Tag Archives: work life

100 Word Prompt – Room

Yes I am back! It’s slow at work today, and I saw a prompt in my email, one that inspired me within seconds. Thin Spiral Notebook’s challenge, a reminder of past challenges (Trifecta, Ketchup with us – ah the memories).

So here’s 100 words on…

ROOM.

We walked past cubicles, down the carpet, plush save for a slight indentation from the front desk to my office door. Many miles back and forth for me and the students.

I held my breath as we walked to my new space. This next step was what I had been waiting for. Several years of hitting my head on another university’s glass ceiling had been giving me headaches.

She unlocked the door. “You’re the most experienced new guy, so we gave you the big room.”

It was a big room, with a big glass window, the morning sun shining through.

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Scintilla Project: A Lesson Not Soon Forgotten

Yes I have signed up for Scintilla ’13! Three days in a row, officially a streak.

A: Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Write about a time when you taught someone a lesson you didn’t want to teach.
B: Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?

I’ll take on prompt A.

_____________
There are times, education degree or not, when you have to take someone aside for some schoolin’. You don’t get paid extra for it, but they will remember you like a favorite (or hated) teacher.

I got a call from the head of another department. Apparently he was upset that a condition was not being waived for him, and it was based on someone in my area’s decision.

“Well it’s his personal preference. No exceptions. My dept. head feels it is a reasonable one, and many others feel that way.”

“I’ve been here 25 years. He’s…what?” Ah yes, the ol’ seniority rule.

“Like I said, it’s  an individual decision; you have probably been in this situation as well.“

“Well then I am going speak with someone in the (even higher up office).“

And then the click. You know – *click*

That’s the sound of a phone hanging up on me.

Wait, what? Oh no he didn’t! Apparently, he did!

It comes out before I can stop it. I scramble at the buttons and put the phone on the cradle. (I think I was trying to reach through to the phone to strangle him) “You mofo (yes, yes, you know I said the whole thing)! Hanging up on me?!” I am enraged but also mad with glee at this point. I settled myself down for a moment, calmly told my assistant to leave the office, and picked up the phone.

Oh yes, my phone has caller ID on it, and a keyboard. Seeing as he proudly announced his name and department (and quarter century of schmuckery, it was no issue to call him back. “Hello?” He sounded a little wary, unsure as to who was calling. Obviously he’s not a detective.

“Hello this is Peter, we just spoke?! I don’t know how you speak with the people in your department, but where we are, we don’t tolerate hangups. It’s rude, it’s unprofessional and I do not tolerate it. And it’s not something we would expect it from someone who has been here 25 years.” Yes, in one uninterrupted breath.

I could tell his flustering and attempting to interrupt, but when you are dealing with an undiluted arrogance, it bounces back quickly. “Oh! Well I didn’t realize I hung up without saying goodbye.”

“Well that’s what you did.”

“Well, I’m sorry if you were offended by that.” Ah the official half-apology of The Asshole.

“Ok well I trust this will not happen again. If you have anything else to say on the situation, speak with my supervisor. Goodbye.”

I had my finger on the cradle for my own hang-up, we tied.

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Like Socrates said, “You can’t fix stupid.”

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Filed under Creative Writing, Day In the Life, Life, Scintilla Project, Working

Ladies and Gentlement, Let’s All Give it up For…Lent!

Trying to figure out what I should be giving up for Lent. No I am not giving up Netflix, cookies, drinking, my phone, or borrowing books when I already have a stack to read. So that pretty much covers everything. I was thinking ‘desserts’, that is to say nothing AFTER dinner. So I can eat cookies midday and that does not count. This would not include warm milk, which might help me sleep, but I cannot add chocolate to it. Or whipped cream, a run of chocolate and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Well maybe JUST the cinnamon in my milk, that’s really nothing.

I will defer it if I am going out for dinner at a nice restaurant; the point for this is that I would not be going out to that particular place for dessert only, unless it is a specific dessert place that we go AFTER eating dinner. In that case (example: Juniors), I can always take a big hunk of cheesecake home (and eat it for breakfast! Yeah that’s right, I can have it for breakfast. Just try and stop me from slathering it on my pancakes!), it’s close and easy to get to for me (probably one of the best attributes of NYC besides the Met museum that I can think of), and that whenever I go to Junior’s to eat, I am either too full from eating the huge portions and generous sides. Or too buzzed- because holy crap they make some strooooong drinks. Since alcohol and sugar are direct relatives, having one and the other can easily lead to getting sick to your stomach, I almost always avoid it.

Speaking of booze, cordial drinks or ‘nightcaps’ do not count, be they Port, Sambuca, Amaretto, or Bailey’s, because, like warm milk they help me sleep and I need all the help I can get. Then again, I don’t really drink them that often, so it would be like giving up fast food, which I can do 40 days of being away from. Maybe that’s not a fair comparison; alcohol has even the slightest chance of having a benefit for your health, is very satisfying, and I’ll wager you can’t tell me when a couple of Big Macs have made a person more appealing in personality or looks.

Ok well scratch those last two. According to my assistants, who are not buzzkills, but the voices of reason to my wayward antics and crazy ideas, cinnamon in warm milk is a dessert (this required some debate), and cordials were immediately shot down. I’m glad that they are secure enough to be honest with me, as well as having no fear that I will have them punch out for the day and send them into the dreary windy Firday, especially since today is so incredibly slow that we can have deep introspective conversations like this ‘on the clock’.

As well as ‘giving something up’ it follows along my POV that if you can give it up for 40 days, maybe it’s part of a lifestyle change for the better. For example, I am pretty sure I gave up playing Mafia Wars/Vampire Wars last year, and haven’t played since. Yes I know my (naturally human) addictive personality has been replaced by yet another Zynga game. I know there are no copyrights on Hangman, but seriously, Milton Bradley has sued the shit out of everyone who even puts a triple word score box on a screen. Must feel good to be a gangsta.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Day In the Life, Food, Rants, Whining