Saturday, May 13, 2006
All quiet on the workplace front
I am at rest two feet under my desk. Friday at midnight I was relieved, and now my belly is full of salad and original flavor Skittles. I am satisfied and at peace. Each worker has a bowl or plate full for the day; and, what is more, there is a double ration of chocolate on the front counter and pastries in the kitchen. That puts each worker in fine trim. We have not had such luck as this for at least three months. The receptionist with her meaty head is begging to eat; she beckons with her greasy pork chop and bag of pork rinds to every one that passes, and spoons herself out a great portion. She does not see how she can empty her plate in time for greasy bacon and hocakes. Flip* and Flop* have produced two decks of cards and had them shuffled and waiting on the conference room table. In Flip this is voracity; in Flop it is foresight. Where Flip got the cards is a mystery, for she is and always will be as broke as shit.
What's more important still is the issue of a double ration of candy. Ten bags of M&Ms, twenty packs of Skittles, and two dollars of Twix per worker; now that is decent. I have exchanged my M&Ms with Flap* for his Skittles, which means I have forty packs altogether. That's enough for a day.
It is true we have no right to this windfall. The powers that be are not so generous. We have only duplicity to thank for it.
Fourteen days ago we had to go down and relieve the front line. It was very quiet in our office so the supervisor who remained there had requisitioned the usual amount of busy work and provided it for the full office of 20 or so men and women. But on the last day an astonishing number of political heavies opened up on us with high-explosive temper tantrums, drumming ceaselessly on our eardrums, so that we suffered severely and required earplugs.
That night we kept our silence and settled into our swivel chairs to get a little peace for once: Flap is right when he says it would not be such a bad stretch at work if only one could get a little more sleep. In this office, we have had next to none, and hours of listening to the posturing of men is a long time at one stretch.
It was noon before I crawled out from under my desk. Half an hour later I had peed and bought a fresh Diet Coke and we gathered in the conference room which smelled musty from underuse. At the head of the table shuffling the cards of course was the one who had the most influence-big Flup Flork*, the quickest thinker among us and therefore head of all workers and usually winner of all games of Hearts and Backgammon.
* All names have changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike.