At the jobette, we sent our co-workers a list of what we’d done at the end of each day, so we all knew what we were working on and what needed to be done (in addition, of course, to our weekly staff meetings). I tried to make mine a little more amusing to read than just a list, and thought it might be fun to save and share some of them. Here they are in chronological order, most recent first.
Note: after I left the jobette, I scaled back to a once a week report for my former colleagues.
July 24, 2015
In the immortal Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple tales, elderly villagers often regarded the obituaries section of their village newspapers like the sporting pages, eagerly looking to see who had lost the race and congratulating themselves on surviving. Often these vulturous senior citizens would applaud themselves for their longevity secrets, whether it was a nightly glass of Scotch or always eating whole wheat bread. I have joined my fictional counterparts in a dedicated weekly perusal of the weekly obituaries, though in my case, it’s not so much to gloat over my (temporary) survival, but rather to send a condolence card to the family if the former citizen was also a former patient. Note to newspaper owners: maybe you wouldn’t be going out of business if you used ink that stayed on the page, not on your hands. Just sayin’.
Added to my deathly duties is sending flowers to staff members who have lost family members. I would prefer to spend a little less time contemplating mortality, especially considering the ever dwindling life expectancy of my ever dwindling family. My great-grandparents lived into their 90s, my grandparents into their 80s, and my father barely made it to 70, while Mom lost her long and valiant battle against breast cancer at 73. Following this formula, my days are seriously numbered. 🙂
But I won’t think about that now. I’ll think about the weekend, and you should, too. I’ll leave you with a classic, which may or may not be the soundtrack to the revolution*:
*Per Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson) on “That ‘70s Show.
April 17, 2015
Like gravity, technology’s your friend – until it’s not. One of the (many) less glamorous tasks in my new job is setting up and breaking down the meeting rooms for seemingly endless meetings. These people are meeting mad, I tell you! Yet they do not have the technology to support their obsession. Or a person running it who has one single clue.
I have graduated from the person who couldn’t program her VCR to the person who has no idea what the hell is going on with all those cables behind the TV and doesn’t want to know. I also have a very shaky understanding of the difference between a modem and a router. So having me set up your computer and/or projector attached to your computer for your very important meeting may not be the best choice.
My lack of tech savvy is compounded by the 1984 stupidity of the IT system. While not as draconian as the County’s “we’ll download everything you do on the net and send it to your boss every month” edict, it does block many sites like YouTube and doesn’t allow you to right click on links and open them. They are under the illusion that making you copy and paste the link is safer, or better, or more gooder in some way. Also? The ONLY browser they have or allow is Explorer.
One day, they wanted to train staff on retinal screening, which required the use of YouTube videos, because everything is on YouTube from you stealing $5 from your Mom’s purse to your first steps. Needless to say, the technology in the meeting room forbade this wanton madness, so I had to borrow my boss’ laptop and hook it up to the projector and the wi fi system which IT is constantly working on but is not available to staff.
In the end, it worked, but it was too early for a martini and I’m pretty sure I have more grey hairs. Don’t even ask about the giant room dividers that have to be opened and closed with Kong sized allen keys.
Have a great weekend, everyone! I’m taking Jessica to B Bryan tomorrow to celebrate her 12th birthday. I imagine her days of wanting to do this kind of thing with her auntourage are numbered, so I plan to enjoy every minute!
April 10, 2015
One of the things about working at a medical facility*, even in administration, is that you have to be up to date on your immunizations. They scheduled me for a series that is required for all women under 40 (!), and when I revealed the Awful Truth, they revised it to a blood test to make sure that I was immune to whatever these things are.
So I went over to get my blood taken, but the Calamity Suzy Factor made sure that it did not go as planned. It turns out that my veins are the only things about me that are not shallow, so the poor nurse spent a lot of time prospecting for a useful one with no result, much like a botched execution. Also? Those tourniquet things hurt. I don’t know how junkies do it.
As the search continued, I began to feel a little light headed and then nauseous, so the search was called off. The nurse gave me juice and peanut butter crackers and sat me by an open window until I felt better, feeling like a recovering kindergartner. To be fair, I hadn’t eaten in about 17 hours, but it was still a little on the embarrassing side. She was really nice about it, and apparently we will try again another day. Wish me luck!
