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April 13, 2011 / moldyboo

If Your Brother was Murdered in Algeria Today, DO NOT GO TO WORK

As I pulled my number, I knew that the building of which I was inside of would be my dwelling for the next 7-29 hours.  Everyone knows that nobody gets to leave after only pulling one number.  You pull one number, wait half an hour, and then go to a cubicle where an angry woman berates you for being stupid and tells you that you picked from the wrong set of numbers.

So you pick a second number, again knowing that there are many numbers that are still to be picked before you can exit into the smog-filled-devoid-of-any-happiness abyss of Downtown Houston.  You sit back down with your enormous rolled-up architectural plans and search for a comfortable position, but the giant scroll is not interested in your comfort.  So you get called back, and this time a man berates you for being stupid and tells you that you, once again, picked from the wrong set of numbers.

You go back and pick a third number.  This time you wait an entire hour as the rolled up plans carve a dent into your upper right leg.  This time, a kind man greets you and you go back to his office.  It looks like he is a genuinely friendly person, but he seems distressed.  You ignore that as you angrily tell him that all you want to do is pay the impact fee.  He wipes his brow and takes a long, deep breath.  Then you put all of your anger towards the first two people onto him.  “Look”, I say unsympathetically.  “My boss said that she spoke to you yesterday, and she said that I don’t need a letter in order to pay the impact fee for this guard house.  I have a blank check with me.  Just give me a number and I will write that number on the check.”  He sighs again.  “I did not even talk to her about this guard house yesterday,” he says.

Then, he puts his head in his hands and tells me that his brother was murdered in Algeria earlier that day.  Suddenly, my day does not seem so bad.  I feel really bad and don’t know what to say. “I’m really sorry.”  He then goes back to talking to me about the impact fee.  This man is devoted to his job.  Not only does he immediately continue working, he continues working at what has to be the worst job in America.  You can’t do this.  You shouldn’t be here.  Still, his brother’s tragic death doesn’t fully placate my misdirected anger.  “Yeah, can I please god just pay the impact fee?  I’m hungry.”

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