August 20 - December 29, 2006

August 20, 2006
» spending my time

I'm happy to report that my new job is going well. Everyone I've met is really nice (or at least nice). They all seem to understand that I have a lot to learn, and they sympathetically accuse me of staying in a corner and reading all the time. When they see me out of my office, they say something like, "Did you escape from that hole they've got you in?" :rollseyes: My officemate, who's been there only one week longer than I have, experiences the same thing. I told him, "But you know, if we were always walking around, they'd say among themselves that they never see us working." As he says, "They've got to have something to say to make conversation."

Last Friday, I received my first project. The current engineer will have to do most of it, but at least it'll give me an introduction to how things work. We're supposed to work on that tomorrow, and then, for three days, some people from headquarters are supposed to come show Officemate and me how to use the design software.

I found an apartment and got settled in before I started to work. I am *loving* my ten-minute drive to work, but I'm still missing my family quite a bit. Until I get my computer to the apartment, I'm filling my empty evenings by watching DVDs.

Two weeks ago, I watched Xmen 1 and 2, which I'd borrowed from my boyfriend. I really liked them both, but I am mildly obsessed with the first one. I'll rant about that in the movie forum, but I will say that for over a week I barely watched anything else. After I returned the movies last weekend, I went on Monday and bought the first one.

I'm finally getting to the point where I have most of the things I "need" for the apartment, but I seriously dread the credit card bill I'm going to get.

In other news, earlier this month I posted a new design at eclectic, which was brought about by my efforts to "rebuild" my journal. After I couldn't look at the old background color without getting a headache, I decided that a new layout was in order. Many apologies for leaving the past layout up for almost three years. :blush: About the journal, if I formerly described it as "too much information," then the Rebuilt Journal is "absolutely, completely, and entirely too much information." In any event, it is open for business:

September 5, 2006
» I stand connected

I have accomplished the task of getting a computer at my apartment, which was good since I ordered my high-speed internet access about three weeks ago. :rollseyes: Where has high-speed internet been all of my life, anyway?

I also finally got a Caller ID unit, which is absolutely a necessity in my book. I plugged it in yesterday, and today I find that three spam callers tried to reach me. I've actually picked up telemarketing calls three times since I've been here, thinking it was my family. Now, thanks to Caller ID, all of that is behind me. *sigh of relief*

In case anyone is wondering, I *do* plan to resume website work soon. I still need to add the MacGyver episode information for the rest of season five, and for seasons six and seven. I also want to add some information about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to my POTC page, but that's going to take some time, I'm afraid. It's taking me a while to get back into the groove of working full-time. ..

September 19, 2006
» rude awakenings

This morning I had to go to work earlier than usual. I decided to sleep as long as I could, leaving no time to sit and sip my morning coffee. When the alarm went off, I hit the snooze button, climbed out of bed, and stumbled to the kitchen to start the coffee. (Hey, just because I don't have time to drink it at my apartment, doesn't mean I don't drink it! I simply make it to go.) Hurrying to start my shower, I peeked at my clock trying to make sure I shut it off and didn't just hit the snooze bar. I decided that I did and went to take my shower. But you know what? Right. I *did* just hit the snooze bar. When I turned off the water, I could hear the alarm blaring. By my calculations, by the time I heard it, it had been going off for almost ten minutes. D'oh! Humblest apologies to my neighbors...

I had to be at work early today because, since the boss decided that the extra-busy engineer has not had time to properly train my new officemate and me, we'll be meeting two days a week with the more experienced people in the company to confab about how the whole crazy thing works. Today's session was a bit flat/unproductive, mostly because whenever one of said experienced people has an audience with the boss, this person feels compelled to blast the boss with his plentiful grievances. The guy says things in such an accusing tone, I marvel that the boss can respond so firmly in a very non-confrontational tone.

