Monday, June 27, 2011

Busy Body


It's Monday Morning. I'm scrambling around the office, trying to get everything done (invoicing, etc.) and the copiers have decided that they were VERY lonely over the weekend and need big lovin's to get them through the morning.

But I am strong, and I can do this! 
I CAN get through all my invoices...
I CAN get through all the paperwork...
I CAN get through the extra witty writings I promised to a friend today...



I can't open the filing cabinet. Maybe it's locked, or maybe I just didn't have my Wheaties... but can you help me?

<Moments later...>
Oh. You have to push the thingy. Well that's embarrassing... Thanks.
Sunny: RAWR *sigh*
EngineerFriend: Word.
EngineerFriend: Whenever I see sheet seven in a nine-sheet set, I always think of Seven-of-Nine... You know. That Star Trek babe.
Yup, I'm Scottish. Me and the salmon are one.
ReaderFriends, I hope you have a week that doesn't suck. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Greetings from the non-work world, ReaderFriends!

Today is Sunday. Ah, blissful Sunday. I'm sitting on my couch, dressed and showered and rye-toast-ed (and wishing I had gotten my tush in gear some time in the last few days and dragged my lazybones to the market for juicey goodness...) and more than half an hour early for my Sunday Adventures in Organized Religion. I've surfed all the social networking sites I can take, and have decided to share a little venom from last week to get it good and out of my system so as to avoid angry leakage during tomorrow's impending Noontime Noms!

Last week... was not the greatest week ever. I have been proverbially (and emotionally) shat upon, and my strength was blasted to itty bitty Sunny Smithereens. I was called unreliable, self-serving and difficult to work with. I watched the morale-boosting extravaganza I single-handedly organized fall into the the chauvenistic fuddy-duddy (who told me to put it together in the first place)'s lap, at which point I watched him humbly accept every ounce of credit that was given for said extravaganza during a company-wide meeting, as I stood just a few feet behind him.

At the risk of dragging my personal life into the amazing world of EngineerFriend, I also spent the week worrying about money after a little Shadenfreude moment at my Friendly Local Courthouse left me wishing that I had a credit card, and the income of an EngineerFriend instead of just an Office Wench.

Work is just work, and bad times are just bad times. The work and the hardship and the bad times do not define me, and are not my life. There is more joy to be found and excitement to be had than can be expressed in purple font on one measly web page. I need only open my eyes to see it.

It is now Sunday, and the nastiness of the workweek is all behind me. I've spent 36 hours resting, recovering and releasing it all, and am now feeling thoroughly prepared for another 23. I've significantly imprinted my couch with my dent-inducing-derriere as I killed a four-pack of naturally sweetened root beer and a bag of raspberry chocolates. I've spent time with friends, with food and with cats, and have been loved by them all. I've watched an early-elementary-school child give his grandmother Tickets To The Gun Show and chuckled softly to myself at her proud smile.
But tomorrow, after these 23 hours are over, I will hold my head high and march proudly back to my desk, prepared to take on everything my coworkers can throw at me. Because, in the scheme of things, words are my greatest weapon... So I don't need to let someone turn them against me.

And, if all else fails, I can follow the advice I found in another amazing blog today...

"When all else fails, break something."*

Go forth, ReaderFriends, and have a wonderful last 23 hours of freedom. 

*- Posted by Jane in her blog at You should check it out! She's full of wisdom and amazing insight... She talks about dance and gardening and other fantastic adventures... Plus, she likes bacon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dressing for Dinner

It's Monday.



I think I need to sit down.

Oh wait... That's what I do all the... Nevermind.

ANYWAY. Moving swiftly along.

What a *boring* week last week turned out to be. It was next to dead in the office. And when I say dead... I mean that I logged more hours on my favorite easily-accessed-yet-doesn't-look-malicious-to-big-brother gaming website than on any project or task all week.

