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Thursday, April 28, 2011

VOLUME XIV - Megaman vs. HRman and Other Tales

c. March 7, 2010 Anno Domini

DISCLAIMER: My employer(the Organization) is a tenant of the building in which I work, and is not the sole tenant and is certainly not the owner of the building. As such, I do not believe the Organization is responsible for the below possible violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The main entrance to the building in which I work consists of a set of double doors. I generally use the handle on the right side door to gain entrance, but there is a button on the left side with the traditional person in a wheelchair handicapped accessible logo which opens the doors. The doors are unlocked during business hours, but after hours a valid identification (ID) badge is required for access. The ID badge sensor is on the right side of the doors. From experience, I know the window of opportunity to open the doors after scanning one's ID badge is fleeting. For an individual in a wheelchair to scan his/her badge on the right side and push the button on the left side before the doors relocked would probably require the individual to align his/her wheelchair parallel to the doorway, scan his/her badge and sprint across the doorway to the button. I don't know how long the door stays open after using the button, but I imagine the hypothetical wheelchair-bound individual would then need to turn around quickly to get through the door or back through it. To increase the challenge rating of this encounter, a column positioned near the badge reader would make getting a wheelchair into position to begin this endeavour a tight squeeze.

The only part of my body which doesn't work inhibits my ability to eat massive quantities of Skittles without dying but doesn't have much effect on my ambulation so I'm not really qualified to say how much difficulty the average wheelchair-using overnight shift communication specialist would experience, but I've seen physical challenges on Super Sloppy Double Dare that appeared less daunting. I do feel qualified to say that it would have been a lot easier to put the door-opening button and the badge reader on the same side of the door, but in defense of whoever hatched the half-brained scheme currently in place I realize not everyone has a B.S. in mechanical engineering like me.

Of course, if I were wheelchair bound, my preferred method of getting in the building at night would be to attach my ID badge to a modified ID badge clip with an 8' retractable string instead of the standard 2-3' retractable string, attach the clip to the cuff of my shirtsleeve, position myself next to the door opening button, fling my badge at the reader like Gambit from X-Men and push the button.

c. March 8, 2010 Anno Domini

This may not make sense to a lot of people because, as I understand it, everyone uses Facebook mobile these days and I'm an old-fashioned geezer who uses an archaic device known as a desktop computer and I have no idea what Facebook looks like on a mobile device. On normal Facebook (or Caveman Facebook for you youngins), there is a "Suggestions" thing in the upper-right corner of the screen in which Facebook suggests you add people as friends, become a fan of things or "re-connect with" your existing Facebook friends. Normally I don't pay much attention to it but recently (as in for the past week and a half) every time I get on Facebook it suggests I "re-connect with" the same person, either by sending him/her a message or posting on his/her wall instead of featuring a different one of my 161 Facebook friends each time. I suspect "re-connecting with" someone that much is known as "stalking" in some circles. I dare say if I sent any one person that many messages or posted on any one person's wall as much as Facebook is suggesting it would end up with a gentleman in a black robe and a white, powdered wig suggesting I leave that person alone for a while.

For now, Facebook's obsession with suggesting I stalk a person is just strange, alternating between suggesting a message or post on his/her wall, but every time I log in I half-expect it to try to kick things up a notch and proffer one of the following ways to "re-connect," none of which I would ever actually do:

-search through his/her trash
-read his/her mail
-obtain several photographs of him/her along with several candles and construct a shrine
-tap his/her phone line
-affix a homing device to his/her car
-submit a request for the FBI's file on him/her through the Freedom of Information Act
-raid his/her boxer/panty drawer
-rent a vacant house across the street from his/her residence and use a telescope to peer through his/her window
-hide his/her body in an old, abandoned river where no one will find it

On the subject of surveilling neighbors through a bedroom window, why do people in movies always use a telescope? Most of them use are very blatant about it, using a freaking huge telescope that could probably be seen by the naked eye from the room they are watching, leading to their discovery. They never seem to think that a decent pair of binoculars would permit far more discretion and still be adequate for their purposes. Nothing good ever comes out of spying on people through a window with a telescope in movies. Either the subject of the surveillance clutches a towel to his/her chest and draws the blinds (if he/she is disrobing) or gives you an evil look and tries to kill you (if he/she is killing someone or hiding a body).

Do not comment to tell me neither or those things happen in American Beauty or so help me, I will put you on limited profile and restricting you from reading my blog from this point forward. That movie traumatized the deuce out of me because of the part in the beginning with Kevin Spacey in the shower. I saw it during my first week as a college freshman, which was also my first week sharing a bathroom (including shower facilities) with a hall full of strangers. Even with sandals, I hating going into the showers for quite some time after that because I was naive and had never imagined the concept of anyone ever having a wank in the shower before I heard Kevin Spacey's voice saying "This is me jacking off in the shower. It's usually the high point of my day." Eww. To make a long story short, I cope by pretending that movie never existed.

c. March 10, 2010 Anno Domini

Top Ten Reasons the &$%@ Water Main in My Neighborhood Broke and I Can't Get Any #*!@ Running Water

10. The neighborhood miscreants who broke into my car and stole my sword cane have moved on to vandalism on a much grander scale
9. The baby crocodiles grew up into adult crocodiles and chewed their way out
8. The water main didn't actually break. It's all a conspiracy by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities to give them an excuse to shut off our water to conceal an alarming water shortage
7. Terrorist activity... the national threat level was yellow, or elevated, on March 8, 2010 when these shenanigans began
6. Some idiot let his 10 year-old kid take command at the water traffic control center
5. The manufacturer designed it to last one day longer than the warranty and the warranty just expired
4. A kid took a bucketfull of those magic capsules that turn into dinosaurs and grow to a bajillion times their original size when immersed in water and flushed them down the toilet
3. The Residence Inn across the street from Stonecrest sabotaged it so all my neighbors and I would have to get rooms there in order to take showers and flush the toilet
2. It somehow got filled with D2O (heavy water) instead of H2O and couldn't handle the additional weight because Deuterium has one neutron instead of zero like normal Hydrogen and therefore weighs twice as much
1. The Mayans were off by two years, and galactic alignment is ripping the Earth apart in 2010, starting with my water main

c. March 10, 2010 Anno Domini

Top Two Reasons Why David Letterman Is On My &%@ List

2. He made the top ten list into a cliche, so if you have anywhere between two and nine decent jokes about the same subject, such as (hypothetically speaking) why your water main broke, and want to present them in the form of a list it makes you look lazy and amateurish. As a result, you have to dilute the quality of your list with weak, groan-inducing tripe filler such as "5. The manufacturer designed it to last one day longer than the warranty and the warranty just expired." There really is no excuse, especially considering Mr. Letterman doesn't even really ever have ten solid items on his lists. I don't watch his show frequently, but I have seen occasions when his viewers and his reputation would have been better served by a top five.

1. He masterminded the dastardly plot to break my water main.

c. March 12, 2010 Anno Domini

Airman: Go to your position and pace back and forth. You haven't been meeting your pacing quota lately.
Mata-saborou: Whatever you say, boss.
Airman: And if some hardcore little blue robot punk with a cannon for an arm comes in here looking for me, tell him I called in sick today and won't be available for a week.
Mata-saborou: Ummm, ok boss.
Airman: if he insists, you'll have to fight him. He'll most likely kill you, but try to knock at least three bars off his life meter before you die. We all have to sacrifice for the team to succeed. Our world domination is down 12.5 percent since Bubble Man was defeated. *points to a graph of world domination vs. time, indicating a recent 12.5 percent decrease*
Mata-saborou: Sure thing, boss.
Airman: Meanwhile, I'll be in my office, resting in power-saver mode cowering behind two sets of doors. See to it that no one disturbs me so I don't have to do anything like a boss fight.
Mata-saborou: Ummm... ok, boss. But before I go there is one little thing I wanted to talk about. It's really cold out there on the floor and some of us were wondering if we could shut off some of the absurdly large fans that serve no apparent purpose. Not all of them. Just one or two, you know?
Airman: No! Me like big useless fans. Now go!

