Riley Justice and the Corporate Team Building Exercise in Deception

The Daring Adventures of Riley Justice!

Riley Justice, the hard-working (or is it hardly working) accounts-receivable cog helping to keep the corporate machine grinding on, while occasionally foiling Corporate Raider’s sinister plots.

Serial Fun Office Fiction Riley Justice by Don Clark

Riley Justice and the Corporate Team Building Exercise in Deception

Where Riley Justice Thinks Outside the Box to Strategically Move to the Rear of Department Restructurement

 

Accounts Receivable is an efficient and ruthless machine. Invoices are processed and dispatched within hours of completion of contract. Payment is expected statim vel propter aliud. Statim vel propter aliud is a Latin turn of phrase crafted especially for Accounts Receivable. It’s meaning is ambiguous; it’s intent is menacing. Payment is expected upon receipt.

Past-due notices are sent the following day.

Accounts Receivable is an efficient and ruthless machine, but still, there is room for improvement. Thus was formed the once-yearly Planning Exercise in Creative Thinking. PEcT for short. They’re always held off-site at some corporate creative outside the box blue sky center. There’s grass, fresh air, comfortable furniture, and loads of snacks and drinks.

And you can wear shorts.

Shorts should be fun, but at the PEcT they are not. Shorts suggest easy conversations and genuine life-enjoying laughter. While wearing shorts there should never be discussions about maximizing efficient coefficients of something blah blah blah. BLAH!

Riley Justice never listens to that nonsense.

However, this year’s PEcT is still a few weeks distant, which means today is pre-planning for the event. The agenda is a mystery, but promises to be something big as Accounts Receivable {Corporate}, a sub-department of the larger A.R. whole, booked the largest conference room in the building.

Latecomers are left to lean against a wall, but Riley’s smart and gets there early enough to be able to sit down, AND be no where near the front. However, this was at the cost of a vital mid-morning coffee refill. This is not to say time had not been allocated for the refill. It had.

Oh, it had.

But upon arrival Riley found the coffee pot empty. Does no one abide by the rule that when you drink the last cup from the pot, you start a new batch?

“Okay, everyone.” Frank, the head of sub-department coughed a little nervously. “It looks like we have a quorum, so we’ll get started.”

Riley once looked up the definition of quorum as the sub-department head used it in about every meeting. It turned out not only was Frank using it in questionable context, he also wasn’t using the term correctly. Though, Riley never relayed this incorrect usage fact to him.

“We’re going to do some planning ahead of the Pec Tee that we’ll be taking in a few weeks.

“Peak Ta.” Came the correction from the back of the room. There was some debate on the correct pronunciation of the anagram.

“Yes.” Frank didn’t care either way, he’d rather be looking over spreadsheets. “Well, the ah,” he used the colloquial, of which there was no pronunciation debate, “retreat.”

“Retreat from work! All right boss man.” Suck up Larry. He was the Venn diagram intersection of Frat Boy, Mathlete, and Insurance Salesman.

Riley was not, is not, and will never be a fan of his. Just about everyone else was though, as evidenced by the genuine-forced-office-laughter.

“Well, the everyday work at least.” Frank chuckled. “So, today, we’re going to blah da de blah blah blah blah. And some boopity bop personality testing –“

“Actually,” Kelli, a junior HR personage, stood up, “it’s not personality testing. We’re going to be doing a series of fun [?] activities that will tell us more about ourselves. Yakity yak yak yak yak. Does anyone have any questions?”

“Will this be used to sort the department?” Ned asked.

“No,” Kelli said as Riley simultaneously mouthed the word, “we’re going to use the information to reorganize and restructure the department. Synergy?”

“So, uh, the, first activity, will be a . . . Kelli?”

“Corporate death match.”

“Oh good night, not again.” Riley groaned.

“All right boys! Bring them in!” Kelli yelled. The conference room doors opened and some sharply tailored executives wheeled in three handtrucks stacked with cardboard boxes. “Thank you.” Kelli dismissed the execs. “These boxes are loaded with weapons.”

“Uh yes.” Frank interjected. ”As you can see by the number of folks in the room. Ah. We just have too many people.”

“What?!” Came the shriek from Paul. The accountant well-past middle-age who was truly fast on the adding machine, but was genuinely slow [read: painful to watch] on the computer. Paul was certainly someone on the top of the layoff list.

“Yes.” Frank continued. “New regulations stipulate that the ratio of accounts receivable staff to accounts payable staff be no more than one hundred to one.”

“What?!” Judy that time. She was good with numbers.

