Thursday, January 11My Office Spouse Divorced Me.
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.
Wednesday, January 10CDP Wayback Machine - Minnesota Edition.
In honor of our upcoming trip to Minnesota, let's take a look back at the 2006 vacation:
02/28/2006 - "Breakfast Served Anytime."
What Global Warming?
Let's go to Minnesota!
Don't forget your hat!
Tuesday, January 9You've Been Orton-ized!
This is what happens when you freak out during a wrestling match and sever an artery in your forehead.
During Sunday night's New Year's Revolution pay-per-view, wrestler Triple H was legitimately injured when he tore his quad. This forced the remaining wrestlers to improvise their scripted finish, as it couldn't go on as planned with Triple H hobbling about.
Somewhere during the chaotic melee that ensued, Randy Orton (pictured) cut himself way too deep while selling a chair shot to the head. He either did this because he wanted to save the match somehow, or he was freaking out too much to realize how deep he was blading.
This was where he ended up before paramedics took him to the back. Passed out on top of a destroyed Announcer's table. He's okay, but it looked pretty bad for a few minutes. The chaos of the unscripted, live ending was worth the cost of the PPV alone.
So remember this, kids. If you think you're having a bad day, you could've been Randy Orton; passed out in front of 17,000 screaming fans while blood squirts out of your forehead.
From this point forward, I'm going to wear a bracelet that says "WWROD?"
Monday, January 8I'm On The 'Roids.
(People keep asking me what's on the bulletin board behind my head in these 'webcam' photographs. Well, this corkboard is by the computer in my office, and it contains a few hand-drawn cartoons by yours truly, along with some neat photographs that I like to look at from time to time. There's a photo of me and the Missus at my high school graduation, a shot of me playing the drums at the age of 5, and about a dozen more photos of the Missus. Now you know. Someday, I'll give you all a video tour of CDP Headquarters. Not today, though.)
I went 4-0 with my Wild Card Playoff predictions. Kudos to anyone who bet using my picks. My picks for the Divisional Playoff are as follows:
Chicago over Seattle
New Orleans over Philadelphia
Indianapolis over Baltimore
San Diego over New England (maybe; it should be a great game)
While we're still on the topic of sports, I want to address the amazing Wisconsin Badgers, who are currently ranked #4 (and rising) in the country. Also, my Dallas Mavericks are currently riding a 14 game winning streak. Hooray for attaching your ego to people who don't care about you!
Sorry about all the sports talk; perhaps my testosterone levels are reaching critical mass. I've been working out for at least an hour a day for the last five days, with no signs of slowing down. This new health club has really gotten me and the Missus into an addictive after-work routine, consisting of strenuous exercise and bottled water by the truckload.
It's been great. Now that I've been doing it for a few days, my body's not sore at all. I'm upping my completion time and goals on a daily basis, and I've settled into a routine that's working wonders for me. I'm even trying to (slightly) watch what I eat. My traditional worktime lunch of a Grilled Cheese, Potato Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookie and Chocolate Milk have now been replaced by a Cup of Fresh Fruit, Bottled Water, Veggie Smear Sandwich and a Pickle.
Potato Salad is optional, and that's usually an option you're going to want to take, especially at the place where I buy my lunch.
On Tuesday, I'm getting an hour with the Club's personal trainer. I'll let you know how that goes. Most importantly, every piece of workout equipment has a TV built into it, so we don't have to miss anything important. I've officially found heaven, and it's been in a Cardio Bike all this time.
I know what you're thinking. "But CDP, you're already in amazing shape! And you're drop-dead beautiful to boot!"
That's a good point, but there's a few things I need to work on. My weight is ideal for me, but it's more fat than muscle, and I need to reverse the numbers in that respect. Also, my metabolism has cooled off considerably in the last few years, and I can already tell that I'm speeding it up with just a little bit of exercise every day.
What's my ultimate goal? Well, in the questionnaire that I provided to my personal trainer, I said that "I wanted to intimidate friends and loved ones with a single stare down." Also, when asked what I would do if I ever achieved my fitness goals, I wrote "I will buy myself a house made of solid gold."
Perhaps I'm not taking this seriously enough. I sure hope he's not one of those musclehead assholes that doesn't know how to take a joke because he's so 'roided up that he can no longer control his mood swings so he picks me up my me ankles and swings me around and bashes my skull to malt powder on the Butterfly Press.
If you want the truth, I'll lay it all out on the line for you. For years, I knew that I could never roll in the same class as the 'Tough Guys.' I constantly got my ass kicked, and I constantly got stood up by women who preferred these men. Never mind the fact that these guys were almost always jerks that did nothing but mentally manipulate and destroy these women from the inside out. Women were just naturally attracted to this type of man, like it or not.
For years, I did the second-best thing, and played the role of 'Cute Guy.' You know, the smart and funny guy that wore queer sweaters and listened to all the good music (see photo). I knew that this wasn't necessarily my ticket to Rock-Stardom, but at the very least, I could be a big fish in a small pond.
Now that I'm older, I've grown quite sick of being the Cute Guy. First and foremost, I'm nowhere near anyone's criteria of what 'cute' is. Besides, the 'Cute Guy look' became a legitimate fashion craze a few years ago, and I refuse to be part of any type of cultural movement set to popularize outcast behavior. Leave these people alone, for Christ's sake! It's crap like this that made me stop listening to punk rock six years ago.
I have no ambition to be funny at parties anymore, and I have no ambition to smile when I'm not anything but happy. I have no time or tolerance for anyone putting on a show in order to be perceived as something they are not. I simply want to be left alone with my thoughts and snide remarks, and to slowly get more and more muscular until my head explodes and I freaking die.
Is that too much to ask?
Once again, these 'mini-blogs' are going to keep showing up while I handle a lot of other things in the CDP realm. I have no time for large essays, Podcasts or media projects when I'm working out constantly, compiling text for a CDP book, and spending more time at the office than I care to mention. I give this hiatus another week or two, tops.
Thanks for sticking it out with me. So, what are you up to?