Sunday, July 29, 2012
WHAT’S YOUR DAMAGE, MAGGOT?
I WORK FOR A LIVING, NUMBNUTS. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR WEIGHT LOSS AND BLOGGING PROGRAM?
I DON’T SEE YOU LOSING ANY WEIGHT. AND I’VE NOTICED THAT YOU’RE NOT AT THE GYM AS OFTEN. WHATSA MATTER, GONE SOFT?
No, Sarge. Been working my ass off.
NOT FROM WHERE I SIT, PRIVATE.
Hey, I’ve maintained my healthy eating habits, Sarge.
WELL, LA DI DAH! LET’S JUST DANCE AROUND THE FRIGGIN’ MAYPOLE. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MUSCLE DEFINITION?
KEEP TALKIN’ LIKE THAT, MAGGOT AND DIG YOURSELF IN.
You going to throw a box of tissues at me, Sarge?
NO MAGGOT, YOU’RE NOT WORTH THE SNOT THAT WOULD END UP IN THE RAG!!! NOW DROP AND GIVE ME 12!!!! YOU DON’T NEED YOUR FANCY PANTS GYM FOR THAT!!!
(For the record, I really did just complete 12 incline push-ups. Used a bureau because the available items that are lower – meaning more effort required – are too unstable and fragile to withstand the forces of a push-up. And yes, there are forces in a push-up. I didn’t even take Physics and I know that).
ALL RIGHT, MAGGOT!! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO GET BACK ON THE PROGRAM?
AND WHAT ELSE?
Find a yoga class after work hours?
ARE YOU ASKING ME OR TELLING ME?
Uh, telling, I guess. Sarge.
AND IF YOU CAN’T FIND A CLASS COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR SCHEDULE?
Cardio. That has definitely gone by the wayside.
YOU NEED TO CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE, TOO OR YOUR BODY GETS INTO A RUT.
YES!! GIVE ME ANOTHER 12!
YOU SAW “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”, MAGGOT! DO YOU NEED A FANCY PANTS GYM FOR PULL-UPS, PUSH-UPS OR CRUNCHES???
No, Sarge, but…
DON’T YOU SASS ME!
Well, we both know I can’t do a pull-up unassisted.
AND WHOSE FAULT IS THAT??
AND WHOSE JOB IS IT TO FIX THAT?
WHAT DID YOUR COUSIN MARGARET THATCHER SAY?
Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.
WELL, THAT'S A GOOD ONE, BUT NOT THE ONE I HAD IN MIND...
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it?
YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT, RECRUIT!
KEEP POUNDING THAT WATER, RECRUIT. NO MORE GODDAMN MANDICAKES! NO MORE SUGAR! I SEE ECZEMA ON YOUR HANDS! NO MORE GRAIN! PALEO, GODDAMMIT! YOU HAD DISCIPLINE ONCE, GODDAMIT, GET IT BACK!
Yes, Drill Sergeant.
I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!
YES, DRILL SERGEANT! IT IS UP TO ME GET FIND MY DISCIPLINE AGAIN!
Excellent, Recruit. Carry on.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I have worked in various aspects of the financial services industry for nearly 30 years, from customer service and mutual fund accounting to, lately, mortgage banking. My law degree has come in handy, not because anyone has asked me to draft pleadings or research a law, but because one learns analysis in law school and this has applications beyond a courtroom.
Surprise, surprise, my undergraduate degree as a middle-school teacher is also coming in handy.
I started a new job at the end of May which I like very much, particularly since we’ve gotten a handle on what we’re doing, the pay is good, the bosses are kind, appreciative and knowledgeable. For the most part, my co-workers are professional adults who understand and practice appropriate workplace behavior.
For the most part.
It seems, in the giant square dance that is the constant shifting of desks, working groups and frontline supervision, that my group was absorbed into one that included a pair of young females who were great friends with the previous supervisor and spent their workdays socializing (when not bitching about increased productivity goals coming soon). Due to the ongoing disruption and distraction they created, last week, their desks were moved apart with much pouting, whining and sullen behavior.
