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This is How the Day Gets Off to a Fine Start

September 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

Fewer people than normal at the bus stop this morning.  That's always a good sign, because it means a less crowded and more quiet ride to work.  And the bus was strangely clean, almost sparkly, as if it had been washed,or perhaps sprinkled with unicorn dust.  So that was nice.

Until the lady two rows in front of me started having an argument on her cell phone.  For the next 45 minutes. Loud enough, mind you, that several people dragged out headphones to try to drown her out.

Including the guy directly behind me, who decided the best way to deal with her annoyance was to listen to speed metal at full volume.  For the next 45 minutes.  Loud enough, mind you, that I could hear it just as clearly as if the headphones were cupping my ears.   And I am not, in general, a huge fan of speed metal. 

So, to you, Cell-Phone Lady, I say:  thank you for sharing the intimate details of your sister's divorce with the rest of us.  And to you, Speed Metal Guy, I say: thank you for broadening my musical horizons against my will.  Also, I hope you both get bitten by stray dogs.  And that the dogs run away and you can't find them to determine whether they have rabies, so you have to go in for the rabies vaccine and that it's really uncomfortable.  Just like in that episode of Different Strokes.

But after I (finally) arrived at work, I printed the paystub for this week's paycheck.  And I noticed it's a little bit higher than it's supposed to be.  Not life-changing, but different enough to make me do a double-take.  Enough to make me read through the itemizations more carefully than I normally do.  Which is how I found a newcomer to the itemizations, something that doesn't normally appear.  Something called, "Award."

I don't know what I did, or when, or how, but dang if it wasn't award-worthy.  I honestly have no idea what this is about.  So I'm more than halfway convinced this is a mistake of some sort, and they'll take the money away on the next paycheck.  But the reason I'm not 100% convinced it's a mistake is because this has happened to me not once but twice before.   So I'll be sitting in a meeting, minding my own business, when my manager (or in one momentarily heart-stopping case my manager's manager) calls my name and summons me to the front of the conference room.  Naturally, of course, I go up there expecting ritual sacrifice.  But both times (so far) I've received a handshake and a certificate and a little boost to that week's paycheck. 

They probably enjoy my sunshiney attitude and the fact that I never complain about anything.  Still, though.  A very nice little boost given how the morning had been shaping up.



Steve Halter September 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm
Well, cool for the award. Maybe (since they're scientists) they are doing a double blind management experiment. Give some people no reward, others a random award and others an award with praise. Then, whichever group gets a Nobel they'll decide that's the way to go. Or something like that. I've never been able to figure out the obliviousness of people who have extremely detailed personal conversation on their cell phones in public. I'm not sure if they are a) really anxious for us all to share and they "know" we are interested, b) clueless that there are other people around or c) that's their detailed way of signalling their dead drop location. Whichever it is, I also wish they would stop.
Ian September 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Maybe (since they're scientists) they are doing a double blind management experiment. That made me chuckle so much my coworkers asked me what was going on. As for the cell phone people, I'm going with option (c), and that they're arranging a dead drop in code. I like that.
Adrienne September 9, 2011 at 12:35 am
You should use your award to buy Cell-Phone Lady and Speed Metal Guy rabies vaccines. Or! To purchase a rabid dog.
Ian September 9, 2011 at 12:46 am
Now that is what I call working smarter, not harder. What's the going rate on rabid dogs these days? I figure it's probably a buyer's market.
Melinda September 9, 2011 at 9:55 am
First congrats on the "Award" and the accompanying money. Money lifts an award out of the "atta boy" category. And oy on the bus ride. On a serious note do you suppose they could ban cell phone use on the bus like they do on planes? It is so discourteous to everyone else. Only other suggestion -- a pair of great earplugs. I think I have a spare box in my gym bag.
Scott Denning September 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm
It would seem, in the Big Picture of things, your Award was for not running amok on the bus and having it arrive short a few of those originally embarked. Which (proof that the Universe is perverse as well as gracious) also means that you are being rewarded for not improving the gene pool...
Ian September 9, 2011 at 11:37 pm
Yours may be the only explanation that makes sense. It's certainly the most plausible. Which says good things about you, and terrible things about this crap-hill 'verse.
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