Anyway, I found out today that one of the guys at work that I think I had a brief crush on has kids. *shrugs* It's just as well. Believe me, I had no intention of pursuing anything with him. (Hello? I have a boyfriend!) As I wrote to my friend Michele, I think I was just caught up in the newness of working with nice-looking, moderately successful guys. This is SO much different from where I worked before, and it's kinda hard not to notice the improvement ... um ... that is, the change. Actually those silly thoughts calmed down a lot right after I sent that email to Michele. Ahh, the fleeting nature of crushes.

Speaking of which, a guy from my church who has asked me out before recently moved across the country, but not without leaving an early birthday present for me. Sigh. I met this guy about a year ago. He'd offered to help me with my job hunt, but I kept getting the feeling that he was working up to asking me out, so I told him that I have a boyfriend to let him "save face," so-to-speak. Instead, he goes ahead and tells me that he had been planning to ask me out. Since then, he's asked me out to lunch a time or two: I've told him that I don't want to date anybody but Jeff, so I couldn't tell if this guy was just trying to be friends, or something more. Anyway, the Sunday before he left, the preacher had him stand at the front of the church so we could all stop by and wish him well. While shaking the guy's hand, I told him casually that I'd still email him from time to time. His reply? "I love you." WHAT?

Yes, we've emailed each other a few times in the past year. Although I've tried to let him know where I stand with him, I've been trying to be nice too, because I know how it is to like someone you can't have. However, I *don't* know how it is to like someone you can't have yet keep trying to express my feelings and pursue something more. I feel like telling him that I think he's a bit over the line, because if the situation was reversed and some girl was talking to Jeff like this, I would be beyond offended. I trust him - as I hope he trusts me - but I'd think she was going too far, especially when there's giving of presents.

In better news, last week I resumed posting information at the MacGyver episode guide. To avoid being too ambitious, I'm planning to try to post one episode a week. (Yep, I'm hoping to post the next episode this week.)

After I started working on website stuff again, I apparently caught the fever for it, because after I posted that Mac ep, I felt inspired to update my Pirates of the Caribbean page. I watched the DVD of the first movie several times last week and I typed up a few of my favorite scenes. *That* led to adding a few new quotes, then I found some plot recaps ... I had to add a second page, because the first one was getting too big.

Webmiss Fever continues, because today I've thought of an idea for a new layout at my Quotations 101 site. I'm going to have to wait until the weekend to start work on it, but I keep jotting down ideas. I can't wait to do this! That is one of my oldest sites, and it's had pretty much the same look all that time. *blush* Hey, I spent my time on the more-visited sites, and, oh, on little real-life things like work and graduating from college...

September 26, 2006
» Now no means yes, and may means no?!

I don't know what it is, but lately guys seem compelled to tell me things that they don't follow through on.

I've noticed my boyfriend doing this before, and I don't know if I'm extra nit-picky for the last few weeks, but I find myself *very* irked about it. Early last week, for example, although he said that he had to work Saturday morning, he said that we "may" be able to get together that afternoon. I told him, as I've told him before that perhaps we shouldn't make plans because, "the 'may's never seem to work out for you." (Note: I wasn't being obnoxious about it, just reasonably stating a fact.) A few days later he said that he was "still holding out hope for Saturday." I thought, "Really?! Well, I'm not..." I wrote back, and I don't think I even responded to that; I just said something about planning to do some computer work that weekend.

I wrote to him on Thursday, but when Saturday arrived I still hadn't received a response. Although I had said we shouldn't get our hopes up for getting together, since the last word I heard from him was that it might happen, I tried to keep the phone line clear for most of the day. About 4:30 I gave up on waiting and went to the store. At 7:00 that night, I still hadn't heard from him. No, I wasn't waiting by the phone all day - I carried on with my computer work - but I couldn't believe he hadn't written or called at all, after expressing his confidence in getting together.

I didn't hear from him until 9:30 Sunday night. :frowns: He said that he was tired from working Friday night and Saturday morning, so he slept on Saturday. Okay, I understand that, but he couldn't call me AT ALL to say that getting together was a no go?

