Miz Shoes

Today Is:

I thought it was going to be "Crazy Random Drunk Old Man On the Train" day. There were two different ones between home and the hospital. One sat near me, but left at the next stop, and the other got on a few stops later and plunked down next to another woman and proceeded to chat her up. I don't know how that happened. Most of the time, that's my lot in life. Crazy random guy? They'll sit next to me and fall in love.

The most amazing thing happened when I got off the train, though. I had someone thank me for holding the elevator door for them. Then, in the office elevator, another guy held the door for me. And was polite about it. And talked to me. I was two and two on the day at that point, and held my breath, waiting for the other shoe.

Another random crazy guy? No. The next elevator ride included yet another polite man who held the door and said hello.

I must be dreaming.

But I'm not. The new office? No windows? No air conditioning, either. At least, not yet. I'm dying in here. But I have my diploma up, some of my awards, and a piece done especially for me by the RLA.

The only person to comment on my reorganization was a secretary who seems to be suffering under the delusion that she outranks me, and/or that I actually care that she's giving me the nose in the air, sniffy puss-face.

"You were told not to get rid of the other desk."
"No, I was told not to cost the hospital any money getting rid of the other desk. And I didn't. I also didn't get rid of the desk, I merely reconfigured all of the pieces."

Neener neener neener.

Time to pretend to do some real work.
Miz Shoes


Okiedokie. I'm done weeping and rending my clothing. Well, I'm not, but it doesn't make for such a good read. Having come out of the shock and awe sadness of the past weekend, I am beginning to notice things like appallingly bad manners, bad style sense and stupidity disguised as management. Those are three separate things, although I do tend to notice a little bit of overlap now and then.
Bad Manners

For the last time, people: If you are standing in an elevator, and a total stranger is heading towards you, making eye contact all the way, the polite thing, the nice thing, the courteous and right thing to do is to hold the fucking door, not press the close door button. Not stand there next to the door or the door open button and let the door shut. What, it'll break your arm to hold a door? You might get to the next floor a nanosecond later than otherwise? Who cares? Hold the fucking door. It won't kill you to be polite. I, on the other hand, may cause your head to spontaneously combust through the sheer force of my will if you let that door close on me one more time.

And this is for the woman in the white lab coat at the Metrorail this morning: Hey! The people on the inside get off or out, then the people on the outside (that would have been you) get in. You don't strong arm your way into an elevator first, preventing the occupants from exiting. In any culture, that's just bad manners.

Bad Style Sense

Hey, Fab Five, do me a favor and take a minute to talk about the importance of clean, shiny shoes. You've taught men how to shave and open a bottle of wine, how about shining their shoes? Guy in cheap aftershave and the Armani suit sitting next to me on the train? It was all working (well, except for the cheap scent) but the shoes were scuffed and shineless. The heels were probably worn down, too. I didn't look. Men, (and women) shine your shoes. 'Nuff said.

Stupidity Disguised

The office move is back on. I am assigned a single office, but with two full desks in it. Not that there's another person going to sit at it, but the director who caved in to the Toxic Manager doesn't want to pay to have the furniture moved. The reason I have two desks and one person is because when the director split the rooms and told us all to play nice, the Boy Wonder and I were going to work in the same office. But Boy Wonder decided to be Boy Diva and copped an attitude, and moved down the hall to another set of offices (away from the rest of the team) where he could have his own space. My manager let him do it. The director let him do it. O.K. He has a private office now, and so do I, so could we get the extra desk out of my space and let me arrange the furniture so that I am not sitting in either the doorway or with my back to the door?

And the answer is: "No." I said, "well, that doesn't seem too equitable (grown-up, corporate speak for "That's not fair!") for everyone else to get what they want, when they want it, despite the repercussions to other team members, but I can't have a desk moved out." Too bad. The director refused the request.

So I did the only thing I could. I went to the new office and proceeded to draw a blueprint of how I want the furniture laid out and then told all the other workers in the three groups that all extra pieces of furniture are available to the first taker, but they have to move it themselves.

As all of us corporate drones know, it's easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission.

And so ends another episode of WWRanting.

Bite me.
Miz Shoes

Sucking the Joy From My Life

"Nobody wants to hear what you have to say. You will only tell us what we are doing wrong. It doesn't have to been done right, it only has to be done."

The bitch won this one.
Miz Shoes

Another Day, Another Asshole

My dead friend Gary used to call it arbitrary use of inconsequential authority. I call it working with assholes.

