Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Sandwich Guy

I think everyone has those people they encounter in the corporate world that they will tell stories about for the rest of their corporate careers. For me, that person was Jimmy the Sandwich Guy.

Jimmy the Sandwich Guy was the Soup Nazi of the corporate cafeteria. I honestly think the only thing that got him out of bed most days (outside of the fact that I could see him waking up in fear that his house was on fire because he fell asleep smoking a cigarette) was that over the four hours of the work day covered by breakfast and lunch, there were about 200 people for him to run through the proverbial meat grinder at his deli, where he made sandwiches and carved up souls.

The first time I wandered into Jimmy's turf I waited patiently in line and then asked for a hamburger. I didn't ask for anything gourmet or for him to bend space and time; I just wanted a hamburger.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fired from eHow

Copyright 2014, Travis Ross (Simple Man's Survival Guide)

Today I was relieved of my freelance writing duties cranking out garbage at Demand Media Studies for eHow and other Demand affiliates.

If you've ever Googled how to make a rug from your collection of shaved back hair or wondered how to cure that rash that started showing up after your weekend in Vegas, you've probably landed there. eHow articles use to clog up Google search results until Google rolled out an algorithm update a few years ago and Panda-whacked them.

I stumbled onto Demand around 2009 when I was exploring freelance writing jobs on the Internet. They paid about $15 an article at the time for things that I could crank out over the course of 30 minutes while watching Big Trouble in Little China or working my way through the Die Hard movies for the 100th time. I wrote a lot of articles along the lines of How to Express Your Cat's Anal Glands, How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Without Cheese (or Bread), How to Delete Porn from Your Hard Drive, How to Fart Jesus Loves Me in the Key of C, How to Prepare Freezer Meals for the Zombie Apocalypse, and most importantly, How to Shave a Honey Badger's Balls.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Realizations of an Expectant Father

[I wrote this shortly after we found out we were having our first kid, which turned out to be Tootie, who's now nearly 4. She's pretty incredible, in that after nearly four years of life she can say her ABC's, talk in complete sentences, go for days without eating and (almost) crap in a bowl. In summary, it's been very special.]

My wife and I are expecting our first baby. And while people keep telling us this is going to be the most wonderful experience of our lives, I've yet to see any evidence of this.

For instance, a few weeks ago we made our first lap together through a Babies 'R Us. On what I suspect was an average day, the place was filled with young parents who already had one or two children and looked to be expecting another. The whole experience just seemed surreal: I didn't see one parent smiling and practically every child was being spanked. One woman had a child in each arm and a third one tied to a leash while moving forward with a steel-faced resolve that looked like something out of a Terminator movie.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Always Make More Coffee

Rule #1 in Corporate America: Never get caught not making coffee.

If the people you work with find out that you're the jackwagon responsible for not making a fresh pot of coffee, they will get all Liam Neeson in Taken on you; they will find you, and they will kill you. And it won't be a quick death. It will be the kind of death where you die as a result of dehydration from all of the crying you're doing because the co-workers you thought were nice have strapped you down and are pulling your nose hair, toenails and fingernails off of your body one by one.