The True Legend Of Tom JoyPosted: October 28, 2011
If the nations of the world got on each others nerves badly enough, missiles and bombs could end life as we know it. People say that if that were to happen, cockroaches would be the only survivors. They can survive anything.
I know what will happen when the bombs stop falling.
Two roaches will crawl from the rubble. They will discuss the folly of mankind and how we’re finally all gone now. They’ll make plans to get together for dinner. Then one will lift his head. A shocked look will cross his face. The other roach will notice and ask him what’s wrong. He will shake his head in disbelief and say to her “I don’t believe it, he’s done it again. It’s Tom Joy.”
Meet Tom Joy
Tom Joy works for the same organization that I do. He has been around for more than twenty years. We know one another and get along just fine. We have even worked together a few times on little short-term things. I’m glad we don’t work together more. You see, Tom Joy scares me.
There. I said it. Tom Joy scares me. I’m probably as mentally tough an individual as you will meet. When the crap hits the fan where I work, panic ensues. Then someone says “call Omawarisan”. I show up and unplug the fan. But I am scared to work wherever Tom Joy is.
Tom Joy (who is almost always referred to by his first and last name) has been honest and above board when I have been around him. He works hard and earns some really good assignments. Working hard and getting good assignments is the source of his problem
Don’t Mess Around With The Demolition Man
As soon as he gets a prime work assignment, a clock starts counting down to the inevitable. Whether Tom Joy is the one who winds the clock is a mystery. It is no mystery what will happen when the clock reads all zeroes. Something will happen and Tom Joy will fall from his lofty perch. He will land hard. People will whisper “did you hear about Tom Joy?” They will wonder if he has fallen for the last time.
The answer to that last question is always no.
Sometimes Tom Joy causes his own problem. Sometimes he is a victim of circumstance. Sometimes a weird combination of those two things does him in. But inevitably, something will happen.
Hey, Is That A Mountain?
Some of Tom Joy’s falls involve no one but him.
Others are as if he were on a plane headed for a collision with a mountain. He trips and falls out of the plane. Everyone else aboard is lost. Tom Joy plummets 25,000 feet into a hay stack. He gets up, dusts himself off, then walks to the airport to catch the next flight.
Last year, all of us at work watched, spellbound. It seemed Tom Joy would finally meet his end. His most recent fall from grace was very serious. He lost his prime assignment and then his employment. He won the job back on appeal. He is, after all, Tom Joy.
The other day, I was untangling a bit of a mess at work. My phone rang. I answered, because that’s a societal expectation. It was Tom Joy, offering help from his latest sweet perch. It’s only been six months since he lost, then recovered his job. When he won his employment back on appeal he had been sent to career Siberia, not back to his good assignment. He’s done it again. He is back on top.
I thanked him and declined his help. The clock has started running. He and I will not be on the same plane if I can help it.
There’s only one hay stack down there, and he’s Tom Joy