Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nice one contractor

In my workplace the amount of sugar I have in my coffee has become a bit of a running joke.

I have four.

Yes, that's right, I have four sugars in my coffee. Why? Because I don't like sour drinks, that's why. But I still want the caffeine hit. And I rarely drink coffee anyway, maybe one or two a week, so it's not that big a deal.

But my lovely new boss, shocked at this high level, has deemed I can only have one sugar in my coffee from now on. Thus the comedy lies in my subverting this "rule" with a wink to the barista when I order.

I think that's a p0rn movie, isn't it? A wink to the barista? If not, it should be.

Today S was taking some contractors down for a cafe stop. I asked if he could get me a coffee. I then added loudly 'WITH ONE SUGAR' (for the benefit of my over the partition dwelling boss), whilst holding up four fingers to indicate the actual amount of sugar wished for.

One of the contractors shrieked 'No, no, he held up his fingers! He indicate four. FOUR!' like some fuckwit giving away the behind the scenes of a magic trick at some kid's party - 'the coin is in his sleeve and the carrot is under his hat!'

He then beamed broadly like he discovered a great secret. I think he was expecting a back pat or a congratulatory handshake or something for his success at basic perception.

Sigh... way to get in the way of a running joke, Nimrod.

Snakes alive

Well I had my meeting with the doc RE the snake. Interesting stuff. Turns out in addition to the runny kind and the stuffed kind there's the 'YARRRGHHH I want to die' kind of IBS sufferers ... which is me.

Indeed while I was there I tagged him for a script for pain killers. The kind I get is as strong as the normal codeine kind - which I can't have on account of its bunging qualities - but is script only. So any time I'm at the doc I get a refill because I know I will need that script.

The doc, bless his socks which are presumed to be 100% cotton, said 'I don't know how many repeats they allow with this ... I'll just write Max.'

I could have kissed him. No tongue - just a peck on the check - Greek style - but a kiss nonetheless. I hate asking for scripts for pain killers because I feel like my desire to be pain free is somehow being judged.

Anyhoo, I took my magic fucking script to the chemist to be filled. Dare I dream how much max meant? Five? Six even? Could it be that I could safely (and responsibly) manage my pain levels without having to see another doctor for some time?

Fairly trembling with excitement I returned to pick up my filled script.

'Um,' I said. 'Where's my repeats?'

The attractive kiwi chemist came down from on high. 'No, sorry, these don't have repeats,' she said. 'So we can only give you 20.'

'Well,' I said, through strained teeth. 'That is incredibly unhelpful.'

What I really wanted to do is pick up their sectioned off weight loss cubicle wall and batter them over the head with it.

The massively annoying and bizarre PBS (I presume) assigned fate of these pills is that if you get them in capsule form, as opposed to a solid pill, and the capsule having the exact same ingredients ... you can get them with repeats. But with the pill ... you have to number the number of pills on the script or they default to the standard box amount.

Seriously ... it boggles the fucking mind when it comes to differing treatments for the exact same medication.

However on a more delightful note, today I did play upon the porcelain flute and about 11 am shifted a great deal of product.

When you're on pain killers for constipation all it does really is make the pain slightly more bearable. But if you're able to go, vent your tubing as it were, then - for a couple of hours at least - you will be free of that pain. Free of bunged up pain ... but still under the effect of the pain killers.

You end up all floaty and smiley. Kind of like Mr Burns from the X files episode of The Simpsons.

'I bring you love...'

Sunday, April 25, 2010


My favourite definition of luck is 'preparation meets opportunity'. For luck where there was no such preparation I prefer the term 'dumb luck'. Where luck potentially involves dolphins - even if tangentially - then I tend to err on the side of 'dolphin luck'. If there was no preparation involved with that scenario then it gains the appellation 'dumb dolphin luck'. If the dolphin in question was actually mentally impaired then it's 'dumb dolphin dumb luck'.

Why do I feel the need to tell the world this?

Because when I am in a haze of sleep deprived pain and the drugs to amend said pain ... this is the sort of mental process I go through.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A text conversation

Me to M

'The palings I nailed back up on sat are still up. So this is what being a man feels like?'

M to Me

'How would I know?'

Me to M

'I say this with a staunch record of heterosexuality. You're the manliest man I know. You could hold man workshops.'

