Workplace Cleanliness (Or lack thereof)


This is by far the most graphic, disgusting post I’ve ever written, but I’ve just GOT to get this off my chest.  

Why do we have to hang signs in our workplace break rooms that read:  “I am a recycling bin; not a trash can.”  “We’ve done a great job keeping the gnats away.  Please dispose of food properly.”   “Your mama doesn’t work here.  Please clean up after yourself.”

I’ll tell you why — Because someone got fed up.  People don’t like gnat distractions in general, much less while they’re concentrating on work and they also don’t like having their microwaved lunch taste of kimchee because the person before them failed to clean up their splatter.  

Your brain has conjured up an image of a man right now hasn’t it? 

Men shouldn’t take all the blame for being the designated slobs of the two sexes.  Lord knows women can be quite disgusting!  And while I can understand a nasty BAR bathroom, I don’t understand a nasty Fortune 500 company bathroom.  Who doesn’t take the time to properly dispose of their hand towel?  It’s a giant garbage can with a rather large opening just a reach away from the sink!  And if you have bad aim?  Bend down, pick it up, and try again!  And how can one pee on the seat of a toilet in a well-lit stall just steps away from where they work 9 hours a day?  I just don’t get it.  

So what drove me to this post?  What sent me running to the blogosphere to send out rhetorical questions into the void?  I’ll tell you what it was.  It was vomit.  Yep.  In the women’s restroom.  Of a Fortune 500 company.  No attempts at a clean-up.  Just…there.

Lucky me, I came eye to eye with the culprit shortly thereafter.  After looking down my nose at her I asked, “Are you pregnant?”  She looked at me, kinda puzzled like, “No?  But my Mama works here.”

I think it’s time for me to call it a day.

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Homesick at Home

My eyes, hot with the tears I’m holding back.  Throat thick.  Chest tight.  This tiny cottage all of the sudden feels large and empty.  There is no laughter-filled conversation, just the kind of silence that makes my ears ring.  I recognize this emotional place as somewhere I’ve been before and I remind myself it’s easier to leave than to be left behind.

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“Hats” from the Lost Tracks Album

**I was doing some cleaning here at Monkey Hill and came across this post that, until now, was previously unreleased.  The draft date is June 2010.**

Geez.  Read this, would’ya?  Something of which I scrawled on a scrap piece of paper about a year or so ago.  If you recall, I decided at the beginning of the year to pull to the side of the road of life and take a deep breath.  While I don’t have much to physically show for it, this little snippet is one of many that proves my decision has had a huge impact.

Who decided that “figuring it all out” has to take a lifetime?  Why do we hear of people figuring “it” out later in life?  What’s wrong with making an effort to figure “it” out earlier in life, allowing for more time to enjoy being comfortable in the life we make?

Choose a purpose in life and live by it.  Let’s try on the college hat…take it off…put it on the shelf.  Let’s try on the career hat…take it off…put it on the shelf.  Let’s try on the marriage hat…take it off…put it on the shelf.  At the end of it all, you stand back and look at a bunch of hats!   What’s it all for?

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve had time to reflect on a few things and this reflection led me to that scrap piece of paper.  A few months ago, I wrote this in response:

I ought not be so hard on myself.  Who cares that my shelf contains a multitude of hats?  Ain’t that what life’s about?  Trying on all types of hats, hanging on to those that feel most comfortable.  To experience new things, learn new things, even suffer through things all for the sake of coming out on the other side with fresh perspectives by which to…dare I say, try on new hats!  Hopefully there will come a day when I can look at my shelf of hats and be proud for having the balls to wear them in the first place.  Because let’s face it, some people just don’t look that good in a hat.

I realized I was being too hard on myself when it comes to “hats”.  But then it hit me:  It’s the hats, or rather, life experiences that make up who we are as people.  “Life is what happens while your busy making other plans.” That’s a John Lennon quote according to Google.  While I think that is true, I am going to wear this particular hat for a while:  “Enjoy today because you might get hit by a bus tomorrow.”  And you can quote me on that.


