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Office Professional: A Day in the Life (Sort Of)

12 Apr

6:45 a.m.   Your alarm clock beeps.

6:47 a.m.   You contemplate your very life’s purpose.

6:50 a.m.   Your alarm clock beeps again.

6:59 a.m.   You’re standing in the shower preparing your skin to sit in an office for an eight+ hour stretch. There will be typing and filing and comingling with others you’d never in a trillion years comingle with in your leisure time. There may or may not be free muffins and danishes involved.

7:15 a.m.    You’re idling on a road behind a car that has 48 bumper stickers. You’re not even sure what color the car is. Apparently the owner has A LOT to say. Perhaps he/she was a middle child. Or the last of six.

7:28 a.m.   You turn the station on your radio for the 18th time. Too much yakking from the chipper morning DJ’s who seem to have had caffeine pills for breakfast.

7:54 a.m.   You pull into the garage at your workplace. You cut off your car. You have approximately six minutes before you’re expected at your desk. You realize you didn’t grab your lunch on the way out, the lunch you spent 45 minutes preparing last night. Great. Now you’ll have to spend money on lunch. Either that or eat six bags of pretzels from the vending machine.

8:15 a.m.    You’re at your desk. Your boss is hovering over you.  You can tell he’s trying out a new underarm deodorant.

9:00 a.m.  You’re busy typing a report you could give a rat’s heiny about. It’s long and drawn out. There are charts involved, cells and equations and squiggly lines. You feel dizzy.

10:48 a.m.    You’re done with the report. You put it on your boss’s desk and hope he doesn’t eyeball it til after lunch.

10:49 a.m.    Your boss is at your desk bathing your nostrils in his new deodorant. Apparently the report needs to be tweaked. You’re the Tweaker. You get to tweaking.

11:58 a.m.     You’re still tweaking.

12:19 p.m.     Your boss has left for lunch, a tiny lunch dive around the corner. Before he left he poked his head into your cubicle to tell you he hopes you finish the report by the time he returns.

12:20 p.m.      Your stomach is growling so loud you wonder if you’ve ever eaten anything since you were born.

1:28 p.m.       Your boss returns and is now hovering over you as you fiddle with Excel charts while simultaneously pretending you’re not agitated by his hovering. When he leans over to smear his fingerprints on your computer screen you smell fajitas, Sprite and sugar cookies on his breath.

2:16 p.m.       The report is finally done. You place it in your boss’s inbox and head to the vending machine with your found coins. You wonder if there are muffins left over from an earlier meeting in the conference room so you head in that direction. When you get to the door of the conference room you spot a tray with one muffin left on it. Just one.

2:16:29 p.m.     “Hi Jane!” It’s Madge from Acquisitions. She’s always buzzing up the hallway with files in her hands. She seems to eat her job. She loves it. No, she adores it. She probably sleeps in her business suits, you muse. You watch Madge head on up the hallway until she’s out of sight.

2:17 p.m.       Just as you turn to head towards the lone muffin your boss slips past you and into the conference room, picks up the muffin and starts eating it.  “I’m still eyeballing the report, Jane. But so far, so good.”  He has muffin crumbs on his lips as he speaks.

2:25 p.m.      You’re on your second bag of pretzels. I mean, half the bag is air anyway.

4:45 p.m.     Your boss is back at your desk. He’s hovering again, pointing out “discrepancies” in the report you’ve spent the better part of a day on. When he leans in close you can smell muffin on his breath. Muffin mixed with new deodorant.

5:38 p.m.       There’s an SUV in front of you. Apparently the owner doesn’t know the meaning of a turn signal.

6:29 p.m.      You’re home and now face-deep in leftovers. You don’t even bother chewing. You never want to see another pretzel again.

8:14 p.m.     You’re getting sleepy. You set your alarm clock.  You drift off to sleep by 9:32 p.m.

9:56 p.m.      You dream about a pretzel. A huge, knotted pretzel. It’s stomping up a hill. You’re at the top of the hill. Strangely it has a face and it appears angry. You run but you’re adorned in protocol attire so you don’t get very far. You trip and fall down as so many women do in pretzel monster movies. Oh dear, you’ve lost a high heel. You glance back and see there’s something in the pretzel’s hand. It’s the report you’ve been working on all day.

11:32 p.m.      It was all just a dream. You’re sitting on the edge of your bed. You have seven hours and 13 minutes before your alarm clock beeps. You drift off to sleep and dream of muffins.


Side Story: Meat Therapy

27 Mar

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it on this blog before but–ahem–I have serious issues with—with–meat. There. I said it in cyberspace. I mean, just look at this:

I don’t care how well you cook it, how many pickle slices, mustard, mayo (another disgusting thing) or ketchup and onions or garnish you put on it, THIS IS WHAT IT REALLY IS. Right there.

It’s really strange, too, my meat hang-up. I mean, it’s not a love-hate relationship with meat. Rather, it’s a don’t like-hate relationship with all things fleshy. I remember being a kid and being told to finish my dinner or lunch or whatever and whenever it involved certain kinds of meat, I was in big trouble. I could sit at the kitchen table for hours after everyone else had long left the kitchen and were burping up after dinner essence in front of the TV. They had eaten their dessert already, too. I would miss the tail end of  Sonny & Cher on account of those icky veins clinging to a chicken drumstick.

