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.

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 Customer is Always Right

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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.

 

 

 

Review of Jesus Wine

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There are some really good wines out there, but often I’m disappointed, because the body is flat and the aroma is weak. There’s one brand of wine, that I’ve never been disappointed with and that’s Jesus Wine. I’m tired of buying wine from mere mortals and leaving the bottle half-finished. Okay, I still finish the bottle anyway, but begrudgingly. If you want the best, you have to go directly to the guy, who changed water into wine and that’s why I buy exclusively from Jesus. I’ve compiled a list below of some of my favorites.

Jesus Pinot Noir This holy wine has a hint of cherry, cranberry and mint. It has a light body, just like our Lord and Savior. It’s a bold red wine, that taste like heaven itself. This wine has high acid content and soft tannins. It pairs well with chicken, pork, soft cheese, cured meats and is great by itself, for when you’re fasting. You don’t want to be the only one in your archdiocese not drinking this wine. It’s a little pricey at $44.99, but well worth it.

Jesus Chardonnay – A dry, full-bodied wine, that will leave you saying, ‘Hosanna in the highest.’ This white wine has a citrus taste, with a hint of cinnamon, butterscotch and tropical fruits. It has a smooth, velvety texture and is more perfumed, than Jesus on a night out in Nazareth. Paul wrote about this wine, in his letters to the apostles. It pairs well with lobster, shrimp, chicken and it’s great for when you’re abstaining from sex. Reasonably priced at $25.99.

Jesus Merlot – Peace be with you and with this spirit. A cheaper wine, the kind Jesus drank when it was the day before payday. It has a smooth mix of ripe plum and cassis flavors. It has medium tannins and acidity, soft finish and pairs well with steak, risotto and roasted meats. The perfect wine for when you’re finished saying the Nicene Creed and your throat is parched. Priced at only $12.99

Jesus Sauvignon Blanc – The most expensive brand of Jesus wine. He drank this wine at the last supper. The Pope keeps a few bottles in his Popemobile and one underneath his hat. This wine has a light, refreshing taste of apple and a hint of pear and black currant. It is light-bodied, has a strong aroma and pairs well with seafood, poultry and salads. You will need to say three, ‘Hail Mary’s’ and five, ‘Our Father’s’ after drinking this wine, because it is definitely a mortal sin. Priced at $85.99.

Jesus Cabernet Sauvignon – Yahweh’s full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, will make you have a schism in your pants. It has a spicy taste, with black cherry and a hint of black currant and baking spices. It is one of His most popular wines, with bold tannins and a long after taste. It’s just the thing you need after an Inquisition. It pairs well with lamb, beef, smoked meats and aged cheese. Priced at $35.99.

Original, revised version published in, Below the Fold Magazine. 7/1/16. 

 

Twenty Things to Say After Sex to Make it Awkward

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1. Would you mind going online and filling out a brief survey?

2. I have to go to the bathroom and cry for awhile; please show yourself out.

3. {pull cellphone out} Oh, I forgot, my mom is still on hold.

4. Would you like to buy a magazine subscription?

5. I could really go for some better sex right about now.

6. What do you think I should name the baby?

7.  Do you have a minute to talk about Jesus?

8. I have to run; I’m late for my mime workshop.

9.  Do you want to see my collection of shrunken heads?

10. Is it okay to open my eyes now?

11. Feel free to touch my mole.

12. Well, there goes five minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

13. LOL!

14. {point to genitals} That is so sad.

15. Where am I?

16. Thank you for participating in my focus group.

17. I feel a burning sensation.

18. Flawless Victory!

19. You know, my stool is silky smooth.

20. Meh.

 

A Memorable Feast

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Edgar Allan Poe: {Grim Reaper is hovering around his chair, with his scythe casually dangling at his side} “Are you enjoying those peas?”

Howard Hughes: {counting his peas} “You made me lose count.”

Edgar Allan Poe: “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to play with your food?”

Howard Hughes: {looks up for the first time and remembers he is at a dinner party} “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to bring animals to the dinner table?” {points towards the raven perched on his chair}

JD Salinger: {underneath the table, wrapped in the tablecloth, with only his eyes peeking out} “I hope no one can see me.”

