Monday, November 28, 2011

Sugar Highs and Lows in Awkward Office

This year at Awkward Office the focus shifted from feeding us to feeding others. There was no Thanksgiving Potluck, but we did collect food for Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. In addition to the employee contributions for the baskets, CEO contributed gift cards for items that were perishable. Our goals for the collection were exceeded and it made me proud to work at Awkward Office.

Once the basket food drive was finished, we moved on to the four day weekend of Thanksgiving week. This means that productivity would decline steadily to midday Wednesday and pretty much snowball downward from there. VP brought cakepops for the office to celebrate Thanksgiving. Delicious. I was craving cake soooo much and this eleviated my craving for cake so I didn't try to make cake in addition to all of the food I'd make the next day.

For the majority of the week, a Costco cake resided in our refrigerator in the office kitchen. The cake was labeled "white cake with 2 pounds of vanilla mousse" which, in a quarter sheet cake, screams "SUGAR RUSH" and Katherine, the HR/Payroll person, decided that after VP's cake pops, we should cut in to the November Birthday Cake before we leave for a four day weekend. Danger. Apparently, much of the office staff did already visit the local IHOP type place for lunch and we've now descended into sugar induced anarchy. It started with Bob, Nick's office neighbor, yelping around about his indigestion. When you eat lunch at the local pancake establishment and then eat Birthday Cake, your stomach is bound to rebel.

Indigestion could certainly be cured by throwing food, right? In Awkward Office the answer is: YES. Bob began to throw his cake pop at Nick as Nick walked past Bob's office, which Nick threw back at him and the war of cake had begun. Bob, Kevin, BigBoss and Katherine were conspiring to attack Nick with Birthday Cake and that is the point when I decided productivity was impossible and I packed up to go home. Nick, in his infinite bossy wisdom, comes around the corner to ask me how much work I had left to do today and I said "not much, I'm taking my laptop home to cook and work."

So there you go, Nick officially approved of my already planned and packed exit and sugar anarchy is in full swing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

When Awkward Office gets Awkward Outside the Office

My very first day at the company, the CEO spoke about the company values and the open culture we would enjoy at Awkward Office. I was impressed. I was also intimidated. Later, at the hardware store, I saw CEO and that was the first of many awkward coworker run ins outside of the office. I should have known what the next many years of my employment would be!

A few days ago, I was buying copious amounts of vegetable stock at my local grocer when who do I run in to? Kevin. One of Nick's peers, another subordinate of BigBoss. Kevin is a tad nerdy, pale and lanky and kind of shy. He likes music and alternative sports. We greeted each other and rushed back to our normal non-office lives.

The next day, Kevin stopped by my cube and inquired about how close I did live to his grocery store. His? No. No. No. This is MY home grocery store! I live so close to it I can't leave home without passing it. He lives at least 10 blocks from the store. So, I propose a plan, because honestly, I can't wear sweats and buy Spaghetti-Os at the grocery store if I am likely to run in to someone I will see on a professional basis.

Me: Kevin - we should both find a new home grocery store. No one wants to run in to their coworkers when they're making a three case of beer grocery store run.

Kevin: Its OK, you didn't have your three cases of beer in your cart yet.

Me: Kevin, thats the point, you noticed what was or was not in my cart.

Kevin: thats true.

Me: Just a recommendation, the next closest grocery store is very close to BigBoss's house.

I really don't have any intention of pretending to not know Kevin or finding a different grocery store. I don't drink beer, so there is little risk involved in the whole "three case of beer run" unless I decide to make 72 beer can chickens or something else that is likely insane and mostly impossible.

Political Incorrectness of the Awkward Variety

Adam, a member of the IT team in the Awkward Office, had a birthday. Adam is smart, well liked, funny and cute. He's fairly young to have achieved the position he is in and he's not at all a jerk about it. He's rather humble and fun to socialize with. For his birthday, he was taken to lunch and his car was enhanced.

While he was out to lunch, the license plate frame was changed to one that said, "My other ride is your mom." Of course, anyone who loves their mother should be shamed by such a sentiment and of course no one should ever laugh at this. Its obviously in the poorest of taste, but when I found this little gem of birthday shenanigans hilarious. I commented, "My mother could do worse."

Because surely a woman in her 50s would be pretty fortunate to land a guy who is successful, accomplished and young.  Certainly a better alternative to fat, bald, ugly creeps with 2-3 previous wives and some awful kids. My mom has enough awful kids of her own!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Geography of Awesomeness at the Awkward Office

My office has a strange layout, but bear with me... The lobby of the building and the reception desk of our office are at the tip of office. Opposite the reception area of our office is an anonymous entrance, known as the front backdoor entrance. CEO sits next to this door, BigBoss sits next to the office. As you pass reception and other executives in offices, you eventually reach our cube farm.

