Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Open Letter to Citibank

Dear Citibank,

As I was leaving the building the other day, I noticed a sign on the door of the Citibank branch to the right of the escalator that read '"We are moving to a more convenient location in the building so that we may provide you with better service."

As much as I appreciate the thought, I found the assumption that I'd find the new location more convenient a bit presumptuous. I'd think that, at minimum, you'd have asked me first. I mean, I only work 17 floors up, and it would have taken you two minutes to drop in and pose the question.

My answer, of course, would have been 'no' as I found the existing location to be plenty convenient. In fact, the very sight of the branch as I left the office often spurred me to think things that ranged from "Hey, I need money. I should stop at the ATM" to "Hey. I'm going out for drinks tonight and I'm going to need money. I should stop at the ATM."

Now that you've moved the branch I'm going to have nothing to remind me of my dwindling cash reserves and when I go out drinking, I'll likely wind up having to ask my friends to pay.

Hold on a minute. Free drinks? Maybe the move really is for my convenience!

Thanks Citibank! And I'm sorry for doubting you.

Your Friend,

Joe

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Full disclosure: About 10 minutes after I wrote this I went downstairs and noticed that they'd simply moved the branch to the left side of the escalator bank. That's certainly not more convenient as I almost never look left upon stepping off of the escalator. Curse you Citibank!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, SSC.

In the begining, God created woman. A few hundred thousand years later, He got it perfect when He created you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tech Wreck

Last night on the train there was a man sitting next to me listening to what appeared to be a first generation mp3 player. The thing was so big that at first I thought he was holding an eight-track cassette.

I mean, I've read books that are smaller than that.

When his phone rang later, I half expected to see him pull out one of these.

Of course, as I sat there silently mocking the obsolescence of his technology1, I realized that I was carrying around a four-year old, (discontinued) Blackberry whose keys crackle so much that I sound like I'm eating a bowl of Rice Krispies every time I send a email.

Shoot. Now I need to go check a few other blogs to see who is out there making fun of me.2
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1 And now that I reflect upon it, disturbingly taking clandestine pictures of the gentleman's lap.

2 Other than the usual suspects, I mean.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Waist Products

People are always espousing the virtues of technological advances, but to be honest I'm not sure how much I like living in the modern world. Sure, cell phones, microwaves, iPods, and the like are wonderful but I suspect that quality was more prevalent in days gone by.

For example, I've noticed that the waist on every pair of pants that I own appears to be shrinking. I'm not sure if it's influenced by climate, modern cleaning products, or poorly manufactured cloth, but it's odd that it only impacts the waist and not the rest of the garment.

Its not limited to clothes, either. In looking at some of the pictures that the ever beautiful SSC took during my recent trip to visit her, its evident that modern digital cameras appear to add somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 pounds on me. I expect it has something to do with distortion, but you'd think that they'd be able to correct that.

Modern grooming products seem to have the opposite effect, though. Shampoos and other grooming products somehow conspire to make my hair appear much thinner than it was a few years back. In fact, my hairline seems to have migrated from receding to a full retreat.

I could go on and on about how soaps cause wrinkles and preservatives in food cause my body to ache each morning, but you get the point.

Because I know for sure that it's not just me aging. It can't be.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

After reading a post written by one of my newly discovered favorite bloggers about the importance of taking time for oneself1, I hastily made some (very, very) tentative plans to enjoy myself during the long weekend by going skiing2 with an old friend. As I was checking the weather and powder conditions at the mountain, and I noticed that Saturday's forecast calls for it be 18 degrees and breezy.

Breezy?!?

I don't really think you should use that word when the temperature is below, say, 50 degrees

I believe the phrase they were looking for is "18 degrees and painful."

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1 Yes, I realize that the point of the post was to take time to be alone. However, for a variety of reasons I've been too focused on others happiness lately, often at the expense of my own. As a result, I've often been left watching everyone else have fun while I sat home.

