Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I think I'm gonna like it here

Today was my first day at Humongo. Already, the difference between this place and my last job is astounding. I sat through two and a half hours of orientation- which sounds like pure torture, but it's actually a good thing. The fact that they have their shit together to the point where there is that much to tell me is a great thing. The HR lady led me around the office and introduced me to everyone. Everybody I met was really nice, and seemed glad I was there. Sure, they could have been blowing smoke up my ass because they were smacked up on coffee, but I'm going with "benefit of the doubt" on this one. I'd say I met around 40 people, 90% of them men (which is the norm in my profession). Only two of them did the "boob check" before looking me in the eye. So far, so good on the Pig front.

My supervisor took a coworker and me to lunch. He bought. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Aeron chairs are the standard in this office. While there are a lot of people out there who don't particularly care for them; I am happy to have a chair that's not older than I am, has decent back support, and that doesn't look like someone repeatedly spilled their lunch all over it or used it as a chewing gum-rest.

Humongo has several people whose only jobs are to handle IT, and some who only deal with CAD standards. They have people who are HR staff, and not just one of the principal's wives. They have honest-to-gravy supply closets. They will be going to AutoCAD 2005 in the spring. And, importantly, I am back in civilization again- there is a Starbuck's on my way to work.

Then I got to leave at five o'clock. Not six. The sun was still partially up. Ahhhh...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I did the math...it's not pretty

It’s that time of year again, to decide whether or not I will renew my AIA (American Institute of Architects) membership. The AIA has a fee system that requires you to pay for National, State, and Local chapter fees. All three. Not just one or two. In a profession where pay equity with other professions is sorely lacking, I find this ridiculous.

For the combined National, State, and Local chapter fees; and some ambiguous “past due balance,” my total comes to $666.00, exactly. I kid you not. Ignoring the satanic associations, that means I am paying $222.00, per letter, to put the title “AIA” behind my name on my resume, business cards, etc.

Let me take you on a journey where I break down the fees for each chapter, what each chapter does for me, and how much I am in the hole.

National Chapter
The National chapter acts as my Continuing Education (hereafter called CE) bookkeeper, which I could just as easily do on my own. ($0)
While my State licensing board only requires me to have 8 hours of CE per year, being an esteemed member of AIA means I need to have an additional 10 hours of CE. I can get most of these hours, for free, through product luncheons that the vendors offer. ($0)
What I can’t get through product luncheons, or through the State’s yearly convention, I can get through the AIA’s magazine- by filling out a self-report form and paying $10 per CE hour.
As of right now, I have met- and exceeded- the State’s CE yearly requirements. ($0)
According to AIA, however, I still need 4 more CE hours. Since the State convention has come and gone, I will need to get the remainder of my CE hours through the magazine. ($40)
The National chapter is responsible for sending me the AIA’s magazine, Architectural Record. I can get my own yearly subscription for ($64).
When I was looking for a new job, the national AIA website was worthless. There were absolutely no listings for my area- although I know companies here are hiring.
Also, they send me a ton of junk mail.

National Chapter Fees = $266 + $40 = $306
My fees for the same services = $ 64
Amount In The Hole = $296

State Chapter
Of the three, the State chapter has done the most for me thus far. They are the ones who hold the yearly convention, where I get a great deal of my CE for the year. However, registration fees for the convention are not covered in your State AIA dues. ($125)
I also receive a magazine from them, bi-monthly. I could subscribe to it on my own for ($25).
I posted my resume on their job website, and did receive a call about it…two weeks after I’d accepted my new position. The jobs listed on the site were few and dismal.
Also, they send me a ton of junk mail.

State Chapter Fees = $205 + $125 = $330
My fees for the same services = $125 + $75 = $200
Amount In The Hole = $130

Local Chapter
Now we come to the most worthless of the three. I used their employment website mercilessly when conducting my job hunt, but this is a service I can use, regardless of my membership status, for free. ($0)
When I physically went to their office to see if they had additional jobs besides what was posted on the website, there was nothing. Most of the CE classes they offer come at a price, usually $10 apiece. I can get the same thing from Architectural Record magazine, and not have to give up a lunch hour, take time off work, or give up precious after-hours time. I am not a networker, nor a schmoozer, nor a volunteer-type person; so all of that is lost on me.
Also, they send me a ton of junk mail.

Local Chapter Fees = $195
My fees for the same services = $ 0
Amount In The Hole = $195

In conclusion, for the AIA’s services and use of their title, I pay a total of $831.
I can obtain the same services, minus the title, by paying $264, putting me $567 ahead.

However, if the company decides to pay for my renewal fees, I’m all about the AIA. I’m now a corporate whore, remember?

