Friday, October 28, 2005

What a surprise

It's open enrollment time at BlogCompany, so yours truly gets to chase everyone around like a mother hen to make sure they remember to make changes or re-enroll. Personally, since the benefits department sends about 6,000 emails to remind us to do this, I don't think this should be my job. But my boss does this every year, and she asked me to handle it for her, and being the good employee that I am, hand-holding has now been added to my list of duties. When I checked with Musketeer #1 yesterday to make sure he'd taken care of his enrollment, he said he needed to make changes but didn't know what to do and could I help him tomorrow? Sure, no problem.

This morning, he called me into his office to help him with the enrollment, and I saw he had the webpage up on his screen.

Musketeer #1: Ok, what do I do?

Me: Well first you need to log in. Have you ever used this site before? (we use the same site for payroll and other information).

Musketeer #1: Nope.

Me: Ok, well your user name is your ID number, and your password is your birthday.

Musketeer #1 types the information in, and hits submit. It tells him he has the wrong password.

Me: Are you sure you never used this before? Because they make you change your password the first time you use it.

Musketeer #1: No... Maybe I typed it wrong, let me try again.

Same result. I suggested he click the "forgot password" link at the bottom of the screen. He did, and the following message appeared:

You selected the following phrase to remind you of your password:

oral + hand "

Me: You've obviously been here before.

Musketeer #1 (laughing): Well, I guess so!

The kicker? Even with that eloquent password hint phrase, he still diddn't remember what it was.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What's that smell?

That's how it started, about two hours ago. People catching whiffs of a faint chemical smell, like nail polish remover or something. Then it got stronger, and more easily identifiable as paint fumes. Apparently, they are painting the building next door, and because our HVAC system is as high-quality as it is, all the fumes are getting sucked into our building. It's a faint smell, it's nothing that's going to harm anyone. It's annoying, yes, it's giving a few of us headaches, yes, but we will survive.

But to hear Jane tell it, we're all halfway to the hospital. She WILL NOT STOP. Every minute or so she tells me about how awful the smell is outside, and that must be why her eyes are burning, and her mouth is burning, and her lungs hurt, and she has a headache, and it's making us all sick, and isn't hysterical, the ladies from the 3rd floor were saying they were all going to fall off their chairs and lay on the floor and yell "lawsuit!", and oh my god, what an awful smell, do you smell that, can you believe it.... SHUT UP!!!!

Is hostility to your co-workers a side effect of paint fumes? Maybe I'm succumbing too. I guess I should just fall off my chair and yell "lawsuit" and see how far it gets me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

No fair

MiddleAgedHippie and a bunch of the smarmier sales guys (hmm, rather redundant) are going to a hockey game tonight. The local team, which I don't like, is playing an out of state team, which happens to be my 2nd favorite team. Bastards.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Yes, M'Lady"

I'm having an embarrassing girl moment. (No, not THAT kind of girl moment). In preparation for the coming "superstorm", I wore a long skirt and tall boots, thinking heels would just suck if I had to wade through a lake to get to my car. Unfortunately, I have never worn this skirt with these boots before, and just as unfortunately, I didn't notice until I got to work and walked in from the parking lot that the little metal eyelets at the tops of my boots keep snagging the hem of my skirt. The only way I could think to remedy this, short of actually taking a pair of scissors and cutting my skirt shorter, is to walk around holding the skirt up a little, so my boots don't tangle in it and trip me. Which would probably be quite amusing to everyone else. So all day I've been walking around like I'm about to curtsy, with my skirt held up in one hand. I've gotten a few odd looks. Just now I walked past Musketeer #1's office.

Musketeer #1: Hey SilentWitness! Is it hard to walk in that dress or something?

Me: (exasperated sigh) No, it just keeps getting all caught up in my boots.

Musketeer #1: You look like you're walking around in your prom dress.

Thanks. I chose to ignore the ribald prom dress comments as I continued down the hall. Stupid rain. Stupid boots. Stupid skirt hem.

On your marks...

Start placing your bets now- when will my co-workers start whining about the storm and the fact that we should let them go early? (Keep in mind that the day my boss had her accident, the police called and told us our town was declared a state of emergency.)

