Sunday, June 26, 2016

Breakroom 101

Cross Referenced Under:
  • Breakroom Rules 
  • Didn't your Momma teach you anything?
  • What is wrong with you people?

It appears that some of us need a refresher course in how to act in the workplace so, here are some basic rules for the breakroom.  Why this is not just common sense, I really don't know.
  1. Items in the Fridge are not up for grabs - Do not take anything out of the refrigerator unless you brought it yourself. 
  2. Items on the counter are up for grabs - If you have leftover cake after a party, put it on the breakroom counter.  It will be gone in under an hour.
  3. If you take the last of the coffee, brew some more - This rule is in effect until 10am.  After that, you may take the last of the coffee without starting another pot.
  4. Clean up after yourself - This should be a no-brainer but it bears repeating.  Also, the following details need to be addressed:  
    1. If your food explodes in the microwave, you have to thoroughly clean the inside of the microwave.  
    2. Do not pour the remains of your soup (or whatever) into the sink and just leave it there.  Corn, peas, rice or whatever.  Wash it down and use the disposal.  If there is no disposal - DO NOT DUMP YOUR FOOD IN THE SINK
    3. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink.
    4. Don't leave your stinky leftovers in the refrigerator for weeks on end.  
Now we need to talk about pot-lucks.  Anytime there is food for everyone, whether it's a potluck, a catered buffet, birthday cake or breakfast tacos - Do not be greedy, do not push your way to the front of the line and do not take more than your fair share of the food.
It is unacceptable to pile your plate high but, worse than that is to pack up any portion of the food to take home to your kids.  NO - NOT EVER.  Your kids, or family, or dog - they do not work in that office, they do not get cake!!!  It isn't fair for you to pack up some of the food when there are co-workers in line behind you patiently waiting for their piece of cake.  
If, at the end of the day, there is still food left and nobody else wants it, then and only then may you take some home to the kids.

You are not an animal.  You do not have to forage for food.  If you want to bring home cake, stop by the HEB on your way home and buy some cake with the money they pay you.  

Thank you for your time.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Random Stuff

Cat Lady decal on back of car -I am endlessly entertained by the weird stick figure families on the back of people's cars.  I've seen these decals depicting zombie families, star wars families and more.  I was just telling my daughter Cissy that I would like to see a decal of a single woman with about six cats.  Then we saw this:  One woman, one cat.  However, she must have a child in band somewhere, as evidenced by the sticker above her head.  Also, she is a native Texan.  I'm not sure why the band kid is not included in the decal family - I don't judge, I don't know her life.  I am merely here to observe and report.

I'm here - Every morning at the salt mine where I work - one of my co-workers comes in about an hour after I do - his shift is later.  I chirp, "Good morning, how are you?"
His reply is always, "I'm here."
It's not an enthusiastic, roll-call type of "I'm here."  It's more of a beleaguered, down-trodden, sigh.  It's as if he's saying, "despite great hardship and bitter personal struggles, I have managed to drag my sorry carcass to work today."  Every single morning.  Why?  Is he in such dire straits that coming to work on a daily basis is never a certainty?  I mean, he's full time.  He's supposed to be "here" every day at that time.
Cissy said maybe he means, "How am I doing?  Well I'm here in this awful place so I can't be doing that well, now can I?"  or perhaps, "I am here - in the present moment.  I am living in the now!  Isn't that great?"  But that's not my interpretation.
This guy is not the only one who says this.  I've heard other people say it, somewhat sarcastically.  "I'm here, I managed to show up today, I would rather be anywhere else but here, but I gotta pay the bills so, here I am."
Yeah - well Good Morning to you too.

