get work done lifelessly


A friend was telling me about how he thinks his company has gone overboard trying to meet the current standards of political correctness. One person is being asked to take down a poster with some minor nudity. A manager is being strongly guided to watch his language. My friend says everyone says they're fine with it so HR should ease up.

I cringed. I could see both sides. I didn't know what to suggest. So I gave up listening like a guy, trying to offer suggestions, and I listened like a woman and did a lot of cringing.


I remember feeling similarly when I worked daily in the corporate world. The environment became sterile and lifeless - and maddening. Given that I crossed paths with at least 100 people a day, I couldn't possibly know all their sensitivities and be sure that any comment I made was going to go over without perceived insult or some misinterpretation I couldn't even imagine. So I tried to keep things factual, which really kept the humanness out of work.

But then there was this guy who liked to look at porn at work. He thought that his cube was his personal space and not subject to any of these HR rules. I had to visit him often to ask many short questions about his code. For me, seeing the porn he had on his screen brought up pain. I empathized with those caught in sex trafficking, in the sex trade and porn business against their wishes, I felt for the comfort women, for kids having to deal with sexual abuse, it went on and on. I tried not to look and to remember why I was in his cube in the first place. But it made it harder for me to do my job.

And then there were the people who really had no clue how racist or sexist their comments came across.

I can imagine others objecting for different reasons, not that it matters too much. And it's kind of a cheap sum-up to say companies exist to get work done. But I think they are there to get work done. I would argue that doing it humanely since it is humans who are doing the work, it's also within their interests - or at least should be. Related to my friend's specific complaints, it is also a common human behavior that someone who has lesser status than another may not have the strength or guts to speak up and say they aren't comfortable and risk their job.

So how do you draw the line? In my experience, most people don't have the skills or inclination to discuss the issue and resolve it themselves or with a mediator. We haven't reached a tipping point or critical mass around that behavior to see it go viral. So companies do the expedient thing and decree a certain decorum of behavior that some of us feel is lifeless.

I can imagine one answer - highly improbable although maybe the only way this will change - we on the outside of companies change. This in turn changes the inside. So hey - a round of electronic doilies for all!

Other ideas?

more conversations up on Facebook at The People's Doily

freeway stranger

took a walk this afternoon. my goal - a snickers bar from the groc store about a mile away, across the freeway overpass, not the prettiest or quietest walk but if I have a goal - even if it is candy, i can get some exercise. since I don't lift steel doilies all day, i have to work it in any way I can.

i bought a bag of snickers mini's, deciding I could trust myself not to down them all at once so I could spend my money more wisely per pound of fake chocolate than buy just one bar at triple the cost.

more story ...

conversation up on Facebook at The People's Doily

I've got balls!

101thePackage.jpgWell, actually, my friend K had balls. Then he gave them to me and asked me if I'd crochet a scrotum for them.

Sure, K-nut, no problem. I'll crochet you a scrotum. I do this all the time for my friends.

grapes need improved underwear



my type of book

take this book to your next picnic!

dip marshmallow type into edible ink and press into graham crackers to make your own messages!


well, ok, the marshmallow letters are actually etched onto the marshmallow using a laser. and the message in the graham crackers is also burned in by a laser. and there's no edible ink here. but it LOOKS like it's typeset!

examine more closely at the Olive Hyde Gallery show, reception Friday Sept 3, 2010 7-9 pm

how it was made

my molecules, where wert thou

moleculesWhereWertThou.jpgtake all the molecules that make up me - or you - today.  where were they a hundred years ago?  a thousand?  a million?

berry dial

for that point when you've stuffed yourself picking them fresh off the vines and you haven't made a dent in the ripe supply.

announcing ----

The Berry Dial!

attach it to your berry vines and dial back their fecundity to match your hunger level!

iPhone/iPad/iPhood app coming soon which senses your hunger level through a tiny sensor you have implanted under your skin; then it wirelessly, continuously manages your berries.

new attachments coming for fruit trees, cacti, and tubers.

embroidered bread

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breadEmbroidered-01.jpgthis would go well with what looked like someone embroidering a sandwich, which prompted this story.

assistance at the nut house, please

I entered the grocery store last night and heard, "Assistance requested at the nut house, please.  Assistance requested at the nut house."

