Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twas The Week Before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas, at every one's job
Not a creature is working, not Richard nor Bob.
Amazon, Zappos, and eBay we're shopping
Minimized with a click when the boss comes a' knocking. you think that you spied?
Of course not, Sir, that's your PowerPoint slides.
Now it's off to a two hour lunch and some drinks
Followed, to be honest, by forty afternoon winks.

But over by reception there arose such a clatter,
That I sprang from my cube to see what was the matter.
Away to the front desk I flew like a bird
Pushed aside Carl and shoved past some nerd!

Two more gift baskets had just been delivered
The cheese being ransacked, the sausages slivered.
When what to my wondering eyes was revealed?
A client with the foresight to send Mrs. Fields!

With peanut butter, chocolate, and Macadamia nuts,
I knew in a moment we'd fill up our guts.
More rapid than eagles they coursed down our throats
Our teeth snugly wrapped in their sugary coats.

"Now Marilyn! Now Amber! Now get back to work!
On Susan! On Celia! I pay you, you jerks!"
It's the boss come back early to spoil our fun
Not to worry, my friends, he's got more meetings at one.

We shall run out to Starbucks for lattes so tall,
That the clients won't get their Fed Exes at all.
Sixteen new voice mails that shall never be heard
Face facts you losers, it's December twenty-third!

Dictation tapes lay in an unwanted pile
My filing could stretch down the road half a mile.
But it all will be here when the holiday's through
So screw it for now. That's it. Woo hoo!

The clock turns to five and we sprint to our rides
The icy grip of the office still nipping our hides.
And you'll hear us exclaim, as we peel out of Hell

"Happy Christmas to all! Don't you dare call my cell!"

How I received one of my Christmas presents

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome! The Murderous Rampage Just Ended

It's so good to finally meet you!  Can I get you some water or a coffee?  Please, have a seat next to the chalk outline of our last Administrative Assistant, and I will be back in a jiffy. 

Love that sweater, by the way.  Ann Taylor?  Just as soon as I get this blood stained paperwork out of the way we can get started.  We've been swamped this morning, what with the arrest, the questioning, the police shootout. You know how Mondays can be.  Especially now that we're down a person. 
Let me just start by saying that we have a real good group of folks here.  Richard, the gentleman you saw being led out in handcuffs, he'll be your immediate supervisor.  Unfortunately he can't be here to meet with you right now - personal matter - but with any luck he'll plead self defense and be back in time to start your training.  That other man, the one who ran by like a rabid dog, that's Dave.  You'll be working closely with him as well.  He's frothing at the mouth right now, but after the inevitable restraining order that you will have placed on him is lifted, you'll find he's a real pleasure to work with.  God love him, it's like he doesn't even remember decapitating the Fed Ex guy.  So, do you have kids?

The position itself involves pretty basic administrative work.  Data entry, filing, never and I mean never looking inside the second floor broom closet, I swear to God if you touch that closet you will not live to see the light of day, answering phones, opening mail, you get the picture.  It's not glamorous work, but we make an honest living here.  Are you feeling okay?  If the mutilated Cabbage Patch dolls are making you uncomfortable, feel free to place them on the floor with the others.
We also offer an excellent benefits package that includes seven million dollars toward legal fees, a safe house in Stockhol - oh, pardon me, that's our Project Manager's benefits package. For an Administrative Assistant we offer two weeks vacation, unlimited visits to the emergency room, and access to our wonderfully secluded vacation home in Maine should we ever need to imprison -  I mean reward - you for your dedication.  That lake is gorgeous, and so very deep. 

One last thing, it's really just a technicality, but I will need to check your references before we can offer you the position.  The last thing we need is to hire ourselves a nut job. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Joy of Office Secret Santa

Every Christmas the girls in my office used to do a Secret Santa swap. We are a small office, so this usually worked out to be four admins, the receptionist, and the token female CAD worker that my company keeps on hand to fend off affirmative action. A few years ago, we made the unfortunate decision to end the Secret Santa tradition. The reason had something to do with saving money, or saving time, but I can tell you that one year I received a cookie jar in the form of a cat wearing a Christmas sweater, so it sure as hell wasn't my idea to pull the plug. Cookie jars shaped like cats in Christmas sweaters were put on this planet, and the clearance aisle of Ocean State Job Lot, to be made fun of. I talked about that cookie jar for months. I photographed my cat looking at that cookie jar with an expression on his face that said "I hope you didn't bring this broad home for me." Right up until the moment that the Salvation Army truck hauled its ugly ass away, that cookie jar brought me tidings of great joy.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of the Secret Santa swap. Sometimes you get something good and sometimes you get something horrid. Sometimes the woman who wears Gucci boots pulls your name, and sometimes it's the woman who wears pink corduroy overalls. Life is a crapshoot and Secret Santa is filled with crap. But at least it gave us a few minutes of giggly anticipation and holiday cheer in the conference room, and to me that was well worth the twenty-five bucks.
I bring tidings of great joy, and a tinny version of Don't Worry Be Happy
Now the only tradition left is that all the girls chip in to purchase a gift for our Branch Manager - a gift that usually costs us more than the $25 Secret Santa swap would have. He is supremely wealthy and we are all terrified of him. How the holiday joy abounds! My thought is that he could probably live without another gift card to that place where you get your hair cut by a woman in spandex shorts, and we could reinstate our little gift exchange. Perhaps then, instead of wanting to stick my foot out as he walks past my cubicle with yet another new golf club perched upon his shoulder, I could tip my hat, tuck a festively wrapped Big Mouth Billy Bass underneath my arm, and head gleefully into the conference room.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Alchemist

My brother-in-law the teacher, the one with the schedule all us office workers are insanely jealous of, recommended this book to me.  I was hooked within minutes of reading the introduction, and continued on with little voices shouting "yes!" and  "so true!" in my head the entire time.  It is about a shepherd boy who literally follows his dream - a dream that tells him he will find a buried treasure at the pyramids in Egypt.  Along the way he meets characters who teach him about the importance of not giving up because the very next time that you try could be the time that you will succeed.  The book is an allegory and gets deeply philosophical at times, but the message is very basic and unbelievably inspirational. 

