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Sad Meeting

           

Cloud in a Room


             Mallory's Camera brought up SAD in a recent post and I had a Seasonal Affected Disorder moment today in a meeting. Once a month we go over the budget with the boss to make sure all departments are on track. The boss and the operations manager are real numbers lovers, and so am I to a certain extent. I loved statistics and research methods classes in college.  Thing is, they get all caught up in the minutiae and wonderful detail of their spreadsheets and the next thing you know 90 minutes has gone by  while you've been talking about how interesting it is to compare per plate cost between the snack bar operations and arena concessions and you'd think they would be the same sorts of things but it's really comparing apples and oranges and ohmyfuckinggawdkillmenow. It got pretty bad for me and if it weren't for my hidden iPod under the table with which I surfed LJ during the meeting I might have gone insane.  The person it really tortured was our catering manager Tim who has all manner of ADHD related syndromes not to mention a bundle of neurosis that would crush Woody Allen in a New York second. Luckily, we were meeting in a large dining room surrounded by glass. Sort of like a greenhouse. It was one of those beautiful semi-cloudy winter Michigan days with shimmering aqua skies and fluffy golden clouds.  So  I can tell Tim's really tweaking because his leg is twitching a mile a minute and vibrating our entire end of the conference table. He's also got his chin cupped in his hand and is absently chewing on his fingertips. Suddenly a brilliant square of sunlight appears on the table top in front of us glowing and vibrating with burnished light. Tim texts me..."SAD BREAK!" and promptly stretches his arms and torso into the light.  I do the same.  We soaked up the sun like cats in a window while our boss spoke rhapsodically about the 3 percent bump in commuter sales and a 4 percent increase in meal plan retention. So I am now informed about our financial doings for this month as well as full up on my SAD medication for the next couple of days, which alas are predicted to be cloudy, gloomy and cold.

              Oh! And another thing...my boss is a pretty frugal guy and it'd be promoting a stereotype to say that he's a cheap Dutchman, but he's proud of his heritage so yeah, he's a cheap Dutchman.  Anyway, he passes out the packet of hard copy spreadsheet printouts at the beginning of the meeting and its these multi columned accounting forms meant to be printed out in legal format that he's jammed onto regular letter sized sheets by shrinking everything to between 2 and 4 point font. The next few minutes devolve into a Mr. Bean skit while most of us try to extend and retract our arms in order to get a fix on the miniature writing.  I wind up holding the damned things against my chest and under my chin so I can aim my bottom bifocal. I'm only able to decipher three rows at a time and find myself doing this sort of spastic semaphore with my arms as I follow along to the boss' analysis of each sheet. I finally gave up and had Adam, our newly minted assistant retail manager whose all of 23 and barely out of fetal stage, point me at the right Excell cells and whisper verbal directions. He was doing the same for Chef Steve, our corporate accounts chef who sat on the other side of him.  Hilarious.

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