However, it *was* busy enough that I haven't had a free moment to scribble down my thoughts on life, the universe and everything,* except for that brief moment of clarity when I got down with my poetical self and let out some bottled emotion. (For the record... the rain didn't live up to my blog post. The sky dribbled more than poured, and my emotions got more foggy than free.)

But now, as I sit here on this bright and sunny Monday morning (after EngineerFriends one and all have returned from goodness-knows-where-they-go-over-the-weekend... presumably bound back from time with their families or back from the mothership), I return to you from the doldrums of my boring week with stories aplenty from my times away.

Last week was rife with snafus of the wardrobe variety. Not that the local fauna have taken to dressing inappropriately: this is almost never the case. (Their clothing is all very boring: neutrals and blues abound.) No, instead they took to commenting on MY attire.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am - in fact - female... and at times do like to remind myself of that by wearing something cute and dressing for the part.

However, dressing like a female often leads to one startling realization about the office:


And with that realization comes the stumbling, stuttering awe-inspiring awkwardness of an office full of engineers who have difficulties handling my wardrobe shenanigans.
Last week, I encountered the following:

(On Tuesday)

EngineerFriend: You look smashing today!
Sunny: Thank you... I do try. 
EngineerFriend: I know, but you've got the whole ensemble today. Those Jesus shoes are adorable. And that bow on your dress? <poke> Too cute!
Sunny: Umm... thanks.
<brief exit by EngineerFriend, followed by his speedy return:>
EngineerFriend: I can smell you from over there. What is that? Apricot?
<approaches and sniffs my hair>
Sunny: Umm... I don't... Tell me you're not going to lick me.
(On Wednesday)
EngineerFriend: You look like That Girl today.
Sunny: What girl?

(This, of course, was followed by googling of "That Girl," which was followed by dawning realization, which was followed by an oath to myself that I would maintain ignorance in the face of the EngineerFriend... And an explanation that this was NOT my That Girl dress. That dress is in the wash.)

And so now, we move on to our MONDAY NOONTIME NOMS!!

"Hi All,

I currently have a love note from <a vendor> sitting on my desk asking me to send them oodles of money for all the exciting fun we’ve had. Unfortunately, I have either been stricken with selective amnesia or I am not the party that went on <vendor> adventures. In hopes that it is the latter, I am requesting any information that anyone may be able to give me in regards to the invoices I should process to expedite their payment before they get tetchy.



(EngineerFriend Response:)

I learned a new word - Thanks Sunny. I can’t wait to use it on my know-it-all teenagers.


Want to turn a client seven shades of purple?

Make them wait. And while they wait, make sure the radio is on.

And it is best if the radio is tuned to some radioactive station that may explode into obscenity at any moment, so as to find the best chances of this little snafu:
Sunny: Of course. I'd be happy to find EngineerFriend for you. Please have a seat.
Client: Thanks.
Radio: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me...
Client: O.O
"<The clients> are similar, but they couldn't be more different."


"I've done hard labor. One summer, I worked for a roofer, and he wanted me to get a pallet of shingles up to the roof. So I would carry a bundle at a time, all 80 pounds, up and up those 16 feet to the roof. For 2 or 3 hours, I did that! And I was starting to get a little slow, and my boss was yelling at me... So I said "I've been doing this for hours! Let's see you do better!"

And all summer, I never got a sunburn. Once I dripped some liquid asphalt on me, though. That burned."

(Point Of Interest: I bit my tongue, and did not mention my two summers-worth of construction projects, or working 2 hours before breakfast to beat the heat of the day on the roof, or simultaneously working as a nanny and a construction laborer and trying to explain to the little ones why they couldn't follow me up the staging... Nor did I mention that you never *ever* sass the foreman. I was hoping he learned that himself. Because really... I'm female. What could I possibly know about real work...)

Have a WONDERFULLY Sunny week, ReaderFriends!

*The answer is 42, by the way. In case you were wondering.

