April 9th, 2012

Rants from the Rat-Race: Mega Melancholy

“What’s the first thing you’re going to do when we win the lottery?” Even the most adamant optimist should be able to easily spot the glaring problem in this non-hypothetical query. Not “if,” not “on the unbelievably off-off chance that we could maybe, possibly…” Nope. No second guessing allowed. Just blatant expectations that we, with our good karma generators a-burning, were destined to be the office pool who was going to walk away with a solid half-billion bucks, give or take a few mill.

By mid-afternoon on Mega Millions Friday, everyone in the office had abandoned their desks and congregated in and around the kitchen to gaze on our communal lottery tickets tacked up to the bulletin board next to a sign stating “I hope my co-workers and I win the lotto, so I never have to speak to any of these people again.” Maybe it was that sign that did it. Maybe it was the fact that the bosses were feeling generous and had ordered in lunch for the whole crew. Or maybe it was just good old-fashioned mob mentality that broke through the reserved veneers we usually hide behind at the office. I don’t know – I’m not a sociologist. But what I found out that afternoon is that I may very well have a future as a Bull-Sh*t to English translator.

“What’s the first thing you’re going to do when we win the lottery?”

BS: “I’d keep working here. Not working would get so boring after a while.”

Translation: “I’d keep working here until the day that nine-figure check cleared my last-chance-checking account. Then, I’d burn this building to the ground. The subsequent legal proceedings would keep me entertained.”

BS: “I’d miss you guys.”

Translation: “I’d kill you guys, so that my share of the winnings would increase.”

BS: “I’d set up my parents in that beach house they’ve always dreamed of.”

Translation: “The folks are headed for a home in Nebraska.”

BS: “I’d sell my house and just travel for the rest of my life.”

Translation: “I’d sell my house and just travel for the rest of my life.” (Yeah, this was mine.)

BS: “I’d purchase stock in our company. I already know the business. And I honestly believe in what we’re doing here.”

Translation: “I’d buy this company and fire everyone, from the bosses who were too up-their-own-asses to buy into the lotto pool, to the snotty little secretary who was unresponsive to my wily charms at the company retreat last year.”

BS: “I’d buy a new house. Nothing too big. Just nice.”

Translation: “I’d show up on the doorstep of that 20,000 square foot mansion in River Oaks, checkbook in hand, and tell the current owner: get out. I live here now.”

BS: “I’d give a big chunk of it to charity.”

Translation: “I hope that God is listening right now.”

BS: “Oh, yeah, I’d definitely give most of it away to charity.”

Translation: “God? You getting all this? We’re good people down here…”

BS: “Charity, charity, blah, blah, blah, charity and help people and blah.”

Translation: “I didn’t even bother to reach into my pocket for $5 when my co-workers were raising money for their cancer 5-K. But yeah, when I’m a multi-millionaire, I’m bound to finally relocate my soul, right? Right?”

Shocker: we didn’t win. Monday morning saw us all creep into the office with eyes blurred from our big-dream hangovers. We had allowed ourselves to fantasize about sums we could barely fathom and plans we would likely never realize. And we’d done it all in plain sight of our co-workers. Ashamed and dejected, we were suddenly all just like the guy who had gotten wasted at the Christmas party, stood up in his chair and directed everyone to the “after-party in his pants.” We were, on that Monday of shattered delusions, human. All too human.

In an effort to rebuild company morale (or possibly to just twist the knife deeper), someone re-installed the lotto mayonnaise jar back in the kitchen. Except this time, the sign requested funds for an upcoming charity half-marathon, instead of a chance to buy into a sure-fire lotto loss. So far, a whopping $5.19 has been raised. And we’re once again eyeing each other with suspicion, wondering, “who’s the jackass who threw in 19 cents for charity?”

— Kerri


No comments yet.

Add Your Comment