Saturday, September 24, 2016

My good deed for Friday

I sit across from a rather adorable boy -- he's not yet 30, so to me, he's still a boy. He works hard, is personable, and he's a Cub fan, so we have much in common. Every morning, after a win (and we've had more than anyone else this magic season) he pastes a blue W on the wall. Currently he has blue W's wrapping all around his cubicle!

He was gone Friday afternoon, from lunchtime on. Just before 5:00, he reappeared. He was en route to his office space and I was on my way to the ladies' room. I could smell the liquor on him. He literally did a soft shoe when he saw me. "Home field ad-van-tage!" he sang, referring to the Cubs still improving fate as we move toward the playoffs. I figured he'd gotten free tickets to this afternoon's game, would grab his backpack, and go home -- or to a Wrigleyville bar to continue partying.

When I got back from the restroom, I saw him talking to a coworker. Nonono. Not good. I thought that, since everyone from my team had left for the weekend, that his group had cleared out, too. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. And he was, frankly, too obviously drunk to be interacting with coworkers.

I've openly drunk beer at my desk -- swigging from a bottle handed to me at one company celebration or another. I've got a bottle of cheap bottle of vodka in my bottom drawer and have surreptitiously  mixed it with fruit juice and sipped away with complete impunity. As long as we don't appear high, no one cares. But there's the rub. No one cares if we drink at work, but it's dangerous to been seen drunk.

He was drunk.

I didn't want him to get in trouble, so instead of going home, I sat knee-to-knee with him and started a conversation. My sense was this -- if anyone wanted to talk work with him this close to the end of the workweek, and saw him in animated conversation with me, they'd just let it go until Monday. Who wants to stay late on Friday?

It worked. We talked until nearly 5:40, until I couldn't hear a printer whirring anywhere else on the floor.

He hadn't been to The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. One of our agency's vendors had an open house and much, much food and liquor had been provided. We talked baseball first and then he let IT drop: he's one of about 25 of employees being transferred to our sister agency in January. This could be a very important move for him, a chance to show he can handle more responsibility than he's heretofore been given.

How shitty if a little harmless and out-of-character partying jeopardized that?

So I missed the opportunity to slip out early Friday. I served the greater good.


  1. A good deed indeed!

    I would be fired so fast if I drank on the job. And there are days I really want to!

  2. Wow. I hope he understands what you have done for him. He is a lucky boy to have you in his corner.