Today Friday

A day without work. At home trying to get organized. A problem. Always. Can’t reign in my thoughts to stabilize the content in my head. The executive function in my brain takes too many coffee breaks, gets in late and leaves early. The proverbial cluttered mind with a desk by the window. I look outside and see trees but can’t see the forest through them.

Where will the trajectory path of my day go? Probably no where fast until I look outside and see darkness without the trees. If I squint and look up, I’ll see stars. But they will not be mine. Though one year I did receive a star for Christmas. An ex-employer’s idea of a really nifty gift. It ended up in the garbage before I knew about about shredders.

Today, I hope to deposit a check (checks and balances, you know) and get some food. Food is minimal like my thoughts. Tomorrow, I hope to get up and remember that it is Saturday and not a day that I should be working when I’m not, like today.

Saturday’s Child

Another day of restlessness in the out of work place. Checking job sites is both depressing and aggravating. There should be a site called, “Perpetual Lunch Break.” Though the food in my refrigerator continues to dwindle down to staples only. Today, a Reagan Ketchup Sandwich is on the menu. A colorful liquid food that is both entertaining and tasty. A tarty taste and a farty sound that erupts when pushing down on the plastic container’s stomach.

I have to go to the supermarket but that depresses me, too. It’s boring, though at times can be hypnotic as the cart glides down an aisle past shelves and shelves of boxes with countless brand names and packaging, until a decision needs to be made, like finding the right spaghetti sauce. Searching for spaghetti sauce can be a dizzying experience and can cause an aversion to anything red.

Just making it to the register can be exhilarating. But it’s not over yet. Once you get home you have to lug the bags to the kitchen, then empty them onto the counter. The last step, the putting everything away step, can be daunting. What if I put something perishable with something that enjoys a long shelf life? It could be catastrophic. I break out into a sweat as I grab a container of yogurt. Don’t put it in the cabinet with the cereal. I warn myself. Don’t put it with the napkins or cans of soup. They can last an eternity. The yogurt dies a small death everyday until it expires.

On the shelf in the refrigerator, the cheese, yogurt and luncheon meat on the third shelf, conspire to take over the top shelf where the milk and orange juice are having a conference.

“OJ,” says Moo Milk. “I’m hearing talk of a coup from Eggsy, a reliable source . . . of protein.”

OJ sighed. “I’m sick of being incarcerated here with low shelf-life’s in flimsy packaging. I’ve got Vitamin C and A. What do they’ve got? Nothing but saturated fats and chemicals.”

“That might be true,” replied Moo Milk. “But they’ve got something else, something that could curdle my innards.”

“What’s that?” asked OJ. “What could be so bad?”

“They’ve got those nasty silver-backed sippers. They’re a canny bunch. They’ve got numbers. I tell you. A 48 pack of 12 percenters that can blind-side you with a pop of the can.” He paused. “They can roll, too. We’ll be lucky if we make it to Monday, the last date of sale.”

to continue . . .

Samurai Sunday

 

My Lawn – The Axis of Evil

I look out the window and search the grounds for enemy plant combatants. The situation is grave. The dandelions continue to advance. Despite the hundreds I’ve already rooted out, I’m still losing the war on terror-weeds. I raise the alert level to red and prepare for a full-scale attack.

With plastic bag in hand, I move out and quickly spot a dandelion at 10:00. It has already turned white and is about to blow. It is a windy day. I have to act fast. I am battling a cunning enemy with a powerful coalition that includes Mother Nature and Poland.

My heart pumps furiously as I pounce and rip the evil-flower from the ground. Yet, there is no time for celebration. Dandelions are everywhere: at 12:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, and even at 8:15. Time is short. Some days, time is tall when she wears three-inch heels. Today, time wears flats. Maybe I still have a chance if I can spot the dandelion general, who is cleverly disguised like his soldiers and can only be identified by the slight mustache he wears, that is usually mistaken for a caterpillar.

I clutch my bag and pray the wind subsides. It gets worse. Praying has never really worked for me. So, I think about my husband and son and the risk I have undertaken for the sake of a somewhat green lawn with scattered brown spots and holes, courtesy of the dogs. But, really, it’s more than that. It’s personal. I race through the yard, a force to be reckoned with, swiping the explosive dandelion heads from their stems before the wind scatters the tiny white cluster bombs across the lawn.