“Exactly. With only eight staff in accounts payable and a bit more than twelve hundred in accounts receivable. Something just has to give.”

“Why not just hire more accounts payable staff?” Larry said with a ‘this isn’t rocket science’ shrug.

Frank rolled with laughter at this suggestion. “Oh Larry! Oh Larry! This guy. Hire more accounts payable!” Frank took in a deep breath and wiped a few tears from his eyes. No kidding. The guy was laughing so hard he was crying.

“Okay.” Kelli was not an accountant and could care less for all the numbers talk. She had three more of these sessions that day.” Go ahead and open the boxes up. Choose a weapon, but wait to hear the rules first before you do anything else.”

The boxes were torn open and inside were weapons from every 70s dragon-slaying, barbarian-rampaging, knight-questing, kung-fuing, and ninja-kicking movie. “Go on, grab ’em out.” Kelli urged with a smile.

Larry and his little band of worshipers went for the axes and hatchets. Suck-ups. Always trying to score points by cutting the budget fat and reducing staff redundancy.

Riley considered. “Hmm. I suppose that’s just what this is.” Then muttered. “This is so lame. I knew it. I have got to think of a way out of this.” What to do, what to do, what to do?

“ . . . and that sums up the rules. Ready?”

“Last accountant standing gets the cubicle by the window that looks outside!” Larry yelled as he swung a mace in circles above his head.

“What?!” Riley that time. “Wait. No, I didn’t hear the rules!” Then Riley remembered network daytime television. “I CHOOSE TO CALL IN SICK!”

[cough cough]

Riley woke up on the the couch. Oh my goodness. It was just a dream. “Phew!” The Price is Right was on the television. It’s Pinko – Riley’s favorite. But just as the red disk was about to fall into the $10,000 slot the world was enveloped with the sound of scraping chairs.

People were standing up. Riley blinked, terribly confused. It’s the PEcT pre-planning session, the real one. It’s the conference room It’s lunch time. Riley had fallen asleep. It was all just a dream.

Well, a dream within a dream actually.

“Oh come on!”

 

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Archibald Penguin No. 4

Concluding Our New Serial!

Who Ate All the Fish?

featuring

Archibald Penguin, Our Bird,
The Famed Detective.
The Cheeky Penguin who
Loves Fish as Almost as Much as
He Loves Fighting Crime!

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin

The Players:

Polar Bear —  A Hungry Animal
The Walrus —  A Certain Tusked Mammal
Seal —  A Happy Fellow
Pelican —  A Creature with a Large Mouth
Archibald Penguin —  Our Bird
Henrietta Puffin —  Penguin’s Ever-Present Companion
Shark —  A Miracle of Evolution
Killer Whale —  Poster-Fish for the Misunderstood

Chapter 4

 

We find Archibald Penguin, Our Bird, on the ice and snow-covered land of the Southern-Most Continent, with his ever-present companion, Henrietta Puffin. The two are investigating the disappearance of the fish from their cove-sheltering water. At the scene of the crime they discovered three sets of footprints: a bear, seal, and walrus. Having investigated all three tracks, they failed to locate the culprit. However, Archibald had one last idea and we left him on the verge of naming the fish-nabbing nar-do-well.

 

“My dear Ms. Puffin.  The party responsible for the removal of these fish did not leave tracks in the snow.”  Archibald Penguin explained.

“No?” Henrietta Puffin asked.

“No. But I know who took the fish!”

“Bravo Penguin! Do explain.”

“We do know from our questioning of Walrus that the disappearance of the fish may not have been so sudden. It seems possible that the fish were removed over a period of days or weeks. While this is an assumption, we will assume, for the purposes of supporting our supposition, that it is accurate.” Read more

Inside the Small Maker DIY Mom and Pop Struggling Business by Happy Bungalow

Good Grief

Good Grief

In 2016, once a month [or so], Happy Bungalow will be pulling back the curtain on the wood shop to show what life is really like owning a small / family / crafty / handmade / diy / maker / struggling / mom&pop business (further referred to as SFCHDMSMP business).

Inside the Small Maker DIY Mom and Pop Struggling Business by Happy Bungalow

I have been struggling to write this article for months.  My life and family’s life was turned upside down this year.  Ultimately it was a good thing, but oh man was it a HARD year.  So hard that everything suffered, including my business.  I won’t go into the details because apparently I can’t get it all straight and on paper.

