Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part VII

Your best friend first came to your attention not long after joining the mail room staff. There were enough problems with the way your friend was doing mail sorting to trigger talks of termination at the end of the probation period. You weren’t involved in any of the discussions, but it was enough to pique your curiosity—you opened your best friend’s personnel file for the first time.

The employment experience was scant and spotty, but what caught your attention: your friend’s education. Not only was your best friend the only PhD in the mail room, your best friend was the only PhD in the firm. If your firm had not been direly short of personnel, such a hire would have been disqualified on this basis alone. But it was fascinating just the same.

Your best friend’s problems on the job weren’t necessarily related to your best friend’s lack of qualifications. The problem was your best friend’s lack of attention to detail and unwillingness to take direction. Your best friend apparently wanted to do things your best friend’s way, often defiantly arguing that these ways were better, more efficient. Your best friend showed appreciation neither for the intricacies of the mail room system, nor the degree of effort which had gone into its implementation and preservation, all of which would be lost if improvements were made. To tell the truth, your first impressions of your best friend were rather poor. You generally dislike those who have no regard for your company’s hard won culture.

Your first observations of your best friend were also unfavorable: your friend was thin, taut. Later, as your best friend’s problems in the mail room were ironed out, you were pleased to see your best friend’s figure filling out your, thickening, even as your best friend began to succeed in filling out your best friend’s mail room role more adequately.

Your friendship was solidified, however, when your best friend shed some of that newly-gained solidity of figure. After a period of near-obesity, your best friend learned to eat properly and exercise regularly and routinely, habitually. That was a clear sign, to you, that your best friend would become flexible enough to mold to the mail room’s rigorous routines. You approved of the transformation you were now witnessing in your best friend, who was slowing down, quieting down, becoming unassuming, and finding the balance of the average, a precious middle ground. Neither heavy nor slender ; neither innovative nor sloppily unable to show finesse. Your best friend was developing the individuality which would make it possible for your best friend to be functional in your company’s organization.

Your best friend was to become the mail room’s most steady employee.


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