Saturday, August 30, 2008

P.T. Barnum Was Right!

I bought those Crest Whitestrips a couple of months ago because I felt that my pearly off-whites could use a make-over. They (those people at Crest) say that your teeth will be noticeably whiter after 7 days and will last for 12 months. The first part is totally right - they were definitely whiter after 4 days and I was mighty proud of them, but the second part is a flat out LIE! It's been like 2 months and already my teeth look like they did before. I don't smoke (18 month anniversary last Saturday thankyouverymuch!), don't drink tea or red wine; yes I drink coffee and Diet Coke, but not an inordinate amount. Fine, I drink an inordinate amount of Diet Coke, but that's only because I like it a lot and have little to no self control. BUT, I also brush my teeth twice a day (*with* a whitening toothpaste), sometimes 3 times if I have a meeting or interview after lunch. I feel that my teeth should have stayed whiter for longer. Am I being unreasonable (or ridiculously naive) to expect a product to do what it says it will do - the whole thing - not just a portion of what it says it will do?

So, now I feel duped, but also I'm pretty sure I've developed an addiction ('cause yes, I need MORE things to be addicted to because shoes, lip balm, my dvr, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - cause damn, that's a product that does what it says! - men who are bad for me, and Diet Coke w/ Splenda aren't enough) to white teeth!

Now, after reading this, you may think that my displeasure with Crest should be the least of my problems and I may want to reconsider my company's Employee Assistance Program's 5 free psych visits, but I still think that I'm entitled to feel disappointed and maybe even a bit pissed off because oh, and did I mention that those effin' whitestrips are NOT cheap??

The point here, boys and girls, is that it's Saturday afternoon, I'm bored, and I've been examining my teeth for far longer than is actually healthy or even interesting and I felt the overwhelming urge to comment on it. If you have any thoughts, positive or negative, please feel free to share them. I'm going to try to find a book to read or something a tidge more constructive to do. Maybe I'll just take a nap...

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Scream, You Scream...

*Sometimes*, I love my job! I know I mostly just bitch about stuff, but yesterday was a good day.

As a surprise and for no particular reason other than we had extra money in the budget, I arranged for The Ice Cream Man to come to our office. It was really fun watching groups of 50 to 75 un-enthused adults shuffle out of the building, looking tired, slightly annoyed, wondering why the crap they are being dragged outside and then seeing their faces break into smiles as they heard the familiar “Pop Goes the Weasel” song. Grown men and women perking up considerably as they try to decide which ice cream treat they’re going to choose. First they were shy and reserved, politely queuing and then eventually they were giggling and animated, pointing at the pictures on the side of the truck and bobbing their heads to see over the people in front of them. Earnestly weighing their decisions about what to pick. Smiling as they tore open their Bombpop or Screwball (NOW with TWO gumballs!) or Drumstick or my old favorite, the Strawberry Shortcake Colonel Crunch. A couple people asked why we were doing this and it was kind of cool to be able to say, “no reason, just thought it would be a nice break” and them nodding, smiling and saying a simple “thanks”.

I realize this isn’t particularly well written or even very amusing, but it was refreshing to be able to say that I had a good day. They’re fewer and further between than I would like, so I’m choosing to focus on them as they come.

That is all. Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Can Brown Do For YOU?

The UPS guy comes to my office at least twice a week (sometimes more if I’m on an kick). He’s my age, nice looking, tan, well-built *amazing* blue eyes. Personality? Yeah, not so much. Kind of dull. Hard to talk to, but when you do get him talking he can be kind of funny. I’ve been mildly flirting with him every time he comes in for at least 2 years, more out of boredom than any real interest. Recently, like the last 8 months or so, he’s started flirting back. He’ll stop and chat for a while if I’m up at the front desk covering for one of our receptionist’s 536 breaks a day. If I’m in my office and the door’s open, he’ll pop his head in to say hi. (My office is right off of the lobby.) Lately, he’s started leaving notes on my computer if he stops by and I’m not there.

Ok, so a couple of weeks ago I was up at the front desk (which, by the way, will probably be the topic of another blog very soon. I’m getting really sick of stopping what I’m doing so the fucking receptionist can disappear for 10 or 15 minutes whenever she feels like it. And I think we already know how I feel about the receptionist. See: Dear Receptionist for clarification. Sorry for the tangent!) and Mr. UPS came in to deliver some packages. We were chitchatting and I asked him what he did over the weekend. He told me he went to his brother’s on Saturday and then he was trying to remember what he did on Friday. Finally he said, “oh yeah, I went on a date”. Smartass that I am, I replied, “wow, must have been a good one if you can’t remember it 2 whole days later!” He said, “it was ok, we went to Kent.” And I asked, "why, is she 20"? (Kent is a college town. It’s where Kent State is and really, unless you live in Kent or have a kid who attends the university, there is no reason why someone in their mid to late 30’s should be hanging out in Kent. Just my opinion…) He laughed and said “no, it’s just more laid back than downtown. It has a more relaxed vibe.” I suggested that if he was looking for a cool, laidback, atmosphere that was slightly more upscale and age appropriate, he might want to check out Tremont in Cleveland. He said I should take him there. I chuckled and said he should take me there. He then asked for my number.

Wait, what??? I was NOT expecting that! Umm, ok.

Fast forward one week – he hadn’t called. Frankly, I’m totally ok with that. Now he’s delivering yet another of my Amazon boxes. He asked me what it was and I opened it and showed him. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (really good, so far. I recommend it!) and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. He looks at the cover and says, “Never heard of it. Must be a chick movie.”

::blinks:: Wha?? Huh??

A) Who’s never heard of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and
B) How in the world is it a ‘chick movie’?

Hmmm. Interesting. I’m starting to get a hinky feeling…

Around 5:15 my cell rings and it’s a number I don’t recognize. Typically, I won’t answer my phone while I’m at work unless it’s my dad or someone returning my call, but since I was getting ready to leave I answered it. It was Mr. UPS. We bantered back and forth for a few minutes while I locked up and walked to my car. As I’m driving toward home he asked me where I was. I said I was just getting to the Interbelt (side note, The Interbelt is a stretch of highway that for some reason, no one uses. It’s also the name of a local gay bar.) He kind of sneers, “You go to the Interbelt”?

Red Flag. Danger, Will Robinson.

I replied, that yes, if I want to go dancing there’s no better place to go. He asked, “really? I thought you liked men”? Hmmm. I’m sensing something I don’t like here. I answered that gay guys are in fact men, contrary to the opinion of some people in Ohio. He kind of stammered and said, “you know what I mean”. Whatever dude. You don’t have to be “down with the gays”, that’s cool, but don’t be a dick about it. I chatted for another couple of minutes and then said I had to go. A couple of days later he sends me a text: “What R U doing”. Dear God.

Lainey Fun Fact #2 – I’m not a fan of texting, but I’ll do it. I can’t fucking stand ‘text speak’ though! Really, does it take that much longer to add a couple of extra letters and some punctuation? Really, you’re ok with looking borderline illiterate to someone you barely know? Really?

Ok, so I wrote back, “Just trying to get out of here and start my weekend.” He replied, “me 2”. I didn’t reply. A few minutes later he sent another text, “Big plans for the weekend?” Hmmm, spelling whole words AND using punctuation? Maybe he’s getting it… I wrote back, “Surprisingly, yes! You?” and then he screwed the pooch: “nt sure. MaB. Wen u tkg me 2 cleveland” Seriously?

I’m done. I’m sure he’s a lovely man and would make a fantastic date for someone. Just not for me. I have visions of him stenciling “Git R Done” on his F150, cranking Toby Keith while gleefully yelling “Faggots” as he drives past the Interbelt (the bar, not the stretch of highway). I fear the only reading he does is the Sports Illustrated he keeps on the back of his toilet and I have little doubt that his favorite show is “According to Jim”. Am I stereotyping and being snooty? Yeah, I totally am. I could be wrong - I don’t think so and I don’t really care. I’m fairly convinced that he’s just not my cuppa tea. However, this does present a bit of an issue. How do I politely untangle myself from this without offending him? I’m going to have to see him occasionally and I don’t want it to be more awkward than necessary. Any suggestions?

Dear Receptionist:

Seriously, shut the fuck up and quit fucking trying to tell me how to do my fucking JOB!!

Ok, I feel better now that I got that out of my system. As you may have gathered, I'm having a bit of an issue with our receptionist and her tendency to overstep her job boundaries and push her pudgy, little face into my job boundaries. Now, I will willingly admit that I have very little knowledge of FMLA or EEOC or PLoA or any number of other HR acronyms, but I am very good at recruiting! How good? We have approximately 360 employees and are currently at 98% staffed. That's unheard of! The national average for our company is 92%...yes, I totally rock at recruiting, thank you. Now, I'm not saying that all of my hiring choices have been winners. My first one was a lazy, slacker asshat (who is inexplicably still there... I don't understand why his manager is not constantly calling for his immediate and humiliating dismissal, but I digress) and there have even been a couple who haven't shown up, but the majority of my hires turn out to be pretty good and a few of them have already been promoted and they've only been there for like 9 months.

So anyway, back to the issue at hand, our receptionist is really sticking her nose up my ass and it needs to stop before I clench my ass and break that nose off. I reject applicants for a reason. I don't just look at an application or resume and decide, "We have enough employees whose names start with the letter "D", so I will just put Denise's resume here in the 'Thanks, But No Thanks' pile". I reject applications for legitimate reasons like gaps in work history; being fired (or euphemistically listing mutual agreement to resign my position. Here's a free tip from a recruiter, we know what that means! We're not complete idiots.); misspellings of EPIC proportion (true story: if you worked at Sparkle Market, but your resume and application both say Sparkel Market, I cannot in good conscience hire you. You must, at a minimum, be able to correctly spell the name of your employer. Additionally if your resume says you own your own business called Victoia's Candle Shop and your name is Victoria, I feel that you should, at a minimum, be able to correctly spell your OWN DAMN NAME!) I can overlook a typo, I'm not *that* anal, but c'mon! If you can't proof your resume enough to get the important details right (like, I don't know - your NAME? ), how are you going to do when you're working with a patient's health record and precision kinda' counts?

Ok, again I drifted - sorry! I guess my biggest issue with Mrs. Receptionist is her disapproving looks and irritated tone when an applicant calls to check the status of their application and she insists on rifling through my office to find the application and then asks me what I want to do with it. I don't want to do anything with it. If I felt this person was good, I would have called them and scheduled an interview. When I tell her that (for the 463rd time, by the way) she proceeds to read aloud their qualifications. When I point out the aforementioned gaps in employment or the fact that they've left 2 jobs in 8 months due to "health problems", she shakes her head and says, "Well, I think you should at least talk to them. They might have a really good reason that you don't know about." You're right RECEPTIONIST, they might have an excellent reason, but I DON'T CARE!!! I have a stack of qualified candidates over here who show up for work and don't have "health problems", or are at least smart enough to not put it on their applications. *sigh*

I don't really have an ending for this and it's much longer than I originally intended. I think I just needed to get it out because it was seriously starting to get to me. I try to be pleasant (at work at least) and non-confrontational, but I just don't know what to do about her anymore. Any suggestions?