I Will CC Your Boss On This Email

I present to you, an email to a coworker that I am on the verge of sending:


Guess what I did today? I went onto the company’s intranet site and researched whom you report to. It turns out you are not totally unaccountable around here, as your recent actions might otherwise suggest.

I am now in possession of your boss’s email address… good ol’ Jim.Swathmore@wscb.com. Rest assured, I honestly don’t want to use this information. However, if the situation warrants, I am prepared to cc him on future emails between us, potentially with the high-importance exclamation flag in use as well.

I see that I have your attention now. As you may recall, I emailed you last week, requesting the expense budget from your department. I even reminded you of this two days ago by the vending machines.

Both times, you told me you were on top of it.

Of course, this was a lie. In reality, you’ve spent the last week procrastinating and hoping that this whole project would blow over and you’d escape doing any work whatsoever.

For the record, I’m not angry. Honestly, I respect the way you’ve handled things thus far. I would have played the situation in the exact same way.

In fact, when my boss first broached the subject of the company-wide expense study, I went incommunicado for a few weeks myself. I diligently spent my time at work crafting ways to extricate myself from the project altogether. While I ended up wasting several days doing this, I viewed it as a worthwhile investment in non-productivity.

When he finally asked me about my progress, I told my boss I had prepared a “feasibility analysis” on what it would take to get the project done. In actuality, the “feasibility analysis” was just a term I made up for a list of excuses to not do the project at all. I’ll spare you the details of my PowerPoint presentation and go right to the conclusion: The expense project he assigned was totally not worth doing.

Of course, my boss saw it differently. Normally, when I apply that level of professional effort to not doing work it pays off handsomely. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this time, as my boss made it clear that this expense analysis must get done. And this is where fate has thrust us together. You, Larry, are the logjam that is stonewalling all progress on this project.

For the record, I would prefer that you don’t send me anything, and continue to ignore these emails. In doing so, you will be sparing us both the hassle of actually doing our jobs, while at the same time positioning yourself to take all the blame when this project ultimately fails. However, please understand that these emails will persist, as I need to establish a paper trail of effort on my part to effectively make you the scapegoat.

So Larry, we’re at the point of no return. I need to make one last attempt at getting you to do your job. And unfortunately, my only remaining option is the underhanded maneuver of cc’ing of your boss on an email outlining your incompetence and apathy. While I’m sure your boss is generally aware of your ineptness, I’m more than happy to provide a second opinion in affirmation. I realize it is the smarmiest move in inter-office relations, but I’m prepared to do it.

It’s your call.

One other thing, if you do decide to crunch some numbers, don’t do too good of a job on this. Seriously, let’s not run the risk of this report being too useful. I’ll sabotage it a little on my end too. The last thing either of us needs is for management to decide that this report should be updated every quarter or something.

Thanks for your time. I await your reply,

The Centaur

Food Review: Bagel Bites

Only two things in this world deserve fist pumps, Arsenio Hall and Bagel Bites.

Bagel Bites are so good sounding sometimes I sing their name in a high pitched voice like a singer in an 80’s hair band. It gets me amped up to wait 20 minutes for them to cook because I don’t have a microwave.

Speaking of microwaves, can I buy a box of Bagel Bites that doesn’t come with that weird metallic microwave tray? Is there an “oven-edition” or “the old-fashioned way” line of product? Also, I’d like a “wilderness-edition” for when I’m roughing it in nature and only have a campfire to cook on and a “bbq-edition” for when I crave that grilled look. When I was a young kid, I would have loved a “magnifying glass-edition” that I could sit and cook all day outside in the afternoon sun. Toppings of choice: “pincher bug with extra cheese.”

As I remembered at 10pm last night that I still had those 9 shrink-wrapped frost-covered Supreme Bagel Bites in the freezer, I actually spoke out loud and congratulated myself that I had been so smart as to purchase two boxes instead of just one under the reasoning that “Oh yeah, you’ll get to it eventually.” In this case, eventually meant two nights later.

