Category Archives: At the Office

Rolling in the Money

Figured an April Fools post would be a good way to snap out of my blogging lethargy.  I still think I have peaked, but that doesnt mean the end is now, only a slow decline. Might as well enjoy the scenery while going down, eh?

The title refers to my recent windfall, of which I have been luxuriating in my newfound spending power.  See, what happened is that my company was once a small US medical technology specialist in prostate therapy, and about 3 years ago, it got bought out by a bigger fish across the Pond in London.  One of the perks of that aquisition was the award of several thousand shares of stock to each of us lowly peons.  THEN, that company got bought out by an even bigger fish, also in London, and all those stocks we had were sold and we all got a BIG FAT CHECK.

 

A pittance compared to modern executive bonuses, but to a working class girl like me, it is a significant chunk of change.  I paid off my car, bought a new computer,

 

a camera, a GPS, and a less than a thousand dollars worth of wardrobe updates.

 

(Details for those who like to know:

  • 4 dresses
  • 1 skirt
  • 5 pants
  • 15 shirts/blouses
  • 5 jackets/blazers/coats
  • 3 sweaters
  • 2 bags
  • 3 shoes
  • 4 peices jewelry
  • 1 swimsuit)

I also now have a savings account, (ALLELUIA!), and the ability to pursue my creative ambitions.  A great load has been lifted off my shoulders, and naturally, it feels great.  As if, finally, my life is going in the right direction.  Its amazing what a jump on the class ladder can do for one’s sense of optimism. For this year only, I will be middle class, and come next year, I will be back into the working class bracket.  But the good news is, that because of this windfall, I will go into the next few years with a savings account and only student loans as my debt liability.  I plan on keeping it that way for as long as possible!  Not a lot of working class folks ever get that opportunity.

In the meantime, I’ve got plans for this space.  Health reports to report, creative stuff to create, and points to pontificate upon.  Stay tuned!

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A Conversation with Jazz

Sometimes Jazz and I keep each other entertained via email during the day. I like to think we are keeping each other sane. I had a fun time chatting with her today and I thought I would share some of the crazy shenanigans she gets us started on (yes Jazz, its all your fault.)

Rachel:

I need to blog something, but I never feel motivated anymore. I’ve got several drafts in my head, bumping into each other and making babies, but whenever I get home, the vast brain-suck that is the internet stops me from releasing those thoughts into the wild.

Internet=brain-eating vortex
Brain-eating=Zombies
Internet=Zombies?

Jazz:

Your logic is, if not impeccable, then interesting to say the least…
So don’t go onto the inners when you get home. Just go onto wordpress (or wherever you blog) and let ‘er rip. Then shut down the innerz and read a book instead.

Like I should talk! When I get onto that thing, I’m doomed.

Rachel:

I am hurt–HURT, I say!–at the implication that my logic is not both IMPECCABLE and INTERESTING. Not to mention, mind-blowingly revelatory!

The implications of my discovery are astounding, woman! Why, it means that the apocalypse happened 15 years ago and WE DIDN’T KNOW IT!! We are coccooned in illusion while our bodies rot and our brains feed the Undead. AND it means that AL GORE IS THE ANTICHRIST!!

ZOMG!

Jazz:

Wha?!?!?! you didn’t know Al Gore was the Antichrist?

I’ve always liked that term: antichrist… as opposed to the prochrist? As opposed to a poor naive slightly insane fool who thought he was the son of god?

Methinks the antichrist has got to be a good thing.

Now put that in your zombie brain and chew on it.

Thanks for chatting with me, Jazz! Your wit is a life-saver in so many ways.

In other news, my computer acquisition plans are once again put on hold–and for the same goddamned reason as it had been put on hold the last four goddamned times. The car. The blasted CAR, that damned American-made money pit on wheels.

First it was an electrical problem (May 2009). Then the PassLock(TM) antitheft-starter relay (December 2009). Then it was the brakes (April 2010). The last time it was a stupid car accident caused by my own damn stupidity (May 2010). And NOW, with just 10 days remaining in plan D, the engine light comes on and something weird starts happening while accelerating. Some sort of jump or slip when it reaches 15, 20mph.

