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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Yay… snow day!

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I couldn’t get to work today if I wanted to!  The drift behind the car is nearly as tall as the drift around the front… and I haven’t even ventured out to see how bad the rest of the driveway is drifted. 

More coming on Wednesday … yay! 

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Last night we attended the annual Christmas party for Hubby’s workplace (I used to work there too).  We don’t get invited to many parties and this one is usually really fun so I was excited to get out.  People seem to really let loose at this party and usually I am right there with them, dancing like a fool, spilling drinks on people, and yakking it up with people I haven’t seen in a while. 

<Insert reminder that I am 30 weeks pregnant>

It was still a good time but last night it became very clear to me how much of a social lubrication alcohol is for me.  This was certainly a different experience than it has been in past years. 

See, watching drunk people is all fine and good.  We laughed at dance styles, raised our eyebrows at the antics of the reeeally drunk, and commented on women bouncing up and down in dresses that were either way too short or way too low, threatening to reveal bits of themselves in Janet style.  Yes, we had some good laughs at other people’s expenses (oh come on… you do it too). 

Yes, watching drunkenness seems to be fine; it’s when the drunkenness comes to your table to chat you up that you really notice the difference between being lubed up (socially, I mean) and not.  Being 30 weeks pregnant is a magnet on the best of days but when you add copious amounts of alcohol and, in some cases, other stimulants, the pregnant belly seems to be a beacon that calls to the drunk like bad TV calls to Rosie O’Donnell. 

Numerous people touched my belly (I’ve found that I can be a little flexible with this and make exceptions for some but I’m talking about people that I barely know).  I was spit on by people leaning in close to talk to me over the blaring music.  When I wasn’t being spit on, hot little puffs of air travelled from people’s mouths and landed on my cheek with what seemed like a thud.  I was hugged by my husband’s boss just after he spit on me and just before he awkwardly offered me a job.  I even had someone cup my chin with their hand and squeeze my cheeks.  Yes, I’m serious… could I make that shit up? 

Anyway, I do realize that these things happen every year and that I am just lubed up enough to not notice them.  And overall it was a fine time because I enjoy catching up with people.  But I do find myself already looking forward to next year’s party when I will once again be self-lubed and a little more forgiving of (or oblivious to) the spitty-talking, hugging, dance-on-the-table masses. 

But for now, hand me that glass of ice water, would you?

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Today at the office, for my listening pleasure …

The honker.  Yes, he’s still at it and this week he’s recovering from a cold so the honking is definitely at its peak.  I’m still at a loss as to how that sound comes out of someone’s head.  It’s so loud that I can’t hear the guy next to me and actually have to stop conversations until he’s done. 

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The saliva guy.  Nice as can be but the coworker in the adjacent cubicle is one of those people who seems to be drowning in saliva all the time.  You know the ones… every word spoken is through a puddle of spit that just hangs out at the back of his mouth around his teeth all the time.  I haven’t been spit on yet but it’s only a matter of time, really. 

He is also recovering from a cold this week so ‘saliva guy’ has temporarily turned into ‘very snotty saliva guy’:  the regular saliva still applies (but in grosser -pun intended- quantities) and is accompanied by phlegm-filled coughing and sneezing that you swear will require a mop to clean up.  I find myself wondering how that one little tissue does it!  And how he sleeps. 

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The spreader.  You know the knob in every crowd that often doesn’t cover his mouth when he coughs or sneezes?  Yeah… gross, right?  This is another coworker that also seems to be more phlegmy than usual this week.  Not only is he not conscientious toward his fellow co-workers, but he is also the type that makes a big loud sneeze then turns completely silent afterward and you know he’s assessing the “damage”.  The other day he sneezed while on the phone with his woman and I actually heard him exclaim where it all ended up.  I’ll say again … gross, right? 

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So yeah… these are the people in my neighborhood this week.  Once, yesterday, they all got going at once and it was like some really wet, sickening sonata that filled the room with sounds of snot and visions of germs dancing above our heads. 

All I have to say (after all the words above on the topic, obviously) is that these people better not make my pregnant ass sick.  I’m fine with a cold when I can take some NyQuil and wake up three days later feeling better and wondering where that new birthmark came from but suffering drugless through a cold is just no fun at all. 

Photo from http://www.canada.com/topics/bodyandhealth/gallery/germs.html?g=0

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You turn off of the main hallway of your workplace and head down cubicle-row. 

You pass the nail clipper unseen.  In itself, this is quite a feat since she makes it her job to know everyone’s business. 

You jump as the nose honker lets out a tremendous blow as you walk by.  “Hmm, must be allergy season”, you think but quicken your pace anyway just in case that cloud around him is germs and not pollen. 

You come to her cubicle, prepared to ask her the question you’ve been meaning to ask all morning and just didn’t get out of your chair for.  Procrastinator.  As you get a good view of her cubicle, you notice that she is still eating, the half-full bowl sitting between her and the keyboard.  It is only 1:10 pm after all and she often works out at lunch. 

Do you:

a)  Not say anything and keep walking, thinking to yourself that you’ll come back in 15 minutes.  It’s not that important anyway. 

b)  Say, “Knock knock” (which alone should be punishable.  If you’re going to knock … KNOCK!  Don’t say the word “knock”, moron!), enter the cubicle, and sit down in the spare chair before she can reply.  The latest mouthful of her lunch has paused halfway between bowl and mouth as she eyes you with a look that says, “Hey dufus, what is it about this that says this is a good time?”. 