Bagel Bites are so bad for you that on the box itself the phrases Delicious Bagel Bites and Real Cheese have registered trademark symbols next to them. It’s the equivalent of putting quote marks around the words. Made with “real cheese.” I’m “not impressed.”

Cooking a box of Bagel Bites once set off my carbon monoxide detector in my apartment. I researched it and carbon monoxide detectors usually go off when using a wood burning stove indoors. This is both good and bad. It’s good because in an emergency, a box of Bagel Bites is equivalent to a Dura-log. They can burn slowly for hours giving off a modest amount of heat. It’s bad because I don’t usually warm up half a Dura-log and put the rest in freezer to cook and eat later.

Bagel Bites are so deceptively tiny that you can fit all 9 of them on one of the small plates in the cupboard. So handy when you are watching Extra! or Live with Regis and Kelly. No big heavy dinner plate to fumble with. And because it fits on the smaller plate, it is technically a snack not dinner. That thought helps relieve some of the guilt of knowing that you are slowly poisoning yourself with bad afternoon TV and cancer-causing Frankenfoods.

All in all, I am mostly ashamed I ever purchase them but I love the wild ride they take me on.

I Guess Nobody Will Wash Their Hands Today

True story: I went to the bathroom today at work, took care of my business at the urinal and proceeded to the sink to do the obligatory hand wash. For the record, at this point my hands are basically clean. We have infrared urinals in the office that flush automatically, so I haven’t touched the toilet. Granted, I have briefly handled my genitals, but I don’t really consider that act in itself to be unsanitary.

After all, I take pride in keeping my genitals in immaculate condition. Hell, you could eat off it if you had to. But that is a different post altogether. The point is, regardless of my personal assessment of the cleanliness of my hands, society dictates that I give them a courtesy wash after using the office restroom, even if it is totally insincere.

Naturally, I oblige. Here’s where this story takes a turn: There is no soap. Both dispensers have been ripped out of the wall. At a moment like this, multiple thoughts ran through my head:

  • First off, I thought, it sure is odd to steal two liquid soap dispensers. As far as stealing office supplies goes, this has got to be an unconventional theft. Or was it a theft? Taking soap dispensers could really be considered more of a prank, right? It is a fine line. It’s not like these dispensers have a street value, as I doubt one could feed a family or support a drug habit by pawning two liquid soap dispensers. On the other hand, stealing all the toilet paper would definitely be a prank… as there is a definite humor opportunity at someone else’s misfortune. I’m not sure if taking the soap has the same effect. Anyway, I wrestled with the distinction of prank vs. theft for awhile, and then it occurred to me that this could really be an experiment. Perhaps someone has planned a sociological experiment to see how people would react if there was no soap in the bathroom. Maybe this is all being secretly filmed, on a show like Candid Camera. Ultimately, I decided that was unlikely. Seriously, all of these thoughts ran through my head. Then, I realized I had about a half-dozen issues of much larger concern with the missing soap dispensers.
  • For starters, these dispensers weren’t easy to steal. They were bolted to the wall. If these aren’t safe, what about the bobbleheads and Star Wars figures at my desk? Then I remembered I played with them earlier in the day (sigh of relief).
  • Next, I was thankful that nobody else was in the bathroom with me. Truthfully, I’m always thankful for this. But today, even more so. I was fortunate that all my business was conducted at an infrared urinal, and a hand washing wasn’t critical. If there were witnesses present, I might otherwise have been forced into acting like I cared about the lack of soap, or felt disgusted that my hands were unwashed after using the bathroom. In this particular situation, I really wasn’t bothered by it.
  • Then, a sickening feeling came over me. It dawned on me that nobody else would be using soap today either. This was a problem. I seriously don’t want to touch anyone or anything for the rest of the day. Starting now, I plan on walking around the office with my hands tucked into my armpits like Mary Catherine Gallagher.
  • At some point, probably this afternoon, I will have to go to the bathroom again. Will I walk all the way across the building to the other bathroom, just so I can pretend to care about washing my hands? Will I opt for convenience, and realize I’m not here to impress anyone, and just use the soapless bathroom a short walk from my desk? Or, do I decide that any pretense of office decorum has been destroyed, and just pee in a water bottle at my desk like a trucker? Honestly, all of these ideas have merit.
  • Finally, if I had to choose one two-word adjective to sum up my coworkers it would be: “exceptionally lazy”. I guarantee most of the men in my quadrant will have no qualms about forgoing a hand washing if it would potentially save a trip across the building. That’s a given. However, the real debate is over how long it will take to get the soap situation rectified. Someone will have to take the initiative to email the maintenance director or notify the janitorial service. Sounds simple, but this would mean summoning an ounce of productivity. Therefore, I think the over/under before we get soap in the bathroom again is 8 weeks. Place your wagers. (And to be fair, and to not influence the outcome, I will limit my contribution to fixing the soap problem to this post.)