On Saturday, I’m attending a lecture about the history of Albion. Did you know the first mill on the Mendocino Coast was in Albion? If I learn anything tourist-worthy, I’ll let you know.
Have a great weekend, everyone! Beware of vampires! Bwahaha!
*Another odd thing is working with people who know exactly how much you weigh. And/or have seen you naked.
March 13, 2015
Well, we’re in the throes of yet another time change. I have finally realized that the entire point of the exercise every single time – whether it’s forward or back – is to plunge us back into darkness in the morning.
As soon as there is even a glimmer of early morning light, the Powers That Be change the clock, ensuring that getting up at 5 am is much worse than it already is. Clearly the Powers do not routinely get up in the cold and dark day after day. Guess that’s why they’re the Powers and we’re not. 🙂
Time to stop the madness, peeps!
Who’s with me?
Meanwhile, back at the office, I was issued with a county cell phone this week. It’s a flip phone (‘memba them?) and both it and the charger absolutely reek of cigarettes, even after repeated cleanings with Clorox lemon wipes*. Fortunately, I don’t plan to use it often. It’s for calling the cops in case of an emergency (I am supposed to hide somewhere with it and then call) and for calling people to set up drug tests. Oh, the glamor!
Still working on the Bay Area Travel Show leads in my abundant spare time. The name of the week so far is: Nyce Monday.
Hope y’all have a Nyce Weekend!
*Don’t ask why I have these.
February 27, 2015
I finally got my computer log in yesterday afternoon! This would have been a lot more exciting if there had actually been someone there to show me what to do once I logged on. My boss went to Sacramento a few minutes after I arrived (I didn’t take it personally), and the person who has been “training” me wasn’t there. Again. “Training” so far has consisted of checking my (flawless) work on the backlog of files and suggesting that I read the (fascinating) orientation materials.
The high point of the day was reading a Winnie the Pooh story to a four year old girl while her father was in a group meeting. She told me that she was too little to read by herself. I didn’t tell her that I could read when I was three. Hey, it gave me something to do!
I did learn a few things this week, though not at work:
1. The ocean can kind of freeze! Or at least turn into a giant, salty Slurpee.
2. You can get balloons with LED lights in them! Time to party! Or make First Friday more festive than ever.
3. The Easter Island heads also have bodies.
You just have to dig deeper to get the real story.
Tomorrow I’m going to watch my brother participate in the Polar Plunge to support Special Olympics. Feel free to stop by Big River Beach around noon and join me in cheering him on. Have a great weekend whatever you do and wherever you go!
February 19, 2015
The happiest news of the week has to be that there’s a new Dr. Seuss book coming out this summer, starring the brother and sister last seen in “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”. Apparently, the good Dr’s widow set the manuscript aside when going through his effects, and promptly re-lost them, as so often happens. What with that and the discovery of Harper Lee’s long-lost manuscript (also to be published this summer*), starring the girl last seen in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, there’s a lot to celebrate in the literary world.
Lost manuscripts and general disorganization are not the exclusive purview of literary lions, however. Our humble county government gives them a run for their money. Someone came from Ukiah today to train me, but she soon learned that I was not in the system, which meant that I did not have:
– The ability to log onto a computer
– An email address
– Access to any files on the computer
– An ID card
– A card key, which is needed to go in and out of every door other than the lobby
I soon learned that I was supposed to go to Payroll after the orientation on Monday, to submit direct deposit forms, etc. However, no-one told me this when I was in Ukiah, and I may have to go back there to deal with it at some point. Probably will not get paid until March 6. Or something.
When I picked up my mail on the way home, I found a letter from the county welcoming me to the job and giving me instructions on Tuesday’s orientation, including the part about going to payroll afterwards. It was dated February 10, but mailed on the 17th, aka the day of orientation.
In the late 1800s, a gentleman in London received a letter which he returned his post office with the following note:
“Found adhered to a snail. Comment is superfluous.”
*They are both to be published in July. Setting the bar pretty high for birthday gifts for Richard!
December 16, 2014
“I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.”