Not to mention it’s a foot-leg. A foot-leg. I mean, for crying out loud, you can see where the foot was cut off. Where the animal WALKED AROUND.

And don’t even mention salami.

All those awful, horrid, unsightly beads of fat and gristle–too much to bear.

I loathed sausage as a kid. Still do. (Hey, you know what they say: Two things you never want to see being made are laws and sausages.)

Oy infinity.

My grandfather would go fishing and return home with a bucket of fish to my horror. Of the other two kids in the house, for some reason I remember ME having to scale them in the kitchen sink. Of course I could only do it if I put on my grandmother’s near elbow-length yellow rubber gloves first. Just looking down into that smelly bucket and seeing those dead fish and their eyes all unblinking staring at me made my eyes water. And get this: ole Daddy expected me to cut the heads off. Child abuse for sure. Oh, how I wept at that kitchen sink. 

It was all too much.

Fish eyes and chopped off fish heads (which I never could bring myself to do anyway; I refused to chop the head off of anything) and scales flying everywhere and the stench that filled the kitchen and hearing the TV in the living room that I couldn’t watch because I was on fish duty.


So I always had issues with meat. With flesh. With eating the body of something. The eyes. The tail. The guts. The veins. Hoofs. Feet. Snouts. Ears. The organs.

OHMYGOSH. The organs!

We had liver every so often, too. That stringy, tough, horribly strange looking meat that at eight years old I’m not sure I knew was an actual LIVER, as in an animal’s ORGAN that processes WASTE. (I think I need to find a post-meat therapist stat.) And my grandmother, bless her wondrousness, she used to order liverwurst from a catalogue and when it arrived us kids would taste it because, well, she’d made such a big deal about it. I think it came all the way from Germany (or Cincinnati) somewhere and see, we could go to school and tell our friends that we’d eaten liverwurst, dears.

Gristles and bone marrow and fat and odd strings inside of animal flesh. I ate it because I was a rent-free kid and, well, because others around me ate it. My fellow people would sit down to the dinner table and place their face into their food and chew and swallow. They seemed to enjoy this meat stuff so I did it too. But I did it hesitantly. I was often accused of wasting food. Of wasting “good food.” SO EAT UP NOW. I was threatened with no dessert far too often. (Light bulb moment: I think that’s why to this day I cannot NOT have dessert after dinner.)

At aged five through perhaps 15 I just couldn’t bring myself to easily put gristles and fat and strings and veins in my mouth. Flesh disturbed me. Spaghetti didn’t. Flesh disrupted me. Peanut butter & jelly didn’t. Flesh uprooted me. Cap’n Crunch cereal didn’t. Flesh horrified me. French fries didn’t.

I  remember when Wendy’s fast food restaurant rolled out their chicken sandwiches in 1987-88 and I ordered one on a lunch break from my temp job and I was driving and opening the wrapper simultaneously. I bit down into that chicken sandwich and–swear to gosh–a huge vein BOINGED from the flesh and bounced against my chin. I almost crashed my car. For a milli-second I thought the chicken sandwich was…ALIVE. Needless to say I threw the dang thing on the floor of my car and wiped my tongue with napkins I was so repulsed. I considered returning it to Wendy’s but between being on a short lunch break and not knowing how “Excuse me, Mr. Wendy’s Manager? This chicken sandwich is supernatural; I’d like my money back” would go over, I kept pressing on.

See? I’m meat rambling. This is really bad. I’ll stop here and go have a cheese sandwich. Zero gristles.

Fast Food Workers Most Likely To Say Their Job Makes The World A Worse Place

21 Mar

Once upon a time I worked in the fast food industry; haven’t we all? And no matter how bad it gets in Cubicle-Ville, regardless of the sheer groveling I’m experiencing to return to a desk job with benefits, I never want to return to the fast food industry for too many reasons to mention.  On that note, something interesting regarding the fast food industry I read a month ago from The Huffington Post:

They may feed millions of hungry consumers on a daily basis, but fast food workers say their job is hurting the world.

More than 40 percent of fast food workers say their jobs make the world a worse place, according to data analyzed by Payscale for The New York Times. Some of the other jobs where workers were likely to say their jobs are making the world a worse place? Bartenders, attorneys, fashion designers and investment bankers — though the share of workers in those industries expressing the same sentiment is only in the single digits.

Fast food employees may be concerned about the negative health impacts of their work, thanks to a wide variety of critics of the fast food industry that include nutrition experts and animal rights activists. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that being in close proximity to a fast food restaurant “significantly” increases the risk of obesity.

But some of the critics may be getting to the industry. McDonald’s officials said earlier this month that they’re going to require the eatery’s pork suppliers in the U.S. to phase out crates that tightly confine pregnant pigs, a move that the Humane Society claimed would have a “seismic impact” on the fast food sector, according to the Associated Press.

