Holy shirt, Batman!
Right at the very end of the work day earlier this week, I noticed that the shirt I was wearing was riddled with small holes throughout the chest area; tiny borings the size of mini-chocolate chips, revealing my bra. It sort of looked like it had been washed on the jagged rocks for years, which could be possible, because it came from my dumpster bag of clothing.
It’s a bag that The Author gave me a few weeks ago when I did my “stop in on the way home from work and she might feed me” routine. She handed me the bag, and told me to keep what I wanted. The Author had found the clothes in a dumpster, laundered them, given them to me, and I believe she also fed me dinner. I know. I AM lucky.
In my own private little homage to the dumpster, I wore a shirt from the bag every day this week. I hadn’t really looked very carefully at this one, I guess.
Ms. Pasta commented, “Maybe you should just wear that around the house.” I think that was a pretty charitable thing to say, don’t you?
At any rate, we were all anxious on the day that I wore the holy shirt, due to the fact that the layoff notices were being assembled, ready to hand out the next morning. Our office has been filled with a collective dread since about June, when we were told there would be significant layoffs, but given no other information.
For some reason I just flashed on this thing that's been on my mind lately, which is that just a bit down the hill from my house, there's a large tarped scaffolding concealing something. I think a giant art project is going on behind the tarps, but I'm not really sure, and I have mixed feelings every time I drive by, wondering if it's going to be something really amazing, or just kind of creepy, obscene, or ugly. Given who lives there, it could totally go either way. Right now, I think it might be an enormous chainsaw art bear, but that's just a guess. Each time I drive by, I start thinking about the layoffs, maybe because it's another thing shrouded in mystery where you don't quite trust the people to not be completely freaky and off base. I'll take a picture of it soon.
But on that particular day, we had a big meeting about our new “over the counter” process. What that means is that permits that used to take 4 - 6 months of review to issue will now take one hour! This might make you wonder what took four to six months in the past, if it really only takes an hour.
We’re all wondering that too. There was actually stuff that we did, like visiting the sites to look for stuff, like, is there safe access to this property, are there wetlands or streams, how are they planning to build it, does it comply with all of the vast codes that are required. With no reduction in the quality of review, though, we’re going to do it super fast, from the office! Just to be clear, I’m not a fan of slow, clunky permit processes, but this does seem a little extreme.
The meeting where this plan was trotted out was one of those hilarious events that made me wonder if we’re all secretly auditioning to be in the Dilbert cartoon. One of my favorite parts was this exchange:
Staff: Wow, that starts in three weeks! It could be a madhouse in here. Are we going to get organized and figure out a way to make it work, or are we just going to be running around like chickens?
Sadly, that’s a direct quote.
Some of us were a little concerned that we’d have an angry, restless, mob in our office and we wouldn’t really be able to deliver.
“What if we have people drop off their application, and let them pick it up later in the day, or the next day?”
“No, that’s not over the counter.” There seemed to be a strange fixation on the actual counter being part of the transaction, rather than just speeding things up and making them more efficient.
The main message of the meeting is that we need All Hands On Deck the day this starts. The hands don’t really know yet what to do, which, for some reason, reminded me of this photoshop fail site I saw recently, where there were extra hands showing up in strange places. Lots of creepy, useless hands. Oh, wait, did I say that aloud?
The whole layoff thing deserves its own post, so that will be coming along soon.