The occasion was the annual winter "All-Comms" meeting. The tradition is to start it at 8am PST, video conferencing in the folks in Texas (our new VP) and the folks in Chelmsford, MA, where it's 11am, and some folks in other offices via telephone. I felt sorry for the folks on the east coast because the meeting ate up their lunch hour. Had it started an hour or two later it'd have been more convenient for all of us. On the other hand, they DID keep the lights out and the speaker mostly muted in the Chelmsford conference room. You could tell they were there mostly for appearances and to support their group's manager and another writer who were in San Jose today.
To make sure we show up they provide "free [Continental] breakfast." There were bagels, croissants, danish pastries, muffins, and lots of fruit, along with coffee, hot water and teabags, fruit juices, and water. Most of the writers were gorging themselves on the spring water -- myself included. I had a glass of orange juice at home before going to work, then stuck to one cup of coffee, one of green tea, water, and diet soda -- and some honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon slices. I remembered watermelon was a natural diuretic, and was reminded of this the hard way. I kept having to go to the bathroom, but given that my legs have been bloated, this was good. I could feel my pant legs getting looser in real time.
During one bathroom break a couple of the other writers were talking about Kim Vestal, the morning DJ at KARA, the FM where I work. They had lots of questions about the place and the personalities. I verified that yes, Kim really is as nice in person as she seems to be on the air. Some folks have one personality for public consumption and another elsewhere; Kim has one personality. Period. She's cool. (If she weren't, do you think I'd mention her in a public forum like this one? :-) )
After the presentations, which were scheduled to run till noon but ended early, we had our annual pot luck and gift exchange. I brought cheddar garlic biscuits, but one of my co-workers thought they were cookies and mistakenly moved them to the dessert table, so none were eaten. This batch came out better tasting than the first batch but much flatter. I think I may have overmixed them.
Next came the gift exchange. The writer who picked mine almost threw out the "Instructions" that came with it. When we all yelled for her to read them, she had to confess she'd left her reading glasses in the car. I was rather proud of what I'd put together:
- From Indonesia via Russia: Teaspot Russian Black Tea
The cyrillic instructions on the one side clearly were describing how to brew the tea, especially the "3-5 MINYT" part. There were no such instructions in English.
- From the Philippines: Macapuno Sport Strings
The first item of the Ingredients was listed as "mutant coconut."
- From Italy: Laporte Pasta
The description of how to cook the stuff read more like an essay on quality, and the description of the contents on the other side of the package was equally priceless, including the part where "temperature" was hyphenated after the "u."
- From Hong Kong: Onion Cubic Pastry
The photo on the box was of flat, rectangular crackers. Clearly someone didn't know the meaning of "cubic!"
- From Japan: Pocari Sweat
I brought a clear bottle of the stuff -- a slightly cloudy liquid that looked like what it was supposed to "replenish."
I made lots of quips about the products in the "documentation." The package went over well; someone "stole" it in the exchange, which means they felt it was more desirable than anything else drawn. I wound up with a lovely looking box of butter toffee pistachios; just what I need as a hypoglycemic on a diet. Nobody wanted to steal them. Sigh.... Now I have to figure out how to get rid of them. I don't dare put them out at work because my boss is very allergic to nuts.
After the festivities I went back to my cube and worked for a few hours, then left to pay my mortgage. I went home, rested, then Warren and I went out to buy him a new shirt for tomorrow's Official Party(tm), the radio stations' party. This is the last one with all three stations, as one is being sold, so supposedly folks are going all out. Warren wants me to wear a floor-length dress, but I don't feel up to it.
More on that party and other stuff tomorrow....