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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Company Christmas Dinner

Someone always gets really drunk. This year it's senior designer and boss.

Awkward Highlight -
Boss announces my senior designer leads a casual life at work and draws one or 2 drawings in the morning before rushing off to lunch. I felt compelled to defend his honor and announced that the other 3 ladies in the creative group are very good at keeping him on schedule and focused. Suddenly the boss bellows that all 3 women should move in with senior designer and then goes through a series of mock conversations he might have with each one - in bed. He then decides its not fair to the remaining ladies to leave them out and one by one suggests what it would be like for each to shack up with senior designer.

Amusing Highlights -
Boss's wife leans to our side of the table and discusses how her husband is a big baby and whines when he doesn't get his way. Somehow writing this does not seem to capture how funny it was in person.

Boss gives speech of how great we all are to work with, one big family, were small but wonderful - senior designer yells "speak for yourself".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm Pregnant

It was discussed at length for at least a year, but when we got right down to the moment it was a simple, do you want to? - uh sure let's see what happens. Immediately afterward I changed my mind and decided I needed to wait longer. Didn't have enough money, didn't feel ready. I immediately decided it could not have possibly have taken and went on with my life. Brother and wife came to visit for a week, followed by a busy few weeks of work. Suddenly, 2 days before my birthday I woke up at midnight in a cold sweat as I counted the days since my last period - I'm never late, every 3 weeks like clockwork. And I knew - I knew I was pregnant. The next day I bought a test on the way home, it didn't work. Nothing happened! No plus or minus. How aggravating. I went back to the drugstore to return the non-working test and bought another one. Quick search on the internet shows it's best to wait until the following morning because urine is more concentrated. I sleep badly, waking every hour to check the time. Finally at 6am I wake up without the alarm, take the test and find the word "pregnant" on digital reader. I stare in total alarm, I'm an adult, I'm 31 in fact, almost 32 but I find the entire idea so daunting and terrifying that I'm frozen in shock. I go over to wake husband. I simply shove him on the shoulder, he doesn't wake up so I push him harder while saying his name. He finally wakes up and I show him the digital reader, he freaks out and gets really excited, he's been ready for a long time. I'm thankful for his excitement but still feel so stunned I show no emotion. It's two weeks later, and I'm getting quietly excited as well. I still don't feel ready. My entire life is going to change.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lions for Lambs

Leaving the theater in Boca Raton, I heard a woman announce in an upper crust falsetto "Well I found the movie rather pedantic!". I had to come home to look up the word. It means:
1 : of, relating to, or being a pedant 2 : narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned 3 : unimaginative, pedestrian

From now on, I'm going to leave the movie theater announcing this line.

Personal note - I rather enjoyed the movie. It was thought provoking and made me want to do more for my country.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunglasses - gone!

I have this bad habit if hooking my sunglasses on my shirt. Today was no
exception. As I headed for the bathroom at Chinese customs station, I grabbed a
roll of toilet paper from my purse, handed purse to co-worker, hooked glasses
into shirt, briefly considered putting them in purse but was already mid-stride
to squat toilet and wanted to end the experience as quickly as possible.

Without going into too many embarrassing details, I assumed the position and
glasses promptly fell into the hole - not just the hole but into the deep deep
part of the hole. I briefly contemplated how far I would have to reach to find
$60.00 glasses. I immediately rationalized that they had recently appeared
crooked on my face and was tired of the design anyway. Furthermore, there is no
soap in said bathroom and could not imagine how to clean glasses or hand.

My sun glasses are now in a Chinese customs squat toilet (attached photo is far
cleaner - found on internet)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My dog...

I got home tonight at 8pm, after promising husband I would be home by 6 or 7. He had walked dog briefly in the morning and made me promise to be home at a reasonable hour, a promise I promptly forgot when dealing with a crisis at work.

