Office Hack: The Impractical Guide to Office Norms and Protocol

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Office Break Room

Sure you can read your employee handbook, but who has time for that. So, I’ve compiled a list of tweets, that cover the do’s and don’ts of calling in sick, proper break room etiquette, how to impress your boss, and how to establish a good working relationship with coworkers.

Having a good relationship with your boss is key to getting a promotion. Be sure to answer their questions with confidence.

Let your boss know you’re willing to go that extra mile.

Annual reviews are a good time to bring up important matters.

Establish a rapport with your boss by letting them know they are a great leader.

Always give your supervisor advance notice, when you are going on vacation.

Take responsibility and let your boss know when you are going to be late.

Calling in sick can always be tricky, because you want to let your boss know you’re sick, but you don’t want to have to bring in a doctor’s note.

Always reassure them, that it’s nothing too serious and you’ll be back in the office soon.

Add a little description of your illness for authenticity.

Pick out your wardrobe the night before, to save time in the morning.

It’s always a nice gesture, when you bring in food to share with your coworkers.

It’s okay to confide in your coworkers.

Keep your relationship professional though.

Let coworkers know your door is always open.

Always be clear with your colleagues and leave no room for ambiguity.

Don’t overload your schedule.

Ask your coworkers about their weekend.

Don’t forget to speak clearly and leave a detailed voice message.

Ask HR if you’re not sure about something.

Always treat your subordinates with respect.

Make sure you have plenty of office supplies.

Most importantly, backup your computer. You never know when it will crash.

 

 

Woman Gets Fired for Dying at the Office

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Thirty-two year old, Sarah Lansford, had a brain aneurysm and died yesterday during a board meeting. Immediately after dying, she was dismissed with no severance package. Her exit interview was conducted while EMT’s were carrying her out to the ambulance. A coworker, Theresa Hanner, described the events leading up to Sarah’s demise.

“I was right in the middle of giving a PowerPoint presentation on our line of stool softeners, when she just keeled over and her head hit the table.”

Sarah died at 10:20 am, but an ambulance wasn’t called for another two hours. A coworker present, Tom Brown, was asked to explain the time discrepancy.

“She came to the meeting and it was obvious she had already been drinking, because she reeked of vodka. Theresa was giving her presentation on our line of stool softeners and I was playing Fruit Ninja on my phone, when her head hit the table. We all assumed she had passed out, so we just kept going on with the agenda.”

When it was lunch time, box lunches were being served and that was when board member, Larry Parker, discovered she was dead.

“My lunch was shitty! I got an egg salad sandwich, so I decided to swap with Sarah, since she was passed out and wouldn’t know the difference. I noticed her face was extremely pale and she had no color in her cheeks. She looked like Morrissey from 1985. That’s when I knew she was dead as fuck.”

When inquiring about Sarah’s work ethic, several things came to light. She was described as being habitually late and her coworkers complained many times about smelling alcohol on her breath.

“Sarah was already on thin ice,” Tom Brown said. “Dying in the boardroom is unprofessional and was the last strike.”

Sarah apparently did not have a good working relationship with her coworkers and  ruined office parties with her drunken behavior.

“One time during a company Christmas party, she came dressed as a sexy elf and sang, ‘Baby Got Back’ by Sir Mix-a-Lot during karaoke. It was just sad,” Tom Brown said.

Her coworkers also revealed, that she had inappropriate relationships with other staff members.

“She was sleeping with Jeremy from HR,” Theresa Hanner said. “She broke up with Jeremy, but he started harassing her and wouldn’t leave her alone, so she filed a complaint. Jeremy had to write himself up. It was very awkward.”

The CEO, who was fed up with Sarah’s unprofessional behavior and lack of karaoke acumen, fired her immediately. After Sarah was taken away in an ambulance, the last presentation was given and then a vote was taken. In a unanimous vote, the company agreed to add a new line of rash cream.

Original revised version, published in Below the Fold Magazine, 7/8/16.

Interview with author Pat Bertram

I did an interview with author Pat Bertram on her blog, where I talk about my new book, The Gnostic Keepers. Below is the full interview. Please check out Pat’s amazing books on Amazon.

https://amzn.to/2xERXQa

Interview with Marietta Rodgers, Author of THE GNOSTIC KEEPERS

Welcome, Marietta. What is your new novel about?

The Gnostic Keepers is about the preservation of the Gnostic Gospels. These are gospels that do not appear in the Christian bible and are also called the Apocrypha, which means of dubious or doubtful origin. All of the books in the current Christian bible, were officially canonized in the Third Council of Carthage, in 397 A.D. and are regarded as divinely inspired. In this council, a list was read, as to what works were inspired by Christ and all other books were to be gathered and burned. Anyone caught reading these forbidden books, were deemed heretics subject to persecution. The task of preserving the gospels is given to seven monks, by the Archangels Uriel, Michael and Gabriel. The monks face many challenges taking on this holy quest, with the church and its quest to burn all the books and the demon Azazel, who also wants all the books destroyed. The book begins in the 4th century and spans across a time period of 500 years.

