Tagged: work

And that’s why I stopped driving to work in my thongs…

Yep, you read it right. Last week I drove to work in my thongs and it ended in disaster.

For those of you from the USA who read my blog, I know, I know… and yes, I was driving to work in my thongs – two of them – and when I got there I realized I had no shoes on!

Confused? Don’t worry, so was I!

As everyone in my life knows all too well – I am a complete shambles at the best of times. I fall over, run into things, accidentally tell strangers that I love them, forget how to get home and vomit regularly. However, in recent months, I had been reaching all new levels of coordination and things were going swimmingly.

No longer was I the bitter, sarcastic blogger who dated psychopaths and had an unreasonable fear of fake hair… As I said to another blogger several months ago, it’s hard to blog sarcastically when you’re happy with life… (and yes, contrary to popular belief, I had been getting out of the house at that point in time!)

Alas, it all came unraveled when I wore my thongs on the drive to work on Thursday. I had stayed at my boyfriend’s house, which sends me on a total different route to work and it was one of the first really warm days of the year, so I had just thrown my thongs on at the last minute as I ran out the door, not thinking much of it. I’m someone who avoids shoes at all costs, so I always keep a pair of work flats on the car floor for everyday use.

Unfortunately I didn’t think much of the fact that I had sent my car in to be serviced either, and the car that I had borrowed (strangely) did not come with a pair of emergency shoes on the passenger side floor. So, to cut a long, dramatic morning short, I turned up to work with no shoes, frantically yelling out to a colleague across the carpark something along the lines of ‘My shoes! My shoes! No shoes! No shoes! OMG! Shambles! HELP! HELP!’ while waving both arms frantically in the air…

Ah, you know that look of panic people get as they desperately think of a way they can pretend they don’t know you? Yep, that look is ALLLL too familiar for me!

So half an hour and one trip to Kmart later, I had a pair of $8 shoes making my feet sweat and I was back on track. Or so I thought…

This morning, I took the same route to work. I was back in my own car (spare shoes and all) and for a Monday, the day was looking fine. About half way through my drive, I switched my handsfree thingemy on in case I got a call, as I’d thrown my bag somewhere in the back of the car and had no chance of reaching my phone if I needed it.

Beep… Beeep… attempting to connect… no phone found… attempting to connect… no phone found…

Shizzle.

After a small panic, I ran into the office, waving my arms in the air like a madwoman. My colleagues have come to await the daily drama that tends to signify my arrival, so there was an air of anticipation as I ran into the office yelling ‘Don’t worry, I’ve got my shoes! I DON’T have my mobile phone but it’s going to be OKAY!’

Being a Gen Y girl and lacking the ability to memorise a single phone number since about 1999, I had no idea what my boyfriends phone number is. So I called myself. No answer. Redial…

‘oh shizzzzzz’

Yep, oh shizz indeed! But we had a plan, boyfriend would drop phone to my office at lunchtime and I would buy him lunch, which I did. I was all ‘sit down, get comfortable, let me buy your lunch and drink and prove my gratitude for you driving halfway across Melbourne for me…’

And then it fell apart…

In an effort to be super helpful and after I was clearly told the squeezy ketchup sachet wasn’t opening, I insisted on having a crack at it and with all my strength, attempted to outsmart what was, I swear, the most complicated condiment packaging ever made.

Unfortunately… the ketchup won…

We were both covered. As was our table, my bag, the entire pile of napkins on the table, the chair next to me… and the random stranger sitting no less than two metres away from me.

I spent the entire afternoon pulling pieces of dry, crusty ketchup from my ponytail and fringe while randomly bursting out in fits of giggles.

I took it as a sign I had been neglecting my blog.

The universe has spoken. I will blog more.

I will also stop wearing thongs in the car…  Except on weekends and public holidays.

And possibly also eating ketchup.

Also – I’m still scared of fake hair.

Never Trust a Man Who Gives You Flowers

I have always been told that when you receive flowers from a man for no apparent reason, it’s a sign that he is cheating on you. I don’t exactly agree with this theory, but I do find the whole flower-giving thing fascinating.

I remember being younger and always wanting a nice boy to give me flowers. Not some crummy bunch of roses or, even worse, a single rose, but a pretty, well-planned and thoughtful bunch of flowers, which may or may not feature lilies or something similar.

