Smile, You’re On Candid Camera

Personally, I’m getting a little tired of always being on camera. I don’t mind meeting with my immediate team because they already know I’m wacky, but I think other people are quickly realizing that I’m more quirky than they thought. Last week, I was in a virtual meeting with our CEO and some other directors, and the CEO told us that she used to do psychological testing to determine intelligence and that the first question she would ask was “Does the sun set in the east or the west?” And if you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m directionally challenged and hold tight to my belief that North is up, South is down, and that East and West are randomly ‘out there somewhere’:

Me: How do I get to Home Depot from here?
Ken: Go west on the 401.
Me: I’m a grown ass woman, Ken, not a compass!
Ken: It’ll say right on the sign “401 West”. There will also be an ARROW.
Me: Will “the arrow” be pointing left or right?
Ken: Sigh. Do you want me to take you?
Me: Obviously, Ken.

In fact, the only direction I have ever been able to follow accurately is ‘twist cap and pour’. Anyway, we were at this meeting, and when she asked if the sun set in the east or the west, I was completely befuddled because I COULD NOT REMEMBER and did I ever really know the answer to that in the first place? I mean, I’m a wealth of trivia and regularly run numerous categories on Jeopardy except for Geography, but I thought to myself, “If this is an indication of how intelligent I am, I should know this!” so I started thinking really hard, and using my hands to track the course of the sun across the sky and doing vigorous mental calculations while the meeting continued on, and I had almost figured it out when I realized that one of my colleagues was trying not to laugh, and I don’t know if it was at ME or maybe she didn’t know the answer either. And then later that day in another meeting, I was listening intently as one should when suddenly, a fruit fly started dive-bombing my face and I did what any normal person would do—I started clapping my hands together in the air, trying to kill it but it was very quick and agile so it took several attempts and it wasn’t until it had been handily dispatched that again, I realized the same woman was silently laughing. And I will never know if it was at me or not, because when you’re in a Zoom meeting, EVERYONE seems to be looking right at you because they’re looking at their cameras, and now I think the best indicator of intelligence is whether or not you have your camera on during large meetings.

Also, my camera doesn’t add ten pounds, it adds ten YEARS and whenever I look at myself on the screen, I seem older, sadder, and much paler than I do in real life (at least I hope I don’t look that old, sad, or pale), so you can understand why I’d rather not be on screen.

(Ken just interrupted me to tell me that he caught a mouse in the live mouse trap he had put in the cupboard under the sink. We have a very old house, and every once in a while, one gets into the cupboard. I’ve named him Franklin. Ken’s taking him over to the park where he can frolic with the other field mice.)

Anyway, having to do all interactions, social or otherwise, on camera is getting a bit ridiculous. I’ve been having terrible shoulder pain, so my doctor (who called me on the phone), told me to get some physiotherapy. I called the clinic and they were only doing “virtual appointments”, which meant that I met with a physiotherapist using a type of Zoom.

Physio: Can you point to where the pain is?
Me: Here, here, and here.
Physio: Can you get a little closer to the camera? Like put your shoulder right up to it?
Me: Sure. Is this better?
Physio: A little down to the right. OK. Now, can you swing your arm like this? Hang on, let me just move further back so you can see what I’m doing.

And so it went. She was very nice and emailed me a PDF of exercises I could do, which haven’t helped at all because what I really need is acupuncture or a good massage, neither of which can be accomplished VIA ZOOM. The one thing that IS helping slightly is the new hot tub which is working quite well. The set-up was much more complicated than it needed to be though, mostly because the instructions were like the worst set of instructions I’ve ever seen, and most of them were just links to videos where you could watch a very young girl wearing a very fancy dress perform different aspects of the set-up. Here is a page from the manual that shows you all the parts in the box but doesn’t identify them by name, just by part number. And they are all the same scale, which makes it even more fun to figure out what they are:

This is my favourite page, where it explains what all the functions are the control pad are for:

Notice that they are so small that it’s almost impossible to read without a magnifying glass. In fact, the only thing you CAN read on this page is the warning, in all caps, that the use of alcohol or drugs can greatly increase the risk of fatal hyperthermia, prompting Ken to exclaim triumphantly, “Now I don’t need to build that tiki bar you wanted!” and I was like, “Just put a damn roof on the gazebo and we’ll call it a day, OK?!”

But we finally got it up and running, and it was fantastic:

Me: I love this. It’s so nice to just sit here in the warm, bubbling water and watch the sun set in the…
Ken: West.
Me: Right.

(Ken just got back from the park. He said Franklin scurried off into the high grass without so much as a backwards glance. Live long and prosper, my little rodent friend.)

