Friday, November 16, 2007

In true Grizzwold fashion

We had an extraordinary (and stressful) Grizzwold implosion recently.

Our youngest had been sick off and on over the past few days, so my dearest Ellen decided to take her to the Dr. I had been in a training class during the week, so I had finished that a bit early and started home when my love called me from the Grizzwold mobile in a panic. The baby (now 3) has pneumonia and has to go to the hospital. To add to the stress, she said the Grizzwold mobile was acting funny. The battery light on the dash had come on earlier in the day and now that it was nearly dark, the dash and headlights weren't working.

I found her in a close by neighborhood that was under construction. We swapped cars and managed to get to the hospital without incident. The battery was nearly dead according to the gauges, so I knew that it wouldn't be going anywhere after I shut it off.

Baby Grizzwold was admitted with bacterial pneumonia. She and her mom are there right now. She is getting better, but she hasn't kicked the fever yet. It got up to 103 yesterday at the pediatrician. Lots of love and prayers being sent her way.


You'd think I was making this up...

...but since there's already one writer's strike going on....ha!

In all seriousness, I have found out some interesting information about "she who's name will not be spoken" and her whackyness. It turns out that she was hired back on by a competing consulting firm on a contract WITH THE SAME GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION!!!

I also found out that she DID INDEED sign a non-compete clause in order to get her last two paychecks. Therefore, she is working on our job site illegally. Let the lawsuits begin!

On a side note, I also found out that the whacky wonder has a fruadulent PhD. HA!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hard to believe

Sorry its been so long between postings. Sometimes we get way too busy at the Grizzwold house.

It's been my suspicion all along and recently confirmed that my government clients have hired back the nut job that nearly cost me my sanity. I haven't confirmed where exactly she's working, but other people on our contract have seen her and I've heard her name mentioned in conversations outside my cubicle.

I fail to understand how someone like this could be hired back after the disaster she made of things.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another Chapter?

I guess that perhaps I had relaxed a bit too soon.

I noticed on two occasions that the government project manager was emailing (or had received email about) the wacky nutjob!

I suspect she's trying to get nutjob back to the office in some squirmy way.

I hope to hell not. She's contractually obligated to stay away from people in our company. Maybe she WANTS to get sued.




I've survived!

The two week "transition" is over and I've now finished my first week as project manager. As a result, I've started drinking, smoking, and mainlining heroin!! (Just kidding, your ol' pal Clark's only vice is food and the internet).
In all seriousness, the past two weeks have been hell. The wacky wonder managed to get paid for doing very little. I tried to keep up with her hours, but she spent very little time around us. We got very little transition during that time, but we did have a nearly 5 hour meeting on her last day where she made up this "list of activities" which really told us a lot of the stuff that she kept hidden from us. The rest of the stuff was mere fluff designed to make the list seem long and to "scare" me.
I spent few moments along with "she who must remain nameless" but when I was, the nasty comments flew out of her mouth like vomit. She accused me of plotting against her to take her job (like I really wanted that in the first place). She told me that I could go on and report all of the nasty things she said because she would deny it anyway. And she finally suggested that I stop by the street corner where she planned to stand with a tin cup to collect change because she had no job (remember folks, our company offered her a paid "leave of absense" for several weeks so she could get her act together, but she burnt all the bridges and quit).
I couldn't have done this without all of the support of my company. I hope that it all works out in the end.


More changes

The saga of the workplace continues!
One of our team members, the other half of the fighting females, has been ordered off the contract. Fortunately, our CEO is smart enough to know a valued employee from a nut job, so she's been transferred to a new contract.
The whack job is allowed to stay on as a 1099 based contractor for a specific daily fee. I have to keep track of her hours and I've already made requests to have materials downloaded from her desktop computer.
The next two weeks should be very if I need any more stress.


It's Not Over....