But the flowers I envisaged and the flowers I actually got back then were vastly different. The lilies were replaced by god-awful weed-like flowers and the beautiful, ribbon-bound box was replaced by clear and white flowery glad-wrap that screamed of having been bought in a hospital foyer or stolen from a cemetery.

As I got a bit older, I completely lost interest in flowers. I never expected them and never really got them, but when I was about 25, I started to notice that they were making a comeback. Gone were the days, however, of flowers bringing joy and happiness.

First, there was the bunch that arrived with the statement ‘I might have an STD…’ (please note that the might turned out to be a definitely did not) and then there were the ones that came shriveled up after being hidden behind the heater in the lounge room for an indeterminate period of time, resulting in me arriving late for work after being ordered to go to the florist to exchange them…

Yep, flowers weren’t so glamorous anymore. They brought disease scares, anger and embarrassing encounters with florists. But I am a girl and don’t we all, deep down, dream of one day receiving flowers from a secret admirer declaring their undying love for us?

What we don’t realise though, is that this is actually the behavior of sociopaths and serial killers… and holiday crashers… yep, holiday crashers!

I mean, if you really think about it, if a person has the ability to interact with people, hold a conversation and enter into a real-life relationship, why wouldn’t they just mosey on over and ask you out? Alas, hindsight is a wonderful thing…

Back in 2009, I was a few months into my current (recently resigned from) job. Part of my role back then was to do presentations to young people about living and working overseas. Me being me, this involved lots of goofiness, many bad jokes and technical disasters.

My main problem with these presentations was that if I told a joke or a story that should get a laugh didn’t, I would just keep on pushing… bad joke after bad joke… higher pitch… faster talking… and it would start getting just plain awkward.

For example, I was once talking about San Francisco and started telling the story about riding a bike over the Golden Gate Bridge, taking a wrong turn (can you even take a wrong turn?) and ending up going overland to Sausalito all the while turning right involuntarily because I get balance issues when riding in the wind…

Alas, after being met by dead silence, this story led to the one about getting lost on a ‘quick drive’ before returning the hire car, the one about accidentally offending a group of dutch backpackers after telling one that his friend smelt like cabbage and finally wrapping it up with a declaration that I love San Fran because the hills made me feel like I was in Full House…

Silence.

You know, FULL HOUSE?

Silence.

It must be my lisp, audience does not comprehend… Cue terrible attempt at singing the Full House theme song:

Everywhere you look… everywhere you go (there’s a heart)… There’s a heart, a hand to hold onto.

Silence… crickets chirping… tumble weeds rolling through the room… you get the idea.

To this day I tell myself the crowd were just too young. They clearly didn’t know Mary-Kate and Ashley when they were knee-high to a grasshopper!

But back to my story, I was having one of these HORRIBLE evenings where the crowd was giving me absolutely nothing. No number of cheesy jokes, funny stories or even crowd interaction was saving it and besides one over enthusiastic guy in the second row, whose fake laugh was way too elaborate to be genuine, the audience were having none of it.

So you can imagine my complete shock when a massive bunch of roses turned up at my office two days later with a card that read:

Dear Tennizzle

I saw your presentation the other night and have been thinking about you ever since.  Do you want to go for a drink sometime?

Michelangelo* 0404992883*

My colleagues and I tried to think of who it could be, with one suggesting it was ‘probably that one person who was laughing at your jokes!’ and after some crafty investigation, I had a full name and an email address.

Looking back, I should have read between the lines, seen the unwritten references to kidney stealing and paid attention to the music that started repeating in my head.

But really, the guy had made a pretty big effort and as someone who cannot even remember having asked anyone on a date before, who was I to reject someone without even meeting them?

So, I went on a date with him and despite there being no chemistry whatsoever and him judging me for liking Simon and Garfunkel while saying his favourite type of music was ‘anything they play on Triple J’… I didn’t regret it. I told him I wasn’t interested, we agreed we would be friends, added each other on Facebook and caught up a few more times before he went overseas.

Fast-forward to early 2011 when I was planning a work trip to Canada, followed by a week of Tennizzlle-time in New York City on the way home. I was contacting a few business partners and customers who were over there to catch up, one of whom was this guy. He wasn’t going to be in the cities I was visiting in Canada, but was going to NY with some friends around that time. I sent him my dates and said we’d have a drink if we crossed paths.

