Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pompous or Polite?

 I recently recieved a response e-mail that just rubbed me the wrong way.  I think the author was trying to be polite but he came across as a pompous a$$ to me.  Here's the situation:

I have to create a Power Point Presenation on a Chapter out of our text book for one of my classes.  It is a soft skills class for IT geeks because apparently we aren't pegging high on the social list.  The class emphasises public speaking and does and don'ts.  Anyway, back to my story.  My presentation is about communication.  One of the areas addressed is e-mail ettiquate.  I searched the internet for some cute little quote or cartoon to make a point and found one that was right on target.  It is copyrighted and says that permission must be granted to use it.  No, big deal.  I hit the contact link and sent an e-mail explaining that I was a college student and that this was going to be used in an inclass assignment for less than 20 people.  The fee to use the cartoon in newsletters and such for a company is $40.  I'm not paying $40 for a homework assignment.  I received a prompt response:

Hi Patti,

Thanks for thinking of me. I used to grant free or discounted use of my cartoons for this kind of project, but what happened was that somehow the word got out that I worked for free, and I started to have a flood of similar requests. I hate saying no. I really do. But I'm afraid that if I start granting this kind of use again, the phone will start ringing with endless requests for free use.
Is it just me or does this come across as arrogant?  I totally understand his position but, "Thanks for thinking of me"?  First off, I have never heard of the guy.  I found the cartoon by luck.  After I read his email, I looked him up and he is quite an accomplished cartoonist in the business world.    Come on, get real, I don't even know who the hell you and and I don't really give a shit.  Don't worry about your phone ringing endlessly, I won't be advertising for you.  I guess when you reach a certain point in your career you don't have to worry about the little people.

I felt obligated to reply.  This is what I sent:

Thank you for your prompt response. I understand your position. I was researching quotes for my communications presentation and stumbled upon your cartoon and site. I requested permission because it was requested not because I was thinking of you. I have no idea who you are. But, thank you any how and I'm sorry to have bothered you.
I think we're even now.  I think he is a pompous a$$ and he is probably saying, "b!tch".  I feel better now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Mrs. Who posted about a few of the things she misses. It got me thinking about the things I miss the most.

Freshly washed little boys wrapped in towels snuggling in my lap to get warm.

I miss reading bedtime stories and giving dozens of goodnight kisses.

I miss homemade cards.

School plays.

Making capes out of pillow cases so they could be a super hero.

I miss morning time snuggles.

I don't miss the fighting and crying.

I don't miss having to make them do homework.

I don't miss fighting to get them to get dressed.

I miss playing in the rain and splashing through mud puddles.

I miss taking them to the park.

I miss the sound of their laughter.

Most of all. I miss them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Apples, bananas, sweat and grease

