Archive | April, 2010

There’s a Dead Body in My Parking Garage

30 Apr

Well, maybe not really, but it sure smelled like it when I went to my car yesterday.  I’ve smelled a dead body before and it is very unique.  When Living Dilbert was young and idealistic and still in college, she thought she wanted to be a detective and she did a college internship at a sheriff’s department.  Oh, the things I saw.   This was probably more back in the day when they let interns get a close up view of everything and participate in ride alongs.  One day we were called out because of a dead body being found in a vacant yard.   It was some poor guy that had committed suicide, but there was an autopsy the next day just to be sure.   I was very proud I didn’t puke because let me tell you – it stunk.   I remember the detective telling me, “Yep, the smell of a dead body is not one that you’ll forget.”   He was right.

So…yesterday when I went to my car I was convinced there was something pretty big and pretty dead nearby, but I didn’t find anything.  NO, it was not my Useless Coworker!   She’s here today.   It did make me think about dead bodies though and I think Bad Bosses must have some dead bodies stashed in some closets up here or something and there must be pictures!  It is the only rational explanation for the business decisions they are constantly making!  One of the partners must be blackmailing the others.  Yesterday, for example, they took the ONE thing that could bring us some business and decided to cancel it.  I guess “word of mouth” will be our only hope now…but let me tell you, the phones are NOT ringing.  It is perpetually silent.   Yeah, something stinks around here alright…and it is apparently my future at this firm.

Tomorrow – Saturday Morning Cartoons and Superheroes

Gosh, That Number Seems Familiar….

29 Apr

Apparently, I’m meant to be mean and I can’t help it and I’m probably going to hell.  Best Friend and I joke that we will have our own bench in hell one day engraved with our names.  

I try to be so patient with Useless Coworker, but sometimes her mere inability to think for herself makes me half-crazed with annoyance.  The thoughts of strangling her seep into my mind at least once a week and then I feel guilty and that whole “hell” thing comes up again.  Since I seem doomed to repeat this cycle, I’ll just get it off my chest.   Earlier this week, Useless Coworker sends me an email that reads “Do you recognize the phone number ###-###-####, Bad Boss #3 (who she WORKS FOR) has missed several calls from that number and so have I.”   Ok…let’s stop and scratch our heads a minute and do a little math, shall we?   Her boss is out of town…both of their lines have received several calls from this same mysterious number…and I have taken the time to create and print an office phone directory for everyone to post by their phone.   IT’S YOUR GD BOSSES’ CELL PHONE, YOU NIMROD!!”   Aaaaggghhhh!   Her fricking boss is trying to call her to get his own messages!!!  She’s been here three years…his cell number has not changed…is it just ME?   I pictured myself pulling a Dexter on her ass.  Dear God, I could hardly believe it!   Between the two of them, I don’t think the common sense part of their brains add up to a small pea.   Her boss never can remember how to check his own voice mail, so he’ll either call his own line 26 times a day and then proceeds to invariably hit the wrong code or he calls her (or me) to have her check his voice mail.   I’m actually so irritated writing this post that I’m getting all tense regarding the fact they even hired her.   NO law firm experience, cries at the drop of a hat and the brain of 1/2 a pea!   It’s not like she even has big boobs or anything, which is the only reason I’ve seem some pig lawyers hire terrible staff  – just due to their knockers.

Dear GOD, please grant me patience.   I’m trying.   Most days I feel I’m the only one with enough common sense to step out of oncoming traffic….however, they are tempting me to go downstairs and throw myself into an oncoming bus.

Tomorrow – There’s a Dead Body in My Parking Garage

My Life as a Meteorologist

28 Apr

I have always wondered what it’d be like to be a meteorologist.  Living Dilbert does love weather phenomena!  I have the weather on my phone, weather.com is a favorite and I get a little excited when we are going to have a big storm of any sort.   Of course, I don’t want anyone to get hurt…but it is just so exhilarating to see what will happen!   A big storm always makes me want to nest.  Picture me snuggled up and safe on the couch…at home.

Who ever knew I’d be an Office Administrator AND a Meteorologist all-in-one??  While sitting in my sad peninsula the other day between three weather phenomena of their own (Bad Boss, Bad Boss #2 and Bad Boss #3), I realized that I can predict the weather at the drop of a hat.  Careful weather predictions can save lives. Bad Boss often comes in sunny, but the barometric pressure can plummet with one ring of his phone and LOOK OUT…get under your desk….a tornado is coming!  I must work in Kansas because I’ve never seen tornados drop so quickly from the sky.   Perhaps I should plan an evacuation drill with my coworkers.  

