Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not a Girl, Not Yet An Old Broad

I turned 27 yesterday.

And, while I've never felt "old," this year marks the first time I really realized that time is, in fact, marching on. Maybe it's because I encounter people in social situations that are younger than me when I never did in the past. Or, maybe it's because I have a good 10 to 12 years on most of my co-workers. Or it could be because I blinked and everybody around me is married and having babies.

However, whoever said, "it's all downhill after 25" apparently lived a very different life than mine. I know the difference a year can make at any age. My 26th birthday was the birthday from hell. I had just lost my job a week earlier and I had just gotten back from quite possibly the worst trip to New Orleans ever because of a selfish man that made me feel like crap about myself. I remember quite clearly wailing, "Please don't! It's my birthday!" after he screamed at me for asking him to treat me with human decency then stormed out the door of my apartment. What a horrible experience.

We live, we learn, we forgive, but don't forget and we move on. Time is amazing that way.

My 27th birthday, however, will not be remembered for the fresh wounds of unemployment or callous ex-men, but a few great friends, a couple of perfect evenings and perhaps an abundance of genitalia inspired gifts. Quite the opposite of downhill compared to last year. And, after the past couple of days, I think I still have quite the fun ride ahead of me.


The four of us sat around the table at Extra Virgin, a restaurant in the Crossroads District of downtown Kansas City, with our glasses of wine while our zippy little waiter took our picture. Soon our table was overflowing with Mediterranean tapas complete with hearts of palm and cress salad, chickpea fries and duck neck stuffed with veal and pork. Yes, duck neck. Not to be confused with duck nuts, which is what two of the four mothers who were told this story though we ate that night.

However, a pair of nuts did make an appearance at dinner. When Lacey slid her gift box across the table and said, "Be careful. It's arranged a certain way." I thought nothing of it, until I opened my birthday present, that is:

It's like one of those illusion pictures where you see an old woman or a young woman depending on how you look at it...except it's either two bracelets and a locket or a sad, misshapen penis.

Three hours and three bottles of wine later we continued our tour through Westport, ran into some more people, laughed hysterically, played "Fuck The Pain Away" on the jukebox and congratulated myself for waking up in my bed the next morning sans make-up, dress and heels. This is quite the accomplishment for a birthday girl...or just a plain old drunk ass.


Once I had fought the feeling that an ice pick was drilling through my left eyebrow caused by the 27th birthday drunk fest, enough to function, we had a little family celebration at Mom and Dad's. Remi helped me with the candles:


I requested off work on my real birthday mainly so I could sleep in until noon. Sleeping in is seriously my most coveted luxury.
Then, I soon found myself at my Aunt's house helping my Mom put together a bench...kind of random, however not as random as my mother's gift to me.

I opened a few cards and a nicely wrapped gift from my Aunt, which was a Coach wristlet. I usually just stare and maybe occasionally pet Coach products since I am far too practical to buy them for myself. The fact that the price attached to one of these bags could feed 100 emaciated orphans for six years makes me feel faint, but my Aunt and I have bonded over her Coach collection for many years. Uncle Pete used to buy her one nearly every year for Christmas and that will make me smile every time I carry my Coach bag...if I can ever be courageous enough to take it out of the safety of it's box.

Then I turned to see my Mom's gift next to me on the a Target bag. Inside the bag was a can of hornet spray and a gift wrapped electric toothbrush. Apparently I have a pest problem and halitosis. She has been talking about getting me a can of hornet spray for quite some time because she read somewhere that it's better than Mace since it burns eyes and can shoot across a room at murderers and rapists. It's purpose is twofold, however, since there is a bumble bee the size of a 757 that likes to hover outside my door, threatening to eat my face. While I'm content to scream like an idiot, duck and sprint down the stairs to get away from it every time we meet, my Mom really wants me to attempt to kill it with said hornet spray...probably because it tries to eat her face every time she comes over. So, intruders of all kinds, beware. The toothbrush was my idea and it's fabulous, thank you very much.

No, but really, my parents are getting me a nice desk to replace my rickety, falling apart one just in time for grad school. I just haven't picked it out yet. Did you really think they just got me hornet spray and a toothbrush for my birthday? Please, I live in Kansas, not...yeah, I'm not even going to say it.

That night, a few of us headed out for Coronas and Taco Tuesday and Kate literally gave me a bag-o-fun that included cupcakes, cotton candy (appropriately from Candy Andy) and cash to my favorite boutique in KC, Donna's Dress Shop. There was also a curious collection of crocheted objects. Let's see if you can identify them:

This is what Shannon Gerard calls the "Four Play Finger Puppet Set" complete with two innies and two outies. A fun approach to sex education. Yes, Kate gave me a little box of crocheted naughty bits — as stated on the box: a tongue, an anus, a penis and a vagina. I almost peed myself in the middle of the restaurant. She posted these on my Facebook wall a while back with a tag that said, "I know what you're getting for your birthday!" And, stupid me thought she was kidding. I'm not exactly sure what my friends are trying to tell me, but it makes me laugh nonetheless.

