Working from home can be hard

For the first Sunday in a month, I’m not composing my Monday blog at work. They gave us Easter off, so instead I’m writing at home.

It’s a little disconcerting not having the usual distractions of the office. Strangely, I miss being interrupted by meaningless outbursts from my fellow workers (like requests to do work). Their spontaneity in saying just about anything that pops into their heads is a great inspiration to my own creativity. Here at home, there’s only silence.

To simulate that ambient noise I’ve almost come to rely on, I’ll be interspersing this piece with actual recent quotes from the particularly verbal woman several cubicles over. If you can’t figure out what in the world she’s reciting, I’ll reveal the answer at the end of this post. As for why she’s reciting it, that I can’t answer.

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Bone cancer … white. Spina bifida … yellow.

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I’m thinking of doing a Website Review on a pet cremation service I came across. I don’t want to make too much fun, though, because I can sympathize closely with those who have lost a beloved animal companion, since we have three cats of our own who are an integral part of our family. We even had one of our early cats, I think it was Marie, cremated. Her ashes are around here somewhere, unless our cleaning lady got to them.

What the immature teenager inside me wants to do is call them up and ask if they work with all kinds of pets. If so, I want to request a quote on what it will take to cremate my pet chicken Alice, and whether deep-frying is an option. And if it would cost more to make her extra-crispy. And if I can get hush puppies instead of french fries with that.

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The local Chick-fil-A now has peach milkshakes, but doesn’t have enough “A’s” to advertise them properly on their sign out front. One of the workers was charged with trying to mutilate an “R” enough to make it look like an “A”. He failed miserably, and the result is “PERCH MILKSHAKES”.

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Tuberous sclerosis … blue. Alzheimer’s disease … purple.

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Have you ever read the fine print at the end of the famous E-Trade ads featuring the talking babies? One line says “Clients must be at least 18 years of age to open an account.” I assume this is to discourage those hard-charging toddler viewers who, after watching the commercials, think that they too can become shrewd market investors.

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The next time an Olive Garden waiter tells me he’s going to be “taking care of me,” I’m hopping up on the table, removing my shirt and asking him to diagnose several troublesome moles I have on my back. And I’ll be encouraging others in my party to take advantage of the “care” offer as well.

It’s good to see the insurance reform package making it so quickly into the marketplace.

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Stomach cancer … periwinkle. Infertility … pink.

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I mowed my lawn for the first time of the season this weekend. The battery-powered electric mower I bought last year cranked immediately on the first try after a long, cold winter.

I look at my neighbors using their old-fashioned gas mowers, and feel sorry for the way they have to struggle with a yank-cord to make their machines work. I also can’t help but feel slightly smug in my obvious concern for the well-being of our environment. While they’re using petroleum, my power comes from electricity derived from coal, a marginally better source. When you buy petroleum, you support terrorists, send American dollars overseas and pollute the air of your neighborhood. When you tap into coal, you encourage destructive mining techniques, contribute to an industry that endangers workers’ lives, and cause even greater pollution, though somewhere far from your neighborhood.

I hope someday to be the first on my block to have a nuclear-powered mower.

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I see the new movie by actress/singer Miley Cyrus is called “The Last Song.” If her next album is entitled “The Last Movie,” let’s hope that means she’ll be out of show business entirely.

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Kidney cancer … orange. Vasculitis … red.

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I love coffee as much as the next person, but you have to wonder how it ever became so popular considering the arduous and arbitrary production process.

One day long ago in ancient Arabia, two men stood at the edge of an oasis. “I’m thirsty,” said one. “Let’s see what we can find in there.”

Rummaging through the underbrush, they soon came across a plant full of berries. “Maybe we can press these and make some juice,” said the other man.

“No, that would be too easy,” said his comrade, now wide-eyed and speaking with obvious agitation. “Let’s tear open the berries, remove the beans, dry the beans, roast the beans, grind the beans, then percolate water over them.”

“You need to cut back on your caffeine, my friend,” said the other man.

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Gray … asthma. Green … lyme disease.

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When I read of President Obama’s visit to my hometown of Charlotte last week, I realized his arrival on Air Force One would happen right over the building that houses my office. We are directly beneath the flight path for jets landing at Charlotte International Airport.

I suggested we stage a greeting for the commander in chief. “We could lie in the street out front, and form our bodies into shapes that would spell out our company name — AAI. Then we could wave up at the plane as it flies overhead.”

I sketched out a plan showing that it would only take 13 of us to create the letters. Then someone from the art department got a look at it.

“That doesn’t look like an ‘A’, it looks like an ‘R’,” she said. “And we really should be using a serif font if we want to make it look professional. Perhaps a few people could wear hats.”

Then a representative from the safety committee spoke up, and noted that lying in the road could prove to be a hazard to the huge 16-wheelers coming in and out of our office park.

Finally, a group of Republicans said they wanted to stage their own display, and began trying to figure how many bodies it would take to spell out “you suck.”

This is the kind of bureaucracy that is choking innovation in American industry these days.

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Silver … brain disorders. Cloudy … congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

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The customer at the Wendy’s drive-thru had pulled up too far from the building. Plus the power window on his car didn’t work, so he had to open the door to pay. The cashier was a little on the short side. Both of them stretched as far as they could to pass money and food back and forth.

I’d seen this image somewhere before.

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Apparently, there is a whole directory of what color ribbon goes with supporters of what kind of disease. I’d heard of pink for breast cancer, and now I was hearing — in tedious detail that stretched over a full five minutes — all the other pairings that existed.

Thank you, loose-lipped coworker, for spurring us all on to greater creativity.

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One Response to “Working from home can be hard”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:

    Errr-I hope I’m not in the same Olive garden when you decide to do that.

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