Thursday, December 12, 2002

A Dark and Pregnant Cloud


Something is about to happen here in my office, something unpleasant. A storm is brewing on the horizon. I don't know what, exactly... and the not knowing is very tense. It could be a little tornado that will spin everything around and go on its merry way leaving only vestigial disaster in its wake; it might be a rainstorm that will leave rather more damage, but all fixable, and perhaps even cleansing; it might be an epic hurricane that will destroy everything manmade in its path; and it might be the Apocalypse, with all Four Horsemen pawing the ground just offstage. I simply don't know, and it's driving me nuts.

What I do know, however, is that there is going to be a huge ugly mess after the meeting this afternoon, and that I am going to be the guy with the broom and dustpan. I spent yesterday battening down my hatches, as it were... clearing up the documents on my desk, filing the piles that have been needing to be filed for some months now, finishing as many pending projects as I could, essentially swabbing the decks and securing the holds of the good ship Robert's Desk. When this mess hits, I want it to hit an area clear of construction and civilians.

I always wonder where to draw the line when I talk about my job in my blog. I'm fairly sure, considering my traffic, that nobody around here reads my blog, and I have never mentioned the name of the college district or the faculty union for which I work (I don't even use my legal surname). But one can read between the lines and figure it out if one were so inclined... and my job classification is "Confidential," so I am probably in breach of something or other if I give out internal or "notorious" information. Not breach of contract, certainly, since I don't have a contract. But I am a gentleman (and a lady), so honorable conduct is very important to me.

Let's just suffice it to say that the governing council of this union is in the process of cutting off its own head... and that the people in the head, the officers and my bosses, are not going to wait around to be cut off, and are instead jumping ship (another nautical reference... have I ever mentioned that I don't like being on a boat?) In essence, I suspect that everyone in my little world who has authority over me is going to resign this afternoon. Which leaves the union leaderless, but more importantly, it leaves me completely unsupervised, with no one to authorize my doing anything at all. And also, since all of the positions held by these suspected resignees are elected positions, that means that I am going to be running another election pretty soon... an activity I hate more than root canals.

What's worse is that I now find myself contemplating those who will be left after this purge, and I shudder... I am not especially wild about my boss, but she is, in many ways, the Lesser of Sixteen Evils. There are some people in the governing body whom I wouldn't terribly mind having as a boss, even though it means learning another set of tics and idiosyncrasies; but there are a lot more people whom I wouldn't piss on to put out a fire. And when this unknown variable takes office, what will that mean to me and my little comforts? Will I be able to come and go as I please? Will I be able to spend hours at a time surfing the internet and writing on personal projects? Will I be able to wear my jewelry and dress like a slob (simultaneously, sometimes) as I do now?

Like I said, it's the Not Knowing that I hate, more even than the hateful changes that are sure to result after today's Dark and Pregnant Cloud leaves the horizon and takes up its business directly overhead. I don't like change, but I really loathe being in the dark, a prey to wild conjectures and evil surmises.

Pray for me, my darlings! I'll keep you updated on developments.


(7:35 p.m.)

Okay, the meeting wasn't all that bad. My boss the president didn't attend, nor did the treasurer (though he did send me a letter of resignation to distribute to the governing body); my boss is definitely resigning, but will do it by letter instead of by four-part melodrama, and not until January anyhow... in the meantime she is going to Florida this weekend, where her father is having surgery of some kind, and will be available by email but not in person until next semester (peace, O blessed peace). The vice-president is not apparently resigning, as I had feared, though he is also going out of town soon. The bookkeeper has agreed to do the end-of-year filing and books wrap-up, and will pre-draft our payroll for the next few weeks, even though the governing body terminated him rather peremptorily. So it isn't as bad as it could have been.

On the other hand, I do have to initiate an election for the president and treasurer positions next week, which means I will be opening the new year with an orgy of envelope-stuffing... and in all likelihood, the persons who will run for these vacant seats are already in the governing body, which means I will then have to run an election to fill their seats. Huzzah! Plus, the new interim bookkeeper is somebody I don't like very much, and who I think is going to be completely overwhelmed when he discovers how many tiny yet integral details are involved in our books system. And when he is overwhelmed, I will most likely be taking on the burden of those whelms. Not to mention that he will probably screw up my payroll at least once. Double-huzzah.

But that's all in the future, and I will not worry about tomorrow, fiddle-dee-dee. I'm just going to stand here and mind my own business until I leave at the end of May. Hopefully I can save up enough money by then to take a month or two off and see if I can't get part of a novel out of my head and on to the virtual page. Or maybe just stay in bed and read. Or go somewhere else. Or all of the above. Tomorrow is, after all, another day.

Friday, in fact. Thank God it is! (How many cliches do you think I can fit in one post?)

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