October 03, 2007

Note to Self

If you're going to joke with someone who comes to a meeting late by saying, "So, you decided to sober up and join us, huh?" be sure they aren't an alcoholic first.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 02, 2007

Moving Forward or Moving On

I just had my annual review and it went well. I got "exceeds expectations" and "strong" on pretty much everything.

I had decided that I wasn't going to tell my boss that I wanted that other position in the company, so I entered my review thinking that I would reiterate my career objectives and expectations.

The conversation went really well, though, and I told my boss my "wish I could" goal for staying within the company. He responded positively to that and suggested that I move into that other position in the company -- the one I had decided I wasn't going to tell him I want. Apparently, you can't move straight from my position to that "wish I could" spot even though my position and that other position have been described as being peers in the past. (Never mind my resume which well qualifies me for the move.)

Anyway, he suggested trying out that other position and I responded telling him that I would be interested in exploring that option.

Overall, the conversation was very positive and encouraging. I ended the conversation saying to him, "I want to make sure that we're on the same page and that you know that am at the point where I need to know that I am either moving forward or moving on." I didn't say that threateningly, but as a firm qualifier for my expectations about the near future.

Again, he responded well to this and thanked me for letting him know and asked that I just give him a chance to work on it.

The average job hunt takes six months. I haven't really earnestly pursued finding a new job, but I am poised to do so. I think I will take a couple months to organize and refocus some other areas of my life to allow the business situation to shift and see if anything turns up for me here. If so, fantastic. If not, I will have to start a serious job hunt around the New Year.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2007

Tough Choices

I've been at my current job for over 18 months now. When I started, I actually only intended to be here for a year as the role I'm in is not exactly what I enjoy or want to be doing. I took the job knowing this, but there was a certain strategic advantage to the job, namely it got me into an agency.

The marketing and advertising industry is very incestuous -- for lack of a better term. Once you've established yourself, you make connections and you move forward by leveraging those connections and -- of course -- working on successful projects. (I don't want to make it sound like good work isn't rewarded.) If you have not established yourself, you start at the bottom.

The bottom of the marketing industry, from what I've seen, is a thankless, tedious place to be. You start doing the grunt work. The hours are long. The pay is low. Recognition is sparse. Only people fresh out of college usually accept these roles.

There are good reasons why marketing and advertising work this way. Marketing is a very appealing industry to people. Advertising in particular is rather glamorous and it attracts a lot of people without serious interest in the business. I don't mean to be uncharitable, but the ratio of competent marketers to lackluster hangers on is really appalling and the insular nature of the industry helps the good people rise to the top by insisting they work hard and work smart to get through all the clutter.

I am well past the point where I could start at the bottom, so I've been trying to wedge my way into the industry using my existing background. This tactic is not really all that unusual, but it's not the norm and it has worked this far. I'm in an agency. Woo!

I'd like to spend some time in the agency world -- perhaps the next five years -- and then I'd like to move into a brand and continue my career from there. I plan to work my way up to the C-level of a company through the marketing and client services side of the organization.

That's my strategy anyway.

The next step in my career plan requires building more client experience around directly managing marketing programs and broadening my channel experience. A company's marketing efforts are mixed in varying levels across differing "channels" like media, outdoor, print, and digital. The divisions get more granular from there. I work in the digital channel. I need to learn more about managing marketing campaigns in other channels and I think working in the agency world for a while will give me that opportunity in addition to exposing me to the marketing needs of businesses in varying industry verticals.

The question now is a tactical one. I work in an agency now, but it is an interactive agency, which means we only work in one channel. So, do I stay in this agency and move to a different team in order to gain a different type of experience in this channel or do I change agencies and hope to get that sort of experience combined with the opportunity to work in other channels?

Option 1 is pretty easy. Option 2 has far more risk.

Let's say that I decide to stay in my current company and move to a different team. First, it may take some time to move because they won't want me to move until they're ready for me to move. Once moved, I would be obliged to stay in the position for at least another year before I could consider moving to another agency so that I avoid burning any bridges with a move. The clear advantage is that staying longer would allow me to build more contacts here and it would balance my resume very well in preparation for the next move.

Option 2 will mean attempting to move into a position where my experience does not quite match. Potential employers will realize this and if they do opt to hire me, they will likely mitigate their risk by paying me less than I would like. I can accept that for the right position, but finding it will take much longer.

My annual review is coming up on Tuesday and if I decide to stay and choose to move to another team, my plan is to tell my boss then. I'm just not sure if that's what I want to do.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 27, 2007

OMG. I'm So Bizzy!

I really shouldn't be taking this time to blog right now.

Short story: I saw Martha Stewart. It was a very interesting discussion but the interviewer was kind of lame. I love Martha so much! She's a powerhouse and an extremely smart and passionate businesswoman.

Several of my projects are going bonkers right now, but my boss has insisted that I put them on autopilot to attend some more Advertising Week events.

Ad Week is very, very cool. There really isn't much to talk about that's interesting to non-marketing/non-advertising people. It's mostly marketing/brand strategy and execution talks. Shop talk.

Because of my workload, I've missed several cool celebrity appearances like a performance by Chaka Khan at the branded music discussion yesterday. *le sigh*

Anywhoodles, I gotta run. I'll try to tell you all more later.

(No, I don't have pictures. They don't like when you do that in some of these panel discussions.)

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2007

Just Say No (To People On Drugs)

I sometimes wonder if my clients are on drugs. I will provide them with a timeline that says, "If you give me X it will take Y days to deliver Z." They then say, "Oh, that means if I give X to him today, I'll have it by Q day!" Then, they wait a week and send me X and ask me if I will still be able to delivery Z by Q day.

So, I was rolling when I read this over at QA Hates You:

Remember, Project Managers, No is an unlimited resource; you can use it as often as you like to deal with timeline compression and feature creep, and you will always have more for the next time.

What I REALLY love, though, is the crackhead who commented in response:

Reminder to Managers outsourcing IT Work: Remember that a company’s attitude often reflects their abilities and confidence. The more you hear “no,” the more you need to wonder if they have an interest in seeing your project succeed. The best partners find a way to deliver what you need them to deliver. Be prepared to place your John Hancock on change orders and revised estimates - but do not take “No” for an answer. A “can-do” attitude is but one attribute of a successful relationship. Some companies will work with you to “find the way,” and others will force you into their way, or nothing. The company repeating “No” is the company passing on the complaints of uninspired and unmotivated employees. Like plenty of fathers have said in the past: “Can’t means won’t.”

That commenter sounds like some of my worst clients who think that it is a matter of "attitude" when it comes to the laws of physics.

What people do not realize is that there are two types of labor resources: skilled and unskilled. If you have a task that requires unskilled labor, then you can just throw more people at it and it will get done faster. If you have a task that requires skilled labor, though, there's a good chance that more people will only make things worse. It takes as long as it takes you need to relax. As I tell my client managers, "The client has to get glad in the same pants they got mad in."

If you are a client, you need to listen to the people you hire. Yes, they might be lying, but you cannot assume that. If you do assume they're lying, then you will set up a very adversarial relationship. Instead, assume they are always telling the truth. If your needs aren't being met, leave. This is business, not romance.

If you want to build trust with the people who work with and for you, make sure that you explain what you're trying to accomplish. This goes for clients/vendors/and internal resources alike. If you have to rush something, explain why it has to be rushed. What business situation lead to the need for the rush? Even if the cause of the rush is that you dropped the ball, explain that you dropped the ball and you need a rush.

You should not expect that just because you are open and honest and trusting with someone that all the answers to your every request will be "yes." That would be idiotic to say the least.

So, whether you're the client or the vendor or some schmuck approaching an internal department with a request, don't be a person on drugs.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2007

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Sort of.

I've been SUPER CRAZY bizzy at work over the past few weeks.

Of course, regular bizzy for me entails still having time to take a nap during lunch and write on this here blog thingie when I'm between tasks.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my peers left the company. I got assigned all of his customers and project. He had the most annoying customers ever. I hate them.

But still, the addition of his customers raised my productivity level from what I think other people are usually maintaining in their work lives. (I've discovered that their level of effort and apparent activity does not actually correlate to their level of productivity. I work with noisy people.) And I told my boss that I could not be assigned more clients and still maintain my usual standards of quality and responsiveness.

Even still, I was assigned two more huge projects and my boss asked, "Do you have the bandwidth to handle these?"

"No, but it all has to get done, right? If no one will volunteer to take it, you have to assign it to someone. My primary constraint is time. Things will take longer and people just need to be aware of that."

This is something of a revolution because I never say 'no' to my boss. If anyone above me asks if I can do something, my general policy is to respond with an enthusiastic 'yes.'

So, I got two way big projects.

And then one of my peers when on paternity leave and I was assigned all but his two largest clients.

That took me from regular bizzy to SUPER CRAZY bizzy. I've barely had time to obsess over those lunatics on the McGinn blog!!!

The McGinn blog discussion seems to have stopped and started going in another -- extremely pedantic -- direction. They've ignored Ergo's remarks. They sighed at my most recent remarks and then started mocking me. (Typical of their poor manners.)

Weekends aren't good for blogging for me because my time there is happily occupied with entertaining Mister Bookworm.

Yeah, so anyway, I hope to get back to my usual blogging in the next week.

Or maybe the week after. It's hard to tell.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2007

I Want to Rant, But I Can't

I really, really, really want to rant about something that just happened to me here at work, but in the interest of professionalism and my blood pressure, I really can't.

But I am really steamed right now.

I need a new job.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 28, 2007

A Compliment

This evening, I attended a dinner with clients and creative agency. The food was good. The drinks were free. The conversation was very entertaining. I had a lot more fun than I expected.

One of my coworkers sat down next to me. She's a nice, young lady. I don't really talk to her much in the office; there really isn't much reason.

Well, she sat next to me and only a few minutes after sitting down, she caught my attention for a conversation. She said, "I've been meaning to ask you. Did you go see a personal stylist?"


"Like, I just see you every day and you have such nice outfits and I think maybe you might have a personal shopper or a stylist or something."

"Oh. Well, that's very nice of you to say, but no, I don't have a stylist or anything. I just pick out whatever I feel like wearing in the morning."

Really. Very flattering but also je ne sais quoi... aaaaaawkward.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 14, 2007

A Day for Kicking Ass

Someone just took our CEO around the office and introduced him to everyone.

Well, everyone except me. They looked over at my cube and skipped it. He didn't even indicate what my job might be.

I realize that he didn't do that intentionally and I also realize that it was largely because I didn't look up and acknowledge them while my desk is also a bit out of the way.

My point is that I want to meet that guy, because if the truth be told, I really don't. I don't have any reason to talk to him. I don't have anything that I could show him to make me memorable. And I am actually working -- between these few blog posts.

My point is that I am feeling very under-appreciated and under-recognized in this place.

Well, I'm going to skip the gym this evening and work late. I'll get ahead on my projects and take care of some other tasks that are bogging down my to-do list right now.

I've let finding a new job fall by the wayside for way too long and this is unacceptable. I need to get on the ball.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 13, 2007


Recently, one of my peers put in his notice and I was handed all of his accounts. This sucks because I hate his accounts. I actually used to support them before he was hired and they're a pain in the ass. To make matters worse, they're all in Europe and the time zone thing is a real bother.

The benefit of working with the European accounts, though, is that there is a distant chance that I will get an all-expenses paid trip to Europe.

Well, one of the accounts wanted to meet with their technical lead (me) in London.

I found out about this, though, by overhearing my boss asking one of my peers to make the trip.


I am updating my resume and sending it out this week. I am losing money by working in this place.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Neighbor

I moved cubes several weeks back and I found myself situated next to my boss, who is a loud breather. Then, this noisy, chatty alcoholic woman moved to the cube on the other side.

My cube is in a GREAT location, though. I'm facing the entire office and only rarely do people ever pass behind me, which means I can play solitaire all day long if I want. So, I'm willing to put up with these irritations.

Well, my boss got an office and so now the guy who sat next to me in my old desk has moved over to the empty space.

This is great because he is super cool and SUPER helpful. I love sitting next to him except for one thing: he eats ice. It used to be that we were seated back to back so the ice-eating wasn't SO loud, but now we're sort of facing one another and the noise is QUITE disturbing.

I just put my headphones on like I did for my boss' breathing noises and the alcoholic's mindless jabbering.

All in all, I'm taking this new neighbor as a good thing, but that won't stop me from complaining about the ice eating.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 06, 2007

My Life in Print

This Dilbert is EXACTLY like my life.

This kind of thing drives me crazy.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 03, 2007


The A|C is out in the office today.

I forgot my headphones and the noisy harpy that sits next to me is back in the office.

I have eleventy million pointless meetings today.


But it's Friday and I get to see Mister Bookworm tonight. That will make everything all better.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 23, 2007

Loud Breather

This guy who sits in the cube next to mine is a loud breather. I think his nasal passages are permanently obstructed or something.

So, he's sitting next to me right now eating a burrito. It sounds like someone is eating snails with a straw.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 20, 2007

Pet Peeve: Assuming I'm Just Sitting Here Looking at Porn

I hate when I write an email to someone with a status update complete with projected timelines and they respond with something like, "Great! Let me know when it's ready."

As if I were planning to just sit here and let them guess about when it would be ready. Because I took the time to write out a detailed project plan and timeline so that I wouldn't have to send out further updates.


It shouldn't bother me that much, though. I realize that the people who write those stupid emails are the ones who actually write "thank you" and "you're welcome" emails.

Communication overkill.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 19, 2007


I don't like people pestering me at work. I tend to be extremely relaxed and methodical about things and my most frequent sources of stress are people who

- Want me to do their jobs for them
- Freak out when freaking out is not warranted
- Spend a great portion of every project looking for ways to blame someone else for something.
- Cannot communicate clearly.

Usually these problems do not come to me from the developers I work with directly.

I care for my developers. I protect them from pointless meetings. I guard them from conversations with the people who do the things I listed above. I lavish them with praise and I lodge my criticisms discretely.

But today I was stricken mightily to the core of my being when one of my developers disappointed me. He let me down.

Granted, he's a new guy. I think he's still getting familiar with our systems.

But still.

He failed to meet even the basic functional requirements of the project.

So, here I am sticking up for him, defending him, protecting him... and it turns out he was doing it very, very wrong the whole time.

I do not like being disappointed.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 09, 2007

A Consumer Study Proposal

I think someone should do a study because I have a hypothesis that needs to be tested: there is a direct correlation between incompetence and belligerence.

The more someone yells or threatens you when things appear to be going wrong, the more likely it is that they are the cause of the problem or some other problem that is about to erupt.

If someone spends a lot of time pointing fingers or establishing blame -- particularly if they spend that time while the problem remains unsolved -- then there's a good chance that they are somehow involved in the problem or they are the cause of many other problems that have happened or will happen.

Someone should do a study on that. I'd be interested in the results.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 28, 2007

I Hate...

...that my office uses those stupid low-water usage urinals and toilets. The urine in the urinals never really goes away and it takes several flushes to get rid of even a single sheet of toilet paper floating on the surface of the water.

I can't imagine how 8 flushes uses less water than 1 flush and I am comforted by industrial toilets that blast water through the pipes at 100 feet per second. I really think germs and waste do not like that at all whereas I am sure they love the cushy life they have in our weakass toilets here.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Sign Me Up

Being a corporate recruiter must be a thankless job.

I met and spoke with several recruiters during my last job search. They didn't do a thing for me and they were all complete idiots. I'm not just saying that because they hadn't read my resume or bothered to ask what sort of job I was searching for, I'm saying that because all of them offered me jobs that I'm not only not interested in but woefully underqualified for. It's like they didn't even read the description of the position they're supposed to fill.

I met with one recruiter here in New York last February and we were talking about what I want from my next job. When I told her my salary requirement, she raised an eyebrow and asked incredulously if I really thought I would find anything in that range. I responded cooly, "I've had two promising interviews today." Obviously, she didn't get my business.

I'm sure not all recruiters are stupid, but I've been annoyed with many. My biggest pet peeve with them, though, is their propensity to call me at work. I don't know how they do it, but they get the number to my desk and call up.

A guy called me yesterday and asked if we could chat. I said, "No," and he laughed. When I didn't return his chuckle, he said his goodbyes.

I would have been happy to chat with him, but not on my work phone and not spontaneously in the middle of my workday. Why not set up an appointment with me to chat so that I can arrange a more discrete setting to talk about my goals?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:03 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2007

Not a Great Day

Today was not the funnest day in New York history.

I woke up late and went to the gym where I had a very mediocre workout on the treadmill. I just couldn't get in the zone and gave up after a mere 25 minutes of some running and a lot of walking. (I always tell myself that it's ok to have days like that now and then -- just showing up and doing something is better than doing nothing at all.)

And then work was drudgery.

Remember me bitching about that person who acts like his time is more important than everyone else's and how we rescheduled a meeting just so he could attend? Well, today was the first day of that meeting for him. He was at least 15 minutes late and missed very important discussions regarding the project.

Don't worry. I've documented this and reported it to my supervisor.

But then someone else who is involved with the project suggested today that because of the delays (caused by that one guy's team and a bad set up by the setup team) that the project should be moved to a different project manager.

Nothing soothes the nerves quite like a presumptuous vote of no confidence.

Don't worry. I documented that and reported it to my supervisor as well.

And here's a fun fact: when thunderstorms develop suddenly, they give me headaches. We have such storms right now and I have a headache right now, too.

At least I'll sleep well tonight.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 26, 2007

Heavy Breathing

I work with TWO people who are extremely heavy breathers. Neither of them are obese people, but they have something wrong in their breathing that makes them very, very loud.

One of them also swallows loudly.

Conference calls with these two are painful.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2007

A Staggering Instance of Interoffice Insensitivity

I'm not sure if I should be blogging about this. I don't know if anyone from my current office actually reads my blog. But I'm going to blog it anyway, because apparently I don't know what's good for me.

Here's the deal: in my office when someone has a birthday, their boss or someone on their team gets a card and passes it around the office and everyone signs it.

Well, there's this woman in our office who recently returned from a sabbatical. The reason for her absence has not been explained, but the rumors around the office all say that it was either for alcoholism or depression.

It's tragic, whatever the reason, but I would be particularly disturbed if the reason were alcoholism, because since she's returned I've seen her drinking on two different occasions.

Her birthday is this week and there's a card going around for people to sign.

I signed it and then I noticed what it says. The front reads, "It's your party, you can cry if you want to..." and the inside says, "but we'll all be laughing."

Her absence was never explained, so it's not like I can say for sure that the card is insensitive to her plight. I know who got the card and I am sure that they didn't think anything of it. Nevertheless, I am concerned about how this card will be received.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 21, 2007

The Importance of Drafts

If you work in a cubical-based environment, it is pretty much guaranteed that you're going to get an email that makes you want to take a swing arm stapler to a certain someone's eyelids.

Trust me: violence is not the answer -- in this case.

Instead, I like to write what I'm really thinking, erase it, and then write a professional response that is composed with my professional (not rage-reducing) goals in mind.

I work with a someone who believes that his time is more important than everyone else's time. He frequently asks other people to do things to help him accomplish the things that he deems too unimportant for his schedule.

I've had projects delayed for several weeks before all because he felt it was not worth his time to direct his team to make the project a priority.

