Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Enlighten me

You know when it comes near event week I have to have a good rant. Not because I dislike events, but because the week before seems to become a formula for massive quantities of stupidity.
So, at random, here are some things I don't understand. Enlighten me if you can explain them:

1. People who tell other people but me that they are coming, but don't the person who is taking the RSVPs. This is not productive. The chickens do not fly in and cook themselves.

2.  People who ask, "Do I need to let you know if I am going?" when I have spammed everyone to high heaven with "RSVP REQUIRED BY XX DATE."

3. The person who asked, "What part of the hotel is the event in?" Were you expecting it to be in someone's guest room? Tips for the uninitiated: the community gatherings are in the community gathering rooms. The hotel guests are in the guest rooms.  Hint: the latter are the ones with the beds in them.

4. People who don't seem to like any food at all, period, but insist on coming. They sigh, and sulkily say, "I guess I'll just have a salad." How about having the salad in your nose? I think loudly.

5. The companies who do minimal sponsorship for the main event, and then try to crash this free one, which costs us money, with as many people as they can get away with. Then none of them donate.

6. People who RSVP without having any of the details, get the details from you, and then say they can't make it.

7. The event planner who sent out an RSVP reminder email without the time, location, or date of the event. Yep, that's me! And the proofreader didn't catch it either. We're a couple of geniuses. Does stupid get absorbed by osmosis? Maybe I am a sponge.

Or maybe - just maybe - I need a ribbon to chase, and all will be right with the world. Play this with the sound on. *I forgot to mention that these are my boys and Mr. RK did both the chasing and the video!*

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feather boas are not for me

At a meeting yesterday, someone referred to a local adult shop (I don't know how this came up, seriously!) making a joke that, "I've heard that there's a place called..." Mr. RK bought me a bracelet from that shop that says "Bad Kitty." I wear it when I'm annoyed. (You ask, do I sleep in it? Shut up.)

Which brings me to the adult shopping experience. (Disclaimer: all family members should stop reading now.)

Never mind how odd, or how scary, some things may look. What I want to know is this: don't any of these people have pets? (Here's a useful hint: no.)

Why do I ask? Yes, I am crazy cat lady. So when I see anything with feathers - boas, little wands with those on the end (What are those for? Dusting?) my thought isn't, "Ooh, that's kinky," it's, "Man! The cats would totally tear the fuck out of that."

Seeing something with any kind of ring or loop: "They'd totally chase that around:"

Seeing anything edible: "They'd totally get sick if they got into that. Should that not be kept under the sink?"

Yes, this is me getting old. Or maybe people with actual children, as opposed to small furry ones, have these thoughts as well?

Another thought is that maybe adult toy manufacturers and cat toy manufacturers are one and the same? Inquiring minds want to know.
PS Fred Phelps - I was hoping it would be more drawn out and painful.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday nincompoopery

The second word is courtesy of my brother. It basically sums up some stuff over the past few days, and of course today, because I was 1. tired and 2. have cut back even on the tiny bit of decaf I have and 3. it was Monday and 4. I had to work this weekend.

So I ask you, is it me, or...?

Scenario A: I have to email someone who reports to me multiple times, telling this person to hit "reply all" when scheduling meetings with two of us in the other office. No dice. Thus a meeting I am supposed to lead got scheduled and I was not in it.
Then I inquired about why we hadn't set up a conference call and was told "Oh! Person X forgot to hit reply all that time, too."

Finally I wrote, "Please hit 'reply all' when scheduling a meeting or phone call with both of us. Otherwise, one of us will not be included.'" Really. I did type and send that email. Hooray! We have a meeting scheduled.

Scenario B: The person that went out of their way to send work stuff to my work email, "So I wouldn't be thinking about work outside of work hours," and then, when we met to hang out, proceeded to spend nearly 90 minutes going on about my work. What, exactly, doesn't compute?

Scenario C: The person who is really nice but really chatty. I have told this person politely on several occasions that this is definitely my busiest time of year with two events coming up within five weeks of each other. And additionally, this year, I am managing another program that we added.

This doesn't stop said person from 1. making inane, nonsensical comments that distract you from your work because although I am a brand of crazy, I don't do stupid talk, and have to sit and say, "WAT?" and 2. asking, "Do you have a minute?" every little bit when I clearly do not, and 3. doing a bad Irish accent because today is St. Patrick's Day, and telling me I'd be in deep shit if I was in old day Ireland, because I was not wearing green, and getting pinched "really meant going to the hoosecow."

I looked up and informed him that as my family was Jewish and Protestant, we'd have been wearing orange (this is true - Catholics wore green by tradition), and how did he know I wasn't wearing something orange that he couldn't see? That shut him up.

Scenario D: One of our outlying chapters, which has a whopping 13 members (most chapters have membership numbers in the hundreds), was left quite a generous gift and has subsequently decided that they're going to try to incorporate because people in our great sprawling metropolis "could take our money." Newsflash: you don't have a bank account, so we already have your money! It's in a protected trust for you! And why, pray tell, would we "steal" your money?
"People from the metropolis could stack the committee."