I was greeted by a painful howl and dropped everything, purse, laptop bag, left overs in one pile and rushed dog outside to do his bathroom duties. I didn’t even stop to change out of work clothes and 3” stacked heels. It was drizzling outside and I forgot the umbrella. Dog took his sweet time sniffing neighbors yard where his former girlfriend lives. Last week she was out daily to greet him with her rear end in his face. This week the heat is gone and she barks angrily from her porch.

Back in the house I’m greeted by 3 hungry cats who boycott my desire to change into more comfortable clothing and start dinner. After feeding them in the garage I walk through the door and pause to watch happy dog bounce through the house, I laugh and suddenly scream in pain as the heavy steel door smashes my hand in the door frame. Literally double over in pain, I realize I’m starving and the combination makes me want to hurl/pass out at the same time.

Pets – they really dominate life.

Monday, September 10, 2007

As the interviewer...

Last week I found myself conducting the last interview. I had already made plans to hire 2 people prior to setting this interview. I only told the guy to come in so I could see his potential as a possible free-lancer. He was 15 minutes late. I met him in the front lobby and he looked 30ish, bald and giddy. I took him into the conference room. Big mistake, he could not take his eyes off the toys. Er, okay. He immediately launched into a tirade of adoration for our toys and his love for children. During his rambling I learned he was a kindergarten teacher, thinks all children need to have a special toy to care for, need to have that one special toy that makes their world amazing, loves to spend time with children and nurture their growth, etc etc. Normally at some point I ask to see a portfolio but I could not find a point to interrupt this "love the kids" rambling. Finally he breaks and dives for his portfolio which contains jewelry with magnets and toys with magnets.

Its at this point that I find myself in an uncomfortable predicament. He is sweating badly, staring at me with a hopeful puppy dog stare that says, I need a home, take me and I will be yours forever. He is sitting too close, leaning forward with hyper excitement. How do I get out of this interview as quickly as possible. In my heart, I'm not a mean person. I can't throw him out with nothing. I know how hard life can be for an artist. So I start explain as gently as possible that I think his portfolio is better suited for a science based toy company where ours is licensed product. We do not design product for children's learning values but based on what Mickey would do in his world. He almost sobs while stating, I've worked myself into a nitch market. Perhaps I was not direct enough so I say I have other candidates with more experience in line for the position. This seems to hit home as he quickly thanks me for my time and departs.

Later my boss comes back to ask what I said to the guy because he left in such a hurry that he almost crashed into several cars.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

4pm Friday update

8:15 arrive to work
4:15 leave work
4:30 walk dog, attend to all needs
5:00 spend next 2 hours at pool, yeah for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Apparently my allegiance knows no bounds…

Due to an unfortunate series of mistakes that angered a client, I found myself volunteering for a mission to correct the mistakes and thus restore the reputation of the Company.

Mistake 1 – asked client if we could change printed spots on Minnie to easier production method, get told angrily no and yelled at for even asking. Manage to follow approved method for production.

Mistake 2 – submit samples without proper paperwork, get screamed at.

Mistake 3 – fail testing, get screamed at for being only vendor to fail on whatever we failed for, find solution, get clients grumpy approval and fix before shipment.

Due to attention devoted to fixing above mistakes, somehow fail to show pre-production samples to client before shipment and thus produce with wrong clip colors for 2 pieces.

Mistake 4 – produce Pooh plush keychain with puke yellow clip instead of pretty red color clip to match his shirt.

Mistake 5 – produce Donald plush keychain with purple clip instead of white clip.

Client furious, thus we volunteer to drive to client’s warehouse and change the clips to approved colors for 2,400 pieces per character.

We planned this trip in advance by practicing the time it takes to change one clip – 10 seconds. Somehow through a series of faulty numbers boss announced that we had PLENTY OF TIME to complete the project within 7 hour time frame and 4 people. Client said we could only work in warehouse from 7am – 2:30pm.

Asia office gave the following recommendations after we asked how clips are attached at the factory:

Step 1 : Widen the space between two rings by using fingers.

