welfare bum

Successfully missing the point since 1977.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

long lunch plus boredom equals tablecloth

just a note for all you canadian corporate monkeys like myself: you cannot get out of Montana's at lunch time in a reasonable time frame. your tablecloth will end up looking like this:

it's kind of hard to see in the picture, but the waitress had written We Love Appetizers, which I promptly changed to We Love CRappetizers.
because we all do love them.
today my company did the corporate lunch thing for the entire staff. it wasn't cardboard sandwiches from Druxy's though, it was corporate canada's second favourite flavourless meal option: greek food.
now, that's not saying that greek food is flavourless. although i've never been a fan of the greek food i have had in my life, i'm sure that most greek food is abundant in flavour. food chosen by corporations for employee luncheons tends to be where the flavour is removed from the food. i've sworn to myself that i will never eat another corporate sponsored stale, mayo soaked druxy's sandwich or shitty-white-sauce drenched plate of random greek food (read: weird looking greasy potatoes, chicken, rice and shitty salad) again .
why are HR people so addicted to such bad food? why do they feel the need to constantly pump that shit into our faces? who knows. i figure being that i'm only at the 9 year point in my career that i'm a good six years away from properly understanding the obsession with druxy's sandwiches and shitty luke-warm greek food.
i think the poor quality has something to do with the fact that food purchased from restaurants of any sort in bulk amounts is largely prepared with a deadline in mind rather than flavour or presentation. the amount of overcooked rice and yellow lettuce consumed by my free-lunch-addicted coworkers was rather outstanding though. i'm pretty sure that you could have some dude crap on a plate and mundane corporate employees would eat it as long as it was free and there was cake afterwards.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PT Cruiser Review: American Mediocrity at its finest

Mediocrity - that just about sums up what Chrysler has delivered to the world in its PT Cruiser. I've been driving a rental PT Cruiser for about 3 days now and although i can't find much in the ways of negative things to say about it, i also can't find much in the ways of positive things to say about it. it's just... there. kind of like a big flashy Dodge Neon.

(sorry for the stock photo - the light hasn't been the greatest for photos)
upon first glance, it's kind of neat looking. and almost looks big. when you sit in it for the first time, you'll notice that you're much more upright than in a car, but perhaps not as much as a mini-van and there's no climb like in an SUV. perhaps as a result of having not driven many north american cars, i found almost all of the controls to be counter-intuitive: the controls for the windshield wipers required twisting instead of up/down motion, the power window controls are in the upper-middle area of the dashboard.
the trunk area is also surprisingly small for a vehicle that appears to be so large, but if my memory suits correctly the entire thing is in fact built on a Neon frame, which would put this into the compact or sub-compact size range.
when you step on the gas pedal, it accelerates well. certainly nothing special, but the 150 hp 2.4 liter engine is definitely more powerful than my Toyota Yaris. it does not absorb the bumps and cracks of the road as much as i'd hoped for from a $25,000 automobile - i'd actually say that my significantly-less-expensive sub compact Toyota actually does a better job in that respect. although i haven't actually purchased gas yet, i can tell by the gas guage that it's not even remotely close to as fuel efficient as the automobiles i'm used to.
good news: there is plenty of head room in the vehicle and loads of leg room. being 6'2" tall, i can certainly appreciate this. my Yaris is just barely large enough for someone my size, but i have no issues in the PT Cruiser with that respect. HOWEVER, as Martini points out in his review of the HHR (GM's similarly styled offering), there are various visibility issues to the point where it could almost be a safety concern. for me, seeing things like stop lights required me to crouch down and forward to be able to see them as the PT Cruiser's roof seems to slope forward into the field of view; the passenger-side visor almost entirely blocked the right side of the windshield when it was down; the rear-view mirror does not offer a full view of the rear window and there are large and noticeable blind spots. i find myself looking over my shoulder and crouching to look around continuously while driving this thing.
all that said, it's a nice looking automobile in my opinion. the retro, fluid style to it is very appealing to me, but i think that the less expensive and more fuel-efficient HHR would appeal to me more - even with its visibility issues. in an automotive world dominated by either power or efficiency, Chrysler's PT Cruiser offers neither. just a nifty looking small car.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

