I had written about a little of everything that's been going on over the last 72 hours. I had lovingly chronicled my day at work today, and how the foul stench of drama had once again tainted what could have been an otherwise pleasant day. I'd mentioned that unsurprisingly enough I was again at the center of this little drama, and that the rest of it would be unfolding tomorrow and so I was more than a little curious to see how things turned out. My supervisor has joined my side in the battle that will more than likely come about because of this, and so I know I am righteous in my choice. I may be tense tonight, but I have to go in there tomorrow and be cool. I have to lay it all out on the table and not get too worked up, because the moment I raise my voice in that office I will have lost. So no matter what I must focus on keeping my temper. It's imperative that I be ready to walk away -- without a second thought or a moment's hesitation -- from something I've spent over a year sweating, begging and driving steadily towards. I had planned to drag my employer into the 20th century when it came to this technology. I would do it with them kicking and screaming the entire way if necessary, but I was going to do it. Now I have to be ready to write off all that work and to recognize it as a futile endeavor if I want to be able to get through this meeting without inflicting cranial damage upon somebody who makes $40,000 a year more than me.
I'd stated that I am not terribly optimistic about my being able to hold up to my end of the bargain when it comes time to go to war over this.
I'd written about the internal battle I go through every morning when my alarm goes off. With great care I had written about how this is a Thing That Should Not Be, since I am in a job that lets me play with cutting-edge technology from a number of vendors, and how I was driving a project that had a lot of promise and potential name recognition within the company. I stated that I was in a position that many others would beg to be in because of those very reasons, and then I alluded to my potential happiness and job satisfaction being crushed like an ant under the soulless heel of a man who thinks that saying "This is the first day of the rest of my life" each and every day (I am not exaggerating here. Oh, how I wish I was...) in a voice that screams "I just had a Grande Latte enema and enjoyed every minute of it." I smoked today, and it was the most delicious thing I've partaken in for quite some time.
I wrote about how my beard had finally reached a stage that I thought was acceptable in terms of how it had filled in, and how scraggly it had gotten to look. I was getting the hairy eyeball from friends and coworkers alike, so on Tuesday night I felt that it was time to go pick up a beard and mustache trimmer and do something about the fact that I looked like a mountain man. I went over to the local Walmart, picked up a Norelco T-760 trimmer against the advice of a beard-wielding fellow consumer, and drove home. On my way home I made an illegal left-hand turn that I've made a hundred times before. Luckily for me there was an SUV ahead of me that also made that same illegal turn. As we were going down the road, not more than a hundred feet after the turn I saw a squad car pull up from where it had been tucked back in the driveway. Oh crap, I thought. I know he saw us make that turn. I wonder if he's going to do anything about it. I let off the accelerator and shifted to neutral, coasting along about five miles per hour under the posted limit of the road. As the SUV went past the driveway entrance the cruiser edged forwards and then turned on its party lights. My mind started trying to rationalize things, saying stuff like Maybe he's just got a new call he has to go to, or wants to get ahead of me. A deeper part of myself knew this was exactly NOT what was happening, so I applied the brakes and slowed down more to see what was about to happen. The officer swung his car out of the driveway, pulled up behind the SUV, turned on his spotlight and chirped his siren. Knowing they were busted the SUV's driver pulled to the side and the cruiser pulled in behind him in standard take-down position. I knew I was also guilty of making that illegal turn, so I stopped behind the cruiser as the officer opened the door and got out. I didn't want to try and get past in case the policeman wanted to point me to pull over too -- it might look like I was trying to run -- and the road was too narrow for me to just go around him without risking striking him or the door even if I had wanted to just roll past. As I sat there waiting to see what Fate would do with me the officer looked up at me, shook his head and waved me past. I must have done something right in the last few months to be able to make a karma withdrawal that size, and I'm sure it'll be quite some time before I have it built back up again. I know that cop had me dead to rights, and I think he knew it too -- but he let me past anyway.
I made it home, warned roho and enveri not to make that illegal turn anymore, and told them exactly why they shouldn't do it. We're all going to play it safe from now on and just be good, law-abiding citizens when it comes to that corner.
I plugged the trimmer into its charger, plugged the charger into the wall and then crashed for the night. When I got home Wednesday night I had gotten back late from work but still had the apartment to myself. I produced a few printouts I had made earlier in the day that detailed the styling I was thinking about for my beard, checked the trimmer's manual one more time and then stepped into the bathroom. Twenty minutes later I emerged victorious, looking a great deal more sophisticated than before. Not only had the trimmer managed to tame the unruly mass of beard I was sporting but with the help of the pictures I had also shaped it into something that faintly resembled the examples I was using. No matter what I at least looked a great deal more respectable than I had when I stepped into the bathroom to tackle this task. I don't mind saying I was nervous -- I'd let that beard grow out for about seven weeks and could just picture myself botching it horribly and having to let it grow for another seven weeks to repair the damage.
The sink and the countertop looked like a war zone when I was done, though. Apparently my beard was a lot longer than I had ever guessed because the aftermath made me think that somebody had shaved one of the house cats and dumped the hair in the sink. But it wasn't just in the basin, it was on the countertop, on the mirror, on the floor, on my neck, on my face, on my glasses and in my eyes! I made a mental note to never let things get this out of hand again -- I didn't want to deal with another cleanup of that magnitude. It was a pain in the behind to get all the hairs out so that they wouldn't form a clot and plug up the sink's drain. The results are in after today, though, and people think I look a lot more respectable, and have no idea this was the first time in my entire life outside of deer season that I've ever grown and had to deal with maintaining a beard. I've gone all these years as a clean shaven lad -- it's time for a change, I guess. I like it, at least, although several of my online friends like shaddragon have made it clear that they absolutely can not imagine me with facial hair. I'll be getting a couple digital photographs taken sometime this weekend and will post them so that people don't have to rely on imagination and instead can let technology show them what I look like.
After work tomorrow I'll be waiting in the office parking lot for captain18, Cap's friend Jordan and masem to show up. Once everyone has arrived we will pack up Cap's trusty Buick and head down the road on a trip to neuracnu. I believe that I have previously mentioned Neu's gracious offer to house us over this weekend so that we may explore the St. Louis scene and enjoy the hopefully invigorating sight of a Mardi Gras parade. We have beads to give away, we will have booze and best of all we'll have good friends to pass the time with. I'm really looking forwards to this trip because I owe it to Neu from last year (when I had to bail because of work requirements and a deathly ill cat) and it'll be quite a departure from the "Same old routine" that drives a vast portion of my life, but at the same time all the crap I've had to go through at work and in my personal life the last few weeks has left me sort of wanting to just curl up and hide from social obligations entirely. Oh well, too late to back out now. I'm sure I'll have fun regardless. If nothing else I should be getting to see some boobies. That's enough to brighten anybody's day!
Off I go to finish packing the various necessities. Clothes, sleeping bag, laptop....
That's where the big bands used to come and play.