A penny for a spool of thread, a penny for a needle

“When you are stressed, does it affect your behavior? Or your interaction with others, Wolf?”


“Rarely.  I might be a little quieter, or not as playful, and when I can’t laugh at myself, I take a break, alone.”


“Was today stressful?”


“At times.  But mostly, no.  I did observe a few people who were on the ledge, and I tried to help.”




“I encouraged them to jump.”


“It sounds like you thrive on inciting mayhem, and exacerbating the chaos.”


“Yup.  I prefer to meet those challenges head on, to confront those who are acting irrationally, and to rub it in.  I get a kick out of annoying the hell out of those who have forgotten that problems are normal, for those who work.  If there were no problems, would we have our jobs?”


“It seems that your customers have the same issues, year after year.”


“New people, Minnie, inexperienced.  And they always call the Wolf, when they need help. And I enjoy every minute.  It’s called job security.  There is never a dull moment, when there is turnover and downsizing.  Nothing is more certain than change. And all customers want the same thing:  To be successful, to make (and save) money, to have their problems solved quickly and to expect and receive great service. They like the attention and appreciate having someone to contact who cares about them.”


“Don’t you ever get tired of it?”


“If and when I do, I will quit.  The real secret to working is to have a job you enjoy and to feel you can make a difference.  There are times when I screw up, granted, but I have found if you communicate with your customers, and let them know what you did, they are forgiving.  They appreciate honesty.”


“Haven’t you ever had a bad experience with a customer?”


“Come on, Minnie.  Of course I do.  And nothing I can say or do will satisfy them.   But I don’t take it personally.  I let them cool off, apologize, and make sure I give them extraordinary service. It usually helps. but some people will never come around.  Hey, that’s life.  You can’t win them all.  You might lose the battle, but not the war.”


“Well, aren’t you Miss Goody Two Shoes?”


“Me? Hardly.  I just happen to be the luckiest and craziest person in the world.”


“Have you been imbibing again, Wolf?  I thought I heard a cork popping.”


“That was no cork, Minnie.  It was me, popping my weasel.”


“Oh for crazy!”


“Let’s put it this way, Minnie.  If you are a weasel, popping is the key to happiness. And if you have found happiness, well, you are either crazy or lucky.  I just happen to have the best of both.”











Knock off the Scarlett O’Hara act

“Well now, you seem a little detached tonight, you goofy Wolf.  How was your Tuesday?”


“Tuesday?  Is it Tuesday?  I thought it was Monday.”


“You took Monday off, you idiot.  Don’t you remember?”


“Oh yeah.  I took it off.  So?  My days are a little hosed up.  Big deal.  There’s something to be said about sticking to a routine.  Tuesdays are never as bad as Mondays.  But today was.”


“It doesn’t matter if you take a week or a month or a day off.  Whenever you return to the grind, it is Monday.”


“Well, at least tomorrow is Tuesday.”


“Ok Wolf.  Whatever you say.  So how was your Monday aka Tuesday?”


“I awoke at dawn, with a winged heart, took out the garbage, drove to work, and forgot my password to my computer.  A password has a memory span of 2 days.  After that, gone with the wind.  I couldn’t get logged in, had to call the help desk, and the kid asked me for my company id.  I told him, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”




“He told me to quit the Scarlett O’Hara act, and cough it up.  When I told him that it was Monday and I was slightly off kilter, he transferred me to his supervisor, who immediately recognized me.  He said, “It’s you again, isn’t Wolf?  May I ask? Did you take a day off again?”


“Oh for crazy!”


“Luckily he has my company ID on file, and gave me a new password.  Another password to remember?   See what happens when I take a day off?  And then, the fun began.”


“Then what?”


“I got a survey, asking me to rate the help desk on their performance.  I responded immediately,  of course, and in the meantime, forgot the new password.  I guess I should have made a note of it.  Anyway, when I called back, the kid said, “Can I help you?”  And I said, yeah, it’s me again.  I forgot my password.”


“Oh brother.”


“Well, he must have recognized my voice, and he said, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”




“Sounds like a typical Monday.”


“That it was, Minnie.  And when he hung up, I was determined to think of some way to get my password back.  I will ask Tara.   Tara! Home!  Can I go home?   After all, tomorrow is another day.”




Who stole my pjs?

“I see you are back from your mini vacation, Wolf.  How was it?”


