Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dummies, Part II

The executive (I would call him the "dumb executive," but that would be redundant and repetitive) I spoke of below just sent an email about...oh, it doesn't matter what it was about. What matters is that it's yet another email from yet another dumb person that just riles me up, because he acts like he knows all the answers, but the only reason he knows anything about this particular subject is because the past four weeks of my work life have been spent trying to figure it out for idiots like him.

ANYway. I was laughing about it, because what else can you do? It doesn't help to get mad, frustrated or cry. I turned to the intern that sits outside of my office, and I said, "Riddle me this. Perhaps 12 years of working in this environment has made it so that I can't see answers as clearly as you may be able to, being new and eager and all that rot. Why is it that only dumb people seem to get promoted and get promoted quickly?"

She thought for about two seconds and said, "Because dumb people don't want anyone smarter than them working for them."

What a brilliant insight! And from a 21-year old, too.

I hope, though, that this doesn't mean that as I get older and more jaded I get dumber. This is why I don't want to get promoted or go into management -- I'm afraid of the mandatory labotomy.

I Just Don't Understand

There are many things I don't understand, and I'm the first to admit it. But one of the more confusing issues I have to deal with daily is executives.

Yes, executives. People who get paid many more times than I do, get more vacation, drive a company car and who are in charge of the financial well-being of the company I work for. It's scaaaaaaary.

Granted, not all of them are dumber than hair. But many of them say or do things that leave me scratching my head in confusion.

Here's today's sampler.

I just got an email from one of them at 11:20 asking me to reschedule a meeting today for 10:00 or 10:30.

Look, HG Wells, unless you've got a time machine handy, that's just not gonna work!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Driving Miss Laura

The drive to Utah from southern California can, I suppose, be made in leisure. I have never done it that way. Ten hours is little enough to be easy to do in one day, and long enough to want to do it all as soon as possible and reach your destination .... in just a few more....miles.

It has, on occassion, taken me longer than 10 hours to do, but only if the traffic between here and Vegas is bad. ("Bad" = filled with idiotic southern Californians who think that the rules of highway courtesy are the same as freeway driving. They're not. And you're crowding the road and making it unsafe for the sensible ones of us who took actual family trips in a station wagon with no air conditioning, in the years when an interstate meant that you had to go through every town because that's how it was built. The days when truckers owned the road and respecting their considerable size meant living to see another day. Go away, modern road-trippers.)

This time, I was determined to do it in less than the usual 10 hours. My mom was in the hospital. Again. Some more. And even though it had been happening so frequently over the summer, though intermittently, this time was different. This time my sister was hedging when I asked if this meant I should come, which meant I should come. This time, my brother was coming too.

So I left work, threw some clothes into a bag, grabbed all my toiletries, bade goodbye to the cats, and left. I didn't want to leave my cats. I seem to be doing an awful lot of saying goodbye this summer. Some of it is the good vacation-kind, and some was the bad see-you-on-the-other-side kind, but neither one is terribly fun. "Why can't we get all the people" (and cats) "together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone always leaves and then we have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I need more hellos." -- Snoopy.

As I drove, I thanked the traveling gods that it was early Friday yet, so the crazies hadn't all left for their weekly emmigration to the city of billion-watt store fronts, lost money and empty facades, so my traffic was good. Except for a little bit of rush hour traffic through Las Vegas, I was in good shape.

I stopped in Mesquite for gas. Could've made it to St. George, I suppose, but didn't feel like pressing it. Besides, I wanted some travel snacks before I stopped for dinner in St. George. I loaded up on trail mix, Cheeto-s, bottled water and chocolate-covered pretzles. I put the bag on the floor in the front seat and didn't look at again until my drive home.

St. George, with its red rocks and canyons, loomed around the corner. Sonic beckoned. Diet limeade, Sonic-sized tots and a hamburger made dinner, with a peanut butter fudge sundae anticipated as dessert.

Twenty-one miles into Utah, I see a car go off the road. I immediately brake and pull over, especially since the other five or six cars in the nearby vicinity don't. I didn't see what happened, I just saw a car no longer attempting to stay between the lines, spin out and take out the road-side sign. A truck also stops. "Good, I think. Someone else can help give first aid. Those truckers -- they're the salt of the earth." That particular salt, however, stopped because he thought he caused the car to go off the road. Come to find out, he did, although it took the highway patrol officers looking at the damage on both vehicles to determine that and break the tie between the two drivers. I wasn't any help since I hadn't actually seen anything, my view being blocked by the 18-wheeler. I had just called 9-1-1 and stayed with everyone until UHP showed up.

And I looked at the stars. The sky is closer there. Part of it is the higher altitude I'm sure. And all of you scientists can tell me all about light pollution and smog down here ruining the view of those celestial bodies for me. But if it weren't for the smog, what would cover up that huge hole in the ozone? And the lights -- well, I could see the stars just fine even with the police flasher lights piercing the darkness. The milky way was indeed milky looking, and reminded me of something....Oh! My sundae! Officer, you don't mind if while I'm waiting for you to take my (non-) statement I just go and finish my dinner, do you? She didn't and I did. De-lish-us.

I'm now only about five hours away, and as I drive and listen to my audio book ("Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell"), I contemplate the miles falling away beneath me and who I'm missing out on seeing. Jill and Tonya in Hendersen. Allison in St. George. Another Jill in Hurricane. There are others, I'm sure, but those are the ones I think of just then. But I don't stop now for the same reason I never do and more. Besides having a mother in the hospital and a sister who needs support, I just want to get there.

At 11:05 local time, I take the 2nd Payson exit. I cruise through the hospital parking lot, but seeing that my brother is not there, drive the final two miles down the highway to my sister's house. It is 11:15 when I pull in.

I made it in just less than 10 hours. Could've made it in 9 if the wait at Sonic hadn't been so long and if that stupid trucker had given more room to that car's bumper and if I didn't have a bladder that only holds a certain amount of liquid before making demands.

The stars say hello.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

The New Man In My Life

When a man has been in your life for 11 years, it's hard to think about moving on quickly.

I did it in two weeks.

Oh, don't get me wrong. It wasn't easy. I did some serious browsing on-line, looked at a lot of different pictures, interviewed many potential representatives. Once I found him, I knew he was the right one for me. There was a gleam of playfulness in his eyes, a come hither look, and an offer of many years of happiness to come. Of course, it hasn't all been roses. There has been a definite adjustment period. Like most men, he thought he would rule the roost. He made the mistake of thinking I was coming into his world, not he into mine.

After some false starts of learning where he can pee, where he can sleep, and what furniture he's allowed on, we've moved into the honeymoon phase. He runs to greet me when I get home, and wants to be hugged and kissed. He squirms a bit if I get any lipstick on him, but it's easily wiped off.

All in all, it's a great match.

Wait a minute. You thought this was all about a HUMAN male? Nah, not on your life. It's my new kitten, Dakota. Go to the photo gallery to see some pics of him when he was only a few weeks old.