January 5, 2009

The Economy Has Forced Me To Take Drastic Measures

I think it’s safe to say that no one wants to lose their jobs or carry around a beverage mug bigger than their head. So far, I have been faced with one of these grim realities. I have become one of those women you see toting those giant plastic insulated mugs filled with carbonated soda. And you just know that these women are trying too “even things out” by filling that sucker with diet coke, only mine is filled with regular coke. Ha! Fooled you.

As far as the losing the job thing, I sure hope it doesn’t happen, but the construction industry has been hit hard by the troubled economy. In turn, the architectural community (our job field) is experiencing a slow down and some companies are laying off employees or even asking employees to take a reduction in salary. Most likely, Jeremy and I will have our salaries slashed in 2009, and that’s if we’re one of the lucky ones.

I say we’d be lucky because just the other day I threatened to light my co-worker’s chair on fire. And you should know that we all have Aeron chairs at work, so yeah, it was a pretty big deal. People go nuts for those things.

In my defense, my threat was only in jest, but perhaps my timing was not the best. I think management took it pretty well, all things considered. They even pulled me in a closed-door meeting to make everyone outside the closed-door meeting think I was in serious trouble. My superiors even went so far as to have the HR department type up a paper, which I signed, stating that I would not threaten to cause harm to any Aeron chairs so long as I was employed by the firm. Apparently I’m free to put a flame to the cheap Costco chair in the break room, but not the fancy designer chairs. See? I told you it was a pretty big deal.

Anyway, I seem to have gotten side-tracked here. You see, this post is about how I discovered a small way to tighten the old purse strings whilst still indulging in the occasional fountain beverage.

Allow me to explain. I am only in the office three days a week. On those days I require a 44 oz carbonated beverage at my desk in order to successfully make it through the day without “allegedly” threatening to inflict unprovoked harm to inanimate objects in the office. The price I pay for pleasure/sanity in a plastic cup? A cool $1.47.

Now, you coffee drinkers out there are probably scoffing at me right now as you sip your frappuccino from Starbucks at just over $5 a cup. But think, people. I live in Utah. Coffee is barely legal here and if you’re caught drinking it in public, you can be subjected to a hefty fine. Don’t even get me started on what happens to you if you’re caught dancing in public. You do know that Footloose was filmed here don’t you? Remember how those kids won in the end and got their dance? In public? Yeah, that trouble maker Kevin Bacon and those evil dance-seeking kids would never be able to so much as do a jazz square in Utah.

Anyway, back to my fountain drink addiction. If you do the math, at $1.47 a pop, three times a week, adds up to $4.41 per week. If you multiply that by four (average number of weeks in a month), that winds up being a whopping $17.64 in soda pop.

Notice that I wrote if YOU add it up you’ll end up with 17 bucks and some change. When I added it up, it looked as though I was spending $176.40 on soda per month. I immediately freaked out and phoned up Jeremy hyperventilating to him that I was spending almost 200 dollars a month on fountain sodas and that I could see no way to rectify the situation because I wasn't willing to give up my sugar-filled caffeine high. After Jeremy did some deep breathing exercises with me and showed me exactly how decimals points work in multiplication, eventually I settled down. Moments later, my dear husband walked past my work desk and slammed this sucker down with such great force that it shook my family size bag of M&Ms to the floor.


Yep, it’s my Maverick 44 oz super insulated soft drink mug. When it’s filled up with soda, it’s a chore just to lift the thing. I count it as part of my resistance routine whenever I lift it to my mouth to take a sip. A gal can never have too much wrist definition, you know? Annnnnnd, it costs only 59 cents to fill up. It’s a win-win really if you think about it.

As an aside, ‘Maverick’ refers to a local convenience store chain throughout the Intermountain West. Their slogan is “Adventures First Stop!” But I submit that it is actually adventure’s last stop. I’ve been in our local Maverick at odd times and the folks that show up there at the wee hours of the morning are definitely on their way home after an adventure gone wrong. I mean, who shows up to work wearing no pants and only a coat? Let me clarify: who shows up to work wearing a coat holding their pants rolled up in their arms? Someone who doesn’t want a job, that’s who. Ironically, the pant less person I saw at Maverick was an off-duty Maverick employee. I never saw him at that particular store again. Pity, he was one of my favorites and he had great legs.

