Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MARTIN AND ME


I did it.

I fixed it.

I'm rather heroic.

He's a notorious jerk, and I charmed him.

I'm a charmer.

The dude is a front desk fellow in one of my offices. Front desk means that he's the gatekeeper--he determines whether or not I get to go the back office. And no matter if the answer is yay or nay, he's never nice when he gives it to me.

Instead, he's a jerk.

All. The. Time.

But I charmed him.

I have a few offices I dread going into, but this guy makes them look like a never-ending housewarming party, earning himself the the notoriety of being a dude I'd really like to punch in the teeth.

Approaching his window, I blinked a few times, stretched out my mouth (in preparation for over-the-top, ingratiating smileage), put on my Earnest Face, took a deep breath, and assured myself that it would all be over soon.

I arrived at the counter and he looked up at me, familiar sneer on his mug. The panel of the glass he perched behind was closed. Some offices don't like outsiders to touch their glass, and not knowing if this was one of those, I didn't slide it open. There was a crack between the panel and the wall, so I knew he could hear me, thus I started addressing him with the glass shut.

He looked at me, glared, and then, with an air of exasperation for all mortals lesser than he (that means you, me and every other bit of vermin making Mother Earth the Hell he lives on) motioned for me to slide the panel.

I did so and apologized for not opening it in the first place, explaining that it was out of cautionary politeness.

He shushed me and asked who I was there to see.

I said that I was looking for an administrator, Vera Wagner. He barked that they had no one there with that name.

I started thumbing through my phone, looking for her email to make sure I had the right name when he asked if I meant Vera Hansen. I did and I thanked him profusely for so kindly rectifying my error.

He told me that it's important to keep names straight or he can't help me out.

I expressed regret for my incredibly stupid and negligent error, telling him that I was just home from a conference and was feeling that Monday frazzle. You know the one, when you're just all over the place. Don't you just hate those days?

I'm never all over the place.

Short rep can't get a friggin' break.

He snatched my proffered business card to compare with the scheduled appointments. While he was looking, I executed reconnaissance, scanning his workspace for items of commonality or pride.

I struck gold.

Er, Golden Retrievers, that is.

I indicated the plethora of pictures and asked if they were, in fact, Goldens.

He grunted the affirmative.

I gushed about how much I love dogs. 'Cause they're just so much better than people, aren't they?

He gave me something that could have resembled the verge of a smile and said that he agreed.

Bonus for me as I already knew he hated all humankind.

I asked him how many pups he had, how old they were, what were their names, etc. (You know, the questions commonly reserved for parents of human children.)

Suddenly, I was breaking through, for, along with the answers to all my questions, he informed me that he had recently seen Marley and Me on TV and because of how much he loves his canine pals, it was a tough show for him to finish.

I congratulated him on his fortitude and replied that the dog's death was why I refused to see that flick. We commiserated over the utter horror of putting a dog down.

Once he permitted me to go back to Vera's office, I did so.

On my way out after my meeting, the dog lover told me that I was missing some of the forms the office required reps to have on file.

I inquired what they were.

He informed me.

I turned on my Wide-eyed Innocence and apologized for not having them in, telling him that it can be so tough to be new and bumbling your way around.

I then wished him a good day.

He actually smiled and said, You too, sweetie.

Bingo.

I win.

6 comments:

Hen Pecks said...

Next time bring treats for this dogs and he'll escort you in and bring you tea.

meg said...

If only there weren't rules in my job barring that kind of thing.

rookie cookie said...

Nice work!!! Instead of bringing something, just remember the names of his dogs. If you ask about them by name, he will love that.

Ashley Thalman said...

Indeed you wooed.
Well done indeed.

Nat The Rat said...

This is why I won't see I Am Legend. I don't do dogs dying. People, sure. Not dogs.

Lars said...

I lifeguarded on campus during what I liked to refer to as geriatric swim, due to all the old professors coming in at that hour. One man in particular was ornery and loathed by most the staff so I made it my goal to have an actual conversation with him. The satisfaction of winning him over still puts a smile on my face. To this day when he sees me his face lights up and he stops to say hello.

I think you may have not only won but made a friend of sorts.