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January 29, 2010

Good morning, good morning...

After typing that subject line, I am now wishing I had the Singin' in the Rain soundtrack. Wait, why DON'T I have that? Anyway! A guy I work with just held a door for me (the door-holding situation in this office should be a whole separate post, actually) and I said "Thanks," and then:

Me: Good morning!
P: Huh? Sorry, it's early.
Me: I said "good morning."
P: Oh! Thanks.
Me: Sorry. I'll wait for such complicated statements until after you've had some coffee.
P: Yeah, I clearly can't handle anything so complex this early.
So. Friday. You're going to be like that, are you?

Posted by Kat at 09:00 AM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2009

That kind of week.

I wound up walking into the building this morning with a coworker, and after exchanging those wry half-smiles that I'm sure are the universal "walking into the cube farm yet again" expression, we had the following exchange:

R: Well, this is fun.
Me: Always.
R: I don't want to be here today.
Me: As opposed to most days, when you really want to be here?
R: Well, most days I . . . Never mind. I got nothin'.

Seems to be going around. Tell me, is anyone actually having a good week?

Posted by Kat at 09:17 AM | Comments (3)

January 07, 2009


I have accepted the position of Product Search Specialist at the company where I've been working for the past few years. I've been wanting this job for a while, and I am very very very excited.

Posted by Kat at 11:48 AM | Comments (7)

June 25, 2008

Rather apropos...

My boss is on vacation, so I've been helping deal with some various issues that have cropped up. I just sent out an "Okay, I'm going to go ahead and cancel that meeting this afternoon, since the boss [who runs the meeting] isn't here" e-mail, and a coworker responded by pointing me to today's Dilbert:

Yeah, pretty much.

Posted by Kat at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2008

Okay, this is a little ridiculous.

In the past five minutes, I have e-mailed my boss twice and responded to one of his tweets on Twitter. He sits about six feet from me. I could easily (and do often) just turn around in my swively chair and talk to him. (We're usually both wearing headphones, though, so that's a little harder than it sounds.) But that doesn't stop the e-mails and Twittering. Sigh. The twenty-first century workplace...

Posted by Kat at 10:01 AM | Comments (1)

February 26, 2008

Moving Day

No, the blog isn't going anywhere. They just moved my department to the other end of our huge office building, so I have a nice new cubicle. Well, "nice". . . you know. I think it will be okay. There's more light over here, and higher ceilings, and it was a good excuse to clean my desk. But the set-up is a little different (in a good way, I think, eventually) and the light is different and I can hear my computer humming, and so I have a headache. And the whole moving process took up much of the day; my whole routine was thrown off. Oh, and they upgraded us to IE7 at the same time. Yay for tabbed browsing, but it added to the "everything is suddenly different" feeling. So all in all, I'm just feeling a bit . . . unsettled. I think it's time to go home and curl up on the couch with a big mug of tea and some nice relaxing knitting.

Posted by Kat at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

December 21, 2007

What was I THINKING?

So I'm working on a project at work, and I had started it a month or two ago, and today I finally had time to get back to me. And I cannot for the life of me figure out how I was doing it. I see what would be the "right" way - to write a SQL query - but, given the fact that it's taking me so long to write the freaking query, I'm pretty much positive that that's not how I did it last time. I even asked my boss if he had any idea what I had done, and he didn't. Neither of us have any clue. But this was much easier last time.

Posted by Kat at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2006

Apparently I never learn.

I forgot to put my name on my Lean Cuisine this morning. It's gone.

Posted by Kat at 12:20 PM | Comments (5)

June 19, 2006

What a way to start Monday morning

Dear Nameless Corporation,

Imagine my surprise this morning when I arrived to see signs asking that all employees enter via the main lobby. At first, I thought you might have a good reason for this. Maybe the door I usually use was broken, or the security guard was out sick, or the lobby was flooded, or something. But no, the nice man blocking my way assured me. Everyone had to go in the front door because it's the last two weeks of the quarter and they're doing "special stuff" to encourage us. Great.

So I walk around the building to the front and find more or less what I'd expected: music playing, t-shirts, coffee and doughnuts. I especially liked how you had people by that door making sure that no one was allowed to ignore the bruhaha. I'm not entirely clear about why this was supposed to make the company sell more products, but I'm sure you read some book telling you that the way of the mongoose was to give its employees shirts and doughnuts to sell more computers.