I sat and pondered for a minute how I could proudly display my handcrafted no-no's in my apartment when my friend Sadie gave me the brilliant idea to stick magnets on the back of them and use them on the refrigerator. YES! So, if you come over to my house and there's a picture of you on my fridge held up by a crocheted asshole, think nothing of it. I still love you.

So, I hope your next birthday is just like my 27th — better than last year's and most importantly, full of happiness and genitalia.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Diary of a Standing Shit Slinger

What's worse than not having a job? I'll pause for a second while you think about it..............

Give up?

Quitting a perfectly good part time job for what you were told was going to be a full time administrative position, only to end up standing outside for nine hours slinging dog shit for 8 bucks an hour...Fuck my life.

And now, a log of the last three days from hell:

Monday, April 19, 2010

I walked in ready to start my long day full of training and learning the ropes. My boss then barked at me, annoyed, to just get in the yard with the small dogs. Mmmmkay. Perhaps long day was an understatement.

Oh great, my boss is a passive aggressive, arrogant snot...I had a feeling since snotty, passive aggressive statements are plastered all over the employee handbook, the minutes from the last employee meeting and the employee break room. Nothing is more effective you know — telling people they suck indirectly. It looks as though I'll have to invest in a Stuart Smalley type of lifestyle for any chance of encouragement around here.

***Two hours later***

I thought I was supposed to be training as an administrative assistant or at least doing something besides standing here scratching my ass while dogs circle around my feet. When's lunch?


Lunch break. They told me I have to ask if I want to leave for my break. I'm usually a firm believer in getting out of the office for lunch, but I fear that I would never come back if I left now. Perhaps that's why everybody else sticks around on their break as well.


If your dog is scared of other dogs and people, why would you bring it to a place solely designed for them to socialize with other dogs and people all day? It makes me want to strip you naked and hang you up by your ankles so the villagers can throw rotten fruit at you mainly because that would be more fun than just punching you in the face.

Tip of the Day: Please refrain from letting your child name your dog. I can't take any more "Snoopys" or "Fluffys" people. Please also try to be somewhat original when naming your dog, and naming it after your Alma Mater or anything related to it is NOT original (I'm talking to you KU people) Jayhawk, Rock Chalk and Chamberlain are not dog names. They make people want to roll their eyes, sigh loudly and possibly vomit. Please stop.
I personally prefer people names for dogs: Bob, Carl, Gladys, Mabel and of course Andy. That shit is funny.

Boss is running frantically back and forth from front office to the back to return dogs to owners while barking my name and other unfamiliar names AT me. It looks as though they need help up front. I could go do that, but I was told to stay in the back and stand around instead of use the skills they hired me to use. At least he finally acknowledged I was there.

***Three hours later***

I'm fighting back the urge to yell really loud just to see what my voice sounds like outside of my head. At least at my last job, I could actually talk to my co-workers. These people are weird. The chick next to me is singing a John Denver song. I want to throw something at her. Poo perhaps? No, no I am not a monkey...most of the time. However, I am some sort of caged animal. Oh, and P.S. I'm still standing here doing nothing.


It's 7 p.m. and am now literally banging my head against the fence. Surely everybody who is watching the Web cams is questioning my mental health. Singsong has started the nightly closing duties and has excluded me completely since it is apparently not beneficial to learn jack shit about how this place runs. I just work here. It's no big deal.

She keeps coming back in from the other room, stands there looking confused for 30 seconds then leaving again. She just did it again. What the hell is going on? Apparently working means diddledicking around and not getting anything done.

Finally time to clock out, but the last person who left forgot to sign out, so now we must figure out who that was, resign them in and log out for them. Singsong tries her hand at slow as humanly possible. No luck. I gently suggest that she capitalize all necessary letters since it is case sensitive as stated quite prominently right on the computer screen. To her this apparently means to simply type it in the same way, only slower while saying each letter of the name aloud while reading it from a list of employees. Much to her surprise, it doesn't work again. I want to fling myself out of the chair and have a seizure on the floor. She mentally checks out into lala land to try other names because that's fucking logical, so I type the damn name in correctly and low and behold, it works.

"How did you do that?!" Singsong exclaims.

Well, because I'm magical my dear co-worker...and I know what "case sensitive" means. No wonder they hired me to stand around doing nothing all day run the front desk.

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I walked past the Boss' office and see a firm warning note in true passive aggressive style warning everybody not to open the door if it's closed. I can only assume that most people would knock, so I wonder what prompted this. I also wonder what's going on in there that makes somebody feel so strongly about people walking in on them.

My dumpy work t-shirt is down to my knees. I look hot and oh so professional.


Standing, standing, standing the fuck around. I want to rip my hair out and I've only been here 30 minutes.

The chick in the yard next to me is one of those "classic nerds" — completely desexualized by way of overly baggy jeans, hunched over posture, stringy brown hair that's constantly in her eyes and just enough social skills to communicate with dogs. I keep waiting for her glasses to break right down the middle, then have her fix them with white tape and slap them back on her face. When she does squeak out some words, which are never for the sake of friendly chatter, but only instructions, it's always inaudibly monotone, prompting me to do the annoying ass "what?" routine because all I hear is "Bueller...Bueller...."