Recently, he submitted a request to me, but he used the wrong system. I asked him to use the correct system and offered to train him on how to use it. He said that would be cool and that he would make some time to sit down and go over it with me.

Mind you: my job is not to train people on how to read and click appropriately. But in the interest of efficiency and effective project flow, I have offered some of my time to do this. It is the right thing to do.

Well, he didn't get back to me. I reminded him and he said he'd be with me in a minute and he didn't get back to me.

This morning, I got in and he had sent his request to me via email asking if I could begin working on it without a properly submitted request.

Of course I can. It would be absurd not to, but the reason I have to do that is a problem that needs to be resolved.

So, after his email this morning, I wrote a draft of an email saying what I really wanted to say. It contained this line:

Sure, I'll do your job for you -- again, but please set aside some time tomorrow so that I can talk down to you like the punk you are. I promise to get away from you as fast as I can because I hate you and I feel reasonably confident that you're not going to tell me to my face that you're too important for this. Jackass.

See? That would be rude. That would be unprofessional. That would be wrong.

Instead, I edited it down. I EVEN avoided using an emoticon because in a note like this, we all know what those damn smiley faces mean. I have the restraint of a saint with a fire and brimstone thrower.

I will create a ticket for you so that it is in the system, but please set aside some time tomorrow so that I can go over this with you. I promise it’s very quick and painless.

My calendar is up to date if you’d like to send an appointment.

Much better and I don't have a lot of pent-up rage about it, either.

The next time I bitch about people at my work, I might talk about people who refuse to check my calendar and instead send me emails saying, "Are you available at X time?"

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 15, 2007

A Note on Pronunciation

Although I am not a native speaker of Spanish and I am far from fluent, I have been told on several occasions that my accent is pretty good. That said, I do want to issue a correction to a certain set of people, a member of which set is also a person with whom I work.

The word "queso," which means "cheese" in Spanish is pronounced "kay-so" or, possibly, "keh-so," but not "kwee-eso."

If you speak any Spanish, you know that the 'ue' diphthong when it follows a glotal stop (hard G or K) produces a sound similar to the long A in English, although it is much shorter in duration. Examples include "guerra," "porque," and "aunque."

I can see how listening to some people speak might lead a person to think that there is a EE sound between the glotal and the long A sound due to air escaping the throat from an incomplete stop. You can make this sound by trying to sustain a K sound which makes it a sort of throaty hiss.

But I assure you that the hiss you're hearing does not yet qualify as a distinct phoneme. "Standard" pronunciation of the word "queso" does not contain that hiss, nor does it contain a vocalized EE sound.

So, dear coworker who berated everyone for pronouncing "queso" as "kay-so" and not "kee-eso," you are wrong. And you look like an ass because you made such a scene about it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Master of Social Engineering

One of my coworkers said of me yesterday, "He is a master of social engineering."

Overhearing this remark, I said, "I don't know what that means, but it sounds really good!"

And he said, "It means you're good at manipulating people."

I laughed. "It IS good!"

We were joking and everything, but one thing I have learned to be good in my work is getting people to do what I want them to do.

I have lots of little tricks and strategies that I use and I want to share one with you today.

The trick I want to share with you is about deadlines.

When you want someone to do something, you should always provide a deadline. Don't just hand them something and say, "Whenever you can get to it" unless you really actually don't care if you ever see the results. And if you don't care about getting the results of their effort, it begs the question of why you asked them to do it in the first place.

Many people at my work do this to me and I try to go back and ask for a deadline, but when I don't, that request goes to the back of the line. If they say, "I need this by Monday" then I do everything I can to make sure they get it by Monday.

And it's so easy.

I find that people respond well to this. You should try it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 11, 2007


Continuing our drug-themed blog-post titles, I just wanted to say that today turned out to be a really good day.

It was insanely busy -- another recurring theme in my life right now -- but it was a good busy.

I got a lot of work done. I went to a client meeting -- something I love to do -- and did well.

It was just a good, productive day.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Matt Chancellor has remarked that I seem cranky lately and that I need some time away from the city.

Actually, I was away from the city a couple of weekends ago and I had a good time. It was fairly relaxing.

I think the problem is that I am frustrated with one of my roommates and I am frustrated with my job. It's time for me to start looking again, but there are several things I need to do before I can begin my search in earnest. My goal is to have those things done in the next couple of weeks, though.

But even once I begin that search, it is sure to be another few months before I can move on to something new.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 07, 2007

Inconsiderate or Not?

Dear readers, I would like your opinion on something. You can probably guess where I stand on the issue, but I will try to describe it to you objectively.

Our office has a water cooler which uses 5 gallon water bottles to supply the water. Water will continue to flow for a short period of time after the water bottle is empty, but it is never unclear when the bottle is actually empty.

Some people in our office contend that so long as there is water still flowing, then everything is ok and no further action is required.

Others think that the bottle should be replaced as soon as it is empty.

One side makes sense because there really isn't an accurate way to gauge how much water is left in the tubing of the cooler. If water is flowing, then water is flowing and there may be as much as two cups of water remaining.

On the other hand, if one approaches the cooler and the bottle is empty, one logically knows that there is less than the total amount (about two cups or so) that the tubing can hold. Further, if the tubing is empty, then the cooler isn't cooling any water and the person who comes along and has to deal with a fresh bottle of water also has to drink warm-ish water.

Obviously, I fall into the latter camp. My thoughts on this are twofold.

First, there is an office rule, "If you kill the joe, you make some mo'. " Meaning, if you drink the last of the coffee, you make another pot. Opponents hold that they aren't using the last of the water available, they've only used the last of it in the bottle. I also point out that when one is driving one's car and the gauge is on E, you don't continue to drive until the car stops. You find a gas station and fill it up.

Second, not replacing the bottle, in my opinion, displays a crass lack of consideration that absolutely galls me. People who don't pay attention and take due effort to ensure that things run smoothly are people who cause problems. They're the ones who make it harder to navigate the subway or stairs or sidewalk. They're the ones who back up traffic because they don't want to get out of the left lane. They drink all but a tablespoon of milk or juice and put the bottle back in the fridge. They do any number of things that display a fundamental lack of consideration for everything that is going on around them.

My coworker told me that "everyone" agrees with her. She even shook her head in disbelief when I told her that I have never done that before. I haven't and I won't. I will sooner get my water from the tap.

Are my expectations too high here? What do you think, readers?

Update: Although everyone I talk to seems to agree with my position that the bottle should be replaced when it goes empty and not simply when water runs out, I have encountered this sort of situation before. There is no way (within my power or inclination) to get people mind their manners. I have a solution that works for me.

I am of the mind that when people are considerate, things run more smoothly overall. One benefits from a conscientious society but the benefits are indirect.

If everyone replaces the water bottle as soon as they empty it, then everyone will have cold water and no one will find themselves with just a quarter cup of water and having to stop to replace the bottle -- a process that is more frustrating and takes longer than replacing the bottle at the beginning or the end.

If people on the sidewalk will simply walk purposefully from place to place and stand out of the way of traffic when they need to reorient themselves, have a conversation, consult a map or something then foot traffic will move smoothly, quickly, safely, and with minimal jostling and interruptions.

Although this is true, there is an inherent variability to life that sometimes disturbs the best systems and plans. I understand that, but I have little patience for it and an inherent skepticism about how often these things occur. It is far more probable that people are not paying attention and have little consideration for what's going on around them.

I am a rather self-centered person -- far moreso than most people who know me realize. I am extremely conscious of the fact that people are not paying attention to me and are not looking out for my interests. I know that just as they aren't getting in my way on purpose, they're also not getting out of my way on purpose. They're minding their business and that's what I do, too.

By and large I am very conscious of my immediate interests and how my actions affect them. I expect that of other people as well. This means that I walk purposefully. I don't stand in the way because it means I will have to move or I will be jostled. I replace the water bottle because it ensures cool water for the next time I want water and keeps people out of my way when I am ready to come back. I put things away around the office, because I don't want them in the way.

Although my expectations for other people are completely reasonable, it is highly improbable that people will adopt a more selfish outlook and do what makes sense to ensure that their overall environment is conducive to their goals both near, intermediate, and long term.

So, when I encounter problems like this water bottle, it sometimes take me a minute, but I realize there's nothing I can do that will correct other people's behavior, so I stop participating. My solution is this: I won't drink out of the water cooler any more.

My work provides orange juice, soda, and milk to drink. I can also drink water from the tap. So, I don't have to replace the bottle and I don't have to deal with the frustration of other people not replacing it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 06, 2007


This guy sits in a cube near mine just introduced me as having the last name "Barret." My name isn't anything CLOSE to that.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 04, 2007

My Indifference to Your Complaint is Merely a Reflection of the Fact that I Have Nothing to Do with the Problem

Flibby: Hi, Network Guy! Will you be able to change my phone to my new desk today?

Network Guy: Yes, later today.

Flibby: Cool.

Network Guy: Could we coordinate these moves better, like maybe a day in advance, instead of just moving one morning?

Flibby: Sure! Next time I change desks, I will try to let you know.

The problem with my response was my tone of voice which made at least one of several things clear:

1) I didn't have anything to do with planning my move.
2) I did let him know a day in advance.
3) I have no intention of changing desks. I didn't even intend to move desks this time until my boss came to me and said I'm moving.
4) I really don't care about his complaint that he weren't given more notice. My phone must be moved. He promised to move it today. He can either fulfill his promise or not.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2007

Ten to Six

Ten minutes until six, the Friday before a long weekend. I'm leaving tonight to hit the beach in Delaware. I need to get home to pack and then I'm meeting my friend and piling into her mini cooper to listen to some tunes and drive on down.

But not yet. Why?

Client emergency.


I'm working over time.

Totally harshing my mellow, dude.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2007

Project Management Ninja

So, I just had a call with a client about one of their projects. The call lasted for 55 minutes. After about 45 minutes of discussion and testing, I realized that while they were discussing and testing one project, I was discussing and testing a different project that just happened to be similar in this one, narrow aspect.

The client never knew and were impressed with my support and assistance.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2007

Life in Cubes

I love the guy who shares my cube with me. He's smart and funny. He's polite and interesting to talk to.


Every morning he eats a bowl of the crunchiest cereal in the whole world and I have to sit here and listen to him chew. That sound is absolutely nauseating to me.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

February 26, 2007

First Day on the Train

Today was my first day going from Astoria to work in the morning by way of the N/W trains. These trains are notoriously crowded in the morning and I found that that reputation is well-earned.

I get on the train at the Broadway stop, which is the fourth stop from the last stop on the line, Ditmars. According to rumors from my friend who lives over there and gets on the train at the Ditmars stop, the train fills up there. Then, it goes to the Astoria stop where more people pack in. Then it goes to the next stop, I forget what it is, where more people pack in. Then it gets to the Broadway stop, where I pack in.

There are three, I think, stops after that before the train gets to Manhattan and at each stop, more people try to pack in. At some point, people seem to start trying to get a running start in order to jam into the train.

I am happy to announce that I am not yet with child, but I do expect to conceive before too many of these train rides. I do not expect to know the father.

At the Lexington stop, 75% of the people get off the train, though, without so much as a 'thank you' or a 'I'll call you.' This is because clearly all that before was just meaningless talk to get into my pants and break my heart and because the Lexington station is a place where you can change to lots of other trains.

I don't know what the solution is to this. I thought about just urinating on everyone around me to see if they move away, but I think it might be a better idea if MTA would just send more trains out to us in Queens. Of course, I think if they did that then it might lead people in the outer boroughs to the erroneous conclusion that they matter at all. That's just crazy talk right there.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 21, 2007

Easy $100

Ok. Cat food isn't great. I don't recommend eating it unless you have a good incentive like $100 or starvation.

The gravy was the worst. It was very salty.

The food itself was had the shape and texture of tofu that is made to be the shape and texture of meat. The flavor was similar to a mix of tuna and chicken.

I only gagged once and very slightly when I caught a whiff of it, but I held it in and finished the rest off with out any problems.

Easy money.

Update: Here's a reenactment from YouTube:

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Apparently, there is widespread interest in my office to see me eat a can (5.5 oz) of wet cat food. The organizer of this event has received $100 in pledges to see the event already, so it looks like this is a go.

I've asked to do it before lunch so that I still have an appetite for my chicken pot pie afterward.

Although, this is chicken AND tuna... with Gravy! So, I might not need my pot pie after.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 20, 2007

In Spite of Being Sick...

I just won $20 on a dare to eat two doggy treats.

They're called "Schmackos" and they're made with real bacon. They do not taste like bacon, though. They're dry, salty, and have a very light, smokey flavor.

Update: Now, they're offering me $100 to eat a can of cat food. I told them to bring it in and I would think about it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 09, 2007


Some people make their own stress. I loathe these people.

I think it's because when times get crazy, I tend to swallow my anxiety and detach from the urgency. I focus on questions like, "What's the worst possible outcome?" or "What are the next immediate steps to completion?"

My current job is that of a sort of technical project manager. This means that on most all of my projects I work with someone else who is a client manager. They manage client communications and the non-technical aspects of the project.

Well, I work with one such client manager who is VERY high-strung. Imagine the combination of the two of us in a high-stress situation. Conversations frequently go like this:

Flibby: An unfortunate outcome for our project is nearly certain. I am working on it, though, and I have a plan that may allow us to avoid it. It's a long shot, so I want you to be prepared for the eventuality that this may not be done until Monday instead of Friday.


Flibby: Um. Well, there's a chance it won't be delayed and I am going to do everything I can to avoid that. I will know by this afternoon if --


Flibby: Ok. Well, before you freak out, let me go back to my desk and find out if this will work.

Stressball: AAAAAAIIIII--

Flibby: Stop. I am going to work on this. Do not do or say anything else until you hear from me. I'm going to my desk now.

That's almost an exact transcript of a project we had yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon, I called a meeting in which I explained that it looks like the situation has changed and our project will be on time, but it will be the last minute. If it doesn't work, then I also explained that I have a back-up plan.

In spite of that, the stressball wrote an email to me late last night and copied my boss and his boss asking for an update and talking about how the client was agitated about the project.

That pissed me off in a big way.

I wrote an email back to her and the rest of the world expressing my confusion since I provided such an update yesterday afternoon. I also provided some advice about how to manage client communications in such a way to avoid "agitation" and I closed with high praise of the other teams I've been working with who've supported us in meeting the client's expectations. A shared sense of urgency about this project is clearly not lacking.

So, my day today will be spent mostly keeping a lid on that snotty little pressure-cooker of an project manager that I have to work with on this. Woo.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 01, 2007

Dark Mood

I am in a baaaad mood this morning. I think it's because I didn't sleep well, but I'm fighting this bad mood as well as I can because when I'm in a bad mood, I hate my job and want to kill people I work with.

We can't have that, now can we?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 26, 2007

I Am Soooo Over It

I am so ready to go home right now.

I have no meetings today. My account teams are all off site with the client. My projects are all up-to-date and on track. I have next to nothing to get done here today.

I'm so over this.

Hell, even my boss just sent me a You Tube video to watch...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 14, 2006

Office Party

I'm at my office holiday party at the moment. I'm tempted to leave because it's almost 7 pm, but it's also kind of fun and now is a good time to try to meet some of the more influential people in the office.

From my Secret Santa, I got two things: The Little book of Scientific Principles, Theories, & Things and a Wacky Website of the Day calendar.

Considering who I am, these are good office gifts.

Well, I need to get back to it. If I'm not going to leave right now, I should at least socialize.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 05, 2006


I have been on a call for an hour now with a man apparently keeps his telephone mouthpiece in his mouth. Making matters worse, he has a cold.

So, I have been sitting here listening to him breathe, smack, sniff, snort, and otherwise deal with the 20 quarts of moucus in his head while also breathing through his mouth and directly into my ear.

I am nauseated.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 15, 2006

I Went to the Desert on a Horse with No Name

There are a couple of complete idiots at my work, but there are also some people who aren't complete idiots who just have fits of complete idiocy. Consider the following.

Last week, a guy came into a meeting and said, "I just found out that Jack and Jill are dating!"

I don't know Jill, but I hate Jack, so I really didn't care.

Later, someone said with regard to a project, "Jill is going to work on this for you."

I said, "Who's Jill?"

"Oh, you know, Suzie."

"Suzie?" I asked with a cocked head.

"Oh yeah. Suzie is the new Jill, so we call Suzie Jill sometimes."

I thought, "Wait. So, SUZIE is dating Jack?" I didn't ask them about it, though, because it took a bit for me to remember the dating gossip.

It didn't make any sense. Suzie is hot. Jack is not. Suzie is sweet, pleasant, and intelligent. Jack is loud, obnoxious, ill-mannered, a know-it-all, and a butthead. I can't believe Suzie would date Jack.

So, today, I was talking to someone else and Jack came up.

I said, "Is Jack dating Suzie?"

They exclaimed, "WHAT? NO! That's ridiculous!"

I said, "Well, others said the other day that Jack was dating Jill and then they told me that they call Suzie 'Jill.' So, I thought they were saying Jack is dating Suzie and it didn't make any sense to me either."

They said, "Jack is dating who?"

I said, "Jill."


"But Jill is Suzie."


"They call Suzie 'Jill.' "

"Why would they do that?"

"I don't know. They just told me that Suzie is the new Jill and I don't know Jill, but that's what they said they call Suzie now."

"Oh. No, Suzie has Jill's old job, but Jill doesn't work with us any more. Jill is Suzie's roommate, though."

So, eventually it got straightened out.

How stupid is it to actually call someone by someone else's name just because that person took over their job?

Every single conversation related to Jack dating and the Jill/Suzie Name Fiasco irritated me. It was like living in the world of Who's on First.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 06, 2006

My New Desk

I was commanded to move to a new cube today.

I dislike changes like this especially because my new cube is much smaller.

But the most wonderful thing about my new cube is that when I look up and to my right, I can gaze out of the window at the Empire State Building.

It's lit up in red, white, and blue tonight.

I love you, New York!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 25, 2006

Gay Marriage Legal in NJ

So, in New Jersey gays can get married. Or something.

One of my coworkers stopped by my cube and said, "We can get married in New Jersey now."

I said, "Really?! Wow! That's great. Of course, I'm not going to New Jersey, but still. That's great!"

And he said, "I don't think you would want to marry me anyway. I'm just full of baggage."

Say what?

I didn't ask him to marry me and I didn't take his announcement of a headline as a proposal either.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 10, 2006

Office Manager Lady

Do you watch Scrubs? You should, it's funny.

You know the mouthy, black head nurse lady? You should, she's funny.

Well, the office manager at my work is like her except Italian and with orange hair.

She makes me laugh when she's yelling at other people, but I wish she wouldn't yell at me so much.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 09, 2006


One of my account managers stopped by my desk this morning and said that she wanted to take me with her to meet with a client.

When I asked her why, she told me that she wanted to meet one-on-one with one of the senoir-level contacts, but there was a lower-level contact that kept getting in the way. I was like, "Ah! Sure. I know her [the speedbump] so I'll just ask her to take me to meet with their tech guy and that will leave you to talk account stuff with the head honcho."

But my account manager (I should point out that she is also a good friend of mine) said, "No, that's not really what I was thinking."

