goodness, work

Bitter Haiku: Conflict edition

the elusive mole boss surface to ask for TPS reports

I was stuck in a dinner meeting in March of 2011, and just found the poems I wrote about it.  They’re not all haikus, but they’re all hilarious.  Classic.
[I changed some names to maintain some semblance of anonymity]

The dining hall is nothing but class,
intimidating chandeliers above.
George and Laura prep themselves for sass
from parents who have stopped feeling the love.

There were some very unhappy parents in the crowd due to some changes in the by-laws.  These meetings are typically long and dull, so this one turned out to be my favorite of all time.  Everyone made good arguments, and it was awesome to see a governing body functioning like a governing body instead of the fat, self-important, self-serving, unproductive lump it seems like most of the year.

Now dinner’s out; it’s chicken with a glaze,
and something that resembles broccoli.
New parents find and fix me with their gaze,
but I stare at my plate innocently.

Dinner was delicious, and the parents at my table seemed hell-bent on asking me questions I didn’t know the answers to.  “Does my student need a waiver to sign up for the insurance if they’re a minor?”  “Can I send care packages to my student via UPS instead of FedEx?”  “Can I park on campus without a pass on weekends?”  It’s all stuff I know now (no, yes, and no respectively), but I had just started about six months prior, and after two years, I still get stumped occasionally.

Ruth is in charge of damage control!
Unhappy parents’ words pound like a drum.
She closes her eyes and becomes a mole
at the presidential podium.

My boss (who we’ll call Ruth) has this hilarious habit of closing her eyes for a socially inappropriate amount of time when answering questions, or discussing an uncomfortable topic, during which my coworkers usually shoot each other bemused glances.  The first time I saw it happen, Ruth (aka Little Mole Boss) put her head down on the table where we had our meeting, and left it there for a solid… I’m gonna say 30-45 seconds.  I looked to my coworkers for a sign that she was still conscious while they giggled silently at my obvious confusion and disbelief.  She is a good boss, but everyone has strange tendencies that entertain others.  That is Little Mole Boss’ strange tendency, and namesake.

goodness, humor

FedEx adventure!

I picked up a package from the FedEx facility downtown today.  It was like visiting a foreign dignitary in a third world country.  Hard to find, then there was a surprising amount of security, then it was a piece of shit.

I got off the freeway and followed my gut south (the directions the FedEx lady gave me were crap).  I passed over a bridge, turned onto the right street, drove past a set of railroad tracks…

were they even functioning?

and then past warehouse after seemingly abandoned warehouse until I reached what appeared to be a cul-de-sac.  But no!  There was this weird entrance with a small sign that said “Customer pickup” on the chain mail fence topped with razor sharp barbed wire surrounding the rest of the cul-de-sac.  On I drove toward what could only be an air strip, given all the chain mail fencing and open tarmac.

it was a quarter mile long

A parking lot!  With weird buildings on one side…

rusty and creepy

…and a train on another side…

it wasn't moving

…and a whole lot of nothing everywhere else.  I asked a man in a uniform walking past my car for directions.

“Excuse me, I’m here to pick up a package.”

Without looking at me, “Just park and head over to the guard building.”  Then he started walking away without pointing to where said building might be.

“Where is the guard building?”

“Over there.”  Then he walked away with certainty.

I looked toward where he had indicated.  A small shack with windows and a few doors surrounded by fencing and… more nothing.  I parked and decided this experience was too weird to not snap a few photos.

I headed to the shack, walked past the “Exit” door, past the sign that said “No weapons beyond this point” and into the “Entrance” door.  There I found two guards.  The White Guard was helping two other men through one of two metal detectors.

White Guard shot me a look

The other guard, Hispanic Guard, asked for a door tag, or something with the tracking number on it.  I gave it to him, he made a call, came back and asked for my ID.  “I need to check you in,” Hispanic Guard said.

I said, “Ok… Am I going somewhere?”

“Yeah, right across there to get your package.”  He indicated across the tarmac to a large building.  He politely took down my information, passed me through the metal detector, passed a wand over me, poked through and then closed my purse, double checked to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, and told me to “follow the blue line.”

i lost track of it pretty quick

I followed the line to the building (after losing it once or twice while I wandered around), where my eyes needed to adjust to the darkness.  For a ground floor with no walls, this area was depressing and dark.  No one was around.  The stillness was eerie.  A few echoing clunks and clicks let me know that a machine somewhere was struggling to do its job.  I walked past a motionless conveyor belt with packages waiting to be processed on it.  It looked like a dead snake with a few mice taking a disappointing ride on its back.

it was pathetic

I kept following the blue line.

it collided with a green line, which led to the same place

It led me to an office where two dismal women checked my ID (again), had me sign something, beeped the bar code on the package, and sent me on my way.  I followed the blue line back to the guard station.  Hispanic Guard opened the door for me and passed me through the metal detector while White Guard chilled out.  I thanked him and left, feeling like I had just gone on a quick trip over the U.S./Mexico border and back.  Adventure!