Long days and the deception of work

When my morning alarm goes off, I jump up with a start thinking that I’ve overslept because the sun’s shining so bright it’s like high noon outside. I stumble across to my cell phone at the other side of the room and whew, it’s only 6-ish. To those of us who’re constantly complaining that we don’t have enough hours in a day to get everything done, these unseasonably, incredibly long summer spring days are a dream come true.

Getting an early start knowing you have a full 15 hours of daylight ahead of you is a great feeling. While it’s technically not quite summer yet, Summer seems intent on elbowing Spring swiftly out of the way. And if our air-conditioning weren’t acting up so often, that great feeling might easily be a superlative. Except the darned thing keeps blowing hot air instead of cold.

So between toasty temperatures and cranky AC, we figured we really must do something about it. We did the next best thing: jump in the car and drive to San Francisco to escape the heat. Well, okay, the heat was one thing but our real excuse was the Memorial Day sales. Now if you’re a serious shopaholic, you don’t just stand there doing nothing when it’s raining discounts and promos out there.

Two productive days of retail therapy later, I’m happy to report we have a few, not many bagfuls of spoils to show for our hard work. Shopping is work? You’d better believe it! Do you know how many pairs of jeans I had to try on before I found my one true love? And don’t even get me started on the shoes. Sifting through rack after rack, shelf after shelf, hunting down your size, waiting in line for the fitting room clutching armfuls of clothes, yeah!

But it’s only when you get into the fitting room that’s when the real work (or workout, depending on how you look at it) begins. You’re doing countless squats trying on a pile of jeans and your ankle socks keep coming off with your jeans and you’re doing countless bends to get them back on. At some point, I hear someone saying, to heck with these socks, I’m leaving them off. But not me, I hate stepping on the cold, sandy floor and getting my bare feet dirty… so I keep on keeping on with the battle of the socks!

So yeah, it would seem, and I’m not even going to fault you for thinking, that it’s been all play and no work around here lol. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’ll know that around here, the term ‘work’ often takes on meanings that are worlds away from how others may view it.

Peace out… uttered with tongue in cheek.

Tigers in the woods

Tigers in the woods

This is one of those weekends that Hip2Dad isn’t playing the El Nino Open. I say, what a great decision! Better to be enjoying a day in the comfort of home than chasing golf balls all day in this oppressive heatwave.

That said, I have to admit that at one point in my working life, I too had a golf club standing in my office. Scattered across that corner of my room were golf balls, each bearing the initials of my beloved boss, carefully carved out in permanent marker.

At random times of the work day, you could find me behind closed doors whacking the living daylights out of said golf balls✌. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in violence any more than I believe them initials should be allowed to run amok in the workplace. But there were times when 5:00 pm was just too far away and I needed to de-stress pronto.

Speaking of which, I wonder why ‘coming home from the office to your kids’ isn’t listed anywhere as a stress reliever. For me, it wasn’t meditation or a vacation away from it all. It was my kids who kept me sane when work was a beech (oops, I’ve done it again, haven’t I? and this ain’t no Britney Spears song either!).

Back then, I did consider taking up golf. That was when Hip2bDad began telling me to stop calling golf clubs ‘golf sticks’. He introduced me to each golf club by name. Meet Dasher, Dancer and Prancer Putter, Driver and Iron! But that didn’t stop me from using a driver to putt. Duh!

And he showed me how to swing a golf club without killing anyone in the process. Good thing we never got to the real game where I had to drive the ball across the grass, I mean, green. Apparently someone drove a ball right smack into our K-friend’s head and he promptly fainted. See, it could happen even to experienced golfers. So don’t even try to imagine what I would’ve done!

Tigers in the woods

At some point, Hip2bDad began to think he saw potential Tigers in our three pre-teens. In fact, he was so sure he signed them all up for golf lessons. So began our suntanning sessions as I played doting golf mom! Soon we all began to look like roasted potatoes even as our sunblock investments went shooting through the roof.

Golf fashion quickly dominated our weekend lives. “Hey, why are you wearing that? Where’s your polo shirt?” our resident golf fashion police could be heard hollering up the stairs. “Belts please! Hey, hey, don’t forget to tuck in your shirt!” No offense but who even wears belts any more unless they’ve been living in the woods since World War 2?! You have no idea how much it pained me to see my poor kids dressed up like fusty old men with golf sticks!!

Never could understand golf fashion. Which is why it’s probably a good thing I never signed up for lessons myself. One look at Mrs K-friend in long-sleeved polo shirts and covering herself 머리부터 발끝까지 (from head to toe) in sun-protective garb and I was like, no no no, I ain’t wearing no hasmat suit!! There’s just no way!

