Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquakes and Other Natural (Sort of) Disasters

By now, some of you might have grown concerned that Princess Pissant did not survive the East Coast Earthquake earlier this week.  Well, I am here to assure you that she is alive and well.  And: Back At The Office.

The office, likewise, does not appear to have sustained any structural or otherwise damage from the quake.  All the tables and chairs are upright and in their correct places, and there’s not a single crack in the pastry case.

(For those of you new to Another Day at the Office – Hi Dad, I happen know that you’ve become a follower under a pseudo-nonymous email address, so as to be able to monitor Princess Pissant’s blog without any detriment to your reputation – “the office” is located in a Starbucks.)

Truth be told, I wasn’t even at the office when the quake struck.  I’d taken a personal day on account of the French family of four who were visiting.  I had just entered the house from walking the dog, in fact, to find the French family of four gathered in the kitchen, which then started to rumble and shake.  The French family immediately recognized the event as a “tremblement de terre,” while I had no idea what the hell was going on, and so stood frozen in panic in the doorway, which turns out – after consulting the FEMA guidelines – is exactly where you’re supposed to be in the event of an earthquake.  Fancy that!

The dog, meanwhile, in spite of belonging to a species that’s supposed to sense oncoming weather changes and natural disasters, failed to pick up on anything.  He did go around sniffing the air, whining in some kind of distress, and generally acting strange immediately afterward, as if that was going to do us any good.

For the next hour or so, the French family, who were greatly impressed by the earthquake, helpfully tried to point out items that had fallen, been broken or were in disarray, including all the crooked wall hangings, as a result of the quake.  It got to be embarrassing after a while, to keep repeating, “Um, that was that way before actually.”

Anyway, the French family of four was lovely, with two children ages 11 and 4, who were sweet, good-natured and well-behaved,  in extreme and stark contrast to my own kids.

My kids – the aforementioned KN2 (Kid Number 2) and His Older Brother (HOB) – in the face of foreign visitors, acted even more barbaric than usual.

The 11-year-old French boy was not able to speak or understand much English, but he did know enough to continually beseech KN2 or HOB, “No, no, pleese do not to do zsat to your brozser,” whenever one of them was pursuing the other with nunchucks, a fireplace poker, or some other potentially lethal instrument.

In any event, although we had a great time with the Frenchies, I was relieved when they left, if only because their presence greatly illuminated my shortcomings as a mother, house-keeper, and overall person.  And my kids reflected poorly not just on me, but on all of American culture really.

Also, while the Frenchies were here, I was not able to come into the office, and, well, I’ve still got that contract hanging over my head, with next week’s deadline looming ever nearer.

But I am back, and I just now finished perusing Petfinder for “adoptable pug” links to send to my mother, so I am ready to hunker down and get to work.

I hope there’s not another earthquake.  Boy, that would really put a damper on my plan. 

Actually, I hope that if there IS an earthquake, it destroys the building where I have to present my work on that contract next week.  Yes, I hope that building totally crumbles to the ground.  That would buy me considerable time.

(But if that happens, I hope no one gets hurt.) 

If someone were to get hurt, or worse, killed, I would feel awful.

Really awful, I mean . . . Knowing that I actually had willed that to happen.

Oh God, I feel awful now, just thinking about it.  I am going to take a quick break and peruse the Internet for more pug rescue resources.  Pictures of adoptable pugs, or really any kind of pugs, always make me feel better.  Hold on, back in a jiff.

Okay, I’m back.  Although it is nearly the lunch hour now, I am going to power through and work during lunch.

Before I do: did I mention that the day of the earthquake was also HOB’s first day of school?  His first day of first grade, in fact.  First grade is hugely different than – not to mention a big adjustment from – kindergarten, we’ve been told, because the kids actually sit at desks, which came in remarkably handy when they all had to crawl under their desks and remain there for several minutes after the earthquake.