And now blog readers, consisting of my mother and possibly one coworker, I am going to put my latest goal up on the Internet so that I will have to answer to someone besides myself if I don't at least pursue it.  I wrote a novel a few years ago about an unhappy secretary.  I wrote for a year straight and then put it away and haven't thought about it since.  I recently entered it into a contest, and although I didn't make it to the final round, I received surprisingly good reviews from the judges.  And so, thanks to finishing The Alchemist right before my contest results arrived, I am vowing to take my novel out and spruce the old girl up. 

But my goal is bigger than that.  I say that one year from today I will have found myself an agent who is willing to work with me to find a publisher.  If little Santiago the shepherd boy can trek across the desert in the middle of tribal wars, then I can certainly give up watching The Sing Off in order to work on my book. 

See you back here in a year.

Area Plan Considers Options

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


There is some leftover mustard and mayonnaise in the kitchen. No sandwiches.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This is a picture of a non-functioning thermostat. Next up, a picture of my non-functioning frozen corpse.

Monday, December 6, 2010


A mere four months after system failure, someone has finally come to fix the toilets.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Coworker's Creepiness Destroying Other People's Friendships

December 5, 2010

Boston, MA - Over the course of four years, office creep, Marty Thompson, 56, has singlehandedly ended the innocent friendships of four grossed out administrative assistants.

"Any time Tracy and I were talking, he would just appear out of nowhere and make a comment about how we're always together," said Annabeth Spencer, 29. "Then he would make a joke about how he was going to tell on us to our boss. He was practically drooling all over his scraggly beard."

"We decided that it was best if we never spoke to each other again," said Tracy Johnson, 28. "All I need is for that guy to picture us having a pajama party."

Over the years, several other administrative assistants have called it quits on their friendships due to Thompsons unwelcome remarks and the fact that he drives a 1997 Lincoln Towncar with a green wash cloth on the dashboard.

"Megan Riley and I used to be great friends," said Ariana Benson, 25, "until that day Marty walked by while I was cutting a tag out of her sweater and asked if we needed any help."

"Never again," said Megan. "It's not worth it. Now I just hang out with Rob Markowski in IT. He has acne. Wait, could he be into that too?"

While Thompson has never formally been charged with sexual harassment, he has been unable to escape his image as a total skeezoid loser. Neither his black tapered jeans and Miami Dolphins jacket combo, nor the nude mannequin legs in his back seat, have helped in shedding the debilitating label.

When approached for comment, Thompson locked himself inside his office either to review invoices or to watch video feed from the first floor ladies restroom.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Will Say This One Time Only

I was in the toasty warm plotter room all by myself this morning with my McDonald's coffee, making copies of some plans, and I thought, just for a minute, "It could be a lot worse."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Local Admin Can't Just Sit Around Eating Turkey All Day Like Those Pilgrims

From behind a steaming cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and an onion bagel with cream cheese, Administrative Assistant, Marjorie Bangs, 43, declared that while the Pilgrims certainly had some challenges of their own, they would never be able to survive a day in her shoes.  "Sure they gave up everything to crowd onto a ship for two months with nothing to eat but salted fish and maggot infested biscuits," said Bangs, taking a few moments to reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday.  "But did they ever have to deal with Steve's moods on a Monday morning?" 

When not chowing down on breakfast pastries, Bangs can be found ordering toner cartridges and printing out Mapquest directions - tasks she ranks above that of our forefather's quest for religious freedom.  "The Pilgrims didn't know what to expect.  There could just as easily been elves with welcome baskets full of homemade jellies waiting in the woods as there were Indians with deadly bows and arrows. So what was there to be afraid of?  Me on the other hand, if I accidentally type in Oak Terrace instead of Oak Street, and Steve is late for his meeting, I know exactly what's going to happen."  Bangs demonstrated her point by making a "knife across the throat" motion.

While Bangs acknowledges that brutal conditions resulted in the death of 47% of settlers, she also notes that it is up to her alone to remind boss, Steve Carlson, that if he doesn't schedule his colonoscopy soon, all the November appointments will be taken.  "The Pilgrims didn't even have appointments," she added. "And if they did, they had plenty of Pilgrim women to help them out. Those women didn't have anything else to do.  Here, it's just me."  When informed that fourteen of the Pilgrim women died of hypothermia, scurvy, and diarrhea during the first winter, leaving a mere four women to nurse and cook for an entire colony, Bangs made a point of mentioning how she utilizes hand sanitizer and always keeps a cardigan on the back of her chair.  "It gets chilly in here so you have to know how to take care of yourself in the winter.  Especially when you're just sitting for hours at a time."

"Look," said Bangs, "I appreciate everything those people did for our country.  But it was simpler times back then.  Some days I'll be juggling three things at once while Steve is breathing down my neck to do things his way. It's always got to be his way.  I have no freedom here.  The Pilgrims worked hard and all, but they never had to deal with this kind of persecution." 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Secretary4Life's Thanksgiving Table, Literally

In order to improve our lousy, ungrateful, attitudes, a fellow administrative assistant suggested that each day we try to think of something that we are thankful for at work (besides a paycheck).  As everybody knows, there is no better time than Thanksgiving to be halfheartedly thankful for all the things that you sort of appreciate around the office.  And if forcing myself to come up with positive things to say about secretarial work passes the time until I'm sinking my teeth into a juicy turkey dinner, then let's get started:

Item of Thankfulness

Thankfulness Meter

Last week I was thankful for the leftover pickles and Cheetos I found in the kitchen.  
Right before that discovery I was thankful for my Starbucks coffee. 


After mixing the three together, not so thankful. 


We are both thankful that we didn't work as secretaries before photocopiers were invented.  If somebody needed ten copies did the secretary have to type up ten copies?  Or did bosses not even ask for ten copies because they could instead chase you around the desk grabbing at your ass?  It seems likely that in a time of unrestricted sexual harassment, secretaries may have had it made.


