How to Leave Work on Friday Afternoon


I love that moment on Fridays when I have worked my last minute of the week and I pack up my briefcase and prepare to start the weekend.

The whole time I feel like I am in one of those spy movies where the agent (or double agent, as the case may be) has to walk coolly through a crowded space that is populated entirely by people who would shoot him on sight if they knew he was an agent.  I just walk quickly, but not too quickly.  Avoiding eye contact.  Trying not to attract attention to myself.  Coaching myself silently in my head as I walk.

“Just keep walking,” I coach.  “You’re doing good.  Almost to the elevator.  Slowly.  Easy does it.  You’re doing good.  Just look casual waiting for the elevator.”

I hear footsteps and my blood pressure shoots up a dozen points.  Would it be someone wanting just one more thing done before the weekend?  Whew!  It’s just someone going to get copies.

I get on the elevator.  I can hear my heart beating in  my ears.  I feel like everyone is aware that I am leaving.

I get off the elevator and walk down the corridor.  Almost there. I can see the front door 30 yards ahead, just past security.  The light of the sun illuminates it like the portal to heaven.

“Go towards the light,” I coach myself.  “Keep a steady pace.  Don’t walk too quickly.  Just keep walking towards the light.  One foot in front of the other.  Almost there.”

And then …. boom!

Suddenly I am outside!  Sunlight warms my face.  A slight breeze tousles my hair.  I am suddenly free from the possibility that someone will stop me and need a report written before I leave or some data massaged.

I practically break into a sprint from the front door to my truck.  I throw my briefcase haphazardly onto the passenger seat, crank up the truck, and practically burn rubber out of the parking lot, driving over a median in my eagerness to make my getaway.


I’m free!  I’m free!


Until I hear my cell phone ring . . .


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