Tag Archives: humour

A Tale of the Tape

Okay, I truly hope work people who may see this will see it more as humor than as me slacking. Yes, I have another short-cut to save time, but already the word ‘short-cut’ does not jive kindly in a work context. Laugh, just laugh. I am trying to reduce everyone’s blood pressure.

Okay. I was doing some work in the forest of bookshelves. Yes, I could probably get lost in there for inordinate amounts of time, read a chapter, and not be found, but I emphasize: I didn’t do that! Instead I was adjusting some labels and call number ranges to make them reflect more accurately to the items that were actually on the shelves. All this to make the lives of patrons a little bit easier for when they try to locate resources.  My intentions are good! Give me a raise! Okay, maybe not, especially if you read on to the next section.

When I got back to my desk I realized I left the roll of tape in the shelves. Fortunately, I remember exactly which book I left it beside. In fact, after working with call numbers for an hour, I even remembered the exact call number of the book near the tape. For my amusement, I just took a short-cut and left the tape there. Call it lazy, call it a short-cut, call it slacking, call it illogical, call it irresponsible, even call me evil, but please don’t say that I don’t care. I care greatly for your health and your tension.

So whenever a patron asked me to borrow the tape, I would say: “Did you try going on the computer and searching for it in the online catalogue?”

When they responded with quizzical looks, I elaborated by insisting: “Really, trust me. If you go on the catalogue and look up this book title (the title I had memorized from before), copy down the call number, and go to the shelves, you can find the elusive collector’s edition of the tape that you are looking for.”

Some who had the time to play along, did the search, went on a short treasure hunt, and I heard them laughing somewhere in the shelves. For others who didn’t want to go on the computer, I just gave them the call number.

Then I went into the back room and made a request to the cataloguer with an air of seriousness and urgency: “I’ve been getting a bunch of requests for the tape this morning. Would you mind quickly making a record in our system and assigning a specific call number to the tape?”

Everyone in the back room stopped what they were doing and just froze, trying to comprehend and make sure they had in fact heard what they thought they heard. Yes, I was dead serious. A few more seconds of awkwardness, and then bursts of laughter all over. You could almost hear, or at least imagine, the blood flowing smoothly through all our veins.

Have a great day at work everybody!

-Patrick Law


1 Comment

Filed under Short Cuts, Working

Short Cut to Deal with Sleep Shortage: Inflating the Count with Placebo

As the pace of society quickens, and we want to sardine as many tasks as we can into one day, short cuts and sacrifices are inevitable. Unfortunately, sleep always seems to be the unlucky candidate that gets the short end of the stick and told: “Sorry, maybe I’ll get to you tomorrow.”

Well, if these are just the facts and realities of the times, then we may have to be creative and find our own kind of placebo effect to convince ourselves otherwise, and maybe derive some unanticipated health benefits from our strapped circumstances.

Here is an example: We usually count sleep duration by erroring on the side that puts us in the category of being sleep deprived. We may be in bed 8 hours, but not all of it is quality sleep time. So, in our sleep journals, maybe we put total of 7 hours or even less to account for all the tossing and turning, aches, thinking, and, yes, procrastination. Accurate? Yes, but depressing. Realistic? Yes, but doesn’t do anything for the ‘feel good’ side of the ledger.

I want to argue that some days we should try to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. If we are in the midst of a hectic period where the allotted time and hours don’t add up, then let’s skew the statistics in our sleep journals, a little bit. On the odd chance, in the odd morning, that you find yourself sleeping all the way to your alarm, with the alarm actually waking you up, but it still totals only 6.5 hours of sleep, then let’s inflate the numbers a bit. For myself, I imagine myself, and tell myself, that I could have slept another half an hour at least, if the alarm didn’t go home, then I’ll just reward myself with the bonus. I could have slept a quality 7 hours, so just give me the credit.

Will this placebo effect carry me through the day? I know I could be just deluding myself and this could actually have adverse effects on my health over the long term, but it sure feels better than fretting and dwelling the entire day over how I’m short of sleep. We can deal with the truth in therapy later on when things die down, but can we be allowed this short cut for the time being? Instead of always shorting ourselves of it, how about we go long for once? Really, I’m refreshed.

-Patrick Law


Filed under Short Cuts, Sleep

The ‘Sort of’ Method of Cooking (Cheating a little…)

Short on time? But still want to eat semi-healthy? Don’t want to eat out? Feels better to make an effort to cook and eat at home? But cannot do the full preparation?

