Earlier this year, I wrote a post about some awful cliches and what they really mean.  Today’s post is meant as sort of a follow up to that one, which is a fancy way of saying using the left over material that didn’t make it into the first piece. Enjoy.


If you like this post, you might also like 7 awful cliches and what they really mean.

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Life Lessons, Practical Life Lessons

7 Practical Life Lessons everyone should figure out


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Corporate America, Life Lessons

How to survive Corporate America: Work Friends

Last May I wrote a post spewing advice to new graduates on How to survive Corporate America. I left some things out of it because the post was growing too long and was also bringing back painful memories of my early Corporate America experience. After some therapy and several good cries, I’ve decided to follow up on the piece with the hopes that someone can learn from my mishaps. So today I want to talk about Work Friends.

Work Friends are completely different animals than your Real Friends and in fact they are not your friends in the true sense of the word. They may someday become Real Friends, especially if you change companies or at least departments, or are no threat to one another. In the meantime it is best to be friendly and cordial but careful.

Your Work Friends aren’t going to be people you share your most intimate secrets with, especially since anything you say at the office can and will be used against you by HR. What you are looking for is something a little more substantial than garden variety small talk but steering clear of any controversial, inappropriate or un-PC talk.

Example: How was your weekend?

Acceptable Answer: Oh great I read a book, saw a movie and went to a trendy new restaurant.

Unacceptable Answer: Well it was touch and go there for a while because my Dom forgot the safe word and we almost ran out of coconut oil which always makes the goats nervous.

It is important to bond with your Work Friends. The person who is your coworker or even subordinate today, might be your boss tomorrow. In fact, chances are good that if you remain in the same industry, they will someday be in a position to at least give input on hiring you. People remember the bad things longer than they remember the good. They won’t care that you covered for them coming in late every morning but they will remember that one time you took a day off on their kid’s birthday and they had to come into the office, even if you scheduled your time off months in advance.

It is important to bond with your Work Friends. It may not always be possible or easy. My first post-college job planted me in a group of older married women who lived in the suburbs and had nothing in common with a twenty something college grad who was single, male and lived in the city. We also didn’t try very hard to get to know one another because we were at different stations on the Railroad of Life, which left very little in common to talk about. Besides getting a paycheck from the same place, I think the only thing we had in common was our need to breathe oxygen.

Still with the right tools I might have been able to do a better job of it.

A good way to bond with coworkers is to do something outside of the office together. It might be lunch. It might be going for a walk on a nice sunny day. It might be drinks after work. This last one is the most common so if you are not a drinker, going to happy hour might seem like a waste of your time. No one wants to drink around Sober Sally and risk divulging personal secrets.

The way you can make this work is to join your co-workers anyway and buy the first round of drinks, and then take off. If you don’t imbibe at all for religious or personal reasons, you can still pull this off by ordering a non-alcoholic drink. They will remember you as the cool dude who bought the brews…then talk about you for the rest of the night.


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Current Events, Life Lessons, This Week on Facebook, Wacky World Wednesday

Matt Walsh Blog comment teaches unexpected lessons

A short time ago, I made a comment on a Facebook post by Matt Walsh, self proclaimed Sayer of Truths. It was an off the cuff remark which was one part sarcasm, one part snark and, if I’m being completely honest with myself, one part unintelligent retort, at least if I were trying to argue my point from a scientific point of view (I wasn’t).  I’ve commented on his FB Page before and usually by the time I chime in I get buried within a flood of comments.  This time I was buried by the flood of commentators responding, not so nicely, to my comment.

First off, why do I read/follow a conservative and seemingly closed-minded person like Matt Walsh especially since I am the progressive liberal feminist type he trashes so often on his blog? [I really don’t associate myself with a political party or any -ism.  I’m either a very liberal conservative or a very conservative liberal.  It’s probably naive or disingenuous of me to say, but  I like to think I have the ability to see all sides of an issue.]

Well for starters, know thy enemy, know thy self. It’s always good to know what people on the opposite end of the spectrum of your Belief System are saying.  Except I’m not enemies with Matt Walsh, just perhaps some of his “truths”.

In fact, Mr Walsh and I do agree on some concepts like shopping carts and not everyone is college material especially given the outrageous costs involved.  However we  disagree substantially on other things like all Muslims are violent and suicide is an avoidable decision.  So Mr Walsh might be willing to chat with me over a couple pours of Bourbon but he wouldn’t invite me into his home for the good stuff.

Like I said, I’ve chimed in on his posts before and usually my words go unnoticed.  This time, for some reason,  I was one of the first commenters on that thread. Sometimes the stars just align, and you’re standing where their light is most concentrated.

I made a comment that was mostly sarcastic but I thought was clever and witty.  Almost immediately people started picking it part. Even Matt Walsh chimed in (politely I might add) to show the error of my argument.  If the Failure Mode of Clever is Asshole, then I definitely stepped in it.  Then the Trolls showed up.

First Thing I Learned

I was starting to regret making that comment and thinking that I sacrificed credibility for sarcasm when I noticed two things. First a couple of commentators chimed in to support my comment. And for every commentators that was bashing me in the comments, there was a supporter who clicked like on my comment.