However, I’m not sure if I’ll continue this whole behind the scenes business.  I really want to, but I’m struggling to make it interesting and honest.  Especially this previously mentioned article.  It’s a mental weight I’m going to put aside now.  I’ll focus on writing the fun and silly articles.

I want to say this though – for the small business, the one-man shop, and honestly any living person: Read more

The Hare Hair Stylist - A Silly Pun-Filled Story by Don Clark-Happy Bungalow

The Hare Hair Stylist

The Hare Hair Stylist

The Hare Hair Stylist - A Silly Pun-Filled Story by Don Clark-Happy Bungalow

It used to be that journalists had just one job. For instance, a fashion reporter, style reporter, or the offbeat / quirky news specialist. Never was one person called upon to do all four jobs.But times are tough; People just aren’t reading magazines like they used to. Unfortunately many people lost their jobs. Most eventually found new jobs; some even started up their own companies.

But for those left with a job, their blessings were mixed. Yes, they still had a job, but now it had become jobs. Plural. So fashion / style / offbeat beat came to be handled by one person.

Melanie McKay was such a person. This is the time she found herself on the niche interview of her life.
Read more

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin

Archibald Penguin No. 3

 

Continuing Our New Serial!

Who Ate All the Fish?

featuring

Archibald Penguin, Our Bird,
The Famed Detective.
The Cheeky Penguin who
Loves Fish as Almost as Much as
He Loves Fighting Crime!

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin

 

The Players:

Polar Bear —  A Hungry Animal
The Walrus —  A Certain Tusked Mammal
Seal —  A Happy Fellow
Pelican —  A Creature with a Large Mouth
Archibald Penguin —  Our Bird
Henrietta Puffin —  Penguin’s Ever-Present Companion
Shark —  A Miracle of Evolution
Killer Whale —  Poster-Fish for the Misunderstood

Chapter 3

 

We find Archibald Penguin, Our Bird, on the ice and snow-covered land of the Southern-Most Continent, with his ever-present companion, Henrietta Puffin. The two are investigating the disappearance of the fish from their cove-sheltering water. At the scene of the crime they discovered three sets of footprints: a bear, seal, and walrus. Having turned up empty interrogating the Walrus, they turned to the Seal. Highly suspicious, doggedly averse to answers, and jittery, Our Bird and Ms. Puffin are on the razor’s edge of extracting the truth from the mammal.

Seal looked at the pair, clearly undone by the situation. “Okay! All right! I can’t hide it any longer. I took –“ Seal made one more nervous scan around his surroundings and lowered his voice. “I took a correspondence course.”

A correspondence course?!” Henrietta Puffin was clearly taken by surprise at his answer as evidenced by the high pitch of her voice. “A correspondence course! A course for what?”
Read more

Inside the Small Maker DIY Mom and Pop Struggling Business by Happy Bungalow

Selling at Craft Shows is Easy

Selling at Craft Shows is Easy

Earning Money at it is a Bit Harder

Doing it Without Breaking a Sweat May Be Impossible

 

In 2016, once a month, Happy Bungalow will be pulling back the curtain on the wood shop to show what life is really like owning a small / family / crafty / handmade / diy / maker / struggling / mom&pop business (further referred to as SFCHDMSMP business).

 

Inside the Small Maker DIY Mom and Pop Struggling Business by Happy Bungalow

 

IT’S EASY TO SELL STUFF AT CRAFT SHOWS

Craft shows span the spectrum from the elementary school fundraiser to the High Brow Art Faire. From the 2 hour church bazaar to the hip pop-up shop in the old hat factory. From the corporate office employee-only “farmers market” to the Crafty / Craftin’ / Handmade / Rebel / Outlaw / Misc. Profanity / Etc. Indie Art Show.

In more than four years of business I haven’t set up toy shop at every type of show, but I’ve done most of them. I’ve been out in the baking sun, in back hallways where the scant crowd didn’t even know I was there, out in the cold spring day that unexpectedly turned rain-storm, and at those beautiful shows where people are almost throwing money at me.
Read more

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin

Archibald Penguin No. 2

 

Continuing Our New Serial!

Who Ate All the Fish?

featuring

Archibald Penguin, Our Bird,
The Famed Detective.
The Cheeky Penguin who
Loves Fish as Almost as Much as
He Loves Fighting Crime!

