Friday, August 25, 2006


What a week this has been! I had a bit of trouble with a major agency-wide software upgrade. When you work with a lot of people who have no understanding about computers you find that they make things up to suit themselves. You say the reporting portion of the software isn't working and they somehow turn that into everything they do that goes into a certain report also doesn't work. I'm a pretty easy-going person at work, but this week I must have been visibly stressed and some of my coworkers were rather concerned by it and bought me flowers to say thanks for my hard work and patiently answering their questions. Such a little thing, and so nice it inspired a new haiku:

From my coworkers sunflowers and lilies unexpected thanks
I realize the second line is technically a syllable short but I think it still works. Something else nice that happened. We have a new employee. That's not the nice part though, I'm getting to that. I usually take my lunch later than most everyone else and when the weather is fine I sit outside and read. But it was raining yesterday. I'm in the empty lunchroom and the new employee comes in. I look up from my book and say hi. She says hi, and peaks to see what book I am reading. Now, most of my coworkers are regular readers but only one besides myself is a hardcore reader who regularly brings a book to work. When one eats in the lunchroom, one is expected to be social. When the new coworker came in to the room I inwardly cringed because I thought I was going to have to stop reading. To my surprise and delight, she said not a word, put her lunch together, sat at the table across from me and read the book she had brought. We were companionably silent the entire time, each of us lost in our respective books. Only you, Reader, will understand what a complete and happy thrill I had. I was so thrilled I was distracted. I couldn't believe what was happening. I kept peeping over my book at her to make sure she was really sitting there reading. Even better, she wasn't reading The Da Vinci Code! She was reading a beat up looking paperback copy of Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin. I've not read the book, though I have heard of it. I was tempted to break the silence and start babbling at her, probing to find out how much she read and what. But I was afraid I would scare her. Now I have been trying to figure out how to strike up a conversation about books. I think I am just going to have to come out and ask her point blank, "So, are you a reader?" If she is, she will understand. If she isn't, well, it was fun while I thought she was. On a non-work sidenote, Renee is putting together an audio book club podcast and is looking for participants. If you have read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and have something to say about it, check out Renee's blog to find out how to get involved. Have a happy Friday everyone!