Five Routine Minutes: What Does Replace Mean?

Most days I bring my lunch to work.  I’ve usually got some leftovers in my lunch bag. A quick spin in the office microwave and I’m in business.

There’s always something good on the break room TV. A few weeks ago, we watched some guy who was trying to understand why some lions attacked him. I thought the buckets of raw meat he was carrying were a bigger factor than the “experts” seemed to. Last Friday, we watched some bumpkins wrestling catfish in muddy water. That show made the catfish look like sympathetic characters.

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Five Routine Minutes: If I Knew, I’d Have Waited

A nice couple cleans the office where I work.

Our staff is in and out of the place around the clock, every day. One hundred people who work in the field tend to track a lot of that field back into the office. These two keep the place up and are very nice about it in the process. Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Working On My Own Evaluation

I do not usually publish on Saturday, but I need your help.

Yesterday, I ended up in the company of one of my supervisors. He’s a decent sort, in fact, I’ll even admit that I like the guy. I’ve known him for years, but we’ve only worked together for a few months.

He came to me and asked when I was working next. I told him that I was working today, because that’s the truth. He asked me to do my yearly performance review and send it to him.

Yes, I am evaluating my own performance for the past year. I think we all know that when I finish writing this thing it will look as if I am responsible for the sun rising every morning. In fact, to get myself in the mood, I’ll say this to you: Welcome to July 28, 2012, brought to you by me. Read the rest of this entry »

The Other Side Of Accepting Resignations

Now and again, I read a news story that involves a person voluntarily leaving their job. This sort of article typically contains a sentence like this one:

“Bob White submitted his resignation from his position as the company’s treasurer.”

Resignation Letter

Resignation Letter (Photo credit: Graham Ballantyne)

The reason for the exit is typically left to speculation. Maybe he was offered a better job. Perhaps there was a boardroom disagreement and this is Bob’s graceful exit. It could be that Mr. White is leaving to join the circus. Whatever the reason, Bob White aims to be the company’s ex-treasurer.

If It Can Be Accepted, Then…

A sentence that often closely follows the submission of the resignation gives me reason for concern. That sentence usually says something like:

“CEO Ann Parker accepted White’s resignation.”

Now CEO Parker might have comments about Mr. White’s departure, or she might not. It is her “accepting” of the resignation that gives me pause. Read the rest of this entry »

Famous Last Words (And Mine)

“You be good. See you tomorrow. I love you”. – Alex, an African grey parrot

“I just wish I had time for one more bowl of chili.” – Kit Carson

“Kurt Russell” – Walt Disney

Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx, cropped...

Marx. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrait of Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Gate Españ...

Marxist. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Love one another.” – George Harrison

“Walter Pidgeon.” – Boris Karloff

“I feel ill. Call the doctors.” – Mao Zedong

“Die, my dear? Why that’s the last thing I’ll do.” – Groucho Marx

“Tomorrow, I shall not be here.” – Nostradamus

“That’s not true! I’m gonna die in this suit? Fredrick William I of Prussia*

History has recorded the last words of so many people. Some of them were witty, some ironic, some were moving. Once, I spoke what I was certain were my last words. It was actually one word, and I’m not proud of it.

This is the story of how I came to utter that word.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that it was not so much an utterance as a full on scream – but we’ll cover that when we get there.

If This Were A Movie, It’d Get Blurry To Show Going Back In Time

Barton Park Packhorse Bridge

Water, Under A Bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the beginning of this story. In some cases, the bridge you’re thinking of may not have been built at the start of this tale. Read the rest of this entry »

My First Conference Call

"Kellogg" brand "candle stick&q...

I usually do my best work by phone. usually. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m fifty years old. Yet I find that there are still so many things to do and see in this world – so many more firsts. In fact, this week I had a first. I participated in my first ever conference call.

Conference calls are a common way of doing business in occupations other than mine. I’ve learned this from listening to people who talk about “dialing in to a meeting”. I’m used to walking into meetings where I can see and distract my friends. Because I’ve never done it, dialing in to a meeting seemed exotic and something to look forward to.

Apparently Not

Then, last week, my friend Sally sent me an email asking me to participate in a conference call about a database we are having created for our project. I jumped at the chance. It wasn’t that I thought Sally couldn’t handle the call. I took the opportunity because I wanted to tell people I needed to find some where quiet to work because I had a conference call. I did that, I told people. I felt so…adult!

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Teaching Four Rules

The phone rang while I was home on Friday morning. It was my partner from work. I had a note to myself to call him, but he beat me to it. I made a note to kick my own butt after the call was over for allowing that to happen.

“How ya healin’? Did the surgery work?” I told him things were going well, that the surgery was like turning off a pain switch and having two weeks away from the office was a really nice side effect. “I owed you a call before you called me, man, today is big.” He admitted it sort of was.

Our job was to manage a shift of fifteen people. The manager who put us together expected me to fix my new partner. I didn’t really see the need. Read the rest of this entry »

The True Legend Of Tom Joy

United States Trident II (D-5) missile underwa...

I opted not to go with a cockroach picture. (Image via Wikipedia)

If the nations of the world got on each others nerves badly enough, missiles and bombs could end life as we know it. People say that if that were to happen, cockroaches would be the only survivors. They can survive anything.

I know what will happen when the bombs stop falling.

Two roaches will crawl from the rubble. They will discuss the folly of mankind and how we’re finally all gone now. They’ll make plans to get together for dinner. Then one will lift his head. A shocked look will cross his face. The other roach will notice and ask him what’s wrong. He will shake his head in disbelief and say to her “I don’t believe it, he’s done it again. It’s Tom Joy.” Read the rest of this entry »


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