, by the time i picked it up and remembered that it was a human being's possession, probably something that helps another something work properly, the girl in question was barely in 'embarassing shout' range, let alone 'I have any decent shot of running you down and embarassing you in person' range. And did i mention this is the type of shy person who rarely says goodbye?

So I set it on my desk, figuring I would just give it to her when she next worked. But then the over-thinking began. How could i just give it to her? Did she even know what it was? Was it important enough to have saved in the first place? Did she even know it was missing? How did i know it was hers, and yet still hadn't been able to let her know she'd dropped it when it originally happened? In short: how awkward am I, really?

In the end, i played the anonymous good samaritan. I saw her drop her bulging canvas bag full of scraves and hat and winter bundlings near my desk and I simply remembered the plastic doodad, and dropped it in her rucksack. Hopefully she found it and it healed her device of its problems. Maybe its still bound up in her mitten. I don't know. But hey, at least I wasn't all awkward about all of this, right?

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