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Cat Forum: A Day at the Spa

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Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here. Thanks for joining us here for this month’s Cat Forum. Today we’re looking at the important issue of how you can de-stress after a hard day of supervising the neighborhood, hunting, and looking for the perfect napping spot.

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One of the best ways to relax is to get a massage. Some cats find a human to do this. If you are looking for a human, you need one who uses their whole hand. It feels like extremely good cuddles.

Some humans use their fingertips. They call it acupressure; we call it prodding. However, many cats report that after the prodding, they do feel a lot better.

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We prefer a cat-to-cat massage. No one knows where our stress points are better than another cat. And when they’re done, you don’t need to worry about being dumped on the sofa afterwards. You can just relax and take a nap.

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Some of you say ‘nip is relaxing. We don’t want to recommend it here, because it excites as many kitties as it relaxes. Of course, most kitties do fall asleep after the excitement. So, it probably is relaxing.

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If you do choose to relax with ‘nip, make sure you get it from a reliable trader. Some cats have reported finding oregano and other herbs mixed in. That is definitely not relaxing.

A couple of good, long stretches are good for relaxing. Remember to hold the stretch momentarily to get the most out of it. If you are an active hunter, you may associate stretching with hunting. In that case, we do not recommend trying to relax this way.

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Some kitties like to relax with music. We recommend something in the classical realm, with lots of soothing strings or piano. Do not listen to that current human music with the loud crashes and human yowling. It will cause you more stress than you currently have.

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If the source of your stress is a housemate, there are two ways to deal with it. Our preferred method is to chase them out of the area. Not only will the running help you de-stress, you no longer have to deal with the source of the stress.

The other alternative is to find a quiet space of your own. However, if you’re stressed because someone has invaded your quiet spot, you’ll need to have several back-ups. Pests can usually find you.

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 Last, but not least, is a nice, long nap in a warm spot. We recommend a blanket, a sunny spot, in front of a fire, or in your bed. Do not use a human lap. Just about the time you get settled in, they will decide it’s time for a snack.

Talking about all of this relaxation is making us sleepy. Purrs and snuggles from Cat Forum.

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3

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Punch In

It was a pretty good week at work. They finally hired a stocker for the deli/cheese. He’s a friend of the other stocker, so he has some idea of what he’s walking in to. But it’s his first job and those are still hard to find around here. It should be good preparation in case he ever wants to work, well, I’m no exactly sure where.

The first thing the team leader was looking for in a new stocker was that it was a male. She feels that unloading the pallets is too hard for women. I wanted to thank her for bringing us back to the 1970’s when it was common knowledge that women would never be able to do certain jobs because they lacked the strength and stamina for them.

It was somewhat ironic that she would tell me these things while she was asking me to unload a pallet of chickens (46 lbs to the box, 20-25 boxes). I’m not very big: 5’2″ with weight proportional to height (as they used to say in the personals). It seems to me that if I can do it, gender should not be an issue.

Nevertheless, New Guy (NG) is great so far. Luckily for him, he is strong. And unlike the last male stocker, he isn’t too lazy to use his strength. He learns quickly and is willing to try anything.

That’s why it was so painful to have to tell him the ground rules. Not for working with me or the other stocker (OS), but being in the deli in general. Over in cheese, there are very few rules. Put the cheese where it belongs and don’t disappear for hours on end. It’s kind of depressing how many people have failed at it in the two and a half years I’ve been there.

Unfortunately, it fell to me to tell NG that the rumor about a lot of women working under stress in a very small space is true in our case. Very few of them play well with others. One woman walked out last week because someone kept telling what lousy work her shift did. (Day shift thinks night shift is lazy and worthless and the feeling is reciprocated.) Another woman kept yelling at her (co-worker, not customer).

Luckily for them, someone talked her into coming back. She’s a good worker and didn’t talk about others behind their backs.That’s probably why people were giving her a hard time; it’s like living in a tough neighborhood. One of the women apologized. The other ignores her. It’s also a lot like high school.

Then there’s the team leader (TL). Apparently it’s common knowledge in the other departments that she cannot order efficiently. We just got in five hundred and some chickens to rotisserie. Consensus was that relatively few people eat rotisseried chickens on Easter.

We can’t put the chickens in the deli cooler because it is too full of deli meat that TL has over-ordered. She insists that I can find room for all the extra chickens, meats, and salsa that she does not have room to store. I wish I had not let my magic license expire. Or could match her up with the people who think that if they complain enough I will be able to find something that is currently out of stock.

I’m never quite sure how much to share before it starts to scare people away. Generally, I like to share enough information so that the new person doesn’t think he/she has been singled out for the weirdness. Like the fact that my section is mainly an annoyance to the TL. It is not in the sight lines of the deli (thank goodness). Out of sight, out of mind.

Yesterday TL came around to ask who could work extra hours. NG and I were working together. She said that if no one volunteered, she would have to enforce mandatory overtime. She didn’t seem to understand that mandatory overtime could not be enforced at a company that tells its employees that NO overtime is allowed. Oddly enough, people schedule things for after work.

Newsflash! TL is not a good role model. She takes cigarette breaks on the clock. She parks in handicapped parking (illegally) so her car is convenient for smoke breaks (guess she doesn’t want people seeing her on her third break in four hours). Apparently all of that smoking has made walking to a different part of the lot uncomfortable.

TL doesn’t like working the counter, stocking, doing the daily inventory work or several other tasks. She does spend a lot of time complaining about being understaffed. I don’t think it has really sunk in that she wouldn’t have as many staffing issues if she picked up some of the slack herself.

No one wants to complain to management about TL. The last time someone did, she promised to track them down and file a complaint about that person creating a hostile working environment. That’s funny to everyone who didn’t have to listen to the tirade.

Once all of that was said, OS and I were able to congratulate NG on being a stocker rather than a slicer. He’ll have to spend part of his time stocking deli which is a little scary, but then he can come fall off the radar in cheese.

(Title courtesy of Dante for those of you who recognized it but couldn’t place it. For the rest of you too, I guess.)