I started laughing, looking around for which friends of mine were pulling this off for my benefit when I realized I was indeed passing by the nut display counter and a large tall man was seriously gazing around looking for assistance.

How Did the Person Announce That with a Straight Voice?

and no one else even snickered ...

why pay for milk when ... t-shirt store asks:

my answer:

ok, so their orientation's a little different.
they also have one that says:

my angels

I had only seen my angels in my imagination until crookedbrains posted the work of Lisa Lichtenfels.

myAngel.jpg I have about eight of these angels sitting around two card tables in the clouds, playing poker, smokin' and drinkin' - g&t's or whatever's around.  a couple are male. every now and then they look down to see what i'm about.  on occasion they fight over who has to leave the game to swoop down to stop me from doing something really really stupid.  sometimes they don't make it in time.

flaccid poly-blend strap-on

crochetStrapon.gif ok then. check that one off my list.  someone's already done it.

make your own custom adult chocolate mold

chocMoldAdult-01.jpgmake your own adult chocolate mold!

you know you want to.

be the hit of the party with custom shapes, sizes, angles, and proportions! use it with chocolate as well as jello, ice cubes, soap ... you name it!

I'll take you through the whole process, you'll get to see the machines in action, do some setup, ask lots of questions and get a feel for what's involved so you can come back and do it on your own.

choose a pre-designed adult themed shape (or send me something beforehand and maybe I can get it ready). optionally add your own short word or message. watch your part get cut out of wood on the Shopbot CNC Mill. help prepare the vacuum former to suck a piece of hot plastic into your wooden plug to create a food grade plastic mold. fill it with chocolate, cool, demold, and start nibbling.

you'll get to take your plastic mold, wooden plug, and molded chocolate home with you!

come back and take the vacuum former class and make more plastic molds. or also take the shopbot class and make your own new wooden shapes!

any questions? : )

want your butt printed?

eddy3Dprint-01.jpgso I wander over to talk to my warehouse office studio mate to find out more about the great music he's playing and ...

and I am confronted with a pile of ABS plastic faces, feet, and asses - the latter being the most plentiful.

"I'm an ass man, what can I say?" he replies.

twoBodies3D-01.jpgasses with half thighs, asses with half-baked torsi, faces with just mouths and no eyes - jobs incomplete as he tests his unique enhancements to his 3D printers.

Eddy Vromen is a RepRapper.  he builds his own 3D plastic parts from about a 1-ft cube machine he built from a kit.

bodyAndFace-01.jpgusually people build gears or specially shaped parts to hold electronics.  Eddy will build your ass.  out of ABS plastic.  if you let him.

contact Eddy at eddy_vromen (at) hotmail (dawt) com

what if I rent a Vogon poem?

poetryRental.jpgprompted by my tweet about my recent Rent-A-Poem post, cereisinger asked:

"Vogon poetry also? Or do I need to visit Rent-A-Wreck?"

to which My Friend Will responded:

Dear Sir:

Since the recitation of Vogon poetry is considered by the Geneva Convention as torture, it is illegal to sell or distribute said material to private individuals.

We feel it our responsibility to warn you about a service you obliquely referred to,  Rent-A-Wretch. They are a shadow company operating  out of Somalia , led by an international poetry smuggler known only as El Tampon. Most of the examples that emerge from them are badly built or dangerously parsed, and should be avoided at all cost.

On a recent Friday night, for instance, the Stanford Medical Center Emergency Room was flooded by poetry reciters who had somehow acquired a Vogon poem at a kegger and recited it to possible dating material. Only two survived the resulting assaults.

1. If you find a Vogon poem, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Call a qualified Linguistics Professional.