Maybe there is a short cut for this in-between scenario. We don’t have time to prepare dishes from scratch, yet we don’t want to eat out, and we also don’t want to do take out. And what if guests are coming? Just doing a frozen dinner thing may not look too good. Is there any way to sort of half cheat?

Take a look at the picture below:

Cheating a little with my cooking!

Cheating a little with my cooking!

Guests are arriving any minute. My plain pasta needs to accelerate. Grab a Lean Cuisine frozen pasta dish, and just mix it in. Would they know? It’s sort of like cooking, isn’t it? It’s not eating out and it’s not take out. It saves the effort to prepare sauces and spices and, out of all the frozen varieties, is Lean Cuisine not one of the most healthy brands? Even if the frozen portion lacks authentic health, most of it is covered, blended, camouflaged with my original whole wheat (not enriched) brown pasta.

Is this similar to how some people add Campbell’s soup to their original soup stock to give it that little extra?

Maybe this in-between style can be called the ‘Sort Of’ method of cooking. A kind of intermediary step for people to take before graduating into full out food preparation. It’s sort of healthy, is it not?

-Patrick Law

Leave a comment

Filed under Short Cuts

Workout Injury: Danger with Internal Weights

Hello. My name is Pierce. I have been away, as usual. This time, working out. If I am going to procrastinate, I may as well use that time to expand my gluteal muscles and make a claim to the title of strongest procrastinator in the world. Olympic dreams.

The workout wasn’t that good at all. In fact, when all was said and done, my head and mind seemed to be pumping more than my lower body. Why? The locker room cameras preoccupied my thoughts. It made me think, yet again. Not again.

I’m sure we have heard of the expression “he was conspicuous by his absence.” This led me to think that it’s also possible to be conspicuous by trying to be inconspicuous. These are my exact feelings every time I enter into the gym locker room that have surveillance cameras installed. By looking around to see if anybody is looking at me, I think this draws attention and makes me look suspicious. Worse still, when I glance frantically around my surroundings trying to spot those cameras, and make eye contact with the lens, those eyes on the other side suddenly get aroused, focused, thinking that I am about to do something?

What did I do? All I am really doing on these occasions is trying to find the most opportune time to slip my valuable possessions, such as my keys and wallet, into the locker without anyone noticing. I simply do not want anyone to see that I am potentially leaving worthwhile items while I work out. In practicing prevention, I look like a suspect. Those eyes in the sky must really be wondering why I am sitting and waiting in the locker room for such a long period of time? And why I keep looking around? And why I only spring into action when the crowds are gone? Gosh, I feel guilty just thinking about it.

As for my workouts that I had, during my time away from here, when I finally got to them, and started lifting, I just couldn’t do much. Didn’t really add any plates, because I contantly kept collapsing under my own body weight.

How come being not guilty feels so horrible?


1 Comment

Filed under Procrastinator Diaries (Pierce)

Switching Gears by Using Paper to Cover Fire

I am scared. I like quiet. I’m easily bothered by noise. I spend much of my days in libraries. I get startled and jump out of my seat quite easily. So, because of all these points and characteristics, I think I’ve generated enough reasons to support why I’m a slow driver. What in the world is the link?

I drive a standard. Most of the people I know say I am a waste of a standard and do it disgrace. They say it’s painful to sit in the passenger side of my car while watching me drive as if I’m on eggshells. In a nutshell, I drive slow, or more accurately, I am slow to accelerate and reach peak speed. The exact reason for this is because I shift too quickly. People are right, I do.

And here is when the connection to noise and disturbances come back full circle. When trying to hold down the gas longer before shifting gears, the car gets noisy as you rev. I often find it noisy even at 3000 rpms and shift at or just under this number. The passengers shake their heads in disgust. And I guess if there are cars behind me stopped at a traffic light, they shake their fists (and the odd finger) in disgust when the light turns green because it’s obvious that I lose speed and momentum when shifting. I am sorry.

Whenever the rpms go up, and I hear that noise, am I intuitively thinking I’m doing damage to the car? Or, am I suddenly thrust into the role of a sadist when I’m obviously more stable and at home at the other end, according to every single psychological test that I have ever done. Of course other drivers are not going to have the patience to allow me to get out of my car and explain this at the next set of lights. So, another solution is needed.

