Saturday, April 28, 2007

Through The Looking Glass

Officeland II-B is located in lovely Maze Landing New Jersey (which is so named as the entire township is a maze of alleys and dead ends all leading to one central point).

The office itself is a huge building covered in blue glass that reflects the barren landscape all around it.

Upon entering the building, one gets the feeling that this is what Alice must have experienced as she went through the looking glass.

Once on the other side, you enter an elevator and stare at yourself in yet another mirror facing the elevator until the doors close and swallow you up.

Finally, on the second floor, you follow a series of hallways and walk through a series of doors and eventually you find yourself in the actual office which is, of course, filled with cubicles and more maze like corridors in which to get lost in.

Were it not for the gaggle of friendly, familiar faces that greeted me, I fear that I might still be walking around looking for the white rabbit to show me the way out.

Remembering what the dormouse said, I realized that I was there to eat, drink and make merry as today was the day that the living legend of State Services, Mama Jax was about to bid a fond farewell to civil service.
The conference room at Officeland II-B was set up with fresh flowers, colorful table cloths, and an array of delicious goodies all prepared by Officeland II and Officeland II-B staff. Indeed, everyone participated in this bon voyage for our most beloved nurse and keeper of everyone's most personal secrets.

To say that Mama Jax was well liked by everyone, would be like saying that ice cream tastes good; she was loved like no one has ever been loved in Officeland's dysfunctional family of misfit toys. A combination of Mama's wit, tenacity and common sense made her irresistible to most. Her way of breaking down other's walls until she managed to touch their hearts (as well as other body parts), made her a mischievous, but needed antidote to the everyday stress of work.

The table that I was seated at held several of Officeland's bloggers: Merci, Joe, Zelda and of course your's truly and a few others scoped out the crowed, bedazzled conference room and waited in anticipation for the guest of honor to show up. Finally, with stomachs growling, Mama entered to a round of applause and much like Eva Peron, raised her arms to bring silence and said, "I'll bet you all are hungry, so let's eat first, before we do anything else!"

Like wedding guests, lines were formed and food was dished out ... everything tasted wonderful.

After the food was finished, co-workers stood and said a few words about Mama. The rug was pulled out from under me when I was asked to say a little something, but I managed to say a few things, got a few laughs, and wished the lady of the hour all of the best as she sails off into the sunset.

When everyone was through, Mama stood up and read a prepared statement to the gathered. Imagine my shock when she singled me out and told the crowd about our numerous road-trips, our obsession with alien abductions, and her relationship with our mutual friends, Saul and Sylvia Finestine.

The speech was heartfelt and 100% Mama. When she was through, she got a standing ovation and then proceeded to open gifts .

I hate long goodbyes, ask anyone, so after the festivities ended, and I got a little private time with Mama, I left Officeland II-B, came out the other side of the looking glass, and made my way back home.

Knowing that Mama Jax will no longer be one of the regulars in the sit-com that is my life, was made a bit easier to digest since we moved offices (I have not seen in her for about a month, so I kind have gotten used to her not being there).

Anyway, as I drove out of the parking lot of Officeland II-B, and headed out for the long drive back to Utopia, I could not help but think about people who come and go, those faces that mark times and places in our lives, and the special people who make a real mark on others; then I switched on the car's radio and turned the corner to see what was around the next bend.

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