M to Me

'Manshops you mean. Yes, I am the solo man.'

Me to M


A big howdy

Sarah and Gam are now proud parents of one (1) Setri.

Aw ... so cute! I am totally clucky now ... and I am a dude. A clucky, clucky dude.

I know one thing about his new world. He's going to be raised by a pair of intelligent caring parents.

Welcome dude. Don't forget ... tip your waitress.

The right stuff

I have the right stuff. I am the elite of the elite. You may think it's a god complex, that I think the universe revolves around me. But like Zaphod Beeblebrox in the machine that shows him his relevance in the greater scheme of things, it turns out, like ZB, I am just that important.

The Right Stuff: I think I'm second from the left

How do I know? Because the nurse at my pre-snake appointment told me so.

Yes my pre-snaking appointment, to discuss various health and physiological issues prior to my having a flexible plastic rope with a camera on the end inserted up my arse.

As I sat down with the nurse, armed with her trusty tick and flick form, she soon realised I was beyond mortal ken. That I was special. That I was like some sort of immortal man fighting with other immortal men for an ultimate prize (ignoring of course the plot rape that was the malignant tumor of a sequel where they became aliens) - that there can be only one, and I was that one.

The nurse, misty eyed at her presence of my ample greatness, said with a quavering - dare I say worshipful - voice that she could not possibly assess me as my awesomeness basically took her tick and flick form out the back and fucked it in the pooper.

'Um ... ' she said. 'You're way too big to have this done here. We will have to rebook at the other place. Also you're way younger than most people we snake which means you might have other stuff wrong. And it's been seven years since your last snaking so the doc will need to ask questions. And you're too big to be done here so we will have to rebook you for a place that can handle your size. Oh and the depression you're being treated for is a complicating factor as is that surgery you had ... and you have to talk to the doc about getting the stomach snake at the same time. Also you're too big to be done here, we will have to re-book.'

'So what you're saying,' I said, the awareness of my greatness dawning upon me. 'Is that I am some sort of elite patient... that needs a special check by the doctor?!'

'No ...' she responded, though clearly my presence had made it hard for her to respond properly. 'You're too big you see ... to be done here ... we will have to re-book.'

'Too elite you mean,' I said, a broad Cheshire cat smile upon my large face. 'Special.'

'Oh no,' responded the nurse again. 'Too big you see. You can't be done here ...'

Please dear God just read between the lines and just go with the tension breaker I offered...

Fucking hell.

And her farewell handshake was a limp piece of 'died via a toxic spill' fish.

...I hate medical tests...

Kicked in the guts by a pair of wellingtons

It’s no secret. I love food. If I didn’t love food I’d be half the man I am.

I especially love delicious food. I know, that seems like a no brainer. But I won’t mindlessly munch on through food I have no real interest in munching through. I have gastronomic standards.

Which are easily met … such as eating cheese and raw pastry.

The other day I woke with a particularly bad set of guts. Like tears to the eyes bad. I phoned in work to say I’d be late, took a handful of painkillers and tried to sleep it off.

I did not sleep it off.

But about 1030 there was movement at the station and suddenly I was pain free and in a narcotic daze. Alas I was too awake to sleep so I lay on the couch for an hour ‘floating’. As I floated I thought of my wellington pies.

I remember the first time I gazed on a picture of beef wellington in one of my mum’s cook books. Rare roast beef … wrapped in a cocoon of pastry. Holy snapping duckshit what’s not to like about that?! I wanted it, oh how I wanted it. But I never got to have it. In fact I don’t think I have ever had it.

So wellington pies? What’s that then.

Well, I’m glad you asked. You take two ALDI all beef aussie patties … a sheet of pastry … and some cheese. Then you combine to form two “pies”. Basically pastry, cheese, beef, cheese pastry with the sides of the pastry pinched shut. Then into the convection on 210 for 25 minutes.

So … are they good? Well, yes. But they are filling. And as you’ve guessed if you suffer chronic pain from food moving through the system … well it’s a fair chunk of meat and dairy to insert into the colon matrix.

I was floating on the couch, on the cusp of sleep, thinking about food … and about wellington pies. When I cracked the 90 minute mark I decided therefore that’s what I would have.

I cooked two up, intending on taking one to work to have for lunch later. But … the first one was so, so good … that I ate the next one.

