I’m a Ramblin’ Man

It’s Monday and I have lots of little nothings to talk about…a perfect time for the use of bullets!**

*Receiving spam is bad enough, but now my blog comments section is getting spam from non-English speakers. How else can you explain this winner: “And how many there is a print on the photoprinter? Who knows?” Um – could you repeat that, please? Better yet, please don’t. I do have to wonder what this person is referring to (especially considering there was no website link).

*Friday night I got together with Mike (again). We went to dinner in the North End (mmmm) and came back to my place to watch some DVD/TV before going out (probably to the Ramrod….cuz we’re all about the class). Well, as happened the week before, I went to the bathroom, came out and found him sound asleep. I think I may have actually met somebody who is less of a night person than I am. Needless to say, we never made it to the bar.

*On Saturday, I ran some errands to finalize my birthday gift(s?) for Rich. That night I laid low, watched LoGo, sketched and was a lazy shmuck. I loved it.

*Rich then picked me up on Sunday morning so we could go to IKEA. I’m not sure what I think of the place. I’ve heard the reputation the Swedish people are highly organized and somewhat cold. Based on my shopping experience, I there might be something to that. Granted, all of the employees are local and not Swedish…but the organization of the facility felt rather unwelcoming. First off, there are police monitoring traffic flow from the highway. There are more directing you to the store. In fact, there are those orange construction signs at every corner stating “IKEA Detour” with black arrows (I’m hoping these signs are temporary). As you approach the store, the police officers are replaced by store security/parking staff. I’m not lying when I say that there were at least hundreds (plural) of them. Every single parking lot row had two attendants at each end. These folks don’t park you car – they just stand there blocking you from searching for spaces while waving air-traffic controller wands. Considering there are multiple parking areas with all of these attendants at each row (and even a second parking deck) you can imagine that IKREA’s payroll must be astronomical.

Anyway, after being forced into parking where THEY think you should park, you walk the twelve miles into the store. The interior appears to be operated the same way. You can grab a map (this place is massive) and then go off to expore. But the design is set up so you have to explore it how THEY think you should explore it. It’s not like traditional furniture stores where you go to the department you want. Although there are labeled “short cuts” to various departments, it’s designed so EVERYBODY must follow the same path.

At the end, you find yourself in this warehouse environment where you retrieve your own bulk items. This is also where you find the cash register queue that, and I’m not kidding, was nearly the width of the warehouse (probably at least 300 feet). I did ultimately purchase a desk lamp for $6.99, an elegant (-looking, at least) full-length mirror with pseudo-leather frame, and an area rug for my living room. Despite the reasonable prices, I’m not so sure I’ll go back. The whole experience overwhelmed me and I strongly disliked being “forced” to follow their rigid planning ideals.

*Oh, and I can finally announce something I’ve been keeping relatively secret for the past month and a half. The day after I got back from Paris, jet-lagged and fighting a nasty sinus-infection, my boss informed me that he’d like for me to take over as Administrative Director of the research program I currently work for! YAY ME. I haven’t mentioned anything because I wanted to wait for all of the Human Resource requirements to go through (posting the job to the public for 10 business days, etc…). However, I received my official offer letter on Friday so it’s now safe to discuss. It will go into effect on January 2 and I’ll be moving to a new private office..with my own private roof-top terrace! I’ve been training with the existing Admin. Director for the past few weeks and the goal is to have me fully trained before our office closes for the holiday break on December 22nd.

The difficult thing is going to be picking a title. The current person calls herself Administrative Director. The job was posted as Program Administrator. In other places, it’s been referred to as Assistant Director and Associate Director. I’m not sure which title I prefer. Maybe I should go with something subtle…like “His Fabulousness”.