Edited on 12/2/2004 to add:
Score! The company is totally paying for my renewal fees! They even have a policy that they'll pay 100% for employees with less than twelve years out of school- they must realize how long we remain poor-asses!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

whore (hôr, hor) n.
A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.

For the duration of my job search, I made a valiant effort to get a job where I would no longer practice healthcare architecture, because I really want to work on a different project type. However, since I apparently have no other marketable architectural skills, I will be doing healthcare at the new job. I am selling what’s left of my architect’s soul for a pay raise and Dental. I simply couldn’t hold out any longer and wait for a job that wasn’t healthcare. And that makes me a whore.

Today is my last day at El Hellhole. (After giving myself a hefty dose of paranoia at Dooce, you’d think I’d stop writing things like that) Although this place was bad news from the start, there are things I could have done to make it better for myself- I simply made the quick decision that I wasn’t staying, and acted accordingly thereafter. I have to make this new job work, and stay at it for a few years (or at least one), to repair the damage to my resume.

I present to you my New Job’s Resolutions:

  • I will not do anything to alienate myself from any of my coworkers, no matter how annoying I may find them.
  • I will not confide in any coworkers about personal frustrations in the workplace. Especially about other coworkers.
  • I will actively try not to complain. Upon failing that, I will try not to complain too much or too loudly.
  • I will, at the very least, bring a picture of ManThing to put on my desk, to signify that I plan to stay for a while.
  • If a superior does something that makes me angry, I will address it right then, and not let it fester into seething hatred.
  • If aforementioned superior continues to do these things after I’ve addressed them, I will document them, so I may sue the J. Crews off them at a later date.
  • I will not (outwardly) become touchy and bitter when the subject of my food allergies must be disclosed. (I didn't want to say "brought up," because...ew.)
  • I will put more money in savings. If, by some unfortunate karmic twist, this job doesn’t work out, I can take the two-month break I have needed for over a year in order to refresh my attitude towards architecture before looking for another job. So that I won’t consider Container Store a viable option again.
  • I will not distract myself by constantly checking hotmail/ other people’s blogs/ my site stats. Not even at lunch. (Wonder how long that one will last)
  • I will suppress my attention-craving tendencies, and will not verbally, nor via e-mail, tell anyone (else) about this site.
  • I will not post at work.
  • I will not post at work.
  • I will not post at work.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lederhosen Dreams

In an unexpected twist to my diabolical plan, both BossManF and BossManJ are out of the office Monday through Wednesday of this week. Wednesday is my last day. Hee! I am free to surf and play with absolutely no very little guilt, and then “buh-bye!!” The last few days at a job are always difficult- I can never seem to just suck it up and work hard right until the end. Don’t wanna. Since they aren’t here, it’s safe to say I ain’t gonna!

Yesterday, as part of my daylong surf-fest, I started doing research into our trip to Germany next year. We’ve decided we’re definitely going, we just aren’t sure where yet. My parents and I lived in Germany when I was between the ages of 7 and 10. Just looking at pictures of some of the places we’d been made me excited and nostalgic. I even found a webpage about Geilenkirchen, which is where we lived. I didn’t remember a single thing, but Mom said it looked like it had changed a lot in 20 years.

A week or so ago, I came across the blog of a military wife in Germany with her husband. I was excited at first, because I thought her blog would be exactly what I was looking for- an American living in Germany, and her take on the experience. Soon, however, I became disappointed, as it seems that she doesn’t venture beyond the military base- or doesn't write about it, anyway. There were lots of posts about traveling several hours to go eat at an American chain restaurant, or about the abundance of American grocery products available at the commissary- but no tales of the local culture. I read a small snippet about Nutella, but that was the extent of local culture references. ManThing suggested that I leave a comment, suggesting she talk about the “German experience” more, but I can’t figure out a tactful (or effective) way to make the suggestion, “Hey! Leave the base for once, will ya?”

I consider myself lucky for the experience I had living there. The base where my father was posted was small, and had no housing. We lived in an apartment building nearby. There were grazing fields outside, and every night a farmer would lead his cows up the street and into his barn. (Hence, I learned the meaning of the phrase, "until the cows come home.") My mother learned to speak German. We shopped in the local grocery store, ate in the restaurants, and rode our bikes along the Wurm. I played with the kids in our apartment building. Mind you, I didn’t have a freakin’ clue what they were saying, but I played with them nonetheless. Nearly every weekend, we would go someplace new: Aachen, Cologne, Munich, and Wiesbaden, just to name a few.

*Sniff* Give me a moment. Nostalgia…

Okay. Better now. Can’t wait to go back!!

Monday, November 22, 2004


There hasn't been much going on in the Cubicle Jungle lately. I'm riding out my last few days as the Worst Employee Ever at this job; waiting to start fresh.

I'm doing a bit of clean-up on the site; changing/adding links, etc.