....until the psychopath sings!
Truly my friends, I am not making any of this up. In my last post, I told you that my crazy project manager had quit. Sadly, in the intervening days between the end of the week and the beginning, she managed to worm her way back in to the office.
I believe it to be the work of the government manager and her nearly illegal social relationship with this wacked out wonder. As a result, I have to endure an additional two weeks of suffering. While her resignation was officially accepted by my company, the government manager made it clear that she wanted the spaz to stay behind and "transition".
I fear that this woman will continue to make life difficult for us on the account, both during and after she leaves.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Out with the old and in with the new

After two weeks of Dante's flames, my micro-managing control freak of a project manager has burned her Kwai River bridge and quit. The company upper management tried to do right by her by giving her some paid leave to perhaps go off and clear her head, but she threw that back in their collective faces and was quite disrespectful. What's worse, she called the client manager (with whom she is VERY social outside of the office) and tried to undermine the whole team. The client manager called each of the members of the team to try and make some sense out of it all (a rare thing and usually something that will get an account cancelled), but that didn't lead to anything that would change what had already happened.
As a result, there were many late evening phone calls and meetings, a ton of added stress, and more than a few emails. The project manager has sent more than a few hate-emails, so I've blocked her from sending me email (at least to my work accounts). It's over now and the team has regrouped with the help of upper management. As a result of my level-headedness (not my words, upper managements) I've been named project manager.
I never intended to march up the corporate ladder in this fashion. I was quite content being a team member until the former project manager decided to make life too miserable. I haven't detailed all of the strife in my previous posts, but there's enough there to give you an idea. After all is said and done, I've managed to stay above water. Now all I have to do is sail the ship (and try to save face with the client).


My new job stinks

Well, its been nearly two months (since early May) on my new job and from what I can tell you, it is really stinking right now. It seems that I've walked into a real hornet's nest. Over the course of the months of June and nearly all of July, I've found out that one of my teammates and the project manager can't stand each other. I've also learned that the project manager is a micro-managing control freak that keeps information from the team so that she can be viewed as the only thing holding the project together.
The fact that my one teammate (a white female in her mid 40s) and the project manager (a black female in her mid 40s) can't stand each other was pretty much a forgone conclusion between them as I arrived on the scene. Over the time I was there it got pretty apparent and vocal between the two of them. I hated being in meetings with the two of them. The icy tones and the rigid body language made for tense and unproductive meetings. The project manager accused her rival (at one point, the white woman was being considered for the project manager position) of being a loose cannon and only doing what she felt was necessary. The teammate accused the project manager of purposely holding back information, talking poorly about her both behind her back and in front of her teammates, and yelling and screaming at her when they were alone or speaking on the phone.
The real problems started when the project managers lack of leadership started to affect my job. We were already pigeon-holed enough because the project manager required everyone to publish all their work through her before going to the client, but when it took days to get work reviewed, it started to become frustrating. When work was reviewed, the changes requested were more cosmetic than substantial. The other team member (a black male in his late 20s) privately made comments and then when he'd heard me make a comment, he called me in privately and agreed with them. Information was starting to be held back from me, information that would have made my job easier. One afternoon, the project manager started to talk to me privately about some really difficult private matters (matters that probably shouldn't have been disclosed). After listening to it all (and feeling pretty bad about feeling negative towards her) I suggested that she take a couple of weeks off to collect her personal life, reorder it, and relax. With all of what was going on at work and her personal disasters, I felt that it wouldn't hurt. I don't think she minded me making the suggestion, but a few days later when I asked her if she'd considered taking the time off she simply remarked "yes". I knew then that she'd never take time off because she was too much the control freak.
The last straw for me was when she embarrassed me in front of others by not telling me about some unwritten rules that I should have been told about before going into a meeting. What's worse, it happened twice in the same day! I finally complained to upper management (the white woman had been complaining for months, so now she had a compatriot) and they took things under advisement. We'll see what happens. I think that the client and other contracted employees are noticing, so I think our account here (and my job) are in jeopardy.