Raven: “Nevermore.”

Edgar Allan Poe: {drinking absinthe} “That’s the only thing he ever says.”

Ernest Hemingway: {wearing a live bear like a fur coat} “I hope we aren’t going to talk about peas and birds all night. There are far more interesting things to talk about, like I once drove an ambulance filled with bourbon, wounded soldiers and a live crocodile, through an Italian war zone.”

Henry David Thoreau: “I once spent two years in a tiny cabin in the woods, eating nothing, but bark and dandelions.”

Ernest Hemingway: {belches}

Emma Goldman: {addressing the kitchen server} “These conditions are insufferable; you’re working for slave wages. You should demand your rights and go on strike.”

Server: “Actually, I receive a fair wage and get weekends and holidays off.”

Emma Goldman: “Intolerable!”

Hunter Thompson: {pushes his plate aside and snorts a line of cocaine} “Right on sister. It’s the American dream.”

JD Salinger: {from underneath the table} “If no one can see me, maybe I’m not here.”

Ernest Hemingway: “You need to come out from underneath that table and face your fears like a man.” {the terrified bear he is wearing, nods in agreement}

{Raven flies over & lands on Howard’s plate, knocking over his peas}

Howard Hughes: {horrified, watching his peas roll across the floor} “Now look at what your daft bird has done.”

Raven: “Nevermore.”

Howard Hughes: “I would like a fresh plate of peas, sorted by circumference and weight. Don’t touch them with your hands!”

Server: {?}

Edgar Allan Poe: “Do you have anything stronger than absinthe?”

Server: “We have some kerosene out in the garage.”

Edgar Allan Poe: “Very good.”

Hunter Thompson: {taking mescaline} “My god, it’s a bat!” {fires his revolver at the raven, misses and shatters the window}

Ernest Hemingway: {slurring} “Some people can’t handle their alcohol.”

{The server leaves to arrange peas, get the kerosene from the garage and curse his life choices}

Emma Goldman: “This establishment is corrupt. No one should have to endure this kind of treatment. {yells} Anarchy!” {strikes a match and sets the tablecloth on fire}

{The Grim Reaper drops his scythe and runs out of the room}

Edgar Allan Poe: “My dear woman, please try to control your enthusiastic outbursts.” {pours his glass of absinthe on the fire and the flames shoot out}

Ernest Hemingway: {puts his steak on a fork and starts roasting it in the flame} “I like my steak well-done.”

Henry David Thoreau: {puts a croissant down his trousers & steak inside of his dinner jacket} “You never know when you might need food.”

Ernest Hemingway: “What’s for dessert?”

JD Salinger: {hands quickly raise up from underneath the tablecloth, to grab his bowl of soup}

Howard Hughes: {weeping} “My peas!”

Hunter Thompson: {opens up a briefcase filled with pills} “It’s a giant lizard. Fuck!” {fires revolver at Hemingway and hits him in the arm}

Raven: “Fuck! Nevermore. Fuck! Nevermore.”

Hunter Thompson: “I’m sorry man; I have some morphine in my briefcase. My lawyer gave it to me. I have a 300-pound Samoan attorney.”

Ernest Hemingway: “Well, it’s not like I haven’t been shot before.”

JD Salinger: “Slurp, slurp, slurp…”

Henry David Thoreau: {to Emma Goldman} Are you going to eat that madam?”

Emma Goldman: I’m not eating any of that food; it’s been poisoned by the bourgeois businessmen.”

Henry David Thoreau: {dumps entire plate inside of his dinner jacket}

{Server comes in carrying a plate of peas and a container of kerosene, sees the table on fire}

Edgar Allan Poe: {grabs kerosene, takes a swig and throws the rest of it on the fire}

{The entire room is ablaze}

Server: {sets plate of peas down} Quickly, every one evacuate!”

Howard Hughes: {grabs the plate of peas on the way out}

JD Salinger {underneath the table} “Go away! I’m not signing autographs today. Slurp.”