Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

Category: The Office

I Know What I’m Needing And I Don’t Want To Waste More Time

I really thought that with being laid off I would have a lot more time on my hands to do the things I love – sleep, write, run, see X. Unfortunately, none of those dreams have come to fruition.

My knee is all jacked up so there’s no running in my near future. Crap. And I’ve been somehow so busy that there’s barely any time for the other stuff. Though I am paving my way for my future. At least I think I am. I thought at first that I just wanted to be happy and to make enough money to get by. Then I smartened up and realized that would be stupid. I have achieved a lot, and still have a way to go, and it would have been stupid for me to stay at the Vortex or another place just like it just to crank out a paycheck. I am capable of so much more.

I sent my resume out to four recruiters the first few days after being laid off and three of them called me in for interviews. I know. Yay! Here’s how that went.

Recruiter #1: Asked me “So, how did you like the corporate culture at the Vortex?” Not, “What did you like about your last job” or “What are you looking for in a new job,” but a question about the “Corporate Culture?” Interesting. My first reaction was to bust out laughing. My second reaction was to put my finger up as if to say “hold on,” and then laugh some more. I asked her why she was asking because let’s face it, no one asks you about a fucking corporate culture unless they know that it’s a dysfunctional corporate culture. She then launched into a dissertation about how they as recruiters have sent 15 people to interview there over the last year and how all the candidates came back going, “What the fuck kind of place is that???” The one person who actually took the job ended up leaving within a few weeks. I said, “Oh yea! I heard about her!”

Recruiters Number 2 AND 3: Asked me to come work for them. As a recruiter. Both of them shockingly had the same reasoning for this offer of employment. They said my background was unique but ran the gamut of the real estate industry and as such I would be able to effectively find both clients and candidates and match them up, resulting in commissions extraordinaire. I cannot say that I didn’t internally swoon at their praises and that it didn’t validate the last 15 years of my calculated career choices because it did.

While these offers were flattering, and one I thought of entertaining seriously, I just don’t know. I’m old enough now to know what I’m good at, and what my limitations are. I’m not sure if switching into a different field makes a lot of sense for me. Or anyone at my point in life and career. I’m not sure if having a job whose sole purpose is to find other people jobs would make me happy. I like building things.   Sigh.

I had to convey this in logical terms to my parents, who felt that (yet again) I should abandon my dreams in lieu of the guaranteed paycheck. They used that disapproving, “Well, you should consider all your options.” I said, “I have considered them, and I have learned one very important thing. Except for X, all the people I have worked for have been stupider than I am. This means, I’m missing the mark. If I’m smarter than most of the people who have signed my paycheck in the last 15 years, then I have a huge opportunity. I just need to make it happen.

So I’m off pedaling my tricycle on a related path in real estate, hoping it pays off. I believe I’m off to a great start. And part of my plan involves one day working with X again. We’ll see.

Oh. In case anyone was wondering exactly how stupid the Vortex really is, let me tell you what they did to me with my severance.

They were “so proud” to be able to offer me this severance package that was “way beyond” what anyone has ever received, and was apparently supposed to be something my boss had to fight for. Admirable, right? Sarcasm sarcasm.

So when they wrote out my contract, I realized they made a mistake in my favor. I signed it, sent it back and asked them to sign it and send it back to me. I figured they would catch the mistake. They didn’t. They cut the check for the same amount in the contract.

They somehow managed to give me twice as much as they told me they were giving me. Dumbasses. I literally laughed ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

Burn Out the Day, Burn Out the Night

True story.

Phone Call to X, today, 1:14 p.m.
X: Yellllllo?
V: Baby! What’s the best thing that could happen to me?
X: We got married.
V: NO!
X: You’re pregnant!
V: NO! Come on! A little less about “you” and a little more about “me!”
X: Napoleon got fired.
V: No….
X: Betty Ford got fired.
V: No…..
X: I don’t know.
V: Think more globally.
X: Um….

[answer after the next call]

Phone Call to Lily, in the Maternity Ward, 1:17 p.m.
V: Lily, what’s the best thing that could happen?
Lily: Bipolar Betty got fired.
V: No.
Lily: Well, that’s the best thing that could happen to me!
V: Come on! Why is no one getting this?

OUR OFFICE CAUGHT ON FIRE TODAY! BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Unfortunately, the public servants of the ‘burbs are markedly more responsive than those of the District, and the fire was squelched before it got to my floor.   When I heard those alarms go off though, mama was out the door with all her goods in under 2 minutes. The only thing I left behind that was personal were two pairs of 6 year old Nine West boots.

See? It pays to clean out your desk!

Tomorrow’s task: fill all office fire extinguishers with kerosene.

There’s the Door, What’re You Waiting For?

Dear Lily:

Since your doctor decided to schedule you for a C-Section this Friday, and you aren’t coming back to work, here’s what you have missed.

Your “boss,” Bipolar Betty, sent the entire company an email that had links to some articles that were supposed to encourage us to contribute to the 401K. When I clicked the links to the articles, they both indicated that if one chose to contribute to a 401K, there is a new incentive that could put $2000 back in your pocket. Upon further reading, it is revealed that the income cap to enjoy the full benefit begins at $15,000 and is phased out at around $26,000. I’m sorry, but does anyone at our company make $26,000 or less? No? Not even the receptionist? Huh. Well then, I wonder why she would send this link to all of us.