Anyway, when HOB finally arrived home from school that day, which was not until quite late – the metropolitan area in which we live is evidently as unprepared for earthquakes as it is for the snowfall that occurs every single year – he reported that he was one of the only ones in his class who did not cry, and was in fact not afraid at all.

I felt a real surge of pride then toward HOB who’s always been a cautious – some might say pathologically fearful – kid.  Then he told me the only reason he wasn’t afraid was because he had “no idea what was going on.”

Chip off the ol’ block, I guess.  I wonder if someday he too will work out of a Starbucks.  Wouldn’t that be crazy if HOB carried on the family name?  Right here at my big wooden desk in the corner?

I sincerely hope HOB has bigger dreams for himself, but I won’t be entirely disappointed if he follows in my footsteps.  It’s better than landing in jail, right?

Speaking of kids, I don’t know if it’s Bring Your Kid to Work Day – and I didn’t get the memo – or what?  But the office is absolutely overrun.  And they are really freaking loud, and disruptive.

Mommy Blogger’s three kids are running wild while she just types away.  How can she not be distracted by them?  Have a little consideration, I want to shout over at her.  Even Former Secret Government Agency (FSGA) guy looks like he might lose his cool.

Speaking of losing one’s cool, My Husband the Photographer (MHTP) – whom I’d hoped to keep out of this blog but, sorry, honey – nearly lost his cool at me the other day.  This brings me to that other unfortunate incident I was going to tell you all about.

You remember the venerable Master Wong, Tae Kwon Do expert and summer camp counselor, who was occupying KN2 and HOB and a bunch of other little brats last week, enabling me to attend to that contract I’ve got hanging over my head?

Well, MHTP went to pick up the kids from Tae Kwon Do camp Friday because I had to stay late here at the office.  According to MHTP, Master Wong really gave him the cold shoulder.  Not even a bow.

This was unusual behavior for Master Wong, and also strange because MHTP is one of those people who, unlike Princess Pissant, doesn’t seem to garner any enemies, or even generate the slightest amount of ill will.  Everbody loves MHTP.

It’s kind of annoying, actually.

Anyway, we chalked it up to Master Wong being in a bad mood.  For the first time ever.  That is, until later, when I was unpacking all the kids Tae Kwon Do crap from their camp bag.  Their camp bag was a duffle bag that I dug out from the back of my clothes closet.  I think I used it for books in college or something.  Suffice it to say, I haven’t used that bag, or even seen it, in a looooooooong, loooooooong time.

So imagine my surprise when, while rifling through the contents – swim suits, goggles, crushed juice boxes, nunchucks, etc. – I happened upon what could only accurately be described as, well: a pipe.

And not a tobacco pipe either.

Well, MHTP was shocked, not to mention really hacked off.  He even raised his voice in anger when he said, “No wonder Master Wong wouldn’t talk to me!”

Now, in my defense, with all that I’ve got going on – I mean the housekeeping and the mothering and the walking of the dog, and not to mention the long days here at the office – am I really expected to check the kids’ camp bags for marijuana pipes everyday too?  Sheeesh.

It goes without saying that I don’t use that pipe anymore, and so I put it in a really safe place – nobody ever opens up that backgammon board case anyway – and I do think that MHTP will get over it.  Eventually.

We should probably look for a different place for the kids to do Tae Kwon Do though.

And it did get me thinking:  I wonder if they ever conduct random drug tests here?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Diving Into the Work Week

Princess Pissant’s father – notwithstanding his degree from MIT – reports being “unable to access” Another Day at the Office.  Princess Pissant finds this claim dubious, especially considering her 102-year-old grandmother was able to read the blog (and declare it “interesting, but in poor taste.”)

Princess Pissant will be writing about herself in the third person today, BTW, in the manner of Bob Dole . . . or a lunatic.  In the case of her father, Princess Pissant reads “unable to access” to mean “has no interest in.”

But let Princess Pissant start off by reassuring readers that Former Secret Government Agency (FSGA) guy is back, in full force, at the office, having returned from his mission – which must have been a huge success – with a certain spring to his step.

