Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Perfect[ly Hideous] Gift

Things at my temp job are a little better. I had a tactful talk with my supervisor and managed to politely convey that the problem is that I don't have enough work to fill my day. Er...that has been remedied. It's not particularly interesting, but it keeps me busy. I don't even know why some of it is coming my way (I'm doing budget reconciliation for a different office -- literally, a building in a different city -- shouldn't someone there be fixing their own budget? Or, at least someone in the finance department? Why is the temp receptionist in an office park 20 miles away doing budget reconciliation?) but at least it fills my time. And at least I know my efforts are appreciated.

When I came back from lunch today, there were flowers on my desk with a note that said, "To Andy, thank you for all you do, [my supervisors]."

I would have been touched, except...well, how to put this? It was the butt-ugliest flower arrangement I had ever seen.

Picture this: a small copper bucket filled with dandelions, pink carnations, orange silk oak leaves, miniature plastic pumpkins, plastic yellow raspberries, bracken fern and cedar fronds. I've never previously beheld a flower arrangement that contained a mix of fake fruit and tree leaves with live evergreens and honest-to-God weeds. In a bucket. With carnations.

Having stared at the thing for a couple of hours this afternoon, pondering my options, I realized I had no course other than to feign graciousness and thank them for the gift, calling upon every Stanislavskian technique I could recall to summon sincere gratitude. So at the end of the day, as they were heading out the door, I said, as best I could, "Hey, thank you so much for the flowers." (Note, I did not add the standard, "they are lovely.")

"Isn't that the fucking ugliest thing you've ever seen?" said one of them.

I nearly cried, I was so relieved.

It turns out they had gone to a nearby conference center to tour the facilities as a possible location for an upcoming meeting, which included a lunch to sample the catering, and at the end they were invited to take the centerpiece home with them. "Let's give it to Andy!" they decided.

Now that I know we all hate it, I love it.


Gino said...

just you describing it made me wanna wretch.

short story:
i sent the blonde flowers for valentine day, delivered to her office. they never got there.
two days later, i recieved a call from the shop apologising for fucking up, offered to refund the credit card, and re?deliver the flowers. (this explains why the Blonde was too busy to take my calls for two days)
the next day, they got there, and it was goddam 'get well/sorry you died' type arrangement. and not even close to what i paid for (or not).

six months later, she still laughing.

Faustus, M.D. said...

Oh, my God, I love this story.

Does this event make you hate your job any less?

DJRainDog said...

Hysterical! They said, "fucking"! In your office! Fabulous! I'm thinking maybe you should reconsider staying and just negotiate some kind of deal whereby you're allowed, because you're doing such specialised work, to both make more money AND read the NYT (and write your own blog, even if not read anyone else's) online. I mean, come on! I knew I liked my office/job/boss when I was sitting in a private conference with her one day, and she went off on a tirade about/against someone whom we both dislike and used the "F-word". I felt so validated I could've hugged her, and frankly, neither of us is the huggy sort.

Jeff said...

I love the final sentence of this post.

kr said...

OK, why no picture ;)? Share the horror.