Monday, September 27, 2004

Close Call


"Nina?" The sound blares over my telephone intercom, drowning out, for a second, the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 playing on my headphones.

"Yes?" I say to the phone. It always feels weird talking to a piece of machinery, even if I do know that it's a real person on the other end.

"This is Jean." (Jean is the nice lady who works at the reception desk upstairs.) "Can you come up here right now?"

My heart drops to my stomach. My throat drops to my heart, making an audible "gulp" sound in the process.

"Um ... sure. Be right there."

It's finally going to happen. I'm going to get fired. Even though I always get my work done, I'm going to get fired. For blogging. For playing piano too long on my lunch hour. For checking my Yahoo! mail 40 times a day. For listening to Bach all day long. For ... what? I don't know, but I have a sick feeling that I'm going to lose my job.

As I ascend the steps to the reception area, I imagine that the company president is waiting for me, along with the head tech person who has been spying on my every internet move for the past six months. They'll take me into the conference room and sit me at the far end of the table. They'll read a listing of my every wrong I've committed since coming to work at this job. Perhaps they'll have a PowerPoint presentation showing my unforgivable sins. Then, the axe will fall. I'll be thrown out into the rain. Meanwhile, my manager and co-workers will clean out my desk, dump all of my belongings unceremoniously into a cardboard box, and change my computer password so that I can no longer access anything on my--no, their--computer, ever again.

"Well, maybe I can get unemployment," I think as I look through the window at a grey sky spitting rain. "Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe this is what is supposed to happen. I'll get a part-time job closer to home. At the bookstore, maybe. I'll hike more. I'll write more. I'll spend more quality time with George the Piano. I'll help Dan take his afternoon naps."

By the time I make it to Jean's desk, I feel better. Getting fired almost, almost seems like a good thing.

On Jean's desk is a vase, and in the vase is a beautiful, fragrant bouquet of a dozen red roses. The note on the card is a mushy note (that I will not transcribe here) from Dan, wishing me a happy anniversary.

So I didn't get fired after all. Didn't get released from this Muggle job to a life of part-time work at a bookstore and afternoon naps with Dan. But you know what? I really can't complain. Life is good!

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