I stop by the center garden to take a breath. It is 12:30 and my work has only started. So many dandelions. So little time. The dogs sit on the front stoop watching me. The white one appears sympathetic; the brown one is apoplectic. She likes eating dandelions. To her, they are a delicacy, a treat she can only have once a year, like Christmas. If only she could eat faster than the dandelions turn white. However, she doesn’t care for the seeds. They tickle her nose then float away onto the neighbor’s lawn. She can’t venture there without getting a shock from her collar. She is limited by the perimeter of our yard. For her, the seeds are more frustrating than the crows that caw at her in the morning, as they sit high on their branches in the Oak Tree. I feel sorry for her but feel sorrier for myself. As I’ve said before, this is personal.

I gauge my next line of attack. It’s time for the big guns. I grab the weed-whacker that leans against the house. When I turn it on, the white dog runs. The brown dog stays and continues staring at me. She’ll never forgive me for this. I turn away then forge ahead. It’s time once again to engage the enemy. Some weed combatants are visible, standing tall, decoys, I imagine, while others hide low in the grass. They are the most dangerous. If I can’t pinpoint their location today, by tomorrow they’ll most certainly have earned their wings. I continue inflicting as much damage as possible until rain drenches my back. The dandelions suffer heavy casualties, but it’s still not enough. With Mother Nature and Poland on their side, the dandelions are a formidable foe.

I am forced to retreat to the kitchen to restock my supplies. I load up on garbage bags and bottled water then head out to the front to a blast of thunderclouds and a rapid-fire rain attack. The dandelions have already brought in reinforcements. I’m outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and out-of-breath. The outlook looks dismal. I am but a coalition of one in my war against evil-flowers. I grab a bottle of Poland Spring to re-hydrate. After gulping it down, I stare at the label on the bottle and smile. With renewed energy, I march toward the dandelions and their coalition of three, hold up the empty bottle, and scream, “If I can’t have Poland, at least I can have Poland Spring.”

Muddy Monday


Muddy, Monday,
figuratively speaking of course, though I’m not adverse to getting dirty. The day before I tackled weeds. Today, I tackle the job market and the start of a new week.

The jump from Sunday to Monday is a long one. After track and field, it’s on to floor exercises and those dangerous mental acrobats with the “can I?” “will I?” routines that last far longer than the allotted time.

Judges can be so cruel, especially Judge Id and Ego who are far more critical than Eastern bloc judges. I try to ignore them and focus on the task at hand.

What is that task? Ah, yes, to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses in order to gain control of my destiny.

It’s kind of cool that everything is up in the air. It gives me the opportunity to think and determine the best course of action, as long as Judge Id and Ego don’t bring me crashing down to earth. And I can make enough money temping while looking for something permanent. Though in this economy, “permanent job” is an oxymoron.

Serendipity Sunday


Whoever casts the first stone will not get hit in the head. A famous philosopher did not say that. I did, however, as I look toward Monday and the gray droopy sky that hangs outside my window. The job market reminds me of the sky. At this point in time, I cannot even fathom where I will end up nine-to-fiving. It appears to be a dying industry like print magazines and newspapers. Who’d had thought that after working for a company for nine years, I’d end up religiously reading the want ads on Sundays then praying for a miracle. Please, please, please pick me. Tell me that I will be the one out of four-hundred applicants to start on Monday.

Once I become employed, I promise to stop whining and surfing the web, to no longer play Free Cell or text my friends. My focus will be on the mountain of paperwork that sits on my desk. Where else would it be? During the day, I will never sneak a peak at my personal emails, with the exception of lunch, if you should be so inclined to offer that luxury. Money isn’t important. If you can’t pay me, I’d be happy to pay you for the privilege of working at your esteemed multi-billion dollar corporation.

