"Tarp!" and "Folding Party!"
"Tarp!" is pretty self-explanatory. It means that it is raining (or about to rain, or might rain at some point in the day), we need to pull the tarp on the field ASAP, and we will likely spend the next 30-120 minutes soaking wet, digging, shoveling, raking, squeegeeing, or doing anything else to maintain a playable field.
"Folding Party!" is a different animal. What that means is that we have a massive mailing that needs to go out, and all hands are required in the conference room to do so as quickly as possible. "Folding Party!" means that the next few hours (days?) will be spent sorting papers, stuffing envelopes, sticking labels, re-sticking wafer seals, and, of course, folding.
On the positive side, a "Folding Party!" is also a bonding session, of sorts. With everyone gathered around one table, plugging away assembly-line style at relatively mindless tasks, it almost always turns (devolves?) into some of the funniest conversation we have. It's the time when you learn things you never knew (and maybe didn't want to know) about the people you work with day in and day out. And a time when you can unveil any insults or put-downs you may have been working on, without fear of repercussion.
Debates (sometimes civil, sometimes heated) range from which Rocky movie is best, to whether Van Halen was better with David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar, to where David Wright should bat in the lineup, to the effectiveness of the Sopranos' ending, to what law firms have the funniest names, to what is happening on the island in Lost, to what promo items this year will pull in the most money on Ebay.
Questions like "what are you thinking right now?" inevitably break any silence that occurs. Retelling of "glory days" stories of high school or college baseball (or, more interestingly, football) exploits enthrall some and bore others.
It's a time when we learn interns' names (and try to remember the names of the ones we were in a Folding Party with less than a year ago).
In the next few days, you may receive a brochure outlining the various ways to become a part of the Cyclones experience this summer. As you tear open those wafer seals (if they're immaculately lined up, that's probably my handiwork) and get excited for baseball season, know that your brochure has traveled all the way from our "Folding Party!" to your hands.
Take good care of them.