The story about the chip

Home Forums Coffee Bar The story about the chip

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • #356

    So, guys I gotta tell you this story that happened to me a few months
    ago… I got up one morning with bad breath so the first thing I did was
    brush my teeth. I usually don't bruth my teeth until after I had coffee
    but my breath was so bad I couldn't even breathe. So as I was brushing
    my teeth, I noticed that a chip somehow broke off of the toilet seat.
    I've never seen it before, and I last used it last night, so it must've
    happened overnight. How does something like that happen? I didn't have
    to go, so I didn't care at the time. So, after brushing my teeth I went
    to the coffee pot, took out the old filter, put a new one in, put the
    coffee grinds in, put the water in, and then I turned it on.

    went out to get the paper. The front page headline was about some family
    killing that occurred yesterday. How could someone kill an entire
    family, including the pets? What a sicko. By the time I was in the
    business section my coffee was done so I poured myself a cup. By the
    time I was finished with my second cup I realized I had to leave now to
    go to work. It's not like work would fire me on the spot if I were late,
    but I still like to come 5 minutes before 9 just because that's the way
    I am. On my way to work I hit this huge pothole. I hope that didn't do
    anything to my tires or suspension or anything. If I hear the slightest
    clink in my car the first thing I'm doing is taking it to the shop. I'm
    anal that way.

    When I came into the office, I saw that the office
    receptionist was different. Apparently the receptionist was sick so we
    had this substitute. I wonder where we got this substitute? Where do
    they come from? I sat at my desk and checked my email. One was a memo to
    everyone reminding them to throw out their old food from the
    refrigerator. I think they send that memo like 3 times a month…”

    Bob from accounting comes into my office and asks, 'Where are those
    timesheets? I need to use them for receivables. You're a contractor, you
    know.' I assured him I'll bring it to him as soon as possible. Just
    after Bob leaves, Cindy comes in. “Hey, dude, you've got to see this
    video on YouTube' she said. I'm like, 'Cindy, I've got a lot of work to
    do, we're not paid to watch videos on YouTube and share them with our
    colleagues.” She looked at me like I had a rod shoved up my butt but the
    fact is if I did get up and watch it, I'd end up making that into a
    habit. I'm prone to habit, so whenever anyone gives me any sort of
    temptation, even if it's a minor 2 minute distraction, I lose focus for
    the rest of the day, especially if it's early in the day.

    finished checking my email. I like to keep all my emails regardless of
    how trivial they are. I didn't even delete the refrigerator memo. Even
    if I know I'm probably never going to read that email again, and it will
    just take up space in my hard drive, I still just feel like keeping
    this kind of stuff. Sure, I might archive really old emails, but even
    then, I keep the archives somewhere. I opened Excel and continued with
    my task I couldn't complete yesterday. I can't discuss the contents of
    the file because of my non-disclosure, but it basically just provides
    some statistics on our marketing campaigns. You know, like broad
    demographics; which regions a campaign really seem to respond to a
    particular ad and so forth. Our products are sold throughout the US, and
    we track about 60 regions or “markets” as they call them. Obviously
    some markets, like in the urban north east, will have vastly different
    statistics than the more rural rocky mountain areas, and people's
    behaviors depend on the region, too. For example, in a more rural
    region, you'll find that people are more willing to travel longer
    distances to shop than people in urban regions. This is most likely due
    to the less traffic encountered in the rural areas, plus, of course, you
    really don't have much choice anyway. If you're in the middle of
    nowhere, you have to go several miles to the nearest town to get

    We don't really track stuff like gender, race, age, or
    those other things that make people who they are. We are even more broad
    than that. It's simply which parts of the country are more responsive
    to our campaigns than others.

    You'd be surprised at how much some
    campaigns differ from others depending on the region. Since we sell
    beach and pool supplies, our campaigns obviously are different in the
    southern regions than in the northern regions. And even then, you have
    to account for stuff like how far away your audience is from the ocean,
    whether there's a large lake nearby, and stuff like that. So, we'll
    often focus on pool stuff for the midwest regions, while we'll focus on
    both beach and pool stuff near the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Plus, in
    the north, we don't run any ads in the winter, except maybe special
    stuff around the holidays.

