I get a response like this:From: Me To: My boss Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 8:42 AM Subject: TELEGRAM FROM WESTERN ONION KAREN [STOP] LEAVING AT 4:30 TODAY [STOP] WILL MAKE UP LATER IN THE WEEK [STOP] OKAY THEN - COLIN [STOP]
From: My boss To: Me Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 8:51 AM Subject: Re: TELEGRAM FROM WESTERN ONION COLIN [GO] THANKS FOR THE UPDATE [GO] HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU [GO] ALRIGHTY THEN - KAREN [GO]
I talk to myself a lot while I'm at work. I need to do it to stay sane. If you eavesdrop next to my desk long enough, you're likely to hear me swear at most of the incoming faxes. My boss does the same thing. When I first came to this department, our cubicles shared a wall, and occasionally we'd respond to each other's comments.
One day she came over to my cube and said, "Colin, am I bothering you? Do I need to move you?"
I said, "Oh, I don't know. Am I bothering you? I kind of like having somebody to play off of."
"Oh good," she said. "I like it too, but I thought I might be driving you crazy."
Eventually some things changed. Our department was rearranged, and I no longer sit next to her. The spirit of those days lives on, though, in e-mail conversations like the one above, and in the fact that we carry out most of our conversations in Scottish accents.
Today has been a relatively good day so far. The big stressful emotional thing that very few of you know about seems to be resolving itself, and the big stressful work thing that happens to me every Wednesday is well in hand. I just got paid, which is a good thing. We ordered Chinese for lunch, and I'm pleased to have found that I like the hot and sour soup from Chang Jiang.
My plan for the evening is to get together with Ellen and watch Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which she hasn't seen. I really love that movie, which I saw with Lindsey (the one with an E, not the one with an A) when it played at the Majestic in 2001. Rob Matsushita was in the audience and led a rousing chorus of Wig In A Box in the middle of the song when Hedwig encourages everybody to sing along. I don't think he'd seen it before, I think he was just enjoying himself. At some point I'm gonna get my paws on a copy of the Wig In A Box tribute CD, which features The Long Grift performed by They Might Be Giants, versions of Wicked Little Town by both Ben Folds and The Breeders, and Cyndi Lauper performing Midnight Radio. The tracklisting on that album looks fantastic.
** ADDENDUM **
My boss: By the way, Human Resources just called. Our ergonomics specialist will be in the building on Friday, so if you need to be ergonomicised, let me know.
Me: Karen, this is America. Most men were ergonomicised at birth.
My boss: ...I hope you don't want me to tell that to H.R.
Me: You know, I'd really rather you didn't.