Archive for the ‘The Place Of Lawyerly Things’ Category

Emerging From The Ether

April 22, 2009

At the beginning of the month I left the Place of Lawyerly Things for a spiffy new job. I was lured to this Utopia Of The Legal World by an teensy weensy pay bump, an office with an actual window and the prospect of increased management experience. The trade off was relinquishing all vodka consumption personal time and returning to 70 hour work weeks where my only form of communication with the Outside World consists of handing cash to the Chinese delivery man and flirting with the police officer conducting a wellness check that my mother requested after I didn’t return her 23 “are you live?” voicemails. It’s been three weeks of nonstop work and I’d hoped to be semi-work settled by now. The reality is I’m nowhere near and my continuous neglect of the day-to-day aspects of life is catching up with me.

The minutia of daily existence has fallen so far off my radar that this morning I realized I had no clean underwear. Except I still have the remnants of my college “I don’t like to do laundry” panty stash. In a pinch, I can go 37 days without having to wash knickers, and that’s not including the Sexy Occasion undies I hold in reserve. So today, Webbernets, I am wearing black lace butt floss with pink bows strategically placed in locations that aren’t very conducive to long bouts of sitting. If any of my employees suddenly want to reenact the Inappropriate Office Sex Scene from Disclosure, I’m ready. In the meantime, I’m learning how to subtly pick a wedgie.

The laundry isn’t the only thing that needs some attention. On my way to retrieve the first of my 12 daily, life-sustaining Diet Cokes, I walked by the litter box. At first, I thought Bionic Kitty had finally succeeded in her quest to make her poop a weapon of mass destruction. Then I realized it’s been an unacceptable amount of time since I’ve changed the litter. So long, in fact, that it might qualify as pet abuse. The Litter Situation explains Bionic Kitty’s recent bad behavior spree. Last night, she pushed my cell phone into the toilet; on Monday, I caught her nuzzling my prized Kate Spade clutch in a manner suggesting it was her next meal; and anytime I leave my laptop exposed on a table top, she begins to attack it with the fervor of Napoleon pulling out all the stops at Waterloo. Anyway, when I discovered my Cat Neglect, I immediately opened new Fresh Step and put out an entire bag of cat treats to assuage Bionic’s malice my guilt. Hopefully I’ve bought my possessions a Temporary Bionic Harassment reprieve.

But the worst thing I’ve neglected has been the blog. Because really, it’s cheaper than therapy. Plus, the number of emails and comments I’ve gotten, checking up on me, has been entirely unexpected. Apparently, my Seven Loyal Readers worry if I fall too far off the grid. At first I though it was cyber love. Then Stella told me it actually is because people like to laugh at me and that pretty much returned my ego to normal proportions. Regardless, I’ll do my best to keep the blog quasi-updated despite overwhelming amonts of Lawyerly Work. I vow to be better about work/life balance. And I’m actually going out this weekend. Really, I miss vodka.

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The Courtesy Tampon Klepto

March 24, 2009

Many moons ago, the Place of Lawyerly Things’ Building Services decided to
go all Tree Hugger and overnight there appeared eco-toilet paper, green-friendly hand soap and courtesy tampons. But the feminine hygiene products weren’t really part of the save the planet initiative. Rather, there’d been repeated requests by a Lawyerly Colleague to have a stash of feminine products available in case of Girly Emergency. She argued that management already provided static cling guard, hairspray, a curling iron and floral-infused lotion in the loungey areas outside the restrooms; tampons were a natural addition to the amenities. After Lawyerly Colleague waged an email campaign as strategic and aggressive as the invasion of Normandy, building services relented and The Ladies got tampons.

The availability of free tampons hardly blipped my radar. Instead of the generic, one-size-fits-all versions that were now available in the bathroom, I continued to be a self-supplier, opting to take advantage of the flow-customization possibilities found within a Tampax variety pack. The Place of Lawyerly Things’ selection came from the Costco of the Building Management World and it struck me as ill-advised to stick a knock-off into my mee maw. After all, those applicators are rough cut. But apparently, Lawyerly Colleague loved the free tampons. In fact, she was such a proponent of the complimentary feminine hygiene products, she asked her admin to appropriate some. Lawyerly Colleague’s intention was have her admin grab a bunch, take them home and stock her bathroom via the freebies. The admin understandably declined to become a tampon klepto, so Lawyerly Colleague turned to her back-up secretary, Wonder Admin.

Lawyerly Colleague (thrusting a brown lunch bag towards Wonder Admin): You can see the Ladies’ Room from your desk. When the janitorial staff restocks the tampons, I want you to fill this up and bring it to me. I need it no later than the 13th.

Wonder Admin (flabbergasted): Uh?

And so Wonder Admin acquired a new job duty. Each month, Lawyerly Colleague would provide a discrete container and Wonder Admin would grudgingly stockpile. She pilfered such large quantities that Lawyerly Colleague began to prepare for a Tampon Apocalypse. Twelve cycles worth were stored in her desk; she put a reserve in her car; and her filing cabinet had such a large hoard that a first-time ovulater would be supplied until menopause. This continued until the fateful day Lawyerly Colleague handed Wonder Admin two sacks to fill. Instead of monitoring the comings and goings of the janitorial staff, Wonder Admin complained to the person she was actually assigned to support and therefore actually responsible to: me.

