Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today's fortune: June 8, 2011

Today's fortune: Keep an eye open for an opportunity soon to arrive.

Two days in a row I get eye-opening fortunes, but this one is a lot more specific than yesterday's "You are wise to keep your eyes wide open at all times this week." It's as if the fortune cookie gods read my post yesterday and decided I didn't get it. So they dumbed it down and sent me another eye opener to put me on the right track.

I spotted an opportunity early in my day, but it didn't pan out. Or maybe it did...

When I arrived at the office shortly after 8 a.m., the indoor temperature was a little bit on the warm side out on the widget floor. By 8:15, people were starting to notice. By 8:30, the rumor had circulated that the air conditioner wasn't working, and a little while later the company confirmed it.

"Seventy-nine!" a co-worker croaked, reading off the temperature on a thermostat by her desk.

I began to picture how the day would unfold: the company was going to give us the option of leaving early if we promised to make up the hours later in the week.

"Eighty point one!" she said.

But my plan was to pass up on the chance to go home. I saw an opportunity there: the opportunity to impress my superiors by staying to work, even through the gradually rising temperatures.

"Eighty-one point four!"

We kept getting updates throughout the day on the status of the air conditioner, including attempts to repair the cooling units on top of the building. I could see supervisors huddling together, and I thought that any minute they'd give us the option to go home.

"Eighty-two point six!"

I have to say, I was really impressed with my co-workers. Nobody complained about the heat - well, okay, we all complained a little - but morale was high. We were having fun with it, trying to pinpoint the hottest spot (the breakroom) and the coolest spot (the men's room) on our floor.

"Eighty-three!"

Eventually, we were told that the air conditioners were fixed. However, none of us could feel air coming from the vents, and the mercury continued to rise.

"Eighty-four! It's eighty-four degrees in here!"

But that's as high as it got. The air kicked on and we all breathed a sigh of relief. By noon, the temperature was back in the seventies.

My opportunity to hold fast in the face of adversity - staying in the kitchen to prove I can stand the heat - fizzled. Nobody went home.

But every single employee capitalized on an opportunity to prove our grit. The higher-ups must have been impressed with our attitude (or lack thereof) during the heat wave, because shortly after the air conditioner kicked on, an announcement came over the loudspeaker: we were all being treated to free ice cream and bottled water to help us cool off. And, all the soda machines in the building were turned to "Free" mode.

It was frigging awesome.

By taking the opportunity to act like the good, civilized employees the company knows we are, we were rewarded with a little treat.

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