Are you OUT OF your OFFICE mind?

13 Nov

At the beginning of another crazy week at work, I took a moment to check the calendar (and prepare myself emotionally) for the fun I could anticipate on the agenda. To my surprise, I saw one of the date blocks shaded in a special color, denoting a federal holiday. Referencing the federal holiday list, the joy washed over me at the site of a rare Friday federal leave day in my very near future! (Thank you for your service, Veterans!)

So when Thursday afternoon rolled around, I wrapped up my projects for the day, set the to-do list for the following week, watered the plant… and – oh, joy – prepared to set up the lovely Out-Of-Office (OOO) reply for my email account.

You might think that setting up an email OOO is a trivial and simple undertaking that anyone should have no problem writing. But given my recent feelings of surprise and aggravation while reviewing some of my fellow colleagues’ unfortunate OOO replies, I would like to take a moment to review some general “Dos and Don’ts” to ensure the rest of us don’t embarrass ourselves!

 

Here are few snippets from the “Don’t” category:

 

The High and Mighty

“…I will respond to your message at my earliest convenience.”

At your earliest convenience? Oh, but of course, please, because I wouldn’t want to bother you with this work stuff when you probably have several cat videos on YouTube to watch and office gossip to catch up on first. Thank you so much for even considering my message for a response, Your Highness.

 

The Fibber

“…I will be on work-related travel to our California hub with no access to email during this time.”

So, no access to your work-related email during your work-related travel? Sure. Something tells me that your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram messages and tags will be responded to in a timely fashion, though.

 

The Mystery

“I am out of the office and will respond to your email upon my return.”

Soooo… Any idea when you might be coming back? A day? A month? Is there someone else I should contact or should I wait for you? Maybe I should pull out my crystal ball. Maybe I should just give up and jump out the window. Thanks for the info.

 

And as for the “Do” category…

 

Let’s be real – even the most professional and responsible OOO reply can be torn to shreds:

The jig is up.

The jig is up.

 

The verdict? Let’s keep in simple, people…

Brief. Informative. Pleasant. Enough! Seriously.

 

Please share some of your best (and worst!) out-of-office messages in the comments!

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Your Wife’s Hot – Oh no you didn’t (#1)

1 Sep

DukeStSpeedyLube

Old School Kicks: Sneaker Hell

21 Aug

So I was at the gym last week and realized that my feet were starting to hurt a little after running on the elliptical. I looked down and saw how nasty my sneakers were looking these days. I loved these things… Nike running sneakers, white with a black swoosh, little bit of red and black details. Did the job, looked decent. But they were ancient, so I decided to go to the mall where I could hopefully pick up a new pair (without having to refinance my home to pay for them).

Now I’m not an overly boring person. I like a flash of color in the things I wear. But the visual assault I encountered when I walked into Foot Locker made me want to run for the nearest food court dumpster and rehash the details of my lunch:

Can someone please tell me what in the actual F is going on here?!

Can someone please tell me what in the actual F is going on here?!

Instantly I needed a Tylenol. I couldn’t look directly at the wall of sneakers or I would run the risk of torching my corneas.

With a general distaste that I could not only experience in the back of my throat but was also wearing visibly on my horrified face, I bee-lined it out of the store and headed over to Champs. Yeah… Champs must have something for me…

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

It was like déjà vu. I was stuck in every woman’s 80s flashback nightmare. I was wondering if the store also sold neon snowsuits and Aquanet. I did not stick around to find out.

I made it back out to the mall walkway to catch my breath after being exposed to the neon diarrhea on the walls of the shoe department. Dare I attempt another store?

This time I just looked inside the window to the Finish Line. My dreams of new sneakers drifted away in the sea of neon vomit splattered along the shoe shelves inside.

Blechhh.

Blechhh.

At the risk of permanent damage, my fiancé dragged me into Dick’s Sporting Goods for one last shot. It was there that I found one, and I mean ONE, pair of shoes that didn’t make me want to dry heave. They were the last pair in my size. I snagged them immediately.

We have a winner! No 80s flashbacks here. My appetite is slowly returning.

We have a winner! No 80s flashbacks here. My appetite is slowly returning.

Thank goodness. Guess there will be no need to run into Walmart and hunt down a can of Aquanet (do they still sell that stuff?), a curling iron and some stick-in shoulder pads. I can cancel the perm appointment too. Phew.

Off to the gym in my new sneakers!

Sun Blockers: Poolside Party Poopers

8 Jul

It was with a sigh that my fiancé and I walked into the pool area of my apartment complex on a lazy Sunday afternoon to relax and catch a tan, only to discover that two of my earthy-crunchy neighbors thought it would be a fantastic idea to have a poolside family reunion. I’m talking the WHOLE family here, full attendance.

Now normally my neighbors and I live in relative peace, and this convention of happy morons may not have bothered me except for the following:

Some of the general wrongness occurring at the pool… Not to mention the odd discoloration of the pool water coincidentally located by the kids?

Some of the general wrongness occurring at the pool… Not to mention the odd discoloration of the pool water coincidentally located by the kids?