She then intimated to me in so many words that she thinks the head honcho guy is gay and she wants me to come along because she thinks it will lure him away from the speedbump who keeps getting in the way of her sales pitch.

I'm not even sure how to respond to that sort of thing. I am more than happy to visit with a client and I think I can effectively communicate the value of our products and services to prospects. I also think that I am a rather charming person at times and I understand the value of being personable and at least moderately attractive when it comes to building trust in people of any gender or sexual persuasion.

On the other hand, it strikes me as somewhat unprofessional to make an appeal to sex as a primary sales strategy. I'm sure she would not say that this is a primary strategy, but she is, in practice, making it a point of leverage to get to this contact.

Of course, sex does sell and is used constantly to sell things in advertisements. But I'm not an advertisement.

I think I'm more amused by the notion than anything.

Exploiting the libido to gain confidence is an age-old practice. I've just never been a party to such and it seems awfully forward that someone would actually say out loud that their plan is to try use this.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 03, 2006

What I'm Doing

Work is off-the-hook crazy these days.

I have exactly the same amount of projects to manage that I am capable of tracking effectively. That is to say, I have about 30 projects of varying size going right now.

Today, I went into the wild, untamed west to visit a client. That means I went across the river to New Jersey.

I haven't really been working out the way I should be, but I'm not doing very badly.

So, anyway, I've been busy with this and that and there really isn't that much more to say about it.

Update: when I got to work this morning, I was curious about exactly how many projects I have going, because I was guessing when I said 30 earlier. So, I counted all of my open project tickets and it turns out I'm tracking 60 different projects right now. Many of them are rather small, so it's not like I'm trying to manage 60 large, full-cycle projects. And they're all at different levels of completion as well, so it's not like I have to launch them all at once or anything. So, it's not as bad as it might sound at first, but it is a lot of work.

I am a project managing badass!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 09, 2006

Daddy Needs a New... Job

So, my job is getting a little better. It's still not what I expected, though.

I had expected more face time with the client, more consulting, and less wading through the details.

The details can't be avoided. I accept that. But this job is nothing more than a redundant project management position. I say redundant because there are people with other jobs who are better situated to communicate client needs to technical teams. I'm a middle-guy and that's about it.

I rarely get to talk to the customer.

Although the money is good, this job is a big step back for me in my projected career. The best thing about it (and this isn't a small consideration at all) is that it does bring me closer to the industry (advertising/marketing) I'd like to be in.

Well, on a tip from a friend, I found a job listing at another company that look like it might be more in line with what I'd like to be doing.

The problem is that my 6 month anniversary of starting at this place is just a week away and I'm a little bit against leaving a job so soon.

On the other hand, this industry has high turn-over and this job is not exactly what I was looking for.

Back to the first, I could really burn some bridges by leaving too soon and I'd hate to do that on my first job in the city. This one guy started working here about two weeks before I did and he left about a month later. Six months is a short amount of time, but it's a lot longer than 6 weeks. Our GM was FURIOUS -- it costs a lot to hire someone and train them.

And again to the other side, I don't have a new job YET. I could just send in my resume and see what happens. It's not like I have to make a decision about it now.

I had been thinking I would give this place about a year before moving on.

One of my coworkers and friends here, though, sees nothing wrong with leaving after just 6 months. What do you guys think?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 03, 2006

A Series of Facts About Where I Work

It's hot in the office again today.

They bought us ice cream to fight the heat.

The remaining ice cream is melting.

The remaining ice cream is in the freezer.

Someone just shouted "Show me your bootyhole."

Every time our General Manager wants the Art Director to go smoke with him, he walks up and says, "Burn, baby, burn."

Sometimes he sings it, but other times he just says it.

He often yells "KID!" to one of the sales guys.

They bought us beer to fight the heat.

A bird was injured out on the deck.

The bird is now called "Mortimer."

Mortimer lives in a large Raisin Bran box on the cabinets over one of the sales guy's desk. It's the sales guy called KID!

Someone just opened a bottle of red wine, so I get to join in the business drinking now.

Our General Manager often yells, "WATCH OUT!"

One day he played that "Bad day" song over and over again for about two hours.

He stopped when one of our account managers went into his office and yelled at him telling him he can't do that to everyone else in the office.

Our Office Manager is an Italian lady with orange hair. We call her "Babs" but that's not her name.

She has the voice of a chain smoker and the accent of a Jersey resident.

She quit smoking a few weeks ago, but she does still live in Jersey.

She yells at our general manager a lot because he always tries to make her angry. She gets angry easily.

She gets especially angry when people make a mess and don't clean up after themselves.

This morning, she told the GM to go do things for himself if he didn't like how she did them. After several minutes of them yelling back and forth, she told him to shut up. He said she was being selfish.

Then, she went to the breakroom and saw that the delivery guy had delivered the ice-cream, but no one had put it in the freezer. Then she yelled about that to no one in particular. I heard because I sit right next to the break room.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 02, 2006

Sweating for Dollars

It is 89 degrees in my office today.


Update: One of the thermometers in the office hit 91 degrees a little bit ago.

Update 2: They brought the thermometer to my desk and it is a chilly 86 degrees in my little cube.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 21, 2006

Tempting Fate

People who don't know me well are sometimes surprised to learn that I am a vicious, cruel, hateful person. My boss to this day describes me as "pleasant," and "friendly." While it is true that I am generally a polite and friendly person, I also possess the ability to hate people on sight.

Just ask Philip Seymore Hoffman. I hate that @$#(@#$. I have always hated him since the first moment I saw him. I hate the way he looks. I hate the way he talks. I can't stand him!

And I feel no shame at my hate either. So, don't bother telling me how talented PSH is. I hate him.

In a professional environment, my talent for malice can create some difficult situations because now and again I encounter people I loathe. Maybe it's the way they talk. Maybe it's the way they look. I don't know, but I hate them.

On the upside, if I hate someone at work, it's probably because they're actually asshats who don't do their jobs properly.

Case in point: when I started here I was assigned to work with someone who had been on the team for a long time. I took one look at him and I hated him. After a mere two days in the office and never having done an ounce of work, I determined that this schmuck was a... schmuck. In spite of everyone saying how great he was, I knew they were lying.

A few weeks after I started, he quit and the truth came out. He was a schmuck who wasn't doing his job properly.

Fortunately, he's gone.

Well, a couple weeks after I started, this other guy started who sat near me. Hated him. He was pretentious, noisy, and just dumb.

All of a sudden, about two weeks ago, he quit. Apparently, he had been cheating on his wife and she left him and he quit to go after her or something. I don't know. It's the kind of Jerry Springer-esque drama asshats get involved in.

I'm still in awe of it. The two people in the office I hate most quit within a few months!

Well, I've found a new person to hate.

He's been here for a while. He's not hate-able on sight, though. He's someone you have to talk to for five seconds before you hate him. But five seconds is all it takes.

He's a know-it-all. He interrupts people when they're talking. He doesn't listen to you when you present him with information. He's just a tool.

So, I'm hoping he'll leave soon, too!

It would be amazing. There were people at my last company that I hated from the very start who are still there. This place seems to be subject to my psychic vibrations, though. So, I'm hoping he'll quit, too.

After he leaves, I'm not sure who I'll hate. There are obnoxious people here, but none I HATE, so it will be really weird not to have someone to plan an assassination for.

I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2006

I Might get Antibiotic-Resistant Flesh Eating Bacteria

Several people in my office have asked me if I was planning on going to the doctor to get anti-biotics for my cold.

When I point out that colds are viral, thus antibiotics are ineffective in treating them, they seem surprised. I wonder what they would say if I pointed out that continually misappropriating antibiotics will not only damage my immune system but foster the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

I'm not THAT worried about antibiotic resistant bacteria, but I don't use anti-biotic soaps, lotions, or whatever if I can avoid it and I do not have reason to do so. I figure that as long as it requires no additional effort on my part, why can't I do a little to keep the bad things from happening more quickly. This is also my philosophy on recycling, actually.

But in places like hospitals, where cooties are all over the place, abuse of antibiotics has shown to be a very bad thing. I'm starting to think the people in my office may be setting itself up for similar disasters minus the available experts to deal with the situation.

It'll be like Andromeda Strain without the fortuitous ending.

So, I just want to go ahead and say that I've really enjoyed this blog. You know, just in case my face comes off or something because my coworkers have bad doctors.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2006

Typhoid Flibby Strikes!

Reports are coming in from around the office of other people coming down with "the plague" and I am being fingered as patient 0.

I am not willing to take off of work for a cold, though, and my boss' boss doesn't like when people work from home a lot.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hard Core

People at my work are no strangers to alcohol. Every Friday we have "wine o'clock" and people are always planning some means of getting the company to foot the bill for adult beverages. It's kind of nuts.

Well, yesterday evening we had our Summer party. Basically, we just went to the Beer Garden in Astoria where each person was allotted a whole pitcher of beer.

I don't like beer, so I opted to have a couple of whisky & coke drinks. (Yeah, alcohol and being sick. Not helpful.) Anyway, I had to leave early because I went on a date to see my personal trainer in a play.

This morning, lots of people are hung over and just plain not here.

Everyone is talking about the things that happened last night. Apparently, after a 3 hour drinking game some people even went out to bars afterward. Insane!

I've never been much of an alcohol drinker, so it is completely alien to think of people drinking that amount of alcohol and staying up so late on a school night.

It's crazy to me.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 11, 2006

A Debate I Have

Sometimes when I get sick, my brain feels fine, it's just my body that doesn't feel fine. Like, I can think clearly and have no apparent lack of endurance or ability to focus, but I have a pesky cough, sore throat, lots of congestion, and may throw up a little bit now and then.

I'm talking about me this morning.

So, I'm not sure if I should go into the office or not. I'm sure the people in the office do not want me to infect them with my cooties, but I know that they also want me to finish up projects and whatnot.

Update: My coworkers are now being infected with whatever is making me feel the way a wet dog smells.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 28, 2006


Someone farted as they walked past my cube just a minute ago.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2006


I'm working from home today.

I don't actually have any projects to work on... but here I am.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 21, 2006

Body Slam

I've successfully cleared out my work queue completely.

Literally, I have nothing to work on right at this moment. I'm going to have to start making things up before too long.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2006

One of THOSE Days

I woke up a little late this morning but made it to my trainer in time. He was a little late, though and our workout ran over. I had to pick up my laundry and then I had to rush to get ready for work.

In spite of my best efforts, I was 15 minutes late getting to the office where I realized that I forgot my computer.

So, I set down my bag, dug out my subway card and cell phone and marched home as quickly as possible where I realized that I forgot my keys in my bag... at the office.

So, I went back to the office and got my keys.

Then the trains were delayed.

When I got back to my apartment, I found out that I didn't lock the door to my apartment and I didn't need my keys after all.

Fortunately, I was not robbed.

I decided that I should just work from home until lunch time before attempting another trip to the office.

I'm not going to get into the details, but I also have a customer emergency going on this morning.


It's just one of those days.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 13, 2006

Why I have High Blood Pressure

When people around me start freaking out, my response is generally one of outward calm and even disinterest. My first thought is usually that whoever is freaking out needs to be left alone to handle their business. My second thought is that their freaking out is, by definition, counter-productive and does not serve to resolve the situation at all and I want nothing to do with that.

In stressful situations, I think it is important for people to learn to find some calm and address the facts dispassionately. If someone freaks out over "small" issues like a lost credit card, a late project, or their car being towed, what hope do they have in more serious situations like a criminal trial, being lost in the wilderness, or when there are emergency medical personnel involved?

Unfortunately, even though my outward response to people who are freaking out is one of calm, they do cause me a certain amount of stress anyway.

Here's a prime example:

Account Manager: did you check out the SuperImportantProject1 web pages
Flibby: I haven't looked at them yet
Flibby: but DevGuy said they're on staging.
Flibby: I sent an email to the team alerting them to this.
Account Manager: i know
Account Manager: i see them
Account Manager: one of the links is broken
Flibby: K
Flibby: Please review for other issues
Flibby: Send me a list of all the edits in one email.
Account Manager: HelperGuy is sending me the path for the correct rules page and i will send it off
Flibby: I am working with ContactIveBeenTryingToReachForTwoWeeks on SuperImportantProject2 right now.
Account Manager: i don't see any other issues but CrazyClientLady is freaking out
Account Manager: so i need to get this to her asap
Account Manager: i can't show it to CrazyClientLady like this
Account Manager: she's a ticking time bomb
Account Manager: and DevTeam is soooo slow
Flibby: Which is more important to you right now:
Flibby: SuperImportantProject1
Flibby: or SuperImportantProject2?
Flibby: I can only work on one at a time.
Account Manager: SuperImportantProject1
Flibby: Are you absolutely sure that you want me to tell ContactIveBeenTryingToReachForTwoWeeks that I will talk to him later about SuperImportantProject2?
Flibby: Because if I drop this to do something else, I don't know when he and I will be able to work together on this again.
Account Manager: talk to ContactIveBeenTryingToReachForTwoWeeks about SuperImportantProject2- you'll get my email about SuperImportantProject1 in a few minutes
Flibby: K
Flibby: Please review the rest of it, too, though
Flibby: If there are other problems, I want to send a list.
Flibby: I don't want to send a bunch of emails each with one edit.

[Five minute pause]

Flibby: I'm done with SuperImportantProject2! I'm going to review SuperImportantProject1 now.
Account Manager: there may be a text change on the bottom of the SuperImportantProject1 pages but I don't know that now and will not know that until later - in the meantime, CrazyClientLady needs to see these pages and she's not happy that we haven't been able to get it to her sooner
Account Manager: so that's why i ask to make the link change and then we will worry about the date change
Account Manager: CrazyClientLady is aware of the date change but will think we are careless if we show her the rules are linking tothe wrong page

[Two second pause]

Account Manager: ok - we got clarification on the date change
Account Manager: i will send it to you
Flibby: Let's make a note for future updates:
Flibby: When the URL to pages change, we need to include that in our edits.
Flibby: Because I sent the URL to dev.
Flibby: They followed the instructions given.
Account Manager: i know that
Account Manager: OtherAccountManager is new to this
Account Manager: that's why it was overlooked
Account Manager: she didn't realize
Flibby: Ah.

Also, as a note to all y'all working in technology: do not piss off the developers. Do not say they have made an error unless you have evidence supporting your claim.

Developers are moody and sensitive. If you constantly show them you have no confidence in their performance, you can be guaranteed that they will spare you the concern by withholding their services where possible.

And also, don't piss off your project managers by freaking out and not following their directions. It gives them high blood pressure.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 06, 2006

I Am Happy to Announce...

That I actually had good, challenging work to do at work today.

It was fun times.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 02, 2006

At My New Job

I seriously do not have to do any work before lunch. I have like 16 projects right now and everything I have to do with them can be taken care of between the hours of 2 and 3 in the afternoon.

This is ridiculous.

Also, my boss planned a meeting with me. And then he didn't come into the office that day.

You KNOW how I get pissed off when 1) my boss doesn't bother coming to work 2) people don't show up for meetings that THEY schedule.

What's really extremely strange to me is that I have people come to me with the stupidest projects and when I get them done, they're ecstatic. I'm not kidding. They're projects that require a single email or a single phone call. I pick up my phone. Dial. Speak. And suddenly there's a party.

For real. I've had like a dozen of these already and one of the account managers wrote an email to my boss talking about how great it is to have me here.

I can't decide if I'm being overpaid or I'm just very, VERY overqualified for this job.

Some people might enjoy a job where they get paid to pretty much sit around for 8 hours a day, but I don't. I can be bored and waste time at my house. Or, better still, I can use my time for something productive elsewhere.

And the more I think about it, the more I think that I'm doing my career a disservice by staying here. This is kind of a step back and while it will flesh out my resume a bit, it could also undermine the management experience I already have.

There are good things about working here, but seriously? I might have to update my resume sooner than I thought because this shit sucks, yo. For reals.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2006


This is why whatever they're paying me is too little:

Flibby: Yeah. I'm just pleased at how smoothly things have gone.
Account Director: uh oh don't jinx us
Flibby: I don't believe in jinx. I believe in kicking ass.

And why can't people use capital letters and punctuation in IM?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 12, 2006

A Truism for Managers

It never stops.

After my vast business experience at two (2) companies, I have realized that it is always busy. Chaos is always either on the cusp of breaking loose and you are scrambling to prevent the worst or it has broken loose and you are scrambling to clean it up. Either way, it never stops.

If you are a manager of people in your place of employment, there are always demands on your time. Your employees want or need your guidance and leadership. Your team needs you to set the direction and standard of operation. Customers want to talk to the man in charge. There are meetings. Oh, how there are meetings!

It is just a fact of existence that your time, your skills, your brain is in high demand.

Which brings us to this conclusion: If you really want to get around to doing something, you're just going to have to do it and tell everything else to go to hell for a second and bring you back a cup of coffee.

There will ALWAYS be something pounding on your door, but the reality is that only a very, very, VERY few issues demanding your attention are actually as critical as their owners would have you believe.

So, you must learn to prioritize and never, ever allow something of lower priority take your attention from things of higher priority.

(My boss needs to pay attention to this part.) If you tell someone, particularly your employees, that you would like to meet and you accept a meeting appointment for that meeting, you have to know that someone will ask to pre-empt that meeting and you will have to choose which is more important. If you consistently choose that other thing over your employees, you will fail as a leader. Your strategy will not be executed as you envisioned it. Your employees will remain clueless to the larger picture, unable to make effective decisions and avert bringing more chaos into your world.

No amount of apologies, jokes about how busy you are, or rescheduling of said meeting will move it up in priority on your list, alleviate the other demands on your time, or make up for the example you're setting.

The fact is that it just never stops and you have to deal with that.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 10, 2006

I Ate a Bug

One of my coworker's wife went to Thailand and brought back some grasshoppers for us. I tried one. The flavor was unpleasantly woody to me and the texture was rather like that of plastic or sticks.

Anyway, I tried it and don't recommend it. Unfortunately, she didn't bring back any ant larva for us because I really think those would have been better.

I took a couple of pictures. These are a little blurry because I have not yet mastered the macro settings on my camera. But practice makes perfect!



Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 28, 2006


That is the answer you can expect from me as your project manager if you:

- Lie to me about or request an unreasonable deadline for the completion of your project.

- Attempt to slip new requirements into your project after I've quoted the work according to the spec I wrote and got client approval for the price I set for the work described therein.

- Send me a meeting request 3 minutes before the time when you want the meeting.

- Wait a week to send me required data and ask if we'll meet the previously quoted timeline which gave no allowance for your 1 week delay.

Trust me when I tell you that it's good for you and your customer that my expectations include among other things professionalism, consistency, and a basic understanding of temporal and spatial relationships. Cooperate with my expectations and your customer will be impressed and we'll all make loads of money.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2006

Celebrate Success

At my office now, when a sales person closes a new deal, the boss of everyone hear rings this bell that hangs in his office. He bought the bell for this specific purpose and had it mounted over his desk. It's not a cheap bell either.

I love that.

And everyone is really anxious to hear him ring it. We just got verbal agreement on two new deals and I've heard half a dozen people ask him if he has rung the bell yet. "Not until they sign!" he says.

It's awesome.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What to do... What to do...

