I know I am not supposed to tell you people much about The Place That Pays Me to Get Dressed in the Morning (I am stealing that phrase from either Stacy or Poppy; my apologies to both of you that I don't remember who wrote it). I fully understand that whole First Commandment / Cardinal Rule thing and all. But right now I am actually busy at that place for the first time in many, many months, and frankly, I don't remember how to handle that. I have been trying to figure out how I'm supposed to get all this work I have to do done in the time frame I have available to do it while still staying caught up on my emailing and blog-reading, and then I remembered: Oh yeah. I'm not supposed to email and blog-read when I have actual work to do. Whoops. That's how that goes. It's been so long, I actually sort of forgot.
Anyway, without giving out too many identifying details about the place that direct-deposits my paycheck, I will say that a big part of what I do is write materials that teach people how to use various software on their PC. While I do not actually mind this line of work, it is not often particularly creative or exciting, and it comes without a byline of any sort. As such, I try to amuse myself and stamp my signature by injecting personal tidbits where I can. Any screenshot requiring a date, for example, will feature my own birthday. Nearly all sample names in my documentation will be mixed-up versions of the people I know.
I am having trouble coming up with appropriate examples for my current project, however. I am attempting to write a class that will teach people how to create flow charts in a popular diagramming program, but I have no experience whatsoever from which to draw. I don't sit in meeting after meeting each day, talking about process improvements and TQM and Six Sigma and all of that. I've never actually created a flow chart, so I'm not exactly sure what one might include. In fact, to demonstrate my lack of credibility on this matter, let me show you what I came up with when I began to practice with the available tools...
Unfortunately, despite how much this particular diagram amuses me, I do try to maintain a modicum of professionalism in my work, and since I do not work for It's Just Lunch or Together Dating, I am pretty sure this example will not fly.
As long as I am writing things that the people who direct-deposit my paycheck would not appreciate, however, how about a somewhat delayed recap of that party I mentioned last week? Why would the people who pay me care what I do in my off-time, you might ask? Well, normally, I suspect, they wouldn't, but this past Saturday was our annual holiday party, and for the first time in nine-freaking-years, I actually neglected to go. I gave a perfectly reasonable and plausible excuse: "I have another party the same night," I said. What I did not tell them was that the party was at my own home, and that I scheduled it that night deliberately, as a means of avoiding the company party I did not want to attend. Call me crazy; call me not-a-team-player, but I decided it was actually better for my sanity and well-being to be among close friends and supportive kindred spirits that night than to dine ten feet from my ex-boyfriend and his new, near-teenaged girlfriend. Shocking, I know. "The Bigger Person," I am not.
Anyway, I had a lovely time at my own private gathering. As usual, we had way more food than was necessary, and I have been eating party snacks in lieu of proper meals pretty much consistently since Saturday afternoon. For lunch, I had the infamous Chris's dip, and tonight's dinner was cheese, crackers, hummus, and carrot sticks. (At least I incorporated vegetables this time, which is more than I can say for most meals not comprising party leftovers.) Also, I am mainlining seven-layer bars and will, apparently, continue to do so until they are gone. Or until my jeans no longer fit. Whichever might come first.
Aside from the food (and the liquor... we mustn't forget the liquor! Pomegranate martinis--Mmmm... Red wine--another Mmmm...), there were a few other highlights and memorable moments as well. We did not take The Magical Boy's suggestion and play Spin-the-Bottle, but we did have a fine White Elephant gift exchange, which resulted in one lucky lady taking home a copy of The Best Women's Erotica, a gift that I can only hope and assume will be put to good use. And speaking of The Magical Boy, he may actually be magical in some way, as he apparently needed to leave before 11:00 to avoid turning into a pumpkin at some late hour. He actually left before the world's cutest baby, and that was after an explosive Code Brown that required a two-man effort on cleanup duty. She's a trooper, that little Megan; I'll give her that for sure. In fact, the party didn't really start breaking up until someone turned the topic of conversation to born-again virgins and surgical hymen reconstruction. Because really, that's where all good parties (and some mediocre blog posts) end; is it not?