I've added a link to Sour Bob. I spent a good chunk of last night reading through his stuff, and it's very, very good. On more than one occasion, I nearly snarfed beverage out of my nose because of something he wrote. Especially this one.

I was hesitant to put a link to him after reading this post, however, because I complain about my job. A lot. Even though it's the kind of job I really shouldn't complain about. I am risking Sour Bob's wrath, however, because his stuff is so good that I want other people to enjoy it like I did.

Hopefully he won't come and kick my ass.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

CAD Monkey Reloaded

Yes, yes. Could I be any more trite?

Just wanted to announce the unveiling (after much teeth-gnashing) of the new, improved template! I really was uncomfortable with sharing the same template as a grandmother and a recipe blog.

Viva individuality! I certainly don't get a chance to show it at work!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Grammar Rant

This entry is link-heavy, only because I am using the links to substantiate claims within the post. Sort of a lazy person’s footnote system, if you will. Yes, I know the previous sentence is a fragment, thankyouverymuch, MicroSoft Word. I never pretended to portray myself as perfect.


I’ve been getting the itch to write a grammar/ spelling rant, and this post at All Right Here? prodded me into action. It’s an excellent post, by an English teacher, discussing the book Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

When did everybody forget the concept behind contractions? I’m not talking about the kind that precedes a birth! It just annoys me to no end when I see the misuse of "it's" and "its"- and "it's" misused everywhere! “You’re” and “your” are two completely different words with completely different connotations. They are not interchangeable.

A piece of nit-picking that ManThing and I share is the use of words such as good vs. well, and less vs. fewer. Sometimes, when speaking, I find myself paying extra attention to the use of good vs. well, so that I won’t leave an opening for ManThing to tease me mercilessly. For several weeks, there was a billboard I saw every day on my way to work. It was for a major company, and it read: “Less calories. More yum.” Each time I drove past I would feel the need to yell “FEWER!!” Another billboard offender on my daily drive was: “Mother Nature. With a couple revisions.” This, of course, elicited the yelling of “It’s ‘a couple OF revisions!’ OF, damn you!!”

I am a spelling snob from way back. This began when, in second grade, I beat the pants off of all the fifth graders at my school’s spelling bee. It only got worse after that. Once, I got into an argument with one of my teachers over the correct spelling of the word "judgment." I thought it had an "e." She disagreed, vehemently, and we looked it up. We were both right, though she was “more” correct than I; I’ll admit that now. Some spellings are less rigid than others. Some are definitely not; for example…"definitely." It is not spelled “definately,” as I so often see it abused. It is an expansion of the word definite- do you see an “a?” Neither do I.

When one sits down to eat, it is not in a “dinning room.” It is supposed to have one “n.” ONE! Dining! One letter can make the difference between eating and just making lots of noise. Conversely, what you are eating is not “diner;” unless you are very, very hungry.

The following is particular to the architectural world, and the reason I remember it is because a professor made a big show of pointing out anybody who got it wrong: fluorescent lights. If you see something written as “flourescent,” it probably belongs in a bakery.

“I am loosing my mind.” Really? You are releasing it into the wild? Fascinating. Was it bred in captivity? Or, did you actually mean “losing?”


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I Have Pelizaeus Merzbacher Brain Sclerosis, I'm Sure of It!!

I don’t want to be this hypochondriacally inclined person I am now. I am constantly trying to diagnose myself with something; to put a name (and a drug) to my problems. Last week, my doctor called to tell me I had an abnormal Pap smear, and after a quick trip to WebMD, I’d already decided I had cervical cancer.

I’m done with having Depression. I had my first (official) bout with it in 1997, and was on and off medication until this year. It runs in the family, so it’s very valid that I would suffer from it; and I feel like crap most of the time, which is definitely a major symptom. The several different medications I’ve been on don’t work for me. I also hate the way I feel while on antidepressants just about as much as how I feel without them.

In my latest Self-Diagnosis-of-the-Week, I’ve decided I have ADD. I took a quiz on WebMD (evil, evil!!), and scored a 26. Scores 25 and above were qualified as "very severe ADHD behaviors"

These are the things in particular that I'm worried about:

Home life
* You often feel overly active and compelled to do things. (Except exercise, apparently)
* You have difficulty unwinding and relaxing at home. (Because the dog pisses me off?)
* You often feel restless or fidgety. (Snoring husband?)
* You tend to worry and feel that things won't work out for you. (Read my old entries about my job- track record, people!!)

Work life
* You often avoid or delay starting tasks.
* You often make careless mistakes.
* You are easily distracted.
* You often have difficulty getting things in order.
* You sometimes have trouble wrapping up the final details.
* You sometimes have difficulty keeping your attention on work.
* You often fidget or squirm when you have to sit for a long time.
* You have changed jobs frequently. (Oh, yeah)
* You feel that you should be further along with your career. (Like retired already!!)