At nine this morning, the PR office approved my new site design. I made a couple of their arbitrary changes, knowing full well that once they saw them in action, they'd hate them. I sent the design off to be made real.
At two this afternoon, the PR office called to say they'd changed their minds about the morning approval and wanted everything different.

My boss called the PR boss, who wouldn't take his call, and left for the day without calling him back. Her flunky couldn't say what was wrong or unacceptable with the design except that I'd done it.

Later in the day I received another call, from someone much higher up the food chain. Based on a misunderstanding of what they were looking at, I was told to remove all the links from our site to the on-line baby photos. The argument was made that we have a hard enough time keeping our babies safe from baby-napping without putting their little pictures on the web.

Yep. Potential baby-nappers shop for babies on-line, I guess.

To steal one of my favorite Dilbert lines: Rats cry when they hear about my job.

I'm off to make myself a slushee. I have a little kid-type ice shaver, and I'm going to make one in my favorite flavor: martini.

Chin chin, sweeties.
Miz Shoes

Deja Voodoo

Several years ago, my then-boss said to me words that have remained seared on my brain. She said them in front of witnesses. She said:

"I don't want you to come to this meeting. Nobody wants to hear what you have to say. You're only going to tell us what we are doing wrong. This doesn't have to be done right, it only has to be done."
Today I had to go to that same person's office and talk to one of her flunkys about the same topic that she didn't want to hear about then. The bulk of my conversation went like this: "I really couldn't say." "I don't know the answer to that." "Really? You'll have to talk to my boss about that."

Believe it or not, that was good on my part because what I really wanted to say was: "I'm not about to stick a hand into that tar baby. There's no fucking way I'm touching that topic with a ten foot pole." "Why would it be any of your business?" and "Fuck you and die a slow, lingering death. You are an incompetent bitch working for an incompetent idiot bitch and you have absolutely no clue about anything."

Then I came back and sat in my boss's office for twenty minutes and cursed like a sailor for having had to suffer through the meeting. I am a foot soldier in a turf war and just because they're losing, that doesn't mean that the other party isn't going to inflict casualties and damage wherever possible.

No wonder I had a feeling of dread all week.

I came home and sat in the big comfy chair and listened to the rain on my roof. I finished a book. I drank hot tea. I played with my dog. I'm feeling much better now, thank you.
Miz Shoes

Office of Stupidity Security

Came into the office today to discover 155 messages in my blind "Webmaster" inbox. They were all (except for one, written in Spanglish, asking information about a patient that would be a HIPAA violation to give out) variations of the newest e-mail virus.

You know the one. The one that has a subject line of test, and an attachment of about 30K? You have to open the attachment and unzip a file, then run the exe file to infect yourself.

I guess there are people using computers who do just that (asshats). Christ, even my 86-year old father, who has never in his life even turned a computer on, knows better than that. Even he knows about computer viruses and how one gets them and how one never opens e-mail attachments.

But there's 154 virus e-mails in my in box. My personal e-mail is crawling at a salted slug's pace today, because the servers are clogged with virus-laden e-mail.

I swear, how do these people live? How do they operate heavy machinery, or even lap tops, huh? Even Oprah must have talked about computer viruses at some point. Even the Star or the Weekly World News has to have covered the issue.

So why, in the name of all that is holy, do people insist on opening bogus e-mail, and launching the bogus attachments? Surely by now, they know that when the body of the mail says something like "This my first game. I hope you like it." or "Testing." or "You first to see new thing. Open fast and enjoy!" that nothing good is going to come from opening the files.

Well, you'd think that, but you'd be wrong. I've gotten 157 (they're still coming in, even as I type) messages to prove you wrong.

PS-- Voting is still open in BlogMadness, and I still need your votes. Please? I'm down on my knees, I'm begging you please. I'm number #18, Back Home.
Miz Shoes

The Insufferable Mr. Pimple

Once upon a time, a consultant came to this hospital to analyze the pharmacy and make recommendations about how to improve service. He left saying that the only thing that could help would be a small thermo-nuclear device and a fresh start.

That didn't happen. Too damn bad.

I had another run in yesterday with the short little man who is a day-time manager. I shall refer to him hereafter as the Insufferable Mr. Pimple. Did I mention he was short? There's a latent element of Napoleonic complex, I think, as well as the classic "arbitrary use of petty power". Of course, maybe he suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and must be accorded special treatment under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Or maybe he's just an odious little prick. You decide.

