Today I got high. Not by inhaling or injecting any chemicals into my body, but by passing around a lot of smiles at work.

It all started when I woke up earlier than usual. I wasn't in any rush to leave the apartment, and so the daily goodbye kiss was longer than usual. And I had time to tell more jokes than I normally do before heading out. So my sweetheart put a nice smile on my face which lasted me well beyond my arrival at the office.

Then at work, while scanning the first e-mails of the day, I detected a small crisis brewing. My teammate in Boston had graciously prototyped some code to help her test her own part of our project. But when she tried to give the developers in a related project her prototype code, so as to give them a headstart at implementing functionality that they are supposed to own and she's just supposed to utilize from her project, they started whining. "Why do you think we want that? We don't own that functionality. Why are you dumping extra work in our laps?" Shit.

My co-worker puts everyone else to shame with how fast she is at responding to e-mail. The other team's whining was a whole hour old, and she had still not responded. I just knew she was dying over there, staring in awe at the other team's e-mail. I could easily imagine the horror stories forming in her mind. Weeks and weeks of useless meetings between her and representatives of the other team to clear up the issues of who owns what. We do it too often, we all get frustrated by it, and you can feel valuable time slipping through your fingers when you're on the phone trying to cajole some jerk-off into owning up to his requirements.

Aha! Quite some time ago, when we were all busily writing up formal documents about what our projects did, who was going to work on them, how long they'd take, etc... Some guy was ranting and raving about a new process he needed us to follow for identifying our requirements and tracking them throughout all of our functional and design specs. We griped secretly amongst ourselves from the tediousness of it all at the time, but now there was a mechanism in place for querying who actually promised to implement each part of the system. Sure enough, within 5 minutes of pointing and clicking through internal websites, I found 4 specific requirement IDs describing the functionality in question. And they were most certainly owned by the team who was now refusing to give a shit about them.

Being as diplomatic as possible, and controlling my urge to be a smartass about it, I quoted the requirements and their ID numbers, and pointed at the document describing who owned them. And I confirmed that my colleague was right all along, but in the dryest tone possible. I felt too good from earlier in the morning to want to hurt anybody's feelings, and charitable enough to butt in on a topic I am not directly involved in. And then, my co-worker in Boston is one of the most beautiful Chinese girls I have ever seen, so the motivation to impress her made me do it. But not being a braggart in the process was a really hard urge to suppress.

The tone of her next e-mail is what made me high. She responded to my e-mail within seconds, signifying that she was no longer staring at the other team's whiny e-mail and thinking bad thoughts about what it might've led to. That she wasn't just back on track, but even smiling about it now, I could sense in the tone of her message when she thanked me for solving the issue. And she was rejuvenated now, being as sarcastic and witty as ever, showing those whiney bastards no mercy, and no more tolerance for their bullshit. I fixed her day.

But it wasn't just that. Totally out of the blue, she added a P.S. about also liking a joke I told her when we were lost wandering the hallways together last week in Silicon Valley. (She said the building was like a maze, so I said something silly that maybe there were some high school kids wearing capes and using twelve-sided dice to find there way out of the middle of the building, in a totally Dungeons & Dragons sort of way.) I don't know why she mentioned that, since it had nothing to do with the conversation we were all having. But what the hell? I suddenly liked the (possibly delusional) idea that the gorgeous girl in Boston that I work with thinks I'm smart and funny, and maybe even likes me. And that's good enough for me, right now. I don't care if maybe she thinks I have a crush on her, and bolstering my ego is all part of some manipulative female plot. I just like smiling about it.

I've felt other kinds of highs. Like, when I used to date this Vietnamese stripper who had fake breasts, and I'd catch secondhand highs from whatever it was she would smoke before or after we hooked up to have sex. Or, like when a friend of mine brought her best pot over to my place in a desperate attempt to lower my inhibitions and hook up with me at least once before she moved away to Boston last year. (A totally different girl from Boston...not the one I work with.) Feeling flirted with as I did, and already being happy to begin with gave me a similar, but much better feeling. Hell, it even felt better than making out with 18 year old girls in the bleachers at a rave. It was just that good of a high.

A smile is a terrible thing to waste, I figured, so before any more stupid issues could come along and ruin my day, I passed my good feeling onward. That one guy who worked so hard long ago to make us gather up all that valuable data about requirements seemed deserving of a nice big thank you letter to brighten up his day! So I wrote up a few examples from today and last week where having all that information has helped us avoid ratholes in meetings, and stupid debates between project teams. And I let him know that I appreciated the good job he did insisting that we do all that stuff. I saw the guy in the hallway an hour later with a slightly happier skip in his step than usual, so I knew the joy had been successfully spread.

Eww, I'm perverted! I'm talking about spreading joy at work. I knew a girl named Joy, once...