Monthly Archives: May 2011

Nancy = Drug Mule

I recently discussed some funny things that have happened at my office, and awkward things that have been said – another doozy came out in a meeting this morning.

This was a small meeting with two very Senior Managers, two middle Managers and Myself.  We were discussing the legalities behind having Insurance policies issued in Canada printed in the United States – apparently an illegal endeavour.  One of the Big Cheeses’ then said “Its pretty much like smuggling large volumes of Coke into the country.”

So now Nancy is a drug mule.  Everyone laughed.  I think that was an unnecessarily hyperbolic reference and now slightly fear for my job security – and my freedom

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Filed under Awk-ward, Office Antics

Tea Makes me Angry

Your Mom TeaHear me out, I’m not trying to be dramatic.  I think I’ve become a Pavlov type experiment in Detox/Cleansing. 

Over the past three years, I’ve completed a proper cleanse once year – twice with the aid of a Naturopath, and the final time with a store bought product and armed with the knowledge from my past experiences.  I generally do the fairly hard core Cleanses (at least they are hardcore in my opinion!) that involve no booze, caffeine, wheat, soy, dairy, red meat, sugar, tomatoes, corn etc. etc. etc. for 12-15 days.  The first time I tried this I found the process pretty rough, and couldn’t figure out what to eat.  I definitely have it down to a science now and can recommend some pretty good meal plans for anyone that wants to try it.  Hint: Quinoa is your friend.

The one thing that I miss and crave consistently throughout the process is Coffee.  This is a bit funny because I’m not a huge coffee drinker – One cup a day during the week, and often no coffee on the weekends.  That very first day of cleansing though, an urge for coffee runs through my system and never seems to leave.  I also generally get headaches for the first few days of the cleanse.  I originally thought that the headaches were from caffeine withdrawal, which seemed impossible because of my low intake of caffeine.  However, after trying a low carb diet this year, I’ve determined that the nasty headaches are due to my body’s addiction to refined sugars.  Joy.

I generally feel amazing (once the headaches pass) during a cleanse.  I practically leap out of bed in the morning, have an unusual amount of energy and just feel overwhelmingly healthy.  Losing a few pounds is the process, while not the goal, is a pleasant bonus.

The one interesting side effect that seems to have stuck with me, is my response to drinking tea.  It actually effects my mood enough to make me tangibly angry.  Yes, tea makes me angry.  I can only figure that it’s a response to the fact that the only time I’ve really drank tea in the last 5 years is when I HAD too because I was on a cleanse.  I don’t respond to ultimatums very well, and while this is a self imposed ultimatum, it happens to be the only reasonable solution I can come up with to explain my response to tea.  If reasonable even applies here, that is.

In an effort to help change my anger-by-beverage response, my sister Sandy has sent me a package of tea that smells like Popcorn.  I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m going to wait until I’m already in a good mood and am craving popcorn.  Maybe I can reverse the effects by fooling my olfactory system?

In a related story, my new boss is trying to set some ground rules to our professional relationship in an alarmingly micro-managing sense.  After years on an incredibly long leash, I’ll hazard at guess that this technique isn’t going to do very much to my productivity.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Filed under Negative Nancy, Story Time

The Doctor is In

I wouldn’t necessarily refer to myself as a know-it-all, but I’m close.  Once I have a bit of working knowledge about a subject, I tend carry on as if I’m an expert.  Sometimes, I think professionals really just don’t know what they’re talking about – they probably just slept their way to that fancy degree, right?

So for the past week I’ve had one of those nasty, barking coughs that makes people cringe.  Despite the noises coming from my chest, and the responses from the canines around me, I was actually feeling fine.  I figured it was just another one of those ‘Nuisance’ coughs like the one I had in September.  Mind you, I popped a few ribs out of place then, bit more than a nuisance if you ask me!  Yesterday was a different story though, I woke up with an incredibly sore throat, my chest felt tight, the cough was noticeably worse and I generally felt like I’d been backed over by a Mack Truck. 

