Tag Archives: work

“Expecting to Have a Good Time, Of Course!”

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Before you ask , NO I AM NOT PREGNANT!

When I was a young un’ working at a major theme park in Georgia, I learned one VERY important rule: NEVER ASK A WOMAN IF SHE IS PREGNANT. NEVER. EVER. Ever, ever, ever. The fallout if you are wrong could be nuclear.

Back at the theme park I worked in the entertainment and events areas, but I remember one year where the park was open on what was traditionally a school day and since the majority of its workforce was in high school, they drafted the rest of us (the college students and full-timers) to work in the rides department to keep the park functional. I was sent through a day long rides class and taught operational safety, how to handle guest situations, etc.  It was entertaining and educational and very very hilarious.

The funny thing is, after all that training, I only worked one ride, and that was all it took to make a complete fool of myself. In a 6 hour shift I managed to get gum on my pants and then rip those same pants, from the front to the back, right up the middle. Being an “indoors girl”, the sweat and heat had made me quickly droopy and limp like a banana peel. My pants stuck to me like an old snake-skin that I couldn’t shed, and when I lifted my leg to cross over a gate, I heard a RIIIIIIP! The horror and embarrassment of that incident is still with me to this day, and that was just one day over 9 years ago.

The key thing I learned from my GRAT class (General Ride Attendant Training) was that there were quite a few rides that pregnant women could not ride. If you spotted a guest whom you thought was pregnant you were obligated to walk over and quietly ask:

“Are you expecting??”

Then there were basically three outcomes you could expect from this question.

1 – The woman, being pregnant, know what the word “expecting” means, and says yes. (You REALLY hope for this answer)

2 – The woman, being pregnant, does NOT know what the word “expecting means, and is confused. (You really hope NOT to get this answer if she is in fact pregnant, because this means that her state’s education system probably failed her somewhere along the line)

3 – The woman, NOT being pregnant, does NOT know what the word “expecting” means and looks confused (again, another response you HOPE to get)

(I should note here that the BFE, after proofreading my blog, offers up option #4: that the woman, NOT being pregnant, DOES still know what the word “expecting” means, and what he refers to as “a major nuclear holocaust” erupts, and the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appear out of nowhere, and while ululating “lilililili” like Xena the Warrior Princess, and similar to the “Avengers Assemble” battle cry, take your dumb theme park trained ass out, leaving nothing but a smudge of grease on the ground and the light smell of sulfur in the air. But I digress.)

 

If you get the first response, you move forward with explaining that the ride she’s in line for may not be appropriate for her safety and enjoyment. Typically New Mama understands and leaves the line and waits for her party at the exit line.

If you get the second or third response – and honestly, this is always a bit risky – when they quizzically ask “Expecting what?” You say “Expecting to have a great time, of course!” and get the eff out of there.

 

If  you get the 4th response well… I really don’t know. Pray for rain?

 

To date, I have never had to use this second response. I cannot imagine how you would even begin to try to jokingly say that to a woman without feeling super stupid. All you can do is smile that crazily psychotic and phony smile that all theme park employees master within three months of employment, and just try to make it into a “aren’t you excited to be here??!?!?!?!” kinda moment. I can just visualize trying to do this:

Dorky College Peach, in a nervous voice: “Excuse me ma’am (lowers voice) …are you expecting?”

Eight Months Pregnant Park Guest from Alabama, wearing a shirt in Bama colors that says “It’s A Girl!” with an arrow pointing  down to her ginormous pokey-outey belly, stares down Dorky College Peach, sizing her up: “What do you mean??? What are you trying to say??? Expecting what?”

Dorky College Peach, suddenly realizing that her $8 an hour job would not pay for the medical bills she’s about incur after getting her ass kicked by pregnant woman: “Um… nothing. Just… expect to have a great time on this ride.” (scampers towards break room to recover her dignity and rock quietly in corner in the fetal position.)

To this day, I REFUSE to ask anyone, friend co-worker, stranger, relative… I refuse to ask them if they are pregnant unless they tell me specifically. I will not congratulate them on their baby unless I or someone I know has received a baby shower invite.  I don’t care if you are wearing maternity clothes with thoughtful mom-to-be prints on them, with scampering bunnies and birds all about the hem, and rubbing their bellies while talking about painting the spare bedroom for their “newest addition”. I don’t care if you walk past me, heavily pregnant and carrying a floral arrangement and Mother’s Day balloon to their desk, until you are LITERALLY GIVING BIRTH ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF ME I WILL NEVER ASK. Not unless you tell me first.

Two examples why:

1 – I was working as a veterinary assistant (I know, it was completely random) and one of the other assistants was pregnant. A new vet started with the clinic who confused me and pregnant girl, and asked me if I was expecting. The look of horror and upset on my face pretty much said it all. Granted, pregnant girl was only 4 months along, but I was horrified that someone would ask me that! I wasn’t even really a big girl at the time. I went to the back and cried. Then headed home and ate like, 4 donuts. The rest is history.

2 – My friends Case and JT told me this story: while meeting with a clearly pregnant client over lunch, no one would say anything. She dropped hints, made random statements, and still no one said congratulations or asked any questions. Until she said that her baby was due the following week. Meaning this chick must have been like, over 8 and a half months pregnant and had been desperately tugging at her jacket to try to pull it shut over her huge pregnancy belly. As soon as she said the baby was due, everyone at the table was like “ohhhh! Ok, we were wondering!” No one had the balls to say anything. LOL

I’ve known people who are kinda chunky, and just hold all their weight in their midsection. Still I never ask. One girl I knew would always rub her belly, and would lean back in the seat with her hands on her belly akin to your typical pregnant woman. I was scared to death to ask her, and to this day I’m glad I never did.

So the moral of the story is this: Unless you have nerves of steel or work in a theme park backed by bunnies and mice, NEVER EVER, ever ask a pregnant woman if she’s expecting, at least not until her water breaks. If you ever do decide to be brave and ask, take my advice: ask the “Are you expecting?” question, and always, always be prepared to run away.

My Precioussssssssssssss

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So when I started here a couple of years ago, I hadn’t heard of the food-stealing bandit that occasionally stole people’s lunches out of the fridge. So you can imagine my shock one day when my food went missing!

 When I reported it to the authorities (and by authorities I mean HR) the first question I was asked was “Did you put your name on it?” To this I had no answer.

 Since then, I had been diligent about labeling my stuff when sticking it in the fridge. This morning, I stopped by the Publix on the way to work to grab a frozen entrée for my lunch, and to my surprise they were having a sale on Healthy Choice dinners – 5 for $10! Yoink! I grabbed 5 of them before remembering the work rule.

So when I got to my desk today, I wrote these post-its before I stuck my goodies in the freezer. Since I’m fairly certain I’ll end up in HR if I write “Touch My Food and I’ll Cut You” on my food, I decided to go the more nerdy yet humorous approach.

Think it’ll work?

Well played, IT. Well played.

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Are all IT departments at companies like the one at my place of business? See below.

I got this email in my inbox yesterday afternoon, in response to an event invite I sent out:

—–Original Message—–

From: administrator@randomcompany.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 4:19 PM

To: Renee M.

Subject: Symantec Mail Security detected prohibited content in a message sent from your address  

Location of the message:  SMTP

Sender of the message: <Renee M> Subject of the message:  Payment Confirmation/Receipt for XYZ event

 

The message was Quarantined

 

This was done due to the following Symantec Mail Security settings:

Scan: Auto-Protect

Rule: New rule for Body Words

Violating term(s):

                Penis (Matchlist name : Message Body Words)

 YES. You read that right. Someone’s system server is accusing me of sending an email with the word PENIS in it! PENIS!

 

 

So I forward it to the smartest guys in the office,  my IT Help Desk folks. Big mistake. HUGE.

—–Original Message—–
From: Renee M.

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:05 PM
To: IT Help Desk (Please use Track-It!)
Subject: FW: Symantec Mail Security detected prohibited content in a message sent from your address  

What is this?!?!?

As a result, I got a smart ass answer. I nearly choked to death on my morning coffee when I came in the next morning to this answer:

From: Helpful Yet Smart Ass IT guy #1

Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 8:19 AM
To: Renee M

Cc: IT Help Desk (Please use Track-It!)
Subject: RE: Symantec Mail Security detected prohibited content in a message sent from your address

 

  1. pe·nis/ˈpēnis/
Noun:
  1. The male genital organ of higher vertebrates, carrying the duct for the transfer of sperm during copulation. In humans and most other…
  2. A type of male copulatory organ present in some invertebrates, such as gastropod mollusks.