P.S. - It wouldn't be Monday if I got this up here on time. Seriously... if I were on time, there would be a riot. Which would be fun and all... but still. It's the principle. Maybe next week...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Rain

As I sit at my desk on this slow afternoon, nature is reminding me that I move too quickly. It calls to me to slow myself down and experience what she can show me. The distant sound of thunder echoes softly through the office, and the impending weather has my coworkers rushing from the building, with cries of open windows on their lips. But I sit, awestruck, staring out the window as the leaves turn in towards the trees and the birds in the gully take shelter closer to the ground.

The sky has turned a dismal, intimidating gray and bolts of lightning jet across the sky. Any moment, a tear will rip across the skies and the rains will pour forth, rhythmically pulsing against the glass wall behind which I make my living. Steady rivulets will wash over the world outside, coursing first a pale yellow and then a crisp, cool clear as the dirt and dust and pollen breaks free and flows away.

From the safety of my desk, I'll hunger for the feel of the droplets on my skin, painting streaks on my face and splotches on my arms as I stand with my face turned towards the skies. I'll close my eyes and let the pulse of the thunder wash over me in waves, slowing my heart to match its steady pace. Faster and harder the rains will come, a simultaneous burst of emotion that echoes the power and anger, rapture and fear that I bottle inside me so systematically. The crack of the thunder will break their compartments, and sensations will radiate from my core to the tips of my fingers and pads of my feet. Even as they bubble forth, however, my soul will not reflect the power or the anger, the rapture or the fear that draws so close to explosion from my every pore. The falling rain washes away each passing moment, leaving me instead with nothing but peace.

But just as suddenly, the skies will clear and the sun will shine again. The rains will cease and the thunder will fade into oblivion. It is then - only then - that the world... and my soul... Will feel free and clean once again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thinking Of A Number...

I would SO love to be telepathic. It would be super cool the be all Professor Xavier-esque and know what other people know as it happens. (Well, most of the time. Bathroom thoughts, outside of "Hmm! Pretty tile pattern!" aren't really my idea of a good time.)

However, it is not yet a reality. I don't have a mutated X-gene, and they haven't developed technology to bring me to that pinnacle of understanding.

When they do, I hope they keep in mind administrators around the globe who work in Engineering Offices. A key into the mind of the Engineer is, I believe, a crucial tool to administrative career success.

Why is that, you ask?

Because without reading minds, it's almost like pulling teeth to glean the information I need from these people.

The exchange this morning, for instance:

"Do we have any envelopes that my project will fit into?"

My questions at this juncture: 
What is your project? 
What size is the pile of paper? 

Are you mailing, overnight-ing, hand-delivering, or sending by carrier pigeon?
Why can't you be more clear in the first place?

What I really say:

"Okay. This is what I've got."

"Okay... Will it fit in this one?"

My questions at this juncture:
See above, plus

How did you find the *only* legal sized envelope in the entire office?

What I really say:
"I'm not sure. You might be better off with this [oversized, but proportionately so - not weird and legal] one."

"Cool. Can you make me some labels?"

My questions at this juncture:
How many?
Addressed to whom?
Mail? Overnight? Carrier pigeon?
How would you feel if I were this cryptic with you!?

What I really say:
Nothing. I say nothing at this point, because after his last request, EngineerFriend walked away.

And so I wait... take a deep breath... and call his extension after a few lengthy moments to ask if the envelope fit, and if he could send me the addresses to whom he would like his envelopes made out.

I am the bigger person. I am the bigger person. I am the bigger....

Oh, whatever.



"Impaled people! Woo hoo!" [An addendum to "No matter what happens, something worse is always happening in my book."]

"Hi, Earth & Environmental? Can I talk to the person in charge of humidity? I am NOT happy." [A phone call from the loved-one of an employee who was being witty. Props, though... It was my <notably dry humored> Mum.]

"Good morning. Dry your hair." [Ironic, coming from a bald man...]

"Who says that EngineerFriends aren't exciting? One asked me today what it meant to get 'one of those text message things' from a number they didn't recognize. I explained that it's like a misdial, and that they could have some fun with their response. He said 'Oh, I did. They wrote Hey, Sexy! I responded How's the skin cancer?'"

