Category Archives: The Office

The Game

Tomorrow evening, I won’t be able to be here at home enjoying myself in quiet calm.  Instead, I’ll be playing The Game.  We all have to play The Game at various times.  In my case, I have to go candlepin bowling after work with co-workers.  Other times, we have to buy candy, popcorn, or Girl Scout cookies.  Other times, we have to chip in to buy gifts for bosses and VPs, even though they make much, much more than we do and they wouldn’t think to ever buy us anything.  And if they do, they use the company credit card. 

I used to be pretty good at avoiding The Game.  The same boss that arranged for this second annual bowling night (if you can call candlepin bowling) also organized monthly summer cookouts in the courtyard of our office park over the last few years.  There were many, many things that I would have rather been doing than sitting around with these Dilbert rejects, so over a four- or five-year period, I was able to hone my craft in dodging The Game.  The very first time, a Friday, was a work of art.  Captain Larby and Mrs. Larby were coming into town for the weekend, so I high-tailed it out of the office on that Friday at 5pm, telling my boss that I had to leave because I had “friends coming in from out of town.”  Yes, they were, but not until the next day.  I didn’t lie.  I just used some creative chronology to my advantage.

Several other dodges entailed invoking The Costanza Method.  See, the original cookouts began close to 5pm, but later on, they started around 3pm.  This made it more difficult on me, but if I acted stressed out and frustrated while shuffling papers and typing away at my desk, I could convince everyone that I was busy and couldn’t break away for any longer than it took to get a burger and some potato salad.  On still another dodge – the most satisfying – I moved my car to an unseen part of the parking lot at lunchtime.  When the cookout began a couple of hours later, everyone was out in the courtyard, eating, drinking, and talking.  Two co-workers and I bolted undetected out of a side door to our obstructed cars and were home free. 

Now, we’re in a new office without a courtyard, so cookout avoidance is a game of the past.  Thank goodness.  But there are new Games and my mighty deflection techniques aren’t infallible.  This bowling night was initially scheduled for a few weeks ago.  I declined the invitation, citing major (and not at all faked) allergies; it was truly a message from God that He was trying to help me out.  But my boss didn’t blink.  I’m not saying she rescheduled because of me, but she set up a new night and a chief, if unwritten, rule is that you can’t dodge the same event twice in a row.  Like the 2007 Christmas party, for example…but that’s a story for another time.

Disney

As I’m sure you can imagine, Disneyland was amazing… I opted not to fly with the rest of my company, but instead take a limo down with 8 other co-workers and do some wine tasting. We didn’t get there until 11p, but that’s fine.. my designated flight was delayed several hours and I would have arrived at the same time. Bonus points.

During the day, there were 5-10 minute lines for nearly every ride.. and once we took over the park, well, that was utterly amazing. Our own private fireworks display, the speakers on main street blaring music from the DJ Booth in front of the Castle, and oh yeah.. for a lot of the rides (Space Mountain, for example) you could just go again, if you wanted.. nobody was there!

Amazing. It’s one of those experiences that are a once-in-a-lifetime thing.. Being able to frolick and romp around Disney with only a few people here or there.

Here’s a pic of my friends Katie, Pluto, Haley, and I:

I’m Going to Disneyland!

Tom Brady may not be headed to the Mickey Mouses’s West Coast abode, but I sure am. As a replacement to the annual Ski Trip that my company hosts up in Lake Tahoe, the West Coast Trip for this year has been to take over Disney. That’s right… a full day at the Park, plus an exclusive 5 hour window (8p – 1a) during which my company has exclusive access to the park, rides and more.

This seems like the perfect thing to take my mind off the near-perfect season.

Off to LA

I’m heading out to Los Angeles this morning on Business, to return tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the trip, as it’s my first time to the City of Angels. Our client’s office is actually located in Beverly Hills, so naturally we needed to get a hotel nearby. It’s not the Beverly Wilshire or anything, but still… I’m sure it’s nice.

While I’m 99.9% sure that LA is not the town for me, it’s still going to be nice to check it out. It’s too bad the trip wasn’t a few weeks back, when I could’ve briefly extended my stay met up with The Captain… Oh well.

Dodgeball on Trampolines

Who knew? Who ever thought of this is an absolute genius. This was our recent off-site for our department . And let me just say, it’s as fun as it looks.

There are three rooms — a giant trampoline room, a trampoline room setup as a dodgeball court, and a trampoline room with a giant pool of foam squares that you dive into.

Having this place all to ourselves, with 150 or so co-workers was beyond entertaining. Needless to say there were a number of injuries (sprained ankles, skinned knees & elbows, etc.). Nobody really escaped unscathed. If you ask anyone, though — it was worth it.

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M.A.S.K.

At Google, we have a number of meetings or training sessions where you’re required to introduce yourself. Besides the usual "name, department & start date" there’s always a unique question that is asked. "What is your favorite meal?","What is your Favorite Smell?","What was your last concert that you went to", etc.

This past week in a training, the question was "What was your favorite childhood cartoon." And you had the usual answers: He-Man, Transformers, Smurfs, some of the younger employees even said Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Towards the end, people were struggling to come up with unique answers.. it was a fun exercise, regardless.

I was going to say "M.A.S.K." however, when I asked a few of my neighbors, they’d never heard of it. I found the intro on YouTube and wanted to share.. Does anyone else remember this show, or am I crazy?

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Google named #1

How cool is this? I work for Fortune’s #1 Company to Work For in 2006. I can even be seen in this pic See that clump of yellow shirts in the upper-right-ish area of the group.. I’m one of the people in yellow. There’s some great pieces and galleries in the article. I recommend taking the Google Quiz. I hate to admit that even I got one wrong. The “Why Google is #1” video is pretty cool too!

Time to run.. my breakfast is calling… How Exciting!

Odd Jobs

Quite a while back, I saw an interesting post by Pixelinpink citing random facts about herself and then asking her friends to guess which ones were inaccurate. I was thinking about this last night, realized that I’ve done a lot jobs over the course of my career. Can you find the five jobs that I’ve never actually done during my lifetime (family members are excluded):

  • Radio Show Host
  • Dishwasher
  • Pizza Delivery
  • Bicycle Mechanic
  • Advertising Associate
  • Editor
  • Wedding Invitiation Designer
  • Telemarketing
  • Web Developer
  • Computer Repair
  • Toilet Salesman
  • Marketing Research
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Wine Sales

Green indicates a correct answer, while red indicates an incorrect guess.