Brought To You By The Letter Q

Now listen, I don't normally write about work, but something so embarrassing happened during my first week on the new job that I couldn't not tell you about it, because that would be wrong. I think that's blogging in a nutshell, really: me telling you about the times I did something stupid and you laughing at me.

Wait, with me. I meant with me!

So at my new job, we have what is basically an enormous chat room and it is open to the whole company for the whole time. Working from home, this has been supremely useful for me: I can keep the chat room open, pop in at will, and reach out to someone with a question whenever I need to. It's been invaluable in keeping me connected to the rest of my co-workers, who are all thousands of miles away in a different state.

But on my third day on the job, it all went horribly wrong. 

I needed to find my green card, you see, to scan it for a form I had to fill in for HR. My green card was in the living room, and my computer was in the spare bedroom. I got up from my computer, walked into the living room, and started to look for my green card. I was away from my computer for three minutes, tops. During this interval, my cat Sadie jumped up on my desk, settled onto the keyboard, and unwittingly joined the chat room conversation with the whole company.

It looked like this:

Holly Burns: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Holly Burns: QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

....and then continued on like that for about four hundred more Qs---and you know I often exaggerate, but I am not exaggerating here---until Sadie must have shifted position a little bit and my contribution to the conversation became even more nuanced:

Holly Burns: Q

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...at which point my new co-workers began to get understandably concerned:

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Co-worker 1: WAKE UP, WAKE UP!

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Co-worker 2: WTF?

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Co-worker 3: Apparently she didn't like our conversation.

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Co-worker 4: This is impressive.

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Co-worker 5: Seizure?

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Co-worker 6: Um, does anyone have her phone number?

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Co-worker 7: It just keeps going and going! It's like the Energizer Bunny!

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Co-worker 8: That must be some good acid.

Co-worker 8: Just sayin'

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Holly Burns: Whoa

Holly Burns: I'm so sorry!

Co-worker 1: Cat?

Holly Burns: I just really wanted to tell you guys about the letter Q.

Holly Burns: Uh, yes, cat.

******************

So that was a great way to make a first impression! I guess I know what they mean now about minding your Ps and Qs when you're new on the job. Or really just your Qs.

(For the record, everyone was super nice and understanding about it. And the next week, when I went into the office to meet them all in person---most for the very first time---I was really tempted to wear a shirt that just had a big Q on the front. And on the back too.)

1
nicolien
Jul 14, 2011

Oh yes I am laughing. WITH you, of course.

2
Roze
Jul 14, 2011

Laughing. Out. Loud. So much so that my roommate knocked on my door to see what was going on. It's the middle of the night here.

3
Nicole
Jul 14, 2011

Now I'm laughing so hard at my office my coworkers think something's wrong with me! But with you of course, only with you. You should have sent Sadie into the office to meet them all with a Q shirt on. But there's always next time, right?

4
Regina
Jul 14, 2011

This is by far the best thing I've heard today. Thank you Holly for sharing and letting us laugh with you.

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Sarah
Jul 14, 2011

Co-worker 4 was right, that was impressive!

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Janet
Jul 14, 2011

This made me laugh so hard I cried.

Thank Q.

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Kate in Ohio
Jul 14, 2011

I used to work at a place that had the same thing. If a person was away from their desk for longer than about 5 minutes it would log them out of their entire system requiring a total reboot. I bet you can see where this is going....you guessed it, I accidently sent a message intended for one person to the entire company at 12:30 and most people were at lunch. It was not my best day or career move. At least I wasn't saying something mean about someone which was usually the main reason to use chat. What can I say, I was young.

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april
Jul 14, 2011

I laughed so hard I cried. Thank you for that.

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MS
Jul 14, 2011

Wiping away tears I'm laughing so hard. I am constantly telling the cats at our house, "No! Move! We're not using the space bar/# key/letter i right now!" What is it with the keyboards?!

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Sabrina
Jul 14, 2011

I can't stop laughing! My husband is just standing here going, What? What is so funny?
Made my day!!!

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amy s (OH)
Jul 14, 2011

This post made me laugh. I have a cat too that happens to like to sit on computers. So funny!

