Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well Shit! I'm a Victim -- or is it Violator -- of Osha!

Okay, so I'm back...returned last week! I feel like I was on a three hour tour -- ergo, I packed for two weeks and by week SEVEN during Ramadan in Kuwait -- I was ready to poke my eyeballs out with Bamboo shoots!   Plus, let's just say...I think the entire Embassy was READY for me to leave...NOT because they would ask me daily when I was leaving -- I'm sure they were just curious -- but because I distinctly think that the lady with the brown hair the Embassy burned in Effigy at that last happy hour looked DISTINCTLY like me ...and after the week of what appeared to be voodoo barbie dolls with pins in their head left on my desk during my last week there gave me the "impression" that maybe  they were as ready for me to go as I was...ANYWAY...it's over.   Let's just leave it at: "Kuwait during Ramadan at the end of Summer" is a-CLOSE-ED for Michel...

HOWEVER, I'm have a little bit of trouble  adjusting to working and living in the US too! Why, you ask?? WELL, I'll tell you:

So, I'm at work..pretending to work for literally 8s of hours of a day after I get back...right? (FYI, if you're not a literature major, let me just assist you here - I'M the protagonist in this story..the VICTIM, if you will...) So I am trying to HELP others after I get back, right??

I'm from the Government: I'm here to help!!

And I realize that my office is totally not feng shui - and it is bringing down my Chee -- or maybe my cheech -- or even my chong -- so I call in Dana and ask for her "professional' advice on decorating....(She's in her 20s, ergo, an expert!) and we both come to the obvious conclusion that my furnture needs to be moved.

SOOOO, I send an email to the secretary to let them know that I think i need to move my furniture -- you know, kind of like when law offices publish notices in the paper that they're about to file a lawsuit and you better step up if you wanna be part of the team -- I'm not a TOTAL idiot....(okay, yes...yes, I am)

So I give it at least threes of days for the elves to show up and move my furniture (NOBODY shows...Apparently GSO is in charge of this shit too and have likely received my previous "DEAR GSO" letters...and, also apparently, don't share my sense of humor...WHATEVEs...that shit was funny!)   SOOO, since I'm not a prima donna and am too lazy to write yet another email to the secretary - Dana and I decide we're moving that shit on our OWN! We don't need no stupid GSO to help us!!

(those of you who have experience with Federal office buildings are likely screaming, NOOOOOOOOOOO!)

So, we start trying to move furniture. 

Turns out,  my office is furnished with some sort of fake cherrywood that needed to be screwed together.  ALSO turns out, no diplomats carry screwdrivers around with them...SO, we call the Washington version of GSO.  I say, "HI! This is Michel....(trying to lull them into a false sense of security with my cheery-ness) my secretary called you a few weeks ago to ask you to move my furniture....and well...It seems to be bolted together..  I need some sort of tool to get it apart.  It's kinda big..." (HINT HINT...get your ass up here and move this shit!!)

So this large burley -- constructioney looking man brings me a screwdriver....and then leaves.

Whatever GSO! Who needs you freaks!! How hard can it be??!?!

We couldn't get the screws undone.

So I went to get some of the guys in the office.  However, and this may shock you - so once again prepare yourselves -- State Department men are ALSO not NavySeal type guys - they're more brainey-like...(which, frankly, when you're moving furniture - NOT SO HELPFUL!!)  However, we find someone to unscrew my screws.

Because he's a smarty-pants, he points out that he doesn't think I'm allowed to move my computer by myself. So in an effort to be CORPORATE and a good federal employee (for a change) I call the computer mafia and tell them I need to move my computer and asked whether they actually NEEDED to be there.

Extended silence on the line.

"When are you planning to move your computer?"

"What? now! That's why I'm calling you?"
"NOW!?  Did you say NOW!?  WHO IS THIS?  What office are you with?? Who gave you permission!?"

"Obama"

"Do you think this is funny?"
"Well, kinda...."

"WHEN is this move?"

"NOW! That's why I'm calling you!! Geez! If you don't want to do it, I can totally move it.  The cord seems like it's long enough.   I have a screwdriver. Whateves...It's no biggidy?"

Extended silence.

"where are you?"

So I hang up - and bitch about how unhelpful the "help desk" is.  They really shoud change their name to the "random accusation desk!' -- SHIT !Now that I've renamed it,  I could totally run that place!!! I throw out random accusations all the time!!!!

SOO, Dana and I start moving furniture...and -- because I'm a responsible manager -- I get a plastic cup to keep all the screws from the desk in...and we turn around...

NO SHIT! There are literally no less than 17 people standing outside my office -- the ringleader is holding a clipboard!! And not just ANY random clipboard...a clipboard that has that protecitve metal coating...you know to protect their notes in the event of a fire and/or terrorist attack - his form I-407 is safe!!!