I was full. Xmas lunch full. And that was before the second one was eaten. Afterwards I would not have been surprised to see my deep sunken belly button pop out of the hole like the fucked in the head asteroid dwelling space worm from Empire Strikes Back.

Off I went to work.

After about a kay … the gut pain revisited. It was the ugly step-cousin that has anger control issues of the pain I’d had when I had woken that morning. So bad that I had the shakes and pain sweats. If I didn’t have a bunch of shit to do at work that day I think I probably would have turned the car around, gone back home, rolled out of the door and crawled towards the house.

That put paid to wellington pies for a while I think. It’s become my electrified cupcake.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life lessons I learned from my mother

When at the races, if you see a horse in an "excited" state, then find out what horse that is and bet on it. Its randiness may give it the edge.

Speaking of life lessons, I saw today some dude died in an ill fated wheelie bin down the hill skylark.

Now I have to admit I tut-tutted when I read it. Then I realised something. In my 20's I acted the goat on numerous occasions (though I'm pretty sure I never did anything that put others at risk like drink driving-I did however try and get out of the rain once by climbing into a wheelie bin, but that was shelter not as transport). But yes, there were escapades, often grog fueled, like crawling out onto a covered walkway while utterly maggot-ed, or throwing up in my bed while lying on my back and nearly drowning in my own sick.

The dumbest thing I have ever done was to eat a cheeseburger and drink a diet coke in the emergency post op room an hour after waking up from having open surgery to remove my gall bladder. I could have died and indeed the week was a most uncomfortable one because of my inability to fart and the acute pain from the gas build up. Now no one told me I couldn't eat or drink post surgery but really, it was pretty fucking obvious.

I too could have ended up a life lesson, one where doctors tell patients 'whatever you do, don't each after surgery or you will die like this stupid fat mofo that scarped down a cheeseburger'. Then maybe they show a photo of me looking cross eyed or something. I could even have made it onto one of those joke motivational posters or something.

So the next time you hear or read about someone killed or badly injured in an not very well thought out escapade, re-visit your own actions in life and acknowledge that there were things you did that were not very smart at all.

My eyes are old and bent - part II

Of late I’ve had some shocking episodes of IBS. Last night I was so gassy that I literally brought tears to my eyes from the voluminous odour that erupted forth like a aircraft grounding volcano. I blame the pizza and chicken nuggets we ordered, combined with some not very well thought out libations.

As the night wore on I had a touch of ear pain. I’d had a little bit of the ear ouch on Thursday, Friday bit figured maybe a touch of swimmer’s ear from badly fitted ear plugs when I had a shower.

When I went to sleep, it was worse. When theNoo had a cry cry fit at 2 am and I woke up my ear pain was incredible. I downed painkillers and went back to sleep.

In the morning my ear felt better. Then I discovered why. I have grommets – small plastic valves fit into each ear drum to allow fluids to escape out my ear. Which is exactly what happened. I had a streak of dried blood and pus crusting out of my ear and down the side of my neck. Later I stuck in a cotton bud … then another … then another and cleaned out a great deal of bloody pus muck.

So back to the specialist I go and likely on another course of friggin’ anti-biotic ear drops which you have to drip in and leave in place for five minutes at a time.

Oh, and when it says three drops that’s what it means. They do not mean ‘fill the entire squirter with anti-biotic liquid then squeeze the bell end like your life depended on it and fill the entire ear canal with fluid’. Not only is it a waste of the product, but there’s so much liquid that it can actually run down the back of the throat.

It does not taste pleasant.

As a side note, as a child I suffered chronic middle ear infections. And grommets back then were like car phones were in the early nineties in terms of size. I can remember vividly a doctor with tweezers attempting to rip them out of my ear (for some reason) and the sheer pain it caused. Middle ear infections also explain my dislike of coconut as a flavouring … because all the horrid ear medicine I had to take orally was coconut flavoured.

Oh, to top it off, I had another food didn’t go down right episode and ended up yacking in the bathroom sink. I’d eaten pasties, Mikey™ pasties where swede is fucked off in place of cheese, and clearly not chewed properly. Alas for me some of the returned meat got stuck in the plug’s grillwork and I had to tweezer it out.

You know you’re travelling well when you’re having to tweezer out your own sick.