12
E
Jul 14, 2011

Oh my goodness, I have never laughed that hard at my computer EVER. I just love your coworkers quiet little comments once every 4000 Q's. Thanks for sharing that Holly.

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E
Jul 14, 2011

Oh my goodness, I have never laughed that hard at my computer EVER. I just love your coworkers quiet little comments once every 4000 Q's. Thanks for sharing that Holly.

14
karen
Jul 14, 2011

I'm laughing hard enough that my dog is looking at me all concerned.

I don't have a cat, but my children have similarly caused friends to suspect that i'm having a stroke.

Thank you for that morning laugh. :)

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Kristen
Jul 14, 2011

That's one of the funniest things ever. If it hadn't happened during the first week, the funniness quotient would've dropped severely, so consider this a spot of luck!

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UG
Jul 14, 2011

The best part of this post is reading the comments that your coworkers made, interspersed among the Qs.

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UG
Jul 14, 2011

Oh, also, if you have an avatar/mini picture of yourself in any of these apps, you should either a) use Q instead of your face, or b) somehow emblazon Sadie with a scarlet Q, take her picture, and use that.

18
MomQueenBee
Jul 14, 2011

Best new job story I've ever heard. Ever.

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Lawyerish
Jul 14, 2011

God, that was funny! I love your coworkers' comments. "Seizure?" I am going to be laughing about this all day. Thank you, Holly!

20
KateMc
Jul 14, 2011

Thank you for the laugh. I needed it!

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Angie
Jul 14, 2011

Too funny. I love it.

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Krissa
Jul 14, 2011

Props to your awesome coworkers for the hilarious inter-Q comedy - I'm doing the silent-shake laugh WITH you right now from the jury duty waiting room!

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Lori
Jul 14, 2011

Thanks for the belly laugh. Great presentation of the "conversation".

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juliek
Jul 14, 2011

I really needed a good laugh this morning - thank your kitty for me!

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Jordan
Jul 14, 2011

I'm laughing so hard at my desk (the silent-shake Krissa mentioned) that I'm crying. We have cats that also love to lay on anything warm - like keyboards. We came home once and found that one of them had opened up almost 100 windows on the desktop.

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Nimble
Jul 14, 2011

THANK YOU!

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Linda_M
Jul 14, 2011

Laughing and laughing. Sounds like you work with folks who have great senses of humor!

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Ris
Jul 14, 2011

Your coworkers' comments are so awesome. I agree that the "Q" should make an appearance wherever it can. Holly Q Burns, sign your Q on the line, etc.

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Mary
Jul 14, 2011

I am dying! So hysterical! I am definitely laughing WITH you!

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JenniG
Jul 14, 2011

Oh my god, I am laughing so hard right now. That was hillarious. You are SUCH a brilliant story teller!
Can't stop thinking about "Seizure?" Sounds like you work with awesome people!

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Michelle
Jul 14, 2011

Best thing I've read today, no make that all week. Dead from laughter here, really.

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Monica
Jul 14, 2011

Oh god... this is histarical... and I would have totally done the t-shirt bit.

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Kate
Jul 14, 2011

I enjoy your blog, as I enjoy many blogs, and while I find 98% of them very amusing, I rarely just laugh out loud uncontrollably. This cracked me up to no end. I'm still chuckling over here.

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Amber
Jul 14, 2011

I don't often laugh until I start tearing up at a blog post, but I just did. :)

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PinkieBling
Jul 14, 2011

Oh, Holly. This is tremendous. It would, indeed, have been wrong to keep this from us. ;-) Laughing *with* you all the way. Also, your new coworkers are funny!

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PinkieBling
Jul 14, 2011

Also, I had no idea Sadie could spell "ass." That's one smart kitty!

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simon
Jul 14, 2011

"Q" is not a bad nickname to have. It's very James Bondian, which can only help to burnish your British credentials.

38
Jennie Canzoneri
Jul 14, 2011

Oh, Holly, I'm in tears! Your co-workers sound fantastic, by the way.

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Courtney
Jul 14, 2011

That was hilarious. I really wish you would have worn that shirt.

