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Friday, March 6, 2009

George, Your Spiritual Advisor is on Line One

Mercifully, it’s Friday again. What’s the weekend hold in store this time? Tell us, O Mysterious iPod! More missing pantyhose, like last weekend? Don’t count it out – I mean, I am going out tonight for Mexican food and margaritas with Amy and Kathy...

Anything could happen.

You do have bail money, right?

But what does the iPod say about it?

The Kids Are Alright by The Who
Here Come the Bastards by Primus
On the Train by Basement Jaxx
The Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie
Twist and Crawl by the English Beat
Get a Move On by The Quantic Soul Orchestra
Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine by the White Stripes
I Turn My Camera On by Spoon

Oh, and have I told you? I've gotten incredible news about my reading at Banfill-Locke!

Each month, there are two writers; and on March 13th, I am one of them. I have 30 minutes. But that’s not the incredible news. This is: the other person reading is Anya Achtenberg.

This is huge.

Anya Achtenberg is an award-winning fiction writer and poet. I mean, seriously, Google her. She's huge, nationally, and has quite a following locally. For me, to be reading with her? It's the literary equivalent to a musical pairing with Prince.

I am excited.
I am honored.
And I am freaked.


So! Who has time for a story? It’s a short one, I promise.

As you may know, I am an Executive Admin. You’d be so proud if you could see me. I type like the wind, I’m punctual as the dickens and I cut a dashing figure in the lunchroom.

As an Exec Admin I am acutely aware of the kind of stress that goes into being the Vice President of Stuff. The people I support are very busy, expected to work 70 hours a week and rely on me to keep their best interests in mind.

A job or two back I had an athletic boss with a bad hip, a man who needed to move about in order to stay comfortable, a handsome, fabulous man we’ll call George.

When I first started working for him, George was required to be in two, back-to-back all-day meetings. Two days of serious nodding, of producing PowerPoint slides of who-knows-what and just generally trying to stay “engaged” over long periods of time. Limited breaks, working lunch.

Yuck.

At 10:00 on the first day, and for the first time ever, I took a liberty.

I knocked briskly on the door of the conference room, walking in. A dozen suits turned to look at me as I strode into the room and handed George a note.

“Please see me immediately in the hall.”

George stood and nodded to those at the table as he left the room: “Gentlemen.”

When we got into the hall he looked at me expectantly.

“I thought you could stand to stretch a bit,” I said.

George stared at me and then smiled. Big.

“Pearl, why you little…” he mock-threatened.

“Why I oughta…” I countered.

Over the course of the afternoon and the next day, I popped in a couple more times:
“George, will need to reschedule your elbow-bleaching appointment so as to accommodate your appointment with your aroma therapist. Please advise.”
“George, your office chair is on fire. Permission to put it out?”

And every time, George would stand, nod to those at the conference table and say “Gentlemen”.

Then he would leave, walking the halls for 10, 15 minutes, working out the kinks in his knees and hips.

My wish for you this weekend? That someone passes you notes, excusing you from pain and boredom.

32 comments:

CSY said...

FIRST!!! Maybe! I LOVE that story! And are you going to meet the real life author? color me jealous! I say I write for hobby...when in reality its my escape from my life! Now if I could just finish a story...hey, when you get all famous and stuff, please remember the little people. No, NOT the midget wrestlers either.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Congrats! I;m sure you'll knock their socks off!!
I'm sure your gesture to George was really appreciated!! Real smart idea!!

naperville mom said...

Congraaaaats! That is good news...Achtenburg might be great, but u're not too far behind, trust me:) Just waiting to be discovered...

Sweet Cheeks said...

Pearly Q!
You are going to be great! Good of you to assist Liza Bean. It's a feather in her cap actually. She's loving the recognition she is finally getting after her hard years of 'work'. You just get to brag about it.
I have an idea about Liza...I'm e-mailing it over.
:)

darsden said...

Coolalious Pearl. That's fantastic. I cannot wait to hear, read and get signed your first book :-) xoxo

ICKY said...

I for one, am looking forward to heckling you !
Just kidding. It should be fun, and you'll do just fine.

Frank said...

You’ll do great… as long as you remember to wear clothes. From the sounds of your future predicting iPod songs, you are in for quite an experience. (Take pictures.)

mbuna53 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mbuna53 said...

George was lucky to have you working and looking out for him.

About this weekend, all I can say is "Pearl + Amy + Kathy = TROUBLE!".

It is in all my textbooks, look it up for yourself. Honestly!

Pearl said...

CSY, I hope to thank both the Little People and the little people. Being a little person myself (in all kinds of ways, I suspect) I hope to someday be thanked for something! And yes, I’ll be meeting Anya. I’m psyched – and just a little nervous!

Roshni, George and I worked really well together, and I still miss him. And I hope to knock some socks off, yes!

Naperville mom, that is really sweet of you to say, and I hope there is some reality in it! I’ve always preferred my fantasy life – how cool is it to drag others into it?

Sweet Cheeks, oh, me and Liza are tight! :-) I’ll be telling her story that night, am having little business cards made up and everything. For me – not for Liza Bean!

Darsden, you will most definitely get a signed book! Hell, I’ll give you TWO so that you’ll have one for kindling (or lining derfina’s bird cages!!!!).

