I’m leaving for Miami today. Considering all the shit that’s been going on I figured a couple days of sun, music and sexndrugsnrocknroll would do me good. I’m heading down to the Winter Music Conference, centered mainly around South Beach. I’ve never been able to go before because this is such a busy time of year for me. However, when my bosses found out about my splitting with my girlfriend a few months back they bought me my tickets on company miles. Either out of pity or some sort of deranged parting gift.
The reason I’ve never been able to go is simple. I work at a small company with a very seasonal schedule. I basically live my life behind a desk until the end of May. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if it weren’t for us being so small a business. Those of you who work the same way I do understand. Instead of working a fixed schedule and having to wear a tie and being a slave to some white collar bottom line, I come to work when I want, wear what I want, do what I want. We’re focused on personal responsibility. Unfortunately for me, the entire responsibility of everything that the company does around this time is mine alone. Every minute I’m not here during this time of year is a minute that another pound of guilt and worry gets laid on my shoulders. So taking a vacation around now is just not usually in the cards.
Regardless, I’m going, and I figured the only way my conscience would be clean enough to partake in all the barely legal fun would be to work for about 128 hours straight. Nine to Nine every day for the last week. I’ve gotten a butt load done and feel fantastic, however it’s introduced me to the odd goings on of the office building after dark.
In the other offices we’ve had through the years it’s always just been us. Me, my coworkers and my boss’s dog. Staying late meant turning up the music and smoking at my desk. I’ve been known to canter around butt nekkid and dance to whatever happens to surface in my music collection.
You can’t really do that here. First of all we’ve got cleaning guys that just wander in, unannounced to vacuum. Loudly. Now I know that’s the plot outline to about four thousand pornos, but I’m just not into older men from the Caribbean. Nope, no nude dancing for me, which, if you know me at all, is quite a downer.
Everything changes at night here. At five thirty the central air shuts down. This means that at 5:45 you’re working in an oven and everything starts to smell like old shoes.
Since we’re surrounded on all sides by the kind of idiot small corporate stooges that I despise this makes sense. If you work in the financial district for some sort of underwriting hedge fund completely pointless job or whatever it is you do, you never stay past 5:00. So pointless is your day that it’s basically over at 2:00 anyway, so you just sit around talking about Lost for three hours until you can hurdle the cubicle wall on the way out get a drink and try to restore a little bit of the soul you sold to get corporate discounts at Crate and Barrel.
After 6:00, I can say with about 90% assurance that it is only myself and the maintenance crew working which is why seeing someone unexpected is so weird. We’ve got one of those shared bathrooms for the entire floor. It’s weird enough having to walk in there and create a zone of isolation around yourself so you can coax your urine out of you like teaching a five year old how to dive. Take that and multiply it times a billion when it’s 10:30 and you wander in to the bathroom and see a half catatonic form propped against the urinal like he just stopped there at the closing bell.
Also, apparently if you’re around after 6:00 and you happen to share an elevator with someone else, all bets are off. It was 11 last night and I was finally going home, content that I’m far enough along to finally be able to get into some trouble this weekend, guilt free, and I hopped onto the lift. Much to my surprise there was someone already in there.
He wasn’t just in there, he was in bike shorts. And not bike shorts as in part of a whole cycling outfit. He was in bike shorts and an Oxford style button up blue shirt. Spandex and Egyptian cotton.
Obviously there was a large portion of the story I was missing, but I guess he’d been hedging his bets as I was, assuming that he wouldn’t be seeing anyone until he wedged those oversized spandex clad ham hocks onto his bike seat. I just stared intently at the ceiling, hoping not to have to see anything too damaging.
This was not to be the case. As soon as the doors closed he started talking about the weather. About how hot it was supposed to be on Friday, like he was trying to convince me that it was cool he was wearing short shorts. I pulled the usual “oh, haha, yep, nice weather, sure, okay, have a nice weekend” routine.
As soon as we hit the ground floor I took off running like a scared gazelle. I miss my old exposed brick wall 14 foot tall ceiling hard wood floor full length windowed office 😦 .