40
Sharone
Jul 14, 2011

Unfortunately, my efforts to suppress my laughter and not scare my officemate resulted in some very aggressive snorting/whooshing sounds. Which scared my officemate.

I'm surprised your coworkers didn't welcome you to the office by presenting you with a Q t-shirt. I would've. :)

41
Stephanie S.
Jul 14, 2011

That just made my day

42
Starla
Jul 14, 2011

You have the greatest gift of story telling. Loved this, absolutely hilarious! 'Seizure?' So funny!

43

SO funny. And I really wish you'd worn the Q shirt. You would ROCK a Q shirt!

44
Caroline
Jul 14, 2011

Best. Post. EVER. I am on the floor laughing.

"I just really wanted to tell you guys about the letter Q."

SO SMOOOOOOOOOTH. I bet they would have fallen for it, with a little more fancy footwork!

45
Lauren
Jul 14, 2011

I am laughing so hard! Reminds me of when I got locked out of my highrise apartment whe taking the trash to the chute down the hall. Problem: I was wearing pajamas. Second problem: I as barefoot. third problem: My cat got out also. Had to go barefoot in pj's with my cat to fancy apartment lobby. I made an impression.

46
Jessie
Jul 14, 2011

Puuuuurfect.

47
jes
Jul 14, 2011

Oh my gosh, Holly. I literally laughing out loud. I am so, so disappointed you weren't wearing the letter Q on your shirt. Next time. ;)

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Isobel_A
Jul 14, 2011

Oh god - I haven't laughed so much in weeks! Thank you.

49
Twice Five Miles
Jul 14, 2011

I started laughing when your cat spelled "ASS" and didn't stop. Thanks for the giggles...

50
Carroll
Jul 14, 2011

Holly, realistically I see very little point in adding one more comment which can only be identical to all the others, but since I am still laughing uncontrollably here, I really can't see straight anyway, so what the heck. I have been sort of sick for weeks on end, and it actually rather hurts to laugh -- but I think this post may seriously have cured what ails me. So funny! Isn't there some "Best Post of the Year" award for which this should be nominated??

51
Laziza
Jul 14, 2011

Oh, God, this had me laughing out loud. You poor lady.

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Angela
Jul 14, 2011

Great story! I had just taken a big drink of water just as I got to the first set of Qs. Let me just say I am pretty impressed that I managed not to spit it all over my desk and computer. Hilarious!

53
Caitlin
Jul 14, 2011

I'm laughing so hard I'm crying.

(And I want to work with you all.)

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Kristin H
Jul 14, 2011

Oh my god, I laughed and laughed and laughed. That was awesome.

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Moose
Jul 14, 2011

I just laughed for about twenty minutes straight. Also, I need more information about the letter Q. At your earliest convenience. Thanks.

56
Chris
Jul 14, 2011

Last summer I was using my husband's PC (I'm a Mac) for something and walked away for a minute. The cat jumped up on the keyboard and performed some sort of voodoo magic with his paws, and all the keys were short cuts. Like, you couldn't type anything at all, every key just performed a short cut. I actually had to call Dell's customer service (I had to call someone else to look up the number because I couldn't use the computer!) and thankfully the guy knew how to tell me to fix it over the phone. I think cats are the eventual downfall of technology.

57
Julie
Jul 14, 2011

Oh so hilarious!! At least Sadie didn't message your coworkers FU over and over again.

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Kari
Jul 14, 2011

What is it about the letter Q that has us all in tears? I too am laughing so hard I cried.

59
Marcheline
Jul 14, 2011

This is your karmic retribution for having a spam filter that kicks people out for no reason.

Thank you,
The Letter Q

60
Fabs
Jul 14, 2011

THAT, is hilarious!

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jill
Jul 14, 2011

Oh, this made me so happy. Laughed my fool head off. Thank you.

62
Amy
Jul 14, 2011

Was laughing so hard I snorted and frightened the dogs. What an impressive kitty to keep her paw on one key. Love the comments from your coworkers...

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Nancy Keim Comley
Jul 14, 2011

I haven't been able to stop laughing yet. ESPECIALLY since I own 3 cats.

