Thursday, January 11

My Office Spouse Divorced Me.

And Use Bottles To Catch Your Blood.

All things considered, I don't talk about work very much. Mainly, I do this so my readers have the opportunity to suspend their disbelief when it comes to the life of the CDP. I would much rather you think that I live the life of a reclusive novelist; wearing a smoking jacket and sucking on a bubble pipe in my study, swirling a glass of brandy whilst recalling somber memories of the past.

Truth be told, I'm only like that three days out of the week. Four, tops. Also, sucking on a bubble pipe might kill you, depending on what kind of soapy solution you're using. To be safe, just stick to tobacco.

Another reason that I don't talk about work is that I don't like getting fired. I have a lot of co-workers that read my page on a daily basis; some even bookmarking the CDP in their 'Favorites' section. As much as I try to tell people not to turn the CDP into an office e-mail phenomenon, it's already happened far too many times to keep secret. Countless times already, people have stopped me in the halls to quote something hilarious that I wrote, only to be left disappointed when I tell them I had no memory of even writing it. By that accord, I see no reason to step on the toes of people who sign my checks and keep brandy in my swirling glass.

The third and final reason I don't talk about work is that it's usually not very funny. When I say 'usually,' I mean 'not ever.' As a teenager, I spent four years at a hardware store that gave me enough humorous material for a full-length book and a follow-up compendium (available at most Barnes & Noble retailers). After three years in this office, I have enough amusing anecdotes to maybe get me through a five minute comedy set at the company Christmas party.

Even then, the jokes aren't as much 'ha-ha' funny as they are 'I'm only here for the free parking' funny. The kind of funny that makes you reflect and cry later, when nobody's around.

This has become unacceptable for yours truly. The start of the year is always the most difficult for me and my position, and staffing shortages have only increased the load and ulcer-causing stress. If I'm going to make it through the next two months, I'm going to need to create my own fun and wacky environment. If you can't find a way to enjoy your work, you probably should look for a new job.

Here's what I've come up with so far.

1. I've noticed that the new vending machine in our break room has incredibly sensitive keys. I've gotten into the habit of seeing how lightly I need to touch them in order for it to register.

Like a brain surgeon operating on the President, my index finger trembles and microscopically hovers over the "F" key with dead-on precision. Normally before I attempt this, I try to wait around the break room for a bit, until a small line forms behind me.

I don't even want anything from the machine anymore; I just like testing the mechanical limits of its sensors. I typically just give the Pop-Tarts or Texas Grill Frito's away to the first person I see in the hallway.

2. I know I've mentioned this before, but I keep a Magic 8 Ball in my cube (along with a Japanese 'good luck' cat, a miniature candy vending machine, a Joey Ramone 'bobble-head' figure, a Simpsons gumball machine, a Super Mario Bros. plush novelty, a garden gnome, a several Rubik's cubes, Tangrams, Sodoku and other brain teasers, a mechanical robot that holds pencils, 4 ceramic Buddha figures, 2 Slinky's, a sumo wrestler 'bobble-head' figure, Mick Foley and Rey Mysterio action figures, 20 hand-framed photographs taken by me, Lost merch and about 10 other items).

I mainly keep these things at work because my Rumpus Room at home is already at critical mass. If anything, people stop by just to look at my photos, steal my candy and play with my toys. I used to have a chair in my cube, but I got rid of it because people were camping out for hours at a time. I can't hang out on Pogo and watch movie trailers all day if there's people around, ya' buzzkillers.

Back to the Magic 8 Ball. I sometimes let it make important decisions for me. In my line of work, decisions need to be made quickly, accurately and without hesitation. Sometimes, that can take a lot out of a guy. When I'm feeling like I need a breather, I just sit back and let the 8 Ball do all the work:

CDP - "Hey 8 Ball, should I get a grilled cheese for lunch?"

8 Ball - "Outlook not so good."

CDP - "Hey, I hear you. Maybe I'll just get a bagel instead."

8 Ball - "No."

CDP - "Fair enough. How does Chinese sound?"

8 Ball - "All signs point to yes."

CDP - "Disco! I'll get my keys."

3. Here's are some quick lessons in Office Etiquette:

A) If you say 'hello' to someone at anytime during the day, another 'hello' is not necessary for the remainder of the day. You do not need to say 'hello' to this person every time you pass them in the hallways. Furthermore, you needn't even acknowledge them in passing once the initial 'hello' has been administered. Any additional 'hello' is considered intrusive and annoying.

B) If you are about to go through a door, you must hold the door open for anyone 8 feet or closer to said door. Any distance further than this is unnecessary, as they would have to do that stupid 'pretending to jog' thing, which is insulting to both you and them.

C) I have a co-worker that does what I consider to be the Most Annoying Office Thing Ever. When I'm working on something in my cubicle and they want to show me something, they will come into my cubicle, push what I'm working on to the side, and present their documents to me.

