What Hell Has Been Wrought On This World?

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Dear Robert Gaskins,

It took only one short Google search to learn that you are credited as being the inventor of a little software program known as PowerPoint.

I’m sure you are a very nice man, Mr. Gaskins, and your idea and invention started out as something good. Positive. Meaningful.

From what I’ve read you sought to make the business presentation easier and more professional. No more copying slides and text onto clear plastic film and showing it on an overhead projector.

Your idea was so good that you got venture capital from Apple and ultimately the product was acquired by Microsoft. Your little dream is now loaded, by most estimates, on over a billion machines.

This software program was a big step up in terms of sales presentations and other business presentations. It brought a layer of graphic design and professionalism to the talking points of any business meeting.

However, today, on this eve of Christmas in the year two thousand and twelve, I am no fan of yours, Mr. Gaskins.

To be fair, it’s not your fault that the business world has taken something you created for good and bastardized it, but as with eliminating pesky vampires means you have to make sure you get that one lead guy, you are just going to have be the focus of my ire.

As I sit here working in my mostly empty office building, the one thing I have to accomplish this week is a PowerPoint deck.

Let’s stop here and discuss all the names for what to call a PowerPoint presentation. Apparently we’re all too cool to call it a PowerPoint presentation, it’s a deck. A preso. Slides. Slideshow.

Whatever. It’s evil. It’s probably evil mostly because we in the business world are all too uncreative to really use the software as it is meant to be used, as a tool to emphasize talking points when giving a presentation.

But it’s not that anymore. Oh no. It’s the whole presentation.

Last week I had a meeting with the boss to talk him through my rationale for why I need three additional headcount on my team. He nodded, gave me feedback and generally agreed.

Then he said, “Put that all into a deck so I can send it to Big Boss. No more than three slides.”

One hour of persuasive conversation needs to be put on three slides with no more than six words per bullet and six bullets per slide. Then these three slides are to be emailed to another person and I don’t get to explain any of my rationale. No, the Big Boss is just supposed to try and figure out all the crannies and crevices and nuances of my business case from just eighteen bullets (six bullets per slide, only three slides).

No one can be expected to make heads or tails of an eighteen bullet point slide deck without someone to walk through it. But decisions will be made based on those eighteen bullets. If I craft them correctly, I get much needed help for an overwrought and overworked organization.

Get those eighteen bullets wrong and we get another year of exhaustion and not enough hands to do all the work.

What was always intended to be an aide to the conversation has now become the conversation.

And that’s just crap.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Mr. Gaskins. Because of your little invention, on this Christmas Eve I am cranky as hell and worried about the fate of my team for the next year.

I feel the weight of eighteen incomplete sentences with cool transitions and maybe even a fun graphic weighing heavily on my mind.

You’ll forgive me if I don’t offer you any egg nog.

Besos,

Karen








Image from Call Me Cassandra.




What Tuesday Looked Like

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Tuesday. It wasn’t pretty.

I’m going toe to toe with an obnoxious company who are being jerks simply for the pleasure of being jerks.

I’ve gone twelve rounds with these yabos and I’m e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d.

And so, this is the perfect representation of my Tuesday.

This photo, oddly enough, was taken while I was on an evening con call with a whole other clan of jerkwads.

The Good Man texted me from the living room to ask how I was doing and this was the reply he got.

Rawr face. Coming at you.

May Wednesday be nicer.







Photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this page, and taken with an iPhone4s and the Camera+ app.



Son of a &*$#^#ing mother *@!$&ing holy *&)^%$#!!!

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Look at it, isn’t it lovely? It’s own glimmering constellation. A shimmering planet hovering in space, reflecting the rays of light.

An ethereal orb. A beacon. A sign.





Or.

The m-effing new ding in my windshield. This was caused by a rock flung from the tires of a big truck as I drove down 101 yesterday afternoon.

It’s only mildly funny that it happened as I was smack in the middle of a great big yawn. Biiiig sleepy yawn and then *whang*.

And then the curse words. Lots and lots of curse words. A string of expletives befitting a sailor on shore leave.

Because, of course, this window pock is right at my eye level on the driver’s side.

Which means in addition to the other eight thousand things I have to do this week, I now have to deal with my insurance company.

One of my very least favorite things to do. Just above a DMV visit for a new driver’s license and one rung below annual lady physical.

