This week, I’ve been working four 10-hour shifts because the system will be down on Friday, which means no work. The only way we were allowed to come in early today was by agreeing to make an appearance at the social. It wouldn’t have been so bad if everyone from evening shift was there, but only Bob and I were retarded enough to come in early and eat shitty hors d’oeurves. The night crew is treated like pariahs when immersed with the dayshifters, especially when our pack is broken up.
Bob wasn’t there when I arrived, and I desperately wanted to get it over with so I got Bill, who’s on the dayshift now, to go up with me. Tina promised she would too but then copped out at the last minute–asshole. Bill had already been up there once and therefore knew of the horrors in store for me. He tried to warn me that it was really crowded up there in the cafeteria, but the prospect of being buffeted in a field of holiday cookies helped me soldier on. Unfortunately, my hunt for cookies was kiboshed by a battlefield of gabby dayshift employees stuffed into a small and overheated cafeteria. I think I whimpered, “I’m going to cry,” three times to Bill. I’m not a social person. Perhaps in a group of three, I am. But I hate walking into a crowd, especially one that’s all loud and a’titter and blocking all of the spreads.
My throat felt constricted and I lost the ability to speak more than the same word over and over. My vision blurred and I momentarily lost sight of my mission.
My shepherd Bill directed me to a table with vegetables and several variations of bruschetta, but then I remembered that I just wanted cookies. ”Cookies?” I asked. So he showed me a table that had a punch bowl and one lone picked-over platter occupied by several cookies. I thought he was kidding when he said it was all that was left, but his eyes did not lie.
Apparently, my intense distaste for public interaction rendered my hearing powerless, leaving Bill to have one-sided conversations.
I grabbed two sad oatmeal cranberry cookies (wtf? but they were good), one for me and one for my boss Kim who had to miss the social because of school, and Bill and I retreated back downstairs where they keep us processors locked away.
Fifteen minutes later, Bob came over and asked, “Hey, you ready to go up there now?” and I was like, “Jesus Christ dude, I waited for you but you were late.” Erin don’t wait for no homies. But then I felt bad because he’s still kind of new and he swore he was stuck in traffic. So I groaned and then went back up with him. I waited for him to ladle some festive punch into a styrofoam cup and then hoped we could leave.
“This punch is good,” he said. I agreed and added that it was fizzy, as well.
“Maybe we should stay, just for a little while,” Bob said. So we stood awkwardly off to the side, in semi-silence, not knowing anyone else up there. I saw an IT guy that replaced my mouse, and I’m oddly attracted to him even though he has a slight scent of hoppy aftershave.
“So, fishing, huh?” Bob’s going fishing this week. “Is it the kind where you cut the hole in ice?” I asked, trying to be social. So he talked about fishing for awhile and then we got bottles of complimentary foot lotion (wtf?) and left.
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