Sunday, June 25, 2006

Karma in a Happy Meal

Last week I seriously thought I was going to die.

The stress of my job is about to kill me. To the point that on Thursday morning I felt like I had a huge elephant sitting on my chest and I could barely breathe.

My boss Eeyore decided on Wednesday that he wanted to close out that $40 million project that we finished last year by Friday. Yes, in two days. We had had a meeting with the construction manager and owner’s representative a week earlier and finally settled the last $300K in change orders – for which we were rewarded with $0.60 on the dollar for our efforts. Bastards.

So the fun started. I started doing contract reconciliations for all of the subcontractors that still hadn’t been closed out – found errors to the tune of about $60K, mostly because of subcontracts that had already been paid in full and then credits that the owner took from us which of course meant we had no way to get that money back. Part of the problem is that Eeyore simply forgot about some of these credits, but the other part is that there were so many people in our office involved in the whole change order request process that I honestly don’t think anyone was crystal clear with exactly what was still outstanding and what had been settled. In other words, a major clusterf*ck of classic proportions.

On Thursday morning, I had been popping in and out of Eeyore’s office to bring him my reconciliations, explaining where we stood on certain subcontracts, and I noticed that the phone kept ringing and ringing. As he would answer, I would leave his office and head back to work on more fun with Excel. Finally, around 11:00, I went back in to discuss one of our bigger “problem child” subcontractors and was greeted like this…


So I went back to my office, got my keys and my purse, and left the building.

I’m not normally a “fight or flight” person, but dammit, I was pissed. I have been working my ass off on trying to get this project closed out and to be talked to that way was just unacceptable. I drove up to the nearest strip mall and went into one of my favorite stores and just walked around for about 30 minutes. Then the phone rang – it was Eeyore, sheepishly asking if I was coming back to the office anytime soon. I told him yes.

And that’s when it hit me. I was going to fix his ass. I drove up to McDonald’s and purchased two hamburger Happy Meals, went back to work, walked into his office and smacked that Happy Meal right down in front of him on his desk. He looked at me with a shocked look on his face.

Eeyore: What’s this? A Happy Meal?

Me: Yep. And I’m seriously hoping that a little Happy will rub off on you because frankly, I can’t stand the thought of dealing with your crabby ass the rest of the week.

He started to laugh, opened the box, and dug in.

Eeyore: I haven’t had one of these in years. Thanks, I really needed a laugh today. And I’m sorry for yelling at you – we have serious problems with the air conditioning out at The Big Job and they had to send all of the employees home for the day.

Me: You know, you can make this up to me.

Eeyore: Okay, name it.

Me: If you have Lightening McQueen in there, he’s MINE.

No such luck. His box was missing the toy.

Karma at its finest.


joansy said...

You handled that amazingly well. He damn well better do something really, really nice for you - and soon.
If he had even a small clue, he would be driving around buying happy meals all damn weekend until he gets your Lightening McQueen.

Good luck with the project. It sounds like a doozy.

Tree said...

I hand it to you - very good job on diffusing a situation.

I hope you find Lightning McQueen.

Good luck with the recon's. $60k on a $40 mill project is not bad...