Let Princess Pissant also report on two rather distressing incidents that occurred since we last spoke. 

First: This morning.

Okay, the third person thing is exhausting.  Forget that.

This morning, I dropped off my younger son – henceforth to be referred to as Kid Number 2 (KN2) – at school, and was just about to depart when the Headmistress of “Little Darlings Learning Center” rushed out and handed me an envelope with 15 dollars in it.  Turns out, I had overpaid the yearly field trip fee by 15 bucks.


Coincidentally, I was out of cash, and had left my credit card next to the home computer, after a huge buying spree over the weekend.  (Since starting at the new office last week, I haven’t had nearly as much time to shop online.) 

I’d been planning to hit the ATM on the way, which was going to make me late to work.  Now, with this unexpected windfall, I would be on time and thus able to get my usual optimum cubicle.

For those of you new to Another Day at the Office, wondering why on earth someone would have to fight for her own cubicle space, you should know that my office is located at Starbucks.

Another inconvenience, incidentally, of working out of a coffee shop is that every time you need to use the restroom – for me, several times a day – you’ve got to ask someone, anyone, to keep an eye on your laptop so no one runs off with it.  Crazy, I know.

So I head into the office, take stock of the usual suspects – FSGA guy, Mommy-blogger, Failed Writers, etc. – and note that my favorite office space is still free.  Excellent.

But I have to use the restroom, and herein lies the daily dilemma: do I set up shop and then dart to the bathroom?  But, it’s kind of frowned upon to ask someone to watch your stuff as soon as you come in.  Violates coffee shop co-worker etiquette. 

Or do I take all my stuff to the bathroom with me, and risk the optimal spot being occupied when I come out?

I decide to risk it, and so with: my laptop; and a bunch of medical forms from KN2’s school that I’m supposed to fill out and have various doctors sign; and some other handouts regarding the “academic” calendar; and a stack of Athleta catalogs (for the lunch break); and another stack of loose-leaf papers related to that contract I’ve got hanging over my head; and let’s not forget the envelope with 15 dollars in it, I head to the lavatory, which – dagnabbit! – is locked. 

At least at this particular Starbucks, you don’t have to ask for one of those toilet keys with a 2-by-4 attached to it.

Anyway, I stand there – one eye on the lavatory door, the other on my still vacant optimal workspace – wondering if I’ve made the wrong calculation today.  From inside the ladies’ room, I can hear the hand drier whirring into action.  Good.  They’re almost done.

But then a few seconds later, I hear the toilet flush again . . . and then the faucet running and then the drier whirring into action again.  And then the faucet goes back on!  On, off, on, off, flush, drier, faucet, drier, flush again.

It’s then that I realize it must be my office-mate in there:  Homeless Lady, with the shopping cart full of newspapers, undertaking her daily hygiene ritual.

By this time, I really have to use the bathroom and, goddammit!, someone is taking my seat!  Some kid no less.  Dressed like a hippie.  No laptop, no books, no stack of papers.  Just a cup of herbal tea.  What the F. does he think he’s doing?

I am totally outta sorts now, and there is no sign of a break in the action inside the ladies’ room, and I already feel the work day slipping away, and I’ve still got that G.D. contract that I absolutely have to finish, or at least start, working on this week.

It’s in this flustered state that I scan the area to make sure no one is watching and then head into the men’s room, which naturally stinks to high heaven.  I try to use the bathroom without my skin touching anything – not like KN2 who has to caress every surface of every public toilet he uses, and would probably lick pubic hairs off the seat if I weren’t there to intervene.  I use my elbow to turn on the faucet and try to use my hip to open the door, but when that doesn’t work, I wrap my hand in three brown paper towels before touching the handle.

I exit to find none other than FSGA guy outside.  Waiting.

We’ve never met, or even spoken.  FSGA raises an eyebrow.

Me:  Someone was in the ladies room.
FSGA fiddles with his badge, then wordlessly steps past me into the men’s room.

