Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Credit Denied!

This 2004 article from the Onion is hilarious!

The Onion

Secretary Of Defense Humiliated As U.S. Credit Card Rejected

ST. LOUIS-An attempt to build international goodwill backfired horribly for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Monday, when he was unable to pick up the tab for Australian Defense Minister Sen. Robert Hill's order of 11 Apache AH-64 helicopters using the U.S.'s credit card.

What's the government's credit score anyway? I think instead of our score being compared to other citizens. I think all credit scores should be compared to that of the department of defense. As long as your score is better than theirs, you'd have good credit.

"You are twenty times more creditworthy than the government. Would you like to buy a new house at $0 down and $0/month for 2 years? And for such a great score, we'd like to throw in a subsidy of $5k a year?"

...and on the flip side...

"In the news today, the Secretary of State was banned from panhandling on the Pennsylvania Avenue off ramp in the District. The Secretary claimed that this effort was just part of the normal fundraising campaign this year."

Oh what a world it would be.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh No She Didn't!

So, for the past 3 months I've been working in a new role on my project. I'm supposed to be the lead on several processes, however, I have been micro-managed to the nth degree since I started.

The signs were there from the first week. My manager asked me to develop a way to manage and monitor factors that may adversely affect the project. Fine. I did some research, checked out the company's best practices and methodology archives and came up with a draft. I submitted the draft before I went on vacation with specific instructions for my analyst to follow up on in my absence.

When I returned from vacation, the analyst under the other manager's guidance had created a completely different process. I was livid. She basically undermined my authority and if this was a job for an analyst to do, why was I - a manager - tasked with it in the first place??

I spoke with the manager and let her know my concerns. I advised her to speak directly to me regarding changes to the process and that the analyst has no right to make updates to my work. Ok fine - she said.

Cut to a few weeks ago. She tasked me with developing yet another process. This one for reporting status in a weekly meeting. I solicited requirements from both her and her manager to make sure that all of the bases were covered this time. This request came in on a Thursday afternoon at 4pm and the expected due date was Monday at 9am. Basically, she and her boss expected me and the team to work on this over the weekend. I completed a draft by Friday at noon.

Do you know that she called me Friday afternoon wanting to discuss the changes she'd made?? Basically, she revamped the entire deck. It seemed as if she had an idea in her mind already of how it should look, so I felt my time was wasted. On the call that Friday, I told her that I'd make her updates and re-submit in time for the deadline.

So, why on Sunday when I logged in did she IM me asking if I was done yet? WHO DOES THAT??

I wanted to tell her to go micro-manage her husband's man parts and stop bothering me. Instead, I told her that I'd be done in time to meet the deadline, then I logged off. Because I was soo pissed I ended up putting it off for another few hours. LOL

So, today, ole girl decides to have a 'confrontation' with me. She wanted to review a draft I was preparing before I sent it out to the team. I was flat out against it but, I conceded when I realized that I had no choice. During her 'review' she kept making comments about changes that I'd made. I explained the rationale and expected to move on. But, she seemed to think that my changes were negotiable and that she had the final say. I was so over it...and I'm sure my face showed it.

Finally she grabbed her head in frustration and said, "I'm sensing so much opposition on this." To which I replied, "There's no opposition unless you count, every time I tell you how I'm going to manage my process, you tell me 'no - do it this way instead.'"

So then she went on this little rant about how she isn't negating everything I say and that she is just thinking aloud. Meanwhile, I'm focusing on my computer screen. I'm afraid to look at her face because my hand is already itching to make contact with her cheek. The eye contact would've been misinterpreted by my hand as the 'Go!' signal. So, I'm staring at my screen. How about Little Mrs. Blanca-Curry decides to lean over, basically in my face, to make sure that I'm hearing what she's saying.

