Public Service Announcement #33: Do Not Ignore Headphones in the Workplace

Or: Cubicles are Wildly Undervalued and I Am Jealous of Everyone Who Has One

I work in an office that has run out of space. The Company is growing, which is fantabulous*, but it also means that cubicles have become a high-value commodity and offices are non-existent. Because of this, Marketing has migrated into a “collaborative workspace.”
*Totally a word. And The Company pays me for wordsmithing, so it’s pretty silly that you’d question me about words.

What this means is, we are no longer entitled to the luxury of walls. My office space looks like this:

Do not question my professional pigtails

Note that those are not cube-boxes. Those are deskspace mini-cubes. The few “walls” don’t even come out past the desk chairs.
But we do have desk chairs. So basically, we’re pretty spoiled.

This has led me to become a believer in giant headphones. I support them for a variety of reasons:

  1. They make it legitimately impossible for me to hear my coworkers when I’m working.
  2. They clearly signify to my coworkers that I cannot hear them.
  3. They have a microphone on them, so I can use them in place of my telephone headset for conference calls.
  4. See reason 2. This is important enough to repeat.
It's very productive

These headphones are clearly not small.
Also, this is my zen and productive work pose.

However, no matter how giant my headphones are, I have found that my coworkers still firmly believe that I am listening to all the conversation going on around me. Now, it’s true – the conversation is much more interesting than work. But as someone who is held responsible for creative** writing, as well as practical business*** writing on a regular basis, I need a bubble of clear headspace to accomplish my mission.
***Also manipulative


This is an accurate representation of this situation happening.

When I become aware of people looking at me expectantly, I’m forced to do the polite thing and pull my headphones off to find out what was said. I mean, maybe my valuable advice**** is needed. Or maybe a new assignment has come down the pipeline. Maybe, as productive and essential marketers, everyone decided to get started on a new campaign idea.
****Valuable advice available here, here and here.

Every. Single. Time.



This is never the case. And so I return to the delightful land of my cone of silence*****.
*****Or music. Cone of music. Same thing. 

Whereupon the cycle promptly starts again.


So value your cube space, my friends. Value it…and send me some walls.

Public Service Announcement #32

Watch Out for Earthquakes

Now, contextually, I realize that a girl living in the South seems singularly unqualified to advise anyone about earthquake survival techniques. At this point, I must remind you: I’m a Californian at heart. My schools had earthquake drills while Nebraskanites practiced Tornado dodging and Vermonsters stocked up for future blizzards.

In other words, I am clearly qualified to provide top-notch, totally legitimate advice on how to keep from spontaneously combusting when the earth gets jiggy with it. *

*Sorry. I haven’t gotten to Google anything for anyone in awhile. This seemed like an excellent time to point out that you can Google almost anything and get results. The Internet is a hive mind, y’all.

A Simple Guide To Surviving An Earthquake**

Don't do this.

Really, I’m only transcribing what I remember from earthquake drills in school. Or maybe I was possibly taking a nap at the time and this is what I remember. Anyway: FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, guys.

Step 1: Always work in a defensive, seated posture. On a roll-y chair preferably. For safety.

Step 2: When the ground begins to shake, flail your arms wildly. Be sure to knock over any work-related apparatus that is in easy reach. Roll backwards in your chair and scream loudly, to helpfully warn your coworkers about the earthquake. They may not have noticed.

I think it's the whiteout that sells the level of effort I've invested in this.

Two things: 1) I just noticed that most of the time when I draw stick figures, I make them dance, and 2) Coworkers are _always_ impractical.
(I think it’s the whiteout that sells the level of effort I’ve invested in this.)

Step 3: Notice that the earth has great rhythm, Now is a perfect time to start dancing. This will help your fellow employees remain calm. Nobody wants to cause a panic. When this is over, you will be commended for your heroism.

BONUS! Boogeying helps you avoid dangerous falling objects!

Step 4: STOP. It is time to check your smartphone for other signs of the apocalypse. Be sure not to exit the building. The world outside is probably dangerous. Your coworkers are being impractical. Be sure to log into Facebook: In case of emergencies, it is it the most factual source of information.

I should take an art class

I may have taken the time to modernize this survival approach from original school instruction techniques. You’re welcome.
(You can’t really tell, but that’s totally a karate-kid, end-of-the-world ass-kicking bandananananana that my carefully drawn stick figure is wearing.
You WISH you had my art skills. I should have been an illustrator.)

Note: Be sure to stay away from doors and windows if Facebook and/or Twitter either mention signs of the apocalypse, or if your newsfeed is mysteriously absent of any mentions of a natural disaster.

Step 5: Outfit yourself to handle the impending breakdown of society. Stockpile weapons and food. If time allows, build a desk fort.*

*If building has collapsed in initial ground shaking, disregard steps 2 through 5.

I hope this PSA helps at least some of you survive the next earthquake. Much of this advice was gathered from research performed on how my coworkers here in the south attempted to deal with the planet wobbling. It was a very informative experience.

**Some of you may remember this PSA from a Facebook Album I did. Good job knowing me for so long, but stop stalking me. It’s creepy.***

***Amazing. Totally amazing. It makes me feel like I’m Internet famous!

Public Service Announcement #46

Beware The Manic Pixie Dream Guy (MPDG)

Back in 2007, the AV Club taught me a new term: Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl: (Maaa-nick pick-see dre-yam gah-url)

The the wide-eyed hipster butterfly that Zooey Deschanel has come to embody after films like (500) Days of Summer. Also see Natalie Portman in Garden State.

Ladies and gentlemen, it does exist – and it’s not just for guys.

It’s also for girls and guys-who-like-guys.

The male MPDG – “Manic Pixie Dream Guy” – is an under-explained phenomenon that’s growing. It is the safe haven stereotype for the metrosexuals from the days of yore*.

*Also known as the 90s.

For one thing, their mustaches might actually be attached to their faces.

Tragically, MPD-Guys are not this obvious. *

This creature finds his home among hipsters, frequenting unusual places while wearing tight t-shirts and scarves. MPD-Guys tend to be tall and slender, with ready smiles and a tendency to take pictures of absolutely EVERYTHING (Think that guy who filmed plastic bags floating in American Beauty.)

They also like hats.

Now, these men are charming. They’re fun and unusual. They have an unique way of looking at the world (it comes with eyes that big, just like with Manic Pixie Dream Girls) that will fascinate your brain. They keep you on your toes with their antics and whims. They’re nothing at all like the men you thought you’d be attracted to (I mean, c’mon. The wear scarves. And hats. And skinny jeans.) And they will seem to love you whole-heartedly and with abandon.

You know, for like, a couple weeks.

Because the danger is this. MPDGs – male or female – are totally bananas.

Brazilian Wandering Spiders are EVIL

Horrifying spider monsters _totally_ included. Trust me.
*The Weekly World News is responsible for this picture. Thanks WWN!

(Sidenote: Look! More things about bananas!)

Men-who-like-women have been warned for years. Now, ladies and gentlemen-who-like-gentlemen, you have also been warned.

Bananas are contagious. Save yourself.

*My apologies to Ms. Deschanel, who is totally pretty and also hilarious and amazing. And according to all my male friends, totally dreamy.

P.S. – Someone from Finland Found my Blog and I love them.

This makes me happier than it should

Finland and Canada, together at last!
We’re all doomed.