– George Costanza, “Seinfeld”
George would surely appreciate the velvet covered Rolls Royce seen (where else?) outside Harrods in London.
For a mere £3,000 (about $4,700), you too can get this Costanza-approved look for your undoubtedly more humble car. Does not include cost of car. No word on how you’d clean it, but with a car like that, you probably have staff to deal with such mundane issues.
Speaking of luxuries, thanks to Richard for a wonderful and festive lunch at Luna Trattoria today. So nice to hang out with the office family! Other than that, I was mostly focused on the accommodations section of the VG. Also typed up and distributed staff meeting notes and ordered a few things from Staples. Just a handful of visitors on this dark and stormy day, which already looks rainier and floodier than the alleged Stormageddon last week.
December 9, 2014
“Snowstorm: Steamboat off a Harbour’s Mouth”, by JMW Turner, 1842
This stunning and dynamic painting is by the great English artist, Joseph Mallord William Turner, and can be seen at the Tate Britain in London, where Turner’s prolific work forms the cornerstone of the museum’s collection. It is surprising to realize that an artist born in the 1700s, when George III was King and we in America were fighting for our freedom, painted this work when Claude Monet* was just two years old. Turner was an impressionist before there were impressionists, and continued to explore the boundaries of abstraction, realism, and light for the rest of his career.
If the ocean and the weather reports are correct, we are in for quite a storm tomorrow and into Thursday. You can get news here or from the knower of all – assuming your power stays on. Apparently sandbags are now available in Willits, though there is a ten bag per person limit. Make sure you have flashlights, batteries, drinking water, pre-ground coffee, and booze, just in case!
Meanwhile, on dry (for now) land:
- Proofread NCTC piece – looks great!
- Printed out documents for Scott
- Thanks to Richard for singlehandedly taking care of the VG backlog
- Packaged up calendars to send to the photographers
- Thanks to Evan for carting the calendars to the post office
- Set up staff call
- Attended staff meeting and took notes
- Thanks to Scott for making it possible for me to print double-sided again
- Oh, yeah – those Bark in the Park leads (‘memba them?
Visitors: 5 Sales: $15
Batten down the hatches and stay safe!
*Some of us appreciate Monsieur Monet’s work more than others.
December 3, 2014:
Just one of the more than 1,300 cartoons the gifted Charles Addams drew in his long career. Married three times – the last wedding took place in the pet cemetery of his estate, where his ashes would eventually be scattered – the debonair artist still found time to escort Joan Fontaine, Greta Garbo (in her pre-recluse days), and Jacqueline Kennedy on social occasions. He was a good friend of Alfred Hitchcock, who shared his macabre sense of humor and eye for the ladies. Hitchcock includes a sly reference to Addams in his masterly film “North by Northwest”. During the auction scene, Cary Grant discovers two of his adversaries with someone whom he also thinks is his enemy and says: “The three of you together. Now that’s a picture only Charles Addams could draw.”
Back at the office, there was a mystery theme. I am mystified by how Survey Monkey thinks we had 141 responses to our survey when I entered 198 responses from blow in cards, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to find out who, what where, why or who. Spent much of the day working on website and still do not understand why some pictures look fine and others looked stretchy, even when they are exported from iPhoto at 2,000 pixels wide.
Notified 6 winners of the gas cards – we did say they’d be drawn in 2014! Have already heard back from one winner, and the check – I mean, the card – is in the mail.
November 17, 2014:
Today marks the 70th birthday of Gene Clark, one of the founding members of The Byrds. Born third of thirteen children in Tipton, Missouri, Clark started writing his own songs by the age of 11. He went on to pen some of The Byrds’ best known and best loved songs, including “Eight Miles High” and “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”.
Clark battled personal demons and alcoholism, and sought solace from both here on the Mendocino coast. He bought a house in Albion, where he was inspired to write his passionate and poetic album “No Other”. The beauty and spirituality of this area infuses what may well be Clark’s best solo album.
