That Robax Puppet is a Freaking Liar

Do you remember this guy?  That little wooden marionette with pins in his back that keep him from dancing and enjoying life altogether?  Yeah, that’s the one.  He’s an effing liar.

Stupid little man with pins in his back

A week ago tomorrow, I hurt my back.  It was stiff from a long day of moving things and sitting in a new chair and I simply went to sit down in the afternoon and suddenly there was blinding pain from my lower back down to my knees and that was it.  Pinched sciatic nerves on both sides and I was barely able to walk.  I took some Robax and guess what?  Those white hot little pins in my back laughed in it’s face and continued to plague me.  Thursday saw me in the hospital getting much, much stronger pain medication and now here we are, almost a week later and I’m just able to move without massive amounts of pain.

Not that I’m saying Robax doesn’t work at all, it’s great as a muscle relaxant and I’ve used it for that many times.  I’m just saying that the stupid man with the pins in his back is a liar and I’m calling him on his shit.  The pins are still there, little man…they are STILL there.  Screw being able to ballroom dance, it’d be nice to walk upright again.

I’m glad I don’t have cable, because if I saw that stupid little puppet on my television, my nice flatscreen might end up with the remote right through it.  Back pain is not a happy little fix. You can’t just pull the needles out and go on your merry way.  Every movement is like shooting torture right down your spine and through your legs.  I have to get the boyfriend to help me dress in the morning and help me to the bathroom and everything else you can imagine.  I hate to cook, but I feel guilty that he has had to cook everything for the last week.  I hate that I’ve had to eat it lying on the couch and I detest that I haven’t been able to sleep in my own bed in six nights.

To make matters worse, I was working from home this morning, sitting in the reclining leather chair when the back of it broke and sent me flying backwards.

So my back pinched again.  I have since recovered and now refuse to ever sit in that chair again and am plotting it’s eventual demise and replacement with something with less murderous intent.

I believe I’m on the road to recovery (knock on wood).  I was able to work still after the chair incident and though I’m stiff and I have twinges here and there, I’m not in agonizing pain anymore.  We shall see what the morning brings and maybe I could actually get my but into the office and get some work done there!!  I never thought I’d be so excited by the prospect.


A Bieberiffic Birthday for IT Mike

Our dear IT Mike turned 32 this year and invited us all out to celebrate this momentous occasion this past Saturday.  Good times were had by all.  Drinks were consumed, laughs were had, the birthday boy was in good spirits and it was a great time.  But this is not a post about just any old birthday, dear readers.  This is actually a story that starts a few days back with a Facebook hacking.

Let me set the scene for you.  It was mid morning in the middle of the week a few days before we were set to go out for IT Mike’s birthday.  I received an email from my friend at work to check out my Facebook and see why you should never leave your profile signed in on someone else’s computer.  On break, I checked my phone and started to laugh loudly when I saw that IT Mike’s status read, “I agree with *another coworker* and also love the Biebs”.  Many laughs were had by all and IT Mike vowed revenge.

What he didn’t know was that, almost immediately, we started plotting a birthday filled with Justin Bieber randomness.  There was talk of gifts including the nail polish line, however, we quickly discovered that it was almost $10.00 a pop and I couldn’t force myself to pay that much for nail polish no matter how funny it would have been.  Instead, we went old school and decided to make a Justin Bieber birthday card.  I like to scrapbook and have started making my own cards so I had all the supplies.  We purchased a couple of teeny bopper magazines so I would have pictures and I went to work on the card.  It was very nice indeed.  Bieber surrounded by a heart with a pink background on the envelope, a classic head shot on the front of the card, and inside, a shirtless beach pic of the Biebs with a birthday hat affixed to his head, to go with the theme.  And on the back, the piece de resistance…Justin Bieber on a Segway.

We all met at my place before we headed to the bar for a couple of drinks and the three of us (the original Facebook hacker, another of our work friends and eager conspirators, and myself) signed the card.  We arrived at the bar and smiling widely, presented IT Mike with his birthday card.  Below is a picture of his reaction:

I love the expression...

Though I will say that IT Mike is a great sport.  As it was all in jest and for fun, he humoured us with something that made our nights.  He swept his hair sideways into a imitation of the signature hairstyle of Mr. Bieber.  The style I have affectionately named “The Fluffy Sideways”.