Have a very Sunny week. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Momma May I?

It's exciting to be a receptionist. The glamor of answering phones, the constant excitement of coworker interaction... It really can't be beat.

(So exciting that I spent the afternoon making those little word magnets for my refrigerator so I can craft poetry AND tasty treats *at the same time*. Because I'm so good with multitasking and all.)

RIGHT. Back to the point.

I'm a Mommy. I have 56 children, varying in ages from slightly to significantly older than myself. And I am paid, in part, to keep an eye on each and every one of them.

Now this is not an exhaustive duty. They are (for the most part) big boys and girls, and are capable of bathing themselves, feeding themselves and providing for their own basic needs. However, like a Mommy, I am responsible for maintaining an awareness of their current situations, and giving them little reminders to keep them in line.

They needn't be bothersome or stressful to impart - a simple, quiet statement often does the trick. Over the course of Friday afternoon, I doled out the following tidbits:

"Be careful on your road trip next week. Don't fall down." [To the man who broke his elbow on his last sojourn out of the office.]

"Have you eaten lunch yet? It's been 12 hours. Perhaps you should think about it..." [To the man complaining of being hungry, shortly after complaining that he's been up since 5 this morning.]

"Yes, that looks very nice. I'm very proud of you." [To the man hovering over my monitor, exclaiming "See that? I did it all by myself!"]

And, so we aren't being gender biased here...

"Well, if you need to go [poop], perhaps you should do that now to beat the rush." [To the woman complaining about how the smell in the bathroom gets progressively worse through the day.]

I should consider myself fortunate, I guess. I don't have to change diapers. I don't need to pay to provide their food (although - on occasion - I am asked to order, fetch, and deliver it. But it's with their credit card, and I often get a free snack out of it, so that's okay...) and I don't need to put them down for naps, although there are times when this would be beneficial for all involved.

But I do have to listen to their problems, help them find their own answers and give them a sense of self worth by validating their feelings when they find themselves excited, put-upon, belittled, enraptured, or any other in a host of emotions that run so rampant through the halls of our beloved establishment.

In my desk, beside the pens and scotch tape and Post-It notes, I have my emergency kit. Advil for headaches. Band-Aids for paper cuts. Smiley stickers for a job well done. Quarters for the snack machine. And, of course, duct tape.

I send out birthday notices, congratulations for special awards, and strive every day to make the lives of my children a little more fun.

And I didn't even have to go through that sketchy rip-a-screaming-being-from-your-loins bit, which is comforting because they're all so very much larger than I am.

Although... getting the free popsicles sounds nice.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sticky Side Out

This has been a remarkably quiet week in the office. No one is on vacation, no major office systems are malfunctioning... What's an admin to do with all this quiet?

Well, this particular admin pulls herself up by the mental bootstraps and forges onward in the best way she knows: By cleaning.

Yes, it got so dull today that I tidied up my desk.

And amidst the clutter of half-used Post-It notes (half used in that I have only written on the bottom, and then torn the bottom off so the sticky bit remains to be written on), dead pens and mutilated paperclips, I found something remarkable:

Four rolls of duct tape.

Yes, four.

Now I consider myself to be a resourceful girl. I am never without my duct tape. I have a roll at home, a roll in my car, and apparently a large stash of it at work (To the delight and amazement of my coworkers, who are ill-prepared and often approach me sheepishly to borrow some). However, my recent discovery leads me to believe that I'm doing something wrong.

Not in the fact that I have acquired so much duct tape. No, I feel that preparedness is definitely the answer here. If suddenly my chair loses its seat, I need to be ready to fix the problem. Likewise if I find myself hurtling down the stairs and wind up mangled, a system must be in place for that awful Before-The-Ambulance waiting period. No, my problem lies more in the fact that I haven't done anything with it.

Two of the rolls (Yes, TWO!) are completely unopened. This goes against everything I've ever been taught. The virgin strip off of a new roll of duct tape is sacred, and should be treasured (and then used for something amazing). To have two rolls completely encased in their shrink-wrap packaging is almost sacrilege.

