Like most people I go through periods of hating my job. Lately things have been rough at the cubicle farm, and we only know one way to buck things up around here.
The office atmosphere, thick with tension, breathes a collective sigh of relief when the memo comes down from management. Its time to arrange the cubical walls in a circle, and have bare knuckle fights between staffers. Everybody loves it, and everybody has a good time. Old scores are settled, new ones are made, and its just good clean American fun.
Sure, I’ve got some skills. Big and strong, with a thousand yard stare that turns thugs into butter. But the competition is fierce. Let me tell you a little bit about the people I work with to illustrate my point.
When I started my job in 2006, there was a fire alarm on my first day. Half the staff didn’t even give a shit, and sat there, ignoring the federally mandated rules that govern fire saftey in government facilities. The other half shuffled out of the office, and when they reached the outside, shuddered and winced at the sun, like they have never seen it before, and were bucking at the fresh air and vitamin D they were getting. In other words, many of my coworkers have become like the creatures of the movie The Descent, once proud human workers, but morphed by their environment to become Morlockian killers.
As you can see, there’s some tough hombres in my office. Let’s see how this plays out.
Quarter Finals. Opponent: Ray Ray. Position: Mail Room. Strengths: Not afraid to head butt. Possible mental handicap leading to enhanced strength.
Ray Ray is anywhere between 30 and 60 years old. He works in the mail room, listens to crunchy hippy rock, and smells like ferrets and patchuli. Since our names are picked randomly, I couldn’t help but feel that I got an easy matchup for my first fight. That is until we climb into the cubtetagon together, and Ray Ray come after me like a junk yard dog. He strikes me with a vicious head butt, sprawling me backwards, falling over. Ray Ray, quick as a cheetah, jumps on top of me, and wraps his hands around my throat. Grinning, choking, he leans in, face to face to finshing me off.
Has it come to this? Is Ray Ray going to finish me, pathetically, in the first round? Not today, Ray Ray. Ray Ray has leaned in so close, it gives me an opportunity. I buck him forward, and open my mouth wide, bringing down over his nose. Then I bite his nose off.
Then I spit it back in Ray Ray’s face, and struggle to my feet. He’s still down on his knees, so it’s just a quick kick in the chest to send him sprawling, and me high fiving my lunch buddies of the walls of the cubetagon.
Winner of Round One: Jason
Semi Finals: Opponent: Albert. Position: Unknown. Strengths: Makes a good pot of coffee.
Albert is an institution. He has been here since 1972, and does not plan to retire any time soon. Albert doesn’t have a computer, and his sole job seems to be to hang around the breakroom, making coffee.
Albert climbs into the cubetagon gingerly. Again, I think I have an easy second round. Albert barely defeated the intern to get to the semis, so I fully expect to make it in to the finals. He strips down to the waist, revealing a huge cobra tattoo on his stomach, and suprisingly bulging muscles, in that ropey way that only old men seem to have.
Turns out Albert is a sandbagging son of a bitch. Turns out Albert was the two time all Navy boxing champ. He immediately starts stinging me with jabs and body blows, and I find myself against the side of the cubetagon, covering up my face and kidneys. The blows seem to be losing intensity…has Albert punched himself out? I sneak a look and I see his red, sweaty face, and heaving chest. I push off the cubetagon wall and shove him hard away. I motion to my intern the prearranged signal (devil horns) and he reaches over the walls to hand me an flat screen computer monitor. One step, crow hop, and BAM! In a flat arc, I connect with the side of Al’s skull. Bonelessly, he collapses on the shag carpeting, his legs spastically kicking like a dreaming puppy.
I lean over Albert. “First rule about me, Al. FUCK ALL THE RULES!”
Onto my coffee break and the finals.
Finals. Oppenent: Terry. Position: Regional Manager. Strengths: Cold blooded, ruthless.
This is it. This is for all the marbles. Fate has decided to make it truly epic by allowing me to fight my boss in the final round. The fights have grown from simple bloodsport into a blunt manifestation of class and economic warfare. But casting aside symbolism and analysis, I was just happy I got a chance to beat up my boss.
We climb in the cubetag0n, eyeing each other warily. She circles, I circle. Grim determination set on our faces. Both of us made up our minds before getting in the ring that only one person is walking out of the cubetagon. Neither side is willing to make the first move, the first mistake, knowing their skilled opponent will seize at any opportunity and strike. Strike like an ancient cobra, possessed by an Oriental Demon seeking only to destroy.
Unfortunately, five PM rolls around, and due to our union contract, all work ceases. We drop our guards, punch out for the day, with the understanding it’s back to business as usual the next day.
I’m not one to leave business unfinished, so I wait behind by bosse’s BMW with a sock full of nickels and subway tokens. When she goes to get in her car, I ambush her with the sock, knocking her right eye out.