Monthly Archives: November 2010

Employee Christmas Gifts

Now is the time of the year that we as office employees have to think very hard on the Christmas presents we want to give to our co-workers. Or you may have the same thing I had at my old employer and that is the Secret Santa. I like this the most because that way I can get a clever gift that is somewhat special to that individual person.
I am the kind of person that finds a gift that they will use while funny and odd at the same time. I want to share some of the gifts that were given to me over the years and I hope that you find them useful ideas as well. You can “click” on the image and it will take you straight to that item for sale on Amazon.com .

This is the The Butt Station -Desk Accessory : Tape Dispenser Pen Memo Holder Clip Storage. It comes in either Orange, Blue or Green. It features a pen, memo pad holder, paper clip storage and a tape dispenser. This will surely have people asking questions. As can attest to, it is also something that will bring laughter to yourself during that long hard day when you think everything is going “down the crapper”.

I just love this gift. For those of us that live in a cubicle 8 to 12 hours day, it is a way that we can express our own individual imagination on how we see ourselves. The possibilities are endless as you can have anything in your “Cubes Office” as you see fit. Such as a break room, a copy room, a board room or anything you want in your “virtual cube farm”.

How about the famous Red Swingline Stapler just like the one from the cult classic – The Office Space. This is a gift for the person that feels like they can relate to Milton at Initech. All of us that feel like we are under appreciated. This is a real working stapler that staples up to 20 sheets, plus offers the added versatility of pinning and tacking and features open-channel loading, jam-proof performance, supply indicator, all-metal body and pinning and tacking capabilities.

I know we all feel the need to let out our frustrations at the “Higher Ups”. Well now we can without them ever knowing. Something you can keep in your desk drawer out of plain sight. Just crack the drawer open; do your “thing” and close. It contains a corporate voodoo doll-complete with pins and spells-and executive spell book guaranteed to turn nasty colleagues into friendly allies So simple to let your frustrations go.
This is the time of the year that you can let your imaginations go. Please be respectful to your fellow employees feelings as you choose the right gift but have fun as you look around in different store. Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

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Proud To Be A Veteran x2

Well, today’s blog is on a subject that is very dear to my heart and soul. I am a military Veteran of two foreign wars. While I served in the United States Navy from 1982 to 1986, I was deployed in the Lebanon/Beirut Conflict; while serving on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 Flight Deck Fuels. And while I served in the United States Army from 1987 to 1991. I was deployed and served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm attached to the 17th Field Artillery 1st Calvary Field Artillery. Today, I reflect on 2 specific memories from each of the 2 branches I served in during wartime.

While with the US Navy on board the USS Eisenhower, one of my fondest memories was when we were on our Mediterranean cruise. We had been cruising off the coast of Beirut Lebanon doing some flight operations due to the Lebanon crises, when early one morning our Captain came over the loud speaker. He told everyone on the carrier to repost on the Flight Deck. When we got there, there were hundreds of trash cans on the flight deck filled with large rocks. The Captain then instructed all the crewmembers to grab a handful of rocks and throw them at the land on our starboard side, which we all did. Then the Captain said all of us could return to our bunks and get the much needed sleep we needed. Now the funny thing about all this is; Omar Kadaphy(who was the Dictator) said that if our Carrier was to get into his waters that he was going to blow the Nuclear Carrier out of the water. That is when our Captain decided he would get within 100 yards of his shore and let us lob rocks at it knowing good and well that he didn’t have the guts to blow a nuclear carrier up near is country due to all the devastation. To this  day, I can only imagine the look on Omar’s face.

As for my time in the United States Army, there are so many memories. Especially the ones from the Desert Shield/Desert Storm Gulf War. But one of my most vivid memories is the one of the young men that didn’t think twice on why they were there. Which was to represent our great nation. I remember one day that our Field Artillery command was following the 1st Cav Infantry so that we could support them in a more efficient manner. As my team sat and watched these young men exit their armed vehicle and run and yelled their charge, you had to admire them for running into battle without thinking twice of it’s outcome. To me that is true bravery.

We are blessed to live in the United States of America. And we should never take for granted the lives that have been lost to protect it or the ones that are alive and protecting our freedom now. I am proud to be an American but I am most proud to be an AMERICAN VETERAN.

More Than One Boss?

Isn’t it amazing, it doesn’t matter how long we sit in our small grey cubicle; there seems to be more than one “busy body” or boss that finds their way in to tell us something new to do. It never fails, that one boss’s request is ALWAYS more important than the previous boss that just exited the cubicle or desk. To me, it is really hard and confusing at times to distinguish on who has the most important task to perform or to review. It almost falls into that old “catch 22” category or list.

I do know that many of us employees have only one top supervisor that falls in the chain of command or on the company organizational chart. But there are some of us that were hired to perform more than one task. There are also the people that were hired and on their “job description” it stated – all other job duties as assigned by management. Which to some of us, that is pretty well broad.

