Tag Archives: #membersoftheworkforce

Running off

My mouth has a tendency to run away with me. Case in point? Person from the French-speaking part of the African continent, representative of a big client, visited the firm today. Why the hell they put me in charge of greeting and dealing with him after the whole Sheikh debacle (a story for another post) I’ll never know. Anyway, this guy was strutting around all “mine are the biggest”-like, and I was gritting my teeth and dealing with lingering hands with the utmost politeness (IMO) and my best French (like every language I learned on my own, I learned the gutter-variety).

Then we came to the deal part of the day. I was chomping at the bit to finally present my contract draft and be done with the guy, so I pulled out my nicely done black folder.

“I want a man to do business with.” The client.

“And I want a client that isn’t a chauvinist macho asshole.” Me.

Guess who got escorted out of the room?

Still feel good for speaking my mind, though. I put up with that… person for three hours. Called it an early night thereafter, went for a quick 5k and called my TKD master asking to join a Tai Chi workout (as a point, we never do any kicking when any of us aren’t in a centered mood. As one of his most advanced students, I also earned the right to call him if I wanted to train) to center myself, which sorta worked. I went home, sat on my sofa and started  reading blogs.

Hot chocolate time! Roomie’s still in South Africa. LONE hot chocolate time!

… I wish someone would teach those guys what Western women think like. Or just not ask me to deal with them time after time after time. I know not all males from that particular sociocultural environment are the same, but most in a higher position in a traditionally oriented workplace are. I’m also a “permanent rebel” who will not defer to social customs I see as demeaning. I’m the worst possible choice to deal with a traditionally-minded male from that culture. Let me be, boss?


I’m… *hic*… OK

Alcohol. The main staple food of a herd of lawyers gathered together in a small space (or not-so-small).

Tonight, we had a celebration for a job well done- it was finicky and difficult, so I came fully prepared to savor the fruits of my labor.

If only there had been fruits. The fruit platter (a single, sad affair on a forgotten table by the door) was empty twenty seconds after the ravenous hordes arrived. From then on out, it was alcohol only.

There is nothing nastier than a bunch of overworked, underfed, dead-drunk people in close proximity. I don’t like being touched by most people. I don’t like off-key singing. I have sensitive hearing. I have a sensitive sense of smell and am easily offended if the person I’m talking to smells of beer and vomit.

Sooo… I refused any and all drinks. I don’t drink in public, period. One exception: a single cocktail when out for a night with the girls, at a bar we choose, with reason and thought. I was promptly labeled the party-pooper and avoided by the increasingly infantile congregation of drunkenness.

Here we are asking our teenagers to please not be stupid and drink, and as adults we can’t “have fun” unless we are drunk? Name one celebration among adults (who are not AA) that doesn’t include alcohol? I’m so sick of it all. Get a grip! If I didn’t know better, I’d say nearly all my colleagues are borderline alcoholics.

The hours are brutal in our job. It’s a rare day that I’m home before 10pm. You do need some form of escapism.

I chose my own kind of entertainment- ditching the drunk party and going for a nice midnight run along the canal. It’s started getting cold again, but I’m building up some nice speed right now so I don’t feel it all that much after the first 2k.

There’s been a change in runners, too- we now have a lot more students running where I do. Plus I’ve extended my route so I’m now up to a 10k three times a week, which is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I’m not a very good endurance runner… *sigh*

Anyway, back to the workplace tomorrow. Gonna be fun seeing all the bigshots nursing their hangovers 😛

TKD’s picking up once more, too. Going to be on the tournament circle this winter after all. At first I didn’t want to due to my weight, but I was convinced otherwise. Chubby person in the ring? That’s me!

Goodnight all!

I’d rather…

How often have I heard this phrase this week? Too often, that’s it!

“I’d rather be outside now!” “I’d rather live in the Caribbean!” “I’d rather my boyfriend weren’t there tonight.” “I’d rather…”

Many of those I’d-rather’s were the usual unattainable dreams, but there are a few instances where I’m furious people don’t just do something instead of complaining all the time.

“I’d rather not be freezing all the time,” is what I was thinking today. So I stepped up my exercise program which will help even if it won’t eliminate the problem.

“I’d rather be reading right now.” While sitting on the train to work. Guess what? Today I brought a book. I actually think I’m going to get into the habit of carrying around a book on my person at all times again.

“I’d rather my boss would stop making these sexist, annoying comments,” upon making the mistake of wearing a skirt suit (costume? Sounds wrong!) to work today. I talked to him telling him that I don’t believe that our attire should influence his attitude toward us as long as we kept to the business dress code.

“I’d rather be anywhere but here!” Researching in the library. So I left for an internet cafe and am perfectly happy right now.

By the way: I’ve always been skeptical of step aerobics as a sport due to the rather uninspiring classes I visited until now, which were a gossip club but not exercising. Colleague talked me into going to one yesterday. (“I’d rather be doing some real exercising,” I grumbled) TOTALLY different from anything before. I was out of breath one minute into the third power-sprint of the class. Hopping up and down a foot-high step makes the difference!

Do something about your I’d-rather’s! It’s a lot more fun than persistently complaining 😉

One more word and I’ll scream

Someone at the office let the results of the stupid IQ test I took in college slip. I make no secret of my hatred (yes, real hatred. Not dislike, not displeasure, not anger, true hatred) of the word “gifted child” (it was the bane of my existence as a kid), or my contempt for IQ tests (which are really nothing but a measure of how good someone’s rote learning skills are).

Anyone repeat that phrase in my presence again (or the German equivalent which is “hochbegabt”, yes, I can learn dammit!) and I’ll scream. For real. Loudly.

And then I’ll launch into a tirade on how normal everybody who’s been “diagnosed” (like we’re actually ill) with “being gifted” is. Over the office intercom system.

