Well, isn't that "nice"....

I had a conference call today. Technically it's a web-based class offered by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) on managing community stress in disaster situations. There is a web component and an audio component. The audio component is reached by dialing into a bridge line and then listening. The class happens to be from noon to 2pm every Tuesday and today was the 2nd of 5 meetings. I am choosing to take this course of my own volition because I think it will help me perform my job should there actually be a natural or technological disaster in the area. One of the things I will have to do in that situation is to write a daily action plan for the region. It would be good if I understood all aspects of managing a disaster so that I can write a reasonable and useful plan. According to the regional health officer, I am also expected to take the lead on environmental contamination issues. I believe that having some understanding of community stress and psychosocial reactions to disasters might help me do a better job.

Today also happened to be the day that all my co-workers decided to turn into juvenile idiots outside my cube at 12:45 or so after the boss left the building. This began with a general gathering, escalated into talking loud enough that I had to cover my open ear with my hand (and during which I heard one person observe that I was on the phone though this had no discernable effect on their loudness) and culminated with someone throwing a ball of paper at me because I apparently wasn't paying them enough attention. And these people wonder why I don't "socialize" at work with them. You've just gotta love professional behavior.

I have noticed a very strong correlation between stupid behavior like this and the boss being out of the office (either for lunch or an extended period of time). I guess my co-workers are not mature enough to actually have a work ethic and cannot be expected to do their jobs unless someone is likely to catch them not working. I had hoped that adults would be able to have some self-discipline and do the job that needs to be done without having to have someone stand over them, but I see this is not the case, at least not in my office. Today caused me to decide to actively seek a job somewhere else ASAP. I see no particular purpose for this sort of behavior and I find it completely inappropriate in a work environment.

To finish off a "lovely" day, it happened to rain just before work ended. I had left my windows and sunroof open a bit (more on that later). I went outside to close them and came back indoors to finish whatever I had been working on. I happened to get rained on. When I came back inside I was, in fact, laughed at and told that I looked terrible by co-worker and boss. Gee thanks. Apparently they had something to tell me, but my horrible appearance caused them to completely forget it. I am indeed surrounded by rude people who are, of course, themselves completely perfect and certainly superior to fat, unfashionable idiots like myself.

Which merely makes me even more resolved to get out. When I took this job I had no idea that the environment was at the grade school to high school level of maturity. I can see why they can't keep someone in my position. Perhaps the next person they hire will be sufficiently immature to fit in with them. I'm certainly not and I'm not going to start now.

Next week I will post a sign at the door to my cube indicating that I am, in fact, on a conference call for a class I'm taking which is relevant to my job. It will state that if someone wants my attention, that I would appreciate it if they could wait until 2pm when the class is over. I will try to not add that I would appreciate it if people didn't throw things at me for their amusement. I only wish I could make it a "screamer" like in the Harry Potter books. It's probably better that I can't.

That Settles It!
I have no idea what happened, but all the green crud settled to the bottom of the pool today. I vacuumed a bunch of it up, which also stirred some of it up and made the pool murky again. Do you like the bright blue clean swath I made across the top? I threw in more shock and I'll let the filter run until bedtime. Perhaps it'll settle again by the end of tomorrow and I can finish vacuuming things up.

I can tell you that there are no fish, mermaids or other creatures lurking in the pool. Last week I wasn't so certain.

Here's a Half-Win...
I have had the air conditioning at home shut off since last Friday. The humidity has been low and the high temps have only been in the 80s. At night it's actually been a bit chilly. So this morning, the local weather guy on the radio says that there's a 20% chance of rain in the afternoon. I make a point of shutting the windows in the house and turning on the A/C. I get to work, park my car and leave the windows and sunroof cracked for ventilation. At 4:25, WITH THE SUN SHINING, it starts to rain. Sigh.

It wasn't as bad as it could have been. My only concern is where water that got in the sunroof could have gone. I don't want extra moisture inside the roof of my car. That just strikes me as a bad thing. The back seat wasn't very wet at all. I figure it'll be dry by tomorrow morning. And it didn't rain into the house, so that's all kinds of good.

Speaking of water in the car....
Remember that leaky trunk issue? The one where the dealer said that they couldn't get it to leak for them, but the trunk was wet when I picked up the car? And I said that the water was coming in from around the shock mount? I caulked the top of the shock mount. Guess what? The trunk doesn't leak now. HAH! Ideally, I should take off the wheel and caulk around the shock mount on the wheelwell side too, but I haven't got the equipment get under there and since the leak is now under control I can't really justify buying a floor jack anyway. :o)

Harry Potter Book Progress
Here's what's happening at the moment: Harry, Hermione and Ron are doing stuff and that one bad guy whose name you can't say is doing bad stuff and trying to find them. I think I'm a third of the way through the book now and starting to get into it. I had a hard time putting it down at the end of lunch.

"Rants" coming soon....
I have been percolating several essays in my pointy little brain. I need to get to bed now, but I'll start sharing them later this week.


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