Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Benefit Plan

Well, as I have been so slack in blogging lately, it will come as news to most of you that I was hired on as a permanent full-time employee on September 1st.

And things have only gotten weirder.

To begin with, Two Clowns isn't talking to me because I gave her some attitude last week. We--the billers--were all in the board room discussing some issues pertinent to the execution of our duties when Two Clowns busted in to announce, "The sausage and beef jerky guy is here."

The sausage and beef jerky guy is this old Ukrainian fella who stops by the office every three weeks or so to take our orders for various nitrate-laden flesh products. Usually, his visits are avidly anticipated, but we were all in the midst of actually discussing some important issues (see below), and Two Clowns's interuption was initially met with a confused and profound silence.

"Oh," I said, at last, "that must be very exciting for you."

The room--including Springsteen--erupted into laughter, which Two Clowns did not appreciate. She narrowed her eyes and said coldly, "Watch it."

"Does it do tricks?" I replied, at which point she stormed from the room and told the sausage and beef jerky guy to return in an hour or so.

She hasn't spoken to me since, which is fucking awesome. I wish I'd thought of being rude sooner. I should, perhaps, take the advice of my readers more to heart, as I believe rudeness was advocated at least once or twice.

Anyway, we are facing a potential calamity at the office, and by "we" I mean me specifically, but possibly the billing department in general. It all depends on what the company decides to do. Springsteen announced at the meeting that she will shortly be taking another position in the company, so while she will still work at our branch, she will no longer be our Boss. And while I'm happy for her and hope she does well, because I have an excellent relationship with Springsteen and am genuinely fond of her, what terrifies me is the fact that her replacement might very well be


Nothing is official, but she was being groomed for Springsteen's job before Springsteen got it and she's been walking around the office for the past week looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. It's a cat with really huge teeth, mind you--in the immortal words of Greg Giraldo, "(S)he's got a mouth full of two-by-fours. Everytime she smiles, I'm reminded I need to refinish my deck."

Anyway, nothing has been announced officially, but that's the latest tension. I harbour a small but determined hope that the company will recognize how disastrous Teeth would be in a position of authority, and will pass her over again.

So, given that at least three of us (Yvette, Princess Anne and myself) will seriously consider leaving should Teeth take the braces of power in the office, the hilarity that crossed my desk today was much appreciated, if completely incomprehensible.

It's incomprehensible in the sense that I simply cannot understand how or why people consistently complicate their lives and put themselves into compromsing situations, when it is significantly easier NOT to.

Today, I learned through Yvette (who is, despite her earlier remarks on the death of Osama bin Laden, one of the more functional personalities in the office) that Sylvester has been up to certain, inexplicable hijinks. I knew from Sylvester herself that her long-time partner is an adult baby, a particular fetish that I cannot claim to understand myself. Most of us successfully make the adjustment away from soothers and diapers. And even if we retain a whimsical longing for the carefree days of infancy when all of our needs were seen to by doting and adoring parents (if we were lucky), we still don't find it sexy to shit our pants.

Sylvester herself doesn't get off on the adult baby stuff, which might be why she approached one of the new dispatchers with an offer to be "a co-worker with benefits".

Now first off, I realize that it might seem convenient to approach someone at work with such an offer because we're all thrown into a common place for several hours a week, but by the same token, think it through: we're all thrown into a common place for several hours a week! If things go south (as they invariably do), AWKWARD doesn't begin to describe the atmosphere.

Yet, having been politely but firmly declined, retain a hold on your dignity: thank the man/woman/office machine for their courtesy and walk the hell away. It is not necessary to half-assed explain your advances with a description of your live-in partner's infantile activities involving sleepers, rattles and diapers.

But even if you think that IS necessary somehow (perhaps in a ploy for sympathy), I can guarantee that it is wholly damaging to your reputation in the office to explain to ANYONE that you have a porn site they can visit if they change their minds or are even remotely curious.

*insert the sound of a needle scratching across a record here*

"Waitaminnut, waitaminnut," I said to Yvette. "Porn site? What do you mean a porn site? You mean where she posts a list of her favourite turn ons and kinks, or..."

"No,"said Yvette, "where she demonstrates them!"

And thus was my mind blown, gentle readers, because except for a very select niche market, I'm relatively certain that NO-ONE is interested in watching a five-foot-one, three hundred pound woman built like a mailbox speaking in a lisp like Sylvester the Cat do ANYTHING remotely sexual. Most of us look away squeamishly when she peels her banana at break; I can't imagine anyone getting off on watching her...gah, I can't/won't go there.

But if that is your thing, that's perfectly fine (in private): but that information probably shouldn't be making the rounds at work, and if you thought it wouldn't get out, then you're even more naive than I am regarding Teeth and her chances for promotion.


The fuck.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

WTF Twice In One Week

Last week was a bad one for piss-offs. Yes, the paycheque debacle ended happily, but hard on the heels of that bullshit was some more crap that made me scratch my head in friggin' wonder at what people think they can get away with. I mean, seriously: do people push the envelope with everyone they meet? Or is it just my own peculair karmic burden?

For example:

Across the road from us are three rental properties. I understand why home owners hate these fuckin' things. God knows I understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to own their own property (which is shit), but for the love of everything that is holy, people, take some pride in your environment. Clean up, fer chissakes. I understand that you're not invested in the property because it's not yours, and I'm not asking you to become members of the Horticultural Club (most of you can't even fucking spell it), but come on.

