Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Welcome Back, Stupid!

Hello! And Merry Christmas! Very soon! And we are all going to pretend that the last time I posted was not BEFORE THANKSGIVING, ok? Good.

Also, that whole "maybe I update once a month" thing should be rectified soon, because right now the Joker is out at Best Buy procuring us a digital camera, so I can take pictures of the Pupster and other Houston related things and post them here. With commentary! (Come on, you all know you love commentary).

Anyway, before the arrival of My New Toy (I asked Joker for shiny. And pink. But I do not think he is going to comply) I wanted to comment a little on something I have not talked a lot about lately. And that something is the Stupid. As y'all know, there is a lot of Stupid, and I have written about the Stupid, excessively. But just in case any of you were wondering if maybe the Stupid was a DC thing, and maybe the Stupid did not follow me to Houston? No. Sigh. The Stupid is here, in force.

Example Number One: Office Stupid

Ok, I as per always will not write much about my job here, on account of I like my job and has anyone SEEN the economy lately? Yeah. So no juicy job gossip. However, some things need to be said. I would like to copy an actual email I received one of my first weeks here. See, we are in a new space, with all new furniture. And upon entering my office, I noticed that my closet lacked a bar from which to hang things from, effectively rendering it useless. So I asked the very nice front desk lady if perhaps I could get a bar. For the closet. So I could, you know, hang things in it. Which... is the entire thing a closet is for. This was the response:

"[Redacted] relayed your request to me. A bar is not available for your closet because it is not deep enough to hang a coat hanger (all of the furniture designed like yours have the same issue, including most of the partner offices). For all of these closets we are working on getting a coat hook that hangs from the ceiling, then you will be able to hang a coat hanger crosswise. Hope this helps."

I will give you a second. Read that again.

The CLOSET is DESIGNED to NOT HANG THINGS. But no fear, I will get a hook, for the ceiling, thus permitting a single diagonal hanger.

Hello, Stupid! I missed you.

(To make matters worse, we instituted a new recycling program here. Which is awesome, and Al Gore loves us. And Al Gore has won an Oscar AND the Nobel Prize, making him officially Cooler than Almost Everyone. HOWEVER. The way the recycling plan works is, our trashcans in our office now only take recyclables. This has been defined, literally, as "almost anything that tears." (again with the helpy emails here). SO, not only does my closet not function, my trashcan cannot handle... trash. This job is forcing me to change my basic worldview here, people.)

Example Two: Parking Garage Stupid

So, you may think that with my closet basically operating as "large box" and my trashcan opting for an alternative lifestyle, I have enough problems. You would be wrong. Because I have also had several (several!) incident involving Parking Garages.

Example 2.A. (also? Drafting too many contracts.) I Lost My Car.

Ok, honestly? Who loses their car? I, apparently, lose my car. I should not be given expensive, dangerous things, because I am not capable of dealing with them. So here is what happened. As anyone who has ever met me or read this knows, I am not so much a Driver. I hate driving. My general theme my first few weeks here was "I drived. I did not died." Driving causes all use of correct tense to leave my brain. So anyway, I know one route to work. And one day I was driving it, lalala, and I needed to turn right, and then the road was blocked because of the hurricane, and I had to keep driving, and I did not know where I was, and I panicked. And then I thought, in the midst of freaking the hell out, that this street looks familiar, I will turn down it! Yay! And then, OH SHIT, because I had turned the WRONG WAY down a one way street and was staring down FIVE LANES of oncoming traffic.


So, I did what anyone would do, and pulled directly into the nearest parking garage, which was not my garage, nor attached to my building, and parked there. Then hiked across downtown to my actual building, which I found because it is tall.

Know what I did not do? Write down, take note of, or in any way determine where I parked the car.

So 5 o'clock comes, and my boss is all, "let's have a welcome you happy hour!" and I think this is great, and then I start walking, and realize I have no idea where in the Hell my car is. And I am missing the party, that is being thrown at the bar by my house, for me. AND I have forgotten my cell phone, so I can't call the Joker and yell at him. (Hi Honey!). I am in the middle of downtown Houston, which is not SMALL, people, and has approximately ninety billion parking garages, and all I remember about the place where my car is is that it was maybe "shiny".

So what did I do? Well, what would YOU do if you lost your car in this manner? ("but we would never..." "Shut up."). Whatever it is, it is probably not what I did, which is walk into a random building, go to the security desk, and ask a perfect stranger if they knew where I parked my car.

Yes. Yes I did.

Luckily, by talking through this with the nice, nice (so nice!) lady, I eventually figured out if I retraced the steps that I had taken while driving around lost, I should be able to figure out where I had taken the wrong turn, and find the nearest garage. It worked.

Attorney Citycat: No less stupid than Bureaucrat Citycat. Only less rhymey.

Example 2.B. Parking Garage Gnomes.

One night myself and my new friend, K (I am SO OUT of cute nicknames right now) went to a bar, near my house. And I generally walk to this bar and then have someone drive me home, because it is both 1. Close enough that driving and paying six dollars for parking is ridiculous, and 2. Far enough that late at night it is not safe to walk back alone. So K was driving me home, and we were going to her car, which was also Parked In A Wrong Garage. Because she had met a friend for drinks first, but failed to park in the garage he told her too park in, opting instead for one across the street. (See above re: Parking Garages, Number Of). So once we finally found the garage, after walking merrily right past in and continuing in this manner for several blocks, and then resorting to the GPS function in her Blackberry, even though it was ONE STREET and NO TURNS, we had a problem. Namely:

The garage closed at 8.

It was 11:30.

No one was there.

So now we are deeply screwed, because as I mentioned, not the safest area on earth, and the car is locked in the empty garage. We push the call button. We wait. We try to ignore the man who comes up to us telling us we are beautiful. We push the button. We call her friend, who we wake up, and who is not happy. We wait. And then... Then the garage door opens. Magically. No one is there still. But the door is open. And at least there are no scary men on the inside of the garage, so we went there. The door closed.

Now we have our second problem, because again, no one is there, and the "After Hours" exit is... Blocked. With cones.

Being delusional, and also having no real choice, we get the car and drive down to the exit area. Where K determines that she has lost her ticket.

So to sum up: Garage locked, and empty, no ticket. K is frantically tearing her purse apart and I am trying to figure out how to call the Joker and explain to him that I will not be coming home on account of being locked in a parking garage, (I also forgot my cell phone this night. Maybe it's a pattern), when... The door opens. Magically. Again. And we leave, having no ticket and having not in any way paid for parking.

This was exciting.

And weird, because seriously, WHAT THE HELL?? I have no explanation. Even now. Gnomes. That is the best I have.

Example 3: Everything Else.

Ok, this is getting excruciatingly long and I have a conference call in 19 minutes. But there is a long, long list, including things like:

- Falling down in public after lunch for no reason,
- Being on my THIRD computer in 10 weeks for work because I KILL THEM DEAD, and
- Purchasing Office for a Mac, being sent Office for a PC, because they don't SELL Office for Mac under the special I was using, despite it being a CHOICE.

Anyway, stay tuned for pictures, and more updates soon!