Posts tagged ‘work suck’

She Had a Suitcase Full of Noble Intentions.


the suitcase is a metaphor.

the suitcase is a metaphor.


Dear God, is that a cobweb I see in the upper right-hand corner?



So I’ve been somewhat of a neglectful blogger. So much so, in fact, that I don’t even recognize the WordPress dashboard anymore. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to post!


The last few months were not easy. I had a difficult courseload and a new job that was a definite trial by fire. And my job still scares me, frankly. It’s hard and humbling and wonderful and a mix of good and bad, but mostly good. I am still not very good at it, or not as good as I’d like to be, but it’s been a valuable experience all around.


It’s difficult to sum up three months that have gone virtually unrecapped, so I’ll attempt to hit on the memorable parts in bullet form:


  • I dressed like a drag queen. Twice. 
  • I handed out countless condoms and dental dams and helped put on a really great safer-sex workshop that inspired at least one student to get tested for HIV.
  • I coordinated a live shadow cast performance and screening for The Rocky Horror Picture Show helped assemble over 200 bags of props for audience members to throw during the movie.  
  • This led to sweeping up approximately 200 pieces of toast, 15 lbs of rice and nearly 1,000 playing cards after all was said and done.
  • I laughed a lot and bonded with coworkers.
  • I cried, too. A lot.
  • I discovered I never, ever, at any point in my life, wish to go to law school. EVER.
  • I wrote a vernacular criticism of an OutKast album for school credit.
  • My relationship turned three years old and continued to kick ass, even though I rarely saw my husband, who last week broke my heart when he said, “I’ve really missed you.” 
  • I voted for President-elect Barack Obama. Still so amazing to say.
  • I had Thanksgiving with my family and a bunch of complete strangers and had a ridiculously good time.
  • I turned 28.
  • I had a terrifying justify-your-existence conference to move forward with my degree and survived it.
  • I drank a lot of 5-Hour Energy.
  • I survived a grueling last week of school, only to come down with tonsillitis in the home stretch.


I have a lot of resolutions for the new year and the new quarter. I need to be more organized, pay more attention to detail, and delegate more to my staff and volunteers. I need to take better care of myself in many ways — sleeping more, eating better, making time for the gym and “me time”, and spending more time with my best friend in the world.


But I also discovered that I really need this blog. I have really missed having a place for reckoning and sorting shit out, yet I would constantly tell myself I had higher priorities than blogging. I was wrong to dismiss it as unimportant, though.  I have  missed the community and also the forced time spent alone, having conversations with myself and putting some order to my thoughts. I lament the missed opportunities to explore the amazing experiences I’ve had and new ideas and theories I’ve discovered.


I resolve to put more order into my life, and blogging is part of maintaining that order, among many other things I neglected to do for myself. My preparation for the last quarter was akin to how I often end up packing before a long trip. In fact, a poorly packed suitcase is pretty much the perfect metaphor for the past three months:  too much shit I didn’t need, some essential items forgotten, and what was in the case was stuffed into it frantically, crumpled into little balls and tossed in haphazardly.


And so I resolve to start packing my suitcase with more care, both literally and metaphorically. I will take out the items I don’t need and neatly fold the ones I do. I will put them into the case with some sense of order and organization. I might find, once I’ve done so, that I have room for some items I forgot to pack last time, those essential items I always seem to forget about until I’ve arrived at my destination and slap my forehead, wondering how I’ll get through my trip without, say, a toothbrush, or my cellphone charger. I will live a more organized life that is equally full, but with order, sense, and an idea of what my needs will be once I arrive at my destination.

December 10, 2008 at 7:00 am 4 comments

Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Star.


First off, let me state that I will stop at nothing to entertain you, even at the expense of my own dignity.

So here goes:


Like many women over the age of 25 who do not have three hours a day to go to the gym, I occasionally wear a foundation garment under my clothes to smooth out some of my bumps and bulges. I wear Spanx brand “body shapers.”

Because Oprah said so.

I like to call them my self esteem panties.

One really awesome feature on them is that they have this split-crotch thing so it’s easier to go to the bathroom. However, I’m weird, and I wear regular panties under my self-esteem panties. So when I have to go number 1, I usually just pull my regular panties and my self-esteem panties to the side like when I’m wearing a bathing suit and let her rip.