I'm not sure you really realize this, but the end of the quarter has virtually no impact on my job whatsoever. I just come in and do my work, regardless of the day or month. It is, though, slightly helpful to know it's the end of the quarter so that I understand why all of you are so stressed and therefore feel the need to be rude to me when you're asking me for help. (Although you might want to think about that for a minute. Why do you think that telling me I'm stupid will make me want to help you?) But since the end of the quarter has no real affect on my job, I think I would be of more help to the company if you let me just go inside and work.

Not a Salesperson

P.S. I don't want to sound ungrateful, so thanks for the t-shirt. I probably won't be wearing it to work, though, because it doesn't quite fit in your dress code, you know. Just saying.

Posted by Kat at 10:08 AM | Comments (5)

May 26, 2006

Friday Lunch Watch

As you may remember, last Friday my Lean Cuisine pizza was rudely stolen from the freezer here at work. Never one to learn from my mistakes, I have another in there this Friday. I did label it with my initials this time, so let's hope that helps. Stay tuned for updates!

8:10 am: Got to work and checked the freezer while I was putting my Diet Dr. Pepper in the fridge. The pizza is still there, undisturbed.

10:30 am: Checked on the way back from my morning walk, and it's still there.

1 pm: Victory is mine! The pizza has been consumed! (By me!)

Posted by Kat at 08:19 AM | Comments (4)

May 19, 2006

Reason #45237 Why I Hate Corporate America

All morning, I'd been looking forward to my lovely Lean Cuisine pizza for lunch. But when I went to take it out of the freezer, it had vanished. Someone ate it. And there are hundreds of people in my building, so I really have no way of tracking down who it was. Bah.

Posted by Kat at 12:57 PM | Comments (8)

December 20, 2005

To whom it may concern:

Dear knitting,
Thank you for being reasonably cooperative thus far. Might I suggest that we step up the pace a bit?
the knitter

Dear stupid coworkers in the neighboring department,
I don't think the word "gay" means what you seem to think it means. You might want to look it up before you yell something like "You all must think we sound really gay" over the row of cubes again, because at least two of us over here are about ready to throw big cans of soup at you.
Just a thought,
P.S. Boss, that goes for you too. Also? Stop with the jokes about women. Thanks.

Dear Chris Botti,
"Hallelujah" (yeah, the Leonard Cohen one) is not a Christmas song. Just no. I don't care if it has the same name as the Handel chorus. No. Have you heard the words? I know you don't sing them in your version, but please tell me you at least know what the song is about. Your muzak version really has no reason to exist, especially not on a Christmas album.
No love,
Jeff Buckley fan

Dear customers,
I know you for some reason think the online reserve thing saves you time, but it really doesn't. And here's a little secret: it just makes us really, really annoyed with you, although I do understand that it's not your fault that the system's so screwed up. But please. Call and ask us to hold your book. It works just as well, if not better. I promise.
The girl with the pager

Dear out-of-it teacher lady,
30% of $30 is not $10. It is $9. I promise. I'm not sure how many different ways I can explain this to you. You're a teacher. Aren't you supposed to understand things like that?
Your cashier
P.S. I was nice. Next time find your darn educator's discount card. Preferably before you get up to the register and start holding up the line.

Dear reading public,
No, The Da Vinci Code is not out in paperback. Neither is virtually any book published in hardcover in the past year. That's just not the way it works, and I promise, it's not my fault. It is also not my fault that you didn't decide until December 19 that you need to order an obscure book for brother-in-law. I can't magically make it appear. I know that you are probably angry at yourself and just taking it out on me. The holidays are stressful. I know. Please try to remember that it's stressful for me too.
Let's all smile and try to get through the next few days.
Your friendly neighborhood bookseller

Dear salespeople,
I know this may come as a shock, but when you send a request to my department that includes direct insults to my department, that does not make me feel especially inclined to hurry up and get it done for you right away. Just in case that hadn't occurred to you.
No love,
The data corrections girl

Dear Mr. Ledger,
Well done. Couldn't you have played both roles?
Much love,
P.S. Casanova looks cute too, if a bit historically debatable.

Dear readers,
Thank you to anyone who waded through all that. Something coherent (like a review of Brokeback Mountain) will be coming one of these days, but, honestly, it might not be until after Christmas. I will try to at least get some Christmas knitting pictures up soon.
Much love,

Posted by Kat at 04:41 PM | Comments (4)

December 13, 2005

Don't worry, I'll be panicking soon.

