Sunday, September 6, 2009

#11 "ILL-Advised was Indeed an Understatement"

As my then- typical morning anxiety dictated I issued myself 20mg of Valium along with my Starbuck's coffee…two great staples of the modern suburban office worker. I settle in for what is already appearing to be a long day in the making before the sun has even gotten out of bed. It was not yet even 6am and I had already fielded 29 or 30 calls from clients and sales reps.

The office Garrett and I shared was small and devoid of any natural light what so ever. We sometimes put live plants in our office-which would always die quickly- as to suggest to our superiors the effect our cave-like office had on living things. One time we even barricaded the entrance to our office with bright yellow hazard tape. By these things they were not entertained. As the icing on the cake we always made sure the general ambiance of our department was more that of a college dorm room than the office of a couple of young, white-collar promotes. Over the months it became a true spectacle: 1500 watt stereo system (eventually including a 400 watt 'KICKER' sub-woofer from Garrett's Lexus), a few movie posters including a rare, life-sized "The Godfather" original print, a large Chivas Regal flag (which we kept forever flowing using a desk fan underneath to simulate a windy day), and ornate ash trays. Also over my desk hung a mounted elk head stolen from a hunting lodge we stayed at on a weekend excursion. Lots of candles. Memos, comic strips, photos, post-its, flyers, articles and anything else of general interest were taped, tacked, stapled, and hung up literally every where. It actually became hazardous. My secretary once got a nasty paper cut from a business card I had proudly super glued to the doorknob. Garrett had to get a tetanus shot and 9 stitches after he tried to move a chair that had shit stapled all into the wooden parts. As an unseen staple stabbed deep into the flesh under his finger nail, he dropped the chair--nearly ripping off the whole tip of his finger and sending a spritz of warm, red blood to splatter across the wall. And he always refused the mess being cleaned up. He said the amount of blood, sweat, and tears we put into things measured their greatness. Citing the arterial- style spray over his desk, he claimed to have the greatest office at Control Head Quarters. And he was right on.

Fourteen hours of a continually ringing phone might have driven us insane, but luckily Garrett was able to run our phone lines through his computer-allowing replacement of the standard ringer with a digital sample of mooing cows. To compound this audio-assault, we made the decision to play "House of the Rising Sun" on repeat at almost full volume for the first half hour of every morning-making serious phone calls nearly impossible to execute. And this, of course, was by our design: we needed time to get going before getting serious.

7:38am—MOOOOOOO! I run over to my desk to see who's calling. The caller ID display read Olga Tachinaya- the assistant director of human resources… An important and fearsome administrator. But why …....M O O O O O O O !!! Human Resources calling so early? And Like a 1950's grade-school classroom fallout drill, Garrett grabbed his hat and quickly stuffed himself underneath his desk.

"IM NOT HERE!" he yelled franticly.

...MOOOOOOOOOO! Again blasted out across the office. I regained composure and cautiously picked up the receiver. I cleared my throat.

"Compliance Department."


"Yes, Ben Franklin here."

Her voice was shaking-

"You know who this is?"

"Umm….ya…what's up?"

"Are you guys alone in there right now?"


"I'm gonna stop by…I need your guys' help."

"Uhh….good-fine…ok. See you in a few minutes."

I had a burning curiosity.

***If you are not Adam Dolin or another part time editor of mine and can guess what happens I will send you $200. No shit. And the rest of the story will be up within the week. Let me know what you think. ---MB

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