duck-shaped pain

5 January 2001
The Ones With The Belt Buckles Are Always Insane

Hey, you Mr. Waitron. Yeah, you. You with the nerd glasses, slouchy shoulders, untucked shirt and ironic Kiss belt buckle. Yeah, I know you were working, but thatís no reason to look away. I was looking at you trying to get your attention, but no, you were to busy doing your job, clearing the tables of glasses and cleaning the ashtrays and the like. Even the girls across the aisle from me, the ones with big full lips, frightening pencil-thin eyebrows, flared pants and big-ass tennis shoes, the ones who made me feel much less fly than previously thought possible, thought that it was strange how oblivious you were. Of course, they were only concerned with their sudden dearth of umbrella drinks. I was more interested in that belt buckle. Sure, I guess I could have gone up to say "hi," but you looked a lot more interested in the leather jacket chick, the one who ďlost her ID.Ē Yeah, she lost her ID over at my table, too, and crawled down on the floor to check, you know, in case it was there. Z. joked that she just wanted to look up my pant leg. I was about to say the same thing, but switching pronouns, as ID-Losiní Honey seemed more interested in him, or the photo hanging on the wall behind him. Sometimes itís so hard to tell. All in all, though, Waitron Boy, you were a nice change from the usual polarfleece-clad crowd you usually run into there. People who own 200-dollar climbing ropes and want to be park rangers when they grow up. Nothing against them, really, but Iím all for diversity. Too bad you seemed like you were in your own little world most of the time. I bet itís a nice little world.

I am injured. E., my coworker is pregnant. Good reasons, we both think, for being exempt from participating in the big move this weekend at work. Hint for you: complaining and wheedling and griping work, for sure and for true, if you persist at them enough. I know this because I and countless others have been pressuring my employer to move the business operation to a different office for months and months now. Up until a few weeks ago, the answer has always been an emphatic No. Then Ė Maybe Iíll Think About If You Just Stop Hassling Me About It. Then, finally, UhÖOkay.

Still, we canít always get what we want. For a few days, the rumor was going around that we would move to actual office space, something in a nice high-rise somewhere. Even a sad storefront in a wayside strip mall would be okay, since even that would provide the things weíve all been dreaming of: better toilets! Employee refrigerators! Improved parking! Of course, we were wrong. No actual office space for us Ė my employer just decided to buy another house instead. Oh well Ė at least we wonít be working in his house anymore.

Since E. and I are exempt from moving large boxes and furniture, we were unofficially given the task of deciding what the advantages of moving to the Little House would be. Things we came up with:

  • Being able to bring in excess food to work and leaving it there for future lunches without forfeiting your rights to it. Right now, all food left overnight becomes property of the family and will be eaten.

  • Bringing in your own personal coffee mug and leaving it there on your desk until it is ready to be cleaned and/or refilled. When working in the Big House, all dirty dishes must be cleaned and put away right after using, and the idea of leaving things about to age is completely verboten.

  • Swearing. Or, rather, more of it.

  • Being able to bring in personal tchotchkes to put on your desk. For E., this means family photos. For me, this means Hernandez, the little plastic Mexican guy under a glass dome (purchased at Archie McPhee years and years ago) that Iíve had at every non-retail job Iíve ever had.

  • Actual coffee maker, actual desks. We are so deprived.

  • Parking spaces.

  • Places to hang coats.

  • Being able to bring in actual butter and half and half in (for toast and coffee, respectively) without risking the Evil Cholesterol/Nutrition lecture.

  • No people milling about in their pajamas, unless one of us decides to wear pajamas in to work (always a possibility, especially for me).

I cannot tell you how excited I am. The only big bummer is that this is all taking place much too close to the time when Iím planning to leave, whenever that is. My moving plans are up in the air at the moment, since Big Important Project I Am Much Too Involved In just got postponed for another week. At least I can spend my waning days at work in hey-I-finally-have-my-own-desk spendor.

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