Tentatively Accepting Decline  

Declined. Accepted. Tentative. Though the responses are generally predictable, there remain enough people whose minute-to-minute perceptions of what some arbitrary day in the future will look like is consistently punctuated with a question mark. As someone who organizes and schedules lives that are not his own, instead doing it for the sake of how the paychecks affect his quality of life, I find strange solace in the people who continually reject the flurry of meeting requests I send off on the whim of another. I like to imagine the most outlandish of reasons why someone would decline to attend these seemingly perfunctory meetings, all of which are given such important sounding designations as "committee," "planning session," "management group," or the free time-forsaken "pre-meeting." Yes, meetings which map out future meetings are an unsurprisingly popular trend. In the clip show that constantly plays on the back of my skull, those that make haste to opt out of such (at one time) previously agreed upon commitments are indelibly flagged as one of two things: owner of a double-life, or a complete -- though well-paid -- flake. As the latter is much less interesting when it comes to whiling away the final hours of the business day, I find my interpersonal relationships at work are often juxtaposed with an eye for peeling away the layers of a co-worker's secret identity. Carol is a complete basket case at outside of work, where she polishes her glass menagerie after nightly tea time with her 6 Persian cats, all of which just happen to be named after characters Julia Roberts has played on film. Frank rebuilds motorcycles as an excuse to take frequent "drives into the country," the majority of which end up with him sexually gratifying some strange guy amidst the weeds and tall grass behind a nearby highway rest stop. Not all of these work-relief fantasies are dark and dim, nor do they always portray my employee-in-arms as denizens of down-low practices and/or teetering sanity. Last month, Frank tucked several hundred dollars into a pocket of the baby stroller in front of him on the bus, belonging to a single mother that had been praying for a miracle to get her by until payday. Carol competes in marathons for charity, despite the artificial leg nobody has ever noticed was under her stylish pant suits all these years. I suppose there would be marked benefits to shifting some time from these idle inventions of persona and into more productive pursuits (like sending more meeting requests). Then again, what if it's our own flights of fancy that keep this airship called reality aloft?

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