Jakob Collins: Hahaha I think you shouldve added that bit that you told me lol or you could always add:

Mata-Saborou: *mumbles under breath* You'd think it'd be warmer in here with all the hot air coming out you...
Jonathan Roberts: Mata-Saborou: *mumbles under breath* You're so full of **** I'd hate to be here when it hits one of those absurdly large, utterly pointless fans...
JC: Brilliant!
JR: As are you, sir.
Richard Brijalba: LOL! I don't think Mega Man's attire is suitable for the workplace either. I think his attire would fall under the "underwear as outerwear" category.
JR: Having a cannon in place of a hand is also a violation of company policy regarding weapons in the workplace. I think severe disciplinary action is in order.
RB: He also steals all the other bosses weaponary. Sounds like a theft report should also be filed.
RB: In 20XX, Mega Man physically assaulted Air Man and then stole his "Tornado Blast" gun...
JC: The Caller reported Mata-sabarou as a possible witness, as he/she overheard Mata-sabarou say, "Who cares about the theft of Air Man's weapon? He was a blowhard anyway." In addition, the Caller heard (first name unknown) Wiley say, "I regretted making Air Man immediately after I set him loose. The only one more asinine than that -ss hat is Bubble Man. They both blow." The Caller declined to provide additional details at this time and said he/she would call back at a later time.
RB: The Caller said Mega Man stole Air Man's weapon in order to inflict "massive damage" to Crash Man and because Air Man is a "punk -ss b-tch."
JR: Mega Man said he needed to inflict massive damage to Crash Man in self-defense, because Crash Man plans to retaliate against Mega Man for informing management that Crash Man was the anonymous caller who phoned in a bomb threat last week.
JR: And don't even get me started on Flash Man's misconduct.
JC: Hahahahaha
JR: We would like to thank Flash Man and Wood Man for their contributions to Dr. Wily's evil plot to subjugate the world, and wish them the best in their future endeavors. That being said, please do not emulate their conduct. Yes, Hard Man from Mega Man 3, I am talking to you.
Rich Gamis: ive enjoyed this surreal conversation more than watching Alice while o 'shrooms.
JR: Just don't play Mega Man 3 while on 'shrooms. It's bad enough that we have to put up with Needle Man's habitual substance abuse.

c. March 25, 2010 Anno Domini

It's hard to be a mild-mannered (job title withheld) by day / vigilante superhero by night when your work schedule requires you to actually be the mild-mannered (job title withheld) by night. You can't accomplish much vigilantism during a 60-minute meal periiod and even if you did, when would you eat? You can't reverse things and be a mild-mannered (job title withheld) by night / vigilante superhero by day because dispensing vigiliante justice under cover of... daylight... just isn't the same. You can't use an intimidating nocturnal alter-ego like Batman. I suppose you could be Diurnal Batman, which would be really freaky because nothing is quite as creepy as nocturnal creatures going about their business in broad daylight. They're unpredictable. You never know what some outcast from the fringes of nocturnal society is going to do next. Also, even with a shift differential, it's not easy to find a job on the overnight shift that pays well enough to finance an arsenal of high-tech Batmanesque crimefighting gadgetry. Perhaps Wayne Enterprises needs an overnight CEO to attend pointless 2 a.m. board meetings while Bruce is out carousing in his pajamas with Ms. Selina Kyle.