So the ringleader tells me he is from "facilities" and starts to lecture me on OSHA regulations and how I cannot possibly move my desk around because it would block the exit of the doorway for a disabled person.

Naturally, (because I'm an ass and can't control myself) I say: "that's okay, I don't hire disabled people here! they clog the exits in the event of a fire" 

WHICH IS TOTALLY HILARIOUS!  You gotta admit..... THAT SHIT IS FUNNY!

and he starts writing in his magic clipboard...

 So now I'm scared...because SHIT! I don't have any PLI because who's gonna sue ME!? I'm a big ole nobody...but now the clipboard holds the key to my undoing....so in order to save myself..I'm like...

"DUDE! That was a joke. I'd totally hire a guy in a wheelchair...or crutches...even that scooter....I mean...he's not going to sit at my desk...OR SHE ...SHE is not going to sit at my desk and need to get out the door in the event of a fire...HE/SHE will make it...I've instructed the contractors that they're not REAL people and have to wait to confirm all us REAL fed workers are safe before they try to escape this asbestos ridden death trap...."

More writing in that damn clipboard.

WTF!?!?

So then I say..."ARE YOU CALLING ME FAT!?!?! ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPLY I WON'T FIT OUT THE DOOR?!?!"

CHECKMATE JACKASS!

So after a circa 2.7 minute lecture on Osha regulations and workplace safety (apparently, the furniture they buy will kill you if given the chance...seriously! don't relax in any federal building.  the furniture is just waiting to take  your ass out.  I think it might be an al-Qa'ida sleeper credenza....just waiting...)

Soooo...by the end of the day, the "facilities" guys have informed me that they will return on Friday with a computer generated plan -- or mock terrorist training camp -- for my new office furniture -- apparently, nothing from the old furniture can stay -- it has to be up to the new codes....

WHICH MEANS....the facilities people will likely send a $14,239.98 bill to my boss for my "new furniture."  And I'm going to have to explain how al-Qa'ida was behind this...

I JUST wanted to move my desk to the other side!! 

SHIT.  Maybe I should go overseas again!! I'm obviously not cut out for washington politics....

49 comments:

Paige said...

I feel your pain. The State of Illinois is no better. Three months ago, I had to sign my life away about where I would want my phone to plug in should we get a new building that is not built, but might be in 2015.

I shit you not

Donna said...

Too, too funny. I am so glad you reappeared just in time for me to do the Weekly RoundUp. Here's hoping the OSHA enforcers don't get you. Maybe you should try to sneak in some throw pillows, just to see what happens?

unmitigated me said...

Never, never, never, ever, ever, never, ever, ASK. Just close the door, and handle it, and when anyone asks about it later..."Who me? No way! I assumed it was on somebody's task list from way back, and they finally just got to it! Of course I didn't do that...that would be WRONG."

*sigh* so much yet to learn, my young apprentice.

Charlene said...

You need to resign from working for the government and open your own business. Then if you have an office, desk, chair and computer you can move the whole thing around on alternate Thursdays and no one will say a word to you, becasue you are the boss.

Anonymous said...

Much as you predicted, I'm screaming "nooooooo" as I read. Silently, in my head, because I'm at work you know and the others don't appreciate being woken up to screaming.

I hate the no-help desk. Used to be you could just see a computer geek walking by and you could wrestle him to the ground and bring him back to your office and make him do your bidding. But noooooo, that was too convenient. Now you have to call the "help" (ha!) desk eight states away, put in a work order, wait two weeks for them to process it and send it back to the guy on station that you were going to make do it anyway, and he has to "schedule" a service call. Meanwhile, your computer is completely fried because it was smoking when you first placed the call. And then it's YOUR fault for not getting help sooner.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was moved to three different offices in three years and my furniture was disassembled and moved with me each time. That crap is never meant to be taken apart after screwed together the first time. I was afraid to blink hard by the last office. The wind motion generated by blinking could have knocked the whole thing over.

So they helped me by moving me from an office to a cubicle. Grrrrr.

Betty the Fed

Heather said...

I'm a federal employee, but I'm pretty sure my furniture was bought at the Salvation Army in 1972. Ya know, before ergonomics...

McGillicutty said...

Girl i'm so glad you're back I missed you! Now.. it's not just the Feds.. I had a similar thing happen when I worked at a huge bank.. huge.. and it has the word America in it's name. They were total freaks of nature when it came to moving anything.. total freaks!!! and the furniture pretty much wasn't even held together you have to be careful.

wendy said...

Another federal employee here screaming "NO!!!!!!!" I have an annoying leak on one side of my office and when I mistakenly made a comment about it to someone in charge, I was told I should now move out of my office and across the building. CRAP!

Fragrant Liar said...

I'm glad to see you're still working on becoming a legend with the GSO.

