Inappropriate At Work #9: Your Halitosis

This isn’t my usual little post about sexual harassment or some other offending comment. This is about an offending smell that no one wants surrounding them at work. Probably not even the perpetrator.

It’s a weird kind of torture. For the past two days, a guy has been sitting at the station to my right with terrible halitosis. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or what he eats, it’s just always sprouting from him when his mouth opens. He sits over a yard away from me and I can smell it, it’s that bad. The air is a minefield; sometimes it’s clear breathing for a few minutes, then suddenly the stench assails your face. Invisible. Stealthy. Lunch is my reprieve, because he’ll leave the area and then I can work in peace. Evening has more frequent bombings, because he gets talkative with coworkers.

Inappropriate At Work #8: “May You Conquer Many Asians”

I’ve recently started a freelance job at a very large company, which is part of an even larger parent company in New York.  They own the entire building and each floor housed a different sub-company.  It was 6:30pm, and the elevator made a stop at every other floor.  People packed in, eager to start their commute home.

One man stood in a corner, sleeves rolled up, book tucked in the nook of his arm.

An older woman noticed it and asked, “What are you reading?”

“It’s a book by David Sedaris,” replied the man. “He signed it actually!  It says, ‘Happy 40th birthday, may you conquer many Asians’.”

“What…?”  The woman said.  There was some giggling in the packed elevator.  Giggles gained courage and grew in to laughter.  Everyone was smiling and looking nervously at me, the only Asian in the packed elevator.  Hell, I was the only minority in the elevator.  “What does that mean?  Conquer Asia?”

“No, it says ‘conquer many Asians.   I have no idea what it means, I have to meet him again and ask him about it.”

300 years later, the elevator finally hit the lobby, and I escaped in to the wild, uncomfortable and slightly offended.

I don’t know much about David Sedaris; I’ve seen his name on a few shelves at bookstores, and understand he’s some kind of comedian.  Not sure that I like his brand of humor.  Or perhaps he’s better in longform, because a little quip like that is so….um….objectifying??  A quick search on google for “David Sedaris Asians” (because I wondered if he was quoting something) only turned up a short article he wrote about how disgustingly dirty China is and how weird Chinese food is.  I dunno, it wasn’t that funny, it was very…expected and not witty.  Kinda just made me go “Hmm. :/” and close the browser.

Inappropriate At Work #7

It’s been a while since the last time I felt I should write one of these!

So I work in post production, doing the visual effects for the commercials you see on TV.  I make stuff pretty; it’s like Photoshop for video.  After I do my work, I need to hit the “render” button to actually create the video….Rendering is somewhat akin to sticking a pan of raw ingredients in to the oven and letting it “bake”.  Once it finishes, everything marries together and you have the finished product!

I’m working at a different studio than usual, one that I don’t particularly like…but I need the money.  I’m working hard.  The producer comes in, balancing his aluminum Macbook Pro on one hand like a waiter.  “Hey Jelliefishie, you gonna put out soon?”

My male deskmate makes a face, looks up from his phone, and goes, “What–?”

Laughing, the producer said, “See what I did there?  You gonna PUT OUT?  Haha!”

The producer was laughing alone on this one.

Unrelated: I’m 25 years old and today is the first time I successfully wore pencil eyeliner for the whole day, WITHOUT it smearing!  I am extremely happy and proud.  Do I get my girl-diploma now?

Fire Emblem: Awakening…Porn???

Alright, this has been bothering me EVER SINCE I posted this back in February, when Fire Emblem: Awakening was released here in the US.  It was a rant about Kotaku, Nowi, and how it’s ridiculous to say it’s like child-porn to like her since she has a child-like attitude (bratty!) and she’s pretty flat-chested.

WordPress.com is pretty cool in that every account has a “Statistics” page, even the free accounts.  Blog owners can see where their visitors come from – what search terms lead them here, what websites lead them here, what posts are popular…etc.  And since I posted that article in a hazy rage, there has not been one day since then that a certain search term leads to my site.

“Fire Emblem Awakening Porn”

Or something similar to that.  Not the biggest viewer numbers but I still find it weird that people keep putting this search term in to the internet, it’s just so…niche.  Screenshot of my stats page, this was taken on April 29, 2013, 12:19AM.

WTF...?  FE porn is a thing...?

WTF…? FE porn is a thing…?

It’s taken nearly 5 months, but curiosity FINALLy got the better of me!  I entered “Fire Emblem Porn” in to Google.com, and here’s what came up as the first result….