Step 2 : Put wrong clip like the photo at the right side.

Step 3 : Insert the correct one at the same time as it is very easy to insert since the wrong one keep the space between two rings.

Step 4 : Remove the wrong and push the correct one.

Without going into every single painful detail of the day, I will list the highlights:

Monday – drive to Orlando a day in advance to visit Universal Studios, get free tickets to walk the park and look for product ideas. Get to bed around mid-night. Just as I’m falling into a deep sleep some jerk from HK office calls and I wake up on the last ring, fully waking up self and others in shared suite. Can’t sleep for ½ hour, hate hate hate.

Tuesday –

5:30am – wake up, wait for shower

5:45am – shower

6:30am – breakfast

7:00am – check out, stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee (get frowns from others for wasting time but nothing stands between me and coffee)

7:45am – find warehouse, drop girls off at front with supplies and then park car

8:00am – begin changing clips

10:00am – discover new way of changing clips that does not involve fingernails as everyone is experiencing broken nails from splitting the metal clips with fingernails. Quickly show everyone. Am briefly lauded as hero.

10:15am – one person is on phone with management from our Company reviewing something and doing clips at the same time. Grumbling from other girls for wasted time talking and working slower.

10:30am – girl on phone call ends call and announces she will not go to bathroom to save time. I eat applesauce.

12:00pm – negotiate with warehouse manager to let us stay until 6pm so we can finish that day as there is no way in hell we are getting done by 2:30.

1:00pm – discuss shared hatred of client for insisting we had to leave warehouse by 2:30 and thus spent day before at Universal when we could have started ½ the work at warehouse.

1:30pm – discuss shared anger with moron who said we had PLENTY OF TIME and did not take into consideration the pain that slows fingers to a craw, re-taping boxes, plush falling off keychain when not properly situated before new clip, blurring of vision causing us to reach for wrong color clip, etc.

2:00pm – we finally finish 2,400pcs of Donald, stop for packed lunch. Discuss if we should spend the night in Orlando or finish that day and drive home same day. Already delirious from 2,400 Donald clips, do not want to drive home after another 2,400 Pooh clips. Learn no one has brought change of clothes but me. Everyone gets grumpy and silent.

2:30pm – buy water for everyone

3:00pm – one girl offers 2 options, stop at 4pm and stay in Orlando. Others counter with, if they stop and come back next day, fingers will be swollen and will not have mental stamina to start again. Angry faces set in stone want to finish that day no matter what. 10 boxes done, 40 to go.

4:00pm – 20 boxes done, 30 to go. We calculate finishing at 8 or 9pm

4:30pm – discover water dispensers everywhere.

5:00pm – dementia sets in and stories get wild but can’t remember any of them.

6:00pm – I leave to get dinner, gas and stop at downtown Disney for reference samples. On the way back, I take wrong turn, lose ½ hour, get back at 8pm.

8:00pm – 6 boxes left, no one wants to stop for dinner until they are done. I again try to negotiate staying the night because everyone is exhausted from 12 hour non-stop work day and I’m terrified of driving 3 hours while exhausted. Try to convey my concerns in hysterical tense voice; met with determined, frustrated angry faces of women who will cut me if I force them to spend the night in sticky gross clothes. We drove to Orlando in my car, I know I’m not capable of driving home, they ask to split the driving, I agree.

1:00am – we arrive back in Fort Lauderdale, safe, alive, stunned and need I say exhausted.

Speechless, worried staff will quit due to extreme, unexpected and badly planned working conditions.

Thursday, one girl (who would be very hard to replace) arrives to office with announcement that another company has offered her 12K more then current salary. In stand by mode as she takes the weekend to “consider the other offer and our counter offer”. Taking weekend very very slowly to recover from shocks of the week.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday Update

I left work at 5 today, got home at 5:30 and walked dog.