In true Grizzwold fashion

My dearest Ellen took my oldest daughter to one of her away tournaments this past weekend (June 23-24, 2007). The middle daughter came along for the ride. As is typical for the Grizzwold family, mayhem ensued.
During the prosecution of the tournament, the middle daughter decided to go back to the Grizzwold Family SUV for some much needed escaping from the heat. At some time during the hour or so period in which the middle child was in the car, some facets of the electrical system were used. When my dearest Ellen made it back to the vehicle to start it up, she was met with a whole bunch of NOTHING! It seemed that the battery had been stressed to the beyond its ability to start the vehicle. Several parents stepped up to help by removing some corrosion on the battery terminals with Coca-Cola and checking over the fuse boxes to see if perhaps a burned fuse was the problem. At the point where people were searching around for jumper cables, a man in a big pickup truck pulled into the empty parking space next to the Family SUV. Interrogatories ensued (something like “hey, is your battery dead?”) and it so happened that the pickup truck driver had a battery charger! Less than an hour later, the Grizzwold’s were up and running again.
The story does not end there. At the point where Mrs. Grizzwold entered the sports complex, she had more than enough gas to get back to the hotel where they were staying. It was a short ride, maybe 5 miles or so. As soon as she got the vehicle up and running, she decided to take it for a ride to charge the battery up and to refuel. Shockingly, the once ample fuel supply had been rendered to mere droplets! The computer display showed ZERO miles left in the tank, the needle on the dash was on “E”, and the “Low Fuel” light was on and blinking. Not knowing what else to do, she pressed on. She knew there was a gas station across the railroad tracks on the main highway leading to the sports complex. It was no more than a mile, she estimated. Surely she had enough to go a mile. Not this time. In true Grizzwold fashion, the truck ran out of gas on top of the railroad tracks! My dear Ellen was panicked as she expected that a train would be soon upon her, smashing the Family SUV to shrapnel. Being that she was in Southern Virginia at the time, another pickup truck pulled up behind her. Interrogatories ensued (something like “hey, is your truck out of gas?”) and it so happened that the pickup truck had several gallon sized gas containers on board. Fortunately, one of them had gas inside. The pickup truck driver was nice enough to give my dearest Ellen enough gas to get off the railroad tracks and proceed to the gas station.It’s puzzling how it was that the gas disappeared like that. The middle child had the keys to the vehicle, but claims only to have turned on the key to run the radio and turn on the lights (which explained away the battery situation). More than likely, there was less gas in the tank than there was and the computer did not accurately display the number of miles left in the tank: Garbage in, garbage out. In true Grizzwold fashion, she ended up no worse than from where she started.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Biological Warfare

Having a passel (three) kids is hard work, especially for my dearest Ellen. We've been especially challenged over the past couple weeks since the kids have been passing the strep throat around. The Typhoid Mary was the two year old. She started it a couple weeks ago. A few days into that episode, the 15 year old started with symptoms. My dearest took them both to the pediatrician for treatment. The Nurse Practitioner and a Student Nurse saw them. Big mistake. The two year old was diagnosed with strep because of a positive 5 minute test. However, the 15 year old's sample did not test positive. We've since figured that the Student Nurse who took the 15 year old's sample didn't do it right. Even so, the fact that the two year old had it and was most likely passing her germs on to the whole family should have been enough to prescribe anti-botics for the whole fam-damily, right? WRONG! "Oh, your older daughter isn't showing that she has strep. It's probably just a cold" claimed the NP, even though my oldest was showing outward symptoms of strep.
Fast forward a couple days to where the oldest was on a softball tournament outing with my dearest Ellen and the 10 year old. Well, the 10 year old comes down with it bad, including some vomiting. The missus manages to keep it together that weekend and bring it all back home. Meanwhile, the oldest is getting sicker. She has a bad cough and has broken out into a rash. Another visit to the doctor. This time, both kids have positive strep tests (yay!). We actually saw a real doctor this time. Since I'm with the kids this time, I point out the cough and the rash. The doctor downplays the cough and the rash as unrelated. I asked if she could get a shot to combat the hives and Z-pack, a powerful antibiotic I've taken in the past. She prescribes some ointment and antibiotics, but not Z-pack.
A day later, the oldest comes home from school saying that she is having trouble catching a full breath and her coughing is disrupting her day. We keep pumping her full of meds, thinking that it's just a matter of time. Overnight things get worse and we decide the next day to call the doctor. In the morning, the oldest faints twice. Immediately, the missus takes the oldest over to the hospital and has her seen. Lo and behold, she has strep induced pneumonia! Lovely. The ER doctors ask all sorts of questions related to the two weeks of symptoms and the related treatment by the pediatricians office. My Ellen was given the impression that the pediatrician's office (two medical practitioners mind you) pretty much botched her case. The ER docs pump her full of fluids (she was somewhat dehydtrated) and recommend she see her pediatrician again. We were already on antibiotics, so it was not necessary to get more. The next day the missus tots typhoid Mary (the two year old who started all of this mess) and the oldest down to the doctor for a follow up. All the ER records were transferred over. New antibiotics and a breathing treatment program (including a machine to do it all) were prescribed INCLUDING a steroid for the rash. Guess what antibiotic this doctor prescribed? You guessed it, Z-pack!!

