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  • One man, suspended above the bed, planting flowers to celebrate the centennial of the Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh in the shadow of the castle. The thought of being suspended, hanging like that for a day makes me nauseous. We walked past in the morning on our way to the castle, and he was there working on the shield in little white flowers. We walked past in the late afternoon coming away from the castle, and he was still there, making progress but not quite done with the shield and the little white flowers. Some days I envy him. Like today.

    The miasma in the office today stunk of chaos and indecision... we needed to choose new carpeting. I got stuck with the task because I have "artistic talent" I was told. Right.

    Roll or tiles?


    Neutral or a color, any color?

    Not maroon. Not black. Not green.

    Okay neutral but not any of those colors. Brown?


    Okaaaaaayyyy... Grey?

    Maybe. If you can find a grey with red specks.

    Okkkkaaaayyyyy.... Can we?

    The guy with the books is shaking his head slowly, nearly turning it all the way around-owly. Our company logo consists of two shades of grey and red.

    Not going to find that color combo, he says finally.


    In the meantime, against regulatory deadlines and manufacturing runs, our precious time is being squandered contemplating carpet colors. Most of the time I like my job, but on days like today I think of that guy on the ladder poking holes into the dirt from the ladder suspended over the bed. Maybe his hands are dirty at the end of the day, but his head has been free to contemplate his existence, God, his wife and kids, his partner, his dog's shampoo, but not whether the maroon specks and blue specks will blend together in this huge area to look like purple. Not a very corporate color.
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