“I think I need a day off to recuperate.  I strolled into the room at 330am, after a night of debauchery, and then, I could not get to sleep.  I was wired.  MCat was sleeping, so I quietly took my bag to find my pjs and they were missing.  Someone stole my pjs.”


“Oh for stupid. Did you forget to take them?”


“Shut up Minnie.  The morning was brutal, but after coffee, Danish and fruit, I decided to give the casino one more shot.”


“Did you win?”


“Shut up Minnie.  I still have at least $9 in my wallet.”


“Well, tomorrow is a work day.  Do you feel refreshed and ready to give it hell?”


“Yeah. Give it hell.  Raring to go.  Fresh as a daisy.  Half dead.  Or is it half alive?”


“You never learn, do you?”


“You know the motto:  Work hard, play hard.  I enjoyed every minute of my weekend.  It was a humdinger.  To me a vacation is a respite from the norm.  And  that is what I got.  I stepped inside a magical world, anonymously, observed the people around me and let it all hang out.  Yes, I am tired, but the cobwebs in my mind are gone.  Sometimes, it is just what the doctor ordered:  Get away, take a break and enjoy the hell out of yourself.”


“You think you will feel the same way tomorrow morning at 5am, when the alarm rings?”


“I’ll cross that bridge tomorrow.  For now, I have a bigger problem.”


“What’s that?”


“I can’t find my pajamas.”







And don’t call me….

“I hear you will be MIA for a few days, Wolf.”


“Yes, and don’t try to call me.  I will be on official business.”


“What? At the casino?  You call that official business?”


“It’s as official as I get.”


“I hope you aren’t taking the bus. Remember the last time, you ended up on a bus to New York City.”


“Actually, it doesn’t matter where I end up.  I always have a wonderful time.”


“Please don’t talk to strangers, Wolf.  Just zip it. And try to maintain some semblance of dignity.”


“Now wait a minute.  Just how many people do I know that will be at the casino?  Or in NYC?  I have to talk to strangers.  Whenever I run into a stranger, my mouth opens and it talks.  I have a mouth that is a loose cannon.   I think it all stems from my childhood.  I was a homely little girl, with permed curly hair, forced to attend church practically every day, living in the North Pole.”


“You lived in Minnesota, you goof.”


“Same thing.”


“What does your mouth have to do with your upbringing?”


“There were 7 kids.  Have you ever tried to compete with 6 siblings, not to mention,  Archie and Edith?”


“Who are they?”


“My Dad and Mom.  Identical.  Well, my mouth was quiet for all those years, and under developed.  It took several decades for it to fully realize its potential.  Now it won’t shut the hell up.”


“Can’t you take something for that?”


“Yes.  I do.  It’s called wine.  I have a few blasts, and I let my mouth do what it wants.  You know, they say, if you try to control everything, you lose control.  So I let it go wild.”


“Do these strangers actually talk to you?  Or do they think you are a nut case?”


“Yes, and yes.”


“How can you possibly enjoy yourself, acting like a maniac, seeking out strangers, while you are half in the bag?”


“Come on, Minnie. I don’t do it that often.”


“If you ask me, you do it every day.”


“I’m not asking, Minnie.  And don’t call me.”


“Why not?”


“I got a new cell phone and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to answer it.”






Love in the back room

“”Cough cough cough.”
“You ok, Beav?”


“Cough cough cough.”


“Shut up Erica.”


“You ok, Beav?”  ( in a falsetto voice)


“Shut up Carl.”


“Hey, Beav, you ok?”


“Shut up Carol.”


“Oh, Beaver, are you ok?”


“Shut up Candis.”


“You ok?”


“Shut up Pat.”


“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  I am getting on a conference call.”


“Shut up Erica.”


“Fudge bucket.”


“Shut up Pat.”


“If you croak, can I have your chair?”


“Shut up Carol.”


“I love the back room.”


“Shut up Candis.”


“Cough cough cough.”


“Shut up Beav!”














Anthony, the birdman bee

“Good day, Wolf?”


“Have you ever seen a thriving, happy bee colony, Minnie? With a queen bee who worked as hard as her workers?  A well oiled machine.  A productive group of bees, who clicked, and were a world class organization.  If you wanted to observe excellence, this special hive always came to mind.  And then the bees started to leave.”


“Bees don’t leave when they are happy, do they?”