 Being the paranoid Hypochondriac that I am, I marched off to the Walk In.  Similar to my last trip there the Doc did very little other than ask a few questions and check my temperature.  Ok – he did listen to my lungs, but that was it.  After this thorough exam, he pronounced that I didn’t have Strep (really, don’t you have to swab for that diagnosis?), and all the coughing was really just caused by my sinuses. Sure.  He gave me a script for a nasal spray and sent me packing.

I spent the rest of the day mocking his Doctoring abilities, joking every time I coughed  ‘My, don’t my sinuses sound terrible.’  I picked up my script on the way home, and continued mocking the solution with my roommates Eleanor and Tigger.  I used the spray right when I got home, and then again before bed.  I also rummaged through my cabinets and found the prescription strength cough syrup that had been prescribed to me in the fall.  More jokes ensued about the efficacy of nasal spray for a chest cold. 

Lo and behold, I wake up this morning and am actually markedly better.  My throat almost doesn’t hurt anymore, my cough is less frequent and less forceful when it arrives and that general feeling of crap I carted around with me yesterday is gone.  I’m like Eeyore without his cloud – still grumpy and confused, but generally better off. 

Alright, fine.  I guess the doctor was right.  Slow clap for him and his education.

This situation reminded me of the time a few years ago when I fell on some ice after stepping off a train.  I had landed pretty hard on my elbow, which proceeded to grow this rabbit’s foot looking abscess for a few hours, before just ballooning entirely.  Despite my parents urging to take me to the hospital, I was convinced I was suffering from nothing more than a severe contusion.  A contusion, for those that don’t know injury terms, is essentially a bruised muscle.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there is a whole lot of muscle on the tip of your elbow.

I carried on with my swollen, bruised and frankly gross looking elbow for a few weeks, telling everyone it was just badly contused.  The swelling had gone down the length of my arms and into my fingers, and the bruising had followed.  Back in my University days, I had a part time job as an Assistant Athletic Therapist, and have studied Anatomy quite a bit.  I was convinced it was fine, my circulation was good, I could rotate my wrist with ease and I could vibrate the attaching bones with no pain.  Definitely not broken.

So gross.

A little over two weeks after the accident, a caring co-worker suggested that I get it xrayed.  Ok, she threatened to call my Mother.  I marched off to St. Mike’s convinced I would be returning Victoriously shortly thereafter.  To nobody’s surprise except my own, it turns out my elbow was fractured.  I had managed to walk around with a broken arm for over TWO WEEKS!  I even went to Chicago for a long weekend during this time – no wonder it hurt so much on the plane.

The ER doctor was absolutely in hysterics.  He made me repeat my examination methods a few times, and while commending me for a job well done, would then laugh and remind me that I’m not a Doctor, and that my arm was actually broken.  I’m pretty sure they gave me the worlds largest and most unnecessary cast just so I would learn my lesson.

So a slight interest in Kinesiology and a part time job taping ankles doesn’t qualify me for diagnosing injuries?  Let’s go back to the St. Mike ER and ask that doctor what he thinks 🙂

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Filed under How Embarrassing, Story Time

Time Management

I’m generally pretty punctual.  Actually, I prefer to be a few minutes early because I tend to get pretty panicky if I’m going to be a few minutes late.  I’m definitely one of those people who will call or text to warn that I will be there at 12:02, not right at 12 as had been arranged.  I don’t really know where this habit came from (certainly not my Father), but I do know that I truly hate the idea of people waiting around for me.  In contrast, if I have plans to be somewhere but not at a specific time – ie. A party – I generally arrive on the later side, which is technically not late.

While knowing that people are waiting for me makes me really uneasy and possibly higher strung than usual, waiting around for people who are routinely late absolutely enrages me.  My friend Tigger is a serial offender in this department. 

Tigger is a bit of a free spirit and is best described as a ‘Fart in a Windstorm.’  It amazes me sometimes that he manages to hold down a job, keep his finances in order, or even get up in the morning.  Responsibility seems to come as a bit of a shock to him, and any failures on his part are always a culprit of his environment never just his own poor planning.  Punctuality, to say the least, is not his Forte.

