1. "Birthday card for Donna? I don't really work with Donna."
  2. Oh, that's not an acceptable thing to say, Chris.
  3. "But she's great. I'd love to sign it!"
  4. Write my name real quick.
  5. "Thanks Carrie. Appreciate you doing that. Oh, pass it to Joe?"
  6. Man, it's always someone's birthday.
  7. And Carrie always knows.
  8. I guess as office manager she has like a chart or something.
  9. Does someone know Carrie's birthday?
  10. Who would pass around the card for her? Like, she can't be the one to do it, right?
  11. How many office managers' birthdays are never celebrated?
  12. "Cake in the break room in five minutes sounds great, Carrie."
  13. Wait, why does Joe still have the card?
  14. Oh, Joe is writing a message.
  15. Like a long message.
  16. I guess he and Donna are both in accounting so that makes sense.
  17. Oh, here comes Mandy. Mandy doesn't know Donna at all.
  18. Mandy is writing more than just her name.
  19. Mandy is writing a paragraph.
  20. I glimpse phrases like "your constant smile" and "insatiable love of yorkies."
  21. Was I supposed to write something?
  22. I got the card first. I thought we were just doing names.
  23. Here comes Sheila.
  24. Sheila brought her own pen to do this and just muttered "where to begin with Donna."
  25. I think everyone is doing messages.
  26. Oh.
  27. I didn't realize that.
  28. Oh, man, Chris, you messed up again.
  29. You've been at this startup three months and everyone keeps giving you chances, but you keep proving how you cannot read any situation properly.
  30. I have to get that card back.
  31. Will just walked up and did a whole "ugh, I know I have to wait in line for Donna" bit that made everyone laugh.
  32. Sheila is still writing.
  33. I think I just saw her wipe away a tear.
  34. She's writing something good.
  35. And I wrote "Chris Sellers."
  36. Sheila just wrapped up with "and I know you'll finally get that Castle in Milan this year with Leo."
  37. Sheila and Donna have inside jokes.
  38. This is bad.
  39. Will is writing about that time she babysat his kids when his sitter quit and he and his wife has tickets to that opera.
  40. Will has kids?
  41. And a wife?
  42. Oh, man, Chris, it's not enough to just work here, you big, dumb idiot, you have to have relationships with these people.
  43. Will, hurry so I can sign before cake.
  44. Oh damnit, here comes Mr. Coleman.
  45. He's never here. He doesn't know our names.
  46. "The card is for Donna, sir. Donna... accounting."
  47. Chris, you don't even know Donna's last name.
  48. I need to grow up and accept that I am a working adult.
  49. These people go to the opera while I sprint up the first floor of my building to avoid my landlord until my next check comes in.
  50. Mr. Coleman drew a little arrow on his note to let Donna know it continued on the next page.
  51. Mr. Coleman won't let anyone see what he wrote, but he trembled and said "I thank God on high for Donna every day."
  52. And now like four more people I don't know are signing it and muttering things like "she's the the official office sheep! She'll know what it means."
  53. I'm the only signature there.
  54. Carrie says it's time for cake.
  55. Grab the card, Chris.
  56. "No, Carrie, I need to add something."
  57. She says I already signed it.
  58. "Yeah, I forgot to add something."
  59. She sighed and gave it back.
  60. Ok, ok, hurry.
  61. Not a lot of room above my name, thanks to Barry.
  62. Who is Barry?
  63. Maybe you can add a message under your name, so it's like "Chris Sellers: wow Donna. You are cool."
  64. So it kinda looks like a stage direction? I don't know?
  65. Damn it, the lights dimmed and I hear "happy birthday."
  66. Ok, write.
  67. What do I write? I don't know Donna.
  68. Ok, scan the messages. Cherry pick a nice sentiment.
  69. Happy... Birthday... Donna.
  70. Good start.
  71. I... love... your... great...
  72. Everyone already said smile. Say something different.
  73. ...eyes.
  74. Sure.
  75. You... wear... sweaters... and... like... Yorkshire... Terriers.
  76. That's just a statement, Chris.
  77. ...and... I... think... that's... rad.
  79. ...thanks... for... getting... me... paid... I... promise... to... fill... out... a... W2... soon... I... just... don't... exactly... have... a... permanent...address... right... now... it's... complicated.
  80. Chris, stop getting into office matters and end this nice.
  81. ...here's... to..many more... days... at the... lake.
  82. What, lake, Chris?
  83. When has she ever mentioned a lake?
  84. Just sign it.
  85. ...Chris... Sellers.
  86. Quick read it back.
  87. It says, "Chris Sellers: Happy Birthday Donna. I love your great eyes. You were sweaters and like Yorkshire Terriers, and I think that's rad. Thanks for getting me paid. I promise to fill out a W2 soon. I just don't exactly have a permanent address right now. It's complicated. Here's to many more days at the lake. -Chris Sellers."
  88. I wrote my name twice, but other than that I think it's as good as could be expected.
  89. "Here, Carrie!"
  90. Ok, go get cake and mingle. Get to know people.
  91. Grab a slice from that nice lady who sits in the corner.
  92. "Hey, what did you write in Donna's card?"
  93. Oh, she's Donna, Chris.