Has quiet been restored? Not really. This has not even slowed them down, really. The sidekick will look around furtively for anyone with authority, run over to her ex-desk and the ongoing live version of the Gossip Girls will be in session.
We also have ongoing texting during meetings and training (with the giggles and whispers). And the following scenario:
Music coming off through headphones (cheap ones) from 3 BIG desks over that I could hear it pretty clearly.
I sent the following email subject line:
Turn down the music, please. I can hear it down here.
I GOT the following response:
I would be happy to do so, however if you ask me to turn down rather than telling me to turn down it would work a lil more effectively and would be taken a lil more appropriately. (this is a copy and paste of the message, by the way)
That’s right, Folks, we got us a Queen Bee here. An over-aged teenaged one at that. Attitude straight out of the 7th grade ruling clique on someone who should know better.
This broad (No. I’m a broad and I’m not going to include her in with Bette Davis, Elaine Stritch and me)…This spoiled brat seems to be channeling Snooki in appearance and work ethic, as in not having one. For instance, last week, we had a couple of new hires join the team and she was asked to let one sit with her and “shadow” as she worked. She refused in front of the guy, saying she “had numbers to hit.” Full disclosure: I tried to refuse myself because I didn’t feel confident enough in what I was doing. I got overruled and it turned out okay. SHE got a verbal smackdown (no names but everyone knew who the boss meant) in a team meeting in the afternoon and this led to hours of sulking.
When I got the job, I was told it was a professional dress and work environment. Professional dress: no tight clothing (well, there’s Salmonella, who wears her clothing 2 sizes too small and can barely move. It’s amusing. Her career path is the Lewinsky Method), no spaghetti straps or flip flops except on OT days on Saturday (even when it’s Casual Friday, there are standards to be observed). Let’s just say she got the same advice and chooses to ignore it.
There are rules about taking phone calls: you do it “off the floor”, meaning you go outside or into the hall because you’re not supposed to be disrupting the people around you. You also do your texting outside and on your break because when the company is paying you, they expect your time and attention to be geared towards THEIR goals. Yup, we’ve got that shit going on, too.
This job involves analysis of timelines and actions by a mortgage servicer (the people who collect your payment and apply it to your balance. Or, as happened a little too often, don’t). There is a lot of input to various computer systems that use the dates input to determine if harm was done to the borrowers. I’ve been hearing a lot of bitching about being “input monkeys” and sadly, not just from her, but from others of her age group (late 20s, early 30s). When we’re told that the daily goal for productivity will be increasing, that’s always good 10 minutes of bitching and whining from her and her dumbass sidekick (neither one is particularly smart, by the way, either in raw intelligence or the use/application of common sense). By the way, I’m already consistently hitting that upcoming daily goal plus extra, so it’s not as if Pharaoh just told us we have to move an additional 10 blocks per day to the top of the pyramid.
And this brings me to another point: Involuntary servitude in this country was abolished by the 13th Amendment in 1865. If you hate the job so much, you have two choices: shut the fuck up or get the fuck out.
You aren’t Terrell Owens or Barbra Streisand, okay? You’re not bringing anything special to the table that would make employers and co-workers put up with your shit. You're not even at the level of one of those useless "celebrities" from reality TV.
And a former middle school teacher, who has dealt with her share of teenaged tart tyrants isn't about to be bullied by someone who should have grown out of that crap by now.
After the email exchange over the music, the rest of the day was filled with sniper-shot comments about “blasting music” and pointed questions to other team members with headphones. Yeah, I’m working with a mental 13 year old.
First of all, you Dumb Shit Diva, “lil”? Really? You’re in no position in terms of authority, intelligence or any other measure of status to be condescending to me. You’re just another co-worker and one whose dead ass I am already carrying. And your dumb fuck sidekick’s, too. Considering how much time the two of you waste in socializing and extending your lunch half-hour and breaks (this has been noticed by management), I resent it and the fact that you feel entitled to bitch about how much is expected of you. In the words of Peter Venkman, when his secretary, Janine, complained about her workload, “I’m sure someone with your qualifications would have no trouble finding work in the food service industry.”
What he said.
