November 29, 2010

Doctor Doctor

Hhm? Maybe I could work in a Doctor’s office. I have a certain skill set that would coalesce perfectly with the usual waiting room experience.

Disclaimer: There are Doctors that deserve dump trucks full of money off-loaded into their yards. However, these are usually Doctors who aren’t in it for the money. These are Doctors who cure diseases, aid the suffering, travel to less fortunate countries and save babies… This is not about those Doctors.

In fact, this isn’t really about the Doctor at all; it’s about the office management if you will, and how I could fit right in.

1. Tardiness, I am good at that. Have you ever gotten in to see your Doctor at the scheduled appointment time? I didn’t think so. But if I were working the reception desk I would offer such original, believable, heart wrenching excuses for the Doctor’s lateness that you would end up feeling bad for taking up the time of said exalted saintly Doctor with your inconsequential wart, pink eye, inflamed ‘roid… whatever.

2. Seemingly pointless repeated trips to the reception desk to fill out redundant paperwork, including the one that says we can cancel your appointment, but you can’t without suffering the wrath of Khan. This comes under the heading of killing time. The office staff is actually killing your time to keep your mind off your actual appointment time. I have worked for at least six call centers; I can kill some time.

3. Minor annoyances. Pens that won’t write, old magazines, sticky chairs, no remote for the TV that is stuck on a infomercial channel, empty water cooler, full water cooler but no cups, and brain bending Muzak are minor annoyances unless you are sick and have been sitting on a plastic chair for an hour, but they are crucial to the morale of the staff who take out their petty grievances with the boss by letting the white coat free area go unattended. I have always enjoyed finding little ways to stick it to the man.

There you have it, three solid reasons why my next job should be at a Doctor’s office.

November 27, 2010

Freebie And The Bean

Dieting, wearing a super cute sweater and running late is a recipe for disaster when you are driving, checking the time, and trying to open your low-carb protein shake.

Usually I pride myself on being prepared. Kind of like a boy scout if boy scouts carried knock-off leather purses that matched their shoes… mostly. As a rule I like to keep my MacGyver purse loaded with things I might need in case of an emergency including but not limited to:

Safety pins for broken bra straps, lost buttons and busted zippers. A wide variety of OTC pharmaceuticals not the least of which is Gas X; inflate your pantyhose one time in a meeting and you’ll start carrying Gas X too. Pens, double sided tape, pepper spray, meal replacement bars, sweet-n-low, three shades of lip stick, a hair pick, flashlight, business cards, phone, charger, small knife, small screwdriver, Band-Aids, matches, my lucky buckeye, a prayer card, myriad credit cards, occasionally cash and girl hygiene products. Where the hell are the tissues?

I was trying really hard to get an event on time. So hard that I skipped my oatmeal and opted to drink a shake in the car. I shook my shake, checked the clock, I might still make it on time, if … if the shake doesn’t spew on my super cute top when I open it. Damn it! It did. No worries, check the clock, just let me reach in my purse and grab a tissue before it soaks in.

Can’t find one! Check the clock, check the mirrors no cars for miles, pull purse on lap and dig. Where the hell are the tissues? Check the clock; it has now been nearly thirty seconds since the spew splatter. Thirty seconds left in the golden minute from when a stain threatening event occurs and the crucial window when you can save your look. No tissues, damn it.

You don’t really think I will be undone by one little ole double chocolate fudge low-carb protein shake do you?

When one strives to be prepared it means be able to improvise when needed and I needed to soak up that mess and soak it up now! What could be more absorbent that a Kleenex? A Kotex! That’s right, just like James Caan used in Freebie And The Bean to stave the flow from his gunshot wound after doing battle with a villainous transvestite in a ladies room, I used an ultra thin, curved for comfort winged wonder to stop the spreading hemorrhage of an over shook shake.

Worked like a charm; I made it to the event unscathed, unstained and on time. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the tissue box ladies, you may find that you are more resourceful than you thought. Bonus: the adhesive side of a feminine protection pad can be used to de-lint your linen pants.