corporate douchebag communication

it seems to me that one of the most popular methods of communication for corporate douchebags is voicemail.  it's almost as though most of these corporate douchebags call each other knowing full well that the other douche they're trying to reach won't answer their phone and leave the message accordingly with the hope that when they get the call back with the info they need that it will be left for them in the same voicemail format.
i think it's like some sort of mark of honour, a comparison they can make when they actually get around to seeing each other face-to-face.  "i had seventeen voicemails this morning - it sure is busy in my department"
while i wonder to myself "and did you really need to listen to all of them on speakerphone you cunt?"
speaking of speakerphone, there are literally four conference calls going on within ear-shot of me right now all on speakerphone.  i kind of wonder as to the effectiveness of that situation.  they didn't all start at the same time, so someone had to have been able to hear for themselves that there's already a speakerphone cranked up volume-wise.  does it really make sense to have your speaker on too so that your client can hear everything that the other client is talking aboot?  and it's almost as if there's a volume war when captain arsehole behind me starts checking her voicemail.


Monday, October 20, 2008

in which i start knitting and rent a car... or van... or something?

i got my yarn order in for my sweater yesterday.  i know, it took a while - but it's literally going to be the softest and most comfortable sweater in the history of human kind - made entirely from Misti Alpaca yarn that i got from Knit-o-matic.
on top of being the softest and most comfortable sweater on the face of the earth, it may rank as one of the heaviest since it's going to have like 10-12 balls of yarn in it.  i *think* that means it will end up being around 2 1/2 lbs by the time i'm done with it.
totally off topic, if you have a love for death metal like i do, and a love for Arnold Schwarzenegger movies like i do you'll have to check out Austrian Death Machine.  Death Metal + Arnie = Total Brutal.  'nuff said.
and while the Yaris is in the shop getting it's bum(per) fixed, i've got a PT Cruiser as a rental.  my review of the mediocrity of america will follow in the next couple of days.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

total brutal

after over five months of waiting, my job actually seems to have purpose now. for the last four or five consecutive business days i have been getting assignments left, right and center for some of the most boring and stupid reports anyone could possibly imagine.

don't believe me? imagine a corporation saying "I'd like to know how much we've spent on Ford transmission repairs over the last six and a half years" and being serious, and that being your job.

but on a lighter note, i've got tuxedo pictures. first though, me looking concerned with headphones sticking out of my ears:

and me with a clean shave and nice looking duds:

almost doesn't look like the same person eh?

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Monday, October 06, 2008

picture day in doucheland

i think i forgot to mention that today's picture day in my office.  yes, for some godforsaken reason, my company wants to have photos of every person and every team (let's hear it for team spirit!) in the company.  from what i understand, it's in the effort of compiling an office douchebag yearbook.
my main argument with respect to this is that if the company is going to the extent where we have an incentive program based entirely on saving the company money, why is it that they're paying for a professional photographer to come in and literally waste 15 minutes of time of every single employee in the office.  my estimate is that it's nearly 50 hours of lost productivity by doing this ridiculous yearbook idea on top of the costs to shoot the photos and actually produce the book.
well, every employee except myself.  i'm choosing to opt out for the aforementioned reason and choosing to waste my time in other manners.  my supervisor noticed first today that i hadn't shaved.  it's actually a pretty easy to make observation because i haven't shaved since the wedding.
the really funny thing about photo day is that my company has had almost a revolving door of staff turn-around since i started here.  i'm betting there's been a minimum of 15 people who've been let go/quit since i started here 5 short months ago.  so really, there's a good chance that by the time the "yearbook" is published that another dozen people who are in the photos will be "former" employees.  more gooder, all the time.


