Wednesday, June 24, 2015

On Line at the Cafeteria. . .

Man: What is this?

Server: This is Brie-Stuffed Chicken Breast.

Man: This frightens me.

Server: [PAUSES] I’m not sure how to help you with that.

Man: Yes.

Server: It’s nothing to be frightened of.

Man: No?

Server: The brie is creamy and there are dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness.

Man: Yes.

Server: It’s very good.

Man: I will have a sandwich.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teleconferencing Behavioral Assessment

As part of your “Creating a More Comfortable Workplace Environment” training, please rate the appropriateness of this exchange:

Person 1: Where’s Greg? Is he listening?

Person 2: Is he on vacation?

Me: [LOUDLY] I’m here!

Person 3: I can hear him breathing.

Me: Can you really hear me breathing?

Person 3: Nah!

Me: Okay, hold on a sec. Can you hear this?

Me: It’s kind of like breathing.

Group of 15: Ohhhh! No. No!

Person 2: Well, on that note.

Me: What?!

Group of 15: [CLICK]

Saturday, June 20, 2015

This Guy. . .

I remember one summer when I was a teenager I was feeling “out of sorts”. I was freaked out and found myself on our front porch waiting for the feeling to pass.

Dave recognized that I was experiencing some distress so he sat with me. He spoke to me in his very calm voice and he related similar experiences he had in his youth. He just sat quietly with me as we waited for normal to arrive. And despite the fact that I may have been behaving irresponsibly he didn’t judge and in over 30 years he’s never brought the incident up again.

He probably doesn’t know how grateful I was that he helped me in such a wise, temperate and kind way. He was needed then and he showed up.

The best part is, after all this time he still keeps showing up.

That’s what a dad does.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Just Don't

This is a sentence from an email I received today:
Attached is the updated DRF for the immediate needs for the ASF initiative, with updates based on our discussion in the KO. Also attached are the templates for the internal BH electronic display. 
Allie and Julia, please don't fall into this trap. Unless you're working at NASA you'll come off as really pretentious. Spouting acronyms and jargon might make you feel like you're demonstrating how in tune you are with your organization's culture - like you're one of the shinier cogs in the machine. But most times you just appear to be too lazy to type the words, "kick off". 

Plus, there's the simple matter of being an effective communicator. If you're sending an acronym-riddled email to more than four people, you really shouldn't assume that everyone is familiar with, or likes the taste of your alphabet soup.

I know it's my fault that I had to take a significant amount of time to decode this message. I'm not a shiny cog. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to KTS out of people who send me this stuff. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

12.5 MPH

We live on a relatively busy street. One benefit of the traffic is we can place stuff we no longer want on the corner and it’ll disappear in a matter of minutes. Desk chairs, tables, large kids toys – we just put a “FREE” sign on it and the item goes away.

On Saturday I put an exercise bike on the corner. It was a $49 bike I bought from Amazon for Tabata training. The bike’s tension strap broke after about half an hour of use. I did a somewhat effective duct-tape repair on the strap but unfortunately the bike sat, mostly unused, in the basement for over a year. A few nights ago I stubbed my toe on the thing. I’m sure that’s what spurred me to put it up for adoption.

I asked Julia to put the words “FREE” and “WORKS!” on a large piece of paper and then I hung the sign on the handlebars. It sat out for about an hour. A middle-aged woman and man stopped and the lady got on the bike and pedaled for a bit. She got off and shook her head and they left the bike there with its hopes needlessly elevated. Soon after that it started to rain so I put it in the garage for a bit.

When the rain stopped, I put the bike back out on the corner. At this point, we all lost interest in the fate of the exercise bike. We stopped peeking out the windows to see if we had any nibbles. We occupied ourselves with other things. After about an hour, only Allie remembered the bike was outside and she noticed it was gone.

Whenever something disappears off our corner I always imagine what happens to it. I had fairly mundane fantasies about what happened to our table or chairs, but an exercise bike – that’s different. There are so many possibilities. I’m hoping it’s been strapped to a modified flux capacitor and once you pedal to 12.5 MPH you’ll time travel. You’ll be a little winded and maybe sweaty when you make the leap, but it’s a great way to get into shape while you’re changing the course of humanity.

On second thought, that’s a little grandiose for a $49 exercise bike. It would probably generate little leaps. Maybe a day or an hour or two. Enough time to get some lottery numbers or maybe just prevent a dropped casserole from ruining the rug in the McFly’s dining room. 

This is awesome! Next I should set out an old toilet and see what happens. 

Friday, June 05, 2015

IM So Very Dumb

Recent IM at work.

Her: I'm trying to get as many things out of the queue as possible. 

Me: I understand. You have to be free.

Her: FREE!

Me: Free to bind yourself to another human 4EV.

Her: I know it won't be perfect but I'm going to try my darndest! LOL

Me: When's your last day?

Her: Today! omg

Me: Okay. Someone told me this on my wedding day: Appreciate the bad bananas. If you've never had a bad banana, you'd never know what a good banana tastes like. 

Her: Ha ha - that's the best advice ever. 

Me: I hope you have a lot of good bananas!

Me: Actually, you could use any fruit. . . 

Me: In the future I should use apples in case anyone thinks a banana is inappropriate. I hope that wasn't the case here. 

Me: I mean, I think it's better spoken. You know. . . anyway. Every good wish to you and your husband. 

Me: I mean future husband. 

Me: I mean. . . 

Me: Um.