badness, humor, work

Haiku distraction: Theater = masturbation

If I wasn’t able to write Bitter Haikus during boring meetings, I would go a little crazy.  Unleashing my intolerance for time-wasting, self-congratulating, fat-cat council meetings is all that keeps me from misbehaving just to see what would happen.

I had a 12-hour day at Office Job starting at 830am this week, and ending at a meeting where the dean of the school of theater spoke.  She brought an undergraduate student from her school with her.  They were just so pleased with their school and its purpose.

ah, theater. I have so much to learn from you.

The dean seems to say,
“Without theater, we would
all just die.” Huh. ‘Kay.

She started off her lecture by showing a video about what the school does, and how it’s just the best.  Naturally, every dean believes their school is the best, and that all students should take at least one of their school’s classes.  This got under my skin because theater is… how you say?… ridiculous.  I’ve seen one of their productions, and I was not impressed.  She and her student kept emphasizing how, in the theater school, students could “discover themselves,” as if the school of philosophy wouldn’t offer similar self-realization with the added benefit of a degree with some academic merit.  Poppycock!  Poppycock, I say!

“Being an actor
makes you a smarter person.”
Or… just go to class.

That is a direct quote from the theater student.  He said that researching how to play different roles gave him a wide range of knowledge about all kinds of people, as if he couldn’t get that exact education with greater accuracy and depth by taking any non-theater class.  He used playing a doctor as an example.  I scoffed aloud as I clamped down on the urge to throw my hand up and ask if he thought taking pre-med classes would have made him even “smarter” than his preparation for the role.  What a load.

Holy shit, he just
almost cried.  Be a bigger
stereotype, kid.

Yep, he got choked up talking about how great the theater program is.  Then he made fun of himself for it, and called himself a stereotype.  And he was right.

Don’t let the timer
meant for members go off while
the dean speaks, genius.

The presidents of the council for which the meeting was held have decided to bribe the committees to keep their presentations short by timing them (somehow the presidents themselves escaped this indignity).  While the dean spoke, the timer went off, and continued beeping obnoxiously in the co-presidents bag right in front of the podium for a solid minute before they figured out what it was.

Don’t ask the actor
if he wants to talk.  He does.
He will.  Always.  Talk.

The dean finished answering questions, and she asked her student if had anything to add.  Sheesh.  What kind of question is that to ask an actor?  Of course he wants to add something!  “What’s that?  A microphone and a captive audience?  Why yes!  I do have something to add!”

The dean also said something that ruffled my feathers: “What we know about ancient civilizations, we know through their theater.”  Now, I double majored in Art History and Philosophy, so imagine how rewarding it feels to listen to someone at the university where I got my degrees tell me that I owe every piece of knowledge I learned at a non-theater school to the theater school.  What an ego.  And it’s weird because I like this woman.  She’s very grounded and smart, but apparently when she’s selling her school, she goes balls-to-the-wall crazy.

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badness, humor, work

Haiku distraction: Murphy’s law

The kind of haikus I write are either spawned from boredom, disappointment, or a severe dislike of the situation in which I’ve (usually forcibly) been placed.  I went to another late-night meeting, and naturally another set of haikus resulted because everything that could have gone wrong during this meeting did go wrong.  The AV wasn’t set up like it was supposed to be, and when it was set up it buzzed the whole time, and then it stopped working.  The man in charge treated me like his own personal servant…again.  There weren’t enough chairs, so my coworkers and I had to sit outside and eat at the check-in table.  The meeting could have easily been half as long as it was, but the people in charge couldn’t stop plugging their shit to make money for their organization.

Unlease the haiku beast!

"i'm really excited about this year's numbers."

Cheshire cat lady,
smile and grin and never frown;
whose trust do you have?

The woman in charge never stops smiling, even when discussing unpleasant topics.  It’s super creepy.  My coworker noticed and made a comment about how she never knew what to think of what she was saying.

Poor athletics guy.
Your report encourages,
but why are you here?

