First of all, I would like to apologize for writing this. No really. Sorry.
Someone needs to tell Colorado to stop catching fire. It isn't even fire season yet, and the whole place is burning down. There's currently a huge fire down near Golden. I fear for the Coors factory.
It has been a really stressful two weeks at work, too. I find myself having work dreams. At night. I am not dreaming at work.
I really, really hate it. I wake up and my arms ache from filling out Excel spreadsheets while I'm sleeping, and I feel like I have a million more things to do before I can shower.
I need to figure out how to bill this crap to work.
Anyway, I have been having some real doozies lately, but since hearing about dreams is about as exciting as having a root canal, I will refrain. Not only are they all complicated and illogical, but they didn't really happen, so who would want to read it?
This is totally a short story, not a dream, so that makes it better. Seriously.
You don't have to thank me.
A Short Story about Work (and Totally NOT the Dream I had Last Night)
So, I was sitting in my cubicle working when the phone rang.
"Hi," I said, all perky-like, "This is Leauxra."
It was my boss in another state. "Hi Leauxra, I need you to drop everything and work on a VERY IMPORTANT PROJECT RIGHT NOW."
At that moment, the fire alarm went off and there was smoke everywhere. "I'm sorry, sir," I said, "There's a fire. I need to evacuate the building." There was screaming in the background.
Boss: "No. This is more important."
Me: "More important than my life?"
Boss: "Millions will die if you don't do this. That Japan thing? It will look like a nice day if you don't get this done."
Me: "Um... OK? What is it?"
Boss: "I need you to organize this spreadsheet."
Boss: "I sent the file over. Some really disorganized people will be sending you updates and it's your job to keep everything in order. Every time you mess up, someone will die a grisly death."
Me: "Um... there's a lot of smoke."
Boss: "Just be happy you have a job!"
Me: "Can't you send this to someone who is not inside a burning building?"
Boss: "Everyone else is busy." And then he hung up on me.
I cussed a little bit. OK, a lot. Really loud. But I figured it was OK because everyone else was out of the building.
Over my cubicle wall I hear, "QUIET! You'll WAKE IT UP!"
Not wanting to know what I wasn't supposed to wake up, I opened the file.
It was a spreadsheet.
No, it was madness. Not only did the fonts not match at all, but the formatting looked like it was done by a 4th grader with ADD. The columns were fuchsia and teal, with orange and yellow text, sometimes light green on a dark green background... and it was moving. It was Tetris and Minesweeper plus addition columns that didn't add up and vLookups that were referencing something that looked like the little scrolly lettery things in the Matrix. In the top corner, I noticed a little red number that said, "Totals" and it kept climbing. I realized this was how many people had died.
I coughed and tried to concentrate. My eyes were watering, maybe from the smoke, maybe from the atrociously poor organizational skills. And I really really had to pee. The crackle of the flames was getting closer.
Some time later, and not because I woke up briefly to use the restroom, but after the time where I was amazing and fixed everything...
I called my boss. My cubicle was covered in burn marks, and I could hear people crying. An EMT team passed by with a guy from one of the testing labs.
My boss didn't answer. Instead, a woman picked up the phone.
Her: "Oh, sorry, I guess we forgot to tell you. Your boss has been laid off. I am your new boss."
Me: "Oh. I... um... Hi."
Me: "So, anyway. I fixed that file that he sent me. No one has died in like 20 minutes."
Her: "That was hours ago. What have you done for me today?"
Me: "I'm sorry? I assumed that since I put my life on the line and everything that I would get some kind of raise, or even a promotion."
Her: "We are all aware of how awesome you are, but the Company is not in any position to give out raises or promotions right now."
I was quiet for a moment.
Her: "Was there anything else?"
Me: "Uh, actually, yeah. Since you are my new boss, I guess I should make sure you know I will be leaving early on Friday, and won't be back until Wednesday. I'm going on vacation."
Her: "That's a problem. You need to clear this kind of thing with me at least a month in advance."
Me: "I cleared it with my old boss. I am getting on an airplane."
Her: "Fine, you can go, but we are going to give you a pay-cut."
Me: "What? That's... damnit! No!"
Her: "Those are the rules. My hands are tied."
Me: "I think I might have just quit."
If this had been a dream, this is the point where my raised blood-pressure and sweaty palms woke me up five minutes before my alarm went off.
Yes. I may need a change of venue for a few days.