–          What with the dozen plus in attendance, one entire side of the pool was completely occupied, and no one was permitted to maneuver past the patchouli-emanating bunch to walk around to the other side of the pool.

–          After bypassing them at the other side of the pool, I thought I was at least spatially safe. And perhaps I was, until one of the granola-tastic parents decided to offer the pack of kids wagon rides around the pool. Around, and around… and around the pool. It was even more special for me that I was an apparent DC monument-style attraction on this tour around the pool, as the kids whooped and yelled at me every time they passed. (The free-loving driver found this adorable, and encouraged the children along at every pass).

–          The other miniature spawns of these guests floated around and screamed on their giant pool rafts which made swimming, or, I don’t know, trying to even think about swimming, really lovely. I was betting money that there’d be a couple of loose brown floaters in the pool by the end of the day.

–          And, when I thought it couldn’t get worse… It did. One of the fabulous hosts busted out an ancient boom box and pressed play, and the sounds that came out created a sense of true terror in my soul. Children’s music on full blast. Wheels on the bus going round and round, you know what I mean.

My fiancé and I were thinking we ought to bail as we were considering helping each other to a little assisted suicide by drowning in the pool to put us out of our misery.  Just when we were talking each other off the edge (of the deep end), the first pair of Birkenstock ladies gave each other what appeared to be hugs goodbye. Our salvation was near… they were leaving.

We stayed put on our towel-covered lounge chairs and watched with growing anticipation as the coolers were slowly packed, rafts were fished out of the pool, and tie-dyed skirts were tied around waists. My bleeding ears felt a small bit of relief as the vomit coming out of the radio was silenced. The moment was lost when the kids began screaming again. The edge of the pool was looking really tempting again.

Finally, thirty minutes later, Woodstock left the pool once and for all. And of course, as with any festival, the participants left a trail mix of remains. Seriously, these were the worst. hippies. ever. The non-recyclable water bottles, wrappers and other unidentifiable consumables (no doubt purchased at Trader Joe’s) littered the pool area, and who knows what deposits the kids left in the pool.

My only relief came when I saw the teenaged lifeguard put chemicals in the pool. Chemical cleansers make everything just a little bit better.

Well, as the Doors (my music of choice if I had lived during that era) said in one of their songs… “The time to hesitate is through.” Tilting my head back in my lounge chair, my fiancé at my side, I closed my eyes in the sun and finally dozed off with swirling visions of peace and love… but mostly, peace. Finally. 🙂

The Spitting Image – Take a look at this douche (#3)

5 Jul

Have you ever heard the expression “Don’t shit where you eat?” Well apparently this douche didn’t follow this concept; in this case, more like don’t spit where you sit.

So my fiancé and I are sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in DC waiting for the 4th of July fireworks to start (along with about a million of our closest DC area acquaintances, lol). The whole area around the monument was packed, and soon all of the steps, ledges and grassy areas were occupied with the butts of tourists and locals alike. It started getting so crunched that people gave up looking for a seat and just sat down on the hard ground of the walkways. In front of our set of only minimally comfortable yet highly coveted step-seats squatted a group of 20-somethings, acting loud and generally obnoxious (not unlike pretty much everyone around us by now).

Now anyone in their right mind at this point would realize that any space, be it hard and flat or soft and comfortable, was at a premium. So this is why it shocked the shit out of me that this douche in front of us decided to turn himself backwards from his seated position and proceed to spit what was possibly the world’s chunkiest loogie, not one foot from where he and his similarly douchy friends were sitting. He turned back to his circle and continued on like he hadn’t just created a puddle right behind him.

Spit marks the spot.

Spit marks the spot.

Now my fiancé and I began bawling laughing, of course because we were both simultaneously calculating the odds on when this douche would be inched back in his space by the crowd, or just lean himself back enough when the fireworks began, and he would be swimming in his own snot. It turns out, it we wouldn’t be waiting long.

As we guessed, the douche circle adjusted as they got more animated and loud, and before we knew it, the hand of his fellow douche neighbor nearly got a boog bath.

A near miss!

A near miss!

And then, without warning… it happened.

I hear it's really good for your hair!

I hear it’s really good for your hair!

Have you ever had one of those shared belly laughs with someone you are close with when something is just so fu*king hilarious that you just about wet your pants?

So thanks for the laughs, douche! Or should we have DC Parks and Recreation thank your friend for cleaning up after you?

Metro Douche – Take a look at this douche (#2)

27 Jun

So the morning commute on the DC Metro is a buffet of douchebaggery. On any given morning, I will be entertained by each of the following:

–          Excessive and graphic sneezing/coughing lady (typically the person I end up sitting next to, no less).

–          Businessman tool screaming on his cell phone about mission statements and product development so that everyone will know how important he is.

–          The tourist family of five analyzing each stop on the metro map, and giving a loud verbal update of the name of the current station to everyone at each stop. Just so we all know.

–          Sleeping dude (complete with hood of sweatshirt over face) typically in the back corner of the last car of the train, drooling just a little bit.

–          iPod kid with techno blasting at 7am so that all can share in the enjoyment (how this kid isn’t deaf at this point is beyond me).

–          The hardcore traveler with a five-piece luggage set, each bag fully spread out and falling all over the place, and oddly unaware of it.

