We need better Staff…

When you live on a small island, you notice when the flag flies at half staff.  It is everywhere.  Made me wonder what the process was to get said flag lowered to 50 % appropriate height.  It appears only the President can arrive at such a decree, as he has done recently otherwise I would not be writing this. So what qualifies?   Last I saw, over 151,000 people die everyday.  This is the equivalent of the total population of Alexandria, Va.

Shouldn’t this thing be at half staff everyday?  Or would it lose its importance or relevance?   It is already a tad confusing when it goes up and down at various fractional rates based on world wide events.

I am certainly not self important enough to assume we will get a 50% lowering when I pass on to the next lifetime.  Can I ask for a 7/8 staff ?  Or at least an 11/12 ?  Hey, no one will notice anyway, other than the occasional mathematician.   It is better than no staff at all.


Wrap it up …

It’s Easter weekend everyone, and you know what that means…  Yes,  I understand we have been saved from our sins again and all that,  but let’s be honest,  it’s all about the candy.   Which brings me to the topic of the day,  an ongoing battle of disagreement between both my daughters and myself,  a piece of candy’s right to be individually wrapped.   This began years ago with my oldest,  lover of the Hershey’s kiss.   As you all know these treats are not only individually wrapped,  they throw in an extra piece of paper in it just to piss me off even more.   Her argument is that it is chocolate and the risk of melting far exceeds the frustration of having to pull apart the tiny aluminum foil like wrapper.  I will take melting chocolate over what turns into 57 different pieces of trash any day.

“Hey, would you like some chocolate?”  “Sure, I love chocolate”.   “Well, here you go, 100 pieces for you, now get to work buddy as you will have arthritis and carpal tunnel when you are done..  And then don’t forget to clean up the 200 wrappers lying all around you”.

Move ahead to this year, as now my younger daughter has discovered Life Savers.  Damn, I love Life Savers, remember 5 flavors that came in the roll that you unraveled to the mystery of what flavor you were going to get?  It was a treat wrapped in a riddle of what you were going to get next.   Well it looks like those fuckers are in on it now and decided to individually wrap them too.   We have a big bag sitting on our kitchen counter now.   There’s about 12 of them left, and 59 wrappers around the kitchen.   There’s no melting argument for this one kiddos.   Put them in the freaking bag together and let them roll around together.   So what if they get stuck together ?  It’s the Life Saver double or even triple bonus ,  something that is not possible with this single configuration and I say enough!

On to the peeve that is my pettiest.  Twizzlers..  Love them, as most of you do.   However, if you ever send this to me as pictured below, it is the end of our friendship.

“Hey, I got Twizzlers. Let me rip off 5 pieces at once, as I love them ,  WHAT ?  I have to open each one ????   What’s next Raisinets, Goobers, individually wrapped ?

I rest my case.


Hey,  let’s wrap pasta noodles one at a time ?  What a fun meal ! Or Cereal ? Pour the milk,  I will be with you in an hour when each of my Lucky Charms has been unwrapped.

Peanuts in a can ?  Count me in !   In each Shell ?   Only if I can smash them with my individually wrapped Twizzlers…

Crabmeat ?  My favorite..  Still inside the leg of the actual crab ?   Throw it back in the ocean.

Ok,  rant is over,  I have to get back to cleaning up the 14,565 pieces of trash around the kitchen from the Rice truck that showed up at my house. I got a case of Brown Rice, individually wrapped and I want to have the meal ready by Memorial Day.

Happy Easter, Passover, or just the 27th of March…

Signs you may have been adopted

Hey,  it’s Holy Week,  and you know what that means ?  Jesus riding into town on a donkey and no doubt wondering,  ” I signed on for this mess ?”   The ultimate adopted child had to have wondered how he got here and felt a touch out of place.   We have all been there at some point in our lives,  questioning who these family members were and how I got stuck in that unit.    Certainly I MUST have been adopted,  right ?

Fortunately I have done extensive research on this very topic,  and have compiled a list of statements below to help you in your quest for determining this age old question.     It is quite the list,  and based on how many questions you answer “YES”,  I have a scale at the end to help you.

–   The family portrait has your eyes scratched out.

–    Last year at Christmas, you were sent to Istanbul, one-way.

–    For your birthday, they let you do the laundry.

–    For Trick or Treat, it is your job to check for razor blades by biting into all the apples.

–   At Thanksgiving, you sit at the kids table, even though you are now 45 years old.

–    You were once donated to Goodwill, but were rejected.

–   On family vacations, you went to the kennel with the dog.

–    The constant family bickering always stops when you enter the room, followed by uncomfortable silence only broken when the dog farts.

–     You were once mailed to Texas as part of an E-bay transaction gone wrong.

–      You were posted on Craig’s list under furniture for sale.
–       Your bedroom was on the roof.

–       Every 5 years the family moved without telling you, leaving only a trail of breadcrumbs and a sign that said, “We went North”.

–        Your only chore was to clean out the septic tank, daily!

–        You were not named until you reached 10 years old. Up until then you were “Kid #4”.

–         Your eyes are blue, everyone else in the family is bloodshot.

–         You are the only one in the family without a record, and a probation officer.

–          Your father has you get up at 4 am each morning, to milk the cows. You do this to be part of the family until you realize you do not live on a farm.

Ok,  quiz is over,  count up all of your YES answers.  Take your time,  I have nothing better to do………   Ok,  here is the answer scale.

YES of 0 to 5     – Sorry dude,  that family you have been living with really is yours…

6 to 10   –   You have a shot of being adopted.  Begin pursuing birth parents immediately,  and see if that is a better deal.  If not, you can always stay put.  Do this quietly or it may blow up in your face.

11 to 16  –    You are probably adopted.   Hire a private detective and get pictures of your real family.  If they are better looking,  show up at Thanksgiving unannounced.   Food fights on holidays are awesome.

17 –  YUP,  adopted.  Move to the island of Misfit Toys and wait for Rudolph and gang to pick you up Xmas Eve.    (if anyone needs help with that reference,  see the clip below)

I hope I have been some help to you and have provided some closure.   For the record,  My middle name IS Charlie and that video above is from 1964,  the year of my birth.  Coincidence, I think not..    See you on the Island.  I’ll be the one riding an ostrich !!

P.S.   See how I worked the 2 big holidays in ?  That is Charlie thinking outside of the box !!


Things you will never see – Part 2

Just in time for the weekend,  here’s the latest batch of things you will never see, brought to you by Friday :  The only day of the week where God is officially thanked..

  1.  Makeup on a Weasel –  and by this I mean the animal, not half the guys you know

2.  Eyeglasses made of stained glass –  sure,  you may look cool and feel like you are in Church all the time,  but the practicality while driving at night is just not there.

3.  Dark brown toilet paper –  if you need an explanation for this one,  I can’t help you.

Enjoy the weekend,  and keep looking for things that you never saw before and report back so I can cross it off my list.



Think you have seen everything ?

I am taking a pause from my investigation of the corporate world and its antics.   I believe there is much more to write and will be taking a stab at a larger project with it,  perhaps a new book.   While that goes on I want to keep cranking out the bits here as they keep me motivated and quite frankly keep me laughing.   If it gets me to laugh as I type it,  I know it will work when I hit the “Publish” button.

Of all the things George Carlin taught me, and he taught me much, his final live show before his passing taught me the most.   Working a lukewarm crowd in the Harrisburg area, he stopped the show (a rare occurrence), and told those in attendance that show in its entirety would be on HBO,  and if they wanted to see a real audience, they should tune in.   Without skipping a beat, he said “I don’t do this show for you,  I do it for me”.   Silence.  And I loved it.

Do things for yourself first.  Not your kids, your husband, your wife, your family or your friends.  Do it for you.  Whatever that is. Never lose yourself. That is my advice of the day.

So while I work on the madcap world of office politics and policies,  I will stop by here from time to time just to check in on all of you..  There’s always something out in this world that jumps up and shows its absurdity.

Years back I started a list.  It will no doubt sound silly, but that is the point.   It was a list of things you will never see.  I have always liked the expression “now I have seen everything”.  You haven’t.   I went through my list and damn it if some of the things on it actually happened.  So I consider this a challenge now.  To think up things in this world that you will never see. The more we move along with billions and billions of souls doing outrageous things,  the more determined I shall be to add to my list.

Have some fun with this,  as I sure am,  writing it for me..  Here are a few to start us off.

  1.  Clowns in Space –    it seems like a natural with the lack of oxygen and all , but the image of clowns floating around in a capsule,  not bloody likely.
  2.  Roads made of Silly Putty –   this one may be a bit old for the youngsters.  Google it, the shit was great in its day, but used for paving, I think not.
  3. Looking outside and seeing it rain Spam –  there is a .0001 % chance of this one happening with Global warming and all.  If you have never eaten this particular item,  you can now add 2 years to your life expectancy.

More to come.   Keep reading, and more importantly sharing.


Leave it be….

Hey we all work hard. Ok maybe not all of us and certainly not Steve but sooner or later, we need some time off. Time to unwind, regroup, re-energize, relax, take a break, calm down, chill out, chillax, hang out, decompress, kick back, detach, veg out, and go comatose for at least an hour.

Not long ago, you would take a day off, or call in sick.  No one even cared if you were sick.  “Johnny just called in sick”.   It was assumed you were puking your guts out all day and everyone else would go back to work.

Not so simple anymore.  Everything now is a “Leave”,  and with that, a policy.  Can’t have a leave without reading the policy.  Read the policy, sign the policy so you may understand it if you need to take a leave.   And when you are done reading the policy, you will need to take some Alleve.

Not feeling so well ?   No worries mate as you have Sick Leave.

Need a week with the family ?   Vacation Leave will cover that, if you have accumulated enough time to leave.   Make sure everyone knows you will be out on leave, and don’t leave any work behind anyone else, for they too may be on Leave.

Need some time to yourself ?  Take some personal leave.   Some good therapy while on personal leave is raking leaves,  or reading tea leaves.

We also have FMLA,  or Family Medical Leave Act.   Sounds like making up an illness to get away from your family.   This could be paid, unpaid, and up to 12 weeks.  Sounds like Witness protection leave to me..

There is Bereavement Leave, which is different based on the loved one.  Someone close to you could be 3 to 5 days,  your 3rd cousin’s monkey Dave would only be the afternoon.  And if they left you a large sum of money,  you can leave the job altogether.

Jury Leave is like getting picked last for kickball.  You made the team, but no one really wanted you.   Make him guilty quickly and you may obtain some Happy Hour Leave.

Voting Leave-  yes, Voting Leave let’s you go and pick the latest guy to screw you over, and you will get 3 hours to do so.  Take your time,  make the right choice, and you may get 30 minutes left over for a sandwich leave.

Leaves would not be complete without a few of my own :

Meeting Leave – 3 times a year you can get up from any meeting and walk out.  The only requirement is that you must pronounce “I’m Leaving”  as you go.

Project Leave – Once a year, any project that has been given to you can be thrown out at any point, no matter how much money the company loses.

Quitting Leave –  Also once a year, you can curse at anyone, quit your job, and change your mind the following Monday while being promoted.  This may not be a popular leave, but is sure to keep things interesting on a Friday.

Well, I think it is time I leave you all alone.  Go grab some dinner, but leave room for dessert…




The Survey says !

Now that we have experienced exemplary customer service, they want to know how they are doing.  Either through the phone or the internet,  everyone wants our opinion, and it will only take 5 to 10 minutes of our time.

Oil change, how did we do ?

Update your address online, how can we make our website better ?

Had an object removed from an embarrassing part of your anatomy,  how can we improve our removal processes ?

Do you strongly disagree,  strongly agree,  have no opinion,  put us at a 7 out of 10 for appearance, quality, service, speed, friendliness, courtesy,  personal hygiene,  and overall general satisfaction that we did not ruin your life with your interaction with us.

Would you come back ,  recommend us to a friend, recommend us to an enemy,  pretend you never heard of us,  can you like us on our Facebook page,  can we interview you for our quarterly newsletter ?

All of this data is then compiled,  analyzed, deciphered, interpreted, agonized, quantified,  anesthetized, euthanized and circumcised.    In the end, I believe the result is this :

  1.  We have found better ways to create another survey
  2.    survey

Calling all Services – just press or say Part 2..

In an effort to keep my posts somewhat short and readable without having you pack a lunch,   I omitted a personal favorite of the customer service call that specializes in the caller battling the voice activated phone system. You know what I mean,  the gatekeeper that likes to keep you from speaking to that live person you will never understand.   Years ago,  you could cheat the system by pressing 0,  and knew would get excellent live interchange within the next hour or 2.  Then the powers that be introduced another option.   I could either key in my options on the phone,  or I could say it directly into my phone, having full confidence that whatever I said would be interpreted perfectly by this miracle of technology.   But rather than try to explain the ins and outs,  let’s just go directly to the way it usually goes for me,  which as you know is always recorded for training purposes.   Whoever does listen to this for training needs instant therapy afterward.