After all, it would be an investment of sorts, like the stock market or a time share in Florida during the summer months. I could live with that and live without health benefits if it’s a problem. I exercise and eat well. In fact, I promise to never get sick again or to take a mental health day. I won’t let Monday morning’s depress me. I will take Prozac or Zoloft or any prescription drug I can get from Canada, so that I can sit at my desk with a smile. I will stay late and get in early and be on call all weekend if that is what you desire. I never liked Saturday, and you know how I feel about Sunday. Who needs to go home any way? I’ll bring in a cot or sleeping bag or even a fashionable futon. I love sleeping on the floor.

My life will be yours. I will worship you and send flattering notes about the company to the editors of my local newspapers. I will stand outside the building on my lunch hour and hold up a sign that says, “I love _____ Inc.” I will read every company newsletter, email and financial statement and be prepared to discuss their content at company events and parties, where I promise to stay stay sober. No Visine, coffee or breath mints will be necessary for me.

I will hang on every word my supervisor speaks, even when she is not addressing me, and I will also make her lunch. I’ll taste the food first to make sure it is edible before she takes a bite. I will vacuum the area around my desk every day and take out the garbage. I will lug home my supervisor’s plastic, glass and can empties for recycling. I’d be more than happy to do that for her or pick up her dry cleaning or go food shopping or have a colonoscopy. Nothing would be too big or too small for me. I’d even walk her dog, pick up the poop, and regularly clean out clumps of god-knows-what from the cat box. I like cats and dogs and will never let my allergies get in the way. Puffy red eyes and itchy skin makes me feel alive. God knows I could use some of that after enduring another Sunday of sitting on my ass, reading the want ads, while looking toward Monday.

 

Oh, Sciatica. The nerve of you.

Why do you own me and keep me on the shelf while digging deeper in? I am so over you and yet you continue to control my life. You are such a pain. I can’t forget you, no matter how hard I try. When I sit, it reminds me of you. So, I stand, and that reminds me of you, too. Sit or stand? Stand or sit? To wit, you are under my skin. So be it. Four more weeks of your games. Only a shiny white pill can stifle the pain. Just a temporary fix drives you into the shade and deadens the searing hot burn that fosters the flame.

The Refrigerator Chronicles

The last time we peaked inside the refrigerator door the light was off and a coup was taking place. The cheese, yogurt and luncheon meat on the third shelf had been conspiring to take over the top shelf, where the milk and orange juice were having a conference.

“OJ,” said Moo Milk. “I’m hearing talk of a coup from Eggsy, a reliable source . . . of protein.”

OJ sighed. “I’m sick of being incarcerated here with low shelf-life’s in flimsy packaging. I’ve got Vitamin C and A. What do they’ve got? Nothing but saturated fats and chemicals.”

“That might be true,” replied Moo Milk. “But they’ve got something else, something that curdles my innards.”

“What’s that?” asked OJ. “What could be so bad?”

“They’ve got those nasty silver-backed sippers. They’re a canny bunch. They’ve got numbers. I tell you. A 48 pack of 12 percenters that can blind-side you with a pop of the can.” He paused. “They can roll, too. We’ll be lucky if we make it to Monday, the last date of sale.”

“Baloney!” yelled OJ. “All they’ve got is baloney, fake cheese and that razzle dazzle yogurt punk, Bifidus Schmifidus. We’ve got all the big guns up here: That tall French Dude, Christoff Champagne, really packs a punch.”

“Nah, he’s only good for one pop, then he fizzles.”

“Well, what about Ruby Red, the tall slender-neck tomato, facing the pathetic leftovers in the back?”

“Sure, OJ. She’ll get their attention, but when she opens her mouth, she can’t control all those nasty noises. Ain’t that right Beano?” He yelled. No answer. “What’s with Beano? She usually hangs out on the shelf on the door.”

“You didn’t hear? She’s an Empty Nester now. Everything that was once part of her life is gone. She’s heading off to Recycle Beach, Florida to have some work done. Too bad. I’m going to miss her. She was a upstanding neighbor with strong moral fiber. I’m not the religious type but tonight as I recite my ingredients before bed, I’m going say a prayer for Beano.” Moo Milk sighed. “You’re religious aren’t you, OJ? What’s it called . . .?”

“Acidic. I’m Acidic. I never pour on Saturday’s.”

to be continued . . .

