Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Overheard in the Office

"If I wasn't me, I'd be intimidated by you."

A Letter to the Sock Monster

Dear Sock Monster:

I write this letter, appealing to your compassionate side. I am sure an all-powerful being like yourself must have a compassionate side, given that you have no need to prove your superiority against mortal beings such as ourselves.

I believe I have made all requisite sacrifices. My favorite pink polka-dotted sock from 1986. That argyle in the early 90's that matched my sweater perfectly. Several of my favorite textured trouser socks in the late 90's. My ski sock in 2004. Oh, and let's not forget the last 12 years of little tiny socks I have contributed along the way.

Which brings me to my appeal. I appreciate your need for sacrifice. Much like the sacrificial lamb offered up to God in days past, the unblemished partner of a pair of fresh socks is our obligation to your omnipresent greatness. Oh, sometimes you let us get a wear or two out of them before we sacrifice, but we sacrifice, nonetheless.

However, you have approached a level of ridiculousness that is reaching plague proportions. Case in point: My seven year old has only two white pair of socks out of the last six-pack we purchased . . . and all of the little black socks have disappeared into your smelly otherworld.

Fortunately, we are square into the lovely California summer months, and flip flops tend to be his choice in footwear. However, in a few months, the chill will come creeping back, and I, as a mother, will be obligated to force him to wear socks again.

I will be purchasing replacement socks in the near future. I have given up hope on you ever returning the mate to one of my favorite pair of Adidas ankle socks and, as such, plan to sacrifice the remaining sock, pristine as it may be. In return, I ask that you spare Son #2's new socks, at least until he has the chance to wear some permanent stains and/or holes in the bottoms.

Respectfully and humbly yours,

The Wife

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reward in the New Economy

"Last time I checked, 'Thank You' was still free."

I used it in one of my weekly "messages to the people" at work.

We're besieged by cost cutting/cost containment efforts on a weekly, almost daily basis - the "discretionary 401k match", off-shoring, travel restrictions, and our forced move to "self-help" in the IT and HR space. While it's instilled a financial discipline that on some levels is healthy and good for the long term success of our organization, anecdotally, it tries the soul of even the most patient and optimistic people.

Was reminded of it again today, when HR asked me to share some success stories. To be honest, the most positive feedback I've gotten on anything we've done broadly in our organization was around my weekly messages. Surprisingly, while people like paychecks and bonuses and 401k's you can still incent them to work with the occasional verbal appreciation and encouragement.

Made me think about how many other things we could do, at work, or in life, that make other people happy, productive, and more likely to give you 110%, but that cost us nothing, except for a little time, energy, and attention to detail.

Like taking time to acknowledge someone's hard work. Smiling at the person in the checkout line across from you. Letting someone cut in front of you, in a line, or in traffic. Holding a door for someone. Telling an anonymous stranger in the dressing room that the dress they've chosen looks great on them.

Oh, and saying "thank you." Because the last time I checked, that was still free.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, June 28, 2010

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm . . .

I want to be creative. I want to blog about life. But then the intertubes suck me in with something like this . . .

Awkward Family Pet Photos

WARNING: Do not view this link if you are easily sucked into the disbelief around humanity in general. It's not quite as absurdly and disturbingly captivating in that "5 car accident with potential decapitation" way, but it clearly rivals "People of Walmart".

Not like I don't have photos that I look at, 20 years later, and think "what was I thinking." And I even have one picture when I'd done my hair really wavy and I took at picture with my springer spaniel and we looked remarkably similar. However, I was 17, and it was a candid shot . . . these people actually took time to pose and paid a professional to photograph them and their pets.

For those of you who choose to review, here is my unfettered commentary:
  • Photo 1 of 12 - This guy might be attractive. But I can't tell with that horrendous hair and the scary black cat. And who is he looking at? His mom/witch?
  • Photo 2 of 12 - So many things individually wrong with this. A baby AND a monkey? The beret? The porn-stache? But together? This man has to be in a database somewhere . . .
  • Photo 3 of 12 - Am I more nervous about how excited this guy looks? Or how excited his dogs look to be in the picture with him?
  • Photo 4 of 12 - Our love is only complete with Mr. Pig. In his favorite yellow t-shirt.
  • Photo 5 of 12 - "No Mom, I don't want one of those stupid senior pictures with a guitar, or standing by the fence - those look so posed. I want something more natural - just me and Mr. Feathers. Oh, and can I borrow your lip tint? I don't want to look washed out."
  • Photo 6 of 12 - "We're so lucky to have this last picture - right before Mr. Slithers had a seizure and constricted little Johnny by accident."
  • Photo 7 of 12 - "Great idea, Mom - I think this is gonna look great on I especially like the contrast with the suit and the nature background. And the background trees really bring out the yellow in Patches feathers."
  • Photo 8 of 12 - "Rub him under his chin, kids - kitties love when you rub under their chins. Just stay away from the teeth."
  • Photo 9 of 12 - As if a "pocket kitty" is just slightly more cool than a pocket protector.
  • Photo 10 of 12 - Missy swore one day when she moved away from home, she'd have all her professional photos done with a black pit bull.
  • Photo 11 of 12 - And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And he will be called Fido, the son of God. I mean, Dog.
  • Photo 12 of 12 - Not sure if its scarier that she dyed her poodle blue, or the tips of her own hair black. Or consciously chose the background color.

Hah! Made you look.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

PS After writing my own commentary, I noted the pictures had captions. I'm publishing anyway.