The Fluffy Sideways - Biebs' signature coiff

We all finished out the night having some more drinks, chatting, and eating good food, each heading our separate ways for the end of the night.  But our story doesn’t end here, folks, oh no.  You see, IT Mikes actual birthday wasn’t until the following Tuesday and we still had those magazines sitting around needing to be put to good use.  And so, brainstorming began and we decided that, as a nice surprise, we would poster his office with all the Bieber content from the magazines on Monday when he wasn’t there so he would walk in Tuesday morning and see it all.

Two of us went down there on Monday afternoon, armed with scissors and tape and giggled our way through our break, cutting and taping the ridiculous articles and pictures we found in these magazines.  See below:

The description of what life would be like if you married Justin Bieber...complete with a space to practice your Mrs. Bieber signature in. I kid you not.

The central birthday shrine

Justin Bieber mousepad of the home made variety










On Tuesday morning, IT Mike arrived and again, he was an excellent sport.  He told us we did a really good job of putting the Bieb’s everywhere and that he hadn’t suspected anything until our other IT guy smirked at him and said, “Have you seen your office yet?”  Then he had a sneaking suspicion of what was to come.

So that was our fun for IT Mike’s birthday this year.  I will say that it all worked out just fine because his awesome girlfriend thought the card was hilarious and our other IT guy’s daughter was with him when he saw IT Mike’s office and since she loves Justin Bieber, IT Mikey graciously kept the pictures and posters unharmed and gave them to her to use.

I will say this, however.  All three of us (the co-conspirators) have birthdays coming up in the next few months and we’re wondering if IT Mike will do something in retaliation.

The Bat Returns…Dun Dun Dun!

After writing The Bat a few weeks ago, another co-worker read the post and emailed me her own harrowing story about encountering one of the furry, flying beasts in the same attic at work.  The following is her terrifying tale.  As with the last post, names have been changed.

It was after hours and the attic had cleared.  Ted’s ladies had left for the evening and Becky was safely in her car on her way home.  Cindy and I were working away and chatting, as we often did.   Cindy went to the washroom and then to collect a print job when she was done. I tapped away on my laptop.  En route to her office Cindy stopped at my desk and stood, staring at me. I peered up.  “What?”  She said:  “Go look above the fax machine”.   I was leery, yet curious.

My “Why?”  garnered no response.  With a sigh I heaved myself out of my chair.   Around the corner I crept – at a snail’s pace.  Upon reaching the fax machine I looked at the wall.  And I stared.  And then I considered what I was staring at.  I tilted my head, to ensure that I was considering what I thought I was considering.    And then I let out a blood curdling scream.  It was a bat!!!!  A very large killer bat with big sharp teeth.   The winged rodent stared at me with it’s dark beady eyes.  I whipped around and ran smack into Cindy.  By then she had stopped laughing at my initial reaction. Clearly, my own terror had incited panic in her as well.  We ran back to her office (as I only had a cubby for crying out loud!) and slammed the door with a bang. We then picked up the phone and hit the page button.

In a raspy, fear laden voice I said:  “Will any male still in the building please come to the attic of 551?”.

The clock ticked.  No one came.  We tried again.  “We repeat, Cindy and Ruth really need the assistance of any able bodied male still in the building”.  Before I hung up I added:  “Please get your ass up here in a hurry”.

My desperation must have been apparent.   Barney made his way up the stairs.  We told him where the beast was and tiptoed behind him while he went to check it out.  When he turned the corner, with us in his shadow, I swear the damn thing flapped its wings to mock us.  Cindy and I screamed and tore back to the office.  Before we could slam the door for a second time Barney tried to come in.  Hell No!!  We locked him out and told him to catch the damn thing.

Hearing the commotion Steve finally made his way up.  He scoffed at Cindy and I who had not only locked ourselves in her office but were hiding behind a partition.  Steve grabbed a garbage can and trapped the bat.

I wore a hooded sweatshirt for the next three weeks and put the hood up every night after hours.  No way a bat was going to get caught in my hair….  I kept a binder at my desk to swat away any unexpected visitors.  No way a bat was going to get caught in my hair……  (See, those who haven’t worked at our office would think me paranoid.  But we know better don’t we?)