For reasons that are completely specious, the pharmacy has decided to allow employees to drop off and pick up prescriptions during highly constrained hours. Like, from 5AM to 11AM, and 8PM to midnight. I work on the other side of campus and get to the pharmacy building only on my lunch hour.

The clerks take my 'scripts with no problem, or they did, until the Insufferable Mr. Pimple took over. Then we began a dance. The clerk would point to the sign, and say, OK, this once. I would look at the sign and explain that by changing the hours, the pharmacy administration had arbitrarily and without negotiation, changed my employee benefits. I refuse to accept this, therefore, I will continue to bring in my prescriptions at my convenience.

The Insufferable Mr. Pimple doesn't like this attitude. The Insufferable Mr. Pimple doesn't like me. I know that this is a personal thing because the Insufferable Mr. Pimple hands prescriptions to other employees right in front of me, without so much as a nod to the sign stating the new hours. But for me, the Insufferable Mr. Pimple goes so far as to tap the sign in the window and yell at me. TAP, TAP, TAP!!! You CANNOT pick up your medicine. We Must Follow The Rules!!! And then he says hello to Mrs. Rodriguez from Finance, and hands her her meds.

I say: if We Must All Follow The Rules, why are you giving Mrs. Rodriguez from Finance her meds and no grief? And the employee behind her? And the two in front of me? But not me?

The Insufferable Mr. Pimple lost it at that point and told me that he wouldn't fill my prescription at all today. If I didn't like that, said the Insufferable Mr. Pimple, I could just go talk to his supervisor.

Which, needless to say, I did. I pointed out to the supervisor that the Insufferable Mr. Pimple is Hispanic, as were the employees he was happy to help, whereas I, well let's just say that I have a last name that would have had me wearing a yellow star in Nazi Germany, right up to the point I got off the train at Auschwitz.

The supervisor was shocked, SHOCKED! that I would imply such a thing. I said, "Uh-huh, yeah, sure, right, whatever. How come I'm the only person who gets a lecture and a TAP TAP TAP, then?"

The supervisor couldn't rightly say. But he could order the Insufferable Mr. Pimple to issue my meds, and he did.

Except, of course, he got them wrong, and only filled them for one month instead of three, thus ensuring that he and I get to do our dance again, and again, and again.
No, probably not. Like every other blogger on the planet, it seems, I use Blogrolling. Unlike every other blogger on the planet, I tried to recreate my bloglist during the Laura debacle, and so completely ruined any chance of getting my list back when the lists were replaced with backups.

I'm now waiting for Blogrolling to complete their roll over to new servers so that I can start over.

On the work side of life, my boss is on the other side of the planet for three weeks, leaving me to suffer the slings and arrows of stupidity by myself. Are you, my readers, as tired of the repetition of idiocy here at my office as I am? Today's stupid-o-gram from the PR office asked if I had put information on the web about the Free Trade crap going on down town. Well, no, I hadn't. Of course I hadn't, seeing as how the PR office is the freaking gate keeper of all content, and they hadn't asked for that to go up. They still aren't asking, as far as I can tell from this e-mail, because they only asked if it was up, and what did I think about putting something up if nothing was up already.

What I think, I can't put in an e-mail, and probably shouldn't put here. I think that what ever they want me to do, it's three days late and several dollars short. The damn conference is half over. The crap they're sending me is about street closures and alternate routes to get to work. Hey, genius! People have probably figured it out on their own by now, and what with your crack record for prompt and useful information they won't be looking on the hospital's website for that, anyway. They'll be going to the Miami Herald site, and how pathetic is that, considering that you wouldn't want to use the Herald to wrap fish, much less get information.

I must be depressed, because I'm starting to have accidents that leave marks. I've never been one of those people who intentionally cut themselves, or anything like that. I just get clumsy when I'm depressed. This means that I am currently walking around with a chunk of my left pinky missing (chopping garlic with a recently sharpened knife, and somehow managed to get the finger pad under the blade). I have a bruise the size of a tangerine on my right forearm from getting on an elevator. The woman standing in front of the control panel looked like she was holding the door open button as she watched me get in. She was not. She was merely watching people enter the elevator. Since I was the last one on, I was the one the doors shut on. Hence the bruise.

I'm also stressed, which is leading to a flare-up of perioral dermatitis. For the laymen, that means my face is breaking out around my mouth and chin. Causes? Stress, and being a middle-aged white woman. OK. Got anything in there I can actually do something about, Doc? Cause I can't change the white, aging, female part. And the stress? Well, fuck. Mummy has Alzheimer's and just fell, broke her hip and is in rehab with a bionic joint. Daddy has leukemia and is holding steady. Work sucks left nut. The economy is in the toilet, and Bush is in the White House riding roughshod over the world. The Dems are mounting one of the most pathetic panel of choices I've ever seen, leading me to believe that Bush will actually WIN the election this time and thereby get another four years in power, which leads me to view the world situation with something less than hope.

