December 18, 2005

The Theatre of the Barely Socially Acceptable, Act 8

Amber, this is Glenn
I’m in the Metro on my way in
I need an email to go out


An early morning snow had forced the federal government to open two hours late. The respite from AM bureaucracy did not prevent countless worker bees from their appointed tasks. Conference calls from home circumvented any disconnect Mother Nature could hand out. Workflow could not and would not be stopped by a mere three inch layer of slush.

Subject line: “Update from Glenn”
No, make that “Good news from Glenn”
Yes, good news.

I slowly reached for my notebook and pen while we waited for the next train. Good news in the midst of this bleak arctic mess should be acknowledged. But I didn’t want to interrupt his stream of consciousness. A professional cellphone documentarian realizes the critical importance of camouflage.

Start with “Glenn asked that I let you know
the following per this morning’s 8:30 discussion:
Good news!”

“The template will be ready on time.
But action is needed by MLS immediately
to approve these template reports.
Catherine will have the lead on this.”

Make sure she gets an advance copy.
I want her prepared.

I shifted my posture to maintain my stealth, turning just a bit away from him. The rustle of nearby newspapers and the bass hum from a pair of earbuds on the other side of me made his dictation less distinct. Human evolution had not smiled kindly on eavesdropping.

“The system will be able to produce biannual reports
by the meeting in Dallas”

Make that “by the meeting in Denver.”
That gives us a bit more time.

Read it back to me.

No, change that back to Dallas.
Jim will be all over us if we don’t produce.
I don’t want his hands on this thing.

Glenn looked up from his notes and turned slightly away from me. The platform lights began flashing, announcing the arrival of our train. He stood up. I stood up. He went to the first door in the train and I followed with as much nonchalance as any commuter could muster.

Type it up and send it out immediately.
I want to get this off
before anyone has a chance to react.

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