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Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday, Explained

Today is Friday, a day many feel embodies the noble spirit of mankind.  A day many feel the paragon of the virtues of humanity.  A day many feel shows the ultimate evolution of the race.  Lofty ideals no doubt, but Life Explained needs proof.  Sending the finest vocational anthropologists available into a medium sized company, in a moderately sized city, in a region often used to test market food and drink products before national release seemed like a good way to test "The Theory of the Friday Pinnacle."

Walking carefully down the drab, brown halls of the work place, our steps almost silent on the low pile, tan carpet, (a color whose only purpose is to hide stains and wear, tragically, this is accomplished by making the whole thing look worn and dirty) Monday morning at 10:47.  A tomb like silence was broken only by muffled curses, and soft weeping.  People dashed into offices, meeting rooms, bathrooms, closets, slamming the doors, diving under desks, just to avoid conversation.   Eye contact was avoided, not only with the scientists but with the other members of the office tribe.

Fear, and trepidation were palpable.  Obviously, this was a society in decline, once proud, and profitable, you could tell by the smart phones, and tablets abandoned in terror, as individual tribe members would smash through a glass wall, dive under a wood grain conference table, and cower in abject fear.  Suffering visibly, the scene was almost over powering.  Work was not getting done at all, ringing phones went unanswered as these poor souls, squatted, half hidden behind the wax plants scattered conveniently around the building.  All of the windows were covered, blinds, or curtains closed tightly against the antiseptic sunshine and warmth.  It was a tragic scene.

Tuesday, bought the glimmer of a smile, the spark of acceptance, with the braver members of the tribe actually peaking out from the bathroom stalls.  Rushing up to touch the researchers, and running, quickly away, a sound, perhaps a guttural giggling, could be heard as they rushed away.   Work was, for the most part, ignored, as boundaries were tested, and tribe members were striving for dominance.  Mostly using games of skill, involving expense reports, or purchase orders, wadded into tight, almost symmetrical balls, heaved at distant waste baskets.  Winners took the chairs with the nicest casters, wheeling themselves down the hall, just out of reach of the research team's scientific equipment.

Wednesday, the change was significant.  With the indigenous people gathering, in small groups of trusted friends at the coffee maker, microwave, or refrigerator.  Darting eyes were proof that the tragedy of Monday's alarm clock was not forgotten.  Work was largely left for later, the new found freedom was intoxicating.   Monday is still remembered, but the nature of the ecosystem has changed.  Boisterous, if embarrassed  laughter rings down the halls, echoing down hallways, and off cubicle walls.

By Friday things start looking like a tailgate party.  Tribe members were actually lighting fires under the feeder tray of the fax machine to grill brats and burgers.  There seemed to be an unwritten rule about the cooking of fish, and whispered tales of the terrible death, and dismemberment of a poor fool who had tried to blacken tuna steaks.  Of course, no work was done, and the celebrants were dancing a tribal dance down the central hallway.  A line of happy, joyful people, ignoring phone calls, and emails, intent on making the most of the moment, and plans for the coming weekend.  Electricity filled the air, the tyranny of week days were almost at an end, and the tribe was "bustin' a move."

It was a sight to be remembered, smiling, laughing people, in a long line weaving in time through the building, in one door, out the next, texting, emailing plans, "meet me at Phil's House o' Burgers for a beer," without losing their place in line.  Distant drums pounding time, a hypnotic beat driving a mesmerizing scene.

And, we have the weekend, two days of liberation,  But, following that, Monday.  But, Friday is coming, hold on to that thought.