Saturday, October 22, 2005


In case anyone was wondering, my boss's surgery went well and she's home recuperating. She says she'll be in the office on Wednesday. I think she's nuts. But then again, that's nothing new. Ha ha ha.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A sign

This morning when I went to the front desk to retrieve my overnight package, there was a fax laying on top of it. One of those totally unsolicited faxes (which are, by the way, now illegal), trying to entice you to buy something? Huh, look at that. It's from the local NHL team, advertising ticket packages for businesses. And hey... how about that, I'm working on budgets. Coincidence??? I bet HeadHoncho wouldn't even notice if I put a line item in for tickets. Too bad Slice-and-Dice Corporate would hack them out of there quicker than.... the Islanders can score on Kevin Weekes.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Bug is Back

After years of being a victim of Musketeer #1's 4th-grade schoolyard sense of humor, I finally got him back this morning, albeit totally unintentionally. Musketeer #1 loves to hide plastic or rubber bugs on my desk and listen for the yelp when I find it. Under my phone handset.... in a desk drawer.... under the stamp I use all the time, you get the idea. Fortunately I know what he's up to, and he's always disappointed in my failure to yelp or scream like a girly girl. Perhaps this is why he hasn't stopped trying.

This morning, I came in to find a piece of paperwork on my desk that I had literally been bugging him for MONTHS about. We are required to keep current copies of the guys' auto insurance on file, to prove they're insured and save our asses if they ever get in an accident with a client in the car. Musketeer #1's policy renewed in June. I have cajoled, I have emailed, I have nagged. I even left notes on his breifcase so he wouldn't forget. I threatened to call his wife and ask her to send me what I need, which actually would probably have gotten me the paperwork in about a week, instead of 4 months. I should probably just go straight to her next time. So, when I found the copy of his insurance on my desk, I picked it up and walked to his office and said "Ok this is the first sign of the Apocalypse." He jumped about 3 feet into the air, causing me to burst out laughing.

Musketeer #1: You know not to talk to me before 9:00!

(Um, no I don't. I talk to you before 9:00 all the time. But whatever.)

Me: Ha! That's payback for all the flies and spiders and decapitated Peeps you leave on my desk!

Musketeer #1: Great, now I have to come up with something really good...

Of course, this reminded him about his plastic bug collection, and he decided to initiate Marketing Gal. Several minutes later, she came over to his office bitching him out, because she had picked up the phone, dialed it, and didn't notice the bug until the other party picked up the line. She screamed and slammed down the phone.

MarketingGal: Now I have to wait until later to call them back!

I think it's time for Mr. Giant Hairy Spider With Glowing Red Eyes to come back to the office and be introduced to some of the new people. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Warning- irreverent humor

Musketeer #3: Is today suck-us?

Nutjob: Sukkot

Musketeer #3: Cirucs? Cirque du Soleil?

Nutjob: Sukkot!

Musketeer #3: Suck-it?

Me: Hey, watch your language over there.

Nutjob (giggles)

Musketeer #3: It's wash-your-toches day.

Me: I hope that's every day.

Musketeer #3: So are lots of people going to be out today?

Nutjob (mystified look)

Musketeer #3: I'm just trying to figure out if it's worth it to even try and call people.

Nutjob: Well... if they're Orthodox they won't be in.

Musketeer #3: Ok. So basically don't bother calling anyone in the 555 area code.

Nutjob: Yeah, probably. They build shelters.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Well, the budget got done (somehow). Apparently we didn't fuck it up royally either, which is always a good thing. My boss is going to need surgery- it turns out her collarbone is broken worse than they thought, and she has broken ribs too. (The surgery is just for the collarbone).

And CheapSkate lives up to his name yet again. On Friday morning, I called our florist and had a big arrangement of fall flowers sent to her house from our office. A few hours later I got a call from the other office, saying CheapSkate had a great idea- instead of sending her flowers, they thought it would be nice to take up a collection and get some meals delivered for a few nights, since she obviously won't be able to cook right away. I thought that was a fantastic idea, and told her as much, and told her to put me in for a contribution. The reason for her call though, wasn't to ask if I wanted to be a part of it, but to basically turn it over to me and Jane to orchestrate, even though it was their idea. It started out as "we can't think of a place that will deliver"... (what about the three zillion Italian restaurants in the area? what about delis?)... and snowballed from that into "Jane gets to coordinate the whole thing". Jane also ended up putting it all on her credit card. After she found a place, CheapSkate refused to put it on his card. "Absolutely not", were his exact words.

Ok, asshole.
#1 this was your idea.
#2 this is for someone you've worked with FOR 15 YEARS.
#3 you are in the office with everyone who is contributing money, not Jane. It will be a hell of a lot easier for you to collect money than it will be for her.
#4. You have made A MILLION DOLLARS this year, and have another nice fat half a million on it's way to you by the end of the year. You can't put $400 on your credit card, when you're going to be reimbursed anyway? What a fucking dick.

