September 14, 2006

Its Official, I Am Coming Back As A Cockroach

Posted in Office Hijinks at 6:24 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

I was out celebrating a good friend’s birthday when, over cocktails, the conversation turned to karma.  One friend told us that she had recently ordered a couple of t-shirts from an online retailer and said retailer threw in a pair of brown leather boots, in her size absolutely free.  These boots sold for $350.00 and said friend, an admitted shoe whore, found herself in a bit of a cosmic predicament.


After weighing the pros and cons and consulting her more morally sound friends, she decided to return the boots.  Her reasoning was that it was bad karma to keep boots she did not pay for.


I abruptly took away her shoe whore card – after all the term implies that there is nothing one wouldn’t do for shoes – and suggested that maybe those boots were the universe’s way of saying thank you for all the crap she had to endure.


And while at the time I said it as a way of justifying my own karma-corrupt position, it got me thinking.  Some of us are quick to do the right thing as a way of preserving our good standing with the universe, but what if these opportunities to enrich our lives aren’t actually the cosmos way of balancing the scales.


I’ll give you another example.  Back when I was still slinging beers at a corner bar we had several regulars, some of whom were lumped together by genre; most notably our teachers, our construction workers, our old heads and our rowers. 


Most of the rowers I already knew from my time spent on the river. However every year a few new faces would arrive, I would be introduced, discussions over who we knew would be had and I would leave and return with a lager.  There was one rower, however, that no matter how many times we were introduced he still had no idea who I was. 


That is until the one night I was hanging out with my friend who was putting herself through school by modeling. Wouldn’t you know it, the Rower knew exactly who I was and insisted I introduce him to my friend. 


The next time I ran into him, he claimed we had never met.


So when his resume landed in my boss’s “In” bin I cringed.  Typically when I get a resume, I will review it, circle spelling errors, highlight things that just shouldn’t be on it or point out impressive items.  With the Rower’s resume I just wanted to crumple it up and throw it away, but I was worried that doing so would bring a reign of terror down on me by the powers that be.  Instead, I took a deep breath and placed the resume back in the bin.


My boss called me into his office that afternoon.  He was holding the Rower’s resume.  He pointed out that he was training for the Olympics. 


I rolled my eyes and explained to my boss that any rower could say they were training for the Olympics. The question was did he actually train with the National Team.  Chucking his resume was one thing, not letting him slide on semantics was an entirely different matter.


My boss shrugged his shoulders and asked if I knew him.


I nodded, trying my darnedest to not betray any emotion in my face.


He asked if he rowed with the National Team.


I shrugged my shoulders.


He asked what I thought of him.


I did a quick mental equation trying to figure out just what would be best for everyone in this situation.  The Rower could get a job, which would be good for him.  But I would have to work with him, which would be bad for me.  The Rower was hot and the girls in the office could use the eye candy.  But the Rower was a complete jerk and would probably drive those same girls crazy. 


It was a lot like trying to figure out if you were really doing a person a favor by letting them bum a cigarette. 


My head couldn’t take it anymore and just took over. “He’s an asshole.” 


My boss crumpled up his resume and chucked it in the waste paper basket.


I wondered if I would now suffer for hindering the Rower from getting a job or if this was punishment for the Rower being a big stupid phony creep. 


A few weeks later I saw the Rower walking around Suburban Station, looking homeless, I said hello, he stared back at me blankly and I smiled.  The universe had given me my answer.


Still I would have preferred a nice new pair of boots.


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