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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Five Years Down, Five Minutes to Go?

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned (tangentially, of course) that I’ve been with my current employer for five full years now. And that they’re planning a soiree to fete us long-timer types.

(Or they’re planning a fete to soiree us. Soiring a fete to plan us? Footing a plan to swear at us? I’m never sure how these things go, really. Whichever way, I’m sure it’ll be galariffic.

These things are so much easier to talk about when I get to use my own made-up words.)

Anyway, I got a letter at work today, in an official-looking company envelope. I never get letters at work, and I’d forgotten about this little party dealie, so I just assumed it was my pink slip. Sure, sure, I know the deal — ‘given the current economic crisis…‘ and ‘your past efforts are greatly appreciated…‘ and ‘we know you’re the one who replaced all the coffee creamers with mayonnaise…‘, blah, blah, blah. All the tired old saws and excuses.

“Maybe some people are ‘giddy to attend’, or ‘anxious to attend’, or even ‘call my mother, pee my pants, thank the Academy excited to attend’.”

I figured if I was going down, I’d at least go down noisily. So I grabbed the letter, unopened, and worked up a good frothy rant on the way to the boss’ office. You’ll be sorry, I told him. You haven’t heard the last of me, I said. I’m walking out of this place with every Post-It, pen and unnailed-down bit of swag I can stuff into my packing box, and if you don’t like it, then tough tick turds, mister, because you shouldn’t have gone and kicked me out the door. That’s what I said. With lots of pointing and waving and back-of-the-hand slapping for emphasis.

He just sat and listened. When it was clear my tirade had run its course and I was finished, he looked up calmly and said:

What in the hell are you talking about?

That seemed like a good time to actually open the letter. So I did. And what it said, as you’ve probably already guessed, was this:

You are cordially invited to attend the Annual Service Awards Ceremony

Honoring our staff members with five years of service

It went on with a date and time and list of guest speakers. None of which was me, so why the hell would I attend? But at least I still had a job, unless my little episode in the boss’ office had put that in jeopardy.

Luckily, when I applied for the position a little over five years ago, I was shrewd enough to list ‘Tourette’s Syndrome’ in the ‘Pre-Existing Medical Conditions’ box. So I apologized, promised my boss I’d have my medicine adjusted (again), and slunk back to my desk. That’s where I noticed that the ceremony invitation came with an RSVP slip. On it were checkboxes next to two options:

I will be happy to attend the Awards Ceremony…


Sadly, I am unable to attend the Awards Ceremony…

The cheek of some people. Look, I’ll either attend or I won’t attend, but where do they get off telling me how to feel about it? Maybe some people are ‘giddy to attend’, or ‘anxious to attend’, or even ‘call my mother, pee my pants, thank the Academy excited to attend’. And why do I have to be ‘sad’ if I’m not there? Maybe I’ll be somewhere better — at a ball game or a concert or home sleeping in bed. I’ll feel how I want to feel, damn you, Annual Service Awards Ceremony Planning Committee. So I ticked the box next to ‘unable to attend’, scratched out ‘Sadly’ and wrote in ‘Indifferently’, instead. That’ll learn ’em.

So now I’ve yelled at my boss, stormed through the hallways and probably pissed off the one small group of people in the company who want to reward me for a job done long and well. That’s a pretty full day, if you ask me. Maybe I should slip out early this afternoon.

Also, now the next letter I get at my desk likely will be a pink slip. Which is fine, because I’m through opening mail at the office. It’s just too damned dangerous. From now on, they go straight to the trash bin.

I just hope they can’t figure out a way to fire me via email. That would suck.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Five Years Down, Five Minutes to Go?”

  1. kerry says:

    ha ha! you’re a goof.

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