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On the Playground Life Was Easy

Monday, April 30, 2007

Here are two more Playground Rules that apply to Office Life.

6. No visiting or talking to people in cars, on the sidewalks, or any strangers.

This is probably a good rule to remember from the playground. Once I told a friend that she could visit me at work. I guess that I had forgotten to tell her that I was part-time because the day she came to visit me she shouted, “you are never here!” in front of the secretary and my supervisor. I can’t imagine why anyone would think that is an appropriate comment to say aloud in with witnesses.

I think this rule should be amended for office environment. It should read, “No visiting or talking to people in cars, on sidewalks, in cubicles on the other side of the suite, hollering down the hallway or to any strangers.”

I have my reasons…..

Cubicle visiting is fun. But sometimes it can hurt you when you are noticed too long at a cubicle. When the “On the way out guy” is on his way out, it is not wise to visit him for very long or to permit him to visit you in your cubicle. Come on, we all treat those people as if they have some form of tuberculosis when it is obvious that they are being pushed out of their jobs. They become the creepy guy in the car watching the kids play. Then there are the gossips that I would like to visit but I shouldn’t accept candy from strangers.


There are some easily identified forms of harassment that takes place in the office. There is, of course, sexual harassment, age harassment and then there is hostile environment harassment. I am sure that you can think of examples of each. I have an example of hostile environment harassment that no one ever considers. I call it “Greeting” bullying. You remember it from the playground. A big kid passes you in the school hallway and insists that you did not say hello. He asks “aren’t you my friend anymore? My friends speak to me when they see me. If you are not my friend then you are an enemy and I will have to beat you up…..” Or it goes something like “I noticed that you didn’t say hi to me when I saw you yesterday. Do you that you are better than me? That you are too stuck-up to talk to me….” You get the picture. I bet you had no idea that some people still play that game in the office. I know I was caught by surprise.

I can say hello or good morning to an office co-worker everyday for six months. One day, I might have a cold or I didn’t see her from 30 feet away or she didn’t hear me and suddenly I am “Not speaking to people in the office.” And this is worthy of office gossip and confrontation. Once it spreads and the name-calling has commenced (That’s the “Don’t Speak to Anyone” girl), everything that I do is worthy of confrontation.

Saying hello first doesn’t work. I have tried that. I can see someone and say hello and keep walking not really waiting for a response to judge. The other person says hello and then out of nowhere says hello again louder with an attitude. Good grief! Grow UP!

So what am I supposed to say to that? Am I supposed to say hello apologetically because the A$$hole didn’t hear me the first time? Heck no, I say “I guess you didn’t hear me when I said hello to you first.” Or should I say “Okay is this a game where we just keep alternating “hello” to each other in louder tones each time until you say ‘uncle’ and I get to punch you?”

If you want to confront me about something make sure it is about my work not whether or not last week, today or a few minutes ago, that I said hello. Grow UP!

Respect on the other hand is different. But it is difficult to maintain confidence and respect for someone who on the day before a major report is due leaves the conference room to take chicken soup to her sick (rich) boyfriend and doesn’t return. (he still hasn’t married her)

Or diverts office workers to make party decorations on the office color printer while prohibiting anyone else from printing full-color reports on the same copier. (I guess our needs were not important enough)

Or buys for you the most hideous poster-sized art print and hangs it in your office because you made the mistake of commenting (not complementing) the one in her office. (she was crazy)

Or schedules an intervention meeting with 3 feuding teen girls and their angry parents with you as a female observer, doesn’t bother to show up but yells at you for not knowing what the hell the conflict was all about and calling an available colleague for assistance. (I made him look bad.)

Or publicly hugs colleagues from other universities at a non-work related social event in another city but doesn’t hug you (even though you are standing with them) because you work for him and states his reasons for not doing so out loud. (he was uptight and a lawyer)

Or puts in a two week notice and and ten day vacation request on the same day. (that has happened to me twice)

Okay some of these events didn’t actually happen to me but they make my point all the same.


I have been think for awhile about what I would do if i had the means to do anything.
Here goes...
I would create a Smurf channel on cable TV. It would play all the episodes of the Smurfs all day long.
No. I will play episodes of the Superfriends Hour, Smurfs, Space Ghost hour and Mighty Mouse.
I would permit subordinates to order Mental Health days for their directors. It would be for the mental health of the subordinate.
People who get their hair done in weekly up-dos, buns, hair pieces or goddess braids would be obligated by law to also have pedicures as frequently.
Dr. Pepper vending machines would be easier to find.
"Seventy percent off sales" would occur more frequently.
I would be able to remember people's names.
There would always be wine, vodka, tequila, gin and rum in my house.
I would only have one chin.
It would never snow in April.
There would be more Riddick movies.
Someone would detail my car every few months.
There would be more episodes of Futurama, funny episodes of Family Guy and the Boondocks.
All of my student loans would be paid off and I could work for the sheer pleasure of it.
I would become my own Handyman and be able to fix, make or do anything to my own house.
Aging would be optional.
The Shoe man would make house calls. He would shine and repair my shoes on site and we could have a great time playing dress-up.

Entry for April 30, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Day Blog Silence

Pepper Madness -

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pepper Madness
I thought that I would continue writing about talking to doctors.

I have regular appointments with my allergist. Not including the weekly allergy shots that I receive. There is the ongoing game between my allergist, the pharmacy and my insurance company. I tell my allergist my symptoms, he prescribes a med, I take it to the pharmacy, they pull up the brand in the computer and in due course inform me that it is not covered. I call the allergist who must now submit a new prescription. This went on for weeks until I finally gave up.

