It’s Miller Time

Friday at the office, I was midway through a scintillating article on endoscopic sinus surgery when one of my content writers said, “We have to start working Saturdays now?!”I had no idea what she was talking about until I opened my email and saw the following gem from upper management.

With the start of the 2nd Quarter, it’s important that we focus even harder on hitting our goals. One of the things we pride ourselves on is our never-ending desire to make our customers happy. This means always going above and beyond their expectations. Many of our customers have requested we be available not only during office hours, but also after. With that being said, we are going to immediately implement a half day Saturday work schedule. HR will be sending out this new initiative and we are excited that we have the opportunity to serve our members. Thanks for all you do.

“April Fool’s Day joke,” I said to Deb. “You can relax.”

And then I got a text from another coworker who happened to be taking a vacation day.

What is this half Saturday stuff?!

The nice thing to do would have been to reassure her as I had Deb. But nobody ever accused me of being nice when a perfectly good April Fool’s Day prank lands in your lap. So I texted her back.

Yeah. They’re assigning shifts. Not happy at all. My first one is tomorrow!! Thanks for the notice…

The rest of our conversation went like this:

Her: WTF?! We don’t even get to choose??
Me: No!!! I think yours is next week. They’re staggering our schedules.
Her: How do you know? Is there already a schedule? Do we get half off a week day then? Wait…APRIL FOOLS?!

At this point, it appeared the jig was up. But I decided to see if I could keep it going just a little bit longer, as I was having way too much fun for a Friday afternoon. Even more fun than I’d been having writing about nasal congestion, as hard as that may be to fathom.

Me: I wish.
Her: Seriously?
Me: Yeah. We’re all in an uproar.
Her: How do you know dates? Do we get a half day off then?
Me: No half day. They say because we’re salaried it’s part of our job. But it’s just once every other month.
Her: That’s crap. We need to schedule ourselves. I feel like it still might be a joke though.
Me: Oh, [name redacted to protect the innocent] 🙂
Her: You suck. It is a joke.
Me: But it wasn’t MY joke! I just played along because you seemed so upset!
Her: Hate your face.

I told her I doubted she really hated my face, and she said that I’d “ruined a good 5 minutes of PTO sunshine” in trying to fool her. “Ruined” might be too strong a verb, but fair enough. (If she does hate my face, I’m pretty sure she’ll get over it soon enough.)

The rest of Friday only got better because the Creative team left the office at 2:30 and drove over to my boss’s house for an offsite meeting. We were tasked with brainstorming ideas for a new advertising/marketing campaign. It was a perfectly pleasant 75-degree afternoon with lots of sunshine and a slight breeze to take the edge off. Also helping take the edge off? The Bloody Mary I was enjoying on my boss’s backyard deck. There are worse ways to spend a Friday afternoon “at work,” that’s for sure. And we did get quite a bit accomplished. It’s amazing how productive you can be when you’re away from the office.

Just another Friday at "the office."
Just another Friday at “the office.”

Because the weather was so nice, when Tara got home we sat out on our back deck and enjoyed more cold beverages and music. Played some cards (my new obsession is gin – the game, not the libation (though the libation is plenty good, too)), made beer brats and had a grand ol’ time. Those are my favorite kinds of evenings.

Barney Miller SeriesSaturday we drove up to Seattle – actually, Federal Way, a suburb south of Seattle – to celebrate Tara’s nephew’s 4th birthday. Man, I remember when the little guy was just born! Where do the years go?! We were only up there for a few hours, so there was lots of car time, but my MIL gave me an early, early, early birthday (still 24 days away) gift, Barney Miller: The Complete Series on DVD. How perfect is this gift? I’m the guy whose ringtone is the Barney Miller theme song. You can probably guess from the many times I’ve written about this show and how upset I was over Abe Vigoda’s recent death how big a fan I am. Well done, Tracy. Thank you again!

We were back home by 6 PM. Picked up Chinese food from our favorite hole-in-the-wall spot and watched a really good movie called Unbroken, the true story of Olympic athlete and WWII bombardier Louie Zamperini, whose plane crashed in the Pacific and then spent 47 days afloat on a raft before being “rescued” by the Japanese and thrown into a POW camp run where he was beaten and tortured by an evil (is there any other kind?) commander. Really compelling stuff. I recommend it highly. More surprising: Angelina Jolie directed it.

Hope you had a great weekend and didn’t fall for any pranks!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

8 thoughts on “It’s Miller Time

  1. That is the sort of joke my boss would play. I totally would have bought it too. I was already half-way full of indignant fury on your behalf just reading your post until you let us in on the joke. Well played.


    1. Thanks for being all “that’s not fair to Mark and his crew!” I appreciate your solidarity, even if it was completely unnecessary. A bunch of people at work fell for the prank, but my BS radar went off immediately. I think I’m just too cynical to fall for that kind of thing nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. HAHAHAHAHA! You GO, Mark! I would have done the same thing in playing along with the joke, as if it were real! That was a riot!

    ” Barney Miller: The Complete Series on DVD. How perfect is this gift? ”

    A perfect gift indeed! And I bet you’re enjoying the hell out of it.

    And thanks for mentioning the movie you watch directed by Angelina Jolie, because I remember seeing several video clips (short documentaries) just before it was released which highlighted Louie Zamperini and Angelina. It sounded like such a fascinating story. I need to rent it because I love movies about real people. I believe he passed away right before the film was released.


  3. First of all, what’s up with the glass of wine in your header?? That is false advertising for this blog!

    I heard Unbroken is a really good book. Long, but good. The scary thing about that April Fool’s joke is that many employees are now expected to be available 24/7, vacation or not.


  4. I was thinking that is a terrible thing to do just as summer is coming, good on you for detecting the joke but playing along.

    Nice gift! I use to watch that show every single week, one of the best.


Add Your Two Cents!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: