About a week ago I quit my job. I had a good reason–I’m moving three and a half hours away and since my job doesn’t supply jet packs, the commute would have killed me. I’ve been working for the same company, in the same building for 21 months or 1 and 2/3rds years. Whatever. I switched from Subway to the gas station the Subway is housed in in January, successfully eliminating 90% of the stress of the job, and basically getting to do whatever I wanted for eight months. So I read a lot of books, did a little writing, doodled, learned to count cigarettes, cleaned out air filters, found piles of dirt that hadn’t seen sunlight in ten years, and took over bullying the drink vendors into doing their job better. By about May I had become the sole guardian and arbitrator of the drink cooler. You know that big long wall of deliciously cold sugary drinks that exists in every cooler? Yeah, I was the man behind the chill.
Keeping drink cooler’s stocked is more elaborate than it looks. We had three vendors–RC, Pepsi, and Coke. They sent in a salesamen who looked at what we had, and placed an order for more stuff. Then the delivery guys came with the stuff, and unloaded it all into the cooler. Self-sustaining system, right?
Wrong. Sometimes stuff goes out of date. Sometimes an entire case of monster gets dropped and full of dents and holes. Drinks that we can no longer sell are supposed to be picked up by the vendors, and credited back to our account. Until I took over, they just sat in crates under the shelves, ignored by everyone and developing sentience. When I took over the cooler I started cleaning, and sorting. I put credits into boxes for their respective vendors. I wrote their names on them in large letters. I waited for them to mysteriously disappear.
Some did. Some didn’t. Some stayed around for three months. I resorted to threats.
I laid in wait for the salesmen who came into to order more drinks. “These are your credits,” I said. “Can you get rid of them for me?” I pestered the delivery guys who were supposed to pick them up. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. Sometimes I put up great big signs with arrows on them.
And then I started bringing in the dragons.
By dragons, of course, I mean fictional dragons. I would threaten to release the dragons, and nothing happened. Ever. I put up this sign at the beginning of June and, to my knowledge, nobody even read it. They certainly never commented on my cleverness or wit.
It bears mentioning at this point that I am a dutiful student of Brian Rathbone’s dragon jokes. I have written about them several times, and I always enjoy seeing them in my twitter feed. I’ve even made a few half-hearted attempts and dragon jokes myself (even though I can never hope to live up to the master.) If I have learned anything from my study, it’s that dragons can always be used to good effect in a bad humour attempt. So when I think of trying to jokingly threaten the incredibly friendly and good looking coke vendors, dragons is what comes to mind.
It also bears mentioning that, unlike the rest of you, my work place is not a place of geeks and comic books and Game of Thrones fans. My workplace is more the public school, smoking breaks, and will we ever get beer in here? kind of environment. Certainly dragons didn’t make for daily conversation material. My getting excited over the first image from the Pluto fly-by was nerdy enough.
Fast-forward to mid-July. My threatening dragon sign has been up for about six weeks, and the credits it referred to are long gone. I kept forgetting to take it down because I was too busy doing things like decrypting the elaborate cypher used to date cigarettes and figuring out which ones were over two years old. I went to harp came for a week and came back and suddenly all the vendors were asking about dragons.
Coke Delivery Guys:
“Do you play world of warcraft?”
“Are you sure?”
“Do you like dragons?”
“To an extent…yeah….”
Pepsi Delivery Guys:
“Do you like dragons?”
“Why does everyone keep asking that?”
“Did you make that sign back there?”
“Do you like dragons?”
“Seriously, why does everyone keep asking me this?”
“Well, you made that sign back there, right?”
“Yes, but that was a month ago!”
“I just noticed it last week and pointed it out to everyone else. We think it’s great.””Oh, that explain it…”
So my last day of work comes around. Typically, when one is leaving a job one has had for a long time, one does something…unusual, to mark the occasion. After lying in bed unable to sleep, I came up with the semi-brilliant idea of taking this dragon idea and running with it. So I stayed up late, making dragon posters. I combed through Google images, and Brian Rathbone’s twitter, and I printed out about fourteen or so dragons. Then I grabbed my colored pencils and some sheet protectors and went to work.
I spent all morning coloring, but while people kept joking about it, nobody asked me why. It wasn’t until I started taping them up everywhere that they took note. I put dragon posters in the cooler, in the backs of cabinets, and on obscure walls. When I saw my manager a week later she said she was still finding them in places. I just smiled mysteriously. That was the idea.