As for the “ask me pretty please with sugar on it” attitude: Yeah. Begging’s not my long suit. For this post, I tried to find a Far Side cartoon of a family sitting down to dinner with the dog pointing a gun at them and saying, “Hey, Bucko! I’m done begging!”
What he said.
I am not going to wheedle, cajole, plead or otherwise tap dance to get adults to behave in an adult, responsible manner. If you’re going to be disruptive, discourteous and disrespectful, you will bring out the middle school teacher in me and be treated accordingly.
And if you’re enough of a dumbass to put it in an email that takes about .5 seconds to forward to management…that’s the kicker right there. Not only arrogant, but dumber than mud.
Maybe I’m the one who will get moved (not out the door. They like me, they like my work). But I’m not the one about to get an international reputation as the Dumbass Diva.
P.S. "Lil" Girl? You don't know me. You don't know where my influence lies. You don't know who my friends are. You don't know who owes me what big favors. And you sure as shit don't know how far I'll go to protect my income and peace of mind when pushed. Keep that in mind next time you want to play Queen Bee of the Middle School.
Monday, July 9, 2012
(We’ll get into the numbers another time. Honest. The scale is up on a closet shelf where it can’t do any damage).
Housekeeping: My “troll” cherry has been broken with the following comment:
“LOL just take the stick out of your ass, and stop trying to pretend there is any kind of discrimination in this ad. BTW, why did the joke backfire? Because YOU didn't like it? You are so pretensious on Follow Up to "I'm Not Laughing"”
I published it because I’m not afraid of criticism, even if it comes from a spineless wonder. Anonymous? The definition of P-R-E-N-T-E-N-T-I-O-U-S is people who attempt to impress by using words they have not mastered (being able to spell it demonstrate mastery). Like Sarah Palin. The “LOL” and “BTW” are indications of a lazy intellect as well. I may be pretentious, but by the grace of God, I’m not a spineless ignoramus (would you like a definition for that?). Of course, if I had your piss poor spelling skills (and insufficient good sense to use Spellcheck when it may count), I don’t think I’d use my real name, either.
And since Newcastle immediately yanked the ad in question, I doubt I’m the only one who had a problem with it.
This is a pictorial demonstration of progress. Not only mine: clearly, my good friend, Sandy, has eclipsed me in a year. Look at that smile! Yea, Sandy! AND, I have another friend who has started hitting the gym before work, telling me I’m a good influence. PLUS, I’ve noticed more people bringing fruits, vegetables and nuts to work for snacks instead of the sugary stuff.
You’re doing it for yourselves, Guys . Keep it going.
Okay, this is me (and my good, lovely friend Marie) in 2010 (July 4):
(My shirt is from Boston’s on the Beach in Delray Beach, FL. I love the design. Fantastic use of the Red Sox logos. And I do love my Red Sox).
And the two of us July 2, 2011:
(I am smaller. Really)
And this year, July 7:
Now, check out my friend Sandy. June 2, 2011 (my 50th birthday celebration):
And June 1, 2012:
Wow. Just wow.
Cousin Margaret Thatcher once said, “Sometimes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
How right she was. I haven’t reached my goal. Yet), but I haven’t given up or gone back to the old ways. I’m still hitting the gym and I’ve adapted my eating to Paleo style. I keep slipping there. By the way, Scrabble, affogato is NOT Paleo. The bacon-wrapped dates and the grilled asparagus, yes. Affogato, no. Next time: fruit and grass-fed cheese, maybe some nuts.
And Anonymous? Suck on it.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
In light of recent developments among my friends (and some soon to be ex-friends), I feel compelled to ask and answer: What makes a man?
It’s not what’s between the legs or the ability to impregnate or the Y chromosome. That’s just what makes a male.
A man is a grown-up version of a human male.
“Well, duh,” you may be saying. “We all know that.”
My friends, let me explicate.
The difference between an adult male and a man is that a man does not run from responsibilities. A man is not a coward. he also does not create confrontations just to prove to himself that he's a man, because that proves exactly the opposite.