At this point, everyone is doing much better. The two year old is on the last few doses of her meds. The 10 year old is a close second. The oldest is missing the first day of a big three day softball tournament, but the doctor said she might be able to play on the second day, depending upon how she felt. Given the breathing apparatus, the inhaler, the steroids, and the anti-biotics, she should be able to fight off just about anything.

Sadly, my dearest Ellen and I are exhibiting cold and sore throat sympoms. It might not be over yet!!


Growing roots

New news on the job front!

My bosses and the government management have asked me to stay at NIH permanently. One fellow will transition out and perform some R&D work that he hasn't been able to focus on since he's also been doing consulting work.

Start decorating the cube!!


Politically (In)correct

Your ol’ pal Clark didn’t want to make too many political statements in this blog. Our lives are already cluttered up with so much political “nitwittery” that I felt it a little distasteful to drag it into my little window into my life. However, since this IS my blog, I can pretty much do what I want.
I want to call attention to the current immigration bill pending a vote in Congress. The likelihood that it will pass is pretty slim since there don’t seem to be enough votes to pass it through both Houses. We admittedly have an overflowing border problem. As your garden variety white male, I’m more than a bit worried that our ability to absorb the folks into our infrastructure is slipping (remember, we’ve been giving amnesty periodically since the mid 80s). No one seems to know with any degree of certainty how many illegal immigrants are living within the US. Now before you all jump to a huge conclusion and assume that ol’ Clark is a racist let me clarify myself. Since my own family immigrated to this country from Western and Central Europe many moons ago, I feel that I can be connected (somewhat) to those who are looking for a way to live life to the fullest. There are few countries on this planet where you can be assured that if you work hard and live true, you will achieve greatness. Given that, both sides of the fence have to really meet in the middle:

1. Learn English
2. Bring your culture with you, but don’t expect others different from yourself to bend over and accept your culture over theirs. We’ll end up like Quebec if we keep it up
3. Behave yourself
4. Don’t come over here illegally
5. If you’re here on an H1-B visa, student visa, travel visa or some other temporary document, make sure that you keep it current. If it expires, go home.

1. Make English official language of transactions and government
2. Embrace the diversity of immigrants, but don’t subjugate American culture, integrate it
3. Kick out those who don’t behave themselves (this includes folks without “papers”, immigrants who commit crimes, and “visitors” who overstay their welcome)
4. Prevent folks from coming over here illegally (in any way shape or form that doesn’t violate simple human rights…it is our country after all)
5. Logically interconnect the intel between SSA, DHS, CIA, FBI, and local responders (believe me folks, the stuff is already there and ready to be interconnected, it’s just incompetence that is not getting the job done) so that we can more easily catch the “bad guys” both in and out of country
6. Make it a crime to knowingly hire an illegal immigrant
7. Eliminate the “anchor baby” concept. There’s no need for it anymore.
8. Make the visa application process more efficient. However, that does not mean cut corners. If possible, turn it all over to the military since immigration does affect national defense. If we do turn it over to the military, then the commander in chief is the ultimate decision taker on immigration.
9. Eliminate the ability of immigrants and visitors to get federal, state, or local government “assistance”. However, freely allow private institutions to assist in the migration of the legal immigrant to citizen. Make it mandatory for private citizens and institutions to report any and all illegal immigrants to the local authorities. Only churches can provide sanctuary to those who “need” it.
10. To our elected and appointed government servants: “Grow a set”! We need to ensure that another 9-11 doesn’t happen. In order to do that, we need to take drastic measures that may be unpopular with the influence peddlers (and the media) that make it their business to represent any and all “victims” in the “struggle” to become a US Citizens. Faw! Sovereignty doesn’t go to the group with the biggest PAC or campaign war chest. Protect the US as you would protect your family.
Thanks for your kind indulgence. Now back to our regular blogging.

