Tag Archives: desk

Top 10 Essentials of the Modern Home Office


I’ve designed the perfect man cave. It’s where I work and play. Can you identify all of the creature comforts as shown? I’ll break ’em down after the jump.
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Work Improvement – Pooping where you work (via Shouts from the Abyss)

My last job featured an office layout where I literally sat eight feet away from where people poop.

I’m about 5 or 6 weeks into my new job when suddenly a revelation struck me yesterday.

I have improved on that and set a new personal best!

How it almost slipped my mind I’ll never know.

The first few weeks at the new job were hella crazy. Calling it “chaos” would be a monumental understatement. The office was torn to hell. Boxes everywhere, science experiments in the fridge, a microwave oven that made 7/11 look clean – well, you get the picture.

Just yesterday I finally got issued an email address. Suffice it to say that things are not very organized.

Every day I’d come to work and find that my precious few personal items had been moved. For my own personal safety my personal items at work consist of liquid hand soap and hand sanitizer. The other day I came to work and they had been moved – again! So I stood up and announced to the office, “Wow. I really, really, really like this particular space for my stuff. This little 6″ x 10″ cubbyhole on this particular section of this shelf in this cabinet is where my stuff will be henceforth. Forever! I love it.” May God have mercy on the soul of anyone who moves my shit from this moment on.

And so it was with my desk. Where will I be sitting today? And will my “desk” be a piece of wood balanced on two sawhorses? Or perchance a kitchen table? Or, mayhap, a TV tray? And, if I may ask a followup question, where will my workstation be located? Will it be here, like yesterday, or someplace new? Over by the window? The door? The far corner? Where, oh where, will I sit? And, for bonus points, will my computer be swapped out and/or completely left in pieces?

Finally, last week, things settled down. Workstations were built. Ones that will be difficult to move. (Yeah!) Sure, my computer still got fucked with the other day, but that’s small potatoes in the scope of my “career” here so far. Yes, I finally have a place to sit.

And then it occurred to me. Whataminute! I’m closer than eight feet to where people poop! Much closer, as a matter of fact. I now share the friggin’ wall with the bathroom. By my calculations I’m about six feet away from the origin of the feces.

A new personal best, even for me.

I made a spreadsheet and graphed a linear plot of progress to date. By my calculations, at my next job, I will literally sit inside the toilet. And finally all will be well with the universe. I can’t wait.

Here’s today’s video selection inspired by my seating arrangement at work (and another shining example of where the makers should be thankful I don’t sue for stealing the story of my life):

Pooping where you work There must be a certain gleam in my eye when I tell folks that I work about eight feet from where people poop. Typical in these here parts, I’m afraid. A retail business sets up shop in an industrial facility. You probably know the sort. There is a front office area, usually consisting of two or three little rooms. In the back is an open space usually used for a warehouse. In the very back is a roll-up door for deliveries, etc. The front area inc … Read More

via Shouts from the Abyss

From the Publisher’s Desk

This morning I received an email that contained a tweet that summarized a blog post that linked to news web site.

Can you imagine going back to November 5, 1955, and saying the sentence above to someone? They’d think you were crazy, yo! “This morning??? What are you looking at, butthead???”

The publisher’s desk. Wow. That sounds pretty important. Who is a publisher today? Oh, anyone with a computer, iPad, iPhone, iPod, cell phone or wristwatch. I think that’s about it, right? Now that I think about it I better edit my profile and add the word “publisher” asap. Then I had better gets me a desk. Can’t have one without the other I expect.

Those four words just ooze with ego. “Hey, look at me,” they scream. “I’m a publisher. And, additionally, I’m here to tell you that I’m a publisher.”

Okay. Got it. Thanks for the four-one-one.

I’m a publisher, too. Hey, I think I’ll click the publish button right now. Woots.

Oh yeah, other than bitching about the phrase “from the publisher’s desk” I really didn’t have much else to say. Maybe when I finally get my desk I’ll be more pithy and stuff.

Workplace injury fails to satisfy

I’ve been dreaming about Mama Compensation* for a long, long time. At long last, this week, I have finally been injured at work.

What a heady experience and an exciting time! It is a time full of great promise …

Here’s how it happened. This last Monday I returned to work after a nine-day vacation. That’s five whole days off sandwiched between four weekend days. It also happened to be the first week paid week of vacation I’ve had since the year 2000. (Shudder. That streak is almost too evil to contemplate.)

If coming back from a three-day weekend at work is rough then being away for nine whole days was a friggin’ nightmare. I knew there was zero chance of having a “normal” day upon my return. What is normal, anyway? One definition is: “What everyone else is but you are not.” In a workplace setting, however, a normal day is a theoretical construct; something that simply doesn’t exist.