I’m seeking the doc re the pre-snake appointment. Wish me luck lads. I’m kind of hoping they find something when I get snaked to be honest. Because at least then, if they do find something, maybe there’s something they can do about it.

Ah, I nearly forgot. My tooth which was fixed last year, after half of it got sharded off during an ill fated attempt at eating normal everyday food that shouldn't cause your fucking teeth to split, failed again. The resin filling was swallowed by me when I attempted to eat a pie. Nothing hard in the pie, it's just the resin filling (average lifespan of 24 months) upped and died some 15 months early. On the very day I was to go to the dentist to get it restored ... I chipped another tooth (trying to eat some crackling) and a shard of enamel came away. They ran out of time to fix that new chip and I have to go back in a month. During the procedure the injection was incredibly painful, so much so I shrank back in the chair away from the needle, and unfortunately on the way into my mouth they jabbed me in the lip.

Area man having a bad run of health and treatment luck.

Manly tales ... for MEN!

I have a penis*

It’s not that spectacular, as far as penises go, and in truth when it’s not on the job then I don’t know what it looks like given my large overhanging hairy apple tum.

However, while I do have the benefit of being equipped with the tackle side of the genital equation, as far as cultural expectations go of masculinity I am sadly lacking.

I knew early on that as far as the lantern jawed muscular six pack abadabas went I was never going to be such. Alas as for the ladies, and inadvertent coming on the radar of dudes who dig dudes, I truly was reliant on personality to charm / impress. Which meant of course when single and looking for some action … there was no action. None, zip, nada.

So combine lack of physical characteristics of manliness, penis ownership aside, and a quirky personality that very much is on the borderline of annoying to downright off-putting, I am nowhere near a man’s man. In fact if a man’s man was the East Coast of Australia then I’d be near the Heard and McDonald islands.

When it comes to performing manly activities in the home I too lack ambition in that area. I’d rather get in some sort of dial a hubby than actually pick up tools, strap on a tool belt, and strut forth for some manual labour action in the home place. Indeed, more often than not theWife, bless her cotton socks, will actually go the tools and do tool things. I also avoid labour that is traditionally a manly domain such as gardening, large scale rubbish removal and all sorts of other manly type about the home muscles flexing kissing the guns style activities.

I also hate sport. The only sporting activity I have ever voluntarily engaged in, believe it or not, is squash. And I wasn’t bad – complete antithesis of an Adonis build not withstanding.

So what is the point of all this ‘Hello, I have a penis, but I am no man.’ (“Hi no-man”) style confessional?

Today I did manly things. I did a large scale rubbish removal, taking a plethora of cardboard off to the 24 hour cardboard recyc place down the south end of town. I even had manly about the house dirty clothes on. I did this without prompting.

Pumped, jazzed if you will, with my sudden attack of manliness, when I got home … I decided to fix the fence.

Our back fence are wooden palings – the original palings as best as I can tell given their condition. Naturally time marches on and the palings have separated from their fellows and a number have toppled over or were on the lean.

Armed with nails – many nails – and a hammer – I marched around to the back fence and started nailing them back up.

My spontaneous demonstration of cultural masculinity however did not come with a set of skills – my workshop skills sadly lacking in part because when I was at the all boys private school, and being the only student allowed to wear sneakers due to water on the knee, the good teachers in the industrial design area deemed my footwear unsafe for participation and during each lesson I was sentenced to clean the grime filth covered sink down the back end of the workshop. Private schools really don’t like difference do they?

So in order to nail back on three fence palings about a dozen nails were used in the attempt. Only four made it as proper successful nailings. The rest were corked half way through, and hammered down in place or yanked out, or simply dropped on the ground.

Still, mission accomplished (sort of).

As luck would have it theNoo saw me in manly mode, and most curious he was at my use of tools used as per their purpose. Perhaps I have stamped more manliness on him?

It didn’t work for my dad. Most weekends he was dressed up in his coveralls doing some sort of gardening or shed activities. Did I have any interest in either of those pursuits from years of watching him silently at work?

I did not. I watched TV or read a book instead.

Anyway, I feel I did something slightly productive this weekend. Which is good considering I feel like nineteen kinds of crusty shit.

Speaking of crust… (see above)

*(girls have a vagina).