Every time Tigger shows up late, he brings with him a whirlwind of excuses that almost always involves the evil Subway.  Now, I get it, the subway can be very unpredictable and does, from time to time, have significant delays.  What I don’t understand is how the Subway never makes me late, like ever.  Maybe twice in 6 years.  It’s definitely not that I don’t ride the subway often, because I do – my Metropass is my monthly ticket to Freedom. 

Furthermore, even if the Subway had legitimately made me five minutes late, I would probably still be on time.  Am I the only one that builds in tiny buffers when travelling to a destination? I know the concept is foreign to Tigger in particular.  If it *should* take him 15 minutes to get somewhere, he goes flying out the door barely dressed with about 13 minutes to spare.  In Tigger’s mind, he’s left on time.  So when he gets to the subway and the GPS indicates that the next Subway will be arriving in 2 minutes, it’s now automatically the Rocket’s fault that he is five minutes late for work.  The mind boggles.

This was essentially the scene yesterday and the source of this RANT.  Korean and I sat waiting for Tigger, so we could all attend a particularly important meeting at the bank.  He ran through the bank doors about 12 minutes late, after many proclamations to be there early, sputtering excuses about a delay on the subway.  The evil Subway strikes again.

Tigger has offered a partial solution: I should just start showing up late when I’m meeting him, so that I don’t have to wait around.  This is exactly like when my extremely messy University roommate told me, in a retort to me asking to have dishes placed in the kitchen upon completion, that I should start leaving things lying around so that she would feel more comfortable.  Thankfully for Tigger, I respect him too much for other reasons to have his tardiness be anything more than a now humours annoyance.

Jillian – I know you’re going to say he’s a P and I’m never going to understand this part of him because I’m clearly a J 😉 However,  I  reserve the right to rant about it from time to time!

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Filed under Negative Nancy, Story Time

I’m Published!

 

Campaign Cabinet 2011

Slightly Altered to Protect my Fragile Identity 😉

 

Don’t get too excited – clearly my blog isn’t publishable anywhere but the wonderful world of WordPress.  However, my beautiful mug is featured in a United Way advertisement in the front section of the Globe and Mail in Toronto today!!  I’m practically famous.

 The other people featured in the spread all have titles along the lines of ‘President’, ‘CEO’, or ‘President & CEO.’  You know, just slightly more important than my own long winded, narrowly above entry level position title.  Not intimidating at all.  I also had to present to this group this morning.  Bring on the nervous sweats.

Public speaking has never really been my forte, but it doesn’t normally make me this nervous either.  I kept getting distracted by the cumulative wealth contained in the Boardroom – extreme wealth makes me very uneasy. 

As per my usual MO, I was wildly unprepared and was forced to bring notes to the podium.  I was also presenting with another individual, and was speaking second, which leaves you with that uncomfortable period of time where you stare at the crowd, smile politely when appropriate, and try not to fidget.  I think in the five minute span before it was my turn, I managed to cough four times, scratch my head at least thrice, and shift from hip to hip more times then I care to remember.  Amateur.

I succeeded to stumble my way through my talking points, trying to slow down my usual breakneck pace, only visibly slipping up once.  I gave a curt nod as an acceptance of my applause and sashayed myself back to my chair.  I think I was too nervous to even blush.  Thank God that’s over. 

Now I can get back to basking in my new found fame and worrying about the usual nonsense that clutters my existence 😉

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To Honour a Queen

Royal CrownIn honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, I fled to the country this weekend to enjoy a long weekend of peace and relaxation.  While I didn’t end up succumbing to The Rapture, I definitely didn’t squeeze in much R&R either.

For those non-Canadians out there, and those Canadians that just don’t pay attention, the May long weekend is generally known as the unofficial beginning of Summer season in Canada.  Which is a bit strange since its clearly located in the middle of Spring, and if memory serves, is more often than not miserable and cold.  The weekend, colloquially known as ‘May Two-Four’, is in fact the celebration of a long dead Queen’s birthday not a weekend commemorating a case of beer.  Nowadays, the weekend actually marks the celebration of the current Monarch’s birthday.  This means we celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday about a month late – but hey, its better BBQ weather, right?