My co-worker invited me and other co-workers to a candle lite party starting at 6pm. I'm not good at arriving at anything early or on time. In this case, its because I had to walk the dog, then take a shower because its so painfully hot in South Florida, then I decided to surf my favorite blogs for a few minutes while hair was drying and finally left at 7pm.

Party had lots of candles. I didn't buy any because I'm broke. My co-workers spent the evening discussing children. I don't have kids yet but I've gotten used to parties with lots of kid talk. I assume it will happen to me some day. I will torture all people without kids with endless stories of clothing fits and day care costs.

Sorry this post is rather boring, I'm really tired. I've had a really bizarre week and I'd rather write about it tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I suspect boss of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome…

Yesterday, in an attempt to thwart any further interruptions of 4pm Friday departure’s, I asked boss to have weekly creative meeting on Thursday afternoon vs’ 4pm Friday. He responded with a blank stare and a question of “why would we start a meeting at 4pm on Friday? We are supposed to leave at 4pm on Friday's”. I said yes but the last 2 weeks meetings have started at 4 on Friday and he continued to give me a blank stare. Either he is really f*#king with me or has the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome.

I left at 4:26 today and came straight home to continue my quest of find ways to save money. It was raining and I had originally planned to spend the remainder of the afternoon at the pool. I logged a call with Bellsouth for 43 minutes and found a fee of $4.99 to be removed. The customer assistant said “yeah you don’t really need that service” so I asked it to be removed from prior bills and she quickly agreed to go 3 months back so I am receiving a credit of $17.76 and I’ve now saved $4.99 per month. Yeah for me. Adding this to last weeks savings I’m up to $81.99. I think that’s worth a bottle of wine to celebrate.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I suspect my boss is conspiring to prevent 4pm Friday’s…

For today’s 4pm Friday record, I arrived at 8:10 and was productive from 8:15.

We recently moved to a new office and boss has chosen a corner office with 2 sides of windows that face the entire scope of employee parking lot – now he can clearly see when we come and go.

Today I went to my car to retrieve something. Upon returning I heard boss shouting my name as a summons. In front of the bookkeeper, he asks what time one of my employees arrived that day. I announce 10:30 but she is making up for that by staying late and will not be taking advantage of the 4pm Friday (were they just discussing said employee???). He then notices a group leaving for lunch and asked if they understand lunch is restricted to a half hour. I say yes they do but I will remind them. They take a 45 minute lunch so I remind each person of the half hour max lunch requirement for leaving at 4pm knowing full well that they arrived at 8:30 and 10:30. I get looks of exasperation. I suspect they find this perk more annoyance then benefit.

At 3pm, an employee tells me boss wants to have a meeting when he returns from picking up daughter. The soonest he will get back is 3:30, upon which he will likely jump on the phone and start the meeting at 4ish. So upon his return, I immediately run up and announce I’m leaving at 4:30 and would like to start the meeting immediately. We start at 4pm. I set my phone alarm for 4:30 and attend the meeting. Boss brings lap-top so he can send wires while we are talking. There are a few big silences while we waited for his attention and quite a few conversation repeats. At 4:25, I announce the follow up action plan for next week’s creative work, say goodbyes and escape.

And here are the benefits of leaving at 4pm, phone calls to find savings:

5 – 5:18 combine Cingular with Bellsouth into one bill, save $5.00

5:18 – 5:30 call Cingular back to set up voice mail service (yeah I’ve had the phone for 3.5 months and mom is getting really mad that she can’t leave a message even though the phone always shows who called)

5:30 – 5:49 call Washington Mutual to remove stupid $5.00 charge

5:50 – 6:15 make meat and garlic sauce

6:15 - 7:10 call Bellsouth to reduce DSL service to Lite. First guy transfers me to DSL dept, they have gone home but message says they close at 7pm and its only 6:30. Call Bellsouth back and complain about DSL leaving early and am told DSL does not deal with service changes, its Bellsouth. So they reduce the service and go through all my questions about other possible savings (none) and then transfer me to another department who confirms that yes they did get the message from Cingular about combined billing and $5.00 savings will appear on next bill. Just thought you might want to know why this last entry took an hour.