Then for some reason, one of my bosses, decided to email the entire company a list of how not to get Swine Flu. This list included such nuggets like “Don’t touch your face,” and “Clean out your nasal cavity with a flushing system.” I believe it actually named products intended for this purpose.   This email, since it went to all of us, also went to Bipolar Betty. She in turn repackaged that puppy, and reforwarded it back to us all, with a disclaimer: “I received this from one of our employees.” Yeah. We know. We were ALL ON THE ORIGINAL EMAIL.

As X would say, Who is guarding the Brain Trust?

Then, lest you think you are were the only one working in the Rocket Science Lab, let me tell you about the last 5 minutes of MY day.

I received an email from aforementioned Swine Flu Emailing Boss, asking me “Why is there a rotating film strip on our website??? Velvet???? Do you know??? anything???? about?????? this????????????????”

You know, those question marks are very very accusatory.

I replied, to all, much as he set up the original email: “I’m not sure what you are talking about, however, if you are referring to the current web page, then please be advised that that is the original proof you approved about one year ago and it has been active on our site with no revisions since October, 2008.” I mean, if you’re going to imply I messed something up, and copy Jesus Christ, God and the Pope on it, you may want to check your facts.

I could get in to the drama you missed last week, where the accusations of “alcoholic” and “being drunk at work” were tossed in various directions, how one of my work friends is giving her notice tomorrow, but frankly, it is all too much for me. I have to take myself a clonnie and chase it with half a beer and get ready to face another day in that fucking zoo.

Three days till your son is born!

Smooch,
Velvet

Still the Same

Attention deficit disordered post coming your way tonight.

Lily Update:
OMG OMG OMG. By some stroke of luck (or fate, since neither Lily nor I believe in “God”) she has a major lead on something that just might get her the hell out of the Vortex. I don’t want to say too much for fear of the big-jinx, in which I also believe. Yes. You read that correctly. I believe in fate and jinxes, but not in God. I also believe that one day that vintage Halston jumpsuit will be mine, though I’ve never been able to find it anywhere. Anyway, if this Lily thing works out the way we’re hoping, she could actually exact the ultimate revenge. Do not fuck with the woman who is 9 months pregnant!

The Story I Was Going to Tell About Last Weekend Before Work Sucked Me Up and Spit Me Out:
X and I went out to Delaware last Saturday. Our community was having a little soiree at the firehouse. (Don’t ask.) After my long awaited debut-diatribe on the community message boards, I garnered myself a following. I had communicated with a couple people, one of whom asked me to come to this get-together. In a rare moment very unlike him, X agreed.

When we walked in to the party we realized two things. 1) We were several decades well below the average age of attendees, (X said I should be in good company since I “like my men older,”) and 2) We did not have enough beer. Lucky for us it’s a small town and the liquor store happens to be attached to the firehouse. I didn’t bring my wallet so I had to take X’s and leave him alone with a guy and his “houseguest.” Houseguest is apparently a Delaware euphemism for gay gay gayety gay gay. Leave it to us to go all the way out there and meet the gay neighbor and his “houseguest,” who happens to live in Adams Morgan. When I got to the liquor store I got ID’d. Busted! I showed the guy some gray hair and convinced him I wasn’t 21. He said, “I don’t know, you look 24 to me.”

Then I gave him X’s Debit card and he said, “Are you his wife?” I lied. Then he said, “Well you’ll have to do debit because you would have to sign for credit. Do you know his pin?”

A little bubble appeared over my head and took me back to the day last winter where I helped X move out of his old place to where he lives now. X sent me off to the ATM to get money for the movers. At the time, there was discussion of his pin being his ex-wife’s birthday. He said he would change it to my birthday.

Back to the liquor store. The guy says, “You need to get the pin right or the sale won’t go through.” I sat there debating – did X change his pin or not? I didn’t have my cell so I couldn’t call him and I was too lazy and buzzed to walk back over to the party without the beer. I said to the liquor store dude, “Well, here goes. It’s either my birthday or his ex-wife’s.” So I picked. I heard that telltale register tape cranking away, indicating I chose the right pin.

The guy at the liquor store said, “Well? Which birthday was it?” I said, “The Ex wife’s. Can you believe that shit? How old did you say I looked? I might have to come back here later.”

Tomorrow:
I have JURY DUTY! YAY!!!! I’ve never been so excited to have jury duty! I hope they pick me and put me on a three week trial! Wish me luck!

You Were Quicker Than They Thought

This entire week has been a bit of a clusterfuck. I think I’ve spent more time on the phone with people discussing work than I’ve actually been at work. X really thinks I work at the inspiration for “The Office.”

It took a year and a half but I am fed up. And I’m on the other side now – which is fine, because the “other side” is like an old pair of college sweatpants. I remember it, yet, it’s been so long! I can only get here with the exact prescription of equal parts of busting my ass and getting screwed over. Let’s see, when was the last time this happened? Shady land developer in Maryland? Check. Drunken boss at Archstone Smith? Check. Psychotic drug addicts at Calvin Klein Buying Offices? Check check check.

Let’s see…what happened to all those people at those jobs?

Land Developer: Currently filing bankruptcy on roughly a dozen projects to avoid having to cough up judgments against him that total probably $25 million dollars. Now see that the courts are garnishing his bank accounts. I. Feel. So. Sorry. For. You. Cough.

Archstone Smith Boss: Not sure of her whereabouts. Damn google, don’t fail me now. Though I believe the second “A” in “AA” stands for Anonymous. So maybe she sobered up and I just can’t find it online.