Just as a tornado can suddenly appear, it can disappear.  The clouds can part and the sun is shining just as quickly.   It is scary most days.   Bad Boss can go rip-roaring through the office, spinning wildly out of control and then “blink” he can turn to you and is all sunny and happy, seemingly impervious to the fact that he just chewed you a new asshole.   Most days I don’t know whether to come to work with an umbrella, rain gear, galoshes (also good for wading through the every day sh*t) or would I be better off with suntan lotion?!   I’ve learned to bring all of them…each day, so I can be prepared.  Yep, that’s me, huddled at my desk….just waiting for the impending storm.

Tomorrow – “Gosh, that Number Seems Familiar….”

The Power of Accidental Eavesdropping

27 Apr

I can’t help but hear everything that goes on in the office…you should see where I have to sit and I have really good hearing!  I’m positioned smack dab in the middle of three partners’ offices.   Outside of having no personal privacy whatsoever, it does have a very few advantages. Other than that, picture me grimacing on a daily basis when all three are on speaker phone.

Bad Boss does not like to tell me anything that is going on in the office that pertains to our business future, how it is run, anything.  I used to be hurt that Bad Boss didn’t want to share anything about the office with me – all joking aside, I am the Office Administrator, right?  However, I’ve learned that he has serious control issues and is not interested in being part of a team or growing his business.  It’s not about me.  Whew.  Still, it can be really annoying when others in the office ask me what is going on and I have to shrug.  Bad Bosses forget when they close their doors…that our sound-proofing here is terrible, not to mention the fact they are all deeply in love with their speaker phones.  

Here are a few things I have found out about our firm recently:

– Bad Boss is trying to dump some of our office space and we have not paid our rent in a few months as a tactic of “negotiation.”  Not a good sign.  Funny since he can never seem to remember the conditions of our lease in the first place and has to ask me.

– Bad Boss #2 just bought a used Porsche and feels he got it for a steal at $34,000.  This is the same boss who refuses to pay for the postage he uses for all his personal bills – ever!

– Bad Boss #3 has to get a colonscopy soon and is not looking forward to it.   Bad Boss #2 had one about a month ago and it wasn’t pretty or appreciated. 

– Useless Coworker is extremely paranoid and talks about me to her boyfriend.  She also talks to herself constantly.

– I hear Bad Bosses offering my services to clients before they even ask me and the titles they use for me…which reassures me constantly where I stand with them.   Example: “young lady,” “secretary,” “Bad Bosses’ Bitch” (just kidding on that last one).  

– I’m convinced Bad Bosses are not sure of the direction in their life.

– All are very white, very conservative and very opinionated. I hear many words that are very old-fashioned in not a good way!

– All are in love with the sound of their own voices.

So, if you too are feeling left out at work…sit still and listen.  You’ll be amazed at what you can learn.

Tomorrow – My Life as a Meteorologist

 

401(k)? What 401(k)?!!

26 Apr

I realize today’s post is a little rantish, but if I can’t share with you all….how can I stay calm, cool and collected?  I’ve been thinking about my job a lot more lately…and one thing that is really starting to bug the living crap out of me is the fact that my coworker and I have really pitiful benefits.  I use the term “benefits” lightly.  I guess if you consider being able to sit inside with air-conditioning all day and indoor plumbing as benefits, you’d be ok.   When I started at newly opened Passive-Aggressive & Angry, LLP, Bad Boss promised we’d soon get benefits.   HA!  It’s been three long years and I’m still waiting.  How could I be so dumb?   I would not be as disillusioned if he hadn’t promised all these things to help convince me to leave Old Law Firm.  We DID get health insurance a few months ago (with an extremely high deductible and no copays)…so that was a start, but I figured out we only get stuff when a Bad Boss needs it.   Our insurance came only because one partner’s COBRA ran out and he raised holy hell.  Bad Boss has no gonads and is afraid of him…thus, insurance.   The three conservative amigos said they wanted to “wait to see how the Obama thing played out,” so I guess we are lucky to have it at all.  Bad Boss is covered under his wife’s policy, so he doesn’t give a rat’s bung hole, yet he is in charge of signing on the dotted line for our benefits.  Same Bad Boss says vision and dental insurance are scams.  I’d forgotten… he’s also the insurance commissioner in his spare time.

The next two hurdles are 401(k) and disability and I’m tired of waiting.   The closest I’ve gotten to a 401(k) was the other day when one of Bad Bosses had the nerve to send me to his bank in the high-end financial district so that his contribution would be made by 4/15.   I sat listening at my desk in disbelief as his old jowls were jabbering about how he had to get his money in before tax day.  He knows we don’t have a 401(k) and I’ve asked about 1,001 times.   They don’t even offer gas money for personal errands.  Thank yous are about as rare as an albino gorilla living in the Sahara.