How I did not go on short term disability for emotional distress is beyond me.  I still shutter at the thought of it all.  This chick and bats do NOT get along.

We haven’t seen a bat in a very long time, but re-reading these stories makes me laugh all over again, but at the same time it makes me slightly wary…

The Bat

After the tale of the over-caffeinated squirrel that I posted (see it here) a friend of mine from work reminded me of an email that was sent around a couple of years ago by her mother, who also works with us.  It is a tale of fear and triumph over nature and luckily, my friend still had it saved in one of her folders for occasional perusal and amusement.  What follows is the tale in it’s original form.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.  Names have been changed to protect those involved.

Upon ascending the stairs to the 3rd floor attic this morning, with a view to getting an early start on the day, I flipped on the office light and proceeded to my desk when out of the corner of my eye I spied something.  I turned to have a better look and my first thought was, “What is that? (I didn’t have my glasses on and thus it appeared to be a dark furry blob on the wall) Is that a wallpaper swatch?  Is the office manager going to wallpaper up here?”  Upon closer inspection I came to the conclusion that no, indeed it was not a wallpaper swatch, as I had initially believed.  It was in actual fact a dreaded BAT.  As I peered at it in shock and surprise, it glared back, bared its fangs and began to unfold its wings in preparation of flight.  I needed no further prompting and descended the stairs at breakneck speed in search of someone brave enough to do battle with the colossal winged monster.  I happened upon Bob working diligently in his office.  He looked up from his work and saw the terror etched on my face.  He inquired as to what could possibly have happened to cause me such a fright.  I told my tale of the monster in the attic and Bob replied, “You’re kidding, right?  A bat?”  I explained that this was not just a bat, but a monster with red eyes, huge fangs and extremely large wings.  After much eye-rolling and sighing, Bob climbed the stairs to the attic.  He asked where it was and I pointed to the wall where the monster continued to lay.  Bob’s eyes widened at the sight, but then he proceeded to look for a container large enough to contain the beast.  He finally settled on a piece of Tupperware.  I was sure the monster would never fit in that little thing, but keep my opinion to myself. Bob approached the beast with his Tupperware raised, prepared for attack.  I hung back, unwilling to get caught up in the fray that was sure to ensue as I was armed only with a banana.  After a virtual cornucopia of swear words and much gnashing of teeth, Bob managed to contain the monster within the selected Tupperware container.  We both rushed to the exit to set the monster free.  As we vacated the building Bob said, “Gee I didn’t know their fangs were that big!  Do you think it would bite me?”  I declined to comment.

I would like to thank  Bob for his unwavering bravery with respect to the capture and release of the beast.

This post has provided much giggling and amusement over the years and I agreed with my friend…it needed to be shared with the world.  I hope you enjoy it.

The Worst Things to Do In a Snowstorm

Given that it is snowing again here in our lovely city and there is already talk of snow days tomorrow, I have decided to be as helpful as possible to certain people who will be out and about tomorrow and let them know what they should NOT be doing during this beautiful yet somewhat treacherous weather.

For all of those who will be driving tomorrow and first must relieve their vehicles of accumulated snow…finish the job.  I empathize with the feeling of laziness in the morning, I really do.  I do everything I can the night before to make sure I can sleep in as long as possible.  I shower the night before, I take portable food with me instead of making breakfast, and I generally just throw my very long hair back into a pony tail and forget about it but when it comes to clearing off my car, I will make the time.  When there is almost a foot of snow on top of a car, that needs to go.  Driving around with that kind of snow on top of your car is dangerous and stupid and when I see people who have only cleared the snow from their front and rear windshield and left it piled on the hood, roof, and trunk of their car, I always wish for the power to incapacitate their vehicles somehow and force them to pull over (safely of course) to the side of the road.  I hate being buffeted with gusts of snow from vehicles who’s owners were too lazy to clear it off and I always find it frustrating and unsafe to be in that situation.  So bite the bullet and clean off your damn car.

The amount of snow on my car during the recent snow storm - yes, I cleaned it ALL off

People who drive too slow really irritate me as well.  Guess what?  A half a foot of snow isn’t that bad.  You are more of a traffic risk going 30 Km in that than you would be if you were just driving at a normal speed in a cautious manner.  Grow a pair and realize that you have driven in snow before and, should you choose to remain living here, you will drive in it again next year.

