T h e A d v e n t u r e s o f C h i c a g o J o

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Insincere Presents, Go Team Go, and Taking Deep Breaths

2007-01-25 11:13 a.m.
With too much going on and everyone taking 2-3 weeks off, my department at work didn't have a holiday party in December. To make up for the general malaise, management decided that we're all getting fed tomorrow afternoon while everyone's in the office. Someone has also dictated that there will be a gift exchange.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love giving and receiving gifts. However, what I dislike about this sort of thing is that it's so generic. No one's getting a gift with any thought put into it. We're all merely spending $5 on something stupid so we're not branded as wet blankets who don't want to participate in this supposed team-building(*) activity.

A coworker told me that she's giving a mix CD from her holiday party -- complete with the cover art of her, her two roommates, and their cat in Santa hats. Since she's told me that, I've been trying to think along those lines. So far the best I can come up with is a framed photo of me, but something tells me that if I bring a box of cookies and a 2-liter of Diet Coke, I'll be much more popular.

And since popularity determines who I work with and what I have to do for each project, I might just do some origami with a 5-dollar bill and leave it at that. Ta-da!

(*) Yesterday as I walked to Walgreen's, I was thinking about this whole team-oriented concept at work and decided that it was out-right retarded and that a man must have made it up. I don't want to be on a team; I'm plum-pleased with being part of a department.

When you start calling it a team, there are all of these underlying notions of shared goals and responsibilities, pitching in where needed, and doing what it takes to make the group succeed. I'm not making assists, rebounding off the boards, or battling on defense. I'm writing web page content, making sure the graphics look right, and occasionally checking in on contractors to see how their work is coming along.

Am I the only one who this irks, or is it my extreme dislike for sports metaphors coming into play?

Yesterday I also realized how one of my little quirks is growing. I have this thing where if I find something displeasing, I can't breathe around it. It's like I'm going to catch Ugly if I breathe the same air as someone with bad hair or shoes.

(Conversely, I breathe deeply if there's something I like around, with the amount I like or dislike something affecting the depth of my breathing. This applies to both animate and inanimate objects, and no, I can't explain why I do this or how it started.)

I've found that I now can't breathe when there's someone walking directly in front of me anywhere on the entire block I'm walking down. This requires a little moving from side-to-side and being aware of what's going on around me, but it's usually not a big deal to accommodate. Where it is a big deal, though, is when I'm in dance class in the back row and some yahoo in front of me keeps taking uneven steps and invades what I see as my space. The class isn't all that intense, but I still need to breathe, dammit.

So, what are your quirks, and how have they changed? Someone out there has got to have something absolutely loony that will make me feel a little bit better about holding my breath when someone with a lot of wrinkles passes me and breathing in when a cute little Acura drives by.

Miss something?

Moving Day - 2008-02-15
Working from Home is Glorious - 2008-02-13
Speaking in Tongues - 2008-02-07
I Have My Reasons - 2008-01-25
Got an Itch, Fix it, Shine it Up, Sing it Out - 2008-01-23

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