Another week has flown by in our lives. What did you do differently this week than last week? What did you see, smell, hear, or say – that made a difference? I know, it’s annoying these questions. It’s Friday and you just want the damn week over, and some entertainment to help with that. I keep coming up short on foolishness and frivolity. What’s up with that? But I did gather a few chuckle bits from my work environment to share.
Comment by a wonderful co-worker during a particularly stressful week:
“I am now experiencing life at 15 WTF’s per hour.”
Announcement of a business partner joining a conference call (your name precedes your entrance to the call):
“Now joining – Harsh Peace” Did this person’s parents intend to create an oxymoron at birth???
I am very attuned to the tenor of people’s voices. This is probably due to many, many years of interacting with people I never see or meet, only connecting via teleconferences. Twice this week I was overcome by giggles so badly that I did genuflection in thanks to the inventor of the ‘mute’ button.
The first one, seriously, I was dying on the phone. If you recall Milton from “Office Space” you are already there. Yes, I had Milton on a conference call. I would not have been able to contain myself had the words ‘cake’ or ‘stapler’ made its way into the conversation. In case your memory needs jogging, or you’ve not heard of Milton:
The second was far more subtle in its giggle momentum. One of our vendors has a new ‘handler’. You know, the more upper level person that comes in to shake things up and demand answers. I disliked him immediately during the first call of the week. He’s a facts and figures guy, no ability to follow the flow of a discussion without a Gantt chart in place.
Then I had a second call during the week where he was present. Not ten minutes into the call he was asking for a plan or flow chart. I lost it. His nickname is now “Project Plan Pete”.(no,his name isn’t Pete either)
My third and final chuckle came in a conference call I was staging for two engineers – one on site, the other remote. It was a large data center where the actual on site work was going on. In a lull, my engineer and I were discussing data centers. I’ve seen scads of photos but never actually set foot in one. He is describing the access process: signing in, the showing of badge, inspection of gear, and pass-through to the man trap. Well, that caught my ear and I responded “Oh, I could use one of those in the future.” I work in a cubicle farm and well, my voice has a certain tonal quality that carries. I had said the words “Man trap?” out loud, and then my follow up comment, which elicited plenty of laughter through out the office. Ah well, if someone is laughing or smiling while I’m around, I’m happy – even if at my expense 🙂
And Friday wouldn’t be complete lately without some form of philosophical ramblings, now would it?
(all ye who entered here just for foolishness and frivolity, please exit the doors on your left when the “Exit” sign lights up, keeping arms and leg inside the lines at all times)
Waits for the crowd to thin…now, for the rest of you.
The Tao of Tadpoles
Yes, I’m growing frogs.
Tadpole-watching is highly recommended by yours truly. They are similar to our species in many ways.
They start out very tiny and dependent on others. Sometimes those others are not their own kind. I could have let them all die; after all, their parent left them in an inconsistent water supply area. Nature’s way would have let them succumb. Maybe their parents lacked the intellectual depth to choose a proper water source, so they are damned from the get-go. Check: Parents too lacking in proper instincts to bring into the world good, productive future frogs. I can see the frog parent report card now, in my mind’s eye. We could compare such an environment to generational poverty perhaps?
I watched the parent frogs for weeks prior and they brought me great pleasure. They sang a lot, even when I would sit out there beside them – the predator, the one higher up on the food chain.
At first, I just poured some rainwater in the plant saucer each morning to keep them from overheating and dying. I knew that soon one day I would forget and they would fry. So I pulled out an unused garden tug and filled it with water, leaf litter, some sand, and tumped them all in there. There were hundreds of them in the beginning. There are far fewer now.
They eat each other I learned. When one got weak or swam funny, pretty soon someone larger and stronger would eat them up. It reminds me of corporate mergers in a way.
The strong grow stronger and larger, and the weak fade away, incorporated into the belly of the more fit.
They fight and steal food from each other. Yes, one tadpole will be eating something all by itself, and suddenly, another one arrives and grabs the other end of the food, and the tussling begins. When two begin to tussle, it draws a crowd. Soon they are biting each other’s tails and getting confused about what is food and what is a fellow frog-in-the-making. It brings to mind the riots that occur when things are dicey among humans. It reminds me of how some people just must have what another has and take it by force.
When I weed, I add bits and drabs of plant material to replicate a pond of sorts. Every few days I will take some of the water out and water plants with it, and then add some more rainwater, complete with mosquito larvae (which the tadpoles dine on) so as not to let the water get too stagnant. Life is like that too, adding some new material to our environment, and we get an influx of freshness from new people, things we read, places we go.
Some are now quite large and starting to resemble diminutive frogs. Their color is changing and the tails are shortening. But there are also new tiny ones. I caught the parent hanging on the side of the tug the other night. I suspect she’s happy with the pseudo-pond. One of the parents got in the apartment one evening and plopped right on my keyboard as I was working. I caught it in a container and returned it to the outdoors. Perhaps it came to file a complaint. This too, reflects life. Things and people grow and change, and sometime out-of-place ones plop into our lives and need a gentle assist in returning to their more natural habitat.
My favorite thing about them is to watch them come up to the surface for air. They float gently up like miniature balloons, and then their little tadpole lips make kissy faces on the water surface – occasionally they blow out and make bubbles too. Every time I see it, it makes me smile, because they are shiny gold around their mouths. I have to be very still or they won’t come up to the surface. Sometimes in the middle of the day, I will find several of them laying on the weed detritus up on top of the water.
Some of you are now thinking I’m quite daft. I dare you to try it sometime. Notice the tiniest of lives around you. It will make you forget about bills. It will make you forget about deadlines and long work days. It will make you forget about that argument with a spouse/child/co-worker. It will re-introduce wonder into your life.
And that my friends, is the Tao of Tadpoles.
Be well and enter the weekend with joy 🙂