Concerned that lack of oversight might be a problem in our company, various fragments of the PtB collective held staff meetings late yesterday. From what I can tell, everybody basically got the same speech. Somewhere else this would suggest a can talk conceived by committee elsewhere. With the PtB, however, it is equally possible that their collective hive mind meshes so effectively that given the opportunity for extemporaneous speaking, all the monads of the PtB sentient-constellation will spit out pretty much the same thing.
The basic speech, here stripped of rhetorical flourish and boiled down to basics, goes like this:
"As you all know, lack of oversight in [some department other than this one] has made us all aware of the importance oversight and communication. My door is always open. If you feel you are about to fuck up, or, more importantly, you have fucked up in a way that might endanger my position within the corporation; I need you to come to me immediately.
"This new found openness could, however, lead to incredible abuses of trust and time, so I want you to make yourself known to me only when we're dealing with a genuine fuck up. And something that is really about to explode or has just exploded.
"Oh, and when you come to report this dire mistake you've made, please bring along a one page, executive summary describing the problem, the best solution, and the party that caused the fuck up.
"Thanks. You're a hell of a team and I'm proud to work with you. Now please go away."
Just Below Union Square: Strand
Was going to meet Dan for drinks at Old Town. Got to the area early, so I killed some time at the Strand.
While walking to the shop, I noticed that this restaurant called Le Belle Époque – a French bistro that sat above an antique shop and clearly tapped that shops early 20th century collections for their decorating - was gone. It has been replaced by the corporate offices of Halstead Properties. Halstead is an upmarket realtor. I used to call the flier they inserted in the Friday NYTimes "real estate porn." They deal in multi-million dollar penthouse joints with views of heaven, indoor swimming pools, private heated garages and golf courses, and a personal third-world country to help Manhattan's elite keep the servant-costs down.
While the office still looks over the street through the same wonderfully over-tall windows, the dark red paint scheme became the clinical white (a shade called "relentless white" in home repair shops) preferred by so many office designers. Gone are the deco-era lamps and fixtures – replaced by banks of fluorescent tubes, further adding to the sense of laboratory cleanliness. The modern office designer's obsession with cleanliness borders on the pathological, like a guilty compulsion. When I see one of these modern, post-Ikea office designs, I'm always reminded of Lady Macbeth's hands.
Sad to see the old place go.
At the Strand, poking through some leather-bound books in one of their 18 miles of display space, I found this series of really well-made books that happened to be numbers in the "Classics of Ophthalmology Series." Individual titles included "Injuries to the Eyes and Eyelid" (with excellent ink drawing of the titular wounds) and "An Atlas of Ocular Tumors." Did you know penetration eye injuries are categorized by the presence of an entrance wound and the status of the penetrating object (retained or not)? But a perforating eye injury has both and entrance and an exit wound? Next time something pierces your eye, you can get your terminology straight.
14th Street: Keyed Truck
Though I know it is an asshole thing to do, and that the damage such an action causes is well out of proportion to the "crime," and that many car owners are filled, sympathetically, with horror at the very thought of falling victim to it – crossing 14th Street to meet Dan, I totally keyed this guy's shit.
It was at the intersection of 14th and Park. This cab, making a legal left, got jammed up by the flow of pedestrians that filled the crosswalk in front of the Union Square Virgin Megastore.
On the right side of the cab, this guy in a silver SUV, talking on his cell, decided that this justified leaning on his horn. So he did. For several minutes.
Eventually the cab pushed through and the SUV, which was no blocking the box, scooted over to the other side of the intersection, where he had to immediately stop again. He was leaning on the horn for a gain of maybe ten feet.
I have this three-strike system.
First strike, I simply give somebody a mean look. Often this is ignored.
Second strike, I curse your off-spring. Something like, "God, if you can hear me, please make this man's children turn out to be ugly pedophiles."
Third strike calls for direct action.
As applied here:
First strike = driving an SUV in the city. Gave ugly look.
Second strike = talking on the phone (a crime in this town unless you've got a hands-free set, which he didn't) and blocking the box. I wished upon him that the radiation of the cell would taint his sperm, resulting in the birth of quadruplets, all born with prolapsed mouths and rectums.
Third strike = leaning on the horn. Keying.
A Note on Who Elected Me Judge, Jury, and Executioner
One might fairly ask who elected me, a man clearly prone to morally-blinding episodes of egomaniacal self-righteous indignation and a tendency to lash out at strangers, judge, jury, and executioner? The answer, dear reader, is I did. In 1995.
Now there are many on DailyKos who continue to suggest this election was less than fair. They point to the lack of a single candidate: myself. They also suggest that heavy gerrymandering occurred, creating a voting district consisting solely of me. In my defense, I'd like to point out that, upon careful review of all the complex factors involved, I don't care.
So, as you know, I keyed his shit. Rear door. It was surprisingly loud, or, at least, it seemed so to me. I guess he didn't hear it 'cause he was on the phone at the time.
Dan's doing fine.
He's actually started joking about the possibilities of dating again. Though I don't think he's seriously considering any offers. I take this as a positive sign. I was a little worried that, after Becky's treatment of him, he'd end up one of these sad paranoid misogynists.
He also got some good offers on the house, so that's a plus.
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