Once again, there goes my hard-won savings. LE SIGH.

Truly, I am cursed. My karma is bad. The universe mocks me. Maybe I make too many Al Gore or Apocalypse jokes.

Where DOES the time go?

I met Janet about four years ago when my company hired her to work in the lab where I work. I trained her, and we quickly became fast friends. Now, she is one of my absolute bestest friends that I have ever had in my life; which is a pretty big deal, since I’m one of those people who doesn’t make friends so easily. But Janet is the opposite–she makes friends VERY easily. She’s got that personality, yanno? A diva without the bitchiness, a way of being that brings everyone around her into her star. It’s not for nothing she’s called “Rock Star”.

One of the special things about Janet is her Fan nature. When she decides she really likes a celebrity, she wont hold back–she will LOVE him. She adores Davie Bowie so much she has tattoos of him on her arms. She also loves Beck, Johnny Depp, Cillian Murphy, Johnny Knoxville, and her current top obsession is Sam Rockwell.

Today is her birthday, so in honor of her 25 plus some years of living, I want to welcome Sam in joining me in wishing her a VERY happy birthday!

This one is for my co-workers!

I had a fucked up dream. It wasn’t scary, or sad, or anything like that, just utterly ridiculous and fucked up. And as you might have guessed from the title of this post, all about work.

I usually never remember my dreams, but sometimes, when I am sleeping lightly, I remember them. This morning it was my bladder keeping me up with a fake UTI (seriously what the fuck is up with that? I don’t have an infection, but I kept feeling that painful urge to pee absolutely nothing but air? Just not right, bladder! Today I am chugging cranberry juice and lukewarm water.)

The dream played out thus: the entire lab was stuffed into a studio apartment, complete with bed, kitchen, computer, and tv. The studio belonged to Lindsey and her baby. It was night time, and Lindsey and the baby were busy doing baby things, and we were all finishing up on work when the case I was working on fell apart and thousands of radioactive “seeds” went EVERYWHERE. The desk, the carpeted floor, the kitchen, into the soup. Everyone went home, Lindsey and the baby went to bed, and I spent what felt like hours finding and picking seeds off the floor. Everytime I thought I found them all, a geiger sweep would tell me “no, there’s still these five over here, and oh look, there’s more over there!”

I’d wake up, try to pee (air, of course) and I’d go back dreaming where I left off…picking up radioactive seeds out of a shag carpet…three times that night.

I finally woke up for the day wondering what the hell? And certian today is gonna suck a bit. Hopefully not a lot, and hopefully, I won’t lose any seeds, cuz having prophetic powers is NOT what I want for Christmas.

Coping with Cars and Art and Work.

Okay, here’s the deal with my car:

For the past couple months, I’ve been experiencing a no-start issue, which manifested only on cold mornings. What would happen is that upon turning the key in the ignition, everything would power up; the lights, air, dashboard controls, wipers, everything, but the engine itself would simply…not. No cranking, no turning over, only complete silence. But then, it would start up again 10 to 15 minutes later. At first, I thought it was an old battery, but when I had it tested at Sears and again at Pep Boys, the battery was perfectly fine. So I knew it was an electric problem of some sort.

I finally did some research online, and it turns out that this is a common problem with certain GM vehicles equipped with the Passlock(TM) antitheft device. From what I can understand, what’s happening is that some gel or oil inside the ignition begins to degrade in cold weather with age. This degradation causes the ignition switch to perform less-than-optimally, and creates a “bounce” signal that the Passlock(TM) device interprets as a hotwire job, and it immediately shuts off the ignition sequence.

In other words, its a fucked up design. And what REALLY pisses me off is that GM won’t recall it because its “not a safety issue.” They won’t even pay for the fix–which is replacing the ignition switch, and if that fails, then the Body Control Module–because they apparently aren’t legally required to do so, even though half the vehicles equipped with this device have this problem eventually.

Cost for the fix: $300.00 to start, more if the BCM needs replacing.

GM has got a fucking racket with this shit. Imagine it: half of the vehicles with the passlock POS will fail and need replacing, to the tune of $300 or more EACH. Of course the honchos at GM aren’t going to recall this crap–its making them millions of dollars in what basically amounts to EXTORTION.

