What if your workplace was where you first discovered the Zombie virus?

The morning began the same as every other. I made the long journey down a few lonely roads at a time when most of the folks around were sleeping. I arrived my normal fifteen minutes early just in time to catch the coffee pot before it was emptied by my co-workers.

Then I headed down the long stretch past cubicle after cubicle until I saw the dimly lighted space I would call home for the next ten hours. Something seemed a little off this morning. The office was a lot quieter than usual. The few sounds that waffled through the air were more like muffled moans and screeching than the normal gossip I was used to.

Finally, a familiar face was in front of me.

“Have you seen them? It’s weird right?” Frank asked me as I stood there puzzled.

“Seen them? What are you talking about?”

I wondered if Frank was up to another of his office tricks. He was always starting a rumor or proposing a gag to play on the others in the workplace. Was I the recipient this time?

“They said it’s a virus. Everyone is susceptible to it but someone in the office must have been a carrier because there are a lot of people here infected.”

Okay, now I knew he was up to something. What was his hope though, that I would freak out in front of everybody? I wasn’t about to give him the pleasure of that.

“Yeah, okay. I get all worried and then someone jumps out of the closest cubicle hoping I scream or piss my pants right? I’m not falling for it Frank.” I said feeling proud.

No, tell you what. Just go look in the break room. You’ll understand. Don’t go in though, it might not end well.” Frank said more serious than I expected.

“Fine. I’ll play along” I mumbled as I headed toward the break area.

The door was closed which was a bit unusual. Everyone was in and out all day and no one wanted the hassle of opening the heavy wooden door each trip. It was probably all part of Frank’s scheme. The door had a large window I could look in without the need of entering so I figured as soon as I peered through someone was going to jump out or spray something at the window hoping to startle me.

Neither happened. No one jumped, nothing flew at the window but what I saw made my mouth drop. There was Liz, Ronnie and a delivery guy whose name I didn’t know wondering around aimlessly on the other side of the door. At least what used to be them anyway.

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Their skin was a weird gray-blue color and their eyes appeared lifeless. I could smell a distinct odor coming from the room the closer I got.

“See, it’s a Zombie outbreak. It’s been on the news.” Frank said to me approaching from behind.

“What are we doing about it?” I questioned quickly.

“Staying out of their way mostly. As long as you don’t get too close or let one bite you it can’t effect you.”

“But, but… What’s going to happen to them?”

“A couple sick days I guess and then back to the grind. Lucky bastards.” Frank’s response made my mouth gape open further than it ever had before.

“What’s going on here? Get back to work you two.” Bossman Bill screeched at us breaking the hope he was one of the affected “All these sickies we are dealing with means there is twice as much work for everyone else. No time to be standing around gawking.”

I scurried away and sat down at my desk contemplating where to start. Should I be worried? Was it just a virus that would pass? All the knowledge I had was from movies, TV and comics and in all of them zombie stories always ended badly.

Then again I really needed this job even if I hated it. I needed to worry about myself and forget all the weirdness around me. The two zombies reaching through the wall from the other side made staying focused awfully difficult.

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I kept wiping off my desk as their drool dripped down. I figured I needed to keep the disinfectant handy and luckily, I had always been a bit of a neat freak anyway. I have to say the fact that the office was emptier than usual was a bit of a plus when it came to getting my work done. Even with the threat of a zombie attack I was on a roll. I was pumping out quarterly earnings reports faster than a zombie eats through a brain.

Bossman Bill even stopped by to thank me for my hard work and not freaking out about the whole virus situation. I think it was the first time he had ever said anything positive about my work. All in all it was a pretty great day. Wonder what tomorrow will have in store?

What if I couldn’t control my emotions?

There are days when I really just want to scream. Go outside and just wail to the top of my lungs and not stop until I feel I’ve got everything out. Luckily for the neighbors I can usually control myself and not let my emotions get the best of me.

animals-34050_150When I was little it was a different story. I had the worst temper as a child and would let almost anything upset me. My siblings even nicknamed me Madman and would purposely attempt to see how angry they could make me. They turned it into a game, instead of hide and seek they wanted to play Madman.

As I got older I learned to suppress the anger and keep it bottled up inside. It started to matter more that I didn’t upset others rather than being upset myself. As long as everyone else is happy I can deal with a bit of frustration. Now I am getting even older and things seem to be changing once again.
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What if I could “clear the mechanism”?

There was a Kevin Costner movie a few years ago called For Love of the Game. It starred Costner as an aging MLB pitcher for the Detroit Tigers nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career. He was pitching what might be his final game in enemy territory at Yankee stadium. Anyone who follows baseball knows that Yankee fans are very loud, especially on their home turf. Costner’s character was able to free his mind from any of the outside distractions or noise using a technique I always admired and sometimes wish was an ability I possessed.

Pitcher Billy Chapel (Costner’s character’s name) would lean down before his pitch, take a moment and close his eyes while thinking to himself the phrase “Clear the mechanism”. When he reopened his eyes the only thing other than himself that was on the field was the catcher. There were no other players, umpires or even a batter. Also there was no noise. The fans were not a part of the equation any more. It was just him throwing the ball wherever he wanted and the catcher catching it. It didn’t matter how loud the fans or opposing players were, they had no effect on his effort.
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What if you could only tell a lie?

What if instead of always telling the truth, you could only tell lies? No matter what the situation a lie was your only defense. You are definitely no George Washington. How would this affect your daily life, your loved ones or your future?george-washington-158595_150

Upon thinking about this I came up with my daily routine if I could only tell lies. The day would start bright and early with the first lies being told to myself.

It’s great to be up and getting ready for another workday.

Can’t wait to step out into that cold air and be on my way to another outstanding, fun filled day.