Calvin Klein: Division I worked with eventually folded and ceased doing business. The only sweet non-jaded person there became a namesake of the very successful high end Lambertson Truex brand. Well done. Calvin Klein, on the other hand, over licensed his name so much that I think it holds as much value as this booger I just picked out of my nose.

Can someone pass me a tissue?

Anyway, people always get what is coming to them. Or they live miserable lives because they are just so despicable. Let me give a bit of history on the current spectacle going on at work:

My very dear friend at work, Lily, with whom I have bonded over many things – not the least of which is her marrying into a nutjob Greek family (uh, hello, this script was written for me) is going through a crisis of mega-proportions. Let’s see. How shall I put this? A show of hands, please. How many of you would like to be 8 & 1/2 months pregnant and married to the love of your life?

My friend has been out of the office on and off since the summer. When she finally came back after a long absence she told me the heart wrenching truth about what was going on. Now, how about if I asked you the same question as above with one postscript – How many of you would like to be 8 and 1/2 months pregnant and married to the love of your life who has been told he only has 3 months to live? I see the hands all went down.

I told X. He and I were back and forth on the phone all day saying, “What the fuck are we doing? What are we waiting for?” He would call back and say, “I can’t stop thinking about Lily.” To say that something in someone else’s life changed ours is an understatement. We put our plans together and have specific timelines for how they must unfold. But that is a story for another day.

Back to my friend. When she came back to work after the absence and finally told me the whole saga, we obviously bonded a lot more.   When Lily would come into the office I would go over to check up on her. On one particular day I was over in her office for 45 minutes. This apparently pissed several people off, including her boss, Bipolar Betty. It happened a month ago, yet, it has put into motion a whole series of events, each one stupider than the last, that it is really hard to believe that this sort of bullshit even goes on in the lives of adults.

The funniest part of all of this is that our company has the nerve to persecute Lily and I for one 45 minute conversation on a day when neither of us took a lunch anyway, and yet, people see fit to take 5 cigarette breaks a day at 10 minutes a shot, also take a lunch, leave early, and stand around most of the day talking. Yet, for us, this stupid shit of this one day that happened over a month ago, keeps coming up. The other day I was in her office for 10, maybe 12 minutes tops, and there were allegedly multiple “complaints” that people couldn’t find me for over an hour and that we were in there talking about nothing for an hour. The funniest part is that we were talking about work related things. So now Lily and I have come out swinging, fighting about all the bullshit and comments people are making.   There are so many convoluted lies in all of this that it’s just become reminiscent of middle school drama.

So today, during our monthly birthday celebration, with the whole company stuffed into the conference room, I waited for Lily to walk in and I said, “Oh, it’s YOU. DON’T TALK TO ME. I wouldn’t want anyone to say that because we talked for 1 minute that we were in the conference room making out for an hour and a half.” She got her piece of cake and when she made chatter with someone next to her I said, “That’s just about enough. You have been in here for hours. Get back to your desk. I’m going back to mine because it’s been too long now in the same room with you.”

She sent me an email telling me she loved me. I called her (because I don’t trust our email much like I don’t trust anything else or anyone else there) and said, “It’s like the jerk store now. I keep thinking of more things I’m going to say.'” She said, “Everyone heard you.” I said I didn’t think they did but she said she’s sure both my boss and hers heard.

Good. GOOD. I’m so happy about that. They have no idea what happens to people who fuck with me without provocation.

I hope that no one needs those two drawers of files I threw out yesterday or the year’s plus worth of emails I deleted today. Someone said to me this afternoon: “Your office is looking suspiciously clean.” Oh? Is it? Gee. I wonder what goodies the trash can will get tomorrow! I’m giddy with anticipation!

Do you know what the worst part of this whole thing really is? It’s not the pettiness or the 45 minutes of lost work time or the backstabbing tattletails. It’s the fact that Lily’s going through a major situation that no one else at work is going through, and probably will never go through, and they can’t seem to dig deep into their hearts and find some fucking compassion and understanding. That has to be the most unforgivable part of this.

The Trick You Said, Was Never Play the Game Too Long

Every time something noteworthy happens to me, I swear I’m going to sit down and put it into words. My life with X is so good. It is just so good. We have everything in place, all our plans lined up like neat little ducks, hovering delicately at that place of dropping the first domino. But then. But, then.

Work comes up behind me and swallows me like a drunken sailor on shore leave, rips me several new assholes, reminds me why it’s better that people don’t carry concealed weapons and laughs in my face that drugs are still, sadly, illegal. Because if I ever needed them at a time in my life, I’d say it’s right about…….now. It’s just not good. It’s sucking the life out of me. Eight hours seems like twelve. And yet, much like they seem to like to remind us, the economy is bad and where the hell is anyone getting a job these days? Yeah. I know, I know.

The problem with all this is the ducks – those plans X and I have. And those plans really don’t lend themselves to a job change at this point. I thought I could hang in for another year. But now looking down the barrel of 12 months and hoping to make it to the other end feels about as promising as Three’s Company coming back to Prime Time. I don’t know how I’m going to make it.

I   have had conversations with X. I have had conversations with friends, both inside work and out. I have had a conversation with myself. I’m not sure how much longer I can take it. It sucks the life out of me, it sucks the writing out of me.   I had a great story about X and I from the weekend and ugh. I can’t get there right now.

There comes a point in your life where putting up with unbelievable amounts of shit all week while counting the days to Friday or a day off seems stupid. The fact that I got Jury Duty and actually jumped up and down at the mailbox at the thought of possibly getting picked for a trial and not having to go to work is sad. You get old and you realize life is too short and that you have worked for too long to deal with other people’s disorganization and incompetence affecting you. You realize you could start businesses (or join businesses) with really good friends and that that just may be a better way to pass time and make money than working for the man.