And then you say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m interrupting your lunch” with a stupid grin on your face, to which she replies, “uh… yeah” in a tone that very clearly says, “what gave it away, dumb-ass”.  You decide to interpret this as a go signal instead of the intended, “Go away until I’m finished, idiot stick… I didn’t hang around and watch you eat lunch”. 

She puts her fork down and very deliberately shoves the bowl of food away from her as you talk … not for a couple of minutes but for ten frigging minutes.  And not just about the original question that might have been excusable.  No, you delve into details that go deep into the project that is triggering the question and have the endearing quality of saying the same thing at least three times over in one conversation. 

Oh, it might look like she’s listening but that glaze you see in her eyes is her honing her four-letter vocabulary, applying every word to you.  And that little spark of amusement in her eye?  When you think she’s actually listening to you say the same thing for the fourth time?  That’s just when she finds one of those four-letter words that fits. 

~~~

A tip to the new guy at the office:  Choosing b is not how you get on my good side.  It is true what they say about first impressions and you’ve got an uphill journey ahead of you. 

To old co-workers that do the same thing:  You might want to read the book 101 Common Sense Social Skills That Every Geek Must Know!   It’s a must read. 

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Bleep

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Every day I keep my eye out for things that I call “blog worthy”.  I feel like I’ve hit the mother lode today. 

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/10/17/swearing-study.html

You’ve just gotta love the Brits, don’t you?    

“Swearing on the job can reduce stress and boost employee morale, a British study has found.  The study determined that frequent swearing can reinforce solidarity among staff and enable them to express their feelings, such as frustration, and develop social relationships. ”

Now, I’m not going to pollute this entry with a bunch of profanity for the simple fact that I don’t know which of my family members reads this blog but I have been known to throw out the occasional four-letter word.  Notice that I used the word “occasional”, a strictly relative term.  In this case, I mean relative to a sailor… whose boat is sinking… and who just smoked their last cigarette an hour ago. 

Seriously, though.  I grew up in a household where swearing was not permitted so when I reached the age where I realized that that really meant swearing within earshot, it starting spewing out of me at a force equal to a volcano.  Before you judge me, consider that the word “fart” was off limits in my house.  Yes, I’m serious. 

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As an adult, my “potty mouth” is no longer the caliber it used to be, but I’m not a prude either.  A well-placed piece of profanity can help make a point.  It can convey a sense of urgency to the listener.  It can put feelings around a statement probably better than any other grammatical mechanism.  It’s an outlet for frustration that is much more civil and much less painful than a punch in the grapes.   And who among us would rather be kneed in the groin than told to “F off”?  Anyone? 

I read a lot of Archie comics as a kid.  Compared to comics that I see floating around today, Archie and the rest of the Riverdale gang are a clean lot.  As a kid, though, it did not take long to figure out what Archie or Reggie really meant by the occasional “$&#%”. 

One that did slip by me as a kid, though … the beloved Smurfs.  Maybe it wasn’t intentional, but their interjections of the word “smurf” sure make me wonder.  Does anyone else remember that?  The word “smurf” as a cuss replacement will always make me laugh.  Leave it to the Family Guy to spoof on it …

TELEVISION ANNOUNCER: We now return to the Smurfs…
(on television screen)
Smurf #1: Hey, did you have a good time last night?
Smurf #2: Smurf-tacular!
Smurf #1: Yeah, I saw you leave with Smurfette.
Smurf #2: Oh man, as soon as we got out of the bar, she started smurfing me.
Smurf #1: Shut the Smurf up!
Smurf #2: Yeah!
Smurf #1: Right in the Smurfing parking lot?
Smurf #2: Smurf-Yeah!
Smurf #1: Oh! That is freaking Smurf!

Anyhow…

At my workplace we have a Health & Welllness Committee that often sends out e-mails about things like proper posture at your desk, stretching, regular exercise, and other stress-relieving and healthy habits.  Next week we can pay $2 (for charity) to wear casual clothes all week long.  I wonder… Will they circulate this article?  If they knew about the stress-relieving aspects of swearing, would we be able to pay $2 to cuss all week long? 

Probably $*#^ing not. 

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Server Room Pics

In case anyone wonders what I do all day (besides posting nonsense here), here are a few pics of the server room I am building. 

I started with an empty room, have assembled/joined/installed components into all of the racks seen, and am basically managing the whole project.  Fun stuff if you’re a geek! 

Server Room 4  Server Room 3  Server Room 2  Server Room 1

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I hate TrippLite comms racks. 

They will be fine once assembled and hosting equipment but to put them together was not a pleasant experience.  The instructions came on a 4″ x 4″ piece of paper that was barely legible, the pictures so small and bad you could not use them for reference.  The pictures in the website’s PDF were no better.  When finally assembled, the rack has give to it and doesn’t seem stable so will need to be somehow secured to the server racks (since we have a tile floor and therefore no subfloor to bolt to). 

When it comes time to install the cable management hooks (the plastic cable management hooks), they don’t go on with screws but with little plastic knobs that, when a 1/2″ long rod is pushed through it (again plastic), the back end fans out to hold it in place.  These are not easy to put in with a hammer;  because they are plastic, many of them bent and were then garbage.  There were, of course, no extras so I ended up being short in the end.  And to top it all off, I am missing three hooks.  I may come across them but at this point it looks like they just weren’t sent. 

My hands and fingertips ache from putting these racks together.  Granted, some of that stems from sitting in front of a keyboard and not using tools on a daily basis.  I don’t mind assembly but there has got to be a better way to ship these out! 

I’ll post pictures of the progressing server room in the next couple of days. 

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