Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part VIII

Your organization of the payroll department is very beautiful. It is beautiful because it fits perfectly within the organization of your company. The organization of your company is beautiful because it fits perfectly within the organization of the marketplace it serves. The marketplace is meticulously organized according to the needs and wants of the people of the nation. The marketplace is beautiful because it fits perfectly within the organization of the nation. The organization of the nation is very beautiful. It fits perfectly within the cosmos, that beautiful organization of all.

Your organization of the payroll department is very beautiful. Only the organization of the payroll department is beautiful. Other than that, the place is squalid—an ugly mess of ….messiness. You had wrestled beauty from squalor by being able to look upward to the organization of the company, by asking yourself over and over: how can this (this process, this method, this item, this object, this employee) be made to fit perfectly into the organization of the company? There was an answer obtainable each time this question was asked, and slowly but surely the organization of the payroll department began to take on this beautiful, and luminous quality…The beautiful and luminous quality of the beautiful organization of the company for which you worked.

Your organization of the payroll department is very beautiful. You were in payroll, and that meant you were in personnel. Payroll was organized, and though under payroll, personnel never was. And, that was, at first, the rub. You organized payroll, and yet you rubbed against personnel. Personnel objected. Each and every time you furthered the organization of payroll, personnel chafed. Indeed, your sharp chisel carved into, chipped into, stone which refused to see itself as messiness, stone which refused to see itself as squalor impeding the release into a perfect fit to organization. You yourself, in your own inability to be faithful to the beauty of organization, blanched, as this non-silent, non-acquiescent and weeping stone fell away. Without the perfection of your company’s organization to guide and hold you, you could never have proceeded.

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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part VI

You noticed your best friend wasn’t picking up paychecks (you work in payroll—you’re the boss there) and then you tracked back to discover your best friend wasn’t submitting time sheets, either. You spent a few mornings outside the mail room, where your best friend worked for thirteen years, looking to see if your best friend was coming to work—you observed your best friend was not (coming or going).

Your best friend never knew if your best friend was coming or going, but you always did. Now, your best friend doesn't appear to be coming OR going.

You had observed your best friend for many years. Never from up close—No, No, No. Your best friend probably does not know you are a friend. Your best friend may not even know you exist. (You've never met or been introduced.) That doesn’t matter to you. Or the friendship. You know that you are your friend’s friend—and that’s the only thing that counts (counts,matters, signifies, means, or is observable.)

You don’t need to behave as a friend in order to be a friend—your friend understands that. That’s why you are friends with this friend—it is one of the reasons, anyway. There are, of course, many other reasons. You don’t have time to list all of them—there are that many. You don't need to enumerate how your best friend, unaware even of your existence, could possibly understand anything about you.

You don’t need to ask your friend what your best friend does or does not understand. The friendship is that good. It’s even better, you know from bitter experience, to know without asking. Asking only complicates things—and what if, after asking, you discover you disagree with your best friend? That means the friendship is over—and that’s devastating.

Where is your best friend? Why do you need to know that? Wherever your friend is, your best friend is your friend. And yet it would be reassuring to get a signal of your friend’s –if not intimacy, then proximity (understood as a GPS coordinate.) If your best friend was no longer living, you only then might you need to modify your feelings(for your friend.)