In any case, I’m getting my POS car fixed tomorrow night. Yay me.

And I’m never going to be buying a GM vehicle again. Ever. As much as I would like to support the American economy with my American dollars, if I don’t have a car I can rely on–if I don’t have a company I can trust–then I’ve wasted my money. My best bet is to buy a Honda next time.

Is it any wonder why GM went bankrupt, if this is the kind of shenanigans they pull on their customers? Shame on you, GM!

In other news, I am working on my creative-think mindset. I’ve gotten back into working on my old Nano book, from Novemeber 2008, working on characterization. The reason why it stalled all those months ago is because I knew absolutely bupkis about my main character. How can I write a story about some lady if I don’t even know her motivations, right?

I am also working on painting a self-portrait to incorporate the phrase Ars requiret totum hominem. I’m painting it as a reminder to myself that no matter how difficult it sometimes is to remain motivated, art and writing is still something I want and need to do, and in order to do it, I need to put all of myself into doing it.

I gotta get back to work now. Oh and get this, the bosses are cracking down on internet and cell usage now. Even though no one is slacking off and letting work pile up, they’ve decided that we can’t have our shit anymore.

I don’t see the point really. The work is getting done, its getting done right and on time. What does it matter if people sometimes fill in the empty times (and they DO happen) with a little internet filler?

If I were a boss, I’d let people have a life too.

Cubicle wars!

It seems that anytime a group of humans are trapped together in a big, mostly windowless box, and said box is further divided into many smaller, increasingly windowless boxes, some people forget common sense and courtesy and tolerance. Which is kind of amazing considering that in order to survive living in a large windowless box filled with smaller windowless boxes, people must exercise common sense, courtesy, and tolerance. But the kicker, the absolute laugh-out-loud kicker, is that no one in any of these boxes ever thinks that maybe, just maybe, they are failing the common sense, courtesy and tolerance rule too! Case in point, check out these passive-aggressive notes, so lovingly bestowed upon the walls of the many mini-boxes inside my flourescent-lighted workplace.

everybodypoops

Translation: sit your fat ass on the fucking toilet seat, you damn fool.

(Note the cute pictures.)

fightforyourrighttoparty

Translation: Pipe down, whippersnappers!

noteasybeinggreen

Translation: stop costing the company money, you greedy fucks!

respect

Translation: I (whoever “I” is) am not your maid, you filthy slobs.

wedidntstartthefire

Translation: Even Grandma knows better than to put cheese-crusted bread and pastries inside a fucking toaster, you inebriated loons.

So there you have it. My workplace is populated, or so it seems, with fire-starting, sink-filling, tree-killing, disturbing-the-peace, toothpaste-spitting, toiletphobic boobs.

You know what the absolute, realer-than-real kicker is? I actually like working there. Those people are fucking crazy.

Of fire and ice and little tiny mice.

Ever since last week’s furious pace (pun intended), I thought I was done being cranky. Sadly, such is not the case. Yesterday, the dying light bulbs in the Lab where I work were replaced with brighter, flickering new ones. Rapid, strobe-like flickering. I have a headache. A faint, nagging headache right between my eyes. Its almost as if mini-mice are in my cranium gnawing at my brain. Zombie mice?

Someone is going to get epsilepsy. I hope its me, so I can sue and live off disability, workers comp, and civil damages.

#

On Saturday, I had a date. We met, cooked some dinner, played some scrabble and some literary tomfoolery, and generally just talked. I had a good time, but it was ultimately decided that we weren’t a good match (he’s too hearing; I’m too deaf).

#

On the writing front, progress is glacial. “Starlight and Brimstone” just isn’t captivating me right now. I am not ready to give up on it: I know it has the potential to be something good. I just need one final idea–the idea that will be the tinder to set the fire of my inspiration alight. The wood (idea, structure, and plot) is ready, and the match (desire) is struck, but without that final idea to act as the tinder–I got nothing. So, glacial proceedings proceed ever glacially on.

#

These lights are killing me. The zombie mice gnaw at my sinuses. I need to go break something.
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