M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, October 31, 2005  

Grin and Bear It

It is perfectly legitimate to dress your one-year-old son in corduroy pants.

It is also a valid choice to feed him fried rice as part of his dinner.

However, doing both at the same time is not a good idea. Unless you want to be prying those little grains out of the treads with your fingernails, of course.

* * *

As I may have mentioned before, Trash works at a company that helps people who have been laid off find new jobs. Part of what she does is teaching people how to do research and make the most out of the many resources for jobhunters and stuff like that. By the time they get to Trash, they've generally already met a consultant or two, as well as the company's psychologist, so many of them are over the worst of the shock of losing their jobs. But Trash still occasionally gets a crier in her office.

Which is awkward. Although she's probably the most empathetic person I've ever met, she's not really going to work to give emotional support. Nobody ever trained her on what to do when she's in a little room with a near-stranger who starts crying. Sure, everyone knows you hug someone when they get weepy, but what if it's someone you just met? At work, no less? That's not in the manual. Which is why she came up with her own solution.

Let me back up a bit. A few years ago, when she was having one of the worst months of her life, one of her coworkers gave her a little stuffed bear. The tag on the bear said, "My name is Cashew and I'm here to hug you!" Naturally, it made Trash feel better at once. Because, you know, despite everything else, she still hadn't lost her sense of humor. Cashew went immediately into Trash's office, until such time as he was again needed.

Which was, of course, the very next time Trash found herself sitting across from a crying client. No awkward pause this time; she reached right into her desk drawer, pulled out Cashew, and handed him over.

So now the client, who until the previous moment had been wracked with despair over the shocking turn his or her life had recently taken, was now holding a bear with the message, "My name is Cashew and I'm here to hug you!" I defy you to keep crying when you're holding something like that. You can't do it. You're too confused.

So, once Cashew had done his work, Trash would gently take him back, pop him into his drawer, and continue the interview. The crying was over, of course.

This worked fine for a while, until Trash's boss got wind of it. At first, she thought everyone was kidding, but once she realized this was actually going on, Cashew was quickly confiscated.

Trash eventually got Cashew back, but she hasn't had to use him since. It might have to do with better screening procedures.

Linda's Music Stylist had a suggestion for her, now that Cashew's been retired. He thought that maybe she should invest in a bear suit. You know, she's going over search techniques, the waterworks start, she excuses herself for a minute, and bops back in wearing a full-body bear costume, arms spread wide, booming, "My name is Cashew and I'm here to hug you!" One look at that and the client may forget how to cry for good.

The only problems are: the fact that a new bear suit may be cost-prohibitive, Trash's fear of Furries, and the very real possibility that anything she orders on eBay may arrive with all sorts of weird hatches and smells. So she might just go with the bear-head.

Trash's boss will be a much bigger fan of Cashew then, I'm thinking.

Today's best search phrase: "Twin girls strat Nazi pop group video." You know, these days there are any number of free search engines that don't charge you by the search. If you want to look up more than one thing, you can use more than one search.

posted by M. Giant 9:45 PM 13 comments


they took Cashew away? Trash isn't allowed to use Cashew to stop people from crying? Why the hell not? I don't understand what's so wrong with that.
Maybe Trash is just supposed to ignore the crying...?

By Blogger alivicwil, at October 31, 2005 at 9:58 PM  

Maybe it's a nut allergy thing. "This bear was made in a factory containing peanuts and nuts. May contain traces of nuts. No. Seriously. Cashew is going to hug you? THAT'S nuts."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 31, 2005 at 11:19 PM  

oh god, i think that's a valid search... there are twin 13-year-olds (in florida i think) writing and singing nazi songs, it was in the sunday times over here this week. picture of the two in their hitler t-shirts and all.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 1:39 AM  

Yeah I don't get why Trash's boss thought the Cashew thing was a bad idea. How the hell else is she supposed to handle people crying in her office?! Sounds like a great solution to me...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 6:21 AM  

OK -- I was reading about Trash's worst month ever (sorry it sucked so bad, Trash) but I have to say that this is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read.

Minnesota readers, show of hands: how many of you voted for Jesse Ventura?

Now, how many of you would have voted for him if you thought he would actually win?

Damn, all of a sudden it’s like a Saudi Arabian klepto convention in here.

Dude, you are so going to hell.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 6:34 AM  

You need to make sure Trash stays away from Vegas during the Plushie conventions then!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 7:17 AM  

I should probably explain why my boss felt it best to retire Cashew and his amazing calming powers. Most of my clients are business executives who expect a different consulting manner (read more professional) and are a little shocked and confused by the sudden appearance of a stuffed bear. Of course, the shock and confusion is what stopped the tears, so I would say it's a win-win, but perhaps that's why I am not in charge.

And is there actually a furry convention? Seriously?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 7:58 AM  

Of course there's a furry convention...

So Cashew was unprofessional? And someone crying in your office is not?

By Blogger Cori, at November 1, 2005 at 8:06 AM  

Well, didn't M. Giant say that Trash's clients were just laid off? Maybe that's why they are crying. Of course, I think that Cashew is even more important if that's the case.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 10:59 AM  

Oh yes, of course there are furry conventions. The world is a wild place.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 1, 2005 at 11:17 AM  

Not only are there furry conventions, but the Music Stylist and the lovely Wife Of Music Stylist have a very funny story about a conversation they had about furry conventions. You should get him to tell you, Trash, because it's freaking hilarious.

By Blogger Linda, at November 1, 2005 at 11:19 AM  

Of course there are furries conventions (and where better than vegas, huh?). There are some photos floating around the web if you're really interested. The best part is they refer to themselves as fur-verts. How sweet is that?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 2, 2005 at 7:03 AM  

Recently my boss was being a little more obnoxious to me than usual. My co-workers empathized, since they've all gone through it. Then one of them told me, "Stop and take a deep breath," and that was the best balm in the world for me. We all need some kind of balm at some time, no matter if we're wearing business suits or casual attire. So that bear was a balm for these people. Your wife was there for them when they needed it the most.

By Blogger Darlene, at November 3, 2005 at 3:56 PM  

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