Monday, June 11, 2007

Guest Column: Katie's Mike Lowell Story...

So I'm on the phone at about 3:15 doing an exit interview with yet another disgruntled employee who is leaving. I always shut the door to my office when I'm on calls like this because, frankly, I work with retards who will stand in front of me the entire time I'm on the phone to wait for me to finish. I'm so glad that working in HR, my workspace is private and people respect the confidentiality of my role. Awesome!

As I said, I'm on the phone, and my door is shut. One co-worker barges in and tried to get my attention. I point to the phone and mouth "come back later". A second one does the same thing, followed by a third, fourth, fifth, and finally sixth. Through my window that looks into the hallway in my office, I see that a small group has gathered. Finally, Julia (the girl I share an office with) goes out into the hallway to see what's going on. Five seconds later, she walks back into the office, shuts the door, glances at me, and sits down at her computer. My outlook makes the noise that tells me I have a new email. I glance at the lower righthand corner of my screen where the "preview" feature comes up -- you know, tells me who sent it, the subject, and the first few lines of the email. There it is. Sent with high importance, from Ms. Julia, is an email with just a subject heading and no text:

MIKE LOWELL IS IN PLAYSPACE AT THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then she whispers something to George, the CFO who also shares our office and runs out the office door, leaving me with my mouth hanging open, not listening to a word that the person on the phone is saying. For all I know, she was telling me that she planned to hack into our payroll software and steal all of our money. I really didn't care; Mike Lowell was in the same building as I was.

So I start sending emails to George (it's basically a well-known fact around my office that when it comes to the Red Sox, I have a serious illness) asking where Julia went. He said that she went with the other people who were trying to get my attention to find him, and that if I wanted to go, he was pretty sure that he could arrange for the phones to go down (the CFO is also the Director of Technology. Yay non-profits!).

What did I do? Did I get off the phone, claiming some kind of gas-induced illness? No. I finished the exit interview.

Yes, perhaps I'm insane. One of the most bad-ass (not to mention handsome) Red Sox players in quite some time was in the Children's Museum. Working inside the museum sucks. I have to hear crying children floating up the vents into my office. I need to get on the elevator with maintainence staff who have barrels that smell like dirty diapers. When I get my morning coffee downstairs at ABP, I need to wade through groups of ankle-biters and rugrats who are so excited to get into the museum they don't speak, they scream.

Once I saw Walter McCarty in the elevator. That was cool. He's really tall. The difference between seeing Walter McCarty in the elevator and scouring the museum to find Mike Lowell is that I ran into Walter by chance. Had I run into Mike Lowell (notice I can't say Mike? He's always MikeLowell) in the elevator, I would have done the same thing I did when I shared an elevator with Walter McCarty -- blush profusely and stare at the floor while sneaking sideways glances at him. I just couldn't justify stalking Mike Lowell -- while he was at the CHILDREN'S MUSEUM with his kids on his off day -- so I could turn an unflattering shade of red. He wasn't going to leave his wife and marry me. He wasn't going to sit there and shoot the shit about baseball while his kids were rolling around in the ball pit, he was going to enjoy an off day with his kids.

So I did the moral thing. I let the man have his day off with his family and sat at my desk (ok, I may have gone outside and glanced through the windows once -- but I didn't see him). It always makes me mad when I hear stories of ballplayers who are out to eat, or out having a drink and obnoxious drunk fans come up to them and interrupt whatever it is they're doing. They're out to eat or grabbing a drink after a long day -- just like you are. Leave them alone. If you happen to end up in the same place as them by chance (and if "chance" is defined as a great tip from a cabbie who tells you what hotel they stay at during away games, that's ok too), just be cool and let them do their thing while you do yours. If they seem approachable and friendly and you're feeling bold, go for it. Say hi. Steal sideways glances while you brush profusely and drink another Bud Light.

But Rule Number One of Professional Sports Players Stalking -- don't f**k with them when they're with their kids.

Soxgal: As we know, I work just two blocks down from Katie's work, and I think that you should all give me a little credit for not leaving a trail of dust behind at my desk. After all, he was with his kids. That, and I'm going to become best friends with him in Detroit.

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