In a thoroughly bad humor at this point, I throw out the tainted paper towels, find another seat – one from which I can give Hippie the evil eye – and then quickly set up shop.

Today, I am NOT going to waste time.

I’m not going to blog, or surf, or read discarded newspapers, or anything like that.  I’m not even going to open those Athleta catalogs.  And I’m certainly not going to squander away several hours trying to figure out how to add a “Like” button to my Facebook page, like I did over the weekend.

I am just going to work.  I spread out the various periodicals, graphs and charts related to that contract on my new desk, which I have to say is of extremely limited space.  I open my laptop and double click on the draft of my power point presentation.  So far, it consists of the title slide. 

The title slide looks really good though.

But maybe I’ll change the color scheme.  Okay yes, grey text on blue background looks much better.  Totally gives the impression that I know what I’m talking about now.

I’m about to fiddle with the layout of the title slide when one of those little alert windows pops up: “You are now running on reserve battery power.”

Oh, for chrissake.  There’s not an electrical outlet in sight.  Well there is one . . . over there by Hippie, who is really nursing that herbal tea.

I feel my blood pressure starting to rise.

As I commence counting slowly and silently to ten – the way that they teach you in Anger Management classes (or so I’ve been told) – I suddenly realize what I need to do.

I need to get a cup of coffee.  Yes, that will calm my nerves and maybe give Hippie enough time to finish his herbal tea and skedaddle.

I order a grande coffee with room for cream and – heck, I’ll splurge today – one of those breakfast sandwiches with sausage, egg and cheese.  Maybe it’s low blood sugar that’s got me all in a funk.

Cashier: That will be 5 dollars and sixteen cents.
Me (reaching into computer case for cash-filled envelope): Okay, here we go.

Shoot, I cannot find that envelope.  It must be in here somewhere.  Let me check all these pockets.  Not here.  No, not here either. 

Eww, gross, what’s that slimy stuff?  Shampoo?  Why did I put a little thing of shampoo in my computer bag?  Goddamit.

Somehow, there’s a huge line of people behind me now.  I dump the contents of my bag onto the counter.  A tampon lands in the tray of cranberry scone samples. 

The cashier is visibly irritated, as are the people in line behind me. 

Me: Can you hold on one second?  I think I left my money over there.

I gesture toward my desk.

The cashier gives me a blank stare, and then calls to the guy operating the espresso machine: Alex can you help me void a transaction over here?

Alex, who’s occupied in various stages of about four or five different kinds of “chino” drinks, abandons his post.  This prompts a collective groan from the crowd.

I exit stage left, and run to my desk where I begin rifling frantically through my belongings.  The envelope has gotta be here somewhere. 

But somehow it’s not.  I mentally retrace my steps since leaving the “Little Darlings Learning Center.”  Suddenly, I have a Eureka moment.  (What other people – smarter, more successful people – might call an epiphany.)

I must have thrown it away!  Yes, with the paper towels I used to safeguard my hand from urinal germs.  I can picture it now: I remember with clarity just sort of hurling a wad of paper product into the trash.

And so, with little to no other recourse available, I head over to the trash bin.  It’s one of those metal dome-topped ones that looks like R2-D2 and has a small hole in the top, so you really have to reach your arm all the way in and begin digging around like you’re going to pull out winning lottery numbers or something.

And so that’s how I’ve started out the workweek.  Under the collective gaze of all my new office-mates, including: FSGA guy, his brow now permanently fixed in a raised position; and the Failed Writers, all taking appreciative note; and Mommy-blogger’s eyes bulging halfway out of their sockets; and Hippie sputtering the dregs of his herbal tea (all over my rightful desk); and the cashier with her pursed lips; and Alex, who’s completely distracted from his duties at the “chino” machine; and all the other patrons gaping in revulsion; and only the Homeless Lady flashing me a look of what can only be interpreted as solidarity, I calmly go about digging in the trash.

