The Thursday That Was Friday

HAPKO (Happy Anime Pink Kitty Organizer) (name courtesy of Alex P)

This has been a terrible week; worse than average, but not nearly as bad as some. It hardly ranks in the top 40 of worst weeks, still, it has not been a good week. I have been stressed. I had a headache Monday through Thursday. I have not slept, but I had bad dreams anyway. I have been yelled at. I have cried. I have been sad and angry and humbled. I have not been happy and content and joyful. Nearly every day this week, I found it difficult to find something to smile about.

Yesterday, I woke up thinking it was Friday. It was on my way to work that I realized it was only stupid, no good Thursday, which just made me wither. And then, another few miles down the road, I thought to myself, “Well, why can’t it be Friday? There’s no reason that Thursday can’t be transformed into Friday with a little elbow grease.” Once an idea like that sprouts in your mind, it’s hard to shake, so, by the time I got to work, I made up my mind that it was Friday, dammit.

I walked into my manager’s office with a time off request form all filled out and said, “I’m calling in sick tomorrow. I just thought you should know.” She said, “Well, when you put it that way…”

Having been privy to the badness contained within working hours, which there was a lot of, she bore witness to the fact that I very much, badly needed a day off. I added, “The last day I took off of work was the day I found out my boyfriend died.” She signed the sheet and gave it back to me. “Enjoy.”

I never take time off of work unless I’m actually sick or there’s some reason to. I am pathologically at work. American workers take less time off than most countries in the world. Most Americans don’t even take the vacation time they earn; I am one of them. I am part of the problem. So, today, I’m taking a stand. Today, I put my foot down. Today, I am not at work for no good reason at all.

Normally, I would feel guilty. In fact, yesterday afternoon, during yet another work crisis, because not a day has gone by this week without at least one of those, I thought that maybe I should cancel the day off request. There are things I need to do today, issues that need following up, emails that need to be sent… No! NO, today, we are European. Today we are taking a day off, even if it kills us.

This morning, I organized my desk with this ridiculous new desk organizer I got:

IMG_0467I edited a post and pre-ordered the new Clutch album. I took my dog for a longer walk than normal. I leisurely drank coffee at my home computer instead of rushing out the door with a travel mug. I have given my dog approximately four hugs and scratched the cat’s belly about the same. I am writing a post that says FUCK WORK in it, without worrying about who’s peeking at my internet usage. I am not thinking about being fired or work crises. I’m not thinking about work at all, other than to realize that I should be sitting in a beige cubicle looking at the clock and thinking it’s only a few more minutes before I can clock out for lunch and have a whole hour to myself. It’s funny how, when you’re not at work, time seems to pass differently.

Instead, I’m thinking of all the things that I could be doing today. I could go to the library or visit the ocean. I could go thrift shopping, and I still might, but I’m really thinking that it’s nap time. Someone’s got to take a nap in the middle of a work day; it might as well be me. My dog and cat are saving my spot on the bed for me. Work work work.

Things to ponder while napping: The dog weighs 70 lbs, the cat weighs a whopping 26, so why do they look about the same size here?

People Of The Office Part 2


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. Last time, even though I was doing the exact job I’m doing now, it was in a different building with different people. My company was sold a year ago and I was sold with it. Other than one warehouse worker, I’m surrounded by entirely different coworkers. Let’s dish the dirt on some current coworkers!

Stripper Shoes

I call her stripper shoes, because she wears shoes like these to work almost every day:


Our office is casual attire. I don’t mean business casual where you can wear khakis and a buttoned down shirt. I mean casual, as in essentially whatever you’d wear on the weekend. It’s really the only perk of my job.

The only rules we have at all are no open-toed shoes in the warehouse and no ripped clothing, and those rules are simply for liability insurance purposes. Other than that, pretty much anything goes. Hell, I even saw this one day (though he was a model hired for a photo shoot for our lingerie company):

Screen shot 2014-11-06 at 3.27.34 PM

Casual dress code, yet Stripper Shoes wears six-inch platform stripper shoes to work nearly every day, no matter what she’s wearing. I’ve seen her wear jean shorts and stripper shoes, not a good look.

