Oh my. Thank you all.
Day two billion, at least
Not much in the way of actual work today, but interpersonal interactions galore.
The Snorter was not in and, rather, was in the NY office. Why the Snorter was there, I have no idea, as the Manager in NY is perfectly capable of doing wonderful things without the Snorter's guidance, plus the Manager in NY is one if not two levels about the Snorter. Hence the Snorter's presence in NY may very possibly simply be shmoozerific. I can't see any other explanation for it.
I spent some time hanging around and some time working on an Access database. I had little guidance but I basically know what's desired so I milked that for work for much of the day. I also had some lovely chats with Boston College's Finest, who has encyclopedic knowledge of the B-52s.
BC's Finest also let me know that there was a communication coming from the agency about our benefits, and it was not happy news. Now, I get my bennies (except the 401(k) plan) through RP anyway, so a reduction in, say, the level of preventative dental care is unpleasant but does not affect me. As they say, when it affects you, it's unpleasant, but when it affects me, it's a tragedy.
Well, the bennies memo comes out, and most of it is eminently skimmable, but there is one fine paragraph that I cannot ignore. That's the one where the unlimited sick leave is (starting the first of the year) turning into a mere five days for a year. If you're out sick for more than five days, whether or not any of them are in a row, they start taking it out of your Short-Term Disability. It made me chuckle a little as Short-Term Disability was abbreviated on the memo. Hence they are taking my sick time out of an STD. I'm juvenile, I admit it.
Later, the Map, the Slacker and The Fashion Victim begin arguing about the true meaning of the word "spry", which the Map used to refer to The Fashion Victim. Now, the Victim is young. Not the youngest person in the group -- that would be the Slacker -- nor the second-youngest -- that would be Canadian #2. But the Victim is still pretty dang young. Hence I actually agree with the Slacker that the term "spry" seems like an old man phrase, but who knows? The Map looks it up and the old man connotation is apparently all in our heads. Spry has nada to do with being elderly or male or both. It just has to do with being limber, supple, that kinda thing. The Victim is placated, the Slacker is slightly cowed at getting it wrong, and life goes on.
This is not the first semantics argument. Back last week, when there was a big honkin' meeting (I was working on the big honkin' book, hence I missed the big honkin' meeting), the Slacker was dressed in a grey suit. And the argument, which involved the Slacker, High Maintenance, the Victim, the Map and, peripherally, the Smoker, was as to whether that particular shade was "charcoal". There was debating back and forth. Words were said. Voices even raised slightly -- all to the almighty question of whether the shade was charcoal. It was never resolved, although it was decided that it was not ash grey. Me, I have no idea. I rarely talk to the Slacker, let alone feast my eyes on the Slacker's gloriousness, so my input regarding suit shade is, admittedly, useless. Whether you spell it gray or grey (I like that spelling, it seems more somber to me, which is kinda the idea when it comes to grey), the discussion was still of little meaning.
Another fashion argument arose around the concept of a Black and White Ball (Party). The Victim's parents were attending one, and there was much discussion as to whether other colors would be permitted. Colors of clothing, that is. The Map looked up black tie affairs but that's not the same thing. I don't recall how that one was resolved, either, but that's what passes for learned discourse around the office unless American Idol
, to me, is a supreme waste of time. This is where the Slacker and I actually have something in common, as the Slacker practically spit on the carpet when confronted with the fact that most of the remainder of the group would, once their beloved American Idol
returned to the airwaves, be possessed by it and scarcely able to discuss anything else. I lived through the last American Idol
onslaught and got to hear all about Sanjaya Maliakar, a person who has been riding the fame train based on hair and the redial power of a number of call centers. Vapidity, thy name is Sanjaya.
It's coming soon. The new season. I can hear the whoosh of vapidity hurtling toward me, like a freight train on tracks slicked by the World's Largest Tub of Vaseline. It will land with a sploosh in January, when the new season begins. I am hoping to score a pair of good ear plugs for Chanukah before then.
Perhaps I'll be able to drown out the dreaded inevitable sploosh.