Who is your most likable character?

My favorite character is Virgil the poet, author of The Aeneid. In The Gnostic Keepers, he plays a similar role, which he had in Dante’s Inferno. The difference is, that in addition to being allowed in Purgatory and Hell, he is also allowed to travel in Heaven. He is the official liaison between the three places. Virgil is a shrewd character, whose power comes from his knowledge of politics and having people owe him favors.

What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Since the span of the book is over 500 years, there are many fascinating periods of history included, such as the Huns, Vikings, and there is even the very bizarre corpse trial of a former Pope.

Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?

The importance of knowing your religions history and how it came into being. To look beyond dogma and strict literal interpretations, to what you think the real message is or ought to be.

What challenges did you face writing the book?

As a person without any religious affiliation, I didn’t want to approach the novel in a way, that seemed as if I was negating, dismissing or satirizing spiritual beliefs, because that automatically puts people off and they are reluctant to read what you have to say. Instead, I took an approach using nuanced and light-hearted humor, to separate the inconsequential from the more salient points.

What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?

I like reading satire and absurdism and the idea that we search for meaning in absurd conditions and random occurrences. My favorite absurdist writers are Albert Camus, George Orwell, Joseph Heller, Samuel Beckett, John Kennedy Toole, Tom Stoppard, Ralph Ellison, and most especially Kurt Vonnegut. I also like post-apocalyptic novels like, On the Road, by Cormac McCarthy and I thought In Watermelon Sugar, by Richard Brautigan, was phenomenal.

How have you marketed and promoted your work?

I promote my work through Twitter, Goodreads and my blog, The Mordant Scribe.

Have you written any other books?

Yes, The Bill, a political satire and Looney Bin Incorporated a social satire.

Describe your writing in three words.

Non compos mentis.

If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?

I would love to have lunch with Jack Kerouac and ask him all about his road-trip adventures and train hopping across the United States.

Who designed your cover?

The cover concept and design was done by Aaron A. Alvarez, a very talented artist, who draws for the online comic theobscuregentlemen.com and he’s also content creator for thedad.com.

Where can people learn more about your books?

You can learn more about my books as well as purchase them on Indigo Sea Press https://bit.ly/1V762fl and Amazon https://amzn.to/2d2oY06

Thank you, Marietta. Best of luck with your new book!

See also: Interview with Marietta Rodgers, Author of “Looney Bin Incorporated” And Interview With Marietta Rodgers, Author of “The Bill”

Make Extinction Level Event Great Again

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It’s 66 million years ago in the Mesozoic Era. An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and President Trumposaurus Rex is meeting with his top cabinet officials, to discuss what to do about it.

Trumposarus: {trying to pick up a brontosaurus egg with his tiny hands} I don’t understand what is going on. Something about an asseroid coming at us.

Penceadon: That’s asteroid sir.

Trumposarus: Isn’t there some way we can destroy it?

Monomattisteryx: We can’t; it’s too big.

Trumposarus: That’s what she said.

Sesslodocus: Nice one sir.

Trumposarus: Shut up Sesslodocus. I’m firing you right after this hemorrhoid hits the Earth.

Kushnaraptor: {shrieks in a high-pitched scream}

Pompeodromeus: What exactly do you do here again?

Sanderceratops: Sir, you need to tell the other dinnosaurs the bad news and to prepare themselves for something horrific.

Monomattisteryx: The asteroid is about 10 to 15 kilometers in diameter.

Trumposarus: You know I can’t count. Do you know how big a tyrannosaurs brain is?

Pompeodromeus: It will immediately cause climate disruption upon impact.

Trumposarus: Climate disruption is a hoax perpetrated by pterodactyls who want to rule the Earth.

Sesslodocus: {starts to speak but Trumposarus bites off his head}

Kushneraptor: {screeches again}

Penceadon: The impact will release dust, sulfur and carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. The dust will block out the sun.

Trumposarus: Good, it’s too hot anyway.

Penceadon: No, that’s bad, because the plants won’t get any sun and about 75% of them will die.

Trumposarus: {finally gets the brontosaurs egg into his hands} So, who cares? I don’t eat plants.

Sanderceratops: Sir, a lot of dinosaurs, including me, only eat plants.

Trumposarus: Sucks to be you.

Monomattisteryx: I don’t think you understand. The dinosaurs and other animals that you eat, will die out, because they won’t have anything to eat.

Pompeodromeus: It’s a lot more than that. It’s hitting in water, so it is going to create a megatsunami, probably over 33 feet tall.