He followed this nugget of knowledge with this statement: Apparently you guys need to know what you are talking about before educating the general public.

And just in case that wasn’t enough:

From: Helpful Yet Smart Ass IT guy #2

Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 8:23 AM
To: Helpful Yet Smart Ass IT guy #1; Renee M
Cc:  IT Help Desk (Please use Track-It!)
Subject: RE: Symantec Mail Security detected prohibited content in a message sent from your address 

That’s a mouthful!!

TRUE. EFFING. STORY.

I’ve since been advised that I was spared their original response, which involved wikipedia.

Another day in the life of a Sunburnt Peach.

 

10 Days – 10 people

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My 10-Day Challenge (to Myself)

So I was reading girlseekskiss‘s blog the other day, and came across what I thought was a super cool idea…

Over the next few weeks, I want to highlight 10 people, 9 secrets (yikes), 8 fears (double yikes!), 7 wants, 6 places, 5 books, 4 foods, 3 films, 2 songs and 1 picture of myself.

I thought this would be an interesting blogging exercise, a good writer’s exercise, to see what comes from this. It’ll be so organic, and I have NO idea what’s going to come out! So bear with me folks… here I go!  🙂

10 People

Wow, this is going to be hard.

10. The boy that affected my college decision.

When I was in high school, I got accepted to every college I applied to, including UGA and Georgia Southern. I’d originally only applied to GA Southern because one of my closest friends (and dude I had a ridiculous crush on) was applying there. He also applied to UGA.

When the acceptance letters came in, he got accepted to Georgia Southern and waitlisted for UGA. So I decided NOT to go to my #1 choice but follow him to GA Southern. WHO DOES THAT?!? Oh wait – ME.

Long story short, I hated GA Southern, we drifted apart as friends, and I transferred to Georgia State University to finish my degree. I never regretted that decision: I honestly think almost everything that has happened to me since (good & bad) has all stemmed from my move back to Atlanta. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not followed that silly boy down to Statesboro, GA.

9. Samantha Brown

Alright, this sounds nuts but she has really helped me to develop my outlook on traveling to new places! She really dives into travel and immerses herself in the people, food and culture of a place. She’s honest and witty and doesn’t take it all too seriously. I totally wanna be her when I grow up!

8. The person that selected me to be laid off from my former job.

As stranger as it sounds, I’d like to say THANK YOU!! to whomever it was in HR or my department or whatever that, when my former company was having financial trouble and having to let people go, decided I was one of the ones that should be laid off.

I spent a long time feeling resentful of that situation, and wondering what I’d done wrong that resulted in me being picked. I cried. A lot. I hadn’t been without a job since I was 15. I felt like a failure.

Honestly? Working at that hotel really put the “cult” in “workplace culture”: We were a tight-knit family working for a common goal, and really felt that management cared about us. Maybe they really did – I’m not sure. What I do know is that I felt like I was leaving family behind, and being sent away. I was having withdrawal pains from this place that had been the center of my life since I moved to Florida. It was hard. What I had to face up to is that WORK is about BUSINESS. It’s not personal, it’s not how much they like you, or who is friends with who. The people that you care about, and who care abotu you, will still keep in touch no matter what. I learned to do a better job of “leaving work at work”. In the real world, as much as a company can create a culture that sucks you in, at the end of the day, when they let you go, it’s just business.

Two years later, I’m working for a company where I could not possibly be happier. I love the people I work with, but I also temper that with accepting that it’s still business at the end of the day.

7. Jessica the BFF

This chick is hilarious. Like, really, really hilarious. I oculd gush about how lucky I am to have a BFF that listens and cares, and laughs because we have the same sense of humor, but that’s not why she’s on the list.

Apart from being one of the most cracked-out crazy pants awesome people I know, Messy Jessy is also the smartest. I mean that. LITERALLY one of the smartest most driven people I’ve ever met in my life. Which in turns challenges me to bust my ass for the things I want. Can you ask for a better friend than that?

Ok, how about one that will move into your 2-bedroom apartment with you because the thrill of living alone wore off and now you’re too scared to go to sleep alone in the apartment at night? One that will keep you company so you can stop imagining escape routes out of your bedroom in the event intruders come in through the patio? ‘Cause that’s what she did. She sort of saved my sanity. 🙂

6. Delton the other BFF

Taught me a lot of about seeing your way through to the other side after it feels like your whole house has fallen down around you.

