When they say: It is just not in the budget.
They mean: We have already tapped the keg dry by paying outside contractors too much in order to accomplish the work that could have been performed cheaper and faster by existing employees therefore any budget requests you submit for a $150 software upgrade will be dutifully ignored.
When they say: We appreciate all the hard work your doing around here.
They mean: Thanks for busting your ass, but we are not even considering you for a raise or promotion. Instead, we will placate you with promises of a raise or promotion and free soda and donuts in the break room.
When they say: We are making you the project lead.
They mean: Since none of us have the testicular fortitude to admit wrongdoing when mistakes are made, we are appointing you the head of this project so we have someone to blame when the shit hits the fan.
When they say: This is not a high priority.
They mean: I want you to drop everything your doing and focus on this until it is done.
When they say: You will have it tomorrow.
They mean: I have no intention of getting this to you until sometime later next month and when (or if) I finally do, you can expect me to drop this back onto your lap at the worst possible time.
When they say: We will all be putting in long hours on this one.
They mean: I will do as little at humanly possible on this project then take all the credit for it after you worked until midnight for a week straight getting it done.
When they say: Our company is growing.
They mean: We are going to take this bitch public and cash out our stock options before you have any idea what hit you.
On my way back to office during lunch today I saw something so utterly ridiculous I am still in shock. While waiting at a traffic light, I pull behind a Dodge Neon. A sticker is placed squarely in the back window that reads “Brakes Are For Pussies.” Easy Johnny Nitrous Oxide, you would be lucky if an old lady with a walker did not beat you up a hill in that high-performance fluorescent blue bucket of four cylinder shit that you call an automobile.
Christ it is hot in this office. I bet one of those skinny bitches turned up the thermostat again. They are always cold. It could be 102 degrees outside and they put on a sweater because it is “chilly out.” Whenever one of them says, “I think it feels fine in here” it means that it is 15 degrees hotter than it should be. We need to crank up the air conditioning. I want it so cold in this place that we could hang slabs of beef from the rafters.
Friday. Work late to complete a corporate Flash presentation that nobody will pay attention to. After work, I play in a coed softball game where my team wins 26-4 and the opposing team’s third baseman catches a ground ball with her face and breaks her nose. Immediately following the game a torrential downpour ensues and I sprint to my car leaving my glove on the field. I roll to Tyler’s house and play College Football with the Slushy Gutter Crew. At one point in the evening Tyler pours me either a glass of bourbon, scotch, or whiskey. I drink it and proceed to kick his ass with Virginia Tech 30-14. On the way home I realize that I left my mitt on the softball field.
Saturday. I attend my company picnic and run the corporate Flash presentation I put in long hours over. Surprisingly, people pay attention, laugh and tell me good job. After the presentation the picnic continues at a nearby park with a luau theme and a pig roasting. I eat heaping platefuls of swine and mingle with coworkers. Jake, Gay Joe and I make fun of some pasty kid trying to play football. We call him “Mary” and giggle like the dickheads we are. Joe tells us about his homosexual encounters the previous evening. Hula dancers many years past their prime shake their asses for our amusement. I volunteer to dance with them, throwing my inhibitions into the wind like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. I perform a dance with pom-poms and hip gyrations. I win the grand prize in the company raffle (a $200 gift certificate to the Flagstaff House). After the picnic, I attend a lesbian wedding with Monica, Kaye, Aaron, Nels and Kerry. We quickly become the obnoxious drunk table at the reception. A plant is passed around and the recipient of said plant gives a toast. A diverse blend of people wishes the couple well including a militant lesbian with an attitude problem and a sexual predator with disheveled hair holding a kid that liked to hit people in the face. I share my toast with the happy couple, lifting my glass and saying, “Here’s to eating pussy.” They laugh hysterically. I love the lesbians and wish them the best. We roll to Monica’s crib for a nightcap. I discover Kaye does not like playing drinking games with me. Monica informs me she picked up my softball glove up after our game. This makes me happy.
Sunday. I wake up at noon with a screaming hangover. I pour a glass of water and take ibuprofen. I watch Panic Room on digital cable. I drink a glass of water. I make a trip to Home Depot to buy some sandpaper and steel wool. I drink a glass of water. I strip paint for four hours. I drink three glasses of water. My Mom calls and invites me to dinner. I drink a glass of water. I drive to my parents house and eat spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. We discuss home improvement. I go home to play a game of College Football. Colorado State beats Wyoming 21-3. Nels picks me up for our hockey game. I tally a hat trick and an assist. I drink seven glasses of water. Mark throws a shoe at Nels’s face. I come home and take a shower. I go to sleep. If anyone asks me what I did this weekend, I will say, “Nothing.”
It is my first day back in the office after the HOW Design Conference in New Orleans and I have over 100 emails to sift through. While I was gone, I missed a party at CH‘s house. This morning he shot me an email describing what went down:
Here’s a funny story from the party on Saturday.
