"Nice Pants"Overheard as I walked by reception during my last visit to Sandritia's office.
I like my shorts. It's not that I like showing my cycling calves off, it's just that I like the cool breeze blowing gently across my thighs. Full disclosure: my roots are Scottish, so you derive what you want about me wearing a kilt in a gentle breeze. And to answer the question that you are most likely thinking of now - yes, I have worn a kilt before. And yes, I was wearing the appropriate attire beneath it, from the Scottish perspective. My mother was mortified, for that I am sure, but that is another long pandora's box of a story not to open today. Suffice to say a warm summer breeze is quite a different feeling than a cold air conditioner breeze.
During my last run-in with HOG, chronicled previously in part I, part II and part III, I felt as I had finally pulled enough stealth Mission Impossible stunts to know how to gain undetected entry into Sandritia's building. Undetected, as measured by my ability to breeze by reception without getting chased down the hall when I didn't stop for an ID check.
Today was the day to put "no-ID and run" plan into action. Or so I had hoped.
The timing: I arrived at the offices, running late due to a delay in my flight. Not even in the building, the weather had thrown my plans behind. Coming in late was a sure way to be noticed.
Bad weather and a late flight = Strike One.
The attire: I was planning on staying in Vancouver for a few days so opted to pack light. In fashion language this translated into me wearing my casual attire so I would not be required to lug my dress clothes around town for an extra 3 days. In my world, the definition of "casual dress" equates to wearing shorts, regardless of the weather.
Wearing shorts as to not blend in with the rest of the staff = Strike Two.
The locale: Unlike previous visits, I was not aware of the actual meeting location and thus came to the sudden realization that I was going to have to to ask HOG where I was going this morning. This realization happened in the elevator. Specifically as the elevator doors were opening on my destination floor.
Having this realization happen during the end of my elevator ride and having no time to improvise = Strike Three.
If was going to pull my entry off, I had to hope that the umpire didn't notice one of the strikes, but rather I could get away with a tipped ball.
The elevator pinged, and I exited, pivoting left and heading towards reception. Tipped ball. Tipped ball. Tipped ball. I kept repeating over and over in my head. Before I was even at the desk she looked at me and said with the universal commanding Head Office Gatekeeper tone "You're late Mr. Philosopher. Your meeting has already started."
I stood there and all I could hear was an umpire yelling "Strike Three! You're outta here!"
She pointed to her left. "Down the hall and into the conference room at the end. You are welcome to hang your coat up."
I was so shocked by HOG blitzing the field on me, I didn't even have a response. Thankful for the long meeting coming, I used the time to compose myself.On my way out of the meeting I asked HOG, "Did you get a heads up that I was coming?" I was hoping that if she had some advance warning of my arrival, I could at least feel better about being ambushed.
"Yep, about 30 minutes before you arrived."
Later that afternoon I rendezvoused Sandritia. "Hey LP, I heard from HOG you were already here! And wearing shorts too!"
"Heard from who? I thought you tipped her off about me coming?"
"No, not me. I also heard someone lost a bet that you wouldn't be wearing shorts."
"What? You mean to tell me that someone other than you let HOG know I was coming? And on top of that they independently had a bet on my shorts vs. pants attire?"
Sandritia started to protest and set her position relative to my ambush. "It wasn't me! Honest! They did it on their own! And for the record, I don't know who the 'they' is!"
This was a significant step for me. Now my reputation is starting to spread - without the aid of Sandritia. I am unsure if this is a step back or forwards. HOG's response to my arrival for my next meeting will be the indicator of direction.
Here's hoping I'm moving forward. Whatever direction I am going, at least I can rest easy that while I am standing there, I can still feel a cool, gentle breeze.