To top it off, they even have golf fashion police patrolling the course in case you decide to get all New York Fashion Week-like. My kids got told off a few times but they just shrugged and carried on. Go kids!! Honestly, who the heck cares? It’s only a game! Or a work stress reliever, if you’re like me?

Too big

The other day, I was rummaging through my closet full of old business suits looking for something that Raine could wear to her public speaking class. Back when I was a slave at Corporate Tower, I used to be 1.5 times the size that I am now.

My work days revolved mostly around meetings. I was juggling multiple projects and sitting on multiple steering committees, all of which involved long meetings and sometimes even web conferencing from ActConferencing.com with business associates in other parts of the world.

Oftentimes, our meetings would spill into lunch. Big heavy lunches at classy restaurants. At least they gave us something to look forward to after hours of being holed up in the conference room. Having a boss with a taste for fine cuisine is great but not for my waistline.

I never exercised because there just weren’t enough hours in a day. Weekends and those few precious hours after work were totally dedicated to my 3 kids. As a result, my suit sizes went up, up and away. I don’t think I was ever fat, just flabby in all the wrong places.

Well, I tried on some of my old business suits the other day and they’re all too big for me now. And that, I believe, is a good thing.

Book adventures of a different kind

Book adventures of a different kind

So I drop in at the college library after class today to borrow a couple of books. Me in a library? Now that’s almost unheard of! These days, there’s nothing I can’t find on the net, right? Wrong! Long story short, I really have to get my hands on those books. So it’s not like I have much of a choice.

I push the glass door open and step in gingerly. Madam Librarian at the front desk eyes me through the top of her reading glasses. I spot the electronic turnstile and head for it. The little light on it is red. Now I don’t know about you but to me, red spells danger, stop. So I hesitate, my hand gripping the card hanging round my neck.

I can feel Madam Librarian’s eyes burning holes in my back. “Tap with your card!” she commands from her post behind the counter. I look back at her, she nods and repeats her order, making no attempt to keep her voice down. Last I remember, libraries are where you can actually hear a cotter pin drop, no?

The turnstile rolls and I’m in. Whew! Now that wasn’t so bad! Okay, so what now? I must’ve said it out loud because I see her motioning me to a hidden door that leads to the teacher’s book area. So what it is about restricted areas that they makes them so restrictive in space as well?

The aisles between the book shelves are obviously made for teachers the size of supermodels. Now I’m no supermodel and I’m carrying 2 shoulder bags and trying to make my way down a book aisle that’s the width of a hair. And before you can say “ssshush”, I’m bringing books crashing down from the shelf behind me. Oh no!!

I can almost imagine the look on Madam Librarian’s face. Hurriedly locating the books I need, I head for the exit hoping to make a quick getaway. I head straight for the exit marked OUT in big bold letters. Next thing I know, the alarms start going off and I’m standing there between the two electronic posts with yellow lights twirling on both sides of me!!

Madam Librarian looks none too pleased, and almost drops her reading glasses as she reaches down to deactivate the alarm. Apparently there’s another exit which isn’t wired and it looks just like the swinging doors at a cowboy saloon. Like I said, I’m pretty rusty around libraries. Either that or I’m a complete klutz!

warning! tech at work!

warning! tech at work!

Steev was asked to repair a computer notebook at work today. This is probably the first time and a half that he’s actually opened up a notebook. And the result was disastrous…

While one of the techs was busy unscrewing the casing, Steev sat beside him, watching intently in the hopes of remembering which screws came from where. There was a myriad of screws, in all shapes and sizes, and black and silver ones too.

By the time the notebook lay like Humpty Dumpty on the workbench amidst a heap of screws, Steev had lost track 😯 ! The tech promptly vanished for a meeting, leaving Steev to replace the broken screen and put the notebook back together.

Putting on a new screen was easy, Steev said. But he couldn’t get one of the wires to reach where it was supposed to go. So he kept pulling it and tugging it till it lengthened and thinned out so much it almost snapped 😯 !

Next came the jigsaw puzzle of trying to fit the screws back where they belonged. Only problem was Steev had no idea which screw belonged where! Finally when he thought he had it all together, he discovered he didn’t have enough screws to get the back of it back on!

Not enough screws! But there were so many to start with! But like it or not, he was still short. So he undid everything and went back in to free up some screws 😆 ! Now instead of four screws on the back casing, it only has two!

The final word from Steev:

See, Mom, that’s why I always say I should never be a surgeon. Or at least if I were a surgeon, you wouldn’t want me to be your surgeon… because your stomach might end up in your brain and your brain might end up in your bladder 😯 !!

Image courtesy of myfastrax.com

Ouch!

Anyone has a computer that needs to be repaired?

Or destroyed?

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