Category Archives: work

Why getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me (well, OK, not the best but not too bad)

Six months ago around this time, I got laid off from my job.

Somebody from an unfamiliar branch of the org tree invited me to a conference call. This higher-up wanted to talk to me, my boss, and somebody out-of-state I didn’t know too well.

I tried to blow if off, as the e-mail for the one o’clock phone call came around ten that morning, and I already had a standing “doctor’s appointment” at just that time (the bi-weekly basketball game I had going in MPLS, which precariously balanced improving my cardio-vascular health with avoiding my permanent physical injury).

But . . .

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I’ve been dealing with an organization at work for over two weeks now. This Shall-Remain-Anonymous organization has information about my organization on their Web site. I have been asked by my boss’ boss to update the information because the information is inaccurate.

Thus began the fun. Upon going to the organization’s Web site, I was delighted to learn that I wasn’t the first person to want this kind of information changed. In fact, there was a giant flashing button on their Web site that says: “Update Your Nonprofit’s Information.” Wow, a flashing button? This is gonna be the easiest part . . .

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Hole Sale

During one of the boring, unintentionally comical conference calls I had to attend last week, as we discussed marketing efforts, a colleague busted out with, “It’s like ‘sell the hole, not the nail.’”

I could hear the blank stares buzzing through my phone line.

“You know it’s one of those sayings. Like, ‘you don’t sell the sizzle, you sell the steak,’” she explained.

In a way, “sell the hole, not the nail” is like “you don’t sell the sizzle, you sell the steak.” In that they both don’t make any sense.

But the real saying, as folks pointed out, was: . . .

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Corporate Incommunicado

Most of my workday is spent deciphering e-mails from colleagues. I’m the only person who seems to have a problem with the traditional corporate form of communication, which, it seems, is the poorly punctuated, spouted-off e-mail of whatever word salad happened to take residence in your forebrain while your fingers rested on the keys.

When I write an e-mail, it’s treatise on the task at hand, with complete sentences and adjectival clauses separated with real commas. I never use a pronoun or abbreviations. And nobody, of course, ever reads them.

Yesterday, I got this from my boss (who, I must . . .

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Accidental poem at work from funky e-mail line breaks

I got this in my inbox this morning:

It’s been over a decade since
I subcribed to your magazine,
but you used to publish a yearly edition of the top US industrial areas, by city.

Do you still do that, and if so, when was the last month and when will it appear again? Thank you.

I’m sure he didn’t mean it, but he has a real rhythm here . . . two 8-syllable lines, two lines of 24(ish), with the pause before the final two beats, “areas, by city.” is echoed with “again? Thank you.”

And . . .

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