Do I really have a problem, or do I just hate work?

Here’s what Lori said:
“I scored a 14. Which doesn’t concern me because I believe that a lot of the questions most people would have problems with. ‘Do you find yourself tuning out people speaking especially when they are talking directly to you?’ Yes because in our business there are usually a bunch of blow-hards that talk waaayyy too much.”

I think I just want to take a pill to make the Pain of Architecture go away.

Here’s what Mom said:
“These are things that we all go through. If you believe everything on the internet it will make you crazy!!!! I had myself convinced that I had uterine cancer, since all the information on the internet said if you had abnormal bleeding after menopause that you had uterine cancer.

Quit taking internet tests and if you really think you have the condition, go to the doctor!”

Right. Virtual Kick-In-Pants received and acknowledged.

ManThing took the quiz, and called me afterwards:
“25 and above is ‘severe ADHD symptoms,’ right? I scored a 44.”
“SNORF! That’s hilarious! It doesn’t surpise me; but I know you won’t do anything about it.”
“Actually, I’m going to try to go talk to a doctor. If he wants to put me on medication, I’ll try it out and see what it does to me. I just hope they don’t put me on anything that’s going to make me slow down; I kind of like that I move around quickly.”
“I think they put you on stimulants to treat it.”
“Sweet! Have you seen me on stimulants? I’ll be like Daffy Duck- woohoo woohoo woohoo…”

Monday, November 15, 2004

Why Am I Such A Worrier?

My decision has been officially made for me. As much as I want to be a designer, I know I need to give up that dream. It’s just not going to happen for me, or at least not before I’m 50.

I got my rejection letter from GWH on Friday; and I sent in my acceptance letter to Humongo on Saturday. I know I need to stay at Humongo for at least two or three years; as I already have the crimson red mark of a “jumper” on my resume. I’m trying to get excited about starting there, but the fears are setting in already. Humongo was the only firm that made me an offer, just like when I took my current job- is that a bad omen? What if BossManF wasn’t just yanking my chain when he said Humongo is “a hard place to work?” What if I end up working for a jerk- again? What if I absolutely can’t stand any more healthcare architecture, no matter what they’re paying me? Are they going to make me travel all the time (which I can only handle in limited quantities)? What if I hate this place like I’ve hated the last two? What if I can never fit my fatass into any of my suits again??

That last one applies no matter where I’m working, unfortunately.

Blog Explosion, Part II

Generally, I like Blog Explosion, as it has been the sole reason my traffic has increased so much. As I’ve used it more, I’ll admit I do have some beefs with it, though (hopefully they will remedy some of these after they’ve been around longer).

For example, I wish I could block whole genres from my surfing; a limit of 25 blocked sites just isn’t enough, kids- especially as Blog Explosion continues to grow. I really don’t care about SAHMs, or other people’s political views, or religious views, or blogs that were apparently written by eight year olds (not sure what category that last one would fall into).

**Edited 11/16/04 - Okay. I knew I was gonna hack somebody off with this paragraph, but let me 'splain. SAHMs: I have great respect for what you do; my mom was a stay-at-homer until I was eleven. I just don't want to read about poo, or look at 20 pictures of your kid per page; and that's the caliber of what I've encountered thus far. I still stand by my opinions on the political and religious blogs, however. -CAD Monkey **

Do I have to look at seven different blogs by the same person? In a row, no less? Does that mean this person, in turn, will be forced to look at my blog 3.5 times? Probably not.

I’m not even going to look at what I’ve been “rated,” because it would probably just make me angry. There is no clarification on whether the rating is based upon content, visual quality, etc.- not that mine would win raves on either.

This one has more to do with the bloggers than the administrators: quit begging for iPods! You’re embarrassing yourselves, and when I see the “free iPod” thing on your site, I immediately lose interest in anything else you have to say. Ask Santa for one. Leave the rest of us alone. There, I’ve said it. Commence Flame War.

And this last item, which is purely my own fault…it’s too much like having a pet! I feel like I have to keep nurturing it (by surfing) in order for it to grow (have people look at my sites). I really shouldn’t be surfing at work; I just nearly got caught looking (staring…rowrr) at a blog with an underwear-clad male model on it. Hee.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Corporate Whoredom In Seven Months Or Less

Sorry for the tons of posts today, but it's been a rollercoaster-y, emotional day!

When I came home from El Hellhole today, there was a package waiting for me. It was from the Humongo firm (3000 people, all offices counted) I interviewed with last Friday. Inside the seemingly indestructable Tyvek envelope was a nice, supple, leather bound notebook. Inside of that, there was an offer letter. On the offer letter was a big, luscious, juicy number.

