Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Not Happening

I thought I could keep blogging through this week, right up to Friday morning when I leave for my two week off-the-grid vacation.

It's SO not happening.

Pre-vacation stress monkeys don't observe their surroundings well... Much less make witty comments on daily happenings. They mostly just make vowel sounds and flail their arms about wildly.

Like this. I look exactly like this.
<photo credit:>

I'll be back August 14, my ReaderFriends!

Keep smiling, and keep shining!


Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Not Just Me...

To: All Employees
From: Sunny
Subject: Men's Room Shenanigans

Hi All,

The electrician is just leaving. He was unable to fix the fan today, and will be back at 11:30 tomorrow morning to continue with his adventure. Until then, please feel free to use some of the extra binder clips in case of emergency.

To: Sunny
From: EngineerFriend
Subject: RE: Men's Room Shenanigans
What are the binder clips for?  Stop them from having to pee?

To: EngineerFriend
From: Sunny
Subject: RE: Men's Room Shenanigans
For the stink!
To: Sunny
From: EngineerFriend
Subject: RE: Men's Room Shenanigans
Okay, better.  I thought that was one cold-hearted corporate directive...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mine, All Mine

A common difficulty within the Workplace is The Sharing Of The Communal Refrigerator.

It's an easy enough trap to fall into. Your significant other makes something amazing for dinner, and you find the self control not to snarf it all in one sitting - instead opting to set some away for later.**1 You pack it delicately into its tupperware container, stuff it into your lunchbox and put the whole shebang into the fridge.**2 And the next day you bring it with you to work.

Now, keeping it at your desk risks your food going warm before you have the chance to heat it up in the Nuke-erator. And one cannot have chemistry take away ones jollies like that, so one instead opts to put their lunch in the Shared Fridge.

But instead of being safely confined in a meatlocker, your food is instead left to fend for itself like a baby squirrel whose mother stood in the middle of the road too long trying to remember whether she shut the door to the fridge or not. The vultures descend. First they peek at your lunch, "just curious about what you brought." Then they sniff it. And try a little bite.

And before you know it, your tasty treat is gone.

This happened within our office today. There was chatter of making up snide and snarky stickers to label food not for community consumption.


What would YOU write on your yogurt cup/lasagna leftovers/sparkling water bottle**3 if you could say anything to That Dude Who Just Snitched Your Snack?

**1 Just like a cute little squirrel.

**2 A cute, neurotic little squirrel.

**3 A bottle containing sparkling water. Not a sparkling bottle containing regular water. I know that can be confusing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hungry, Hungry Human

Have you ever been hungry and busy at the same time, and then had to weigh your busy-ness against your hunger and figure out which one would win?

I do that all the time.

I usually choose wrong.

Today I picked productivity over my belly... and it was a bad choice.

See, when I start to feel hungry, the feeling will float gently around my innards for about an hour. Ninety minutes TOPS.

At which time, my body believes it has expended enough energy trying to get my attention, and begins to shut down entirely. I lose fine motor skills... and then gross motor skills... cognitive capacity shuts off entirely and eventually I teeter over the edge into being Too Hungry To Intelligently Feed Myself. It is at that point that I must wander into the world and put my hands on the first edible object I come across - usually with a gutteral grunt marking my acceptance of my gastronomical fate - and inhaling it with the grace and poise of Cro-Magnum having his way with a raw boar.

I can feel myself approaching this uncomfortable edge... But for right now, there's not a thing I can do about it. I'm at least 40 minutes away from my next intake of food.

The best I can do is think about it.

And... now I've lost interest in this blog post, too. I'm just thinking about what I want to eat for lunch. Although right now I'd chew the toes off a toddler if I thought it would sustain me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Causes of Parking Garage Angst, Take One

Dear Meanderer of the Parking Garage Through-Ways,

I applaud your early arrival to work which grants you a leisurely stroll towards your office. It's really great planning on your part to leave yourself a window of time in the morning so you don't have to rush from car to office as the morning whistle blows.

However, don't expect that the rest of the world follows your strict schedule.

In fact, it would probably benefit you greatly if you assumed that the world is running about five minutes behind.

Then you might motivate your posterior out of the driving lanes within the parking garage, and not become a new hood ornament on my SunnyGoZoom Machine. And maybe you wouldn't glare at me as I drove around the corner on my quest for a parking spot. After all... you never know it's definitely my fault for driving the speed limit and not anticipating you loitering about doing your impression of a lethargic tortoise.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Dancey Dancey, Jump for Joy!