November 14, 2010

Dishes Are Art

We recently went to a gallery Meet The Artist event to see my cousin and her latest work. Both she and her paintings are wonderful, but I often feel a little out of place at such high brow events. For some reason they make me want to speak in an English accent and gesture gregariously.

And when she introduces us as screenwriters to the other artists I feel as though I have to apologize that we have not yet sold anything. It’s as if all the work we’ve done doesn’t count because we’ve not been paid for it.

Wayne reminded me that most of the artists there have probably never sold a thing, (my cousin excluded, she is quite good), yet they have no problem acknowledging their title. But I still end up saying something awkward like, “We haven’t won an Oscar yet, but we’re writing the speech.” Chortle, titter, gesture, holy crap be careful of the sculpture on the pedestal behind you.

I have to give Wayne credit though; he always has a little gem to smooth things over: “We’re thinking of just selling the speech.” Laughs from the water-color lady and guffaws from the charcoal guy.

Later, after I’ve exhausted my pat arty banter on Renoir’s ear and Picasso’s soup, I get anxious for something to talk about. That’s when I get a little desperate, especially if I’ve had a little wine. And you know I had a little wine.

Abstract guy (I think he was a guy): “Everything is art don’t you agree?”

Sip, think, sip: “Yes quite, in fact that’s what I keep telling Wayne, the dishes piled up in the kitchen are a study in still life.” Chortle, snort, sip, gesture, correct balance, giggle.

Wayne to the rescue: “Yes and when I wash them it’s called performance art.”

They loved that, if only I had let it go there. Switch to French accent: “He wears a beret and recites poetry as I keep a beat on the bottom of a pot.” Back to English accent: “Oh the dishes, always the dishes…”

You wouldn’t think you could hear crickets deep within the bowels of an art gallery, yet you can. Oh well, at least my cousin thinks I’m funny bless her heart.

November 11, 2010

All the Better Alcoholics

Sometimes I think of commercials for products that would be better than their own; for example the Gilbert Gott-awful duck. He should be replaced with… well, anything really. Maybe the car insurance lizard has got a cousin who could use some work. Or maybe the toilet paper bears could get a big splinter in their ass and proclaim how if not for the formerly duck touted now bear endorsed disability insurance they would be shit out of luck.

I also have some ideas for products that don’t usually advertize on TV; such as one of my favorite chardonnays, Kendall Jackson. Yummy.

The idea was spawned by a night out drinking with a former ballerina turned stripper. A lovely girl who at the age of closer to forty than thirty can still raise each leg far above her head, (one at a time), do deep pirouettes, and balance quite nicely on the toes of her platform stripper shoes.

My stripper friend, who once belonged to the same Blue Bird troop as me, likes to drinky. Honestly, have you ever met a stripper or Blue Bird who doesn’t? But the difference between my exceptionally limber pal and other drunken strippers is her taste for the finer things. Not that Kendall Jackson chardonnay is the world’s finest, but it ain’t two buck chuck either.

So back to my idea for their new ad campaign:

The camera rolls on a chic woman seated at a fine, leather laden, Boston ferned, brass railed bar.

She orders a glass of chardonnay and is given an approving nod from the grey templed, floor length aproned, always has a lighter and cigar cutter in his pocket, bartender.

The announcer speaks in his best Dennis Haysbert voice. He says: Kendall Jackson…

Her first sip of the golden elixir provokes a serene smile from her classic red lips.

Then the announcer continues: All the better alcoholics start with us.

We jump to later in the evening, the same woman, lipstick smeared, stumbling, enters a dive.

The tattooed, greasy, Marlboro smoking bar keep sees her coming and puts up a tall jelly jar of two buck chuck. It’s an unidentifiable orange-ish color. She plops at the bar and takes a long pull, spilling some on her half unbuttoned blouse.

The announcer: Why not enjoy a fine chardonnay before you’re too wrecked to care what you drink. Kendall Jackson.

The announcer lowers his voice: Not available in all gas stations, cork screw required.

November 10, 2010

Pray For My Truck

The truck broke down this morning. That all kinds of sucks! But it’s not the end of the world, we’ve got triple A, and my trusty Escort. As luck would have it, I am not working at the moment and bread winning hubby just hopped in my car and went off to work, no problem. Well, a few problems… nothing serious.

