April 25, 2005

Surviving the Work Place - Tips You Can Use

On the drive into work today I was cut off by a co-worker. I'm sure she didn't realize it was me she had cut off. She waved her hand as is the tradition of those who cut others off in traffic, a gesture of gratitude though the driver had no choice and didn't intend to slam on the brakes. When I cut people off in traffic I hang my head, hoping this small sign of repentance will lessen their pique. Ironically, my co-worker forgot to "take the hypotenuse" and I beat her into work.

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At the cafeteria today is "Make Your Own Chicken Salad Day". This is where the ability to see and react quickly help. You can put three chicken tenders on your salad but the chicken tenders vary greatly in size. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to quickly find the three biggest without being obvious about it. Most people are obvious about it and spend an enormous amount of time flipping through the tenders as if hoping a winning lottery ticket lay buried. But those behind in line are sympathetic; we know the object of the game is to find the largest. (I'm very Jesuitical.) But still I feel like I owe it to those behind me not to rub it in. It's just the kind of sweet, sensitive guy I am. So I scan the pan of tenders quckly and deftly make selections with what I hope looks to be a kind of randomness, as if the whopping size of the tenders I was putting on the salad were mere accident.

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Last week I've made friends with the cafeteria workers who ladle out the main entries. They have a kind of warmth about them. You can tell they are Christian. By their love. Anyway, the drill is most people go up and say "I'll have the chicken" or "I'll have the turkey". The day's selections on a large, upright menu by the food and the entry names are dressed up with all sorts of fancy/schmancy adjectives as if we're on the Left Bank instead of mid-Ohio. For example, it's not fish, it's "Beer-battered Norwegian cod". And it's not "meat loaf", it's "Portobello Classic Meat Loaf with Herbs & Spices You Haven't Heard Of". The other day they had something prefaced by "Mayo Clinic" and so I throw them off by asking for the full name of the dish. "I'll have the Mayo Clinic Chicken and Dumplings on a bed of Romaine Lettuce with Worchester Sauce" or whatever it was. And she made a joke about how there wasn't any Mayo in it. My kind of gal. We all bonded. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.

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When it's time to cash out, I've always tended towards one cashier because she's the fastest and most efficient and knows about combos ("combos" save you money). But recently the lines for her have been inexplicably longer and I can't very well pass up another cashier with an open line if only because that cashier might think, "what, do I have B.O. or somethin'?". So it so happened I went a week without going to my usual cashier and when I went there again she was a bit cold, as if I were cheating on her with other cashiers (which in fact was the case). "Where have you been?" she asked. And I say, "your line has been longer lately..."

I's lead an exciting life don't I's?

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