I’m tired of fooling myself into thinking “oh, they are getting to it…” NO, they aren’t.  They simply do not care.  One thing I’ve learned at this firm and I’m sure is true in most places – if it doesn’t affect them, they really don’t give a flying f**k.   Period.

Tomorrow – The Power of Accidental Eavesdropping

Any Given Sunday

25 Apr

Although I may be suffering terribly from the Sunday blues, please know I still LOVE Sundays.  Any given Sunday will find me sleeping late, thanking God I’m not at work and resting my mind and body for the week ahead. 

What makes a perfect Sunday for me?  The things I dream about starting on Tuesdays?

 – Never getting dressed – an awesome day is when you don’t have to get dressed in outside clothes and you don’t have to shower!

– Speaking of not showering, even better is not leaving the house all day – don’t even open the front door!

– Lifetime movie marathon – purely to make fun of and predict the plots.  It’s great therapy, especially when you realize the plot situations are usually far worse than anything Bad Boss has thrown your way.

– Never eating a balanced meal – your main meal staple contains processed sugar, flour and chemical additives that you can’t even pronounce.

– Snuggling with your favorite furry pets or Main Squeeze all day.  The toughest decision to be made is who is going to get off the couch to make the popcorn.

I’m sure we all have our own ideas of a “perfect Sunday,” but the ones listed above are some of my ultimate favorites.   What are some of yours?  I’d love to hear them.

Tomorrow – 401(k)?  WHAT 401(k)?

The Spirit of Giving or Lack Thereof

24 Apr

Most lawyers and high-end business executives are cheap when it comes to doing anything nice for another human being.  Sometimes their cheapness surprises even me.   So many examples come to mind…where do I begin?  

A few years ago at Old Law Firm, our floor was asked to collect some money to give to the nice gentleman that handled the mail on our floor and to the young guy that handled all of our files and records.  These folks did not get any kind of holiday bonus or any other gift usually, so we wanted to do something for them to show our appreciation.   I gave $20 as did many of the other staff on our floor….it was the holidays after all and these were great guys!   The collection pot came around to a particularly high-end preening lawyer whose mere presence made my skin crawl.   Let’s see…what did he donate?   $5.00.  Five whole dollars to be split between the two of them.  Why bother?  

Other great examples:

– The terd who had me bring him his change  ($0.86) from the lunches he made me go buy for everyone – he probably makes $1.5 million a year with his eyes closed.

– The fine person who donated a gift card for a non-profit to buy some much-needed supplies for a family that had lost their home to a fire.  The gift card?  It was a $25 gift card that had a whopping $3.42 balance and the person had the audacity to put a sticky note on it saying that was all that was remaining.   Really? You shouldn’t have….and it appears you didn’t.

– During the horrible lay-offs in 2009, an idea was presented to the new associates at Old Law Firm that they could pool together some of their “bonus” money and save a secretary’s job OR they could be greedy and keep that money.  Keep in mind that most associates at the big law firms start, START out with at least $130K a year, plus signing bonus, plus other bonues.  Yep, sweet and dedicated secretary lost her job faster than a big-firm lawyer will jump on a loose dollar bill.

– Did you know that in most big businesses it is the staff who give 80% of the money in all collections?   It was certainly true at Old Law Firm.

Hats off to the wonderful secretaries, assistants and other staff personnel out there who know how to give and do so whole-heartedly and with the least money to spare.  You, my friends, make a difference in the world in a very good way.   As for the rest of you tightwad, money-grubbing executives?   Karma.   Look it up.

Tomorrow – Any Given Sunday

My Life as a Gardener

23 Apr

As I was working in my yard last weekend, it occurred to me that working in a law firm and gardening have several similarities.   A perfect comparison?  What do aphids and Bad Bosses possibly have in common?   They both will suck the life out of something beautiful for their own survival.   Bad Boss is the epitome of an aphid.  I recently read that aphids are monophagous, meaning they only feed on one plant species.   Clearly, Bad Boss is the aphid and I’m the only surviving plant species from which to feed!   When I arrived here at Passive-Aggressive & Angry, LLP, I like to think I was still kind of beautiful (inside at least) and that I was full of life.   Now?   I am a withered, husk of a former employee and I’m mean to boot.  