Someone wanted to call it the bull pen. But come on, its a cube farm full of cube dwellers. I sit in the front corner cube, which is as executive as you get in a cube farm, in my humble opinion! Just beyond my cube is my manager, Nick, and his officemate, Josh's office. You see, Nick and Josh are barely cool enough to have an office and I'm almost cool enough to have one.

Josh/Nick's office and my cube share the same view of an unkept bush/shrub thinger. Sometimes you can't tell if its day or night beyond this oppressive ornamental beast that only makes beautiful flowers once a year for a week at a time. But at least I see outside from my 2.5 feet of window.

Just for general insight, Tyler's desk in the cube farm is located several stalls behind me, therefore, far from cool enough to get his own office. If I was a betting woman... which I'm probably not because this one time, I spent $50 at a casino and didn't win anything then saw a real nice pair of shoes that would have totally not been like losing $50, they'd be comfortable and protective, so more like winning... but if I made bets, Tyler will sit in an office before I ever do. He's a good worker. And I mock my bosses.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hair Styles in Awkward Office

Nick has a lot of hair. BigBoss keeps his cut neat, but Nick, he's got thick curly hair and he wears it longish. BigBoss is never one to let people live their own lives, so BigBoss has been on a campaign of Hair-assment.

At Happy Hour last week, BigBoss outlines a complaint made by one of my teammates, Tyler, about Nick. It should be noted that Tyler is a low key type, somewhat shy, unassuming guy. He's not likely to strike up a conversation with BigBoss. I seriously doubt he'd take a complaint about Nick directly to BigBoss. So, Tyler's complaint: Nick's hair is making it hard to do his job. BigBoss assures Tyler that HR would take this matter seriously and BigBoss has already brought it to Nick's attention that his hair is obviously distracting! So, as any good HR worthy complaint, it was discussed at Happy Hour, with Nick, Josh (Nick's Officemate) and several other coworkers.

I cry foul, because Tyler is a church mouse and would probably quit before he'd complain about Nick's hair. I checked in with Tyler the next day and got the real story. BigBoss ambushed Tyler from his office next to the front exit and asked him, "do you find Nick's hair makes it harder to do your job?" Tyler said, "uhh, maybe a little..." and he beats a path out of the office! So, that is the conversation that BigBoss changed into a formal complaint about Nick's poor personal hygiene.

Well... this week brings a haircut for Nick!

So, now the funnies from the corner cube peanut gallery... I submitted a formal Thank You for Nick's haircut giving him the ability to recognize how great I am, because obviously, his poorly kept hair inhibited his ability to see my true amazingness. These formal Thank Yous go to you as well as your manager, so this surely will get BigBoss's attention.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IMing in Awkward Office

BigBoss is my manager's boss. I've worked with him for over 3 years and he's got strange habits. First, he instant messages you with a greeting, like "hi" or your name, but stops there. I used to think this was a summons to his office, so I would dutifully wander over to his office, but its become apparent that BigBoss isn't beckoning you to visit him... so, I respond to BigBoss over IM. But the conversation ends there.

Fast forward an hour. I go to my manager's office. I said, "Hey, does BigBoss IM you about nothing?"

My manager's officemate, Josh, responds first: "No, BigBoss never IMs me."

My manager, Nick, who I've worked with over 3 years too, responds, "What did he want?"

I don't know, obviously, because we only exchanged greetings!

Nick: BigBoss does that to me all the time. I usually go stand outside his office and stare at him through the window.

Me: I can't see through his window, I'm too short to see through the mailbox attached to his window.

Nick: Go crouch and look UNDER the mailbox! Do it now! Peek in his window!

Thanks, Nick, I'll take your advice on how to be super awkward for sure. I caught up with BigBoss at Happy Hour and he said I didn't respond fast enough, so he forgot why he IM'd me.

Welcome to Awkward Office

Some friends have encouraged me to blog about my office's strange behavior, so here you are, reading about my Awkward Office. There are plenty of oddballs, weirdos, silly people and craziness to share. I genuinely love my job and my coworkers, all of the teasing, jokes and mockery is meant in the most lighthearted manner possible. I promise, if I don't like someone I work with, they'll never be in the cast of characters in this blog.

My office is full of well meaning people. We are extrodinarily generous and charitable. Men of the office are growing Movember Moustaches for prostate cancer. We have Thanksgiving and Christmas plans for the less fortunate. Thanks for reading, I hope you laugh and enjoy the antics of the people I work with as much as I do!