Part of me is still waiting for "GWH" to call, because that position was purely design-oriented. However, I'm only waiting until Monday before I become a corporate whore and accept Humongo's offer. I'm not going to string along the Sure Thing for too long- and I fully realize that jumping quickly is what got me into my current mess. The difference this time is, I can make this one work. They already do healthcare architecture, have done it for many many years, and aren't just now trying to break into the market by grabbing a couple of crappy developer projects. The benefits are better, and the pay is much better- to the tune of a nearly 5k raise. And in writing, even!

After much doing of math, and figuring out that there's absolutely no way I'm getting paid for Thanksgiving; I decided to turn in my resignation tomorrow. That is the only way I'll be able to give my bare-bones 2 weeks, without having to do something silly like come back in for 2 days after a 4-day weekend. I'm absolutely giddy. Squealy, high school girl, "OHMYGAWD" giddy.

Would it be wrong to take my letter to work in that nice leather notebook- that has Humongo's monogram on it?

Retail Revisited

CAD Monkey note: Sometimes I really hate Blogger. I had a good post, all written up and ready to go. I hit the "Publish Post" button, it timed out, and now the post has gone poof. I'm a glutton for punishment, though, so I'm going to try and recreate it in all its angsty goodness.

I am putting way too much stock into getting this job; I know I am. I really want it, and I'm making it into the (final) Great White Hope, and I'm setting myself up for a fall. I'm trying rally hard to not talk about it in past tense right now. If I get the Bad Phone Call from them, it will mean I have to start revamping my job hunt drastically. My plan (as of this five minutes) is to send out a lot of revised (deleting the damn "AIA" from behind my name) resumes to small firms with the objective of landing some hourly work. I figure that way I can get some of this damn "experience" everybody keeps saying I don't have enough of. If I'm going to be somebody's bitch, I'm only working 30-36 hours a week, dammit. I'm also going to contact *gasp* a headhunter, and have them do some of this crap for me.

And, I'm going to apply at The Container Store. Yes, for the sales floor. Yes, during Christmas shopping season. Yes, even though I worked at Wal-Mart in a past life and hated every bit of it, especially during Christmas shopping season. Oh, shut up. Drastic changes, I say!

The problem I'm having right now is I don't know when I should resign. Should I wait until I have another job lined up? Should I quit, without another job, and just hope against all hope that I get something soon after? I've already made up my mind that my current project will be my last project here- do I give my notice two weeks before the final deadline, or say to hell with it and give notice this coming Monday?

To stick it to The Man or to go out like a trooper...it is a nagging question. My problem (or a good quality, however you look at it) is that I tend to want to leave on good terms no matter how crap-tacular a place has been. Right now, for example, I am feeling guilty because I know I'm going to quit and they just bought me a new box of business cards with my new name on them. This is a stupid reason to feel guilty in the first place; even more so because they bought the whole office new cards because of the new phone system.

Do you want to hear the worst part of it all? This is the part that makes me feel not like a married, 30-year-old, registered architect with a masters degree, but a big ol' loser: I'm scared to death to tell my mom about what I'm planning. Especially the Container Store part. I don't want to hear the lecture about how I'm wasting my education and wasting my life. Most of all, I don't want to hear the disappointment in her voice. I don't know what I'm trying to figure out with all of this right now; I sure don't want to justify it to anybody else- especially not Mom.

I feel like I’m losing my goddamn mind. I’m having an American Beauty moment. I can’t focus or concentrate, I can’t force myself to care. I want to scream, to cry, to leave. I don’t see a way out of here that won’t put me in another similar situation. If anybody feels the need to comment, “hang in there,” don’t. Just...don’t.

It’s a stupid, worthless sentiment for a poster with a sappy kitten dangling from a tree branch; not a mantra for dealing with my life.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I've Got Your "Sweetie" Right Here

Things have been almost okay for the last several days, because BossManJ and BossManF have been out of the office. Today, BossManJ comes back at four-frippin-thirty and starts giving me hell as usual- "why didn't you copy me on this e-mail?" "Where is the latest set of prints?" etc., etc.

And then he calls me "sweetie."

There are no words for the anger. No words at all.

Rubbernecker Rant

I was driving to work on the Tollway this morning, when it annoyingly came to a complete halt. Dammit, I’m paying my 60 cents; I want to go fast now!! Sitting up as tall as I could in my seat- which ain’t much, I’m only 5’3”- I saw flashing red and blue lights up ahead. A wreck. Never good. As we inched closer, I saw that it was a pretty bad one- but it wasn’t even on our side of the barrier! This annoyed me further, because that meant the reason we were slowing down so much was so that people could rubberneck. I always hate this.