So there is my fucking life in a nutshell. Ennui or angst?
Miz Shoes

It’s Pouring

It's raining. It's hot and it's raining. The color of the sky belies the temperature. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was a Rochester sky. You'd expect it to be cold, biting through your sweater to soak deep into your bones. And you would be wrong.

This is the tropics. This is a hot, muggy rain. The sky, the rain, the Bay. They all blend into one another in a gray, gray drizzle.

The red lights on the chopper pad glow, but dimly. There is no frosty aura. There is only heat, and rain.

Perfect weather for staying in bed with the covers pulled up over one's head and the air conditioner set to nuclear winter.

I, of course, am at my office, writing this blog entry and trying to look like I have work to do, which I do not. My work life this week is being played out in Dilbert. I am dealing with the titanium bottleneck. No job is small enough to pass through the clog that is our PR department. They sit on information like nesting brood hens. Brood hens with dead eggs, because nothing ever hatches out.

So here I sit, pretending to update the organization's website, when really I'm just venting my frustration on my own, personal site.

Tomorrow, I take another road trip. Don't get excited, it's not anywhere anyone would want to be.
Miz Shoes

Sleeping at My Desk

I'm trying not to go to sleep at my desk, but the floor under it is looking pretty damn good to me right now. I've had lunch. The city is steaming outside my window. The only work to do at the moment is whatever I invent for myself. The only invention I can think of is to place my needlepoint pillow on the floor, and call the carpet under the desk a bed.

Work is so slow that one could be excused for thinking that we'd fallen into a black hole, or one of those quantum singularities where time is pulled like taffy, and no matter how thin, it still stretches out, elongating every moment.

And it's hot. Did I mention that it's hot and humid? I shouldn't have had to, after all, it's September in the little latitudes. Equatorial heat.

Instead of passing out on the floor, and horrifying the boss when he wanders back in, I am reading this and trying to convert my site to CSS.

Then I can design another dozen logos for the Pediatric Residency group to look at because they don't like the type we used for the previous administrator and they didn't like the first 6 designs I gave them weeks ago, and I haven't got a clue as to what they didn't like. They just e-mailed me and asked for some more choices.

In other colors? Using type effects? Using different type faces? What? What do you want different from what you have, and what was used before? Can you give me a starting point from which to move? Or should I just go through the entire fucking type catalog until you find something that YOU think is "cheerful, friendly and childlike."

I mean, jeez, I used the type from the Brady Bunch. For a program aimed at young GenWhazits who grew up watching the show after school when they were still little latch-key sprats, I thought it would be a great subliminal hook. "Let's go to med school with Marcia."

Or not.
Miz Shoes

Another Day, Another Deluge

Someone needs to take Mother Nature aside and remind her that rainy season in the tropics means rain every afternoon, not steadily for days on end. And yet, and yet, there is something so soothing about this steady rain. The sound of it on my roof. The incredible variety of greens it brings to my yard. The coolth (and yes, that's a real word) that it gives the air. And the lightening. God's own light show, daily, from my office window.

I guess going to the gym actually does do all those things gym rats swear to, like lowering your blood pressure and releasing the feel-good endorphins into your brain. Three quarters of an hour on a treadmill and an elliptical trainer and I feel both virtuous and far less filled with free-floating rage than I did yesterday.

Either that or my bi-polar swing is set to manic today. Or at least mellow.

I'm not even raging over the network manager's inability to filter out spam and viruses. Hell, I've got the latest Norton virus defense shield running, updated only yesterday. So who cares if the webmaster account is being drowned in virus spam? I'm just methodically dumping them. Gives some rhythm and meaning to my day...
Miz Shoes

Stormy Weather

It's been raining, but then, this is the rainy season in the tropics. One may as well complain that San Francisco is foggy. It is the nature of the beast.

The nature of my own personal beast is this: I hate my job. I really, really, hate my job. I hate sitting in front of a computer. I hate working in an office. I hate dressing up and wearing make up every day.

Today I had my headphones on and listened all day to a little compilation of MP3s I call "easy for ME to listen to". This is so it won't be confused with the concept of easy listening by anyone else. It is heavy with Bob Dylan boots, but there are a smattering of cuts by Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel and John Lennon. Mostly though, it's boys with bad voices singing about bad relationships and crummy life choices.