My company provides us fruit during the summer to help us stay hydrated during these hot and humid days. The blue collar workers, such as myself, either work outside or in a very hot, steamy environment. So every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, each department is sent a box or two of fruit. We usually get apples, bananas, oranges and pears throughout the week. For some reason this year, we are getting way more fruit than we can possibly consume. So when the first batch of apples started to go bad, I being a practical person who hates to waste anything, took them home and made apple pie. Mistake. Big, big mistake. The mistake was bringing it to work for the guys. I figured the apples were company property and I didn't want to be stealing. So, I brought them back. Just a little more tasty than they were when I took them. The mouths' were drooling and the wallets came out. They sent the supervisor to the store for vanilla ice cream. Our morning break is at 9 am. By 9:15, the pie was gone and a conspiracy to steal apples from the other areas was in the works. Two days later, we had bananas going bad and a new case of apples were delivered. This was on a Friday. I took a case of speckled bananas home. On Monday, the bananas were returned to the mill in the form of banana bread and banana pudding. But, now the apples were going bad. So, I took apples and pears home and made an even bigger dish of pie. I make a very simple recipe that is a bottomless apple pie. You just mix the apples with sugar, flour, cinnomen, and nutmeg and then top it with a pie crust. I buy the ready made onces in the dairy section. They just need unrolled. Quick and easy. The most time consuming part is peeling the apples. Well, it seems that the guys working the 7pm to 7am shift were coming in and finding empty containers. Complaints were filed and begging commenced. Please, please, make some pie when I'm working. I got smart this time. I measured out the ingredients into a zip lock bag, grabbed my ready made pie crusts and took everything to work. We have an oven in our shop. I told them if they wanted apple pie, they would have to peel the apples. There were no objections. So, I'm out in the shop up to my elbows in grease working on my loader while giving instructions to one of the other guys on how to make the pie. He peeled all the apples. He even bought some and brought them in to make sure we had enough. He dumped in the sugar mixture, topped it with the crust and then popped it in the oven. I only supervised. Our supervisor was once again sent on an ice cream run. The shop has never smelled so good. Nothing like hot apple pie to combat grease and sweat. All was going well, everyone had a sugar high but was satisfied. Finally, everyone in the department had gotten some apple pie. Then, they brought in another case of bananas. "Owwwwwwwwwwww, how many bananas do you need to make banana pudding?" So, tomorrow they will have banana pudding. I will be glad when summer is over.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cover me with a rock

David is home. He left Afghanistan a few weeks ago and he is now passed out on the living room floor after taking the red eye flight from California to Florida. He just finished his second seven month deployment to the middle east. I look at his young face and wonder about the things he has seen with eyes that I wish could stay innocent to the horrendous things in this world. I avoid the news during deployments. I just don't want to know. I usually don't ask him questions about what he experienced over there. Today, I causally asked. I learned he lost three members of his group. I could see the wall come up to hide the pain. I quickly changed the subject. I want to crawl back under my rock. I try not to think of the mothers that don't have their sons returning home to give hugs and raid the refrigerator and sleep on the floor. I don't want to think about it because at this very moment, I have another son enroute to the same horrendous place this one just returned from. I want to stay under my rock.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How I can make my millions

I had to write a paper for my Human Relations class. The assignment was:

Technological changes have resulted in the publishing industry falling on hard times. Fewer people are reading newspapers since they can get the same information faster (and perhaps cheaper) from TV and the Internet. Students are getting more content information in their courses from the Web, and sales of standard textbooks are declining. Overall, the publishing industry needs to change, but to what? And how?

The VP for Marketing and the VP for Technology are called into a meeting with the president of Prentice Publishing and his Senior VP for Finance. They ask that the two VP’s meet with them again next week to present their independent views of how the company should change to meet these challenges and how this change can be brought about.

What should the VP’s report to the president? Play the role of either the VP for Marketing or the VP for Technology and advise the president fully of what should be done and how to effectively bring this change about. Defend your views from the scientific viewpoint. Post your response on the Discussion Board and then read and reply to posts that oppose the view you have taken.

My response is a stroke of genius. I think I'm on to something here.

As the world moves into its “green” phase advocates are urging people to go paperless. This is especially true in the publishing industry. As VP for Marketing, I propose that we form an alliance with the manufacturers of bathroom paper. It is urgent that we reform our perceptions of reading material. The bathroom is one area that will not go paperless. We will market disposable bathroom readers. Books should be printed on toilet paper. Americans alone use 433 million miles of toilet paper annually. ( As we all know, there can be some considerable downtime during an average trip to the bathroom. Using the telephone seems contra-indicated given the circumstances, and watching television or a movie can come off as a bit too self-indulgent. This would appear to leave reading as the most viable time-killing option for long-term bathroom occupants”. ( According to a survey on bathroom habits 29% of people read in the bathroom whenever possible and 42% say they sometimes read while using the facilities. This means that almost 71% of people read in the bathroom. ( And 100% of homes use toilet paper. (I used common sense on that statistic. If all homes don’t, I’m not going there) Most homes now have two or more bathrooms. This would mean at least two books per household at a time. We could market different reading levels and even series. Families could have holders and name cards for each individual so someone didn’t use your book and lose your place. There could even be picture “books” for toddlers that are potty training. There could be a guest roll with short stories so they could finish reading before they left. They could tear it off at the beginning of the next story so the next guest could enjoy it. This would be a win-win situation. You can’t wipe with a laptop.