Do you really want to see some carnage? Do you really? If you do, then go watch some episodes of ER. That’s not real. That’s not an actual person in actual pain, and you can stare at it all you want. Slow it down, even, if you want a really good look.

On the road, however, you’re not helping a damn thing by staring and slowing down traffic so you can (possibly) get a glimpse of some blood and guts. If you're on the side of the barrier with the wreck, you're holding up the emergency crews trying to help the people. If you're on the other side of the barrier, you're annoying the ever-living crap out of someone like me.

Drive, damn you all! Mind your business! Don’t cause another wreck because of your stupidity!


Also, in addition to the plotter at work being down (read: unplugged) for a week, now the little b&w printer is...wait for it...out of toner, and we're all (25 of us, folks) supposed to print to the color printer. Somebody is printing a big color job today, which takes a minimum of 10 minutes per sheet, so I will not get my little paragraph of text for who knows how long.

AAAARGGHRGRGRGRGRHHH!!!! Hate this retarded, small-time, ass-backwards place!!!

Monday, November 08, 2004

CAD Monkey - The Musical

I am fully aware that this is NaNoWriMo, but I'm not quite ready to jump in fully. I'm going to hide behind the Fear Of Rejection that has been roused by my job search. The following is a bit o' text I've been playing around with- I lost some of it while trying to *ahem* remove the evidence from my work computer. If I can somehow recover the rest of it, I'll add to it.

AutoCAD just dies. No warning, no chance to save her file first. It’s just…gone.
“Ahhh- CRAP!! Stupid AutoCAD!”
She slams a fist down on her desk- a folding table someone used as a drill block in its former life. She is trying to maintain good posture to ease the pain in her shoulders, with headphones half off one ear so she can hear the phone- or more accurately, Kathy screaming that she has a phone call holding, since she doesn’t actually have a phone at her desk. After attempting, twice, to use the excuse "I don't have a phone!" when Kathy yelled out that there was a call holding, she realized Kathy would continue to send calls her way regardless of her phone-less status. Meadows was nice enough to share his phone with her. It was his direct line, though, so the "scream-paging" continued. She looks up the “temp” file to see how much damage has been done.
Dammit! I lost most of the room number tags I just put on!”
So much for efficiency, she thinks. She sighs and stretches; wincing at the bright, pinching pain in her shoulder, and starts the highly tedious task of putting room tags in the plan...again. Meadows leans back in his chair, poking his head around the side of his cubicle wall to talk to her.
"We're not supposed to be wearing jeans today."
"What? Whatever. You're kidding, right?"
"No, Jason came through the office last night around 5:30, telling everyone.”
Today was Thursday, and she normally didn’t wear jeans until Friday, but decided on the “fuck it” approach this morning. The only thing special about this Thursday was the prospective clients coming through the office for a project interview. She somehow thought the trash pile near the kitchen would impress them less than her jeans.
“Whatever. They can fire me. He should have sent an e-mail or something.”
“Well, you know how they always think of this crap at the last minute.”
Meadows leans forward again, disappearing behind the cubicle wall.
“Whaddya mean, ‘UNKNOWN COMMAND _XCLIP’?!?! You don’t just forget commands all of a sudden! You sorry piece of crap!”

I'm Married...I'm Not Supposed To Have To Date Anymore!!

The job search continues- obviously. I don't know that this blog will survive, should I find a job I'm happy with. After all, isn't its premise to rant about how my job blows goats?

With every interview that passes, my mind keeps wanting to compare the job-hunting process to dating. You get all dressed up, and sit nervously while waiting for them to come retrieve you and begin the encounter. You put on your best manners, and try to say flattering things about yourself- but not too many! You don’t want to sound conceited.

After it’s all over, you go home (or back to work) and start waiting to get the call for the second “date.” And you wait. And wait. At the time of the actual interview, you thought everything went well, but the more time that goes by, you start to remember the stupid things you said. The things that could have been construed as desperation.

Every time you like a firm, it is unrequited. The firms you couldn’t care less about are the ones who like you back. You find yourself wondering, “should I say ‘yes’ to the less attractive firm, who wants me now; or hold out for the more attractive firm- and possibly be left without a date to the dance at all?”

“Should I forego a 'relationship' in favor of cheap thrills and just do hourly work somewhere?”


“Why am I so ugly??”

And then I start sending out resumes...again. I like getting hurt.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Blog Explosion

Eleven...o'clock. Must....stop.....need bedtime...

In my need for the world to experience the CAD Monkey lifestyle, I signed up for Blog Explosion. Now I'm writing silly posts like "50 CAD Monkey Things," and staying up way past my bedtime. Okay, eleven's not that late, but I have a sinus infection, for crap's sake- I could really use some rest!

