There's Always One Of Them
The older I get, the more convinced I am that anytime you leave the house, you're going to bump into a Von PettyPumpkin while at work. It's simply inevitable. I will never escape it.
In fact, just as the last Von PettyPumpkin has left, crying and running off into the sunset tail between his legs and his butt covered in tar and feathers (at least that's how he looks in my mental picture), I get another one. It's fate. It's destiny.
The simple truth is I am always going to have someone fucking with me.
Since taking over the reins of Project Rocket Riding Gerbil, I have had a wider scope of people around me. I actually like almost all of the people I work those. Those I don't really care for it's simply because it's impossible to extricate yourself from their surroundings once they start talking, and no, for the record, I don't want to spend 25 minutes listening to you tell me about the time your daughter attempted Stravinsky at her 6th form class concert. I have brain cells, you know. And most of them are jumping, screaming, from my ears, taking their chances with the 5 foot 9 inch drop.
But there's always gotta' be one. There always has to be one guy that likes to push buttons, or is simply too ignorant (or arrogant) to know that he pushes buttons. For the most part, my team is fantastic-they call me, text me, and even call me The Project Mistress. I would be offended, only I know they mean it well.
After all, my manager gave me the promotion because, in his words, "I have that pushiness and that drive to me, that agressiveness that will show people we don't know how to be nice anymore. And I mean that in the best possible way."
Hmmm. And all this time I'd thought I'd mellowed.
I go to a meeting in Maidenhead today in order to spend 4 hours of my precious young life discussing test cases. 4 hours that will forever be lost in that bracketed decade known as my 30's. Someday I will reminisce: My 30's...they were so great. Well, except for that 4 hours I spent discussing test cases. Man that blew big donkey chunks. It really marred the otherwise perfect landscape of my 30's.
Since I was driving, I therefore was late (it's karma. I can never drive to anywhere on time). And lost. Late and lost and had dripped the contents of the olive oil soaked pasta salad that Emily turned me on to, so naturally I was feeling frazzled. When I finally arrived to the meeting (one hour late), I was forced to sit between Ron (whom I like) and Hadrian (whom I don't).
Hadrian and I had met before. He is a vendor to the Project I am working on, and we pay him to provide a part of the product. In other words, once again, I am the customer here. Hadrian and I didn't get on from the get-go. In the meeting some months ago I pulled out a bag of M&Ms. He immediately held out his hand and grunted: "Give me some."
Shocked, I simply poured some of my precious M&Ms onto his palm. He just looked at them and said, "They're going to leave colored marks on my skin."
Having largely recovered I replied, "That's why most of us learn in kindergarten to eat the damn things before they start leaving weird inky stains on your hands. I'll send you my latest copy of 'Candy for Dummies' to see if maybe you can get some guidance from it."
That said, he wiped his palm of my precious M&Ms, looking annoyed, and threw them away.
He threw them away.
What kind of person throws away candy?
I sit next to Hadrian and Ron, silently cursing my life, my horoscope, my real estate agent, and the Greatest American Hero for no longer showing on TV. The meeting is agony. It just goes on and on and on. Hadrian just drones on endlessly about what is needed, what is missing. And, of course, how he totally anticipated every possible delay and his company was perfect (which is an appropriate way of thinking about it provided you have the IQ of a brick wall and the foresight of a sailor plunking down his cash for a bit of girlie company at the Syphilis Nightclub and Lounge).
He turns to me. "After this meeting, the beer is on you, right?"
I stop writing down some notes. "What?" I ask.
"The beer. After the meeting. You're paying."
"Uh, no thanks. I'm not joining."
"Look, you're the customer. You have the money, right? And you're the one with the most senior position in the room. So you're paying."
Ri-iiiiiight. Is that how it works? Because my manager dumps an entire project on a skitsy 30 year-old with a penchance for saying what she's thinking, then I am buying beer and wasting precious time in that fabulous bracketed decade known as my 30's with this fucknut? Like my life isn't too short already? Like I don't already have a white hair that continues to grow in white no matter how many times I rip it out of my scalp with fear and horror?
I don't think so.
"Sorry man." I reply. "I'm heading home to pack."
He continues to grumble. I am getting seriously annoyed. I have cramps so badly (PMS always comes to an end eventually) that I could honestly feel my ovaries tucking themselves up somewhere around my esophagus. We haven't packed a single thing in the house and we move in three days. I have a number of action points to solve before my full-day of meetings in London on Wednesday. I seem to be making no progress in getting the broadband hooked up in the new house. We are still battling the estate agents over their handling of the Tabby Bomb. I haven't slept well in days. I just had my hair cut and dried in a way I can only hope to mimic and I have a zit on my chin that came with a big smiley: "Hi! I drank my estrogen today!" button on it.
During a "comfort break" (I love that they call it that, when what it really means is we all dash to the toilets), the room starts to empty. Hadrian turns to Ron, eyeing his apple on the table.
"Ron, give me your apple. I haven't had anything to eat all day." he demands.
"Sorry mate. I want this apple." Ron blithely replies, biting into the fruit with glee.
I think of the tube of Rolos I have in my briefcase and decide that, contrary to the leanings I was subjected to in preschool, I absolutely do not want to share my caramel-centered goodness. Go ahead, lecture me. Take away my finger paints too, I don't care, I have Rolos.
I turn to my briefcase to try to do the one-handed Smooth Move. Women will know what I mean. The Smooth Move wherein we extract a tampon from our bags and slide it into the palm of our hands, slowly lifting our wrists up so that the tampon slides quietly and effortlessly up our sleeve, without a russle, and no one asks us why we are off to the toilet with what looks like a dive knife tucked up our sleeve.
"Is that food? Give me the food. I haven't had anything to eat today and I am hungry." whines Hadrian.
And with a silent crack, my will broke. I was simply too tired and too annoyed to care anymore. I had had it with Hadrian and his behavior, and I simply didn't want to deal with it anymore.
Like a magician, I flex my arm down and reveal the hidden plastic-wrapped tampon from its cocoon up my sleeve. I smack it down on the table in front of Hadrian and Ron. Hadrian's eyes bug out and he looks at me. Ron starts a hideous wheezing cough, a gorgeous bubbly sound that is the hilarity of someone trying not to laugh their ass off.
"It's super absorbancy. Should fill you right up." I reply wearily, and start to walk out, before realizing that he actually wouldn't eat the tampon (I hope) and that unless it was Lizzie Borden Day, I actually needed the thing. I swipe it off the table and leave the room.
Pushy and agressive indeed.
PS-My 7000th comment should be left today :)Posted by Everydaystranger at November 17, 2004 06:50 AM .
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