You brought it unto yourselves, people!

Power fitness kicked my butt!

I’m not all that unfit. I went out running again this week, and I still manage my 5k in under half an hour. I’m also dead on my feet after doing this and then crawling up eight flights of stairs to the top floor apartment as I learned.

Today at work, one of my colleagues invited me to a fitness class at her regular gym. I’m a gym-o-phobic, but she’s a pretty nice person and not all that much into the grind-you-into-the-dust-with-my-stilettos lawyering. I decided to go along with her as this day’s been rather relaxed at the office, and the secretaries’- err, excuse me, assistants‘- comments have gotten a little sharper lately. Plus, I still need to get down from competition-ready, and a fitness class seriously didn’t sound like too much work. Had I only known… Continue reading

Really, really angry

Sooo… it’s not enough that I get to be needled about whether or not I’ve “gotten my vaccine yet?” at home, on the streets and even when visiting my doctor (who should know better!). Fu**ing hell, I explained my reasons a billion times. Go read some f**cking biology textbooks if you don’t believe me! This vaccine is UNTESTED. Meaning they treat humans as GUINEA PIGS. Yeah, that’s right. We’re in one huge cage being experimented on right now.

Being the pissed off woman I was, I went into retail therapy. Bought me a shiny new DVBT-USB antenna for my laptop, and some really nice, strong screws for anchoring bookcases to my crappy walls. Oh, and a couple books (Die Suche nach dem Ursprung der Atome, Conn Iggulden’s Emperor series, Xinran’s China Witness: Voices from a silent generation, a couple of manga I hadn’t read before). While happily perusing technical advancements I came across box sets of a series I really enjoyed as a teen: Queer as Folk. Seeing as I had money to spend, a weekend without the roomie to “look forward” to (I wish she were here, she’s remarkably good at getting me to calm down) and some cocoa to make hot chocolate with at home (with cinnamon, cardamom and a hint of ground chili- delish!) I bought the five seasons without further consideration.

My laptop refuses to play the DVDs due to region coding. WTF? Seriously, WTF? I BOUGHT those damn DVDs instead of pirating off the net. I wanted to go LEGAL and SUPPORT THE ARTISTS and what do I get? REGION CODING? Who the fu** is still hanging onto this dinosaur? I was this close to bringing the DVDs back, say “fu** you all!” and go download happily. Instead, I’m fuming over my keyboard here and trying to find legal arguments to support region coding. Still on the out, here.

And I was SO looking forward to a nice evening and relaxing weekend. Thank you, Warner Bros. for completely ruining DVDs for me. Maybe I just shouldn’t invest into them any more.

Btw, a question: Does the region coding crap also apply to blu-ray? ’cause even if they’re a throwback to the good old DVDs-are-forty-dollars times (with no visible difference in quality of sound or picture on a 60″ plasma full-HD home cinema system with Bose surround sound), I’d be willing to go for them if they’re region-free. I really hate on the DVD producers right now!

And yes, I know there’s an easy way around this software-wise. I mean to go legit, but seriously, this is sending people down the path towards piracy. I’m not stating or denying my continued inability to play these DVDs, just that I’m really not happy about the way studios treat their paying customers. Why buy when easy, no-holds-barred access is just a click away? And I’ve got DVDs from three different regions, by the way. What? I can only watch one third of my movies that I paid for with my hard-earned money since my DVD drive is stuck on that region now? Oops, sorry, that’s just the way it is? Convenience and customer service are definitely spelled differently!

No running tonight, there’s ice underneath the snow and no pathways  anywhere. Seeing as citizens in Germany are not allowed to harness snowploughs to their cars, anything that’s not a major road is buried under a couple inches of pure ice. Gonna play tennis and volleyball on Sunday. Have Tae Kwon Do training tomorrow. Might do a few forms right now to get the anger out.

<–deep breath.
Listening to: 03 Ludwig Van Beethoven – Sonata 21
via FoxyTunes

Last workday of the year

Hell-lo! It’s not even 10pm and I’m home! Looks like my resolution’s working!

Well, actually, no. Today’s work was just going through whatever cases we had this year and either categorizing and filing them or piling them on our desks for whenever we come back from our Christmas breaks. Still, a good way of observing office dynamics.

Fascinating how such a lot of women keep checking their hair and makeup every time they have a reflecting surface near them. It’s especially hilarious if said reflecting surface is their desk. I’ve never seen a partner make so many crazy faces at her face before!

Our one-kitchen policy is working out well. Gossip-o-meter is ever increasing now that secretaries and lawyers have just one common meeting place.

“Is there anything I can do for you, love?” is the most common question I’ve heard today. Who knew that leaving your hair open would garner such a response? What’s a little creepy: I’ve had no less than five men trying to touch my hair. Seriously, what’s up? It’s not different just because it’s loose! No more open hair days!

Christmas cookies are addicting. More than half the work-force is lamenting their weight-gain in regards to them, though I believe it’s more likely that said weight-gain is related to above-average consumption of sugary alcoholic beverages known as Gluehwein and Feuerzangenbowle. A lack of movement might contribute as well. I haven’t gotten any tennis invitations recently!

Running tonight is going to be difficult. I try my best to invent some new routes but they are a lot less interesting than my usual along the canal. I also don’t like running on asphalt, but these walkways are at least snow-free.

It’s starting to be a little warmer now, after way below freezing temperatures for the past few days. I might be able to achieve better times now that it won’t hurt so much to breathe.

Tomorrow is the office’s Christmas party (a German tradition, I’ve learned). Means lots of drunks, lots of food, lots of drunk speeches and probably Karaoke. Uh-oh! Well, I’m off to pack now! Hooray!