Them :  Thank you for calling Generic Bank and Loan,  press or say 1 for English, Presione o diga 2 para español

Me :  English

Them :   ¿Cómo podemos ayudarle hoy?


Them :  Please press or say 1 for Sales,  2 for Billing, 3 for a lost or stolen debit card,  4 if you wish to lodge a complaint,   If you wish to cancel , please hang up and call back at 1-800-Cancel between the hours of 3 am to 3:15 am on Tuesdays only.    If you need to discuss something specific, please say 7, then use the # sign,  then *, and then key in the extension number of the person you would like to speak to, if you do not know it,  press 7#75* for the company directory, keying in the last 14 letters of the person’s name.     If you would like any of the above in German,  press or say Die Amerikaner sind Idioten.

Me :  I would like to talk to a person

Them :  We would be happy to direct your call to a person, please hold while we find out who is not on break, or who may actually give a shit about your problem.  But first, please explain to use in 75 words or less the reason for your inquiry and why our 16 different menu items will not give you said answer you difficult bastard.


Them :  There is no need to get hostile, we are connecting you as soon as we are done with training on all of the previous calls you have made.  But first, can we interest you in a new program we are having for asshole customers like you ?

Me :  NO !

Them :  No problem,  we will now connect you straight through to Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta.   Please be sure to speak clearly as he is hungover.

Me :   私はすべての地獄 ! 」を参照してください !

(You don’t want to know what that translates to !!  )

Calling all Services !!

Getting back to the corporate world,  let’s take a pit stop at the village that is customer service,  specifically the phone call to the vendor of your choice.   But before we get there, I do have to tell you that our menu has changed.  We are also experiencing high call volumes at this time,  even though it is 4am , and that your estimated wait time could be as high as 12 hours.   You do have the option of leaving a message and we will call you back,  but it is a safe bet that call back may happen after you are dead.  Best to stay on hold and listen to 57 reasons why you should upgrade your services with us, as it is only available for a limited time, subject to credit approval and availability in your area.  As your frustration level reaches the point of wanting to choke any living thing that will eventually answer that phone,  the clicking sound comes and you have a live human being on the other line.   Percentages will put it at 50-50 that there is any chance you will understand what comes out of that person’s mouth.   The advice here is to try not to muddle through, hang up and start all over.   This is highly known as the call in Russian Roulette.   Play it safe and re-load for the next call.  If you can’t make it past the 3rd try,  it is recommended that you give up,  call it a day, and resort to binge watching violent shows on Netflix.

Now let’s say you make it through, you have a live one that sounds like English is a primary language, and problem solving skills are on their resume,  before you get to dig into whatever you are calling about,  please make sure you have the following ready to identify yourself.    I would be ready with ALL of this,  and would plan ahead for this phone call like you would a vacation.   You will need your account number,  your 4 digit pass code,  your social security number, your driver’s license, your address including zip code,  your online login ID,  your date of birth, your spouse’s date of birth, the maiden name of either parent,  the street you lived on when you were 7,  your favorite pet’s name,  and favorite ice cream flavor before they invented fake sugar.

Now that you are properly identified, proceed with caution with whatever reason you are calling..  Be sure to explain as thoroughly as possible, siting every detail so the fine person on the line can best be equipped to help you.  Then be prepared that your 10 minute litany has just been reported to the wrong department, please hold while we connect you to client retention services,  where you will be expected to verify all of the above plus have your blood type ready as it is no doubt boiling to the point where that vein in your forehead is sticking out.   That department is headed up by Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta. He will be right with you after I put you on this brief hold….

Consider yourself lucky if you make it through in 3 people or less.   Kudos if you got off the phone in time before the seasons changed.   Remember, when all else fails,  have their best competitor ready as your ace in the hole,  tell them to forget it, you are going to switch to someone else,  and suddenly the CEO will appear on the line ready to give you 90% off next month’s bill.  But first, you will need to verify the zip codes of every place you have lived since 1975.

And after all of that,  would you mind waiting on hold for a brief survey so that we can better serve you next time ?   We promise it will be short, between 3 to 45 minutes only.