I wish I could say that I have excuses.

“Oh, but I need to save more money.” (I don’t.)

“Oh, but there’s going to be a Christmas bonus.” (I doubt there will be.)

“Oh, but it’s so scary to not have a regular paycheck.” (It is. But the hostile work environment is scarier.)

I just need to take a leap. I need to not look back to make sure someone is still holding the back of the bike. It’s time. Now, to psych myself into it, set a timeline and put the plan in motion.

Eyes That Shine Burning Red

Oh D.C. You are so predictable. If there’s anything I can count on you kids for, it’s consistency. I can practically write your very own personal ad. “Enjoys voting for Democrats, jumping on bandwagons and getting “bailed out.” I noticed a new little habit of yours though. “Also enjoys running through Georgetown only when it’s 65 degrees, wearing Black Dog apparel.”

I happen to have two black dogs, but neither of them is a tee-shirt. Mine crap outside. I also happen to run just as often when it’s 15 degrees outside as when it’s 65. So having to share what was formerly a deserted path with you amateurs really pisses me off. And that you all look and dress the same? Criminal. I had to see way too many Black Dog tee shirts last night. Way too many.

I’m currently on the company warpath. It seems that someone, I’m not sure who, invented this great idea that when it’s your birthday, you get a corporate wide email complete with graphics. It used to be that they would send the email out to everyone and put all the names in the “to” box. But then a couple things happened. First, the graphics would take up so much space on the server that the email system would crash. Then we’d get messages from I.T. telling us to hurry and delete the birthday message. The second would be that inevitably, people would hit “reply all” to say “Enjoy your day.” Reply f*cking all? Really? Ugh. Now, for the stupid people, they put all our names into the “BCC” box.

Anyway, it came on to my radar that with my birthday coming up, I was going to receive one of these emails. So I planned to take the whole god damned day off to avoid this exercise, especially since I HATE my birthday. It’s just the day I was evicted from my first rental. I cannot stand when adults make major deals of their birthdays. I’ve heard of people renting out clubs for birthdays. I’ve been witness to people saying, “Great, you’re being mean to me during my birthday week.” it’s a week now? Oh. My. GOD. I just think it’s so, juvenile. What’s next? The Tooth Fairy? Well, if I had to choose, I’d like the tooth fairy to leave me Percoset instead of a dollar. I’d be much better off. So would you.

Anyway, I digress. I can no longer take my birthday off because someone scheduled me for a very important beating meeting that day.   I have to be at work. So, plan B. And I’m not talking about the morning after pill. I just spent the better part of yesterday (and today) ensuring that I will not be the recipient of that birthday email by accessing the corporate drive, and eliminating my birthday from any and every list I could find.

I am the company black sheep. But at least I ain’t the black dog.

I’ll let you know how it works out.

When You Come Close to Selling Out, Reconsider

I really mean to update more than once a month. And, yes, thank you, things are better than they were than when I last posted.

Last week at work, my partner-in-secret-but-plentiful-tattoos popped her head in my office to say, “Careful with Facebook. Our president is on there now.” I said, “Ohhhhh nooooooooo.” Our president is, oh, how can I explain. Classy with a side of perfect etiquette. She makes Jackie O look like an extra from a Jim Carrey movie. Just seeing her in the hall makes me stand up straighter and run to the mirror to check my lipstick. You just have to know her to understand.

Later, I saw a girl I’m linked to in the copy room and I said, “Why did you have to re-friend me? Did you get drunk this weekend and friend someone by accident and have to delete your whole profile?” She said, “No! Our president is on there! I had to make a work safe profile.” Jesus. Christ. I wondered if I should do that. It turns out all this started from my boss who accidentally sent a Facebook friend request to everyone in her personal email book. Though, my boss is cool. I wouldn’t care if she knew about this blog. Wait. Let me think about that while you keep reading.

I looked at my Facebook. Now, let me be clear on something, people. I have high school and college friends, and I have blog friends. And those two worlds rarely meet. Well, sometimes they meet, like with the Blonde, the PHD three and the Freckled one. But other than that? Yeah, if you think I’m letting pictures or personal information get out there after the whole last-name-gate of 2006, you are sorely mistaken. That’s why FreckledK, one of my dearest friends, is not my Facebook friend. Sorry FK. You are allowed to theive my newsboy hats, diet pepsi and harass my ex boyfriends to give me back my god damned lamps but you have scary bloggers on Facebook and I’m happy in my anonymity.

Magic 8 ball says, “Don’t do it! Damage Control is not in your future.”

That said, the reverse is also true. I don’t want my work-related real world on my blog or in my blog world, save a couple trustables. This is a very old story, we’ve all been around the block with this one several times over the years. However, it is still an issue. But did I put the Velvet link on my Facebook? Hell yeah. Because the people in my friend list are the people who scraped me off the floor of many a bar in the Harlem-Hudson-New Haven corridor; they are the people who helped my shellack my bangs straight up from my forehead in 1988; they are the people who called me in sick to school, from the school payphone. Cha-Ching! They are the friends of my youth, high school and college. And a few from after. But you get the point.

So now I have to worry that someone at work who I couldn’t trust with the material in this blog, will somehow see the link on my info page, the link I don’t care to remove, and then scroll through the archives.