Thankfulness re-evaluated and canceled out


My admin friend is thankful that I taught her "Alt-0176" makes the "degree" symbol in Word.  Okay look, I'm thankful when the IT guy fixes my printer and when I remember how to freeze panes in Excel, but I'm not about to bring it up over Thanksgiving dinner.


Thankfulness exaggerated


I am thankful for the free packets of Advil in the kitchen. It's nice of this place to say "We realize we are causing you physical pain, we accept it, and here is a little something to treat the symptoms instead of solving the underlying problem." 


Thankfulness depressing and accompanied by a shoulder shrug


My admin friend is grateful that there are bowls of Halloween candy around the office. Though yesterday she said, and I quote, "I'm about to puke from eating Halloween candy, don't let me eat any more no matter what I say or do." 


Thankfulness self-destructive


I am thankful that none of the barf-worthy insects in my cubicle have ever crawled out of something I was holding.


Thankfulness sincere


Finally, I'm thankful that I get the day after Thanksgiving off.  Nameless satanic corporation that I work for, in this one instance you are relatively decent.  I won't even bring up the fact that you have no respect for MLK Jr., Washington, Lincoln, Columbus, and all war veterans. 


Thankfulness bittersweet, slightly resentful, but genuine



Happy Thanksgiving everybody.  Enjoy your time off, and remember, the pilgrims worked way harder than you ever will.


I'm working today so that veterans may have plenty of expanded Walmarts and remodeled McDonalds at their disposal. It's the least we can do.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Most Awesomest Thing Ever

If you've ever wanted to decide which one is awesomer, Vikings or Muhammad Ali, now is your chance!

At The Most Awesomest Thing Ever you can vote endlessly on these types of things.  Hobbits or a nap? Kimmy Gibbler or onion rings?  They are all duking it out for the title of the Awesomest Thing Ever, with results for the day, the week, and all time.  It's all up to you!  Getting fired for spending three hours on this site, however, that's up to your boss.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Knew The Sun Was a Jerk Ever Since It Killed Me in Super Mario 3

Ok look, Sun, enough with this game.  Alright?  Just because you support all life on Earth and without you every terrestrial being would basically curl up and die, does that  mean you have to be such a bitch during our commute?  Here we are, just trying to get home to our families after slaving away at our jobs, and there you are, dead center of I-495, being nothing but a total wanker.  "Oooh look at me, I use nuclear fusion to produce kinetic energy!"  Big deal.  I could have done that in ninth grade.  Nobody's impressed by you, Sun.  Not when traffic comes to a screeching halt every time we drive around a bend and your blazing jerk rays reappear. Maybe you were hot stuff back at 12:00 p.m. when all the doctor's wives and college kids were lazing around the beach basking in your holier-than-thou rays, but guess what?  It's 5:00 p.m.  Get over yourself and just set already.  I didn't leave work so I could get my eyeballs scorched, rear-end somebody, veer off the road, and land in a tree.  And I especially didn't leave work so I could spend the rest of my night trying to watch Project Runway with a major headache.  You're sick, man.  Sick. 


I don't know, maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that nobody's ever told you this before.  So I'm going to tell you now, as a friend.  People don't like it when other people get all up in their faces.  And they definitely don't like it when a 9,941 degree blazing ball of turds does it while they're trying to drive.   I'm sorry, I went too far.  Don't get mad.  Until I can get over to Target and pick up some Vitamin D supplements, I need you in my life.  I don't want this to get awkward.  


What the...are you laughing up there?  My rods and cones are at stake and you think this is some kind of joke?  Look buddy, not all of us have 5 billion more years to just dick around in the sky.  Why don't you get your yellow ass down here and fight me?  Let's end this once and for all.  Let's see who the real G-type main sequence star really is.  


For somebody who's 8.31 light minutes away, you sure know how to get on my nerves. 



According to Google Analytics, somebody found my blog by googling "making fun of secretaries." As if we don't already have it hard enough.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Oftentimes I sit here at my desk and wish that I had majored in whatever it is that you people do here at this place that I come to every morning. I think that if I had just majored in cartography or insectology or immunology, or...what? Engineering? Civil engineering, for real? I never would have guessed that. Anyway, if I had just majored in civil insectology, I think that I could have made a real difference in the world, rather than just sitting here typing these boring Word documents. I mean I could have been the one out there surveying dalmations or dissecting crustaceans or...what? That's what you guys do? Wow, I wasn't even close.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dr. Albus Dumbledorf, DMD, Totally Unaware of Harry Potter

October 27, 2010

Utica, NY - Dr. Albus P. Dumbledorf, D.M.D., a Utica, NY orthodontist for over 26 years, has expressed bewilderment at the substantial rise in patients he has seen over the past seven years.

"It's like some magical force has been drawing children to my practice," said Dumbledorf, a tall, graying man, with crescent shaped spectacles. "This one child took my picture and said he was going to 'post' it to 'Facebook.' Facebook? I don't know, I just talk to my colleagues using these state of the art video phones that I've mounted on the walls of my office. Look, there's Dr. Weinstein, he's waving to us."

With the recent increase in patients, Dr. Dumbledorf has been able to hire several new staff members including Rubeus Hagridson, a foreboding but loveable once you get to know him x-ray tech, and Hermione Grangeroni, the smart as a whip but not quite there yet in the looks department receptionist.

"I don't really understand what it is," said Dumbledorf. "But my local colleagues, who have gone so far as giving out free orthodontia themed stickers, have still not experienced the type of surge that we have. It makes you wonder if something else is going on."

When approached for comment, children in the waiting room admitted that while they love Dr. Dumbledorf, and that it's a real shame he has to die in book six, if he tightens their braces one more time he's probably gonna get kicked.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Actually I Can Very Easily Believe That it's Been Five Years

Thank you all for the cake, and the kind words.  But actually, yes, I can believe that it's been five years.  Five days a week, 52 weeks a year, 2,080 hours, 37 million excruciating seconds.  It's not exactly believing in Santa Claus, just some simple math.  Thank you, Pam, I know that I haven't aged a day since I first walked in the door.  That's very sweet of you to say.  But on the inside, a good fifteen years have been whittled off my life - fifteen years chipped away like ice from my windshield on exactly 243 frigid winter mornings.  I can, without any trouble, believe that it's already been 334 wasted summer days, 20 working holidays, and 260 Sunday nights spent crying myself to sleep.  In fact, I keep a tally right here in my calendar, see? 


