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The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist ™

February 2000, No. 2, Sect. 1

Fight when you can 
Take flight when you must 
Flow like a dream 
In the Phoenix we trust!

Table of Contents

Heads Up: AOL Chat Group News Flash: WebMD.com Q & A: Dealing with a "Control Freak" Boss in Times of Rapid Change Shrink Rap: Transcending Habitats, Hemispheres and Hormones Readers' Submissions: Slogans for Women's T-Shirts Sect 2: Main Essay: Planning and Implementing a "Safe" Company Retreat Announcements: Q & A Links/Archives

Heads Up: Change is in the air. Soon non-AOLers will be able to participate in my AOL/Digital City Chat Group. For now, only for AOL members. Stop by my online "Shrink Rap (TM) and Group Chat," Tuesdays, 9-10:45pm EST <A HREF="aol://4344:363.gorkin.5732839.568857121"> Chat with the Stress Doc</A>: It's a dynamic, lively, at times witty and always warm, thoughtful and supportive problem-solving group. We raise questions and share our ideas, hopes and experiences with each other. 

News Flash:

1. The Stress Doc Teams with WebMD.com

The Stress Doc leads his lively, mutually supportive one hour "Practice Safe Stress" Internet Support Group for WebMD.

Up Next: March 29th, 5pm EST/2pm PST. Questions? Email Jon Roig at jroig@webmd.net or call 503.943.3279

For A QUICK GUIDE TO ENTERING WEBMD LIVE EVENTS: by Jon Roig, Producer for Healtheon-WebMD, jroig@webmd.net...

(See end of Stress Doc Newsletter, FEB 2000, No. 2, Sect. 2 for Jon's Access Guide.) 

Ask the Stress Doc Q & A Work Stress

1) Understanding and Dealing with a "Control Freak" Boss/Owner in Times of Rapid Change

Q. I found your web site when I was searching google.com for help in "dealing with a control freak" at work. However, I STILL need help with this. I am wondering if you can direct me to further information that might help my situation.

The control freak in my life is "my boss." I am training coordinator for a new computer training division of a small company and we are growing rapidly. My "boss" happens to be the sole owner of the company and I believe he may be having trouble relinquishing control in light of the company's rapid growth.

So far, I have NEVER seen such a disorganized workplace. There are no policies and procedures and he has his hand in every single aspect of the company. Now he wants to control all the computers in the training section (my section).

He has hidden agendas all over the place and I have reached a point where I go to work in the morning knowing full well that yesterday's decisions (if any) may very well have changed today. I am at a point where I just accept whatever he says at the time, knowing full well it is very likely to change shortly.

He recently hired an operations manager -- a man he used to work for 17 years ago -- and they have remained in contact over the years. Even the operations manager has had his eyes opened in the six weeks he has been there.

The control freak absolutely HATES spending money, so I see many hidden agendas built around that issue so he does not have to spend money. He even misrepresented my job to me but I was not aware of it until I was already on the job. I gather this may also have been an attempt to not spend money -- unless he absolutely has to do so.

Can you please offer some advice?

A. Now your question has me a bit queasy, wondering if there's some "control freak" boss in me. Perhaps by comparing and contrasting, some light can be shed on your hazardous work environment, including some counter strategies.

Rapid expansion can be as disruptive as a sudden downsizing or merger. The signs are increasingly evident at Stress Doc Enterprises. Six months ago, I retained a small marketing firm. The four month startup brought little new business. In addition to generating workshops, the marketing group was attempting to expand my web presence and, in turn, hoping to get a commission from any web-generated speaking or workshop business. While their recommendation to join an online media/expert data bank “ ProfNet “ was increasing Stress Doc exposure, still no significant revenues were coming in. Yet the head of the marketing company needed more funds to justify her time and efforts: either a higher retainer or a higher commission was the bottom line. Too much money and too many hours, expenditures of energy and ego -- those "sunk costs" -- had been invested to just cut bait. I reluctantly agreed to a fifty per cent commission. In fact, with the retainer fee and commission split I began wondering who was working for whom?