“No Other” would become his epitaph. Clark died at 46 of “natural causes” on Bob Dylan’s 50th birthday, May 24, 1991. His modest tombstone in his hometown of Tipton reads simply:
Meanwhile, down the road from Gene’s house:
- Sent comments regarding Visit CA’s new website
- Updated SalesForce
- Reached out to Mountain Fresh to let them know of our office drought
- Worked on website
- NCTC credit card
- Attended staff meeting
- Typed up and distributed staff meeting notes
- CEO report update
- Worked on that new calendar thingie with limited success
- Stopped by the Floor Store to get samples of laminate for our building’s buyer – someone from there will drop off samples tomorrow
- Talked to bookkeeper about sales sheet format
- Sent team the link to Wendy Roberts’ letter to the AVA editor. She is my hero.
- Favorite spam of the day: a French one from “Autodidacte”. Makes a change from would be Russian mail order brides. 🙂
November 12, 2014:
Curmudgeonly iconoclast and music legend Neil Young celebrates his birthday today (along with Charles Manson). Here are some fun Neil facts for you:
- His middle name is Percival
- He and fellow Canadian songbird Joni Mitchell contracted polio in the same epidemic in 1951 (vaccinate your kids, peeps!)
- Before joining Buffalo Springfield, he was in a band called the Mynah Birds with funkmeister and cocaine enthusiast Rick James
- He has never renounced Canadian citizenship, despite living in California for decades
- He spent about a million dollars to convert his 1959 Lincoln Continental to an electric car
In keeping with our Canadian theme, Toronto now has a kitchen library, where you can borrow esoteric items such as chocolate fountains and then return them instead of buying them.
As the late, great Robin Williams said of our northern neighbor, “You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment over a meth lab.”
Meanwhile, back in the meth lab:
- Worked with AT&T U-verse guy to get AT&T internet set up. Borrowed Richard’s laptop to facilitate this (Thanks, Richard). Right now, we have both the old MCN and the new AT&T internet systems working, so you can use either. The AT&T router is called ATT384. If you need a password for it, it is on the router (the black one).
- The Kemgas guys came to put on new meters.
- The AT&T phone guy came to switch the phones over, but couldn’t do it because of technical issues, so we will reschedule.
- Barbara from Century 21 stopped by
- Ruth Sparks came in to say hello and give us some encouragement
- Printed out EDFC materials and updated Scott’s binder
- Filed sales sheets for August and September
- Put away Staples order
- Surveys (how did we get two from Turkey?)
- No sign of Heisenberg
September 2, 2014:
Ceci N’est Pas Un Chat
Gordie: Alright, alright, Mickey’s a mouse, Donald’s a duck, Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?
Teddy: Goofy’s a dog. He’s definitely a dog.
Chris: He can’t be a dog. He drives a car and wears a hat.
Vern: Oh, God. That’s weird. What the hell is Goofy?
— “Stand By Me”, 1986
Vern would be as shocked as I was to learn that Hello Kitty is not a cat. According to the “LA Times”, she is, in fact, a cat shaped girl.
At least she *has* a cat.
On the other side of the country and of the opposite opinion is “The New Yorker”, who not only thinks Hello Kitty is a cat, but also that Mickey Mouse is not a mouse.
Take that, Gordie! My world has been turned more upside down than a Napa wine warehouse! [There had recently been an earthquake in the nearby Napa wine country.]
Other than that confusion:
- Put out new calendars
- Leads – State Fair and otherwise
- Updated leads Google doc
- Printed and filed receipts
- Set up conference calls
- Staff meeting
August 18, 2014:
Happy birthday to Richard’s newest grandchild, little Clara! She made her debut on Friday (“Friday’s child is loving and giving”) and is in excellent (and sometimes regal) company on her choice of birthday:
1769 Napoleon Bonaparte
1771 Sir Walter Scott
1879 Ethel Barrymore
1888 T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”)
1912 Julia Child
1950 Princess Anne
1972 Ben Affleck
Needless to say, her taste in grandfathers is impeccable.
Meanwhile, outside the maternity ward:
Voicemail from a gentleman requesting a visitor guide: “It’s 1514 Chelsea Street, like Chelsea Clinton or Chelsea, England, but it’s Chelsea STREET. That’s the nursing home address.”