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin

 

The Players:

Polar Bear —  A Hungry Animal
The Walrus —  A Certain Tusked Mammal
Seal —  A Happy Fellow
Pelican —  A Creature with a Large Mouth
Archibald Penguin —  Our Bird
Henrietta Puffin —  Penguin’s Ever-Present Companion
Shark —  A Miracle of Evolution
Killer Whale —  Poster-Fish for the Misunderstood

Chapter 2

 

We find Archibald Penguin, Our Bird, on the ice and snow-covered land of the Southern-Most Continent, with his ever-present companion, Henrietta Puffin. The two are investigating the disappearance of the fish from their cove-sheltered water. At the scene of the crime they discovered three sets of footprints: a bear, seal, and walrus. Having followed the trail of the Walrus, they interrogated the animal, skillfully bringing him to the brink of confession. We rejoin the group now. On the cusp of the truth?

“Enough games then!” Archibald gesticulated. “What have you been chewing on Walrus? What are you hiding from us? Is it the fish?!”

Walrus gulped and with a clear voice thundered. “No!”

Archibald felt he was on the verge of confession. “Have you eaten all the fish? Are you choking down the last of the cove’s supply?”

“No. I’m only chewing on my tongue.”

“Chewing on your tongue?!” Ms. Puffin said with disdain only possible from a school teacher. “Is that the best you have?”
Read more

DIY Home Spring Maintenance Tips

Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Gnome Gnews – Spring Cleaning Edition

5 Spring Maintenance Tips that are Charmingly Easy

 

Life is beautiful when it’s well maintained.
Practical Home and Garden Maintenance Tips from the Idyllic Gnome Glades.

 

Spring Maintenance Tips for the Home

 

Clean Vegetation Around Your Air Conditioner(AC) Condenser.

Problem: Do you live outside the perfect Gnome Glades where temperatures rise above the comfortable? Oh dear, we’re sorry to hear that, but taking proper care of your air-cooling machine can be a snap! You only need to clear away the vegetation that has grown up around your air conditioner condenser.
Read more

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin by Don Clark

Archibald Penguin No. 1

 

Introducing Our New Serial!

Who Ate All the Fish?

featuring

Archibald Penguin, Our Bird,
The Famed Detective.
The Cheeky Penguin who
Loves Fish as Almost as Much as
He Loves Fighting Crime!

 

Detective Serial featuring Archibald the Penguin by Don Clark

 

The Players:

Polar Bear —  A Hungry Animal
The Walrus —  A Certain Tusked Mammal
Seal —  A Happy Fellow
Pelican —  A Creature with a Large Mouth
Archibald Penguin —  Our Bird
Henrietta Puffin —  Penguin’s Ever-Present Companion
Shark —  A Miracle of Evolution
Killer Whale —  Poster-Fish for the Misunderstood

Chapter 1

 

We find Archibald Penguin, Our Bird, on the ice and snow-covered shores of the Southern-Most Continent. He stands near the edge of the water, the cold gray sea continually washing against the frozen ground. His ever-present companion, Henrietta Puffin, is with him. Together they look out towards the sea where there is water in great abundance.

“But there is one thing missing Ms. Puffin.”“Indeed Penguin. Indeed. What do you suppose is the cause of this?”

What my dear Puffin?” Our bird spun on his webbed feet to look indland. “Or more precisely who?” The pair looked down at four sets of footprints leading inland. “This cove is normally teeming with fish, but there are none to be seen. What is to be seen, however, are three sets of footprints.”

“Yes,” Ms. Puffin added, “If I’m correct, the tracks of the Walrus, Seal, and Polar Bear.”

“ I concur. I purpose we follow the trail of the Walrus. The trail looks particularly heavy.”

“Laden with a multitude of fish?”

“Perhaps that is so. Let us go and find out Ms. Puffin.”
Read more

Inside the Small Maker DIY Mom and Pop Struggling Business by Happy Bungalow

I’m a Work at Home Dad

I’m a Work at Home Dad

No, I Don’t Wear Pajamas All Day!

I Work at Home!!

I Don’t Stay at Home!!!

!!&$@+!@=!#!

 

In 2016, once a month, Happy Bungalow will be pulling back the curtain on the wood shop to show what life is really like owning a small / family / crafty / handmade / diy / maker / struggling / mom&pop business (further referred to as SFCHDMSMP business).

 

Inside the Small Maker DIY Mom and Pop Struggling Business by Happy Bungalow

 

Hi, I’m Don; I’m a father and I have job. Conveniently my job is based in my home. I’m a Work at Home Dad. And while I stay at home to work, I’m not a stay at home dad.

Confused? You’re not alone.

Most people who know me personally – I believe – don’t believe I have a real job. It’s possible some, perhaps most, believe I don’t even work. Let me explain, I believe this because –
Read more