I feel like I'm crawling out from under a rock. I've been MIA for a few days. First, I survived three days with my family with no Internet access (a temporary problem in their neighborhood) or cell phone service (a permanent one). And no knitting, due mostly to a large dog who likes yarn. A lot. Sooo... aaah. Aren't you proud of me for not yelling at anyone or even crying? I know I am.

And then yesterday I got back home and had to finish my final project for my class this semester. It. Is. Done. I mean, I'm not totally satisfied, of course, but it is done enough and I have e-mailed it to my professor so I'm not allowed to think about it anymore. Right? I finished it this morning while making Death by Chocolate for a coworker's birthday. It was sort of a nice combination. I'll have to remember the "assemble elaborate dessert while typing madly" trick for next time.

So... it's done. I have no homework. I barely know what to do with myself. Other than go to work in a few minutes. (I took a half vacation day for the aforementioned baking/typing festival.) And clean my house. And, you know, think about the Christmas knitting I've been ignoring. I need to reread the "It" chapter of Yarn Harlot. But... later. When I get home from work. I'm going to try to focus on the "relief" for a few hours before "panicpanicpanic12daysleftPANICalready" sets in.

Posted by Kat at 11:57 AM | Comments (1)

December 02, 2005

The invisible divide

Isn't it weird when real life friends become online friends and vice versa? Yeah. I mean, I'm used to meeting people online and then meeting them in person. We all know how that goes. But what happens when an in person friend starts a blog?

Well, first you start finding about things in odd ways. Like you read that she's going to ask you something before she actually asks. I'm not, of course, suggesting that she shouldn't have written it... but perhaps it would have been easier to kill two birds with one stone and ask me directly in the blog.

And then this thing happened to me last night that I was going to blog about, but I looked over and Erica already had. You should read her post, because boy, is the holiday season at the bookstore fun. And to whet your appetite, my new favorite quote:

What a customer said to me last night:

"Hey, can I get, like, a library card for here? Is this a library? Nah, this ain't no fucking library."

I kid you not.

Posted by Kat at 03:30 PM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2005

Giving thanks

Things I am thankful for this year...

* My family. They may drive me crazy, but I love them and I know they love me and that means a lot.
* My roommate. Not to be overdramatic, but the past year would have been much harder without him.
* My "real life" friends. I seem to have more of them than I think. It's nice.
* Especially the friend I spent Thanksgiving with... she's actually an online friend who seems to be crossing into "real life" territory.
* Which brings me to online friends/bloggers/e-mail lists/etc. Quite thankful for you all as well. (And then of course there's Erica, who also manages to straddle the real/online barrier, to sometimes interesting results...)
* Knitting. It has also done its part in saving my sanity.
* Books/music/movies. In all the relationship drama, I'd sort of... forgotten. Not had the mental energy to read/watch "hard" stuff. And I'd felt like I shouldn't, for various convoluted reasons. But I'm loving getting back to it.
* My job at the bookstore, because I love it.
* My other job, because it provides financial security.
* My lovely apartment, even with the bizarre shower.
* And now we get to the hard-to-define part... it has been an incredibly hard few months, and I can't really say I'm thankful for getting my heart ripped into a million pieces, but I am thankful for how it has made me take stock and think about who I am and what I want and how everything in my life was wrong. Um, I seem to be failing with the "positive spin" concept here. Sorry. But... I guess I'm trying to say that, even though I'm still fairly miserable a lot of the time, at least I'm getting better at letting me be myself. And that deserves thanksgiving.

Posted by Kat at 12:14 AM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2005

Dear universe,

Just a few small requests:

1. The new coworker in the cube next to mine really does not need to talk to himself, randomly laugh vaguely maniacly, or sigh and/or moan at random times. Really.

2. It is getting toward the end of November. Will you get over this wishy-washy "Oh, maybe I'll rain or just fog up everything" thing and just snow already? Hint: This might be easier if you would also stop with the yo-yo temperatures.

3. I like working with the public. Really. I'm just not sure how many more times I can explain something as complex as, oh, alphabetical order or the fact that the bookstore has two floors or how, if you want a price changed, you do in fact have a "price issue" without attaching "you idiot" to the end of all of my sentences. Could we make everyone just a tad smarter?