No, Bob, time really didn't fly by.  Monday coughed up Tuesday, Tuesday farted out the horror that is Wednesday, Wednesday vomited up a big mess of Thursday, and so on.  Over and over again each day came on more nightmarishly boring than the last, creeping slowly toward a whopping three weeks vacation and one extra personal day.  Huh? There's no extra personal day?  Oh you son of a - What's that, Mike?  It seems like just yesterday that I was learning the ropes?  Actually yesterday, the day that I spent my lunch hour photocopying status reports, feels a lot more like yesterday.  Five years ago feels like fifty years ago.  I mean, my God, I can't even remember a time when I didn't know every single one of your faces and disgusting personal habits.  The engraved clock is lovely, by the way.  Thank you.  I will put it in my living room.


So really, I just want to say that you have all been so helpful in making each and every minute of the past five years last twice as long as it needed to.  Barbara, the day that I showed you four times how to email a simple Word document, turned an ordinary Tuesday into a sheer time warp to Hell.  And Carl, without your constant personal phone calls I would never have appreciated the beauty of sitting silently in traffic, staring straight ahead, and wishing that a meteor would blast my car to smithereens.  Thank you all.  Each and every soul-killing one of you.  


Who wants cake? 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fast Food Workers Not Jealous of You, Not One Bit

October 20, 2010 

Boston, MA - In a recent study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was revealed that fast food workers employed in the vicinity of your office building are in no way jealous of you, not one bit.  The study, which interviewed fast food workers in every single business district on Earth, was originally intended to measure job satisfaction among those earning minimum wage.  But in an unprecedented twist, all questions regarding job satisfaction resulted in the same response - "I am so glad to not be like them."  This statement was typically followed by the employee pointing toward the registers where any number of knee-length wool trench coat wearing middle-managers were waiting to order. 

"At first, I envied them," said an anonymous Chipotle worker, possibly from the one that you go to. "They'd come in with their Blackberries, looking like they had it all. Talking real loud about things I didn't understand. And I thought for a while that maybe I should go back to school and try to get a job like that. But then, just as I handed one of them their barbacoa burrito bowl, I noticed his eyes. Dead, hollow. As if all the sadness in the world had been funneled straight into his soul.  And the air seemed to get, I don't know, colder it seemed.  I don't like to think about it, I'm sorry...I gotta go squash up some avocados."

Director of the study, Andrew Smithfield, was surprised to find that it was actually the downtown areas where fast food employees showed the greatest satisfaction with their jobs. 

"A finding like that is probably due to the fact that the douchiest attorneys work downtown," said Smithfield. "The presence of those types of assholes, plus totally hideous looking City Hall employees, tends to make fast food workers more appreciative of their jobs." 

"Sure some of them come in and yell at us because they ordered no onions, or they found a Bandaid in their fries," said an anonymous Burger King worker. "But at the end of the day, who's the one having a heart attack at fifty? Not me. Plus, I get all the free Quad Stackers I can eat."


I hope these little pockets are big enough to hold 3 dozen Reading Railroads.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Monday

My cat coughed up some heart shaped vomit last night for my wedding anniversary.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This sounds like one of my exaggerations ("today I used 14,000 paperclips), but I seriously just used 2,000 sheets of paper for a project with a company who claims to be green. A major company. BIG.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A bee appears to have committed suicide in my cubicle.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Secretary4Life Daily News

McDonald's Monopoly Game Last Chance for Success in Life

October 11, 2010

Boston, MA - After exhausting all other opportunities to become successful in life, administrative assisant Donna Porter, 56, has come to the conclusion that winning any of the prizes in McDonald's 2010 Monopoly game will be the best thing she can ever expect to happen to her.

Over the years Porter has considered a myriad of new career paths, but lacked the initiative to follow through with any of them. In 2004, after caring for an ill grandparent with the utmost compassion, Porter enrolled in a nursing program at North Shore Community College. She later dropped out due to the mention of a ten page term paper on her Anatomy & Physiology syllabus.

"On weekends I go onto Craigs List," said Porter, "and try to meet up with other people who might have found the rarer pieces." With no other current goals, Porter is able to spend up to 6 hours per day tracking down the elusive pieces.

In 1994 Porter finished writing a novel about a teenage vampire who falls madly in love with a mortal girl. After receiving two rejections letters, Porter accepted the idea that "Dusk" was silly and probably unsaleable.

"You can get pieces on the Filet o' Fish, a large fry, a Quarter, not a Quarter Pounder, a Big Mac, and also the McGriddle," said Porter. "So, I could play three times a day if I wanted to. And why not? If you want to become the successful owner of a 2011 Ford Edge, you've really got to put in the effort."

"Look," said Porter, tearing into her second box of McNuggets, "not everyone is meant to find success with a fancy career or a best selling novel. If I could get my hands on that $5,000 Walmart shopping spree, I would finally feel that I made it."

"Shit," she added. "Baltic."

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Sometimes I think about going into early childhood education, like working with 0 - 2 year olds.  But I'm still not sure if I can stand other people's kids.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Secretary4Life has made it to 201 Twitter followers! Now for the real any of them actually read my blog? I mean, I have photos of pushpins for cripes sake.

Pushpins Just Awkwardly Hanging Around

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Secretary4Life Daily News

Co-worker's Unmarked Package Almost Definitely Erectile Dysfunction Medication

October 5, 2010

Boston, MA - Mail carrier Jim Granger, 37, voiced suspicion on Monday that the unmarked packages delivered monthly to Weinstein-Fleiss employee Richard Wire are almost definitely erectile dysfunction medication. 

"Once a month, like clockwork, he gets this weird package wrapped in plain brown paper," said Granger. "I mean, plain brown paper? They may as well just stamp a picture of his non-functioning ding-dong right on there."