Shallow End of the Office

The scattered secretary.

Secretaria stared at her “to-do” list until the words grew hazy. Unfortunately, for Secretaria, “to dos” often turned into “to don’ts,” a much longer list. If success was predicated on whoever had the longest “to-don’t” list, Secretaria would surely have been the Guinness Book winner in the category. That’s why she grew her hair long. She dreamed of holding that title one day, too. Her nails were another story since they always broke and never grew back fast enough after filing, despite the rarity of such an occurrence.

Flipping through the left-tabbed, right-tabbed, center-tabbed manila folders to find a missing file was a tormenting task. Hearing the click, click, click of hanging folders, as she flipped through each one, made her head hurt.

Secretaria’s head hurt a lot, especially when it came to dictation. She could barely read her regular handwriting. The squiggly words she had learned in secretarial school became lost in translation and looked more like doodling on her steno pad. She now regretted texting during dictation and graduating at the bottom of her class. Since the future was now, she ignored what she learned in secretarial school and surreptitiously taped her boss’s dictation sessions with a tiny tape recorder she often couldn’t find.

Because of Secretaria’s many blunders her boss, Mr. Grouchy, always lectured her on her bad work habits and was usually upset with her. If Secretaria’s father weren’t the CEO of Blah, Blah, Blah Marketing, Inc., Mr. Grouchy would have fired her the first time she put his Blackberry in the fridge. “I didn’t want it to spoil,” she had argued.

Mr. Grouchy’s face turned red, as the vein in his forehead throbbed to the beat of the Alice Cooper song that played on his IPod. He just dismissed Secretaria with a wave of his hand and went out for a Martini lunch even though it was barely 10 a.m.

Secretaria went back to her desk and stared at the dark computer screen that was a whole lot of nothing to look at. She thought the monitor was a paperweight until the gal who sat at the desk next to her, Wilma the Wonderful, told her otherwise.

“You’ve got to turn it on,” Wilma barked. “The button. Press the button on the hard drive.”

Secretaria blushed and looked away. She’d read about hard drives before in x-rated magazines. She accidentally read such a magazine at a bookstore while looking for the winning bookmark in the “You find it. You keep it” book giveaway promo.

Poor Secretaria just stared at Wilma blankly and said, “I’m not that kind of girl.”

A frustrated Wilma jumped up and pressed the button on Secretaria’s hard drive. “Got a cigarette?” she snapped and went back to her desk.

Secretaria’s face lit up with the computer screen. “Wow a computer and a paperweight, too.” It made her day. She even stuck her head into Mr. Grouchy’s office, before she left work, to say good-bye.

He popped an olive into his mouth and said, “You’re still here?” Unbeknown to Secretaria, Mr. Grouchy had been holding secret dictation sessions with Letta the secretary on the first floor. After Secretaria left for the day at 5 p.m., Letta from the first floor would climb the stairs to Mr. Grouchy’s office on the third floor. In secretarial school, Letta got an “A” in dictation and graduated at the top of her class.

The next day Mr. Grouchy called Secretaria from the road to have her bring department stationery down to Letta, so she could send out his letters. Secretaria left Mr. Grouchy on hold while she tried to figure out the correct usage of the word stationary, as she sat motionless at her desk.

Secretaria became more confused when Wilma simultaneously asked her for a piece of stationery, to which Secretaria replied, “I can’t move. I accidentally put myself on hold while I was on the phone with Mr. Grouchy. What’s his real name, any way?”

“It’s Grouchee. He’s French,” said Wilma. “He’s only been Grouchy since you started.”

Secretaria ignored Wilma the Wonderful and stuck another pink message slip beneath the paperweight monitor on her desk. Then, Secretaria did what she always did best. She lost all track of time while gazing mindlessly at the clock on the wall. When her eyes finally focused on the numbers, she realized that it was the next morning, which oddly made her quite happy. At least she would be on time to work today.

I would like to dedicate this earlier post (one of my earliest) to a great blogger and renowned Weaselologist kasabiangirl at Life sure is a snoozefest!

Kasa knows a thing or two about office politics and how it makes the sanity meter in your head fluctuate like a 10-point magnitude quake on the Richter Scale.