That sent a signal to my feet to jump up, push her to the
floor, grab her by the neck and start squeezing.
Then the cops had to
come and pull me off of her. So, I'm in jail now. Does anyone have bail

Ok, that's what happened in my mind, what really happened is that I gave her
'the look'. The one black girls give people when they want to say, "Bitch

My heart was racing, my hands were shaking. I don't know
how I
managed to stay seated, but I did. So, now, I'm about to email HR
request to
be taken off of this project immediately.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Luddite Rapper

So, on Hollywood Boulevard there are all kinds of people out there getting their hustle on. Well, we ran into this guy who professed to be the next Jay Z. This balding guy, in his mid 30s, was allowing people to hear his demo on a CD walkman. Ok, aside from the fact that this guy was a little long in the tooth to be looking for his first record deal. He was also behind the times technology wise which is unacceptable in an industry that prides itself on being on the bleeding edge of technology.

So, our interaction went something like this...

'You gonna support a brother? Buy my CD.'
He blurted out with CD player and headphones in hand as my mom and I passed him on the sidewalk.
'Well, I download my music, I don't buy CDs, do you have a website? What's your name?'
For the sake of this story we'll call him O.A.R. O stands for Old, R stands for Rapper. You get the picture?
'I go by O.A.R! Nah, I don't have no website set up yet. But, you need to get this CD. I have over 40 songs on here.'
So, I take a listen. I'm feeling generous. As my friends call it, I'm wearing my vacation personality.
'That sounds like Biggie to me.'
'Oh yeah, that is Biggie, I'm on the next track. '
He takes the CD player and skips to the next song.
'Well, what about myspace. Most artists have a myspace page. Do you have one?'
So, he looks up at me. Even in my Uggs, I'm taller than him.
'Nah, I ain't on myspace. Just listen to this song real quick. This is some hard isht. I'm the next Jay Z. '
I listen for a second then I say,
'Well, if you had them online, I could maybe download the ones I like.'
'Download? I don't want nobody gettin my music for free.'
'No. By download, I mean purchase the songs online.'
Irritated, he takes the unmarked CD away from me and says,
'You gonna buy it or not?'
'I'm sorry, I don't have a CD player anymore. '
I am dismissed. He walks on to the next potential customer.
'Good luck!' I yell after him.

In an age where Soulja Boy gets a record deal based off of his youtube video and Tila Tequila gets her own show based on her myspace traffic, there's just no denying the importance of having an internet presence to get you 'put on'. I don't like to think its an age thing. Although the stats prove that younger people have more easily adapted to this new culture. Then, what about the fact that becoming the next Jay Z is like a 1 in a million lottery ticket. For most people it's just not going to happen. Should someone in their mid 30s know that already?

I don't know, I'm just sayin...


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Penni Hits the West Coast

This year for my birthday, instead of getting a present from my mom, I decided to give her one. I treated her to a weekend in LA to help me celebrate. The original plan was to surprise her. I was going to tell her to pack a bag and then take her to the airport. That plan was nixed when she started making excuses for not being able to go. The thought of not knowing what to expect was stressing her out. So, about a month ago, I told her my idea and she was still stressed, but at least she had a month to prep herself.

I've been soo stressed out with work and family stuff for the past 2 months that I was craving this time away like an addict craves a fix. As soon as I got to the airport I began to feel the muscles in my body relax.

When we got to the hotel, the very attentive hotel manager welcomed us with a bottle of champagne and some chocolate covered strawberries. What a great way to welcome us to LA! Of course we were soo tired from the journey that it only took 1 glass of champagne to send me sinking into the thick down comforter and off to sleep. The next morning, we were still on east coast time. We were up before sunrise ordering breakfast. We spent our short stay visiting Hollywood and Highland (including Mann's Chinese Theater), The Grove and The Beverly Center. It was an exhausting weekend but oh so much fun.

The fact that I had my mom on the metro and the bus travelling around LA was so funny to me. She was super nervous and commented several times that she didn't want to end up in the middle of some crossfire on Crenshaw (yes - she watches too much TV). I assured her that we were in no danger.

All in all, this had to be the best birthday so far. Every year I'm amazed at how I think I just can't top the previous year and somehow I manage to do just that.