The suspicious package is usually postmarked from Detroit and yields no helpful clues when shaken or thumped. Receptionist Marie Baxter, 30, attempted to confirm the package's contents by "accidentally" tearing the paper and claiming that she thought it was a sweater she had ordered from Ann Taylor. Unfortunately a second unmarked box was found underneath the plain brown paper.

When reached for comment, Wire said that he wished the receptionist would just give him his contact lenses without all the strange looks.


Eagerly counting down the minutes until I get to leave work for my doctor's appointment. Yes, childhood version of myself, this is how your career turned out - wishing you were at the doctor's office.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Secretary4Life Daily News

Even Ficus Tree Bored Out Of Its God Damned Mind

October 4, 2010

Boston, MA - After three years of being stationed outside of that moron Scott Winston's cubicle, a 6-foot ficus tree has confirmed that if it has to spend another minute in this place it's going to lose its God damned mind.

"Day in and day out it's the same old shit with these people," said the ficus. "And God forbid that fat ass should ever take five minutes out of his precious day to hold a conversation. Unless there are Snickers bars dangling from my limbs he ain't interested."

Sources have confirmed that part of receptionist Marcy Brown's job description includes watering the disgruntled ficus once a week.

"Yeah that broad waters me, big deal. They expect me to hang around all week waiting for it like it's the second coming of Christ? Whoopty doo."

In a memo to Branch Manager Robert St. George that was never written because trees cannot write, the ficus expressed its opinion of how everybody in the office is either a total blowhard, major dipshit, or boring enough to make it just quit photosynthesizing and die.

"You think I want to waste my energy converting carbon dioxide into sugars so I can sit here and listen to these zombies talk about grabbing the low-hanging fruit?" said the ficus. "I'm a f#cking tree and even I don't give a rat's ass about low-hanging fruit."

"Get a life," it added.

"You know, I've got a sister adorning the lobby of Google out in California.  Every day I wonder how it is I ended up here."

As of press time, the ficus tree was considering going back to school for a teaching degree once it figures out how the hell to get to the elevator.


There's a bug in the bathroom and I really want to say to him "Look man, you can go anywhere you want. You're a bug for Christ sake. What the f#$k are you doing here? Go outside where it doesn't still smell like some fat lady's BO half an hour after she's left the bathroom."

Thursday, September 30, 2010


There is a Poland Spring delivery schedule on the refrigerator from 2007. I've never noticed this before, and it's the only thing on the fridge.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Losing The Biggest Loser

As someone who spends 8 hours a day rotting her brain with filing and paperwork, when I go home at night I like to continue to rot my brain with some television. There are only a handful of shows that I watch regularly, and for the past year The Biggest Loser was one of them. I tuned in to Season 10 last night only to turn it off 45 minutes later totally disgusted with NBC and possibly all of humanity, though maybe I shouldn't lump those two entities together.

1) Almost every single contestant, or potential contestant, had a heart-wrenching tragedy in their life to tell us about. In a typical season there's usually one or two people who have had something terrible happen which leads to their issues with food. But if you wanted to make it on Season 10 the mere fact that you have to ride a scooter around Walmart isn't tragic enough. Nope, if you're 450 lbs and your mother didn't die on your 10th birthday, or your dog didn't get hit by a bus while you were giving CPR to your blind sister (who later died), then forget it. There was cancer, there was SIDS, there were drownings, and beatings, and just an entire Lifetime Movie Network database full of depressing shit, and I really just couldn't take it anymore.

2) The way that they chose the contestants was so horrible and stupid. They chose three people to do a "step challenge" where they had to walk up and down a step 100 times. The first two people to get to 100 got to be on the show. Therefore, the fattest and most out of shape person has no chance in hell of not finishing last. They get all excited about how they're going to finally turn their life around, then they fail the challenge and get sent home because they're too fat. Meanwhile, some lady who weighs 230 lbs, which is nothing for this show, gets whisked off in a limousine. Way to go Bob & Jillian, way to change America.

Some cities had a different challenge that was even worse - the three contestants had to run a mile. One guy fell smack on his face TWICE and practically went into cardiac arrest. Then, as suspected, he didn't make it onto the show. Then everybody who lost gets a little pep talk from Bob who says "You need to lose weight or you're going to die. Unfortunately our asshole producers thought we'd get more ratings starting the season like this. Here's a couple of Subway coupons."

So I shut it off and I'm not sure if I'll ever put it back on again. I could end this post by saying I'll instead use those two hours to get some exercise, but why end on a lie.   

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yes, I Would Love To Listen to Your Voice Against My Will

For most people, putting on a pair of headphones is associated with listening to relaxing music or settling down for an in-flight movie.  But to a secretary, headphones are associated with none other than the Panasonic Microcassette Transcriber featuring back space control, quick erase, and totally uncool technology.

With this handy transcriber, management is able to transmit the most irritating sounds in existence directly into their secretary's ear canal.  When those headphones are strapped to her head, she may as well prepare for 10-60 minutes of pure torture at the hands of Irritating Dictaphone Guys:

The Bore - What's worse than having to transcribe a document that you neither care about nor understand? Having it read to you by Ben Stein.  Being trapped at your desk, listening to a monotone drone on and on for eternity about pipes and gravel pits, will no doubt have you testing how many times you can wrap a headphone cord around your neck.

The Mumbler - The Mumbler records his tapes with a mouthful of sweatsocks or with his recorder stuffed in a basket of laundry.  Also in this category falls the guy who records his tapes "on the go" so that every other word is muffled by the sound of windshield wipers, ambulances, or terminal velocity.

The Stumbler - The Stumbler neither knows about, nor cares to learn about, the rewind button.  When a regular person botches a sentence they rewind the tape and record over their mistake.  The stumbler will instead use phrases like "scratch that" or "uuhhhh" to indicate that his secretary should go back and make a correction. Where exactly the correction is to go is never fully identified.