An adult male will taunt the fans of sports teams that rival his favorite and be particularly offensive about it. A MAN will suffer those taunts becasue he knows that except for joy or sorrow at a game's outcome, a team's actions have no real impact on his life. Sports is exercise and entertainment. If he's counting on the outcome of a game to make the month's rent/mortgage, he is an adult male, not a MAN.
An adult male will cry victim and use it as an excuse to indulge himself (alcohol, food, women, drugs) and shirk his obligations to the detriment of those around him/counting on him. A MAN will acknowledge pain and focus his energy on completing his duties.
A male may create a child or children, but a MAN sticks around to raise that child with its mother. And a MAN shows respect to that child’s mother. A man knows that he is always teaching and children are always learning. How a child will treat others is learned from observing the MEN and WOMEN around him. If the household only has children and adult males and females, that child will never learn ways of respect and consideration.
A male is usually stronger than a woman or child, but a MAN uses that strength to provide for and guard his family. A MAN does not use his superior strength to beat his children or their mother to maintain control.
A male may be tempted by other women (or men), but a MAN will not let that temptation take control of his actions. This is real strength.
A MAN takes pride in what he creates and nurtures. An adult male takes pride in childish things because he doesn't understand the rewards of actual achievement.
If you don’t want the responsibilities of properly raising a family, don’t create one. Wear two condoms and get a vasectomy. Have gay sex; humans haven’t evolved to the point where same-sex activity leads to conception. Yet. You never know.
There’s a lot of American political talk going on about “nanny states” and “socialism” and since the Supreme Court just upheld Romneycare (for that is the root), states are already screaming over increasing their Medicaid coverage to accommodate more people. Where’s the personal responsibility? We’re all rugged individuals and we should take care of ourselves and our own.
Yeah? How about you members of the Tea Party who, by walking out on a wife and two kids (including an infant) just put their families in danger of needing food stamps, subsidized housing and Medicaid? Hypocrite much?
And while I’m thinking of it, even though the kids are still pretty young, one of their first lessons is going to be this: you matter less than whatever piece of ass Daddy is chasing. Proceed accordingly.
Girls have a hard enough time keeping and building their self-esteem. Add to that seeing Daddy treat Mommy like something disposable and she’s going to have a bitch of a time learning about healthy relationships. In the ads for “Ted” right now, there’s a scene with the bear sitting with 6 hookers and the bear says something like, “I’d like to thank the 6 bad fathers who made this night possible.”
Congratulations, Pal: you just joined their ranks. And you're about as good as John Edwards, whom you said you despise.
Your son will grow up learning the same lesson: women are disposable and there’s no need to honor your commitments. So much for that much-vaunted personal responsibility. Nobody’s going to be there to show him the way.
Maybe, if your family’s lucky, they’ll be like shelter dogs: adopted by a responsible parent who WILL love them and care for them the rest of their days.
Hey, I don’t think my father was completely happy with his life, but he stayed married for 55 years, came home every night and made sure the family he created was sheltered, fed, educated and learned self-reliance (okay, well some of us bobbled the financial part of the lesson, but we’re learning). When it came to “for better or worse”, he stuck it out (he created some of it, but the stuff he didn’t, he stuck it out) Dad was a MAN; according to a friend of mine, a family man, “Men handle their shit.” They don’t play with it, they deal with it.
MEN understand that freedom isn’t free; yeah, you can follow a path of your choosing, but you WILL be accountable for your actions. Life isn’t consequence-free; adult males try to weasel out of situations they create (or pay lawyers to help them). MEN step up. If you hit another car in a parking lot when nobody’s there to witness, how you respond is the difference between a MAN and adult male: the adult male will quickly move away to park somewhere else. The MAN will leave a note on the other car with contact and insurance info (and if you’re driving without license or insurance, you’re not only not a man, you’re also a damned fool. You put me and everyone else on the road at risk, you had fucking well better be prepared to handle all consequences).
Like I said, MEN know that they are always “on” and their kids are watching. MEN know they are role models, whether they want to be or not. Adult males will deny the responsibility.
There was a movie in the 1980s titled “Men Don’t Leave.”
Real men don’t.