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 . . .