“Well the best bees are very loyal.  They have a positive outlook on the future of the hive.  And then they start to feel the pressures of the hive. They are having baby bees, they are getting married, they reach a point when they need a challenge, a change.  They excel at their jobs, produce the best honey, and are prime targets for the competitive hives.”


“You mean other bee colonies solicit the best bees?”


“Yes. And they start to leave, one by one, until there are only a few of the seasoned bees left.”


“What do you think the hive could have done, to keep those star bees?”


“That, my dear, Minnie, is not for me to say.  I am a bee in another hive, adjacent to the super hive.  I don’t know if you realize it or not, but bees do cry.  And tonight, I am crying, but only for myself.  I have to wish all those bees who are leaving a very happy and successful new life.  I can understand their choice. But it breaks my bee heart.”


“Which bee is leaving now, Wolf?”


“The amazing Birdman Bee, Minnie.”


“You mean Anthony?”


“Yes.  Anthony.”


“You love that bee, Anthony, don’t you?”


“We all do.”


“If you could say something to Anthony, tonight, what would you say?”


“Anthony: You made the hive a special hive. Thank you. And my very best wishes for you and your family.  You will be missed, but never forgotten.”




A day in the life of a chicken butt

“I have decided I am going to tone it down, Minnie.”

“Now what did you do?”


“I sneaked birthday cake into bindery.  That is a no no.”


“Why do you do these things? You could get those kids in trouble.”


“And, I told the new HR Manager that my name was Chicken Buttafucco, Chicken Butt for short.”


“Oh for stupid.”


“Then I went out for a break, in the scorching heat and turned into a fried piece of bacon.”




“Oscar passed out some new awful treats.   A PBJ fruit thingy.  I gave mine to Freddy.  Now Freddy won’t talk to me.”


“Do you blame him?”


“I tried to settle down, but the more I tried, the more wild I got.  It was one of those problematic days.  I had to spend most of my day chasing rainbows and ghosts, in the warehouse.  I let loose.  I got into the moment.  And you would not believe what I found out.”


“Oh brother.”


“Someone is leaving.  Another is having a baby.  There was a secret wedding this past weekend.  Bees are dying.  A death in the family.  A friend baked 3 cakes, to celebrate birthdays and a wedding.  A beloved puppy with a mysterious disease.  Awesome team work, to satisfy a customer.  The root cause for psoriasis. A failed marriage.  A planned retirement.  Advice on social security benefits.  Someone won a trip to Mexico, all expenses paid.  A bonding with an unlikely source.”


“Yeah, ok. Sounds like another typical day for you, Wolf.  So? Are you really going to tone it down?”




“I knew it.  You live for those moments.  I guess it’s true.  You may not remember what happened today, or any day, for that matter. But you will always remember the people who made those days, and moments special.”


“I guess I better get ready for tomorrow, Minnie.   It’s bound to be a spectacular day.”

















Only when I stop at a red light…..on the interstate.

“Hey, Wolf, do you do anything while you are driving?”


“Well, now, Minnie, what a great question.  What the 5@%%@5 are you talking about?”


“Some people text. Do you?”


“I don’t text when I am not driving, Have you seen my phone?  Why are they so damn small?   How does anyone text on those small keyboards?  Besides, I don’t text, period.  I call.”


“Do you ever drink while you are driving, Wolf?”


“Of course not.  All my drinking is before and after driving. Besides, it’s pretty hard to drink from a bottle of wine, when it is corked.”


“Do you listen to music while you are driving?”


“Where are you going with this, Minnie?”


“I  heard you have coworkers who eat while they drive.  True story?”


“Yes, there is one who prepares a 5 course meal before she leaves work and eats her ass off on the way home.”


“A 5 course meal?”


“Yup.  She has soup, salad, an entrée and a baked potato, and then a scrumptious dessert, ready to roll when she leaves work.  She claims she only eats when she is at a red light or stop sign, but she drives on the interstate.  Have you ever seen a stop sign on the interstate?  Or a red light?”


“Isn’t that dangerous?”


“No, not for her.  She only eats in between texting, and dancing to hip hop.”


“How does she keep her food hot?”


“She lays her chicken fingers on the hot roof of her car, while she is working, and she has her cigarette lighter wired to bake the hell out of her potato.  And when she is ready for dessert, she stops at a red light and grabs her can of whipped cream and sprays it in her mouth.”