4. You don't really want Christmas to be in fewer than 40 days. Really. How about an extra week or two? How do you expect me to get all this knitting done?

5. I'd also vaguely like to know how I ended up with two iPods in my desk, but hey, I'm not complaining.

6. Oh, yeah: Thanksgiving. Haven't I agonized over this enough already? Shouldn't it be over by now?


Posted by Kat at 04:59 PM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2005

Dear readers: Need advice.

So. Humor me for a minute and imagine a hypothetical scenario, okay?

You are a manager at one of a big chain of stores. Someone who works at the sister store up the street stops by to see your new paint job, and you end up talking for a while. (You've met her once before, briefly, at the other store.) Somehow the conversation turns to Christmas shopping and she mentions that she's planning to knit most of the gifts she gives this year. (Shut UP. I said this was hypothetical.) You jokingly describe a scarf you'd been wanting.

If said scarf were to actually appear sometime around Christmas, would this be a fun surprise or just creepy? (Erica? Would interstore mail be a possibility, a la the socks? We could start a trend...)

Yes, I know I'm skewing the sample a bit by asking a group primarily composed of knitters. But I asked a group of non-knitters (yes, I do know a few) and, while they concluded that no, it was not creepy, they also all said things like "So are you trying to hit on this guy?" and "Is he cute?" And no, that hadn't even occurred to me. But yes, I guess he is cute, although I wasn't really paying attention to that at the time. He did seem nice and smart and fun to talk to.

So, basically, the non-knitters said to go for it, but be aware that it could come across as flirtatious. I suppose my question for you, dear readers, is threefold.
1. Good idea or bad idea in general?
2. Are random acts of knitting inherently flirtatious?1
3. If it looks like a go... any suggestions on a reasonably priced yarn that comes close to the L.L. Bean color claret red?2

(Yes, I realize Erica, who also works at my store, will now undoubtedly proceed to tell me that she knows this guy and he's married or obnoxious or a psychopath or something. But psychopaths need scarves too, right?)

1 And after reading Juno's post today, I sort of also have to wonder whether that would necessarily have to be a bad thing.
2 It will probably show you a blue coat, but you can click the little "claret red" box to see the color bigger.

Posted by Kat at 01:33 PM | Comments (7)

November 03, 2005

Can we call it "opting otherwise" instead?

So everyone has been up in arms about Maureen Dowd this week, and who am I to let a perfectly good bandwagon roll on by? A lot has already been said, better than I could say it, so I'll give you some links on Dowd's elitism and the truth behind Dowd's examples of "backlash" and how Dowd's "data" is questionable at best. And, before I get into my main point here, I'd like to say that my first reaction upon reading the article was that dear Maureen needs to get over herself. Maybe she'd have more romantic success if she, you know, tried being nice to people, or didn't make it quite so abundantly clear that she feels she is superior to everyone around her. I was also a bit unclear as to how Dowd would actually like women (or, for that matter, anyone) to behave, as she seems to disapprove of, well, everything.

But anyway. The part that most bothered me was her take on the whole concept of "opting out." To her credit, Dowd does admit that "to the extent that young women are rejecting the old idea of copying men and reshaping the world around their desires, it's exhilarating progress. But..." And, of course, there's a "but." It's exhilarating progess, but she doesn't like it. She sees it as spoiled, pampered women turning their backs on long-sought education and opportunities in favor of dependence on rich husbands. This strikes me as a narrow view, to say the least.

A little background, although you probably all know all this: I am currently single and self-supporting1. I work for a reasonably large corporation as well as a very large retail chain. I'm in grad school, ostensibly to become qualified to be a professional in a particular field. And, given the chance, I would (I think) "opt out" in a second. But I don't think but reasons are horrible and unfeminist.