A week before I left, he emailed saying he had great news, it turns out we were going to be in NYC at the same time, so we agreed to have a drink. It all seemed so normal…

We met at a bar downtown before dinner and had a quick beer. We had the quick catch up, how’s life, blah blah blah, and then I asked him ‘So, what are you even doing in New York?’

His response: ‘I came to New York to spend the week with you’

Dead silence.

This guy had driven from Montreal to New York to holiday with me… without me knowing.

After a few deep breathes, I talked myself into it. I’m the queen of miscommunication and I probably misunderstood something along the way. I’m sure it’s fine, when he says SPEND the week with me, he doesn’t mean SPEND the week with me. Nervous laugh, nervous laugh…

That was Thursday night.

By Friday, it was clear that he did actually mean spend the entire week with me…. Every single second of it…

‘Oh, you want to go to Forever 21 and try on seventy dresses? I’ll come!’

‘Oh, you want to purchase outfits for your dogs? That sounds like great fun!’

‘Should we plan out all our evenings in advance and buy tickets to everything?’

‘Let’s go to the farmers market and buy some food to cook in the luxury Soho apartment I have rented for us to hang out in’

By Saturday, I had lost my shit. Somewhere between Canal Street and Union Square, after being dragged around by his know-it-all self all afternoon trying to find ‘the best coffee in New York’, I had had enough. I hadn’t spoken to him for at least an hour when I made my escape, yelling something along the lines of ‘Space! Tennizzlle time! Forever 21!’ before throwing myself into the midst of a crowd of fast moving locals and running for my life.

A few months later, I was at work one afternoon and received a text message from a US number.

‘Hey, are you free to catch up?’

Assuming it was someone from our US office, I responded ‘Yeah, sure, but I have no idea who this is!’

‘Oh, sorry, it’s Michelangelo*, I’m in Melbourne but still using my Canadian number’

*Delete*

These days, if I want flowers, I just go buy myself some damn flowers. They’ll always be tasteful, they won’t be on the verge of death, they won’t die overnight and I will be able to sleep soundly in the knowledge that my kidneys will still be attached when I wake up in the morning.

NB – In doing a little Google research for this post, I typed ‘Flowers from a man’ into the search bar. I love the predictions Google comes up with and where they lead you. This time, I got ‘flowers from a man who shot your cousin’… as you do!

Also, if you were thinking about sending me flowers, feel free! I like lilies (just in case you didn’t get that) and I will accept them graciously. Just don’t be expecting me to go on a date with you afterwards!

*names and numbers have been changed, though not very well

Will Write for Food

Last week I quit my job.

Most people who know me saw it coming, but for the many people I know through work, it was completely unexpected. So far, everyone has reacted with ‘Omg, what’s happened?’ and I suspect, knowing my tendency for dramatics, they are assuming that I cracked without warning, slamming the manual lift door while screaming ‘I QUIT!’ and storming off down La Trobe Street.

Alas, it was not so exciting and unlike the time someone put spag bol all over the bin in the midst of a bug infestation or the time I realised someone was stealing the toilet paper (I still have my suspicions, but no proof), there was absolutely no hysterics.

Resigning was a massive relief and although I had a TINY panic attack in between being offered my new job and quitting my current one, it wasn’t long before I was getting excited about taking a huge step off my current career path and throwing caution to the wind.

There’s something liberating about having absolutely no idea what the heck you will be doing a year from now, and, to quote my ever-unreliable Fortune Telling Fairy Cards, I am moving forward fearlessly!

Gone are the days of work-related panic attacks and swatting bugs as I sit at my desk – it’s time for freedom, creativity and full, uninterrupted nights of sleep! Woo hoo!

As mentioned above, I do have a new job lined up, which I am very excited about, but leaving my current role will also allow me to look into new opportunities, to focus on my blog and what I really want to do – to DANCE!

Okay, that was totally a joke, but I have spent a fair chunk of the past few days thinking about the future. Now is the time to work out exactly what I want to do and how to do it… But in typical Tennizzle-style, I have become overwhelmed by the decision.

Ideally I would win lotto and spend the next few years jetting around the world, renovating my house and volunteering my time to the greater good… however accepting that this is not going to happen and that the chances of anyone paying me to hang out with my dogs for a living are just as low, I am going to need a more realistic plan.

I have decided to focus on copywriting, but without it being part of my everyday work.

