WTF! So to summarize it's a gorgeous afternoon and all I'm thinking since I started my shift is when will hell recede enough to start my 30-minute hands-washing/trash-disposing/ grounds-meandering countdown to electronically verifying that I worked today when this dude I totally thought was my wingman starts having a stroke about some assignment that implicates us only in the most liberal interpretation of work responsibilities -- like, if you take everything the boss says literally.
Come on, man. I'm not trying to hear that, I told him. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; I'm trying to get the hell out of here.
What followed was one of the most singularly stunning feats of clock-blocking I have ever seen. From what depths of depravity my colleague was seized by the compulsion to work as instructed I am helpless to say. But sure as shit just as soon as the boss reappeared, poking his nose into our business and asking whether "everything" was done, this South Philly fluffernutter tells him NO, there are still some things WE have to do. Global warming might be open to interpretation in this dude's view, even some Bible verses -- but do you think we might interpret my humble contributions here completed before I-95 turns into Circle-jerk de Soiree? Apparently not, since it's obvious SOMEONE doesn't know how to take one for the team.
Of course, this raises a bigger question about just who we have become as Americans, when our best work friends reveal themselves to be inveterate clock-blockers anytime they find themselves handling a live grenade. I mean, whatever happened to the ethic of our ancestors, who knew well enough to ask, "Who gives a fuck?" long before the work whistle blew -- granting them that much more "me" time before the mine caved-in, or tree collapsed? Proper work-life balance begins at home, in front of the television, with the painkiller of your choice. But we will never fully enjoy the fruits of what we haven't earned until we start failing to finish what we never hoped to begin.