However, today, while I perform this task we call peeing, which a four-year-old can perform without error,  I suddenly feel Not Right. I feel warm. I feel warm where I shouldn’t feel warm.


I thought I had my panties pulled to the side, but apparently not sufficiently.  I’m now sitting in the stall, wet, humiliated, and frozen with terror.

I peed myself. I. Peed. Myself. At work. I am almost 28 years old and I wet my pants.

My rational brain then woke up and shook the shoulders of Freaking Out Amber:


Rational Amber: Dude, you gotta shake this off. Be cool, okay? Just pull your wet drawers off, put ’em in a baggy, go back to your desk, and text Andrew. He will bring you clean underwear. You can do this.

Freaking out Amber: Okay, okay…baggy. Where do I get a baggy? WHERE?!

Rational Amber: Look in the cupboard by the sink.

Freaking Out Amber: *tears through cupboard* …there aren’t any! There! Aren’t! Any! Oh my GOD I have to carry my wet panties to my desk. I HAVE NO POCKETS!

Rational Amber: Calm down. Calm the fuck down, dude. There are spare bags for sanitary napkins over there. Grab one of those.

Freaking Out Amber: *hurriedly stores shame panties in wax paper bag and crumples it into her fist* Okay. Okay. I’m cool. Here we go. Back to our desk.


I speedwalk back to my desk and, before I can shove the evidence into my bag, my coworker asks what’s in the paper bag. I’m still recovering from my freak out and can’t come up with a good lie, so I sigh and say, “….if you MUST know…” which was enough for her to not require further explanation.

And then, as I shove the bag into my purse, a terrible realization dawns on me: I don’t have my cell phone. I can’t text Andrew discreetly to have him rescue me. I can’t rely on his seeing an email, either, because it’s nearly his lunch hour and he may not see it until it’s too late and he’s already back to work.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. What did people do when they peed themselves 20 years ago? There will be questions. Questions I will have to answer out loud.

I pick up my work phone, dial Andrew, and try to determine if there is a way I can tell him in code that I need him to bring me a new pair of underwear.


Amber: I don’t have my cell phone.

Andrew: I know.

Amber: Are you going home for lunch?

Andrew: Do we have food?

Amber: No, I guess we don’t.

Andrew: Then I’m probably just going to pick something up.

Amber: Okay…*panic* …never mind.

Andrew: Why? What do you need?



Amber: …underwear.

Andrew: Oh. Period?

Amber: I really don’t want to talk about this at work.

Andrew: It’s a yes or no question!

Amber: Okay. No.


Andrew: Okay, I’ll be there in a little bit.


While I realize that I pretty much fail at adulthood if I can’t even pee correctly, I knew I couldn’t fail you, the reader, by sparing you all the mortifying details. You’re welcome.


Ever approval-seeking,


July 30, 2008 at 4:12 pm 19 comments

High at work.

Menstrual cramps having reached critical friggin mass for Pain I Am Willing To Endure Without Prescription-Strength Relief, I took an extra-strength Vicodin. At work. I’m still in pain, but care somewhat less than I did about the pain. I also feel a bit like someone spinned my chair around a couple of times and then wrapped my head up in a blanket.

The upside is that the pain allowed me to skip out of the last half of our quarterly meeting, which is an endurance test to say the least, testing both one’s ability to pay attention for two hours and one’s ability to withstand the Most Uncomfortable Chairs EVAR.

I can’t understand why someone would willingly become addicted to these things, because I can’t imagine wanting to take them out of anything but desparation.  I feel like a deflated beach ball – shapeless, useless and completely without bounce. If I need to chill, I’ll just do it the old fashioned way and drink.

I was going to write about the yummy dinner I cooked last night, but instead I think I’m gonna go watch my palm ripple for a couple hours.


July 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm 1 comment

In which your narrator expresses remorse for being a Bad Person

I just got a call a little while ago from a vendor I work with asking me to rate their service on a support call I placed like eleventy billion years ago (read: last week). I don’t remember this support call, because it was one of many I made that week and I pretty much am on autopilot when I make these calls, anyway. Basically, I’m reading information out of an email from the technician who actually knows what he’s talking about, probably while playing Text Twist or looking at Defamer or something.