Hey!  That's me...!

Hey! That’s me…!

Look familiar?!  My Kotaku-Nowi-rant blog post is the first result in Google for this search term. I don’t know why.  I don’t know how to feel about this.  Except…shock?  Confusion?  The actual FE porn, which apparently DOES exist, is below my blog.  Uh…neat.

Not sure whether to say “thank you, guys!” or…

…just…

….back away from the computer….

 

I gotta finish packing for my Memorial Weekend camping trip anyway….o_O

Inappropriate at Work #6

The Backstory:

In order to get to where my actual workstation is, one must walk through the stage area…and this was a completely active stage area, with giant lights, cameras, rigs, and the many men who make everything work for a commercial shoot.  There’s wires everywhere and I really didn’t want to make two trips through that stage…so I attempted to gather all my things and take it up to my office in one go.  I had two empty bowls for the dog, bottle of water, my usual large-ish shoulder bag, hot mug of fresh coffee, giant, unwieldy box of stuff from Amazon.com, and a breakfast pastry stuffed in my mouth.  I had no hands to hold it so this seemed like a good idea at the time.

The owner of the parent company is the director.  He saw me picking my way through, stepping over wires with my giant box, and engaged in small talk – your usual “hello, how are you” type stuff.  Except I couldn’t really respond, save for some muffled noises a la the adults in Charlie Brown.  Well, the director thought it was the most hilarious thing ever; I picked up my pace but could hear him behind me, telling other crewmen to ask me a question since I can’t answer.

The Comment:

Later that day, much later, I finally came through the stage area again to get some water.  The director saw me , spun around and shouted across the stage, “You need something in your mouth!”

:( …. Now…I know he probably didn’t mean anything bad by it.  But taken out of context, and I’m sure most of the guys on the stage area did NOT know the context, it just…sounds so bad, ya know?  I hope it doesn’t become a “thing”.

VFX Solidarity / Insult at the Oscars 2013

Facebook has been turning chroma-key green to raise awareness for how VFX artists were snubbed at the Oscars last night.  Nearly 500 organized in a mere 2 days to march in front of the red carpet in Hollywood.  Life of Pi won several awards, yet the VFX house (Rhythm & Hues) that made it has just filed for bankruptcy, with many workers unpaid.  Weird, right? Makes no sense?  If you have no idea what the hell is going on, read this for a good summary of our plight and abuse.  Also, it feels great to see that this issue frontpage’d Reddit.com!  It’s so hard to explain VFX work to the uninitiated, I was worried the general public would not care.

Digital badge to raise awareness for how messed up the VFX/movie industry is now.

Digital badge to raise awareness for how messed up the VFX/movie industry is now.

Here’s the insulting video where the VFX artists accepted their Life of Pi Oscar and tried to speak out about these issues, but were then promptly cut off by the Jaws theme (ironic!), accompanied by a smash-cut to commercials.

LINK: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xxuav0_life-of-pi-won-oscar-for-vfx-supervisors-speach-cut-off_people#.US7FFVfzlRc

Seems like WordPress.com is not letting me embed it properly, but thanks to c70016 for the updated link!

Disregarding Nicole Kidman’s dismissive expressions in that video, what is even shadier is they keep taking down the video!!!!  Youtube, Vimeo, what have you.  Let me know if this goes down too and I will update it with an active one.  I watched this on a different link around 11am this morning, the same link now looks like this:

Taken down an hour after I watched it this morning....

Taken down an hour after I watched it this morning….

To those who say they were cut off because there’s a 2 minute limit on acceptance speeches, that is not true.  Watch the Oscars and get your stopwatch (app) out; these VFX guys were cut off not even a full 60 seconds in.  Many other acceptance speeches for the Oscars 2013 were allowed well past 60 seconds, well past 120 seconds, with no “play them off” music to drown them out.

For more information:

Everyone is welcome to change their Facebook, Twitter, whatever profile pic to chroma-key-green in support, doesn’t matter if you work in VFX yourself or not, and of course paste a blurb explaining why in the photo description…or link to one of those things I’ve listed above.  I have absolutely no idea what my industry will look like in 5 years, or even 2 years.

But change is coming.

There’s a million examples we VFX workers could pull from our harddrives and prove how much we make movies look the way they do.  But I’ll just leave you with this final pic instead, one of the first to meme-ify:

You just hit the button on the computer keyboard that says

You just hit the button on the computer keyboard that says “Make Art”, right?