**Except that I couldn’t get the bullets to work and used the asterisk instead.


  1. Comment by chrispy on November 21, 2005 11:12 am

    “mary, queen of administrative thingamajiggys”? “the serene high priestess of paperpushers”? “empress karla of cubicle-dom 3”? i think theyre all appropriate.

    wait wait wait. you *FINALLY* get an ikea, and the traffic for such an event is out of control? um, hello? its like a climax after 20 years of foreplay! trust it will be like that until january 2nd. then youll be free to peruse the vignettes at your leisure, jump on the cheap furniture, and FIND the shortcuts so that you dont have to follow the prescribed trail…..

  2. Comment by Lise on November 21, 2005 11:20 am

    And now I can give you an “official” congratulations; yay you! But now you’ll have to do some real work. Will there be sunbathing on the terrace? I’m partial to Chief Head Poohbah. Or perhaps Master of Your Domain?

  3. Comment by Will on November 21, 2005 11:28 am

    Karl–congratulations and best wishes on the new position! Richly deserved, of course, and probably overdue.

    I think IKEA will become more customer-friendly as the first hysteria dies down and after the holiday season. The advance hype and gross expectations from the New York-area store fueled a huge anticipation here, which the store did everything to encourage, of course.

  4. Comment by mindy on November 21, 2005 11:52 am

    What’s so wrong with Darth Karl?

  5. Comment by Brad on November 21, 2005 11:59 am

    “His Fabulousness” — how middle class! 🙂 I’ll keep thinking about this. As for IKEA, this is a surprising story. It’s clear that you’re not reading the papers. Ever since that store opened up, these nightmare stories have been reported. It’s probably going to continue this way until the second week in January when it will all be old hat. Don’t we love capitalism gone amuck?

  6. Comment by Mark on November 21, 2005 12:37 pm

    Ah, now I can finally officially congratuate you. I’ll have to check out the Swedish hell after the holidays to get some shelving for my place.

    Would it have been better if I had written this posting as:

    Carl! En-large your position! Swedish scientists detour you through fogs. 5% investments will help you secure goods from General Register. Call me Ishmael!

    And so on and so on.

  7. Comment by karyn on November 21, 2005 12:38 pm

    Congratulations Snarl.

    I do like Master of His Domain, I must say!

    Although Queen of Everything works too. I was Program Administrator for a while, it didn’t do much for me. Whatever; the proof is in the paycheck. Take the title and do what you please with your terrace.

  8. Comment by Kirk on November 21, 2005 1:59 pm

    congrats Karl and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Comment by David on November 21, 2005 2:05 pm

    His Fabulousness….
    🙂 That’s funny… How about Program Admindorker?
    I know how fond you were of the adorkable moniker.
    How cool for you!! See something good has happened to you this year. You are not cursed.
    In a IKEA related event. You know where I live.
    Last week while coming in to Boston to see Aerosmith, traffic was backed up from IKEA all the way to 128.
    This weekend I wanted to go to Verizon and get a new cellphone. I like the Verizon store at the beginning of that street in Stoughton.
    I was not go there now. So I went to the one in the Emerald Square Mall in Attelboro. Did you know that they want you to have everything picked out before you enter the store so they really don’t have to help you?

  10. Comment by matt on November 22, 2005 3:11 am

    And, now an official congrats!

    ..what’s LoGo?

  11. Comment by atari_age on November 22, 2005 6:06 am

    * Well?!? How many there is??
    * Logo’s the new gay network, right? Are we getting Logo on Comcast, or do you have something else?
    * The Ikea stories keep piling up here. It really is worth it – at least in my memory, but it might take a few months for the insanity to die down.
    * Call yourself whatever you want – in a few months your underlings will have their own name for you, just wait 😉 Congrats!

  12. Comment by JC on November 22, 2005 10:36 am

    An official congratulations to you! That really is wonderful. I went to IKEA last weekend when it opened. It was, indeed, insane…but I was looking at the beds, and seriously, I thought I would have to give my left testicle to get a new bed at that price. I’m definitely going back.

  13. Comment by matt on November 24, 2005 5:44 am

    Oh, Alan watches logo. I don’t care for it. What is the point of having a gay network that edits out all the fun bits from the gay movies it airs?!?!?! And, what is up with that wedding show with Scott Thompson!?!?

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