Trumposarus: See, I told you we should have built that wall.

Pompedromeus: A wall wouldn’t make a difference in this case. The impact will also cause wildfires to erupt and the shock waves  will trigger global earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Penceadon: What are you going to tell the other dinosaurs?

Trumposarus: I’m going to tell them it’s all fake news and that it’s going to a big beautiful asteroid, that’s going to do great things. Very great things. You’ve never seen an asteroid like this, believe me.

Sanderceratops: I’ll gather all the dinosaurs together, so you can address them.

Trumposarus: Can someone wrap up that head for me in a to-go box? I want to save that for later.

 

 

 

No Exit

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The students are standing in a dank, dimly lit room with one florescent light bulb hanging from the ceiling. A rat is nibbling on what could be a human toe in one corner. The Improv teacher, Ursula Kowalski, looks at her students in disgust. The rat also looks at them in disgust.

Ursula: {cigarette dangles from her lips, with 2 inches of ash hanging on the end} Welcome to my improv class. None of your dreams of becoming a Broadway actor will come true and you will die alone. But still, we try anyway, yes.

{coughs into a handkerchief for 10 minutes}

Ursula: Lets start with an easy exercise. Imagine you have a pinpoint of light inside your chest. It starts off small and then it fills your chest, arms, legs, hands and feet. Then after that, imagine it filling your entire body. Finally, imagine the light filling the room. Say yes to the light; let it flow through you.

{walks around the room}

Ursula: {points to a young girl} You are not being the light.

Girl: I’m trying to be the light.

Ursula: No, watch me be the light. I have tuberculosis, typhoid, polio and a bunion and I still have a better light than you.

{continues to walk around the room}

Ursula: {points to a middle-aged man} You are not the light! You are the opposite of whatever light is.

Middle-aged man: Um … dark?

Ursula: Shut up! I am in an existential crisis.

{coughs for 10 more minutes until finally coughs up a cat}

Ursula: No one is the light. You would kill Elia Kazan if he were still alive. If he were alive here now, he would not be alive; you would kill him. That is how bad you are.

{waves her hand for everyone to stop}

Ursula: We will try an easy exercise. You {points} no-light girl. You will sit in a chair and pretend you are driving a bus. The rest of you form a single-file line and she will stop the bus and pick the first person up. That person will display a tick or emotion, that no-light girl, will then have to mimic. When she stops to pick the next person, that person will have a new emotion that the driver and the passenger will have to mimic. This will go on until the bus is full.

Girl: I don’t see a chair to sit in.

Ursula: I don’t have a chair. What, do you think this is a fancy place that has chairs? I don’t even have a liver. I am still rationing from the war! Sit on the floor.

Girl: {pretends to drive and then stops the bus, where a young man is weeping}

Ursula: {watches the two of them weeping} No, no, no. That is not how you weep. Weep like Samuel Beckett has just left you for a younger woman.

{they resume their weeping}

Ursula: Oh my god, this is garbage. Watch how I weep. {face remains stoic} Don’t you think I wept, when the Nazis marched through my village in Poland? Well, I didn’t, because we didn’t weep back then, but still I weep better than you. Pick up the next passenger.

{girl is gesticulating with her hands, pretending to be hysterical}

Ursula: This is not bad. I like you hysterical girl.

{The rat from the corner comes out to watch the students; it is also smoking a cigarette.}

Ursula: Ok, so far hysterical girl is my favorite. Next passenger.

{an older woman pretends to be angry}

Ursula: This is not anger; I need raw emotion. Be angry like Lee Strasberg, has just told you that you are the worst actress he has ever seen. {clinches her fist and breaks the fluorescent bulb, the room is now completely dark}

{A few of the students are able to feel their way out the door to freedom}

Ursula: Now, continue. Don’t think that because it is completely dark, that I can’t see your poor acting, because I can.

{next guy pretends that something is funny, everyone else remains still, because they can’t see what he is doing}

Ursula: So, you think you are a funny man?

Guy: How can you even see what I am doing?

Ursula: My eyes are like an owl. We lived in the dark when I was a girl. There was no light; the sun didn’t shine then. We were all tragic figures.

{last person/passenger pretends to be surprised}

Ursula: Ha! You are not surprised. Surprise is when your entire village gets struck with a cholera epidemic. This is surprise! {hurls smoking rat at the students}

{Everyone screams and bumps into each other trying to exit the room}

Ursula: Our time is up together. You will need to pay by next week, if you haven’t already. I need to buy some cabbage and my cat needs a new shawl.

The Law of Diminishing Integrity

Lawyer Hello Name Tag Attorney Lawsuit Justice

Attorney-client privilege is so 2017. Michael Cohen recorded a conversation with his “client,” Donald Trump, regarding the payoff of an affair with a playboy playmate model. It has the sound quality of a 1978 sex ed film, played on a broken film projector, but it does expose the lies told during the Trump campaign. There are many more of these types of recordings and below is a complete (not yet heard by the public) transcript.

