Mr. Friendly Says So
Monday, July 14, 2008
  On Tuesday Afternoon

It’s Tuesday afternoon, around two, and the heat from the window units and the winter sun blasting through the blindless windows, beat me into submission. I sit at my desk and count the forty-first drop of sweat running down my brow. My shirt is ruined. My previous efforts at manipulating the window heaters were futile. I am too tired to even try now. Running a sleeve over my forehead, the back of my hand measures my brain’s temperature. I am burning up. Her phone rings in the next cubicle and my thoughts are fever dreams.

Whose muffled voice is on the other end? No, wait a minute, I think she’s speaking. What is the big secret? Drowsy, I focus on my spreadsheet. Ten seconds later, my head reels from a number jumble. Heat calls me to sleep and my eyelids flutter shut. I am going down, just for a minute, I’m sure.

Did she just say my name?!

Now I’m awake and listening. Indiscernible words frustrate me. Bending my head forward, towards her cubicle wall, my thoughts twirl in a whirlwind of secret agents and paranoia.

“The answer to your question is yes.”

What was that? What did she just say? Who the hell talks like that?

There was a time when she just started, I tried to be nice. One Friday, some of us were headed out for a beer after work. Asking her if she would like to join, her one word answer was “No.” Not “No, thank you.” Not “I’m sorry but I am meeting my boyfriend for dinner.” Back then I pegged her as simply odd. Did she think I was putting a move on her? Does she want to keep her work and personal worlds separate? Does my breath stink? Finally, I chalked it up to her social retardation.

Similarly, I asked her a question a few minutes ago. She was whispering on the phone then too. She held up one finger in my direction so, I waited at my desk, unsuccessfully maintaining conciousness. It’s getting too late to get back to me dear. I think about going without her but I figure that would be rude. I wait for her to poll her constituency telephonically. What does he want? Be leery of him. He only wants you for your body, money…Anybody’s guess.

The functional design dances on my desk, trying to grab my eye. I consider opening it and giving it a once over. It’s too damn hot and I can’t be bothered working, so damn tiresome. Better left for a day when I am not so irritable.

Receiver lands in its cradle quietly as if she doesn’t want to betray her conversation. That rouses me. May we get on with it now honey? I wait a second then three hundred more.

My head lowers to my chest. In a moment, there will be no denying sleep. That is when her chair moves. Quiet footsteps herald her approach.

“Hey, what’s up?” So she hadn’t heard my question.

“The heat’s putting me to sleep. Would you like to get a Coke?”

“Never drink the stuff. Enjoy though.”

Denied company again, this sad, friendless office drone enjoys his cold caffeine alone.

Saturday, July 05, 2008
  First Rule of M80 Club: There is no M80 Club
Watching TV with my son yesterday, I turn on the 24 hour news station. It's a normal holiday. Light on the real news, the crews travel to Troy to get the lowdown on any Fourth of July scofflaws. I quote the local constabulary:

Troy Cop: Yeah, it's gonna be a long night. We'll be chasing kids of all ages 'til midnight and then some. Yeah, it'll be rough but you gotta remember we're acting in the public's safety whether they know it or not. You don't got to be a rocket scientist or nothing. All you gotta do is take a couple of probability courses down at the University at Albany and you'll know all you need to know: Light up enough firecrackers and you're bound to blow your FUGGIN arm off!

And there you have it from Mr. Safety himself. All you need to know.

I trust none of my readers blew a fuggin limb off yesterday. Have a nice rest of the weekend.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
  Reply To All


Subj: Your most recent screw up

Dear Mr. Friendly Sir,
Your latest database design has many flaws. I have doubts with respect to and regarding implementation of your schema change in database CLIENT1. PLEASE CHANGE AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE!!!

Hoping to correct your flawed thinking,
Lowly IT Trash

Ummmm, ok. Today, class we discuss the most egregious problem with the email above. Let’s begin with a multiple choice test:

Is the most egregious problem?
a.) Pidgin English
b.) Failure to describe problem.
c.) The assumption that your humble correspondent is responsible for unspecified problem.
d.) All of the above

Take your time, I’ll wait.

If you said, “e.) The Mofo just emailed my entire supervisory team,” you would be correct. This mode of correspondence is rife with problems. I will try to list them here:
1.) It alerts my client that I may not be, Horrors!, perfect.
2.) It shows these same people that you are not an English wordsmith. Fortuitous enough, that is not my problem.
3.) It opens the door for the old “REPLY TO ALL” rebuttal, which I am quite skilled.

To: :



Re: Your most recent screw up
Not quite sure which problem you indicate. Please elucidate.
Yours in Christ,

Note class, my effective use of the open ended follow up. The more rope I give the mope, the better he might hang himself. The reply to this email is not significant. Suffice it to say that we go back and forth like this for a couple of days only to find out that my learned colleague failed to check his facts.

I point this out for one reason only. When composing your screed detailing your officemates’ deficiencies, you may not want to share that with management. My reasoning is, of course, bulletproof.

Suppose you are wrong. Do I really need to detail how your managers will now sympathize with your adversary? Or how they will reevaluate their opinion on your interpersonal and technical skills? Do I? I’m asking the questions here? ANSWER ME!

This works in everyday life too. Suppose you receive the following email:



Subj: New Email Address

To all,
Please note my new email address. Take a moment to update your address books. You may also reach me at
HOME: 888-xxx-xxxx
OFFICE: 888-xxx-xxxx
CELL: 888-xxx-xxxx

Or if you feel like writing,

Please respond to this email so I can rest easy tonight knowing that all my friends know I changed my email address.

Needfully yours,
Some Pain In The Arse

All right nothing odd here except the strange request for a response. That’s probably the source of another post. Let’s get to the reply I got this morning.




Re: New Email Address

Dear Pain In The Ass,
Thanks for the note. How do you like gmail? I simply love it! Please write back and let me know.
I am always thinking of you.

Stop. Right. There.

Now we all make mistakes. Since 5:45 this morning, I have 32. But, but, but…no big mistakes. No snipping the blue wire when I meant to cut the green wire, no calling the wife by the wrong name, and certainly no mash notes to former or current lovers posted to 467 of my best friends. With that in mind, I feel empowered to share the following bits of wisdom.

A.) 1.) a.) iv.) Always, always…ALWAYS check who will receive your letter of love.
B.) 234.) z.) mcmvxxxii.) Pain In The Ass may wish to reconsider his/her relationship with Bridget. I mean, come on, would you share a bed or a joke with Bridget.

That is all. No need to reply.
Voted Best Blog 2006 by the city of Cohoes, NY. Mr. Friendly humbly accepts this honor as he attempts to stamp out retardation in our lifetime.

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