I'm looking at my To Do list for today and I'm realizing that I've written only one thing that will take me more than an hour to complete and everything else will take me 5 to 10 minutes tops. In fact, just by thinking about those other things I'm almost done with them.

Work continues to be not very challenging. It's mostly just an exercise in blind man's bluff.

See, I don't know the internal processes for getting things done or who I'm supposed to contact to find out. What I do is try familiar paths and contacts and if that doesn't work I try something else. There really aren't that many possibilities, so it's a very simple game and one that I think any boob should be able to succeed at.

But I am learning some new things about databases and the particular software that my company sells and uses, so it's not a wash. Soon, I will expand my awareness to the actual methods of online marketing, which will be very helpful in the next step of my career.

But today I have a very short and very easy To Do list to deal with.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2006

No! Bad HTML Monkey! BAD!

So, I just had a conversation with our HTML monkeys who told me that it is easier for them to make every single thing on a webpage a graphic except the form elements or dynamic areas, than it is to use stylesheets and actual text for text elements.

I pointed out that the reason I was sending the pages back to them was because they didn't work, so this "easy" theory they have was really resulting in more work. I didn't even have the energy about how fundamentally evil it is to code web pages that way.


I'm not sure I can trust them to create HTML for me if that's what they're going to do. In fact, I'm sure I can't trust them for that and I'm working out a way to make it not happen any more.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I'm the Devil

I have a cold right now, which has thankfully turned into less sore throat and more runny nose, and I'm at work.

I've been at work the whoooollle time.

That's right. Spreading cooties all over the office.

This weird guy hugged me the other day (Sales people are insane) for no reason and I told him I'm sick and he said he didn't care because he is healthy. I think it's because he's a slob and lives in a petri dish; I haven't seen where he lives, but I can tell he's like that. But our IT guy stayed home today because he's sick and so did one of the HTML monkeys. Other people are wailing about being sick, too.


Hopefully, it's not West Nile Virus. There was a mosquito in my apartment the other day. I am sure I can kill West Nile Virus dead, but I can't speak to the resilience of my coworkers.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 18, 2006

In Which I Plan on Leaving My New Job

So, I realized yesterday that my new job is a step back in terms of responsibility and the actual mental challenge of the work. It may sound awful, but I am overqualified for this position. It's ok, though. It's a bit more technical and the business is much more in line with my goal of pursuing a career in marketing, so I'll get good resume material out of it.

But I resolved yesterday that in less than a hear (9 months-ish) I will either have a clear path to an immediate promotion or I will be updating my resume and starting a new job search.

It may sound terrible to be planning an exit strategy as soon as I walk in the door, but this is business. The facination I have with this job is superficial and will be completely exhausted within 6 months at most. After that, I will be merely refining my personal approach to specific challenges here and showing people how they ought to be doing this work.


Like, right now, I've completed several very small projects successfully at this point and my first medium-size project is ahead of schedule in spite of the bumbling of some other folks in the chain. That's just how I do.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Order to Chaos

Every night there is a lady who comes around to everyone's cube and cleans things up.

She doesn't just empty the trash. She sweeps the floor, wipes the desktop, and rearranges things in a way that she thinks looks neat. In addition, she changes the height of my chair, moves files and papers around, organizes the cords to my computer and gadgets. If a gadget is not present, sometimes she is so helpful that she pushes the cord back down through the hole in the top of my desk so that I have to get my morning exercise by crawling under my desk to push the cords back up. Yesterday, she helpfully put all of my pens into my water cup so that they would not roll off the desktop during high seas.

I am so happy that I am not left to my own devices about arranging my desk. I mean, what if I didn't have to spend the first half hour of work trying to put things back in useful positions on my desk? I'll tell you what: I would be a lazy slob, that's what. A lazy slob with a useful, but messy-looking desk. And the terrorists will have won. And we can't have that, can we?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2006

I'm a Handshake Person

They do crazy polls on the intranet at my new job. Here's this week's:

Media reports indicate that a simple kiss on the cheek is gaining acceptability as a form of greeting. Do you think a kiss is ever appropriate as a greeting in a business setting?

I am very much a handshake person by nature. I don't mind hugs with my friends if my friends are huggy people. I do tend to be more comfortable hugging women than men. A couple of my female friends like to kiss on the cheek, which I am also comfortable doing. I do not think I would be ok if one of my male friends took to kissing me on the cheek, though.

So, that said, I actually voted that kissing on the cheek is OK among established relationships. And strangely, I found myself in the minority on this poll.

Yes, it’s OK anytime. : 1.60%
Yes, but only if the relationship is well established.: 12.00%
It depends entirely on the situation.: 29.60%
No, but hugs are sometimes OK.: 28.00%
No, only handshakes are appropriate.: 28.80%

And then I remembered that much of the company is in Arkansas and not New York.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 10, 2006

Long Day

I've been at work for 11 hours now. The time really flew by! I had several projects and deadlines today, so it was great fun.

Unfortunately, I had a meeting with some friends and I've missed that now. They wouldn't fault me for productivity, though.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 05, 2006

Someone Can Take a Hint

I make a lot of trash. A LOT. This may surprise some because I save all kinds of crazy things. Right now, I am trying to break myself of the habit of saving every receipt I am ever given. I have owner's manuals and, often, original packaging from things I don't even own anymore.

But I make a LOT of trash. I use papertowels to wipe my mouth when I eat. I throw away pop cans. I use paper plates. I print out long documents and then thrown them away when I'm done reading.

Well, when I got to my new job they gave me a tiny little trashcan. I don't mind. I can cram a lot of trash into a tiny trashcan. It only surprises the janitor who comes to empty my trash and finds that the 1 gallon trashcan under my desk weighs 57 lbs.

This morning when I came in, my trashcan was upgraded to the 3 - 5 gallon variety. I am happy about this for two reasons: 1) I won't have to spend so much time compressing all my trash and 2) someone in my office actually pays attention to how things are being used and ensures that the proper equipment is available.

I love that!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2006

Strange Behavior

As we all know, I have a preoccupation with what other people are doing. This is just part of what it means to be a flibbertigibbet.

Anyway, I was just in the restroom here at work (Yes, I'm talking about the bathroom again) washing my hands and two men walked in and they were deep in conversation. I stepped over to dry my hands and one stepped up to the urinal and the other stood a few feet behind him and continued talking.

Yes, one man was urinating and the other man was watching him urinate while they talked about, I dunno, database connectivity and API's or something.

I have gradually shifted to the point where bathroom conversations don't bother me. I don't care if people talk to me while I'm at the urinal and they're conducting their business.

But I am not yet to the point where I am confortable with someone, anyone, following me into the bathroom while I do MY business and they just watch.

I mean, if we HAD to keep talking and could not possibly rest for a potty break, I would at least expect my friend to stand at the sink and perfunctorally wash his hands so that he's not just standing there watching me pee.

Of course, I am not really shy about peeing in front of people, so it wouldn't stop me from doing what I need to do, but it would still strike me as peculiar. I don't need an audience and providing an audience to urination or defecation is, well, odd.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 10, 2006

Countdown Ends

Today is my last day at Micromega Corp.!

I've cleaned out my office. I've marked my calendar with red X's.

I still haven't been informed by my boss of my "transition plan" so everyone is getting referred to her for questions. I'm wrapping up my final projects and requests.

I turn over the car to my buddy later today. I'll deposit that check and my final paycheck.

As excited as I am right now, it really doesn't feel like it has all sunk in yet. I think when I see my empty house and realize that I won't be back here on Monday, then it will be more real to me. Actually, I'm not even sure what that means.

I'm sort of anticipating some emotion like worry or sadness over leaving people who really have become my family and friends over the past five and a half years. But I don't know if that is realistic because any worry I may have is insignificant to what I will gain: a life in the city of my dreams with a great job, a cool apartment, and a million opportunities.

But the thrill of anticipation is rising. I do feel that much. It's like when the rollercoaster comes to the very top of the hill and slows to a stop just before...

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it - New York, New York
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it - New York, New York

I wanna wake up in a city, that doesn't sleep
And find I'm king of the hill - top of the heap

These little town blues, are melting away
I'll make a brand new start of it - in old New York
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you - New York, New York

New York, New York
I want to wake up in a city, that never sleeps
And find I'm a number one top of the list, king of the hill
A number one

These little town blues, are melting away
I'm gonna make a brand new start of it - in old New York
And if I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere

It's up to you - New York New York

I'll talk to y'all later.

I have things to do!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:44 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

March 09, 2006

Countdown: 2 days left!

Work is getting more frantic. People are sending me urgent requests, begging me to have them completed before I leave. My calendar is filling up with appointments and calls from people who want me to handle their consultation, product demonstrations, pricing proposals, and whatnot instead of some yet unknown.

My boss has yet to inform me of my transition plan.

If you can only have one great love, then the city just may be mine. And I don't want nobody talkin' shit about my boyfriend.

Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City

Damn right. Look out, Manhattan. You are soooo own3d.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2006

Why Bosslady is Mad

In talking with one of my coworkers, I think I know why bosslady is angry with me: I only gave her two weeks notice.

This is true. I recieved the verbal offer on February 22nd and on the 24th I accepted it. 15 minutes after accepting it, I called her to give notice because on the 16th, that's a week from tomorrow, I have to have my stuff moved up to NYC and be sitting in my new office.

Of course, I didn't tell her that I was giving notice as soon as I could reasonably do so. And I suppose I could have asked my new company for more time. But after losing that six-figure income in December for asking for three weeks and knowing that my new job needed someone in the chair ASAP to work on their 2nd largest account, I wasn't willing to do so. So, I can accept some of the responsibility for giving so little notice.

But is two weeks really that little? I don't think so. It's pretty standard. Bosslady also didn't ask me for that information and didn't bother to tell me that it was disappointing to her. So, ultimately, I do think she's behaving irrationally.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Countdown: 3 Days

Just three more days at Micromega Corp.! YEHAW!

A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.

Mignon McLaughlin

So, my boss assured me on the phone when I gave notice that I am a valued employee here at Micromega Corp. and that she is sad to see me go. But her actions really aren't supporting her claim:

1) She has scolded me for trying to make sure that the team is updated on my projects.
2) She has scolded me for trying to help resolve new issues that are afflicting the team.
3) She has scolded me for trying to make sure that my projects are transitioned to others before I leave.
4) She was in the office the past two days (usually she's in California) and she didn't say four words to me.
5) She actually invited the other managers out to lunch with her -- except me.

I'm not begging for more work and I had plans for lunch that day already, but that she seems to be avoiding me and even excluding me from fulfilling my duties as an employee of this company (Yes, I will dutifully fulfill ALL of my responsibilities until I walk out of the office on Friday including proactively finding solutions for problems I discover.) it does not appear that I'm actually all that valuable at all.

Even if I'm not that important to the company, it's still shocking that a manager would act that way to one of her employees. I'm amazed that she has managed to achieve the position of vice president right now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 06, 2006

Freak Out! Freak Out! Freak Out!

Ok. Just four more work days. That doesn't bother me.

This weekend I went apartment shopping and I found one I like. Actually, I found two but someone else beat me to the other one, but that's OK. I have a place to live in NYC now.

This week, I have to pack up the stuff I'm taking with me. As for the rest of the stuff, I decided that whatever my friends don't buy, I'm donating the charity. I'm not going to bother moving furniture up there. I'll just buy new stuff when I get there.

So, on Tuesday, I will start driving and on Wednesday I will arrive, get the keys and move my stuff into my new home.


This is astonishing to me. I just started looking for a job like two months ago and now I'm mid-way through the biggest move of my life. It's exciting and a little daunting but mostly really exciting.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 03, 2006

Countdown: 7 Days

New York Taxi Rules: 1. Driver speaks no English. 2. Driver just got here two days ago from someplace like Segal. 3. Driver hates you.

- Dave Barry

Just 6 working days counting this one! Woohoo!

People are saying that they're worried about what will happen when I leave here, but they're not actually doing anything that indicates that their fear is real. I think it's clear that they are just liars.

That's ok, though. I am sooooo over this place. And I am sooooo excited about the new place.

I may have found a property manager for my house. I've found a buyer for my car. And I'm headed up to NYC this weekend to look at apartments. Everything is coming together!


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 02, 2006

Not So Money, Baby. Really Not.

I have learned that there are real live swingers/wife swapper people working in my office.

Could you just die!

And I now know this about them and I can't look at them without thinking about how they sleep with each other's partners.


This is exactly why I prefer to be oblivious to people.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Countdown: 8 Days

Up in the heights of the evening skies I see my City of Cities float In sunset's golden and crimson dyes: I look and a great joy clutches my throat! Plateau of roofs by canyons crossed: windows by thousands fire-furled-- O gazing, how the heart is lost in the Deepest City in the World.

James Oppenheim "New York from a Skyscraper"

I finally have a couple of leads on property managers for my house. This part of the process is really starting to worry me a bit. Of course, all the other things I've had to do have been very quick and easy. Making a couple of extra calls shouldn't be TOO hard.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 28, 2006

Countdown: 10 days

D.A. Harvey Dent: We received a letter from Batman. 'Citizens of Gotham. Gotham City has earned a rest from crime. But should the forces of evil rise again to cast a shadow on the heart of the city, call me.'
Alexander Knox: Question. How do we call him?
Commissioner Jim Gordon: He gave us a signal.

Batman (1989)

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 27, 2006

Countdown: 11 more days

Hat tip to the blogless 4th Axiom:

New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.

--Green Acres

Just 11 more calendar days, 9 more work days, until no more Micromega Corp.! It really has been a joy as well as a deep, searing, soul-crushing pain in the arse.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 25, 2006

My Clueless Boss

So, when I told my boss that I was giving her my notice, she asked me if there wasn't some other job I could do within the company.

This is the same woman who, when I had problems with my former boss -- her employee whom she had documented as a poor manager -- she said she would talk to me and then refused to talk to me for two months. Then, she had the human resources department call me and suggest that we "plan my transition out of the company." And most recently she has apparently forgotten my job function.

Let me elaborate on that last part. My job is primarily one of technical sales support. I have the ability to translate technical things into the language that marketing people speak. I talk to clients and sales people all day. I am an expert in my company's widgets. And in April, our national client conference is coming up. At this conference, clients will be strolling about and sales people will be talking to them and trying to present all of our products and services to them in order to get the wheels rolling on new deals.

Now, if you're like me, you may think based on the two bits of information above (me, sales support + clients & sales people at conference) you're thinking that I my attendance at client conference is a given. Not so. Apparently, this was not obvious to my boss. This concerned me, so I gave her a call and talked it over and she made it clear that she is aware of my job and does definitely see the value in my attending client conference.

A week later, she writes and says that she wants to save money and have me only attend the pre-conference training, but not the conference itself. I gave her my explanation again about how that doesn't make sense and told her that if she doesn't see the value there, then I shouldn't go.

Client conference is a moot point now, but she has a lot of nerve asking me if I'd like to move to another position in the company when she clearly does not understand or value my current position.

Then, when she asked how much notice I was giving her, she acted like I was a complete ass for just giving her two weeks notice.

Excuse me?

Woman doesn't understand or appreciate my job, but she wants me to hang around longer. Weird.

Just one of the reasons why I'm leaving. Clearly, I've been in the looney bin too long.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


OK! So, it's really real. I am moving to New York City. This is huge.

I'm moving from my 1700 sq. ft. 3 bedroom, 2 bathoom cottage on a hill to something yet unknown but guaranteed to be smaller. But the good news is that I'll pay twice in rent what I pay for my mortgage now. Wait, that's not good news is it?

Well, the REALLY good news is that I will live in New York! So, that other stuff doesn't matters.

Here's a list of apartments I've found:

  1. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=224310
  2. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=521383
  3. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=830486
  4. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=305043
  5. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=571036
  6. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=962985
  7. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=713207
  8. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=343377
  9. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=693226
  10. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=653382
  11. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=651197
  12. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=919414
  13. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=182756
  14. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=728487
  15. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=493540
  16. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=404177
  17. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=393682
  18. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=498147
  19. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=367065
  20. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=555152
  21. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=460092
  22. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=829806
  23. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=872711
  24. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=814997
  25. http://www.citihabitats.com/viewlisting.php?adID=722219

And I've contacted a real estate guy who is going to help me find a place.

The whole, "Let's fly back and for a million times to New York" plan is a very expensive plan. I don't know if you've heard. It's true. For instance, if I wanted to, say, go to New York next weekend it could cost me $500 for a roundtrip ticket.

It's a bit overwhelming all of this. And there are things I need to do here that aren't directly related to moving. Like I need to go see my friends at least once more before I leave.

SO much stuff.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

February 24, 2006

You Drop the Bomb on Me

Well, everything is a go!

I have to talk to my boss, but then I'm turning in my notice.

Interestingly, another one of my coworkers also announced his two weeks today. Looks like there's something going around!

March 10th will be my last day at Micromega Corp.!


Update: Notice has been given! I have officially resigned my position! WOOHOO!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Offer #2: Dud

Slamdunk called me back and said that they "would not be able to match or even come close" to the other offer.

Sad, but ok, really. I don't know if I would take it even if they were able to beat the other offer by $5K. $10K, then probably. $15K and I'm sold, but that's jsut crazy talk and anyway they said they couldn't even match.

I'm just so excited about the other jobby-job.

Meanwhile, that other job is being very slow about sending me the paperwork. I'm going to pester them today because I'd really like to put in notice.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 22, 2006

Offer #1 Recieved!

During my phone follow-up interview with Slamdunk, I received a message from Stretch. They've extended an offer and the price is good!

I'm still going to see what Slamdunk does and I may try to nudge them up a little.

But this is awesome news!

But, holy crap, I have so much stuff I have to take care of now. I need to start making a list.

Update: I have let the other company know about the other offer and extended to them the chance to counter. I told them I need to get back to the other company no later than Friday. I'm targeting March 16th as my start date! Let the bidding war begin!

Update 2:Ooookaaayyy... I don't like when people say "I will send you something today" and then they don't. This is especially irritating with regard to items involving my future employment. Like official offer letters. SEND ME MY PAPERS!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

One More Step Forward

Just got a call from Slamdunk this morning requesting another phone interview. So, it looks like this one is moving forward!


(I totally should have created a new category for my job hunt posts...)

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 21, 2006

Mac is Back in Town

I'm back!

My trip to New York was great. First, let me tell you the touristy stuff I did:

- rode the boat around Manhattan
- went to the top of Rockefeller Center
- rode the Staten Island Ferry
- visited the Bonx Zoo
- visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art

That stuff was tons of fun. I haven't mentioned him, but I have a new friend in NYC who lives in Brooklyn and he let me crash at his place during my visit. So, we visited all five boroughs of New York.

I even got to attend a meeting of the NYU Objectivists, which was also great fun.

But I was distracted during my visit, partially by the fact that I had three interviews lined up during my visit.

Interview 1 - The "slamdunk"
This interview went very well, of course. The job is a good job, so don't mistake my saying it seems to be a slam dunk for me saying I don't want it.

It will get me back to the tech and the delivery side of things where I want to be for the time being. The company is also young, so there is a lot of opportunity for success and really making a difference in the direction the company goes as it ages.

So, I met with two directors and their Human Resources recruiter and our conversations were all very positive. I wasn't asked any questions I couldn't readily answer impressively.

