Monthly Archives: October 2007

merry xmas to all, now shut the eff up, part 1

as a child of parents who grew up in the 1950s and who instilled in me a great appreciation of all things mid-century american, i have an unexplained and completely irrational love for car trips. like, cross-country, three-days-in-the-car, coast-to-coast car trips. like, if-you-kids-don’t-shut-the-hell-up-i’m-going-to-pull-over-and-spank-every-last-one-of-you-until-you-bleed, car trips.

i still glance longingly at neon howard johnson and holiday inn motel signs while speeding across dark stretches of interstate. i fondly remember stopping at stuckey’s and loading up on cheap trinkets and inedible snacks, including the dreaded peanut log roll, a real cotton boll, and some mexican jumping beans. in retrospect, i realize there were actually tiny moth larvae living inside the beans, and when they stopped jumping, it’s because they were dead… and well, it’s just plain disgusting. but for a child, the road was filled with exciting and mysterious possibilities, and i looked forward to every trip with anticipation.

so when i told my kids (the bully and the princess) that we were driving to disneyworld for christmas vacation i expected to be greeted with excited and gleeful shrieks of joy. instead i was met with horrified stares that spoke volumes without saying a single word – mom has just lost her damn mind. my generation Z kids cannot spend more than 20 minutes in a car without some sort of external stimuli, and coloring books and barbies do not cut it.

“awww, mom do we have to drive? i don’t want to drive. it’s boring. i want to fly!” they moaned.

“why certainly, children, we can fly. do you have $1,500?” i answered.

“does santa know that we’re going to disneyland? how will he know where to bring the presents. i’d rather go to nana’s. santa knows where nana lives,” they whined.

“go to your rooms,” i said calmly, smoke coming out of my ears, my visions of our memorable holiday journey fading.

“the little ingrates,” i silently fumed. “we’re going to freaking DISNEYLAND! at CHRISTMAS for chrissakes! do you know how many little children would kill their siblings to go to DISNEYWORLD during CHRISTMAS?!!”

apparently disneyworld does not mean shit when a journey of 1,000 miles lies between you and the magic kingdom, and santa’s not changing his delivery route.

…to be continued…


i got f*cked and didn’t even get kissed

i’ve always been a reader of Dilbert, and occasionally found the strip funny, like when wally’s farts were harnessed for a fuel source (yes, i’m easily amused), but it never really had a lot of relevance to me until i made the jump from the corporate zoo i call financial services, to the wonderful world of software development. “free at last!” i thought. no more micromanaging bosses, no more pantyhose and closed-toe shoes, no more working for middle-management idiots that only got where they are because their last boss just wanted them gone. no, i’m going to be working with smart nerdy types, i reasoned, but it beats working with self-serving A-holes. so as i began my journey into the world of software development life cycle, and ROI, and marketechture, thus began my indoctrination into the world of all things Dilbert.

so when the following strip appeared in the paper, i laughed knowingly at it’s new-found relevance, but also secretly rejoiced that i no longer worked for a company in which it took an act of god to schedule any vacation in advance, and if you wanted BOTH thanksgiving and xmas off, well, apparently i just did not know the right people to sleep with to make this happen.


then this showed up in my mailbox:

From: Office of XXXX
To:EMPL-COUNTRY-United States
Subject: Extended Holiday Break

Dear Colleagues:

The 2007 calendar year is shaping up to be a very good year for XXX. By almost any measure, this has been the most productive product delivery year we’ve ever had…blah, blah, blah.

So, today I think we should start to think about the holiday season and our plans to enjoy it with family and friends. Many companies around the world and across a broad range of industries use the period between December 24 and January 1 as an extended break period for employees.

…we are announcing an extended holiday break in the U.S. from December 24 through January 1. As you probably know, December 24 and 25, and January 1 are already paid holidays in the U.S. Employees will be required to use vacation or floating holidays for the remaining days, December 26, 27, and 28, and are encouraged to take off December 31 as well.

I believe the extended holiday break will be good for employees, for our families, and for XXX. I hope you agree and I appreciate your support. Enjoy your time off — you’ve earned it!!!

did you see it? take your time. it took a complete rereading for me to fully comprehend the bend-over that was taking place.

Dear Employer:
1. do you think i’m stupid?
b. do you think i’m stupid?
3. do not send some corporate HR asshat down here to feel out employee morale. it’s in the crapper, we hate you all, we can smell fear, and just a whiff of anyone of you could incite an impromptu lynch mob.
4. i know a thinly-veiled attempt to move accrued unpaid vacation off the books in order to make the bottom line look more attractive to stockholders when i see it, but PLEASSSSE do not try to make it seem like you are doing me any favors by forcing me to take my vacation “which i’ve earned!!!” when you want me to. asses. rot in hell.

i just know that some bean counter at corporate headquarters in california came up with this genius idea, and he probably got a big fat bonus for it. i just got screwed. and this time, i didn’t have to sleep with anyone at all.