For the record, stripper shoes are meant to strip in, not to wear in an office. Even when I wore heels every day, and I could run, dance or whatever else in them, I stayed away from six-inch platforms, because they are impossible to do anything in besides strip. No one looks good walking in stripper shoes, because they’re not designed for walking. They make even the most agile woman look like a newborn giraffe.


Lesbian Stereotype

On the complete opposite end of the girly spectrum, we have Lesbian Stereotype. She walks and dresses like a man, with a lot of flannel and work boots even though she works in an office, and she has a mostly shaved head in the form of a mohawk.

By the way, I’m still mad at lesbians for stealing the shaved head. When I had a shaved head, I never got hit on by women more in my life and I normally get hit on by a lot of lesbians. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a tomboy. I am not, however, a lesbian. I tried it and it didn’t take.

When I had a shaved head, people either assumed that I was a lesbian or in chemotherapy. Eventually, I got tired of the presumptions, which annoys me, because a shaved head was the best haircut I ever had.

Lesbian Stereotype is, in fact, a lesbian, which is good I suppose. If you’re going to be a stereotype, you might as well be whatever you’re stereotyping. She seems to have a mild crush on me. Every time she walks by my desk, she stares at me sidelong.


My cubicle is surrounded by salespeople who talk on the phone all day. This is the main reason I wear headphones. Directly opposite me is the loudest of the salespeople and I can hear her over my headphones.

I know all the intimate details of her life, because she tells them to her customers. I know where she lives, what her dog’s name is, all about her boyfriend, what she did over the weekend and that she went to a nudist beach one weekend. In a year, I think we’ve spoken face to face maybe a dozen times and I probably know more about her than her mother.

Ain’t no know English

I have to deal with our web guy a lot. He seems fairly competent at his job and knows quite a bit about web development. He even has some halfway decent marketing ideas, which continually amazes me, because if you heard him talk, you’d think he was a total raging idiot.

For example, here is a real email he sent me with no editing:

Screen shot 2015-09-01 at 1.35.06 PM

It was written in red, too, which is another pet peeve. At least it wasn’t in Comic Sans.

His emails are a direct reflection of the way he talks. He uses double negatives in sentences constantly. He actually, not ironically, uses the word “ain’t” when speaking in business meetings. How can someone be fairly competent at their technology job and come off as such a moron?

Rainbow Kitten Lady

My company was bought by the same company that bought the company I worked for before that. As a consequence, I work with a lot of people I worked with ten years ago. One of them is Rainbow Kitten Lady. I wrote about her before in an ancient post from 2009, so I’ll just quote myself:

[Rainbow Kitten Lady is] one of the meekest people I’ve ever met in my life. She is so demure that, if you happen to run into her in the narrow hallway, she will back up and make room for you to pass. Always. Most of the time, the process of retreat is accompanied by “Sorry, sorry, sorry” until you make your way on by. The only interaction she seems to enjoy is talking to animals in baby-talk. She never gives eye contact and she wears shirts that have puppies, rainbows or kittens on them every day. She is a living, breathing Cathy cartoon.

Rainbow Kitten Lady hasn’t changed a bit in six years. Fortunately, Wall Puncher, also mentioned in that post, doesn’t work at my company anymore.

I Have To Go…

Another of my former coworkers who I am blessed to work with again is my former manager. Back in 2009, she used her teenage daughter as an excuse to leave work constantly. She’d come over and say, “I have to go. My daughter has/needs/is doing…” whatever. She used that excuse at least once, sometimes, twice a week.

Her daughter is no longer a teenager. In fact, she doesn’t even live at home anymore. So, I was curious as to what excuses I Have To Go would use to leave work early now.

So far, it’s mostly been a range of medical ailments. “I have to go to the doctor, because,” this was this week’s excuse and it’s only Tuesday, “I tripped on a grape this weekend and hurt my back.”

Other excuses she has used: I have to meet my gardener/pool guy. I have to go get ready for Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur/Chanukah, etc. I have to go take my dog to the vet. One day, she spent over two hours buying dog food. I’ve bought dog food at lunch, too. It takes less than a half an hour to go to the nearest pet store, buy food and come back. I don’t know what she’s feeding her dog.