Rattin’ smattin’ rootin’ tootin’ gall durn window ding.

Gah!







Photos Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone 4s and the Camera+ app.



Waiting — (The Oversharing Edition)

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So, yeah, this is going to be a less than politically correct post.

Turn away if that sort of thing bothers you.

You see, I’m sitting here…waiting.

I have a little infection, minor really (absolutely nothing to worry about), and my doctor prescribed me a “short course” of antibiotics.

Quick and easy.

Except.

The pharmacist, when handing me the script said “So…this can cause diarrhea. Take it with food. You can take a probiotic if you wish, that might help. It doesn’t happen to everyone.”

So I said “ok.” Shrugged. Walked away.

Then I read the fact sheet that comes with the script.

It must have used the D word 82 times in three pages.

And the bottle. When I took my second pill this morning, I saw on the bottle it has, in large letters “may cause” and the D word.

So. Um. Even if I’m not the sort of person this might happen to, I think all the warnings have certainly auto-suggested my brain (and body) that this is inevitable.

No way to avoid it.

No hope.

Right now, outside my window, dark, angry storm clouds are rolling in.

And in my tummy, after three doses, so far calm seas.

But can I escape this fate? Can I just have a nice “short course” of antibiotics, have no issues and call it a day?

Is that even possible?

If you see me go running by, you’ll know the answer.

Until then. I just have to wait and see.






Image from Demotivational Blog



In the Box

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Despite the fact that The Good Man and I actually moved two weeks ago, we didn’t fully depart the old place until this past weekend.

That last mile is a sonofabitch.

I guess we just wanted to save the best for last? Or something. Basically, the last stuff to exit the old place was the stuff from deep in the dark recesses of storage under the house.

Let’s be honest, this stuff it wasn’t “our” stuff, it was my stuff. Lots and lots of boxes, some of which hadn’t been opened since they made the 1,200 mile ride from Albuquerque to the Bay Area.

The goal this weekend was to open those deteriorating boxes, get rid of what I could, and what was left, repack into fresh boxes and move on.

This proved to be a more difficult task than I had expected.

There were some surprises in those ol’ boxes. Especially the one I’d jauntily labeled “Karen’s Childhood.”

What a doozy that one was.

Sunday morning, there I sat on the cold floor of my now former garage, used my Buck knife to slice open the “childhood” box and dug around in there. I extracted a now almost fourteen year old gallon size Ziploc bag containing a bunch of papers and stuff I clearly didn’t know what to do with when I left Albuquerque.

I unzipped the bag, pulled out the contents and went through it piece by piece. I turned over photos, old love notes, and a ticket stub.

I gasped and my eyes got a little watery from both joy and memory.

The Wayback Machine gobbled me whole.

Here’s what I found:




The year was…um….yeah. 1990? Maybe 1989? Oh jumping jehosophat! I don’t know. A long time ago when my skin was elastic and my pants were not.

It was Ag Week at NMSU. An annual celebration that was a week full of fun, games, and dancing for all us kids in and around the Ag College. It culminated in a big concert and dance at the Pan Am center on the last day of the week.

This was a special year. My best good friend excitedly told me that her Uncle Bax would be performing at that year’s Ag Week. And by Uncle Bax, she meant Cowboy Poet and legendary New Mexican, Baxter Black.

That year there was another yahoolio on the bill with Bax. Some nobody named Vince Gill.

Yeah. That Vince Gill. Before anyone knew who he was.

Friday morning we were invited to come to the Ag Lobby to meet and greet. Bax was there holding court and signing autographs, and gave my best friend a huge hug when she walked up. We talked and laughed with Bax a while and then we went over to check out this Vince Gill character. He was wearing a pair of NMSU sweatpants, a three day old scruffy beard, and hair that hadn’t been washed in a good long while.

He was nice enough. Looked totally exhausted. He signed a glossy black and white promo photo (I found that in the bag too) and we walked away wondering who that rube was.

He put on a hell of a show that night. And so did Uncle Bax.

Let’s just say this, it was a hell of a party.

One for the history books. Sure would be fun to live that one again.

When the trash went out at the end of Sunday, the Bax and Vince ticket didn’t go with it. It went back into the Ziploc bag, then into a new box.

Maybe in another fourteen years I’ll slice open that box and discover it again.

And gasp.

And well up.

And remember.

Those were salad days, indeed.