Peace, Love, And Happy HourJanuary 26, 2008 at 12:53 AM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
On the one paw, people leaving should mean it’s less likely that they’ll lay people off.
On the other paw, if the rain makers leave, that’s less business for us support people to handle, which would initiate more layoffs.
It’s a delicate balance, and the upper layers of boss (the crust, I guess) figure the best idea is to shove a dike in the hole. Oh, here we go again.
The dark and the rain only compounded the confusion. The giant ship seemed small as it tilted away from the iceberg. People were running and screaming, scrambling for the sparsely numbered life boats. A few, a lucky few, had escaped in the skiffs before the storm. Sometime between the pirate attack and being chased by the sea monster. Is it mutiny to just leave, or is it deserting?
The captain yelled above the fray, trying to maintain order. His voice was unheard before the din. Lightning crackled in the sky, and illuminated the ominous wall of ice that all but supported the ship, the SS Mortgage Division.
A loud horn sounded, and everyone turned to see another ship, weighing anchor and prepared to help. Or was it? The Jolly Roger whipped in the wind and a voice over a bullhorn called to them, "Join us or die! We can save you! Bring your rolodex and your documents!"
A swarm heeded the call, and the doomed captain tried to call them back. "Don’t go! It’s a trap! The market is too volatile!" he yelled in vain as one after another the passengers and crew jumped in the water and began to swim. Some made it. . ..and some were eaten by sharks. Others were scooped out of the water by rabid polar bears.
In the end, after the storm had died down to a drizzle, only dozen or so were left. Bryan numbered among them, and he counted himself lucky. Here he was, in the captain’s boat. Safe, secure. Homefree–
"Water! We’re takin water over the side, captain!" Panic spread through out the skiff quickly. Thinking quickly, the captain made a decision.
"We need to lighten the load!" The captain pointed at Bryan. "You! Come here!"
Anxious to please the captain, Bryan hopped up quickly. "Yes, Captain?"
The Captain unceremoniously pushed Bryan over the side. He then yelled, "Next!"
Bryan tread water, shivering, as the skiff floated away. The other passengers on the boat wished him well. "Good luck!" "Hang in there!" and "We really appreciate this!" They floated off to the mythical land of job security.
As the boat shrank from his sight, Bryan reflected that he should never have quit his last job.
So, yeah. we had a happy hour. Nice place, pretty expensive. But it was all paid for, drinks and food, and we got paid for an hour’s worth of attendance, so I went. I’m not turning down free shit. They had their own micro-brews, and I had three big, strong lagers. It was difficult to eat enough food to keep me from getting sloshy drunk, but I tried.
When I had originally showed up, there were only four people there, and one was the big boss. I stopped, and the server showing me the room stopped too. I confided in her. "Hardly anyone is there, but the big boss is there. I don’t want to go in there; I’ll end up talking to him."
She was helpful. "You can go sit at the bar for a while if you like–"
There’s something about sweet, hot, helpful servers that I like.
A group of others from work walked in then, and I opted to stride in behind them. Safe!
Later, thought, the Big Boss dutifully made his rounds like a politician running for office. I could have taken one of two tacks: Either be completely boring and make him leave, or be engaging and smart without being offensive. The third choice–being myself–was not an option because I wanted to keep my job.
We made conversation about the housing market. Even in a slump, the STL and KC–the Midwest–should fair better than most. The Bubble is on the coasts, and in larger cities. He nodded in agreement and moved on. I felt as though I had passed the riddle from the bridge-keeping troll.
Three beers deep, and the girls from my department that I was sitting with left, replaced by women I didn’t know as well. I chatted with them as I finished my beer, and then got up to leave. I told them, "I’m best in small doses, so I’m going to go now. It’s part of my allure."
I could have passed an alcohol test–I’m a big guy. I’m a little buzzed, relaxed. On the drive home I didn’t hit hardly anything. After making some overt sexual advances to Detroit which she politely declined ("Get off me, you drunk ass. Go take a nap.") I went and took a nap.