How to be an Effective Office Employee … So I Don’t Kill You

Hey gang, guess what I found out this week? I’m what is commonly referred to as an Office Manager. Imagine that!

© Abdone | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Seriously, I didn’t know. I mean, I kind of just drifted into this position, so I didn’t think about what it entailed. Anyway, I work in an office with about … Well, let’s see … How many employees? … One, two, three … there’s another around the corner … can’t forget the one up there … Oh hell. I don’t know. They all seem to be doing their job well enough, so I’m not going to worry about it.

But it occurred to me that at some point, one of them might leave and then we’d have an opening. If that should happen, and if one of you should apply for the position — obviously I’d give my dedicated readers first crack at it.

After all, if you are the fine, intelligent readers I take you to be, I have no doubt you can handle any job duty thrown at you. So these tips will give you an inside track on how to stay on my good side, once you get the job. You’re welcome.

Continue reading “How to be an Effective Office Employee … So I Don’t Kill You”

Music and Dance

sunshine-2Have you ever had a week that started out badly and went downhill from there? Each new day you’d think, “Well, at least it can’t get any wor … oh shit. It totally can.”

That describes my past week at work. Home was fine, work was crap. Friday rolls around and I did not want to go to work. Ever. Again. Do we really need this paycheck?

When I’m in contemplative, serious moods like this, I listen to our classical station, KBAQ. It helps me process my thoughts better than anything else, even silence. So there I am in the car, sitting at a traffic light by a high school, gripping the steering wheel and gloomily staring out the window. The station was playing this, a piece by Manuel de Falla:

I noticed a kid waiting at the crosswalk. He was probably 15 or so, was completely alone, and guess what? He was dancing! But not any modern type of dancing. His hands were raised, he was snapping his fingers — he had this whole Zorba the Greek thing going on. And here’s the incredible thing: it totally matched the music in my car!

Okay, now just try and tell me life isn’t magical. Seriously. When moments like this come along, you just have to smile.

And yes, before you ask, my Friday turned out to be a very lovely day indeed. Thanks to some great music and a young man gettin’ his Zorba on. 🙂

Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe

Does anyone else remember the days when shoe salespeople would hover over you, ask what you wanted, measure your feet, go to the back of the store to retrieve the box, and then actually put the shoes on your feet? Actually touching your feet?!

Embed from Getty Images

Wow. Sure glad those hellish days are over. Aren’t you?

No doubt the shoe salespeople are happy too. In fact, I think the Shoe Sellers Union worked tirelessly trying to prevent salespeople from ever having to touch feet again. And I, for one, love them for it.

What I don’t love, however, is how many shoe stores are completely carpeted. I mean, what’s up with that? That is just so, so wrong! How the heck can someone choose a pair of shoes — a seriously important endeavor — in a completely carpeted store? It’s impossible, I say!

I mean, oh sure, you can judge a shoe by its looks, you can check its fit, you can even jump up and down if need be, but you can’t check its sound. And it is the sound of a shoe that is of the utmost importance. Am I right?

Tell me, have you ever bought a pair of shoes only to discover they squeaked? Or squished? Or made an undefinable floopy sound?

What I want — what I dream of — are shoes that are utterly quiet … silent as the air … nary a whisper or breath of sound … as inaudible as the most inaudible thing you’ve never heard.

You know. Like, really, really quiet.

Continue reading “Shoe Shopping for the Stylish Ninja Wannabe”


sunshine-2Before we get started on today’s Saturday Smile, I have to get this off my chest: WHY DOES WORDPRESS HAVE PUBLISH IMMEDIATELY AS THE DEFAULT?!

For those of my dear readers who received two email notifications for this post, my heartfelt apologies. *Sigh*

Okay. I feel better now. On to our Saturday Smile (actually on Saturday this time. *Sigh*):

As many times as I have purchased bookmarks or received them as gifts, rarely is there one available when I need it. Usually I just wind up using a scrap of notepaper, a playing card, or even a piece of string.

Back when I worked at a library, I found out I’m not alone. We used to find grocery lists, electric bills, dental floss (ew!), and yes, occasionally money. Recently I read an article about items found in books by used booksellers. Some of the things they find are pretty interesting.

Have you ever visited AbeBooks? It’s a book lovers paradise. I can lose hours on that site. Literally, hours.

Embed from Getty Images

During a particularly boring day at work this last week, I read this article on their site. It lists a variety of things their booksellers reported finding. My personal favorite was listed under “Mysterious”:

A hotel cocktail napkin with a name and a room number on it – from Spain – found inside a 1945 mystery paperback.
Nathan from Kayleighbug Books, New York

Was it the rendezvous that never happened? Or was it a rendezvous so memorable, the lady (or gent) kept it as a bookmark, sighing with every turn of the page … ?

