Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who Wants a Tab?

It's a good thing I love the idea of time travel, because it is now 1974 inside my office. Yes indeed, this is our "new" vending machine. Straight out of an ad in a vintage copy of Popular Science. Its even got wood paneling. On the plus side, if you shake it, it probably dispenses free cans.  On the minus side, why is that baby wearing lipstick and drinking a soda?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Email Intervention

My very first AOL email address was Argo220, named for the little robot that went down and discovered the Titanic (the 220 was for the time that the Titanic sank).  Yes indeed, it was 1997 and after sitting through that hella long movie three, count 'em THREE, times (in the THEATER),  I was totally obsessed with deep sea archaeological exploration and Leonardo DiCaprio's ass.  It was simpler times back then, you see.

Shoot ahead a few more years and you'll find that my email address had changed to CrshDMB.  This of course reflected my love of the Dave Matthews Band, because a) I had by this time realized that Leonardo DiCaprio wasn't actually aboard a doomed 1912 oceanliner and was instead dancing on tables grabbing his crotch on the cover of the National Enquirer, and so I needed new interests, and b) the only thing that expressed ones fandom more than wearing size XL concert t-shirts with blue nylon shorts to band camp, was making an AOL email address that contained your favorite band's name.

Fast forward to 2011, and as much as I would like my email address to be HobbitHoarder78, I have stuck with a much simpler first name_last name @ gmail format.  This great post on Google's blog offers help for those friends of ours who have been unable to let go of their goofy and outdated AOL (among other) email addresses, and who have failed to discover the beauty of using Gmail.

We all have a story like this. On the Gmail team, we affectionately refer to them as “email interventions.” We hear about them all the time: the cousin who finally switched from an embarassing address like hottie6elliot1977 to a more professional, a co-worker who helped his dentist switch after he heard her grumble about having to pay for IMAP access, etc.
Staging an intervention is simple:
  1. Visit   
  2. Sign in and automatically identify who from your contacts has yet to make the switch, or just enter a friend’s email address manually
  3. Choose from one of three intervention message templates (“straightforward”, “concerned” or “ embarrassed”), and add your own intervention video if you’d like
  4. Send a customized email and follow up as needed

So go ahead, do your mom (BeckysMom1958), your dad (Hammockguy37), and this fellow:

a favor, and stage an email intervention ASAP.

Thank you Google 'What Do You Love'



I don't know, it just looks like this guy's having a pretty fun time to me. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shoplet Blog!

Read my guest post - 10 Things I Would Tell a Brand New Secretary - on the Shoplet Blog:

I asked Beth from Secretary4Life to share what survival tips she would give to someone who was just starting out as a secretary. (I knew she would include just the right amount of humor to make them fun to read) I don’t think secretaries get enough respect for all the important things they do and they do a lot of random things which makes their jobs even more stressful. Here are some great tips from Beth for anyone starting a new job as a secretary: (and to be honest, there are a lot of things in here that apply to normal jobs too).  Click here to continue!

Thank you Shoplet!

I Paper Clips

Employee Found Alive Inside Cubicle

Whistles of relief could be heard throughout the offices of Crenshaw & Bick when Walter Gatch, 57, presumed dead at his desk since Monday morning, was found alive by janitorial staff.
“When he didn’t blow the smell of burnt Pop Tarts all over the office this morning, I went by his cubicle to check on him,” said Andrew Miron, 26.  “And there he was, just kind of slumped over on his keyboard. Naturally, I suspected the worst.” 

When asked why he didn’t report the possible death to management, Miron stated that had it been true, it really would have been a shit ton of paperwork. Never mind the fact that his timesheet was still due. 

“Actually, I was pretty sure he was okay,” he added. “Yeah.” 

Throughout the day, several other employees expressed half-assed concern for their co-worker when his out-of-office auto reply from Friday failed to be turned off, and when Gatch suddenly fell out of his chair and onto the floor where he remained until approximately 6:00 p.m. 

“We all thought he was a goner for sure,” said Gatch’s administrative assistant of seven years, Megan McNulty. “I mean, all the signs were there: slumped over, no contact with anybody for an entire day, an odd smell emanating from his cubicle. It was a pretty text book case of somebody dying at their desk and everybody in the office knowing about it but doing absolutely nothing.” 

It was not until Monday evening that janitor Harvey Ferber, after emptying the once thought dead man’s recycle bin, witnessed Gatch casually get up off the floor, click Print in his Microsoft Word document, and walk over to his printer as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. 

“He’s alive! He’s alive! I shouted,” said Ferber, demonstrating the excitement and relief he felt upon realizing that Gatch was still of this world. “As you may or may not know, these things don’t usually turn out so well for janitorial staff.” 

As of press time, Gatch was headed home to his wife who thinks he died three years ago.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Secretary4Life and The Deathly Hallows

I am re-posting this in honor of Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part II being recently released!

After going to see Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, I began thinking that it might be cool if the old Grim Reaper stopped by the office and tossed a few hallows my way.  Just because I’m not crossing raging rivers at midnight doesn’t mean I haven’t cheated death.

The Resurrection Stone:

There are a few ex-employees whom I miss and would love to bring back from the dead in order to liven this place up. “But magical spells that bring people back from the dead never work out right!” you say. Yes, yes, I’ve heard it all before.

I’ll bring them back and as soon as they realize they could be doing something cooler than talking to me about last night’s episode of Cake Boss, they’ll be out the door and I’ll be more depressed than ever.

But there’s got to be somebody whose life became worse since they left the company, right?

I will find that one unemployed, destitute, miserable soul, shake my magic rock, and suck them through the fabric of the universe. They’ll arrive dazed and confused in their old cubicle where I will be waiting with Kit-Kat bars and three years worth of office gossip about people they never even met. I'll be a hero!

The Cloak of Invisibility

Who wouldn’t want one of these? An invisiblity cloak would be be priceless, if for nothing more than to eat my ham & cheese in peace.

I don’t need it to hide from death, I need it to hide from life. I need it to take a nap under my desk and to make it look like that coffee pot is pouring itself. The possibilities are endless.

If you ask me, the invisibility cloak is wasted on Harry Potter – what does he use it for? Sneaking out for butter beers? Harry doesn’t have a job to worry about. Hand it over man, I’ve got people coming at me with dictation tapes and onion breath.

The Elder Wand

I guess there’s not much use for the most powerful wand in existence at a medium sized civil engineering company. We don’t do much dueling around here. And as we all learned after poor old Antioch Peverell was murdered in his sleep for possession of the mighty scepter, it is best not to mess with an object of such power.

Sure I could Avada Kedavra the hell out of anybody who annoyed me, and maybe throw a quick Crucio over my cube wall if that guy doesn’t shut up about his dogs already.

But when you’re the only one who knows how to change the paper in the fax machine, you already hold all of the power.

I don’t need the Elder Wand to prove my worth. Well, maybe I’ll just hold it for a second…


The Secretarial Hallows

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Four Ways to Survive the Summer While Stuck in a Cubicle

Everybody seems to be coming up with a list of ways to "survive the summer" while being stuck in a cubicle. And since I am a) stuck in a cubicle, and b) totally okay with stealing other people's ideas, I present you with my own list:

Four Ways to Survive the Summer While Stuck in a Cubicle

1. If you have younger friends and relatives who are still in school, do yourself a favor and hide them from your Facebook news feed. If you are like me, you spend a good part of your day reading people's useless status updates while you are pretending to work. The last thing that you need to see while trapped at your desk are pictures of tanned college kids frolicking at the beach in the middle of the God damned afternoon. Yeah, we know, you shop at Hollister. You’ll just end up filled with rage, shouting "get a job!!!" at your iPhone while your boss walks by wondering what that blank Excel sheet did to upset you so much. It's best to just pretend that college kids don't exist. Rather than basking in rays of sunshine, you can instead bask in the thought that someday soon they will graduate and be as miserable as you are.

2. Get some good island-y music going. If my son didn't demand to listen to Could This Be Love on a loop during every car ride we take, I would probably be listening to Bob Marley right now. But there are plenty of other reggae artists out there and infinite Pandora stations to choose from. Or, if you don't like reggae, you can always make a playlist consisting of Kokomo and that Paris Hilton song from a few years ago. Remember, the one that made you want to kill yourself? Well now it's going to make you feel terrific. This kind of music will lighten your mood and make sorting that 3-foot stack of filing seem like you're building a sand castle. Or, if you're not delusional, it will make sorting that 3-foot stack of filing just a little less sucky.

3. Go out and get an ice coffee. I don't care if they give you diarrhea. GO OUT AND GET AN ICE COFFEE. They're delicious, they caffeine you up real nice, and unless you work at Google and there are ice coffee waterfalls literally cascading down the God damned corridors, it'll get you out of the office for a few minutes. Leave your purse at your desk and some kind of boring report up on your screen so nobody will notice that you're out. If you want to get fancy, I recommend a Coconut Mocha Frappuchino from Starbucks, or a Mocha Ice Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. And don't worry about the money. Remember, it's summer and getting an ice coffee is pretty much all that we have to live for. So spend it.

4. Take advantage of office road trips. Okay, yes, I turned down a drive into Boston last week. But me driving your precious delivery into Boston is the equivalent of me driving it straight into the Atlantic Ocean. Those roads are like the moving staircases at Hogwarts. But if something needs to be delivered anywhere else in the tri-state area, I’m all over it. One of the best work days I ever had was spent delivering plans to New Hampshire on a Friday afternoon in April. It was 75 degrees outside, I had my ice coffee (see above), I opened the sun roof, and I took a nice jaunt up I-495. Take your time. Fabricate traffic jams. However, stick to simple drop-off/pick-up road trips only. If the trip involves any kind of jerk caveat like "By the way, you have to first stop in Lawrence and get signatures from these three homeless guys," then simply pass the road trip along to an intern.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Free Book From Smashwords!

This month only you can get an Epub copy of my book, What Stays in Vegas, FREE from Smashwords! Just enter code SSWSF at checkout.