As I wrote the preceding paragraph, it just occurred to me why I'm so peeved by him taking what he says he'll do so lightly: one of my ex's used to do that, repeatedly, and he never understood why it bugged me so much. Yes, silly, unreasonable me, expecting people to do what they say they'll do. :rollseyes:

Maybe I exaggerated a teensy bit when I talked about "guys" at the beginning of this entry. It's mainly Jeff and my officemate at work. Last Friday, Officemate and I went into work an hour early. Mid-afternoon, we're talking about how that should mean we can leave an hour early. I said, "I will, if you will," knowing full well that that attitude is more his style. After a minute, he declared that he would leave early. Well, the time comes, and I'm waiting for him to say something about leaving. Three minutes after the hour, he hasn't said a word. I hinted, "Well, it's getting to be about that time..." He said something about I'd better go ahead and get on the road to beat the rain. I'm thinking, "What about what you SAID you were going to do not three hours ago?! Do you not REMEMBER saying it?! Did you have NO INTENTION of doing it? And if not, WHY did you say it in the first place?!" :screams in frustration:

Even now, I boggle, wondering those very same questions. *sigh*

Anyway, I *did* leave work an hour early. I try to do what I say I'll do, and I'm starting to lose a great deal of respect for these people and their convenient amnesia...

October 29, 2006
» Three states. Two days. One outfit.

Yesterday I found a cute magnet that puts my quirkiness into words: "I may do some foolish things, but I do them with enthusiasm!" :D This really has nothing to do with this entry. I just wanted to write it down before I forget the phrasing...

Anyway, yes, I *have* been largely absent from this board, and from website work, and from my home state, actually, although most of you have no way of knowing that. I hope.

As I noted in another forum, no sooner do I get back into the swing of website work than the boss decides to send me to Nebraska for two weeks for some training. He gave me less than a week's notice about this, but in his defense, he did ask how much notice I'd need. He had earlier mentioned that I'm single and not burdened down by family obligations - although he didn't phrase it that way - so I knew that he thought I was pretty much free to go at any time. Again, in his defense, he said if I *did* have some obligations to let him know. I couldn't think of anything, lol, so off I went.

On the way there, I changed planes in Chicago. This was my first visit to Chicago, and I was thrilled to discover that my window seat on the flight in gave me a *fantastic* view of the city skyline. Our plane was early, but we had to wait before we could disembark. As the minutes ticked past I started to worry a bit because I had very little time to get to my next flight. When I finally got off the first plane, I went straight to the line to board the second one.

I flew into Omaha (and boy were my arms ... never mind. :blush: ). Unfortunately my checked bag didn't make it to Nebraska when I did. :glares in that direction: At LEAST American Airlines said that they'd bring it to me.

Someone from the training place picked me up at the airport, and we drove about two hours to Columbus, Nebraska. They had a rental car waiting for me, and they'd reserved a hotel room. When I checked in, the hotel asked if I wanted them to send the bill to the training company: yes, please!

Because of the liquids restrictions for carry-on luggage, I had packed my make-up, hairspray, etc. in my checked bag. I didn't want to pay to replace everything - since the airline insisted that my bag had been found and would be delivered - so I went to work the first day with no makeup and unsprayed hair. Happily my suitcase was at the hotel when I returned.

My first week of training was pretty slow. I think my sudden visit took them by surprise, too.

Since I was stuck there for a weekend, I decided to take my rental car to Omaha and check out their "world-class zoo." I found the zoo pretty easily. I had tentatively planned to spend half the day at the zoo and half the day at the Western Heritage Museum, which is just up the street from the zoo. However, at 3:30, I still hadn't seen everything I wanted to see at the zoo, and I knew I wasn't going to make it to the museum, which closes at 5:00.