New Digs

So far, my new job is pretty cool. I’m doing some consulting at the National Institutes of Health for a portion of their IT department. NIH is like a college campus and is quite a distance from Camp Grizzwold (40 miles or so). It takes me about an hour to ninety minutes to get to work. I leave super early in the morning (6-6:30am) so that I get there faster. I determined that to be the norm on the first day when I spent the better part of nearly 90 minutes going 20 miles per hour (or less)! Leaving early allows the ol’ Dodge to get up to highway speeds most of the way.
I don’t know how long I’m going to be here at NIH. The new company wanted to send me to the US Treasury department first, but there is some sort of paperwork holdup there. I hope that it gets resolved soon because there’s a leadership opportunity there vs. being a subject matter expert only here at NIH. It’s been a little hard to get acclimated here because I’m on temporary status. I don’t get an account for the network, so I have to play a lot of “sneaker-net” transactions to get people information. Thank the computer gods for thumb drives.
I’ve got my own cubicle here (but I have to be careful leaning back in my chair as the walls are pretty close together. There’s also a window with a nice view of the loading dock. NIH gave me a laptop, but I can’t use it without an account. Thankfully my new employer saw what was coming and issued me a nice new HP laptop. At least I can get some sort of work done.

So far the Grizzwold mantra has been true to form: Struggle with a variety of obstacles only to end up seemingly landing upright.


The Great Migration

It’s been about a month since I last wrote. Sorry about that. Transitioning from a job can be daunting at times, especially one where things change at the last minute. I think I may have told you all that my previous employer wanted me to pay a princely sum of $950 dollars to cover my insurance for the month of May (prorated of course) to cover my family since my two weeks notice crossed over the end of April to the beginning of May. I’ve had a few jobs in my time from selling lumber to my current job as a consultant and I have never….EVER…been asked to pay an insurance premium after giving notice. That’s a corporate loss, IMHO and can probably be written off on some balance sheet somewhere. Ol’ Clark was trying to do the right thing by his old firm and give them two weeks of my time to transition out of my position. Sadly, that company shot themselves in the foot by wanting me to pony up a HUGE chunk of my paycheck to insure myself. All of the wrangling that I tried ultimately led me to issue the ultimatum that I would be leaving MUCH sooner than two weeks. It was about 6 days all told. Since my old company was large enough to fall into the COBRA statutes, I was able to receive that should I need it. Guess what the difference in COBRA insurance vs. what I would have paid to cover myself for May? FIFTY BUCKS!


Monday, April 30, 2007

Jobs, they are a changin'

I like stability. The odd part about my life is that I'm in a job environment where stability is hard to come by. I guess that's part of being a Grizzwold. As a result, your old pal Clark is moving jobs. His current contract with the government runs out in about 6 weeks, that in and of itself should be a good reason to want to find new work, but there were other mitigating circumstances (politics, poor communication, boredom). We all know it's hard to pay the mortgage when you don't get paid. However, there was a glimmer of hope over time that the contract would be extended in the longer term or perhaps your old pal Clark would get picked up by another contractor at the facility. No such luck. So, I took things into my own hands and found more work. Still with the government, but with another contracting firm. Hopefully this will last a bit longer. I will miss my relatively short commute (25 minutes one way) as I'm probably going to be going about 90 minutes one way. Once I get the hang of it, it will probably get a tad shorter. I'm hoping that I won't be on that contract too long (gas prices being what they are).

Monday, April 16, 2007


A horrible shooting took place at ol’ Clark’s alma mater, Virginia Tech. Over 20 people have been killed and another 20 some wounded. By the time you read this posting, the gunman has been killed as well.

Yours truly lived in Pritchard Hall which across an open lot from Ambler Johnston and the other side of the Drill Field from Norris Hall (where engineering and science classes are held). This is already being touted as worse than the Texas University shooting back in the late 1960s when a psycho climbed up into a tower of some kind and picked off students sniper-style.

