Friday, November 29, 2013

O Christmas Tree

Thanksgiving is behind is, (barely) and the holiday season is officially ON.
My first chore: staging the various components of the family talisman, the Clanton Tannenbaum. It never goes without a hitch, and so, may I present my tribute to this year's tree:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
But flattened here, and scrunched-up there--
They do need re-arranging.

O Christmas tree, thou mockest me,
With half thy boughs be-lighted.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
With what plastic malady be blighted?

The last year spent in attic's sleep,
Awaken, o ye plastic lumber;
Could your Summer's stay in temps of Kelvin
This season prove a colossal blunder?

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Frustration do you bring me;
For every year this plastic shrub
Becomes a polyvinyl meany.

Each burned out light,
Each Scotch-taped bell,
No one alive challenges me as well...

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
At the curb this year you'll be hanging.

(apologies to Ernst Anschuzt and Melchior Franck

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pet Peeve: E-mail "Me-too's"

The Boss sends out a congratulatory e-mail.
A much-loved employee leaves, and the office is notified by e-mail.
The office will close early on Friday, you learn, in an e-mail.

In each instance, your first response is probably to toggle up a reply, and blast your assent, best wishes, or elation to the rest of the office, because you, too, agree and fully support the original message.

The problem is, when you do--and what's the point, if you're not selecting "Reply All?"--along with the rest of your colleagues, you create a nuclear fission-like situation for your company e-mail server, impacting everyone else on the original sending of that message that's moved you so.

For many people, myself included, web-access to the company e-mail system is a wonderful option that is thwarted only by an inbox that is too clogged with messages to accept or send anymore volume. You may have seen that little, yellow notice up in the corner--"Your e-mail box is at 999.99;mb capacity.  At 1000mb you will not be able to send or receive messages."

One of my most pleasurable pastimes at work is clearing the unnecessary electronic flotsam and jetsam from my e-mail inbox and trash can. 


The other, minor irritant, for those of us who also receive office e-mail on our personal smartphone out of necessity, is the constant notification that yet another "Me, too!" message just landed in our inbox.

So the next time the Boss sends a note remarking how the sales team has hit their goals for the month, and it's only the 15th--Huzzah! Just send him a note back thanking him for the acknowledgement.

The next time someone grabs the brass ring and gets a bump up the ladder, send them a personal note--you can e-mail it--expressing your appreciation of their accomplishment.

The next time the office is notified Friday will feature an early afternoon--just relish it to yourself, along with the knowledge you can leave and not worry about coming back on Monday to a constipated-mail box, too obstructed by unnecessary messages to function.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Closed Coffee Drive-thru Lanes: Epic Early Morning Fail

I have a love-hate relationship with Starbuck’s coffee.
A cuppa joe is a necessary evil for people with my work schedule--which spans the wee-hours of the morning all the way until noon. The Scots-Irish tightwad in me rebels against dropping a 5-note and change on a venti coffee creation, even occasionally, but there are some mornings when the need for mental acuity overrules the sphincter on my ATM Card.
Such was today.

It’s not easy finding an all-nite Starbucks.
They exist, but I have to really NEED a coffee fix to go off the beaten trail at 3:30 in the morning.
When I do…and the “over-nite” store is closed, I am doubly-irritated: There are few things worse in the morning than craving coffee, taking the diversion to quell the need, and finding the place closed.

Okay, there’s worse, but it doesn’t help when the Drive Thru light is on, and some clown has placed a table in the lane because it’s really closed. To add insult to urgency, some slack-jawed mouth breather steps out of the store without a care or concern about my de-caffeinated condition and announces, ‘we’re closed’ with a passionless shrug.

Turn off the light.