Category Archives: Work

I hate it.

Trap and Release


This story from The New Yorker (via BoingBoing) has me flabbergasted:

41 hours trapped in an elevator (security cam video here at 40 times the normal speed).

The story is interspersed with interesting elevator facts but the core of it had me rapt: this poor sap was stranded with just Rollaids and cigarettes for comfort. The elevator died on a Friday night and 8 security guard shifts came and went before he was found on Sunday afternoon, even though he’s visible on the security cams.

Poor sap sued the building management and got an out-of-court settlement, but hasn’t been able to find work since.

A New Day For This Poor Sap

iPhone, Work

This morning I rushed an email ad out the door without amending the subject line. Our clients were treated to a “Fantastic Africa!” tag but opening the email they found Asia destinations. Owch! I blame Monday.

Having done this, I certainly can feel the pain of the graphic designer who inserted an image of a jailbroken iPod Touch into a national ad campaign for Radio Shack (via Engadget). You can tell it’s hacked – it has the Installer app and Mobile Chat icons on the Springboard. I have a sinking feeling that the poor sap behind the Mac had to get this flyer out the door with minimal assistance from the art director and was forced to take a picture of his own iPod to cut corners. I’m also assuming that he was low man on the totem pole and nobody checked his work that hard.

I’m also assuming he’s at home right now assessing his portfolio.

Office Awkward


I get on the elevator with 3 women.

One woman: I saw your email… where are you going? Somewhere fun?
Departing woman: Oh. An operation. Breast cancer.
Sudden gasp from pretty much everyone.
Departing woman: We caught it, it has to be removed (She’s smiling).
We stare at the floor, the numbers, anywhere but at her…
Another woman: Will you… do kemo?
Departing woman: Don’t know yet. (Pause) My doctor is hot. Irish, over six foot, beautiful eyes. He had my boob in his hand.
We laugh a little nervous. Then a bit harder.
Me: Did you ask him out?
Departing woman: Damn! I will next time. (Another pause) I should put a lipstick kiss on the side of my boob just before the operation.
Me: Better yet, I’ll get you a Sharpie, you should write your number on there.
Departing woman: (Laughs)
Me: Well at least you know he’s got it.
Departing woman: (Laughs harder, while the rest chuckle nervously)

Saying No To Free


I killed a friendship on Sunday.

Remember how we use to go camping a lot? Lately I’ve been “advising” the guy who took over The Point’s website from me, on various CSS and layout issues they’ve run up against when the owner of the campground purchased a template site from …someone. In offering my help, I only succeeded in opening a scab that seeped resentment.

Back in the day when I created the original site, I was unaware that there was a problem with it, but yet as soon as I dropped it was released from all responsibilities towards the site, some of the images were instantly changed, like…oh the titles/headers. I happily volunteered my time and effort in creating a site that didn’t have spinning animated GIFs or 3 year old site images, and had cleaned it up to something more recent and professional. After SharkBoy and I announced our desire not to return to the campground as seasonals, I told the owners that any updates would be paid for on an hourly basis. Suddenly the update requests stopped coming in and the site changed.

That’s fine. Thems the breaks. Sayonara!

My friend who’s working on the site messages me a few months back and asks if I wouldn’t mind helping fixing a template. I’m not cool with the prospect of revisiting this, but he is a friend, so I say yes. This guy isn’t strong in basic HTML/CSS and got me to dive into the code and try to mold this “purchased site” their needs. I fingerquote that because the code is really bad (multiple nested tables, background images linked twice: inline and in CSS, etc. Basic Frontpage crap) – whoever sold them this template site certainly is laughing all the way to the bank. I digress. After a few hours sitting, we got a page to acceptable template level. Yay!

A few days later, he messages me about the reservation form I had created on the previous site. Quickly, I dropped the old code into the new template and sent it back. And of course, it wasn’t working. My friend then asks if I could I try to fix it, or adapt this new form code he had found. I look at the new form and I see nothing but hours of work involved. He’s implemented part of the form in test already and I’d have to learn where he’s left off, let alone learn the code for the form system. And get it to lay out correctly in the fixed template.


This is where I bailed. Quite abruptly, I’m afraid. I think these were my words: “I’m done. I have no desire to try to figure this stuff out.” Which I think was fair, considering that I was not getting anything for something I’d usually charge $75/hr, one hour minimum, from people who I felt trashed my original efforts as soon as I was out the door.

