Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Making Friends and Influencing People

A coworker of mine sent me an email yesterday evening about 6:30, and tried calling my desk, too.

Now let's get something straight here.

I'm a hard worker, right? And I do what it takes to get the job done, right?

But I'm still a state employee. And this means that, in the absence of a hurricane or any other official emergency - in fact the weather just now happens to be exceedingly pleasant - I take two "fifteen"-minute breaks a day, and I'm out the door like a shot at 5. Got it?

Apparently somebody doesn't have enough time on their hands.

This morning I attended a meeting downtown for employees who work with the legal process I dealt with extensively at my old job. I'm still somewhat involved in it at my new job, only in (of course) a different capacity. So my boss sent me off to the meeting; I took a shuttle and arrived to find the deputy director of my old division there with a couple of former coworkers.

And they laughed at me! "Thought you were done with this stuff, huh," they said.

Nonetheless, I sat with them and chit-chatted pleasantly enough through much of the meeting, in much the way I imagine eighteenth- and nineteenth-century operagoers visited and socialized during performances, the stage little more than a background diversion - which would explain why Mozart is so accurately skewered here; but I digress.

And afterwards, the deputy division director gave me a ride back to the office, several half-joking offers to come back to my old job tossed into the conversation. I was flattered, but not tempted. In the interest of fairness I had to admit that I am no longer allowed to wear flip-flops to work.

"You see?" he said, "you see what you're missing out on now?"

I didn't even bring up the cleavage issue.

Also at the meeting were several people I met while working hurricanes, and a few other folks I've gotten to know in the last seven months since taking my new job. It struck me as odd how quickly one's internal agency acquaintance can increase - only not, I have to say, in the old place. Maybe it is just a matter of footwear. Or something.

I worked a little past 5 today. Who knows where hard work will get me?

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