My solution was to spend a thrilling half hour researching different applications for duct tape within an office setting... Listed here, for your enjoyment.

PLEASE NOTE: There are three requirements for these applications:

2) Time and patience. 
(Usually found when the victim is in a meeting, or the restroom if one is quick and agile.)

3) An understanding set of coworkers 
(or, barring this option, a dislike for ones office so ingrained as to approach blatant contempt for your continued employment).


From "The Duct Tape Practical Joker" 

<Note: I didn't fix their grammar... But I wanted to.>

Sinking Chairs  
Here is a fun (and safe) prank to pull on co-workers in an office setting. Most office dwellers have chairs that use a pneumatic piston to control the height. They are also designed to use a persons weight to effect the downward adjustment. While your coworkers are away from their desk, take a strip of duct tape and tape the height adjusting lever to the bottom of the seat. This effectively locks the piston into adjust mode. When they sit down, their weight will cause the chair to bottom out quickly. The looks of utter confusion are priceless. Extra points to brave individuals who pull this one on their boss. 
--- Blame John Callicotte

The Duct Tape Wall.  

This works well for college pranks and in general with doors that open inward to the poor person being trapped inside. Cover the entire doorway (or at least a significant amount of it) with duct tape so that when the occupant inside opens thier door all they see is a sticky wall of duct tape they must get through somehow. A funny 'Got ya' sign stuck to the inside of the wall before the the walls completion also adds some humor.


Gather a lot of cling wrap and a lot of duct tape (*remember if you spare the duct tape you spare the job or prank). Next One wraps their "victims" car in the cling wrap (so you don't apply the tape directly to paint) then uses the duct tape to wrap the car in a sort of duct tape cocoon. It works and you just sit back and laugh while it takes them forever to get there car out. 
--- Blame Mark from W.Va.

Bathroom Water Issues 

Go to one of those bathrooms that have sensor toilets and put a peace of duct tape over the sensor so that toilet never flushes,or put it over the sensor on the sink so the water is always on.
--- Blame Kyle H.

<Sunny's Original Thought: Don't leave the water running too long. It makes the fish sad.>

Mouse Troubles 

For coworkers or friends who use computers often. Put a strip of duct tape over the mouse ball or optical sensor on a computer mouse. when they try to use the mouse, it won't work. 
--- Blame Bruce

Desk Drawer Dilemma 

Duct tape is real handy for driving your co-workers, or better yet, your boss, nuts. Only a few feet are needed to tape someone's center desk drawer shut around the edges of the two sides and the back. It's doubly exciting if the drawer is just slightly open so that the victim can tell that the drawer can't be locked, but can't immediately see or feel what is holding the drawer shut if the tape doesn't cover the entire length of the drawer. At the same time it doesn't do any permanent damage to the furniture. Works best in conditions of reduced light. Avoid doing this to anyone who may have a bad back. The drawer pulling response can get really vigorous. 
--- Blame goes to Charles S.

Tire Sniper  

Get some Bubble Wrap® with one inch bubbles (at most office supply stores or in dumpsters behind gift shops). cut a strip about a eighteen inches long and the width of a tire. Tape this to the tread of the front wheel of a parked car. When the car starts moving, the resultant popping sounds like a machine gun.

<Sunny's Original Thought: This could also be exciting when applied underneath the mat that a computer chair rolls across.>


Did you know that Duck Brand duct tape has "Duck Tape Ducktivities"?

Such clever activities as a duct tape bookmark, wallet, or pen! Classy, creative ways to kill a few dull minutes at your desk for sure.


From "101 Uses for Duct Tape (Plus or Minus 70 or 80) 

<Note: I only listed the ones that have any sort of application in an office. There are hundreds of great ideas, but we needn't be too wordy here!>

- Tape wires down on floor or out of the way.
- Fix broken book binding.

- Reinforce pages in 3-ring binder.

- Fold in half and use as bookmark.

- Disk labels.