As a second aside (as if this post wasn’t chock filled with tangents already) I’m totally counting this as a HASAY post because since that giant sucker of a mug came into my life just over a month ago, I have filled it up with ice water. Healthy. Also, if you were paying attention, you would have picked up that I use it as a weight when doing resistance exercises. Again, win-win.

*A third aside, everything in this post is true except for the part about me being pulled into a closed-door meeting. When I threatened to set a chair on fire, my boss only looked at me for a few moments then went back to working. After eleven years, he's pretty much heard it all from me.

95 comments:

steenky bee said...

First suckas.

Khadra said...

nuh uh YOU cant be first!
OMG Jen, I almost choked laughing so hard at your math skills.

Khadra said...

IIIIIIMMMMM really first
:P

Irish Gumbo said...

Set fire to an Aeron chair? woman, are you DAFT or just tired of livin'? ;)

It took me years to get one of those, and my poor bum was ever so grateful (even if it was hand me down: the partners got new chairs).

Hey, I have a mug as big as my face (http://irishgumbo.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-big-ugly-mug.html), but I never mastered the art of filling it with, say, beer. It didn't have a lid, and people tended to comment.

Good luck with the industry slow-down; I know whereof you speak. fingers crossed!

Lisa said...

Listen Arsehold (canadaland speak for jerky mc jerkerson) I may not be first but I made it here in record time.

I believed you on teh closed door meeting... went to the chair site and those are so expensive that they dont even put the price in teh ad... You have to find he catelog to see that your ass is cupped in mroe than 1200 $ worth of chair. crazyyyy.

Christy said...

Okay, getting the first comment on your own post HAS to be cheating, doesn't it? And I'm totally doing that next time...I LOVE to be first! LOL

I love your Maverick mug--it seems very special! I didn't believe you at first when you said you were carrying around a mug bigger than your head, but yup, it sure is a big one.

Happy HASAYing this week! :)

Cape Cod Gal said...

I fill my weekend Sangria mug with water during the week. That's after my 4 cups of coffee in a normal sized cup.

jen said...

at first i thought you said you threatened to set a coworker's HAIR on fire ... and then went into some silly tangent about chairs.
i was a wee bit scared at first.
but then i re-read.
so glad i did ... 'cause i really didn't want to be scared of you.

Heinous said...

That's it...I'm driving there and dancing in the streets with my cup of coffee. We need to shake some things up.

You'll bail me out right?

rachael said...

LOL, too funny, I'm just glad you switched the contents of that oversized mug from pop to water, the thought of drinking all that sugar was serioulsy giving me a tummy ache.

DeeMarie said...

Jen, still don't think it counts to be first on your post. Just sayin.
Second, the resistance thing? So counts.
Third, props for switching to water! You'll have to tinkle a whole lot more, but it's still healthier!!! :)
Fourth, miss ya!

Cameron said...

Why is a cup 8 ounces, but a pound is 16? I know, a pound can be a fluid or not, like cooled bacon grease, right? So think about that - 44 ounces of cooled bacon drippings. Do you ever cook eggs using bacon grease? Mmmm, num yummy. I'm hungry.

Jamie said...

First, it IS (almost)illegal to dance and drink coffee in Utah. I was there and I was dancing (naked) and drinking (vodka) and I totally got screamed at that if I didn't put my clothes back on I was going to get arrested. Once I calmed my gma down, I put my clothes back on and no one went to jail. But, holy seriously conservative state, it was one of the scariest things I have ever done.

Second, I never would have never ever pegged you as one of "those people" who carry the GINORMOUS cup. I really don't know what say except, I am sorry.

Third - I cheered for your Utes can you please use those awesome dance moves you have for a victory dance for my Buckeyes tonight? Thanks, Hooker.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Ha you're math skills sound like mine...even though I talk to crazy people for a living and you build buildings...hmmmm ; )

blissfully caffeinated said...