Juck took on the role of class drunk as we were wrapping up the trivia game. I had a tiebreaker where people had to hula-hoop and do shots at the same time. After the two teams failed at it (neither were Juck’s team) he decided to try it, although he wasn’t supposed to or required to. He failed miserably, and as the rather small hoop consistently fell, he tried picking it up and jumping through it like performing dogs do. That failed too. No one was amused, rather, they were scared. I was convinced his weight of jumping on my wood floor was going to knock some art off the walls. Finally, tired of trying, he returned towards his seat. He appeared to trip over a Coors Light box another team was using as a trash can. Full on like Chevy Chase, he fell into our table that was covered with plates of snacks, beers, chips, dips, etc. He landed against the edge of the table breaking the fall with his forearms. All of the aforementioned food went flying everywhere, people’s beers spilled into their laps, and the dip onto our white rug. After that, everyone was cracking on him unmercifully. Keep in mind; this was the same Juck whose Pakistani roommate broke my coffee table at a party last year.
As the night wore on, he drank more. I found him on the back deck later in the night in a deep discussion with Spotty and a couple other guys about “If you could suck your own dick, would you?” Not surprisingly, he was very vulgar. Guys he had just met that night were very uncomfortable. He was also loud. Very loud. My new neighborhood has a lot of little kids (2-6 years old) in it. So I asked him to keep it down, and he yells at me, “Hey, it’s not my fault you moved to fucking suburbia!”
I arrived back in Denver today safe and primarily sound. Aside from a wicked day-long drunk followed by a slow, mind-numbing hangover, I am in good spirits and had a great time. Last night I attended the finale party hosted by a paper company (I was too drunk to care which one) where conference goers were given free reign over a warehouse where the majority of the Mardi Gras parade floats are stored. In the midst of six foot paper-mache heads of jazz music legends, sports heroes and animals, we drank and danced the night away.
Over the course of the 2003 HOW Design Conference many relationships were established and by three o’clock this morning were solidified by toasted imbibed spirits. A design posse has now been established reaching across the North American continent. There is me, Holly and Tina from Denver, Wes from New Jersey, Scott from Minneapolis, Mark from Montreal, Dave and Beatriz from New York, Stacy from Pittsburgh, Rod from New Orleans (who gets props for taking us tourists to some of the best eating establishments in town) and whoever else I forgot to mention that I may have sat next to at a session, ate fish with at a restaurant or drank with on Bourbon Street.
Although my liver hates me, the rest of me had an excellent week.
All is well in the Big Easy on the HOW Design Conference tip. Last night’s voodoo and haunted tours were a minor disappointment. The scariest moment of the evening was being witness to a homosexual couple performing boisterous fellatio acts on each other atop a parked car on a crowded street in the French Quarter. I lost a $20 bill somewhere near Jackson Square and proceeded to drink whiskey the rest of the night. The conference thus far has been phenomenal. There is a palpable creative energy with excellent speakers like James Victore and Genevieve Gorder. This environment has not only gotten me excited about design again but has yielded two crippling hangovers.
New Orleans smells like a combination of stale beer, urine and vomit. You will be walking down the street and the pungent aroma assaults your nostrils and makes you want jackals to chew off your face. Other than the stench, New Orleans is a very cool town. Out of my hotel room window I can see the Mississippi River, and I am across the street from Harrah’s Casino and three blocks away from the French Quarter. Last night a pack of conference attendees went down to Bourbon Street and engaged in drunken revelries until the wee hours of the morning. Tonight I am touring old haunted homes in the French Quarter and watching some crazy bastards do some voodoo shit. As if becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, yesterday, the first person I met remarked on how humid it was. It has been raining for the entire conference thus far, and the weather reports indicate that it will continue through out the weekend. So the obvious response to the humidity question is yes, it is fucking humid out.
In the morning, I am off to New Orleans and the 2003 HOW Design Conference. I have attended a HOW Design Conference before, but I have never been to the New Orleans. I hear it is a fun town that smells like garbage with blended alcoholic fruit drinks on every corner. I expect it to be humid and I am comfortable with that. I will not be comfortable, however, with other conference attendees hitting me up with small talk like “This humidity is pretty bad, right?” As a matter of fact, if anybody decides to engage me with inane humidity banter, I will be sure to punt their teeth down their throat). During the day I will be kicking it Huck Finn Off The Banks Of The Mississippi Style; easy, laid back and oblivious to the world around me. At night, I will be kicking it Girls Gone Wild Style; draining Hurricanes until I give up the ghost and flashing my nipples for insignificant plastic beads.
Unless there are computers with internet access somewhere at the conference or a comely young lass will let me borrow her laptop for a few minutes, I will be unable to post while I am in the Big Easy (Unfortunately, the company laptop is being used at another conference for some work-related bullshit. Fucking whatever). Either way, I will be pimping the old school composition book and pen to capture the moments, so rest assured the five of you will be hearing all about my New Orleans adventures.
Yesterday, a high school freshman followed me around the office for career day. She was very cool and I was impressed with her motivation and direction. When I was fifteen, the only things that interested me were loosing my virginity, smoking cigarettes, drinking whiskey, throwing up all over my parents basement and getting my drivers license. I never gave much thought about a career. I only knew that I liked to draw obscene pictures of teachers in my notebooks. Many coworkers claimed I handled the mentor relationship with competent professionalism, but I think I corrupted her young mind like Socrates. Or Iron Maiden.