Thank (Insert Supernatural Figure of your Choosing) it’s FRIDAY!

Today is Friday.  For millions of people in the states, that means the end of the workweek, and the appreciation of 2 whole days in the immediate future where you don’t have to sell your labors to continue to be warm, fed, sheltered, entertained, and amused.

Granted, we still have to get through the final day of the workweek – but, hey…who doesn’t slack a little on the nine to fiver when Friday afternoon rolls around?

maxresdefaultI did, briefly, have a genuine 9-5+paid lunch!  I also got two ‘breaks’ within the day, but those were assigned to run to the post office (one to pick up mail, one to drop off mail…) so they don’t count.  A ‘break’ from work, in my mind, means I have time for a snack and a book.  Driving my car to the middle of the village to do the mail is NOT a break…it’s a task.

This particular nine to fiver was office ‘manager’ for a small Real Estate firm.  Unlike most management positions – I had nobody who answered to me – everyone answered to the Broker/owner of the firm.  I had a title, and a list of ‘things’ to manage, but I think you’ll agree the title was pretty much name only.

Still…the title would have looked impressive on a resume if I’d decided to list the position on it.

It was one of the two jobs where I got soundly fired.  It really sucks when personal ethics get in the way of job performance…

See – the broker in this small firm had a daughter.  The daughter was one of the agents at the firm.  The daughter, like many other young women in this country, had a couple of kids, was a single mom, struggled to make ends meet, and accepted county assistance available to her.

So, in Early October, when the Broker announced daughter would be getting no additional commission checks in the year (to stay below income caps on child-care assistance) and instead would have all daughter’s commissions paid out to HER, instead – well…I couldn’t stay silent.

Silence, in this case, could quickly morph into accessory to fraud.

Yes, I will fully admit, I handled the situation badly.  I was bald and harsh in my refusal to alter any upcoming payroll/commission records.  I did, in fact, use the term ‘cooking the books.’

Predictably, I got rank and file.  I got the ‘How DARE you’s,’ and the ‘Where do YOU come off telling ME how to run MY business?’  I got yelled at until the Broker was an amusing shade of purple.

And I got the demand to clean out the desk.

The funny part?  After the personal stuff was packed in the car and I was on my way home as an unemployed person (oh…the shame?) – I stopped at the Temp Agency I’d worked through before this job, and let them know I was, once again, available for work.


They put me in a position THAT AFTERNOON.  Granted, it was on a shop floor.  Very physical labor pounding the warp out of engine parts.  The Temp Agent said “I figured you needed something to burn off some of that aggravation.”



Fired in the AM – at a new job by noon…banging away at metal while imagining a very specific set of faces within the mottled surfaces.




Whilst I Sit on Hold…

Firework multicolor

Origami ‘firework’ interactive toy.

I really have no idea where this post is going.  Seriously.  It’s just a little thing about life in the offices of Corporate America…whatever comes out of my head.  I hope it’s enjoyable…

Like a lot of other folk, I hold a full-time job, meaning for 40 hours out of the week, I leave my home, go to this big building, and sit in a large room with a dozen other ladies.  We do have cubicle walls to segregate this large room into littler ‘rooms’ which only cut line-of-sight.  The walls do nothing to contain sounds, smells, or launched projectiles.

I can neither confirm nor deny my involvement in projectile launchings…

My cubicle is a little space within this big room, one of the smallest such spaces in the larger office.  It’s barely big enough for my desk, chair, a couple of filing cabinets.  Don’t take the wrong idea away from this, though…I’ve been offered larger working spaces in my tenure with my company, and I’ve turned them down.  I like my LITTLE cubicle area, and refuse to leave it for larger pastures.

Everyone in the office gets to pin personal stuff amongst all the accoutrements of business life on their personal cubicle walls…well…personal stuff within reason.  I’m certain that having nudes or horror movie posters or other not-appropriate-for-a-business-culture images on the walls would result in a quick removal of both the image and the display-er…but at least they don’t dictate the exact size/composition/color scheme/personal message of stuff that people are allowed to use to brighten their work spaces.

Unfortunately, I see a time coming when even these little displays of personality will be abolished from the greater office environments in this country, as more workers appear on the scene with gigantic chips on their shoulders determined to wreck this privilege for the rest of us.

But, I digress…

My personal stuff on the walls?  To be honest – there’s not much on the walls.  A few coloring sheets & a crepe-paper heart lovingly crafted by my youngest (when he was 8) and a glass dragon I picked up at some tourist trap about a dozen years ago.  Nothing else covers up the ugly beige fabric.


Yes…this is REALLY my desk.

I keep all the personal magic on my desk.  There’s the obligatory photograph of the kids (which is probably a good 12 years old now…), a Wookie, a smurf, and an angry birds pencil topper.  I’ve got a beanie baby constructed from red M&M fabric, and a pen topped with a guy with a huge, cheesy grin and crazy hair.  I’ve got a copy of the SQO’s band’s last CD (of which I designed the cover art-work) and I’ve got a plaster head which could be yawning or screaming in agony (there are days where arguments can be advanced for both versions…)


tessellation ball

And I’ve got origami….LOTS of origami.

I spend a lot of time on the phone at work.  In today’s business world, if you are going to be working on the phones, you are going to, sooner or later, end up on hold.  The length of this hold is directly proportional to the importance of the title of the person you are trying to reach.

If they have certain initials after their names (CEO, CFO, COO, WTF, LOL, etc…) you might as well write off the entire afternoon.

Although arguments can also be framed the other way – those who are so underpaid and overworked that they are too tired to care about anything except how close it is to quitting time also take their time answering the phone.

So…..work the phones = time on your hands listening to muzak or dead air.  What does one do when they have a receiver plastered to their ear without a voice on the other end to interact with?

Some people doodle on the desk blotter when they’re waiting, some people do a quick search on the ‘net, others drum their fingers on the desk, fiddle with pens, or just scratch at places that beg to be scratched.  Not me, though…

Like THAT’S a shocker…

I fold origami things. Birds, flowers, crabs, balls, boxes, tessellations – whatever origami pattern is firmly fixed in my head at the time I hear ‘please hold…’  I don’t bring my expensive origami papers to work, but I use the scrap paper that any office generates, cut down to 4″ squares.

I was once in the phone queue for a very large box-store retailer for 4 origami cranes, 2 lilies, one box, and serious inroads into a tessellation pattern.

By the time I’m ready to retire, I should have at least 1000 cranes folded, which, according to this Japanese legend, means I get one wish to come true.

I’m sure I’ll figure out what to wish for one day, waiting for someone to talk to me…


crane folded from a security envelope