Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Don't Drink at Work, No Matter How Stressed You Get

I had one of those steadily busy days at work. Trying to catch up on email, then met with a colleague for some information on a database, then went to a demo by a vendor in the main conference room. I also had scheduled another meeting about 20 miles across the county at 1:00 PM and was planning on leaving work at 12:30 to get there in plenty of time, since I wasn't sure exactly where the meeting was.

12:30 at my desk I get a phone call from the front office.

"Freight called and said they have something for you and you have to sign."

My mind is blank as I don't remember expecting any shipment.

The caller asks if they can transfer the call from the security guard down in freight and I say fine.

Ok, while waiting for the return call I will give you some background. I work in a very large building in the city. This building has commercial employees and federal employees. Among the federal employees are people who are responsible for regulatory actions. I say this to let you know that any area that houses regulators is a "hot" site and gets top security especially after 911 and the Oklahoma bombing. Please note that I am NOT saying the building is anymore secure than your house, it just has top security procedures and staff in place to make SOMEONEs feel it is protected.

The phone rings again. I answer. A man with a thick accent tells me he has a package which I must sign for.

"You want me to come down to the loading dock?"

"No, no. Just got to floor 4 and go to the freight elevator there."

"The fourth floor?"

"Yes. Go down by the printing press."

I have no idea where this is, but I do know that there is a publications office somewhere in the building---must be the fourth floor.

"Ok" I reply and hang up.

I go to the fourth floor which happens to have some offices of people I know. I ask the secretary there where the printing press is and get a blank look. I then ask about the freight elevator. She walks me there. There is NO ONE there. Just an empty hallway and NO printing press.

I ask her if by any chance the 3rd floor has a printing press and she says "maybe." She actually gets on the freight elevator with me, after a wait of ten minutes. I am watching the clock tick away. I get off and sure enough there is a large piece of equipment that could very well be a printing press on the inside wall. There is a large open office with desks and some people at the other side of the press. I go toward one of the staffers and ask about freight deliveries that need signatures. He says I need to go to the loading dock several floors down!

I tell the secretary to go back to her office. Today is VERY COLD and WINDY so my trip back to the freight elevator and down to the loading dock is not pleasant and this freight elevator moves at a snails pace.

I enter the freight elevator with two rather grubby but pleasant bears (men) whose complaints about the sound of the elevator and concern about the last time it was maintained do not help my mood. I get to the windy loading dock and a uniformed female security guard sits in a glass booth inside the archway of the dock. I ask her about a delivery.

She looks at me and points to a box on the nearby chair. She then walks over to the X-ray machine and asks if I recognize the contents of the package. Chemicals?

I look at the X-ray and saw what appeared to be two bottles. The light goes on in my head. I remember my daughter telling me she had given me a Christmas gift of three months to a wine club and was sending it to my place of work since I wouldn't be home to sign. I told the security guard it was wine.

She looks at me and smiles. "I will have to call my boss to see if you can take this package." (You know what, I am so tired I don't even react.)

She makes the call to the BOSS and then says I can only take the package if I take it directly to my car. I am SOOOOO late for this meeting that I realize I will be running to my car in a very short time.

"Can I take the package upstairs to get my coat and papers," I ask.

You readers know the answer. Of course not, those regulatory officials in my building are so on the edge they will mug me and drink both bottles before they check out for the day. We can't have alcohol anywhere near federal employees...and can you blame them? Really?

I have to ride the groaning elevator all the way back up, get my coat and papers, ride back down to the dock, get the package, walk all the way around the building through the garbage and around the huge parking garage, carrying this stupid box until I reach the street and can head for my car. All with a wind chill to die for.

Any ideas about to handle this the next two months? And no, I did not open any of the bottles before my afternoon meeting, but I will definitely have a glass now and make an entry on my neglected wine blog...if I am sober enough.


  1. You must be very very tired and frustrated. However now you have a good reason to continue your wine blog!

  2. Have you thought of having words with the sender? Like damnitall!!?

    Hey! I know that one wine. Made in Nigeria. What you do is open it, take out the secret instructions wadded under the cap, send your bank account number....

  3. Wow, that is really annoying. And I have a feeling that even after the 5th or 6th box, they won't have some sort of easier, more efficient system for this. Like they really think you'll pop open a bottle at work? Actually, I'm sure some days that might be tempting.

  4. Anonymous10:52 PM

    I hope you had a good weekend and stayed warm!

    Like you, I am somewhat of a social scientist and that is part of the appeal of blogging for me too!


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