June 2, 2000
Franzecdotes/*Vacation Aftermath*


Of course, the downside to taking a gloriously spontaneous, spirit-quieting, life-affirming mini-vacation to Heaven On Earth, U.S.A. ...

... is having to come back from a gloriously spontaneous, spirit-quieting, life-affirming mini-vacation to Heaven On Earth, U.S.A.


It took precisely forty seconds, once I got back to the office on Tuesday morning, for my lovely vacation high to evaporate as quickly and as thoroughly as Jennifer Love Hewitt's "singing career."

It has been a spectacularly awful week. And that's all I really want to say about it.

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A couple of minor Franz-related anecdotes  --  or Franzecdotes  --  before I head for home and that big bottle of Triple-Lobotomy-Strength Motrin:
  • Franzecdote #1:

    A huge chunk of my time, the past couple of weeks, has been spent setting up the *Mountain Region Second Strategic Marketing Meeting.*

    Originally, it was called the *Southern California and Mountain Region Business Strategy Follow-Up Meeting.* Then it morphed into the *Southern Region Strategic Business Plan and Marketing Meeting.*  For about half a sandwich, on Wednesday afternoon, it was the *Southern Region/Mountain Region Second Business and Marketing Planning/Strategy Session.*

    Finally it ended up as the *Mountain Region Second Strategic Marketing Meeting,* mainly because I refused to retype the goddamned agenda again.

    This was one of those nightmare meetings right from the get-go, involving complex out-of-state flight reservations, expensive hotel and catering arrangements, audio-visual equipment rentals,  constant agenda and presentation revisions ... blah blah blah blah blah ... not to mention juggling the "personal schedules" of 40+ Totem Pole employees, most of whom would have given their eye teeth and/or their firstborn not to have to attend this stoopid meeting in the first place. One junior engineer even attempted to bribe me. (And if he'd used dark chocolate, he might have succeeded.)

    Of course Franz stood right behind my chair the whole time, making sure every detail was properly attended to. ("MIXED GRILL BROCHETTE! I said MIXED GRILL BROCHETTE!"")

    I suffered for this meeting. I worked my fudking ass off for this meeting. I moved HEAVEN and EARTH to make this meeting happen ...

    [mainly for the *reward* of one blissful Franz-free day, plunk in the middle of the week]

    ... so naturally he blew it off.

    He came strolling in on Thursday morning, announcing that he "didn't feel well enough" to attend (insert one or two dry fakey *stage coughs* here). And then he spent the rest of the day sitting in his office, talking to his septic tank contractor on the phone. When the Mountain Region Second Strategic Marketing Meeting people called from Salt Lake City and demanded that I conference him in, he had me tell them he was "out to lunch."

    Is it any wonder the rest of the company HATES us? I mean, really?

  • Franzecdote #2:

    My office computer blew up on me late last week. I'd stepped away from my desk just long enough to scoop an incoming fax off the machine: by the time I got back, my little Isolation Booth was filled with acrid electrical smoke.  

    My computer was deader than Grandpa Ted.

    Quick frantic call to the MIS guy ... quick frenzied exam of the machine ... quick panicky consultation with the MIS Department ... diagnosis: the monitor had blown.

    "We'll swap it out with a new monitor on Monday," said Dr. MIS Guy. "Until then, I'm afraid you're computerless."

    Fine. OK. It was Friday afternoon anyway, and I simply got on the #51 and headed for home a couple of hours early, to pack for the Monterey trip.

    When I got back into the office on Tuesday morning, my new monitor was sitting on my desk.

    All nineteen inches -- and eighty bazillion pounds -- of it.

    I'm not kidding. This fudking thing is the size of a small motor home. Which is nice in some ways (*FootNotes* looks AMAZING -- it's like seeing my dirty feet in Cinemascope), and not-so-nice in other ways. (I've just lost another third of my precious, dwindling desktop real estate ... plus I'm sitting so close to the screen now, I see the world through *Vaseline eyes* for two hours after I go home at night).

    Franz wandered into my office late last night, while I was waiting for David to pick me up. I pointed out the new monitor ("Look! See my new monitor!") and, figuring this was as good a time as any to bring up the subject of the empty corner office, I made some noise about how I could really use more room to spread out in order to work more effectively.

    "The new monitor kind of cuts into my workspace," I pointed out.

    He frowned and nodded and rubbed his chin, examining the monitor and the desktop, and he gave me his very best "I'm Pretending I Hear You [But I'm Really Thinking About My Septic Tank]" expression, and finally he said, "OK. We'll take care of it."

    You know what's coming next, don't you?

    I came into the office this morning ...

    ... and the brand-new bazillion-pound monitor was sitting on the floor in the hallway outside my door. In its place on my desktop was an ancient, dusty, twelve-inch monitor left over from the old Accounting Department.

    Franz' "solution" to my problem.

    As David would say ... "It just sorta writes itself, doesn't it?")

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The sanity-preserving news here -- the thing that's preventing me from running right down the street to the Kickin' Back Lounge and ordering a nice frosty bucket of martini -- is that it's Friday already, and I now have two full days to recover from the aftermath of my "vacation."  I plan to do absolutely NOTHING for the next 48 hours except sleep, weep, eat Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel Ice Cream Topping right out of the jar, and endlessly surf the Internet for sites on subliminal mind control.

The other good news? I have another vacation coming up in two weeks, when David and I go to TicTac for Daughter #1's high school graduation. So you'll get to hear me bitch and moan about "vacation aftermath" all over again.

Mark your calendars.

throw a rock