This prompted me to tell a trusted coworker (who I have known from prior to this job) about the situation and she started reading some archives at her desk. Then she called me on the phone with two conclusions.

D: Wow. You had a crazy life. You were really bad!
Me: I used to be.
D: You are a really good writer.
Me: I used to be.

And so that is my long way of saying, I’ve had writers block for the better part of a year. I’m not good. I read back two years ago and I’m impressed at some of my own turns of phrase that I cannot comprehend where that talent went. When I lack that talent for whatever the reason, I just don’t feel like producing because it seems fake and contrived.

So, I apologize. I’m going to try harder. And I think if I get any Facebook requests from people at work who I would rather not know I was a dater of most of Northwest, I’ll just delete and block. Because that’s mature, right?

Stuck On a Rollercoaster, Can’t Get Off This Ride

On the flip side, you just can’t pay for entertainment this good.

At the company “holiday party:”
“Let us bow our heads and pray.” Um. what? I looked around the room to the mostly bowed heads thinking, “Am I in a cult?” I looked to either side, flanked by two Jews and a Pakistani, myself mostly an Atheist except for my belief in fate. We kept looking at each other and giggling. Did no one in that room besides us think that was just wholly inappropriate for work? This is what I get for working in Virginia.

On an Email from I.T. this morning:
“Whoever spilled sugar in the Xerox machine, please be more careful next time.”

On a mass Email from someone I don’t know to our entire company, a month after I first started:
“Blah blah blah, Betty’s daughter’s cousin’s nephew’s babysitter’s mailman has the cancer and needs bone marrow. Please reply and let me know if you can donate.”

In the Office Next to me, said to a Coworker:
“Do you think it’s wrong to clip your nails in the office? This one (points at me) says it’s wrong.” Said coworker, my friend D, replies in disgust, as do several other coworkers. I walked D down the hall and said, “So now you know why I begged you to come work here. It was my goal to surround myself with people who are not idiots. I’m not sure if I’ll make it though.” I’m going to start getting my Brazilians done at the office.

Blow Out the Candle, I Will Burn Again Tomorrow

Well, it’s official. I tried to hold out. I tried to fake it. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. I tried to reason with people and explain that the things they do seriously impede my progress in achieving their goals. I emailed an outline for how to make minor corrections to change everything. No response. I emailed again. No response again. I plead for everyone to get software training and to stop coming to me. I beg people to write things down when I teach them how to do something mega-complicated like insert a row and hide a column on Excel. I ask why everyone comes to me and why everything gets dumped on me. I also ask why I am suddenly responsible for a software I have no training on, and I’m not in IT. I’m in fucking Finance. Crickets.

I. Hate. My. Fucking. Job.

Tomorrow I get to go listen to my boss give a speech that I wrote. A speech that talks about how far we’ve come, blah blah blah.

What a fucking joke. I wonder if it can even be read with a straight face.

What I plan to do is convert myself from one of competence to incompetence. I plan to watch several deadlines come and go and to not have the work done. I can’t wait for the clients to start complaining about wonder-child who can do no wrong, Velvet. I cannot wait. Then, perhaps, someone will listen.

If this economy was any better at all, I would be so out of there.   This will be the place where I probably walk, and not give any notice at all.

That will be fun.

You Don’t Even Know What It Is That You’re Fighting For

Today I laughed and cried.

Driving to  the Vortex  and hearing the September 11th stories on NPR made me cry and cry and cry. It seems like longer than seven years. As I said to K this morning, time is a fascinating thing. Seven years ago, I still had two years left in a relationship, had several to follow, had not yet started grad school, and never knew of a Mr. X in my future. What a difference a day makes? Try seven years. I’m in a much better place. I’m not sure if our country is but our naivety was ripe for a shakedown.

There was a cat fight at work today of epic proportions. I texted as such to Mr. X. He texted back, “Were you involved?” No, because, duh, nothing I could be involved in could ever be described as a “cat fight.” Then he texted back and said, “If no one’s car got stolen in the end, then it wasn’t you.” True true. Ruining lives is fun.

One of the members involved in said cat fight had to, gasp, actually do some work. Some people had their car towed for one reason or another and they came in to our office. Meow Mix spent 20 minutes in a very heated debate with them explaining why their car was towed. It went on and on. And on. AND ON.

The People: “It was only there for 72 hours!”

Meow Mix: “It wasn’t 72 hours. It was there for three full days!!!”

Stupid people can make me laugh for 10 minutes straight.

Working Too Hard Can Give You a Heart Attack ack ack ack ack ack

I no longer know what to think about the Vortex. During the week I’m fine, I just plug along, call the stupid people stupid, and do my thing. But then Sunday comes and I’m misery with a side of suicidal at the thought of having to go back. So clearly, I’m kidding myself. The last job I had that made me so miserable that I woke up on Sunday mornings with gloom and dread, I ended up walking out of. That was fun. Fuck you, Rich’s Buying Office! Buying shoes ain’t that fun when you have an idiot for a boss!

It’s exceptionally formal here at the Vortex. I’ve had an ankle tattoo since I was 21, having proclaimed that day, “I’ll never work in an office that’s so stuffy that I couldn’t have this tattoo showing.” I’ve never actually had to eat those words…until maybe now. The other girl and I who have visible tats feel weird when they are exposed. Girls here weren’t even allowed to wear pants until just a few years ago. Pantyhose all summer long was also a requirement. One can still see the last vestiges of this dress code among the masses: Suntan Pantyhose. Formal. Stuffy. Zipped up. Working Girl. 1980’s. Two steps away from shoulder pads. Err…make that one step. Someone just walked by my office in culottes.