Leaving the zoo, I decided to drive up 10th Street and at least drive by the museum. I discovered that it's downtown with a fantastic view of the Omaha skyline. Being a relatively small-town girl, I'm a wee bit awed by big city skylines, and I looked around for a place to park and take some pictures. Unfortunately I was stuck in the flow of traffic - and driving badly because I was trying to look at the scenery. :blush: I think I went straight from a turning lane, and I think a policeman going the opposite way noticed. He looked like he was trying to stop and turn around to come after me, but thankfully he, too, was caught in the flow of traffic. Thank you, drivers of Omaha. :)

My second week of training was a lot more productive. The breakfast at the hotel was good, as was the coffee. My happiest discovery of the trip was that Nebraskans don't pay tax on groceries. (You guys are in for QUITE a surprise should you ever decide to visit Alabama...)

Late in the second week of my visit, I learned that my officemate would be coming up that weekend to stay for two weeks. This worked out well because I was able to drive myself to the airport and leave the car for him to pick up and use.

Following the advice of the locals, I was able to shave 30 minutes off of my travel time on the way to catch my flight home. Since I had a little time to spare before my flight, I decided to pass the airport and head toward the Western Heritage Museum again to try to get a few pictures of the skyline. Unfortunately, the road I was on wasn't the road I thought I was on, and I soon found myself about to enter the Interstate that leads to Des Moines.

I veered off onto 42nd Street, I think it was, and I soon realized that I would not be going back the way I came. I had no idea where I was, and I was starting to get a little concerned. I didn't think I'd have time to look for Great Skyline Shots because I had to tend to the matter of finding my way back to the airport. I stopped at no place in particular and took the last three shots on my last roll of film. My exploring from the previous weekend soon paid off as I recognized a street name and found my way back to the WH Museum. Along the way I saw roughly 847 photo ops that I *might* could've taken had I not foolishly WASTED my last three shots. Yeah, I'm still kicking myself. I had to settle for postcards of the skyline. Sigh.

November 7, 2006
» working stiff

Work is majorly kicking my butt. It started the two weeks that my officemate was gone, and all of the so-called easy projects started coming to me. I fell behind, and I'm still not caught up. Despite that, I'm SO glad that my officemate is back. Yesterday, he took one of the tough new projects off my hands, leaving me with just my two re-dos and a project that's due on Friday. Sigh.

I would ramble some more - because I do have a rant I want to share - but it's going to have to wait. I've got an ache in my shoulder from entirely too much time spent hunched over a computer at work today. I find that the remedy is to veg out on the sofa and watch some DVDs.

November 9, 2006
» Pay attention to me: I don't talk for my health!

In a recent Cosmo article, a guy listed a few things that a man doesn't want to hear from his girlfriend. He writes that guys really don't want to hear our little rants, so we should save those for our respective blogs.

Okay. Men aren't interested in our little tirades. This is not exactly news, although it's still a bit disheartening. It's so much more disheartening when my boyfriend's actions shout that not only does he not want to hear the petty rants, he's also not interested in listening to me for pretty much any length of time.

After a return from my two-week business trip, I wanted to show my boyfriend the pictures I took when I was sight-seeing. So we stopped at a park and sat in the car. I had four rolls, and I was trying to describe each picture a little bit, since it wasn't always obvious. Would you believe that during the second set, I look over and he has nodded off?! :screams in frustration:

Now, I realize that listening to other people talk isn't terribly interesting, and because of this, I was trying to be brief with what I said about each picture. When I wake him up, he doesn't even say, "I'm sorry." In fact, he still seemed on the verge of sleep!

I didn't harp on this. He often works weird hours, so I tried to remind myself that he could've been very tired. However, when HE rambles on, I admit that I don't hang on every word, but I *do* try to pay attention, at the very least show to some respect by listening to what he has to say. Obviously he doesn't share this feeling. Maybe, somehow, he doesn't realize that I interpret this as a lack of respect, but he seriously lost another point or two with me.