I think I represented myself well. Curiously, I didn't get as much affirmative feedback from the hiring manager this time around. That could mean nothing, but it could also mean that they struck upon another good candidate. So, there's a bit of uncertainty in this opportunity that I didn't sense before. We'll see!

Interview 2 - The "head hunter"
I don't know if I mentioned these people before. They're a recruiting company there in Manhattan that claims to specialize in filling tech positions like developers, project managers, etc. I'm extremely skeptical of them.

For instance, during my initial phone interview with the recruiter she asked me what an RFP is. Now, if you haven't worked in technology, you may not be familiar with Requests For Proposals. Basically, when a company is shopping vendors, they will send out something like a combination wishlist and questionnaire. The vendors then respond to it describing their capabilities and how they think they can meet the requesting company's needs. These are extremely common. For them to not know what an RFP is shows a shocking level of ignorance regarding the basic elements of technology sales. Perhaps they don't specialize in sales, but even creating RFPs is something managers in technology need to know about.

There were a few other little signs here and there that made me doubt thier experience and their dedication to placing me.

What I like about this recruiter is that they do insist on meeting every candidate face-to-face. Recruiters build their business by placing good people and since this agency works exclusively in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, PA) they demand to meet every candidate

But once in New York the recruiter didn't seem to listen to me. She seemed very cavalier about the whole thing.

First, she called me 40 minutes before our scheduled appointment to cancel. I had a reservation with my friend at a swanky restaurant for lunch and then we had another appointment lined up after my afternoon appointment with the slamdunk company. (See above.)

I rushed out of the other appointment and down the street to their offices, though, to meet them. Once there, it was as if she couldn't remember anything I had told her before. She asked me the same questions as before and she seemed as disinterested as before. At one point in the interview she asked, "So, what sort of position are looking for?" and I told her that I was looking for a project management role. And she asked me to describe what sort of responsibilities I would like and after describing them at some length she asks, "Oh, ok. So, you're looking for something in project management."

At one point, she asked me what salary range I was seeking. After I told her, she raised an eyebrow and somewhat incredulously, "And are you finding anything in that range?" I gave a quick, tight smile and responded evenly, "I have two other interviews lined up during my visit."

So, anyway, I met with them and so now, theoretically, they're going to look for jobs for me.

I have almost 6 years experience in sales, project management, product management, and development. Finding a job for me in my price range really shouldn't be that big a problem for a well-connected technology recruiting firm with more than 25 years of experience to work with. Like I said: I'm skeptical about these folks.

Interview 3 - The "stretch"
This is the company I was really excited about. Based on previous conversations, this one sounded very promising. The interview only made it sound better for me. Not only does it seem like I'm particularly well-qualified for the position (it's almost like their job description was written from my resume) but it's also exactly in line with my long-term career goals.

The bad part of this interview, though, was that I didn't get to talk about myself very much. They spent 90% of the interview either telling me about the job (Actually, trying to sell the job to me!) or answering my questions about the job. Another 5% was spent shuffling about (I spoke to five different people) and the remaining 5% was where I supposedly got to strut my stuff. I'm afraid that one can't strut very far in 6 minutes.

But, on the upside, the last part of the interview was conducted almost entirely in the future tense. "You will be working on the MegaCorp account." "The Account Director is on vacation, but you'll work a lot with her." And so on.

Everyone I spoke with was very positive. One guy I spoke with said, "Well, you've got my vote."

At the end, the hiring manager wanted to know when I could start. I told him that I would like at least three weeks (for people who've attempted to find a place to live in Manhattan, you'll know that this is a very short amount of time) and he said that they could definitely remain flexible.

Right now, I have to just wait a little. I'll mail thank you notes out tomorrow and then I'll wait until next week to let them stew a little. If I haven't heard back by then, I'll tag them about next steps.

So, a few question marks and x-factors out there, but over all, very good news!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 14, 2006

Who Kicks Ass? I Do!

Well, the phone interview with the kickass company was very cool. I have a face-to-face interview lined up to take place during my visit this weekend.

So, it looks like timing won't be a big issue in choosing between these opportunities afterall!


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 13, 2006

A Conundrum

Late last week, I got a call from this other company about a really rockin' opportunity they have open right now. The HR Recruiter lady said that, but for one technical requirement, I looked like I would be a perfect for the job. I was hoping to get a phone interview last week or early this week so I could have the face-to-face interview during my trip to NYC on Friday.

Sadly, I didn't heard from them last week and the lady called today to schedule the phone interview for the worst day on my schedule all week: tomorrow.

Worse, the hiring manager himself is going on vacation tomorrow afternoon and won't be back until next Tuesday. I couldn't make any of the open slots the hiring manager had on his schedule for tomorrow, so I had to take a slot for next Wednesday.

So, here's my problem: I have an opportunity for one company that I think is a slam dunk. After my interview on Friday, I feel confident that I will be extended an offer. But this opportunity looks SUPER awesome and has much more potential for growth and profit -- I just haven't had enough exposure to the manager to know for sure and whether or not I will be given an offer, is still pretty iffy at this point.

So, if I get an offer on the slam dunk, let's say, midway through next week, I could post-pone making a decision for a few days, I'm sure, but probably not long enough to flesh out the lead on the super-awesome stretch job. If I take the slam dunk, then I have a job but it's not the greatest. If I turn down the offer for the slam dunk, I may not get the stretch job and that I'm back to square one. Of course, other offers may pop up, but for now these two are the most solid of any that I can see right now.

I don't have to make a decision on this right at this moment, but I like to prepare my strategery.

Part of me, of course, says, "Stick it out for the kick-assin'est offer you can get!" and the other part says, "Secure your beach head and execute a plan for steady expansion." Both have merits. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.

Well, we'll see how things go on Friday.

Update: Due to a series of fortunate (A meeting moved on my calendar) and unfortunate (some family emergency for the hiring manager of the kickass job) events, my phone interview is going to happen today after all!

Now, if everything works out the way I want, I'll be able to stall on the slam dunk and pressure the kickass a little and avoid making uninformed decisions about things.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 09, 2006

There's a Lesson Here Somewhere

Soooooooooo... I've only sent resumes to every person in the western world who is hiring in NYC. And I've sent my resume to some recruiting companies. And all that good stuff.

Well, things started out slowly. And I was super-excited to line up interviews during my visit to the NYC next weekend. But things seem to be changing because I've recieved two phone calls already this morning.

It's time for a reality check, folks. Yes, I'm the bomb. I rock most steadily. But I really don't believe the job market is so hard up that people need to be blowing up my cellie like this. Hello! I'm an IT professional! Email! Don't call. EMAIL!

I'm starting to wonder if I should have sent my resume to the entire world. Curse my impressive qualifications! (Totally kidding. Buy now while supplies last.)

This is like that one story where that one guy wants something a lot and then he gets what he wants but it's really too much for him. Yeah, like that, but not because I called Bank of America this morning and they said that I can put as much money in my checking account as I want.

So, really, the lesson here is this: get out your pocketbook, folks, daddy needs a new pair of shoes. And some suits. And ties. And a pimped out apartment. With one of those gigantic flat TV's. And a view of skyscrapers. K. You get the picture.

There's a price for everything. Call me! No, wait. Email me!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 08, 2006

Actual Prices May Vary

Well, I have two interviews lined up in the NYC for next Friday. One is with a headhunting firm and the other is with a real-live company who, of course, wants to hire me.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 07, 2006

4 AM... Can't Sleep

So, yesterday I got a call from a head hunter and an email from a job prospect asking for a phone interview. Two hits in one day!

Then I had this dream. I was at an interview with this company and there was a panel of four interviewers. Two of the people I didn't know. One of the other two was a woman I work with now; she's really cool. The other was Robin Meade from CNN Headline news.

So, I was really comfortable going into the interview, but then this guy -- one of the two people I didn't know -- started picking on Robin. He started calling her names and insulting her and stuff. After I tried to bring the conversation back on track a couple of times, he started yelling at me and everyone in the room.

Then I got up and said to the rest of the panel, "It's clear that you guys have some other things to discuss. I'll follow up with you tomorrow regarding next steps and perhaps to schedule a new interview." And I shook their hands to leave.

They stopped me from leaving though and said they had staged the fight to see how I handle difficult situations in which someone acts unprofessionally. And they said that I handled it better than any other candidate and that they wanted to offer me the job. I was really happy and told them that we should discuss compensation at our next meeting and I left.

My coworker (the woman on the panel that I know) followed me out and wanted to chat. We talked for a little bit but I told her I needed to go and call my mom to tell her about the interview. Then, Robin Meade called and asked me what I wanted to make. I told her I wanted $70K to $85K per year to start, but it would depend on the other benefits and incentive plan options. She just laughed and told me that I would be making over $100K and wanted to know if I had a number in mind up there.

I just told her I had no perspective on the matter so whatever she could get for me would be fine but that I would think about it and get back to her.

Then I got in my car and woke up.

That was an hour and a half ago and I still can't sleep. I need to wake up in less than 2 hours.

I think this night might be shot.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Some Tips to Hiring Managers

I've been a hiring manager in my company and I know that finding good candidates is really tough. But now that I'm on the other side of the table in this deal, I'd like to offer a few more tips to hiring managers:

Go ahead and state your pay range. A smart candidate knows that this is negotiable to an extent and that means both ways. If they aren't qualified, you'll pay them less to give them a job. If they're a documented superstar, they'll demand more from you. I think the argument people have against disclosing salary ranges is that some people will apply just for the salary. That's certainly true, but the opposite is also true: some qualified will not apply (or won't put as much effort into applying, like by composing a customized cover letters) because you gave no indication of salary.

USE THE HIRING SITES' FEATURES PROPERLY. If you want candidates to apply by email and not by sending their resume via the job board mechanisms, then use the option to turn off the job board's apply button.

Make your online application usable. If you're going to create your own custom online employment application, don't ignore the basic rules of interface design. You can't assume that applicants are so desperate for a job that they'll muck their way through anything you put out there.

That's it for now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 02, 2006

That Thing Under the Bed

I've heard that some 80% of positions out there are filled by referral. I've found that when referred to a particular job things tend to move much more quickly and smoothly.

But there are 20% of positions filled by other means and given that I don't have any contacts I can leverage for project/product/account management positions in technology firms in Nueva York, I'm kind of stuck in that no man's land.

I wonder how those jobs are filled, though. I mean, are people really using Monster?

Monster is running a radio commercial right now that says, "Applicants who post resumes to Monster are twice as likely to get the job than applicants who don't." They clarify this to mean that this is among just those candidates who use Monster.

I've been sending resumes and cover letters out via Monster like a crazy person. If a position sounds even remotely suited for me and my career goals, then I send my resume to it. It would be foolish to assume that everyone else isn't doing the same thing.

I guess Monster is a good thing for the 20% people like me because we can get our resumes out to many more companies than without it. And I suppose Monster is good for recruiters who get many more resumes to choose from and they can sort through resumes by just searching keywords.

But all this "mass marketing" of my skills is kind of frustrating. Well, frustrating isn't exactly the right word because I'm not frustrated yet. I've only been looking for a job for a little over a month.

I've heard that the average job search takes 3 to 6 months and since I'm looking for a job out of state, I think it's reasonable to think that this could take a bit longer.

So, I'm not frustrated yet.

But still. It'd be nice to hear SOMETHING.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

January 26, 2006

There is a beeping...

somewhere near my office.

It sounds like it's outside on the street, but I'm way up on the 8th floor. I shouldn't be able to hear someone's watch beeping from here.

Maybe the terrorists are after me. I will keep you posted as this breaking news story unfolds.

Update: My bookbag came to rest on my sports watch. Mystery solved. The terrorists still have not won.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 25, 2006

How's the Job Search Going?


Hunting for jobs is boooorrrrriiiiinnnng.

I've sent my resume to many, many, many companies about specific positions and I've heard nothing. I've sent my resume to several headhunters and I've heard... nothing.

I've recieved many calls over the years from headhunters, but never when I was looking for a job. Their timing sucks.

Also, since I'm looking for a job in NYC, I think my location may be working against me. I think that that is silly. Don't they know that I will bring a folksy, down-home flavor to their company that will charm and beguile their customers out of thousands, even MILLIONS, of dollars?


I sent the latest-greatest version of my resume over to a friend of mine at IBM and she told me it was weak. (!!!) She said that I have five years of experience and that there is no need to restrain myself to a single page. Her resume is six pages and I think that's too much, but I'm thinking about making a two-pager.

So, I bought this program last night called ResumeMaker to help me beefing up my resume and more easily customize it when I need to for specific jobs. It says it does lots of nifty things, so we'll see.

Anyway, boring boring boring. No one is calling me. No one is emailing me. No one is trying to sweep me away to the Italian Riviera for cocktails.

So, basically, this is an update to say that I have no update.

(I've been looking for a job for less than a month now. I am perfectly aware of my impatience, here, so don't bother telling me to chill out.)

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

January 23, 2006

Define Audacious and Unprofessional

So, on Friday, I recieved no fewer than 6 calls from a client for reasons that are not entirely clear to me. He kept saying he wasn't sure of things and I kept showing him the document and where it outlines the answers to his questions and he kept sounding like he was satisfied but then he kept calling back. I have no idea what he wanted, but he asked to schedule a call with me today.

Well, I said that would be fine, because I try to be helpful and customer-focused. And he sent me the conference call information.

I dialed in at the appointed time (actually a few minutes early because that's how I do) and waited on hold. And waited. And waited. And waited.

I waited for ten minutes and he never showed. Finally, I hung up and send him and email:

Hi, Customer Contact Who Doesn't Show Up To Meetings! [CCWDSUTM]

I waited on the conference line for 10 minutes today, but no one else dialed in. Looks like we missed one another.

If you still have questions you need answered, please let me know. I can try to answer them on a one-off basis or we can try to schedule another call. Just let me know.

Also, over the weekend, I received the .zip file to my personal email address. [Yes, I let him email my personal email because he was having trouble with our spam filter here at work and I did look at the files over the weekend, like I said, I'm helpful] You have a good looking site there. It’s not coded to specifications, so I would urge you in order to keep costs down that you have your developer follow the specifications found here: [Insert the URL I've sent to him several times already but he hasn't followed.]

If there are any questions about the spec, I would be happy to clarify anything that seems unclear.

Thanks and have a great day!


I was irritated that he didn't show, but I tried to keep my irritation from showing in my note while at the same time pointing out that this is a problem.

He writes back:

Hi Flibby,

I’m sorry for missing the meeting. I had to meet someone for an event we are sponsoring. Do you have time to meet now? If not, can we reschedule for later today?


So, let me get this straight: I plan a portion of my day around this guy, he fails to show up and then he expects me to either a) drop everything to meet with him or b) rearrange another portion of my day at the last minute.


My schedule is full for the day. I have plenty of calls and projects to work on for the whole of my business day today, so dropping everything to make a meeting that was suddenly preempted by some other thing isn't really a plan that works for me.

We're all busy professionals and that's all the more reason to act professionally. If you can't meet, send an email. If someone walks in when you're about to having a meeting, tell them you'll get back to them and dial-in. Scheduled meetings take priority over walk-ins.

His meeting has been preempted by a blog post. Now, I gotta get to work.

Update: Yesterday, I sent him a list of times I would be available to meet today. This morning, I came in and had a meeting appointment from him for a time that was not on the list I sent him, so I had to decline and reiterate my available times.

This man is clearly an idiot.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 11, 2006

Larval Stages of Demonic Apotheosis

I have an announcement that may cause me to immediately lose the better part of my readership.

I am becoming a sales person.

I know. I started in business as an entry-level production simple code monkey. I built websites. Then I quickly became a manager of my team and then the entire development staff. I organized and established the inital iterations of what is now our QA department and processes. I started the project that enabled my company to bill for support requests and gain an additional half million in revenue a year. And then I my fatal error: I established product-specific sales engineering.

These days I don't manage people or write code or even troubleshoot technical issues. I use all of what I've learned for my nefarious purpose.

In the past, I've had a rather prickely relationship with our sales force. Classically, sales teams do not get on with with operations teams. The sales reps are always shovelling manure to get a signature on the bottom line. Then they are no where to be found when the ops team realizes that they're expected to deliver the impossible. Sales representatives (and I do feel I'm qualified to stay this at this point) think that operations teams are holding out on them and charging way too much money for the easiest things.

Let's all be honest: at some point or another both the ops folks and the sales folks are right.

The sales crowd really is a blessed bunch. Touched, really. But, I promise, not all sales people are bad.

I know. Can you see? I've been infected with their evil. I'm defending them!

And to make matters worse, I'm looking for jobs as a sales engineer. I'm going to be one of them!

With that in mind, I've been focusing on my presentation and speaking skills to improve my product demos and conference calls. Today was a fairly intense day; I had about 3 and a half hours of calls and all but 30 minutes of that was contiguous.

And I TOOOOOTALLY rocked it out.

I'm not even kidding. At the end of two of my calls today, I had customers thanking me for helping them spend their money. I even had to tell them things they really didn't like hearing, like that their project would take two months longer than they were planning. But they worked it out.

So, yeah. I'm totally going ot the dark side. It's kind of scarey.

But at the same time... where's my commission, yo?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 06, 2006

Work Pet Peeve

As we all know, I hate meetings. But one thing that I really hate in meetings is when people can't stay on topic.

I hosted a training meeting today. (I hated to do it, but I knew that if I didn't train these people, then they would pretend like they didn't know how to use the application even though there are instructions posted all over it.)

So, in my training meeting, the attendees start discussing how they will adjust their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to use the application. To an extent, this is fine. 20 minutes of discussion is beyond the acceptable limit.

And then the conversation starts drifting even further afield into other topics about how other teams do things and all of that. Meanwhile, I'm trying to jump in to steer the conversation back, but this group of people are the sort who WILL NOT STOP TALKING. It doesn't matter if you pipe up to interject something or not. They will complete their monologue regardless of what you are doing.

So, I just want to send a memo out to everyone that says, "If I want to have a meeting about how you and everyone else should be handling your shit, I'll do that. Otherwise, all meetings I host will focus on the one particular issues described in the agenda I include with the invitation."

Oh, and can people please show up on time to meetings and include agendas in the meetings THEY host?

That'd be great. Thanks.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 02, 2006

Job Opportunity Lost

I just got the call that they've offered the job to someone else.

This is certainly disappointing, but it doesn't change the general direction in which I will be moving.

Next steps: Find new job opportunities

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

December 29, 2005

Overheard in the Office

Flibby: If you tell anyone I'm looking at a new job, I'll punch you in the neck.
Office Mate: Yeah, whatever.
Flibby: Do you think your neck is really that hard to reach?
Office Mate: I'm a very confidential person.
Flibby: I'm looking for discretion. I don't care if anyone knows you or not.
Office Mate: Discretion is my middle name. Odd story...
Flibby: I love your parents.
Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 27, 2005

Interview Tomorrow

I have a phone interview lined up at the new place for tomorrow morning.

As an aside, I've considered a lot of the advice, counsel, and generally probing questions of both my adoring fans (Jim, Ice Scribe, and those other two people) and come to the conclusion that the crazy plan to become an ivory tower philosopher with an intolerably realistic philosophy is, well, crazy.