I’ve been writing this entire blog while on hold for above mentioned calls. I would have preferred the beach but I’m proud of myself for finding $77.00 savings. Go self! Now if I can just stay motivated and study for the GMAT, get MBA and reach for the stars.

I also want to mention that last Friday was my 7th wedding anniversary and I visited Key West for holiday – it was awesome (went kayaking, snorkeling, saw Harry Potter, ate some very amazing food). On Monday I was informed that entire creative arrived the previous Friday at 8am, had ½ hour lunch in kitchen and that 2pm scheduled meeting did not start until 4:30. To add acid to injury, boss’s children were present, wildly screaming and running with loud toys. Creative was very bitter.

Group Pay Sucks

Yesterday Company had a meeting at Toy’s R Us for research field trip. After 1 hour, boss suggested a stop at Starbucks and then Target. I’m always game for Starbucks and feeling proud that I have a free coupon and am sticking with new budget commitment I happily jump in his rented mini cooper with a fellow employee.

I immediately assume this is not a business paid stop considering below mentioned “cash flow” so I walk up to counter, pull out wallet, order $3 drink and hand over coupon just as boss announces, “hey aren’t we going to all pay together?” Brain stops, confusion, who pays as a group for individually purchased coffee, is he actually going to pay for everything??? I opt to freeze with wallet still in hand. He orders a drink and hands over $3 that does not pay for ordered drink and then asks me to cover the difference with a “hey I owe you a dollar”. Fellow employee orders and hands over enough money to pay for her coffee and I present my free coupon. Boss then orders bread and says “hey I owe you another dollar”, I mumble don’t worry about it and start digging for change to cover the difference. He finds some change as well and somehow we complete the bill payment. I somehow got conned into paying for something when I had a free coupon. The cashier leans over and says, that free coupon was worth $4 so it really helped out. I mumble thanks and walk away.

I wonder if in his mind, he pays my salary so it’s really like my money is his money anyway?

I really hate confrontations about money and I have never collected any money borrowed from self and always opt to avoid repeating any uncomfortable money situation. When I was in college, my roommate would collect every freaking dollar that I caused with a “hey do you have that dollar for gas used on today’s car ride to school?” (oh yeah, she was always a same day collector). I stopped driving to school with her and took the bus because it was cheaper. Due to current budget constraints, I will not go to any coffee shops with boss even if I have a free coupon.

I’ve also stopped eating lunch out with fellow employees because of the group pay issue. When boss is involved (and he can jump in on any lunch at any time and want a sit down restaurant), we always end up paying $12 - $15 per person. Lunch should not cost this much – ever! It sucks. Somehow between certain unnamed people ordering the most expensive dish on the menu and everyone splitting the bill it ends up this high every freaking time. I now join birthday lunches only and budget for the $15.00 into the weekly budget.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For the record, 4pm Fridays…

June 1st – see below post

June 8th – my mom, aunt and cousin were visiting so took the day off

June 15th – left work at 6:00, stayed late to help Christine get ready for Hong Kong trip and evening went to Biddy’s to see Dilana show

June 22nd – left work at 4:20, went to the beach

June 29th – office moving day, left work at 6:30pm, was exhausted so came home to shower and watch movies

July 6th – left work at 7:30pm, we started the grand opening office party at 3pm with the hopes that it would not run too late. Everyone that tried to leave was met with cries of no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I stayed the latest out of obligation and guilt in leaving the boss’s wife since he had gone back to work with Kevin and she & I were the last 2 left. But after finishing my wine and running out of things to say I said goodbyes and left. My remaining evening was spent eating pizza rolls and watching Double Jeopardy.

Next Friday is my anniversary so I will not be working. After that, my commitment to leave Friday promptly at 4pm and go straight to the beach is resumed.

