Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Friday, March 07, 2003

Failure of the Day: Work

I am an office girl. I don't actually work in an office (I am a telecommuter) but in addition to spending damn near ALL my time working with the behemoth software called Office, I keep office hours. I didn't used to. I have had my job for nearly three years but before that, I was unemployed for nearly 10 years. I was a professional Cripple, and I billed my life to the government. I am less of a cripple now, therefore I am paid for work, therefore I live by the workweek. And therefore, Fridays have regained their hallowed place. "TGIF!" I shout. I shout it today especially. It's been a long week. The physical location of my place of employment is nearly 800 miles from where I sit, but my work nemeses always manage to make themselves felt. Technically, I am their boss, this husband of wife from the bowels of Hell; I am the project manager, they are working on the project. They generally do what is widely if secretly acknowleged in my office to be a piss poor job, and they take a damn long time to do it. They have a baby, which tends to mean they have an excuse. they should introduce the tot that way: "This is our excuse, Junior." because of the Excuse, they can miss as much work as they like and cannot be fired. None of this is explict of course; the emplyee handbook doesn't say: "Employees with demonstrated fecundidty are exempt from the requirement to show up, perform adequately, and complete their tasks in a timely fashion." But it's clear enough.

Let me make this clear: I am not a person of many prejudices regarding humans. I have plenty regarding food and poetry and certain Star Trek species, but humans are far too complicated to make snap judgements about. That being said, I must tell you that the wife of this unholy pair is the single ugliest individual I have ever seen. The first time I met her, I had to stifle, literally, an impulse to gasp. Ordinarily, people who don't fit traditional standards of beauty become more attractive as you get to know their personalities, but her personality is comprised only of smug self-absorbsion and vastly misplaced vanity. It's the damndest thing I've ever seen. And so, she is known in my head and among my friends as The Ugly Girl (UG). UG is a fercious blogger and kept detailed records about how she monitored her fertility in order to ensure conception and thereby extract a marriage proposal out of her witless boyfriend, who had steadfastly refused to marry her for many long years. Her blog goes into great detail about this.

Of course, I should not know any of this. I offer in my defense only that I at some point developed a perverse fascination with the spectacle of her. So my revulsion is my own doing, I know. She is that hangnail that you poke because it kind of hurts but it kind of feels good, kind of hurts, kind of feels good. I gawk in horror, but I gawk nonetheless.

All of this is really just an overly long intro to my explanation of why TGIF has the resonnance it does for me. I have spent the better part of the day trying to wring work and status reports from them so that I can in turn make my weekly reports to the World's Largest Software Company. UG so far, refuses to acknowledge my emails at all, whereas UG Husband (UGH) sends long, gramatically nonsensical emails that do not answer my question but that are full of information that I do not want or need.

This weekend, I will hang out with Paul, who is visiting from LA, poke Chris in the stomach with my finger for a little while, and hopefully have some Chinese food.


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