Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Moments

Mondays are always rife with insanity, especially after a long weekend. Here are a few noteworthy moments out of my Monday.

Annual Review:
I had my annual review at work today. I've been at the same company now for 4 years and the review process is as inscrutable as ever. My supervisor has pretty much abandoned preparing anything beforehand, and instead we decide together what my review should say.

There is a part of the document where he is supposed to rate my performance in various areas on a scale of 1 to 6 (Why 6? It may as well go to 11!), but instead he had me rate myself while we were sitting there. After the third time I rated myself a 6, I asked if maybe he saw a pattern emerging.

I told him the story of how in the 3rd grade we had an assignment to invent a machine and create a poster about how it worked. I came up with a really imaginative machine and made a great poster, complete with molded aluminum foil letters for the title. When we turned in our posters our teacher asked us to evaluate them and write down what we could have done better. Being a perfectionist, I noted the slightly skewed handwriting that I would have preferred be straighter if only I'd had more time.

She made me do it again. The second poster sucked, but the letters were straight. My mother (Z''L), furious, issued the edict that as I traveled the road of life, anytime I was in a similar situation, I was to say that my work was exemplary and nothing needed improvement.

My boss got a good laugh out of this story. Then he gave me a four.

Death by Pastry:
On my commute home today there was almost no traffic for the first half of the trip. I was going at a pretty good clip, kind of daydreaming and driving on auto-pilot. I've considered actually driving this route blindfolded - I think I could do it, but I hear it's frowned upon. Suddenly, I was dragged screeching into consciousness by the rapidly approaching rear end of a tractor-trailer that was braking in front of me.

I slammed on my brakes. But even as I held my breath and prayed that I hadn't waited too long for a tuneup, a part of me was strangely exhilarated.

The back end of the truck was emblazoned with the Entenmann's logo. I was about to crash into a truck full of pastry and a small part of my brain was not participating in the survival exercise at hand. Instead it was fantasizing about hitting the gas and becoming airborne. I would fly into the air a la Thelma and Louise, crash through those dessert covered doors and magically alight amid an avalanche of chocolate-covered donuts and soft baked cookies.

Needless to say the smarter, less interesting part of my brain prevailed.

And finally...

World's Worst Driving Dad Award
Again, on my commute home - a couple of blocks from home I decided to stop for a yellow light instead of gunning through it. As I slowed to a stop, I noticed the driver behind me, who had apparently been tailgating me, looking for all the world as if he was about to rear end an Entenmann's truck. Only he looked pissed. Scary pissed, like he might get out of his car and start banging on my window pissed.

I kept my eye on him while were at the light and I suddenly realized there was a very small, very young head just visible over the dashboard in the passenger seat. I also realized he was staring at me in my rearview mirror - he could see me watching him. So he started inching forward and repeatedly stopping the car short while gritting his teeth at me .

That's right - angry scary dad was playing road rage games with a very small child sitting in the front seat - with not even a seat belt apparent on the child.

Bravo, Road Rage Dad! You win the prize for Scariest Schmuck on a Monday!

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