    So, anyway, I digress. I finished my
    task, which took a good 3 hours or so. I busted the deadline a little,
    but I didn't care. At that point I was hungry, and it was just about
    time for lunch. I did the old peak above the cubicle thing to see if
    there's anyone gathered around with the same thing in mind. Nobody was
    there, so I went to my neighboring cubicle where Josh was. “Hey, Josh,
    when are you thinking about getting lunch?” I asked him. He seemed to
    ignore me for a few seconds before turning around. “Give me like five
    minutes,” he finally answered. I said, “Alright, just see me when you're
    ready.” I return to my cubicle, and I just realized something.

    forgot about those timesheets Bob asked for in the morning. I know he
    was already expecting them from this time yesterday, and he's real picky
    about things like this. I gulped as I hurried through my computer
    looking for the word template. Yes, I know we should use excel to make
    timesheets or, even better, use some kind of web portal that records
    this stuff for HR. I had two weeks of work to report, and the last 5
    days I had in my head. Erg, I just HATE it when I have to think back and
    recall what exactly I did those last few days, which breaks I took,
    etc… I know what you're all thinking, “You should just update it every
    day,” but I keep forgetting at the end of the day since my heart's set
    on going home.

    While I was documenting all my time, Josh comes up
    and says, “Alright, I'm ready. Where should we go?” I said, “Sorry,
    right now you'll have to give ME 5 minutes.” he said, “What, did you
    forget your timesheet again?” He wasn't really ridiculing me or was
    condenscending. He said it in a friendly sort of way, even empathetic.
    He's a full timer, so he doesn't have to do this crap, but he had worked
    in other places where they expected you to keep track of time and hand
    in timesheets regularly, so he understands my pain.

    I finally
    finished the timesheet, printed it out, and said, “Let's go.” On our way
    out, I slipped the printed timesheet into Bob's inbox, and hoped Bob
    wouldn't yell at me again for handing it in late. I would have handed it
    in in-person to make sure he got it asap, but he wasn't in his office
    and I was too hungry to hunt him down.

    In the parking lot, Josh
    said, “You got your keys in hand, walking with a purpose, but you
    haven't told me where you wanted to go yet.” I answered, “Oh, right…
    well, I'm in the mood for Chinese today. Want to go to Dynasty Kitchen?”
    Josh said, “Alright, sounds good to me.”

    On our way there, this
    idiot cuts me off. I gave him a little honk. Josh seemed more agitated
    about it than me. “Honestly, it's a wonder everyone in this state hasn't
    been killed by some car accident or another,” Josh said angrily. I
    said, “I just don't let it bother me. He needed a honk to let him know
    he's an idiot, but I didn't get hit, so what's the point in raising your
    blood pressure over it?” Josh didn't answer.

    We got to Dynasty
    Kitchen, about a mile away from the office. We sit down at a window
    seat, and Josh says, “So, have you got anything lined up after this
    contract expires?” Josh and I have known eachother since before the
    contract; in fact he helped me get a foot in the door to get the job.
    “Well, I haven't really been looking quite yet. I've still got over a
    month, although I guess I should look forward to the next gig,
    especially in this economy.” Josh nodded. “There's a possibility,
    actually, that our company has another contract job lined up, and it
    might be in your best interest to take it. Afterall, I bet they'd
    consider it a plus that you're now more familiar with their business
    than someone more green. Besides the timesheet issues, you're a good fit
    in this company.”

    “Well, I do like this place.” Considering the
    size of the company, it's still got sort of a small business feel to it.
    It's got its share of Office Space-like stuff. There's a director,
    Paul, who looks and acts just like Bill Lumbergh but fortunately he's in
    another department so I don't have to deal with him as much. I just see
    him and think, “Oh, man, he's just like that guy in Office Space.”
    There's another woman who looks like that big receptionist. We don't
    really have a Milton, though. “Same kind of stuff?” I asked.

    “Yeah, pretty much… just in a different department. You'd be working for Paul.” well, so much for not having him as my boss.

    food came and we started munching down. What's funny about Chinese
    restaurants is you can never tell the good ones from the bad ones just
    by looking at them. Sometimes you'll come across one that's very well
    decorated, has a lot of authentic-looking ornaments and expensive
    looking food, but it turns out to be as crappy as food court food, and
    then there's one like this one that's a hole in the wall, is poorly lit,
    has a strange odor, yet the food is amazing. I guess the same can be
    said about pizza places, though.