As we were about to part ways that same evening, my shoe came untied for the third or so time that day, and I went to tie it. He disapprovingly said something about me only putting one knot. Okay, THERE he is sounding superior again, and I said sarcastically, "Yes, I know. YOU'RE perfect." He bragged, "And how many times have my shoes come untied?" Then, he added, "My mommy taught me well." :boggles: Earlier in an email, I gave a very similar example to show him how a woman in a mood can take a statement like that as an insult. To make my point again, I said something like, "See, to that, I could say, 'Oh, and my mom taught me wrong. Is that what you're saying?'" "No," he replied. "It doesn't have to be your mom..." :glares in his direction:

Perhaps HE should've saved all of that for HIS blog.

I still marvel at the ridiculousness of two thirty-somethings standing in a parking lot having this conversation over TYING SHOES!! I'm a grown woman, and the state of my laces should not warrant comment from anyone. Perhaps he was trying to spare me from the burden of the repeated tyings, but, his intentions notwithstanding, the bragging about his own tying skills is what irks me so. I think he meant it as a joke, but then again, from what I've seen so far, I think he truly believes that his way of doing most things is superior.

Now, I'm not saying I'd prefer that he be indecisive and apologetic about everything, but I would prefer that he keep the unsolicited advice to a minimum. When I could talk about it without sounding (IMO) too accusatory, I broached the topic in an email. I said that I'd noticed a pattern in myself where I tend to view unsolicited advice - however well-meaning - as a criticism. I briefly recalled our exchange over the laces and how it sounded to me, hoping he could see that although my response might be a little oversensitive, given what was said, it certainly wasn't completely unreasonable.

He wrote back that he wasn't sure how to respond. I thought that was an honest reaction, since I've told him before about things that irk me and he always seems surprised that he was so oblivious. But from his tone this time, I think he thinks I'm overreacting. I'm sure I am to some degree, but if he truly can't see how the conversation *could* be taken as an insult ... I just don't know how far our relationship can go.

November 21, 2006
» the punch line

Last Friday at work, OfficeMate (OM) and I met with seven other people for a training session. At one point someone mentioned a guy named Jon who was visiting from our parent company in Nebraska, and OM spouts, "Don't talk about Anne's boyfriend like that." o.0 As you can imagine, the others just guffawed with laughter. (Who knew that the third grade was as close as upstairs? :rollseyes:) I tried to recover by pointing out that my *actual* boyfriend wouldn't like that. The subject soon dropped, but then someone brought it up again, and again a third time. Fortunately, the meeting was almost over at this point, and I was, like, "Are we done here? O-kay..." and I hurried out of the room. As I was going, one of the teasers called, "Yeah, she's gotta go call Jon!" and more laughter erupted. :seething:

After the meeting, I was still peeved. When OM tried to say something, I just focused on working on my computer. He asked, "Are you not talking to me?" Nope! He pointed out that everyone was in on the teasing, and I retorted that HE was the one who started it all. When he went to lunch with the others, he must've told them that I was mad, because when they got back, one of the guys asked if I was talking to OM yet. I said, "No," but added the quite honest, "I just don't have anything to say."

This week, things are pretty much back to normal, but I'm still pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. I suppose now I've got a reputation as having no sense of humor, or something. I mean, the way I left the meeting was, in my mind, the equivalent of a child shouting, "You're MEAN!" and running away in tears. *sigh* I didn't cry (or shout), but I know I lost my cool there. I just couldn't help it. I felt ambushed by their childishness, even if they were just kidding. In the meeting, during the teasing, one of the girls told me to "fire one back" at the teasers, but that's not me. I hate verbally sparring with people, for fun or for real.

Later that evening, a good comeback to OM's first line occurred to me: "You mean, don't talk like that about *your* boyfriend." See, this is the way I am. I just can't think when I'm put on the spot.

