Monday, April 14, 2008

am i being a hard-ass?

Hey, if you break down and cry at work when you've just received the call that your parent has been taken to hospital, or when you've fallen and broken your leg into several pieces, I'll be the first one to hand you a tissue. But people who randomly cry at work--maybe because they feel they've been mistreated, or because they're super in touch with their emotions--make me long for a time when robots might run the workplace. I'd like to get my performance review from C-3PO. Really.

I have to admit that I'm not really into crying to begin with (who are all those people who bawl during movies like Beaches and Yentl?!) but I can't begrudge people the right to cry in the privacy of their own home or car or trailer or backyard or any other place where I am not. But is it too much to ask people not to cry in the bathroom we share at work or in the cafeteria from which I also need to buy my lunch? I think I sound really British when I say this (and British I am not), but crying to me just seems kind of private.

Last week I got sent to an "inspirational" (quotation marks intended) business speech. The speaker was a well-known television personality who has built up quite a brand for herself. Her topic was her ten important hints for business success. Partway through her number one hint she started to cry. Soon the crying turned to sobbing. It went on for so long that I began to wonder where all the moisture was coming from. Were there secret onions in there somewhere?

And all of this was in front of an audience of about 500 people. Not that I was a big fan to begin with, but I will no longer be able to look at her with any respect.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

need some destructive electronics?

tsunami electronics(Try to look past the egregious apostrophe abuse.)

This place made me stop and laugh out loud in Hawaii. I have to assume it opened before December, 2004.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

why do open concept workspaces breed insanity?

This morning I was chatting with a colleague who amuses me immensely. Somehow the conversation turned to the dreaded shared printer, as we both have one right beside our desk. People have a tendency to print somewhat personal documents and forget to pick them up. Over my time at this particular office, I've viewed legal documents for a divorce, mortgage applications (including the applicant's salary information), performance reviews, and even a colleague's child's school report card.

When I got back to my desk after this conversation, I experienced a flash of brilliance. I added the printer next to my colleague's desk to my available networked printers, then got to work. Faking up a clinic's letterhead, I informed my colleague that he had a dangerously high level of vitamins A and K, and that he was strongly advised to cease eating carrots in high doses immediately. I hit print.

And then I waited by my printer. Sure enough, within 20 minutes, a document appeared on somewhat sketchy HR letterhead, approving my application for maternity leave. (I am very visibly not pregnant.)

And so I faked up a letter confirming my colleague's appointment for implants to his gluteus maximus and printed that. And the madness continued.

Soon my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. I had lots of work to do, as I'm sure my colleague did too. But our open concept office made our little game of one-up-manship more crucial than actual work success.

People in Asia spend their entire life in close quarters with others, with no discernible ill-effects . But put us in an open concept office and we start to go haywire. What's that about anyway?

Monday, April 7, 2008

food violence

All right, I not-so-secretly love this story about the two roommates who went to blows because one ate the last English muffin. A shot glass and a vodka bottle were used, inflicting "head wounds." Their parents should be so proud.

Somehow I think this will never happen in my household. If anyone is ever angry that I ate the last of the fake chicken with 140g of fat and 6,680g of sodium, I promise I'll inflict my own head wounds.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

i'm back and i may not feel well soon

Given that I aspire to a vegan diet (I haven't quite gotten there yet), I'm always looking for alternative sources of protein. I love going to Chinatown to scope out new tofu creations, some of which have been a bigger hit than others.

Tonight for dinner I went all crazytown and cooked this sucker.

soybean chicken
Yes, soybean made chicken, in the shape of a chicken--I guess. I was a bit suspicious of this, not just because none of the ingredients sounded tasty, but also because the cooking instructions were "microwave 3-5 minutes."

So I microwaved it for 4 minutes. Then I decided I should add something that people normally eat with chicken. Of course, I don't really know what that is, since I haven't eaten chicken in well over a decade. But I had a sneaking suspicion that green peas might work. After all, the people I know who eat lots of chicken are pretty white and peas are a white person food. Or so my reasoning went.

So here it is on a plate with some peas. (BTW, you're seeing it without sauce, since I wanted to taste it first to decide what sauce would go best--and taking a bite would ruin the integrity of the "chicken" for the shot. I ended up adding soy sauce.) How's this for a white bread meal?

cooked soybean chicken
You know what? I don't know if it tasted remotely like chicken, but it was delicious. Really.

But here's where the story goes wrong: I finished the whole plate and then decided to go back and read the package again. I read the amount of everything per serving and it didn't sound so bad: 7g of fat, 334 mg of sodium, 6g of protein, 1.4g of sugar. But then I went back and read this: 20 servings per container. So I just ate a plate that had 140g of fat, 6,680mg of sodium, 120g of protein and 28g of sugar.

Is this even possible?! It seems to me that if I really just ate 120g of protein I'd feel a bit more full than I feel right now. And I don't even want to think about what that somewhat excessive amount of fat and sodium might be doing to my organs right now.

This has the potential to be much worse than the misguided Dairy Queen visit. Help.