Who should I contact first?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stress, Dieting, JW, and laptops

Today is day one of my I seriously want to lose weight diet. I found it in a Woman's World magazine that I picked up at the Wally world register the other day. I never buy magazines but this one was cheap and it called out to me. In it is an easy summer detox plan. Basically, it is the very similar to what Bou did earlier this year (I'll find the link later.) or not. ). It cuts out all processed foods. This should be fun. My hubby will be back in six weeks, maybe and this is a good time to diet as I won't have him to tempt me. I'll post more on the diet later.

When my hubby left so did the laptop that lived in the living room. I miss them both. Still debating on which one I miss the most though. Just kidding. I will have to rearrange a little and put my slow ass computer in the living room. This chair in the kitchen isn't fun.


I keep a little note on my bedroom mirror which list on one side "101 ways to praise a child" and the other side is "101 ways to cope with stress". I've had this for years. I'm not sure when or where I picked it up but it helps to keep me grounded. I don't read it every day but for some reason today it called my name. I took it down and was reading and soaking in the suggestions. When I took the dogs for a walk this morning, I picked up the growing pile of literature the Jehovah Witnesses leave on my front porch. One of the pamphlets is entitled "Relief from Stress How?" I think it's a sign. So, here are a couple of suggestions from each:

The mental Health place says I should:

Get up 15 minutes earlier.
Avoid tight fitting clothes.
Avoid relying on chemical aids.

Well, I did get up 15 minutes earlier this morning just by luck not plan or purpose. The diet should check off the tight fitting clothes issue and hit the chemical aids at the same time. Because as soon as I'm finished with finals next week, the coffee is stopping.

JW, tell me:

Don't expect perfection of yourself or others - Ecclesiastes 7:16
Get regular exercise - 1 Timothy 4:8
Get sufficient relaxation and sleep - Ecclesiastes 4:6

I'll have to dust off my Bible and look up those versus.

Have a great day. I'm off to work.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Improvising for 24 years

Happy Birthday to my Improviser. Wow, I can hardly believe you are 24. It just seems like yesterday that you were running me ragged and making my hair turn gray. You were always the inquisitive one. You took everything apart to see how it was made. You even showed me how to put it back together. You told me I was "doing it a different way". I had to hide the tools from you. A four year old with a screwdriver is a dangerous thing. But, I didn't want to discourage you either. You were my cook. You loved cooking and still do. There were several occasions when you "cooked" by yourself. Oh, the stories if I had a blog and camera back then. There was the time I woke up from your nap to find you "cooking" in the living room. I don't think I ever got the chocolate syrup stains out of the carpet. Or the time I woke up because I rolled on a cold package of ham in my bed. It was 3 or 4 am and again you were "cooking". I found you sitting in the kitchen by the light of the refrigerator. There was a bowl between your stretched out legs and a dozen and a half eggs shells beside you. I forget what all ingredients you used but you were making a cake you told me. You never slept much as a child. I would find you up watching TV at 4 am. You definitely kept me on my toes. There was nothing you couldn't or wouldn't do for yourself. You were constantly surprising me.

I am in awe of your intelligence and ingenuity. There was the time you rigged up a contraption so you didn't have to get out of bed to turn off the lights. You took off the training wheels on your bike and just started riding. You didn't need any assistance. I've watched you through the years and I hope you realize how amazing I think you are.

I love you and I am so proud of the young man you have become. I miss seeing you daily and watching you grow. Happy Birthday.