I know from my position of Special Projects Coordinator at my old employer, the realm of bosses was too many to count. I remember one day when a boss came into my cubicle, he had a task he said was due at the end of the day. Which I could have done in 3-5 hours on Excel or Access. but it was no sooner than he left when the Operations Manager walked in and said he had a task that was due yesterday. Yesterday? And I just now got it? What planet was he on or what planet did he zoom down from. If it was “yesterday” then why bring it now? And if that didn’t make matters worse, someone else came in before lunch and asked why I didn’t have their project done that was due that day.

At first, I thought of getting a dart board with all my boss’s pictures on it. And then I would takes random throws to see who would get their project first then decided against it due to someone seeing their faces on a dart board. So I went to that famous man, Franklin Covey. His books and Day-Timers were just what I needed to manage my time. And the time of all my bosses, whether they knew they were getting “managed” or not. With a little effort and planning, I am able to do what ever task is given me, no matter how many bosses I have. They thought I would break, but – HA on them.

That is why I am the – Ultimate Cubicle Warrior. I will prevail in this Corporate Cubicle Jungle.

Your Monitor Direction

Isn’t it incredible; how the placement of your computer monitor can define how you really feel at your desk or in your small grey”cube”? I have seen it over and over again that some people’s whole attitude at work can be defined on where the monitor is placed.

Let’s talk about the placement in cubicles first. Again, I am only speaking of my observations at my past employers. I remember at my last employer that the Customer Service Department had their own set of rules and regulations. One of the rules was just exactly where an employee could place his or her computer monitor. Since most of the cubicles there were in the “L” shape on the inside, the monitor was to be placed in the corner of the “L”. This was to allow the Customer Service manager and General manger to walk by the cubicle and let them see what was going on in the cubicle or on the computer. It was not enough to have the latest computer IT technology to track what was on the computer at all times, they had to be able to physically see it. Sort of like “double jeopardy”. But you wouldn’t believe it, some of the customer service reps had it all figured out. What they did, even surprised me. They mounted 12 inch square mirrors on the upper backside of their monitors so that they could see who was around the corner of their cubicle before they entered. But this also led me to believe that they were surfing the internet as well. Which is something we all have done at one time or another on the companies “dime” or time.

Now for the placement of the monitor on the desk. You either have an office or sit at a desk in a large room. If you have an office, you sit facing the door so that no one can see what you are typing or surfing on. To me this would;d be the best case scenario. A little privacy is what we all want at work or on the job. But if you sit at a desk in a large room filled with other employees and their desk, the best option you have is to obtain a desk that faces to others. So that your monitor is hidden from view from all the employees that pass by throughout the work day.

Just remember, no matter what you are doing on your computer during work time is most likely being monitored by the IT Department. SO be careful and use your full discretion when online. Good luck and Happy Surfing.

Men’s Bathroom Observations

Today’s subject is Bathroom Observations or to be more specific – Men’s Bathroom Observations. I know this is a subject we all know all to well but are sometimes way too scared or afraid to say anything about. So I guess I will be the one that will open up this “can of worms”.
I am not telling how I know this, but how come a woman’s office restroom almost always smells like a rose or flower garden with slight hints of flowers. not to mention, flowers in the stalls and on the bathroom sink. And you enter the men’s office restroom and it smells like you are entering a massive construction zone or the after effects of class 5 nuclear bomb blast. And there is nothing in the men’s restroom except for the occasional Sports Page or Business Journal which we are way too afraid to touch since no telling where the previous hand have been that read it.
One of the oddest habits I have noticed in the Men’s Bathroom is the washing of the hands before they do their “business”. This part I can understand because one does not know the germs they have handled throughout the day. But the thing I really don’t understand is why do some men just “zip up” and abruptly leave. I mean leave without washing their hands.  And to think, I shake hands and handle paperwork throughout the day not knowing the germs that are floating around.
Then there is the time I enter the Men’s Office Restroom as if it was just declared an off limits nuclear blast zone. One really needs to be more considerate after they have “dropped the bomb”. And it almost always seems that there is absolutely no “sweet” smelling aerosol in the restroom. And if by some slight chance there was some, even in an old rusty dented can, they do not even make an attempt to use it of check to see if it works.
And now for the one that is a major no-no. I guess this is the ultimate Men’s Office Restroom sin, and this is the “wondering eye syndrome”. When in there, it is understood (the #1 unwritten rule) that one does not look over, lean over and catch a glimpse look at another man when in there. You want to talk about awkward? Well this would be. Enough said on the #1 Cardinal sin.
In closing, I would like to ask that all men be more considerate when visiting the “John”.  Was your hands before and after your “business”, spray a little aerosol before you leave and last keep eyes to yourself.