Monday morning, 10:45. I’m sitting in a conference room at my department’s weekly status update meeting. Our kind-hearted patriarch has steadily been making his way around the room asking “Who are you? What are you doing here? Why shouldn’t I fire you?” in the nicest possible way.
I start to panic. It’s Monday morning; I haven’t seen the bottom of my first cup of coffee yet; I haven’t even thought about work for a glorious sixty six and a quarter hours.
I begin to construct my answer. Of course I’m busy. As always I’m working on three different projects simultaneously. The same three projects I was working on last week. The same three projects I was working on the month before that. And The same three projects I’ll be working on next Monday morning at 10:45.
Maybe we’ll run out of time before my turn. Perhaps I will be overlooked or my supervisor will field the question for me. I look hopefully at the fire alarm.
A single thought permeates my mind: escape.
I could pretend I have to go to the bathroom or receive a very important phone call and excuse myself, or fake a seizure.
I reach beneath my seat and flick a hidden switch; with a hiss I am enveloped in a cloud of obscuring smoke. I take aim and launch an air-powered grappling hook through the insulated ceiling tiles above me. The power-winch hums angrily as it lifts me quickly away. Rubbing their eyes in amazement my coworkers shrug their shoulders and return to their seats mystified, unaware of my escape.
Of course, none of that happens. It’s my turn; every head turns towards me. I am bathed in their collective gaze. Our fearless leader rests his steel-blue eyes on me and speaks.
“Oh, Mark. I know what you’re working on.”
Relief. I remove my finger from the switch.