I just learned that my idiotic insurance company decided to simply stop covering all allergy medications. Some times I wish I had super powers. The power of “shared misery.” I would inflict my power on everyone that make the pharmacy decisions at my job and they too would have hay fever. They too will dread the coming of the Spring in May. They too will have to use perfectly good sick time to rest during the semi-annual sinus infection. The itchy eyes… all of it could be theirs to experience.

Well this last time I met with the doctor I wanted to talk to him about my food allergies. During my last allergy test, he determined that I had none. He was wrong because I clearly had food allergies.

Once in college I ate an entire pint of strawberries, a ½ pound of nectarines and some Trix cereal during one week. Did you know that hives resembles the measles? I didn’t but apparently the year before I got to my college there had been a measles outbreak. It had been so bad that the moment that I complained about my “rash” I lost all of my friends. The campus nurses called it hives and I was given my first allergy pill. I was delirious and drowsy for two weeks while the stuff worked its way out of my system. My friends returned very apologetic once I gave the all clear.

At my last appointment I informed my doctor that I had an allergy to chili peppers. I didn’t understand why the VERY expensive allergy test did not know that I react to strawberries and chilis. He asked me “How do you know that you are allergic” I could have told him one of two scenarios.

Last year, while preparing Yassa Chicken for dinner I cut a chili pepper and found that I could not breathe. I don’t mean coughing. I mean gasping for air. I knew to rush outside for fresh air because that had not been my first asthma like reaction to peppers.

The Capsaicin in peppers is what determines its heat. Apparently I am sensitive to that heat and my vocal chords were closing makinge “breathing in”, very difficult. But how did I know that you are wondering... As was my allergist.

I learned the day that I thought I was dying. I was working the door at a social event. The crowd had become very agitated. The police were losing control of the young men that had used the darkness, heat and lack of space to ignite old rivalries and began fighting. I reached into the gawking crowed to pull out my friends who had turned into statues as the men rolled around on the floor fighting each other. I pulled out three of the entranced ladies before I realized that I was going to die. I could not breathe. So obviously it was my time. Because I was going to die, I reached out to my friend and tried to tell her that I loved her and to tell my sisters that i love them and my parents that i died trying to protect my friend. But i could not breathe. She didn’t understand me so I felt that since I was dying I should lie on the ground and close my eyes. You see.. to make it easier and not cause a scene. I began to think to myself, “so this is what it is like to suffocate to death. Wow.” "This isn't so bad." In my delirium I had determined that I was going to experience death without a fight. My death would signal the end of teh riot that was taking place all around me. People would walk the streets and chant "No more violence.... Frizzy Lives.... No more violence because Frizzy Lived...."

Thank goodness, someone took me outside to the fresh air. While sitting outside in the cold, completely embarrassed at my previous behavior I wondered what had just happened to me.

You should have seen my doctor’s face when I told the latter story. He wondered if I should carry an inhaler. He seemed to think that I find myself in these pepper spray blessed events all the time. Not sure why he thought that but I refused the inhaler anyway.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I have mentioned before that I have a hard time with doctors. I literally must write down all of my symptoms in a notebook just so that I will remember to mention them to my doctor.

When I met with my sleep disorder doctor and COMPLETELY forgot to mention that I stop breathing when I am asleep in January. Or that I wake up with a sore throat and I have slept through my clock alarm, firm alarm and loud tvs. Or that I still so tired after noon that I can barely function. Failed to mention that I am gaining weight again. So, I wrote all of this down for my appointment last week and quite efficiently lift my notes on my dresser. Pretty hard to convince the sleep specialist that I am having problems when I look alert and rested. It came out of no where. I got a good night’s rest and went to the appointment.

He is a pretty clever guy, he noticed that my thought was red and sore with his fancy flashlight. He accused me of snoring. GREAT let’s add that to the list. Did I mention that I was referred to this guy because I dared to go into my family physician’s office and complain of insomnia.

All I wanted was some Valium. Instead now I see a sleep specialist and my medicine is $40 on the co-pay and one day I fear the medicine will kill me. The medicine really knocks you out. No better than sex. For real. One day the house will be on fire and I will be knocked out. I have been practicing my Lily Munster bed pose at night because that is what the medicine does to me.

Oh yeah, I get to sleep alright be the whole not breathing at night means that I am constantly waking up to gasping for air. Do you know what that is called?

It is freaking called Sleep Apnea and that has its own diagnosis and remedy. It means going to bed with a mask on my face after I take the “knock you out medicine”. I am a single gal that sleeps alone. Everything in my life has conspired to keep me single. Imagine the conversation I would have to initiate with a potential suitor to explain the medicine that I take which puts me in a death like sleep and the mask that I wear to keep me from suffocating.

And then this guy wants to take away my “pep pills” because I look so alert. NOOOOOO. I love my pep pills, they are the reason I get any work done at all. Another problem to keep me single. Excessive daytime sleepiness. Every time I go out men tell me that I always look tired. What can a single sleepy gal do?

No one wants to prescribe drugs like Valium because they are habit forming. I guess there could be worse things....

Let's see, sleeping like the dead - $40 a month co-pay,
Wearing a breathing mask- $0 (cause it is not going to happen),
Walking around tired all the time - $5 co-pay for the pep pills
Remaining forever single - Priceless

Just give me the Valium so I won't mind as much.

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