Didn’t You Get The Memo?

I visited a friend from high school not long ago.  In high school, he wasn’t part of the inner circle, though he wasn’t an outcast either.  But he fielded his fair share of bullying and cruel comments.  He never lost his temper about it, or even seemed to mind that much.  He said his father had told him to just let it go, that someday he would be their boss and make them all jump as high as he wanted.

My friend started a business that has become quite successful.  I met him at his office–lots of glass and steel and polished wood everywhere, and you can always tell when a place that’s decorated in the modern style is doing well or not by whether they can afford someone to clean all the smudges and fingerprints off of all the reflective surfaces every day.  When you’ve got that much square footage that’s got to be cleaned that carefully that often, you have to employ top-notch cleaners.

Anti-Advertising Agency and Finishing School on Flickr; modified for size

Anti-Advertising Agency and Finishing School on Flickr; modified for size

Anyway, I met him at his office.  Perfectly clean, not a smudge in sight, even though it was vibrating with activity.  Clearly doing quite well.  I was talking with him about old times when he winked at me, summoned his secretary into the office (his executive secretary, mind you.  He’s got two others) and gave her a message to email to the staff right away.  She left, and about a minute later, the entire building exploded with people running everywhere, clutching papers and looking really anxious.  Sadly, no one jumped, but I still almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard!

So take heart, young ones.  Also, if you ever find yourself in my friend’s enviable position, be sure to include something in your memo about jumping, for my sake.

Top 10 Inappropriate Thoughts I Have Had During Meetings

A penny for your thoughts...Dollars for your t...

A penny for your thoughts...Dollars for your thoughts - NARA - 513735 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve all been there.  The pointless meeting that drags on and on, during which you have one, maybe two items to contribute out of thirty listed on the agenda, but you have to be there for the whole thing, sitting in an uncomfortable chair and attempting to hide the fact that you’re actually doing sudoku.  We’ve all had those thoughts cross our minds, the ones we’d never say out loud, the ones induced by extreme boredom and by resentment stemming from the piles of work waiting for us back in our offices that, let’s face it, we wouldn’t be doing anyway.  Here are my top ten inappropriate thoughts, culled from a professional lifetime of being forced to sit around for long periods of time doing nothing productive whatsoever:

  1. I’ve had sexual encounters that took less time than this presentation, and that includes foreplay.
  2. Hmmm.  Doris’ sudden illness that kept her out of the office most of last week has left her with a very nice tan.
  3. Drink whenever someone uses the term “lateral thinking”!
  4. It takes a lot to make me wish I were back at my desk returning phone calls, but congratulations, because you’ve managed it.
  5. I know it’s only 9:30; is it wrong that I’m already fantasizing about lunch?
  6. Twenty bucks to the first person to make a comment using the phrase “They call me Mister Tibbs!”
  7. Wow.  At the end of the last presentation, I almost expected the speaker to do the Tebow.
  8. I realize that you have to look after your seriously ill child, but you should have thought of that before you agreed to be in charge of a major project.
  9. Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up!!!
  10. Braaaiiiinnnnnssss………

And there you have it.  If you’ve ever been in a meeting that started first thing in the morning and for which you had to come back after lunch, I know you know what I’m talking about.  Cheers!  And when it comes to your turn, keep it short.  Just imagine what everyone’s thinking about you…

Training conferences by Dave Chappelle

I’m at a training conference. I like training conferences, they remind me of college. Except that I usually skipped lectures in college, and never ever attended a lecture before 10 AM, on principle. But it’s a nice change, sort of relaxing…a little too relaxing…all right, when they turned on the powerpoint and turned off the lights, I fell asleep.

Which is how I’ve come up with my latest idea: I think that training conferences should be planned and drafted by experts in the field, but they should be performed by professional comedians. Those guys know how to keep your attention for a long time without resorting to slides, overheads, or handouts. Plus, if you don’t like how things are going, you can heckle them. I would definitely pay attention if I got the chance to heckle the presenter. All I get to do now is write snarky comments on my notepad and slide it across to my table mate. It’s not fun if you don’t get to throw things.

Personally, I would like to see my training conferences performed in the style of Chappelle’s Show. I want lots of profanity, a healthy dose of cultural insensitivity, and little bits of stand-up in between the panels. There could be lecture skits about “When Keeping It Real Goes Corporate”, and we could hear about the financial impact of paper vs. digital from Rick James. I know you know what I’m talking about! If conferences were like Chappelle’s Show, I’d never miss a panel.

Why I would make a good spy

Spy vs. Spy

Image via Wikipedia

It’s always good to have a backup career, just in case, and I think that if I weren’t doing what I’m doing, I’d make a good spy.  For all the government types trolling the blogs, looking for hints or clues or chatter or whatever technical term you’re using these days, here’s why:

1.  I have my own trenchcoat.  From the extensive research I’ve done, by which I mean all the movies and television shows I’ve watched, this appears to be essential.  We’re in cost-cutting mode, of course, and I think it says something about my dedication that I’ve already invested in this crucial piece of equipment.  I’m always looking to help out with the federal deficit.

2.  I wear sunglasses all the time already, even indoors.  No one thinks twice about a blind girl wearing sunglasses; she’s supposed to.  It would be weird if she didn’t.  I suppose the sunglasses on spies are supposed to mask where their eyes are looking, or make sure the glare from the sun or the artificial lights doesn’t interfere with vision, so hey, I’ve already got that covered.  Man, it’s like I’m a spy already!

3.  My seeing eye dog could be trained for super-secret spy stuff.  I don’t actually have a seeing eye dog, but I’m eligible for one, and I could train mine to sniff out drugs and bombs and maybe to alert me to the presence of surveillance technology.  Dogs get trained to do all sorts of things these days.  Do you think it would be too much if I named the dog Q?  What about 99?

4.  I can run flat out in four inch stiletto heels.  I’ve learned this not only on my long string of first dates, but also from constantly running late while on the job.  I can run surprisingly quickly while in heels and carrying an armful of books, files, and papers.  Imagine what I could do in a sexy dress with a gun.  Go on, imagine it!

5.  I have super awesome hearing.  I can’t see a darn thing, but I can be sitting at a table halfway across a crowded cafe and eavesdrop on a conversation in lowered voices without anyone realizing I’m doing it.  I’ve already put this to the test in a few casual situations, with the result that I’ve learned that it’s honestly best not to know most of the time.  But hey, for the good of the country, I’m willing to suffer through.

I’d make the most awesome spy.  Federal agencies, you are On Notice.  I expect the men in black to show up any day now, offer in hand.  Of course, since I will have heard them coming, I’ll sneak up behind them in my trenchcoat and sunglasses, with my superdog and my four inch heels, and murmur, “Looking for someone?”  At which point they will jump five feet in the air, panic, and shoot me immediately.  Oh, well.  Maybe sneaking up on secret agents isn’t the best idea.  I guess I’ll just open the door.