--edited to add--

I am realllllly tired of all the political blogs. I know that blogging is a way to express one's opinion, but does everyone have to have an opinion about the same stinkin' thing? If I want to read about politics (which I so don't), I'll go to cnn.com, thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

50 CAD Monkey Things

  1. My favorite color is red. It used to be green. Not sure when the change happened.
  2. Harry Potter’s birthday is the same as mine- July 31st.
  3. One of my favorite numbers is 12. This is because of a period of time in my high school calculus class where the answers kept ending up being “12.” My friends and I started saying, “Twelve is the Answer to Everything!” Yes, I know this is a crappy “thing.” They get better. Stay with me.
  4. After making a D in college calculus twice (you had to get a C for it to count), I got out of having to take it a third time by going to the School of Architecture’s Assistant Dean (who was also my thesis advisor) and saying “c’mon, you and I both know I’m never going to use calculus in architecture, ever.” He signed it off on my transcript.
  5. Until I moved to Dallas, I was convinced that Starbucks Coffee tasted like ass. I later found out this was because the only place I’d had it before was the University Center at school, and the UC was notorious for screwing things up. They were incapable of making Pizza Hut or Chik-Fil-A palatable. The town I went to college in didn’t get a real, freestanding Starbucks until 2004- five years after I’d vacated the place.
  6. Air Force ROTC awarded me a full college scholarship. I found out ROTC sucked, and they wanted me to major in civil engineering instead of architecture. I gave up the scholarship after one semester.
  7. I can never be an officer in the military now. They made me sign a form and everything.
  8. It took me 7 years to finish college. I attribute this to starting out in civil engineering first, changing to another 5-year major (architecture), and having to work all throughout my college career.
  9. I am the first in my family to finish college, much less with a Masters degree.
  10. I have absolutely no student loans.
  11. I’ve had a job since I was 15.
  12. When I graduated college, I had never used AutoCAD before. I taught myself, on-the-job, in one month.
  13. I used to like to draw, by hand, as a hobby. Not so much after architecture school.
  14. I didn’t have my first alcoholic drink until I was 21. My parents bought it for me. I thought it tasted nasty. I’ve since learned better.
  15. I’ve only been puking drunk once. I was 29.
  16. I have the alcohol tolerance of a mosquito. The 2-Drink Wonder, that’s me.
  17. I began drinking coffee when I was 16. I started swiping it from the teachers’ lounge at my high school.
  18. I have arthritis in my right hip. Sometimes it's so bad, my leg will nearly buckle when I stand up. I will likely need to have my hip replaced one day.
  19. I have a Rocketeer figurine suction-cupped inside my car’s windshield.
  20. The sun has faded him so much; from the outside he looks like he isn’t wearing any pants.
  21. I have never been pulled over and have never had a traffic ticket (as of this writing, anyway).
  22. I have never been in a car accident, not even a minor one (same modifier as above applies).
  23. I have a “freckle constellation” of the Big Dipper on my right forearm.
  24. Though I am right-handed, I absolutely cannot snap with the fingers on my right hand.
  25. I can’t stand bell peppers. I will pick them out of frozen meals, even.
  26. I currently wear a 38DDD. I didn’t buy them, I didn’t ask for them, and if there were such a thing as a “donor program,” they would be gone. And I will probably get tons of porn spam now, as a result of having “38DDD” written in my blog.
  27. Although I’ve gained a lot of weight, somehow my feet have gotten smaller.
  28. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
  29. I don’t really like Christmas. It annoys me. The fact that people keep trying to start celebrating it concurrently with Halloween especially annoys me.
  30. Until I married ManThing, I had a horrible last name (sorry, Dad). People would always mispronounce it, misspell it (even after I’d spelled it for them), and mangle it in general. I had gotten to the point where I would answer to a reasonable facsimile of it. It was 5 letters long- not that difficult!!
  31. I’m an only child- the family name ends with me.
  32. No, I’m not spoiled.
  33. Dream job? Artist. Not a poor artist.
  34. Second choice? Professional gardener. Also not poor.
  35. Until this whole celiac/ no-dairy thing came to a head, I used to eat anything without wondering too much what it was made from. I spent a week in China in December of 2001. I have no idea what I actually ingested that whole time. It was great. I miss that.
  36. I’ve donated blood only once in my life.
  37. The second time I went back, I was no longer allowed because I’d lived in Germany between 1982 and 1985 and the Red Cross now thinks that means you have Mad Cow Disease.
  38. I’m a cat person, through and through.
  39. My cat is a “balcony baby.” I found her, on my balcony, pitifully eating the breadcrumbs I’d left out for the birds. Instant love.
  40. People have often told me I have a strange accent. This came as a result of being told by my high school drama teacher “no one will find you believable with that Texas accent.” I got rid of the Texas accent. Not sure what accent I ended up with; people have said I sound like I’m from Michigan. I don’t know what “Michigan” sounds like; I’ve lived in Texas since 1985.
  41. I’ve lived in Texas since 1985 (yes, I know that’s cheating). Can’t think of any other state I’d rather live in.
  42. ManThing and I are thinking of expatriating ourselves to Germany a few years in the future.
  43. I don’t do church. Not much of a believer.
  44. I tried to go Wiccan for a little while, but I found out I don’t believe in that, either.
  45. Even though I drive a teen-einsy car (Honda Civic 2-door), I can’t parallel park worth a crap.
  46. Quite often, I snort when I start laughing really hard.
  47. I have a bad temper (when provoked) that has inspired ManThing to call me the “Little Ball of Fury.”
  48. I don’t want to have children. Ever. “Are you sure?” Yes. “You’ll change your mind…” No, I won’t. “It’s different when they’re your own.” No, it isn’t. “But…” No.
  49. Brought this up with ManThing on our second date. His reaction: “Not have kids? I didn’t know that was even an option. Huh.” Love this man!!!
  50. I once had a date with an idiot who grabbed my breasts and said “honk!” This was, obviously, not ManThing!!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Showdown