Trump: Are you recording me?

Cohen: What kind of scumbag lawyer would do that?

Trump: The kind I hire.

Cohen: Why would I need to record a conversation about a payoff? It’s not like I might have to turn it over to a special prosecutor one day, in order to save my ass from jail.

Trump: Uh huh.

Cohen: Listen, I’ve had a brilliant idea. I’m going to set up a shell corporation in order to make a hush money payment.

Trump: Who are we hushing up this time?

Cohen: Let me just check my files. I’ve filed them all alphabetically and we have worked our way down to the letter ‘K.’ It looks like her name is Kandy Kane.

Trump: I don’t know anyone called Kandy Kane.

Cohen: That’s just her stage name.

Trump: Whatever. Make sure you pay in cash though.

Cohen: No, no. You don’t want to pay in cash.

Trump: Jesus Mike! Where did you get your law degree, the University of Online?

Cohen: Yes.

Trump: Well, you can’t write a check.

Cohen: That’s why we are creating the shell corporation. I’m calling it Kandy Kane Kover-Up LLC.

Trump: Noice!

Cohen: I’ll just need you to get $50,000 for me.

Trump: Say what?

Cohen: You need to provide money to the LLC, so that I can make the hush payment.

Trump: I don’t have any money! I’ve been bankrupt five times! Why don’t you pay it; you’re a (says the word barely above a whisper) Jew.

Cohen: Did you just use a horribly insensitive antisemitic stereotype, perpetuated by years of being restricted by Christians, to the profession of moneylending?

Trump: I have no idea what you just said, but I am not a racist. Oh, remind me to prepare my speech later on building a wall to keep out Mexican rapists and criminals.

Cohen: You’re definitely going to win this presidential race.

Trump: You think so?

Cohen: Yes, just keep denying all the facts and you’ll be fine. People love a tough idiot.

Trump: Do they really?

Cohen: Yes, remember George W. Bush.

Trump: Er??

Cohen: He was the 43rd president.

Trump: Um?

Cohen: He was the son of George H. Bush.

Trump: {audibly drools}

Cohen: He was the cowboy hat President before Obama.

Trump: Oh yeah. Now get out there Mike. I’m not paying you to just sit around. I’m paying you to blur all moral and ethical lines.

{The last few minutes are crunching noises. Mike is eating a can of cheddar cheese Pringles}

 

 

 

 

The Customer is Always Right

Customer

Customer: I’d like to get a refund on this DVD.

Store Clerk: {looks over DVD case} You bought the Purge? What’s wrong with it, other than unnecessary violence, acting, cinematography and basic plot structure?

Customer: It’s scratched.

Store Clerk: {Opens up DVD case} This a Baywatch DVD.

Customer: What’s the difference?

Store Clerk: I see your point. Do you have a receipt?

Customer: I have it right here. {hands clerk the receipt}

Store Clerk: This is a Borders receipt from 2008. I can’t even read what you bought, because the receipt is so worn.

Customer: It’s still a receipt.

Store Clerk: I can tell nothing from this, other than you probably paid twice as much 10 years ago, for whatever this was, than what you would now.

Customer: I’d like to speak to the manager.

Store Clerk: He’s in the breakroom, crying into a bologna sandwich.

Customer: Haven’t you ever heard that the customer is always right?

Store Clerk: Haven’t you ever heard of Redbox, Netflix, Amazon, the internet … cable theft?

Customer: I’ll wait for the manager, because the customer is always right.

Store Clerk: {points to John Mayer t-shirt} Clearly not always.

{Manager comes out from the breakroom. His eyes are bloodshot and he is hungover}

Customer: Are you the manager?

Manager: {pauses to consider this} Yes, I was promoted. Our other manager died; he choked to death on a hot pocket.

Customer: How long have you worked here?

Manager: Long enough. I’ve seen things, things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire, off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

Customer: Isn’t that from Blade Runner?

Manager: How can I help you?

{Store clerk is staring at the clock and wishing for death}

Customer: I’d like a refund on this DVD. Here is my receipt.

Manager: {barely glances at receipt} Jeff, give this customer a refund.

Store Clerk: I’m Jeremy. I don’t even know how much to give him.

{Manager vomits into a trashcan}

Store Clerk: {gives customer $10}

Customer: This is the last time I shop at this place.

Manager: {lifts head up from trashcan} Thank you for shopping at Obsolete Electronics, where all of our merchandise is obsolete and pointless.

Store Clerk: Can I take my break now?

Manager: Sure. Just don’t use the microwave. I heated up the last of that managers hot pockets and it exploded all over the microwave.