Either than BBQ’s and fireworks, I wasn’t aware of any traditions that are carried out on this holiday annually.  However, after a brief perusal of the Victoria Day wikipedia site, I found out the following information:

  • The Royal Union Flag must be flown at all federal government buildings from sunrise to sunset – as long as a second flag pole exists since this flag can never replace our National Flag (the mighty Maple Leaf)
  • 21 gun salutes, known as Royal Salutes, are fired in each provincial capital and in the National capital at noon
  • Several cities, most notably Victoria, host Parades

While I didn’t attend any Parades, fire any guns or do much of anything with a flagpole, I did have a great weekend.  Jillian and I, having taken the Rapture warnings seriously, partied like there was no tomorrow on Friday night with Mr. Moustache – even choosing to share one seat together in the cab on the way home, despite there being plenty of room.  Apparently we also entertained our cab driver with some colourful commentary.  I say ‘apparently’ because Nancy remembers naught of this ride home, or of getting into the house and securely into bed.

I continued my weekend of festivites by spending an afternoon shopping in upstate New York with a spiked Diet Coke, and then hitting the town again with Jillian.  I distinctly remember arriving back at home with a gang of misfits that night, but was thoroughly confused when I woke up on the couch sometime the next morning.  Apparently I missed one hell of an after hours party – although I was sort of involved, since I was sleeping on the floor for part of it, and on the couch for the rest.  I also have a mysteriously sore nose that was clearly banged into something with quite some force, fingers crossed for no black eyes!

Queen Elizabeth II, your birth has officially been celebrated – now let me get back to my recovery.

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Early Morning Overdraft

Panic ButtonNancy had a bit of a rough start this morning.  Was lying in bed, checking my emails and noticed a slew of messages from Mint.com indicating that there had been unusual large transactions in my chequing account, fees had been charged, and I was now in overdraft.  WHAT?

Ran to the computer and logged into my banking account.  It looked as though someone had tried to email money transfer $1,000 out of my account, had cancelled it, and then had done it again successfully – and now I was in the hole for $128 bucks.  Great. Just bought a house and now my bank has been compromised.  Managed to wake up my roommate Eleanor by yelling at the monitor, asking it who had been taking my money. 

Got on the horn to my bank within seconds and explained the situation.  As it turns out, security department doesn’t start up until 7:30am (and it was only 7), so they froze my online account and told me to call back. 

I jump in the shower and a million things are running through my head:

  • Did I lose my bank card? Nope, right here
  • How would someone get my online password? Had I left my work computer logged in (highly likely)
  • But Don’t you need a special access code (not a pin) to send email money transfers? I barely know that number and definitely no one else does!
  • Wait a minute, don’t you get an email response when an email money transfer is accepted by the recipient?  Could they have changed my email address as well
  • Who could have access to my account?!?

As I washed the conditioner out of my hair, it dawned on me – Mom.  

My Mother has had access to my account for years, which started with her having to deposit my cheques for me in University.  So, prior to calling the security department and having them dig further, I called my Mom to see if she had made any transfers.  Apparently, she had, but she’d been having trouble having them go through (explains the two transactions and one refund).  She couldn’t figure out how she’d managed to transfer from my account instead of hers – did I want her to check now?  Yes Please, now. This is kind of important.

Turns out, that in the blizzard of banking decisions I’ve been making the past two weeks, one of them was to change my account type so I’d have unlimited transactions.  What hadn’t occurred to me until.. well now, was that by doing so, Mom and I now have the same account type.  Now, when she logs in there is no longer an obvious difference between her and my accounts.  Brilliant, gotta love online banking.

 So problem solved, heart rate down, slightly irritated Mother from the panicked phone calls.  Now the real question is, do I ask Mom to reimburse me the $1 for the eTransfer and the $5.00 for the Overdraft? I think I’ll just bite my tongue.

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