I don't know if - Occasionally people call the salt mine and they have questions.  It's my job to get them to the right person who can answer their questions.
Some of them say what they want right up front - these people are efficient.  I love them.  Who do you want to talk to?  Bob.  Thank you, I will transfer you to Bob.
Maybe they don't know Bob's name.  Maybe they say, "I need to talk to someone in the Delivery Department."  Great.  Thanks.  I'll transfer you to Bob.
Then there are the "I don't know if" people.  These people drive me crazy.  Here's how their phone call typically goes.
Me:  Thank you for calling the Salt Mines - this is Cherry - how may I transfer you to someone who can actually help you, such as probably Bob?
Them:  Hi Sherry - My name is Gwendolyn Felicity Quakersnort.  (not her real name).  Maybe you can help me.  (No - I can't).  I have a question about the salt mines because I need to get some salt and I don't know if you sell salt or if you sell salt and pepper or if you deliver salt or if I've been using too much salt.  And I don't know if there's salt in my recipe and I don't know how salt works and I don't know if you guys are located in my home town or if you are somewhere else and I don't know if there's a location near me where I can get salt and I don't know how much you charge and I don't know if you take checks and I don't know if you take credit cards and I don't know if.....
They never pause, they never let me get a word in edgewise.  If they did I could say:
If you're going to list all the things you don't know - we will be here until next Tuesday.  I realize you don't know - guess what - we have someone here who DOES know.  His name is Bob.  Please hold while I transfer you.

Short story writing - I am attempting to write a short story.  It is a piece of fiction and it's supposed to only be about 10 pages long.  I have not gotten past the idea stage.  Here's why:
Every day I come up with what I think is a great idea.  I write a brief synopsis of my idea during my lunch break.  Then it's "time's up, back to the salt mines" and off I go back to work.  That is the only writing time I have in my day.  It is also my only time for facebook, texting friends (yes, I do have some friends), and listening to my voice mails from Walgreens.
Anyhoo - the next day I reread my brilliant idea and decide that it's' crap.  Delete, delete, delete - rewrite - then back to the salt mines.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Every day this week.
Tomorrow is Saturday and I am determined to push on through this - whether my idea is a good one or not, this story is going to get written!
I told Honey Bunch one of my ideas and his response was, "and I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you meddling kids."  (note to millennials - that's a reference to Scooby Doo - Google it).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thanks Dad

Today is Father's Day - so on this day, I would like to say Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there and especially my Dad.  Hey, Daddy, I drew you a picture.  Do ya wanna see?

We don't often tell our Dads how much we love and appreciate them.  They do so much for us kids - even as adult kids.  They work hard, provide for the family, fix things around the house, and so much more.

Here are some random things I learned from my Dad:

1.  Go to Church - don't just show up, get involved.
2.  Change the oil in your car
3.  Drive your car until it falls apart - literally.  Then get it fixed and keep driving it.  A car should last a long, long time.
4.  Root for the Aggies
5.  Take lots of pictures
6.  Two is better than one - ask Dad how many he wants and he will hold up two fingers and proclaim, "bring me dos of them babies."
7.  If you don't know the answer, make something up.  If you say it with confidence, people will believe you.  No matter how outrageous the story is.  
8.  Sing out loud, sing out strong.
9.  Never stop going places - Dad has traveled all over the world and is still exploring the far reaches of the globe.

I know there are a lot more things I learned from my Dad.  Sadly, algebra is not one of them, but not for lack of trying.  Thanks Dad.

So, here, in no particular order, is a list of things I want to thank my Dad for:

1.  Thanks for brushing the knots in my hair when I was little until the brush handle actually broke off
2.  Thanks for helping me with my homework, despite the mediocre results in algebra
3.  Thanks for fixing my car countless times
4.  Thanks for all the home repairs and improvements
5.  Thanks for attending every game, every performance, every concert that my daughters were part of.  And taking pictures.  And clapping loudly.
6.  Thanks for all the fabulous Summer trips with all of us or with just the girls - road trips all over the country from Florida to Yellowstone and even California!  And taking pictures.

When my daughters Buffy and Cissy were little (there is no Jody) - they would go to their PawPaw (my Dad) for advice.  Who knows why, maybe their sister wasn't cooperating or they couldn't get Barbie's outfit on properly.  My Dad would say to them, "Well, when I was a little girl..."  Then he would offer sage advice.  At the time, they were too young to question this statement.  So thanks, Dad, for your wit and humor.  I love you.

PS - Coming soon to Cherri's Jubilee - Long overdue Mother's Day blog listing things I appreciate about my Mom (insert big smiley face here)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Complaints Dept. File #142 - Weekends are too Short!

It's a pretty thick file - cross referenced to "I don't like Mondays," and "Why me, God?"

Here at the Complaints Department, we hear this just about every Monday morning.  It usually goes along these lines.

Coworker #1:  How was your weekend?