Here is a re-enactment:

me: Thank you for calling _______, this is Amber.
Survey Lady: Hi, this is Survey Lady from Overly Attentive Technology Vendor. Do you have time to take a survey to rate your satisfaction with how we dealt with support call # ______ dated 7/7/08?
me: Um, not really.
Survey Lady: Pleeeease?
me: Okay, but I make a lot of calls, and I don’t really remember the experience you’d like me to rate.
Survey Lady: [ignoring my protestations] Please rate the following on a scale of 1-5:
[laundry list of various “do we suck or rule” questions.]
me: 4 … 4 … 4 … 4 … 4 … 4, I guess … let’s go with 4 … and, you guessed it: 4.
Survey Lady: How likely is it that you would use our services again?
me: Lady, I don’t have a choice, I call when something’s broken and we need you to fix it.
Survey Lady: [admirably sticking to her script] So how likely would you say?
me: Well, very likely I guess.
Survey Lady: How would you rate the overall experience with our company?
me: Totally fine until I had to take this survey.
Survey Lady:
Survey Lady: Um, okay, then. Have a good day.


Okay, so I was an asshole. In my defense, these customer satisfaction surveys are a huge intrusion and have got to stop. The data is not helpful. I know, because I’ve worked for other companies that do them online, and no one ever does anything useful with the information. And if you’re going to insist on these bullshit surveys, why oh why would you bother me by phone? Give me a link to do it online! It’s 2008, heard of Survey Monkey? Sure, I probably won’t actually do the survey. But, you know, I frankly find it a shitty customer experience to have my day interrupted by a persistent wage slave calling me with a script full of a bunch of meaningless questions and requesting that I respond using arbitrary number scales. Do not want.

On the other hand…that’s her job. She was doing her job. It’s a shitty job, and I probably just made it shittier by being an asshole. That lady has to hang up with me and call someone else who’ll probably be an asshole to her, too. And, you know, if that were my job, I’d really want to become an hero after a few weeks.

So now I kind of want to call back and ask for the representative who I was snarky to and tell her I’m sorry and that I shouldn’t have taken it out on her. But I can’t remember her name, because I didn’t bother to actually remember she’s a human being. Sigh.

So, Survey Lady, this is the best I can do: I am sorry that my crappy mood and frustration caused me to fling poo at you, rather than to tap into the empathy within me for people with shitty jobs.

July 16, 2008 at 11:09 am 5 comments

Thursday Evil Twin.

Okay, so there is this evil twin of mine that comes around on Thursday and wants to go out for drinks. She’s very hyper and bouncy and will maybe even pressure you to go out with her.

Do. Not. Go. Out. With. Her.

Send her home with a pat on the head, tell her all the bars blew up or something, but under no circumstances should you indulge this evil twin of mine.

At least not when she comes out on a Thursday. Friday? Saturday?  Shit, take that woman OUT. But never on a Thursday. She gets so excited, she forgets there’s still one more day of work in the week.


I can has Advil, please?

July 11, 2008 at 7:31 am Leave a comment

Of course I left my beer at the store..

Because that’s the kind of day I’m having. You know, the kind of day where everyone around you is in a shitty mood and you all feed off each other’s negativity? And then, just when you’re about to go home, and you’re all happy about that, you make the mistake of answering that last phone call? Yeah, fuck that day.

I ended the afternoon with a customer who was extremely rude to me when I told him he could not return equipment 90 days past the sale date.

Customer service goes completely against my nature, which is to speak my mind and not take any shit. I jammed several choice words back down my throat and meekly told the customer I would take his issue to my supervisor. My stomach literally hurts from not calling the asshole’s bluff and telling him he should go right ahead and take his business elsewhere since he’s placed exactly three small-potatoes orders with us.

When I got home, I immediately consulted with the fridge about some beer. I specifically remember purchasing a six pack of beer last night, and it’s nowhere in sight, neither in the form of full, cold ones, or empty bottles next to the sink. I must have left it at the store. Figures.

My husband still looks like an alien to me and I feel especially fat and ugly today, so I probably won’t be working my frustrations out in the bedroom. I think it’s time to reach for the hard stuff.

Time to make whatchagot cocktails! What can I make with tequila, Godiva liqueur, amaretto, peach schnapps, Chambord, Frangelico and Maker’s Mark?


Actually, Kojak just got home and reminded me that I bought two 22oz fancy beers and not a six pack. There will be beer after all. Now if I can just find the person who does all the cooking around here. Oh, wait, that’s me. Well, fuck.

July 9, 2008 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

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