On election day, she had to go vote. She lives five minutes away and it took her three hours to vote during record-setting low voter turnout when only 1 in 10 Angelinos voted, and most of them voted by mail.

It’s become a running joke with other coworkers as to the most outlandish excuse. I have to go register for the draft. I have to go defend my property from zombies. I have to go stock up on rocket ship fuel. I have to go.

The Scotty Principle


I am a graphic design god. Alright, maybe I don’t have any real godlike powers, but I just pulled off the impossible.

The other day, I told you how Eeyore, the horrible little voice in my head, has been sabotaging me. What that means in practical terms is that I got very bloody lazy about doing my job. Eeyore said, don’t work. What’s the point? Maybe you’d be better off if you got fired. Let’s just surf the internet and draw a dragon. To which, I said, alright, for, like, three weeks.

I have a month to get my work done, which is exceedingly generous. However, I am a master of the Scotty Principle. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Urban Dictionary has the following to say:

Derived from the original Star Trek series wherein Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott consistently made the seemingly impossible happen just in time to save the crew of the Enterprise from disaster.

1) Calculate average required time for completion of given task.

2) Depending on importance of task, add 25-50% additional time to original estimate.

3) Report and commit to inflated time estimate with superiors, clients, etc.

4) Under optimal conditions the task is completed closer to the original time estimate vs. the inflated delivery time expected by those waiting.

That’s how I roll. I estimate that it will take a month to produce what in actuality takes me only about two to three weeks, which is how I can spend so much time with y’all. This has worked just fine for years. Until Eeyore gets involved, that is.

Once Eeyore piped in with his hopelessness and why do you need a job anyway? I found it harder and harder to resist, to the point where I had slacked on my job for so long, I had no idea where to begin. The concept of starting was so overwhelming that I just didn’t. I slept poorly and woke up with anxiety, still, I did nothing about it. Yay depression. Until last Thursday morning at 9:41 am when I got this email from my boss.

 When will this be ready for proofing?  We are behind schedule on this one.

Uhhh… While my stomach sank into my feet, I responded with the Scotty Principle. We had a back and forth conversation as to why it would take longer than normal. I did not say, Well, I have a stuffed donkey in my head who’s telling me FUCK EVERYTHING. Instead, I gave some very convincing reasons for the delay and agreed to a completion date of this Friday.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you might realize that from last Thursday to this Friday is significantly less than the two to three weeks it usually takes me. In fact, that’s just over a week. I had to produce 16 pages in seven work days, when it normally takes me two to three times that. Here’s what I had done so far: fuck all and not enough. PANIC!

I don’t have time to panic. Alright, let’s do this.

From 9:41 am to 5 pm on Thursday, I created an entire layout–a process which can take a whole week alone.

Friday, I finished 6 pages. SIX. I know that means nothing to you. Put it this way, at a normal leisurely pace, I finish one to three pages a day. Friday, I took six pages from a state of not even existing to done.

Monday, I finished another 6 pages. I only had four pages to go, but those are the most complicated and time consuming pages. The cover is one of them. It’s always the last thing I do and the most design intensive. It takes a day, sometimes two, just to do the cover.

Tuesday, I finished three complicated pages. Wednesday morning, I handed everything but the cover off to proofing. I typically don’t hand that over until later; it’s the easiest to proof, because it doesn’t have item numbers and prices on it.

I spent several hours creating my weekly online stuff. I normally do that on Monday, but I had to push it to Wednesday to get all the work done. Then, I started the cover. This morning, I handed the finished cover off to proofing.

I finished a project that I normally have a month to do in just five work days from beginning to end. I was all proud of myself for getting it done with two days to spare, when really, I should be ashamed that I put it off as long as I did. I’m never doing this to myself again. Fuck you, Eeyore.

Does your depression or other mental illness cause you to self-sabotage? How do you deal with it? Did I miss anything in my absence?

Employee Of The Month


Alright, so, I’m not really employee of the month, mostly because my company doesn’t do that, but it turns out, I am an awesome employee.

Just before Male died, at the ass-end of February, I was written up for my unprofessional attitude:

“On a number of occasions Goldfish has communicated in an unprofessional manner with co-workers and management. It is expected that all dialogue will be respectful and in a number of instances you have been rude and defensive.”

