Whole Lotta Monday
Manager Guy is about to ask me if I had a nice weekend. I just know it.
are the only two
people in the Dirt Company office so far this morning: I caught a
glimpse of him, sitting alone in his office, as I was sneaking in
through the back entrance a few minutes ago. (I swear it looked like he
was buffing his computer keyboard with a cloth diaper.) Although
haven't officially made eye contact yet, I swear to god you could see
his tail starting to wag when he heard the sound of my keys in the
deadbolt. He's like a puppy tied to a parking meter outside the
A&P, waiting for someone to come along and scratch him behind the ears.
please please, I implore to the
office gods, as I plop into my chair with a bucket-sized cup of coffee
in one hand and half a banana in the other hand. Pleeeeeeeeease
let me ingest at least eight ounces of caffeine and potassium before
anybody talks to me.
the Junior Marketing Guy, I add
... on the off chance that Somebody is actually up there listening to
first Monday morning
of the month is always the toughest Monday morning of the month.
David's got his big sales meeting at the newspaper -- the once-monthly
anti-incentive rally (You
People Aren't Overworked Enough! So We're Giving You MORE Ridiculous
Time-Wasting Stuff To Do For Even LESS Money!)
-- which starts promptly at the dot of 7:30 a.m. This requires the two
of us to be up and out of the apartment forty-five minutes earlier than
usual. Combine that with the crappiest night's
sleep I've had in months -- Upstairs Neighbor Asshole was drop-kicking
sixty-pound cinder blocks on the floor above my head until dawn -- plus
the fact that I'm dragging myself back to work after a lovely three-day
holiday weekend -- and that adds up to a whole lot of Monday.
is a bright side to coming in so early, it's the luxury of having a few
quiet moments to myself before the phones start ringing. Time to ingest
a little uninterrupted Peet's Dark Roast. Time to read my e-mail. Time
to pay a few bills and balance my checkbook. Time to apply that
leisurely fourth layer of Maybelline.
last thing in the
world I want right now is to start trading weekend activity reports
with the Junior Marketing Guy.
of the corner of my
eye I can see him positioning himself in his doorway, all twitchy
overstimulated Junior Marketing Guy energy ... just waiting to make his
big conversational move. I stick my nose directly into my coffee mug,
pretending I don't see him, and inhale the fumes until my contact
lenses grow cloudy.
not like he's
actually interested in
hearing about my weekend. That's the thing. He
couldn't care less if I had a fabulous weekend, or a mediocre weekend,
or the most incredibly sucky weekend in the history of incredibly sucky
weekends. What he really wants to talk about is HIS
weekend. Specifically: he wants to talk about The Giants some more, and
about how they were robbed/how they were vindicated over the
weekend, depending on the score, and about how he's still all pissed
off about having to leave The Big Game early, a few weeks back, because
the bleacher seats were throwing his spine out of alignment. Or else he
wants to talk about his allergies, and about how he was never allergic
to anything until he reached his fifties, not even pollen or peanuts or
dust mites, yet now it seems like he starts watering up the minute he
gets onto the Dirt Company elevator in the mornings, just like Niagara
Falls, and isn't that so weird? Or else he wants to talk about his
recent tragic keyboard injury, which seems to be steadily getting worse
instead of better in spite of the fact that he's been to a bazillion
physical therapists and eleventeen specialists since the 'accident'
happened, and in spite of the fact that The Dirt Company bought him a
brand-new bazillion-dollar chair and an ergonomically-correct keyboard
for his office, and in spite of the fact that he's taken more time off
in the past four months than God and Britney Spears put together.
of which I give
seven-ninths of a crap about, right at this moment.
sit there, slumped
over my coffee mug, wondering if perhaps I should dig my cell phone out
of the bottom of my purse and pretend to be riveted in conversation for
the next forty-five minutes ... when suddenly the fax machine rings in
the next room. Without even thinking about it -- ever the Pavlovian
Ass, even pre-caffeine -- I lift my eyes and accidentally look directly
there it is. Eye
expression on his
face is unmistakeable: earnest, eager, dangerously bright-eyed,
determinably approachable, in that Please
like me or I'm going to cry way
of his. (I'm willing to bet that the Junior Marketing Guy got beat up a
lot when he was a kid.)
Secra!" he says, in happy faux surprise,
like he's just this moment realized that I'm here. "How was your
I'm stuck. The laws
of office karma require that I respond with at least the minimum amount
of professional courtesy, otherwise I'm going to wind up typing
Anticipated Soil Movement Calculation Reports for the next nine and a
half hours, I just know it. The truth, in this case, seems like the way
to go. My weekend was actually
pretty OK, I should probably
tell him. Lots of bike riding,
lots of long drooling afternoon naps, lots of fireworks, indoors and
out. But then things sorta went downhill last night, when the deaf demented old fudk
upstairs decided to start building a
barbecue pit in the middle of his living room at 2 a.m. Now I'm running
on approximately one hour and twenty minutes' worth of sleep, half a
banana and two ounces of caffeine. How was your
again ... the truth
is an awful lot of work.
know what?" I say
to him instead, not unkindly. "I'm not quite ready to talk to anybody,
just yet." And I gesture at my still-full coffee cup with a wry smile,
as if to say Let me drink my
coffee in peace, and I swear to god I'll spend the rest of the day
laughing at your jokes and listening to your stories and typing your
Anticipated Soil Movement Calculation Reports until my eyeballs fall
out. I'll even polish your brand-new ergonomically correct keyboard
with a cloth diaper if you ask me to.
looks startled for a
moment -- I wonder if anybody has ever cut him off at the knees this
way before? -- and then he nods. "I understand," he says in a very
small voice. "I'll leave you alone." And he scurries off down the
hallway, this tragic, forlorn little figure with nobody to talk to. I
feel terrible ... for about eleven seconds.
then I finish
drinking my coffee.
to throw a rock?