Friday, April 16, 2010

It likely sucks to be back

The awesome Cass is back at work from mat-leave.

My heart goes out to you man. I hope it goes as well as it can and that the little man has a good time with gran on the gran days.

Finger twins

S, my fellow team member, pointed something out to me today. That we both had shared the unpleasant sensation of having been medically molested*.

S too is to have the snake and recently he attended his pre-snake meeting.
The doc took that opportunity to do a little light on the spot investigation. Something S was not expecting.

S returned to work as pale as a ghost. 'That was,' he said. 'The worst thing that has happened to me.'

I regaled him the tales of my two occasions of conscious being fingered in the exit only place. Oh how we laughed.

So there you have it. Both of us have been digitally interfered with, in the anus, by the medical community.

We're the Thelma and Louise of the fingered and awake for it men.

I call Thelma!

*Not actually molested in the illegal sense of course. Use of molested in this case is purely for alliterative purposes. All molestation of the area was done in the name of medical research.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bill and Bruce - dragon tales to sleep by

Tonight theNoo woke up crying. He got a bottle and some medicine but he was still very sore and sad. So I sat down next to his bed and tried to calm him. I offered to tell him a story. We settled on dragons.

First up was Bruce. Bruce was very fierce, and very lazy. He terrorized the surrounding villages to give him sheep every Friday. He would fly to each village in turn, gobble a sheep, then off to the next. Finally, full of mutton and wool, he would fly back to his cave, curl up and sleep the rest of the week. The villagers got sick of this so they decided to trick the dragon. A young boy, whose name matched theNoo's, glued a sheep skin to a rock. The next time Bruce came to the village he was directed to eat that sheep. He did and it broke all his teeth! Bruce was most angered, but his mouth was sore. Spitting out shards of tooth he flew off to his cave in a rage to sleep the week, he was full of mutton and wool after-all, then get his revenge.

Well the villagers decided to pretend to make amends and they left out a big cauldron full of mutton stew, with a hollow log as a straw. The Dragon woke and saw this peace offering so he hoovered up the stew ... which was laced with sleep inducing herbs. It put him in a deeper sleep. A sleep so deep the villagers were able to seal up his cave.

Now dragons are magical beasts, and they don't suffocate, but the reduced air meant that Bruce stayed asleep. And he slept and slept and slept so long that the young boy grew into a man had a family of his own and they had a family and so on. And all that time Bruce stayed asleep, counting sheep in his head.

One ... two ... three ... four.

At that point I thought theNoo was asleep. Nup ... "More dragon".

So Bill the pirate dragon made an appearance. He grew up on an island and one day saw a pirate ship. He flew down to the ship and gobbled up the captain and made the crew make him captain. In exchange he would help them capture other ships and the pirates would spend the loot on wine and women - for pirates loved drunk women.

Bill sat in the hold. As they closed in on the victim he'd pop his head up and send a blast of fire at their sails and rigging - ashing them. The ship would not be able to flee and the pirates would easily capture it.

Well, this went on for years and years. The pirates spent all their money on loose women who liked the fermented grape, and Bill kept his share in the hold - only spending it on supplies like food. Since he got half the loot as captain he amassed quite a hoard. The pirates grew jealous and they wanted the money - but Bill was now too big to leave the hold and could only stick his head out and ash sails and rigging ... and of course pirates should they mess with him. They needed a plan.

Enter TheNoo, a cabin boy. He had a plan. He told the other pirates to loosen the deck boards around the hold grill.

He snuck down to the bilges and waited for Bill to go to sleep. Then TheNoo moaned and groaned. Bill woke up. 'What was that? ... the wind....' He went back to sleep. Ooooooooooh! went theNoo. 'What was that?!' said Bill. 'The wind....'

This went on for some time ... then ... TheNoo started to moan and groan names of ships that Bill had taken and plundered. Oh no! Bill was being haunted. Just as he was most afraid TheNoo, having left the bilges, threw incense into a brazier fire and a gout of smelly smoke seeped into the hold. 'Oh no - a ghost!' yelled Bill. He was so frightened he burst through the deck roof - the boards having been loosened by the pirates - then tried to flee. It had been some time since he used his wings and he skipped his fat belly on the surface of the sea a number of times before he got airborne. And the pirates never saw him again. And you know what? TheNoo went from cabin boy to captain in a single day, the fastest piratical promotion in the history of piracy.