Right. People from this area don't give a fuck about what goes on in Bumble Fuck Egypt, let alone coming up with the bright idea of robbing the rural chapter.

Well, you could say these people are old and set in their ways. Unfortunately, they have just selected a man with dementia to keep tabs on their memberships. No, I am not making this up.

How about you? Any nincompoopery going on in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I have no name for this post, but there's a nifty cartoon

First of all, newsflash - after I played hardball, the company that tried to convince me that scamming us for sponsorship benefits without sponsorship came back and said they'd do exactly what they did last year - money, big product donation.

"And then can we have the X, Y, and Z (sponsorship benefits)?" she asked.

True story. "We'll do this so people know we support you" became "Can we have this if we give you money?" Well, hey. That's what happens when a local company is sold partly to an equity firm of no name suits, right?

I shared the good news with a couple of friends and my buddy Crabby Pants shared this art for the occasion. She should be syndicated, no? I wish I could be this amusing, artistic and funny at the same time.

On another note, our mail helpline email account at work got hacked - within a few minutes someone had used our address to send more than 300 people an add for Viagra. So we decided to change our personal passwords as well. Which was fine until Outlook said Fuck You to me, which Microsoft frequently says to me as well. (The feeling is mutual, Microsoft.)

My boss went in and reconfigured things and asked me for the new password, which is a combination of numbers and one of my cat's names. The cat, of course, being Vasil Plotcharsky McNut.

After a couple of attempts to change it based on my dictation, he looked at me like I had a stack of pancakes in my head, but was trying to be polite and not say anything, and said, "Can you write that down?"

Speaking of cats, this month marks a year of Mandrake! This is what he does when he makes a shameless play for attention. So does Mr. RK. Just kidding.
His brother, in the meantime, is trying to dig his way to China.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Of all the things to lecture about

I've never understood why some people who are of certain religious persuasions tell people any kind of sex - including sex with yourself - is a bad thing.

So I was very surprised when Mr. RK found this video, which is specifically targeted to the deaf community, lecturing them about the evils of masturbation. (If you want a translation, click here.)

Seriously? There are people who put time, effort and MONEY into this? And of all of the outreach targeted to the deaf community, they've decided the best way is to tell them they shouldn't jerk off?

The other day on the way to work I drove by a guy who was holding a sign that said "Deaf and Homeless." I thought that must be a terrifying combination - living on the streets and not having all of your senses to alert you of danger. It was a major intersection and there was nowhere for me to pull over, but I hope I can see him again and give him some information to get help.

Meanwhile, someone added a nifty soundtrack to this video.

A few years back, I started learning ASL to be able to communicate with a coworker. The phrase I still remember: "Coffee makes me happy."

Monday, March 03, 2014

Marketing 101

I was trying not to stew about something for a couple of days and then I realized I could poke fun and rant about it at the same time - voila! The reason for blogging.

But first, let's do a little marketing 101. I have worked in marketing before, but - fuck me! - even if I hadn't, some shit should be really, really basic.

Such as: don't send an invitation for someone to try out for a Miss Teen 2014 Pageant if the recipient is a man in his 30s. (Yes, this really happened to my good friend Mike D!)

Seriously, there are some basic tenets of marketing - particularly business to business marketing. Among them:
- Know your audience
- Know your product
- Don't assume the audience will buy your bullshit
- Don't waste your audience's time

So I propose to add one more to this, namely: Don't piss all over my tiny nonprofit and then try to tell me you're watering our garden.
In a nutshell, this is regarding a company that went from local to corporate last year, in the process losing its founder (who was a really cool guy and became a friend.) Moneywise, this means their sales jumped from $3 million to $53 million.

When the founder left, they made a huge song and dance, contacting us and reassuring us that they'd be there to support us, blah blah blah. They requested a meeting and said they wanted to work with us on policy issues and have a presence at more of our events.

Then, after I spent a lot of time on preparing a proposal, they proposed to piss all over us - and try to make it look like they were doing *us* a favor.

This is the second time a company has tried this snookery on us, and it fucking pisses me off. Mind you, we help people - including the employees of both of these companies, where we are part of their employee assistance plans - for free. We don't charge anyone for our services, and both of these companies have called us in many, many times for help.

Therefore, when we do get event sponsors, there are benefits, e.g. advertising.

Companies X and Y had the balls to send me emails that started with, "We are proud to support your organization once again this year," and then continued to read, "Instead of a monetary sponsorship..."

And all of this involved - surprise! - their "sponsorship" consisting of a tiny donation of product (they have done a much bigger one every year before this, in addition to money) and of "having a presence" (read: free advertising) at our events "so people know we still care about mental health."
Clearly, I was born yesterday.

With company X, my boss ripped them a new asshole, because they're the biggest provider of mental health services in our region and we are constantly getting complaints about them and helping their clients find resources that they should, but won't, provide. You could call them Miser.

On company Y, instead of spitting (OK, before spitting) I politely noted in my reply email that we couldn't provide the free advertising, since it was a benefit for cash sponsors. I noted the reason that they had received this advertising in years past was because in addition to a (bigger) product donation, they also did a significant cash sponsorship.

I don't understand greed. I really don't.