Anyway, I’m not sure what act of God or revisions to the workplace policy manual it would require for the people at the Vortex to understand that the workplace is not an acceptable place for personal hygiene and grooming.

Someone came into my office with dandruff all over her shirt to ask where a budget was located. As I turned to my computer to show her the super secret drive to which I only obtained access a few days prior but that she’s had access to for a year, she brushed all the dandruff, originally on her shirt, all over my desk.

Later the same day, the guy in the office next to me was having an extra loud personal conversation while clipping his nails. He clips his nails at least three times a week, always while on the phone. I was so stunned the first time it happened that I had to text one of my co-workers who was home that day. “Here’s what you’re missing by not being at the office…”

I fear that these things will eventually just become normal to me so that instead of cringing and saying, “He’s cutting his nails!” I’ll say, “Did anyone see my waxing strips?”

While lamenting my woes to Mr. X, and discussing my hatred of Sundays for the impending gloom of Monday, we had the following exchange:

Mr. X: If it ruins your Sunday, it could start to ruin your Saturday. Then your Friday. Then what? Then it becomes my problem.
Me: I know but hello, recession, not a whole hell of a lot I can do right now.
Mr. X: Well you’ll have to figure something out. How long have you been there? A year?
Me: A year? Try four months!!! It feels like a fucking year!!

Mr. X and I are off to see the Wizard, I mean, Mommy, this weekend where we’ll enjoy 48 straight hours of her begging me to move back to New York and me saying “But I can’t” and not really being sure anymore, exactly why I can’t.

Better Than I Was, More Than I Am, And All of This Happened By Taking Your Hand; Who I Am Now Is Who I Wanted to Be, And Now That We’re Together, I’m Stronger Than Ever

Right now I’m staring down the neck of a Corona that I anticipate to be the first in a series of several which I will ingest this evening. Why am I breaking my long-held rule of drinking during the week when I’m not off of work tomorrow?

Because an hour ago I got home from work to find Sammy had vomited all over my kitchen. While I was cleaning that up, Sammy decided to spray diarrhea all over the carpeted hallway of my building. In front of the video cameras. The halls smell like shit, I’m sure my neighbors will notice and I’m the only one on the floor with dogs.

And half an hour before that I plunked down another $650 on to my credit card as I picked Thora up from the vet because her evil stomach sickness came back.

And 45 minutes before that I asked our IT department to put spyware on someone’s computer so we can figure out if she’s illegally sending files to someone outside our company.

And two hours before that I had just returned to my office after a blissful hour lunch with Mr. X, one of the only lunches I’ve ever taken out of the office in my four months of working at the Vortex, to find that “everyone” was looking for me. No, really. They said everyone. In the hour I was gone they fired someone and several hundred calls started pouring in because someone mailed a letter with a mistake – a mistake I didn’t know about and wasn’t a part of, mind you, but I had to listen to the fallout from some of it anyway.

And two hours before that I had finished dropping off 72 boxes of files (no, really, it was 72) with a couple interns and some “labor” as they called the poor underpaid guys, to some plush attorney’s office at Tyson’s.

And 10 minutes before that I was driving one of the trucks up 495 and ran over part of one of our boxes which fell off another truck.

And two hours before that I was in an overheated file room compiling all these boxes, inventorying content and loading them on to a truck three trucks. I was also complaining. Let’s not forget that. I’m very good at complaining. See: blog archives.

And one hour before that I was driving to work this morning wishing I didn’t have to go.

And one hour before that, E and I were watching in horror as Thora shit a stream of blood from her ass. (Look, I know it’s gross. But you know what you’re gonna get over here at Velvet in Dupont, so don’t act like it caught you off guard.)

And two hours before that, (we’re at 5:00 a.m. for those of you in the back) E woke up and ate the rest of my Flips.

And five minutes before that, E cleaned up Thora’s vomit that occurred at 4:50 a.m. while I slept and dreamed about a life bartending again.

And five hours before that I wondered as I showered, if this crushing stress will ever lift so that everything in my body that has liquefied could somehow unliquefy and I could be normal again.

And a day prior to that I found out I had to pack the aforementioned 72 boxes. In a dress. Not pack the boxes in a dress. I was wearing a dress. A $200 dress. And heels. And I had to go to a storage facility which was filled with bees and not air-conditioned. On July fucking 16th when average temperatures hover near 100 degrees.

And a day prior to that I found out that I’m so far behind with work because of other work dumped on me with the very thinly veiled excuse “You’re the only one who won’t fuck this up,” that almost everyone in the entire division is at a standstill until I can somehow figure out how to grow a siamese twin, separate myself from her, have her grow a twin, those two separate and then all three of us can plug away at this work until it gets done.

And a day prior to that, I realized that I still have his number, but decided not to go see Dr. Feelgood.

And a day and 15 minutes prior to that I thought, “Wow. It would be really nice if Dr. Feelgood could give me some SpecialK. (And not the cereal.) I wonder if I still have his number…”

And three days before that my mother sent me some email that insinuated I was a homewrecker. Let’s get this straight, okay? No one can “steal” anyone else’s husband. If you don’t believe me, ask Denise Richards when she really socked it to that tabloid journalist who printed lies about her. It is impossible to steal someone who doesn’t want to be stolen. Besides, I honestly had nothing to do with it. I had another boyfriend at the time. Not a very good one, mind you, but one who kept my mind off any sort of husband-stealing activities. Those of you who know me can just go ahead and admit for the rest that I’m inherently too lazy to steal mail from my neighbor, much less go through the motions of “stealing” a husband.

