Waking up just before dawn, you shower, have your coffee, drive into work and for the next eight hours you throw yourselves in your tasks and enjoy chatting with your co-workers - at least this is what takes place for 9-5ers.
When you work from home, you do not get to engage in conversation with others in the break room or at lunch, so for us – there is Facebook.
When I came back from New York, I made a point to reach out through emails or Facebook to a few writers of the Chattanoogan.com news publication. My friend Jenny Gienapp, who lives in Wyoming, and I have gotten to be really good friends and I plan to visit her soon. We met once in person while she was visiting here. She is my confidante and the person I share most with.
Wes Schultz is our photographer and I appreciate his posting photos on Facebook and captioning them. I learn a lot from some of the historical photos he posts of various things. He always knows where to be for local events that our community is involved in but my favorite photos are pieces of history he captures. I have cyberly met photo contributors Mark Herndon and Lawson Whitakar on Facebook and enjoy seeing their photos as well. For the past year, Mark worked hard capturing photos of local concerts or events and has shared them with Chattanoogan.com.
I met Wendy King through Facebook as well. She writes on pageantry and various things as well as submits photos. I met Roy Exum when I first came back and he bought me lunch after having read my adventures in New York and said he enjoyed my writing (I also remembered him from my YMCA days). I have corresponded with John Shearer who writes from Knoxville, John Hunt - one of our sports writers - and also Kent Whitaker and Willie Mae who write in the Dining section of the publication.
I really enjoyed meeting Ferris Robinson at lunch one day after online correspondence. I would read her pieces and found many similarities. We both had three boys and there were other parallels.
When our publisher John C. Wilson formed the Lookout Hiking Club and a few of us joined up, I got to meet writer Gail Perry. On the hikes, I also got to meet Wes in person and got to know my boss John a little more. It was a full year before I had even met our editor in chief in person. I had seen him at church in the parking lot and then on the first hike with LHC. I have met editor Marcy Bryant (the boss’s daughter) through Facebook. I know she holds the fort down a lot. I love seeing photos she posts on Facebook of her daughters. One of them looks a lot like their grandfather!
I enjoy meeting and communicating with my co-workers but Facebook is probably where I get to have the most ‘face time’ with them. Two writers, who I adore conversing on Facebook with are Jim Ashley and Robert Tamasy.
Jim was a very good friend with my Papa, and though I have yet to meet him in person, I follow him on Facebook and he is a friend of the family. I enjoy viewing his photos when he visits a beautiful place and his wife Kay walks into the scene as he captures a photo. I love how he loves her and it is apparent when you see his photos always including her walking out front while he snaps a picture. Some wives would not allow their husband to post photos from behind, but Kay is beautiful and her husband adores her. Jim takes beautiful photos and I love seeing his love for his wife.
A while back, I had caught a piece Robert (Bob) had written on the publication in the church section and I emailed him telling him that I liked it. Somehow we became friends on Facebook, but I really got to know him the most when I caught him and Jim Ashley bantering back and forth on Facebook.
Bob would put a fairly cornball post on his Facebook status that might make some people roll their eyes, but I loved them – they were good, clean puns. As I watched Jim A. and a few others comment underneath the posts, I quickly learned this was expected of Bob. He would start off a pun and a few of his friends would give a “groan” or they would join in and give puns as well. Whatever words Bob posts in his status, friends would make a ‘play on words’ in the feed of the post.
I get my quick wit from my daddy, so I enjoy the challenge of matching wits. Many will spout off a quip or two here and there, but mostly I notice Jim A. and a friend of Bob’s, Dick Fenstermacher, usually are the ones who ‘give it back to Bob’.
When I joined the clan on posts, I think Bob and Jim saw that I could pretty much hold my own and was “allowed in the club”. I affectionately call it the “Eye-Roll Club” whenever I talk about it. The puns are corny and would not make the stage, but for a “work from home” co-worker break, they are really fun – and actually quite intelligent if you get over the corn. Some of the feeds are short-lived while others may go on for a few days as we wait for our best punsters to join in. We don’t always get on at the same time so it is fun when we catch a post that we all get to have fun with. Below, is a sample of our ‘break-room discussions’. These two were mostly led by Bob and I. Maybe it shows who slacks off at the office the most (but in my defense, adding it in my column makes it ‘work’ and hopefully keeps me from getting canned).
Bob, if you would… start up the conversation please….
Car manufacturers are scrambling to produce a tiny, economical, 1-liter engine. Could give whole new meaning to the phrase, "Take me to your liter."
Jennifer Jeffrey What eggsactly would it be called?
Robert Tamasy Ha, ha. All I know is, it probably would turn over-easy.
Jennifer Jeffrey omlet you deal with that, then...
Dick Fenstermacher Quit egging him on ....
Jennifer Jeffrey aw Dick, it was just for a liter bit.
Robert Tamasy Hey, guys, just trying to keep the sunny side up.
Dick Fenstermacher I know, Jennifer ... but he could have had a V-8 ..
Robert Tamasy Now you're getting me revved up!
Jennifer Jeffrey Stay Calm... we're just yolking with ya! Y'all crack me up.
Robert Tamasy Yeah, no sense getting all hard-boiled over this.
Jennifer Jeffrey You know what they say, Bob... if you can't run with the big dogs... stay on the poach!
Robert Tamasy This Facebook repartee is revealing our egg-centricities. I know I've come out of my shell.
Jennifer Jeffrey I love these parties too, but can't we bring something more than eggs? They just aren't that egg-citing.
Robert Tamasy Well, I did hear the story Sunday about the day Jesus casts the demons out of the leper and into the herd of pigs. It was the first documented case of deviled ham.
Jennifer Jeffrey ok... you win (bowing humbly)
Jennifer Jeffrey By the way... I've herd lepers never change their spots.
Robert Tamasy I had heard that. Man, from liters to eggs to pigs to lepers. Talk about inductive leaps!
Dick Fenstermacher This is sooo eggshausting .. scrambling for a retort when Bob's on his game ....
Robert Tamasy "On my game"? You accusing me of a shell game, Dick? Sometimes these puns aren't just what they're cracked up to be.
Jennifer Jeffrey I fold.
Robert Tamasy You're such a card.
Jennifer Jeffrey Well Bob... most people think I'm a Joker.
And on another day….
Robert Tamasy Ever wonder why pigs don't live in towns?
Because they live in hamlets.
Jennifer Jeffrey That's a real squealer, Bob!
Jim Ashley When they go to the park, they eat at pig-nic tables.
Robert Tamasy Whenever they have the oppork-tunity, that is.
Jennifer Jeffrey Yeah, sometimes they are busy doing laundry at the hogwash.
Robert Tamasy Did you know that pigs who are carpenters, only work with porku-pine?
Jennifer Jeffrey I heard that... and that they don't use a saw, but karate CHOPS.
Jennifer Jeffrey (Of course, sometimes that results in having to call the hambulance...)
Robert Tamasy I just discovered where pigs listen to most of their music: Ham radio.
Jennifer Jeffrey That's because they like the beat of the pig-cussions,
Robert Tamasy We need some input from other punsters. I'm afraid we're hogging all the attention.
Jim Ashley This little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home. And now I'm here.
Jennifer Jeffrey So glad you're here Jim, Bob can be a bit of a boar...
Robert Tamasy Wouldn't touch that for a sow-sand bucks!
Jennifer Jeffrey Now Bob, no swining... I am sow-prized at you!
Robert Tamasy Do pigs write with the power of the pen?
Jennifer Jeffrey No silly, today they have an iPig.
Robert Tamasy Now you're hogging all the good lines.
Jennifer Jeffrey You reap what you sow, just trying to keep up!
Robert Tamasy If Porky Pig became a gangster, would that make him a hamster?
Jennifer Jeffrey Mmmm... my guess would be a hamburglar.
Robert Tamasy Haven't heard any more from Jim - he decide to just pig-out?
Jennifer Jeffrey Bob, I guess he is tired of our pig tails
Quick, here comes the boss! Back to work, guys!