It makes me feel better. What would really make me feel better is a vast quantity of very, very cold vodka with a splash of vermouth and a matching large quantity of olives.

Another thing that would make me feel better would be for my father to accept that my mother's Alzheimer's has reached a state where we would all be better off if she were institutionalized.

This has to be one of the most horrible diseases to inflict man. Everything I read could not prepare me for the reality of it. I can deal with her not recognizing me for the simple reason that I can no longer recognize her. This mean and bitter creature is not my mother. My husband has a much easier time than any of us dealing with her. He says it's because he knew so many acid casualties back in the day that he can talk to someone who is so totally in the now, so completely owned by their paranoia and hallucinations and delusions.

I never liked dealing with burnouts. That's probably why I have such a low tolerance for Deadheads and alcoholics. And now, for the person who was my mother.

This entry started out about work and weather, but like everything else my mind touches on these days, the spiral just goes around the drain to the sucking vortex of my mother's dementia.

Drinks, anyone?
Miz Shoes

Hey! That’s MY Joke

On Monday, there was a very funny Dilbert. It was especially funny to me, because I think it came from a story I sent to Scott Adams.

Here's the story, what do you think?

I while ago, I sent a request to the infamous PR office, asking for all the newest, most up-to-date information about our satellite facilities, because I knew for a fact that what was on the web was out of date.

A week later, via interoffice mail, they sent me their response. They had printed out my own web site, and sent it back to me, along with a floppy disk of the downloaded files. All clipped together with a bulldog clip.

Yeah, I'm still speechless over that, but it always gets a rousing laugh when I tell the story at web seminars and conferences.
Miz Shoes

THAT Will Impress Him

Our new CEO starts on Tuesday. The crack PR staff has made his arrival the lede story in the company newsletter. It reads thusly:

"Welcome, Mr. *****. Our new CEO of ********** and president of the **********, officially will become part of the ******** family on Wednesday, July 15. He wants to meet as many employees as possible, so plans are being formulated for an Employee Open House and System visits. Watch for further details."

Yep. That would be wrong. July 15th falls on a TUESDAY. That ought to give him a really good idea of the quality of the staff he's got in that office.

Written, edited, proof read and published. AND sent to me to post on the website, and nobody ever figured out that the date was wrong. Except me. And my friend that I called up to read it to. Of course, we are not PR professionals, so any aptitude on our parts is negligible.

Forgive me while I make rude cackling noises behind my hand.
So one of the things that I have been doing is loading up our medical forms into a library of PDFs on the hospital's intranet site. This is accomplished in one of several ways. The form can be sent to me as an electronic file, which I convert to a PDF because the secretary who builds the forms can't manage to do that, or I can receive a paper copy of the form from the print shop because they seem to have a deal with the last typesetter in the world, who gives them forms as hard copy to put on a copy machine and then I scan the forms and created PDFs from the scan ( a real fucking pleasure to do, because they are multiple page forms and have to be converted in a "special" way) or finally, sometimes, the print shop sends me files and I can convert them from PageMaker to PDF.

Yesterday we had a department meeting where it was announced with great anticipation and pride that we were going to be putting all our medical forms into wireless tablet PCs for the docs to drag around. Uh, yeah, I have a question.... since I have a stack of 57 forms waiting for me to scan in and convert to PDF because NOBODY, but nobody has them in any sort of electronic format, could you tell me where the forms for the tablets are going to come from, and can I get copies?

Later in the same meeting, it was revealed that we were going to be rolling out the new, great on-line job application program. And what will we be doing with my existing job listings? Will I be linking to somewhere else? Throwing away my page? Re-directing? Anybody? Anybody? I'd like to buy a clue, please.

And then the meeting wrapped with the presentation of the new, improved splash page which it was also announced I was currently producing. I am not. I was not at all involved in the "development" of this new look and feel for my site. The infamous PR department used an outside designer to create the new look. They had been tasked with developing a new organizational structure for the web to make it more marketing driven. They came back with a Photoshop sketch of a new splash page.

I cannot tell you how many times I have pleaded and begged and expounded about splash pages being a total waste of bandwidth and an artifact of first-generation web design which was nothing more than brochure ware.

And there I sit, with the department director beaming at me and announcing that I am responsible for our new look.

If I wasn't on this stupid carb-free diet, I would be stinking drunk.

Page 5 of 6 pages    ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 >