I guess I could go on at length about values and their priorities in my life, but y'all don't really want to hear about that any more than I really want to spill my guts all over the global interweb super highway.

(I know, I've talked about urine and poop and all kinds of things here before, but this is personal. Unlike poop, which is very impersonal.)

Like the aforementioned crazy plan, I see many possibilities with this new plan. This new plan, however, has many, many, many more possibilities and will potentially fulfill many more dreams and aspirations and could very likely tie into some of the dreams I had when looking at the other plan.

So, even if this particular job opportunity doesn't pan out, I'm pretty sure I know what I need to do and that is... to get my tuition money back before classes start.

Good thing I updated my resume not long ago. A few more tweaks and we're in business. *ahem* You know what I mean.

It is going to be SO nice learning about new things and getting paid for it!

Update: The interview went well. We're supposed to do lunch next week possibly and I should have another phone interview with someone else soon, too. The bad news is that if I do get an offer, the start date will likely be middle to late January.

That's not all that bad, though. It will let me give Bosslady more notice.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

December 22, 2005

Indecision 2005

Ok. I'm kind of freaking a little bit right now.

An awesome job opportunity just sailed my way. If I take the job, that means school is out of the question right now. But, if I take the job, it will probably mean more money, more opportunities, more fun stuff.

I want to learn about philosophy, but as the Ice Scribe pointed out to me, I can do that on my own.

I want to teach, but I already have a Master's degree, so I could probably go teach somewhere whenever I want.

I want to write. Hello. TOTALLY able to do that on my own.

I want to buy a small island in the Mediterranean and PhD's don't really do that.

Dr. Flibby sounds good, though, don't you think?

Not as good as Flibby, bazillionaire and greedy-ass sumbitch, though, right? I know. I'm checking more into this. We'll see how it plays.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

December 02, 2005

Notice Has Been Given!

Well, I met with my boss and told her about my plans and she was very reasonable.

She was supportive and congratulated me on my pursuit. She was rightfully cautious and wanted to make sure that my schedule would not strain my ability to support my duties at work and asked that I send over a proposed schedule.

Our meeting took place immediately after she recieved a GLOWING letter of praise from one of my customers:

Good Morning [Bosslady]:

I want to let you know how much I appreciate [Flibby]’s consistently positive attitude. In addition, the amazing job he does on demo’s for clients and his knowledge level of [widgets]. He also exhibits great ability to be a consultant to [paying customers] and let them know what makes a [widget] effective. Recently, [Flibby] did a demo of [the Robustitron] for a prospect of mine and I was blown away. He did a great job.

[Flibby] is also very responsive to helping me with questions and pricing. He is a great asset to this company!

Thanks so much [Bosslady] for keeping [Flibby] happy and here at [Micro-Mega Corp Inc.]!!

[Customer who now moves to the front of the line every time.]

I think a supervisor in Bosslady's position is rightfully cautious, but we went over my job description and the daily demands of my job and I think she was put at ease.

I also told her that if this arrangement was not amendable to the company that this should be considered notice to begin planning my "transition," which given that classes don't start for over a month, I think she appreciated the advanced warning.

She did make a remark about how happy she was that I was being so "mature," which I kind of took in a back-handed way. I couldn't tell if she was making a remark about Director Dan and that Asshole who both gave frightfully little notice before leaving or if she was referring to the fact that I had been raising hell about Director Dan before he left in a way that did not make her life easier.

Anyway, I think it's going to work out.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Today is the day that I talk to my boss about my plan to go back to school and shift my work schedule around my class schedule.

I don't think this will be a problem, but I'm still nervous.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 29, 2005

Office Rumor Mill

You know the asshole who recently left? Well, I just heard that she actually left a list of people in the office who should NOT be considered to take over her responsibilities.

This says more about her than anyone on that list.


To the max.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2005

Dropping Like Flies

Another manager put in notice at the end of last week. I'm not very sad to see this manager go, really. She was very close to Director Dan. In fact, most of Director Dan's brainwashing came directly from her.

Director Dan was often a complete moron and didn't realize when he was being fed a line and this manager was particularly adept at bending Director Dan's malleable ears. In fact, this manager is the one who told Director Dan about my reporting him to Human Resources. And she is the manager who subsequently blatantly misrepresented some of my actions to Director Dan several times which lead to me being put on probation again.

She was also extraordinarily difficult to work with.

So, I'm not really all that sad to see her go.

Tellingly, she was hired by Director Dan at his new company. They both hate Director Dan's boss at Micromega Corp., so I'm not surprised at this move.

Anyway, sort of good news.

The downside to it is the question of whether or not anyone at Micromega Corp is going to realize how much this department is abused. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm told that our attrition rate is lower than that of most departments. Maybe it doesn't really suck to work here.

I don't know how this will turn out in the long run, but I'm glad to see her go.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 09, 2005

An Outrage

Even if you're alone, do not fart in the elevator.

Someone is going to get in there after you and they will be trapped in there with that disgusting mess.

Why do I have to point these things out? I work with barbarians, that's why.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 24, 2005

Don't Get Stabbed

I've had three different people ask me today for the results of a task that isn't scheduled for completion until tomorrow morning.

Now, I understand that they're anxious to have it, but what amuses me is the thought that they're imagining me sitting here with the project completed just waiting for someone to ask me for it. As if I won't send it over until someone asks. Because I need one more thing just using up space on my computer and to-do list.


So, I want no one else to ask me for this project. I've thrown it away. It's gone.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Snarky Mood

I'm in a bad mood today.

At least three people who've spoke to me this morning asked me stupid questions that they should be able to figure out on their own. That really tries my patience.

It's not even 10:30 yet.


I was hoping to be productive today, but it looks like I'm hosting the idiot festival instead.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 20, 2005

Something I Hate

Listen up, Managers of the World!

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT attempt to solve your employees problems for them. Your job is not to think for your lackeys and peons. Your job is simply to tell them what the goals are and what the limits are to their authority. Beyond that, you let them work it out.

Since I am not a CEO and therefore someone's lackey I want to tell you all that I take umbrage at having someone who asked me to tell them what problems I'm facing attempt to solve said problems for me.

If I needed help from my boss, I would ask for it. I would probably use terms like, "I'm not sure how to solve this problem." or "How do you think I should solve this problem?" I'm wild and unpredictable like that.

If you are a manager who is two degrees of hierarchy removed from your direct reports, do not pretend to know anything about the issues confronting them. Not only should you not suggest a solution, but you should not pretend that you even understand the issues in question.

It is perfectly acceptable for you to be and remain ignorant of the gory details of your employees' work lives. Pretenses at understanding will only come off as patronizing and the solutions that you force upon them will be taken as micromanagement.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 12, 2005


My company has a bad habit of keeping secrets from its employees. A good example is my boss' recent resignation. Apparently, he gave notice more than a week ago, but his direct reports only just found out two work days ago. Why was this information kept from his direct reports for a week?

It seems to me that much of the secrecy that plagues our organization stems from paranoia. It's like everyone thinks that everyone else is petty, vindictive, emotionally delicate, and manipulative. As a result, when my boss quit, he was instructed not to tell anyone else presumably out of fear that he would start bad mouthing his superiors.

He has been bad mouthing his superiors for months.

Some also said that the secrecy was necessary to prevent a sharp decline in morale. This implies to me that they are already aware of a morale problem. If morale were not a problem, then we would be happy for someone if they left to pursue a better opportunity and that event would not trigger any sort of major itch for a change ourselves.

So, finally, he was given permission to tell his direct reports about his departure on Friday. However, his direct reports were not allowed to tell their direct reports until today.

And even though his last official day is Friday, his last day in the office will be Friday. They don't want him to come in for the same reasons above and they don't want him to destroy anything before he leaves. How will making him leave a day early prevent that? It makes no sense to me.

I understand that companies need to keep some secrets; not every employee needs to know every single going on in the company. In a certain sense, a proper amount of ignorance protects employees from liability should something bad happen.

But things like, "your boss is leaving" don't really qualify as being top secret information in my mind. And the more secrets are kept the more mistrust it breeds in those frequently kept on the outside.

The secret keeping is, I think, another symptom of that mentality that thinks everyone else is a petty, usurping, back-biting, little snake and I think that the people who hold this outlook are themselves petty, usurping, back-biting little snakes.

It's bothersome and destructive. More importantly, it's bad business.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I Hate You

I want all y'all crazy foo's that called me today asking to have your project done that you didn't even mention to anyone to know that I hate you with the blazing white-hot passion of ten thousand suns.

I don't know what possesses you to think that anyone should even entertain a discussion on that topic with you, but it must be something the devil excreted.

Hear my words: When I say the project takes 30 days, you better damn well reflect on this situation and give some notice. If you don't, I'm going to call your boss and see what he thinks of your asinine tendency toward poor planning.

I hate you so much right now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hooked on Phonemes

It's funny this should come up because just the other day a friend observed that accent and pronunciation are not strongly emphasized in foreign language education. In my mind, this is very important; I just think if you're going to bother learning a language you should at least give a go at imitating native pronunciation. This has paid off for me because when I've visited Central America and South America, I have been complimented on my accent. Some native speakers were surprised by my limited vocabulary and inability to properly conjugate verbs (Hey! I don't get much practice!) because of my pronunciation.

Accents and pronunciation basically consist of imitating the sounds native speakers make to pronounce words. You also have to learn what sounds can be substituted, run together, or just left out altogether without changing the understanding of what words you're saying.

pho•neme The smallest phonetic unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning, as the m of mat and the b of bat in English.

But a phoneme also consists of all the sounds that can be substituted. For example, in English, we will often accept a D sound in place of a T sound, like in the word "button." (Compare the British English pronunciation versus the American English pronunciation.)

Well, I will tell you that I get annoyed when people deviate into questionable areas with their phonemes. For example, I have a coworker who is American, Southern even, and he doesn't consistently pronounce the letter H.

I am reminded of My Fair Lady. "In Hartford, Hereford, and Hampshire hurricanes hardly happen."

I think what bugs me about this is that this guy doesn't talk like Liza at all. He has a plain old American accent with a slight southern twang. Furthermore, he isn't consistent in not saying the H sound. Sometimes he says it and some times he doesn't.

For example, he might say, "Hello, Flibby! Meet Ms. Hughes," which sounds like, "Hello, Flibby! Meet Miss Yous."

This caused a problem for me in a meeting yesterday.

Dude Sometimes Without H's: I'm really surprised that you said that. I mean, it's really shocking because no one else makes comments like that.

Flibby: What was so strange about what I just said?

DSWOH: Not you. You. The consultant.

Flibby: What?

As it turns out, there is a consultant named Hugh somewhere. I've never met him and, in fact, I didn't even know about him until that meeting.

H's are important, folks! Please use them as appropriate! Don't make me crazy by not saying them.

I wonder how on earth this guy would deal with learning German, with all those glottal sounds.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 11, 2005

Oh Crap!

I just found out that Director Dan has resigned. His last day is Friday.

This is not very good news because I've been working with him to build our working relationship to a point where, in December, I could ask him to support my plan to go back to school full time.

With him out of the picture, my situation becomes much more precarious. The chances of me losing my job or having to resign in January are greatly increased.

I'm going to talk to him today about my plan and get his thoughts.

I'm totally freaked, though.

Update: I spoke with Director Dan about his departure and I told him about my plan to go back to school and he said that he would let his boss know that he and I had agreed to allow me to flex my schedule to go back to school.

We'll see how it turns out.

Still freaked.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 04, 2005

Don't Get Stabbed

I was in charge of running a drawing in my office today. The prizes were several Starbucks gift cards and an iPod Shuffle.

Aside from completely ignoring my emails which gave the instructions for entry, the people in my office were largely really obnoxious about the event and made it mroe time-consuming and difficult than it should be to have such an event for animals reportedly more evolved than hyenas, let along adults.

Well, one of my good friends won the iPod Shuffle.

Immediately, people "joked" about the drawing being rigged. And immediately I started wondering why dueling is outlawed.

My good friend, fortunately, stood up for me and responded, "Hi. Have you met him?" And they could but acknowledge the obvious truth that I would not engage in sort of fraud.

But, it's a good thing, because saying things like that is how people get stabbed. I'm just saying.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 30, 2005

They're On A Roll

Again, I won't name names, but one of my customers wrote to me and asked:

Can you send me every single website link that [Micromega Corp.'s] web team has done, within the next hour, so I can sit down with her and go over them...

We've done over 2,500 websites in our history and over 1,000 of them are live today.

On the bright side, the sales rep who saw this request new without me pointing it out that the request was a bit absurd.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2005

Signs of the Apocalypse

I'm reviewing some of our clients' sites to suggest ways to improve them for usability and just basic design practices and I actually had to write the following sentence:

Remove the illustration of the giant flying laptop with businessman-rider.

These are the end times.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2005

Get Me a Sock, Markers, Paste, and Pom-Poms! STAT! This is Critical!

I really want a sock puppet to use at work. I want to tell people that when they ask a question, they can either get the answer I want to give or the answer I'm told to give.


Sales Rep: Can you explain to the customer why the monthly fees for the upgraded application are more than the lame-ass one they have right now?

Flibby: Well, the extra fees cover the additional overhead and licensing costs associated with maintaining and hosting the site. More than that, however, these fees account for the extreme value differential between the two products. The fact is that the new application will help them much more effectively and efficiently meet their strategic goals.

Sock puppet: I can't decide between telling you go do your own job, telling you to go ask your manager how to do your job, or just slapping you silly. Give me a minute and then F!Bomb off before you make me mad.

Sales Rep: Can you tell me which product is for the Super Widgets?

Flibby: It's the one called "Super Widget" on the price list.

Sock puppet: I hate you.

Sales Rep: Yo! I just sold a customer on a Super Widget deal for 75% above list, but they have a question about the torque ratio and it's not on any of the Fact Sheets. I've looked at all of the information you published and it's not there. Is there another place I should look, or do you know that right off?

Flibby: Sure. It's 4:3. Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.

Sock puppet: I am going to kiss you on the mouth.

And even if I didn't ever say those things, I really think I need to make a sock puppet right now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2005

Ask and Ye Shall Recieve

I thrive on consistency. I should publish a list of my rules and sayings because one of my sayings is "Planning makes fun."

Seriously. Planning makes fun, y'all. Only when we know the context of action and the direction of that action can we explore all the variations of arriving at the destination.

This is why I'm able to predict within a 2 minute variance my arrival time to any place I tell you I'm going to be. That means I arrive between 12 and 8 minutes before meeting you somewhere. When I show up at your house I will be there between two minutes early and two minutes late.

Once upon a time, I was to meet two friends for dinner at 7 o'clock. I left my house at the correct time to arrive at 6:50 but then one of my friends called and asked for a ride while I was in transit. I agreed and adjusted my travel route accordingly. Then, I called my other friend to let her know that I would arrive at 7:07, plus or minus two minutes. Perhaps not a big deal to you and it wasn't a big deal to her, but I arrived with my other friend at precisely 7:07 and our reservations were not compromised. Everyone had a chuckle about it, but it's a good thing that I make things work.

I digress. You're probably wondering how this relates to work and I'll tell you.

I publish a newsletter for my company. The marketing director wanted me to coordinate my newsletter with the Communications Specialist (CS) in her department. The CS and I had a conversation and I told him that I would only publish on Wednesdays and that I would publish on the Wednesday closest to the 15th in every month. He said that was fine and I never spoke to him again about it.

This month, the newsletter was slated for the 14th.

When it went out the Director of marketing wrote to me and asked if I coordinated this with her CS. I said that I had and I explained our argeement. I then asked if she'd prefer that I let him know every date of publication.

She said that she would. Five minutes later, I just sent her the publication schedule for the next year.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

How Not To Manage Meetings

Director Dan bragged in his 2.5 hour, unscheduled meeting that he didn't have an agenda. His thought is that he likes to just start a discussion and let it lead to "interesting ideas."

If he thinks his meetings lead to "interesting ideas," I think that I do not use those words to mean the same thing. When he says it he means what I would call, "unproductive, undirected caterwauling, territorialism, office political maneuvering and general time-wasting."

One of the many heuristics I use in my daily life is this: "If you don't know where you're going, you're never going to get there."

Without an agenda, meetings are pretty much pointless. They are GUARANTEED to waste time and accomplish little of what the organizer wants to accomplish. Director Dan is no exception to this, but the difference is that he doesn't seem to want to accomplish any thing in particular.

This is very frustrating for a person like me. I would rather come to work to work or just go home and do as I please.

Update: I just did a quick Google on meetings and found a link to ten tips to holding effective meetings:

1. Avoid meetings
2. Prepare goals
3. Challenge each goal
4. Prepare an agenda
5. Inform others
6. Assume control
7. Focus on the issue
8. Be selective
9. Budget time
10. Use structured activities

Under #4 it says, "Everyone knows an agenda leads to an effective meeting. Yet, many people "save time" by neglecting to prepare an agenda.

"A meeting without an agenda is like a journey without a map. It is guaranteed to take longer and produce fewer results."

Meetings at my office tend to violate almost every single rule on that list. They are numerous, unfocused, and unproductive. A few people know how to hold a good meeting, but only one or two of those people ever wind up calling a meeting.

While getting my MBA, I had a whole class on holding effective meetings and agendas were on that list, too. Director Dan has an MBA, why doesn't he know?

It makes me crazy.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 20, 2005

Today's Schedule

8AM - Arrive at work.
9AM - Get meeting request for 9:30 meeting.
9:30 - Meeting
9:50 - Get updated meeting request to 10AM meeting.
10AM- Find out that the 10AM meeting has been extended to 3 hours as opposed to 1. At least the company is buying lunch. Too bad the company isn't doing my work for me.
10:01 - Mentally freak out about the fact that no work or preparation will be done for afternoon meetings.
1:30 - Walk out of 3 hour meeting to do what preparation can be done. Apologize to boss and new VP who are leading the meeting.
2 - Meeting.
2:10 - Previous meeting runs long. Freak out about missing the 2 o'clock meeting.
2:15 - Realize that due to lack of preparation, the 2 o'clock meeting has to be cancelled. Account Manager is missing. Call client myself. Apologize.
2:20 - Realize that the 10 o'clock meeting that happened wasn't the real 10 o'clock meeting but a different meeting. The 10 AM was rescheduled for 3:30
2:30 - Sit in dizzy amazement at how many things have gone wrong during the day and attempt to identify which ones can be fixed before the next meeting or interruption.
2:37 - Get meeting request for new meeting at 4:30, which will require leaving the 3:30 meeting before it's finished.
2:38 - Freak out Freak out Freak out
2:39 - Realize that the project scheduled for tomorrow will be delayed as I clean up from today.
2:40 - Freak out Freak out Freak out

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2005

Overheard in my Office

Manager: I just want to make sure we're all in aggreeance...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2005

Fun With Analogies: Sales is to Operations as the Antelope is to the Leopard

Our sales force drives me crazy sometimes. Strike that. They drive me crazy on a daily basis.

I try to help them. I try to teach them. I try to explain to them where the prices of our products comes from and why they can't just give things away and expect us to stay in business. But they do not listen.

I realize that part of my hatred for them comes from the fact that I am in an Operations department and the relationship between Sales and Operations is a long-standing love-hate thing like Whitney and Bobby.

