Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Do you consider yourself humorous?"

My office is moving to a new location in the spring. Meanwhile, we are trying to sell the current building. This means we all have to do a little cleanup work, since most of our organizational systems at the moment are not especially appealing.


The boss has also seized this purging opportunity to get rid of a few things she dislikes.


I had been noticing that most of the helpful notes I put up around the office came down after a few days or weeks. No one ever mentioned a problem, though, so I naturally assumed that the cleaning crew was amassing a valuable collection of original Clara artwork.


To prove authenticity and drive up the Antiques Roadshow price quote for future generations, I started signing my masterpieces.


In retrospect, that may have been a bad idea. Rather than illustration enthusiasts, my gifts to the art world were falling to the CEO, who apparently really hates it when I do stuff like this:


That one stayed up for about three hours, so I toned down the alert level, aiming for more “Get off my lawn!” and less “THEY WILL NEVER FIND YOUR BODY!”


The new version lasted another three days, due to some key staff taking vacation leave. I didn’t learn the awful truth, though, until another round of guerrilla seat-peeing inspired this:


With the scotch tape still fresh on its corners, another manager finally told me that the Big Boss found such missives distinctly less than entertaining, and I lost my last thin excuse to draw pictures at work.


Now I’m limited to being this obnoxious at home. My roommate is a really good sport, but it’s a little too passive-aggressive to communicate via notes with the only other member of your household. That restraint reduces me to posting warnings for myself in my own bathroom, which is considerably less satisfying.



I guess the other option is to learn a lesson about maturity and appropriate forms of workplace communication. I’d really prefer it if everyone else had to adapt and grow instead of me, though, so please just quit peeing on stuff and find me amusing.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Speedy Grease

I recently got an oil change at an establishment that, to avoid attention from their legal department, I will call “Speedy Grease.”

My town has almost 20 Speedy Grease locations, which is good because I can never return to any of the three I have used so far. The first time I couldn’t figure out how to pull up to the service bay, so now they know that I’m not competent to care for a vehicle. The second time I absentmindedly tried to get in my car without paying, so that crew knows about my tenuous grasp on the conventions that govern society.


In my shame, I slunk away to a third Speedy Grease shop. This time I managed the whole transaction with only minimal failures of sentience.


All that success went to my head, and it took until Monday to notice the impressive constellation of scratches on my windows. These new decorations can only have come from that adorable little dance where they pretend to wash your windows, presumably using an old sweatshirt stuffed with gravel.

I was upset for about ten minutes, and then the battle joy started seeping in. After work, I got to go yell at Speedy Grease!


I love the prospect of a conflict that calls for righteous speech-making. Planning out a biting diatribe satisfies my primal need for occasional violence, with the added bonus of minimizing the bloodshed. On the other hand, 100% of confrontations work out better in my head than in reality. Typically, I’ll plan something like this:


…but thanks to a genetic tendency toward anger-crying, I usually discharge that frustrated energy through my eyeballs in the most humiliating way possible:



This is the same recipe by which I accidentally got a grade changed in college. It only takes a few key ingredients:

One misunderstood assignment...


One attempt to explain...


A double handful of panic about damaging a GPA over an elective music class...


…and one terrified grad student instructor who did not see this coming.


Ultimately, though, I did not so much as sniffle at the Speedy Grease guy. I also didn’t get such impressive results. In fact, the reward for my little wrath spree doubles as its own punishment: I have to go back and face that same crew to redeem my 50% discount on another oil change.

At least now I know which direction the door opens.

P.S. If you are forming a band, you can have "Wrath Spree" for free.

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