Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Of Beer and Snowballs

Back when I was in my 20s and life was fun, I was a tour guide at a brewery.
My boss was a smart, witty young man who (very oddly) was the nephew of one of my uncles, yet we were not related. It made for an interesting relationship, almost like working with a cousin who let you get away with stuff.
John and I took care of giving tours and serving beer samples (mmmm.... beer) while an older woman named Vivian ran the gift shop. She was as silly as John and me, and behaved mostly like an older aunt who let you get away with stuff.

It's probably important to note that I had an odd relationship with the brewery's general manager, too. He and I played volleyball together on the city league. When I had graduated college, he had asked me to give him my resume, which I did the next week during a volleyball game. (What?  Isn't that how you submit a resume to the GM of a company?)  I'm pretty sure he told someone to hire me.
Dang! No wonder I had so much fun there!

Across the street from the brewery and the tour center was the administrative office. The GM's office had a big window overlooking the front of the brewery.
I had to cross the street and walk past the GM's big window every morning. Not a big deal, really. He had his office arranged with his back to the window.

I mention this because...

One morning after a beautiful overnight snowfall, I crossed the street to where my immediate supervisor, John, was shoveling snow. I'm pretty sure I harassed him, and I'm pretty sure he threatened to make me finish shoveling for him (which I declined because I had no gloves with me, gee golly darn), but I'm VERY sure that as I walked away, he hit me in the back with a snowball.

"No fair! I don't have any gloves!"

He only stuck his tongue out at me.

Inside, as I took off my coat, I tattled to Vivian. "John threw a snow ball at me!"

"Well, I hope you threw one back," she said.

"I would have, but I didn't bring my gloves."

Without a word, Vivian reached into her coat, and handed me her gloves.

Tee hee!

I raced through the interior of the building to sneak outside through a door behind where John was shoveling. There, I quietly gathered up a big ole ball of snow, crept up behind John, and...

Dang it, I MISSED!

Well, we could have gotten into one heck of a snow ball fight right then and there (there was a great deal of shouting; loud, empty threats and dares), but it would have been for nothing. We both knew I sucked, and he ruled, and there was no reason to prove it any further.

We had a good laugh about it, although Vivian was very disappointed to hear what a lousy arm I had.


That's not the end of the story.

Several days later, there was a volleyball game.
The brewery general manager, in t-shirt and sweats, gestured me over.
"Hey," he said. "I've gotta tell you about this meeting I had this week..."

He had gathered all the brewery managers into his office for a morning meeting. Sitting at his desk, all these "suits" before him, he was discussing company business when suddenly he realized no one was listening. He had lost their attention. Instead, each and every one of his managers was looking just over the GM's shoulder... out the window. Slowly, the GM turned to see what had stolen their attention.

And then he saw me.

Creeping along the sidewalk.

A giant, white snowball in my hand.

And it occurred to him (he told me later) that everyone in his office, all these managers, were waiting with great anticipation, hoping for me to smack my own boss with this giant snowball!

And then I missed.

A collective "oh!" went up in the office.

He told me he never had such an interesting managers' meeting as he'd had that day.


Richmond said...

I can just see you!! :-)

Lemon Stand said...

What a GREAT story!

Mrs. Who said...

That is so funny...the visual is absolutely hilarious....and then all the guys saying 'oohh'...just like their favorite basketball team just missed a basket!

Tink said...

Hohohohoho...... I anticipated what was coming, but it didn't make it any less funny. Guess I need to post the one about Pan's boss now.

Roses said...

Thank you, guys.
I loved this job and this brewery... this brewery which has since been flattened and turned into a strip mall.
I hoped I had told this particular story right.

And you "get" it.
(mrs. who: You SO got it!)

That means a lot to me!

And Tink: I'll be looking for it!