Anatomy of a teleconference

[When I got to the office this morning, there was a note on my desk: “Could you please sit in on the teleconference for X? I know you’ve been out but we have almost nothing to do with this morning’s topics, so you won’t have to present anything– just listen in for us. I believe it’s at 9am.” Now, we all hate these frigging meetings but whatever– I guess I’m due.]

9:00 I call in– no one in the “room.” I do some checking– it’s not until 10 (argh!!).

10:00 I call in again. We all wait together for the last few stragglers to put down their donuts and call in.

10:07 At last!!!! We begin.

11:00……and I’m still in it. Torture. Slow death and brutal torture. Here is the sum total of what I have contributed so far: “Good morning! It’s Julie XXXX in (insert city here).” We have slooowly covered 5 of the 8 topics, and the Big Mama of topics is still to come. (What is the Big Mama, you ask? It’s the dreaded, “Let’s open up this meeting to additional topics.”).

11:15 I will never understand why people looooooove to hear themselves talk in these meetings.

11:30 We all want to sign off and have lunch, for cripes sake!! STOP FLAPPING YOUR GUMS!!!

11:35: Wait! I have just contributed something else! It’s “Thomas, I was on vacation last week so I don’t actually know.”

11:42 ” ‘Please refer to your emailed attachment?!?!?!’ ” What email?!?!? Please God don’t let the attachment have anything to do with our part of this project….

11:43 Uh-oh. I need to pee.

11:50 YIPPEE!!!!!!! Big Mama is being truncated today because the meeting moderator has another meeting!!!!!!!!! Only emergency topics allowed!!!!!!

11:51 Hey!!! Your freaking airport arrival plans are not an emergency topic!!

11:57 ……aaaand we’re off. Holy sh*t, that was 2 hours I will never get back. Okay, off to pee.


    A couple's house reflects their relationship.

    That is what a friend told me today. I had been describing a housewarming I went to over the weekend, as well as the house. I was saying stuff like, “The flow of the house is very odd” and “There is no comfortable room in the entire house” and “The finishes are very high-end, but you get the feeling that they were slapped on to cover fundamental problems.” And my friend observed, “Well, that’s what their relationship is like: uncomfortable, dysfunctional, lots of flash to cover the fact they are fundamentally incompatible.” I was giggling about that, when she started pointing out the same kinds of similarities with other couples we know and their houses.

    I was FLOORED. I told Dave about it when I got home, and we started talking about others we know. It totally holds true! Try it–


      Helping or hindering?

      So. I had 5 projects that I wanted to complete around the house this summer. Somehow, my husband got wind of this and my projects are slowly growing, feeding off his ambitions and his accidents. Argh. Here’s the current breakdown and status of the projects:

      Original Five:
      1. Paint the basement stairs (status: done!)
      2. Repaint all windowsills in the house (status: done, except for Cam’s and Gabby’s windows. In all honesty, those don’t really need repainting so I could call this Done!)
      3. Repaint the front porch (status: done!)
      4. Powerwash and stain swingset (status: untouched frontier)
      5. Paint the front entryway and 2nd floor hallway (status: I have a vague idea of color)

      Here are my added projects:
      1. Paint Gabby’s new room and add chair rail (status? Done! And ADORABLE!!)
      2. Repaint Gabby’s old room (status? Done!!)
      3. Add shelves to Cameron’s room and Gabby’s old room (status? Shelves have been purchased…)
      4. Finish masonry on fireplace (Status? Vintage Chicago warehouse brick has been ordered and received. Now to choose mantel, surround, and built-in fixtures, then hearthstone, then assemble….. I give this one a 25% chance of being ready by Christmas.)

      ….and the extra-fun adders from my husband:
      1. Remove coffee stain from Gabby’s carpet, where Dave dropped it in a spectacular swirly fashion (Status? Somewhat faded, but I fear it will be forever there.)
      2. Remove long black mark on master bedroom carpet, caused by Dave dragging a pack & play full of Gabby over to the television (Status? Again, partial success. And yes, we were blatantly imprisoning her in the P & P and giving her unbridled access to television in order to finish some of these projects.)
      3. Remove paint stain in Gabby’s old room where Dave dropped his fully loaded paintbrush (Status? Once again, only partial success. At this point I asked Dave to stop “helping” me.)
      4. Purchase crap to put on aforementioned shelves (Status? It has occurred to me that I need to do this)
      5. Tile entryway and master bath (status? We have chosen tile for both areas but not for the built-in river rock door mats I want. This is along-term project, I fear.)

      Seriously. All I wanted was to have 5 things painted by the end of the summer. How did I end up in Home Depot every waking moment?!?!?


        Another random question....

        I dropped my car off at Pep Boys to have a flat fixed. They called to say that the damage had been done to the sidewall, so it could not be fixed. I said, “What kind of damage was done to the sidewall?” (We didn’t see any nails or glass in the tire and didn’t know why it had gone flat.)

        Answer: “Well, it was DAMAGE. Done to the SIDEWALL. See, ma’am, the side of your tire is called the ‘sidewall.’ When there is some kind of puncture in the sidewall, it will leak air, just like when you have a puncture in the treads. That is why your tire went flat.”

        Now, why did this person think I was so stupid that he needed to start with a definition of sidewall? Do I come off like an idiot? Was it my gender? What?!?!??


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