Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dog Appreciation...or Something Like It

I am sure that you have (not ever) wondered why I don't do more doggie appreciation posts.  I had done many kitty appreciation posts in the past (here, here, here), but we also have two canine inhabitants in our house and I haven't written much about them.  Now before this devolves into some sort of cat-person vs. dog-person debate, let me say that I am Switzerland on that topic. I love em' both and do not discriminate.  As a matter of fact, allow me to paraphrase Dr. King when I say; I look to a day when dogs and cats will not be judged by their species, but by the content of their character.
And there in, lies the rub.  At least one of my dogs is an asshole.

Meet Buzz
...lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye.

Buzz came into our lives three years ago after a trip to Las Vegas (aka, the root of all bad decisions). I am fairly convinced that six days in Vegas was about four too many as I came home with a brain so addled with food and drink (and drink and drink and drink) that I actually thought that getting a puppy was a good idea.  We went directly from the airport to the adoption center.  My noggin was so fogged over that I didn't even flinch when they mentioned that the pudgy little puppy that was sitting in my lap might be part Great Dane.  Nope, stripped of my better judgment and desperately in need of an Advil, I signed the adoption papers and brought home what grew into 55 pounds of anxiety wrapped in a blanket of crazy named Buzz.

Our primary concern upon bringing home Buzz was how our QCR (Queen Canine in Residence) Brownie,was going to take to the new addition. But that fear was completely misguided, because Brownie makes Mother Theresa look like Regina George.  Brownie, who made a best friend out of our cat, Spike the Hotness Monster, who offered him regular nuzzle snuggles and happily shared the napping spot in the ray of sunlight that hit the living room rug in the late morning was NOT going to be our problem.  Silly humans.

Meet Saint Brownie, our cat loving Shepherd, Basset, Lab Mix.

Ain't nothin' like a little inter-species lovin'. Brownie and the Hotness Monster mid-snuggle.

The real cause for concern was Buzz's mouth almighty. Like a toddler, Buzz was experiencing the world through the sense of taste.  But unlike a toddler, he did not grow out of the phase when he reached adolesence, rather he upped his game and moved on to the hard stuff.  Below is an example of how he chewed a metal "Beware of Dog" sign, as if to put an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. Pretty sure he is part goat.

And these.  Are you clocking the size of that foot?  Almost as big as his cinder block of a head.

And, more importantly, the jiggly grey matter inside of his mammoth cabeza.  Dysfunction junction.

And then there's this. No words, really.

So let's summarize up what we have shown in pictures -

1) Jaws of death -  He has the grazing habits of a mountain goat.  He chews tin cans, paper plates, mulch, shoes (particularly likes stinky sneaker insoles) pens, pencils and glass.  Yeah, he chews glass and anything else he can steal.  Which is really the heart of the matter. Like Jimmy Conway in 'Goodfellas', what Buzzy really loves to do, what he really loves to do is steal.

2) Meat Hooks - Giant paws plus a penchant for digging makes for a backyard that looks like a minefield.  And god forbid he paws you with one of his huge mitts, you end up black and blue. It's like going eight rounds with Clubber Lang.

3) Fear and Anxiety - A candidate for doggy Prozac if ever there was one, Buzz is afraid of EVERYTHING.  He won't go outside in the morning unless Brownie is by his side.  He stands at the open back door shivering, eyes darting to and fro for fear that monsters like the wind and squirrels and leaves might attack at any moment. A hot cup of crazy.

So, you might wonder why, after three years of paying to replace my kid's friends shoes, iPhones, gloves, scarves and other possessions that Buzz interpreted as snack food, why we still have him.
I don't have a lot of good answers around that question.  Except that my husband loves him.  Really has a soft spot for him, which is both sweet AND scary in its intensity.  I mean, I love him too, but he gets on my last nerve because he hogs my side of the bed and he always brings disorder to any place that is clean and he eats our shoes and he does this weird thing when he's tired where he shows you his crotch (see above). I mean, ew, who does that?  

When I really stop and think about it, it comes down to 10%.  Because while Buzz spends about 90% of his waking hours in the creation of chaos, he is the first to greet you at the door with a desperate outpouring of love and relief that you are home and when he slows down for the night, he is snugly and affectionate and ridiculously sweet. That 10% keeps me going and keeps me sane as I shovel up the kitchen garbage for the third time today or drive off to the shoemaker to have new heels put on my favorite boots.  I guess 10% is enough when its 10% of pure love. Or maybe I'm the asshole.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Office Archetypes

As I am about to reach my 10th anniversary with the company that currently employs me and with greater than 10 years at my prior company long behind me, I am acutely aware that every office has their archetypes and that recognizing and navigating them is about 75% of my effort in any work day.

I will list a few of these archetypes here.  See if you can recognize them.  Better yet, see if you recognize yourself in them.  Note: These archetypes cross both genders.  But for naming purposes only, they are defined as male or female.

EGO MAN - Ego Man is usually a tyrannical bully, if in a position of power.  If Ego Man is simply a coworker, he will be the worst coworker you ever had.  As a boss, he leads by fear and intimidation, keeping the weak and huddled masses that work for him, constantly churning out widgets with perfection and precision.  Every minor imperfection in the widgets is called out publicly as the only thing that keeps the minions in line is a public display of his disdain.  He tolerates no mistake as it will reflect poorly on him and his beloved departmental metrics.  He will cut and slash all personnel that run afoul of his demands.

HAPLESS HENRIETTA - Hapless Henrietta is the downtrodden serf of the department.  She is mousy and does not stand up for herself, which makes her easy prey for EGO MAN, who will run over her with the bus, back it up and do it again, just to make sure she is sufficiently covered in tire marks.  Hapless Henrietta approaches you tentatively and timidly as she has had so many brutal encounters with Ego Man that she is like a shell shocked war veteran. She trembles visibly when asked to speak in meetings and usually talks to the table when she does speak.

NICE GUY EDDIE - Nice Guy Eddie can't say no. He is so vested in smoothing out the jagged dynamic caused by Ego Man that he always says "yes" as a peacekeeping method.  As a result, Nice Guy Eddie is overwhelmed and under-appreciated.  He has double or sometimes triple the workload of his coworkers because people come to him as a path to least resistance to getting things done.  He makes it easy on everyone but himself.  Nice Guy Eddie is usually lost to burn out and ends up leaving corporate america and taking a job scooping Italian Ices.

FAVORITE SON - This guy is usually a manager.  He has many children, but the only one you hear about is his sports star son. He lives vicariously through this superstar, following him around the country, sharing every shred of coverage that he gets in the paper and peppering the staff with stories of the spectacular athletic prowess that the child showed at an early age.  Every encounter/question that you have with Favorite Son is answered with an extremely unhelpful sports analogy.  Because he can only value one thing at a time, he will have one favorite employee as well.  It is likely that the favorite employee will be the one that makes his job easier, leaving more time to talk about sports and his little superstar.

Recognize any of these?  I suspect you do. And it is likely that you see yourself in one of these types. I don't want to tip my hand but I might know a little something about one that rhymes with Shmyshe Pie Shreddie, but I'll leave a little mystery there.

The only satisfaction that I take from this is knowing that Ego Man probably has a mircropenis and and likes to wear diapers and be humiliated in the bedroom.  A chronic bed wetter, his overbearing mother probably aired his dirty sheets to humiliate him out of pissing the bed.  This only extended his problem past childhood and kept...ok, Dr. Diary could go on all day analyzing and theorizing, but I wont.  I could.  But I won't.  I could do a character assassination of epic proportions here, but as a Shmyshe Pie Shreddie, I'm just gonna let it go.