Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guilt Brownies

I asked a co-worker what his plans were for Tuesday. He said he had off-site training. Something about moving cheeses, but I wasn't really paying attention.
The point is that I figured it was a cover.
I just knew that he was going to go to "off-site training" just before the big surprise party celebrating my first full year with the company (and, it must be noted, the second longest stretch with a single employer since I entered the weird world of Information Technology). It was almost too easy to guess, but I told him that he was good and that I wouldn't tell anyone that I knew and that I was fully capable of acting surprised.
I even demonstrated:

"Oh! I had no idea! You shouldn't have!"

"What are you talking about, Garrick?"

"For me? I thought everyone had forgotten?"

"Seriously, man. What?"

"Presents? And cash? How did you know my favorite things?"

"I'm going to go back to my cubicle now, Garrick. Are you okay?"

"Oh, I'm okay. And now you know it is no big deal that I know about the party."

"What party?"


A few minutes later he came back. "This is bothering me. Did I forget something? Is it your birthday? I can see you circled the date on the group calendar but there is no label. Just a picture of a kitten. What does that even mean?"

"Don't worry, Dave. I'm cool. I don't know anything about any surprise party and you totally didn't give it away."

"Seriously. What the hell are you talking about?"

At this point I began to suspect that he wasn't playing the surprise party game. "Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my start date. Did you really schedule an off-site cheese meeting and completely forget to plan a massive party in my honor with cake and pie and balloon animals but no clowns because they creep me out?"

"Um. Yes?"

And with that, I knew he was telling the sad truth.
I showed up to work on Tuesday anyway, because I'm paid by the hour.
However, Dave stopped by my desk on the way to his cheese thing. He gave me a big box of brownies (which I shared with the row of people participating in some weight-loss contest) and fresh cut flowers (which I took home and placed on the mantle out of the reach of the cats who are horrible and eat plants and the cables for brand-new noise-canceling headphones).
And you know what? It was even better than a party for one simple reason:
I got to bill my time for it.

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