42 thoughts on “Smile, You’re On Candid Camera

  1. When I was a kid my room faced more or less west and I noticed that the sun moved throughout the year. Not just during the day. Obviously it moved during the day, but in the summer it set behind the hills and in the winter it set behind the trees. So if you asked me “Does the sun set in the east or west?” I’d have to say neither, really, just a sort of westerly direction that changes. And I’d fail the intelligence test. It’s also why when I give someone directions I mention helpful landmarks. It’s the way I like to get directions. “Turn left at the roadside fruit market” tells me more than “head south by northeast”.
    And I don’t understand why Ken doesn’t have to build you the tiki bar. The hot tub isn’t big enough to accommodate a swim-up bar, I assume, so you have to get out to get your pina colada. The occasional trip out will reduce your chances of hyperthermia.
    And the roof on the gazebo will lessen your chances of getting caught in the rain.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Haha haha! I am terrible with directions, sometimes I get lost even while using google maps. A friend of mine and I were travelling to an ikea once using google maps and drive around the building three times trying to find it before we noticed we were in the parking lot driving around the building!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That hot tub sounds amazing–and thank you for providing the answer to the question at the end. I was really stumped. Someone’s intelligence couldn’t possibly hinge on knowing the answer to one “simple” question, could it? Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I remember we learned directions with the helpful mnemonic Never Eat Shredded Wheat. And to be fair I never have eaten shredded wheat. Which is all that particular mnemonic actually helped me to learn…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I use to be directionally challenged myself, then I started work as a local truck driver for the warehouse I worked at when I was 24. So I HAD to train myself and learn, lol. I agree with you about the virtual meetings, the cameras always make me look like an 80 year old man (my dad) because of his totally bad genetics (sagging jowls) ugh. 🙄😏😡
    Hopefully my new job will afford me my badly needed facelift. Franklin will come back, he’ll miss you and your cupboard.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “twist cap and pour” 😂😂
    People start with that “go west on” and I’m like “Left or right out of my drive way if I am facing the blue house with the little dog?”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. OK, as someone who loves maps and geography, I tried to work out how best to ensure you can remember your compass points.

    1) Japan was known as The Land Of The Rising Sun (they even helpfully stuck it on their flag). Japan is in the Far East. It has Eastern Cuisine.

    2) When cowboys rode off into the setting sun, they were heading further Way Out West.

    Does that help? 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Install a compass app. Best learn to use it to prepare for The End. “From which way are the zombies coming?”

    Q: Now, looking down from above the solar system, which way does the Earth rotate and which way does it revolve? Ask that of your CEO next time you see her.
    A: counterclockwise for both.

    The mice know where you live. They’ll be back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My car has a built-in compass but that’s only useful if I know which way I’m supposed to be going. I suspect that the mice have a better sense of direction that I do, and that I’ll be seeing Franklin very soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have to think before I say “left” or “right” (I use that trick where you make an L-shape with your left hand to know that’s left), but I can always tell you which way is north, south, east, or west. So, when my wife is searching the fridge and says something like, “Where’s the almond milk?,” I’ll reply with, “In the northwest corner.” And she’s like, “Where the f**k is that?”

    Yeah, these Zoom meetings are wreaking havoc on my self-image. Pasty? I look downright vampiric on camera! I so envy Franklin, living his Zoom-free life…

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I knew the east west thing but when driving in CO it was always the mountains I used as a reference, west…until I was downtown Denver and couldnt see them. A trip to the zoo with the kids ended up in Kansas! JK.🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m great with directions, except. . . Where I live, the giant body of water is directly east. It took me a full two days in your fair city to get my brain wrapped around the idea that the giant body of water was to the south. How can that be?! Great Lakes are east (or they should be anyway!) So are oceans, which makes for great fun when I visit my best friend in California. Insert eye roll here. I’m over Zoom meetings too, but at least I can frame myself in the camera. I can’t get over the people whose cameras spotlight the top 1/5 of their forehead only. I mean, I get what the camera does to our self-esteem and all, but, come on!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. My wife is direction challenged. She hates it when I take different ways to get to the same place, shouting, “Where are we? Where we going?” Her eyes begin rolling whenever East and those other places are mentioned.

    She is, however, amazing at remembering where stores and shopping centers are located. Guided by landmarks, she can take you straight to them after being there only once. Funny, though, but once she’s in the store, she’ll get, “all turned around”.


    Liked by 2 people

  13. Bear says:

    I am so glad that I am self-employed and also have no one to talk to via these brutally honest cameras. I do know the one on my laptop is effectively north of the screen though.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Suzanne,
    My two kids are the exact opposite. My son is a human GPS. Seriously. My daughter couldn’t make it to the 7-11 up the street and to the left if she didn’t have her GPS with her at all times. The Creator has an interesting sense of humor. BTW, did you know that dogs do their business facing north or south. I just read that somewhere recently, but I don’t remember or when. Probably on the internet in the last several months. Also, I’m not sure what that has to do with what you wrote, but it reminded me of that. You’re welcome. Mona

    Liked by 2 people

  15. lolol I’m one of the paranoid ones who wonders if these things are being recorded — on the other hand, I should be flattered anyone would think I’m worth recording. say hi to Franklin for me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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