Bill returned to his island and spent the rest of his days eating fish and avoiding ships lest they be filled with ghosts.

At that point theNoo was asleep and I was able to escape. I left the room and went to tell my story of dragon laced triumph to theWife... who it turns out had been listening on the monitor ... and fallen asleep.

Yes for the soporific dragon stories. Boring people to sleep since 2010.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mikey gets a jabbing

The colder months are upon us. The public service in Oz acknowledges that these are the days that try people's health and thus they offer up to us white collar clerky types the chance to repel the dreaded flu monster with a hint o' jab. To wit, a flu shot.

Left: An artist's depiction of Mikey getting his shot.

Recently I had my workplace encounter with the jabberer. This impending event had made me a little nervous, especially as my desk bud had refused to do a Thelma and Louise with me, and enter the conference room hands clasped as we drove over the vaccination precipice.

Since I was a tad nervous, and I admit I don’t like getting shots, my mouth … got a little carried away. That and I had an audience which is usually enough to get my mouth motor running and getting out on the inappropriate comments in the workplace highway.

First up I claimed the Doctor's medical bag looked like an assassin's briefcase and I wondered aloud if she had a silencer in her padded insert. Which, let’s face it, just sounds wrong.

Because I wore a long sleeved shirt I had to unbutton my shirt from the top and reveal a bare shoulder. As the nurse rubbed me down I said I looked like a romance novel heroine and proceeded to look wistfully out the window in wait of my expectant broad shouldered lover.

Finally, as I was buttoning up, I casually mentioned I felt like we were having an affair and I was doing the hasty redress post hotel room rendezvous.

Fortunately she was a good sport and gave me a courtesy laugh for the last comment.

And I got a lollipop - and it didn't hurt! The injection - not the lollipop – though if that had been inserted in my arm I am assuming that would have been the candy delivered mega ouchies.

Actually, speaking of ouchies, my arm is super sore where I got jabbed. Curse you delayed onset of pain and discomfort!

My Pugwash name

Today the subject of Captain Pugwash and the double entendre names of the crew (Master Bates and Seaman Staines) came up*.

I needed to come up with my own Pugwash-esq name. One that met the equally demanding criteria of having of a salty nautical flavour and which also sounded a little dirty.

I hereby stick a flag in and claim the following in the name of Mikey(tm)

... Seaman Blowhole ...

* yes, pun intended.

I gots me a 1.5

Hierarchy appears in many places - and most life forms of 'possessing a brain' kind fall into having to adhere to one. In the workplace, in the home, in sporting clubs (I was an "e" grade cricketer ... an no that's not an E for excellence) and so forth.

And also in terms of freebie foods in the workplace.

Tier 4 are the left over quarter sandwiches. I don't know why workplaces insist on purchasing these dried husks of bread and questionable innards ... nor why they decide to inflict them on the workplace post event. Just bin them I say.

Tier 3 is the fruit platter. Yes, I agree. Fruit is healthy. But do I want that as a 'Score! Leftovers!'? No I do not. I could purchase that for a low price at a supermarket so it will live in my crisper drawer then be discarded uneaten as per all the other attempts where I had loudly declared 'from this moment forth, fruit and veg shall be my companion!'

Tier 2 is the pastries - either savoury or sweet. Danishes with delish custard, or those yummy open toped pie quiche things with the unfurling petals look. Oh my god. Awesome. More of that. Less of the other crap.

Tier 1 is your gold standard pastry. In this category I place Krispy Kreme. No they did not send me a box of their sugar laced gold to spruik them. I do this from a place of objective assessment. If you've catered your work event with KK and ensure surrounding staff get the pick of the remains then you sir are a golden work god.

Today I got a Donut king pink flavoured donut. It was easily the best donut I've had all year. So I've given that a 1.5.

But, replacing the word 'sandwiches' with Myrrh then I'd like to quote Brian's mum for all you in the workplace in charge of catering types out there.

'Less of the Myrrh next time.'

Indeed. No sandys for workplace catering. Ever.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I almost prefaced it with 'it is my absolute pleasure to inform you that ...'

Today I had an email from Ranty asking for assistance.

