Bizarro Day at the Office
840-850 AM on Wednesday: I guess he thought that he had more time. Or maybe he’s just that brazen. Probably the former. As I’m walking across the hotel lobby about 30 feet from the door my Lyft driver (Derek) called me to say that he had arrived. I told him I’d be right out. Twenty seconds later I step outside, look into the car, and see homeboy ripping a fat bowl of weed. He blew out a massive gust of smoke & made eye contact with me. He had that stupid, frozen, “oh shit” look in his eye that only a young stoner can have. That look is distinctive because it represents two types of fear:
(1) “I think I just got caught”
(2) “That bowl fucked me up and I’m not in a mental state anymore to say or do anything remotely clever.”
I stared at him for about 15 seconds (or 15 minutes in his mind) and then got in the car. I didn’t address the situation, just asked him how he was doing nonchalantly. Three minutes later (mind you, this is a 5-10 minute trip total) we get stuck in slow traffic. Our boy took advantage of the situation and packed another bowl.
At this point I’m trying not to laugh. For starters, it is only 845 AM in the morning and he is already on at least his second bowl. Secondly, this kid is “on the job” with a customer in the back. Thirdly, it has been no more than 200 seconds since his previous, hotel driveway bowl – a fat one at that. What a degenerate.
I finally had to say something though cause he kept his window up during Bowl # 2: “Bro, can you roll down some of the windows and stop hotboxing me back here? I gotta be at work in 5 minutes.” Obviously, being stoned on the job is not a concern for our boy but on my end, I prefer that colleagues and clients don’t perceive me as a guy who wakes and bakes on a Wednesday.
After Cheech dropped me off, I took two brisk laps around the building to get the smell of nugget off of me (hopefully) and try and get focused again. Unfortunately, my day only got weirder.
855-9 AM: I go to the crappy cafeteria to have some putrid but potent coffee. Turns out the cafeteria is closed cause the cafeteria attendant didn’t show on account of some dispute with management. Needing a caffeine fix I end up face to face with some vending machine that has clearly been around since the 90s. Two types of Mountain Dew. Two buttons for Lipton Brisk Ice Tea. A&W Root Beer, and a few other drinks that most people under 30 would not recognize. Cash only. I feed the machine a 10-dollar bill and anticipate immense and imminent irritation when 34 quarters hit the bottom as my change. The sound was much quieter than I thought and I reached down with curiosity. My change…… two quarters and 8 freaking Sacagawea dollars.
At this point I’m getting nervous. Maybe I too got high during that car ride. Fuck! Lipton Brisk Iced Tea, Sacagawea dollars, Cream Soda!?!? Who the fuck buys a can of cream soda!? More so, what freak stocks this 1990s vending machine with Sacagawea dollars and cream soda every week? Such a shameless ruse. The machine of course doesn’t take Sacagawea dollars but is somehow the source of 40% of these coins that remain in circulation.
9 AM: Confused and vulnerable I go to my 9 AM meeting. I walk into the conference room and everyone is standing – all the chairs are gone. I ask what happened with the chairs and am informed that many of the conference rooms have had their chairs removed as part of an initiative to keep people more alert during meetings and make meetings quicker. I can’t decide if I’m (1) Incensed by the stupidity of all this or (2) Amused by the fact that, within a week, all of the employees aged 50 or older will be complaining about sore knees and bad backs and that, inevitably, the chairs will be restored out of fear of a massive workman’s comp lawsuit.
10 AM: I’m still out of sorts (maybe stoned, maybe just irritated, maybe both) when I go to the printer to print out some materials that I want people to read. Here’s the rub: Since email is the new paper and people don’t read emails anymore; I’ve ironically gone back to printing out documents and leaving them on people’s keyboards. Pathetic? Yes it is. Almost as pathetic as thousands of unread emails in people’s inboxes….. Printer one isn’t working, so I go to printer 2, no dice, and then to the final printer. Also not working. All of them are “offline”. I ask around and one of the IT helpdesk guys gives me the run-down: “We disabled them.”….. “Why did you disable them?”….. “To conserve both paper and energy.”……..”Are you serious?”………”Yes”
Keep in mind that I am the only idiot (genius?) who uses these printers. You should have seen the looks I got when I walked over to printer # 1 with my can of cream soda in the first place. People were looking at me like a damn zoo exhibit. Also, conserve energy??? These three printers are doing us in? The AC in the building is absolutely blaring. Half the females bring sweaters into the office in August cause it’s so damn cold but it’s these three printers that are crushing our power bill and ozone layer?
1020 AM: Hiding on a different floor in an abandoned cubicle, trying to regain my composure. I can’t handle any more curveballs or idiots today. However, there’s an outside chance that I still smell faintly of weed so I can’t risk faking sick and saying I’ll work from the hotel for the rest of the day. Too suspicious! My only hope is that these morons get fatigued early today from all the standing around and I can summon Derek to finish what he started and put my mind fully at ease. Five Stars Baby!