It took awhile to realize that, in effect, I had two businesses: a) the first being a sole proprietor of Stress Doc Enterprises, with the primary marketing arm being my increasing presence on the Web, on AOL, a syndicated writer for e-zines and other .com sites, along with word of mouth from former clients, etc. and b) the second was a partnership with this marketing company, an uneasy alliance at best. While they were trying to increase Stress Doc Enterprises revenues and exposure, first and foremost they were looking out for their profitability. Naturally, they wanted to make money off any and all Stress Doc operations, including my popular web site and future book sales.

Was I getting angry and suspicious?  You bet I was! Not being a great business mind, this negotiation and boundary setting process was uneasy territory for a lone wolf writer and performing artist. (I also had my father's growling voice in my head: beware the "gonifs," those greedy, thieving business types.)

Then came the recent battle of the brochure. The head of the marketing company wanted me to use the picture from the old brochure, the one with a playful expression performing behind a mic. I was ready for a more recent pic, a contemplative, slightly bemused pose surveying the (cyber) future; my "visionary image." The commercial vs. artistic pressure was on. Ms. Marketer rationally opined since I was a "psychohumorist" the brochure picture should reflect that role. She even tried enlisting the printer and her own staff to dissuade me from the "too serious" choice. Of course, I was drawn to the the more expansive persona -- farsighted cyberpioneer. (What, you haven't heard that oft cried saying, "Vanity thy name is Gorkin!) I stood fast on the image, and have received kudos from my backers. Alas, the same image on the web site does look a tad earnest. One volunteer editor tactfully observed a similarity to Dr. Kevorkian. With friends like these...;-)

We've not signed a written contract since the original four month agreement expired in December. And I'm in no rush to do so. The Stress Doc enterprise business climate is becoming increasingly fast-paced and unpredictable. Both the marketing company (especially in the Washington, DC legal field) and my award-winning Web Site and general web presence are starting to hit their strides as business generating operations. And I want a fluid future. (Ah, once a commitment phobe, always a commitment phobe?)

Will I need to hire training associates? A public relations agent? How much down the road marketing support will I get from my publisher, a startup Internet publishing house? I'm feeling frustrated by the amount of "hurry up and wait" time in this book process. There's already been a changing of the editorial guard; three months have gone by with almost no tangible manuscript edits to review. Once again, it's a new partnership in the hopes of expanding the visibility and profitability of two businesses. In the long run, getting Practice Safe Stress with the Stress Doc published will enhance my cache. In the short run, it's mostly creating an out of control, out of the loop, "Stressed Doc."

Which brings me to your turbulent transitional work climate. For diagnostic and intervention purposes, let's see if there are analogous dynamics as well as distinctions between your situation and mine. Consider these four broad areas:

1. Rapidly Growing Small Company. Undoubtedly, expanding a one person shop or undergoing sudden and explosive small company growth is unnerving. While it usually signals an increasing demand for products or services, it also augurs profound change in the nature of in-house and customer/client relationships. Invariably, there needs to be more operational structure to minimize disarray and duplication, to share information and generate decisions effectively ("do the right thing") and efficiently ("do the thing right"). Alas, some of the former free-flowing ways get barricaded or boxed up by bureaucracy.

In this volatile climate, it's as if the small business owner's baby has morphed overnight into an obstreperous adolescent. The business is taking on a life of its own or, at the least, the peer group has as much influence as the progenitor. While growth reflects positive change, it can surely induce higher workload, visibility, accountability, time sensitivity and performance stress levels. Consider this critical point: for the organization as a whole and, especially, for founding employees, there's an open or, more likely, an underlying yet ongoing grieving process. A rapid transition challenges participants (including yours truly) to confront "The Stress Doc's Six 'F's of Loss and Change." One must tackle: a) the end of the familiar past, b) facing an unpredictable future, c) the challenges to confidence and competence or loss of face, d) the compelling need to regenerate a fresh focus, e) being open to feedback that questions basic operating assumptions, existing goals and achievements, and f) the ability to draw upon both one's inner conviction and new external supports to weather this transitional tempest, that is, to have faith in one's past learning curves and in a capacity to bring purpose, passion and power to this new journey.

And, not surprisingly, the issue of control and how it is handled significantly impacts the general state of organization or disorganization.

2. Out of Control. Now I don't want to dismiss the assessment of your boss as inordinately controlling. Still, as I've chosen to collaborate with and depend upon others and as the interpersonal dynamics and leadership-power struggles have broadened, my need to exert control has also increased. Of course, there's a difference between being rigidly controlling and setting vital boundaries: the latter process, unlike the former, fosters two-way information flow; not "I give and you take." And naturally, I wouldn't want my need for control to be simply explained as "freakishness." (Grappling on the edge, perhaps. ;-)

"Control Freak" as the only factor in your psychological-behavioral analysis might well be a form of attributional error or "dispositional bias": the tendency to perceive other's motives or actions as indicating some inner motivational or personality trait that explains the (especially questionable) behavior, that is, sleazy, cheap a "control freak." And of course, the face-saving inverse: we tend to personally attribute or rationalize our actions and outcomes (especially unfavorable ones) to external, mitigating and "out of our control" forces.

Based on my recent awakening regarding common and competing self-interests and the art of negotiation and self-protection with consultants/business partners, there may be some method to your boss' madness and badness. He may be, intentionally or by default, exercising the paradoxical method of "disorderly control." Allow me some counterintuitive reframing of motives and objectives:

a) Seriously Disorganized Workplace. As personally alluded to earlier, the lack of policies or procedures or the absence of a signed contract was more than just a sign of chaos. Ironically, a certain degree of disorder may actually increase both perceived freedom and control. There are no rules or procedures set in stone; commitments and choices are fairly reversible. Small trial and error pilot projects can be quickly started or stopped. Tasks don't automatically solidify into predictable or habitual roles and routines.

With the right raw materials, optimal ambiguity may be a catalyst for uncommon exploration and unexpected outcomes or problem-solving "Ahas!" Of course, you are entertaining the position of the author of, "Creative Risk-Taking: The Art of Designing Disorder." (Email stressdoc@aol.com for the article.)

Obviously, excessive and prolonged disorder along with the absence of an effective leader means no "flexible persistence" game plan to harness the transitional energy, maximize opportunities and minimize organizational dysfunction.

b) Hand in Everything. Reading your missive, the obnoxious "M"-word comes to mind: "Micromanager." Delegating effectively and balancing "The Triple 'A' of Individual and Organizational Responsibility - Authority, Autonomy and Accountability - is the hallmark of mature management. Management must recognize genuine employee authority by allowing for some professional independence or autonomy. Employees and management, both, must build in mutual performance feedback and accountability to assure quality service. And, obviously, up to date training impacts all the "A"s. Still, the boss or top management needs to get out of the tower and be accessible and "hands on."

Clearly, though, "hands on" and "hands in" (everything) are different creatures. Yet, in addition to megalomania, meddling and mistrust what might motivate everywhere present (okay, intrusive) behavior? For the individual who has given birth to a business, whose Herculean efforts have sustained its life through the critical and tumultuous early yearsYou better believe it's often hard to let go of your baby or to even share caretaking and growth-producing responsibilities.

Of course, if the business owner's credo is, "Fireproof Your Life with Variety," there may be inevitable conflict. For example, he or she revels in both conceiving the big picture and in designing and interrelating component parts, and entagling himself in everyone else's projects. Voila...The transformation from precocious seer to obnoxious overseer. Allowing others to run with a project, adjusting to boundaries and "hands off" limits are a definite source of "letting go" stress. And when the owner is a Type A perfectionist (not such an unlikely scenario) this can produce or drive a "control freak" over the top.

c) Hidden Agendas and Decisional Flip-flops. Clearly, a hidden agenda may be a manipulative extension of the "no policies and procedures" modus operandi. If the purpose of the subterfuge is to sabotage other's successful performance then the motive is Machiavellian.

I'll bypass the more benign interpretation of hidden agendas and flip flops as conscious or unconscious strategies preserving or restoring degrees of freedom and control in a volatile and vulnerable business climate. Maybe the boss feels he's on a ground that's shaking and quaking and he's fairly clueless (or scared sless) as to where his business explosion will settle out, including where he might land in the upheaval. If Bill Gates can be pushed out, is anyone totally secure?

Unfortunately, in this state, one too easily develops paranoid leanings, even keeping distance from longtime friends and associates. A person becomes highly sensitive to criticism; no one can truly understand what you are enduring in this time of crisis. (The Chinese characters for double-edged crisis: "opportunity" and "danger.") Or, as previously illustrated, the sycophantic vultures are circling trying to feed off your kill or anticipated killings. The once mostly rational planner is resurrected as an increasingly irrational schemer. Obsession for control, the paradoxical need for isolation and intrusion ebb and flow, flip and flop.