The Homeless Guy- The Homeless Guy includes anybody who wheezes, coughs, hacks, sneezes, snorts, or, in extreme cases, vomits into their dictaphone.  With time, just the sound of a Homeless Guy opening and closing his recorder will give his secretary the heebie jeebies.

Unpredictable Heart Attack Guy  - Surprise surprise, but Unpredictable Heart Attack Guy wins the award for best kind of dictaphone guy.  He is stressed out, sweaty, and tends to swear.  And so help me God, nothing breaks up a document about pipes and gravel pits like an unexpected "what the f#ck?!", the sound of a pencil cup and 100 Bics hitting the floor, or hearing a client referred to as "that <insert highly offensive derogatory term here>."  HR may have a problem with his methods, but to a secretary subjected to any of the above, he is truly a breath of fresh air.

Data Entry

I've entered in 626 lines of data and shot 626 laser beams out of my eyeballs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

I love being asked to file something like this. There ain't a manilla folder in the world large enough for this shit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes, I Would Love to Listen to Your Voice Against My Will

For most people, putting on a pair of headphones is associated with listening to relaxing music or settling down for an in-flight movie. But to a secretary, headphones are associated with none other than the Panasonic Microcassette Transcriber featuring back space control, quick erase, and totally uncool technology.

With this handy transcriber, management is able to transmit the most irritating sounds in existence directly into their secretary's ear canal. When those headphones are strapped to her head, she may as well prepare for 10-60 minutes of pure torture at the hands of Irritating Dictaphone Guys: 

The Bore - What's worse than having to transcribe a document that you neither care about nor understand? Having it read to you by Ben Stein. Being trapped at your desk, listening to a monotone drone on and on for eternity about pipes and gravel pits, will no doubt have you testing how many times you can wrap a headphone cord around your neck. 

The Mumbler - The Mumbler records his tapes with a mouthful of sweatsocks or with his recorder stuffed in a basket of laundry. Also in this category falls the guy who records his tapes "on the go" so that every other word is muffled by the sound of windshield wipers, ambulances, or terminal velocity. 

The Stumbler - The Stumbler neither knows about, nor cares to learn about, the rewind button. When a regular person botches a sentence they rewind the tape and record over their mistake. The stumbler will instead use phrases like "scratch that" or "uuhhhh" to indicate that his secretary should go back and make a correction. Where exactly the correction is to go is never fully identified. 

The Homeless Guy- The Homeless Guy includes anybody who wheezes, coughs, hacks, sneezes, snorts, or, in extreme cases, vomits into their dictaphone. With time, just the sound of a Homeless Guy opening and closing his recorder will give his secretary the heebie jeebies. 

Unpredictable Heart Attack Guy - Surprise surprise, but Unpredictable Heart Attack Guy wins the award for best kind of dictaphone guy. He is stressed out, sweaty, and tends to swear. And so help me God, nothing breaks up a document about pipes and gravel pits like an unexpected "what the f#ck?!", the sound of a pencil cup and 100 Bics hitting the floor, or hearing a client referred to as "that [insert highly offensive derogatory term here]." 

HR may have a problem with his methods, but to a secretary subjected to any of the above, he is truly a breath of fresh air.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Secretary4Life Daily News

Storage Room to Become New Guy's Office
September 9, 2010

Boston, MA - In an unprecedented decision by management on Wednesday, administrative assistants Danielle Rogers and Janet Wong spent the morning hauling heavy assed boxes of shit out of the storage room at Shepherd & Locke Law Offices.

"They told us some new guy's starting on Monday and that we better get this place cleaned out before we go to lunch," said Rogers, 24. "I don't know if he's somebody's nephew or what, but new people usually just get one of the empty cubicles. I kind of hate him already."

"Michael Watson comes to us with 15 years litigation experience in dog and small animal hoarding," said manager, Stuart Block, 54. "He really has what it takes to make it in this firm and we want to offer him the very best that we have."

The best that Shepherd & Locke has will come replete with windows, an electric pencil sharpener, and a chair that was wheeled in from the conference room.

"I'm pretty sure something died in here last summer," said Wong, 37. "Isn't that right, Danielle? I remember the exterminators were here for like, ever."

According to sources, upon moving into his new office Watson will also be offered a company credit card, a company car, and a welcome lunch at one of the hottest spots in the Financial District.

"He's just, he's just...he's really cutthroat," said Block. "I mean, we can't mess this up. We can't mess this up, or else we're done. The company's done."

"So we basically had to drag 150 boxes into that pile over there so this jackass can have a nice place to update his Facebook status," said Rogers, rolling her eyes. "But whatever. It's his funeral. Who wants Quizno's?"

As of press time, Watson was still weighing his other options before deciding if he will show up to work on Monday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We received an email from IT about how our Internet connection would be down at 6:00 p.m. We were advised to plan accordingly. I think that if a person from the 1950s read that email they would be more confused about why people are still working at 6:00 p.m. than about that thing called the "Internet."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2 year olds in Indonesia are way more sophisticated than your kids

In my infinite boredom today I came across an article about this baby in Indonesia who is a chainsmoker. He recently went to rehab and hasn't smoked in a month, but there is concern that when he returns to his village he will be faced with too much temptation and start smoking again.  Um, is it really that hard to keep cigarettes from a 2 year old?  I have an 11 month old who, if I poured cheese puffs and chocolate cake all over the floor, might have a hard time resisting temptation.  So being the stellar mom that I am, I keep that shit in a cabinet.  Done. And not only does this kid have access to cigarettes, but he's gotta have a lighter too, right?  There's another no-no: kids playing with matches.  I mean he could accidentally burn down his whole village, including the Burger King that he apparently eats at every day.  Quick, somebody find this kid a Walmart.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


We drove past a strip club this weekend, on our way to Babies R Us or something, and the sign outside said "Cold Women, Warm Beers."  I wish I'd gotten a picture, but we didn't feel like pulling over in front of a strip club to take photos.  But I assure you, it was awesome.  I'll give the strip club maintenance guy the benefit of the doubt and assume that somebody rearranged the words as a joke.  But who knows since every time I drive by a Burger King there's usually an extra space between the "W" and the "H" in Whopper and the "W" is actually an upside down "M".  Not to look down on the skills or career choice of billboard letter putter-upper guys.  At least they get some fresh air.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Live (and file) Dangerously