While I have learned to not only grow accustomed to, but even find comic relief in this standard bunch of fellow commuters, there is one type of metro-riding douche that will never get a metro pass from me…

Metro Douche

I guess this douche thought his bags needed their independence, or his lap was very tired and couldn’t take the burden. Something tells me though that the random riders dispersed throughout the car with nowhere to sit for the cramped and muggy ride to work did not take sympathy.

Dude, my fellow travelers and I murdered you with our eyes over and over again while you slept. We all hope you slept through your intended stop and ended up in Maryland, douche.

End of rant 🙂

Cold meds and 80s flashbacks

15 Jun

On the couch, sick as a dog, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I can’t even rummage up the strength to go out by the pool and get a tan. That’s how I know I’m really sick.

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So I’m sitting here watching the movie Mannequin, circa 1987, with Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall, and several things are crossing my mind:

–          Hair styles have certainly evolved over the years, and my non-existent bangs are very thankful for that.

–          There really aren’t that many “new” styles in clothing; the styles just get recycled every twenty to thirty years.

–          And last, but with the most impact on me at the moment, this movie is 25 years old. And I was alive and just about old enough to remember when it was cool.

This last thought kind of unsettles me. I suddenly feel like my heart is in my stomach. A part of me wishes I was right back there in 1987, just a kid with no worries, wearing my fabulous neon stylings, black gummy bracelets and curling up my big bangs so that I could try to look as awesome as my big sister.

And so I find myself asking the following questions:

–          Am I allowing what’s left of my youth to fly by without actually stopping to smell the roses a little?

–          Do I spend just a bit too much time thinking about my job, my bills, plans for the future, and not enough time taking all the small pleasures of life every day?

–          Shit, am I about to run out of Kleenex?

I don’t know. Maybe this is just a result of all the Dayquil I’ve been taking in an effort to get some air out of at least one of my stuffed up nostrils. Maybe I really just need a nap.

All I know is, as soon as I get better, I plan to hop in my car, roll down all the windows, blast a sweet 80s mix from my iPod, and cruise through the city while taking a deep breath of the beautiful nearly-summer air (hopefully through my nose by then, haha). And I will appreciate every moment of it, especially since I don’t have to worry that the breeze will mess up my bangs. 🙂

Soggy Bottom – Take a look at this douche (#1)

12 Jun

So I’m driving in the DC area, and what do I spot?

saggypants1

This poor douche was trying to cross the street when he realized that the walk signal was about to change. So what does he do? He starts to run. Well, more like a version of running. The kid sort of… diddled across the street with what looked like the equivalent of having a load wedged into the pit of his skinny jeans, with only a belt strapped up under his butt cheeks keeping it all together. I almost worried that he would lose his pants in the process, but then I realized, he kind of already had.

Thanks for my daily dose of douche, guy.

I "Belieb" we all have this little diva douche to thank for the trend.

I “Belieb” we all have this little diva douche to thank for the trend.

A “High Level Overview” of nauseating office jargon

11 Jun

Without “getting too much into the weeds” on this (oh God, there I go), is it just my office, or does every workplace have its own obnoxious version of vocabulary regurgitation? And is it the a lack of confidence in one’s own speech, the need to sound extremely intelligent (or so they think), or does everyone just eventually get programmed into this way of speaking?

Maybe I’m not being “kept in the loop” here (ugghh), but I want to “get my ducks in a row” and point out some of the more vomit-inducing phrases that really make me want to hurl:

Deliverable – Do I work for the post office now?

Deep Dive – Um, I thought we were going over the finer details of our project, not busting out the scuba gear. And I don’t like the way ocean water gets my hair all knotted.

Swim lane – Geez, first scuba, now the pool. Swimming, diving, and all that are definitely not in my swim lane. Go away and let me do my work.

As to – Can we think of other ideas “as to” how to refer to something other than by saying this? Please? Seriously.

Buy-in – Unless you are trying to convince me to join in on your poker game, I’m not buying in to anything.

Speak to that – Um, if I choose to speak to this topic much longer, I’m going to be ill.

There are so many, but I can’t take it anymore. So that’s all for now… I’ll “be out of pocket” for the rest of the day. (Blecchhh… Darn I couldn’t hold my word vomit anymore). I certainly have no intentions to “circle back around” on this topic later.

bobs

What exactly is it… you do here?

Aww, my first post. How adorable. :-)

8 Jun

Yes, adorable indeed. This first post and all others following it have been a result of some less ‘than adorable’ moments I’ve experienced over the course of my early thirties (and even a few I’d like to forget during my twenties, although when you are in your twenties, at least you have the young and dumb excuse).

Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t total hell, although perhaps I tend to look like it these days. For example, most recently I’ve managed to somehow survive a major relocation as a result of a promotion for which I will be spending my entire new paycheck to pay for. Good times.

Instead of shelling out money for therapy or risking the possibility of alienating my friends with my newly found neuroses, why not just blog it out, right? Sure, why not.

So please join me on the road to eventual insanity, with a side of douchebags, occasional bright moments, and general WTF. Welcome to my world, and I apologize in advance. 🙂