Signing On For The Ride

Whereas my activities in the fabric covered box at the auxiliary office have been robust, complex, and a general pain in the ass in the last 6 weeks, I can’t really complain a whole lot.  I signed on for the ride.  I’ve had worse jobs before.  I’ve had jobs that didn’t feed that little monster in me which seeks out challenges and problems to solve.  The job I have now isn’t one where I could really convince Mike Rowe to follow me around for a day or two chronicling some of the uglier, smellier, grosser, or scarier sides of employment here in this great country of ours.  For what it’s worth, Mike Rowe and I worked for the same company for several years in the mid 90’s.

Name dropping aside, life in the cube farm was pretty tough today.  A problem came up.  Normally when problems come up, there’s a likely possibility that I’ll draw the short straw in working to solve the issue.  Like I said before, I signed on for the ride.

Today’s issue was unique, because the problem was my fault.  Insert “D’OH!” right here.

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If I had just taken three steps above yesterday, today wouldn’t have happened.  Easy as that.

By the time I got to work this morning, there was a message on the phone to advise me that it was going to be one of those days.  Within an hour I had a solution in mind, which ultimately involved giving a machete to a bull desirous on performing some pompous, self serving act of self castration.  Had my recommendation been accepted, the issue would have been resolved and done with in a few hours.

Sadly, it wasn’t.

I signed on for the ride.

Eight hours later, a plan of action was put into effect.  Naturally, said plan will not allow the project to be complete until sometime next week.  In essence, the bull is still on board to self castrate.  He’s just taking the scenic route.

I signed on for the ride.  I’ll hang around until the lottery investment pays off or some gullible venture capitalist throws some of that Mark Zuckerberg cash at TharpSter.Org.

Of course the drive home was no better.  It’s Friday afternoon and people are trying to get home.  Today’s rush hour traffic on the freeway was moving with the speed of a poorly organized parking lot.  The CFO was in the passenger seat offering less than inspiring commentary about my short stopping distance and a subtle odor likened most closely to that of flatulence.  Blame me for one or the other, but not both.  Which will it be?

While traversing the off ramp at a break neck speed of 17 mph behind hundreds of my closest neighborhood commuters, the day started looking up.  A sound emitted from my phone that sounded like a chicken playing the Mission Impossible theme.

“Chicken Impossible” is the name of the ringtone I’ve assigned to unknown callers.  Here in the information age where Caller ID is a way of life, it’s rare that I hear the tone.  Normally I ignore it and let it go to voicemail.

This afternoon, I was getting a call from (727)-259-7280.  I’ve been ignoring calls from this number for the last month.  They’ve never left a voice mail, yet they keep calling.  Even bill collectors leave a message if they want to liberate cash from my white knuckled clutches.

Today, I decided to answer the call.  Why, I don’t know.  Maybe it was because it would be a good topper for a bad day at work.  Maybe I was tired of ignoring the call.  Come to think of it, I do believe I got the big ‘E’on the scales this morning.  Maybe I had it coming.

I let the chicken cluck a few more measures, and then hit the button on my Bluetooth device to answer the call.

Me:  Hello?

Caller:  Hi, Randall? (There’s another indicator this call isn’t going to go well for the poor soul on the other side of the call.  I haven’t gone by ‘Randall’ in…… ever.)

Me:  Speaking.

Caller:  Oh, good.  My name is Dustin and I’m calling from Clearwater, Florida, and….

Me:  Sorry to hear that.

Dustin:  That I’m calling from Florida?

Me:  No, that your name is Dustin.  (I honestly have no problem with that name.  I just couldn’t resist the opportunity.)

Dustin:  Oh.  Well anyway, I’m calling to let you know that your name has been selected to be entered into a drawing where the grand prize is a million dollars and…..

Me:  Dustin?

Dustin:  ….several other opportunities to…

Me:  Whoah, Dustin.

Dustin:  …valued at well over……

Me:  Dustin!

Dustin:  Yes sir?

Me:  Let me stop you there before you go further.  You people have been calling me for the last month or so.  Each and every time I’ve ignored the call because I didn’t recognize the number.  I looked your number up on the web and found all sorts of reports that you people are considered to be a fraud.  Now that I’ve told you this Dustin, do you really think I want to continue with this conversation?

Dustin:  Uuummm, no sir.

Me:  That’s what I thought.  At this point, what I would like you to do right now Dustin, is to take my phone number out of your database and off of your call list.  Do you understand?

Dustin:  Yes sir.  Have a good day sir.

Me:  You have a good one too, Dustin.

I feel better now.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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