64
agirlandaboy
Jul 14, 2011

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

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Bopril
Jul 14, 2011

Hysterical. Thanks to you and Sadie for the laughs.

66
Laura
Jul 14, 2011

Best.
Post.
Yet.

Especially when read on an iPhone: scroll, scroll, scroll--hilarious interjection by co-worker--scroll, scroll, scroll--hilarious interjection by co-worker...me laughing so that my stomach hurts...scroll, scroll, scroll...

Oh, miss burns, I do believe I love you more than ever now.

67
Michelle
Jul 14, 2011

oh that is hilarious!! and so hard to keep from laughing hysterically out loud whilst at my desk (open plan office!).

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Tara
Jul 14, 2011

Seizure?

It probably shouldn't have, but that made me laugh like I hadn't laughed all day!

Thanks for sharing!

My cheeks are hurting for smiling so much! Too bloody funny. :D

70
Kristy
Jul 14, 2011

Best thing I've read all day! Laughing so hard my boyfriend and the dogs are looking at me like I'm nuts. Thank you for this! LOL

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carrisa
Jul 14, 2011

Funniest thing I've read all day.

72
Lindsey
Jul 14, 2011

OMG, so funny. Love your coworkers' responses. Especially the acid remark. Laughing with you, of course!! :)

73
Leslie
Jul 14, 2011

I am laughing SO HARD right now! Thank you for sharing!

74
Rachel
Jul 14, 2011

That made me laugh so hard! QQQQQ! I hope they call you Holly Q from now on. Perhaps you can change your display name in the chat room to Holly Q?

75
Camels & Chocolate
Jul 14, 2011

Um, my stomach hurts from containing my silent laughter. Only you, Burns. Only you.

76
WendyB
Jul 15, 2011

This made my day.

77
jasmine
Jul 15, 2011

i think maybe its time to teach your cat how to type. maybe she was trying to type "cute"?

78
Cheryl
Jul 15, 2011

This is one of the funniest stories I have read in long time. What a way to break the ice with the new co-workers.

79
Colin
Jul 15, 2011

I had the singular misfortune of reading this at work, where guffawing aloud is considered decidedly improper. Cue the most severe case of church giggles I think I've ever experienced. So much silent-laughter crying.

Co-worker 8. CO-WORKER 8.

...Do you guys need an intern?

80
Kerry
Jul 15, 2011

That is priceless. They will never forget you and your Qs.

81
Roberta
Jul 15, 2011

Oh dear god. I have tears from laughing so hard, and I am TOTALLY doing the church-giggle (love that term) silent cry-laugh thing at work with Mr. Colin at #79 up there. I am now sharing this with um, everyone, in an effort to explain myself.

82
Busymomma66
Jul 15, 2011

OMG, that is hilarious!!! I'm with Roberta and doing the church-giggle, oh, and I can't stop. I'm going to explode.

83
Misty Dawn
Jul 15, 2011

Karen Walrond linked to this post, and thank goodness she did. I really needed to laugh like that. Haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

84
whoorl
Jul 15, 2011

I can't stop laughing. Truly can't!!

85
Maren
Jul 15, 2011

Yeah, everyone else said it, but holy crap I am so glad that I didn't read this at work, because there is no way I could have contained the laughter. It is a wonder I didn't just wake the baby up as it is. This post should definitely win awards...the kind that will make everyone in the world read this. Because then we could have world peace, what with everyone smiling and laughing so much!

86
Pretzel Thief
Jul 16, 2011

BAHAHAHAH! Oh man...too freakin' hilarious, dude!

87
Lindsey
Jul 16, 2011

This reminds me ever so much of the pocket-dialing tendencies of the Blackberry. I own a Blackberry. I sing in the car. You can connect the dots.

88
Anna
Jul 16, 2011

Oh my hell. Hilarious. And the Q shirt would have been excellent.

89
regan
Jul 16, 2011

Ha! I love your new co-workers.

90
sarah
Jul 16, 2011

Just have to de-lurk to thank you for making me laugh until the tears started rolling. Brilliant story!

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