Hearts and prayers to those who were involved and their families.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

No more Screamette!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the oldest Grizzwold daughter was going to be quitting her high school softball team due to mega-personality issues with Screamette, her awful coach. She's done it and not too soon for her mental state. When she confronted the "coach" the coach actually told her she was a very good player, she just hadn't proven herself yet. Well, if you don't get to do anything but practice, it's awful hard to prove yourself, isn't it?

Overall, her high school experience (en toto) has been pathetic. This is just one of a long line of negativity emanating from the dark space that is the local high school. Why just recently, a local gang phoned in a Columbine-style shooting threat. Fortunately, the boys in blue were on the job and surrounded the school in preparation for a full on frontal assault!! That and the fact that we have an award winning principal should make all of us feel much safer.

I'll turn the sarcasm off now.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The camel is broken...

“Coach” Screamette has finally broken the back of the camel. Last night, one of the other girls didn’t bring her uniform pants with her to the game. Rather than make the girl sit out until the correct pants arrived from home, she turned to my daughter and asked for her pants. Astonished, my daughter thought quickly on her feet and said that her pants size was medium and didn’t believe they would fit said girl. So the coach had a three way exchange between two other girls, one of which was sitting out anyway ( why did she ask my daughter first?). The right pants came in the second inning. So, rather than make an example of the girl who forgot her pants, the “coach” turned to my oldest and asked for her pants, which three able bodied girls were sitting on the bench! It’s not like Miss Forgot-her-pants was playing a key position. She was the Right Fielder!

Sadly, due to the continued disrespect from the “coach”, my oldest has decided (against her father’s best wishes) to quit the team. She is planning to do it this afternoon, I suppose, rather than face another practice. I could make her stay on the team, I suppose, but I also wonder how many more post-game sob-fests it will take until my daughter will need extensive therapy. Thankfully, she will be able to increase her tournament team practice time.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Bunny!

The annual arrival of the Easter Bunny to the Grizzwold home was preceded by the female Grizzwolds (except for the dog) returning from a short spring break trip to the beach after an all night drive. My wife Ellen Grizzwold endorses "5 Hour Energy" as a method of keeping the shiny side of the SUV up at all times during the 8 hour road rager.

As a result of Ellen and the girls tripping in the warmth of the beach, this left yours truly in charge of the Easter Bunny purchases. I consulted over the phone with my lovely Mrs. and got a pretty good idea of what to get. The local CVS Drug Store chain was the one-stop choice for easter basket grass (three colors), chocolate eggs (2 kinds), miniature chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, jellybeans, lollypops, peeps, and a giant hollow rabbit for each Grizzwold child. In addition, the oldest received some books and an iTunes card, the middle got a digital toy camera, and the youngest got fairy princess shoes and a wand. It's almost like Christmas in April!! Since the Mrs. and the children napped most of the day, your boy Clark was pretty tired and headed off to the rack after the late local news.

About 6am, a sharp elbow woke me up. Evidently, I forgot to assemble the easter baskets! Holy hollow bunnies! I didn't even know I was supposed to assemble them! Sleepily, I went down to the super secret location, loaded up the baskets, and staggered back to bed, nearly running over the middle daughter in the process. I had evidently awakened her with my staggeringly sleepy footwork. Darling Ellen headed the 10 year old off at the pass and ran her back to bed before she broke for the goodies. I plopped back into the rack and resumed my slumber.

Most of the rest of the day was uneventful, save for the bizarre shenanigans of the dog, who seemed to be extra needy (the dog ate my candy! Exclaimed the two-year old…probably the reason for the dog’s weird behavior). We cooked breakfast, had an early dinner at Grandma Grizzwold’s house, and returned home to baths and bedtime. My dear Ellen told me that forever more I would be banned from making the easter purchases. I was shocked, to say the least. Since we’d discussed things over the phone, I thought I had a pretty good list. Not enough variety was the retort from my dearest Ellen. Nonsense, I replied. I’d bought at least 5 different kinds of chocolate, 2 different kinds of non-chocolate candy, and peeps which are in a category of confection all their own (the Clark Grizzwold “gross” category). The hollow bunnies were too short, she informed. I guess I should have purchased the two foot tall hollow bunny instead of the 18 inch hollow bunny. There will be months of therapy behind that lost 6 inches of bunny ear. I kept reminding my betrothed that we discussed the purchases over the phone several times and there was ample opportunity for “variety” and “hollow bunny size”. You should have known what I meant, came the reply. Easy Clark, I thought, you’re in the “no win zone”. I put it in neutral and settled in for a good nite’s sleep agreeing not to be involved in the easter purchases next year.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mental Anguish...