2. Victims of Vogon poetry MUST BE TREATED IMMEDIATELY. Flush with Dr. Seuss, and induce reciting.

3. Remember: reciting Vogon poetry WILL eviscerate your sexual life and  may land you in the hospital.

Thank you for your time.

Ford Prefect
Vogon Poetry Defense Consultant

computer monitor droppings

probably many people living today know how to tell what crawled across your screen while you slept just by taking a close-up look at the tiny little droppings left there.

I saw these little dots for years. finally saw a spider leave a dropping. i suspect it's all sorts of local insects in the night

I don't lick my finger to get the job done anymore, although it's probably inconsequential.

ya know, just like many can tell deer skat from wolf skat, somebody out there can tell daddy longlegs skat from ... moth? ant?

a friend taught me that insect skat is called frass. I just keep thinking fricassee.

laptopBugCatcher.jpganother friend suggested that with insect consumption all the rage, I should catch them and eat them.  well, I never see them so I'd have to rig up my laptop like so.
poetryRental.jpgon my way home I passed a party rental store but I misread the sign as "poetry rental".  I relayed this little detail to My Friend Will, told him how my brain then meandered as if that were real.  what if we really Could rent poetry?  in my inbox I was later greeted with this - from My Friend Will:

Dear Customer:

Hertz Rent-a-Poem is pleased to announce the sale of our quality, pre-owned poems -- now at lower prices!

These are not stripped down one-liners. All of these poems contain luxurious appointments such as internal subtexts, obscure metaphors, memorable sound bites, and  multiple levels of subtle contextual perspectives that will bring a wry smile to your face and impart a sense of your superior linguistic skills.

You will be the hit of the evening when you arrive with any of these. From the subcompact Haiku to the flowing lines of the modern Epics, to the taut, street-wise Slams, you will be the envy of any social situation.

Offer is limited. Only lanky English majors with soul-searching eyes will be considered. You must have an Angst value of 800 or better to qualify. The warranty on these items is limited. There is no claim, express or implied, that you will get laid by using these poems. Any additional work you do on these poems while drunk, such as:

1. Accidentally changing Hopkins' Windhover's first line from:
"I caught this morning morning's minion"
"I caught this minion this morning, it's morning's, s'morning...good morning..."

2. Accidentally changing Eliot's "I should have been a pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the floors of silent seas," to "...scuttling across the sores of silent fleas."

3. Accidentally combining poems: "So much ...depends upon...the red wheelbarrow...diverging in a yellow wood...
shall not be covered by this policy.

These poems are sold as is. The usefulness of a Haiku is temporary, and may only last the length of one attempt to get laid. Klingon epic poetry recited at a Superbowl party during a third quarter rout of the local team has been known to be fatal. Please recite sensibly.

make your own intestine tea cozy

intestineTeaCozy-02.jpgtoday I will make an intestine tea cozy with C, the teapot owner at an Italian cafe.

it will be lovely, starting off with gorgeous orange yarns and ending up with a special creation to keep the spout warm.

how to join us and more here


cute tap

found at a new site focused on defaced stuff.

I like the little marks above the tap.  indicating hot water?

tool box potato chip server

metalToolBox-01.jpgso I'm walking out of my laser class into the members' potluck at TechShop when I set eyes on this.

someone cleverly took their latest tool box creation and offered their potluck wares of cheese and crackers and chips from its drawers.

metalToolBox-02.jpgplating these orange/brown comestibles with the green-hint-of-teal shelving system offers an appetizing color combination.

ok, he admits he bought the hardware. but he designed and cut and bent and finished all the metal.
pop rivets, I think he called these.  to attach the hinge for the top.
metalToolBox-corner.jpgnicely done, eh?

if you want to make one yourself, contact Earl, the maker of this wondrous toolbox at earlgpowell ~at~ comcast ~dawt~ net.

I hear there's talk of adding this as a project class at TechShop.

soooo ... what are You going to use to serve Your next potluck offering?

Recent Comments

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