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In which I fuck up and wake up in a cold sweat at 3 a.m. every morning for two months straight wondering what on earth I’m going to do

Posted by on March 19, 2004

Due to my professional incompetence, I’ve been spending the last few months at work trying to magically create $200,000 where no $200,000 existed before. Today, butting my horns against a looming deadline, I finally swallowed my terror and consulted my cowboy boss on how to go about this.

I managed to get him into my cubicle and explained the problem. He stared gloomily into his teacup and idly quoted some country lyrics under his breath. “Am I going to be fired?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. I nodded. I deserve to be fired. I am a dreadful, indolent, mistake-making employee.

I explained my plan and he paid close attention when his phone was not ringing and his friend was not telling a long story about union troubles (which, weirdly and coincidentally, were also partly my fault) and the Korean girl he has a crush on was not flirting with him. “Well,” he sighed when I finished. “That seems like the only way to go about it.” He advised me not to tell my professor-boss anything about the matter. He dictated a long email for me to send to my professor-boss explaining the situation. He advised me not to send the email.

“Am I going to be fired?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. I nodded.

“Am I going to be fired?” I said.

“Yes,” he said. I nodded.

“Am I going to be fired?” I said.

“No,” he said. “What would I do without our Coleridge conversations every Monday, Wednesday and Friday?”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” I said. “After all, what’s a $200,000 mistake when you look at the state deficit?” I so enjoy our little chats.

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