Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm still amazed at exactly how broken I am.
Yesterday afternoon my manager leaned over the cubicle next to mine and invited a co-worker into a closed-door meeting.
After a few minutes, the co-worker returned laughing and smiling.
Then my manager asked me for a moment of my time.
I followed him into his office and stood until he gestured for me to sit across from him.
I did, but by the loosest definition only. I perched on the edge of the seat, with my arms on the armrest and my elbows behind me at shoulder level.
I was certain my co-worker had pinned something on me and I knew that yesterday was my last day at this company.
I wondered how long it would take for me to gather my things (the first personal items I'd brought to work in almost a decade) and how many interviews I could schedule in a week.
And then my manager gave me (I guess) the same news that had resulted in my co-worker's good mood.
And there was no dismissal. And no harsh words at all.
More, there was no blame assigned for anything done or undone.
But my relief was tainted by the realization that I don't expect good things to happen at work.
My natural assumption is that things are going to go horribly wrong. I'll be betrayed and cast out for some mistake or misunderstanding -- or for the possibility that there may someday in the future be some mistake or misunderstanding.
Some paranoia, I'm convinced, is healthy. And I take comfort in paranoia in a way, both because I'm used to it now and because, I suppose, paranoia at least gives a person the feeling that someone else cares.
Anyway, I stamped out of my manager's office in a bit of a flustered huff, I suppose.
I don't like surprises, even good ones. More, I was (and am, I guess) still expecting the rug to be pulled out from under me, exposing the spike-filled pit beneath to the glaring light of my heightened awareness.
I went into the breakroom and poured hot water into a cup, silently cursing it for the slight yellowish tinge before I dropped in a packet of chai.

What the hell kind of workplace provides yellow water?

What the hell kind of workplace provides chai?


Nathan said...

My god man! Use the water from the cooler. That red knob doesn't mean poison!

Joe said...

Actually, the yellow water is obviously the result of being mixed with the rendered flesh of babies being burned in the furnace in the basement of your building. How dare they provide a progressive, familial workplace. They are obviously evil.

And the red knob does mean poison. You know it does.

And with every sip of chai tea you lose one more piece of your soul.


Garrick said...

Red knob = bad

I doubt your chai theory though, Joe. Were that the case, I'd have racked up massive "soul debt" by now, having traded in my own immortal soul years ago in exchange for (if memory serves) the 5th season of The A-Team. You can all thank me for that. It would never have been produced were it not for me.
I'd think by now, some weird demon creature would be meeting me at the coffee maker, trying to convince me to bargain away the souls of our users.
However, those are also long spent. This time in exchange for the creation of Diet Coke with vitamins.

You are welcome,