"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mock You Like A Hurricane

ITEM: So, the weather event known as Hurricane Irene has pretty much come and gone. Luckily, at Casa Carbonite, the damage was minimal. Many others along the East Coast weren't as fortunate. Irene had a very long reach and it seems that people either came through unscathed or were hit pretty badly. Millions of people are without power and the estimates of the devastation will undoubtedly run into the billions of dollars. While some complain about the media coverage being overblown(no pun intended), I am sure there are just as many who will spend the next few days picking up the pieces.

For my part, I spent an inordinate amount of time making light of the media's obsession with Hurricane Irene with a series of 'Updates' on Facebook. The response was pretty positive and I want to thank everyone who commented both on FB and in person. The intention, of course, was not to minimize the seriousness of the storm and it's effects. People who really know me understand that. It's an extension of my Level 4 HDM (Humor Defense Mechanism) and allows me to deal with the horrors and inequities of life.

There are worse things in the world than to be known for having a well-developed sense of humor. I worry that I become defined by it. A recent 'exercise' at work dealt with giving your co-workers a sincere compliment. Most of the comments dealt with work ethic, knowledge or dependability. The comments directed at me were generally about how funny I am. While I certainly appreciate that, it struck me as another example of how I can be stereotyped as 'the funny guy.' Is that what I want? I don't know. 

It's tempting to be 'on' all the time, to try to make people laugh constantly. You worry that if they knew the real you, they'd think you boring and unworthy of notice. Or worse...ordinary

To sum up: Being funny is better than being ignored. 

ITEM: Now, that I've depressed the hell out of you (and myself) I wish to remind those of you who are Facebook friends to participate in The Great Goatee Debate of 2011. I recently shaved off the dashing VanDyke I have sported since the mid-nineties (mostly to cover up the fact that I had no discernible chin to speak of).

Stare into the face of clean-shaven DOOM!

I have already traumatized my wife and child by surprising them with this new look, so now I need validation from people who have absolutely no real stake in my personal life!

If you wish to vote, please go here. I urge everyone to cast their vote because it's free and takes minimal physical effort. 

I thank you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Once More Unto The Breach

Miss me? It's been a while. Like the sign says, "Please Pardon Our Dust. We Will Be Open During Renovations.' The floors may be a bit slippery and be sure to watch for those 'Wet Paint' signs.

What is 'My Carbonite Life?'  If you get the reference, you're in the right place. If not, simply consider it a metaphor for my constant struggle against ennui.

This blog started it's life as 'Rage Against The...' It was a way to jumpstart my brain after sinking into a rather nasty bout of depression. One that began after a terse job rejection from a certain fruit-related technology company.

When last I posted, I had begun a new journey into the murky, uncertain waters of gainful employment. At the same company that rejected my job apple-cation[sic] many months before.

'Full circle,' I thought. I'm a huge fan of symmetry.

That was six months ago. What's changed? Not much. Also, a whole lot. I'm still the same person I was. Except, I'm quite different.

So, where have I been? What have I been up to? How come 'fat chance' and 'slim chance' mean the same thing?

To answer these questions, let's hop in the DeLorean and go back to February. 2011. I was quite excited to be going back to work, especially for a company for which I have a tremendous about of respect and admiration. I was unsure of what to expect, having been out of the workforce for a couple of years. Oh, and not having been in any kind of retail environment since my first job as a teenager back in good old Wildwood, NJ. That was 1987. Yes, 1987. Ronald Reagan was President, the Chunnel began construction and The Simpsons first appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show. Some of you reading this weren't even born yet.


During my first few weeks at my new job, I came to a few harsh realizations:

-I am not the smartest person in the room.
-I am not the most talented person in the room.
-I am not the best-looking person in the room. (okay, that one wasn't exactly a harsh realization)
-I am not the hardest-working person in the room.

On the plus side, however, I can be the funniest person in the room. So, I will take solace in that.

As for the actual job itself? I like going to work. That's huge. So many people hate their jobs, but can't see any way out from under them. I feel very fortunate to be in the position I find myself right here and now. 

I am surrounded by some pretty amazing (and irritatingly young/talented/attractive/smart) people and it can intimidating to say the least. It's not easy because I don't have the opportunity (or energy) to socialize outside of work, so it's difficult to establish any kind of lasting personal relationships. As with any prearranged group of people, there are those you like, those you tolerate and those you...well, you get the idea. Luckily, the latter is at a minimum.  My desperate need to be liked and accepted can get in the way of a real connection with someone and can even *GASP* be off-putting to some. That's just how it goes.  Only now, do I feel like I have carved out some tiny niche for myself. I may not be the brightest star in the sky, but I am at least visible on a clear night. If you squint.

So, the question is, do I need this forum now that I've got a live audience almost every day?

To use a phrase easily recognized by my co-workers; "I don't know. Let's find out."