I met Dilana in Fort Lauderdale

Thankfully she updates her blog with casual appearances where I learned she would be at Biddy’s on June 15th and Bahia Cabana on the 19th.
Biddy's is only 7 miles from our condo so we arrived by 10 and passing through the alley behind the bar is where I caught my first glimpse of Dilana. The dreads and wide shoulders are unmistakable.
We got drinks at the bar and moved directly to the front of the crowded room standing directly behind a front row of obvious fans. The songs featured her amazing throaty voice over a mix of African songs composed with her original partner George along with classics like “I stand by you” where she points at the crowd and makes everyone feel her personal care and love. She sings "Black Velvet" with her amazing throaty voice and it’s perfect. Sorry I can’t remember all the songs, I was really too mesmerized.
At the end of the show, the front row surged forward to meet Dilana. I waited behind them but when finished she went outside. So we went outside where she was nabbed by another couple who she spoke with at length. I noticed she tried to say bye a couple of times but they wouldn’t leave, she just has that effect on people. The guy who was playing bongos with her on stage came out so we spoke with him for a few minutes. She finishes speaking with the couple and they reluctantly depart with longing glances over the shoulder. Honestly I’ve never seen anything like it in my life but this is the first time I’ve chased a rock star for an autograph. She turns and poises her body to rush back inside just as the bongo player shouts hey DiLANa. She turns and immediately berates him for saying her name wrong. Its Di lah na (misspelling to emphasize pronunciation). She repeats it like 4 or 5 times slowly, bongo guy laughs and disappears and suddenly I’m under her spell. I stutter my name and announce I’m a fan and loved the show. She apologizes for ending the show early (she sang for over an hour and her my-space page mentioned she might sing a FEW songs – early doesn’t seem appropriate) but the smoky bar became difficult to sing over. I’m immediately apologetic about Fort Lauderdale’s lack of smoke laws and remembering my 2 years in LA where smoke laws are militant and being a non-smoker I empathize. Regardless, a show for over an hour is more than enough and I do my best to convey my opinion and disgust for our local smoking laws. I finally request an autograph and pull out my joker card and pen. I get a laugh and response of “cool”. She hands the card back and husband suddenly launches into a short speech of “I just want to say that as her husband, (pause, clear throat, I look up in puzzlement as to what could he possibly say next???) and I just want you to know that my wife is just being modest, but she is actually a really huge fan”. Dilana stops and suddenly gives both of us huge hugs and thanks us for our support.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I wish recipe's came with warnings

Tonight I made Blackened Snapper. The recipe told me to heat an iron skillet for 15 minutes or until gray. First of all, the family iron skillet is maintained by husband and he takes great pride and joy in the lovingly maintained black color which is created by regular special salt and heat cleanings. So the recipe raised some minor concerns of scorching the skillet but like most issues between myself and husband, I simply assume to do as I wish and he will fix it later.

I followed the recipe exactly, cooked curved side down of fish for 90 seconds, remove from heat and cook a remaining 3 minutes. It was upon removing from heat that I realized I was standing in a very thick gray smoke cloud. It is interesting to note my fire alarm did not go off. I guess its time to check the batteries. Again, I'm hoping husband will read this shortly and take necessary action. Then again, some things like this may require some consistent reminders, or one short alarmed cry for help when he comes home from work tonight. Then I'll proudly offer tonight's meal with a short explanation of the remaining smoke by saying, "read my blog".

Friday, June 01, 2007

4pm Friday's

4 years ago my boss invented 3pm Friday's. Come in at 8am and leave at 3pm. It runs from the first weekend after Memorial Day through Labor Day. A gift for the hard work everyone does throughout the dark season. It lasted 2 years and shifted to 8am - 4pm with 1/2 hour lunch. It didn't take many long to realize this was only a 1/2 hour early release from our typical 9-6 days with 1 hour lunch. Personally, I'm fine with the schedule because it typically provides a Friday late afternoon at the beach with People magazine. Also, I tend to work 10 hour days so this is a nice reprieve.

