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A Kafkaesque Journey Through A Bureaucratic Labyrinth To Request Two Days Off From Work

As a novelist in today’s bizarre publishing world, I have to work a day job. Also as a novelist, people are attracted to me. One person. So we’re getting married. It’s going to be really, really awesome.

abstract architecture art berlin

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So I decided to take the Friday before and the Monday after the wedding off work. Not difficult stuff.

Corporate America would argue otherwise.

So began a journey that led me on a journey to find a fabled sheet of paper that would allow me to use 16 hours of paid vacation. Luckily, I’m an hourly worker, so all this back and forth really didn’t bother me.

Me, to my Immediate Superior: “Hey yo, I need to request time off.”

Immediate Superior: “Then fill out a time off request form.”

Me: “Where might I get one, brah?”

I.S.: “In the office. But not the main office. The office before the main office.”

Down to the office before the main office I go. “Ay yo, I need a time off request form.”

Person whose authority is above me, but not sure if that authority is above my Immediate Superior’s or not: “I don’t have those here. You’re going to have to go to the main office.”

Me: “Aight.”

Over to the first office in the main office: “I’m trying to get this time off request.”

Bureaucrat 1: “Try the office next to this office.”

Me: “Aight.” Two steps over to the next office. “Time off request form, please.”

Bureaucrat 2: “Behind you, in the fourth cabinet from your left.”

Me: “Ok.” I locate the fourth cabinet from my left and open it. Paper clips, printer paper.

Bureaucrat 2: “The other half of the cabinet.”

I open the other half of the fourth cabinet from my left, and there are two time off request forms, one green, one blue. “Blue or green,” I call over my shoulder.

Bureaucrat 2: “Either one.”

I go blue, and bring it back to my Immediate Superior.

I.S.: “This is a make up time request, for if you call in sick. You need the green sheet.”

Back to the second office in the main office to grab a green sheet. “Green is for vacation hours, correct?”

Bureaucrat 2: “Yes.”

Me: “Do I just fill it out and give it to you, then?”

Bureaucrat 2: “Yes, fill it out. No, do not give it to me. Put it on your Immediate Superior’s desk, and then he will bring it to me for approval.”

Me: “I can just hand it to you right now. I’m in here. You’re in here.”

Bureaucrat 2: “Your Immediate Superior must grant pre-approval, I will process the approval, and then Bureaucrat 1 in the office to my left will inspect my approval, and, ultimately, decide if the request can be sent up the chain to corporate, where they will look over your accrued paid vacation hours and maybe grant you the time off.”

Me: “I’m getting married. If this doesn’t get approved and I get scheduled to work, I’m calling in sick.”

Bureaucrat 2: “Make up time requests for a call-in are the blue sheets.”

 

 

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A Coup de Grâce Can Score You Major Points In A Relationship

November 20, 2013 1 comment
coupdegrace

French.

The hallmark of a great man is being able to stand up and say, “Hey, I was wrong.”

Yes, I made a mistake.

How? Well, for one, I told my girlfriend that I would not kill her. Major flub.

Why would I kill my girlfriend? I wouldn’t, under normal circumstances.

Let me frame a normal day for us. I pull into her driveway, and sit in the car honking the horn (I have programmed a Pavlovian ‘sound-of-horn=come-outside-NOW’ response deep within her psyche). But wait. Pretend, for this hypothetical exercise, she doesn’t immediately come out. So I have to physically lift my body out of my car, huff all the way up her sidewalk, onto the deck, to the door. It’s never come to that, but I imagine I’d be pretty angry by that point.

We can all see where this is going, but stay with me. Next, I begin pounding on the door, yelling, ‘GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE!’ I haven’t conditioned a response for that cue into her yet, but I think she would understand what I wanted her to do. I stand there, agitation escalating, but also happy with anticipation, because Pavlovian cue or not, she always knows to bring me a beer and a Snickers bar when I am at her house, no matter where on the property I happen to be located.

She still hasn’t exited her house. At this juncture, it’s apparent that she’s trying to get my goat on purpose. Poor move.

But then let’s say I peek in the window, and any one of the following scenarios has occurred:

}She was on a stool, trying to make a deposit in the Swear Jar on top of the refrigerator, slipped, grabbed the gigantic cooling device for support, and pulled the whole thing down on top of her, turning her body into a pancake.

}Her cats, ever recalcitrant, finally snapped and ate her limbs and vestigial organs.

}She was in the community pool, swam too close to that thing in the bottom, and got her guts sucked out her ass.

The point I’m trying to make is that some horrible accident has happened where she would be better off dead. Unless of course she wants to live as a no-limbed pancake that’s missing a good percentage of its digestive system.

The French refer to it as the ‘blow of mercy,’ the coup de grâce.

I would be a terrible, terrible boyfriend if I didn’t do that for her.

Women Need To Know That They’re Not Dating A Lunatic

September 23, 2013 12 comments
lunatic

A lunatic.

Women like to feel safe, protected, secure. That’s why the other night, when me and my girl were sitting in a dark parking lot enjoying some gas station sandwiches, I gazed into her eyes, took her hand in mine, and told her, in all seriousness, “I’m not going to kill you.”

That’s the most reassuring thing you can tell your significant other. Well, one of the most reassuring things. Once, when we were sifting through garbage looking for dumpster donuts, the alley light reflected just right off a pool of a homeless man’s urine, and I couldn’t help but let her know: “Your eyes are so beautiful. There’s no way I would ever spend my nights and weekends modifying my vacuum cleaner’s motor to give it enough power to suck those gorgeous spheres right out of your head and then display them in a jar of formaldehyde on a shelf next to my bed, leaving you as an eyeless freak.”

Because, you see, most women don’t want to be tortured either. It’s important to remind them that you don’t plan on putting them through that.

I can recall another time, shortly after we were digging through that dumpster, when we went to the actual dump itself, in search of the mother lode. You see, the top layer of junk preserves any foodstuffs below quite immaculately, makin’ for good eatin’, if you’ve got a free afternoon for siftin’ and pickin’. But I digress. So there we were, having one of those romantic trash fights you see in movies. As I was about to slam an old toilet seat over her back, the curves of her body were caught in silhouette against the flames of the incinerator. “You have such an amazing body,” I said. “If I were some sort of psychopath, I would be salivating right now, thinking of how I could chop you up into little pieces, dump them off at a hog farm in Wisconsin, and be back in time for breakfast. But I’m NOT going to do that.”

For a relationship to survive, the woman needs to know these things. These ladies, they lay awake nights, sweating, staring at the ceiling, wondering to themselves: “I really like this guy, but I really want to know if he’s going to lock me in a basement for a week, only feeding me dog food and rainwater, while he wears my clothes and tells me how stupid they look. If only he would tell me that he isn’t going to do any of that.”

This is why heartbreak the world over exists in such large volumes. If lovers would just speak from the heart, and let their partner know their true feelings, we could all be happier. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go call my girlfriend to let her know that I will NOT be making a stir fry out of her calf muscles and all the vegetables sitting on my counter.

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