The interior equivalent of Dumpster Diving.

But you know what?  I did find that envelope.  It was right there, under some coffee cups and half-eaten pastries.  It was a little soggy and I had to brush off the crumbs, but inside was the fifteen dollars.  Which I used to pay for my grande coffee with room for cream.  (The breakfast sandwiches were all gone by the time I returned.)  I was able to grab a handful of cranberry scone samples, which for some reason had remained untouched.

Anyway, I am going to sit for a few minutes and enjoy this cup of coffee before I get to work.  I’ll save the other distressing event to tell you about some other time.

It’s only 9:45 am, but for Princess Pissant, it’s already been a long day.

Friday, August 19, 2011



Yeah, that’s right: IF!  And TG for that!  Indeed there are quite a few folk TG-ing here at the office today: occupying my coveted workspace is none other than: a Bible Study Group.

Well, to call it a “group” is a bit of overstatement.  It’s three biddies nibbling on scones and poring over the New Testament.  To call them “biddies” is probably a tad misleading as well.  They all appear to be about my age, but don’t think I’m going to tell you what that is.  (If you’re reading this, Mom, and you’re probably the only one who is, you already know . . .)

Anyway, the Bible Group ladies are talking about how their kids are at “Vacation Bible Camp” this week.

Vacation Bible Camp is hugely popular around here.  I don’t get it.  To me, “vacation” and “Bible” probably don’t belong in the same sentence.  And, I’m sorry, but it’s either one or the other – a vacation cannot also be a Bible camp.  How do these people sell their kids on such a charade?

If I told my kids that they were going to “Vacation Bible Camp,” they’d be like, “Um, what’s a Bible?”  And if I told them, truthfully, what a Bible is, they’d be like, “Um, NO!”

By this time, you’re probably wondering: what do I do with my kids while I’m here at the office?  Actually, you probably are not.  You probably don’t give a shit because, really, who gives a shit about anyone else’s kids?

Speaking of which, yesterday I discovered that – here at the office – we’ve got a Mommy-blogger in our midst.  I know she’s a Mommy-blogger because I was behind her at the pastry glass and she tried to engage me in a conversation about tree nut allergies. 

Then, when I didn’t bite, she would not shut the F up about her son’s tree nut allergy, and the various “nut challenges” they’d had to put him through, and her involvement in the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), and Would I like to sponsor her in some kind of March on Washington?

Me: Are you like marching against nuts?
Mommy-blogger (slowly, as if talking to someone mentally deficient): No.  It’s to raise awareness about food allergies.

Like who, in this day and age, is not already aware of all the freaking food allergies out there?  You can’t even pack a G.D. lunch anymore without worrying about half the class going into anaphylactic shock.

Me (reaching for my wallet – not to make a donation but to pay for my banana-NUT muffin): I see.

After this Mommy-blogger stomped off and began typing furiously at her laptop, which is how I figured that she’s a Mommy-blogger, and that chances are I was going to be featured in her blog.  And probably not in a complimentary kind of way.

Well guess what Mommy-blogger?  My kid has food allergies too, and he’s got an Epi-pen and all that, and you don’t see me asking for handouts?  Anyway, aren’t there rules again soliciting at the office?

BTW, for those of you who are new to Another Day at the Office – which would be pretty much anyone reading this, since as of 4:30 a.m. this morning, the last and final time I checked, I had a grand total of 0 (zero) followers – “the office” is in fact a Starbucks.

NFI.  (That is: No Further Information.)

NFI about this particular Starbucks, at an undisclosed location whose actual coordinates could be considered highly sensitive and must remain secret, because of – insert whisper voice – FSGA guy.

FSGA guy – which you would know if you’d tuned in yesterday at the launch of this blog – refers to Former Secret Government Agency guy.  Like me, FSGA guy works outta Starbucks. 

Interestingly, FSGA guy is MIA today.

There are two plausible scenarios here: 1) He works late Monday-Thursday and takes every other Friday off OR 2) He is on a Top Secret Mission.

