Sunday, January 9, 2011

Now Hiring...

This past Monday, I had a forgettable encounter with Canis lupus familiaris during my dork walk.  Abby had taken the day off from work to celebrate her birthday, so I was making the three-mile trek on my own.  After crossing the railroad bridge on my way back to town, I noticed a threatening-looking animal, standing motionless in the middle of the path.  From a distance, it looked to be a menacing beast... a vicious wolf or coyote, ready to pounce and rip me apart at a moment's notice... hoping to drag me home to its hidden den to feed it's starving family of pups.

As I continued my speedy march towards almost certain death, I realized that this monstrous, hulking canine was neither wolf, nor coyote.  A telltale tag jingling around its neck revealed that it was just a local's pet dog, wandering harmlessly down the trail... perhaps bored with the recent melting of the snow, and the decrepit-looking winter landscape that was left behind.  As I passed by, he slowly turned his head towards me, acknowledging my presence with an expression of inconvenienced vapidity.  The whole encounter was so incredibly underwhelming that it really wouldn’t have been worth mentioning… had it not been for an episode of unnecessary drama from Abby just a few days earlier.

The previous Friday, she had seemed quite flustered when she came back from her dork-walk.  I had taken a shorter lunch and hadn’t actually gone dork-walking with her on that particular day.  I was preparing to call one of our members to verify some information for an outgoing wire transfer, when she rushed over to my desk, huffing and puffing.

     “Dave, I needed you on my walk today!” she exclaimed.

Hmmm...  He looks scary...  and he looks
very hungry.  Maybe he's headed towards
the tavern on the corner for a buffalo
 chicken wrap and a frosty Sierra Nevada IPA.
Sipping my coffee, I listened with interest as she described her encounter with a mysterious animal.  She said that it looked like some type of coyote or wolf from a distance.  As she approached the animal, she saw that it appeared to be limping.  She decided that she’d be a goner if she failed to protect herself.

     “HEY!” she screamed, waving her arms wildly over her head.  She picked up a sharp rock and hurled it towards the ominous animal, trying to scare it away.

Cujo turned slowly towards his lunch and prepared to finish her off with lukewarm indifference.  Abby picked up another rock and threw it.

     “HEY!” she screamed again, jumping up and down and waving her arms wildly.

Cujo wasn’t budging.  Abby decided that her only chance to escape was to leave the trail and find another way back to the office.  She ducked into the brush along the side of the trail and sprinted through an adjacent backyard to the main road, barely escaping with her life.  At the time, it seemed like it would have been a genuinely scary experience.

When she returned to work the following Tuesday, I recounted in detail my own harrowing experience.

I think my gloved finger in the foreground
is actually more scary than the
animal in the background.
     “Was this the vicious beast that you saw?” I asked, showing her the pictures I had taken.  “You were pretty lucky.  That pet dog almost bored me to death.  In fact, it’s a miracle that I’m still standing here to tell you about it.”

Abby then called me a very bad name and told me to engage in a questionable, tasteless act involving both me and myself.  I laughed at her foolishness for several minutes, before returning to my work.

The next day, our coworker Fawn wanted to join Abby and I on our walk.  The two of us were changing into our hiking boots near the coat rack when Fawn trotted over from her desk.

     “Hey guys, can I come with you?” she asked, nibbling on the ends of the spider plant above Abby’s cubicle.

Abby and I looked at each other questioningly.  Cujo hadn’t shown the slightest bit of interest whatsoever in the two of us.  But Fawn was… different.  We had just hired her as a member service representative for our new online chat service, but it wasn’t going very well.  She seemed to be having significant problems typing on the keyboard.  We told her about Cujo and let her know that it would probably be best if she stayed back at the office.

     “I can look out for myself,” she assured us.  “I’ll be fine. Besides, I’m a much faster runner than both of you.  I can get away if I need to.”

 The trip began well enough, as all three of us dork-walked down the trail to the town line in record time.  But trouble reared its ugly head on the way back to the office.  We weren’t more than a hundred yards from the road when we spotted Cujo waiting up ahead.  The gentle beast was sitting near the junction between the trail and the road, staring listlessly at the park bench near the trail head.  He appeared to be reading the inscription etched in the shiny plaque, which was attached to the bench.

     “Uh, we’d better find another way back,” said Abby, heading for the brush along the trail.

     “Don’t be silly,” said Fawn.  “It’s somebody’s pet dog. He’s probably harmless.”

     “Fawn, that harmless pet dog could probably tear you apart if it wanted to,” I said.

     “Whatever, Dave,” Fawn snorted.  “We have to get back to the office. I’ve got two auto loans that I need to close by 3:30.”   She started dork-walking down the trail on all fours.  “Are you guys coming or not?”

I started flailing my arms around my torso and began dork-walking down the trail after Fawn.  All of a sudden, I felt a hand clamp on my arm.

     “Uh ohhhhhhh,” Abby said, pulling me back.  "Looks like he spotted her."

Having finished his research at the park bench, Cujo had apparently taken a mild interest in Fawn.  He started wandering aimlessly, but also directly towards her, without a care in the world.  All of a sudden, Fawn halted in her tracks, overcome with fear.  Sensing her distress, Cujo became more focused and broke into a sprint.

