Friday, June 26, 2009

I Mean, Here's My Post

You know what else bugs me? People who start a sentence with "I mean..." when it is totally uncalled for. I was listening to the news on the radio yesterday and several different people were interviewed about a particular topic (different stations covered Michael Jackson, Iran, and South Carolina's governor). Almost every time some of the interviewees were asked a question, they began their answer with "I mean...." NO!!!

"I mean" should only be used to clarify what you said previously. You may NOT use it as a hesitation word. That's why we have "uh" and "um." Listen for it; you'll hear it.

Stop it!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coworker Poetry/Poll

I work for a living.
Most of you probably do too.
Most of us work with people.
Many of them annoy us.
Tell me, in your comments,
Who annoys you most,
And why?


I'm very happy to help those with some sort of disability live a more "normal" life. For example, I'm happy to see that seeing eye dogs are allowed in stores, that many companies offer TTY numbers for the hearing impaired to use, and that most buildings are required to be wheelchair accessible.

What bugs me, though, is PC "accommodation." If you are going to do it, do it right; don't just do it to look like you care because it's the "politically correct" thing to do. For example, the Fail blog ( has this example of a not-so-useful wheelchair ramp:

But such silliness could never happen here, right? Right? Oh, wait. It has. Here at Widget Co, our office doors have braille on them, right below the office number. Nice. Useful. Helpful if you're blind. But Furminator's office door has fake braille on it. Yes, that's what I said: Fake braille. It's literally a bunch of dots painted below her office number. Why bother? Who the hell is supposed to "read" this?

Thanks for caring, Widget Co!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mail that's not for me

I like getting mail. All my bills come electronically now, so mail is actually often a happy event. Especially with my birthday being next week -- I look in my mailbox hoping to see cards (sadly, I've been disappointed so far).

Unfortunately, the people I bought my house from never submitted a forwarding order at the Post Office. Seriously. It's been more than a year, and I still get mail for them, including for the landscaping business they ran out of their garage. About 6 months after I moved in, I came home early because the pond guy was there to fix my filter. Lo and behold, sitting just outside my gate was a brand new filter. Not addressed to me (for the landscaping business), but that didn't stop my pond guy from offering to take it off my hands in exchange for free pond work. Being the honest sap that I am, I said no, and dutifully contacted the delivery company to pick it up and take it back. When I got letters and cards (yes, birthday, Christmas, etc -- they didn't even tell their friends they were moving), I called their realtor to let them know I'd leave them by the gate for them to pick up.

That was then, this is now. When I get their mail, including stuff from their lawyer, their kids' school, etc, I throw it away. I've thrown away birthday cards, even when it feels like they have a gift card in them. Pretty soon, I'm going to start claiming any goodies that show up, regardless of to whom they are addressed - it's cruel to let me see a card in the mailbox, let me get all excited that someone remembered me, and then find out that no one cares it's my birthday.

I have a coworker who receives fan mail because she bought her condo from one of the actresses of The Facts of Life. Yes, that same Facts of Life that went off the air in 1988. Fan mail. Seriously. Anyway, because the mail is forwarded (presumably from an ex-agent) without a return address, there's no way she can get it back to the agent or to the actress herself, so she reads and enjoys it,and shares it with us. Yesterday's letter was from a prisoner. Good fun.

Today I arrived at work and found a FedEx package on my chair. I was excited. Did I mention my birthday is coming up? (Oh, yeah, I guess I did.) I had the scissors in hand to rip it open when I saw that it was addressed to my former boss. Who hasn't worked here since last August. Grrrrr. My first few years, he was an awesome boss, but then we had a falling out, and now I find him to be less than wonderful. Anyway, the point is, why do I have to be responsible for getting him his stupid package? If he's not smart enough to check the address before he orders something, that's his fault, right? But like the dutiful Widget employee that I am, I'll get it to him.

But I damn well better get a birthday present out of it!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yes, they are that brilliant!

A break from my normal ranting (don't worry, it's a short break) to tell you a funny story about my dogs.

I have two wonderful miniature australian shepherds (to protect their identity, I'll call them The Girl and The Boy). The Girl rides on the back of my Harley (you can see her pic on my profile with her helmet and goggles), and The Boy excels at agility. I've managed to train them so that they leave each other's food bowls completely alone. Often The Boy will leave food in his bowl and go back to it later, and The Girl does not get a snack out of it, and vice versa. However, they know that if a piece of kibble lands on the floor, it's fair game. If The Girl is eating messily and pushes a piece of kibble out, The Boy will rush over to grab it, even though he has plenty of food in his own bowl. The Girl does the same if The Boy is messy. They recognize, respect, and live by these rules.

The other day, I got home from work late and they were pretty hungry. However, because I know I'm lazy, I took them for a walk before I sat down, ate, or fed them, because otherwise, I'd just get comfortable and they'd get no walk. When we got back from the walk, they were starving. The Boy gobbled his food (he weighs half of what The Girl does, yet eats twice as much!) and then stood staring at The Girl's bowl as she munched contentedly. I watched closely, waiting to make sure he'd keep his nose out of her bowl. Remember, kibble in the bowl is not for the taking, but kibble on the floor is. The Boy reached his paw into her bowl and pulled a small pile of kibble onto the floor and then ate it. He did this repeatedly. I expected a growl of protest from The Girl, but she knows that kibble on the floor is fair game, so all she did was eat faster.

It was hilarious!! My dog did some problem-solving!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not the crown I wanted

I love my parents and am very glad they are still together after 40-something years. I am happy to be alive. Despite this, I still think there should be a law: two people with bad tooth and gum DNA shouldn't be allowed to have children.

So I was sitting home last week, happily eating a slice of angel food cake, when a tooth exploded. Yes, on angel food cake. The softest food on the planet. Grrrr.... Not that it was the first time this particular tooth had given me trouble. I think the word "tooth" may be a misnomer, since there was more mercury than an old-style thermometer taking up space on my gum. Sigh.

Off I go to the dentist. It took two trips, because just as I sat back in the chair and watched the four foot drill coming at my face, I got a migraine. Not a "oh, I'd really rather not be here" headache, but a full on migraine. Later, when I told her about it, my coworker asked me why I didn't just suck it up and stay. I took a metal chair and crashed it down on her head, poked both her eyes out, poured boiling acid on her exposed skin, and pushed a pickle fork into both of her ears. "Would you like the drill now?" I asked. I guess she took the point, because she peeled her bleeding carcass off the floor and went back to her office.

So I went back and not only got a root canal (although I have to admit it was the most painless ever!), but the dentist did oral surgery! Ack!! When he came at me with the scalpel, I almost peed my pants! Then he ground my jaw bone down. I firmly believe there should be a minimum 72 hour warning period before you have to be near a scalpel. I only got 30 seconds notice.

They put on a little temp tooth which came off a few hours later. Now I have a little post in my mouth where a tooth should be, stitches in my gum (and because they'd run out of clear thread, I have black, rotten looking, stitches), and a greenish bruise on my jaw. I go back this week to get the stitches out and get fitted for a crown, and presumably get another temp.

As if all of this weren't painful enough, they billed me $857! Yes, eight-hundred-and-fifty-seven-freakin-dollars for the privilege of sitting through the process. Why do I pay so much for dental insurance if it still leaves me with an $857 bill?????? Holy tooth decay, Batman!

As I was coming in to work this morning, I remembered that I have a lottery ticket I haven't checked yet. (Can't check it here at Widget Co. --they don't want you to know if you can quit.) Maybe I'm a multi-millionaire and can commission new teeth. More likely, I'm in for more of the same, since I got crappy tooth DNA. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

HA!! I'm smarter than the average bear!

I outsmarted Big Brother! I made the comment form a full page (FYI, settings > comments > Comment Form Placement > full page) and now you should be able to comment! Even if you work here at Widget Co!! AB and Alissa, if you'd do the same, you would be able to once again receive my amazing words of wisdom!! :)

Sigh. Unfortunately, my brilliance took time and experimentation, and I tried different templates to see if that would fix it. Now it looks weird. Grrr.'

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Big Freakin' Brother!

Grrrrrr. Widget Co has done something to our Internet capabilities, and I can no longer comment on some of my favorite blogs. I can't figure out the rhyme or reason why I can comment on some but not others (sometimes even both on Blogger). So if BikerPuppy comments on your blog occasionally, rest assured I'm still reading and enjoying -- I've just been unjustly silenced. Alissa and Amazon Barbie, yours come immediately to mind.

Damn Big Brother! Sometimes I feel like I work in Communist China.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't infer it if I don't imply it!

I was reading a news article this morning and made the mistake of simultaneously drinking a soda. I was forced -- yes, forced -- to spray copious quantities of Diet Coke out my nose when I came across my least favorite grammar error. I will have to paraphrase, because when I read it, and after I wiped the still-bubbling liquid off my keyboard, I closed the browser, threw my laptop against the wall, and promptly tried to forget what article I was reading. Aaaaaaauuuuugggghhhhh!

What got me so upset, you ask (yes, I know you're asking)? The gist of it was as follows: "I don't mean to infer that I don't care." What?????? What ??????? W H A T ? ? ? ? ?

Grammar 101 here. I can IMPLY that I don't care. I can IMPLY that the writer is stupid. I can IMPLY that I wished that the author of that sentence would have been fired before the puddle on my floor dried. Thus, I will have "stated indirectly" the preceding points. You, then, can INFER that I don't care. You can INFER that I think the writer is stupid, and you can INFER my hatred of the author. Thus, you will have "drawn a conclusion" from what I said.

Ack! This kind of error akin to those of people who can't tell the difference between "affect" and "effect," or "continual" and "continuous." Did these people not go to elementary school? (Or did they just have my high school "Honors" English teacher teaching them basic grammar?) These words are not fungible. They are not synonyms. There is a reason they are not the same word. Stop using them as if they were. Otherwise, you can infer from my upraised hand that I'm going to slap you.

Note to self: Future post on Ms. Batson, teacher of Honors English at Start High School, who regularly said: "Class, the bell already rung. Sit down." "Rung" was pronounced "wung." She also taught Animal Farm out of the Cliff Notes. I'm pretty sure she taught Honors English because they figured our class would be less damaged by her incompetence.