I had what I saw as good reason for this. My former boss who is not my boss still insists on acting like my boss, even though the owner of the company specifically said he isn’t my boss in the first meeting we had. We are equals now, but he has an office and a parking spot (and I’d imagine, a larger salary), while I am stuck in a cubicle. His mother is my boss and also his.

Seriously, how many of you in your mid-forties could tolerate working for your mother? This isn’t a new thing either. As far as I know, former boss has never had a job where his mother wasn’t his boss. He’s worked at this same job, cranking out the same stale garbage design since the 1990s.

So, every time former boss got up in my business, where he has no right to be, I got defensive. I very much felt that former boss and his mom were trying to get rid of me, or at the very least, sabotage me, since my failure could only lead to his continued lackadaisical success. This suspicion was only confirmed when they wrote me up. A guy who is not my boss and his mommy wrote me up, so, yeah, defensive.

I didn’t want to get fired though, especially over bullshit like that, so I wrote up a two page response to their ridiculous accusations and asked that it be put in my personnel file. That was the last I heard of it.  I’ve secretly been applying for jobs here and there with no success, but eventually something might come through. You never know unless you try.

After I was written up, I realized that it’s stupid to get defensive about a job I don’t even want in the first place. I still get a little grumpy when they pull their sabotagey bullshit, but I don’t let it bother me for long, because nothing at this job matters.

I have no intention of staying here any longer than I have to, so what difference does it make if a guy who is not my boss acts like he is while management lets him? What difference does it make that our actual boss is his mommy? None. When he’s fifty, he’ll still be pretending to hold on to power he doesn’t have and working for his mom, while I’ll be somewhere else. He’s a small man in a small world that I don’t want any part of anymore.

So, I chilled. I stopped being angry about a job I hate with people who treat my like shit. I am a zen master like my father, or at least, I’m trying to be. I’m not nearly as chill as my dad though.

Fast forward to this Monday, when a coworker told me the company had started employee evaluations. Apparently, they do them once a year in bulk, instead of the traditional practice of doing them on your hire date.

As soon as I heard this, I started getting a little sick to my stomach. I kept thinking I’m going to get fired this week. Monday passed with no review. Tuesday, Wednesday and half of Thursday passed the same. Thursday afternoon, the general manager came to my little slice of heaven called a cubicle and asked if he could see me for a minute. Ruh roh!

I followed him to the conference room and former boss and his mom were there. Why the hell is my former boss, who is definitely not my boss, in on my performance review?! But, like the apprentice zen master I am, I let it go. I sat on the end of the table farthest away from former boss and didn’t look at him.

The general manager said, “You haven’t been through this process before, have you?” In front of him sat two stapled together sheets of paper with my name on the top and a bunch of circled numbers. All of the circles were towards the left of the page. In English, we read from left to right, so most rating systems are oriented that way with one being the worst, like so:

1  2  3  4  5

Since the circled numbers were on the left, I logically assumed they had rated me poorly. Great. Then, he tilted the paper towards me and started going through it. Lo and behold, I’m not retarded; the company I work for is! Their rating system was printed backwards in descending order like so:

 5  4  3  2  1

Why would they do that? I have no idea; perhaps to give new employees false expectations when they walk into a performance review. Whatever the reason, what that meant is that I had received all positive ratings! On two pages worth of metrics, there were only two 3s, and of course, they had to do with communication. The rest of my ratings in every category from management to performance were solid 4s and there were even a few 4+, which is almost like a 5, but not quite.

The general manager explained to me that 5s are nearly impossible to achieve, so don’t feel too badly. Almost entirely 4s is really quite excellent. And he even said, “So, yay you.” To which I stupidly replied, “Yay!”

Fortunately, the general manager did most of the talking instead of former boss and his mommy, “We’ve seen a marked improvement in your attitude since last we spoke.” He said “we” even though he wasn’t even in the meeting where I was written up. “And it’s obvious that you care about your work.”

BWAHAHAHA. If they only knew that the “marked improvement” in my attitude was because I just stopped caring. So, yeah, I got all positives and only a couple of neutrals; not a single negative mark at all. I have gone from almost getting fired to 3s and 4s in a couple of months. I am the best employee ever! Now, if only I could find a new job.