No, seriously - Woah!!
Today, upon returning from my long weekend away from the bonds of technology**1, do you know what I found?
(Of course you don't. I haven't told you yet, and you aren't psychic. If you were, you'd be using your powers to figure out the deeper meaning behind the Matrix movies or something, instead of wasting your time here on my ramblings.)
We have just hit 1,000 views!
DearEngineerFriend has been looked at 1,000 times within the past 14 months.
That's 71 views per month!!
That's 2.3 views per day!!!
That's SO EXCITING!!!!
And in celebration of this momentus occasion...
I have absolutely nothing.
(This kind of snuck up on me.)
I didn't prepare something in anticipation of reaching this milestone... I just figured it would happen eventually and the perfect words would be at the tip of my fingers.
(Because spur-of-the-moment words are so easy to come by, doncha know...)
They aren't.
Instead of crafting perfect verbage, I spent my morning weeding through e-mails that came in over my long weekend**2 and trying to figure out how the world will handle my impending 2-week vacation.
But as I was doing that, I did assemble a snippet to share... So we'll call this the celebration.
Public Service Announcement to Fellow Office Dwellers
We've covered before how I feel about Monday Mornings. They are just the life-sucky-est. But we forge boldly onward, secure in the knowledge that tomorrow is NOT Monday, and the week will get better.
However, what Monday mornings are is a termination of the weekend. That means we buckle down and get back to the unsavory duties we must accomplish within our Establishment of Organized Chaos.
And by 'unsavory duties,' I do NOT mean clipping your fingernails at your desk. No, I'm serious. Your morning schedule should include e-mails and returning phone calls... not basic hygiene. You had a whole weekend just a few hours ago in which to fling little clipping shards about your home with wild abandon. Which leads me to believe that one of two things is happening:
1) You have only one pair of clippers, which you keep them in your desk drawer next to your emergency roll of duct tape. And you accidentally killed a hobo with your claws this morning, so a police officer mandated that you groom.
2) You use clippings to spice your morning coffee, to give your Monday morning a little extra pick-you-up.
Either way, my Monday morning routine - and my Me - is being thoroughly and deeply disturbed by your Monday morning routine. Something's gotta give... And at the rate you're going, it's going to be the tip of your finger and my stomach.
**1 And when I escape technology... I do it pre-7th-century style. And it's epic.
**2 Did I mention that it was epic?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chats That Need No Explanation

Sunny: ManagerFriend, it's time for your department meeting.
ManagerFriend: Are these them?
Sunny: Yes, dear. This is your Mechanical Department. Please allow me to introduce you to EngineerFriend and Drafter Friend.
EngineerFriend: [extends hand to ManagerFriend] Hello. I'm EngineerFriend - the answer to all your problems.
DrafterFriend: [extends hand to ManagerFriend] Hello. I'm your drafter... and I am your problem.

Sunny: "The client is on the phone. He says he thinks the call got cut off."
EngineerFriend: "It did - I hung up."
Sunny: "That guy wigs me out."
DrafterFriend: "Is it the fastidiously trimmed goatee? [Because] A man with such control of his facial hair should be treated with the utmost respect, and a smattering of fear."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Vagaries *UPDATE*

Remember last week, when we addressed the Random Caller of Ultimate Vagueness?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see that Dear Abby (of newspaper fame) addressed it recently as well.

Direct from Our Friendly Local Paper**1...

"'DEAR ABBY: Over the past month, I have accidentally dialed a couple of wrong numbers. Because no one answered, I didn't think it was necessary to leave a message. Abby, both times the recipient of the wrong number called me to find out why I had called. The first time it was an irate mother demanding to know why I was calling her kid's cellphone. She threatened to call the police if I ever called again. The second individual also angrily demanded to know why I was calling. I feel their reactions were unwarranted.

'Would you agree? What is the best way to respond if it happens again? - Honestly Mistaken in Plano, Texas.'

'DEAR HONESTLY MISTAKEN: People call wrong numbers every day. A misdial can occur if the caller is in a hurry or has poor vision, and it should not be a cause for panic or rudeness. If it happens again, the best way to respond is, 'I misdialed. I'm sorry that I bothered you.' Then end the call.'"

At least I know I've got Abs on my side.

**1 I read it every morning when I'm covering the morning break for the Front Desk Attendant. I should note that I've also got five stars in my horoscope today. The paper says so. It must be true.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Don't Ask...

Sometimes my big ol' mouth gets me into heaps of trouble.
Like, for instance, the time I convinced my first grade teacher that my father really had fallen off the roof and broken his leg.**1
Or, for other instance... today.
When it didn't spin a tale, but instead couldn't keep it's stupid flaphole shut and stop asking questions to which it didn't want an answer.
I was conversing with a coworker who doesn't have a lot of meaningful interactions. She's cornered the market on idle chit-chat, but doesn't really delve into anything deeper than weather or the romance novel she's currently.
Now, normally, this isn't a problem. I'm pretty awesome at words, if I do say so myself. So I thought I could handle whatever this woman could throw at me.
I mean, the last conversation we had was about how she was going to have a chimichanga for lunch. Again.
I could handle whatever she dished out. (Har-de-har. I said dished. Because we were talking about food. It's... whatever.)
I was dreadfully, horribly, scarringly wrong.
But for today, it went like this:
CoWorker: "There's a movie out that I really want to go see."
Sunny: "Oh? What movie is that?"
CoWorker: "It's called 'Hysteria.'
Sunny: "Well that sounds interesting. What's it about?"

