Recently, I started a new job. It was good to be recruited, heavily, and I joined the upstart company knowing that I would need to push myself to deliver, a refreshing change. I had grown too comfortable in my pleasant position, and I had begun to question my comfort at a time of upheaval and re-platforming in the data informatics group where I was technical writer. I also figured that the hefty retention bonus that would be coming my way November 15 were I to stay might be the foreshadowing of changes planned many months ago that by bonus time would be apparent to everyone, and not just the senior executive planners aimed at transforming the company. I didn’t want to be dazzled by a reward of money and so miss warning signs glowing more brightly.
Wanting to make a good impression at the new company, I decided to work in the office for the first month or two before making the transition to working from my home office three days a week. Fascinating people are joining the new company. Standing next to these bright lights I feel like a cozy 25-watt bulb, but I realize that intellect aside, I do have compensatory qualities: a bright smile, for instance, and good humor that has gotten me out of tight spots. On Friday, though, I thought I had met my match.
Leaving the office late in the evening, I stepped into the elevator and joined a person already there. I felt a jolt, a tingle of warning in the small space. My companion was a man in his early 30s, in a black suit, white shirt open at the neck, and no tie. His hair was close cropped, and he wore dark, dark aviator glasses. The sunglasses were the give-away. By what evil chance had I stepped into the elevator at the same time that the mass murderer of all the people on the floors above was descending to his Lamborghini parked below, motor running? I hesitated, but decided to confront the situation head on.
I pointed out to him that it is not customary to wear dark glasses in an elevator and that he had marked himself as a man to beware of, and I wondered out loud if I should have burnished my Ninja skills before entering the elevator. By the time we landed I had disarmed him with laughter. It was fun. I made my escape.