And in this "on the edge" and defensive state, one can self-protectively and self-defeatingly fall back on the timeless symbol of control, security and power -- money!

3. Hates Spending Money. Again, let me start by giving CF Scrooge the benefit of the doubt. I can imagine the following scenario: for years your boss struggled to make payroll in his startup venture. These painful memories don't necessarily vanish with overnight success. (A Stress Doc aphorism seems apt: "I no longer count on nor discount any possibility.") In fact, rapid growth might only increase the hoarding mentality, especially when new people on the scene seem eager to "invest" (their word) not "spend" (his word) the boss' money. Of course, it's all rationalized as growing the business.

I recoiled initially at the amount of money my agents were asking me to invest in marketing projects. I slashed in half a projected "cold call" budget. I gulped at the price tag for shooting a new performance video. They had to have it for marketing certain "big ticket" clients. New brochures, more premium Stress Doc portfolios help. But wait

Their "cold call" campaign is beginning to generate substantial business. And the video should be a great selling piece. Hmmm can I increase my trust in their judgment and business instincts? As the pioneering scientist, Jonas Salk, noted: "Evolution is about getting up one more time than you fall down, being courageous one more time than being fearful, trusting just one more time than being anxious."

So perhaps the key discriminating factor: can your boss get out of rapid change shellshock enough to evaluate objectively incoming data and feedback? Can he take calculated risks -- financial, operational, etc.? And if he's having difficulty doing so, can he be be persuaded to seek some counsel?

4. "Have Stress? Will Travel!" So why have I bent over backwards trying to view Mr. Control Freak's motives and behavior as possibly half empty and half full? Basically for three reasons: a) to help you understand better his shaky ground and perhaps empathize some with his behavior and choices -- dysfunctional and otherwise, b) to share your understanding with the new operations manager; hopefully, the two of you can tag team your boss; play good cop/bad cop. Perhaps this will break through the denial regarding his chaotically controlling leadership. (And to make it easier to reframe his freakish behavior, like perceiving flip-flopping as, at times, making quick midcourse corrections.) And now for that final, self-serving drum roll-  c) hopefully, you've softened him up enough so that he can embrace the wisdom of having an individual coaching session with the Stress Doc and of offering a "Practicing Safe Stress: Managing Productive Change and Building Team Morale through Interactive Humor" program for all the troops.

Of course, if he continues to resist all our attempts at intervention, alas, you may need to reconsider your options. Remember, burnout is less a sign of failure and more that you gave yourself away. So update the resume, just in case. And consider a final Stress Doc strategic slogan for surviving the turbulent present and thriving in an uncertain future: "I don't know where I'm going- I just think I know how to get there." So forge ahead and, of course- Practice Safe Stress!

--------------------------------------------------------------

Shrink Rap: Two days in the primal serenity of Yellowstone National Park and in the snowmobileing intensity of Cooke City provide jarring contrasts. For the Stress Doc, it's a tension that compels an attempt at a mind-body-spirit synthesis.

Transcending Habitats, Hemispheres and Hormones Paradigm Lost, Paradise Found!

Today, what's the driving force and status symbol for the cerebrally cool and the semantically savvy, for folks who are also mystical skeptical or cosmically-impaired? Why having your very own paradigm shift, of course. This is the rational creatures, "I think therefore I am," sublime moment. In ancient times, BC (Before Cyber), paradigm shifts would require a fair amount of study ‚€“ exploration, grappling with gaps between the real and ideal or inconsistencies in accepted knowledge. Now with one click you can downshift from the real to the virtual. With our lives and minds moving (or being pulled) at the speed of DSL lines and fiber optics, it may be time for a counterrevolutionary shift. And I seemed to have found the perfect mindscape - “ Old West mountainous back country. (And no, I was not hanging with Unabomber clones.)

Once again I recently withdrew from Washington, DC (The District of Complexity) into my retreat haven in Livingston, MT. Which, if not a full blown shift, definitely begins shaking the mind-body-spirit ground. And this time, a day each in Yellowstone Park and Cooke City, MT completed the psychic/cosmic transformation.