So far, I have taken the massive steps of purchasing my blog domain (check it out, I’ve dropped the ‘wordpress’ from my site, la di da!) AND getting my own personal domain for the future… I haven’t quite worked out how to set up a website or get it hosted, but I’m on my way! I can feel success in the air!

I’m starting with a bit of blatant self-promotion to people I know professionally and am hoping to start putting a portfolio together in the coming months. As a result, my blog will be growing and although my regular, neurotic posts will continue, I will also be using this page as a means of collating writing until I have a proper website.

In the meantime, if you see someone with a sandwich board reading ‘Will Write for Food’ standing outside Flinders St station next month… please stop by and say hi!

How Not to Call in Sick

I personally, am not a big fan of faking sick days. I live in fear that if I pretend to be sick the universe will come back to bite me and one day I will be genuinely, horribly ill and I either won’t have any sick leave left to take, or no one will believe I am actually sick.

As a result, I have a bucket load of sick leave accrued. True story. It would be more if it weren’t for that awful, seemingly never-ending bout of conjunctivitis I was cursed with back in November (how does a full grown adult even catch conjunctivitis these days, anyway?), which took over my life for a good three weeks.

But to the point – given my lack of expertise on the matter, this post is not about how to call in sick. I, clearly am not an expert on that topic as more often than not I am sent home after being identified as a potential source of contagion for some all-consuming super bug that is trying to destroy the entire human race… Nope, this post is about my experience of other people calling in sick, which, in my workplace, they have to do directly to me.

The scratchy throat

Something that continues to baffle me is that everyone who calls in sick, regardless of whether it’s for a stomach bug, headache, sprained ankle, dizziness or fatigue puts on a scratchy throat voice while telling me they’re not coming in.

Omg, I don’t care if you’re taking a mental health day to go get some fresh air by the beach, but if you’re going to lie to me, at least think through your whole act before you attempt to convince me!

When I answer the phone and you sound like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, my heart honestly skips a beat. My overactive imagination has already assumed you have been taken over by an evil spirit/woke up in a bath of ice with your kidneys missing/are on a mission through the depths of hell to save the human race, all you need to do is be creative. Ideally, the conversation would go like this:

You (Cue Gollum-esque voice): ‘I just don’t think I can makes it into work today…’

Me: ‘Oh, no! What’s happened?’

You: ‘They cursed us. Murderer they called us. They cursed us, and drove us away. And we wept, Precious, we wept to be so alone.’

Me ‘Serious?’

You: ‘Oh! Cruel hobbit! It does not care if we be hungry. It does not care if we should die! Not like Master. Master cares. Master knows. Yes, precious… ‘

Me ‘Did you just call me a Hobbit?’

You: ‘Yes, gollum. But perhaps we sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my precious. It likes riddles?’

Me: ‘I’m confused… but you sound terrible, maybe take tomorrow off too?’

But alas, no one is even remotely creative when calling in sick and the conversation is more along the lines of:

You (Cue Gollum-esque voice): ‘I just don’t think I can makes it into work today…’

Me: ‘Oh, no, you sound terrible! What’s happened?’

You: ‘I hurt my foot.’

Me: ‘Okay… Make sure you get a medical certificate!’

The pre-planned day off

A word of advice to anyone thinking about pulling a sickie – do not tell your boss the day before that you have a tickle in your throat and think you need a day off just in case you get sick.

‘Oh, you’re sick? Is it really bad? Do you think you better go see a doctor?’

‘Yeah, pretty bad, definitely need to see a doctor…’

‘Great! Make sure you get a medical certificate while you’re there!’

‘Oh… erm… I… erm… I dunno if it’s that bad…’

‘Look, we don’t want you getting any sicker, so better safe than sorry! See you tomorrow!’

Eating bad sushi the night before your last day of work

When you’ve requested to finish your employment contract early so that you can fly to another country to start a new job and your manager has done everything in their power to negotiate this for you, but has only been able to get your last day to be one day after you requested… the bad sushi the night before line is just not going to cut it.

Just call and say:

‘You know how I said I booked my flight for Wednesday? I actually booked it for Monday night and I’m calling you from overseas. I’m sorry’

Not:

‘No, no, that echo you hear is not from this being an international call, it’s just from the evil sushi I ate last night, it’s making my voice echo…’

Guess who’s getting on a flight back to Australia to fulfill their employment contract!

