Monday, January 30, 2006

Ms. Etiquette: Polite Vulture Hints

Right around lunchtime, I saw a memo pop onto my screen: "food available in the Casablanca conference room." There was some other text in there, but I didn't bother reading it. After all, as soon as that memo went out, other vultures and scavengers would be converging onto the conference room for a piece of the corporate carrion. I was the first one to arrive. The door was closed, but since I knew that the meeting was cancelled (hence the free food. It was too soon to cancel the catering), I just burst right in.,,,

And found my boss. And her boss. Engaged in an intense conversation, grave looks on their faces. Like in an old-style western where the stranger waltzes in through the saloon entrance, it was as if the music abruptly came to a stop and all patron eyes were cast at the interloper. Hello, I say, as I tug nervously at my collar. Hello, they say. At this point, I'm already committed. Just as I cannot half-puke or half-sneeze, once that trigger is pulled, there's no turning back. I had to make that sandwich. As I put together the bread, and the meat, and the vegetables, my fingers trembled. The mustard and mayo pattern on the coldcuts betrayed my unease -- no clean lines of condiment here; just some quick squeezes on the disposable packets that got more on the table than on my meal. We sell VoIP gear here, but in those awkward moments, I could sense, in 5-bar signal quality, the communication mechanism of the future. No more of this Voice over IP thing. It will be Voice over Eyeball Penetration (VoEP). Thankfully, a colleague made the same blunder and burst into the room. I took that opening as a way to make my graceful exit, and left her to experience VoEP.

I must add that the sandwich and BBQ potato chips were good though.


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