So, let me get this straight. It's wrong to show up to work wearing only a coat and holding your soiled pants in your hands? Oh, dear. I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate some of my work behaviors.

Captain Dumbass said...

44 ounces? God Bless America and your crazy ass beverage sizes. Can the human stomach even hold 44 ounces of liquid?

Do those chairs have that gel stuff in the seat, because I sat in one of those before and I'd totally trade a child for one. And by trade a child I meant pay a lot of money for.

PS. Do you have Smarties in the US? They're kinda like M&M's but fatter. I need some kind of North American guide to candies.

Sprite's Keeper said...

something funny here.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Sorry, just doing what your comment instructions said. Setting a coworker's chair on fire may land you some time off, but it probably wouldn't be spent at home. There would be a bed, some shackles, but not like home.

Laufa said...

That would be a sight to see - the pantsless man and a flaming chair.
Cheater being first, haha.

Divine Chaos said...

your math skills are awesome! hehehe .. i love stopping by here, you never fail to give me a good giggle ... well, except for when you don't post for really long periods of time .. then I cry :p

Michelle said...

Sweet! You have inspired me to include wrist workouts in my HASAY plan... I'm all about that kind of definition... ;)

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

You're back! I am so excited that my thoughts can't even be formed well enough for a decent comment, so I will just say "welcome back, I missed you and slept with a picture of you by my bed while you were gone!"

Just kidding...maybe

GreenJello said...

I never knew I wanted one of those Fancy Designer Chairs until you gave me a link to one.

That's not helping my economy right now.

Wicked Step Mom said...

I am so one of those huge plastic jug toting soda drinkers. But, I do fill it with Diet Soda. I made the switch when I was a heifer and now can't switch back. People regularly scoff at me because I am skinny now and drink diet sodas.

goodfather said...

Sigh. I miss my Aeron chair. At my former job.

HeatherPride said...

Wow, my eyes got a workout just looking at your mug. It's like those muraled vans from thye 70s, in 44 oz style.

If one of your company hot shots tries to downsize you, just waggle your spirit fingers at him and that will make him run. Fo sho.

Mama Dawg said...

Awwww...zo
, dp ;sf upi
tr nsvl/

Wait,that was supposed to read "I'm so glad you're back".

Damn home keys.

JuleeSLC said...

I'm not going to mention anything about your gi-normous mug filled with soda.

But thanks for the props on the Aeron chair. As the only certified Herman Miller dealer in Utah, I'm proud to say my ass is comfortably seated in an Aeron chair. And if you think the Aeron is hot, check out the new Embody chair. It's even more cool and comfortable (and more expensive). Sigh.

Now I don't feel so guilty for reading your blog on company time!

Momma Trish said...

I am confused. What is this "ice water" of which you speak? Is it some new brand of Cola? Perhaps one with extra caffeine and/or sugar? If so, where may I purchase said "ice water"? If not, I want none of it. :)

Bex said...

the comments are almost as funny as the post! ALMOST....

Jonny's Mommy said...

A co-worker told me last week she was going to hunt down my husband and kill him. Closed door meeting? Not yet and probably not. Around here it ain't a threat until you put the gun on the rack in your pick-up, ya' know what I'm sayin'?

I agree about lifting that thing. It has to be some kind of workout, right?

keep up the good work! :-)

Keely said...

Those mugs scare the crap out of me. They look like you could easily carry around a severed head in them, and no one would be the wiser.

Kat said...

I was told that you have "fake" beer in Utah (as in it has almost no alcohol in it) by one of my friends who is from near Provo. Anyways if you can't drink real beer or dance, then I guess there is slim to no chance of me ever living there. Sorry disappoint.

bsouth said...

Maybe just set the co-worker on fire next time. Management probably won't mind as much.

Cat said...

That's what we like to call "girl math". It works in our favor in most circumstances, but sometimes those pesky decimal points get the better of us. In the WRONG direction.

And I'll have you know, I'm a coffee drinking, but I drink free coffee at work and pay about $3.50 for a big thing of sugar free hazelnut creamer about every two weeks. So I've only got a $7 per month habit going here.

