The Life of Riley

For close to twenty years, starting in April 1983, I subleased a small corner office in a CPA firm. Then, a little more than ten years ago, the firm moved to a new location which ended up being about the same mile and a half distance as before from my condo but heading west instead of north. One morning last week I went to the office to check the mail earlier than usual. But that’s basically all I do there now. I gave up the desk space when they made the move.lifeofriley

I opted out of keeping an office when it just naturally became easier to work from home, if not just a tad lazier. I still go to clients two to three times a week but more often the work I do needs to be accomplished so as not to disturb the normal processing day. That’s the beauty of being able to remote into computer systems. Besides, I’m a distraction when I show up at a client and I know it.

The ten or so minutes spent in the CPA office usually develops into a need to go from room to room and check to see if there is anyone with whom to trade jokes or the latest sports news. Since it is primarily a CPA place of business, there are certain times of the year I have to lay off the showboating so the highly paid workers can do their income tax manipulations.

Getting back to that day in question- I purposely went much earlier than normal to see if a certain check had arrived. If it did, I would readily go down to the ground floor level and deposit it at the bank located next to the entrance of the building. Very convenient. And so it was to my good fortune.

Stepping towards the bank teller window area, I noticed that there were just two tellers and no other customers. Naturally, I quickly navigated to the young, perky female blonde teller. She began to prepare my deposit through a quirky scanning device and volunteered to ask how the day was going. I thought it kind of queer since it was only 9:15am, but then again, she was a blonde, remember?

I grinned and said in my very best Cary Grant impersonation, “not bad”, as I played with the imaginary sleeve cuffs on the imaginary neatly pressed white shirt on the imaginary tuxedo I was imaginatively wearing. I then pointed to the check she was processing to make sure she understood that I was very pleased to be depositing the check while throwing off telepathic vibes such as, “stick with me, babe, and you can share in the same happiness on a regular basis.”

But, then, I quickly ruined the moment by saying, “I wish all days were like this.” She nodded knowingly, presumably waiting for me to make that dream-world offer out loud. At that point, the other teller, with no one to wait upon, turned his head toward me and greeted me by my first name, like we were long time pals. With his photographic memory established, I only hoped he didn’t memorize account numbers and social security numbers as well.

The male member of this teller duo then decided to make as if the three of us were in some virtual chat room. “Well, you know, we’re supposed to get a heavy dump of snow by the afternoon”, he dourly noted.

I smiled back at him and said, “yeah, but I don’t care ’cause when I don’t need to go see a client, I work from home and that’s where I’m heading back to now.” The blonde, my personal teller, smiled and gave me a wishful look as if to say, “can I come with, too?”

Now, this is the point in the story where my downstairs neighbor, twenty-five years younger than me, would chime in after listening to my exciting narrative and say, “and that’s when you woke up, right?” Look, the fact is he now has three young mouths to feed along with a wife. When he can’t take her constant nagging, he calls me on our cell phones, announces himself, then says, “hold on a moment”, puts the nagger on the phone so she can have someone to commiserate with about everything that is wrong with the world and when she is spent, he will come back on the phone and simply say, “send me the bill.”

Look, I’m not complaining. Some people will think I’m living the Life of Riley. But, you know what they also say- the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. And to top it off, I get someone else to help pay my phone bill.

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