Coworker #2:  Not long enough.  (Yuk, Yuk, Yuk)

And the conversation goes downhill form there.  But the truth is, the lamenting of the too-short weekend begins on Sunday late afternoon, early evening.  That's about the time you realize you have to do some laundry so you'll have clothes to wear for the week.  Then you realize there's no food in the house, unless you want to have a stale box of Triscuits for your entire sack lunch and expired Campbell's soup for dinner every night.  (Why do we have clam chowder?  Who's going to eat that?)

Laundry and grocery shopping are not fun.  Continuing your Cut Throat Kitchen watch-a-thon is fun. And this illustrates the conundrum I face every weekend.

Because I am at work for nine hours every day and commute for 2+ hours every day, my weekdays are basically shot as far as getting anything done.  (Yeah, I know cry me a river... but don't, seriously, because there's enough standing water around here.)

The chores and errands stack up and by Friday night, there's a great big to-do list all ready for the weekend.  On top of that, the weekend is the only time to get together with friends and family, maybe take a little trip, and relax from the hard week you've had (assuming you've had a hard week - and lets face it, you work hard so you deserve a little R & R).

You start off Friday night feeling optimistic.  Maybe you make a little to-do list thinking tomorrow I will run these errands:

  1. Work out at the Y
  2. Shopping
  3. Pick up dry cleaning
  4. Go to the bank
  5. Return the library books
  6. Take the car in for an oil change
  7. etc. etc. etc.
Then you remember that there are a lot of things to do around the house too.  Such as:
  1. Clean house
  2. Organize the china cabinet
  3. Wash the dog
  4. Fix the laptop computer
  5. Clean out the closet, or the garage, or the scary space under the bed
  6. Sort the growing pile of socks in the laundry room
  7. Wax the ceiling
  8. etc. etc. etc.
Then you think of all the fun things you want to do, but never have time for:
  1. Visit a bookstore and waste an hour browsing
  2. Go to the movies 
  3. Arts and crafts with the kids
  4. A stroll through the park (never mind, it's way too hot for that and it's probably raining)
  5. Lunch, or coffee with a friend
  6. Date night with the Honey Bunch
  7. Curling up with a good book (this is sooo never gonna happen)
And, even though it's obvious that there's no way you can get all this stuff done in one 48 hour period, you are still optimistic.  You have that happy, excited, Friday outlook on life - you believe you have unlimited time stretched out ahead of you.  

Chances are, you will stay optimistic until the threat of Monday morning slaps you in the face like a wet fish.  (I'm thinking Monty Python fish dance - and no, it doesn't make sense)

The solution?  ....There is no solution.  But thank you for filing a complaint.  Have a nice weekend!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Let's Form a Club

There are a few new experiences I find myself a part of now.  I think I've got several friends who can relate so, we might as well form some clubs.  Or is it support groups?  Here are a few suggestions for clubs I could join, if someone else would organize it, because...  ya know....  I'm busy.

1.  Silver Streak Club - for women who now have to color their hair once a month.  You'll know it's time to cover your gray when a shining silver streak becomes visible in the part in your hair.

2.  Alternate Route Club - for Houston commuters who have to find new and creative routes to work almost every morning as more and more roads are closed (and re-closed) due to continued flooding.  Also, don't forget to check which bridges have washed out.

3.  We Used to be Friends Club - for all the people with whom I used to enjoy hanging out, but now that our kids are older, we don't get together anymore.  Former friends from girl scouts, soccer-mom friends, fellow dance moms, former orchestra teachers etc.  It's a sad fact of life when your kids get older, graduate, go to college and then leave you with no social life.

4.  We Used to be Co-Workers Club - for everyone with whom I used to work and enjoyed chatting with but they moved on to other jobs, or I did.  Who's to say.  I know I'm still facebook friends with these people, but it's not the same as an in-person conversation on a regular basis.

5.  Enablers Club - for my friends who love to get together and eat out.  Then we all wait to see what everyone else is ordering to determine if we're going to be "good" and "just get a salad" or if we have permission to go off our diets "just this once."

6.  Complaints Department Club - for those of us who occasionally want to vent to someone who will just listen and nod their head.  A club for griping, commiserating and not judging.  The rules are, you must not try to solve problems or cheer people up and you must give everyone equal time - ie don't dominate the conversation.

7.  Prayer Group for a Third Party - For everyone who cannot bring themselves to vote for either of the Presidential candidates this year.