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

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.


  1. hostess

    ok…im sorry but you know me…if someone was cutting their nails next to me…i would have to puke as i was handing in my resignation. or go postal on the guy after holding it in for weeks…but as i said you know me. i’m sure i’d just quit.

    so mr. x gets to meet the parents finally. im so excited for you both and i can’t wait for the stories that come out of it. take lots of notes so we get all the details.

  2. elvis

    I’m going to paraphrase someone who once examined the books from Towne Bank of Mesa, Arizona (which is now trying to get out from under an FDIC C&D order) and said, “you don’t have a bank… What you have is a transaction-oriented company that hasn’t built a core constituency.” (i.e. Bank in name only) Velvet, you don’t have a job. What you have are breaks between high anxiety episodes.”

  3. Lemmonex

    My boss cuts his nails as well! So gross, but somehow it helps to know i am not alone. Velvet, I feel so close to you right now.

  4. Mr. X

    “If it ruins your Sunday, it could start to ruin your Saturday. Then your Friday. Then what?” Oh, today is Wednesday. Well, the good news is … only 8 months to go before you start considering something else. In Vortex time, that feels like 2 years! But at least your resume will look good. How can’t anyone understand that?!!

    I wonder what “NY Time with ViD’s Parents” equates to? It will be fun. Stories to come. Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet….

  5. Red

    Oh Sistah I hear ya! Been at this new job 8 months and that is 8 months too long and old job is asking me back.

    At least my boss here is very cool. We are going to do some heavy drinking together this weekend.

  6. nato

    My officemates have yet to complain about me coming to work in my boxers and a wife-beater. Then again, they spend most of their time hanging out on the glass or eating crickets . . . thank you for once again reminding me that it’s good to work from home, even if it does mean slowly losing all social graces.

  7. Velvet

    Hostess – I’m considering saying something. It is really really gross. Just…gross.

    Elvis – You’re right! That’s it!!!

    Lemmonex – I just don’t get what would possess one to do these types of things AT WORK!

    Mr. X – I suspect you are making fun of me. Hmm. Just you wait till I sick Mommy on you. You’ll be sorry!

    Red – And, are you going to go back? I wonder if my old job would ask me back. Oh wait. They went out of business. Sucks to be me!

    Nato – Suck it! I hate that you get to work from home while the rest of us have to endure this drama!

  8. I-66

    Elections are on the horizon, and you know what that means… I’m cringing in expectation of the possibilities.

  9. Velvet

    I66 – This business is so comical and yet, so frustrating at the same time. It’s as fun to watch from the sidelines what goes on at your job as I’m sure it is for some of the readers to watch and see what happens at mine.

  10. Shannon

    Dandruff, toenail clippings…all you need are a few boogers and you’ll be all set!

  11. freckledk

    I worked with a nail clipper. It doesn’t quite beat the guy who would scratch his junk before dipping that same hand into the candy dish, but it was still pretty nasty.

  12. jordanbaker

    One of my best friends works (for now) in an office that

    a) requires her to wear a band-aid over her foot/ankle tattoo (subtle, no?) when she goes to court;

    b) requires women to wear pantyhose year round. In New Orleans.

  13. Washington Cube

    I guess I’ve seen everything in the office short of a pap smear and/or abortion. Although I have had to sit through conversations about pap smears and abortions. “I’m Fertile Myrtle tee hee.”’ll love this, Velv…..same woman…had like five abortions. The “tee hee” one was from a local doctor she met through some dating chain where these professional men would date (read “fuck”) the woman once then rotate her back into their pool. They did it on his living room floor, and this is the icing on the proverbial cake….he had condoms tucked underneath the edges of the carpet. Class act.

    The abortion before that one she got pregnant on purpose trying to get her rich boyfriend to marry her. He refused, but boy did he pay and pay and pay. Plastic surgery, braces, an island vacation, therapy (because she was so upset over the abortion). I couldn’t even begin to guess what he paid to shut her up. Some day I need to blog about her. She was the first genuine “whore” I ever knew. She fucked half of Congress. Congressmen used to shift their eyes if they saw her in the hall.

    Nail clippers? Yes. Try someone giving themself a pedicure..and this was as formal an office as you could get. One day a lawyer came to work in his bathing suit with a tee shirt. I am not making this stuff up.

    Last summer I went into a suburban Macy’s around here, and an employee was sitting down, getting a hair weave right in the middle of the aisle. Explain that one.

  14. St. Augustine OTB

    For years after college I worked as an assistant in TV advertising, at a desk in an open area with lots of other desks. The job paid $15.6K in Los Angeles (in 1994- not like 1954 or something), so turnover was VERY high.

    One day, I looked around and realized everyone I worked with was female. All the assistants but me. I thought I was the luckiest poor guy in the working world. For about a week.

    After a week, I didn’t want to have to hear another goddamned conversation about pap smears, water retention, Party of 5, shoes, how hot the LAFD guys across the street were, or the 1001 reasons why he might not have called after that date that seemed like it went so-o-o-o well. All I wanted was to have a simple conversation about sports. I’d even have accepted a conversation about golf, and I hate golf.