“And that’s it?”


“Oh no. She stops at Starbucks, for her after dinner drink, and she holds the cup in one hand, her fork in her other hand, texting on her cell phone, and manages to give the bird to all those who are honking at her.”


“She must be an amazing person.”


“Yup.  She prides herself on multi tasking.  But unfortunately, she got bit last night, by a dog.”




“It was unfortunate.  The dog showed up at the red light, saw her eating, texting, and dancing, and asked her if he could join the party.”




“She said:  ‘bite me.'”






A letter to myself


Dear self,


How are you today?


Good?  How nice.


Are you having a nice weekend?




Did you get anything accomplished?


What?  What did you say?  How rude!


When are you going to get rid of that awful nightie?  Didn’t you buy that at the thrift store about 15 years ago?


Well, excuse me, but you must like it.  You have been wearing it all day.  You could have at least put on a robe when your neighbor stopped by.


So you made a salad today, eh?  Big deal.  What did that take?  10 minutes?


And what’s with Candy Crush? You game addict.


You screwed up again, by the way.   You put a load of clothes in the washer and you are as blind as bat.  I don’t hear them washing.  You must have them on a 12 hour soak.


Do you realize that the cats are hungry?  Oh?  You fed them.   When?  Oh, after they puked on your new bed spread?  You better add that to your soaking.


How come you aren’t drinking a beer?


Ah!  You put them in the freezer and forgot.  Frozen solid.  Are you really going to drink them, after they froze their hops off?


Are you ready for Monday?


Don’t get sarcastic with me, you idiot.


By the way, you forgot to take your meds again.


What?  I can tell.  You get all squirrely when you don’t take your daily dose of mood altering drugs.


No, wine doesn’t count.


You’re afraid to go into work tomorrow? Now what?


You told the new HR manager that you have been waiting for him to show up so you could report Pat?   And now Pat wont talk to you?  And she refuses to go to 5 guys to get you French fries?  Can you blame her?


What do you mean you are tired?


You got up at 330am?  Why?  Are you crazy or what?


Skip that question.   I know the answer.






How does this happen?


A man was painting the outside door, at our facility.


All I said was, “Nice job.”


In 15 minutes, or less,  he told me :


1.  People don’t take pride in their work today.

2.  I take accountability.

3. I approach every job like I own it.

4.  We should unite and demand that the government stop ruining our country.

5.  I have been going to the same bank for 25 years and they denied me a loan for $2000.

6.  I am 60 years old and am making less money now than I did 20 years ago.

7.  12 medical interns moved into the house next door to where I live.  They all drive expensive cars. And they are very snobby.

8.  Nobody ever questions what I do on my job.

9.  We should all start buying only American products.

10.  I’m going back to the bank today and talking to the manager.


I took another break.


A male employee was there, taking a break.


All I said was, “Hi. How’s it going?”


He said:


1.  Good.  I am the most productive person in the office.

2.  I do 5 times the work that anyone else does.

3.  My problem is that I start out fast, end fast, but the middle isn’t so great.  Around noon, I slow down.  I am not consistent.

4.  I rescued my Mother from my Dad.  He was abusive.

5.  I threw him a punch and he landed in a broken desk.

6.  I sneaked out of the house at 2am with my mother.

7. I won’t be working here long.  Maybe 3 more weeks.

8. I used to throw 60 lb boxes around all day, at my last job.

9. My hand hurts.  Must be from beating up my Dad.

10. You don’t have an extra cigarette, do you?”


Then, another encounter.


Again, on break.


A young man was sitting at the picnic table, drinking iced tea.

I said, “Good thing you are keeping dehydrated in this hot weather.”


He replied:


1.  Yeah, look at this.  (he showed me his thermos) I drank 3 quarts of iced tea, just this morning.

2.  It is at least 130 degrees in the truck I am loading.

3.  I went to the Pocono nascar race.  That damn Jr. won.

4.  Did you know that I have driven that track?

5.  I wanted to go 200 miles per hour, but they wouldn’t let me go over 100.

6.  By the way, I am through with women.

7.  All they want to do is talk about themselves.

8.  Yak, yak, yak.  And I never get to say a word.

9. And I screwed up.  I lost my license.

10.  When I get it back, watch out world.


Moral of the story:  There is none.  It just happens to me all the time.