The soil was rich and fertile when I started at the firm two years ago.   The seeds were planted in my head in preparation for amazing growth and those seeds promised a bountiful harvest.   However, like any garden, if not fertilized and cared for…the soil dies and becomes infertile.  I don’t think I could have a hopeful idea now if I tried.  Each time I do, Bad Boss plucks them like an ugly weed and tosses them in the trash without a second thought.  

I’ve realized that Living Dilbert is in a sea of manure with only cloudy skies in the forecast.   My roots in this garden will no longer grow.  I’ve got to germinate and float into the wind to greener pastures.

Tomorrow – The Spirit of Giving or Lack Thereof

H1N1 and How I Tried to Catch It

22 Apr

I know this sounds awful and I mean no disrespect to folks that have honestly been affected by H1N1, but I did try to get it.   When the hysteria was at it’s peak, I saw people in my building wearing those masks to help keep out germs.   Not me – I’d so much as hear someone cough and I’d try to stand by them.   If any of my friends coughed, I’d tell them to please go to lunch with me so we could drink out of the same glass.  If they had a sore throat , I’d insist on hugging them and giving them a tiny kiss on the lips.  I told one friend to cough into an envelope and mail it to me.   Hell, even Bad Boss got sick and came into the office.   I considered licking one of the binder clips he had touched.  Why?  Because being sick is a valid reason to be away from Bad Boss.  You know he doesn’t like to give me the day off, so I find myself trying to get sick in order to justify my absence.   Sadly, I never even got a cold last winter.  

Being sick IS a valid reason for missing work.  I envisioned myself lounging around my house or just sleeping for 3 days straight.  When having a horrid day at work, I sit at my desk and daydream about it.  Best Friend offered to rub a Q-Tip over her sweet dog’s rotten gums and hand-deliver it to me.  Not sure what I would have done with it, but maybe I could have put it in a cup of tea and let it steep and then drink it.  Sweet Doggie had chronic gingivitis.  He was constantly on antibiotics, but sadly rotten mouth was just in his genes. 

Fifteen years ago, while young and much more impressionable and while working for a failing business, Bad Bosses surprisingly wanted me to fly to DC for the day.  For the DAY, people.  I hate trips like that…flying out at 5:00 a.m. to race to a meeting and then fly home at some ungodly hour.   No thanks.  Had already done the same trip to NY a week before.  I knew it was a matter of time before they went under, but I wasn’t prepared to get fired just yet.   I had to concoct a plan.  Was in a relationship at the time with a Goody Two Shoes, so my “illness” had to be believable.  Can’t believe I’m admitting it here…but, if you ever need a truly believable illness…go to your local pharmacy and buy yourself some Ipecac.   Fine, I did it.   Holy crap!  Took a little dose at 3:00 a.m. before my trip and in a few minutes I looked like Regan from “The Exorcist.”    Trust me, no one will ever question you if you are projectile vomiting.  

Oh, the measures I have taken in life surprise even me at times.  

Tomorrow – My Life as a Gardener

Bad Bosses Cause Carb Cravings

21 Apr

Bad Boss has caused me to gain 10 pounds in the last year.  His behavior and rantings cause an actual physical reaction in my body that makes me need naughty food stuffs.  Every time he yells at me, my body chimes in and yells for a doughnut.   On the bad days, I think about them all day long.  The hard thing is that I’m now on a self-imposed “diet.”  Why do I torture myself?  

Should I?
Carbs!

I got busted the other day when Main Squeeze came down to the office to have sushi with me.   We were nonchalantly headed to the restaurant, when I hear “Hey, Living Dilbert!!”  Since I’m always afraid of running in to someone I may have dated, I turned quickly and it was my friend from the Fried Everything place.   I meekly said hello and gave a little wave.   Main Squeeze says, “MY GOD, they know you by first name?”    Sheepish smile, look at ground, change the subject, keep walking.

I can’t help it.  Stress clearly causes cravings to take over my body!   One slam of the phone or one screaming fit from Bad Boss and my mind immediately shifts to, “Man, I wonder if that nice coffee place downstairs has anymore of those huge home-made brownies?”   I guess it is my way of coping.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m quite surprised I don’t have a split personality.   Maybe I do – and my other personality is a sweet lady who loves to bury her sorrows in food.   Bad for the body, but….oh, so good for the soul kind of food.  We have to comfort ourselves with the small things.  How many of you feel that lunch is the highlight of your entire day?   I know I do…..especially if there are doughnuts.
I ALMOST FORGOT – Happy Administrative Professionals Day to all my fellow Living Dilberts out there today!  Go buy yourself a doughnut!
 
Tomorrow – H1N1 and How I Tried to Catch It