<Note: Error #1. I could have nipped this entire conversation in the bud with a little teeny "I've heard of that - it sounds great! I bet you'll enjoy it. Bye, now!" But no. This nincompoop had to show interest. That'll learn me.>
CoWorker: *blush* "Oh! It's about women... You know... *whispers* And the man who invented... umm... vibrators."
Sunny: *speechless*
<Note: Error #2. I could have stopped this here with an "Oh! Well isn't that nice. Have a good lunch break! See you later!" But instead I stood there like a terrified tot who just caught Mommy pretending to be Santa Claus, and Daddy drinking the beer specifically left out for Santa**2.>
CoWorker: You see, in my day, women had 'hysteria.' That's what they called... *pause, look around with a sly grin, lean in to whisper* That's what they called horniness."
Sunny: Um. Well. That will be fun, then.
Next time, we're talking about weather.


**1 - In fact, falling off the roof was one of the only ways he didn't break his leg. My teacher was terribly confused by my story, and my mother's explanation that my father was just fine. On the up side... she never again questioned my ability to write fiction.
**2 Santa drank beer at our house. Don't judge. It went way better with the fruitcake we left for him to eat. And everyone knows that a drunk Santa leaves more presents anyway.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wait For It...

Public Service Announcement to Fellow Users of Elevators
I understand that elevators are frustrating. And being dependent on them - as you must be, since your schedule is so hectic that taking the time to walk the stairs is absolutely out of the question - must be so demoralizing. Seriously... its as though your can-do-attitude has been stripped from your very bones by the Boxes Of Ultimate Up-And-Down-I-Ness.
You're not going to intimidate them.
Not by pushing the buttons over and over with varying speed and franticness...
Not by glaring at the elevator arrival beacons one-by-one in turn until the elevator arrives...
Not even by running to the door of the elevator as it does finally arrive, and bracing your hands within the doorframe so as to best propel yourself inwards when it finally beckons you forth.**1
No... I can almost guarantee that none of those tactics will coerce the Hurtling Rooms of Doom to work any faster.
But if you're making yourself feel better, by all means please continue - The onlookers find it pretty entertaining, if I do say so myself.
**1 No... That, most certainly, is the best way to run chest-first into another harried elevator-rider and then you'll have to (steady yourself for this...) apologize. You know, for being an impatient scumsucker.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Dear Random Caller,
I appreciate that it can be frustrating to see a call come in and be unable to answer it, but then not receive a voicemail. See, as the operator of a switchboard, handling that is kind of my job. So I get it. Really. 
So I feel comfortable explaining that, if someone calls you and then doesn't leave a voicemail, you need not call them back.
No. No exceptions. That's all there is to it - They don't bother to leave you a message, you don't waste your time tracking them down. Ta da!
Now I know it's tempting. You might be able to actually find the person who called you and have a terribly fulfilling conversation.
But I can almost guarantee that's what won't happen.
What will happen is that you'll reach my switchboard, where you'll promptly make your statement: "Someone called me from this number, and didn't leave a voicemail."
And I'll respond with "I'm sorry, but this is a switchboard." I could connect you with any of one hundred and sixty employees within this building based on the information you provided.
Now, this can go one of three ways.
The first optional response from you is my ideal: "Oh. I guess I'll just wait and see if they call back, then." No muss, no fuss, and we both get on with our lives in a relatively expedient fashion.
The second is less ideal: You offer some sort of specific about yourself, and I'm able to pinpoint who you need to speak to. For instance, you'll tell me that you live in a town where I know we do a lot of work. Or that you work in a school where only a handful of employees' children attend.  I'll transfer you as best I can, and we'll get on with our day.
The third is my least favorite. You offer something vague with a heavy dose of attitude that gets both of us riled up, and neither of us headed on the conversational path we should be travelling.
So while I commend you on your lifestyle of cheerleading and lobster selling, I can't direct your call. It doesn't matter how grumpy or inconvenienced you are. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.
Because as much as it would tickle the locals for me to page the office with an "If anyone called a random grumpasaurus about ordering some peppy lobsters, they're on line four..." The odds of it receiving anything but pithy sarcasm in retort are almost infinitely against you.
Thanks for your time, though. It's been a pleasure.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Riddle Me This...

Public Service Announcement
There is a certain protocol to Answering Questions of which you seem to be unaware. Let me enlighten you.
It is hardly ever acceptable to interrupt as the question is being asked. While it might better your chances of having a correct answer if you make up the question yourself, it almost guarantees that you will not give the answer that I need.
Nor does it help our situation when you phrase your answer as a restatement of my original question. While I commend your ability to use angry intonation, sarcasm and pique as tools to turn my words against me, it will not stop me from asking the question again. You're just making me wonder what else you've got up your sleeve.
I do not give up lightly. I will seek information elsewhere if you are unable to provide worthwhile guidance. And I won't gloss over the fact that you drowned your helpfulness in a lake of douchery.
And finally, please remember that you, too, are likely to someday be in a position of subordination. I know... the horror and injustice of it all... - so it might be in your better interests not to belittle the person who, someday, might have the answer your questions. You never know what situation you'll find yourself in where my knowledge could help you sink or swim.
I could be your ally, or we could do battle until one of us limps off into the sunset. But remember... they call me the Warrior Princess for a reason.
Don't make me use my battle cry.