We may never know, but sounds like a nice plot for a novel, doesn’t it? 🙂

Cleanliness is Next to Insanity. Also, a Review of Cat Litter.

This last week, I lost my sunglasses. To fully understand the tragedy of this event, you must know that this was my girlfavorite pair of sunglasses. They were stylish, lightweight, fit me perfectly, and were dark enough that if someone was talking to me, I could ignore them completely and they never knew. Oh, and they protected my eyes too.

Now they’re gone and I have to wear my back-up pair. Actually I have two back-up pairs. (I live in Phoenix, after all.) But neither pair is as nice as the pair I lost.

Well, maybe lost isn’t the correct word. I know exactly where they are.

They are wrapped in three plastic grocery bags, knotted twice, and sitting at the bottom of our garbage bin. Our outside garbage bin.

Here’s what happened …

Continue reading “Cleanliness is Next to Insanity. Also, a Review of Cat Litter.”

Bumper Stories

Despite the fact that I don’t have a single one on my car, nor have I ever had one on any car I’ve ever owned, I love bumper stickers. I love them on other people’s cars.

I love them because I love to imagine the lives of the people I’m sharing the road with, and bumper stickers feed my voyeuristic tendencies beautifully. I might get a glimpse into their politics, their favorite teams, their last vacation destination, their religion or lack thereof, their favorite pastimes, what college they attended … you see what I mean?

But this one confused me a bit. I mean, I realize the guy is an organ donor and a dog lover.  That much is obvious.

bumper 1

Let’s look closer though. Do you see what I mean?

bumper 2

The guy wants his dog’s life.

His dog is neutered.


By the way, did you hear of the study done a few years back about bumper stickers? Turns out that people who have bumper stickers — no matter what those stickers say — are more likely to be aggressive drivers than we mild-mannered, sticker-free types. Click here to read about it.

I have no idea if the study included neutered males.

Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty

Gather ’round, boys and girls. We’re going to have some fun today, because we have a very special guest with us! She’s going to watch as we continue to learn how to cook just like Mother! Because that’s what we all want to do, right?

WP_20151006_05_53_35_Pro[1]Oh, and look … here is our special guest! Say hello to Betty Crocker, circa 1973. Hello Betty!

Johnny, one mustn’t scream like that when someone enters the room.  Say you’re sorry to Ms. Crocker.

You can sit to the left there, Ms. Crocker. You’ll be able to keep a careful eye on everyone, and I’m sure all the boys and girls will find that very comforting.

Now, children, please get out your cookbooks. I hope you all remembered … oh dear. You didn’t bring your cookbook with you?

Well, never mind. Here, you can use mine. Just please don’t spill WP_20151005_16_30_23_Pro[1]anything on it, okay? The current spills will one day be carbon dated and we don’t want to throw off their findings.

Now Ms. Crocker very kindly updated her Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook from 1957 so it would be exactly what our modern children of 1973 would want. Isn’t that grand?

So let’s get started with learning how to cook!

Continue reading “Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty”

The Tree of Life

Here’s a little known fact about me: Early in my college career, I considered majoring in Philosophy. I was kind of a strange, studious sort in those days, prone to thinking deep, somewhat morose thoughts.

Anyway, better sense took hold of me and I decided that earning a living might be more fun.

All this is to explain why I might, from time to time, delve into deeper, more weighty topics.

Such as, have you ever considered the Mesquite tree and how it relates to our human condition, the pressures society places on us, the struggles in our day-to-day lives, and our desire to break free from our bondage and choose a life of purpose and meaning?



Well. Good thing I’m here.

Continue reading “The Tree of Life”

Open Letter to My Spammers

ladyatdeskMy Dear Spammers,

Thank you so much for your interest in my blog and the dedicated attention you continually show to my posts — some of which were written several months ago. Your unwavering support of my writing cannot be denied. It is touching, truly.

Why, I remember when I was just starting out as a blogger: nervous, unsure of myself, wondering if anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say. But there you were, giving me feedback and leaving comments — once I checked the spam folder, that is.

Which leads me to my main purpose in writing this letter, that being, how to keep your comments from winding up in a spam folder. I mean, if they hadn’t, I’d have something like 300 comments in my first month alone! Not to mention how many people would have seen your comments, which always included helpful links and business offers.

I’ve spent some time studying the situation, and I think I might have some tips for you. Please consider these points for the next spam .. er … comment … you leave:

Continue reading “Open Letter to My Spammers”