Good to see you survived the dust in Kuwait.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh man what a circle jerk they all are. buggers i say. i have to agree with those above that said shut the door and don't ask, don't tell! oh. wait.

smiles, bee
xoxoxooxoxox

Suburban Correspondent said...

I so wish this weren't true. But I know it is.

Donna said...

You're in this week's FS RoundUp. If you want out, please let me know: http://emailfromtheembassy.blogspot.com/2010/09/weekly-roundup-sponsored-by-me.html

Heather said...

It's very good to have you back. I recently arrived at my new overseas post and had a hell of a time getting Finance to approve my procurement request for business cards. Business cards, for #*$! sake!

Noble Glomads said...

Don't even get me started. I am living in a pink house. Someone approved this and I am not allowed to change it. No kidding, the entire interior of the house is PINK and I have all boys.

Digger said...

My motto is it is better to ask forgiveness than permission.

I found the best way to get the "help" desk there quickly was to say, "Hi, this in Assistant Secretary Bigwig Political Appointees office. Can you do fix this for me. And they usually arrived in like 5 minutes.

I did move my computer on my own...never asked permission or forgiveness. I expect it is still where I left it.

Doreen F. McCabe said...

Thank Goodness you are back. I have had nothing to snicker at while you were gone. What no commuters over there???? Find one babe. Keep writing and stop slogging off. Geesh I have been laugh bereft.

thanks for the blog. doreen

tera said...

"Random Accusation Desk" or RAD for short. I could totally work there. That would rock!

tera said...

(p.s. Glad you're back. In one piece no less!)

pnbroening said...

Thank you for the blog! Best thing that happened to me today!

Anonymous said...

Always ....always....DO!!! and ask for forgiveness later!... or pretend you have no idea how that happened?
You left around 7 and it was like this when I got here this morning. We most have office nomes...

Worked for me.

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I would appreciate if a staff member here at factsoptional.blogspot.com could post it.

Thanks,
Thomas

Margaret said...

you are friggin hilarious

Michel said...

I posted that last comment SIMPLY so I could mock that comment publicly.

WTF are you talking about!?

God I hate people!

tera said...

Bwah ha ha! Love your last "comment". Obviously I hate people too.
BTW - do they even HAVE bamboo in Kuwait?

tera said...

...obviously I'm so bored at work today that I have not only posted a new blog post, read up all the new ones from everybody else I care to read about, and now I'm perusing old blog post for a laugh.

sigh

Gaston Studio said...

Well, I see you're up to your old tricks of driving the federal government crazy with your whims and impulses... thank God you're still YOU!

Fragrant Liar said...

Where are you? I need FUNNY!

Anonymous said...

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Can I use some of the information from this post right above if I provide a backlink back to your website?

Thanks,
John

Anonymous said...

This sure is a long, long, long, long, badly-written rant...couldn't stick it out to the end...

tera said...

*tap* *tap* *tap* Is this thing on?
Hello?

Kage said...

LMMFAO...you're awesome. keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

where in the world are you? I check faithfully almost daily....nothing. C'mon! Come back, or at least explain where you went.

Amy said...

OMG!! That was so funny!! I don't know why I stopped blogging! I haven't laughed like that in a long while! And now I see you haven't posted since September??? Come on. . . I'm back and I need a few laughs! Missed your crazy stories!

darsden said...

I don't care who you are... That's funny right there!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

Venom said...

Having been a public servant at one time, 17 sounds like just short of the number of people needed to deal with your request.

New follower. Glad I found you.

Anonymous said...

Come back! We miss your wonderful writing!

darsden said...

YEA you might have to work state side eh!!! Can't just hang out on the porch all day....

I so saw you on my blog frog..do I show up on yours???

darsden said...

shoooo where are you? Should we be worried the government has stepped in?

Fragrant Liar said...

Hello? Michel! Your bloggy family misses you!

Anonymous said...

Hello! nice blog!

Nomads By Nature said...

WHERE ARE YOU??? Did OSHA get you? Missing your updates and hilarious takes on DipLife. Hope to see you back blogging soon!

Miss Sadie said...

I'm a little late in coming to this (via Pastor Sharon's), but having arrived, I thoroughly enjoyed this last post. At least you understand why it is more important to ask for forgiveness, not permission.

Please do write some more.

meaghantothemax said...

Ahaha amazing! Glad to know that this kind of thing isn't restricted to Canadian non-help lines...

shoes uk said...

i am new your blog and really like it. i like your crazy story nice working keep it up man

Raja-Man said...

wow......pink....

life has a sense of humor doesn't it...

Sirmelja said...

"an al-Qa'ida sleeper credenza" -- only you, Michel :)

Anonymous said...

Haters uhm lets just say you can F* *** off and die
Goverment girl your a hoot love it