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15 June 2005 @ 10:43 pm
Diaries of the Newly Employed.  
Having been thrust into a position of gainful employment somewhat against my ever-lazy will, I have completed my first day of The Job. The Job requires me to operate complex and posessed machinery, and do battle in the depths of my mind with the evil anonymous genius who created our inventory system as a form of torture more elegant and dreadful than anything heretofore known to man.

I also feel, and I think with some reason, that after one's first day of work, when asked how it went, one really shouldn't be in the position to say, "Well, everything was pretty much fine except for the foam in my pants." Nor should one find oneself trying to very subtly hint that perhaps capuccino shouldn't be served until a priest visits, to cleanse the "you know, bad juju from the burnt coffee."

But honestly, I am telling you, that I have never found myself pitted against a more worthy advisary than I was today. Me and the capuccino maker, staring each other down, eye to nozzle. I pressed the button, and put the cup beneath the dispenser, and it -- craftily -- waited until I became impatient and moved the cup to send forth a pulse of scalding espresso. Maimed by the hot liquid, I bit back my shriek, and shot the perplexed, bored, and vaguely concerned customer a tight smile as patently fake as Milli & Vanilli's singing.

"Just a minute," I said, and threw myself back into the fray. Which, I would like to add I felt was a very courageous thing for me to have done, seeing as how I had already been injured in the fight. (Remember, though, I am intrepid.) This time, I was on to the machine, and managed to finagle the espresso out.

Victory, I truly believed, was mine. That's why I think it's safe to say that in the context of this story, I am a classical tragic hero, and my hamartia is my hubristic pride. Because I believed the espresso was the real uphill battle; I believed the espresso was my Gettysburg, my D-Day, my Battle of Bunker Hill.

In reality, though, the espresso was nothing more than the Battle of Glorietta Pass, and I surged onward, blithely unaware that the foam was to be my Waterloo, if you'll allow me to continue mixing my metaphors with the wanton panache I am prone to use.

Lulled into a false sense of security, I never saw the foam coming, but lo -- through the nozzle and out of the cup, and onto my pants it leapt! Hot milk flew everywhere, into my hair, my face -- momentarily blinding me as it hit my eyes. I thought that perhaps I would be disfigured for life, but I did not drop the cup.

Instead, I turned to the customer, and said, calmly, "I'm sorry. The machine seems to be broken. Would you like just the espresso?" and offered him the cup as hot milk dripped down my neck, and my pant leg.

Naturally, he declined.

That machine, I tell you truly, is cursed. Or, it's waging a jihad of some kind against me. Either way, I have looked into the face of my enemy, and it has shown no fear.

During the quiet hours of the early afternoon, I approached the Diabolical Machine again, this time with the proper respect. Twenty cups of half heated foam and espresso (or not) later, I managed a pretty creditable foam, and I have never been prouder of myself. I felt like an alchemist! I felt like I had rendered iron into gold! I turned milk into foam, real foam, and I even managed to get it into the cup. Genius is clearly the only way to describe that accomplishment.

Now, granted. I have yet to duplicate that when, oh, say, a paying customer was waiting patiently beside the cash register, but it was only my first day.

Lastly, I'd like to say the following things, just for the benefit of the advertisors out there who are clearly confused on the following points:

1. A vagina is not a flower. I like Georgia O'Keefe, too, but please, get over it.
2. A man's facial razor is not a car. Sure, you want to make it masculine, but let's stop being ridiculous, shall we? A close shave isn't going to turn anyone into a qualified street racer. Honest.
Current Mood: fullfull
John Stamos Took It Too Far: brooklinegirlbrooklinegirl on June 16th, 2005 02:42 am (UTC)
A close shave isn't going to turn anyone into a qualified street racer. Honest.

Someone had better tell Vin Diesel...
pure FORESHADOWING: fight club smoking - dog was starnifra_idril on June 16th, 2005 03:13 am (UTC)
As long as it's Patrick Swayze, Vin will be happily scruffy for life. *sings song of their love for one another, which sounds remarkably like Bette Midler singing 'Did you ever know that you're my hero'*
What the hell is up with the mummy?!serialkarma on June 16th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)
Dude, as soon as you said "strange and complex machinery" i knew it had to be a cappuccino machine. Because seriously, those things are like weird rube goldberg contraptions.
pure FORESHADOWING: Bad Example! - Snowflakesleepnifra_idril on June 16th, 2005 03:15 am (UTC)
It's a tool of the devil in a seriously big way. I mean it. There's no way to explain it, other than to acknowledge that 1) the devil does not want me to make specialty coffee without a fight and 2) this machine is an agent of that desire. I say that in all sincerity, and not a little drunkness.

Oh god, I have work so soon! When did I become a real person? WheN?
tried to eat the safe banana: Workthefourthvine on June 16th, 2005 09:13 am (UTC)
The Job requires me to operate complex and posessed machinery, and do battle in the depths of my mind with the evil anonymous genius who created our inventory system as a form of torture more elegant and dreadful than anything heretofore known to man.

My god. You have the same job description as Rodney McKay. (Well, provided you add in the unspoken but clearly implied "...and deal with idiots.")

You win at life. I think. Let me check the rules.
pure FORESHADOWING: rodney idiots - icon_ascenscionnifra_idril on June 17th, 2005 01:58 am (UTC)
Sadly, I think what you meant by 'win at life' is 'are consigned to spending the rest of your week wading through magazines with Lindsey Lohan on the cover'. I bet Rodney never had to deal with something like that. *sighs heavily*
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on June 17th, 2005 04:31 am (UTC)
I can just see Rodney holding up such a magazine between one finger and the tip of his thumb, saying, "How lucky I am to have on my team people who are so dedicated to popular culture. Of course it'd be nice if you could do some science also, but we can't have everything, can we." Pause while he becomes distracted by cover. "Although I can see why you'd think this - this is a female, right? A human female? - person would be entirely suitable to the study of planes and angles. But you people are already supposed to know basic geometry. If you don't, study it on your own damn time. And I'm burning this in hopes of saving what few of your neurons remain."

To which someone will say, "Come on, Rodney. The Daedalus just came in. We can spend one day every eight months finding out about Brad Pitt's marriage without you going control-freak on us."

"You can. Your next day off. Unless of course Brad Pitt is married to someone with a fascinating new theory about Ancient steady-state circuitry, in which case feel free to waste my time discussing it." Rodney turns to depart, shaking his head and muttering, "I wouldn't even pay this much attention to a marriage that involved me."

Kavanagh, snidely: "Yeah. And that's why the last time you got laid was...no, wait, there was no last time."

Rodney looks up with a sudden brilliantly happy grin before regaining control of his face, putting his scowl back on, rolling his eyes, and departing.

And everyone on his team spends the rest of the day trying to figure out who Rodney is sleeping with.

(Um. Sorry. This was...I don't really know what happened here, but somehow my comment mutated into...this. Anyway. Stay tuned for the next installment, tentatively entitled, "Dr. Kavanagh's Shocking Hypothesis.")
pure FORESHADOWING: rodney idiots - icon_ascenscionnifra_idril on June 19th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
Hi. It took me years to not be at work any more so that I could sign on and comment back, but it's really just that I love you, because dude? That Rodney of yours has some might FINE RODNOSITY to him. I was squealing, and flailing, and generally spilling capuccino everywhere.

You, in fact, do win at life. *squeals*