Ahhh, lunch break, the best part of my day yet I'm trying not to cry into my BBQ Jimmy Chips. Oops, my six minutes is up, time to get back to standing around.


One side of the yard I'm in is a graduated stone wall with a fence on top of it. I keep fantasizing about scampering up the wall when nobody's looking and scaling the fence, probably impaling my ass on it's pointed peaks and not caring because then I'd be free. My co-workers would be puzzled and surely believe I was abducted by aliens. The aliens also took my car for further study. They'd call my emergency contact just in case, which is my mother, and my Mom would go, "yeah, totally aliens," because she's cool like that.

***Three hours later***

I'm still fucking standing out here. They must think I'm so talented that I can train myself and also do all computer work telepathically.

Tip of the Day: Note to self and a word of advise to anybody who is ever thinking about getting a dog — do not under any circumstances get a Boston Terrier. They are bastards. All of them. And this is coming from a major obsessive dog lover. Sure you may love your BT...well on second thought...get real with your bad self. You don't even really like your BT and neither do I...and neither does anybody else. In fact, if I had one, I'd name it Richard so I could call it Dick...the most fitting name ever.

***Two hours later***

Well, my extremely productive second day of standing around with my thumb up my ass and not wasting my time is almost complete. The only neuron that is still firing in my brain is the one that goes "DERRRRRR" from the lack of stimulation. However, my throbbing feet are quite stimulated along with my sciatic nerve, which is zinging down my right butt cheek so fiercely that I might vomit. After all, my gag reflex is all warmed up from my day of shit slinging, holding my breath and trying to run away from the shit can before I pass out from either the smell or lack of oxygen. I prefer the latter.

Boss told Nerd that he was leaving and if customers came, oh well, I guess. It seems as though this is a great indication that they need help up front, yet I'm still standing here banging my head against the fence. I wonder when he's going to even acknowledge my presence besides yelling my name like he's scolding a child. I think I might hate this man.

Every time I see Nerd, I sing a little "Doo ta doo, da doo doo doo doo" song in my head because she's so slow and diddledicky. Just get it done! I want to go home! What is the deal with the employees here?

OK, clocking out, well past the time I was actually supposed to clock out and wait for Nerd. What the hell is she doing? I hear water running...she's randomly washing dishes...for no reason...r-e-a-l-l-y-s-l-o-w-l-y.

Fuck this. I'm leaving.

***Thought I had after I got home***

Perhaps I'm just standing around because the front desk chick has been gone and she's the one who's supposed to train me. I'll call in the morning, express my concerns, there will be a perfectly logical explanation, things will change and it will all be OK. If they feed me bullshit, I just won't go in.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

*phone rings 800 times* Answering machine picks up. Yet another indication that they need help up front, yet choose to stick the girl with a college degree, extensive computer and customer service experience that they hired to do just that in the back for nine hours a day shoveling shit.

I arrive. Nobody is at the front desk. Indication that help is needed number 6, 251. I stall in the break room and bathroom to try to get Boss to go away so I can talk to front desk chick. Not going to happen. I trudge to my position in the big dog yard and resume my duties of standing around. I told myself I wasn't going to do this again and here I am doing it. I suck.


Lunch break already. For once, that went fast. I think it's because I've lost the will to care and perhaps live. I hate this.

I wring my hands for a bit and finally go up the front desk to talk to chicky. I tell her I feel as though I was mislead (read: FUCKING LIED TO) when I took this position. I explain how I haven't done anything for three days, how I don't see the reasoning behind this and would like to have a solid, set timeline for when I would start actually training because I'm really doubting it's going to happen at this point.

Not only does she not give me one, but she acts like it completely doesn't matter. Kinda like, shoo, shoo fuck off. I'm going, if they're under the impression that they're so not in need of help, then why the hell did they hire me? So I just said, well, if that's the case, then I'm not coming in tomorrow.

She later tried to talk to me again, also in a passive aggressive, completely unapologetic, nonchalant kind of way, that didn't offer to fix or even address any of my concerns. I was just done.

I grudgingly finished my shift. The only thing that made me smile all day was a little Brussels Griffon because every time I saw him, I was all, why is there a wee old man in my yard?

Seriously, just add a pointy red hat and you couldn't tell the difference between him and a lawn gnome.

Tip of the Day: Don't work here.

So, I'm hoping to get my part time job back. My boss there, who is quite possibly one of the most pleasant people I've ever met, was extremely sad to see me go and told me to come back if the full time thing didn't work out. I hope she wasn't kidding.

Well, lesson learned. I will always remember this experience in my future business endeavors such as when I have my own business and need to hire people. Be a leader, skip the passive aggressive, be nice for fucks sake and don't tell people they're going to sit at a desk helping people when they're really going to be STANDING and slinging shit with Singsong and Nerd.

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