The guy from athletics gave his update about how the university teams are doing really well and he kept it short.  Then he sat down and looked neglected and bored for the rest of the next hour and a half.  Poor bastard.

Little disasters
know me by name.  “Be our friend,”
they say.  No thank you.

My office was not in charge of this event, but when things went wrong, we were the ones who worked to make it right because the people in charge were too busy milling around feeling important, not realizing that hosting means making sure things go smoothly, and not acting like the lord and lady of the land, greeting subjects and making long-winded speeches.

Stop talking, ladies
and gentlemen.  Eight o’clock,
and I miss my boy.

Around eight I realized that I could be snuggled up on the couch in my pajamas with Boyfriend watching Star Trek: The Next Generation instead of hearing reports on adorable new merchandise the hosting organization hoped to overcharge the population for.  My poems broke out of their calm haiku exterior, and became more biting.

There once was a man who would speak.
His speech is what made our ears leak.
It started alright,
but later that night,
he kept speaking and made us all shriek!

When I get bored, I can literally feel some kind of invisible plasma slipping out of my ears, making me stupider somehow.  I’m not bored very often; I usually find some way to entertain myself, but my stamina drains away at these meetings, and I can only play in Imaginationland so long without looking like a space cadet.

Marching cult of the Fluffy Hat,
you’re crazier than my roommate’s cat.

It’s clear why you’re so proud of yourselves:
you make earplugs fly right off their shelves!
Your drums go ‘thump,’ your horns go ‘splat.’
You sound just like my roommate’s cat.

You prance around like little ponies,
and act like musicians, you little phonies.
You’re rude and untalented and smelly and fat,
you’re nowhere near as cute as my roommate’s cat.

My coworker loves my haikus and requested that I write about the band, which we all agree is like a creepy religious cult.  Diminutive Roommate has a pretty severe dislike of the band; I was so excited to show her this poem, I called her on my way home last night to recite it to her.

I don’t know anyone who thinks these four-hour meetings are helpful.  It’s like elevator music: If everyone hates it, why play it at all?

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humor, work

Haiku distraction: le food

My coworker (let’s call her Lisa) is really good at talking, and I don’t mean that insultingly.  It’s what makes her good at her job.  She’s a networker.  She can hold thousands of tiny details in the front of her mind, and uses a hundred words to get a simple idea across.  It wears down the other guy, and makes whatever she’s talking about sound more convincing.

I went to a  meeting yesterday with Lisa and our boss (let’s call her Ruth) regarding food for a big event we have coming up.  Lisa said this meeting would consist of Ruth and our contact (the Manager and Chef) discussing pricing, etc., and Lisa would spend the meeting listening and taking notes.  I thought, There’s no way you’re not going to say anything.  No.  Way.

Lisa said she would
sit and listen.  I think we
both knew that was false.

Lisa will not stop talking unless she hears what she wants to hear.  She can be pretty pushy, but again, we depend on that side of her to get her job done better than anyone else in the office could.  Having said that, there are some words that are such an affront to the English language (on which, as you know, I have a pretty serious crush) that infuriate me to the point of spontaneous haiku.

“Guestimate” might be
worse than the manager-chef
dynamic.  Awkward!

When we sat down for the meeting, Chef was AWOL.  Manager was very professional, and clearly quite experienced with the price points and practicalities of each dish for the location of the meal, the number of people we wanted to feed, etc.  He’s the right man for the job.  Very professional and reserved.  Then Chef joined us.  Chef is a hulking, overweight, laid-back possibly German man with a thick accent and some good ideas, all of which were shot down by Manager.  Manager had trouble hiding his displeasure for Chef.  At the end of the meeting, Chef wanted to go back to the kitchen while Manager finished up with us.  Manager disapproved.  He asked Chef to wait.  Chef did not wait, lol.

He’s so straight-forward.
I really like this chef.  I
bet he spreche Deutsch.

Chef came to the table eating a brownie, then got up and brought us a plate of them.  Score!

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