How can I resist my natural tendency to shift gears in search of quiet and to avoid the noise of high rpms? Well, this past week, I test drove an idea with music. I increased the volume of my tunes and purposely selected music that was not gentle. In this way, the music slightly covered up, softened, or insulated a bit of the sound from the engine. And I also decided to not look at my rpm gauge, since I tend to automatically switch when the dial hits 3.

Admittedly, it worked. I felt something, a little bit, just a small bit of that adrenalin that they always advertise to full throttle in those car commercials. I have never taken Viagra, but is this what they mean when they say what they mean…you know what I mean?

Anyways, just like what they mean, you can’t keep it up forever, especially if it’s just not in your personality. Soon after, I was getting bothered by the loud music and trying to think of ways to cover up and drown out that noise. Eventually, quite naturally, I didn’t have to look hard to hear another sound that clearly smothered everything else to minimalistic background. My beating heart!

These days, beside my insurance, license, and registration info, I keep copies containing results of my psychological tests and medical records. In case other drivers, passengers, or even police, are curious why I switch gears so early.

-Patrick Law


Filed under Detours: Psychology of Driving

What the Far Reach of Customer Service Can Touch!

Customer service seems to be remembered and appreciated even more when it comes from unexpected sources. Obviously, in a good company, quality service should be expressed and evident in the work from all areas and employees of the organization. However, I think customers especially take notice when an employee goes outside of his/her area or job description, in order to provide a service and satisfy the customer. In these cases, we see employees who think on their feet and problem solve quickly on the spot. And we remember!

The experience I remember as a customer is when I was at the Talisman Centre in Calgary (a fitness facility) and had a bit of an accident with my water bottle. The workout was going great, I was in flow, feeling good, and taking a big swig of water from my fancy bottle in between my sets. As it turned out, I got a premature shower instead. In mid-drink, with the bottle titled at optimal angle for delivery, it suddenly exploded into my face!

Admittedly, it was refreshing, but also quite embarrassing, as I sent nearby patrons scattering away in the midst of their exercises. My friend joked that my training must have been paying off as evident from my mere grip strength squeezing a bottle to its breaking point. I wish. More probable, it was a fancy looking, poor quality bottle, fragmented on the gym floor.

At that time of the incident, I could not quickly locate or see nearby any weight room or maintenance staff. However, I did spot someone in a work uniform who I recognized as working in food services on the other side of the building. Maybe he was on a stroll, on his break, or coming in for a workout? Anyways, there was a big pool of water and I grabbed his attention to see if he could find somebody to help me clean up the mess. He notified someone, then told me he’ll go try and find maintenance or cleaning staff, took a few steps, and quickly returned saying it’ll probably be faster and less disruptive if he cleaned it up himself.

He grabbed many towels sitting beside various weight machines, and combined them together to soak up the water. Then he found more towels and we started to dry up the floor. Patrons, as a result, were able to continue working out in the affected area with very little delay and inconvenience, and on a shinier floor. What a great job by someone who doesn’t work in the exercise area!

As for me, I finished my workout, albeit a bit more thirsty because water was not as accessible being minus one water bottle. Perfect. I made sure to go buy a drink at food services!

-Patrick Law


Filed under Working

Hairstyling as a Method of Time Travel

Not to put a damper on the great summer weather we’ve been having in Calgary the past week, but my hair! Sorry, thoughts of my flat hair and its refusal to stay upright have returned. Those who are accustomed to my frugal ways know that I often take short cuts when it comes to beauty products. That means, in these times of high food and gas prices, I have scrimped on the hairspray and gel. Or, I try to make the present bottle/tube last as long as possible.

In a previous post I talked about how unwashed and sticky hair can be an effective, short-term substitute to make your hair hold a particular yoga pose. Today, in this summer heat, I am dreaming of winter, and wondering aloud if the ice cold freeze would be a better alternative.

I yearn for those childhood days when getting up with such youthful exuberance, never sacrificing the comforts of a morning shower, and hair still wet while chasing the bus and trying to maintain traction on icy patches. Yes, I can never forget my fascination with how the bitter cold would just freeze my hair in place. It sort of made missing the bus worth it.

Of course now, worries of pneumonia and other illnesses predominate the mind. And I guess, once indoors, the frozen hair will eventually melt and be no more effective than water in sculpting the follicles. Still, that pure joy I had on my face running across the fields of winter, with nature as my hairstylist. Maybe these short cut thoughts of holding my hair in place are really indicative of some inner urge to freeze myself in time.

-Patrick Law

Leave a comment

Filed under Short Cuts