Sadly, coach Screamette continues the mental mumbo jumbo at our precious older daughter. Earlier this week, Screamette said that she would decide if our girl would get playing time behind the plate based on how she practiced. Bolstered by the glimmer of finally proving herself to the "coach", she worked her butt off in practice and overall felt good about being on the squad again.

Unfortunately, the mentalness of the "coach" took over and she didn't get any playing time. She didn't even get a reason as to why. Consolations and tissues were the order of the day after that game. Ol' Clark couldn't even watch without getting supremely angry. Since we Grizzwold's don't quit, she's gonna stick to her guns and hope for some playing time later in the season.

Word to the wise: if you have a psychotic coach who knows little about evaluating talent, don't have a meeting with the coach and athletic director and give them reasons not to play your child.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Periodic Success...

A special congratulations goes to the oldest Grizzwold daughter, who's softball team won a championship this past weekend.

We are especially proud that she has the "stick-to-it-iveness" to deal with her psychotic high school coach, Ms. Screamette, and maintain her sanity enough to step up and contribute to an undefeated weekend.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


If you’ve read my profile, you’ll note that my wife and I were blessed with three children, all girls, who are now 14, 10, and 2 (yes, ol’ Clark failed family planning). The two oldest are very active athletes and love girls softball. The fastpitch variety. The oldest plays both tournament and varsity high school ball. The middle one is currently playing recreational league games, but wants to be just like her sister. Even the two year old likes to participate with her plastic bat and ball. Your ol’ pal Clark has even been their coach off and on over the years. Over that time, I’ve learned a lot about kids and how to get them to perform. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. OK, OK…I know….get to the point, Clark!

My oldest’s varsity coach is a very disturbing coach. Her idea of discipline is screaming and running. I’m not talking about the kind of screaming that is just an increase of volume coming out of one’s mouth. I’m talking the brow-beating, beat down, self esteem crushing kind of screaming. The kind of screaming that makes you wince, even if you aren’t the target of the screamer. In her eyes, discipline means you must dislike me, but respect me. How can you respect someone when they are constantly screaming at you for following directions correctly?

Case in point, my oldest was benched for the first two innings of last night’s ball game. The coach, Ms. Screammette, decided that she would put my oldest in to play in the middle of the game, the 3rd inning, in Right Field. She told her this after announcing the starting lineup. In the bottom of the second inning, my oldest was sent by the coach to warm up her arm (it was a cold night). Five minutes later, Coach Screammette comes out of the dugout screaming at her “What are you doing? You’re on deck!” Flustered, my oldest ran in to bat, unprepared mentally and physically, striking out in the process. When the teams switched places for the start of 3rd inning, my oldest ran out to the outfield. Coach Screammette yelled, “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be at first base!"

We are the Grizzwolds, we come to expect this kind of "challenge".

I think you get the picture.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Once a Grizzwold, always a Grizzwold

Remember the post for our Honorary Grizzwold member (I'm sure you remember, it's right below this post!! HA!). Well, they are REALLY having a tough time this week:

Fourth problem today - We have a staff meeting and [Boss Name] (yes, he's still my boss) says to the whole team "I don't know if this is an [Name] problem or a PWA problem, but [Name] has no time logged at all this year and even late last year." Again, pointed out of the crowd. ugh. :(

If [Boss] weren't my boss, I'd be in BIG trouble for all of this negative exposure. Any other boss would be in my face pointing a finger saying 'no no no'!

[He] has got to be tired of me this week. I'M tired of ME this week!

Wear it as a badge of honor!