Shaking my head, I shuddered at the prospects for the rest of the day. I ran my hands under some water, and called it good. At least I get to work from home tomorrow, and nobody cares if I wash my hands there.

Fast Food Nation of the Future

Eyes open. Take in breath. Check face for drool. Start new day.

Look at clock. Weird. Flashing 12:00. Power outage?

Mirror reveals self. Self brushing teeth. Notice crow’s feet next to my eyes. Truth is nobody’s getting any younger. Relax. Smile and wink to self.

Why is my heart racing so early in the morning? I wonder if hers ever does.

I should write something for Internet Zillionaire. Krusty is waiting to be served. Knife and fork in hand, demanding his kingly meal. Methinks Captive Lion is on the menu. Cooked rare. Nearly raw.

Or perhaps I’ll go into Manhattan and get food. Ride the subway, get some people-watching in. Start the day off Walt Whitman-style.

“Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes! how curious you are to me!

On the ferry-boats, the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning home, are more curious to me than you suppose;

And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence, are more to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.”

-Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”

He knew what he was talking about.

Step outside. Breath. Quiet morning. Subway brakes are loud because the station and train are empty. I walk on and sit down. My journal makes a breathing sound as I open it. Should I check the corners of its pages for drool too as it wakes up? I put the journal away as quickly as I got it out. I don’t have anything to write in there.

I remember laughing really hard a few times this week. I laugh all the time, but I like to remember the times I laugh really hard. If I laugh until tears, I won’t forget that moment for weeks. I think it’s one of the best feelings on earth. That’s why I assemble my laughs into a weekly highlight reel that I can play back in my mind.

So this last week, a few friends and I went to this Indian restaurant that served the biggest pieces of Naan bread I’ve ever seen. Big Naan bread is funny in and of itself, but these pieces were also oblong. If you held up a whole piece it looked like a giant Championship Wrestling belt. Despite its size, it tasted great. I thought to myself, Naan bread should be for sale everywhere. In corner stores, supermarkets, and fast food restaurants. Nonstop Naan!

In fact, fast food restaurants with their standard burger and fries fare are having to compete with a lot more international cuisines out there these days. Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and even Mongolian food are all the rage. I bet in the next few years the fast food giant’s menus will change to reflect the growing demand for ethnic foods. And if their menus change, their names should change too. Just think of the tasty possibilities:

  • Long Naan Silver’s
  • McNaanald’s
  • Kentucky Tandori Chicken
  • Dunkin’ Dim Sum
  • Pizza Yurt
  • Kimchi Bell
  • Burger Wok
  • Goat and Sheep Milk Queen
  • Star Fruit Julius
  • Wasabway
  • Mahjong’s Pizza
  • General Tso in a Box

I can’t wait for the mall near me to get a Burger Wok in the food court.