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Tuesday, 20 April
A Charge To Not Keep

As I shambled into the office today--O happy Monday--I was called into the Bosslady's office. Uh oh, I thought, she's going to shiv me. It's my baseline reaction, always anticipating some violent rebuke to whatever fresh example of shining incompetence I have demonstrated. I waited for her to brandish a sharpened toothbrush, because, like all sensible people, I think of my workplace as basically jail.

But she stared at me briefly, and I could tell that she was savoring the moment, so I knew that whatever awful payload she was delivering was going to be only verbal. I was right. She said: "Well, you know next week is the group meeting." I did. This is the biennial traveling horror show that consists of three-quarters of the office packing up for some alien terrain to attend deathless, soul-eating meetings about cancer. This time it's in New Orleans, but I'm on the home team for this one, so I get to wait breathlessly for exotic fucking Kansas City in October. "Sure," I replied. "Well," she said, twinkling, "believe it or not, you're the senior staff who's staying home. You're going to be in charge next week."

This was so unbelievably horrifying to hear, I did the only logical thing, and screamed like a boiled mink. "WHAT?" I screeched. "That's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard!" (The Bosslady--well, the entire office--is by now totally inured to my penchant for enthusiastic profanity. I was once disciplined--years ago--for screaming "fuck" so loud that it reached the office of the Biggest Cheese. Now nobody blinks unless I uncork something really horrific, like "cooze-bruise" or "piss demon.")

The Bosslady, anyway, agreed with my assessment. "Yeah, it's pretty funny. But the reality is, out of the people who are staying home, you have seniority. Don't worry too much. We've also got [Former Bosslady, now on an ancillary project] to cover your back. If you get into hot water, ask Former Bosslady." This was truly disastrous. A couple years ago, I wrote a fake AP story about Former Bosslady being arrested in Mexico due to prodigious margarita intake--something about jacking ambulances and running amuck--and distributed it to our staff, resulting in much hilarity and Former Bosslady's avowed future vengeance. I figured this was coming back on me.

Indeed. I shall have to watch my ass. My first strategy: I must be as unhelpful as humanly possible, discouraging any and all later requests for help. I am aided in this endeavor by my already-existing reputation around the office as an unhinged, snarling misanthrope. I will bolster these perceptions by basically responding to any desperate pleas for advice as if I were the Human Magic 8-Ball of Work Advice.

"Skot! I have a CRA who is having a real problem registering a patient!"

"ASK AGAIN LATER."

"What? Seriously, she's got someone who's waiting to be randomized to treatment. Can you help me out?"

"OUTLOOK NOT GOOD."

"Come on. I don't have time for this. Should I ask Former Bosslady or what?"

"ASK AGAIN LATER."

"You are a gigantic asshole. Is it going to be like this all week?"

"ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES."


Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

Brilliant!!! They should make t-shirts with magic 8 ball sayings on them. (Whoever "they" is)

Comment number: 003084   Posted by: Stacey on April 20, 2004 07:59 AM from IP: 129.106.21.180

Boiled mink. That's some quality shit right there.

Comment number: 003085   Posted by: Shawn on April 20, 2004 08:50 AM from IP: 209.233.130.252

what exactly is a "cooze-bruise"? i plan on swiftly integrating it into my vocabulary, regardless of its meaning, along with "piss demon".

Comment number: 003087   Posted by: candice on April 20, 2004 01:26 PM from IP: 68.107.12.215

Really. If "cooze-bruise" is somehow worse on the scale than "fuck" and "cunt-lapping cumtoy" I'm waaayyyy behind the times.

Comment number: 003089   Posted by: ColdForged on April 20, 2004 01:52 PM from IP: 66.152.60.98

Good lord...you've uncovered the secret to my management technique. I'm ruined.

Comment number: 003090   Posted by: Auntie Maim on April 21, 2004 06:54 AM from IP: 137.99.86.207

Throw a couple sick days in there, too.

Comment number: 003091   Posted by: dayment on April 21, 2004 10:49 AM from IP: 64.105.86.146

When are you going to be in Kansas City? Be happy to show you the "exotic" parts, including several brewpubs.

Keep up the excellent work.

Jim Murray

Comment number: 003095   Posted by: Murray on April 22, 2004 06:36 PM from IP: 65.30.12.11

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