Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Short and Sweet

Short version of my third favorite joke:

A penguin's car is acting up, so he takes it to a mechanic to have it looked at. "You blew a seal," says the mechanic.

"Look, just fix the car," says the penguin. "My personal life is none of your business!"

(Thanks Heather!)

Today was, I hope, my very last staff meeting at the job I'm leaving. It was short, if not sweet; the panicmonger opened - as she has opened every single meeting for the year and a half, plus, that she's been working there - by reiterating the particular format in which she wants her people to request time off. Not an email, and not a calendar appointment, but a reminder note. Your name in the subject line. The particular time, if it isn't the whole day, that you will be out. The type of time (vacation, sick, miscellaneous) you want to take. Explanations go in the body of the note.

And, as God as my witness, because (I can only guess) she finally got pretty much everybody doing it this way, pretty much all the time, there's more! Now, the names Elizabeth and Jennifer are too long. So if it's one of us, the whole subject line doesn't show up when she mouses over it on her calendar. So now we two need to abbreviate, or use our initials.

I suggested it would be easier if we just put someone else's, shorter, name, instead of our own. But she didn't seem very enthusiastic.

One of the stranger things about my leaving is that pretty much everyone there has expressed (in addition to very kind congratulations and well-wishes) envy. Everyone. Up to and including the director and deputy director of my division. Certainly the panicmonger suggested, in our staff meeting today, that she wished she could come with me.

We all laughed politely.

Her performance review, it turns out, is tomorrow; so though she normally leaves at 4, she was still in her office when I left at a quarter past five today. I'm afraid it's not likely to be as favorable as mine was, and really I am sorry. But could this be taken as some sort of moral lesson on the perils of ambition? We value the quality of being a go-getter very highly, but have only contempt for a go-getter who goes and gets a job s/he can't handle.

Speaking of that, the other thing I learned from my friend Heather at lunch today is that you might not want to hire Italians for major construction projects, but I don't know if this is a particularly useful lesson in your day-to-day life, so instead I'll leave you with another of the jokes she told me over a turkey and avocado sandwich at Thundercloud's.

How do you make a woman sound like a dolphin?

You'll have to come to my going away happy hour and buy me a drink if you want the punchline.

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At February 06, 2008 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At February 07, 2008 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you poke her in the wrong spot! "na ah - na ah"

At February 07, 2008 1:02 PM, Anonymous RDub said...

Wow ... I do feel a little bad for the PM. She has lost so many good people under her rule and seems to be getting ... less smart ... as the days go on. I wish her the best of luck that she doesnt have to pack up right after her evaluation but then again, it would be so beneficial to the branch if she had to.

At February 07, 2008 10:34 PM, Anonymous omar said...

i wish i COULD go to your going away happy hour and buy a drink and make dolphin sounds with you!!


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