Today is the 1st 4pm Friday of 2007. I actually left at 4:30pm. I was in a meeting from 2-4 where everyone spoke Spanish and translated the occasional comment (I think our guest was told I speak conversational Spanish but it’s not true, I only pick up occasional words). Then at 4pm I felt the need to finish projects I had told my Hong Kong office I would do. But then Christine left, and Sandra & Jaime started packing up so I neglected to send the projects and left. Lesson - just leave at 4pm.

Its raining so I came home, ate some Lay's Bar B Que chips and channel surfed using my laptop's direct TV internet connection b/c it’s faster then using the TV guide. This took 30 minutes, nothing interesting on yet so I made dinner - Angel Hair pasta with white sauce and spicy shrimp. I settled down with my laptop, dinner and wine to read Pink is the new blog while downloading an earlier episode of The Office (The Coup). The episode has such a humiliating ending for Dwight; I really don't think I can watch it again. Now I remember why I didn't download it after the first watching.

Moving on to the porch with Laurie Notaro's new book "there's a (slight) chance i might be going to hell" with water and a clove. She's such a fantastic author. In the past, her books have all been about her life but this is fictional. I love it. I had to leave the porch b/c the rain just got really splashy. I left a chair in front of the door for husband to put away when he comes home. He thinks I'm absent minded but really I'm just lazy.

Now I'm blogging and listening to Chris Cornell's "You know my name". I'm now moving onto to the evening's entertainment of Will Smith in Enemy of the State.

edited to add:
I just realized the employee manual provides two 15 minute breaks per day. Therefore, this 4pm business is just a consolidation of an 8 hour day.
Friday 8am - 4pm (1/2 hour lunch) = 7.5
Monday - Thursday 9am - 6pm (1 hour lunch, two 15 minute breaks) = 7.5

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I hate it when my favorite dental hygienist leaves town without notification!!!

Going to the dentist for a cleaning sucks – but for the last 2 visits I appreciated Rosanne because she made me laugh while scraping my teeth and causing enough pain to bring tears. The pain was okay because afterwards my teeth/gums felt clean, slightly sore and I was in a good mood from chatting with Rosanne. In February she advised me to come back in 3 months for a follow up.
I went in today and she was gone! I reluctantly follow her replacement Olga down the hallway. She’s robotic and humorless with horrible technique. The procedure begins with the electronic tool that horrifies with the shrill sound and painful grinding (Rosanne used to start with the hand-scraping to scope out tooth issues and it was easier to converse before being blinded with pain). During the first minute of grinding she places the water hose in my mouth and somehow sprays my entire face. I protest so she switches to a smaller nozzle and hands me goggles, it still sprays my entire face. With the tool in my mouth, my goggles covered with water she asks “does this help?” Evil.
She moves onto the hand-scrapping. I remember a kinder Rosanne carefully cleaning each tooth and I somehow think this step will be better. Its not, she digs furiously into my gums and announces each 5mm space with a disgusted shake of her head. “Do you floss? Your gums are really red and you have 3 spaces that are 5mm wide”. Of course I floss, I have sensitive teeth.
She reaches the bottom row before I finally remember why it didn’t hurt so badly before. Rosanne used that pink stuff to numb my teeth. Olga didn’t offer the pink stuff. I immediately request it, she acts completely surprised and surveys my chart for history of sensitive teeth. I complain viciously that I have been crying in pain for 15 minutes she has the nerve to say she hadn’t noticed.
Pink stuff applied, remaining cleaning fine. In 6 months I need to find a new dentist.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mmmmm Outback

I seem determined to wreck all advances made by morning workout. Outback is almost the last restaurant within a short walking distance from the hotel that I have not yet had and it has been beckoning for a several days. Tonights message was short, it said "I promise to give you chicken and pasta that will make you happy!" and I promptly gave in.

