Friday, April 12, 2002

Catharsis, Epiphany, and Life’s Small Victories

Republished from prior, online version
This will be the first week in over a month in which I will work all five days. Please, I implore one of you to make arrangements to have me killed.

Fatface-Ratface, who occupies the desk (well, half of a desk, the other half is for day shift) across the row from me, now engages me in conversation with impunity. Among the unsolicited opinions/observations offered by Fatface-Ratface:

1. The first hit in rap music history was by Run-DMC the late 1980’s.
2. Electric guitars started to see widespread use around 1969.
3. Jimi Hendrix was a Motown artist.
4. Chris Simms threw for over 300 yards only once in 10 starts last year, while Major Applewhite threw for over 400 yards in his only 2 starts for the Longhorns.
5. He doesn’t think he should be assessed errors from Quality Review because someone further up the pipeline wasn’t doing their job. He shouldn’t be required to tape a return together on his production time because the mail-opening machine mangled it and Receiving let it go through like that and they aren’t even on production and if he sees another one like that, he still isn’t going to tape it together, he’ll just risk getting another error.
6. A lot of people wouldn’t notice, as he did, that this particular return had a Form 8863 (Advanced Education Credits) from a prior year attached. However, as you can see, last year’s 8863 was sequence number 51 and thus, not transcribable, while this year’s 8863 is sequence number 50, and so it is transcribed. He caught it…most people wouldn’t have.

No matter what Fatface-Ratface says, I hear it 3 to 5 times because after delivering the comment/joke to me, he then goes two desks back and delivers it to the guy sitting there, then he goes two desks over and one desk back and tells that guy, then he goes back to the front-left and tells the unit manager. Sometimes, the process is repeated with members of the adjacent unit. Each telling is loud enough for everyone to hear, so by the third telling, I’m mouthing the comment/joke along with him while cringing (No exaggeration, I actually cringe as this is going on. The feeling is similar to the feeling I had at the cattle-call interview where the fat girl still had a large manufacture’s tag sticking out of her frumpy sweater). My only reprieve from conversing with Fatface-Ratface comes when he listens to comedy or music CDs. At those times, I merely have to listen to him laughing out loud, singing out loud, or tapping his foot against the metal desk (loudly). Also, somehow, until this week it had escaped my notice that Fatface-Ratface perpetually carries one of two expressions on his face: demented, ear-to-ear, maniacal grin or protruding-tongue Mongoloid.

Not all has been bad at work this week, however. Yesterday, I was a big winner when a stack of returns I was working (Program Code 38110, refund returns) contained a secret red prize ticket, placed there by management. I took the winning ticket and raced to Melba’s (the section manager) cubicle (covered in no less than 10 posters of tigers and tiger cubs) to collect my reward. The brown paper bag, with white ribbon included:

1. A tiny ball-in-maze toy with Made in China displayed prominently on the back which broke as soon as I touched it and,
2. a keychain with a tiny baseball with Made in China displayed prominently on the bottom which also broke as soon as I touched it and,
3. a Twix bar that later proved to be stale and,
4. (drum roll please), a certificate for 30 minutes of 990 58250 time (administrative, meeting, misc. time) that I can use on this week’s time sheet!!!

Highlights from actual tax returns:

Last Names:
The Blands
The Borings
The Dulls
The Leisures

Wonka-esque Names:
The Tweedles
The McBeaths
The Schladweilers
The Spitznagles
The Vrooms
The Torblaas
The Flandorfers

The Crapsters
The Overdungs
The Poococks

crime fighter
rod buster

My New Favorite Thing to Say When I See a Morbidly Obese, Walking Ashtray Coworker:
Well…at least she’s wearing stretch pants.

Today I encountered the day-shifter who shares my desk. She’s a cute Mexican girl around 19 or 20. I’m now hoping that the pubic hairs in the unused, middle desk drawer belong to her.