June 1, 2001


"Hey Secra!" Jim says. "Have I shown you my Jim Wong impression?"

My boss is standing in the middle of my office on a sunny Friday morning: bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked, overly-caffeinated ... carrying his cell phone in one hand, half a doughnut in the other hand ... peering at me expectantly.


As a matter of fact, yes, he has shown me his Jim Wong impression. And it was marginally funny, the first three or four times I saw it ... in a mean-spirited, vaguely-racist sort of way, that is. Ordinarily I might not be able to camouflage my irritation at being asked to endure it again.  But it's Friday, and the sun is shining, and the weekend will be here in eight short hours ... and I'm in a better-than-average mood, in spite of a crappy night's sleep and a stiff neck that has left me slightly incapacitated this morning ... and I decide to be kind and forbearing and indulge my nice little boss.

"No," I lie to him. "I don't think you've shown me that one."

He scrunches up his face, in what I'm sure he believes is a dead-on imitation of an elderly Asian-American gentleman, puts his cell phone to his ear and says, in a halting, faux-Chinese accent: "Uhh, herro ... this is ... uhhh ... Jim ... uhhh ... Wong."

And that's when I show him *my* impression of a SecraTerri who thinks her boss is uproariously funny.

"That's very amusing," I say politely.  And I double over a little bit, as though the intensity of his vast reserves of comic genius is almost too painful to bear. (In fact, it's the stiffness in my neck that is almost too painful to bear ... but sometimes, I've found, you can use disadvantage to advantage.)  I even manage to guffaw convincingly.

It is an Oscar-caliber performance.

Clearly pleased with himself, and with the enthusiastic reaction from the audience, he exits my office, chuckling, and disappears down the hallway.

Fifteen minutes later ... he's gone. I walk down the hall to get his signature on some expense reports, but his office is already locked and dark. It's not even 11 a.m. He didn't bother to check out with me, of course ... or with Cathlene the New Receptionist Person, or with anyone else in the Totem Pole Company. (We all know where he is anyway: the Payne Stewart knickers were a dead giveaway.)

But that's OK. I'll spend the afternoon quietly and productively, catching up on filing. I'll listen to KFOG. I'll sort the mail. I'll munch on raw vegetables. I'll drink a bazillion bottles of Calistoga. I'll lay my head down on my desk and rest my poor tender neck whenever nobody's looking. And when 4:00 rolls around ... I'll slip out of the office an hour early.

It's all good.

Plus Jim and I have ended our week on a semi-high note -- with a moment of "humor" and connection -- and now I'll be able to enjoy my weekend without the usual cloud of Office Worries looming over my head. So what if my boss and I aren't really *clicking* the way I'd hoped we would? So what if he seems to be morphing, little by little, into a younger/balder/better-dressed version of Franz? So what if the atmosphere around the office is still so tense and toxic and filled with suspicion and paranoia, day in and day out, that I never conduct a personal conversation in any room with less than two exits?

So what if my boss is planning to move to the new Fairfield office at the end of the summer ... and apparently isn't planning to tell me about it? (I had to find out about it the old-fashioned way: via the grapevine.)  And so what if I have absolutely no intention of following him there ... even if I AM invited?

I am serenely untroubled by all of this.

My LIFE is my job, I remind myself for the bazillionth time this year. My LIFE is my job.  The rest of it is merely rent money -- and fodder for the website.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

p.s. it's JUNE! it's JUNE it's JUNE it's JUNE! that means i can now officially start telling people i'm getting married "next month" ... !

last weekend we mailed the invitations. on the *to do* list for this weekend: outfitting the groom. *he* is thinking black suit/white shirt/red tie. *i* am thinking suit of armor. [white, of course.] we'll see who wins this one.

p.p.s. and yes, we're registered. david is absolutely MORTIFIED by this, of course. "why are strangers sending us picnic baskets?" he winced. i said, "they're not strangers ... they're readers." [thank you, nathan!]

p.p.p.s. thank you also to everyone who offered to send me their ancient, scratchy 45 rpms. i'm probably just going to break down and buy the damn cd online ... but who would have guessed that there were so many closet tommy roe fans out there?!? [now does anyone have that five man electrical band album i've been looking for?]

p.p.p.p.s. hiya bev! i tried to make the font EVEN TINIER than USUAL this time ... but this is as small as it gets! damn! :)

one year ago: artichokes & hot tubs

throw a rock