Still, the fast food industry may be doing its part to keep workers’ wages low. Bosses in the fast food industry are largely opposed to raising the minimum wage, according to Slate. That’s because they have to pay a large number of workers that wage, unlike full-service eateries that can pay their waitstaff less because they receive tips.

The industry is poised to shed jobs in the next 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects there to be 19,000 fewer fast food cooks by 2020.

Lunch Woes

7 Feb

What’d you have for lunch today?

Did you bring some leftover succotash or pizza from Sunday’s big game?

Or was it Lean Cuisine Day again, complete with 10.5 ounces of tiny chicken bites and noodles in a cream sauce?

Maybe you went out for lunch and hit up a fast food joint. You ordered greasy with more greasy then returned to your desk to finish shuffling papers while eyeing the clock for quitting time.

If you went to Kentucky Fried Chicken be glad this didn’t happen to you today:

Though it’s rare it has happened to several diners at both KFC and another popular food restaurant.  The battered mistake pictured above actually took place  here at a Virginia KFC when a woman and her kids went to have a chicken dinner only to find this horror in the box, complete with miscellaneous hairs.

Gross, eh?

Hope your lunch outings are less scarier and serotonin filled instead.

Just thought I’d share.

Short Work Week

21 Nov

We should be oozing with excitement. After all, it’s a shortened work week with the holiday. One less day of your boss eyeing your job duties, one or two less days of hearing about your annoying coworker’s GYN appointment that she puts on speaker phone, one less day of imitating a mannequin in your swivel chair.  Aren’t you excited?! I could burst with relief. I LIVE for four-day weekends.

I thought I’d share with you some odd tidbits I discovered about turkeys…

  • Turkeys have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.
  • Turkeys can drown if they look up when it is raining.
  • Turkeys spend the night in trees. They fly to their roosts around sunset.
  • Gobbling starts before sunrise and can continue through most of the morning.

I swear, I didn’t make this stuff up.

Oh heck, while I’m at it…

In the U.S. about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.

Minnesota is the United States’ top turkey producing state, followed by North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Virginia.

3,000 calories are consumed by the average person at Thanksgiving dinner.

50 million pumpkin pies are eaten at Thanksgiving.

72 million cans of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce are purchased each year.

Ok, that’s enough. I’m about to head to The Vending Machine for a half bag of air. I just found three quarters in my desk drawer.

The Evil Vending Machine

16 Nov

It’s 3:35 p.m.

You had eight ounces of watery noodles for lunch. Lean Cuisine at its best. There were miscellaneous bits of broccoli and mere traces of chicken. “Chunks” the box advertised. You washed it down with some lemonade you brought from home.  You had auspicious plans to start bringing your own lunch to save money “in this economy” and all that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You lasted two days. And it’s 3:35 p.m.

You’re already weary of looking forward to eight ounces of noodle and rice variations. And even though you remembered to supplement today’s noodles with a dinner roll that you also brought from home, you’re finding that Lean Cuisine is a farce at making you feel satisfied. Forget feeling full.

You sigh heavily.

You can hear it, The Vending Machine, beckoning you. It’s in your head. It won’t go away like that ridiculous Katy Perry song you loathe but keep hearing on the radio on your way to work. You pretend you don’t hear it. You keep typing the Bronner report. It’s due at 4:30 p.m. Click, click, click…You type furiously, a whole 65 wpm as stated on your resume. You hear a noise. You feel something. A tiny earthquake in your stomach. You keep typing. You ain’t afraid of no earthquake. It’s 4:05 p.m. Your phone rings. You finally finish the report and you send it to the printer. As the printer chug-a-lugs you look through the top drawer of your desk in search of a piece of gum, something to chew on to get you through the rest of the afternoon. Nothing. Not even a peppermint with lint on it. Ah, what’s that, an old Dove chocolate–nope, just a wrapper.

The beckoning gets louder, so loud it drowns out the printer. Six more pages to go.  Then the phone rings.

Hello? Um, yes. Sure, I can add those changes to the Bronner report…Um, no. I didn’t finish typing it yet…Sure. Ok.

It’s 4:09 p.m.

You’re standing at The Vending Machine inserting 85 cents for a half bag of air containing something crunchy and sweet with swirls on it. You don’t even know what you’re eating but you’re too frustrated and hungry to read the ingredients. The contents contain a detailed mixture of red dye #40, yellow lake, salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and some other questionable liver rotting substances.

Please at least have an apple today. A nice juicy one will cost you less than 85 cents.


Turkey Sandwich Revisited

26 Oct

Still trying to discover just who took a huge bite outta my aforementioned turkey sandwich. I mean, for all I know they had dental cooties. And who does that anyway? Who takes a bite out of someone else’s food and just leaves it with teeth marks in it?

Are coworkers just animals?

So I’ve been thinking. Maybe next time I’ll soak the turkey in salt overnight and then insert oversalted turkey meat into envied sandwich and wait it out. See if the turkey bite thief will be caught standing over the kitchen sink with his/her mouth pressed up against the running spigot.

Or even better, maybe I’ll soak the turkey deli meat in cayenne pepper.