Inappropriate At Work #5: Grease

We got Italian food for lunch, and I ordered a very saucy angel hair pasta. As the meals were handed out ….

Producer: (at boss) Jelliefishie’s grease spilled on yours.
Coworker 2: Jelliefishie’s grease gets everywhere.
Me: I’m sorry!
Boss: Jelliefishie will lick up the grease.
Me:  :( :( :(

I didn’t know what to say, but it was an awkward moment for me.

Inappropriate at Work #4: The Orphan Cough

The producer returned from California and rattled a terrible cough from across the room.  She’s the only other female besides me.

“Uh oh,” says Coworker 2, a large and grisly man.  “Did you smoke while you were on vacation?”

The producer replied, “I….had a cigarette last Saturday.”

“Hell yeah.  Keep smoking those paper dicks and you’ll never get rid of that orphan cough!!”

At the very least, Coworker 2 sorta earned the right to belittle others who want to quit smoking but can’t.  He kicked the habit cold turkey, after probably a decade of addiction.  Cigarette free for 2 years!  Still, it shocked me to hear him say she “sucks paper dicks”.  I think he noticed I jerked up at that phrase and tried to rephrase it…to “paper cancer sticks”.

Inappropriate at Work #3

We got paid today!!!  Everyone rejoice~~!  Okay, let me first start at the beginning…which isn’t part of the Inappropriate part.

Fridays at work are always the WORST.  I know most people love their Fridays and it’s relaxing and such….but really, that’s only when it’s Friday and like 8pm or something.  Fridays for me are exhausting.  Because people are leaving their offices early, I have to rush to finish my work with time to spare to send it over to them, before they leave for the weekend.  It’s often pretty crucial.  It just so happens that at work today, the boss was not in (paternity leave), his substitute (Coworker 2 from the previous post) was not in because he was getting his puppy spayed, Coworker 1 was LATE AS USUAL by nearly an hour, and the producer was also late.  I’m not sure what her excuse was.  Potentially it was since she had to be on a conference call with a client at 9:30am….except she usually gets to work at 9am.  So my current theory is she had a hangover and decided to stay home for a few hours.

This means it was only me at our lofted office, manning the computers, the client requests, and all the demands of not two but three jobs by myself.  The boss of the parent company who pays rent for all of us came in and gave me some slightly confusing directions, but directions nonetheless – “Oh and get these done IN ONE HOUR.”

Ugh.  But I did it.  Coworker 1 came in and I gave him the hand. “Do NOT talk to me right now,” I said with bugged out eyes.  It wasn’t from the one sip of coffee I had, this was all from the fear and desperation welling up inside me. Luckily, I got that project’s presentation sent out, WITH revisions, with 25 minutes to spare.  Hell yeah.

Anyway…on to the inappropriate part!

Now that Coworker 1 was in, as well as the accountant and the producer, we all received our paychecks!!  YEAY!!!!  Eagerly I opened mine to check what dates got processed, when Coworker 1 snatches my check out of my hands.  That isn’t cool!  I’m a very private person, despite keeping an online blog, so I dove for it.  He fought me, tried to block with his body by spinning in his chair. I reached behind him, tilted back, and my entire chair flipped backwards, and I smashed down to the ground.

My super-thick ponytail broke most of the impact for my head.  I kinda just laid there on the ground with my arms out by my head like |_O_| ..  Coworker 1 was so shocked that it was very easy to jump back on to my feet and snatched it out of his hand.  He was too flabbergasted to keep a good grip on my check.

So, mission accomplished!  I WIN.  But really, stealing people’s checks (this is private!) and tipping their chairs over is something I think qualifies as inappropriate.  Don’t you think?

Inappropriate Work Story of the Day #2

This week at work, it’s just two male coworkers, the female producer, and myself.  The producer sits far away from us, usually in her own world but in earshot.  The two male coworkers sit next to each other, and I have my back to them.  Excluding the producer, the only other woman, we’re all about 2-3 feet apart from each other.

I mentioned something about dreams, and then Coworker 1 started talking about how sometimes…. he dreams he’s a girl.

This made Coworker 2 flip out with mild homophobia; he even physically backed (or rolled in his swivel chair) away a bit.

Coworker 1 says, “You know what’s great about being a girl?”

Coworker 2 says, “What?  Getting your box smashed?”

My head fell in to my hands.  I couldn’t work, I couldn’t speak.  I didn’t know how to react. Really, I should’ve known it was a mistake to open the Pandora’s Box that dreams can be. “I started this conversation, and look what happened”, I kept thinking.  What a mistake!