2 In the interest of full disclosure I'll admit that I'm a horrible skier. I've only gone a handful of times and inevitably it ends in tears.3

3 Of pain on my part and laughter on everyone else's.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Glasses Half Full

I'm wearing my glasses today because I woke up a few minutes late and needed to get done quickly in order to catch the train. Based on careful calculations that I worked on in the shower, I figured that not putting in my contact lenses would save me roughly 45 seconds - which would likely mean the difference between making my train and standing on the platform cursing as I watched it pull away.

If I'm running even later tomorrow, I plan to wear glasses and only one sock.

Monday, January 14, 2008

An Open Letter to Broadcast News Producers

Dear Broadcast News Producers,

Every time I watch prime time television, I see a teaser for the upcoming local news broadcast in which the anchorperson says something along the lines of "Murder in Brooklyn....at 11." or "Three alarm fire in New Jersey...at 11."

Now I understand the importance of enticing people to watch your programs, and I realize that no news certainly isn't good news where your ratings are concerned. However, I can't help but to wonder why, if you know these horrible things are going to happen at 11, you don't do something to prevent them.

I realize that your news broadcasts provide a valuable public service, but I can't help but wonder - wouldn't it be more valuable to be able to say something along the lines of "Breaking news: We've just prevented a three alarm fire in New Jersey that would have been caused by faulty wiring"?

Just a suggestion.

Your Friend,

Joe

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's Mourning In NYC

One of the reasons that I haven't posted as much as usual of late is that I've been mourning the passing of a friend. This post is dedicated to that friend.

I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss the time we'd spend planning our day over breakfast or the way even the most boring meetings seemed to fly by when we were together. Eloquent thoughts and inspired ideas all flowed so easily between us, almost as if we were of the same mind. Whenever I reached for you, you were always there, and in contrast to so many others I've known, you never put me through the pain of having to see you being held by someone else.

I thought it would last forever, but it ended all too soon and your absence has left a void that I don't believe I'll ever be able to fill. I'll miss you more than words can ever say.

The hardest part is how sudden it all was. One minute blue ink was flowing effortlessly through your perfectly machined ballpoint head and the next it just stopped. I tried in vain to perform mouth to cartridge resuscitation, but it was no use (and it made me feel dirty). Even to my untrained eye it was clear that you had nothing more to give - that I was trying to rescue a lifeless husk.

Sure, I could have bought a new cartridge, but that wouldn't have been you and I don't want to cheapen your memory in that way.

I'm trying to move on, but I'm not ready for other pens yet. I've started using a mechanical pencil but I don't think that's going to work out either - mostly because he keeps making uncomfortable jokes about how I "put the lead in him."

Anyway, rest in peace Clickie. You were the best pen a man could ever have hoped for.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Trick or....Sweet!

After a delightful week spent hanging out in California with SSC and the boys, I'm back at work today busily concentrating on finalizing the merit increase worksheets for my region, which I need to submit to compensation by the close of business today.

Needless to say, it's pretty-pressure filled day.1 So what better time to blog? I'll try to write something decent tomorrow2, but in the meantime I wanted to float an idea out there in the hopes that you could use your considerable blogging influence to get this implemented by year end.

I'm thinking that we should turn New Year's Eve into an adult version of Halloween. We can put on costumes consisting of paper hats, sunglasses, etc and go door to door collecting miniature bottles of alcohol and perhaps some leftover holiday snacks.3 This way the people who want to go out don't have to pay $150 per person to sit in a club, and those who want to stay home can do so while basking in the knowledge that they're spreading holiday cheer to the masses.

Everybody wins!

Anyway, I'll put Doug in charge of West Coast operations, pinknest in charge of the East, and Slinger can handle the middle of the country. 4

So stop reading and get to work.
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1 Pressure being a relative term, of course. It's not like I'm doing open heart surgery or working on the bomb squad. It's just that nothing is more likely to annoy an employee than not getting their raise on time.

2 But if 2007 was any indication, you shouldn't expect it to be particularly funny, well-written, or thought provoking.

3 Don't bother coming to my house. In the unlikely even that I'm home, I'll probably follow my "oh crap, I forgot to buy Halloween candy!" strategy by pretending to have just run out of goodies.

4 Okami and messiah should feel free to divide Canada however they see fit.