Sunday, September 30, 2007

Go team.

Today at work my sole duty was to hang large framed pictures over doorframes. It may sound boring, but I took some comfort in the monotony. The part that got a little sticky was the part where I was expected to be able to center these pictures at certain exact points. Like, mathematically. Using numbered measurements and numbers and measurements made out of numbers. Fortunately, one of the other girls was helping me. And when I say she was helping me, I mean she was helping my self esteem because she didn't know how to do it either. So after a few failed attempts were behind us, our boss' boss comes up to us, probably because he was curious about why it takes two college-educated people on his payroll thirty minutes to hang a single picture. He showed us a little trick or two that cut the number of holes nailed for a single picture down from 25 to a mere 3-4. I really wouldn't have begrudged him if he had wanted to call me "Sweetie" at that point, because honestly, isn't it hard NOT to be condescending to, you know, the slow people? It really made what had been a trial and error task--"Put the nail there, that looks like it might could be the right spot...oops, way off"--seem less like brain surgery (you know, the trial and error method of brain surgery) and, embarrassingly, more like something we should have been able to come up with on our own.
And after he had given us the beautifully simple solution to our How to Hang a Picture dilemma, he walked away with a colleague of ours, telling her, "It's really not hard...they're funny."

You know, context gives words meaning. In this context, the meaning of "funny" was not "Ha Ha". It was something closer to when you get knocked over in the store by a toddler throwing a wall-eyed tantrum and, clutching your frail eardrums, you smile weakly at the kid's mother and say, "Awww...cute."

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