Monday, May 28, 2012

A False Alarm

“Attention, attention.  The fire alarm was inadvertently sounded, please return to your offices.”  This is what I heard at 2:45pm on an otherwise quiet Wednesday afternoon at work, when the alarm did in fact go off.   Okay, fair enough.   Someone tripped it in error.  Back to prepping for my 3pm call.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.   “The emergency on the 24th floor has been contained.”   Buzzzzzzzzzzz.  “We repeat, the crisis has been contained.”

OK, I know my thought process is not always rational, but my internal alarm began to sound in unison with the unremitting buzz of the building’s alert system.

I calmly walked out of my office to find all of my colleagues going about business as usual.  It was as if they didn’t hear the piercing shrill of the still sounding fire alarm.  Apparently they were satisfied with the contained crisis pronouncement and disinclined to even question the nature of the emergency.

I, on the other hand, was than delighted to know there was a crisis requiring suppression in the first place.  And the fact that the alarm continued to sound did not bolster confidence that emergency was in fact over.
“Hey guys, do you hear the alarm?”

"Yeah.  False alarm."
“Hmmm.  Ok.  Yeah, but why does it continue to sound?”  As calmly as I could muster, “And what do you think the, uh, crisis, was on the 24th floor?”

“No clue.”  And back to calls, proposals, meetings they went.

My inside voice was screaming “What the fuck is wrong with you people???  Haven’t you see ‘The Towering Inferno?’  There is a crisis on the 24th floor, the alarm is sounding and you act like you are exempt from becoming tomorrow morning’s CNN Headline News.” 

My outside persona simply walked to the employee entrance to verify no-one had locked it from the outside, rendering us helpless victims of this horrific terror plot.  The door swung wide open.  Phew.

I strode coolly back to my office to ensure the phones were working.  Nope.  Lights blinking like a circuit had been broken.  Not good.  We WERE hostages.  Oh my G-d we need to get out.  NOW.

We are on the tenth floor of this midtown structure surrounded by parking decks, businesses and sidewalks.  All made of cement.  You see where I’m going?  It was looking like we might need to crash one of the building’s quadruple reinforced industrial grade glass panes.  But then what?  Where would we go?  It was a modern day tower of terror, 40 years after the original hit the big screen.  I was sure.   All we were missing was Paul Newman  and Steve McQueen.  I did not want to die here.

Then a funny thing happened.   The alarm stopped.  The phones went back on.  People were using the elevators.  A sure sign we were ok.   Everyone knows to use the stairs in time of danger.   We made it!
Now 2:59pm.  Still time to make my call.  What felt like hours actually transpired in a matter of minutes.  Hopefully, that’s all this harrowing experience shaved off my life.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

“There Were No Jews On The Food Committee”

One of Kevin's work friends was having a surprise 50th birthday party for his wife.  I didn’t know them very well (sort of not at all) but we’d been invited to a few of their get-togethers over the years and hadn’t made any of them.   I was overseas traveling when Kevin told me about the invitation and asked if I wanted to go.  Being the hard core, stayupallnight party animal that I am (not),  I said, “sure, sounds fun.”  We like parties, we’re pretty likeable ourselves and it’s always fun to meet new people.
Aside: Kevin told me over dinner recently that he thought we should be going out more, you know, diversifying our “friend portfolio”.  We have tons (like I said, we’re pretty likeable) but tend to spend most of our time with Jan and Jay, our besties.  Lately they’ve been talking about moving and Kevin thinks we’re going to become the Lonely Levy Cat People if we’re not careful.  Thus my quick “let’s go to the surprise party for people I don’t know” response.

Anyway.  Kevin tells me the party is in a couple of weeks and he rsvp’s that we’ll be there.  What Kevin doesn’t tell me is the party is a ‘Cruising to 50’ theme and we are to don “cruise wear” and all guests are to bring an appetizer.  Oh and don’t park at the house (obviously- note “surprise” in the party title) but drop your appetizer off and park your car in the nearby park. 

The evite came with instructions, too!  From 6-7 the cruise departs and we will talk about the birthday girl.  From 7-8 the appetizers YOU bring will be available for consumption on the Promenade Deck.  We sprung for a cake that you need to eat before 10pm when the cruise ends.  

Hang on, hang on- we need to dissect this. 

First- define cruise wear.  Is this the redneck jumpsuit thingy embellished with gold I’ve seen on The Love Boat?  Is it a skimpy bathing suit?  Do I have to see my husband in a very unsexy, Thirston Howell III Captain’s hat?  We discussed this at length as I have never been, nor have any desire to go, on a cruise.  We opted not to dress as Lovey and Thurston and chose a Hawaiian shirt for Kevin and jeans with boat shoes for me.