- Taping annoying people <read: coworkers> to walls, floor, ceiling, or bed.

- Mute function for humans.

- Sealing envelopes (in case you hate the taste of envelope glue).

- Make the stapler obsolete!

- Fix printer.

- Hold file cabinet together.

- Note cards.

- Remove lint from clothes.

- Wrap a soda can or bottle in duct tape to keep it cold.

- Repair pantyhose.

There must be hundreds of uses for duct tape within an office setting. At current, I am ashamed to say that the only application of duct tape in my immediate vicinity is the trim on the edge of my desk that I've wrapped to avoid the installation of any additional splinters into my thin and pasty flesh. But I'm feeling clever... Who knows what I'll come up with?

<FINAL NOTE: When I wrote this, I was at work. I am currently home, and found myself in need of duct tape over the course of the evening to craft a Clever Cupcake Carrying Console (TM) for some noshable nommeries. My work here is done.>

Monday, June 6, 2011

Noontime Noms

Have you ever had one of those moments when something incredibly epic happened, but you kept it to yourself because you knew that sharing it *right then* wouldn't get the response you needed... So instead you save that little epic tidbit for yourself until you can find the appropriate moment to pop it into the limelight. But then life happens, and your epic little tidbit becomes obsolete, so instead of getting less of a response, it gets no response at all because it never saw any light at all.

Yeah, just like that.

That was my week last week.

I arrived in the office on Tuesday morning feeling refreshed and ready to go after a lovely three-day weekend. I was high on barbeque and happy times with loved ones, so I felt prepared for anything my EngineerFriends could toss at me. Unfortunately, I was unprepared for what my slumlord property owner had in mind for the week.

Now I complain a lot about my office. Feeling uncomfortable on the inside is almost a constant state of being... But I almost never have the willies (except when that spider crawled across my desk... ew...) and almost never feel in real danger.

Last week, this was not the case. As I walked into the office on Tuesday morning, it was 78 degrees (Fahrenheit) at my desk. By lunchtime it was 84 degrees, and by 2:30 p.m. it had peaked at 87 degrees (where it stayed until I went home, sweating and stinking and grumping about). I considered blogging about my experience, but knew that it would only get warmer through the week and didn't want to steal my own thunder.

Wednesday saw a slight decrease in temperature with the impending Thunderstorms of Doom, which I did expect. The temperature only peaked at 84, which was high enough so I disliked holding the phone to my head but not so high that I was sticking to my keys as I typed. (Much to the delight of Social Networking friends, I found myself drawing comparisons to a cookie in an oven, because I refused to admit that I had sunk to an even more literal version of office hell.) I considered blogging about events that day, but instead chose to find some bright spot by taking a peek into the world of EngineerFriend Habits (and, with only mild prompting, adventuring to my Friendly Local Home Improvement Warehouse to find devices to assure that my living quarters remained livable instead of becoming a sweltering pit of despair.)

But on Thursday, I thought for sure I would have some decent material. The temperature climbed again, and I was settling in to my newly found pattern of type-a-paragraph, hydrate, type-another-paragraph, hydrate more when - lo and behold! - two scruffy men in scruffy shirts with their piles of equipment came bundling into the office and started puttering with everything. "No!" I thought. "I haven't written yet!" But my story was not to be told.

By 3 p.m., we had cool air again and the temperature at my desk plummeted from the 83 of lunchtime to a comfortable 77 by the time I went home for the evening. Distressed, I attempted to find the energy to pull together a blog post... But instead I sought solace in a pack of Klondike bars and took my frustrations out on some laundry.

And thusly, we reach the point in this story where it seems foolish to tell my tale at all. Friday was blissful. It was cool and quiet and calm in the office. I had nothing to complain about, and it seemed my story was destined never to see the light of day. I considered a "Summation of my Week" post, but instead spent the day frantically pulling together pieces of paper for a personal project. And so began my crazy hectic weekend, which left me not even enough time to summarize, much less pull together this morning's "Breakfast Bites."