But for real. They don't even understand some of the most basic economic concepts behind their job.

First, they don't understand the difference between the words "price" and "cost." This irritates me a LOT. PRICE is the ratio of VALUE and COST. Value is a qualitative term, which we quantify in terms of PROFIT. Cost is a quantitative term.

So, how much profit do you make per unit of cost (labor, materials, etc.) and you have the price.

Sure, there are lots and lots of instances where you can use the words price and cost interchangeably, but these people demonstrably do not know when they're in those situations and when they aren't.

Sales people are constantly telling me about how we're going to magically produce some product or another at "no cost." "Oh reeeeeaaallly?" I think. Because, seriously, they're talking about magic and I don't know magic.

And, then, they come to me and act like developers are the only resources contributing to costs. Hi! Remember me? My role as sales support is part of the allocated costs. But that's the problem: they don't understand allocated costs. They don't understand that every widget X has to pay a portion of the electric bill. They don't understand that each little sproket we make has to pay a part of my boss' salary.

Oh. And they don't understand transition costs, either! They seem to believe that if I'm making 1,000 widgets right now and they ask me to make one more that it costs the same to make 1 widget if I'm involved in making 1,000 sprockets right now. They don't understand that stopping everything and picking up to do something else costs time, energy, and MONEY.

I really do think that all sales people should take a series of classes in managerial accounting before they sit down with a discount calculator. Sadly, some sales people value being liked more than they value being employed and as a result they try to run the company into the ground.

This make-a me crazy

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 29, 2005

Back at Work and in a Bad Mood

I'm so leaving early today.

The doctor doesn't even want me at work today, so I totally think I can get away with it.

Anyway, I was going nuts at home, so I had to get out of the house, but it was a total ordeal. The crutches. The cats. The lunch. The bookbag. The mail. The car. The driving with the left foot and trying not to die.


I'm interviewing a potential roommate tomorrow, too.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2005

Don't Get Fired. Don't Get Fired. Don't Get Fired.

All last week, I felt very optimistic about my work and building up my relationship with my boss. Unfortunately, we didn't get to have the 1-on-1 he promised me we would have last week. That's ok. I missed the regularly scheduled time because of a doctor's appointment. Later, we were both really busy and it didn't work out.

Now, he's late for work again and missing the meeting.

Do I remind him of his promise and ask him to reschedule? Do I let it slide and perpetuate the hostility that got us to this point?

He complains that he can't trust me, but then he fails to uphold his commitments. He lies and doesn't realize he's lying. He gossips and doesn't realize he's a gossip. He's a hypocrit and doesn't realize he's a hypocrit.

The whole point is that I KNOW I cannot rely on him. The complete lack of mutual respect is just one aspect of the situation.

172 more days. 120 more work days.

Update: It's like this.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 08, 2005

Not Fired

So, I didn't get fired this morning.

Instead, Director Dan and I have agreed to work with one another to try to overcome our challenges and move forward. He has agreed to some things that I consider to be critical to our success, like showing up at the office and not constantly missing meetings, and I have agreed to do some things that he considers to be critical to our success, like my job.

The conversation this morning was very positive and ended on a very hopeful note. While I don't think it possible to turn our working relationship into one that is ideal, I think we can cover some significant ground in terms of alleviating the stress and tension that has characterized our relationship in the past.

I am hopeful to a point where I think I may actually feel a small twinge of regret when I have to resign at the end of the year. That really says something.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 07, 2005

I Might Be Fired Again

My boss moved our meeting from today until tomorrow. I think Friday is the day they fire people.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

I just recieved a memo with this sentence in it:

Due to the volume of data, we will not be correcting grammar or spelling mistakes.

I wish they had written "Due to the volume of data, we will not correct grammar or spelling mistakes."

I HATE the "to be + gerund" construct. It gets bandied about so much these days that it makes me a little crazy ESPECIALLY in situations like this. I know it's easy to use. I know I use it more than I ought. But it still makes me crazy.

So, let's all just group together to make it stop.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 30, 2005

I'm Not Fired... Yet

My boss just planned a meeting for next week with me, so I think it's safe for me to conclude that I will not be fired tomorrow.

And this is further good news because he wants to discuss the problem he and I have recently experienced in our working relationship.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2005

I Have A Timeline

I just checked: classes start January 10th. That means my last day at work will be January 6th, which means I'll put in my notice December 22nd.

Merry Christmas, SuperStupidMegaCorp!

132 work days until it's over. 1,056 work hours.

Barring any time off I take, of course.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:46 AM | Comments (2)

June 28, 2005

Six Months

I don't start to school for six months.


I will have to keep my job for six more months, but I seriously don't know how I'm going to make it. Six months is both a long time and a short time. My job really, really sucks and I hate it almost more than I can express.

Fortunately, I know lots of words.

But I'm ready to get rolling on this school thing. I'm ready to sit in class with a bunch of pretty people under the age of twenty. It'll be like living on the WB. I'll get a part time job and sleep in almost every day! I'll have no money, but I'll have time to read and do stupid things like eat raccoons.

It's going to be so much fun.

And Jennifer and I are going to join the same sorority and date football players. God, I love football players.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:28 PM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2005

Annoying Behavior of the Proles - Item #235542-K

I ALSO hate the guy who stops by the office to chat, but he doesn't actually say anything of interest and fails to observe that I haven't looked up from my monitor, stopped typing, or responded with anything more than, "Cool."

Dude. LEAVE! I'm doing something with every appearance of being important! MOVE!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:38 AM | Comments (1)

Annoying Behavior of the Proles - Item #12492D

I don't like when people talk to others with headphones on and I don't like it when they walk around the office with them on either.

If you're going to talk to someone, take your headphones off/earbuds out.

I don't seem to mind the one-ear cellie so much, but the both-ears-plugged-while-I'm-talking-to-you situation really makes me want to start issuing neck punches with wreckless abandon.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:10 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

Why I Hate my Job

One of the main reasons that I hate my job is because everything is so wildly inconsistent. When I point out inconsistencies to some of my coworkers or even my boss, they fail to see the point. They rationalize around it and say that my way of dealing with the situation is incorrect.

Meanwhile, their responses cost the company money and result in compromised service for the clients. Why? Because they do not want to confront the unhappy reality of their own actions.

Here's an example:

Client X has been with my company for years. I've never spoken with them once. Suddenly, I was asked to help the sales team on a deal with this client. I delivered ahead of schedule the usual battery of information and recommendations.

The client came back and wanted some clarification and before I could give them that, someone else stepped in and took over. I was copied on all of the email exchanges, but I was no longer the point person on the deal. That's fine by me. I have plenty of other clients to support.

So, lots of phone and email conversations are going on. Suddenly, the client emails me and only me asking for information on the last email, which was directed to the person who took over.

I wrote:

It looks like there are still outstanding issues. The last update we had was the note that JOHN DOE sent out back to JANE VENDOR.

SUZY ACCOUNTMANAGER is really your contact for these things. I don't want to confuse things further by adding another chain of communication to the line, so I recommend that you continue to look to SUZY for information and follow up.

And then the shit hit the fan.

Apparently, the client was extremely displeased by this response. They went to my boss and my boss' boss complaining about it.

When I spoke with JOHN DOE, he said that I should consider the context and look at my response that way, although he agreed that my response was very professional.

Let me recap: my response is professional both in content and tone, but some how it is still unsatisfactory. You might think I'm blowing things out of proportion, but I really might be fired for this.

All because I didn't want to further dilute the chain of communication and chose to steer the client back into the channels they had been using up to this point.

JOHN DOE said that this client has caused problems like this in the past. Bear in mind that I don't know this client and I've never worked with them before, so I had no idea. JOHN DOE said that I should have realized from the numerous emails that were exchanged. Bear in mind that I was not the author of those emails and they did not contain any heated language and did not communicate any sense of urgency beyond what was already present in the project.

So, I had no way to know... but I might be fired for it.

And my boss doesn't know why I don't trust him.

To close, JOHN DOE recommended that I consider my email from the perspective of how I would like people to communicate with me. I think he meant to imply that promptly, professionally, and efficiently are the wrong answers. The problem is that I don't know any other way to get the job done.

I need to be adopted by Martha Stewart. Martha, if you're reading, I'll even call you mommy if you'd like. Just give me an $85K per annum allowance.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2005

Shrug Atlas

I was recently engaged in a rather heady and emotional conversation with a trusted and wise friend of mine about what I percieve to be a lack of purpose in my life.

I've typically stated this as not knowing what I want to be when I grow up.

Well, my friend asked me rather pointedly, "What would you do if you were fearless?" Meaning, if you weren't concerned about how you would make your mortgage payment and pay the bills and all of that stuff, what would you pursue as your profession?

I immediately responded, "I would get my doctorate in philosophy, study art, and teach." It was an easy question for me because it's what I've dreamed of doing in my retirement after I had established my wealth in my career. It seems to ideal to me because the whole of my occupation would be dedicated to reading and writing and talking about ideas. Even if no one reads or listens back, this is incredibly appealing to me almost as an exercise in itself.

And he said, "Holy crap!" because he didn't know.

The oppressive lack of satisfaction in my present career brings this all to a head.

But the proposition of going back to school for another five years and accumulating more debt and living the student-level of poverty is daunting. And don't even get me started on how bleak the employment prospects for doctors of philosophy are.

Even so, now I said it out loud and I don't see a way to avoid it. My brain is preoccupied these days with how to make this happen.

He who has "why" to live for can bear almost any "how." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:13 PM | Comments (2)

June 17, 2005

The Interview

Well, the interview was this morning. It was... strange.

First of all, I think that the guy interviewing me is someone I interviewed about two years ago. (I hope I was nice to him.)

And he was totally unprepared for the interview. He actually asked me several times what questions he should be asking me.

The pinnacle of the interview was when he asked me what I would not ordinarily say in an interview. I said, "That I'm absolutely perfect for this job. According to the job description and everything you've told me about the company, this is a perfect fit for both of us. I wouldn't ordinarily say that because it's up to you, but I'm very excited about what I've heard so far."

The interview went really well up to a point.

The point at which it went south was when he asked how much I want to make.

This is a tiny, tiny company and I believe I am too expensive. He didn't say for sure, but I got that impression rather distinctly. We'll see.

Oh, and I know you're not supposed to actually answer that question when posed, but I don't like playing games. I like it when people answer my questions directly, so I tend to answer other people directly. ("My biggest weakness is an inability to be indirect when necessary.")

So, anyway, good interview. But I'm still looking around.

Update: I just got the rejection note from the company. It was indeed my salary requirement that posed a problem. I've sent a note urging him to consider negotiating with benefits, incentives, bonuses and what not, but I'm not hopeful.

The hunts continues!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 04:27 PM | Comments (1)

June 11, 2005

Good News About My Job

No, Director Dan has not started bleeding from his eyes. No, the incompetent sales people I work with have not started bleeding from the eyes, either. You're so mean!

I have a job interview for Friday!

But don't tell anyone. I don't wanna jinx it.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:33 AM | Comments (1)

May 31, 2005

Urinal Patties

At my work, the unrinal patties are locked inside these little plastic cages. I don't like this because all those angles makes for pee splashing all over the place. To make matters worse, when the urine hits the urinal cake, it turns blue, which stains your pants legs.

Vexing though blue urine on my pant leg may be, I find myself more preoccupied by the thought that someone has to touch the patty cage to put a new one in there each time. And someone does replace them, too.

I hate my job, but I'm glad that isn't my job.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

May 19, 2005

Good Advice

Reader Victor offered good advice in response to my last post. It's so good, I'm making a post out of it.


C is for Change: Can you change your situation? Not necesarilly the situation--it may well be too late for your boss to change, but can you change anything about it? Your work style, change to a different department within the company--anything? If change is not an option, then...

A is for Accept: Can you accept the situation? Lots of things go into this decision (job market, benefits, salary), so think *hard* about it. If you can't accept it, your only option is to..

R is for Resign (or L is for leave): Seriously. If neither C nor A is a viable option, start looking for a new job--life is too short to be miserable.

Which reminds me of one of my mottos: Life is too long to be miserable.

I don't want anyone to worry about me due to my last post, though. I've made up my mind that I have to leave my company. I'm very slow moving about this stuff, so even though I landed solidly in the "disgruntled employee" category over a year ago, I'm just now getting around to applying to new jobs.

But so I am.

So, I'm not stuck and I'm not miserable. I'm just not pleased with my job. I'll fix it!

Best wishes are always welcome, though.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:39 PM | Comments (5)

May 18, 2005

Workplace Drama

OK. I haven't posted in a while because I am super busy with lots of things and the least of those things is not the drama at my work. I'll fill you in a little:

As I may or may not have made clear, I go through my day thinking that I might be fired at any moment. The reason I might be fired isn't because I do anything unethical or that I am a poor performer. The reason I might be fired is because my boss is really tempermental and I manage to piss him off with some regularity.

On more than one occasion he has said, "If I had seen you yesterday, I would have fired you." And on none of those occasions have I been very clear on why that level of rage and frustration is warranted. I usually have no idea what he's talking about and have to pow-wow with my peers after meetings to make sure we're all doing the same thing. (I'm not the only one who thinks he speaks a foreign language sometimes.) And he changes his mind a lot about what he wants. Basically, I think he's insane.

So, I avoid him when I can.

Alternatively, I've also managed to document many very egregious short-comings in my boss' performance.

Can you see where this is going?

Well, I reported him to HR and then I confided this information in two trusted coworkers.

One of them promptly told my boss. And my boss confronted me.

Naturally, he can't fire me or retaliate because I'm on record with HR.

Most people immediately ask if I talked to him about these problems first, to which I have to say I have not. And why would I? Why would I confront my boss about his faults when I believe that he will get angry and try to fire me? Why would I risk MY livelihood telling my boss that it is his responsibility to show up to the office more than just 2 business days in a week? How is it even my responsibility to tell my boss that it is unethical for him to tell my peers about how he almost fired me? Why would I think it my place to even suggest to my supervisor that complaining to the entire staff about HIS boss is improper? Especially in light of the fact that this is the same man who snapped at me, "Are you coaching me?" in one of our very first meetings when I suggested a more effective application of our email software. (He has not mastered the use of Outlook to this day.)

And isn't this what the Human Resources department is for?

Unfortunately, I actually think he's looking for a reason to fire me now, so I avoid him even more. But he's avoiding me, too. He is refusing to respond to my requests for information. He leaves me off of meeting invitations and notices the affect my job.

I didn't think work could get more miserable, but at least now my day is filled with the constant adrenaline rush because every time I hear a knock at my office door, I think it's him with a box and a pink slip.

drama drama drama...

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:05 PM | Comments (2)

April 12, 2005

Let This Be a Lesson to You

I was volunteered for some charity work through my company three years ago in a sort of auction. A couple of months ago, one of the people who purchased my services asked if the offer was still valid and I told them that it is.

The services they bought was for me to design and build a simple website for them. Sadly, when I agreed to the work, I thought others were going to assist me -- not so.

Well, now this guy wants a website for his business and I told him that I would do it as my schedule permitted. Unfortunately, my schedule has not permitted it. NOW, the guy is like, "This isn't for my personal photos. This is for a business."

And I'm like, "Understood, but you made your agreement with a charity."

The issues here are numerous, but the lesson I think people should bear in mind is that you get what you pay for. If you buy a cheap-ass website from a charity from people who didn't actually volunteer their services in the first place, you should expect rather poor service.

Ah well. We'll see what I can get done for him to get him out of the way.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2005

How do I *Feel?*

Recently, in a meeting, the question was posed to me: How do you feel about making an hour drive for a 30 minute meeting?

My response was bewilderment. "What?"

"I said, how do you feel about making an hour drive for a 30 minute meeting?"

My burden of confusion was not lightened. "How do I feel about it?"


"Well, I must say that my feelings on the matter are not very positive, but I don't think my feelings are relavent. I think it would be a good idea to finally meet you in person. I will check our calendars and see if we can make it."

See, my problem here is the question about my feelings. What of my feelings? I am shocked that anyone would be so audacious as to ask me about something so personal in a business setting.

My feelings? You're asking me this without charging me $350 an hour?

Why not ask if I would be willing to drive an hour or if I thought it worthwhile? Why ask me how I FEEEEEELLLL about it?

Until asked, I really wasn't aware of feeling anything on the matter. But since the inquiry was made I had to acknowledge that I was annoyed.

But he did say he'd buy me lunch for my trouble, so next week I'm going to drive an hour for lunch and a 30 minute meeting and then I'll drive back.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005

I Appreciate the Honesty

So, I applied for a different job within my company and I was totally stoked about it yesterday.

Today, I talked to the HR recruiter lady and she kept pointing out that they're looking for someone with X years of experience doing Y as a B-- which I don't have. I've done Y for Z years in A capacity. After she said it twice I was like, "Are you telling me I'm not qualified?"

And she was like, "Yeah. I sent it to the hiring manager, but I just don't think it's a good fit based on what they've told me to look for them."

So, I was like, "Well, I appreciate your honesty on that and at least they have my resume."

I mean, what can you do with that? *shrug* But I do appreciate her telling me rather than trying to avoid the topic.

In the meantime, I really need to get the hell out of this place. This job is not getting any better. My review is coming up (last year I was almost fired during my review -- even though the review was meets & exceeds expectations) and I'm really not expecting fireworks.

My company keeps saying they can't afford to give me fireworks and there's something about regulations.

I just think that for doing three people's jobs, I should get three people's pay and that will bring me the six figures I really think I deserve right now.

I'm not holding my breath, though. *sigh* Just a little while longer and the grand-mega-job hunt of 2005 will begin. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 08:15 PM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2005

Back for a Sec

I got in very late last night from Las Vegas. I went there for a conference.

Las Vegas -- the Strip anyway -- is really, really trite on a surface level but impressive on a business level. I really would rather have spoken with hotel management than have shopped. *shrug*

So, that's where I went and I'm back now.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2005

Be Vewwy Vewwy Quiet

I am in here working on the weekend. That is perfectly acceptable to my company, of course, because I'm salaried and don't get overtime.

But someone I hate just came in and I don't want to talk to them. They're sitting right outside of my office, so I can't leave or they will see me. So, now I have to be very quiet until I'm done working lest I be annoyed on my Sunday.


Update: I can hear him breathing and his cube is three cubes away! That's just one of the reasons I hate him; loud breathing.

Update 2: Now he's making a lot of noise. What in hell is he doing out there?

Update 3: Great. I have to pee. I wonder if I can hold it for another hour and fifteen minutes. That could be dangerous. Hmmm... I wonder if I could just pee out the window. Safety first, right?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)

January 21, 2005

At Home

I only pulled a nine-hour day today and now I'm at home with the delicious scent of a roast in the air.

I have made a personal vow to not go into work this weekend.

I'm going to go celebrate the life of a truly evil little creature who is turning 4 3 and I might see a movie and I'm going to read my books and clean my house. But I'm not going to the office!

(Reading my new work-related book doesn't count.)

Update: I got his age wrong. He's three not four. Four is the time I was to arrive. In retribution for my most grevious error, the monster farted at me -- twice. Woe is me!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 07:31 PM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2005

When Will Atlas Shrug?

I'm so sick of my job. And yet, I persist with working 10 to 14 hour days. I also work on weekends and come in on holidays.

