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.