That same day, an odor appeared in OM's and my office revealing that a dead rat/mouse must be somewhere in the ceiling or a wall. And of course, everyone that happened by would sniff and exclaim, "Whew!! Y'all need to take a BATH!" Ha, ha. Yes, rotting carcass odor is funny! Because stinky is funny! And me dating a guy from Nebraska is funny! Every FREAKIN' thing is funny! Apparently. :rollseyes:

December 3, 2006
» much ado about blogging

Last week I stumbled upon a blog hosted at On a whim, I checked out WordPress, and I was pretty impressed. I decided to register for a site there. I fought the urge as long as I could, but finally it seemed like a good thing to do. I think I'm ready for another On-Line Journal - and I think I'm ready to start calling it a blog.

For now, since I'm still quite paranoid after my last OLJ host crashed, I plan post the same entries [there and at the neloo forums], although I'm sure the content will vary some between the two.

The address is:

Why box47? Well, thanks to Alias, I now feel a special connection to the number 47, and I just think "box47" has a nice ring to it. (This from the girl who thought up ""...) Plus, it's short.

In other news, I finally posted some of the pictures that I took during my trip to Nebraska. They're grouped into three slideshows - so there's one picture with some brief comments about it per page - starting here:

December 7, 2006
» 100 Things

On a whim (a whim that ultimately led to quite a few hours of work) I did one of those 100 Things About Me lists. You can view it here:

Now, I'm going to watch a DVD, get ready for bed, and try to stay warm on this, supposed to be the coldest night of the year so far, where I live.

December 12, 2006
» mad skills

At work today my officemate commented that there are a lot of extremely moody people at work. But, you know, somehow? I don't think he was referring to his seething rage this morning as he talked about a certain project...

Later, the Anne's boyfriend episode (see above) was casually mentioned, and I lightly said, as the slightest hint of an apology, "I guess that was *my* day to be moody..." Looking back, I can admit I overreacted. Heck, I could admit it that day, but I really was irked. And my officemate should understand, because just today someone threatened to show a funny picture of him at a meeting tomorrow, and he declared that he doesn't like to be the center of attention. In any case, I was told during another conversation with someone else to brace myself because the Nebraska-boyfriend thing will probably be brought up again at some point. Yes, I have realized this, and I think I'm over it. We'll see...

The topic was brought up again today because some of the guys from Nebraska were visiting. (One of them told me I could do much better than that guy, btw. Thanks, Steve!)

At one point, I was working with two other Nebraska guys, and I'd asked a question. One replied basically that so-and-so just does that sometimes. "Don't ask me why," he says. So of course, I reply, "But why?" A third guy laughed heartily - I guess you had to be there ;) - and another guy asks him, "Oh, have you worked around Anne before?" He said it with a smile, and in a sort-of familiar way, as if he expects me to say clever (or possibly zany/goofy) things like that.

Maybe I'm not telling it well, but, given my wee-small crush on the guy who said it, it was nice.

On a side note, does anyone else find themselves thinking all of these less-than-professional thoughts at work? :blush:

December 20, 2006
» now I'm in the funny box

Today two of the team leaders treated seventeen of us in the engineering department to lunch at the Cracker Barrel.

I rode with two of the guys, and one of them is the engineer who checks the work of me and my officemate. The engineer mentioned that he has a project waiting for OfficeMate, who has been out sick all week. The engineer added, "It's really pretty easy." Knowing how angry OfficeMate got over his last "easy" assignment, I suggested that the engineer not use that phrase, opting instead to say, "Even [the boss] could do it." I guess that caught the guys completely by surprise because they both cracked up.

Later, one of the team leaders was trying to track down some information for me from a customer about a project. During the call, the customer declares that so-and-so about the project needs to change. After hanging up, the team leader said that the customer was crazy, since we don't have the drawings he said that he sent. I asked, "Did you tell him to put the crack pipe down?" The engineer was nearby, and he laughed and said that I'm really starting to loosen up. This prompted him to call a passerby over and repeat my quip from the ride back.