    One day I looked up and there was a new assistant down at the end of the row. I ran over there to introduce myself and started running at the mouth about how great it was that there was finally another guy around to talk to, while he gave me a funny look. Then he opened his mouth and started talking, and I suddenly realized-

    He was flamboyantly gay.

    And all he wanted to talk about was Party of 5, shoes, how hot the LAFD guys across the street were, and the 1001 reasons why he might not have called after that date that seemed like it went so-o-o-o well.

    Now I have my own business. Christ in heaven, it beats doing for someone else. Hey V, maybe you should think about trying that. I bet you’d make a great dating consultant. I’d hire you…

  15. wildbill

    He’s Meeting the Folks. . . kicking it up a notch or two I see. Never threaten to sic your mother on him, ’cause she will already be there! As for your work environment-You’re already the Go-To Girrrl for many small (and Large things) You put yourself into this position, so you will have to figure out either A: How to make it Pay B: How to set limits or C: How to get Something out of this that you could actually use to get ahead; otherwise you’re just wasting time there and One day, we will read about you naked on the roof with a deer rifle (Oh, wait, that was my fantasy-my bad!) It would be a Great post ‘tho…

  16. Velvet

    Shannon – sigh, don’t give them any ideas!!!

    FreckledK – I’m not sure why the nail clipping is offensive, perhaps it’s the sound that just so glaringly draws attention to the fact that one is doing something in the confines of an office that we would normally expect to come from the bathroom. Ugh.

    Jordan Baker – I just don’t get that. I read an article recently that employers are having a hard time attracting the 20-something talent for several reasons: they don’t have the work ethic of the Gen Xers (I never thought I’d hear this as we were always described as lazy do-nothings looking for a quick buck) and so you have to offer work-life incentives and things like ipod hookups and shit. I don’t get it. How does that mesh with the workplace you describe? I think employers do this shit as long as they can get away with it, then when the economy shifts and it’s a job seekers market again, you see them throwing ipod hookups at everyone who walks in for an interview. I’d settle for being able to bring the dogs to work.

    Cube – Ha. That’s a Macys for you. When I worked at the Rich’s Department Store in Atlanta, Macys was our competitor even though we were both owned by Federated. Stupid. Same company with two competing stores in the same malls. Anyway, you would visit a Rich’s store and everything was perfect and in place. Go into Macys? Clothes and shoes all over the floors. Jewelry all mixed up on the racks. Tables knocked over in the aisles. But the weaves all looked good. And yes, you should write up your stories!

    St. Aug – I laughed my ass off at that description. I HATED Party of 5. All those girls with their squinty eyes. Ugh. Anyway, I’m not sure I’m fit to dole out dating advice. I was pretty bad at it.

    Wild Bill – Yes, the former “go-to” girl is my work friend. She says her life is suspiciously less stressful since I’ve arrived on the scene. I’m not sure because of the business we’re in that this can pay off with anything financial, however, perhaps I can find my way into doing more fun stuff. We’ll see.

  17. Phil

    I don’t mean for this to go off-topic, but I think it kind of is on topic since we’ve sort of tapped into what kind of activity/behavior is inappropriate in various settings (in this case, work) – but some of the comments above (Washington Cube’s particularly) made me think of a great story about church. If you think the people at work can get on your nerves, try going to church for a while….

    (and I apologize in advance for the length of this story, but I hope you will be entertained as I have no other venue in which to share this, interweb-wise)

    Anyway, this story pertains to my good friend Bon – he and his wife were visiting churches, and had decided to visit one of their Sunday School classes, hoping it would be a good way to get to know some of the folks attending.

    This particular morning, the Sunday School teacher announced that today would be a special class where a member(s) would give their “testimony” before the class. For those of you non-churchgoers and devil worshippers (like I-66), giving one’s “testimony” is where you share a little about yourself and how you came to become a Christian. Very popular in the South, and specifically, among Baptists.

    Anway, it was a husband and wife who were giving their testimony that morning. As they introduced themselves, Bon told me that they shared with the class that the prior evening had been a very emotional one, and that they did a great deal of soul searching as to how to share their respective testimonies to the class that day.

    They said that the conclusion they had come to that morning, after much prayer, would be that they would “re-enact” the previous night’s discussion (kind of like “role playing”).

    It started with the normal back and forth between the husband and wife – but quickly devolved into something else. Bon stated that before long, they were both wracked with emotion and crying in front of the entire class. Bon said what followed could only be described as the world’s best, and most disturbing, dinner theater one could possibly imagine.

    They began wailing sorrowfully: “SHOULD WE TELL THEM ABOUT THE ABORTIONS!?!” – Bon noted abortionS, plural. “WHAT ABOUT YOUR PORNOGRAPHY!!!?” the wife would shout back at the husband, tears streaming.

    Bon said when it was all over with, the uncomfortable silence in the class was deafening. The Sunday School teacher called his house that night to apologize. Subsequently, Bon did not return to the class, and he said the teacher will not even make eye contact with Bon as he was so embarrassed about the display that had taken place.

  18. Washington Cube

    Bon should have whipped out the Playaz’ beaver.

  19. barbara

    I can’t wait to hear how G & D like Mr. X. I hope everyone behaved for those 48 hours. This must be getting serious if you are taking him home to meet your parents…

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