A huge chunk of my time,
the past couple of weeks, has been spent setting up the *Mountain
Region Second Strategic Marketing Meeting.*
Originally, it was called the
*Southern California and Mountain Region Business Strategy Follow-Up
Meeting.* Then it morphed into the *Southern Region Strategic Business
Plan and Marketing Meeting.* For about half a sandwich, on
afternoon, it was the *Southern Region/Mountain Region Second Business
and Marketing Planning/Strategy Session.*
it ended up as the *Mountain Region Second Strategic Marketing
Meeting,* mainly because I refused to retype the goddamned agenda
This was one of those
nightmare meetings right from the get-go, involving
complex out-of-state flight reservations, expensive hotel and
catering arrangements, audio-visual equipment rentals, constant
agenda and presentation revisions ... blah blah blah blah blah ... not
to mention juggling the "personal schedules" of 40+ Totem Pole
employees, most of whom would have given their eye teeth and/or their
firstborn not to have to attend this stoopid meeting in the first
place. One junior engineer even attempted to bribe me. (And if
he'd used dark chocolate, he
might have succeeded.)
Of course Franz stood right
my chair the whole time, making sure every detail was
properly attended to. ("MIXED GRILL BROCHETTE! I said
MIXED GRILL BROCHETTE!"")
I suffered for this
meeting. I worked my fudking ass off for this meeting. I moved HEAVEN
and EARTH to make this meeting happen ...
[mainly for the
*reward* of one blissful Franz-free day, plunk in the middle of the
... so naturally he blew
He came strolling in on
Thursday morning, announcing that he "didn't feel well enough" to
attend (insert one or two dry fakey *stage coughs* here). And then he
spent the rest of the day sitting in his office, talking to his septic
tank contractor on the phone. When the Mountain Region Second Strategic
Marketing Meeting people called from Salt Lake City and demanded that I
conference him in, he had me tell them he was "out to lunch."
Is it any wonder the
rest of the company HATES us? I mean, really?
My office computer blew
up on me late last week. I'd stepped away from my desk just long enough
to scoop an incoming fax off the machine: by the time I got back, my
little Isolation Booth was filled with acrid electrical smoke.
My computer was deader than Grandpa Ted.
Quick frantic call to
the MIS guy ... quick frenzied exam of the machine ... quick panicky
consultation with the MIS Department ... diagnosis: the monitor had
"We'll swap it out with a new monitor on Monday," said Dr. MIS Guy.
"Until then, I'm afraid you're computerless."
Fine. OK. It was Friday
afternoon anyway, and I simply got on the #51 and headed for home a
couple of hours early, to pack for the Monterey trip.
When I got back into
the office on Tuesday morning, my new monitor was sitting on my desk.
All nineteen inches --
and eighty bazillion pounds -- of it.
I'm not kidding. This
fudking thing is the size of a small motor
home. Which is nice in some ways (*FootNotes* looks AMAZING -- it's
like seeing my dirty feet in
Cinemascope), and not-so-nice in other ways. (I've just lost another
third of my precious, dwindling desktop real estate ... plus I'm
sitting so close to the screen now, I see the world through
*Vaseline eyes* for two hours after I go home at night).
Franz wandered into my
office late last night, while I was waiting for David to pick me up. I
pointed out the new monitor ("Look!
See my new monitor!") and,
figuring this was as good a time as any to bring up the subject of the
empty corner office, I made some noise about how I could really use
more room to spread out in
order to work more effectively.
"The new monitor kind of
cuts into my workspace," I pointed out.
He frowned and nodded
and rubbed his chin, examining the monitor and the desktop, and
he gave me his very best "I'm
Pretending I Hear You [But I'm Really
Thinking About My Septic Tank]" expression, and finally he said,
take care of it."
You know what's coming
next, don't you?
I came into the office
this morning ...
... and the brand-new
bazillion-pound monitor was sitting on the floor in the hallway outside
my door. In its place on my
desktop was an ancient, dusty, twelve-inch monitor left over from the
old Accounting Department.
Franz' "solution" to my
As David would say ...
"It just sorta writes itself, doesn't it?")