Friday night, at 4:30, they had run into a problem and threw it over the wall at 5. I got the email, but everybody was gone. And I was annoyed. So I went home too.
This morning, I sat down, and figured out the problem in about a minute and a half. (For any database people, I dropped a disused debug table. Except I forgot to apply the patch that made the app stop using it.)
Meanwhile the fact that they had actually started testing meant that suddenly I had actual bugs to fix, as opposed to just things that I thought would eventually become bugs if anybody ever got around to using the system they made me build.
That's what I arrived to work to drop into. And before I was going to face the slavering hordes of frustrated (yet indifferent) users, I decided to hit the commissary and get hot water for my morning tea.
Other people play the lottery. They get their savage joy from contemplating the certain millions that are but a ticket away.
Me, I've developed a more visceral game over the last three years. I get my morning tea and discover if the commissary has ordered lemon danishes. They don't order danishes often, and for some reason I appear to be alone in my lemon obsession. Which makes them a once or twice a month treat.
Except it's been months since I saw a lemon danish on the pastry rack. Months. Once in a while, I round the corner and for a moment I'm breathing just a little bit faster because I see the profiles of danishes on the rack. Only to have my hopes dashed as I get close enough to look down on the cherry, or blueberry, or apple centers.
The apple danishes are the worst. The solid colours communicate disappointment at range, where the pale of the apple filling is never going to be mistaken for lemon except in the strange, semishadow of the pastry rack. Those are close and personal disappointments, knife-strikes to the stomach.
Today I saw danishes, and I hurried to investigate. My eyes did not move from my goal. And thats why I walked past a client staffer without even seeing her there. She's an attractive woman, dirty blonde and with eyes that are pretty, but also make me think about why Terrence and Philip are drawn as they are.
She was actually wanting to talk to me about the project, but I didn't even hear her hail, so focused on my preemptive dessertion was I. Not until Hollywood tapped me on the shoulder and discretely faded back did I realize she was in the same room as not one, not two, but THREE lemon danishes.
I was mortified. Because I'd just completely ignored my client. Because I'd just walked past a pretty girl while staring at a danish.
Because I couldn't even explain what had happened without sounding like an utter loon. "I'm so sorry. I didn't see you because I was obsessing about a lemon danish."
And the only thing I can think of, that can possibly redeem me, is that maybe, just maybe, I was suffering a pirates perspective. And that privateering bent is why I mistakenly ended up fixated on the pastries. Rrrrr.