Sure, I may be a neat freak, but something this stunningly rude and inconsiderate would be met with anger and disapproval from anyone that this happened to. I would never think this was acceptable behavior, let alone do it to someone three times a week. I'd like to find a kind and un-insulting way to explain to this person that I'm going to burn the building down if they do it to me again, but you know how I operate. I'll put up with it until one of us dies.

Well, there you have it. Just a few suggestions to make your day at the office less.....bad.

As you read this, me and the Missus are probably halfway to Annandale, Minnesota, where we'll be spending the weekend. We've got a two-night stay lined up at Thayer's Bed & Breakfast, with a Mall Of America shopping spree sandwiched in the middle. I'll give you a full report next week.

On Monday, I'll be celebrating Martin Luther King day by liberating my alarm clock from the tyranny and oppression of having to wake me up at 6am. Free at last!

Sound off in the comments section and let us know what you do to keep from killing people at work.

Comments:
I just hide quietly in my cubicle. Well, no, not really. I have an equally impressive array of toys in my cubicle, which keep people coming over to let off steam during the day. I don't mind, really. The only problem is they ALWAYS come over when I'm break (mainly my supervisor), making it look to them as though I never do any work at all.
 
I know. Every time someone comes over, I'm playing solitare.

I usually explain to them that I'm on a short break, and I'll get right back to looking at porn as soon as I can.

Slave drivers, these people.
 
My old office was full of toys, but since I only spend about 15 hours a week actually in my office, it's devoid of anything personal.

Since I live in SC, we are turning a blind eye to MLK day and working anyway. Hooray!
 
Sounds about right. Yee-haw!

Hey JT, are you following the Clemson basketball team? Pretty impressive stuff.
 
I am indeed. Although basketball is my least favorite sport, after our atrocious football season, and with baseball montsh away, it's all I have to cling to.
 
With Wisconsin being ranked #3 and Clemson enjoying the only undefeated NCAA record, we both have something to cheer about.
 
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mmm...SPAM. I prefer it fried, myself.

Clemson is really something this basketball season! I'm refusing to watch any of the games, since I know it will break their winning streak if they do. This is what happened during football - only the games I watched were the games they lost.

I was in Clemson on Tuesday, actually. I hadn't been on campus in a while and only just saw the new addition to Death Valley. Anyway, I was there to do a little hiking in the freezing weather up around Twin Falls/Table Rock with some friends and eat a nice dinner with my "Turkish Family" at the Riviera. Turkish food is the bestest.

Hope you enjoy your trip, CDP!

Oh, when I lived in VA, the holiday was not called MLK day. It was called Lee-Jackson-King Day: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. So that EVERYONE is happy. Ah, I miss Virginia and their wackiness.
 
I'm leaving that BLAM! up solely because there were no spelling errors in it. I respect effort.

I'm actually writing this from the Apple Store from within the Mall Of America. I'm trying very hard not to walk out of here with an 80G iPod. I'm not trying very hard, however.
 
Hi, my name is Steve. I come from a rough area. I used to be addicted to crack but now I am off it and trying to stay clean. That is why I am selling magazine subscriptions.

BLAM!


OMG that list of things in your desk is exactly what my Nan puts on the table for Bingo night! And Yes, she wins all the time.

I really don't know what stops me from stomping the life from some the useless and annoying people I work with. Perhaps it's because I work for the government and know that if I let that genie out of the bottle it would a long time before it went back in. in the mean time I console myself with the knowledge I am a lot younger than they are and will dance many a dance on their graves. Listen, let's not talk about that anymore, it takes me to my dark place.

It looks like another of your picks just came to pass. The golden foot has saved the Colts.
 
That's good advice, BluStaCon. All I need to do is out-live everyone that I work with, and I'll laugh last.

Also, you get a bonus point for throwing in an Office Space reference.

My Playoff Predictions have been perfect so far (7 out of 7; the Pats/Chargers game is on right now). We just got back from Minnesota, and the essay will be ready early this week.
 
7 of 8 ain't bad
 
Yeah.

Furthermore, I wanted the Pats to win. I don't know how Brady does it, but as long as he's around, New England has a chance to win the Super Bowl every damn year.

New Orleans at Chicago and New England at Indianapolis. It doesn't get much better than that.
 
This post season will be epic. I can already feel the magic starting to build. It reminds me of the 2001 season where planets aligned and you could FEEL the power building. It's just a little too early to tell if it's building around New England or New Orleans. NO has been a Cinderella story like the 2001 Patriots. Not quite as much drama though.
 
These are the 4 teams I've been rooting for all season. Just the thought that 2 of them are a lock for the Superbowl is fantastic.
 
BluStaCon, for some reason I thought you were a professional crab or lobster fisherman.
 
I was a professional fisherman out in the Bering sea for a couple of years. Maybe that experience bleeds through.
 

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