Tag Archives: appreciation

Pro-Bono, Anti-Cher

Tortoise_and_ScorpionWhat the fuck is wrong with me?! There may be people in my neighborhood, but let me tell you what they never do. They never do shit – for me – for free. We’re talking about outside the realm of possibility here.

The mechanic never says, “Hey, Tom. Your car has a leaky head gasket. I’ll fix it for free.”

The brain surgeon never says, “Let’s whip that tumor out of that precious little head. No charge!”

The butcher doesn’t say, “Fella, you sure look like you could use a New York strip. Think fast!”

Me? I was dropped on my head as a wee child. (This is scientific extrapolation. It’s the only explanation that fits the facts.) Computer geek. Programmer. Webmaster. A true modern day Renaissance man. And the only time in my life I ever run is when I can give my shit away for free.

“Yes, I’d be happy to help you with your website in my spare time. Before spending any money – about anything – talk to me first. I’ll look out for you. I’ll protect you from being gouged. You paid $8,000 for your website? Yes, that affirms my opinion of humanity.”

If I have skills that are useful I figure, what the hell, why not help parasitic life forms who happen to be trapped on the same plane as myself?

I don’t ask much in return. A sincere word of “thanks” would be more than enough. Good form dictates, though, that some effort at appearances be made. It’s like pretending to reach for your wallet after a meal when the other person wants to pick up the tab and have you absolutely no intention. Anything less than that minimal effort is bad form.

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May the odds be never in your favor


I don’t think the odds are in his “favor.”

May the odds be ever in your favor. Yes, with added emphasis on the “favor.” As in someone level-jumping your relationship and asking for one.

Fast-forward to me at The Reaping: “I volunteer! I volunteer! Pick me! Pick me! Anything is better than this bullshit.”

Unbeknownst to everyone I had previously and surreptitiously taped my winning ticket to the bottom of the fishbowl. They knew how to handle it from there. They’re smooth that way…

But then I woke up and it was too late. I had already foolishly replied, “Yeah, I’ll do you that favor.”

This is where the fun begins.

During the act of accepting the favor request I added, “I’ll do ya the solid. All I ask is that you call before stopping by and never call or stop by before seven in the morning. That’s all I ask of you.” (I sang the last part, again, for added emphasis.)

“No problem, no problem!” I was assured.

Surprise twist, though. Despite being such an exceedingly simple request it turned out to be a big problem.
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The Great Vain Snobbery: Area Effects

snobberyOur scientists have identified three distinct phases of Christmas: Before, During and After.

We all know about The Before. This is the land of advent calendars, interminable waiting, day-based countdowns and dropping hints. Not much else of interest here.

The During, of course, is sublime. This is what it’s all about. Ripping open presents and experiencing that fleeting moment of glee. This phase usually lasts less than 20 minutes.

So, what’s left? Just The After. This is where boredom sets in. Shiny objects have a luster half-life akin to that of beryllium-8 aka 81.9 seconds. This is also the domain of “only 364 days until next Christmas” and “you’re already late on buying Valentine’s Day candy.”

There is, however, one saving grace of The After. I’m talking about, of course, snubbery, snobbery and bragissimo. Let’s compare our gifts!
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Mouthy Gift Horse Shit

Way back on Dec. 1, 2011, I made a threat right here on this very blog:

Hyppo and Criter

This comic is just the teaser. A bit of foreshadowing, as it were. The actual post I estimate will be about 20,000 words. Or two-fifths of a novel. It’s “coming soon.”
–Tom B. Taker

The day has finally come to back up that threat. I’ve dumped the voluminous manuscript already in progress and will briefly freestyle the story just for you. For a bonus I’ll append a surprise recent twist.

You shouldn’t look a gift horse in the ass even if that’s the only face he ever presents. Or something like that.
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Misery: It’s What’s For Dinner

you-just-ate-poisonTonight is the office Christmas “party.”

Never in my career is (sic) a “writer” have six little words ever said so much. It is now my humble task to try to use my wordcraft to evoke a feeling within you, to make you know what it is that I feel. I want you to taste my heart.

The word of the day is misery.
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Wife Invents Caregiver Holiday

One of my responsibilities was “The Meds.”

Last Saturday my wife surprised me. “Today’s a holiday.”

I was as eloquent as ever. “What the?” Oh yes. I’m a man of many pith.

“It’s Caregiver Appreciation Day. I’m taking you out to dinner!”

Our time at Club Meds was finally over. We were going home.

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Job appreciation survey results

Researchers found 100% hatred of clipboards

The results are in!

I have just completed my unofficial survey of employees at the company where I work. This is a little subversive activity I like to do from time to time outside of the knowledge and consent of management. Heh.


Employees are told their responses will be strictly confidential (except for the internet, of course!) and asked to rate their jobs in five categories on a scale of 1 to 4, poor to excellent respectively. Employee participation in this survey was 100% due to my hounding skills.

Overall Score: 2.08 (Fair)
This score is skewed by an extremely favorable response in the “Team” category. (See below.) If that category is omitted the overall score drops to a dismal 1.66. (Poor/Fair.)

Let’s drill deeper and find the areas of concern to our employees.

Job Security: 2.25 (Fair)
Most employees seem to be a least somewhat concerned about being let go and most don’t see themselves with the company long-term.

Happiness: 1.50 (Poor/Fair)
Only one employee (the newest) rated the company above the bare minimum. We obviously still need more time to bring this employee over to the dark side.

Management: 1.25 (Poor)
This is the category that fared the absolute worst across the board. Employees do not feel motivated by management nor do they feel the company is heading in the right direction.

Pay/Benefits: 1.63 (Poor/Fair)
This was the third highest-scoring category in our survey.

Team: 3.75 (Excellent)
By far the highest-scoring category. Misery apparently loves company. In spite of the best efforts by management some good people have found each other have been able to eke out working relationships that are not entirely toxic. A win-win in the finest sense of the word.

Survey Findings
This place sucks and we all know who to blame. Shit flows downhill.