Second- who invites you to a party and demands you show up with an appetizer to feed the other guests they invited?  Clearly not a Jewish event.  If it’s a pot luck, call it pot luck in the invite and be done with it. 

I’d go a step further here and recommend they include the following disclaimer on their evite:  

“No Jews were involved in the planning of this event. We take no responsibility for guests who dislike the food and/or entertainment.  Boredom is a strong possibility. Any reference to “Scrapebook” in the invitation is really a reference to the scrapbook to which you are supposed contribute as part of the free gift we opted for the celebrant vs. a real present.  There is a strong possibility you will leave this event hungry, disappointed and tired.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Riddle Me This!

I just returned from an overseas business trip where, over dinner, I shared with my colleagues that when I returned from work, I tossed a bottle of water I opened that morning and left in my hotel room.  Why?  Well, hadn't they seen all the documentaries about the cleaning staff using the toilet brush on the water glasses?  Apparently not.  

Needless to say, it sparked an animated debate over 1) my sanity, 2) what the housekeeping hotel staff REALLY does when they "clean" your room and 3) the general goodness of mankind.

In an effort to establish my case (and vindicate those of us who do, in fact, believe people are innately good but maintain a healthy level of skepticism) I request you complete the quick poll on the right sidebar of the blog.

10 seconds, literally, is all it takes.

Thanks- I'd say your responses will be kept confidential but.... they won't.  This is Google after all ;-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From the "Did She Really Say That?" Files.

Well yes, she did.

My sister decided she wanted to have her nose done. Her nose wasn't bad but if that's what will make you happy when you look in the mirror, what the hell. I was 19 and she was 20 when she had the surgery. I was discussing it with Mommom, who just didn't see the need for the surgery or to spend money on such things.

"Honey I don't ...know why she wants to do this. She has a nice nose. Now, if it were YOU, I’d understand."


Maybe it's just a thing with noses for her. My dad was a good looking guy, very handsome. Mommom told me she worried when he was born that he'd never grow into his nose. Huh? Was his nose bigger than his head? Maybe his baby nose and my adult nose were horrific and terrifying sights.

Either way, it's my nose and I’m keeping it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome to Mindy's Musings- My daily escapades through the extraordinarily ordinary!

Thanks for visiting.  I hope this blog brings a smile to your face.  Everything you read here is true.  Non-fiction, baby!   The names have been changed to protect.... well, me. My book is in the works so I thought I'd test out the waters here and see what you think. So, please be free and candid with the feedback. Oh, and don't hesitate to share your stories here as well! 
First Post- excerpt from my book.  

A little background. I worry. I'm a worrier. I have all the anxiety naturally attributed to Jewish women and then some. This little blurb from my book is the result of a recent mother-daughter trip to Florida where I was nearly taken out by a headless driver in the Publix parking lot and subsequently berated by an enima wielding patron in CVS. Whoah.


Gotta earn money, then spend money to retire, right? Wrong. After (very little) reflection, it’s safe to say that, with Jewish people, money and everything go hand in hand so let’s talk retirement and be on the alert for the money theme here. You won’t have to work very hard.

After a long career, my mom retired from her executive role in HR and decided to build a second home in Florida for the winter months. She is officially a “snowbird” now. Cool! Every six months I fly down with her to get her moved in then perform the opposite exercise to come back home.

After my first trip to Boynton Beach, I began to wonder if it was mandatory for every Jew east of the Missippi and north of the Mason Dixon line to relocate to Florida upon retirement. I wondered if I would end up like the stereotypical old Jewish people we used to laugh about. You know, the ones who take sugar packets and mints from restaurants, loiter in the supermarket deli section for more free samples, wear socks and sandals on the beach, and carry out a variety of miserly, money-related exploits that undermine the small percentage of us who are willing to buy our own sugar, go barefoot and pay fair price.

This has gone from a topic I ponder to a gripping, almost paralyzing fear. I am 46 years old. How much time do I have left? Is a car going to show up at my house when I turn sixty and whisk me away to Del Boca Vista where the Seinfeld’s lived? Maybe I’ll get a pass because I married a goy. I don’t know but these thoughts are not good for one with a natural predisposition to anxiety and apprehension. If I only have 14 years until I morph into a condiment pilfering meshuggeneh, just shoot me now. I do NOT want to turn into one of those old tightwads that turns parting with a dollar to a complex hostage negotiation. I’ve seen it folks, it’s not pretty.

If you think I’m kidding, visit my page again soon where I share a few stories of my escapades with Mom in Boynton.