Proofread the Annual Report – it’s impressive to read all the things we accomplished this year – worked on leads, printed & filed receipts, VGs. The usual. J Started on State Fair leads. Favorite names so far are Penny Fable (better than a dime novel?), Jeannie Wiggley, and Unique Trocki. BooBoo261@aol.com says “Thanx for being brave enough to advertise same sex weddings!”
February 19, 2014:
Moon over Sochi last night
Congrats to Team USA for advancing to the semi-finals in Men’s Hockey! Of course, they couldn’t have done it without the Toronto Maple Leafs’ James Van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel, who scored a hat trick in the quarter final game against Slovenia. If Team USA wins the gold medal, it will be the first time since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” in Lake Placid. None of the current Team USA had been born yet.
Meanwhile, off the ice, it was a pretty quiet day at the office. We had a handful of visitors on this lovely day, one of whom wanted to know why the green label seasonings are a dollar less than the orange label seasonings when the ingredients are identical. Will let you know when we get to the bottom of this retail mystery. Try not to lose any sleep. Another guy confided that he had “Woken up in Fortuna this morning” and couldn’t remember how he got there, and when I asked another guy “Can I help you?” he responded with “No, though thousands have tried.”
On the bright side, we sold about $75 worth of stuff today.
Matched up the credit card bills (VMC and NCTC) with receipts and attempted to code them. Evan helped me solve the mystery of the $1,000 CTTC charge on his card and we got a copy of the receipt to gladden the auditors’ hearts (assuming auditors have hearts).
Attended the Stornetta call and caught up on filing, along with a few other miscellaneous things.
October 28, 2013:
The late, great Lou Reed
The world lost a music pioneer and legend with the passing of Lou Reed at the age of 71. Reed exploded onto the music scene with “The Velvet Underground & Nico” in 1967, an album influential and important enough to rank with that year’s “Sgt. Pepper”. Managed by Andy Warhol – who designed the album’s (in)famous “peel slowly and see” banana cover – live performances by the Velvets became performance art. After leaving the band, Reed created a string of vastly different albums, from glam rock to avant garde all noise experiments. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I’d have to single out 1972’s “Transformer”, which contains “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”, Reed’s memoir of the Warhol factory and its “superstars”, as well as being one of the most unlikely hit songs ever to hit the mainstream charts. “Rock’n’Roll Animal”, recorded live in his native New York in 1974 kicks off with what is to my mind the definitive version of Reed’s classic “Sweet Jane” as well as scorching renditions of “Rock & Roll” and “White Light/White Heat.”
Regarding his almost 50 year career in music, I’ll let Lou have the last word:
“All through this, I’ve always thought that if you thought of all of it as a book then you have the Great American Novel, every record as a chapter. They’re all in chronological order. You take the whole thing, stack it and listen to it in order, there’s my Great American Novel.”
June 25, 2013:
Dave Bolland scores the Stanley Cup winning goal against the Bruins
It was a dramatic end to the battle for Lord Stanley’s coveted Cup last night. With the score favoring Boston 2-1 and 76 seconds to go, I was already thinking about Game 7 tonight. But the Hawks scored twice in 17 seconds, stunning the Bruins and giving them a bitter taste of what they dished out to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the heartbreaking semi-final Game 7 that will live in infamy. The Leafs had a two goal lead with 90 seconds to play in the third period. Boston scored twice in 30 seconds to tie the game up and then won about five minutes into overtime. This is why I love hockey: the speed, the skill, and the fact that anything can happen.
Meanwhile, off the ice, it was a rainy day. We had about a dozen visitors, including two from Australia who were disappointed by the weather. Their major challenge so far on this trip was buying a small RV and then driving it here from LA on the wrong side of the road. But they’re having a good time.
No sales, but we have sold about $100 so far this rainy week. Kudos to Evan for selling more than $50 on Saturday! YTD sales as of yesterday are $3,337.
Went to the post office and mailed off visitor guides and checked the mailbox.
Ordered supplies from Staples which should arrive tomorrow.
Still working on the accommodations listings and the “Sunset” leads.
May 13, 2013:
Well, it’s game 7 tonight for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. The Leafs (don’t ask me why it’s not “Leaves”) haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967 and have the dubious distinction of having the longest drought between championships of any team in the NHL. They haven’t even made it to the playoffs since 2008, so it’s amazing that they’re still in there fighting. One of the great mysteries in the world of sports is how a team with such a woeful record is the most valuable in the NHL, earning over $1 billion last year. Go figure. And go Leafs go!