I like that they think I'm loosening up, although how loose I am depends on who is around. (Hmm, was that the best way to phrase that?) I *do* love to make people laugh; it makes me feel as if I've really made a connection with them.

Still, now I feel like I've set a new standard for myself, like people are going to expect me to say funny things more often. And that? Just might drive me back to Quiet Mode.

December 27, 2006
» the shower scene

The shower in my apartment had issues from the start. My first few showers in it were actually quite painful, because even on a moderate setting the water emerged from the shower head at such a high pressure that it actually stung. Happily, I quickly fixed that problem by taking the shower head off, cleaning it, and adjusting the flow. The resulting flow was even better than I expected because it turned into a lovely, soothing gush of water with a nice firm amount of pressure.

This has continued for the past few months. This morning, however, I noticed a bit of water dripping from the lever that switches the water up to the shower from the tub faucet. (Yes, this is a fairly old faucet setup.) I tried to tighten it up by twisting the head on a little, but when it came time for my shower, the water would not all go to the shower head. About half of it continued to emerge from the tub faucet, no matter what I tried. I foolishly kept trying to fix this while the water was running, forgetting the other plumbing issue: due to the fact that there is no low setting, the hot water is quickly drained.

So I ran out of hot water with conditioner still on my hair. SO not the way to start my return to work after two extra days off for Christmas. As I rinsed my hair in the sink - in cold water, grr - I thought about a scene from the movie Valentine where one potential victim's water suddenly stops, and she resorts to rinsing her hair out in the toilet. So, yeah, things could be worse.

I tinkered with that (censored) switch, and I think it's better, although it's still not back to where it was.

Anyway. I hope you all had a nice Christmas! As I mentioned, I had the past two days off as well as the weekend, so that was *really* nice. I did develop a bit of the sniffles and more than a bit of laryngitis starting a week ago Saturday. My boyfriend was sick also, but apparently he had a worse strain, since we had to cut our day short because of it. As of this evening, I'm feeling better. I can almost talk again, but the true test of my wellness will be how much I cough as I'm trying to go to sleep. For my neighbors' sakes, I hope it's minimal.

December 29, 2006
» look at all these rumors

Today at work a meeting was announced for 11:45, but, thanks to a stop at the restroom, I was almost late. Walking toward the door to the meeting room (aka "the break room") at 11:45, I heard that Chuck, the speaker, had already started. I briefly thought, "Should I just skip it?" But I pushed ahead.

On the way in, I passed a guy on his way out. Before I could make it through the crowd at the door to go stand at the back of the room, I heard Chuck say, "Anne! Would you come and stand beside me, please?"

Sigh. Never ignore your Inner Voice when she tells you to skip a meeting.

I was told later that right before I'd entered, Chuck had asked for "five outgoing people" to volunteer. I'm sure people then thought, "And he picked Anne?!" In the absence of outgoing volunteers, I guess Chuck opted to make an example of the late newbie.

So, Chuck picked three other people, and we stood aside while he explained the reason for the meeting: he's tired of all the rumors he's been hearing about the fate of our company. The rumors have got to stop, they're out of control, blah, blah, blah. To make his point, he told the other three to step outside while the fifth volunteer (the guy I'd passed on the way in) came back in. Chuck explained that #5 had just spent time carefully reading a story; #5 would tell me the story from memory, and I in turn would repeat it to the next volunteer.

Great, I thought. We're playing the rumor game. The one I played years ago at a fifth-grade sleepover.

Surprisingly, I didn't feel myself red-faced embarrassed during any of this. Did I mention that this was in a room full of about fifty people? Yes, very surprising indeed! I simply listened to the guy's story, repeated it badly to the next guy, and watched Chuck stand there so pleased with himself that his real-life example was working the way it was supposed to.

Anyway, the topic of rumors always reminds me of one of my favorite email exchanges with my boyfriend:

Him: "... That's how rumors get started, you know."

Me: "I thought they were started by the jealous people...?"



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