Honorary Grizzwold

I share this with you as I feel this ranks right up there with some of the misadventures of ol' Clark:

First, someone up in the [Home] office called my boss to ask why I [Name] is always hitting another co-worker's myspace page. I'm like "what???" I don't even know this girl and she's accusing me of hitting her myspace page all the time. I have never been to her myspace page; didn't even know one existed. Anyhow, my boss said "even if you are, so what; it's a public page on the internet." I'm like "but I'm not, I don't even know her. They've got it wrong and have the wrong person. Besides, there is a [Company] myspace group, so it could be anyone." He's not upset or anything, but, man! The seed is planted, you know? I'm peeved about it.

Second, my boss rarely comes to my cubicle. Twice today he has come to my cubicle and I've been eating both times. He says, "how come whenever I come here, you're eating?" How embarrassing, huh? It's not like I eat all the time; only when he comes to my cubicle.

Third, my boss comes to my cubicle and asks how often I fill out my time on our time tracking system. I said, "well, not as often as you'd like, I'm bad about that, but I do it." He asked when was the last time. I said probably up to mid-February. He said that he has no time for me since December. We checked all my time on the tracking system and, sure enough, all my time is zero going back to 11/18/06. Now, I know I have filled it in until at least the end of January, and possibly mid-February. But, definitely filled it in passed 11/18/06. Again, I look like I'm slacking. But, I'm not! My time is missing and it looks bad.

Gosh, I've had a really really bad week. Everytime my boss turns around, my name is in his face. Not good.

Welcome to the family!!



If it were anyone else in this position, I'd have to say to them that their run of bad luck would be over soon. However, being a Grizzwold, we just shrug and move on.

Remember the car accident I had on the way to a job interview? Well, I finally got to the interview last week. I'd been diligent in reviewing the company website, learning about their environment, their contracts, and other stuff. I'd asked for a comprehensive job requirements letter, but the recruiter was unable to secure it. Even so, they said that ol' Clark was a perfect candidate for the job!

Fast forward to the job interview. After the handshaking and introductions were over, the interviewer looked at my paperwork like he'd never seen it before. He asked me two very general questions and then shook his head and told me that he wasn't sure why I was here. Evidently, the recruiter had it all wrong and that I wasn't qualified for the position at ALL!

Yours truly put on his magnanimous hat and apologized for wasting the interviewer's time, shook his hand, and left the building. Time spent: two hours drive, about 3 dollars in tolls, a couple gallons of gas, an opportunity cost of missing a school meeting for my oldest daughter, and my own time. Not to mention the damage to the Grizzwold family cruiser.

PS - I conversed over the phone with the recruiter that night and he was apologetic, but confused as to how they could have misread the position that badly. They promised to get back to me, but I have yet to hear from them. That's probably a good thing because I would probably have given them what for, like I did for my boss in "Christmas Vacation" when I thought I wasn't getting a bonus that year.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What can I say?

Being Clark Grizzwold I expect things to happen and shake my head when they do.

Case in point: I was driving to a very important job interview when I was rear ended by a "spatially challenged" driver in an econobox. Since your ol' pal Clark was driving the family SUV, guess who was the winner in the collision? Fortunately for Clark, he was wearing his seat belt.

I'd worked hard to get this interview, scheduling and rescheduling so as to not draw attention to myself at my current job. Hopefully, the prospective employer will understand.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mama Grizzwold gives birth!


As you might have guessed, Mama Grizzwold had an operation last week and brought something into the outside world...her gall bladder! Yes, after several years of suffering (us Grizzwolds do that well), she had a horrible attack that put her into the ER. This isn't the first time this has happened, but the circumstances surrounding her visit this time sent her to the OR to have it removed. Everything went well and she was sent home after almost 24 hours in the hospital.

Thankfully, we Grizzwolds are a sturdy people. Mama Grizzwold is back in the pink and caring for the little Grizzwolds!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Never buy these 10 things...

...if they are used!

The Grizzwold family has to pinch pennies just like the rest of America. However, these 10 things are not on the list of used goodies ol' Clark likes to buy!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why bother?

Ever to punctuate the fact that I am truly the patriarch of the Grizzwold family, I saw an article on my birthday (this past Monday, 1/22/07) that kind of put it all into perspective:

Here's a brief excerpt of the article:

Today, say experts, is the unhappiest day in the entire year.
Unpaid Christmas bills, nasty weather, and failed New Year's resolutions combine to make January 22 the gloomiest in the calendar.

Happy 43rd....ugh!