April 27, 2012
Barbara is a supervisor in the accounting department. She also volunteers at work for something called “Dining for a Cure,” the proceeds of which are supposed to be donated in support of cancer research. Each Wednesday, Barbara caters lunch and sells it along with a dessert choice that without variation is stale chocolate-chip cookies. Everyone participates.
Last week’s entrée selection was Gourmet Chili-Mac, and this week’s is Chicken à la King. Barbara doesn’t cook anything, which is fine because she’s kind of gross. It’s understood she hijacked the food from an organization that delivers meals to the elderly. Barbara sells it to us but keeps all the money herself. She pops open the packages, throws the stuff on foam plates, and garnishes it with what might be a parsley sprig. We pay $15 per meal, but it’s worth it to avoid creating an uncomfortable situation.
The same lady runs a crooked sports betting pool—people here at work will wager on anything, even the number of days until the next personal injury in the warehouse. We arrived at work yesterday morning to discover Barbara offering premium parking spots close to the building in return for a $25 per month donation to charity; something about glaucoma or psoriasis or something. For $10 a month you could park on the gravel, way out yonder past the paved lot. A few people refused to go along with the arrangement, and their tires’ valve stems were cut before lunchtime. Everyone paid Barbara today, even the guy in the shipping department who rides a bicycle.
When we left work at 5:00 this afternoon, geese were fussing with something at the shallow end of the reflecting pond in front of the offices. It was Barbara face down in the goose-poopy water, with her hands zip-tied behind her back. Now we’re wondering who we’ll pay tomorrow, and how much more.
Even though I wrote it a few days ago, it seems relevant to something I read today.