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Thanks to Pippa

By conversations, e-mails, employment, fashion statements, hazards to my well-being, life-changing purchases, ruling at life, the coastal chicster, you might learn something No Comments

{click here to read about my new purse. or stay here to find out how it contributed to my productivity at work today}

I’ve got a folder set up in Outlook at work where hundreds of purchase orders have been piling up that I need to redact before sending them on to someone else. It’s a temporary situation that I volunteered for so that I could double-check the accuracy of the documents before I forward them on, and I was keeping my fingers crossed that a cluster of them this large wouldn’t come along quite so soon (as in, not until I can pass this task off to its rightful owner). Unfortunately, I wasn’t that lucky.

Anyway, redacting PDFs isn’t so bad…if you have Acrobat Professional, which features a redaction tool. If you don’t have Acrobat Pro (which I don’t have on my work computer), then you need to get creative. You can’t just draw a text box over proprietary info (contrary to popular belief) because people can still highlight the text beneath, copy it, and paste it somewhere they can read it. What you need to do is place a text box (or multiple text boxes); then save the PDF; then examine it for hidden objects; then remove hidden objects; then save it again. It takes about four minutes per PDF, give or take depending on how many text boxes you need to draw. Pretty much the most inefficient thing ever, since a redaction tool does, in fact, exist in Acrobat Pro.

At four minutes per file with 128 files in my Inbox, I was looking at a little over eight hours of work…redacting PDFs.

I asked our IT department if we had any spare licenses for Acrobat Pro, but no such luck. I reluctantly began dragging the 128 files from my e-mail to a folder on the server. Then I sighed as a started renaming them. Then it dawned on me.

1. I’m not renaming 128 files. I’m combining them into one PDF.

2. I might have Acrobat Pro on my netbook.

3. My netbook is in my purse.

I ripped that netbook out of its case, turned it on, and sure enough, there was Acrobat Pro! Yesssss! I love having a computer genius for a boyfriend.

It took me about 25 minutes to redact the files and move on with my life.

“Did you already redact all those files?” someone asked.


“Are you serious? How long did it take you?”

“Well, thanks to Pippa Middleton, it only took me about 25 minutes. I seriously thought it was going to take eight hours. Don’t tell anyone,” I stated.

“Pippa Middleton?”

“Mmmhmm. You see, if it weren’t for Pippa Middleton, I wouldn’t have discovered this purse. And if I didn’t have this purse, I wouldn’t be carrying this netbook around. And if I didn’t have this netbook, I wouldn’t have access to a redaction tool. And without that, this redundant task would have taken for. ev. er. So yeah. Thank Pippa,” I said.

“Well, okay then.”

This crazy trip has got me feelin’:  productive
And I’m singin’ along to: Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco

You Said It

By employment, top notch communication blunders No Comments

I meant to post this photo years ago, but I forgot. I thought of it today because the image of this sign popped into my head around 3:47 this afternoon when someone asked me an extra-dumb question. Go figure.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: amused
And I’m singin’ along to: One of Those Days – Joshua Radin

Can You Repeat That One More Time?

By e-mails, employment, hazards to my well-being, top notch communication blunders 3 Comments

Whenever people start hovering around my desk at work, haphazardly asking me questions and telling me what to do, they begin to stress me out. My latest approach to this is to lean back in my chair, cross my arms, dramatically clear my throat, and say, “Okay. You’re driving me crazy. Back away from my desk, and line up against the wall in height order.”

I like this particular reaction because if I say it with a straight face in a sort of low-volume monotone, it really catches people off guard, which secretly entertains me. Plus, it usually does result in everyone shutting up and getting out of my personal space for a few minutes.

It’s possible this no-nonsense behavior on my part could be a direct result of my constant participation in and lack of amusement about several recent interactions similar to the below e-mail exchange.

To: Lisa
From: B
Sent: Monday, March 28, 4:26 p.m.

Subject: FW: Orders 5**9 and 5**8

I don’t know how to respond to this.

To: B
From: S
Sent: Monday, March 28, 4:23 p.m.

Subject: RE: Orders 5**9 and 5**8

Quote 5****7 is good to go. What is the other quote #?