And a day before that I had the “incident” at Friendship Animal Hospital.

So there you have it. The events of the last two weeks that have resulted in my having to medicate with alcohol. I’ll see you when the sun comes up. Maybe.

But…

a year ago tonight, someone Mr. X and I used to work with called me and told me that Mr. X and I were the subject of a very racy rumor. So I texted him: “Hey…did you hear that you and I have been sleeping together for years, apparently? I wish someone had told us. I’d like to know how it was.”

So begins the texting. It started slow and awkward, but each text crossed the line a little more and then a little more. Each of us too chicken to pick up the phone, we had a “conversation” that lasted from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m.

I’m not sure at what point in the last 365 days that I “knew,” but I just knew.

And I’ve never looked back since.

This Race is for Rats

I understand that my work dramas have become a source of entertainment for you. I’ll have you know though, that I am currently shifting my mood to the darkside. Yes, I’ve decided that this place is just the right combination of hilarious and dysfunctional that it might be a place I can call…home.

Let’s review my last five days at the Vortex.

Wednesday we found out that through an acquisition our company will quintuple. But we’re only hiring a couple more people. Yay.

Thursday I got to work and saw this in the parking lot.

 

You didn’t need anything else from me on Thursday, did you?

Friday I received a phone call 5 minutes before I was going to leave saying that “this, this and this” need to be finished before you go. Christ.

Monday I had to return 45 phone calls being directed to me now because of some other drama, each call taking between 10 and 12 minutes and each call being the same exact conversation. In addition, I received an email that “this and this” (unrelated to Friday’s “this and this”) needed to be done by close of business Monday. The “this and this” will take approximately 4 days to complete. There were 6 hours left in the workday when I received this email. I responded: “It’s nice to have dreams.”

Tuesday a meeting was held in the conference room next to my office. I distinctly heard someone tell the person who reports to them to do something. Then I distinctly heard that person throw everything down and proclaim, “NO! I’M NOT DOING IT! IT’S NOT MY JOB!!!” Then she stormed out of the office. I’m still unclear as to her current employment status.

Well Another Crazy Day, You’ll Drink the Night Away Part 2

Work continues to be nothing short of a disaster. Obviously it would be in my best interests to not discuss work, but I’ve already put my two alternatives on to the scales of justice:

Keeping my job and behaving on the blog vs. entertaining you with these priceless gems.

Your entertainment won. You’re welcome.

The Vortex, as my place of employment is now called, will hopefully not win the battle for the takeover of my soul. I don’t even try to go out to lunch anymore. The one day I want to leave on time for a class at the gym, it’s nothing short of a battle to get the hell out of there. And by battle, I mean, some asshole is always showing up as I’m shutting down my computer to ask for something they had all day to ask for.

I’ve created this handy situational/statement analysis from The Vortex with my commentary. The item in quotes is something someone else said this week.

1) “We are in a ‘housing crisis.’ The industry is crashing down so we’re going to continue to have these sort of problems.”

Okay. People, please. Can we please stop fucking calling it a “housing crisis?” To me, the word crisis should be reserved for things which truly are a crisis. Examples would be the tsunami, global warming, my hair during high humidity. “Crisis” is not a catchall to describe the legions of stupid people who couldn’t understand that no matter how many raises they got at Arby’s, it was never going to bridge the income gap required to make the “new” payments when the interest rate jumped. So for that fact alone, let’s never call it a “housing crisis” again. You can call it a “stupidity crisis” if you want. That’s much more applicable. The mass amounts of stupid people running around signing documents without reading or understanding them, getting foreclosed on, and getting kicked out of their house does not a crisis make.

2) “Oh, I was up all night because last night a guy at one of our properties was smoking a cigarette and burned one of the buildings down. He’s not gonna make it.”

Ask me what the accelerator was. Ask me!!! It was the guy’s OXYGEN TANK he was toting around with him while he lit up. Bwahahahahahaha!

3) “Oh, while you were at the fire, I was at another property where there was a flood.”

Ask me what caused the flood. Ask me! Two men were fighting over a woman neither of them are dating. One pulled out a gun and shot the other. The bullet went through his lung and into a toilet tank. The toilet tank exploded and the water flooded into several units below.

4) I was told to attend a meeting in D.C. with a coworker. I was told several times to attend this meeting, with the coworker. I repeat myself because I want to make sure you understand, this meeting was confirmed several times. At the follow up meeting in the office, my coworker and I were reprimanded for attending this meeting. “You should have just asked a courier to retrieve that information.” Yeesh.

5) “You know, when Stacy first started here, she was inundated from day one. All I’ve seen her replacement do is organize stacks of paper and not really do any work. Where did all that work go that Stacy used to do?”

Me. Have you seen my desk? Which brings me to my next item…

6) “They really like clean desks around here. We’ve been told to keep our desks clear.” To which I responded, “Have you seen my desk?” They said, “Yeah, I’m sure you’ll get the talking to.”

They are obsessed with filing there. They file things every 5 seconds.

7) “What time did you get here? I was here at twenty of but I waited at that light for 10 minutes. Bob got here at 7:00. No, I think Randall was first, he was in at 6:40.” “Well I was working from home from 5:30 this morning.” “Did she ask you what time you got in? She’s so crazy. She likes to keep track.” “Didn’t you know you were supposed to go to the other office and tell them you were here?”