Excuse my potty mouth. But when someone mistreats one of my friends I get pissed off like a mother bear.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Makes ya wonder

My boss got into a serious accident today. She somehow not only survived, but managed to escape with a collarbone broken in two places and dislocated shoulder, and despite the amount of glass flying around inside her vehicle, not a single scratch. She was on her way to our office from the other office, when her SUV hydroplaned (it's been incredibly rainy here lately), spun around, hitting another car and then slamming into the cement divider head-on, then flipping over three or four times (she lost count). She somehow survived all that and crawled out of the window. Her briefcase and everything was all over the highway but somehow she managed to borrow someone's phone and call us at work. She was hysterical and it was nearly impossible to understand her and we had no idea where she was or where they were taking her. For an hour I frantically refreshed traffic reports (she told us what highway she was on but we didn't know exactly where) trying to get an idea of where she was. Finally after calling the state police they directed me to the hospital they thought she'd been taken to, and when I called there they said yes, we have her in the ER. They transferred me there, and all the nurse could tell me was that she was there, and that the doctor hadn't even seen her yet and she hadn't been officially admitted. At that point I realized she must not be too bad off, if she had the presence of mind to call us and the doctor hadn't said "Holy shit this woman is dying, I must see her right away!!!". I asked the nurse if she had any idea how badly she was hurt... she must have heard the concern in my voice because she said "Oh honey, she's ok, she's over there joking around with the driver".

Yep. That's my boss. Of course as soon as I hung up the phone I lost it. All I had known up to that point was that she'd flipped over and was on the way to the hospital. I hate being a girl and having pesky emotions. Naturally, our budgets are due tomorrow, and she is the one who works on the budgets. Just as naturally, when her boss and I called corporate to explain and ask for a few extra days, they said no. Assholes. You have zillions of other offices around the country and you NEED our budget tomorrow? So her boss and I stayed late working on the budget- neither of us had a clue what we were doing. Thankfully she'd already had most of it done and there wasn't a lot to do. Do you believe she called us from the ER sobbing, apologizing about the budgets. I'm going to smack her when I see her. Lightly, so as not to jar her shattered collarbone too much.

So, Whoever or Whatever is out there watching over my boss and making sure she didn't end up like the pancake her SUV currently is, thank you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

So tempted

I'm a pretty tolerant person as far as religion goes, but I really hate it when people get obnoxious about it and use their religion for a sense of entitlement or special treatment. Or are just plain really in your face about it. The way I see it, it's a pretty personal matter and doesn't really need to be broadcast on bumperstickers or made a big deal out of for the purpose of getting attention.

So, right there, you know that Nutjob really gets on my nerves in this regard. You also know that last week she sent an email out to the office with a big obnoxious subject line for Rosh Hashannah, explaining in case we forgot that it was a Jewish holiday. Today she is leaving early for Yom Kippur and sent a similar email, only this time it had clip-art in it. I normally keep my religion close to the vest at work, not because I'm ashamed of it, just because I don't feel it belongs there and I don't feel like getting into all of the discussions it would invariably bring (I'm pagan). As it happens, I am taking Halloween off. Technically it's not for religious reasons, considering I won't be actually observing the holiday until the following weekend, but one could make the case for it if one wanted to be obnoxious. I am so tempted to send out an email (if only just to Nutjob) with the subject line "SAMHAIN - PAGAN HOLIDAY" and piously remind everyone that I will be out of the office observing a religious holiday and include little clip-art pictures of tables set with an empty place or a candle burning in front of a deceased loved one's picture. Somehow, I think this would cause a lot more trouble than it's worth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bite me, OLN

We hockey fans are mighty sick of getting shafted.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Of course, there's more. Here is the email I sent:

"I will be out of the office on Monday. If there is anything you need handled before then, please see me as soon as possible today.


Here is Musketeer #1's reply to me:



What would they do without me?

Nutjob's been out for a few days for Rosh Hashannah, and when she emailed the people she works for to let them know, the subject line of her email said (no lie, mispelling included): "Nutjob -- out of office -- JEWISH HOLIDAY -- Rosh Hashana". So today I emailed all the guys to let them know I'll be taking a day off on Monday, as I have to do when I am going to be out because they invariably panic when they come in and see that I'm not here. After all, who will pay them? I guess my not broadcasting the reason for my absence made everyone curious, because PartnerInCrime emailed me saying "Hey you didn't tell us why you'll be out!" and I got a lovely heartfelt message from MiddleAgedHippie and his talking George Bush doll:

"SW, where ya gonna be on Monday? You know there's no reason for me to come in if you're not going to be here, so I guess I'll take Monday off too. Anyway little George here is extremely upset. We will miss you, have a fabulous day off.