So on Monday because some job duties had been shuffled around due to a new employee, I was forced to work at her desk for a few hours so she could work at mine. (This has gone on all week. I’m still waiting for that “normal” day.) Eventually her new computer will arrive and we’ll get all of the software and printers moved around so we can each do what we need at our own workstations. Who knows when that day will come? Like usual the company fails to plan ahead. Hire employee then think about the tools. It just isn’t possible to do things in any other order! Until then we’ll continue to play workstation switcheroo.

Now the one thing I hate most in the whole world are those little slide-out keyboard trays that live just under the top of a desk. (Ever notice how the thing I’m complaining about right now is always the thing I hate the most? That’s just the way I roll.) My workstation certainly does not have one of those trays. The day I moved in I grabbed some tools and physically removed the damn thing so it wouldn’t hit my knees all day long.

Co-worker’s desk, however, had the keyboard safely ensconced below. This forces several things to happen. First your hands are too low which increases the distance your eyes must travel when looking back and forth between the monitor and the keyboard. I normally keep the keyboard as close to the monitor as possible. And secondly, the tray when slid out forced me to sit an additional one foot away from the desktop. Which happens to be where the mouse lives. (The tray didn’t have room for a little mouse pad.)

Without realizing it, I used the mouse for hours right at the extreme edge of the desk. That meant my arm and wrist were suspended in mid-air as I did my work. At my desk my right arm normally stays flopped on the desk like a dead fish and very little power and muscle movement is required to twitch the mouse around its pad.

You guessed it. That minor little difference in arm position led to my injury. By 11am I was like, “Damn! My wrist fucking hurts!”

Now, aside from having absolutely no muscle conditioning of any kind, this is the embarrassing part. I bitched about the keyboard tray to my supervisor and she said something rather brilliant. “Why not move the keyboard on top of the desk?”


I’m a genius sort of dude, or so I thought. Why the hell didn’t I think of that??? The keyboard was even cordless, so there was no need to get an my hands and knees and fiddle with cords. (Which is, by far, the thing I hate most in the whole world.) Two seconds later the keyboard was snuggled up to the monitor and my arm was properly lounging on the desk where it could fondle the mouse in leisure all it wanted.

Pure genius.

Of course I was still injured at this point. And this is where the dramatic sadness and melancholy kicks in. See, even though severely crippled by injury, I still had to keep working! And the next day, too. And the day after that! In fact, it’s almost like I’m never going to see a return on the promise of bounty on this injury! Even now I can sit here and clench my fist. Ow! That hurts!

I guess Mama Compensation is going to leave me hanging one more time…

*Video: Kids in the Hall: Mama Compensation.

Well that wasn’t much help at all

Ever get a response to a request for help that proves the person on the other end didn’t take the time or effort to actually read what you wrote? That can be frustrating.

This time it happened at WordPress Support. I’m a big fan of WordPress and quite pleased to be on their platform, but I cannot tell a lie. Their response to my request for help sucked.

The other day ALL of the images on my blog just up and disappeared. It freaked me out a bit since I have no backups (dumb) and some of them are irreplaceable one of a kind originals. (Ha!) I had recently uploaded and deleted one image in the Media area, so I thought that might have something to do with it. Frantic, I sent a support request and received the following reply:

Subject: [WordPress #nnnnnn]: Media – All images missing‏
From: Xxxxx – WordPress.com (support@wordpress.com)
Sent: Wed 1/0X/10 3:07 PM
To: shoutabyss at live dot com

> I did: Uploaded an image to media. I then deleted that image.
> I saw: All my images disappear.
> I expected: Please tell me you backup my images. I don’t have other
> copies.
> Thanks.

What’s the image in question? If you delete an image from your Media Library you can’t get it back.



By the way, that “I did, I saw, I expected” crap is theirs, not mine. Apparently they had to revert to a template like that based on the average bear who contacts them. I love being treated based on the lowest common denominator.

So, was I not clear enough? “All images missing” in the subject line seems pretty freakin’ simple. Then in the body I grammatically point out: “All my images disappear.”

The response was so quickly received that I was stunned. I think it was something like only 30 minutes or so. That is unheard of. But what they had to say indicates they only read part of what I had written and they offered no actual comment, insight, or solution regarding my actual problem. They also completely ignored the second part of my request which was a question about backups.


Luckily my images started working a short time later and I moved on and didn’t pursue the crappy response any further. Apparently it was just some sort of temporary WordPress glitch. Here’s hoping I never have to contact them again.