It is one of my life mantras that secretaries have all the power, so you should always be extra-super nice to them. Think about it--they control all the office supplies, most of the keys, and all of the memorandums including the tone with which they are sent. A happy secretary is your greatest ally. An angry secretary is a force to be reckoned with.
I've found that this rule also applies to government workers--you know, the sort of people that deal with idiots day in and day out. They don't have the power in the same way secretaries do, but if you are genuinely kind to them, they let you get away with murder. Want tot' get through the TSA with that liquid in your luggage? Ask them how there days is. Say thank you when they hand it back to you, unsearched. (Being young, pretty, and having 2 X chromosomes helps this, but it's not everything.)
Going to the DOL? Have all your paperwork ready and smile pleasantly all the time. Suddenly your bill will be several hundred dollars less than it should be, and the nice lady behind the desk will apologize that it's as high as it is. Fees are all relative to mood. Some of them are unavoidable, but if you piss the staff off, they'll find extra things to charge you for.
Seriously, though, being nice to people will get you everywhere.
I've finished my knitted Christmas presents, and pictures will be posted after the holiday has passed. I am on row 155/180 on Lyra (25 more rows, people. 25.) I'm trying to be diligent about working on it, but it's pretty heavy and rows are running about an hour each. I'm also dreading the end of ball #4, because I'm not entirely sure my math is going to hold up to the real world. And I can't find any stores in the area which carry Navy blue crochet cotton...
I also started a door sealer... thing. It's a tube, which will be stuffed and then shoved against the door to keep the outside just that--outside. It's basically a 3 foot scarf. I'm doing fibonacci stripes (1-1-2-3-5) to keep things interesting. Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the evening.