Wonder Admin (in her Martyr Voice): I refuse to do this anymore. It’s gotta qualify as theft and she can’t make me engage in misdemeanor behavior, right?

Me (having zero idea what she was talking about): Uh?

And that’s when the story came out: Lawyerly Colleague’s Kotex Campaign, her demand that Wonder Admin stock her with contraband tampons, and that Lawyerly Colleague’s tween daughter had recently become A Woman and now needed her own feminine hygiene pipeline. Instead of tampons, Wonder Admin had been told to pillage the courtesy sanitary napkins and that demand had pushed her over the line from Grudging Participant to Oh-Hell-No Righteousness.

Wonder Admin (on a tirade of indignation): I have an MBA. I am a professional. My job description should not include looting industrial strength pads from the Women’s Bathroom. And if it has to, I want a raise.

Doing my best to champion my All Important, Life Saving Admin while navigating the Etiquette Minefield arising from Lawyerly Colleague’s position in the Lawyerly Pecking Order, I went to talk to the Secretarial Supervisor.

Me (having just recapped The Story Of The Office Bathroom Thievery in my best Lawyerly Manner): And finally, there are two less obvious but still significant reasons why this can’t continue. First, Lawyerly Colleague makes enough money to bail out both Dakotas and tampons were not in the bonus structure last time I checked.

Secretarial Supervisor (trying to suppress a chuckle): And the second?

Me (all Angry Feminist): It is shameful that in this day and age, with all our dry weave and ultra-thin technology, a 12-year-old girl is being forced to wear a waddle-inducing pad because her mom is the Tampon Scrooge.

And Wonder Admin never had to steal a courtesy tampon again.

The Apparent Downside Of Going Green

February 13, 2009

(Two Days Ago)

Wonder Admin (all Declaratory): I think something’s wrong with my mee maw.

Me (mentally reviewing every interaction I’ve had with Wonder Admin, attempting to pinpoint when our relationship elevated to the type where personal gynecological issues can be discussed): *shocked silent*

Still Me (now struggling to find words that express concern yet remain within the bounds of Workplace Appropriate): Oh?

Wonder Admin (surpassing Over-Share): Yeah, it’s itchy. And every time I use the facilities, it feels like fire ants are spawning inside of me. It’s all very Aliens: The Mee Maw Version.

Me (praying I don’t have to morph into a Ninth Grade Health Teacher and explain about STDs, proper condom usage, and the drawbacks of random bar hookups to my 45-year-old secretary): Have you considered going to the gyno?

Wonder Admin (giving me her Extreme Exasperation Look and I instantly know my weekly filing won’t be done in retaliation for asking such an obvious question): Of course I have. I just wanted to see if this problem was specific to my mee maw or if it was more general in nature.

Me (mumbling, as Wonder Admin huffs out of my office): When did it become anatomically acceptable to refer to it as a mee maw?

(45 Minutes After That)

Wonder Admin (in a tone conveying that she has again established her superiority): I’ve done a verbal survey and every other woman on this floor has developed mee maw issues. Well, except you. You’re the lone holdout when it comes to providing that sort of information.

Me (wondering when mass over-sharing became de rigueur): Are you implying something is wrong with me simply because I am not burny and scratchy? Because I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be status quo in the girly department.

Wonder Admin (not about to concede): I’m just saying you’re outside the floor’s mee maw norm. Think about that.

(An Hour Ago, When Wonder Admin Returned From The Gyno)

Wonder Admin (feeling it necessary to give me a Gynecological Update): Apparently, I’m allergic to our new environmentally-friendly toilet paper. I knew going Green was bad news. First it’s that shame-on-you email signature about unnecessary printing, then it’s the baristas at Starbucks making me feel guilty for not having a reusable cup, and now my mee maw is inflamed? This is me, officially Anti-Green. What’s opposite green on the color wheel? Because that’s what I am.

Me (as Wonder Admin flounces out, intent on a Mission Of Fury): Sucks to be Building Services right now…

(Very Recently Appeared In My Email)

To: everyfemaleemployee@ourlitigatorsarebetterthanyourlitigators.com

From: buildingservices@propertymanagementbehemoth.com

Subject: The lavatory toilet tissue

Dear Madame:

It has been brought to our attention that the building’s environmentally-friendly toilet tissue is causing an unpleasant bodily reaction amongst some of the building’s female population. We were previously unaware of this and are striving to correct the situation as soon as possible. Should you immediately require alternative tissue, please feel free to purchase a suitable toilet-safe product, retain your receipt and we will happily reimburse you. Please remember that paper hand towels are not suitable for toilet use.

Yours Respectfully,

Building Services

(As I Walked By Wonder Admin’s Desk)

Me (admiring): I see you work fast.

Wonder Admin (pointing to the wall behind her head, where there’s a spiffy new hand written sign):

Yes, This Is Where I Work.

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