I recently finished a four month in-house freelance copy writing gig. As a freelancer who works pretty autonomously all day I have successfully steered clear from getting to know most of my co-workers. I am sure they are all wonderful people but knowing my time here is temporary I would prefer not to get attached to Larry in the tech department or open the T-M-I flood gates with Betsy in accounting. If I begin to like my co-workers then I may start to like my office job and I don't want that to happen. I am an independent contractor and I can't be bothered with such things as vacation days, 401k's and benefits.
Truth is, I just want to get in, get out, get paid and go home to work on my craft (which apparently is blogging in my pajama's while watching Real World marathons on MTV). I just don't care about my co-workers' lives and honestly they don't really care about mine. I'd like to just go assuming they are lame and I am way too cool to join them for after-work happy hour at TGIFriday's.
That said, during last month's lunchtime pizza party I felt the need to get my pizza and get out as quick, I didn't want to engage in any awkward office banter about the slow speed of the elevators or the recent rise in temperature. I didn't want to answer any questions about me, my hobbies, my career goals, or my weekend. I just really wanted pizza and there was a school cafeteria-like line leading up to the satisfying element of my desire.
As I stood in line I began to drift into the fucked-up fantasy land my head travels to periodically throughout the day. I began to imagine what all these strangers would do if I decided to pile up 10 slices of pizza on my plate.
There was already a buzz that there may not even be enough pizza to feed the entire staff. As murmurs of "they only got 25 pizzas?" grew in the air so did my aspiration to just grab 4 boxes of pizza and take them to my desk. I wasn't even that hungry, I just wanted to see the looks of horror on my office mates faces as this quiet, unknown, extremely adorable girl from the copy department shoveled slice upon slice onto her flimsy plate while sucking the grease off her paws and splattering cheese on her clearly more casual than corporate outfit of jeans and a tank top.
What would they have done?
I began to image the office manger tackling me to ground tugging the slices from my hands as I scream out "But your email said free lunch!"
Other staffers would jump in: some to save the office manager as I kick her arm gripped around my pepper and mushroom pie, while others would simply dive in to save that perfectly good slice from falling to the floor.
Eventually the GM would come in and ask "what the hell was going here!" as everyone pointed to me and mangled mush of destroyed pizza boxes and spilled soda pop. (The soda spilled when Marsha in human resources stood on her cubicle and tried to drop kick the Parmesan cheese out from my under my arm, she missed me and fell on top of about 10 cases of soda).
As the GM asks me to get my things and please leave the office, I'd wipe the tomato sauce (now mixed with blood from my busted nose) from my mouth and splash it on the floor saying "yes sir." Then just as I was about to exit the office I'd run back and grab the last undamaged pizza from the table and run.
Now that's the kind of stuff you hope to hear when you ask "how was work?"
Unfortunately the true end of this tale was that I simply took a slice and went back to my cube. Well, I may not be as cool as I was in my pizza pirate fantasy but I am still and will always be too cool for TGIFriday's.