Yellowstone Park is my Yin, the overwhelming yet serene expanse, the everflowing background of rounded slopes and valleys, a sense of natural and primal wholeness. Conversely, Cooke City is the jagged mountain mecca for snowmobileing. It's the Yang world of speed, noise, man-made power- being focused and on the edge. Six miles outside the park, yet dramatic world views apart. Let's see if the written word can help me delineate, if not synthesize, these compelling yet contradictory encounters. Here's to the quest for both paradigm shift and bihemispheric peace of minds.

Yellow and White

Let's begin with Yin - Yellowstone Park in the depths of Winter. The two most compelling sensations: the endless horizon of quiet and white with that celestial blue "Big Sky," surprisingly, providing some edge to the infinite, silent space-time. While the snow is nowhere near legendary heights, the open expanse of snowfield valleys gently butting up to the dapple-colored mountains has me holding my breath.

It's not just the quiet, but the stillness. Apart from a coyote loping across a road, the animals are statue-like. Look- a herd of fifty elk and pronghorn sheep just off the road. There, a lone, six point bull elk, majestically holding aloft his crown of horns. A whitish gray big horn sheep almost blended into the mountain side, adroitly positioned at an angle that seems to defy gravity. And, of course, the bison. A small herd nestled together as if they are sharing communal body heat. Yet, invariably there's one large sized animal aloof from the herd sunk in the snow. Has this bison been shunned by the group? Or is it just a bison who listens to its own inner drum, preferring solitude to security? Perhaps it is ill? Could it have bad bison breath (the warm air being the only perceptible movement)? Clearly we should be studying the bison in this ecological niche for some clues on overcoming ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) in our kids. Maybe some children need more time hiking mountain trails before doing medication trials.

Snowmobile vs. Immobile

And speaking of hyperactivity then there's Cooke City, less than ten miles outside Yellowstone, our snowmobileing destination. At a higher elevation than Yellowstone, it's packed with snow. I'm traveling with a best buddy from those off the Type A track New Orleans days. Paul, an MD and research manager for the Center of Disease Control in Atlanta, has given himself a five-day respite from work and family. He's joined me in Livingston to retreat and to work on a book chapter. But first our Yellowstone-Cooke City escapade.

A quick bite to eat before hitting the trails. A guy at the next table regales us with the joys of snowmobileing but also manages to elaborate one close call. While in Yellowstone, his machine got stuck in gear. He's revving the motor to engage. Suddenly, he realizes that a bison is first trotting toward, then fairly charging at, him. His life is flashing before his eyes. Finally, it desperate dawns upon him that perhaps the noise of the machine is like a red flag for the bison. He immediately shuts down the engine and the shaggy, galloping tank swerves away at the last possible moment. It was a close enough call for him to vividly remember feeling the heat of the bison's breath. (Damn, I forgot to ask about the breath quality.)

Thanks fellah. Good story but did I really need to hear this just before my maiden mobile voyage?

Paul and I are cautious and initially share a machine. I have flashbacks of frustrating early bike lessons with my father. I suspect he had bought a bike that was too big; I couldn't master the balance. (Just wait history once again will repeat itself.) He got impatient, I felt humiliated and we both gave up. And several years had to go by before I, if only to quiet a sense of incompetence, borrowed a neighbor's 20" bike one afternoon and tenaciously taught myself to ride. But balance activities like biking or skiing have never been my forte. So there's definitely some performance anxiety.

We get a brief tutorial. So far it doesn't seem like rocket science; though the red crash helmets with plastic face shield look like something out of Star Wars. We approach our machine, saddle up (Paul's riding back seat shot gun) and we're off. The owner of the Yamaha store had mentioned a trail near the river where moose congregate. We make it down a short yet steep snowy incline, almost like a chute, and start bumpily cruising along at 10, 20 - finally 30 miles an hour. Butterflies are churning; it's scary, exciting and fun, just about in that order.

Suddenly, whoa - where is the trail? Reluctantly we follow one or two tracks to the right and soon we are plowing into snowy unmarked drifts. Hit the brake. Try to get in reverse. Hey, it seemed much easier getting into reverse back at the shop. Oh, oh! Our instruction wasn't given on this machine.

Despite almost no turning radius we manage a very inefficient 180. We're back on the main "intersection," that is, there are some old tracks. Okay, this time follow the trail farthest from the river. Engines roar, we/re off and - where's the trail? WHRRRRRRR‚€¶(that's either me growling or the sound of a stalled machine.) We are spinning our wheels. Definitely stuck in a snowbank; can't move forward, can't reverse. Digging out by hand, kicking the snow isn't working. The machine is too big for us to move any appreciable distance.

