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Showing posts from March, 2011


The Best Organization Of Boston Society (BOOBS) invites applications for a Faceless Employee. This is a full-time position with great benefits that apparently compensate for the hilariously small annual salary. This role is perfect for someone who loves abuse, passive-aggressive managers, career non-development, self-obsessed co-workers, and abuse. This position is based in Boston, unless it becomes convenient to outsource it somewhere else.

Tasks: - Nod aggressively at everything the CEO says. - Answer all e-mails as soon as you get them (optional: read and understand original e-mail first). - Sacrifice social life to complete assignments that will never see the light of day. - Lie. - Destroy the dreams of at least 400 youth.
Requirements: - An advanced degree in either Pure Bullshit or Gratuitous Sucking-up. - Inability to stand up for self. - Inability to detect hypocrisy.
*Preference will be given to candidates who are single and resigned to workplace abuse and discriminatory prac…

Lessons Learned

How to Survive as a Faceless Employee in Dhaka

1. Smile! Because no matter what happens, somewhere there is delicious food waiting for you.
2. Think happy thoughts. If someone is being extra annoying, mentally transform them into your favorite animal and pet them, unless your favorite animal is a scorpion / jellyfish / puma / etc.
3. Accept the will of God. When things go horribly wrong, remember that Jesus wants it that way.
4. Take deep breaths. *Not recommended outdoors, where the pollution is so bad your boogers become soot.
5. Overeat! Because anything worth doing is worth overdoing!


JFK gives me only 20 minutes of wifi so I'll make this quick.

ZOMFG I'm so happy to be back in the US. I am skimpily dressed for the weather, with only a long-sleeved shirt and a vest that was too hot to put on back in Dhaka and Dubai. I've been traveling for 20 hours now and smell wonderful. Also, I just gobbled up a tuna salad so my mouth and my 'pits will have to compete for the honor of being Smelliest Body Part.
I cannot wait to pet my poor kitty, who has reportedly been meow-bombing at 5 am since I left. Come to think of it, she does that when I'm home, too...
CNN is covering the Japan disaster pretty thoroughly. I hope my friends in Tokyo are okay. Let's keep praying for everyone who's affected.

Just kidding.

I did go. Note: the "V" sign is actually "Y," for you-know-who. Note my Protest Face.

Afterwards, we wandered around Old Dhaka.

A Good Man

Everyone has faults, but some people shine brightly enough that we can forgive them for theirs. Personally, I'd say Prof Yunus is one of those people, and I'd say a metric ton of folk, ordinary and high-powered alike, would agree with me. Consider his story: an economics professor so moved by famine and the plight of the poor that he forged a banking institution for them basically from scratch. And he had help, as he freely admits in Banker to the Poor. Others were enthused by his ideas. And so we should be! He said, sure, charity is nice, but why don't we give the poor the tools they need to stand on their own two feet? Let's give them credit, and trust in their abilities and determination to pay back their loans. Let's give them dignity. For founding Grameen Bank, the Philippines honored him with the Ramon Magsaysay Award ("Magsaysay is my guy!"), a full 12 years before the Nobel Committee decided he was Super enough to get their Prize.

The common perc…

Another Day, Another Human Chain

Today's human chain calls to mind the deep philosophical question: if people form a chain in a forest and no news media is there to cover it, should they have just stayed in front of their PCs?

No! A thousand times no!
As evidenced by this young woman from Grameen Caledonia College of Nursing (Exhibit A), the benefits of forming human chains outweigh the costs. For one, protesting injustice improves cardiovascular health and muscle strength. Note that Exhibit A is standing very upright (strong abdominal and back muscles) and holding her arms straight (ligaments in excellent condition). She is also smiling, clearly because she is out in the fresh air, thereby enhancing her lung capacity. Finally, her direct gaze into the camera indicates high self-esteem, which in turns points to a direct correlation between standing up for what is right and good physical and mental health.
You too can be an agent of justice and in tip-top condition! Being a single candle in the dark has never been…

Human Chain for Prof Yunus

The skinny: everyone at Grameen headquarters went downstairs and formed a human chain along the road. Some folks distributed signs in Bangla that said we strongly protest the court ruling. News cameras tracked the people who held those signs. The police came. Then the riot police came. We stood for an hour and then went back inside peacefully, but not before the people with signs held them up for the cameras.

This is how we little people fight.

Funny stuff

Managed to wheedle my way into getting some beer, finally. Here is HUNTER, the "local" beer, but really it's based off Foster from Australia. I'm buzzed so I'm not sure if I'm making this up or not, but the facts are that this beer is mine and it is tasty.

Speaking of facts, the Nobel laureate hullabaloo is at a fever pitch, with yet another court delay adding some delicious uncertainty to the proceedings. Yes, it's not fun if you think your job's on the line (like most folks in the Y Centre), but I am conditioned to believe that I can be fired based on my boss' mood, and so have become very Zen about this whole "job" business.
This brings us to today's Lesson of the Day: the grass is seriously green on the other side of the fence. I fantasize about being jobless and just bumming around all day. But I am now old enough to know there is truth in the saying, "Be careful what you wish for (you just might get it)" -- the phrase…


As the country recovers from the traumatizing defeat at the hands of the West Indies cricket team last Friday, citizens -- elite and commoners alike -- are in an uproar over Professor Yunus' court case. It was supposed to be decided today, but another petition has been submitted so the order will be passed tomorrow (Monday the 7th). Just type "Yunus" on any search engine to read the latest.

Meanwhile, I finally did what I really came all the way to Bangladesh to do: be Staples. Specifically, the Print & Copy Center of Staples. For you see, I have been promoted from minion to chicklet, meaning I have More Important Things to Do, such as stay up until 12 AM to print stuff and make sure they go in the right packets. (By contrast, minions stay up until 3 AM to print stuff and make sure they go in the right packets; notice the difference?) Then I deliver said packet to the actual Important Person, whom I then accompany to the embassies in case, y'know, someone needs a…

Photos from Old Dhaka

Venting through comics

Sometimes, humor is the only way to go on.

Banana Productions presents:
"Up Mine" A Faceless Employee comic

Oh, royalty

Today a scanner gate greeted us as we tried to get into SIKROT office. Everyone had to line up and give up our bags for checking before stepping through the scanner. Being foreign and therefore upstanding global citizens, we got through without our bags being opened. We also passed a bunch of snazzily-dressed MIBs (Men In Black); see photo.

Turns out Princess Anne (UK) is here for her three-day visit. Here's the article in the local news. Now, based on personal observation, there are three VIP classes: VIP, VVIP, and YAP (You Are Pondscum). Since I wasn't actively harassed, nor did I get a feeling of impending doom, I'd say the Princess is VVIP, which is good, because the YAP classification should really be reserved for clubs in LA.
Oh, royalty...


I have a question: why do they say "meteoric rise" to describe someone's ascent through life/work? Don't we know about meteors because they plunge into our atmosphere to deliver Kryptonian babies? Shouldn't it be "meteoric fall," or possibly "meteoric FAIL"?