I’ve been writing to Zee, who is in Guam and (thus) cannot receive or make phone calls. Which means more stories for you. Like this one:
There’s been plenty of upheaval at the office lately, as you can well imagine. One of the big factors in the latest round of “big chaos” is the fact that a sister station was very recently sold by our fearless leaders (the ones who stay holed in up in their Dick-Clark-esque bomb-shelter up in Austin, only appearing when the rats begin abandoning ship for the warm embrace of the ocean) under a shroud of intense secrecy.
This sale was one of the few secrets that all of the employees “knew” (it’s in quotation marks because we all had to pretend that we had no idea when it was finally announced) before the station manager knew. The REASON we all knew before her is as follows:
Week 1) Owners (the entire family, dad, mom, and son) all come down and stay here in our small town for a week. Their usual MO is to send Dad down, he stays overnight, scares the crap out of the manager, and then disappears again. But during this week, they ALL show up, every day, poking and prodding around but not actually talking to any of the peons. Just having meeting after meeting with the manager. Where, apparently, the sale of the sister station did not come up. ONCE. Despite the fact that it was being finalized during the same week.
Week 2) Manager, exhausted after a whole week fielding difficult questions about all sorts of things, including general morale, finances, equipment, and projected sales, has “surgery” on her “leg,” which renders her unable to come to work, or even answer phone calls. This surgery and the resulting recovery time is not discussed with anyone who works in the office. Suddenly, the boss is missing. After several phone calls on Monday morning, we finally discover that she will be out the entire week, and possibly the next.
Week 3) In the absence of the boss, the station runs smoothly. Much is accomplished. Zero panic is induced. The peons, left to their own devices for two whole weeks, are trucking right along. They also discover (secretly) that the sister station has been sold. Manager is seen driving around town and (maybe) attending a local sporting event, but is still too weak to attend work.
Week 4) Manager returns, starts the week off by making several sweeping changes to scheduling and product output. Calls a meeting to announce that sister station has been sold. Everyone acts surprised. I ask if we’re up for sale (of course we are) and manager stammers more than a fat kid in front of a truck full of ice cream. Someone jumps in to rescue her (finally) but the damage is done. I know we’re on the chopping block. Which explains many of the panic-induced changes that have been (and will be) made.
Late in week four, manager calls me into her office, tells me she has a “personal question” for me. As follows (edited WAY down from the original)
Geegaw: Will you write a paper for me?
Me: Like a school paper?
Geegaw: Yes, I’m working on my Master’s in Business Administration.
Geegaw: But I’m really busy here, and it’s only like 4 pages, and I would pay you.
Me: Uh. No.
Me: I don’t write papers for people.
Geegaw: … REALLY?!
Grown woman. Runs a respected business. Raising a family. Goes to church on Sundays. Getting her MASTER’S degree. Asks me to write a damn paper for her. AND reacts incredulously when I refuse.
So incredulously, in fact, that she tells at least two other people in the office about how I refused her offer. And, since then, she’s had less qualms with complaining about me to anyone who will listen. For instance, when we turned in timesheets this week, I had the audacity to include the mandatory office meeting in my hours worked. She was not happy about that.
No, in case you’re wondering, she did not tell me directly that she was unhappy with me. She is the opposite of direct. Because, remember, she likes SECRETS.
I feel my days are numbered. Which is sad. I’m like a tragic hero, walking the earth, looking for those who are like me. Where are the smart people? Where are the decent people? Where are the people who refuse to plagiarize or cheat on their financial records to make their businesses look profitable?! (Where are the people who are sharp enough to realize that I am NOT the person to ask to do something underhanded for you?)
I’m like the Incredible Hulk.