Senior seats & coffee, D-Day@work, an intellectual boner, and an immortal life…

~Friday~  I parked on Gorman Street, crossed the street, and got on the Wolfline #9 Greek Village bus pulling up. The bus was sparse for a change, which was good, but we got behind a school bus, which wasn’t good, making it a slow ride in.

Some might argue that ours is a school bus, too—since it’s a university bus—but the university buses don’t have all that flashing stop warning gadgetry and those laws about not being passed when stopped, which the K-12 buses have.

I noted this house ad today:

Offer your seat to elderly and disabled persons

Whenever I see this sign, particularly on the university buses, I wonder when the first student will get up and offer me his or her seat. I’ve already planned my one of two possible responses, since I can choose how I will respond:

  1. I will reject the thought: “Do I look that old? Really?
  2. I will think: “Well, what a polite young man or woman you are. Your parents did a good job.”

It helps that I’m already somewhat prepared for this event, as it wouldn’t be the first time this kind of thing happened.

On September 25, 2004, when I was 46 years old, Joe and I stopped at a McDonalds at breakfast time on our way down to Wilmington for a weekend at the beach. Joe ordered a large coffee and a bagel sandwich, and I ordered a small coffee and a sausage biscuit. It seemed a little cheaper than I expected it to be, and a quick check of the receipt saw it start with: Coffee Large $.99 and Coffee/Senior $.39.

Today was the most unpleasant day at work since I started working there 2.5 years ago. At a little after 9AM everyone who works for my boss’s boss was called into a conference room, where we were informed that 12 of our colleagues had been “RIFed,” which is another one of those euphemisms for fired. IBM’s was “resource action,” and god knows how many other terms for it are out there.

I was most surprised at two of the people who were “on the list” or “affected”—two more euphemisms used throughout the day. Fortunately none of the people under my boss’s boss were on the list, as our area pretty much “gave up” a position by not refilling the position vacated by my previous boss’s retirement. Which of course, means my department is just me and my new boss, and no work has “gone away” in spite of losing the position.

Along with this announcement of reduction in forces, was a big re-org of our overall organization, which consists of about 300 people. (Well I guess that would be no more than 288 now, right?) But I bitterly digress…

And I was most disappointed about someone being taken out of management whom I consider to be one of the better leaders in our organization. Needless to day, it was a fairly unproductive Friday overall.

At lunch time, I joined Salon Kaffee Klatsch already in progress at Mission Joe’s. In a rare turn of events, Brad was already there when I arrived. And I arrived—as is becoming ritual—with a rhetorical concern for consideration today: targeted audiences versus captive audiences, which was with regards to all that mail I received yesterday.

As expected, the discussion gave me a slight intellectual boner, eventually dissecting the potential nuances in meaning of the “captive” part of a “captive audience.” Everyone should have a salon group. I mean if you go for that sort of thing. And I do.

Oh, and in a bold ejaculation, Sarah declared, “A donut is merely a muffin with a hole in it.”

I don’t think I mentioned (I could just go check) on Wednesday that between leaving the campus theater and arriving at Flex for dancing, I stopped by the Cameron Village library to pick up a book, for which I started off at number 141 on the waiting list on January 11th, and is now ready.

I made a note that this book is due on March 5th, which is the day I leave for my week-long alternative spring break trip to do Habitat work in New Orleans, and I know darn well that I am not going to be able to renew the book, as another of my Mostly Social Book Club members recently requested it and she’s in the hundreds on the waiting list now.

To that end, I calculated how many pages per day I need to read in order to finish by March 4th, as I’ll have to turn it in that Friday before leaving on a 6AM flight that Saturday. I also didn’t count that Friday, because I’m probably going to have to turn it in pretty much right after work, which means I won’t have time to read any of it that day.

It came out to just under 30 pages a day, and I got right to it starting today. I rarely, rarely read non-fiction, but this book has captured my imagination already. It should make for interesting discussion, too, which is a nice attribute to have for a book club book. Just sayin’…

The blurb on the front cover is pretty compelling in and of itself:

From the cover of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multi-million-dollar industry. More than 20 years later, her children found out. Their lives would never be the same.

Wow! In looking up links for the book and the author, I came across this: Oprah and Alan Ball to Make Film of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for HBO. That will definitely be a “must-see.”

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