Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tasty beverages & soulless pop music: Workplace ear hazards

The other week we discussed crummy neighbors and my porch light-like ability to attract them like moths.
                I need to clarify something though. It’s not just at my place of residence that these pains in the butt seem to circle me. I’ve also had a pretty impressive history as far as the people who’ve occupied the cubicles around me at work.
                I’ve had two neighbors fired for making up stories rather than actually interviewing people. Another of my former neighbors quit right before she would have been fired for being both horrible at her job and for being a complete enigma the likes of which isn’t often seen outside of Russian hockey players.
                Currently, I’ve got two empty cubes and an aisle around me but it’s not nearly enough.
                To my left is an older lady who is completely and utterly baffled by every form of technology more advanced than a lead pencil. She’s mostly harmless, though I know the IT folks who are walking a rut back and forth to her desk to show her how to use a printer would passionately disagree.  
                My big issue with her is her incessant need to inform everyone about her background working in print journalism. I’ve heard her explain her “just the facts” background enough times that I probably wouldn’t have much trouble penning her life story. If she’d let me use anything that high tech to write it, that is.
                She also has an irritating tick where she uses the phrase “you know” as a verbal period. It’s at the end of every sentence that comes out of her mouth and when you hear it, you know to be ready as it may be your turn to speak.
                But again, mostly harmless.
                Diagonal from me though, is a girl who is anything, anything but harmless.
                She seems like a pleasant enough person. She’s quick with a “Hi!” and a smile whenever you cross paths with her in the halls. She’s usually chipper and approachable.
                But she is also the devil incarnate.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Previously undiscussed hazards of not making eye contact with ladies

This is going to be another one of those posts where at the start I say I’m not something and then I spend the next 700 words sounding exactly like the thing I said I wasn't.
Just so we're on the same page about where this is headed.
Anyway, so, I’m totally not a pervert. Well, ok fine, maybe a little, but I swear I’m at worst only slightly above the average level. 
What I definitely am is someone who does not like to make eye contact with the people he’s talking to. I mean, I'll do it, but god damn is it a struggle.
I prefer to sort of stare off into space just to the right or left of people or at my shoes and occasionally nod or mumble “yeah” so they know I’m still with them.
Sure it's kind of rude, but eye contact is a very intense thing and very intense things make me feel icky and squirmy inside.
And most of the time, that’s all it is: a mildly rude habit. However, there are cases when it could have the potential to possibly get me into trouble.
I’m talking about when I’m talking to the ladies. Not in the sense of me “spitting some mad game their way” either. No just standard, completely innocent and without any sort of romantic intent stuff like “Weather, am I right?”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tiny landmines and time machines: How to train your neighbor's dog

I’ve got a crappy neighbor. She’s small, white, goes by the name Buffy. There’s an older man in her life.
                Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. Hell, it’s all true of Sarah Michelle Geller, and I wouldn’t care if she lived next door.
                The problem I have is that this neighbor has developed an irritating habit of crapping on my lawn.
                Here’s the situation: Our neighbor likes to let his dog Buffy walk around sans lease on his front lawn. So naturally, whenever she has to poop, she crosses over into my lawn and does her business right smack in the middle of it. Oh, and then she rips up a bunch of dirt and grass to try to bury it for good measure.  
And I don’t care if you’re a small fluffy dog named Buffy or even the lovely Sarah Michelle Geller herself, I don’t want you pooping on my lawn. I’m just old fashioned that way.
I don’t mind cleaning up the leavings of the animals who actually provide me with joy and companionship. That’s the tradeoff.
                But Buffy? She provides neither of those things so therefore I’m not all that interested in being her pooper scooper.
                Trouble is, Buffy’s owner is a thousand years old. In addition to predating America, the man is also as sweet as the day is long. So, saying anything to him about it kind of feels like giving George Washington a wet willy. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bathroom horror stories: Unclean hands on the frontline

The old saying goes that the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul, but I think the bathroom is a much more direct route.
            Heck, people lie with their eyes all the time.
I’m going to keep making eye contact and blinking at you to indicate I’m listening, but in reality I’m thinking who would win in a race between a turtle and sloth.
Bathrooms though, those don’t lie nearly as often. They tell you a lot about who a person really is, and in my experience, a lot of people are really gross.
Every so often at work, I’ll find myself pooping. Actually, that’s probably the worst way to put that. It makes it sound like sometimes I’m just sitting at my desk and suddenly poop starts coming out.
No, I’ll poop at work. In the bathroom, like we’re supposed to.
Anyway, so I’ll be there, in the stall, pooping, and sometimes another fellow will come in to use the urinal.
I’ve learned a great number of horrible and terrifying things about co-workers based solely on observing them through the gap between the stall door and the wall and also with my ears.
The most horrible-est and terrifying-est? It’s not how many people don’t wash their hands after handling their business in the restroom. Or how many people who I’m sure I’ve shaken hands with who don’t wash their hands.
No the worst part, the kind of knowledge that will make you start randomly pooping at your desk, is how many frontline people who I can only assume shake a metric ton of hands during their 9-5s don’t wash their hands.
We’re talking company representative types. People who interview job-seekers and lead meetings.
These are people who shake so many hands all day that they should be wearing Spider-Man-esque web slingers on their wrists, only instead of webs these things should shoot Purel directly onto their palms. I mean, I’m no giant fan of Purel, but that just sounds like basic hygiene.