Friday, May 18, 2007

The Boys

Today was lunch with the boys. For once I don’t have to think of any cyber-names for the crew. They already have their handles courtesy of spending the better part of a decade working together. J-Rock is embarking on a new career: sausage king. We all want to know if he’s “gone Seattle” on us since his hair is so long. Allphin and wife aren’t going to find out the sex of the child they’re expecting. Yed and I shake our heads, we couldn’t do that. Look, I am not going to tell you everything we discussed, no one wants to get dooced. Some of the discussion is in the vault (my key: cookies ‘n cream.)

Here’s what you should know: we all worked together once for a company that no longer exists. Some of us still work together, others are close by, some live states away.
It’s just T and me: the only chicks in the room with the boys.

What’s it like working with the boys? Shhh, it’s so fun. They collect boxes of 3” foam dice. These dice are to launch at your friend’s head as quickly and violently as possible. When a dice is thrown full force, if you’re lucky, it whizzes past your ear and hits the wall with a THWACK. If you’re not lucky, you didn’t duck fast enough, or you were distracted by, I don’t know, WORK, you’d better hope you have your own ammunition to send back. Retaliate or die is the order of the day. Full scale wars erupt at a moments notice.

Everyone gets a nickname: T-dawg, C-dawg, C-dub, J-rock, D.M., C.C., Chunter, Yed, E-rich, Bawb, Seymour, Skeeter-Bob, and so on. We’re also referred to by last name only (normal) or by some phrase we uttered long ago (not normal.) I’m “Card-Carrying” for a statement I made in the first weeks of my employment. Skeeter-Bob asked me a rather pushy question so he got a pushy answer that included the phrase “I’m a card carrying member of [x] organization.” I haven’t lived it down yet.

“Just ask ‘Card-Carrying’ over there what she thinks.”

If you needed to let off steam, you could head for Skeeter-Bob’s office and shut the door. He doesn’t mind if you need to let out a stream of words that would embarrass a longshoreman. He is also good if you need to shed a tear—not that I’d cry at work. If I did, it would be in his office or alone in mine. Not that I have EVER cried at work.

Chris Farley lives. Fat man in a little coat? Still funny. Did I hear a 'niner' in there?

Everything you say, I mean everything you say is immediately evaluated for a double entendre. If it was particularly good or inadvertent, your slip-up makes it to a quote board. There is one board that has seven years worth of quotes on it. You’d better start to think dirty so that you can clear your speech of anything that might start the howls of amusement.
I have no problem thinking dirty (that statement would have landed me on the quote board.) Neither does the other token chick, T-dawg. In fact, we can turn the dirty on and off (more quote board.) Turn off the dirty for church groups. Turn it on for management meetings. It’s because we can turn on the dirty we can hang with the boys. That’s key to working with them, give as good as you get.

Don’t let that fool you, these guys are the best, the top, the cat's pyjamas.

When I was seven months pregnant and on a business trip, Allphin carried my bag four blocks out of his way, then J-Rock schlepped the bag to the hotel for me. That night at dinner, there weren’t enough chairs at the restaurant. None of the guys from the Seattle noticed that they were sitting and a pregnant girl was standing, standing, and standing. It took J-Rock two seconds to give up his chair as soon as he spied me. He insisted, would not take no for an answer. When lunch was brought into the office T and I were required to go to the head of the line. They offered to beat down T-dawg’s troublemaking husband—no really, they wanted to organize a crew (my vote was for yes.)
When Steve & Cat went missing in that mountain lake, these guys organized a huge search crew. When we knew our friends weren’t coming home, the boys organized a college fund, stock sales, and a trust for Steve’s little boy.

We look after each other: weddings, baptisms, anniversaries, birthdays, riding bikes, playing sports, BBQs, moving, laying sod, elaborate practical jokes, you name it, we’re family.

Lunch today with the boys; it’s a business lunch, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like your best friends are all at the same table, like it’s just you and your 10 brothers.

So here's to the boys, thanks guys.


tiff-fay-fay said...

I hate crying. Did I mention that?

Mrs. Dub said...

the funny part is that amidst all your private jokes and pseudonyms, i think i've figured out which company you used to work for, and that i know two of the playful guys who used to work there. (initials being j.b. and one of the bobs.)

i'm all about working somewhere that feels like home ... or a day on the playground ... or just plain fun.

congrats on landing such a gig!

sarah k. said...

Sheesh, I think your boys are way nicer than my actual brothers.

Kiki said...

I love having a pack of boys.

Lindsey said...

And here I am remembering with fondness my own boys that I used to work with back in the much better than the chicas, no?

Tori :) said...

Fun! Guys are always more fun to hang with. It's like jr. high all over again.

miggy said...

Ah man. . . making me miss the good ol' days. I too miss the boys and the office I used to called "work" . . . like brothers those guys. I remember hearing about a one, NS crying in EMS office regarding some boy troubles (Yed ofcourse), and I remember thinking, "I don't think I could ever cry at work, let alone to my BOSS!" Not too much later I was a blubbering regular in E-rich's office--not many places you could do that. Good times. Tell everyone I say hey.

Azúcar said...

Migs, I stopped by the Soda offices the other day--they share a floor with E-rich and Bawb. There are still dice wars--can you believe it?

miggy said...

That's great. Those were some fun times.

fijiangirl said...

I remember some comments on that quote board! Those boys are some of the most amazing men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing! Great times. I have to admit I am a little jealous that you can still lunch with them. I miss doing doughnuts in the snow in J-Rock's MVP minivan!

April said...

We used to have a similar "quote board" when I worked at DQ. Before computers, of course, we had to write all the orders on slips of paper. We kept a notebook filled with papers that had turned out sounding dirty or funny.

They sound like good guys.

Book said... me goosebumps. What a rare thing to work with such great people. How 'bout Skeeter bob speaking at Yed's wedding?!