I don't feel that I am adequately compensated for the work I do and I persist. This is the definition of sacrifice. It is not value for value.

Atlas is very unhappy about this right now!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:26 PM | Comments (1)

December 05, 2004

What's My New Career?

One of my problems is that I don't know what I want to do when I grow up -- apart from being filthy, stinking rich. So, I'm investing some time and effort into the University's Career Services opportunities.

Step one is to take one of those tests that tells you what you should look for in a job, a company, and an industry. It also recommends some jobs for you. Here's my list:

Advertising Account Management Very High Match
Information Systems Management Very High Match
Management Consulting Very High Match
Managers in Science/Engineering Very High Match
Public Relations and Communications Very High Match

Marketing and Marketing Management High Match
Research and Development Management High Match
Strategic Planning and Business Development High Match

Entrepreneurship Moderate Match
Financial Planning and Stock Brokerage Moderate Match
General Management Moderate Match
Investment Banking Moderate Match
Investment Management Moderate Match
Management of New Product Development Moderate Match
Production and Operations Management Moderate Match
Venture Capital Moderate Match

Accounting Low Match
Commercial Banking Low Match
Finance in Corporate Settings Low Match
Human Resources Management Low Match
Institutional Securities Sales Low Match
Non-Profits Low Match
Private Equity Investment Low Match
Retail Management Low Match
Sales and Sales Management Low Match
Securities Trading Low Match
Training and Organizational Development Low Match

Now, the high matches are interesting and none-too surprising, but I am amused by the low-end items.

Non-Profits. No sh!t, I would not want to work for academia, the people who give things away, or the government. Please.

Accounting: I am amused that I was even considered for this. Not only am I really bad at accounting, I really, really hate it, too.

Human Resources: I think I got ranked low on this one because I hate the human resources people in my company. They stacked the quiz against me.

Anyway, thought this was pretty cool because it's spot-on for much of the things I think about myself and about my career aspirations.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 05:16 PM | Comments (1)

November 28, 2004

Races High

Trey Givens is talking about race and it reminds me of something that happened at work the other day:

I was talking to some of my employees about my trip to El Salvador in February and one of them asked if they speak Dutch there because I'm learning Dutch. I said, "No, they speak Spanish there, but I was a Spanish minor." So, they were confused because they thought the reason I am learning Dutch is because I'm going somewhere that they speak Dutch.

I'm not. I'm just learning it because I like language.

Well, I also have a new employee who happens to have a slightly darker complexion than me. You might mistake her for Hispanic at a glance, but she's not.

So, I was joking about learning Dutch and I said with a wink, “I’ll bet she knows waar is de kruidenierswinkel.”

She turned to me and said, "I don't speak Spanish."

I said, "That was Dutch."

Then I realized that she thought that I thought she's Hispanic. Other than her skin tone, there is no reason I would think that, though. And even if she were, I have no reason to think she speaks Spanish. She has a very strong Southern drawl.

I'll bet that some people have made that mistake with her before. I'll bet she was seriously confused by my foolishness about her speaking Dutch.


This story is going no where right now because I just realized how strange it is to joke to someone about speaking Dutch for no reason at all. (I thought that's why it's funny.)

Interestingly enough, without paying any attention to race, gender or any of that stuff, I have hired the most diverse team in the office. We're a team with two Asians, a Black guy, a Jew, two women and a homo manager. The woman I hired was to replace a Hispanic guy.

HR must be peeing their pants with joy about my maintaining our Affirmative Action / EOE policy. Get over it, HR people! It's not on purpose!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2004

Let's Talk About: Boundaries

Here is an example of acceptable work conversation:

Flibby: Hello, coworker! How was your weekend?

Coworker: Dude! It was awesome! I watched the football game and we won! Yay!

Flibby: Yay!

Coworker: Yay!

See? Acceptable. Here is a sampling of the sort of conversations I have had with a certain coworker of mine.

Coworker: Hi, Flibby. *sigh*

Flibby: Hi, Coworker! How was your weekend?

Coworker: Well, I got a perforated bowel.

Flibby: Um.

Coworker: Yeah. I've been having trouble in the bathroom. You know, lots of gas and dia --

I'll stop there because I think you can see where that conversation ran afoul of convention. Here's another:

Coworker: Hi, Flibby. *sigh*

Flibby: Hi, Coworker! How was your weekend?

Coworker: Well, I got ready for my colonoscopy.

Imagine my horror.

And we talked about the colonoscopy and the bathroom problems several times. I have a rule that I do not talk about what happens to my butthole at work. Call me puritanical. I don't care. It's a rule.

There's a good chance that all kinds of horrid things will happen to my butthole in the context of receiving medical care, but I vow that my coworkers will not be privy to them.

YOU ALL, readers of my blog, may hear about them, but that's just what you get for coming here. My coworkers, though, are safe... unless they read my blog.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

One Down!

I just found out that Sam Slowchild-Atplay is leaving next month. It doesn't sound like he was fired as I had hoped, but as long as he's not here, I'm fine with that.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me!

I would like to give a big THANK YOU to one particular Senior Vice President of my company; we'll call him Bobby Badass.

Bobby Badass have clashed from time to time. He's an SVP and I'm a manager who speaks too loudly for his position in the company. It's never been personal it's just been about business stuff. I've always liked what an asshole he is. Do you know people like this?

Bobby Badass does not like it that you've chosen to complicate his life. Bobby Badass will be the first to let you know this in no uncertain terms. So, please, leave Bobby Badass alone and Bobby Badass will leave you alone.

But sometimes I've had to talk to him, so we've tried to see who can be more persnickety than the other. I like to think we share a kinship in this way.

Anyway, today, he really made my birthday something special, with just one comment.

I happen to work with a lot of sales folks who are apparently the pigeons of the corporate world. I would say they're the parrots, but parrots are able to imitate what they hear exactly. These sales people, and I don't know if most sales people are this way, can be told something a buhmillion times but they will never be able to repeat it and if they try they will get it wrong.

For example:

Flibby: We don't make Sparkle-widgets.

Salesperson: We don't?

Flibby: No. Never. The laws of physics in this Universe do not even allow for the existence of a sparkle-widget.

five minutes later on the phone with a client

Salesperson: We have these great new sparkle-widgets. Want one?

Not ALL sales folk are this way, just most of the ones I work with and some are more special than others, like the one we'll call Sam Slowchild-Atplay.

Over a period of YEARS

Flibby: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Flibby: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Flibby: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Flibby: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: We don't make sparkle-widgets.

And so on...

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: Here are two contracts for sparkle-widgets.

Flibby: What did I tell you? We don't make those.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: These are special.

Flibby: I'm sure they are since they will never, ever exist.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: Sorry, Flibby, but you're wrong. These are a special case and I got permission from someone in the powers that be in management to sell these.

Flibby: Who?

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: This one manager who knows absolutely nothing about widgets, let alone sparkle-widgets.

Flibby: Riiiiiiight. We don't make sparkle-widgets. I don't care what that other manager says.

Sam Slowchild-Atplay: Well, you can ask him about that.

Flibby: No, I won't. We don't make sparkle-widgets. I've been in a jigga-gillion meetings about sparkle-widgets and I drafted the paper explaining why the very idea of sparkle-widgets violates the laws of physics.

Further, in the last meeting I had about this, Bobby Badass backed me up.


Sam Slowchild-Atplay: That's it. I'm telling.

I have no idea what Sam Slowchild-Atplay did after that because I immediately called Bobby Badass.

Flibby: Bobby, what's going on with sparkle-widgets?

Bobby Badass: Huh? We don't make those.

Flibby: No joke. But I'm looking at two contracts for sparkle-widgets.

Bobby Badass: I don't care. We don't make those.

Flibby: I thought everyone agreed on that.

Bobby Badass: Everyone who matters does.

Flibby: Well, Sam Slowchild-Atplay has sold two of them.

Bobby Badass: We don't make sparkle-widgets. What don't you understand about that?

Flibby: I understand it and you understand it, but Sam is saying that this is "special" and that the "powers that be" have approved this.

Bobby Badass: Suddenly, the "powers that be" can change physics? I don't think so.

Flibby: Right. These contracts are for clients X and Y.

Bobby Badass: I spoke to Client X yesterday and they know they can't have it. I'm talking to Client Y tomorrow and they will not think they're getting it when I'm done.

Flibby: Right on. Well, Sam Slowchild-Atplay is out there telling people otherwise.

Now, let me interrupt, because here comes the money shot and I want to emphasize that while the above is slight exaggeration of what happened, what follows is an exact quote (except the names) by a senior vice president:

Bobby Badass: Well, if Sam Slowchild-Atplay wants to speak, he needs to speak from a position of knowledge, not one of want.

When I say things like that, I get into trouble. When Bobby Badass says things like that, I think about what it might be like to work for someone who actually says things like it is.

I think that is the best present I am going to get for my birthday this year and I can't think of anything more that I would want!

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 10:09 PM | Comments (2)

August 31, 2004


Inger Insipidemployee is at it again.

I sent a request to my team: Please develop a tool that does X, Y, and Z.

Inger: Would it be ok if it did A and B?

Me: No. X, Y, Z.

Inger: Oh. Well, I think that only a sparkle-widget will work.

Me: If a sparkle-widget will do X, Y, and Z, then that's perfect. Make one. If you can find anything else that will do X, Y, and Z, then that's perfect. Make one. I am less interested in the journey than I am the destination. Let me know when you can show me results.

This is characteristic of how I manage my team: I set broad, non-negotiable performance requirements and then I leave them alone. I judge their performance on how well they meet those requirements and nothing else. I do not interfere or dictate any particular method or approach to their work. I say: Give me X, Y, and Z and you get gold stars.

I realize that this management style does not work for everyone, but to be frank, I don't want to manage people for whom this doesn't work. This management style requires lots of independent thought. It requires that each member of my team operate as a rational, thinking ADULT.

I will not hold your hand. I will not wipe your nose. I will not tell you how to do your job, I will simply tell you TO do your job. If there is any obstacle to you doing your job, tell me. I will move it, remove it, or provide a means of circumventing it. As a manager, I consider it my primary responsibility to make sure my team can do their work. I do not consider it any part of my responsibilities to tell my team HOW to do their work.

Can you hear my frustration here? Can you sense how irritated I am that Inger doesn't get this?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 09:20 AM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2004

I Think I Work with These People

At least now I know I'm not the only person who works with a bunch of miscreants.

Trey Givens gives us How to Earn an Ass Whuppin’ in 14 Easy Steps


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

How I Was Subjected to Hate Speech

A client recently sent me the following notes regarding a website they wanted me to build for them:

HOMEPAGE: “click here for Hispanic Version”
• This could simply mirror our homepage with options to key products, services and benefits.
• Print out applications, newsletters, rates & fees in Hispanic.
• Email our Hispanic Representative for personal help.

Granted the client is a small business from a relatively small town, but I really don't think it's too much to expect that they should know that "Hispanic" isn't a language. I think they should also know that there are other people who may benefit from a section on the site in another language, like Spanish, other than just Hispanics.

I'm still trying to decide whether or not I should lend them some gentle advice on the matter, or just see what happens if I do things the way they ask...


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

Why Aren't They Fired?

I was talking to some of my classmates the other night and I was recounting some of the stories from work about people who should have been fired. They were astonished. Since this is my first job out of college, I thought it was normal for people to be able to threaten their managers with bodily harm and still retain their jobs. Silly me!

Here's a quick list of people who are either still employed with Mediocre Corp. or were able to retain their jobs for a long time before leaving on their own or someone found a loophole (as if one was needed) to fire them.

1) Larry the Lusshbossh
It was six months into my employment with Mediocre Corp before I needed to figure out how to use the fax machine. Larry, my boss' boss at the time, saw me puzzling over the contraption and came to my aide. He wasn't a lot of help really, but I did eventually get the machine to send the fax. My eyes were watering by the end of it from the vodka fumes, though, so when I got back to my desk I wrote an email to a friend that said, "Dude. My boss' boss is stinking drunk right now." It was 9AM.

Later, Kerry Coworker told me the story of how he fondled her breast. She was very happy to report him to Human Resources.

Larry wasn't fired for several months later for reasons none-too-clear.

2) Perry Pervert
Perry considers himself something of an artist. He always has some opinion about the design of this or that. It's always based on his mystical intuition of what is and is not effective.

Somehow, Perry always breaks his computer, too.

Well, once he broke his computer and the MIS guy came to clean it up before sending it back to the main office. Upon inspection he found lots of really freaky porn. Freaky like, "Most people don't think staples and labias mix, but boy are they wrong!"

Do you know the porn guy at work? I'll bet Perry has him beat because the MIS guy recognized his manager's office clock radio in the photo. You guessed it! Perry was making his own porn AT THE OFFICE!

Perry once described to Alex Traterrestrial that he was turned on when he would rub his dog's stomach and the dog would get an erection. I almost threw up right then.

3) Alex Traterrestrial
Alex is a very special person. He's the kind of person you expect to come in one day and start speaking in clicks and whistles. He very well might wear an aluminum foil hat at home. Alex also has something of a temper which makes me suspect that he might come in one day and make a collection of our eyelids if we make a false move.

Well, one day Alex got into it with a manager. He was screaming at the top of his lungs. He even got out of his chair and got toe-to-toe with the guy. Now, I'll admit that the manager was also yelling back, but the shouting match crossed a line when Alex invited the guy to step outside. When his invitation was declined he said, "I'd better not see you in the parking lot because I'm going to kick your ass when I see you outside next."

Why wasn't he fired then? I think he was put on an "action plan."

Just a few months later, he got into another shouting argument, this time with a female employee... in front of an executive vice president, who did his best to pretend like nothing was going on.

It's particularly frustrating because Alex's best work is mediocre. He doesn't follow directions and he's rude. And wierd.

Those things happened over two years ago and Alex is still with us.

4) Polly Pervert
So, you know the guy with porn at your office, do you? Do you know the woman?

Yep! It's Polly Pervert!

She would come to work with her Betty Paige lunchbox and photo album of pornography. Yep. She made her own porn, too, but fortunately not at work. She only displayed the porn at work.

Polly also worked on freelance projects all day at work and made fliers for orgies.

It was particularly amusing when her boyfriend would come in because he was always wearing some new, fish net shirt and leather pants. Sadly, her girlfriend was much more conservative in her attire.

Yep. And they all lived under the same roof.

Polly wasn't fired until she made the unfortunate mistake of sending a purchased font to someone outside the company.

5) Omar Oddball
Omar was a twin and an ugly one at that. My favorite memory of Omar was the day he came to me at the copier and said, "You should meet my brother."

"How come?"

"Because he likes to wear nice clothes and smell good."

"Oh. Um. Well. Those are two very good characteristics in a person, I guess. I have to go now."

Omar should have been fired, though, when he sent and email to a client saying that if the client didn't cooperate Omar would "swim down there and strangle him."

But he wasn't. Omar quit of his own accord six months later.

Those are the highlights for now. I still work with a gaggle of stinkers, liars, cheats, thieves, and basic idiots. I'm never sure how they manage to survive life outside of work, let alone maintain their jobs with Mediocre Corp. Then again, it's called Mediocre Corp. for a reason.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 02:25 AM | Comments (0)

When Is a Manager Not a Manager

Well, Director Dan did it to me again. He reminded me 1) I should be the boss of him and 2) I need a new job where I don't have to put up with him at all.

I like to think I'm a good manager and leader. Sure, I can be a bit hot-headed, stubborn, and insensitive from time to time, but on the whole I love my team, I respect them and their work, and I consider it my primary objective to help them do their jobs better.

Anyway, as a leader, I'm not big on the command-and-control thing. People already call me "Evil Warlord" in the office, I don't need to be a bossy big britches to encourage the image of being Mediocre Corp's own little Napoleon, although it wouldn't be very hard for me to be that way. So, instead I like to encourage my team to find the right answers themselves. (Answers I already have, of course.)

By my thinking, when a person sets their own "stretch goals" they're more likely to see them as possible than if they are handed down in edict from on high.

So, every month, my team and I sit down and look at our performance stats and set goals for the next month. The conversation usually goes:

Me: We made three widgets last month. How many do you think we can make this month?

Team: Four!

Me: Oh come on! Four? Last month the widgets you made were super-sparkle widgets and you still had plenty of time left over!

Team: That's true.

Me: So, I know you can do way better than three.

Team: What if we make 5 regular widgets and 1 super-sparkle widgets?

Me: Now we're talking. Are you sure you couldn't make 2 super-sparkle widgets?

Team: Well... if we try real hard...

And so we come to a conclusion together and they always make it. I've seen a 77% improvement in performance over the last three months alone.

So, I went to Director Dan and I said, "Hey! My team has improved by 77% over the last three months and last month they made 3 super-sparkle widgets! That's a record! Can I take them out to lunch on the company?"

Director Dan was aghast, "I don't think that 3 widgets is anything to be proud of. I'm curious to know why you think that's acceptable at all."

So, I said, "Well, 3 doesn't sound like a lot, sure, but if you look at this chart you'll see that this is actually better performance than they've ever done. Besides, we set this goal for ourselves and they made it. I think it's appropriate to reward them for meeting their goals."

Director Dan, "I'm not sure I understand why you let the team set their own goals. Buy-in is important, sure, but goals are a management decision. You tell them and they have to meet it."

At this point I'm looking for ways to bail from this conversation, "Ha! Ha! Well, I guess all those leadership classes are just getting to me!"

Then I took my team to lunch on my own dime.

Good thing I'm not trying to be Mediocre Corp's little Napoleon. Then we'd have two.

P.S. Director Dan missed two days of work this week, came in at 11 one day and at 2 another. He did make it in on time one day because our HR lady came to visit... but he left at 3.

How come I don't have this guy's job already?

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:52 AM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2004

Business as Usual

Today at Mediocre Corp. was the embodiment of the expression Same Stuff Different Day. Notable characteristic in Department X include:

- Director Dan opted to "work from home." Whatever his excuse for deciding to do so, he's the only person who has this option and he has exercised this option three times in the last five work days. Speculation is that he gets away with it because HIS boss works in a different office.

- In our staff meeting today, Director Dan referred to something he assigned to me as my "little project." We joked about it, but the adjective was particularly telling if you ask me.

- Nameless Account Rep refused to correct a problem that s/he created because it would be too embarrassing to tell the client that they messed up.

- Rollie Regulator handed down a mandate to cease and desist for a practice that could potentially be the most profitable change in Department X's product line since the company was founded. The reason? "Security." Specifically? "Security." Technically speaking? "Security." That's right. For no reason or explanation a decision was made. The topic is not open for debate. The topic is not open to reason. The topic, my friends, is closed for discussion.

- Inger Insipidemployee complained again about his performance measurements. Though everyone else meets their goals and the measurement does correllate closely with what we know about team performance Inger thinks that it's just not fair that he is expected to complete his work on time. Clearly that he is always late is a reflection of a failure in the statistics and a problem with his work load. (Inspection reveals that his workload is less than everyone else's on the team.)


I hate this stupid job. Perhaps sometime soon I will tell you about how I came to that conclusion.

What am I doing about it? I'm looking for a new one, but for the time being this is the pile of steaming poo I have to work with.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at 01:59 AM | Comments (1)