There's only one option left. As Paul notes, we are doing our best Dr. Zhivago and Lara imitation trekking through snow that, initially in soft spots, is thigh high. (With nothing else to do but trudge, one halting step after another, I can't help but surmise that this fiasco was both destined from the past and had been hexed in the present. The evening before, a sociology professor at Montana State University upon hearing of my snowmobileling intentions crossed her fingers in Voodoo-like fashion and gave me the evil eye. Snowmobileing was definitely ecologically incorrect! (At least we didn't do it in the Park.)

About an hour later (good thing our novice status came out fairly quickly), back in the Yamaha shop, totally humbled, we cry out, "Help, we got stuck." I was feeling pretty pathetic until learning about a contributing factor to our aborted mission: I had mistakenly chosen big "Bertha." Bertha's an old war-horse machine that usually isn't rented out. It's near impossible getting it in reverse and you need to be Arnold Schwarzenagger to make any kind of sharply angled turn.

One of the guys in the shop hitched a shovel to a new machine, I jumped on the back seat and we were off. Of course, it only took him a few strategic strokes by the front wheel to release the machine. (Alas, Paul and I had been mostly digging out from the back.) Mr. Yamaha drove Bertha, I trailed behind now realizing how much more control I had with the newer and sleeker craft.

What a Difference a Day Makes

And, like true cowboys, the next morning we dusted off the bruised egos and were back in the saddles. This time, however, on separate machines cruising the trail-marked back country. (We both agreed, the shop owner should have cautioned us to look for orange-diamond trail markers.) The up close encounter with jagged, snow-covered peaks or a butte-like structure at Daisy Pass, shrouded in a soft gray haze and falling snow was hauntingly beautiful. The mist, wind and swirling flakes periodically blind you. The earthen mound takes on an ethereal quality; a massive looming ghost with somewhat defined outlines whose essential configuration remains a mystery.

And while the sensations of speed and power are testosterone pumping and the excitement of blasting through a curve is heart thumping, two hours of noise and a driven pace contrary to meditative communion is enough. Snowmobileing is the Yang-doing to my Yellowstone Yin-being. One day, cross country skiing in the Park will be the multisensorial synthesis.

Perhaps it's not surprising driving home I feel a sense of paradigmatic fulfillment and psychospiritual wholeness. I have stimulated and nurtured both my hemispheres, hormones and my active and receptive modes. (Also, there was the complementary connection with nature and a best buddy.) What good and graceful fortune to experience these majestic and human-made worlds. It's a brief yet transcendent encounter that sculpts a lasting memory, that paves the way for transformational shifts and is both an insightful and ineffable path that encourages one to‚€¶Practice Safe Stress! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reader's "Higher Power of Humor/Tragedy" Section

Slogans for Women's T-Shirts From: Lilo2

1. So many men, so few who can afford me. 2. God made us sisters; Prozac made us friends. 3. If they don't have chocolate in heaven, I ain't going. 4. At my age, I've seen it all, done it all, heard it all...I just can't remember it all. 5. My Mother Is a travel agent for guilt trips. 6. Princess, having had sufficient experience with princes, seeks frog. 7. Coffee, chocolate, men . . . Some things are just better rich. 8. Don't treat me any differently than you would the Queen. 9. If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen. 10. Dinner Is ready when the smoke alarm goes off. 11. It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything. 12. I'm out of estrogen-and I have a gun. 13. Guys have feelings too. But like...who cares? 14. Next mood swing: 6 minutes. 15. I hate everybody...and you're next. 16. And your point is...? 17. I used to be schizophrenic, but we're OK now. 18. Warning: I have an attitude and I know how to use it. 19. Of course I don't look busy...I did it right the first time. 20. Do NOT start with me. You will NOT win. 21. You have the right to remain silent, so please SHUT UP. 22. All stressed out and no one to choke. 23. I'm one of those bad things that happen to good people. 24. How can I miss you if you won't go away? 25. Sorry if I looked interested. I'm not.

Seek the Higher Power of Humor: May the Farce Be with You!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(c) Mark Gorkin 2000 Shrink Rap‚„Ę Productions

©1999, Interactive Multimedia Corp. All rights reserved.