Greetings fair readers. You may be wondering why I haven’t been posting. Or maybe you didn’t notice, in which case I am sad for you because your life has obviously been missing levity and mirth for several weeks.
I changed jobs a couple months ago; literally moved on up to a deluxe office in the sky. While I was thrilled to get an office back after my moat surrounded cubicle/fortress, the transition has been rough. I was instantly thrown into a chaotic situation, which resulted in an excessive amount of wine and tears rendering me unable to type through my squinty, blurry eyes.
For an introvert/empath, a new job when everyone at said job smilingly tells you “Don’t worry, in about 6 months you’ll stop feeling the urge to cry every day” causes ulcers. Ok, the ulcers may be from increasing my shiraz intake. Not only that, but I popped a blood vessel in my eye that made me look like a reject from The Walking Dead for two weeks. So I was the strange, silent, possibly mute new person that no one could make eye contact with. I though of hunching over and walking with a limp like Quasimodo. Perhaps if they thought I had a disability it might make things less awkward.
The jury is still out as to whether I will be happy in 4 months. I keep reminding myself that I’ve survived years in really bad jobs. I blame it all on my years in exile in Rochester, which was clearly the second most cursed city in the U.S., outside of Buffalo. Ever since then I’ve been jinxed. Perhaps my ex put a curse on me, but I don’t give him that much credit. I don’t think he could even DIY a proper voodoo doll. Barbie was more his style, and clearly I look nothing like Barbie.
It’s probably not good form to write about my prior places of employment. Although I do ascribe to the teaching of the great Anne Lamott, who once said that if people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. But I’ve dealt with levels of crazy that could make me millions for writing a newer, better “Office Space” if I weren’t so lazy.
Several years ago, I left a toxic, abusive boss when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before we actually knew what type of cancer or whether there was any hope, he suffered a stroke because his blood thinner wasn’t adjusted. The morning after it happened, I texted my boss to tell him what happened. His response was, “That sucks. So on Monday, can you take care of x when you get in?” Uh….no….I don’t know if my dad is going to live or not, so I won’t be in anytime soon. I also didn’t have paid time off, so it shouldn’t have mattered. But that was the last straw there, after dealing with his ridiculous mood swings and a Vicodin addiction that would have made Dr. House jealous.
I didn’t regret the decision, especially since my dad laughed when I told him I quit on the spot and said he was proud of me for sticking it to my horrible boss. He recovered from the stroke but succumbed to kidney cancer 3 months later. I don’t regret a minute I spent with him. But little did I know I would be unemployed for a year to the day, and desperate enough to take a job that alternated between circus sideshow and insane asylum.
My last job was on the 4th layer of Hell as described in Dante’s Inferno, along with lice, sugar-free chocolate, and square dancing music.
I can’t describe all of the dysfunction, even though truth is always a defense to a defamation suit. It started with the obnoxious managing partner who would grace us with his presence several days a week and randomly scream at the top of his lungs, when he wasn’t belching after his “healthy” kale and bean soup. There was nothing healthy about the gases leaving that body. He also was incapable of having a conversation with me without staring at my boobs. Granted, they are hard to miss, but they are not on open display, because I cared so little for the job I often wore a Snuggie. Just picture Jared from Subway leering at his kiddie porn and that’s the level of creepy feeling it induced.
As if that weren’t bad enough, just about the time I was going to get an assistant to help me out, I was subjected to the managing partner’s unemployed daughter who just graduated college. You would think that college graduates would be very smart, but let’s just a say a state school in the midwest is about the equivalent of a degree from Trump University. I didn’t have high expectations. I basically just tried to not make small talk or eye contact because then I would be subjected to 20 minutes about the wonders of tofu. I quickly learned that simple tasks such as making copies were beyond the capacity of a college graduate. I apologize now to all millenials who now are keeping Bernie Sanders afloat for temporarily lumping you in with a person who couldn’t operate a staple remover. I am not exaggerating. When given a stack of 50 documents to copy, she realized she messed them up, but not until she had stapled them. I watched in horror as she put the packet up to her mouth and used her teeth to pull out the staples. I offered her my staple remover but she said she could never get them to work, and removing 50 staples with her teeth was easier. I let it go, because I had a giant bottle of hand sanitizer and a pair of fuzzy mittens in my desk if I got desperate. After she was gone, I found a document with a huge bite mark out of the corner. I’m pretty sure my dog could have caused less damage.
Stapleteeth was also mystified by technology. By technology I mean binder clips. One day she asked me to show her how they worked. After a slow motion demonstration, I watched her use a book for leverage to lean on one to get it open. I pondered whether I should just kill her off mercifully like Lord of the Flies. I’m a believer in Social Darwinism, and for a split second I thought it might be my civic duty.
Fortunately, Stapleteeth left before I started planning paper cutter “accidents.” I waited 5 more months for the long-promised assistant who never materialized and it became clear that my boobs and I needed to move on. So far no one has looked at my boobs at my new job. I credit that to working for Democrats for a change.
*Title courtesy of my spirit animal, Oscar Wilde.