So today, I initiate a new tradition: Noontime Noms!

Last week was slightly less eventful, with fewer witticisms (but quality, my dearhearts... Oh, the quality...) from those EngineerFriends I know and love... Such expulsions as

"I know [my phone] is ringing - I can feel it through my hip!" *eyebrow wiggle*

"'Your baby is so cute...' 'I already paid for it...' 'I'll see you in church...'" [In response to "The A/C will be fixed today, they promise..."]

"Can you put it to voishmayow? My mouf ish full." [Translation: Can you direct the irate client delicately into my voicemail box? My mouth is full of something so delightful that to spit it out would be an abomination against food... And I have no interest in dealing with that angry guy so I need you to do it for me.]

"Cute pigtails. Can I pull on them??" [Not nearly as shudder-inducing as the lewd gesture performed by another Dear EngineerFriend behind the back of the first, who hadn't realized what he had said. This, by far, was the largest snafu I've encountered. It brought to mind an old cartoon I had encountered once that described praising women in the office as an easy task: "Nothing says 'Job well done' like a firm, open palmed slap on the behind!"*]

"Talk to you later, Mermaid." [This was my favorite. One of my EngineerFriends who I actually deem a friend is a really fun guy with a fantastic sense of humor. He informed me that he had been trying for ages to remember to tell me that my name had a direct Polish-to-English translation, which promptly made my day.]

And so ends my sojourn through the last week in my beloved office. I start fresh today, collecting bon mots aplenty to brighten your week with a Sunny Smile.
<NOTE: I intended to post this at Noontime Nom Time... but became suddenly entrenched in Real Life... so it didn't happen. Please forgive my tardiness. :)>

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nervous Habits

The office can be a very stressful place. Deadlines, high stress and bad coffee all play resounding roles in the orchestra of workday difficulties. Because of this, each individual develops their own coping mechanisms to withstand these difficulties and get through the day (relatively) unscathed.

Some people twitch. Foot jiggling, pencil drumming, finger tapping expulsions of energy burst forth, riddling the office with a medley of rhythms that mimic the nervous jumps of a belly ill-at-ease.

Some people twirl their hair. (I admit I am one of them.) Wrap around finger, flip through palm, pull across face, realize what a ninny I look like, drop and pretend it didn't happen, repeat. (The more stressful the day, the more curly the easy-to-reach ringlets around my face.)

And one person... one less-than-lovable, pain-in-my-sitting-bits individual who comes in to visit on occasion... picks at his underwear.

We're not talking about a covert gesture here.

This is a full blown Reach-Around-The-Back-And-Pull-Firmly motion that cannot be construed as anything but the plucking of posterior-harnessing apparatus from the crevice it so desperately attempts to contain.
Immediately in front of me.

As he looks me in the eye.

At first I thought it was an uncomfortable coincidence - that I just happened to ALWAYS enter a conversational triste with him when he had his hand at the back of his inseam and an oblivious look on his face.

This is not the case.

A coincidence would entail my arrival at the situation while it is in a current state of happening. This would be more to the point if I ever actually approached this individual while he was in mid-pluck of the aforementioned unmentionables. (Or, indeed, at all... As he typically approaches me, this is not the case.)

The typical course of events, however, goes more like this:


"Yes? How can I help you today?"

"I need you to *pick* take care of (X,Y,Z) because I *pick pick* owed it to someone yesterday and you're the closest thing I have to an assistant even though I don't work here." *pick pick pickity pick*

"Yes, dear. Thy will be done."

*end of picking, retreat of individual*

It is at this juncture that I can only assume this man's skivvies to be the source of his power, and that he is rendered speechless without direct contact.

Thus, we arrive at the Dear EngineerFriend moment for today:

Public Service Announcement to Fearful Individuals

Do not fear me. Although my kind is foreign to you, I assure you that your power source is safe in your britches, and I will not attempt to snitch it or defeat you. However, I would appreciate if you would take to tapping your pencil or badmouthing your peers instead of fiddling about with your undershorts.

With Love,