    We split the bill, and then
    started back to the office. I wasn't looking forward to returning to my
    cubicle to get the next big task done, but, hey, it's my job.

    we returned, I thought in my head about getting my timesheet updated
    again, since I had gone to lunch, but I was like, “Nah…” Will I ever
    learn? lol

    The next task was to take the Excel sheet I just
    composed and transform it into map data. We use ArcIMS to do it, which
    is a real pain in the arse. The developers of this piece of software
    could really use some bitch slapping. I mean, it was painful enough to
    install it. Then I had to figure out which piece of the suite went with
    what function. It's easy with other suites like Micorosoft Office, where
    you have Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc… those are all
    well-defined pieces of functionality that are, for the most part,
    independent of eachother. In ArcIMS, though, every single product in the
    suite is intertwined with the other, and it's really hard to figure out
    one from the other.

    I took each region on the Excel sheet and
    laid it out on the map. They're pretty particular about the shape of the
    regions, and I have to make it just right. The north east is the most
    difficult because of the density of the regions. Boston, Providence,
    Hartford, New York, and Philadelphia are each regions and they are
    pretty small. For the previous report I got in trouble because the
    division between Providence and Boston was too far south, and for this
    one I have to make sure the Providence region extends through
    southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut. Hartford similarly
    has to extend up into western Massachusetts, but it also has to make way
    for Albany, which also shares part of western Mass. New York City goes
    into western Connecticut, but Hartford is also in that area. It's all a
    big mess and the client is very particular.

    Next, I had to color
    each region based on sales per capita. Obviously, 500,000 sales in New
    York City does not equal 500,000 sales in Wyoming, so we adjust it based
    on population. Again, I can't go into details about the actual data,
    but I can tell you that some things are a bit counterintuitive. It took
    me a good several hours to complete the map, and by that time it was
    time to go home.

    I drove back home, although first I had to get
    some food supplies at the supermarket. I carefully parked in the lot,
    walked in, and the first thing I see is… GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! Oh, how I
    love them! I ordered a whole bunch of cookies. Thin mints are my
    favorites, although the shortbread is good, too. I go through them
    within a week, though. I wish they sold them year-round. Grasshoppers
    are a lot like the thin mints, of course, but there's something about
    the thin mints that is better. Maybe it's just because they're only
    available between February and March.

    I keep my shopping list in
    my head. I knew I needed coffee and toilet paper. Although many will
    disagree, I hold both with equal importance. If I find myself lacking
    either at any time, I freak out. I also noticed I was almost out of
    toothpaste, so I grabbed a new tube of that as well. And eggs. I needed
    eggs. Milk was alright, though. I also got some dinner supplies. It's
    not like I'm a master chef, and I often go for the frozen dinners, but
    tonight I decided to cook myself some steak and potatoes.

    In the
    checkout line, I noticed the woman in front of me had some Basic 4
    cereal. I don't know why, but I love Basic 4, and I got hungry for that
    just looking at it, so I pulled myself out of line and got that. It took
    me just 45 seconds and when I got back, I saw that all the lines got
    longer all of a sudden. That's just my kind of luck. It's as if everyone
    in the store decided to finish their shopping all at once!

    When I
    was next in line I noticed the clerk was at least quick with the
    scanner. I can't stand the ones who kind of flutter around with it.
    Maybe it's unfair for me to say that, since they might be new employees
    or they might even be sick (although I'd hate it if I had all my food
    touched my someone with the flu). The clerk smiled at me as she does all
    customers, and asked for my card. These cards, by the way, are what
    keep me employed. Most of our demographic data comes from cards, where
    we can track who is buying what. It's for that reason I never have a
    card for, say, CVS or Walgreens because I really would rather not share
    information about what I buy there!

    I finally got out of the
    store, although I'm sure my ice cream is melted by now. When I got home,
    I put the eggs and other stuff in the refrigerator, put the cereal in
    the cupboard, and got out the toilet paper, and went into the bathroom
    to put it in. It was at that time I noticed why my toilet had that chip
    in the seat. Remember that? I now remember it was because the previous
    night I had lifted it to pee and when I finished, I kind of put the seat
    in such a position that it was going to eventually fall back onto the
    seat. Indeed that is what must've happened; the seat fell down, and
    cracked. Wouldn't you know it!  Grin

    So, that's the story of the broken toilet seat. I hope you enjoyed it.

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.