I heard all that while I was waiting for my interview, actually. I thought it odd that people were obsessed with what time they all get to work. Then I found out they have a roster and they actually write the time that you arrive. Oh. My. God. I wonder if I should ask for a hall pass and try to pass a note to Ryan like in 8th grade.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night I raided my medicine cabinet to shake out some pills to get me through. I’ve got Lorazepam, Klonopin, Dicyclomine and several other anti-anxiety formulations that may or may not have expired several years ago. I think these little bottles of pills are my only chance of survival, otherwise, as I said to Mr. X, “It can only get better or worse. And if it gets worse, I’ll have a decision to make.”

Well Another Crazy Day, You’ll Drink the Night Away

Well, against my better judgment, I’ve taken a job.

See, when your beloved (for more ways than one) place of employment goes bankrupt, and you burn through your severance, unemployment, and savings, it’s sort of time to go back to work even though you have no desire. It’s even worse when your lover is also unemployed and loving it, and enticing you to spend the day in bed more often than once in a lifetime. Though, I think it’s safe to say that I milked being unemployed for a long time. I passed up a few offers when the money or the job wasn’t right. Then it came time to get serious and just when I did that, I stumbled upon three opportunities. None were exactly what I wanted, so I had to suck it up and make the best choice I could with the information I had.

During the interview process with the company I chose, a few things raised my eyebrow. And I know what you’ll say. You’ll say, “Why the hell did you take this job when you are so well versed with a corporate-bullshit-o-meter?” It’s a valid question and here’s my answer: Because the money was too good to pass up.

But here’s another answer: Now I’m sitting here, halfway through a bottle of wine on a school night when I am a stickler about drinking, or rather, not drinking, during the week. It’s work, dogs, workout, sleep, work, dogs, workout, sleep from Sunday night to Thursday night. No fun during the week is what I need to do to ensure I actually wake up when that annoying alarm sounds off for the 11 millionth time. So why have I broken my rule and why am I sitting here, half in the bag, on a Tuesday?

Here we go. I interviewed with all parties on one day. After the interview they made a soft offer but the salary they tossed out wasn’t right and I said flat out, “No.” Keep in mind, I was a woman without a job. Technically I had zero negotiating power. But I wasn’t going to trade in my temporary job which was pretty laid back and easy, and close to home, for something that wasn’t close to right.

The offer letter arrived via email later that night with a better package but still not quite right. So began a long painful dance of back and forth negotiations. If I told you where I started, and what I ended up with, you would call me a liar, then you would call me for all your negotiating needs. Then I would refer you to Mr. X because he’s where I learned my diabolical method of negotiations. Once we agreed on it all, I said, “Okay, so you want to call my references?”

“No. We don’t need to. We did the background check.”

I’m sorry, but has anyone ever heard of this? How on earth does a company not check your references? I smell a Dupont sized Rat. So, I asked them to reconfirm some of the added issues in writing and they said they couldn’t because I don’t know what their reason was but it violated some policy. Now, has anyone ever heard of this? Christ, someone rip my tits off. I figured I had nothing to lose by taking the stupid job and if they decided to lie to me then I’d just quit.

In my first week of work, I was asked no less than a dozen times something to the effect of, “Wow, you came back today?” and “Are you overwhelmed yet?” and “Are you ready to jump out the window?” On my first day, I found out that my counterpart had quit in the time between when I accepted the offer and the day I started. They fired someone my fourth day at work. Then when my counterpart was training me she said, “My first week here they fired three people.” Yeah. That’s a little scary. Then she said, “I’m the third person in a year who has had my job and I didn’t make it four months.” They fired someone again yesterday.

So what the hell is going on there? I don’t know, but I guess I’m finding out. The place is like a fucking Vortex. You try to go to lunch and you get sucked into a meeting. You try to leave to go home and oops, you’re there for another two hours. No matter that I never want to leave for lunch. No matter that only one day a week I like to leave on time to make it to a class at my gym. It doesn’t matter. See, you get sucked into the Vortex, and you can’t get out.

One painful day at a time.

If I make it 15 months, I can re-qualify for unemployment.

In any case, I’ll try to find joy in the small things. Like how our VP is on a mission to crack some teeth by constantly jamming hand into mouth and grabbing at whatever’s ripe for the picking. Or how someone yawned all day, then suddenly “came alive” right after a suspicious white powder showed up on the floor of the bathroom stall. Or how people have major meltdowns at the rate of one per three hours. Or how I have to pop like 12 heartburn pills to get through the day. Or how I had to spend the better part of a day reviewing a document which is a listing of property uses. It included the following text:

“The parcel may not be used for any adult entertainment establishment, adult book store or establishment selling, renting or exhibiting pornographic materials or any drug related paraphernalia. As used herein, an “adult entertainment establishment, adult book store or establishment selling, renting, or exhibiting pornographic materials” entertainment establishment, adult shall include, without limitation, a store displaying for sale or exhibit books, magazines or other publications containing any combination of photographs, drawings or sketches of a sexual nature which are not primarily scientific or educational (collectively, “Sex Magazines”) (it being acknowledged, however, that “Playboy,” “Playgirl,” and “Penthouse” are not deemed to be Sex Magazines. ) ”

What I find most exciting about all this is that I haven’t had blog-worthy work drama since I’ve had a blog. Yeah. Exciting. Joy. I hear I66 is having a way better time at work…having to pick up the pieces of my once delightfully funny and relatively low-stress job. I did leave him some gems of entertainment though. Tell the story I66! Tell the story!!!

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