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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.”

 

 

Educational Wednesday, Part Ketto (That’s Hungarian For Two)—The Soothsaying Winnebago Man

November 11, 2015 2 comments

I remember back in 6th or 7th grade, some guy in a camper came to our school and talked to us about what we wanted to be when we grew up. After his spiel in front of the class, he took each of us out to that camper for a ‘one-on-one,’ without any later reports of molestation, which is pretty amazing. That is not the lesson here, though.

Inside, he had some sort of weird, primitive camper internet that gave printouts of information on the careers that we said we were interested in. I thought the whole thing was stupid, so I told him I wanted to be a garbageman, which I ironically sort of was a few years ago.

So, was this some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, or did that camperman overlook my lack of enthusiasm for choosing a career at age thirteen because he saw something in me, some raw, unshaped gunk that he truly believed would make a good garbageman?

I think the true lesson here is this: career counselors that live in campers know more about you than you think.

How I Almost Became A Pill Smurf

As was recently discussed, I quit my job, and got a different one. I can’t describe how joyous this was. Yes, the robotic management was one reason, but also, this: I almost became a pill smurf*. I was on the verge of throwing out my back, running in front of a forklift, or starting a fight with an immigrant, all on purpose, for profit.

Why?

Reason number one was to get time off work.

Reason # two(2)—>When many of your coworkers are addicted to a spread of pharm productions—uppers, downers, screamers, laughers—is there a better way to make extra money, a LOT of extra money, while dealing with the trivialities of something so minor as vertebral subluxation, forklift tire-marks on your flattened leg, or a shattered eye socket from a staged fight with good ol’ Magdaleno (Mags, for short)?

A skullet.

Answer: there is no better way. These guys are paying top dollar per ‘milly’ (milligram) for all the big names in painkilling. Let’s say I plant the warehouse manager’s skullet-comb in Magdaleno’s car and tell him he’s going to be fired for stealing. So he punches my lights out in front of the coffee machine. My face hurts. I go to the doctor. I score a Vicodin prescription. When the doctor gives me that slip of paper, he might as well be dropping a bar of gold in my lap.

That bottle of pills would have been a winning Powerball ticket in there. A month or two ago, a guy broke his leg. If he’s willing to deal with the fractured femur drug-free, and manages the sudden influx of cash responsibly, he might never have to go back to work.

If only I had the balls to do something hardcore like that, I could have auctioned those V pills off, and they would have sold like toilet paper at a butt party. Butt (pun) I didn’t. I stayed healthy, like a sucker.

Well, I’ve been screwed again, this time by my own conscience.

*I heard Jesse Pinkman say he had ‘smurfs’ buying Sudafed for him in Breaking Bad. I don’t even know if the term applies to what I’m talking about here. 

Categories: Comedy Tags: , , , , , ,

Resignation Letter, Or, ‘The World’

I just quit my job. Weeks before I knew I was going to quit, I wrote this resignation letter. Then, in the excitement of finally being able to quit, I forgot to bring it with me when I actually did quit. Balls. Not a big deal, though: it was purposely designed to confound, flummox, and bring about the general idea that I was somewhat unstable, thus making my hasty departure a point of concern rather than indignation.

The highfalutin verbiage and esoteric references would have been lost on the audience anyway. I mean, the one guy has had the same handlebar moustache for at least two decades. And last year, he didn’t even tell us when one of our coworkers was murdered by his girlfriend (Sadly, I didn’t make that up. She ran him over with her car. Management said not one word about it, to avoid giving people a day off for the funeral. Again, I can’t stress this enough: I didn’t make that up.).

Having said that, I now realize he would have thrown the letter in the garbage after he read the first line anyways. Here’s what I had:

The World*, or, My Resignation

Dearest Bob:

If you’re reading this, that means I’m already dead.

Or not. Anyhoo. Where to begin. At the beginning, I reckon.

Some 900 odd days ago, under Libra’s balanced gaze, a new cycle began, I playing The Fool. As time shifted I slowly toed my way through the major arcana, in both work and private life, ultimately culminating in this letter, which as you see above, I have entitled ‘The World.’

To come at it from another angle—the Moirai may now weave my tale. Read:

In that September of 2011, Clotho, Spinner of Life, dealt my thread. Her sister, Lachesis, drew her rod and measured it. Now, this night, governed by the fish Pisces, Atropos The Unturning, eldest of the three sisters, must now brandish her abhorred shears, and make her calculated cut.

Main point being, in the Menippean satire that this job, and consequently my life, has become, the ultimate communication of this letter is that I am quitting, if you didn’t get that already.

Now, by this time you may have noticed that I have left this communique with the front office and vanished, while the traditional two weeks of notice have not yet passed. None of us need worry about this. In the vast scope of geological time, after Armageddon has come and gone, whatever form it chooses to take, be it Ragnarok, The Four Horsemen, The Karmatic Wheel coming to a stop, Nuclear Winter—I can assure you that my swift exit from this company will not matter in the least.

At that time, when aliens, remaining humans, cockroaches—whatever is left, really—pick through the rubble where once stood this office/warehouse compound, I can assure you that my failure to give the traditional fourteen days forewarning will not be mentioned, nor will it even be relevant.

As Elton John once sang, we are nothing more than a candle in the wind. Or Kenny Wayne Shepherd: cold on ice, joker on jack, tears on a river, whisper on a scream. It doesn’t mean a thing.

And thus, as mysteriously as I arrived, I now dissipate, into the nether regions of the working world. May dementors eat my soul should we cross paths again.

Love,

Guy that don’t work here no more

*In Tarot readings, The World card can represent a cycle completed.

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