Employees skip work or watch World Cup match at office

Employees skip work or watch World Cup match at office

The 10 a.m. kickoff Thursday for the U.S. Men's soccer team left some nine-to-five workers watching the game from their cubicles.

Or as ABC-7's Collin Carroll tried Thursday morning -- searching for an excuse to skip work altogether.

Who could blame him? U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann issued a letter to fans this week via the team Twitter account, asking bosses to excuse their workers for the day.

Full disclosure: Carroll called ABC-7's assistant news director Thursday morning, asking for the day off.

Clearly, other employees around El Paso had slightly better luck than Carroll did.

"USA! USA! USA! USA!" rang the chants from inside Corner Tavern during the Americans' game against Germany.

On a day where it's almost un-American not to skip work, a little white lie seemed like the most patriotic course of action.

"So what excuse did you give your boss for being able to come and watch the game at Corner Tavern?" Carroll asked a fan who wanted to remain anonymous.

"Just real bad allergies," the fan said.

"And what did he say?" Carroll asked.

"World cup fever!" the fan responded.

The fever took a slightly different tone at the German watch party at Fort Bliss during Germany's game-winning goal in the 55th minute.

"I don't think there's too many people skipping work," said Marco Andriessen, a master sergeant in the German Air Force. "The Germans have an extended lunch break."
No culture is immune to World Cup fever -- nor profession. It even spread as far as City Rep. Lily Limon's office at city hall.

"I believe that we will win," Limon chanted in her office Thursday. "You're just hoping that when that magic moment comes, then we can yell, 'Goal,' that you're witnessing it on TV."

"It's nice to have a little diversion," said County Judge Veronica Escobar.

Not long after Escobar's relatively short 9:30 a.m. Thursday meeting, commissioners Vince Perez and Patrick Abeln briefly poked their heads into Perez's office foyer to catch the score.

"You guys didn't tease Judge Escobar for not cancelling the meeting, did you?" Carroll aked Perez.

"Maybe the judge doesn't like freedom and apple pie," Perez responded.

"Some of the other commissioners were maybe wondering why you didn't cancel the 9:30 meeting," Carroll pressed Escobar.

"It was a short one," Escobar said. "They can still watch online. We had business to do. But we got through it."

Escobar got through her business quickly enough to stop by Corner Tavern on her lunch break. But unlike some of her Corner Tavern compadres, it was back to work right after the final whistle.

"Oh my god!" Escobar said upon seeing Carroll with a camera outside Corner Tavern. "Like paparazzi over here!

Carroll is in no position to judge the judge, given that he's already begun consulting his excuse Rolodex in search of a reason to miss work Tuesday, when the Americans take on Belgium in the elimination round.

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