Lesson learnt!

Calling in Sick By Proxie

Ah, this old chestnut! When you can’t even be bothered feigning illness, just get someone else to do it for you!

And most of the time, you don’t even need to call, just text:

‘Sick as. Tell boss, pls. Lol. Thnx.

Alas, there is pretty much no chance that anyone is actually going to believe you, even if you are lying on your death bed.

Luckily, you’re most likely at the beach or somewhere equally relaxing, so you’ll be fully alert to deal with the fallout from your behavior.

Additionally, if you make a sudden recovery and retract your sick text halfway through the morning, you might convince a co-worker or two of your magical healing, but your boss will suspect you’ve lied to attend a job interview, so blocking your (currently public) Facebook page in advance is highly recommended…

And we all know how THAT story ends, don’t we?

I love Pugs… But I Hate Full Stops on Bullet Points

Do you ever have those dilemmas in life when you have to go against something you really believe in, just to keep the universe balanced? I have this problem with full stops on bullet points.

I accept that grammatically, either way is acceptable, but I just don’t think it’s right.

Having said that, I was recently re-reading one of my blog posts which I had published in a hurry and I realised that I had unknowingly finished two bullet points with full stops and one with an exclamation mark. After hyperventilating for a short moment, I pulled myself together long enough to deal with it.

In fairness to myself, I had used the full stop when adding a final word or two to the point. For example:

– Pugs are awesome. Fact.

Totally necessary. But by using two full stops and one exclamation point, I had unintentionally thrown my entire post off balance.

There was only one solution – go back through and add a full stop to every bullet point… all the while accepting that this would result in me not sleeping that night.

I started thinking about what other totally minor things have threatened to tip me over the edge in recent months and fairly quickly realised that I might actually be insane. But hey, who is judging? These are just a few:

USING CAPITALS FOR A HEADING OR IN AN EMAIL

I’m not even joking, people actually do this. In reports, people like to use capitals all over the shop and it has, on occasion, very nearly killed me. If you need a heading, there’s this wonderful thing called bold which is designed for adding emphasis without screaming.

Excessive capitalising in email is particularly unpleasant at work when customers, or people associated with customers think they’ll get a better response from me by CAPITALISING all the AGRESSIVE words in their EMAIL… well, guess what? When I read the third misspelt and capitalised word you included, I lost all interest in helping you in any way. Instead, I have made it my mission to ruin your life!

If you’re reading this and you have a tendency to capitalise unnecessarily, please do not ever make me aware of this. It won’t go well. Capital letters should be reserved for the occasional emphasis of a single word and nothing else. For example -Pugs are AWESOME.

txt spk n emails (Text speak in emails)

Last year, I received the following one-line email from our IT guy at work:

“ok np.. ‘only’ looks a bit stupid in the comparison popup though imo”

After staring blankly at my screen for a good twenty seconds, I called a colleague into my office and said ‘I think IT Guy might be having a seizure!’

Apparently I’m just not down with the lingo. Mucho awkwardo.

I am the first to accept that I overuse the acronyms OMG and WTF and maybe it’s a double standard, but under no circumstances should lol, lmfao, np, imo, fml, ffs, ftw or ttfn be used in an email. It takes me more time to Google what it means that it would take you to just write in English!

And don’t even get me started on ‘totes’!

Using the space bar instead of tab

If you reeeeaaallly want to piss me off, put together a nicely aligned and spaced document which has been formatted without using the tab button. Go on,  do it. I dare you…

I guarantee I will squeal, hyperventilate and not speak to you for at least two hours.

Even better, put the header content on the main page, the page number at the top centre and don’t bother with columns, just split all the text into two and put spaces between everything…. EVERYWHERE*!

Times New Roman

Do I need to elaborate? Why does this font still exist?!?

So now you’re starting to grasp how challenging my life is and you’re no doubt wondering how I cope…

I take a deep breath, open a new window in Google Chrome and search Google Images using two magical words ‘Awesome Pug’…

And just for you, my lovely blog readers, I am letting you into my world for a moment. This is the wall above my work desk, I call it The Wall of Pug Inspiration**!

*Please note totally appropriate use of capital letters

** Yes, that is Jacob on the top left. Yes, he has a speech bubble saying ‘I love you… see you tonight!’ but just hold your judgement, I am 100% Team Edward!