Casey said...

Holy shit, I'd have to install a potty seat in that Aeron chair if I drank that much liquid. I'd be peeing like a race horse every thirty seconds. I'm sitting in an Aeron chair (we splurged and got them for the house) but I've been tempted to set mine on fire before since it makes this crunchy sound whenever I move and it woke up my kid last week.

If and only if you're drinking water from that huge-ass cup, then I will count this as a HASAY update post. If it's soda, then I am both jealous and ashamed of you. Good day. Woot.

Heather said...

Wow...I've only been away from Laa Laa Land for a few short years and I had totally forgotten about the "Maverick" 59 cents fill up!

jori-o said...

Love your tangents...! LOVE 'em!

Ali said...

wait...you are joking about the coffee in Utah thing right? right?

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Shit. I'm so out of it. Don't know what HASAY means, have never even seen an Aeron chair. Maybe it's because I'm too busy chasing down rumors that my Nissan thermal cup is full of Baileys.

Chris Wood said...

After 11 years, you should be allowed to set chairs on fire.

Only reasonable, really ...

Pamela said...

So I'm wondering why it's a big deal to comment first on your own blog. Just tell me, and then I'll comment first on my blog and I'll be supercool like you.

Goals and whatnot.

Speaking of goals, the two oldest short people locked the baby in his bedroom and I can't get him out and now it sounds like he's awake, so I think I should consider that whole actually parenting thing where we don't lock babies in rooms.

Shan said...

Dude, we MUST have had the same math teacher. I totally did the math and by my calculations I am really the first commenter! Random, I know. There was a lot of carrying numbers, a few square roots and at least one niner. So, as the first commenter by matter of mathematical and scientific calculations, I win! Anyone who doesnt subscribe to my mathilogical practices are just lame, and they can stick that in their pipes and smoke it! Ha Ha.

Fine fine, I am just really sad that I dont get up early enough to ever be first. Some day my pretty, I will be first... lol

mrsbear said...

Those fancy chairs scare me, do they double as instruments of torture? Torch the lot I say. 44 oz of ice water is a nice change though, congrats. I hear it's not easy giving up the soda, coffee's my vice, needless to say I'm never going to Utah.

for a different kind of girl said...

I was here this morning instantly after you posted this and was totally going to jump on you first, but dang it! I had to go to work, and NOW look where I am. Forty-fifth!

They have insulated mugs like that at my local Kum & Go that are as big as a man's head. Seriously. Every time I go in to refill my non-insulated 44 oz cup (for 89 cents! boo-ya!), I just think of the damage I could do drinking from a head mug like that every day. Then I also think how little work I'd actually get done, what with having to be in the bathroom constantly. Essentially, I guess what I'm saying is my bladder is job security.

Sherendipity said...

Your Maverick Mug (did I spell that right? I really don't care because I'm not going back to look) kinda freaks me out.
Just today I was thinking that I should prolly fill a travel mug with coffee every morning, instead of buying one daily. Then I decided that my travel mug isn't big enough and won't hold enough of the dark caffeinated elixir. Maybe I should get you to buy me one of those suckas?

Miss Grace said...

You know what I think when I see people with those giant cups? Well, do you?

kirst said...

I think you need to give Aeron his chair back? Them there chairs be to rich for my blood. I'm happy with my hand me down chair that if you lean back to far will put you ass over ankles, hence why I use the laptop while sitting comfortably in bed.

The mug is "HUGE", but a great way to weight lift, not to mention how many times you're gonna have to walk back and forth to the bathroom to pee after drinking from that monstrocity...lol

This def counts as a Hasay me thinks!

bejewell said...

I know there was a point to this post but I'm completely consumed with jealousy over all the people who want to be first in your comments.

There has never been a single catfight over the first comment spot on my blog and that's just sad.

Meh.

I'm gonna go drink 154 ounces of sugary carbonated beverage and maybe that'll make the hurt go away.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

If you decide to light that chair on fire please film it. I would really get a kick out of that! :)

The Stiletto Mom said...

I think someone needs to ask the logical question here on how many times a day you have to go to the bathroom....or is that too personal?

