Saturday, November 3, 2007

How to Make Time Stand Still

Technorati Profile
For the past two days I’ve been temping for a company and I can’t even tell you what I’ve been doing. I think it has something to do with copying and pasting text from one Word document to another Word document, but I could have that backwards. What I do know is that time actually slowed down to a point where I became so alarmed that I was contemplating calling whoever watches over the Greenwich Mean Time to alert them to the situation. It was like I had been cast in a horror movie: a freakish cross between Ground Hog Day and Office Space that had no beginning, middle, or end in sight.

The office was a sea of cubicles as far as the eye could see. If the tediousness of the job didn’t actually drive me to the loony bin, the soft, yellow-green glow of the flourescent lights certainly made me think I was already in one. I felt like a rat in a maze trying to find the person I was supposed to report to. Whenever I wandered into the wrong cubicle, someone would kindly give me directions to “the white cubicle at the end of the hall,” of which there were twenty.

I tried to go into my happy place, but the inane office chatter kept bringing me back to reality. Unfortunately, I had an unwitting hand in my own undoing for my fondness of McDonald’s and the chocolatey goodness that is their milkshakes. Oh sweet, sweet nectar you are my heaven and hell. Being the conscientious temp that I am, I threw the bag out in the trash can located in the break room. Apparently, that was some sort of friggin’ big deal. I heard no less than three separate conversations about the presence of my McDonald’s bag in the trash for the next TWO HOURS:

“Heeeey…so who went to the Micky Dee’s? Someone need a little afternoon pick-me-up?”

“Whoa ho ho! McDonald’s! The Mick to the D! Who needed the fast food fix?”

“Someone went to McDonald’s I see… Funny, no one appears to be going into cardiac arrest…”

I slouched down low in my chair. It was like the owner of the McDonald’s bag had become a modern-day mystery to rival that of the Bermuda Triangle, crop circles, and Donald Trump's hair. I wasn’t sure what would happen if someone were to discover my deep, dark Chicken Selects loving secret, but I was sure it would involve a lot more discussion and my time was devoted exclusively to whatever the hell it was I was supposed to be doing.

Five thirty could not come fast enough. Despite my thoughts to the contrary, I did not shove a pencil up my ear at any time during my shifts. I did feel somewhat satisfied that I discovered the secret to stopping time; the only hitch now is finding out how to stop time in a place that doesn’t involve monkey work, cubicles, and controversial lunches.