Of course the air conditioner is broken on the Escort, has been for a while, but we’re having a little cool snap in sunny Florida, so no worries. One tire is brand new, so it makes a disturbing clunk clunk clunk at speeds over 25 miles an hour, but once you get up there you can’t really hear it that much because the windows are open. And the windshield wipers are a bit tattered, but if you are not driving between three and five p.m. in the summer that is usually not a problem. Save for bug guts, but the cool snap is helping with that; see how everything works out.

My Escort is a fine vehicle. I drove it for seven and a half years with the check engine light on until one day the car magically healed itself and the light went out.

Plus it purrs like a kitten. An asthmatic kitten that has been run over by a garbage truck but irregardless, it soldiers on. Yes sometimes it dies out at stop lights and you have to give it a jolt from a vehicular defibrillator…


Flash back to a busy street where we see a woman with her head under the hood of her car.

Cut to a tight angle on the woman as she frantically adjusts the jumper cables before pounding the battery and raising her weary fist to the sky as she cries out.
       Don’t you die on me damn you,
       don’t you leave me.

As the car suddenly sputters back to life we end flash back and jump cut back to present.

... but it soldiers on. As will I, for I have no intention of buying a new car for the now. I know that if I keep up my maintenance regime on the Escort it will run for another eight years. And while you may not believe, I know my thrice monthly toppings off of the slightly leaking radiator with a mixture of coolant and holy water will keep her on the road indefinitely.

My Brain Doesn’t Work Like Everybody Else’s

I went on a job interview yesterday. (Yeah another one, shut up.) But this one was a first for me, a group interview. (What fresh hell is this?) Eleven people vying for a part time job. (Shoot me now!)

It started out good, I give great interview, and as it turns out even with other people in the room. (Who knew?) But when they announced the group team building activity, things went awry. (Spit, wipe your chin, spit.) ((Okay that last part was a bit much, disregard that.))

We were to build a free standing five foot tower out of paper, cups, plates and coffee stirrers. (I often built shit out of office supplies at my last job, but they frowned on it.)

This was to be my time to shine, wipe the floor with the ten losers surrounding me, (Which I also did at my last job, but not metaphorically. Could that be why I am job hunting again; IDK??), and show them I am a leader!

And show them I did. I sold my plan to my team, they did indeed elect me leader, (Poor hapless lemmings), and we embarked…


Let me just say that given more time and resources, (Three engineering students and two sided tape), my plan probably would have eventually worked. (In space, sans gravity, but worked it would have.)

Turns out everyone in the room, (Included my stunned into silence meek team members/subjects) came up with the same design and erected five foot towers in the allotted time. (WTF? NEVER OCCURRED TO ME TO DO IT THAT WAY!)

I was the only one in the room who didn’t come up with the design that apparently, (According to the saccharin interviewer and her snotty minion) is always, always, employed by everyone, everyone in all the previous ménage a’ interviews.

I suppose I am not really surprised. I know my brain doesn’t work like everyone else’s, but holy crap the plan they ALL came up with was so simple. (Frankly I am embarrassed to be out smarted by a group of people who couldn’t come up with better ways to cover their neck tattoos than band aids. Some with designes on them, so really what is the point?)

I felt bad all the way home. (It’s not easy being green; right Kermit?) Perhaps I could email them pictures of a cubical I built using nothing but toilet paper and post it notes. I suppose they might not see the skill in that. (Woe is me, back to the drawing board.) ((The drawing board is a metaphor for my plans to continue my job hunt… See how clever I am; did they?))


I’ve got mail.

Congratulations, I have passed group interview phase and have been invited for a personal interview with the manager. Good luck to me, would I please fill out a brief survey about the recruiter. (Yes I will, after I see if I get the job.)

Don’t you worry your pretty little head about me; I’m ready for them this time. I’m taking my pleather brief case and I am loaded for bear. (Stapler, push pins, ruled note paper, myriad artificial sweeteners, white out and hand sanitizer; go ahead bitches, make my day!)