People who drive too fast, in contrast, are insane.  There comes a point in the weather up here when you DO slow down and if you don’t, no matter what kind of tires or number or wheels that drive your car, you are an asshole.  Where other people are being cautious and courteous drivers, you’re risking us all because you have to get where you’re going ASAP.  As a Canadian, your impolite driving upsets me.  People here understand that there is snow and you might be a little late.  It happens, deal with it.  If need be, sacrifice a half an hour of sleep and get up a little earlier.  You’ll save yourself an accident or two.

But none of the three that precede this last one are even comparable.  What is the final on my list of annoying people in winter storms is the worst and most horrid offender of all.  Pedestrians who walk on the road.

What on earth is wrong with you?  Do you have any idea what kind of danger you’re in while you’re tromping along in the snow?  I’m sorry, but get the hell off the effing road.  I know that the sidewalks are usually the last things to be plowed and trudging along on them when the snow is up to your knees is annoying and cold; trust me, I’ve been there.  However, that’s where you are supposed to be.  Realize you live in a cold winter climate and buy some snowpants and appropriate footwear.  Wading through the snow is better than being hit by a car.  If it is snowing really badly, we can’t see you.  If the road is slippery, we can’t stop fast.  A fender bender isn’t so bad.  I can deal with a dent in my car.  You are not a car, you are a fragile human being and you’re going to get your dumb ass killed.

I know why you’re on the road.  At least, some of you.  I see the stupid Uggs you’re wearing and I would just like to say…GTFO.  Leave Canada with your stupid, inappropriate boots and don’t come back.  If you live somewhere with snow fall more than a couple of centimetres at a time, buy some damn boots that are insultated and have traction.  It’s a safety issue.  Uggs have no grip, no ankle support, and no warmth in the cold, wet snow.  Buy some snowmobile boots and stop being such a diva.  Uggs are fine in the fall and the spring or for wearing around inside.  Canada in the winter is not a fashion show…it’s wet and dangerous and you should have better boots.  Stop it!

Good advice for winter pedestrians

So, with the freezing rain falling down outside my window and the prospect of having to drive to work in the morning, please heed my advice and follow it appropriately and we’ll all get where we’re going on time and alive.

Workplace Halloween Shenanigans

Well friends, another Halloween has come and gone.  Candy is handed out, children are hyper and feeling the sugar hangover everywhere and the costumes are put away.  It’s a rather melancholy feeling when you say goodbye to such a fun holiday every year.  I love Halloween and have since I was a little kid.  I look forward to it just as much as Christmas every year.  Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up in a costume and parade around like it’s totally normal?  I fight the temptation throughout the rest of the year to dress up and wander into the workplace and just be like, “What’s up?  Yeah, that’s right.  Today, I’m Batman.”  Ah…to live the dream.

But anyway, I’ve wandered from the point.  This year was no different and I rose quite early on Friday morning to put my costume together.  I chose to be Medusa this year and let me tell you, applying little rubber/plastic snakes to long, semi-curly hair is not an easy thing to do.  The boyfriend was not impressed when I woke him up on the only morning he gets to sleep in and asked him to assist me with this task.  In fact, the boyfriend stood there and watched me in confusion while I ended up completing the task anyway, blinking in the light before I sent him back to bed.  I did feel bad about that.  I got dressed in my pretty black toga that my

This was the winner of top prize this year, a dead bride complete with skull for husband and dying rose bouquet

friend helped me put together and I put on some sandals and did my makeup before I headed out to the car.

DAMN! It was effing cold that morning.  I was basically wearing a sheet and sandals and it must have been zero degrees Celsius.  But I powered through and made it to the office, eager to see my co-workers’ costumes for the day.  Some of them I knew of ahead of time and others were a marvelous surprise.

Below are some pictures of the excellent creations of the day.  The complete list of costumes were as follows: Death (with awesome red eyes), Medusa (that was me), a dead bride (see picture on right), an army person, Linda Blair’s character from the Exorcist, a Gypsy, a Biker, a Leafs fan (Go Leafs!), a Grecian Princess, a Throw Rug (she threw a rug at you), Charlie Brown, a psycho with a cleaver, a flapper girl, a Plaintiff (we work in a law firm, a cat, and some kind of person with a dead child of some sort on their back (I never received the full explanation of this costume.  Oh, and the ultimate awesome for the day, a Irish Press person/Leprechaun/We weren’t sure exactly what except that his pants were too tight.  See photo at bottom.

