What do you mean, “What’s that?”

(check out In Case You Missed It for bailout source analysis)

I felt pretty good walking into work yesterday.  I even had a good attitude. I met with my manager coming out of the kitchen area, exchanged pleasantries at which point he growled something about going home.  That’s nothing unusual for a Monday — nobody wants to be there.  My cubie mate greeted me with “you’re not going to like the system this morning.”  Slower ‘n molasses in January.  I heard that phrase out of my mother whenever I wasn’t jumping up to a full salute when she wanted me to do something.

Consider her source of the phrase.  She grew up in Michigan where it gets really cold.  A lot.  Especially in January.  At the farm house, there was no insulation in the walls and the kitchen cupboards in which you might find any given jar of molasses at any time of year, said jar was separated from however below zero the outside air was by a couple of boards and clapboard siding.  The molasses not only was cold, it didn’t visibly move at any rate of fast or slow.  That’s about the same rate of speed of the computer system.

The end result of the system coagulation was an obscene accumulation of work.  Experiencing at the same time a 30% reduction in our team attendance, we didn’t exactly meet our numbers goal for the day.  Memo: “OT is now authorized for anyone who wants it.  Instead of staying late, in case the system isn’t fully up to speed at the end of the day, please arrange to come in as early as you can tomorrow.”

Fine.  OT is OT.  As today progressed I was aware of a continuous motor sound somewhere inside, above, or outside the building.  Beth was complaining it was making her crazy, that she couldn’t function, would someone at least explain it.  What motor sound.  (eyeroll and mother-look)  Oh, that sound.  About 4:30 or so, I walked past her and told her it was the soylent green truck.  Being a movie buff, she laughed and imitated Charleton Heston’s famous line at the end of the movie, “Soylent Green is us!!!!!”  We chuckled over our cleverness.

Later, after she left, it was way too quiet and boring. It was almost 6pm and I’d been there since 7:55.  The half hour nap in the car didn’t help much. The sound was still going, and I thought I’d have some fun with the underwriters on the team.  “Hey, Callie, you’d better watch your back. That motor is the Soylent Green truck and this company doesn’t exactly lay people off.”

Wendy:  What’s that?  Terry: What are you talking about?  Me: Soylent green.  Terry: What’s that?  Patrick-with-the-permanent-bluetooth-in-his-ear: What’s Soylent Green?  Me: Doesnt’ anyone watch movies?  Betsy:  It’s from the early 70’s. We had to watch it in some class in college.  (What the devil were you studying, American History?)  Me: It’s about over-population and how they made people into food, little green cakes. Check the cafeteria menu tomorrow. (You might be on it).  Terry: I knew I shouldn’t have asked.  Betsy: Who was that guy, the one who yelled at the end? Me: Charleton Heston. (He played Moses, too, in case you’re interested.  With a cast of thousands.  In case you’re interested.  Dweebs, all of them. Is it quitting time yet?)

My sentence in the asylum was finally served.  As I headed toward the time clock, I saw Callie at the copy machine.  “Tell Wendy she’s to report to the little room behind the kitchen at 7:30.”

C’mon……Soylent Green is a classic in the genre of really bad movies.  “What’s that?” Hmmph.


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