1) Climbing Mt. Washington
2) Childbirth
3) Filing 

No, this is not a list of my three life goals.  Thank you for thinking that filing is one of my life goals.  This is a list of the top three most exhausting and dangerous things I've ever done. While climbing Mt. Washington certainly came with its own risks (i.e. freezing to death and bears), and childbirth by C-section was no picnic (yes doctor, please do put my uterus back in), filing (particularly shifting files in order to make room for more) has the potential for some serious injuries all its own.  First of all, we're not talking about a few manila folders here. We're talking folders that are a foot wide and weighing in at 25 lbs. That's heavier than my fattest cat, and four of them pretty much equal a dusty cardboard version of myself.  Plus they are packed in tighter than sardines in a Space Bag.

So, in order to remove just one file from the cabinet, just one file out of the fifty others that I also need to remove, I take my dainty little fingers and I grab a folder by about an inch of cardboard on both sides.  I inch it up until my fingers are turned into shaky overcooked pieces of ziti, and then I jam one hand down in between the files, all the way down to the elbow, and propel the beast up and out.  It is at this point that the tender underside of arm, the part that looks to be home to some important arteries, gets sliced by the metal rail on the side of the drawer.  This rail exists to hold up your hanging file dividers, but it also exists to fall out and then not fit back into the slots that it was in loosely enough to have fallen out of.  As a result, it also exists to smash things.  Meanwhile, with the sudden loss of 25 lbs of weight, I am also in danger of having a filing cabinet just outright fall on me.   

So this is how I see it:  When I gave birth I was in a hospital surrounded by professional medical staff. When I hiked Mt. Washington I was surrounded by other hikers, the Cog Railway, and probably a few mountain hermits who'd be willing to lend me a helping hand and a bowl of squirrel stew. At the office it would probably be 2-6 hours before anybody even noticed that I wasn't around.


I love my Dunkin Donuts calendar:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

State Form

I love that the font on this state environmental form was chosen by an 11 year old girl.


My anger at back-to-school traffic is balanced by my joy that teachers are finally going back to work.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Performance Evaluation: Needs Improvement

Twice a year HR forgets that they hired me to fill a mickey mouse position that even Mickey Mouse himself would find unchallenging, and presents me with five pages of employee performance evaluation statements upon which I must be rated. Suddenly all those months of tough guy talk and wishing that I could tell management exactly what I think go right out the window. Honesty has no place on a performance evaluation unless you're trying to get yourself fired. And if you're trying to get yourself fired there are probably much cooler ways to do it.

Therefore, you must lie about how much initiative you have and about your burning desire to grow within the company. Lying is not what I have an issue with. My problem is with the fact that 95% of the evaluation statements have absolutely nothing to do with my high school internship of a job. The questions were designed for employees with real responsibilities and real career goals. They were designed for people who have control over budgets and project scopes and who take clients out to the golf course and use phrases like "fire drill" and "skin the golden goose." You think I ever skinned a golden goose? Hell no. Only upper management is that sadistic. What I did do was book their tee time and then complain about it on Twitter. Those are my real responsibilities.  So, in order to help out HR who has apparently lost touch with reality, I have compiled a list of revised statements that I feel would more accurately measure my secretarial performance.

Best case scenario, HR puts a big check mark next to "shows mediocre levels of initiative" in my permanent record.

Second best case, fired.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Mall

I spent a long time at the mall today and I learned a couple of interesting things:

1)  There are a lot of miserable people out there.  Now I know that I'm pretty miserable at my job, but as a human being I'm doing alright.  These people I'm talking about are miserable at life.  They're scowling, they're slapping their grandchildren, they're just depressing to look at.  And this is how they act at the mall, which is one of the happiest places on earth.

2)  There are a lot of moms who dress exactly like their teenaged daughters.  I can't even count the number of times I saw what looked like two teenagers from the back, only to find when they turned around that one of them looked like Tammy Faye Baker.  I look pretty young and even I'm getting a little unsure about whether or not I should still shop at American Eagle.  Why these 42 year old chain smokers think they can get away with it is beyond me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Chilean Miners

I'm sure by now that you've all heard about the 33 Chilean miners trapped for the past 18 days going on 4 months.  According to Chile's Health Minister, Dr. Jaime Manalich:
"We hope to define a secure area where they can establish various places — one for resting and sleeping, one for diversion, one for food, another for work."
Ah yes, a place for sleeping, a place for underground sweaty karaoke, a place to eat your tubes of glucose, and a place to, hold on a minute this can't be work?  There are two times in your life when you are entitled to lounge around playing Scrabble in your underpants,  1) when you retire, and 2) when you are a trapped Chilean miner.  What kind of "work" are they even going to do in there?  I mean if the guys from my office were trapped like that they'd be requesting rolled up tubes of engineering plans be shoved down the 8 cm communication hole.  "Our competitors aren't trapped in a mine," they would shout up to the IT guy because their Blackberries stopped working.

I'm pretty sure the miners however, aside from the oppressive heat and fact that they are sharing a studio apartment with 33 roommates, are pretty keen on getting a 4 month vacation.  To quote Manalich again, "The rescue team is creating an entertainment program that includes singing, games of movement, and playing cards."  Hear that?  Not "singing, games of movement, and creating new budget tracking spreadsheets in Excel." Live it up. You're hopefully only trapped in a mine once.

If my office ever caved in you can be sure I won't be crawling over debris trying to locate the fax machine.  No sir, until the day I run out of air and ketchup packets I'll be reveling in the fact that I got some free time off.  I suggest we allow the miners to do the same.


I've been too busy to enjoy my new filing cabinet.


Our office toilet has now been running for 4 days straight. And boy is it tired.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Our last office newsletter came out in 2007. You could say it's because nothing newsworthy has happened since then, but nothing newsworthy happened in 2007 either.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Speaker Phone

Why do people need to use speaker phone when they're the only person on the call? What are they doing in there that requires total use of their hands? Look, unless you're chainsawing a unicorn out of a block of ice, PICK UP THE DAMN RECEIVER.