The Takeaway: There was a reason I made that comment and even though perhaps it wasn’t well thought out, it was important that I spoke my mind.


Second Thing I Learned

Then the trolls showed up. One even got a bit over the line with his remarks. To his credit, Matt Walsh chimed in and agreed that troll-child should not have said what he said.

In the past my perception was that Mr Walsh defended his supports while letting his dissenters wallow in troll venom.  Perhaps I never noticed him chiming in before when someone presumably on his Thought Train got out of hand.  Or perhaps now that he has been blogging for a while and his audience has increased a million fold he has been the blunt of too many uncalled for remarks and he has gained a modicum of sympathy/empathy a term usually not associated with conservatives.

The Takeaway:  People with different points of view can have a discussion about their beliefs and ideas without having to get ugly about it.


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Tech Thursday

Unsubscribing hell: Why won’t this old Yahoo Group let me leave

Like a lot of people, I belonged to some Yahoo Group listservs.  Hey don’t judge.  Everyone was doing it in the Noughties (or Naughties or Oughties, however you want to refer to 2000-09).  It was an easy way to keep up with common interests or hobbies without having your inbox flooded with email (if you had it set to daily digest or just visited the group’s web address.)

For the most part, those listservs have gone silent.  Other social media has taken over….  Occasionally an email still fires off, like a lost SOS or an old radio broadcast ricocheting out into space.  Usually its spam or someone asking “is this group still active” (so still spam).  And there are still a few groups that are alive but not my cup of tea anymore.  Polish Singles anyone?

yahoo group screen capture

Anyway, I halfheartedly try to unsubscribe.  It doesn’t help when you get a useless message like this one:

We are unable to process the message from <studmuffin98@sbcglobal.net>to <HolyFamilyJobSupport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com>.The email address used to send your message is not subscribed to thisgroup. If you are a member of this group, please be aware that you mayonly send messages and manage your subscription to this group usingthe email address(es) you have registered with Yahoo Groups. If you would like to subscribe to this group:1. visit  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HolyFamilyJobSupport/join-OR-2. send email to HolyFamilyJobSupport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com For further assistance, please visit http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/groups/original/members/forms/general.html

You’re trying to unsubscribe and all the message offers you is instructions on how to subscribe. Yahoo, you sir are no Google.

The other problem is, like many people, I signed up with an email address that I no longer use or have access to and only get the messages because I enabled email forwarding.  The other day when I had a surplus of free time on my hands, I decided to take it a step further and log into the old email addresses ancient interface like a caveman and send an unsubscribe email.  I figured that would do it.  But no, I get this:

Hello,We have received a request from you to unsubscribe from theHolyFamilyJobSupport group.  Please confirm your request byreplying to this message.  If you do not wish to unsubscribe fromHolyFamilyJobSupport, please ignore this message.Regards,Yahoo Groups Customer CareYour use of Yahoo Groups is subject to https://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/terms/

Oy vey.  So now my choices are to either figure out how to temporarily disable the email forwarding thing, which might break it permanently, or send a reply from my current email account.  Laziness rules the day so I replied and haven’t heard anything so only time will tell.

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Getting It Off Your Chest

Getting It Off Your Chest: Not all friendships are balanced and equal

This segment of Getting It Off Your Chest features a situation I found myself in some time ago and I’ve struggled with moving past it, with minimal success.

Friend1 sent out an email to two mutual friends and myself.  Friend1 has access to box seats at a sporting event and we have a choice of dates but we need to jump on this pronto.  Friend2 writes back (to all) that either date is good for him.  I write back (to all) stating that the first date won’t work but I am available for the second date. Now the fun begins.

About 12 hours later Friend3 chimes in.  He responds to the email from Friend2 and suggests the first date because he will be out of town for the second date.  Friend1 says he’ll check to see if that date is still available and asks if I can make it.  I check and confirm what I already knew: I cannot get that day off of work.  Somehow the date that worked for me was forgotten and Friend2 got to go to the event.  Did friend3 not see my email?  Unknown.  Did friend3 manipulate the situation so he could go?  Also unknown.

Do friend1 and Friend2 have the smallest penises in the world for pretending not to notice what Friend3 did?  Absolutely.  Either one of them could have simply replied to Friend3‘s email and said “hey what about what Icarus said regarding his availability?”  Instead they dropped back to watch and see how it would play out.


I once read somewhere that friendships are a healthy balance of give and take.  They are not necessarily 50-50 all the time, but they should average to be something more than one person taking advantage of the other.  I should also note that in the half decade I knew these friends, we always got together for everyone’s birthdays. Well, except that in those five years we went 5 for 5 for Friend1 and Friend2 birthdays, 3 for 5 for Friend3 birthday and 1 for 5 for guess who’s birthday!  By some amazing coincidence, everyone was always free or able to get time off for everyone’s BDay except yours truly.

The purpose of Getting It Off Your Chest isn’t to bitch, whine and moan but to move on by gaining some closure.  I invite readers to share their experiences as well.


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