I entered the promise land with the request to test taste 3 different wines before I settled on one. The funny part is the servings kept getting bigger! The last was almost 1/2 the glass - silly waiter (unlike cheap Ruth steak house waiter who gave me tiny sips of 2 wines).

I ordered chicken and shrimp pasta. First the lovely brown bread came out - I'm sure you are drooling at this point, nice beautiful brown bread with soft creamy butter. Then they brought "welcome shrimp" breaded and with a drizzle of mayo! Then the pasta where the chicken was wonderful and everything a chicken texture has ever promised to be. How I love Chicken - from America, no bones, skin, beaks or feet - just lovely pressed together formed in a strip chicken breast.

Lovely night, going to bed early because tomorrow I'm going to China to visit mechanism factories. I must remember to take a banana for the food will certainly be interesting.

I just KNEW the streets of Hong Kong were not safe!

Front page head line reads: Hawkers plunge into street cave-in. Apparently yesterday's terrifing thunder storms caused the side walk in an alley to collape. Four street vendors fell into a 4 metre-deep hole along with their booths.

It happened minutes before a red rainstorm warning - prompted by a deluge that dropped up to 70mm of rain in an hour - was lowered.

Things not normally seen or heard in US News:
1. Hawkers
2. side walk collape
3. metre
4. red rainstorm warning
5. mm

I'm not sure what I'm more shocked at, side walk collape or hawkers staying in their booths in this kind of insane weather???

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I despise Piano Bars with a deep, very deep hatred

Warning, this is a very grumpy post. Currently I am residing at the Royal Garden hotel in Hong Kong. I've been here for 2 weeks and the staff has been lovely. The food is surprisingly good for a hotel (except for the Chicken Caesar Salad which had bones - I guess one is to remove the chicken from the salad to remove meat from bones???). Everything is very nice except I can no longer take the piano player. I've never one for sappy love songs and this guy has a booklet of them all! The hotel is 16 floors with an open center and wrap around balconies for every floor. The piano sits in the 3rd floor buffet restaurant and every night from 8pm – midnight, the same guy sings the same songs in the same order and he SUCKS so badly that I want to stab my eyes out with a spoon. Apparently this is a hot spot to go for birthdays and it is now 8:15 and I’ve already heard Happy Birthday twice!!!! – get it all over in one song for God’s sake. Currently he is playing "I can’t help falling in love with you" and he has just switched to "all you have to do is call and I’ll be there". I hate him with every ounce of my existence. My dinner companions will be ready in 30 minutes so I’m stuck here blogging about this hideous existence.

Moving on with Rammestien’s "Du Hast" playing on iTunes as loud as I can possibly crank it (my computer has a disappointingly low volume so don’t worry, the neighbors will not be frightened).

Earlier today I harassed the pool staff by pointedly ignoring ALL of their 3 most important rules.

  1. I refused to wear their stupid pool sandals that everyone shares. I made the guy call his manager and they brought me clean white slippers.
  2. I refused to put my Starbucks Tazo Zen tea in the fridge (they don’t allow outside drinks). The manager kindly stayed on the phone to say it’s not their policy but if I could kindly drink it within 10 minutes I could keep the drink. Yeah fat chance of that happening.
  3. I refused to take a shower before entering the pool. I had just taken a shower in my room and I will NOT shower outside in 65 degree weather. Perfect for the hot tub not for showering outside.

The first 2 were managed before entering the pool. The third happened after I selected a chair at the far end of the pool, went back to the front for towels, removed my outer clothing and began walking to the hot tub. I saw the old crabby pool manager watching me with his beady eyes and I knew he was going to run over and tell me to take a shower, the Chinese are sticklers for rules. The second I turned toward the hot tub he literally flew around the pool stopping only when I pointed at him and shouted No! I will not shower in front of you, go away. He scuttled away. Frustrated sigh.

Now I’m off to dinner with the Australian, Boss and Boss’s cousin.