1. First of all, corporate life really isn't that great. Theoretically, some people like it, but I haven't met many of those people, either male or female. Other than for reasons of job security, I really couldn't care less whether the company I work for makes money. This isn't the greatest motivation for trying to climb the corporate ladder. I'd rather be doing something I thought actually mattered, somehow.
2. If I ever have children, I feel pretty strongly about staying home with them (and quite possibly homeschooling, but we'll leave that for another discussion) if circumstances allow. I don't think this is because I want to be a Stepford wife, though. It's more that I want to be with my children through their early development. I think that's reasonable (and really rather responsible) of me2.
3. I will admit that I have literary aspirations, and "opting out" of a nine to five schedule would give me more time to write. (Although not if/when there were small children around. I do realize that, don't worry.)
4. I also realize that there is certainly some amount of "the grass is always greener..." in this. Someone3 once posted about a sort of alternate universe fantasy they had: that somewhere there was another version of themselves, a single, childless version with a job and apartment and free time and freedom/money to travel. And I had to laugh, because it sounded like a romanticized version of my life, and I have a parallel alternate universe fantasy that was basically a romanticized version of that person's life.

So there are some of my reasons. Please note that "I want to be pampered and spoiled" was not among them.4 More importantly, though, I refuse to believe that corporate/business/career "success" is any more intrinsically valuable than raising children or knitting a sweater or baking fabulous cupcakes or, for that matter, fixing a car or playing a musical instrument. It's all a question of what you want to do and what makes you, not some ideal, happy and fulfilled. Dowd pays lip service to the idea that feminism is about having choices, but she clearly doesn't actually believe that any choice other than "the old idea of copying men" is a choice worth making.

1 Well, mostly self-supporting: my parents pay most of my tuition, and I don't want to leave that out or seem ungrateful.
2 Not to imply that working mothers are doing something wrong; I just think, for me, I'd rather be home.
3 I thought it was Cate or maybe Jody, but I can't find it in either of their archives. If anyone remembers, please speak up!
EDIT: It was Rachel! Sorry about that.
4 Not that I'd object to a little pampering occasionally. Everyone deserves that.

Posted by Kat at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2005


I am now undoing all the data entry I did yesterday, because they gave me the wrong information. This is hours of work. And then I have to redo it all when they figure out the correct information. One of the people involved called to apologize, but really, couldn't they bring me chocolate or something? I was having a vaguely off day anyway. I don't feel good, but I have to be at work and then go to class. And work is being frustrating, and it's been raining for days, and I do like rain but enough is enough. And there could be some of what Cate is talking about going on, too. Actually, now that I reread Cate's entry, I'm identifying with a lot of it. Especially if you substitute "messy house" for "demon-possessed children." But yeah... cold/coughing, PMS, work frustration and overwhelmsion (WHAT is the correct form of that word? My brain is obviously gone at this point), contemplation of Big Life Changes, knitting frustration... check, check, check.

I'd like to say I'm going to go curl up in my comfy bed and drink tea and read and knit now, but, well, I can't. Which may be part of the problem.

Hope someone out there in Blogland is having a better day... send sunshine and cough drops.

Posted by Kat at 02:30 PM | Comments (1)

October 09, 2005

Back to work.

Today I started working again at the bookstore where I worked from 2002-2004. I was there full time for about a year and a half, then part time for a while after I got my current full time job. I quit about a year ago, for various reasons, but I've regretted it ever since. So I finally reapplied, and today was my first day.

Yes, this is in addition to school and my full time job. Yes, I will be busy. But it think it will be worth it. Being back today just felt so right. I missed the books, the co-workers, even the chance to work with the public. When I was back there today with my name tag on, I felt like I was home.

... and hey, the discount doesn't exactly hurt either.

Posted by Kat at 11:01 PM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2005

Are you sure it's not Friday?

Reasons why I think it's Friday:

1. This has been one of the longest weeks ever. You could tell me it was next Friday and I wouldn't be surprised.
2. I just got home from the movies. I normally do not go out gallivanting on work nights.
3. I had candy at work this afternoon, which is generally a Friday-only occurence.
4. I have a weird urge to stay up late doing nothing in particular.
5. I really, really, really do not want to go to work tomorrow.

Posted by Kat at 11:17 PM | Comments (2)

January 27, 2005

There is a special place in hell...

reserved for the person who invented PowerPoint. Seriously. It is evil. I seem to have gotten to the point at which I hate it so much that I am incapable of understanding anything presented to me in PowerPoint. My brain shuts down and it just. Does. Not. Make. Sense.

Can you tell I've been in a meeting all afternoon?

On the other hand, I had never anticipated the feeling of pure joy that apparently can result from seeing an application that can copy data from one item onto another item. And search for more than one item at once. Amazing. I know I am probably making no sense here, but I am so darn ecstatic about this that this is the best I can do.

Posted by Kat at 05:09 PM | TrackBack

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