We went through some pretty shitty events together (including a roommate from hell that stole our identities and turned out to be a sociopath). We yelled and screamed at each other, and tried to break each other down but in the end propped each other up. I learned that no matter how much it sucks, things are always much better with a partner by your side.

I also learned never to fight with your significant other in front of other people – no one wants to see that! So Delton, I’m sure the BBE thanks you for that too 🙂

Delton also had the cojones to tell his parents that he liked boys… in the meantime, I live in another state and stil haven’t manned up and told me parents that the BBE is probably moving in starting January. I totally admire him for that kind of courage.

5. Winnie the Pooh

He’s a ditsy fat yellow bear… we’re not that much different… he also addicted to honey (sugar)… yet another similarity…

He’s also NOT a fan of wearing pants, a personal preference of mine which I believe we’ve previously covered in other blogs.

One thing Pooh has down pat though, is figuring out who is friends are, and appreciating them. Especially if they have honey in the house 🙂

Pooh keeps it real, yo.

4. Snitch and Flip

My sisters. When I meet other people that don’t get along with their family/ siblings, I am grateful for the relationship I have with Lil Middle Sis (Flip) and Littlest Sis (Snitch). We always have a good time together, ever though we will occasionally get on one another’s nerves. What family gathering would be complete without someone bossing the others around, someone geting pissed off, someone drinking wine like it’s water, and another one spiking the holiday apple cider with crown royal??

3. Sunshine

My stepdad IS my dad, and my dad rocks. Plain and simple. I started calling him Sunshine a few years back, it caught on and that’s that.

I’m probably not always the best kid to my dad. And he might not always agree with my decisions, but he’s dependable, and patient and listens and gives me honest feedback. He’s also possibly the 2nd most hilarious person I know.

2. Maaaaaaaaa

Come on, y’all knew number one would be my mom, right?

My mom and I bump heads. A lot.

Remember when you were a kid? And you were like “I will NEVER be like my parents! I will be my kid’s friend and let them eat cake for dinner and take them to DisneyWorld every weekend if they want and NEVER make them do homework! And if they don’t want to go to school or college or do homework, then they don’t have to.”

When I was in high school, I soooooooooooo wanted to be like my mom… I would steal dresses out of her closet when she wasn’t looking so I could wear them at school. I observed how she walked so I could have the same walk, and subconsciously, I still have a lot of the same mannerisms she does.

We didn’t have a super-close relationship, though. I used to wish we were like my friends and their moms. I often think that’s because, as my personality formed, it was so different from how she wanted me to be. When I was younger, it hurt to think that I wasn’t measuring up to her image and expectation. And her expectation was HIGH. She put her boot up my ass and made me work hard: bringing home Cs wasn’t an option. Being lazy or rude wasn’t an option either.

When I hit college I decided to do my best to NOT be like her, and spent a lot of effort into being who I wanted to be and went a bit overboard. I’m grateful to those years because I learned to just be me, and like myself. Eventually, when you really like who you are, like really really like who you are, other people will like you, too. And that’s what happened.

I am grateful for those “boot up the ass” years, too. I am lucky that I had parents that believed in me. I didn’t appreciate it at the time. Who ever really does?

I live in another state now, away from my parents. I miss my mom sometimes, and we’ve gotten closer through our phone conversations, and enjoy the time we do have together because we don’t take it for granted. One interesting thing: more and more lately, I’m noticing that we share a LOT of personality traits. Which I actually kinda like 🙂

1. The Atlanta Crew: Castey Wayne, Kev, and LauraEllen

Real friends that will pick you up at the airport (and drop you off later too). Real friends that you have seen the good, the best, the bad and the ugly… and they know all that about you too.

Real friends tell you the truth, and keep your head screwed on straight even when you don’t want to hear it.

Real friends don’t bat an eyelash when you have crazy batshit plans – they simple burst out laughing, try to discourage you, then eventually tag along because they’re your friend. Quite often, they also supply the booze.

Real friends that you can look in the eye across a room, and immediately start laughing because you both know you’re thinking the SAME THING… “why is that b!tch wearing spandex?!?”

So… those are my ten!