Since Fawn was devoured before working
for a full 90 days, she never had a chance
to receive medical benefits or enroll
in a 401K plan.
     “Run, Fawn. RUN!” Abby screamed.  We started dork-walking towards our distressed coworker to try and protect her, but Cujo reached her first.

Running at full speed, he leapt and caught Fawn in mid air, clamping his jaws around her throat.  A grisly, scarlet explosion of blood shot forth from her jugular, as she yelped in pain.  We watched helplessly as he took her down, tearing her apart limb-from-limb.  It took him less than fifteen minutes to pick her carcass clean.  All that was left of her was a mangled appendage, a few mandibular bones, and several broken teeth.  Using my cell phone camera, I snapped a few pictures of our fallen coworker.

     “Great, just... GREAT!” said Abby in disgust.  “What the hell do we do now?”

     “Well, the first thing we need to do is get back to the office,” I said, as I noticed the time on my cell phone.  “Our lunch ended over twenty minutes ago.”

     “We can’t just leave her here.”

     “Well there’s really not much of her to bring back, is there?  Besides, I did get a few good pictures.  Maybe Sandy can use one of them in place of a formal exit interview.”

Sandy is our part-time Human Resources director.  She works in the office by contract on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

     “Lisa’s not going to be too happy about this,” said Abby, as we started walking back, leaving what was left of Fawn in the middle of the trail.

I nodded in agreement.  It wasn’t our supervisor’s idea to hire a doe in the first place, but we figured that the process of interviewing another team member all over again would prove to be rather irksome.

     “Oh, wow. Look at that,” she Lisa, when we got back and showed her the pictures.  “Is that her front or hind leg?”

     “I’m not sure,” I said.  “I can’t really tell.”

     “John would know,” said Abby.  “Let’s ask him.”

     “John WOULD know that, wouldn’t he?” said Lisa, as she picked up her phone to dial his extension.  “He’s into all that hunting and outdoorsy stuff.”

A few minutes later, our Accounting Supervisor John came through the door from the break room, carrying a bowl of chocolate ice cream.

     “That’s definitely a front leg,” he said, looking at the pictures over our shoulders.  “Where did this come from? Did you find this on the trail?”

     “John, that’s Fawn!” said our coworker Emily.  “She was mauled and eaten during lunch while dork-walking with Dave and Abby.”

     “You got to see a dog take down a deer in person?” said John.  “That’s fantastic!  What a fascinating thing to see.  Is this all that’s left of her?”

     “Aside from a part of her lower jaw and a few teeth, that’s it,” I said.  “By the way, would Sandy need this picture for HR purposes?”

     “That’s not a bad idea,” said John, as he gulped down another spoonful of ice cream.  “Can you email that picture to her and copy me in?  We may be able to use this picture in place of a formal exit interview.”

Now that Fawn doesn't work here any longer,
we don't have to worry about all of our
plants being eaten. Abby's spider plant,
in particular, was taking a beating.
     “Sure. No problem.”

     "Lisa, looks like you're going to have to start interviewing again," said Abby.

     “Oh, don’t remind me,” said Lisa.  “But the next person or animal we hire needs to be better on the keyboard.”

     “Hey, Lisa,” Emily called out from her cubicle.  “Do you think maybe Kirby could interview for the job?”

     “Well, first we’re going to post the position internally,” said Lisa.  “But if nobody applies from within the company, we’ll post the position on our website.  And yes, Emily… Kirby can apply if he wants to.”

     “Hey, if he got the job, maybe I could ride him to work,” said Emily.  “That would save me some gas.”

     “I’m not shoveling the manure out his stall,” a voice called out from the cubicle adjacent to Emily.  “And I’m NOT having any money withheld from my pay for extra oatmeal.”

     “Evan, nobody’s having any money withheld from their paychecks,” said Lisa.  “If Kirby gets a job here, Emily will ride him at lunch and pay for any rolled oats that he eats during work hours... AND... she'll shovel the manure out of his cubicle.  Afterall, she DOES have the most experience with that.”

     “Hey, Lisa. Fawn mentioned something about needing to closing two auto loans,” Abby said.  “Do you want me to take them?”

     “You can take one,” said Lisa, “and Dave can take the other one.”

     “Um... thanks for getting me more work, Abby,” I said.  “Not like I don’t have enough to do today already.”

     “Serves you right for getting our coworker eaten,” she replied, coldly.  “Guess you’ll have to find somebody else to order your vegetarian takeout with.”

Abby didn't speak to me for the rest of the day.
She says that I didn't do enough to assist Fawn
in her time of need.  Um, like whatever..
Lisa handed me the sales agreement and the NADA report for one of the loans that Fawn had been working on, and I returned to my cubicle.  I emailed the pictures of Fawn's remains from my cell phone to my work email address, and then I forwarded them to our Human Resources director.

Within an hour, the position for an online chat representative was posted on our internal Intranet.  Under the list of qualifications, and new entry had been added... "no hooves please".  I didn't have the heart to tell Emily that her horse wouldn't be able to apply for the job.

1 comment:

  1. Poor Fawn. On the other hand, this could actually be evidence of Chupacabra: