Friday, June 18, 2004

Begging for Kickball

I nervously fingered the official "Company Form for the Requestation of Time Off", trying to decide whether or not I could beg, borrow, and steal the 3.5 hours of vacation time I needed. Finally, I scrawled my name on the "employee name" line, and filled in "6/16/04 (Wednesday)" in the date line and "3.5 hours V-time" in the 'time requested' space. What the hell, right? It's my vacation time to take as I see fit. And the 3 other people in my position will be around, so the ship won't exactly be unmanned.

Unfortunately, my boss wasn't around to sign off on this delicate request. I approached her co-pilot (God--sorry, I couldn't resist...), J.,the "other boss" to see if and when she was expected in. "She said she'd be here by eleven!" J. exclaimed exhuberently, "And you know how she gets. I don't want to go kind of over her head and give you an Ok without her Ok...she's just going to be in late. You know how those 12-hour days are..."

I nodded with far less exhuberence. Yes, I thought to myself, I know how she is. That is why I was asking you before she came in.

She finally did, when the office clock's hands had long since swept past noon. I deposited the request on her desk with an apologetic "I know you just got here, but I have a request for you..."

A snotty "O....k...." was her response. I rolled my eyes as far into the back of my head as is humanly possible from the safety of my cubicle.

The hours ticked away, with me waiting none too patiently. Finally, the request came back with her signature. Yay! But now I just had to make a copy for her and one for the department administrative assistant, and keep one for my own records. So off to the copy machine I went!

When I got there, the copy machine was attempting to devour Tray 4. In fact, I think that was the error message. Warning: Tray 4 is in danger of being devoured. I performed gentle forplay on the copier until it finally relented and let me have my way with it. Oh, thank you, sweet copier. Bring forth thy nectar.

A brief time later, I got to leave! Yay! Except that I had decided that it would be better not to drive the BeetleBugCar back through the narrow Boston cowpaths, searching endlessly for a parking space. Instead, I opted to take a shuttle that runs from my location to The Mothership, aka our Boston office. I'd just leave my car in the lot overnight and then take the T in in the morning. Sounds simple, right?

Nope. First I had to move it out of the illegal parking spot I had pulled it into that morning. Then I had to get special permission from security to leave it there overnight. I had to listen to them say: "Now, we are not responsible...not that anything is going to happen, but if it does...we are not responsible...". Ok. I get it. You = not responsible. Me = leaving my damn car here anyway. Finally, we reached an agreement. But security requested that I pull my car around to the front of the building so they would have a better view of any untoward activity. I had to agree, that was a stellar idea. So I went to move the car after the security guy agreed that he would hold the shuttle if it came while I was in the car.

It did.

So we both ran like mad crazy people to catch it. I boarded it safely, panting and puffing, only to remember that I had left my purse inside while I moved my car. Off the shuttle I came, darting in to grab it as fast as my legs would carry me.

I sat in the shuttle, sweating most unattractively, and waited for the A/C to kick in. The shuttle driver was having a vehement argument with the radio show that was coming in sporadically. Something about a policy of shooting Canada Geese near an airport that had raised cries of "hell no" from animal activists. The host was as bilous as Rush Limbaugh about the grossness and uselessness of Canada Geese. I'm not really sure which side the shuttle driver fell on, as his speech mostly tended to be reminiscent of Brad Pitt's in Snatch.

The destination couldn't come soon enough, and I had judged fairly well which direction to head after jumping off the bus. I just had to remind myself to be careful when I stood up--the bus has these low-hanging luggage compartments that are clearly meant only for the decapitation of 5'11" people. I ducked carefully as I clambered down the aisle, banging my calf on a hard metal chair with a flourish.

Getting to the Kickball Game really is half the fun.

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