To: S
From: B
Sent: Monday, March 28, 3:58 p.m.

Subject: Orders 5**9 and 5**8

Hey S.,

Can you go into both of these quotes (5****3 & 5****7) and change the bill-to address to the customer’s address? Right now it’s our address. Please send me the revised quotes once this is done.

Thank you,

YES! Let’s bill ourselves for someone’s order!

Oh, and sure, we’ll send you that other quote number. What’s your e-mail address again?

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: silly
And I’m singin’ along to: She Moves In Her Own Way – The Kooks

Peace, Love & Document Control

By being a computer genius, e-mails, employment, skills One Comment


I keep losing my work ID badge, so I finally decided to slip it into the lanyard with my Nerd Herd ID from Halloween and start wearing it around my neck. I don’t mind wearing my Nerd Herd badge all day because I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that I am, in fact, a huge nerd.

For example, last week at work, someone said to me, “I heard you’re really good at designing forms.”

I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Is that my claim to fame? I’m good at designing forms?

It is true that I designed a form that replaced six other sheets of paper that now accompanies every order that is processed in our company, but I was just trying to save trees.

I’ve always striven to be infamous for my overwhelmingly short-lived obsessions with random hobbies, rock star bangs and impeccable taste in music, purses and cheap champagne. At work, maybe my proposal management, writing, or mad computer skills. But certainly not my ability create forms.

Someone once said to me (right after I created the end-all-be-all of my company’s forms), “You should work for the IRS!” Oh, yes! Can I? I would fit right in there! 😐

Perhaps, though, it’s all the other things I’m good at that have culminated in my evolution as a form-creating genius. Examples:

  • Nosiness about what everyone else is doing = ability to create meaningful check boxes for more than five departments
  • Excellent writing skills = enthusiasm about paring down hundreds of words into clear, concise phrases
  • Graphic design tendencies = ability to fit more information than you’d ever think possible onto one sheet of paper
  • Appreciation for ISO 9001:2008 = dedication to continuously improving, updating, revising, and controlling the form in our document control system
  • Certain enjoyment about telling people what to do = the utmost in patience when I explain how to use the form to everyone who needs to use it
  • Diplomatic negotiation skills = willingness to incorporate all reasonable suggestions into future revisions of the form
  • Rockstar bangs = I’m cool even though I’ve pretty much just admitted that designing a form has been the apex of my professional career thus far
  • My sarcastic sense of humor = my witty e-mails to the entire company that say stuff like:

To: Everyone
From: Lisa
Date: Any Given Friday
Time: 4:59 pm

Subject: [Name of Form] Form Revision G

Hi everyone! Revision G of the [Name of Form] Form is now in effect. Please destroy all copies of Revision F. All orders turned in starting now must be accompanied by Revision G. I sent out several reminders this week, so please don’t call me in tears about your form, and have a great weekend!

Peace, love and document control,

Now that I think about it, this might be why people at work don’t call me to hang out on the weekends. Maybe.

Google Smart

By being a computer genius, employment, ruling at life 2 Comments


People think I’m really smart, but it’s only because I’m smart enough to Google everything I don’t know. I Google things and skim over the information so quickly that most people don’t even realize what I’m doing. I play it off like I’m just looking it up to give them an example or show them some graphic related to whatever they asked me, but really, I’m just Googling the answer and pretending I knew all along.

The best example of this is at work, when people ask me questions about FAR and DFARS clauses in their contracts. Most of my coworkers think I’m some all-knowing FAR interpreter, but the truth is that I rarely know the answers to what they’re asking.

“Tell me the clause number,” I’ll say, and I’ll be typing it into a Google search before they’re even done reciting it. Then I read it out loud, process the information, and repeat it in simpler terms.

“Does that make sense?” I’ll ask. “If not, I can try to explain it again…” (That usually means I need to read it again because I don’ really get it either.)

As much as I enjoy acting like I know everything about everything, I’m not that much smarter than everyone else. I’m just a speedy typer, fast reader and fairly resourceful person with a really good memory. Some people are book smart; some people are street smart. I’m just Google smart (and dumb enough to admit it).

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: curious
And I’m singin’ along to: Responsibility – MxPx