Directly across the street in the basement of one of these joints is an Islamic family of three. I refer to him as Mohammed and her as Fatima because, well, statistically my odds are good. I don't care for Mohammed very much because

a) he spits. I don't give a good goddam what your excuse is, don't fuckin' spit. Keep your fluids inside yourself. Hork all over the interior of your home if you must, but do not hock a lugee on the roads and sidewalks that I have to share with you, asswipe.

b) he dresses very badly. I have actually seen him outside the house wearing a plaid diaper flannel sarong. Now, I have no problem whatsoever with cultural or traditional costume, and I certainly--as one of the Enchanted People--do not have an issue with men in skirts. But seriously, plaid diaper flannel? Fatima actually lets you outside looking like that? Sheesh.

c) he has three vehicles.

This latter point is the true crux of the matter. He has an little red truck, a silver SUV and a little red car. The red truck and the SUV are used quite regularly although they are very often parked in front of other people's houses, to the point where our neighbours complain to him. The little red car, however, had, up until recently sat on the front street for a month and a half due to the driver's side front tire being deflated. Finally, I put a note on the windshield of the car that said, "Move this car or it will be towed," and the tire was inflated, but it still continues to sit out front.

Last week, I said to Mohammed, "Do you really need to take up three spaces on the street?"

"I use all of these cars!" he said to me. "The SUV belongs to my wife. I drive the truck to work."

"And the red car?"

"I drive it to work also."

"You drive both of them to work? That's quite a trick."

"No, the car I drive to work from three am until six. Then I come home and take the truck."

"You mean the car with the flat tire?"

Dead silence as he realized he'd been caught in a lie.

"Cuz here's the thing: I frequently can't use the space in front of my house because two of your three vehicles (which includes one that isn't being used) are parked right there."

"You have a garage, ya?"

"Yeah, and you have a garage, and I have a second vehicle that doesn't fit inside mine. So find somewhere else to park. Got it?"

I thought about telling him to keep his saliva in his mouth, but figured I'd start with something simple. We can move on to personal hygeine later on.

This exchange occurred on Wednesday or Thursday (I can't remember; all the incidences of fresh hell just kind of blend together after awhile). On Saturday morning at 5:00, I was awoken by the sound of car doors slamming over and over again. I had to get up to whiz (I have the world's smallest bladder, I think my one-year-old niece's is bigger), so while I was up, I looked out front.

Mohammed and Fatima were packing up the SUV and putting their toddler in the car seat, probably to go somewhere relaxing for the long weekend (not camping though--my impression is that immigrants don't camp). Anyway, I watched them fart around for awhile but when they drove off, I noticed that they had left a pile of crap right in front of our house. They had obviously emptied out the garbage from the back seat or whatever and just dumped it onto the street.

Fuck, was I furious. What kind of passive aggressive shit is that anyway? And even if (on the outside chance) it's not about me (and sometimes it's not), you don't just go dumping your crap on the street because you can't be arsed to find a garbage can, you fucking ditch pig. I managed to go back to sleep, but when I dragged my ass out of bed around 10:00, I stepped into my shoes, gathered up the garbage (broken cds, empty drink cups, adverts for halal meats, paperwork from the registry office for the red car, etc) and dumped it on their front step.

There has been no reaction (nor had there better be), other than none of Mohammed's vehicles has been parked in front of our house since.

So that was Episode One of WTF. The second one involves Two Clowns.

It was Friday afternoon, a Friday afternoon before a long holiday. Hitler's mother had died on Wednesday, which meant that I had to leave my favourite work to take up the Bullshit I Hate in her absence. I was making good headway, but not having done it in a few weeks, I was having to concentrate and make sure that I wasn't screwing up royally.

In a characteristic display of epic cluelessness, Two Clowns comes by my desk and spends twenty--count 'em, twenty--minutes, talking to me about recent upgrades to her fucking bedroom. She began by complaining to me about how the ex-Mr. Tw- Clowns would never let her have sheer draperies in the conjugal bedroom because he needed black-out blinds (probably to obscure her face, is my thought). Yet, since childhood, Two Clowns has yearned for a girly-girl room and constantly been denied.

Now, looking to me for sympathy is a little like going to Canadian Tire to get groceries. Yet, Two Clowns remains utterly oblivious to the fact that I am

a) trying to work,

b) concentrating like mad on a complex task, and

c) don't give a fucking shit sideways about her goddamned bedroom.

So oblivious is she, in fact, that when she finally leaves my desk, she goes back to her own and sends me an email that contains pictures of the bedroom, complete with lace curtains and microfibre chair. (Don't click there, it's not a link. If I don't wanto to see it, I can't imagine you do either.)

And it doesn't end there, either. About half an hour after the email, she came by my desk again and said reproachfully, "You didn't answer my email."

"I'm trying to get this shit done," I said drily, "but it looks very nice."

"You didn't even open it," she said and walked off.

Now I ask you, people: is there a karmic lesson I'm supposed to be learning here? I have heard it suggested that I am to learn patience through these interactions, but I remain unconvinced. My very humble opinion is that patience from other people is what has permitted these giant tools to get away with their douchebaggery thus far. But not with me. Nuh-uh. My thought is that my job in these cases is to correct these behaviours, at least where they intersect with me, so that they might just start to get the idea that there are consequences attached to being a self-indulgent asshole.