Icky, hey, who knows? I might enjoy a good heckling!

Frank, clothes? Clothes? Aw, crap – I gotta go home! I forgot to wear clothes today!

Pearl said...

mbuna, yeah, I miss George.
Glad to hear that Kathy and Amy and I have made the books finally. :-)

Scrappy Doo said...

Congrats!!!!!

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I don't know why, but I read "that someone passes you notes" as "that the stone passes".

It's been a long week...

Eskimo Bob said...

Sounds like you deserve a Lalapalooza from Bridgeman's. I get to choose the flavors though! Licorice, Bubble Gum, Carmel and more with a pineapple ring at the bottom!

Pearl said...

Scrappy Doo, I do thank you! (that rhymes!) :-)

The iNDefatigable mjenks, yikes! drink plenty of cranberry juice and call me in the morning! (I don’t know if that sentence makes any sense, but it’s Friday and all is right with the world!)

Eskimo Bob, you put one scoop of licorice on a Lalapolooza and you and I will commence t o fightin’. Everyone knows that the true foundation of that piece of historic goodness is hot fudge and only hot fudge, so help me Bridgeman’s.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

That is such a cool thing to do for your boss - It is unnatural to sit for hours, and bad for the spine and joints, as you point out - You are a treasure, a pearl, in fact!

Best of luck with the writerly blogging - Great news!

Mary Moore said...

I love that story too!

Pearl said...

A Woman of No Importance, thank you! He was a great guy to work for.

Mary Moore, thanks. :-)

Michelle said...

WOOHOO Pearly-Q that is great news!!

I sure wish I could be there for the reading!!! I am so very proud of you!!!

Your going to rock it!!!

Pearl said...

Thanks, Michelle! I have a really good feeling about all of this!!!

Douglas said...

I wish I could be anxious for you but I can't be. You have nothing to be anxious about. I used to worry about "important people". When I was in te Navy, they wanted you to be a bit fearful of officers, with the fear level increasing with the rank of the officer. I found that all I really had to do was play along with the ritual. I didn't have to fear them at all. When I got out and, eventually, became a lowly cog in a giant corporation, I found the same ritual, the same expectation that I should be afraid of the Important People. I just looked at them as "another employee" and a likely overpaid one at that.

So, don't be anxious about Anya. She is just you after you get discovered by the rest of the world. Heck, she might not even be as good as you.

I went to her website (and realized I had been there before) and found something you should pay attention to:

"I want to talk a bit about what I found there in my next posts, but for now, I want to reaffirm this: trust yourself."

I do.

Brother Tobias said...

Wow. Congratulations on your reading and reading partner. Plus you sound like a diamond Executive Admin. Knock 'em out on the 13th. (Just realised that's a Friday; hope it's lucky for you).

Emerson Marks said...

I cannot believe nobody's mentioned, 'The Who.' The bloody Who. You can't beat the Who.
Bet George likes a bit of The Who.
What's that you say?
His car's littered with Milli Vanilli cds?
Good grief.

naperville mom said...

Gauging by the number of times I peek into your blog, you've no alternative but to believe me, Pearl:) I'd love to know what piece you're reading...

Red Squirrel said...

Oh my, you'll be a celebrity in no time!

Heh, great post :)

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

May I watch you use that spoon to turn turn camera on?

Kavi said...

Congratulations ! Thats fabulous. You are right up there with Anya Achternberg too !! So, all the best !

And this George must be one swell of a happy man. Despite his chair being on fire and elbow needing some treatment !! That cracked me up !!

Lovely !

Lisa said...

yes- an excuse note would be eprfect about now..groan....

The Jules said...

Have to say I agree with Douglas about not being worried for you. Sounds like you'll be in your element!

You could just read out just about any of your blog entries!

Good luck and have fun!

Jules.

Jeanne said...

So that's where your blog title came from!

Pearl said...

Douglas, I do hope you know how much I value your input. ‘Tis true. So thank you.

Brother Tobias, thank you! I am only superstitious when there’s a punch line involved, otherwise, am not worried about Friday the 13th (lousy movies!).

Emerson, The Who? Fuckin’ A. Wait. Can I say that? Oh, yes, actually I can. My blog.

Naperville Mom, I’ll be discoursing on Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys). I’m going to push the envelope of silly.

Red Squirrel, do you think? Then I can come to the UK and we’ll have a beer and do the pub quiz.

Cygnus, well where the hell were you six years ago?!

Kavi, thank you. I no longer support George, as much as I would like to. Loved him, but a corporate buy-out changed everything and he left.

Lisa, we all need one. I need someone to walk in sometime with a note: “Please excuse Pearl from the following several hours. She has better things to do.”

Jules, I have to admit I’m at home in a crowd and don’t mind being the center of attention. My biggest problem will be drinking water, pausing, and not rushing through it.
Would ya believe it if I told you my parents will be videotaping it?!

Jeanne, that’s it!!

fingers said...

That's fantastic, Pearl.
I suspect you'll slay them with your writing.
Read with confidence and if you find it awkward, just imagine that the audience is naked.
That's what I do when I have to speak in public. I don't suffer from nerves though...I just like imagining people naked...