My boss had instructed me that all future requests go through her, but she was away. So I decided I would help out, providing an unhelpful link to an e-form to request what she wanted. I also noted that 'all future requests are to go through [new boss]'.

Later I heard ranty bitching about the "rigmarole" I had put her through.

Suck. Shit.

That is all.

The secret of comedytiming


One of my favourite bits in Wayne's World is the sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. This may sound odd, but I also love how the song fades out just as the Murphmobile pulls into the store carpark - the ker-thump of tyres on the drive-way perfectly in sync with the dying strains of Queen.

Today I queued up The Blues Brothers soundtrack - The Old Landmark - to play for noodles post daycare pick-up.

The song finished just as I stopped in our carport.

So noodles has his very own perfectly in sync music for the drive home. It is his bohemian rhapsody.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wimping out: the reckoning

In the expanded tale of The Three Little Pigs, which is kind of like the director's cut + all the scenes left in for the movie they shot even though they didn't value add for the story elements and were simply an indulgent directorial exercise for fairy stories, the brick pig ends up receiving "let's make up" invites to various events from the wolf; the fairground, purchasing milk etc. Basically they agree on a time to meet to do these things and the pig turns up early and thus avoids the wolf's nefarious plans.

Which is exactly what I should have fucking done on the first day back from Easter.

My awesome boss was away the day the great wimping out occurred (see below), where I was rudely accosted by a colleague over a font issue (yes, that's right, it was a font-rage incident), and basically screamed at right before we were to sit down and commemorate (commiserate) the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ through the consumption of crucifix scored bread products.

By my not turning up early I was, alas, unable to prevent the ranter from going direct to my boss to complain.

I have to admit, I was worried when I found out this happened. And furthermore when I got in, and had discovered my boss was now "handling" this person and their complaint, I was unable to sit down with my boss and tell her what happened while she was away.

Until today.

I guess my biggest concern was that this would all devolve into a 'he said, she said' scenario. Where my feelings and my actions and so forth were contrasted with the ranter's, and that it would boil down to a 'faults on both sides' outcome at best, or I'd cop a bollocking at worst.

Turns out my feelings were unfounded.

Area new boss is awesome. First up she said that at least two other staff members had come to her unbidden (ie I didn't ask them to do so) to complain about the ranting incident, so she fully believed my account. Second up she said that I was right in my initial approach and that my efforts to appease the ranter over demands were appreciated. Third up new boss took over the management of the ranter solely to spare me the pain of doing so. Fourthly if I wanted to officially complain she would back me. And, fifthly, any further contact with said person had to go through her.

'Being a manager is about standing up for your people,' said new boss. 'That's why I get paid more because I am there to sort this crap out and let my staff do their job and get on with their work.'

I admit, I almost cried with relief.

Ranty has been a thorn in my ample PS hide since I took on this role - which I've done for the best part of a decade, with her demands for special treatment, demands for assistance, rudeness, inability to provide report content in the proper format (and sans clip-art) and for trying to get me in trouble the first time we tangled.

Indeed, that first major blow up taught me a valuable life lesson. Never ever send an angry email. Never. Once you do, it's in the system, and it can be used against you. Even if, even if the other person is a cloth head and they've done something breathtakingly anger inducing, if you have to remonstrate by email then be constructive, always. Because next thing you know you have senior executive officers asking you what the fuck is going on and why is this person frothing at the mouth.

Of course that approach also bit me in the arse because on our second major encounter, instead of pointing out how we were both at fault, I had (as it turns out) given a complete mea-culpa to her because I figured it was the easiest way to deal with her for the future.

Never, as my new boss pointed out when I told her this, over-apologise. Because that can be used against you.

So there you go, another life lesson. Two ... thanks to the same person.

Yes, being screamed at by a histrionic co-worker was fucked. It was embarrassing for all who witnessed it and for me as the victim of it. But, it turns out, my accepting her rage without responding in kind was the best thing I could have done, my actions in responding to her complaints showed professionalism, and this massive tanty has meant that professionally I no longer have to deal with with ranty - and gone now are the myriad of micro-tasks which I did to smooth over the relationship.

And, said new boss, the next time the ranter submits report content that does not meet our requirements ... it's going to be sent back.

I have to admit. After this meeting ... I almost had a post coital cigarette.

Oh yeah ... that hits the spot.