Friday, October 03, 2008

such a fine line between stupid and clever

there's a person in my office who is catastrophically stupid.  and i almost feel bad saying that because she is a really nice person, but damn.
i'm sure most people work with at least one of these people.  they try so hard to contribute to a discussion and may even chip in with an idea or two, but all too often those ideas are just... um... ridiculous?  absurd?  retarded?
tough to say.
like imagine establishing a fact in a meeting - perhaps your next scheduled meeting should be on a friday, but you have to reschedule it to wednesday because the office is closed.  everyone agrees and makes the notes on their respective note pads.  after agreeing on this fact, the office idiot pipes up saying "maybe we should reschedule friday's meeting because we won't be here..."
no kidding!  really?
i find as well that it takes exactly three explanations of a fact in order for it to sink into this person's mind.  in the meeting i will say "okay, so this event is monday then, and we're doing this" - this person's follow up would be something to the effect of what should this event be, and when should it take place.  someone else in the room will see the obvious look of frustration on my face, re-explain the situation and be presented with a second set of equally simple-to-answer but entirely ridiculous questions.  person three will chime in, reiterate what has been reiterated and finally, the information will be assimilated.
and the total elapsed time from explanation one to explanation three:  no more than five minutes.
it's kind of like watching a Pepe Le Pew cartoon, knowing full well that skunk should bloody well realize that not only should he realize that the cat doesn't want anything to do with him, but also that she's a fucking cat.  not even the same species dude.  she just has white paint on her back.  cats don't even look like skunks, and they certainly don't smell like them.
the only problem is that the office idiot isn't a cartoon and it's not funny at all, it's just frustrating.  frustrating like getting a double-double instead of a black coffee.  frustrating like watching Nancy Grace interview a defence attorney.
i swear before i'm through at this place i'm going to be one of those TGIF people.  if i set my screen saver to reference the end of the week or the end of the business day, please shoot me.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

welcome to costco. i love you.

have i ever mentioned that the woman that sits in the office behind me checks every voicemail and makes/takes every phone call on speakerphone?
because if i haven't, then i should.  it's horrendously annoying.  and she always leaves her office door open so that all of us out in the cubicle farm can hear everything that's going on.
she's quite the beast of a woman too.  a little pudgy, a little old and a voice that could grate parmesan cheese.  she's got beady little eyes that try to hide behind expensive-but-not-stylish glasses and short blond hair that looks like it was coloured with javex (i'm sure it's proper colour is either grey, charcoal, or just plain awful - whatever colour satan's ass-hairs are).  she's a manager here and i think she's been an employee of the company for like 20 years or some shit.
and if the aforementioned things weren't bad enough - she sneezes so loud that you can easily hear her even in the rare instance when she does close her office door.  it's like she projects the sneeze with her manly, bellowing voice so that the others of her species can hear her call.
what's really funny though, is that while on one of these seamlessly never-ending speakerphone calls she'll belt out a few of these sneezes.  sometimes two or three in a row.  my very scientific and educated guess would be because her species is dwindling in numbers and she needs that call to be heard across the continent.
on top of it all she's got the holier-than-thou office manager attitude, like somehow by the grace that she has the word "manager" in her job title, that makes her superior to all others not just from a employer-employee standpoint, but with everything else in life.  she's got a bad case of one-upping-you syndrome - like if you've got a bmw 3-series, she's got a 5-series.  if you've got two meetings scheduled for the afternoon, she's got three.
every day i put on my headphones in an attempt to drown out her manly hollering voice, but the volume on my iPod only goes so loud and with a somewhat damaged auditory system it's difficult for me to go great lengths of time with my headphones on.
you know, she's the only person on my floor that locks her office door.  i'm not sure if there's some sort of reasoning behind that, but even the finance people don't go to that extent.  she will even lock her door when she's going out for one of her 15 smoke breaks every day (which make her smell wonderful).
and don't get me started on shoulder pads.