I know it was rather unfair of me to leave my friend in such a lurch (you’ll see he’s got the form working on the live site now, anyway. But he hasn’t stripped out any of the original layout coding, making the page glorp to one side).

I feel bad about that, thanks. I’m an unreliable friend. I’m not comfortable with that and I’ll take it to my grave.

But as I hung up the phone I remembered every single time I’ve been nice and helpful and got burnt as compensation. You may remember the 2 hagbag Publishers from Toronto/NYC who failed to pay me my final two months worth of work because I asked for their outstanding invoices to be paid. And just last year I volunteered to get the catalogue for Casey House’s Art With Heart art acution online which went south (gracefully) after they asked me to put 300+ pics into a power point presentation. And then get that file hog online. When I asked if they could edit down some of the pictures, it was received with a cold “We’ll think about that”. And the phone stopped ringing.

So I’m no longer whoring myself out for free – it only leads to heartache.

I see this as a plus! I now have much more time for Xbox, and Wii, much like this freelancer!



I’m sitting in the Managers Training session the other day (Proper Phone Etiquette for Greater Communications Understandings and a Greater Soviet Future!) and someone is farting.

Not audible farts, mind you, but silent ones that creep up on you. Three or four sniffs after the massive storm cloud rolls over into your personal space you realize you’re ingesting someone else’s digested gas. Gag reflexes suppressed.

By the fourth poot bomb I was getting sick.

By the fifth one, I was suspecting my table neighbour as being the source. As I am sure she was suspecting me.

Suddenly the presenter, who has been walking all over the room calls upon me to stand and talk. She hands me the mic. In doing so, I’m engulfed in a fresh cloud of ass fragrance and realize this person is the phantom pooter.

In my hand is a microphone hooked up to our west coast office with about 10 leaders in attendance. I’m also standing in a room of about 15 local managers. The urge to yell: “WE’RE BEING GASSED! CALL FOR HELP!” was so great I nearly forgot what I had to actually say.

That’s my work story for Friday.


Favorite, Queer stuff, Work

I’m working on an email for a co-worker and they’re standing over me while I was editing in Photoshop and they say “Take that out, it looks gay.”

“What?” I am aghast.

“Oh come on,” they said as if to say We’re cool! You and I can use ‘gay’ like that!

“WHAT?” I said louder.

“I guess I meant ‘stupid’.”

I got up from my desk and left them there alone in my cubicle, “What? What is it Ted?” hitting me in the back of the head as I stormed off. I got half way down to HR before calming down enough to realize I need to confront this person first before going crying to someone.

So I did.

I took them outside and said “If I ever hear you say that again in a derogatory manner, I will have you in HR’s office so fast your head will spin.”

Their reply?

“But my uncle is gay!”

The flood gates burst open. I went into a rant saying they just disrespected my family as well as their own. Their eyes wide, I went on to explain exactly why using ‘gay’ that way was demeaning to a large part of my life. I said I wasn’t militant, but I would ask that they refrained from using ‘gay’ in reference to ‘stupid’ things. I finished by saying I could not believe they had reduced our office to high school playground proportions. I was shaking mad by the end of it.

We talked more and we’re cool. This co-worker looked like a deer in headlights when I left them.

Natural Selection

Distractions, Personal Bits, Toronto, Work

To the idiot who was waving her used Metro paper, approaching the poor TTC worker who was trying really hard to close a bag of garbage (he was actually on one knee, wrestling with the monster bag) and had the audacity to ask: “Too late to put one more in?”: Please. Throw yourself in front of a train.

To the lady on the cell phone who let everyone on the streetcar know that she was in the movie industry and was having a big drama day: You know the drill… throw yourself in front of the streetcar.

To my Doctor: Please just once acknowledge one of my jokes. I know you’re beleaguered and busy. Stop and laugh. Show me you’re human. Or throw yourself in front of your Audi. Whatever works.

To the homeless lady still outside my window yelling like there is an emergency, from my return home at 5pm-ish to now, 9:30pm: Seek help. If you won’t seek help, throw yourself in front of a crack dealer. Oh. You already did that.

To the one manager in my office who insists on flooding us with useless graphics requests that go absolutely nowhere but yet we have to honour them all the same because you have one grain of respectability that seems to shine in someone’s eyes: Visit India, reserve a spot on an elephant safari and then throw yourself in front of a pachyderm.