(George says) I understand small business growth. I was one!

(MAH comes back on the line) Enjoy!"

I think I will tell the next head hunter that calls me that unless they can guarantee I'll be working with loonies like this, I'm not going anywhere.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Wake-up call

I think Jane is competing with Nutjob for attention. This morning she tried to kill us all. All the coffee drinkers, anyway. After stumbling into the office, bleary eyed after a night of incredible hockey excitement (15 games in one night! has that ever happened before?), I got myself a nice hot cup of joe. Ahhhh. As I sat at my desk sipping it, I noticed it had a peculiar smell and taste. It kind of reminded me of dirty diapers. That's real appealing in your morning cup of coffee. I made a comment about the coffee tasting funny, knowing Jane would hear.

Jane: Do you have it in a cup?

Me: Um..... yes. [pause] As opposed to what?

Jane (laughing): Oh SilentWitness, you know what I meant. Do you have it in a ceramic cup?

Me: Yes.

Jane: Maybe the detergent didn't get all rinsed out of it?

Me: Could be. I'll try using a styrofoam cup. [I'm sorry, Mother Earth!]

Nope. No dice. The coffee in the styrofoam cup gave off the same baby-shit odor.

Me: I still think it tastes funny.

Jane: Huh. I don't notice it.

I decided not to drink it, and since I was headed out to the bank anyway, I figured I'd get myself a proper cup of coffee, I.e., Dunkin Donuts (toasted almond flavor.... mmmmm....). When I got back to the office, Musketeer #3 was loitering outside the building, which is odd, because he doesn't smoke. I have no idea what he was doing there.

Musketeer #3: Where are you coming back from?

Me: The bank. I stopped to get some coffee because ours tastes like baby poop today.

Musketeer #3: Wonderful!

Apparently while I was gone, the mystery had been solved. Jane came rushing up to me and told me Bruce had noticed the funny taste too, and thought it might be that the carafe hadn't been rinsed fully after using the cleaning solution. Ever the brave soul, he put a bit of cleaning solution on his tongue and declared that that indeed was what he tasted in his coffee. Jane evidently flipped out when he did this, until he pointed to the place on the bottle that said "non-toxic". She was not mollified, however. When she came over to tell me what had happened, she asked me several times if I thought everyone would get sick from it. I told her not if it says "non-toxic", and even so, it's not like we all drank mouthfuls of it. She wasn't satisfied with this reasoning though and ran around the office telling everyone to dump their coffee and going through the whole story about what was wrong with it and why and how she was afraid she was going to give everyone diarrhea. (Her words).

I think I might bring in my own little coffee maker and make my own coffee from now on. Either that or stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way in everyday. Yum.

Also of note: This morning there was a pair of pants folded neatly on one of the conference room chairs. I don't even want to know.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Engaged White Female

I have not lost my sanity yet because Nutjob is out of the office this week for the Jewish holiday (yesterday and today) and just for the hell of it (the rest of the week). However, Monday morning gave me a glimpse of what the future holds. All morning long- and I am not exaggerating, this went until 11:30- she was making personal calls. Now, I understand that it's exciting when you get engaged and you want to tell the world, but generally you don't wait until you get into the office to do it... do you? And generally, you call people you know and care about, not former co-workers and other distant acquaintances you haven't spoken to in months, if not years. The bulk of Nutjob's phone calls went something like this:

Hello Marge? It's Nutjob...

HI! Yeah I know it's been a while. How are you?...

I'm good... I just wanted to let you know that I got engaged...

Oh, thank you. Yeah, I'm really happy... (and launches into the story of how he proposed)

Normally I can filter her out. Monday morning I was really losing it, and planning on bringing in headphones so I can drown her out with stompy industrial music. However, it's been nice and quiet with her gone, so I don't have to resort to that just yet.

But there is something sort of creepy about all this. I was quite surprised when I saw her engagement ring, because it is a rather unusual ring. It has diamonds and emeralds. Huh. My ring has diamonds and emeralds. SilentHusband wanted me to have something a little different (which I love, thank you sweetie!!!). No big deal there, really. ChinaGirl predicted next thing I know, she'll be planning a fall/Halloween wedding. I pooh-poohed that idea, knowing Nutjob could care less about Halloween. What do you know... I found out yesterday that she wants a fall wedding. "Because SilentWitness's was so pretty!" (Yes she was at my wedding. Don't ask.)

If she books the same place I got married I am going to be seriously creeped out.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Satan called- Apparently hell has frozen over

Nutjob got engaged.