Meanwhile, back in the US of A, eh:
- Cash float
- Broadband Alliance letter for Scott
- Printed and filed receipts
- Board packets and binders
- Picked up Richard’s job from Mendo Litho
- Went to Century 21 to get ABC form signed
- Attended staff meeting and took notes
- Put together gift bag for visiting media
Call of the day: The woman who took her husband to the psychic across from Mendosa’s this weekend and wanted to complain that the fortune teller “verbally attacked them” and told them to get a divorce immediately. They have been married for 44 years and it was the husband’s 70th birthday. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, they enjoyed the play.
Visitor of the day: The guy who hitchhiked here from the Ukiah jail and was looking for a private investigator and an attorney who could advise him about the restraining order that had been issued against him. Unfortunately I know more about these things than I did a week ago, and I have to tell you, ignorance really is bliss.
Happy 12/12/12! Today is the last time the month, day and year will all be the same number until January 1, 2101. In honor of 12/12/12, here are 12 fun terms for common things:
- The tiny plastic table found in many delivery pizza boxes is called a box tent.
- When you look at a word for so long that it loses its meaning, that’s called “jamais vu”, French for “never seen”. As opposed to déjà vu, which means “already seen”. Doesn’t everything sound better in French?
- Paresthesia is the tingling sensation when your foot falls asleep.
- A string of typographical symbols used to indicate profanity (“$%@!”) is called a grawlix.
- The small, triangular pink bump on the inside corner of each eye is called the caruncula.
- Another word for playful banter is badinage, from the French for “playfulness” or “jesting”.
- A group of rattlesnakes is a rhumba.
- To waste time by being lazy is to dringle.
- The flaps on the back of a bra are called wings.
- An agraffe is the wire cage that keeps the cork in a bottle of champagne.
- A slice of bacon is called a rasher.
- The web between your thumb and forefinger is called the purlicue. Acupuncturists say pinching it will make headaches go away.
Meanwhile, back at the office:
- Went to post office
- Checked mailbox
- Brought tear off maps to City Hall
- Tried to make Richard’s phone cord a little less hazardous
- Sent leads to Brendan to send to Creel – we are caught up through today
- Uploaded leads to database
- Removed duplicates (I am enjoying being caught up on filing and leads – can you tell?)
- Signed Christmas cards
- Toasted 12/12/12 with Scott, Erin, and Colby (who added an extra lucky 12 by being at 12 after 12)
- Added events to website
- Entered Richard’s WTM contacts into the database (more catching up!)
Off to see the Festival of Lights at the Gardens tonight!
November 5, 2012:
Happy Guy Fawkes Day! Surely one of the odder holidays, it celebrates the failed plot to blow up the London Houses of Parliament in 1605, led by Guy (or Guido) Fawkes on November 5. Most of the conspirators and came to a literally and figuratively sticky end on the scaffold, though Fawkes himself cheated the crowd and the hangman by jumping off the scaffold and breaking his neck. The day is traditionally celebrated with burning a “Guy”, a sort of scarecrow often made by children on a bonfire, and by fireworks.
Fortunately today was much less horrifying than that one in 1605, though tomorrow remains to be seen….
Speaking of horrifying, I removed masses of cigarette butts from the planter boxes (and the plants), as well as an unmentionable. Eeek. Sometimes my job is a little too glamorous.
- Attended staff meeting and took notes
- Took notes during call on VIP bags and sent out email to call participants
- Set up conference call for next week
- Worked on CBS Outdoor invoice/receipt issue
- Sent Richard the artwork for his business card so he can get some extras printed up while he is in London
- Spoke to Staples about returning defective digital photo frame
- Matched up receipts to credit cards
- Packaged up shirts to mail to Hype House
Visitors: 16 – my favorite was a girl who works for Visit Petaluma and was here for the day. She says she loves visiting Fort Bragg because it “has it all – redwoods, coast, great food and shopping!”
Sales: None, but lots over Friday & Saturday
Have a good evening, everyone!