(pats chest)

An almost flossing

I've decided to invent a new term for severe abdominal pain from IBS: "sock puppets".

Here's an example.

"Hey man, how are you?"

"Fucked. Got the MAJOR sock puppets."

(other man winces in the manner all men wince when someone is depicted taking one to the boys downstairs).

Basically "sock puppets" is how a sentient sock might feel to have a man's hand and wrist buried up inside them and twisting fingers around in order to replicate a basic emotive state via the sock's toe-mouth.

I recently saw the doc regarding the general sock puppets condish. He said, given these spasms I've been having (which look kind of kewl - like John Hurt's stomach before the Alien pops out in the movie of the same name), I should get the gastro snake at the same time as the other one to make sure that my stomach area is okay too.

So yes ... I will be almost flossed.

That's not a good look for anyone. Luckily I will be unconscious. I feel for the theatre staff who have to see my swollen hirsute form from both ends.

Maybe I should bring apology chocs ... or ... or even ... a card?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Wimped out and am feeling pathetic

Today I had a colleague yell at me. In public, in front of half my branch. She was upset about the insertion of some text into a report not being clear enough. I explained it was in a standard format but that didn't help. She then brought up how I screwed her over a couple of years ago when she submitted copy for a report but then didn't check the proof afterward and only found out after it went out that a graphic she'd included had the wrong treatment (so, actually both our fault on that one - and I have the written evidence to prove it because I keep everything to cover my arse).

So ... I took it. I took it all. I said that it was a standard format, she ignored that, and kept ranting. I let her say her piece then I walked away to "fix it". I got all hot in the face. And instead of gathering to enjoy festive treats with the others - whom she'd just ranted at me in front of - I sat at my desk glowering. Later, she came over and offered to compromise on it, but still the damage was already done. And this a day after she begged for a favour from me to do some extra formatting work to help her out.

Now I am not one for confrontation. But I should have said at the very least during her initial rant 'this is probably not the right place for a conversation on this - let's move it away from here.' But I didn't. Perhaps I was too stunned at the onslaught and the flailing of limbs as she worked herself into a frenzy?

Needless to say it was unprofessional and inappropriate. And while I was able to amend the report to address her concerns part of me wanted to flat out say 'no, get fucked, I won't' just to be obstinate. But I didn't. I took it all, and I tried to fix it. Because that's what I do.

I'm glad my new boss wasn't there. I asked her when she came to our section if I could ever use her as a bad cop - because on occasion I have to say no, and mean it, but preserve a future relationship. If I get my boss to do it then it works out for me. New boss said no worries.

Yesterday a colleague wanted me to do something ASAP for records management. My boss intervened, said I didn't have time, and had it shifted to next week. Then apologised to me later for even arranging that. She said it was unfair to put that stress on me given the sheer amount of work I have to do at the moment.

If my new boss had been here, and seen the fury, I hazard she would have likely stepped in and done some pipe hitting back. And she sits opposite the ranter!

Maybe next week I will brief my new boss on what happened and see what she wants to do? It's a risk though because said freak out person three times in the last two days snarled at me because of stuff I said that was inappropriate.

That's the trouble when you're an acquired taste. When you need help from the org in situations like these, all that stuff you do that seems hilarious and fun gets counted against you.

Double industrial strength sigh...

Oh, another thing happened re work and unpleasant people. A colleague wants to work for a section that's headed by Backy McStab, a former boss that screwed me over for my dream job. She had no idea what I did or the importance of what I do. She also didn't like me personally or my politics (she was overtly right wing). The colleague asked my advice about working for her.

I didn't slag off Backy McStab. I candidly admitted we had a personality clash, and that I was an "acquired taste" after-all, and that Backy lacked knowledge of what I did which made it difficult to manage me as a supervisor.

This, mind you, after she gave a referee's report that was the greatest workplace arse fuck I have ever received.

So there you go. I am either a cowardly fuck ... or I just don't rise to their level of meanness. I'm not sure. It's weird, cos while I do hold grudges for a long time, I don't actively seek revenge even when I am well placed to do so.

But I am working on this, trying to let this grudge stuff go. Because at the end of the day all it does is hurt me long term to bottle it all in and keep seething. And given I am almost literally full of shit as it is, I can't afford to have a hurting head in addition to a hurting body.

Peace out peeps.