I'm one of the lucky ones, I already know I got a paycut...and I never liked Starbucks, see how that all worked out in my favor?? :)

Kelly said...

Oh Jen, I've missed you and your hilarity. Whenever I did my almost daily blog stalk, I checked in & always to see that darned dream post (I enjoyed it, but missed your stories!).

Welcome Back!
Kelly

PS Who doesn't like a good ol' chair bonfire? Hm? Hm?
& PPS On your last post, if being a cougar is wrong, I don't want to be right. Have you heard Sir Pattinson sing... he's intoxicating, even though my sister thinks he's intoxicated.

Katie said...

Wow...I need to find one of those nifty jugs to feed my fountain raspberry tea addiction. But that would kill any hope I ever have of dieting. But it would be a sweet death.

Maggie May said...

i'm cutting down on soy iced doubleshots and if you see me in the news just tell them i was a good woman! the crazies have to be kept at bay with SOMETHING, for the love of god!

Tricia said...

I was planning to move in next door to you, but I'm afraid of jail and since my coffee addiction is like your soda addiction, well...

Not only are you saving money, you can claim to be environmentally conscious since you're no longer using three plastic cups a week. It's the hip thing to do.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I've always been in awe of, and slightly scared of, people who don't drink coffee. I don't *get* it. And when I *do* go to Starbucks, because I have a *coupon* or something, I always order "a large cup of coffee". Just to piss them off.

Ellie

TattooedMinivanMom said...

I think your Aeron chair has more features than my minivan.

I can't think of one single funny thing to write today. You've stumped me my dear.

CK Lunchbox said...

holy guacamole! I sure hope you both don't lose your jobs, but I know a little something about the construction biz. You both are too fun to not keep around though, large mugs, burning chairs and all. If you need any tips on straining left over milk through dishrags to conserve money lost on wasted milk give me a call.

Debbie said...

Love my Aeron chair and I'd have to kick you in the shin if you lit it on fire.

MY mug is a hot pink number from Daytona Beach that has a cartoon picture of a sufer guy on it and says ... well, said "Big Kahuna" on it. Unfortunately, the Kahuna has pretty much rubbed off and now it just says Big. Which is why I'm in the Hasay group anyway.

Ali said...

I just got finished reading And Then We Came To An End by Joshua Ferris. It's set in an office and the chair issue runs throughout the book--hilarious!! I sit at my desk on an old kitchen table chair that belonged to my parents when I was growing up--not hilarious.

Becky said...

Awesome post, and oddly, I also name-checked Footloose on my blog today. Maybe Keving Bacon is getting his wings somewhere.

And that is one huge cup. What a thoughtful hubs you have!

justsomethoughts... said...

i never got the whole aeron chair thing... whats that "depraved on account of i was deprived".

i was in salt lake once. absolutely beautiful. but they did have sogns that asked that we dont step on the grass and stay on the wooden walkway.
i'd love for them to try that in new york...

Jenni said...

1. Holy crap I love your new header. It is so hawt.

2. Did you ever see the episode of Will and Grace where Jack is stalking Kevin Bacon and through some comedy of errors Kevin catches him or Will (can't remember who) in his house, and Kevin claps his hands and the theme to Footloose comes on and they begin doing Kevins Footloose dance solo? That was so awesome.

3. I always thought Footloose was filmed in Illinos.

Sammanthia said...

I don't think Utah is ready for me- I like to add a splash of Bailey's to my coffee.

Katie said...

Oh yeah, I'm definitely an evener outener. Love the DC.
That's quite economical of you, and the giant mug is almost as cool as my minivan. Rock on.

anymommy said...

That is one ginormous mug. How do you have time to set chairs on fire, with all the peeing?

Terie said...

You are too funny...I'm smiling now, this is good. Great post and wow, that's a lot of soda.

ChurchPunkMom said...

I havent' finished my coffee yet.. so I don't know what I'm supposed to say here...

but HOLY SUGAR HIGH BATMAN!! you drink those 44ozers?? I hope it takes you all day.. my brother had a habit of drinking those daily... finishing by lunch.. his thighs are bigger around than my waist.

water? GOOD.