Here is an updated photo of my French memo board that I was so excited about. As you can see it is holding nothing but a Subway points card.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


It's a beautiful weekend. Maybe Monday will die in a tragic boating accident.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mouse Hand Cold, Dead

Chalk Outline

I think I should do a weekly chalk outline of my ass on this chair. Then I can monitor exactly how much this job is making it grow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I have a short attention span, hence my love of Twitter and flash fiction.  So when I find a blog that makes me want to read post after post, and keeps me laughing hysterically in my cubicle, I like to share.  Don Joe at is an office humor genius.

This is the post that had me losing it this afternoon:
Never before has another man’s flatulence so offended me. Last Friday lunchtime I was waiting for the elevator at work – a fancy glass elevator nonetheless. I know what you’re thinking: someone passed gas in the elevator and it was an unpleasant journey. In essence yes, that is what happened. However such simple words do little justice to a fume so noxious it could wake up the comatose, before killing them.  Continue reading here...


It is 3:05. Time to start the countdown to 3:06.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I sat outside for a few minutes eating an apple. It smelled like dog shit out there but it's a little late in the season for it to be our dog-shit smelling trees. I must've just been sitting near some shit.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I think even Barack Obama might schedule his own haircuts.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I used up a bunch of sheets of half-used address labels. I felt pretty good about helping the environment until I realized that upon receipt, all these letters are going straight into the garbage.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wanted: Vampire Slayer. Experience with Microsoft Word Preferred.

InStyle magazine recently quoted Twilight star Ashley Greene as saying "I worked in accounts payable before and realized that I never, ever wanted to have an office job again." Everyday I too realize that I never want to have an office job again. I think about it when I wake up in the morning, before I go to bed at night, and from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. So why is it that this girl was actually able to make it happen? Let's take a look at where our paths may have diverged:

1) According to Wikipedia, when Ashley was 17 years old she had a passion for acting. When I was 17 years old I had a passion for AOL chat rooms.

2) Ashley had enough ambition to graduate from high school early and move to Los Angeles to follow her dreams. I had enough ambition to go to college and settle on a liberal arts degree that didn't involve too much math.

3) Ashley probably went on hundreds of auditions and didn't give up until she got her big break in a wildly successful movie. I went on three interviews and accepted a job with a guy who asked me for my "email number" so he could send me a fax.

As a result, Ashley landed herself the Twilight gig and 24/7 access to Robert Pattinson, while I landed myself a series of mediocre secretarial jobs and 24/7 access to regret and self-pity. But as they say, it is never too late to discover what you are passionate about and work it into some sort of enjoyable career. For those of us whose passion in life took an extra 15-30 years to present itself, my advice to you is this: Close your eyes. Imagine yourself as a pack of teenage werewolves. Imagine your career goals as a coven of sparkly vampires whose heads you must rip off with all the fury of your Quileute forefathers. If you keep your career goals in mind, put in the effort to pursue them, and be sure to sever the head completely from the vampiral spinal column, you will almost certainly be guaranteed success.

Failure shall result in an eternity at your desk job - never aging any closer to retirement.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I followed a garbage truck the entire way home from work, which pretty much followed the theme of the day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Send this Secretary4Life Someecard Here!

Motion Sensors

Sometimes when I walk into the ladies room the motion sensor lights don't turn on. It's then that I assume I must've died of boredom.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Matter to my Antimatter

This is a post from I Love My Job, a blog written by my polar opposite - somebody who calls herself an eternal optimist.  I'm pretty sure that if the two of us ever came into contact with each other there would be total annihilation of the universe.  In any case, while this post refers to a job search, I thought it was a nice general thought about working toward any goal, and I will try my best to keep it in mind.
"We can learn from past failures and mistakes, be we shouldn't get stuck there. We can keep future goals in mind, but we shouldn't get stuck there, either. The only way to reach our potential is to focus on what we must do now - this moment, this day - to perform effectively and win." - Joe Torre
Both are more like a marathon than a sprint - with a 162 game season, baseball is a great analogy for the numbers game that IS the current job search. No team is ever going to win every game, but they need to play them all. 
You may only care about crossing home plate, but you only get to touch home if you touch first, second and third base first.
A winning job search strategy: learn from your mistakes so that you don't repeat them, keep your eye on your ultimate goal, but touch them all - play to win every game every day.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I just cursed the person who sent the really long, slow, annoying print job to our shared printer. Then I remembered that it was me about 15 minutes ago.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Non-Working Lunch

The best part of the day, aside from when you get to leave to go home, is when you get to leave to go to lunch. Bosses often try to ruin this by scheduling lunch meetings, or as they call it “a working lunch.” A working lunch means that instead of scarfing Chipotle, you're choking down something from a place called Apple Spice Junction and surrounded by pit stains. Bosses don't mind working through lunch because a) they are able to survive on a diet of cocaine and energy drinks, and b) they have no life. Never do you run into your boss at Starbucks reading a book or updating his Facebook status. If bosses had Facebook statuses they would say, “Having a working lunch.”

For the rest of us, that one hour plus round trip drive time allows us to clear our minds of corporate bile and do a little something for ourselves. If there's a restaurant located immediately outside your office, don’t go there unless you want to commit relaxation suicide. Nothing sours a lunch faster than spotting a co-worker at another table. If they’re sitting with somebody else, you may stand a chance. But what if they’re just chewing and staring straight ahead? Depending on how much food they have left on their plate and whether or not they hold a management position in the company, it is probably worth it to just chuck your lunch and buy a new one somewhere else.

The second part of lunch begins when you return to the office parking lot. If a favorite song comes on the radio, sit and listen to it for as long as possible. If a song that is sort of okay comes on the radio, sit and listen to it for as long as possible. Check your Twitter app. Floss. This is called "multi-tasking" and is valued by employers. And, depending on the layout of your building, multi-tasking involves parking far enough away to avoid being seen by those inside having a working lunch.