I am choosing to believe the latter, and praying for his safe return.  Not exactly praying, per se.  But I am thinking about him, and thinking about asking the Bible Study Group ladies to keep him in their thoughts as well.  I am also thinking about asking them:  How, really, did Jesus get so many followers?

Because I’m batting zero here.

Anyway, back to your question: How DO I balance such a demanding work schedule and the equally demanding obligations of motherhood? 

And don’t worry: I won’t let Another Day at the Office slide down that slippery slope into Mommy-blog-dom.  Rest assured: neither of my kids has done anything remotely cute, interesting, nor brag-worthy since they were 9 months old.  And I don’t foresee that changing in the near or far future. 

So the following may the last you’ll ever hear of them:

I manage to balance career and family by dropping the kids off at Tae Kwon Do camp for 8 hours a day.  TKD camp is run by the venerable Master Wong.  So far as I can tell, a typical day entails: one hour of punching and kicking each other, followed by: video game time, lunch break, some more punching and kicking each other, and then some sort of martial arts-related or culturally-relevant field trip.  Usually Chuck E. Cheese.

Yesterday, they went in a van to a public swimming pool – and the fact that I was fine with that, even though my kids are 6 and 4, and don’t know how to get into or out of their own swimsuits, and Master Wong barely speaks English – shows one of two things: either I am the worst mother imaginable (and thus have no business blogging about it anyway) or I am just so totally committed to my job, here at the office, that I cannot be bothered.

In my defense, I probably am not the worst mom ever since I did find it concerning when the only thing the kids could report about the swimming pool was “the naked old man” that they saw in the shower, whom they then described in great detail and with much hilarity.  The fact that I found their account disturbing, on a number of levels, shows that I am in fact not that bad a mother.

Another thing you are probably curious about is this mysterious contract that I alluded to yesterday, which is the real purpose – beyond blogging – of my setting up camp here at Starbucks.  You’re probably wondering: what is that important contract she’s got hanging over her head?  What’s it all about?  What exactly is she getting paid to do?

Well, you and me both sister!  I haven’t an F-ing clue.  All I know is that I am due to present my work the week after next.  So next week is going to be crunch-time here at the office.  TKD camp will be over, but hey, just it time for school to start.

So don’t stress on my account.

I’m not.


One more thing: I absolutely LOVE the receptionist here.  She’s not at all one of those self-serious types who bristles or balks when asked to make coffee.  Speaking of which, it’s time for a coffee break.  

Only a few more hours left before the weekend.  TGIF indeed! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The New Office

Today is my fourth day at the new office.  I am starting to know my way around, and get a feel for my office-mates.  It was a lot better than the first day, which sucked, the Internet being down for most of the day.  I didn’t have access to email, or really anything, all day.  I was forced to do some actual work on this contract I’ve got hanging over my head, instead of stalking my exes and nemeses on Facebook, or shopping for sale items on Amazon.

Finally, around noon, I went and complained to the IT guys.

Me: I think the network’s down or something.
Barista: Yeah, we’ve had a couple other people mention that.

[I should clarify that “the new office” is actually a Starbuck’s.]

Me: Well, is there anything you can do?
Me: Like re-set the network or something?
Me: I just thought . . . since others were experiencing . . .
Barista: I can give you the number for AT&T.

I took the number and returned to my “cubicle” in the corner, which by the way is the most coveted spot in the office: huge wooden desk; two available (and functioning) electrical outlets; hard-backed bench that’s so uncomfortable it MUST be ergonomically correct.  The bench is more conducive to real work than the cushy chairs, and thus boosts my productivity, which is never a bad thing on one’s first few days.  Trying to make a good impression and all.  Pretty much every day that I’ve been able to get this spot, I notice my office-mates who arrive later staring enviously at it, and subconsciously willing me to leave.

What can I say?  Early bird gets the worm.