Lately, I've spent more time writing than working. If I could get paid for it, I'd write full time. However, as I am, in reality, paid to draw for The Man, I've had to make a deal with myself this week to not post while at work (slipped up yesterday, oops).

BossManJ stopped by my "desk" one day last week and asked if he had left me a note telling me to send a site plan to a consultant (he hadn't). He got snippy when I told him as much, as it was quite clearly my fault that he hadn't left a note. As I began to write myself a note on the subject, he asked where another plan was, intimating that it, too, was on my desk.

Let me, once again, explain my "desk" situation. I had been, until today, sitting at a folding table for about a month and a half. The majority of this folding table was taken up by the ridiculously gargantuan, 100-pound, 42-foot deep monitor of my computer. I had no desk space, so I hadn't been keeping anything more than what was necessary on a daily basis. Ergo, I didn't have the plan. He got snippy, again, telling me to look for it (when I already knew it was on his damn desk the whole time). Then he left. Sigh.

That particular encounter inspired the following:

She opens the front door, takes the step up, and firmly plants her booted feet in a wide stance. Rolling her neck around, she readies herself. Her right hand twitches at her hip.

The light at his desk is on. A tumbleweed of transbond paper rolls across the floor before her.

Wao, wao waooow, wah wah wah
Wao, wao waooow, wah wah waaaaah.....

Gypsum dust crunches grittily beneath her feet as she approaches his desk; his back is to her. As he turns to face her, she reaches for her back pocket with lightning fast speed- her weapon is in her hand in an instant.

"Read it and weep, cowboy."

She hands him the resignation letter and promptly walks back out. :)

Monday, November 01, 2004

Happy Fun Make-Believe World!

CAD Monkey's note - I tried to stop posting at work and actually concentrate on work for once. I tried- but as evidenced by the following, I failed miserably.

Each interview I now go to is like a glimpse into another world I can fantasize myself in. Each time, I am creating a picture in my head for future replay of a place better than this.

I could see myself making the commute downtown and driving like a hellion through the parking garage. Coming in each morning, I would tell people “good morning,” and actually mean it. At lunch, I could eat at the cafeteria downstairs, with its enticing aromas, or sit at my cheerfully decorated desk; and then take a walk around the block. I even know which tennis shoes I will be wearing. The possibility of being in a brightly lit, brightly colored, pleasant place is what I cling to after each interview.

Watching the clouds roll across the sky from the 38th floor window, I can envision myself holding a meeting in the very same conference room I wait in. As I wait, I clasp my hands together, one over the other, trying to warm them. I don’t want my first handshake to be cold to the touch. The room is just the right temperature- a huge departure from my current office. Breathing deeply, I try to relax and run through what I can say that will convey the perfect mix of eagerness and restraint. I fidget terribly, alternating between putting the hair on one side behind my ear, and letting it hang loose.

Please please please…

Trying to burn this silent plea into their minds with my attentive stare, I listen to what they tell me. Everything sounds absolutely wonderful. I don’t even care about the insurance plan, but it sounds wonderful, too.

They ask what my availability is. I say it’s “flexible,” two weeks to wrap up what I’m doing if they need me sooner, and I can wait if they want me later. Lies. All lies. Truthfully, I would go directly to a desk and start working that instant if they would have me. I would resign via phone call.

When I leave, I take the elevator back down, which is symbolic of my descent back into hell. I don’t want to go; it’s so pretty here. Please don’t make me.

Now the waiting begins once more. But tomorrow I have another interview, and another new world to live in for a little while.