Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Couldn't Make Up This S*&T If If I Tried

Vignettes from 1003 Capitol this morning: insurance salesman from Miami towering over a fellow aide in a (closely) neighboring cubicle and loudly explaining the "tricks and techniques" for conceiving a baby girl. Apparently, the trick is 1 TBSP. of vinegar dissolved in 1 Cup of water. I cannot bring myself to repeat in print the techniques. My eardrums are scorched. I can't afford to lose my eyesight, too.

...arrogant, pompous, puffed-out local official moving a chair into the conference room for a meeting. The chair in question? Removed from the workspace of an aide who, at that moment, was ON A PHONE CALL WITH THEIR BACK TURNED. Who DOES that?


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's the Little Things

Despite arriving home at 8:25pm, after spending a full day traffic-copping, tour-directing, hand-holding, babysitting, playing fetch, performing damage control and all other manner of things that constitute the job description of a Chief Legislative Aide in the Florida Legislature, today has been a pretty good day. It's the little things that count, and there were three such things worth noting today.

Thing One: Mr. Earnest was my legislative shuttle van driver this morning. I remember him from my first stint in the legislature; but I was not sure he would remember me. It has been more than ten years since I first met Mr. Earnest, and he sees thousands of faces every session. I've always liked Mr. Earnest. He is a nice man with a shy smile but a quick "good morning" for all the weary souls who travel to the Capitol on the early morning shuttles. He knows everything about plants and flowers and I swear he has the direct-connect to Mother Nature. He can call a cold snap or a rainy day faster than Jim Cantore can sensationalize an area of disturbed weather located 400 miles off the coast of the Leeward Islands. Mr. Earnest made my morning when he said he was glad to see me back at the Capitol; he made me laugh out loud when he asked how many "dish gardens" I had already killed this Session. A fantastic start to a frantic Tuesday.

Thing Two: In a lot of places around the globe, spring arrives with nary a mention. Not so in Tallahassee. In the Capital City, the vernal equinox is heralded by a colorful explosion of blooming azaleas, petunias, pansies, daffodils and dogwoods. Oh, the dogwoods. They are so beautiful with their velvety white flowers that make me so happy! Spring is such a big deal in Tallahassee that "they" have created a festival to celebrate the season. The official
event occurs on March 31st, but today I was overcome by Springtime Tallahassee. I had to escape the Capitol, if only for lunch (a treat in itself...) I persuaded my boss to join me for lunch at Paradigm, located just two blocks from the Capitol, but a glorious ten-minute walk (each way!) in the warm springtime sunshine. Feeling positively restored by the lovely fresh air, a brief respite from the vortex and a yummy Fiesta Chicken Wrap, I wondered, "what could possibly ruin this afternoon?" Nothing, as it turns out.

Thing Three: A shocking, amazing, exciting turn of events in the Junior League of Fort Myers. Thanks, Ashley! I love you. Enough said.

Tomorrow promises to be another grueling day. Hopefully I'll have FOUR good things to write about tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


WTF? is my new favorite acronym. Not only does it remind me of the scene in Sideways where Jack yells at Miles for "going to the darkside," but it's also a very handy way to express frustration without cussing the cause of that frustration.

My fondness for this acronym has deepened over the last two days. It has become the title of my version of Things You Need to Be Told. I like to think the Etiquette Grrrls would be pleased with this new iteration of their seminal work on the subject. After all, the world is still the opposite of kind and gentle; and more than ever, people seem to be ill-mannered, inconsiderate, impolite - and completely oblivious to their bad manners.

The Florida Capitol is an excellent case-study in the proper use of WTF?, as there are many, many, many people who need to be told many, many, MANY things. Things like, "hey, snot-nose lobbyist, my desk is where I work, so please remove your fat ass from the top of my workspace." Or, "no, dumbass, clueless, illiterate, this is not the information desk; I am working here. Please read the directional signs to find your destination." Or take your pick from any of the following: "my desk is not a garbage bin; it is poor form to stand in another person's workspace and converse loudly on a cellular phone; it is inconsiderate to 'lobby' someone while said person is on a business call; it is plain rude - and a bit creepy! - to hover behind and over someone while they are working; I am working on a deadline, so, no, I can't just stop (for the 100th time today...) for 'just two minutes' to listen to your (non-important) issue." WTF?

Session is in full effect in the Florida Capitol. GRRRRRRRRR!!!