Monday, March 12, 2012

Staff Meeting -- Italian Style
It started out that the outer gates to the Olympia Club were locked. One of my coworkers who I had never seen before in my life invited me to wait in her car. Ten minutes later there was a line of cars behind us and lots of hand gesturing into the rear view mirrors until someone got hold of the telecommando to open the entry way. When we got down the driveway to the club, our leader Elena was waiting for us wearing a tailored white button down shirt, short black shorts, nude stockings, and motorcycle boots. She was very enthusiastic in greeting us and looked almost relaxed. For once.

She then got down to business and told us that we could not yet enter the gym so about ten people with the exception of me, Elena, and my new friend Ilenia took out cigarettes and filled the front doors with a billowing cloud of toxic smoke. Then Simone who looks like an NYU drop out reluctantly took down all of our cell numbers and email addresses. About 15 more people showed up and finally we were allowed to go upstairs to Sala Zeus where the steps were set up as seats with out names on them.  We started out the meeting with a mandatory display of the human wave like the kind you see at a Yankees game. Then Elena gave an inspiring speech about getting to know each other, human relationships, responsibility, honor and, oh yeah, statistics. They just love statistics at the Olympia Club. They have like 800 members if I understood correctly and they are constantly polling and competing for numbers from one class to another. Elena called out some of us by name and told everyone what kind of numbers we were pulling in and then people reluctantly applauded one another.

Horror of horrors it was then time that we each had to stand up in front of the group and answer six questions about ourselves. In Italian. There were about 25 of us, and because this is Italy, it took no less than three hours. There was not one person who did go up and really perform the hell out of their turn. I wore my expensive converse with the studs in them because after all that rebounder practice I did not see myself streaking across town in my heels, but trust when I say that all of my female coworkers sported stilettos and sprayed on jeans. About half of them looked like they were in a legitimate annoressia competition. There was the one not nice person from a previous post who is a hundred percent total witch. She did not stand up because she preferred to get attention for not talking. Elena had only nice things to say about her because the statistics show that she can sell the hell out of a membership what with her skeletal physique and learned snottyness. I did the best I could. People were not so interested in Metamorfosi but very interested to hear my age. They actually let their jaws hang open which was nice of them. It all comes from eating occasionally and not smoking. Elena told the story about how I got hired and how she liked my voice on the phone and added that they had let me have a second lesson a week due to popular request.
F after an unfortunate moment with our food processor and some pesto.
At the end we had to hold hands and do the wave again. I was so tired that I messed up the flow of the wave in both directions both times we did it. Go team! At the end of the night I was bleary eyed and starving, not to mention dehydrated and having to pee for the last three hours (the changing room was locked). Stumbling out into the cold dark night, I find out that I was the only one without a car and I had to stand in front of my long line of coworkers who now actually could identify me a line up and wait for someone to go get the telecommando again to let us get the f out of there.

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