The Young Prince breezes
through the door at half past eight, trailing clouds of Aramis and
"Good morning," I say to
favoring him with my sunniest smile. I'm in a better than average mood
today: well-rested for the first time in weeks, gently caffeinated,
enjoying a spectacular Hair-and-Maybelline Day ... one of those rare
golden mornings when everything fits, everything works, everything
seems possible. One of those mornings when I actually feel
like saying "Good
morning" to my co-workers (as opposed to saying it because I'm being paid
to say it, or because my boss is within earshot, or because I don't
want to burn in the fiery flames of Cranky Admin Assistants' Hell for
But The Young Prince
past the front desk without a word.
"Good morning?" I say
little louder this time.
Perhaps he didn't hear me. My
ears have been
plugged up all week -- some sort of sideways sinus infection, I think:
the whole world has a muffled, underwater quality to it, not entirely
unpleasantly -- and I realize that it's possible that I'm not speaking
as loudly as I think I am. (Sort of the old I'M
AND I'M UNAWARE THAT I'M TALKING REALLY REALLY LOUD
only in reverse.) Perhaps he hasn't had his Triple Grande Mocha-Almond
Latte yet this morning, and he's still fighting off the cobwebs.
Perhaps he's distracted by work, or he's had a fight with his
girlfriend, or he's worried about whether or not his socks match his
Ferragamos. I can only imagine how complicated life must be for a Young
Prince. But he continues walking past me, without saying a word. As he
passes, I see a peculiar, fixed expression on his face ... a smirky
half-smile playing at his lips, chin pointed at the ceiling, eyebrows
lifted slightly above the Ray Bans he wears indoors and out.
He hears me. He's simply
deigning to acknowledge me.
It's been like this
morning this week ... ever since I refused to type those stoopid
insurance forms for him. In my own defense, I would like to point
that he never came right out and asked
me to type the forms.
What he asked
me was, "Do we have access to a typewriter around
here?" ... to which I replied yes, there is an ancient Selectric
gathering dust in the library somewhere, knock yourself out. And I
never came right out and said I wouldn't
type the forms for
him: what I said
was "I'm not going to be able to help you with
that right now." I had exactly nine and a half minutes to get the
timesheets photocopied, packaged and ready for the California Overnight
guy; otherwise nobody gets paid next week. But the Young Prince
didn't bother waiting around to hear my explanation. He scooped up his
insurance forms and stomped away in a fit of royal snittage.
Half an hour later I saw him hunched over the library typewriter,
laboriously typing his insurance forms with two fingers.
Even the back of his
looked pissed off.
Clearly I am being
now for my insubordination. I expect I can look forward to at least
another three or four days of being totally ignored ... a couple of 4
p.m. Soil Density reports, maybe ... a snooty speakerphone message or
two, thrown in for good measure. Plus this is undoubtedly going to mean
another black mark on my
card Performance Review next
week. (Secra has difficulty
getting along with her classmates.)
punishment will last until he suddenly decides to 'forgive' me, for
whatever reason, and he starts hanging out at the front desk on Friday
afternoons again ... making pleasantly insincere chitchat about hiking
and bike shoes and MP3 players, like nothing ever happened.
Until the next time
doesn't go 100% his way, that is. Then the drama begins all over again.
With a shrug, I return
I've got more critical things to worry about this morning, frankly.
(Like my toenails. Do they look better with polish or without?) The
Young Prince ranks exceedingly low on my list of priority worries
today. There was a time when being blown off this way would have
reduced me to tears. Actually, there are still
times when I
feel that way ... certain days of the month when I feel fragile and
vulnerable and utterly unable to cope with rudeness, with
inconsideration, with the collective ridiculousness of the Dirt Company
men. (It's like working in an office full of eleven-year-old girls, I
swear to god. Except that eleven-year-old girls SMELL better, as
But this isn't
one of those days, luckily. Today I feel too good -- too rested, too
pulled together, too all-the-way-around glad-to-be-alive -- to let it
get under my skin. I'm not going to get upset. I'm not going to react
at all, as a matter of fact. No tears or tantrums ... no front desk
meltdowns ... no huffs or hissies or royal snittage from this
girl today, thankyouverymuch.
I'll leave that to the MEN in
this office. next
throw a rock?