Behave yourself, honey. We don't want you getting deported or anything.. but if you do? you can totally come live at my house.. it's big. And, it will be the subject of my next few posts. ;)

Pearl said...

I am continually amazed by the fact that Utah -- while devoid in so many interesting things -- seems to be chockful of humorous bloggers.
Defense mechanism? Direct result of the unendingness?
Pearl

gingela5 said...

That is so awesome! haha I would much rather have a large container of Coke than a coffee anyday! I'm on your side with that one!

Connie Weiss said...

I live approximately 20 miles from you and I have never been inside a Maverick. The name suggests it may be a place for dangerous folks and based on your description of the off duty employee it appears I was right.

I will stick to secretly drinking my coffee at 7-11!

Krystal said...

i expect nothing less from you Jenbo! Ahhh, so glad you are back!

Bee said...

I want to say that I would transfer to Utah (does my office have a branch there? no, but I’d go anyway) just so I can work close to you. The fun we could have threatening people!!

I once got in trouble for throwing out saved crumbs. That had been saved in a little plastic container sitting on top of the microwave. These were cookie crumbs with no particular specialness to them other than they were free.

beth said...

You have no idea of the power you hold. Why, I just bet there will be thousands of bloggers who head to work next week with a massive container of water...following your HASAY lead. Well done.

Carolyn...Online said...

I know it wasn't really water you were drinkin'. You should totally switch to decaf.

The Panic Room said...

This is the 3rd time I've been back to this post just to take another look at that mug. It's unreal.

Zip n Tizzy said...

You've got such a supportive husband. And you guys could live in that cup if you lose your jobs!
It sucks... we're rooting for you, just don't let your boss know about your math skills!

Vodka Mom said...

are you allowed to be first on your on blog?

and, about the mug. If you put a dash of vodka in it (okay, let's say two cups...) you will be in a MUCH better mood at the office.

I'm just sayin'.

Vodka Mom said...

which might bode well for your co-worker.

April said...

wow. that's a big mug.

apathy lounge said...

You firsted yourself? Why didn't I think of that? It's so simple and yet...so brilliant. But that Bee Hat? Hurts my eyes.

blissfully caffeinated said...

Just dropping by to say hi.

Hi.

colepack said...

I would end up like that crazy squirrel on "Over the Hedge" if I filled your jumbo cup with coffee. Image how much Starbucks would charge for that puppy!

DCD said...

My darn brother and his wife who live in CA and were here over the holidays totally got me addicted to Starbucks! Those bastards and their gift cards.

I so totally love Footloose! Especially in the end? When it turns out they all can dance wicked good? Awesome.

Jess said...

Heeeelarious!

I really must keep up with your posting...I am like 7 days late posting a comment.

that girl said...

Cool ASS mug.

Preston said...

Soda is sooooo bad for you! And to drink it from a huge mug like that is just so shameful! You know for probably less calories, you could fill that thing with a bloody mary and who would know the difference? And if you use V8, you'd be getting your vegetables as well. It's the true win-win here.

Lola said...

Soda rots your teeth!

Elle Charlie said...

I feel your pain on the decimal point confusion - that can really stop your heart!

Tina said...

Water always counts. Always. Especially since I had two diet cokes today.

sigh

anita ovolina said...

Too funny! Loved the story and your mug :)

Hula's Secret Blog said...

Hahahahaha! Love it!!!
Sorta sad the being reprimanded for chair statement was a lie :( Lol!

Yaya said...

coffee....barely legal. You are hilarious.

Tracys Ramblings said...

That is one impressive cup you have there!
I also happen to think that the changes to your blog are impressive, awesome, outstanding, wonderful, and are making me jealous.
I'm going to have to end this comment now before I threaten to light your hair on fire because of my envy of your impressive, awesome, yada yada, blog.

Red Cup Mom said...

I know what you mean. The economy is so dour now that I get my coffee from McDonald's instead of Starbucks. Ugh.

Good for you for solving your soda problem with the money part and, hey, you went green in the process!