a little something extra

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mandatory Fun

Last week, I received a flyer from my employer. Everybody on staff got the same flyer. It announced that our workplace would close early on Tuesday August 1, and that all staff were expected to spend the evening dining and cruising around Newport Bay aboard the Angela Louise, on our employer's dime. There were people in management capacities who actually required staff members to justify their inability to attend.

Vee haff vays off makink you enjoy yourselffs.

It was actually a beautiful evening for a cruise... once we got on the boat. The company offered a shuttle bus for those who didn't want to make the 20-minute drive themselves, or fight for parking during high beach season. I took my car, because I didn't want to have to return to the theatre before getting to go home at the end of the evening. Of course, the directions were just vague enough that I didn't get to the right place till I visited my third parking lot. The poor folks on the shuttle didn't fare any better -- their driver had no idea where he was going. It took them over an hour to make that 20-minute drive.

When we all arrived, the boat wasn't ready for us. So while we had been strictly enjoined to be aboard by 5:45 or the Angela Louise would leave without us, that hour came and went with roughly 100 of us standing on the concrete pad adjoining the dock, waiting for the iron gate to be unlocked, and wondering whether we had time to flee to the nearby tavern for a quick beer and still not miss the boat.

We got aboard, and discovered that the boat's bar was deserted. No bartender as far as the eye could see. After all the concrete-standing, some folks were most distressed. We were also informed that there wasn't enough seating for our entire group, so we would be called to the buffet dinner in two sections. Those who ate first would have to clear out of the way so that those who ate second would have places to sit. Generally, logistically questionable all the way across the board.

What was the saving grace of this expedition? Some excellent company. I got to hang with colleagues, friends, and colleagues who are becoming friends. Had a brief, amicable, non-work-oriented conversation with the Big Boss. Enjoyed more time with a friend-colleague who is getting ready to leave the staff, and the country, all for love. And the merlot they were pouring wasn't too bad, either.

My trip home in the car marked the beginning of what is evidently the latest bout of my periodic affliction of Not Being Able to Find My Way Places. I missed not one, but two, opportunities to get on the highway I wanted on my way home. I landed in not one, but two, turn-only lanes when the last thing I wanted to do was turn. And the syndrome held on overnight -- this morning I took an incredibly stupid roundabout route to the gym, then had to cut my workout even shorter when I realized I'd probably left my headlights on. Dashed out to the parking lot, discovered I was right, but I had realized it in time and my battery wasn't in trouble. Whew.

We are right in the middle of a Mercury retrograde period. Mercury retrograde gets blamed for a lot of stuff, including communications problems, bad decisionmaking, and misunderstandings of all kinds. I think I'll blame it for my maldirectionality. Why not?