Of course after I had assured myself of all this and made my trek to work I would probably find myself confronted by co-workers asking things like It’s great to be alive isn’t it? or how’s your day going? to which I would respond

It sure is. Another beautiful day to be living.

My day has been terrific, how about yours?

Of course I really wouldn’t care how their day was but I would feel obligated to ask. After all they asked about mine and I readily lied my ass off. Later in the day the boss might come around and ask a few questions like you got that report ready for me? or why were you late this morning? to which I would respond Continue reading

What if I could give my mind a good polishing?

dirty mindOkay, what if I could give my mind a good polishing?

Sometimes the mind will work in weird ways and your current way of thinking can change your whole outlook on life. What do you do when thoughts clog up your brain? Have you ever thought about being able to shake the cobwebs, wipe off all the dust and present your mind as a new improved version? My mind has.

It started last week when I decided to clean out and wash my car for the first time in longer than I care to admit. I broke out the vacuum and went to work. Over the next couple hours I spent time cleaning out the inside, picked up and shook out the floor-mats and wiped down the dash, the doors and the steering wheel. I even sprayed some fabreze to make it smell a little better.

After I finished with the inside the exterior was next. I washed, scrubbed, brushed and rinsed. I wiped down the tires and the rims. I cleaned the windows, checked the license plate and tightened the screws. I even replaced the old wipers with a couple new ones.

I completed my final rinse and put away all the cleaning tools I had used, then stood back and looked at what I had accomplished. The tires were clean, the chrome was shining and the paint was sparkling in the sun. The inside was dust-free, the carpet was clean and the scent was pleasant. I felt pretty good about the job I had done.

Flash forward to today and a depleted version of my normal self. I was feeling a little under the weather and my day was packed to the seams with things that needed to get done. I was working at a much slower pace than normal, but with a larger stack in front of me than I usually handle. I sat there at my desk and just stared into space. My mind was wandering and a few times, just completely lost. I couldn’t concentrate on any part of my work.

My mind wandered away from the work in front of me and went back to cleaning the car. The thoughts and images inside my head started evolving into other items I needed to clean. For some reason, one image that started appearing was my mind itself. I could clearly picture my brain on a table with cleaning products all around and my body standing at the edge spraying a cleaner onto a cloth rag.

I (my body) wiped around the outer portions of the brain, then the table itself as I rolled the brain over and wiped off the bottom. As I worked, I started explaining myself and what I was doing

“With a brain, you have to make sure to wipe evenly. You can’t wipe too hard or you’ll bruise the tissue, but you need to wipe the entire surface. If you miss a spot that leftover residue can cause bad thoughts.”

I picked up a small item that looked similar to a toothbrush and began dipping it into a small bowl on the table. I then started rubbing the brain with it and talking again.

You can use a soft bristled brush to massage the exterior. It also works good to get into the crevices and clean away those bad memories that might be wearing you down. Just be careful with the pressure, if you dig too deep you might remove some good memories you want to keep. In most cases the bad ones are right on the edge keeping the good ones buried a little deeper. You only want to remove that outer film so the buried ones can breathe and have life again”

Now I grabbed a water hose with a sprayer attached and started talking again

“After you wiped away the excess unneeded thoughts and removed those bad memories you’ll need to rinse off your surface making sure there’s no remnants or loosened thoughts trying to reattach. You want it to be clean and fresh to start your next experiences”

After that the image in my head started fading away and I came back to reality. I looked down at the stack of papers in front of me and they didn’t seem as daunting anymore. I began working and my pace was much better than it had been earlier in the day. The stack began dwindling and I began smiling. By the end of my shift I was feeling better and the stack was gone.

My tough day was over. It had evolved into a better one and all it took was a little cleaning. A bit of wiping, scrubbing and polish for my mind.

I guess when those tough days pile on, the mind gets a little dusty. If this ever happens to you, try to take a minute and clear (clean) your head. It might just turn around a tough day.

What if I was too tired to think of a subject to write about?

Okay, what if I was too tired to think of a subject to write about? So tired my mind is working, but at a snail’s pace. It’s more than I can say for the rest of my body, which I think has shut down completely.

Today was just one of those long days that never seemed to end? I spent the majority of it cleaning and organizing at work. Why is it that when you clean one area it makes you realize how disorganized other areas are? My day started when…

messI cleaned off the desk and noticed the bookshelf was a mess.

So I organize the bookshelf and realized the desk drawer was overflowing with useless junk.

I cleaned the drawer out, throwing away the unnecessary, and realized the trash can was full.

So I change the trash bag, come back and see the desktop’s a mess.

How the heck did that happen I just cleaned it off?

It took a minute for me to realize while organizing the bookshelf and desk drawer, the extra items made there way onto the desktop. So now I’m back to where I started, looking at a messy desk. Since I wasn’t in the mood to start over, I went to another project. I figure it will still be there waiting for me tomorrow. Continue reading

What if we all had a party? Everybody’s invited!

Okay, what if we all got together and had a huge party? Lots of great music, dancing and a buffet to die for. No fees to get in, just bring your dancing shoes and your playful spirit. I can’t wait to see you all there, we’re going to have the time of our lives.party

One problem though, who’s going to do all the planning and get the food, the DJ, the venue, send out the invitations, decide on the guest list, hire the security (this is going to be a big party) and how do we pay for it all.

I think I need to lie down, I’m getting a headache.

And there’s the problem with trying to have a good time or enjoy the company of friends. It never comes without some work and a lot of stress. So is all this fun always worth it?

It even happens when you try to take a vacation. At least it does to me, but maybe I just worry too much. In the weeks leading up to taking time off I think up ways to enjoy life and have some stress-free fun, but I also worry constantly about having this time off. What will happen while I’m gone and what mess will be waiting when I get back? Why can’t I just let it all go and have fun? Continue reading