Me and the ever awesome Stacey, sporting the Death and Medusa look. Inset are her red eyes and the snakes in my hair.







And now, folks, for the grand finale.  The epic tight pants.  Awesome costume, we were all loving it.  I give you IT Mike:

How he managed to function in those pants, we will never know. A brave man going the distance for Halloween. I'm reminded of Howard from The Big Bang Theory.

A Coffee Mug Gone Astray

When things go missing in an office, it causes a ruckus.  When you work with the same people day in and day out, you become somewhat of a family, albeit, a dysfunctional one.  When you suddenly come to the realization that something of your own has gone missing, it causes a horrible feeling in your stomach somewhat akin to betrayal (or possibly like you just ate at Taco Bell).

It’s a well documented fact that such behaviour from my coworkers doesn’t just annoy me, it drives me into a rage-filled frenzy during which my head spins in circles and I start to foam at the mouth.  It’s not a pretty sight.

Previously, I have only experienced the thievery of coffee (see here and here) and office supplies (see here, here, here, and here).  These were technically things paid for and supplied by the higher ups and were easily replaced.  These were not my own personal property and we all know how well I took it when these things we missing:

This is what it metaphorically felt like to find out that my stuff had gone missing

Today, however, was something different entirely.  Today the item that went missing was something of my own that I had brought in from home.  Something that was a birthday gift from my sister.  Let me set the scene for you.

As you may or may not be aware, I am a HUGE fan of the movie “Office Space“.  In my opinion, it embodies the exact way of life when you live half your day in a cubicle (with humerous exaggerations of course).  For my birthday two years ago, my sister gave me the “Office Space Survival Kit”.  There were many goodies inside, all relating to the film, but my favourite was Lumburgh’s coffee mug with the Initech logo on it.

I love this mug because I makes me giggle every single time I fill it up at the coffee machine at work.  I always hear Lumburgh’s voice saying, “Yeah…”  It makes my morning.  So if you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty attached to this particular conveyance of hot beverages.

Today, I was on my way down to cover the break for our receptionist.  I put the mug in the little receiving part of the machine, put the coffee cartridge in and hit the button before I went to do a few other things.  I forgot about my coffee until I got downstairs to the reception desk and I decided to get it when I went back up to my own desk.  Well, imagine my surprise when I reached my destination and there was nothing sitting in the coffee machine, waiting to be consumed.

At first I thought someone had needed to use the coffee maker and simply set it aside or dumped it and put it up on the shelf, as this has happened before.  I checked the surrounding area and oddly, did not find any sign of my beloved mug.  So then I pondered, “Who in their right mind would take a mug of coffee off the machine that they didn’t make?”  This seemed like a ridiculous notion and I thought, “No, I simply must be very scatterbrained from my allergy medications and put it on my desk.”  I checked…it was not there.  Then I thought, “Surely I actually took it down to reception with me and left it behind.”  I went and checked…not there either.  I then retraced my steps, my anger building with each new area explored only to discover a lack of awesome coffee mug.  Eventually, I got angry and started mumbling and ranting as I again checked all the places I’d been that morning.

Someone finally asked me if I was alright (they probably thought they should stop me before I had a complete meltdown and went Office Space [yes…my friends and I use the movie title as a verb to describe freaking out in the workplace] and tore the floor apart looking for a coffee mug).  I explained my situation and the dire need to have my precious mug back in my hands and someone started laughing and told me that one of our higher ups (we shall call him Bob) had been talking about coffee and had probably taken mine in an fit of absentmindedness.

I went to Bob’s office and there it was, my awesome mug in all it’s glory.  When I explained the situation, Bob was very apologetic and nice enough to even wash the mug for me before giving it back.  I trotted back to my desk, happy as a clam (after filling it up with delicious coffee of course) and sipped at the life giving beverage as I continued my daily grind.

So this story actually has a happy ending, unlike those of the stolen coffee cartridges (which is still happening now and then, this time by the entire box) and the missing staple removers (though I am happy to report that tying mine to the desk has actually managed to keep it around thus far).  So thank you Bob for so nicely returning my mug and keeping my head from actually exploding.