Filed under Life, Memories, Suddenly Sabbatical, The Other Chapter

Storm Surge of Memories

Thanks NASA

Flashback Post – 2/16/2010

I’ve often said there is one positive side to a hurricane.  It’s one of the few times when everyone works together to achieve a common goal.  Whether in preparation for the storm, or post-storm clean up, people that have lived on the same street for years meet for the first time to offer assistance in hanging plywood over windows.  Strangers share precious resources like ice and gasoline.  There’s a collective sense of pride in the community.

I dusted off this excerpt in an attempt to transform the thoughts in my head into a coherent post about the hurricane my friends and family are facing back home.  Only, my thoughts aren’t entirely about Isaac, more so;  Katrina.  Or rather the effects of:

  • AE taking on 5 ft of water in her childhood home
  • DJ and the Southern Living home wiped clean from the slab.  Piano in the bayou, king sized bed across the interstate, a porcelain platter unscathed
  • AH and the mold that began growing immediately rendering her daddy’s home uninhabitable
  • BD and his bag of savings – and I’m not talking about money.
  • DD; presumably drowned
  • J the sushi chef; I’m afraid to ask

This storm that is Isaac will by no means be a catastrophe.  The real catastrophe lies in the fact that this storm is making landfall on the anniversary of Katrina.  A quick internet search on the current status of the situation returned this editorial from (the website for the newspaper in New Orleans)*:

…despite that relative weakness, Isaac’s forecasted landfall during a week (of which) we’ll be raw with Katrina memories was another emotional wallop we would have preferred to live without.

I live in a part of the country where the mention of Hurricane Katrina conjures up images of people standing on rooftops waving for help while Help was playing golf.  And while that image represents a large part of the story that is Hurricane Katrina, it’s not the whole story.   To me Katrina represents something very personal.  Not because of my own personal story (One week without power and a few downed tree limbs ain’t a big deal) but for the people mentioned above whose lives changed forever because of Her.  To me these people represent the power of the human spirit.  The understanding that we have to mourn our losses.  The fortitude, that is courage in the face of adversity, to move on.  And the pride to do it all the better the next time around.

While it’s not fair Mother Nature chose THIS anniversary week to deliver another hurricane, I am certain the people mentioned above are sitting back and saying, “Heh…80mph winds.  Is that ALL you’ve got?”

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Any Given Tuesday

I drove my 20 minutes in to work today in complete silence.  Without the distractions of talk radio, I made a few observations:

The kid sitting by himself on the school bus.  I wonder if he’s nervous about a quiz?  A girl?  I wonder if his parent’s fought last night?  Is he afraid someone is going to beat him up and take his snack?  Again.  Maybe he’s thinking about the design plan for the next super-computer, or the DNA make-up of some creature found only in the Amazon.  Maybe he’s thinking of nothing at all.

It’s cool that we Share the Road with bicyclists, but aren’t they all sweaty by the time they peddle in to work?  He must be a personal trainer.  Or a heavy equipment operator.  Or he just doesn’t care that he’s all sweaty by the time he makes his way to his cubicle.

I’m glad to see they’re making progress on the Technical College that’s been under construction for 2+ years.  I’m pretty sure there’s a reason they chose the 3 acres that sit directly across from the convenient store that has been “serving ice cold Bud products for over 50 years” and offers 3 packs of Kools at a discount.

Two women are walking into their respective places of employment.  The look on the face of the woman wearing the mandatory fast food cap and faded polo shirt is quite different than that of the woman carrying a Thermos of coffee and a bagged lunch.  Thank you Mama and Daddy.

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I Got a Haircut

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Dear Supervisor –

I apologize for being late this morning.  I was well on my way to the office when, at a stop light I spotted a Chevrolet Cavalier with a refrigerator strapped to its roof.  I, thinking it odd, did what any curious person would do; I followed it so I could snap a picture.

Feel free to dock my pay as I consider the photo worth the money.

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