Tha Nite Rida cruised like a muhfukkin' barracuda into tha Midstate parkin' lot an' wit' typical mad stealth executed a perfect 90-degree turn into her designated spot. "It Monday, bitchez," I said as I flew outta my hoopty an' hustled 2 tha employee entrance. "Aw yeah, y'all know how we do it. Bitchez best fo-get that punk-ass, no-workin' weekend shit an' be down wit' tha hardcore officin', or y'all gonna have tha H-Dog up in yo' shit. Word dat."
Ain't nobody in tha third-floor administrative office when I walked in. No matta, I usually tha first one in anyhows. But come 9:30 in tha ay-em, still nobody in tha hizzy. I went 2 tha front window an' peeped all tha hoopties in tha lot, but no peeps. What tha fuck? I went downstairs 2 investigate, Letta Opener O' Death poised 2 strike.
Half down tha stairs, I peeps Gary, my Accountz Reeceevin' bruthah, standin' there wit' Nick, my homie down in Shippin', an' Lois, one-a tha Cash Room hottiez. "What tha fuck, muhfukkaz? What?" I say. "Where tha Midstate posse at? Don't no one show up fo' work 2-day? Is this some muhfukkin' Nightmare On Elm Street or some shit like that? What? What? Y'all zombies 2? I'll whup yo' undead asses."
"Didn't you get this interdepartmental memo in your mailbox Thursday?" Gary aksed.
He whipped out a piece-a paypa from his pocket an' show me. It go: "Attn: All Midstate employees: You are invited to the first-floor conference room on Monday, Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. to enjoy a presentation by workplace and time-management expert Dr. Charles Rich, PhD, author of 1:1— The Productivity:Attitude Ratio. Are stress and negative feelings affecting your work performance? Dr. Rich offers convincing data that indicates that the amount of productivity one achieves in the workplace is evenly proportional to one's overall attitude. Dr. Rich explores ways one can increase their motivation through positive thinking, stress-relieving health habits, and better interpersonal communication. Says Dr. Rich: 'Bettering your future begins with you.'"
Fuck, it obvious why I didn't get one-a them memos. H-Dog don't need no fuckin' motivizational seminar. Gerald Luckenbill, tha office comptrolla, probably say, "Give memos 2 all tha peeps but tha H. Y'all can't improve on perfection." But none o' this xplained why Gary, Nick, an' Lois wuz blowin' tha seminar off. They claimed they wuz goin' 2 tha john, but I wuzn't havin' none o' it. I give Gary tha look 'til he crack, say that he, Nick, and Lois left 'cause they thought it all a buncha bullshit.
I aksed them, is they punched in? They said yes. I said, "Y'all gots mad hate fo' seminizars? Well, I'll give y'all one my own damn self. Only it fo' reals. I ain't wrote no muhfukkin' book wit' some wack-ass PhD, but what I gots 2 lay down be straight-up dope-ass wizdom from tha street. Time 2 get educated, mah homies."
We went into mah cubicle, an' tha three sat at mah feet like li'l lambs. I pointed 2 a geranium, chillin' in a hangin' basket above my deks. "Peep this, mah children," I said. "It a geranium. A muhfukkin' office geranium. Gary, y'all knows this geranium, am I right?"
"Sure, Herbert," Gary said. "That's been in your cubicle as long as I can remember."
"Damn straight, mah man," I say. "Ain't nothin' special 'bout this geranium, right? It gots red bloomz an' green leaves. It real healthy, tho'. I mist tha shit outta it daily, an' every year I change its soil."
"It's real pretty," said Lois.
"No shit, freak," I said. "Yo, but check it: Back in tha day, when I first peeped this plant, it be near-dead. Tha leaves wuz all yellow an' tha blooms wuz fallin' off. It wuz a muhfukkin' lowdown dirty shame. An' y'all know where I found this thang?"
Tha trio shook their heads.
"Right up here on tha third flo'. Thas right, Midstate."
So I begun 2 tell tha story o' tha geranium. I had jus' passed mah one-year anniversary at Midstate. I wuz a ex-con, a newjack officin' prince busted foe unlicensed accountin', an' still mournin' mah tight homie an' mentor, CPA-ONE. One day, I peeped Myron Schabe, tha Accountz Payabo supervisa. He a geeza even then, an' he wuz hunched ova a addin' machine, bruisin' his ol'-ass fingas 'gainst tha buttons. I aksed him where that bitch that help him at, an' he looked at me thru his thick-ass bifocals all vexed. "If you're referring to Sheila, I'm afraid she left the company this morning," Myron said. "Didn't bother to give notice. Herbert, if you have some free time today, I'd appreciate your assistance…"
But I wuz long gone. Even then, I wuz hatin' on tha A.P. I cruised past tha bitch's cubicle an' peeped some-a tha Midstate krew goin' through her shit. Damn, tha bitch left everthang behind—office supplies, paperz, a umbrella, an' even a sweatah. An' in tha corner o' her cubicle, on tha flo', I spotted a geranium, all brown an' shit. It had a ol' ribbon 'round its pot, like it musta been a gift once, maybe fo' Sheila's birfday. G's, it mad vexed me 2 see a innocent office plant forced 2 die 'cuz some bitch decided 2 bail. So I hustled tha flower back 2 mah cubicle.
Sheeit, I didn't know how 2 take care of no muhfukkin' geranium. Fo' dayz, I gave it nothin' but water-coolah water an' stuck it under mah 40 watt deks lamp with adjustable arm an' burnished chrome finish. I even repotted it wit' soil from tha Midstate lawn, but tha fucka still wouldn't grow. Finally, I snapped. I went 2 tha breakroom vendin' machines, bought a can o' Dad's Root Beer, a bagga Combos, an' some Skittles, an' dumped 'em all in tha plant's pot. "Fuck this weak shit, asshole," I yelled. "Y'all better gets yo' eat on wit' a quickness. If y'all don't, prepare 2 get iced come daybreak."
Next mornin', I walk in tha cubicle, an' tha geranium be all green again. New growth wuz shootin' outta tha pot. So, I kept waterin' it wit' Dad's Root Beer an' feedin' it on candy an' chips from tha vendin' machine. Ten yearz later, tha geranium still goin' strong. Snyder's Pretzel Thins be its favorite. A true office plant, no diggity. Matta o' fact, fo' weeks after, tha plant wouldn't stop gettin' its grow on. I hadda cut shit off it, an' I started plantin' tha cuttins aroun' Midstate.
"And that's where all those pretty geraniums along the sidewalk came from!" shrieked Lois.
"No doubt," I said. I aksed them what tha lesson be from all this.
"Are you trying to get us to go to church or something?" Nick aksed.
"Shut tha fuck up, Nick," I said.
"Out of bad situations, good things can result, and that can apply in the workplace, too," Lois said. "You can find worth and meaning in your job if you know where to look."
"Hell no, that ain't what I wuz sayin'," I said. "Damn, woman."
Gary nailed it. He said it was 2 show how bumpin' tha H-Dog wuz, an' how lucky tha Midstate staff wuz 2 have tha One An' Only Funky Fresh Ovahlord O' Tha A.R. Universe in full effect. How much motivation a homie need? I raised a fuckin' office plant from tha dead by hollerin' at it an' feedin' it root beer an' Skittles, y'all. Thas off tha hook. Sheeit. Mad props 2 Gary fo' recognizin' tha ultimate truth. H-Dog out.
Prior to his death on April 30th, 2007, Herbert Kornfeld wrote about workplace issues for The Onion. He worked as the Accounts Receivable Supervisor at Midstate Office Supply, the state's oldest wholesaler and retailer of office supplies and business machines.