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asshole of the day

1. I'm the one who installs dry erase boards in our office. After all these years, I still suck at it. Well, I don't really suck--it's just that the quality of my work is inconsistent. Sometimes, I get it perfect in just a few minutes. Other times--I struggle. It looks crooked--even after carefully measuring and marking placement for the hardware. "The board is straight," I'll tell my co-workers. "The wall is crooked."

Recently, one of the companies in our office decided that the dry erase boards I put up in their offices weren't good enough. So they ordered a pair of glass boards. Two glass boards arrived earlier this week. Each one measured 6'x4' and weighed heavier than a big glass fuck. I had to cart them up to the second floor on a panel truck. I'm the kind of idiot who prefers to work independently and not ask anyone for help. (Wasn't that the lesson David Foster Wallace was trying to teach in "Infinite Jest"? Never try to move something bigger than yourself and never be afraid to ask for help?) I installed the first one yesterday. I found a rolling filing cabinet and parked it against the wall, so I would have a high, even surface for the board to rest on while I marked the wall for the hardware. I decided that it would still be pretty low, so I got a ruler and made a new set of markings three inches above the original markings. The hardware consisted of these big, chrome fucking things. I installed all the hardware and was ready to put up the board. The facilities manager happened to pass by and helped me lift the board onto the wall. It just barely fit onto the hardware. "Wow," he said. "You did that all by yourself. That's impressive." That was fifty minutes of work.

So, today I felt pretty confident about installing the second board. This time I found a small rolling table--higher than the cabinet. This was about the right height. I wouldn't have to make additional measurements and markings. "You need any help?" the facilities manager asked as he was passing by.

"I'm okay for now, thanks."

I got the big glass fuck onto the table. I kept maneuvering it closer and closer to the wall. I wanted to get it nearly flat against the surface so my markings would be correct. Mind you, there was a slight gap between the edge of the table and the wall. And, mind you, the board was very thin. As I maneuvered the board closer and closer to the wall, it all of a sudden slipped from my grip and fell through the gap between table and wall, the lower left corner of the board crashing to the carpet and buckling. Wow, that thing really was made of glass. The facilities manager happened to pass by once again. He helped me drag the crumbling frame out into the hallway. Broken glass everywhere. We spent the better part of the next hour cleaning up the glass. He was very nice about it though. He told me to order a new one for them and that our company would pay for it. I cost our company $500 to replace that stupid glass fuck. Afterward, I visited the front desk, told IL, "I am the asshole of the day," and then gave her the details. She was very sweet and reassuring.

2. IL and I haven't spent much time with each other in the last week. She is nursing herself back to health and preparing for her coming move. I'm totally supportive but miss our after-work outings. I've been going home alone right after work every evening, this week. I feel the old, familiar emptiness blooming once again.

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