In fact, by the time I’d returned from my consultation with IT – with the AT&T’s support number scrawled on one of those cardboard coffee cup sleeve s – Whoever invented THAT is living large, huh?  Probably someone who started out small, just like me, here at the office – these two World of Warcraft geeks had taken over most of my desk.  Stringy greasy hair, black surplus garb; heart wrenching cases of acne.

Me: You guys able to get Internet?
WoW Geek 1 delivers a look of mild disdain.
WoW Geek 2: I’ll let you know in a minute . . . actually, nah, looks like no connection.
Me (waving irritatingly-genius and bitterness-inducing cardboard coffee cup sleeve): The barista gave me the number to call AT&T.
WoW Geek 2: Seems like that’s their problem, not ours.
Me (feeling surge of camaraderie toward WoW geeks): Yeah, right?
WoW Geek 2: Well, I’m not calling . . . (then addressing WoW Geek 1) You wanna head back over to McDonalds then?
WoW Geek 1 (eyeing WoW Geek 2’s venti iced tea):  How much did that tea cost?
WoW Geek 2: Like five or six dollars.
WoW Geek 1: You shoulda asked for less ice.
WoW Geek 2:  But I wanted ice.
WoW Geek 1: You shoulda asked for less though; there’s like no tea in there.  It’s all ice.
Me: There’s free WiFi at McDonalds?

Hmm, better benefits?  But going from Starbucks to McDonalds would be like leaving Abercrombie and Fitch to work at Wal-mart, or resigning from a well-paid government job with tenure, security and benefits to . . . hang-out with a bunch of other unemployed losers at the local Starbucks.  Wait a minute . . . that’s exactly what I’ve done.

WoW Geek 2: Yeah, we usually spend the morning at McDonald’s and then head over here when it’s the lunch hour.  It gets way too crowded over there.

So here are some of the characters at the new office, that I can only imagine will reappear in future postings, and with whom I will no doubt form lasting and meaningful relationships:

Former Secret Government Agency guy: obviously laid off some time ago, persists in dressing in suit and tie, and wearing his govt.-issued badge . . . to Starbuck’s . . . every day.  He likes a table with his back to wall so that co-workers cannot see the Top Secret shit he’s up to, on Craigslist.

SAHM ISO Nanny: Stay-at-home-mom who conducts endless Nanny interviews at the same table every day, while using her foot to rock colicky newborn in its car bucket.  I want to whisper to each of the prospective Nannies, while she’s up purchasing muffins: “She only pays $8 an hour.”

Evidently homeless lady:  Newspaper-filled shopping cart.  She showers in the bathroom at the same time every day and pours herself a big serving of half-n-half into a McDonald’s cup.  Bizarrely, I find her a lot less sad than Former Secret Government Agency (FSGA) guy.

A smattering of failed writers: they sit in the cushy chairs, mostly, and stare into space.  Obviously all envy and despise one another.

Baristas: the IT guy, and the receptionist gal.  I think I overheard FSGA guy telling her, “Hold my calls please Deidre.”

WoW Geeks: Aforementioned.  At the moment, I feel closest to them.

So Day 2, there was this sign on the conference table, not far from my cubicle saying that the Meeting Area was reserved at noon, and we’d all need to vacate.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

WTF?  Huge inconvenience.  Had to go to the Satellite office of Panera, but there are so many distractions there – in the form of sandwiches and baked good – that I couldn’t get a damn thing done.  Ended up meeting up with the WoW geeks at Mickey-Dees.  But they were calling it a day.

This morning, I ran over the curb on my way into the parking lot.  Major-ly embarrassing.  Everyone at the outside tables looked over, and watched me walk in, shaking their heads, and muttering to one another and themselves.

All in all, it’s been a good first week though.  I haven’t done much of anything on that contract, but I’ve settled in, made some new friends – or acquaintances at least, and, well, I did take the time to start this awesome blog.

Anyway, it’s nice having a job where you kinda look forward to heading into the office.  And tomorrow, I would imagine, is casual Friday.