If you had enough sick time (for example, 83.02 hours), you could use a bit here and there to be a part-time Batman, or if you lived in a city with a name which could also be a person's name you could tell your employer you had a dependant by that name. Then you could tell your employer, "Hey, Charlotte isn't well. I have to take care of her for a while," and take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave per year. Of course, FMLA leave is unpaid but that's ok. Ridding the streets of scum is its own reward.

c. March 29, 2010

Apparently Amazon.com reads my blog. Back in December 2009, I wote a note about how absurd it was that a merchant from whom I purchased an item online sent the item out from their facility on December 4 to be delivered to the shipper but it didn't get to the shipper's facility (in the same city as the manufacturer) until December 16. Late last week, I ordered a book from Amazon and the package tracking information is as follows (bolding mine):

March 25, 2010 03:19:10 PM Lexington KY US Shipment has left seller facility and is in transit
March 25, 2010 02:59:00 PM Lexington KY US Shipment received by carrier
March 25 - 29 Various Cities US Etc.
March 29, 2010 04:50:00 AM Charlotte NC US Arrival Scan

Of course, now that they have raised the bar I'm wondering why they couldn't go back in time 20 days instead of a mere 20 minutes and 10 seconds. Maybe because I only selected standared (free) shipping. This merits further investigation.

c. April 3, 2010 Anno Domini

I Had a Lovecraftianly Horrifying Nightmare. A few nights ago, I dreamed that my left front tire exploded on Ballantyne Commons Parkway whilst I was driving to work. As a result, I was unable to arrive at work in a timely manner and had to use unscheduled time off (sick leave). I woke up thinking, "Son of a cr-p! That's my second occurrence of unscheduled time off in one week, after only having one such occurrence in my first two years with the company. I'm b-gg-r-d." It was terrifying. My understanding of company policy is that employees are permitted three occurrences of unscheduled time off per quarter, and the fourth occurrence will result in termination of employment unless the employee provides a physician's documentation of a doggone good excuse.

I don't know why I had a nightmare about using sick time. I certainly have not discussed it with management or HR, nor did I thank myself for having the dream or receive a nightmare identification number.

c. May 4, 2010 Anno Domini

I played an epic game of Munchkin at Amelie's tonight. Forsyth took a bit of ribbing for being a Bard with a Flaming Spiked Codpiece and a Buckler of Swashing (and possibly something else I can't recall.) I concocted a new house rule stating that we would have waived the usual restrictions and let him use the Catboi Hireling if he got the card, but alas, it was not to be. In his defense, he never got the Spandex Chainmail (worn instead by Jacob), the Singing and Dancing Sword (wielded by me), the Freudian Slippers (discarded by Jacob), the Spiky Top (worn by Julia) or the Giant Hamster Steed (unfortunately not drawn by anyone) and he did defeat us all in the end.

I wore my 20-sided die shirt (with the caption "That's how I roll,") and an employee initiated the following conversation as we were exiting the premises:

Employee: Dungeons and Dragons... do people get hurt playing that?
Me: Usually not, unless you make someone mad and he throws a fistfull of dice at you.
Employee: Fistfull of dice, my -ss. I know how you roll... you hack each other's limbs off with massive battle axes and stab each other in the spleen with poison-coated switchblade bastard swords while wearing chain mail loincloths and probably going commando underneath. Don't lie to me, boy.*
Me: It's really not a violent game. You just sit around a table rolling dice and talking.
Employee: It's a very violent game.

Of course, he assumed I know everything there is to know about injury rates amongst D&D players because I was wearing a shirt with a d20 on it. Maybe next time I'll tell him I have no idea what the deuce he's talking about and claim to have a d20 shirt because my friends and I play extreme craps using 20-sided dice (the more numbers there are on the dice the more extreme it is) and that we had an extreme roulette wheel with seven colours that went up to ninety-nine and even made up our own byzantine version of poker played with Magic: the Gathering cards that required a massive rule book full of charts and tables and we called it Shire Hold 'Em. Because, you know, not everyone who rolls with 20-sided dice is a D&D nerd.

*He didn't actually verbally say this but I could tell he was thinking it from the way his eyes were shooting daggers +1 at me.

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