Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

I’m Baaa-aaak! November 11, 2010

I am definitely not the most uncoordinated person I know.

I mean, there are definitely people way more klutzy than me.

Unless I’m at the gym.

The worst episodes have so far taken place in my office gym. At my regular gym, when I’m with my trainer, it’s not generally too bad – maybe because he’s there to catch me and prop me and show me how to do stuff.

I mean, sure there was that day when for reasons unknown to me or god, I decided to step up onto a moving treadmill. But I caught myself with a surprisingly agile hop and skip and remained upright. And no one saw me except my trainer, and even though he laughed loud and long enough that everyone in the treadmill and bike area looked over, by then I looked like a normal person walking on the treadmill, so that doesn’t really count. 

I’ve been out of the gym for about three months due to an injury (not gym or klutz related), and today was my third session back, and my first one that attempted anything more complicated than the treadmill or weight machines.

First we did lunges up and down the space between the weight machines. Lunges take a certain kind of balance. I am out of practice. There were at least two times where I lost my balance and I was stuck in the lunge position wobbling side to side, arms out, looking like someone trying to balance in a canoe.

Next up was balance squats on an overturned bosu ball (so the squishy part is down) (that’s a technical term). Normally my trainer helps me get onto the ball, but this morning I had a substitute trainer and she was off doing something while I was supposed to be climbing up on this stupid thing. I initially forgot that, well, I’m me, and tried to just climb on.

I put my right foot on the right side and it tipped all the way to the right, and then I tried to lift my left foot to put on the left side assuming it would then stabilize in the middle. Except my right foot was at such a steep angle that as soon as I lifted my left foot my whole body tipped to the right and I was flailing around trying to avoid going face down on the carpet. 

For my second try, I did exactly the same thing again, with exactly the same result.

For my third try I did exactly the same thing, EXCEPT I started with my left foot….And got exactly the same result except the flailing occurred to the left.

Fourth try, I put my right foot in the center of the bosu ball, with the result of flailing forward. 

Into the guy on the big ab machine.

He was on his side, the upper half of his body hanging out into the aisle, minding his business, and suddenly, there I am. Sharing the pad.

I was just like “You had to have realized this was a possibility during tries 1-3.”

Fifth try I made it! Just as the trainer was walking over to help me. Although I have absolutely no idea how I did it and am sure that if I tried again right now, I would repeat tries 1-4 exactly.  

Later, I was sent to get a floor mat, and as I pulled it out from behind the big stretching structure thingy, I slid it backward and it hit a foam roller, which fell forward and narrowly missed whacking this really old guy sitting on a ball, and instead knocked down his water bottle. I said “Oh, I’m sorry!” and picked up the foam roller, expecting to hear him offer the socially obligatory “no problem”. And when I turned toward him to receive his forgiveness, he made  a snarly face and rolled his eyes.

I decided that he was probably just having a stroke.

Finally the work out was over, no one was bleeding, or suing (I assume), and I come out of the locker room with my big gym bag over my shoulder and decide to fill up my water bottle for the drive home.

The water fountain is in a corner between a wall and another ab machine. I walked around the ab machine toward the water fountain and promptly wacked the guy laying down on the machine with my bag.

I pretended I didn’t notice.

I couldn’t watch two people have a stroke on the same day.


Awkward August 6, 2010

Filed under: Work — Meredith @ 3:37 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m the “administrative coordinator” in my office. Which is different from a receptionist in that….oh yeah, it’s not at all different. I deal with everyone who walks through the door and everyone who calls.

We get a shit-ton of cold calls. Both on the phone and in person.

My boss hates salespeople. Like, he firmly believes every last one is a slimy, lying, subspecies of the human race.

I on the other hand, love sales people. Or, I did, before taking this job. See, I have a long history with sales people. My dad is not just a salesman but a sales trainer. My brother is in sales. I used to be in sales and some of my best friends are in fact, sales people. It’s a hard job, with lots of rejection and only a few are cut out for it, (I definitely was not. Obviously.) I feel especially bad for in-person sales callers. I mean it’s one thing to be hung up on or insulted over the phone, but being willing to take that kind of rejection to your face takes some serious balls/ovaries. So I respect and empathize with these men and women hocking copiers and office supplies, plying me with candy and promises of cookies if I let them do a demo of their coffee maker (which I totally would have done if my boss hadn’t been here.) I try to be nice, and at first I would lead them to my boss’s office when they asked for him – this was before I knew a) how he felt and b) how much he enjoyed letting them know how he felt.

I learned quickly.

Soon every time I saw an eager faced man or woman in a nice suit carrying a padfolio at my door, my anxiety would spike. It made my stomach hurt to know what they would face if they had the misfortune to interact with my boss. I’d try to explain to them that we were happy with our copier/phone system/paper supplier. I’d push my card at them and urge them to leave before they were spotted. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

One day, as I was talking to a particularly persistent older man (I have to confess, the older men, the ones I put in their 60’s, make me sad. I hate the idea that this is still where they’re at in the career – cold calling office buildings and dealing with overly perky receptionists) so I was already extra uncomfortable for this guy. And then my boss came out. And it was…well it wasn’t pretty. And then I had to spend the next hour pretending to agree with my boss that sales people are a scourge on society.

It was not a good day.

So I started trying to catch them before they even got in the door. I would whisper “You shouldn’t be here. My boss is not nice. Please. You have to go. NOW.” And some of them heeded my advice, hastily handing me their card before scurrying back out into the hallway.

Some refused to hear me. Like these two office supply guys. Late 20’s, very cocky. They laughed at my warning. They assured me they could handle it. I tried again to explain, but then one of them put his hand on my shoulder and said “Don’t worry. We’re professionals.” So between the touching and the condescension, I figured they deserved what they got. So I led them into my boss’s office and then returned to my desk to enjoy the show. And a show it was. They were asked things like “can’t you find a better way to make a living?” and “Do you enjoy wasting the time of people who actually have real jobs with real work to do?” Oh yeah, it was ugly. Way worse than I’d expected, and I was wracked with guilt as the two guys scurried out the front door, their egos a stain on the carpet. My boss then stood in front of my desk and said “There is a No Soliciting sign on the door. The next time one of them comes in here, I’m calling the police. If I’m not here, get their card, and I’ll call the police and report the company.”

Holy Shit Balls.

I want to put a sign on the door that says “Beware of Boss”. Something, ANYTHING to cut down on the carnage. This is the only point of stress in my entire job.

Well, I just had one walk in my office a few minutes ago. He had a sweet, youthful face, and he was selling…something that would somehow make our business better. I leaned over my desk and whispered “I promise, my boss won’t want whatever you’re selling, and he’s not very nice to salespeople.”  And he laughed a little and asked for a business card. I said “I don’t have his cards. I’m serious, it’s not safe for you here.” His laughter took on a nervous quality. He said “Well do you have any card at all I could take?” So I gave him my card and he asked my boss’s name again. I hesitated, but finally told him, and as he wrote it on the card I said “but please, don’t call him.  Don’t come back here. You won’t like what happens.” He looked at me with a strange expression for a moment then stuck out his hand and said “I appreciate that. Thank you.” I shook his hand while shooting nervous glances at my boss’s mercifully closed office door. I said, “Now go. Quickly, before he comes out. Please. But first, promise me you’ll never come back. Its. Not. Safe.” He nodded and backed away from my desk, then uttered another “I appreciate it” before turning and hurrying out the door.

I think I got through to that one.


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