June 5, 1999
Executive Assitude
Updating occasionally. Obsessing constantly.

Early Saturday morning, and I have been sitting here in front of a blank computer screen for two hours already.
 David and I have a tacit agreement about weekend mornings: he sleeps, I write. The pre-dawn hours are when I feel the most creative *juice*  (read this: the caffeine hits), and I like to take advantage of that. So I crawl out of bed at 5 a.m. on Saturday mornings and spend a couple of hours catching up on e-mail, posting to the Fluffie Bunneez of the Apocalypse Message Boards, working on the novel ... and, of course, spinning the finely-crafted website entries you have all grown to love and expect. 


All of this whilst my beloved enjoys those extra two or three hours of REM sleep.

By 8 a.m. or so he is singing in the shower, the second pot of Millstone is downloading, the eggs are sitting atop the Pink Stove waiting to be over-easied, and our Saturday is in full-swing. We both feel recharged and refreshed and ready to go.

That's the way it usually works, anyway.

This particular morning, I am squeezed, Dear Reader. Flattened, like an empty juicebox on a lunchroom floor. Squooshed. Devoid of a single drop of creative *juice.* I've been sitting here since 5:15 a.m., and the only thing I've managed to accomplish so far is a quick drive-thru the message boards (they're talking about sitting on each other again), and a minor modification to my AOL profile ("Occupation: EXECUTIVE Chimney Sweep Sparrow with Guise").

I deleted some old e-mail.

I moved the icons around on my Windows Desktop.

I popped a zit on my shoulder.

In the next room, my beloved stirs in his sleep and burrows more deeply into the blankets, making that happy little grunty noise of contentment. (At least -- I think that's what it was. But I'll open a window, just in case.)  I take another swallow of lukewarm Sumatra, look out the window, absently scratch an itchy spot. My computer hums. The birds chirp. My stomach growls. The world awaits.

And I ... sit.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

I realized something this past week  --  my second full week in the scary new world of *Corporate.* Actually, I realized a couple of things:

Thing #1:  I can do this job. In fact, I can probably do it really really well, once I get acclimated, and learn what my new boss does and doesn't like, and understand the procedures involved, and remember that I no longer have to ask PERMISSION to go to the bathroom.

Thing #1A:  Once I figure out all of this stuff and start doing my job "really really well," I will probably actually enjoy it. I may even grow fingernails again.

I MAY even feel not-quite-so-"squeezed" on the weekends again.

Thing #2:  The Vice President of Business Financial Development wears boxers. Or at least it feels like he does. But that's another story for another day.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Catherine left on Thursday. I was sorry to see her go: she's a nice person who simply felt she couldn't handle Franz' erratic and demanding personality. "I could never get anything done," she told me more than once. And I had grown extremely dependent on her the past couple of weeks, as she trained me to take over. Now my safety net is gone. (Although I probably still have a 2-3 week window of blame deferral left: "Gosh, I'm not sure where the Contra Costa County folder is. Catherine must have filed it somewhere.")

On her last day we exchanged e-mail addresses, and she gave me her new work number. "Call me if you get stuck," she said, and I promised not to bother her more than eleven times an hour. And then she packed up her cat calendar and her hand lotion and her "Secretary is another word for Mommy" mug ... and she was gone.

The first thing I did, after she left? (After the nervous breakdown, I mean?) 

I shut my office door.  A pure pleasure I will never get tired of, I'm sure. 

And then I found KFOG on the radio, cracked open a bottle of SoBe Orange-Carrot Elixir and put my feet up on my desk.

I had *arrived.*

(But only for a minute. The reality is that my postage-stamp-sized "office" is smack dab in the middle of *Corporate,* and about as private as a shopping mall phone booth. The HR Director walked past my window twice as I sat there. So I revelled in my vast reserves of executive grooviness for sixty seconds or so ... and then I immediately opened my door again.)

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Yesterday, then, was my first full day of solo Exec Assitude ... and although I was a little wobbly, I did just fine. Franz once again was obligingly (and blessedly) out of town, so I had the entire day to poke through file folders and update the client database and read important magazines without interruption. I got a lot accomplished, and by the end of the day I had *my* new office set up pretty much the way I wanted it.  The wind-up chicken is sitting on top of the little rubber bus.  The paper clip container is filled with M&M's.  And I have photos of the Tots, David, Mizz and all three of the 'Grillaz pinned to the middle of the bulletin board.

But the real test will be next week. Franz has zero travel plans and only a handful of meetings scheduled, so basically he will be in the office (and directly across the hall) five days out of five. If I'm feeling "squeezed" now, after a measley week of alphabetizing hanging files and eating bananas ... just wait until next weekend.

(If you don't hear from me, send in the reinforcements. And the Extra-Strength Excedrin. I'm gonna need 'em.)



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