Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I got a new job! I could only give my old job three days notice, and then I was out of there. I left on great terms, I even brought in cookies on my last day. Sitting down and writing this is actually the first time I've thought about things like my old cubicle, and I've been at my new job for two weeks. I haven't been looking back.

My new job is with the state, and the training investment they put into their new workers is ridiculously great. One week training in the office you'll be working in, five weeks in the classroom, eight more weeks of training in the office, and then another week in the classroom. Fifteen weeks of learning how to do a very complex job. I'm loving it.

And remembering some things about myself. For the last 18 months I've been sitting quietly in a corner. Now, back in the classroom, I'm remembering who I am. I answer all the questions. When we work in groups, I grab the paper and take the lead. I'm smart. I don't need to feel sheepish.

I've really been pushing myself to talk to people more, to sit down with people at lunch and breaks, to be less self-conscious and just put myself out there more. And it hasn't been that hard, because I'm back in an environment where I feel confident. We'll see how that carries over when I go back to the office, but for now I feel like someone's pushed a reset button and given me myself back.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

exactly how intelligent should the monkey be?

Yesterday I was tasked with some data entry. Usually this is a welcomed change from the usual, but I guess I just wasn't in the mood. After two minutes I had the hang of it, and the thought occurred to me: "You could train a monkey to do this."

I started wishing someone would ask me how the data entry was going so that I could say, "Like most of what I do here, you could train a monkey to do this."

Then things got kind of meta when I decided that that sentence needed an adjective. I spent at least an hour while I was entering data trying to decide which adjective would make the phrase the funniest.

"You could train a smart monkey to do this, like most of what I do here."

"You could train a kind of dumb monkey to do this, like most of what I do."

I repeated this sentence over and over, for an hour, substituting different levels of intelligence. I tried out smart, pretty smart, unexceptional, mediocre, kind of dumb, pretty dumb, and mentally challenged.

A smart monkey is funny because of its precision. The job is too easy for a dumb human being, but just right for a smart monkey. Unexceptional and mediocre appealed to me because I was trying to picture teaching a monkey how to do what I was doing, and I liked the idea that you could go out and pick any monkey, you wouldn't even have to find a smart one. The more bitter I became, the more "pretty dumb" appealed to me.

By the end of the day, I was trying to decide whether you would have to teach the monkey how to read before he could do the job. I reasoned that you wouldn't, as long as he was really good at matching pictures. Letters are pictures, words are pictures, etc. I decided that you would first want to try to teach an illiterate human being, just so you knew what you were getting yourself into with the monkey.

What can I say? I have a brain, and it demands that I find something for it to do.

Monday, November 23, 2009

i'm a google girl, but thank god for outlook

I totally forgot to pay the rent for our two Canada locations. Again. Outlook totally just saved my ass.

Friday, November 20, 2009

this is your brain on new moon

I just spilled sweet and sour sauce on my desk. Here are the thoughts that followed, in the order they occurred:
1. Don't get it on the carpet for fuck's sake!
2. Ooooh, that kinda looks like blood. Mmm, Edward. *Homer Simpson slobbering noise*
3. Don't get it on your pants for fuck's sake!

At least I kept my priorities in order throughout the emergency.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

michael's new trick

Five or six times a day, Michael asks, "Is there anything I can help you with?" The first few times he did it, I was unnerved. I wasn't really doing anything at the moment. Should I be doing something? Is there something I'm supposed to be doing that I'm not, and this is his subtle way of getting the ball rolling?

No, he was just being nice. I interviewed Michael about his new habit tonight. His first reaction was to ask, "Is it bad?" Umm, no, unless you're another husband who is totally being shown up. Here's what I learned:
  • He does it at work too (this made me feel a little less special, but okay, moving on)
  • He asks it because he asks a lot of me
  • It's not like when someone asks you how you're doing and expects to hear "good" and move on with their life. He's totally okay with me assigning him a task if there's something to be done.
Then I just had to ask. "Does this have anything to do with Kate Gosselin?" His answer: "Well, I don't want to end up like Jon..." Jon & Kate Plus 8 is like a Scared Straight program for husbands!