November 22, 2000

I find it ironic that the very best thing about my life this week ...

... has been my job.

Amidst all of the psychic *background noise* the past few days  --  Jaymi going home to TicTac, and the usual emotional hangover after she leaves; the muffed job opportunity last week; assorted website difficulties  --  my neat, quiet little office has been like a refuge.

An island of calm, if you will. A port in the storm.

An acoustic Shawn Colvin solo at a four-day *Celine Dion Extravaganza.*

For one thing, there is something very soothing about my little office. Is it tiny? Yes. Does it smell like old coffee and new fax toner? Yes. Is it totally claustrophobic? Yes.

(Do I still think they should've given me the fudking window office last spring [instead of giving it to New Engineer Guy)?

HELL yes.

But my little Isolation Booth is also quiet, and private, and organized, and familiar. I know where everything is. I've got things set up just the way I like them: TotPhotos on top of the bookcase, world's grooviest three-hole punch on the credenza, extra emergency pair of No Nonsense in the bottom drawer. I've got my little boombox playing quiet tasteful "Nostril Things" in the background. I've got a thermos full of contraband Peet's under my desk. Plus I'm just isolated enough, here on the far end of Corporate Hall, to feel autonomous ... but not so cut-off from the rest of the office that I need to send up a single flare every time I accidentally lock myself out again.

My office has made me feel brave and centered all week. It's been nice.

For another thing, Franz has been on his very best behavior for the past few days. Clearly he's gotten wind of the fact that I tried to jump off the Totem Pole last week, and now he's decided to implement a little emergency damage control. All week long he's been weirdly courteous and eerily calm, and he hasn't slammed his door or raised his voice or dumped anything on my desk without asking my permission first. He's been answering his own phone. He's been reading his own mail.

I think he's left me exactly ONE voicemail all week.

Plus he took me out to lunch today ... and gave me a raise.

Nope. You're not hearing things.

Over Vietnamese Chicken Salad and fried bananas this afternoon, he offered me a raise. Not a huge raise, mind you. More like a token "I know you've been unhappy/here's some more money/now will please you take your résumé off the Monster Board?" sort of raise. But it's enough for now. It's enough for me to dial down some of my anxiety. It's enough for me to shut up and stick it out through the holidays ... and maybe all the way to that magic *two year* mark next spring. And all because I didn't take the new job last week.

Ironic, isn't it?

throw a rock