Tag Archive | fitting in

Am I TOO Square?

Earlier this year I wrote a blog asking Is It Still Hip to Be Square? (Still wondering) That one I’m wondering about clothes and designers ideas of what I like.

Now I have a new question: Am I Too Square to Be Hip?

Yesterday we got an Ikea catalog in the mail – addressed to Current Resident. It’s nicely done and has 326 pages of all kinds of things. Well part way in to the thing – to page 157 – I still haven’t found anything I like. My husband had the same reaction.

Am I too square?

002The ideas they show for making your kitchen more functional are OK, but I really love what my husband did with our kitchen – I like it much better than the suggestions in the catalog. (He custom built every cabinet, laid the tile, put in the window, ran the plumbing, and yes that is wood flooring for the ceiling!) The ideas for the bathroom, interesting but I just don’t like the style. (Did a small child draw that design of a man and a woman for the curtain?) I’m not a fan of the dining room furniture either – a glass expandable table? We used to have a glass dining table, it was round on a bamboo base with bamboo chairs (Pier 1 years ago). But expandable? How do you safely store the glass inserts? It has clear acrylic chairs to go with – sorry, I really don’t want to slide during a meal. Some of the living room stuff is interesting. I do really like their idea of sectional furniture and that the covers are removable to be machine washed. But sadly I know me, I know I wouldn’t wrestle with the covers as much as they would need so I could wash them.

I guess I’m just a fan of “traditional” kitchens, bath, dining furniture, and living rooms. (OK, so my husband built all the stuff – including the dining room table but we bought the chairs – and we love what he did) We had a lot of fun with our first couch. It was a collection of four very BIG, over-sized cushions and husband made a rough wood frame for them – the only way to keep them in place. The only draw back to that couch – it was too comfy, it didn’t take long and you’d fall asleep! I’m just not a fan of contemporary furniture – especially since it goes in and out of style so quickly and doesn’t look comfortable to me.

Maybe I’m too much like our recliner sofa and loveseat: old, shifted stuffing and a bit frayed around the edges, but I’m comfy!

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Sarcasm – Not (Usually) for Work

For a long time I’ve been told I have a quirky sense of humor, a dry wit and lover of puns.

sarcasm-9Knowing how this (sometimes) got me in to trouble in school, I have tried to behave while working. Generally I succeed. But there have been times when keeping quite would have been the much better way to go. Heck, sometimes it’s just the tone of voice that can get me in trouble. (Really, I didn’t think I used that tone?!) Pictures like this seriously represent my thought processes.

Sarcasm and work walk a very fine line. It’s enough to make tightrope walkers concerned.

My sarcasm has gotten me in trouble a few times. Even the things I didn’t think were sarcastic. Boy, when people take things the wrong way – things go south in a hurry! But when it works, sarcasm can be a handy tool to get things done/help needed. I bet you’re wondering what I mean by that one. Well, let me give you a couple examples of sarcasm going well:

  1. Working for a busy doctor and I was the only medical assistant. One Saturday, when he was ordering tests on 90% of the patients he overheard my comment to the office staff “do me a favor trip him when he goes by – maybe he’ll slow down.” A few minutes later he was drinking coffee in my small lab. He said “you know, you are in charge.” My witty retort? “Oh, yippee, when I’m pissed at myself I can tell me where to go” and went back to work. That Monday I had an assistant. By the end of the week, I started getting students working on an internship basis.
  2. In an office – as an administrative assistant. One day I was wearing a shorter skirt (not incredibly but perhaps a bit too short). The boss “dropped” his pencil and asked me to pick it up. He complained when I bent at the knees and stooped to pick it up. My comment was, “I guess I’ll have to wear pants so I can pick up pencils around here, my knees are on the bad side and don’t like to bend that much.” He was the owner/president. I overheard his VP tell him “yes she ruined your day and was sarcastic, but it could have been worse, she could have ruined you and the business.”
  3. A co-worker (slightly higher up the rung than me) likes to give people grief. Seems to enjoy it. I didn’t ever raise my voice, but that “tone” was there. Once he complained that I wouldn’t take anything he was dishing out, he was actually (slightly) upset when he asked me WHY. I simply told him, “I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to. I can get my work done, still make you look good and not feel the need to put up with your nonsense.” He actually thanked me for standing up to him.

sarcasm-10What happens when sarcasm backfires? Well in the second example – I wasn’t employed there much longer. I was told my work wasn’t up to his standards. (hmm, I worked harder than the others…) Well, at least it wasn’t a job I missed. I knew I wasn’t ever going to wear short skirts and bend at the waist to pick things up for the guy. After that there were a series of other jobs (temp) where I was told that the reason they didn’t hire me for a permanent position; they didn’t approve of my sarcasm/tone I took with peers.

So, what do I do now? I “sit back” and observe the culture more. While I get a feel for the place/people I stay reserved and don’t say much. I truly am basically shy, it’s when I decide to “open up” and over compensate that I get into trouble.

For the record, I keep my sarcasm to my co-workers and some bosses/clients. NEVER used on customers. I will not make an employer look bad because they chose to hire/work with me and my wit.

NOTE: You will also find this article in my friend Nancy Becher’s newsletter: Small Biz Forward – due to be released soon!