Monday, March 19, 2012

Owning It

The exhaustion pours from his chest with each exhalation.

How long is this going to continue? I don't know how much more I can take.

He stands up, his head and shoulders rising above the barrier that separates his cubicle from the rest of the office complex. The digital clock on the wall reads 2:00AM. He closes his eyes to listen. Is anyone else in the office. The silence is interrupted by the ignition of the heating system. Relays trip. The furnace fires up. Air rushes through the exposed overhead ducting and out the vents.

"So is anyone here?"

He hears his voice sucked into the sound damping materials that line the ceiling and walls. There's no response, not even the hint of an echo to keep him company.

"Shit, then why am I still here?", he asks himself aloud.

He sits, walks his chair across the plastic carpet-liner to his desk, and stares at his computer.

How am I gonna make any sense of these numbers without anyone here to explain these anomalies. If it's so goddamn important, why isn't anyone else here to help me.

He here's his own reply, "Because you volunteered to do it, idiot. You were the one who raised his hand in the meeting and said that he'd take care of pulling together the numbers. You were the one who told the rest of the team to have a great weekend because you had it handled."

But I never thought they'd take me up on it. When they did, I thought for sure that someone would volunteer to help me or at least show up to check in. Now what the hell am I supposed to do.

He rocks back in his chair and lifts his feet to his desktop. Stretching back he stares upward at the ductwork and sound soak.

He tells himself, "Well, there's no one to blame but you. You made your bed; now, lie in it."

Surrendering to his fatigue and self-disgust, he closes his eyes. His facial muscles relax. His breathing slows. His chin drops forward.

His eyes blink open. In one motion, he rolls his feet off the desk, sits upright and stands. The clock reads 2:15AM as he walks past it to the break-room. He slides a bill into the vending machine and presses the C-key followed by the 1-key. The mechanical arm rises to the slot and delivers him an ice-cold Diet Coke. He buys a bag of nacho-flavored chips and walks back to his desk.

A little caffeine and MSG ought to do the trick. No one to blame but me. No one to get me out of this but me.

With a new sense of determination he looks at the spreadsheet that's daunted him for the four hours. He forces himself to slow down and work through each formula.

Five minutes later, he finds the errant one. He corrects it. Half the red-flagged errors disappear from the screen. He smiles and takes a sip of his Coke. He continues working slowly and easily.

He breathes a sigh of relief as he files his paperwork and heads toward the door. The clock reads 3:00AM.

Happy Monday,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks you. I volunteered for it. It's a great reminder. Though I'm not sure what to do with "I thought for sure that someone would volunteer to help me or at least show up to check in". Would I have volunteered if I had known I'd be alone at 2:15 am? Sigh. I probably would have....


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