Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Makin' it to May: To Fly, Or Not To Fly

This is at least the third time I've witnessed it, or been in the aftermath of it — somebody flying the coop and taking people with them. This time I've sat quietly as people ran around with their hair on fire. I listen and I'm observant — that's how you learn things. I can just feel when somebody is angry or stressed and it permeates throughout the entire office. I'm also nosy, like really goddamn nosy, and I didn't have to prod very much to find out the basic details. In this case, I would have rather not known what was happening. It's that feeling where you wish for a corner office instead of a cubicle, not for the prestige and the extra room for a La-Z-Boy recliner, but just for the glorious-ness of a door that you can close allowing you to hide. Especially this time. In the past, people were pissed off and spiteful in a situation like this, but this time they're sad, upset and disturbed...

Betrayal and backstabbing — it's part of business and a lot of people's grand scheme to get ahead. It's not a practice I choose to partake in though. I've worked for terrible companies and left without making a scene — just me walking out the door at the end of my two week notice with my talent — something they can never take away from me — was statement enough. I've also worked with people who think they work for a shitty company and whine and bitch all day long, when in reality they don't work for a shitty company — their attitude is shitty and they're lazy.

We have to work from the time we're 22 to usually at least 65 — 43 years of our lives we'll be slaving away behind a desk, on the phone or in the field and if we're lucky, we'll have one or two good bosses thrown in there that we can call mentors. And, if we're really lucky we'll get to be somebody's good boss one day too. Unfortunately, the rest of those bosses are likely to be either incompetent or just mean...shitty.

Shitty companies, shitty bosses and shitty people — all causes of statement makers who decide to display a grand gesture of leaving, doing their own thing and taking people with them. The shitty people are the worst.

I've always believed in being humbly ambitious. And, before all the seasoned business people clutch me to their bosom smack me in the face and say, 'you're too young to know shit about shit,' I must say that I've witnessed this occasion enough to know that it's wrong. There's a right way to leave and do your own thing and there's a wrong way and there's no better lesson than to watch it happen the wrong way over and over again like I have.

The best Karma to have is when a company is sad to see you go, but happy that you're spreading your wings for growth. They never say good riddance, but only good luck. It's a lesson I learned a long time ago and only proves itself to be more true as I move from one stage to the next. No matter how shitty your company or your boss is, don't grand gesture yourself into a hole. Be graceful about it. Don't be one of those shitty people even if you think they deserve it. Do it the right way and you'll have far fewer ghosts following you around to sabotage your mind and your plans.

But what about the shitty people? I've never really thought about what it will be like when it happens to me. One day I will be somebody's good (hopefully) boss and it may happen to me. Then, I will have my corner office and my La-Z-Boy, but that door is not going to help me hide from anything. How will I handle it? Lawsuits, firing and threatening people, carrying around intense anger — I've seen all of that too, but none of that is the right way to handle it. Of course, bending over and just taking it isn't the right thing either. As I watch it unfold from afar, trying unsuccessfully to hide in my cubicle, maybe I'll finally get to see how to handle it the right way. However, I think Starbucks may have to substitute for my corner office some of the time. People running around with their hair on fire is quite distracting to an intern with a lot of learning to do.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Poop Roulette

Along with my lovely bearded boyfriend came a sweet, dopey black Labrador named Maggie...or Marge, depending on the mood you're in. She's incredibly smart, yet slightly retarded, but in an endearing way like most Labs are. She's special in that she loves to squeeze between you and the wall while going out for a walk, wrapping the leash around you twice instead of taking the logical way around. She farts so loud that the first time she let out a big "brrrrrrrffff," I looked at Pat and said, quite astonished, since we weren't quite to the we-fart-in-front-of-each-other stage of our relationship at the time, "Was that you?!" Yeah, sure, blame it on the dog!

I've personally banned her, and at this point, I think Pat has too, from sleeping on anything except for her own bed as she has a tendency to pee in her sleep on occasion even though she takes medicine for it. She grunts and groans and whines like Chewbacca and every morning when I wake up, she's up, either staring at me creepily from across the room or staring at me creepily while breathing heavily in my face.

I've gotten to know her quite well since I take her in when Pat travels for work. I've even kind of gotten used to her incontinence issues, but I had no idea she had a poop issue too until the other night. Yes, I'm going to talk about dogs pooping. Let's recall the number of times I've listened to mothers in the midst of potty training their kids talk about ad nauseum their grievances over why their child refuses to shit in the toilet. I love my friends who are mothers, but I can only handle hearing about the size, shape, consistency and frequency of a baby's bowel movements for so long. Sometimes we need to give the ass-to-potty, poo poo, pee pee, talk a rest and chat about more adult things...like dogs pooping.

One night recently, I was walking the two mongrels through my neighborhood while listening to one of my favorites, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on my iPod. After several blocks, I figured they had done what they were going to do for the night and I was growing really tired of the weaving back and forth and stopping every three inches to smell something apparently intoxicating on the grass. So, I decided to reel them in, one on either side of me and walk the last two blocks home briskly, enjoying my music.

Just as we were crossing the street to head inside my apartment, I feel a tug on Maggie's side and turn to find her in the dog pooping squat position, looking up at me like it was a perfectly normal thing and absolutely not budging. She just stopped to take a shit right in the middle of 19th Avenue.

I yanked her backwards as her claws tried to clench the asphalt. Dragging her out of the busy street was not what I had in mind because I thought she would respond to my yelling and tugging, stand up and walk back to the sidewalk, but she would not leave the squat position.

I'm going, 'What the hell is this, poop roulette?' The dog had blocks and blocks to do her thing, but will only shit when she and her handler are in inherent danger. "It makes me feel ALIVE!" She would say, if she could talk. Or maybe, "hey, I gotta poop. NOW. Let's stop before we cross the street." Yeah, that would have been helpful.

She held strong, as I used every ounce of strength to pull her 70 pound ass to safety on the sidewalk, which is where she deposited a couple measly presents. I was like, "Is that all you've got?! I just risked my life for that?!" If you're going to try to kill yourself and me, at least make it worth the while...Please, by all means, shit a mountain and I wouldn't have even been mad.

No harm done, I guess, except for the dozen people or so who witnessed me wrestling a pooping dog across the street. I love dogs, but seriously, they are so goddamn retarded sometimes.

Oh heeeeeey! Der, der, der, I like to poop in the street!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Makin' it to May: Baby Executive

A few days ago while driving through the three square miles of concrete jungle in Denver — lots of parks here, ya know — I caught a rare glimpse of myself in the driver's seat in the mirrored glass of a skyscraper. I looked like a child driving a car. People probably look over and say, 'why the hell is that 12-year-old driving a vehicle?!'

Recently I've graduated from looking 16 to about 22 to strangers at first glance. I'm not sure how this happened since nothing has changed physically, so I'm assuming its the setting I'm in. Of course looking 22 with the label of intern attached to your name is not so good for a 28-year-old grad student trying to fight her way into a serious, completely new career.

It's amazing how differently people treat you in the workplace when you look younger than you really are. I've come to adopt the philosophy that you should never assume anything. Always encourage and never belittle, even in your mind, because you never know what somebody has been through, regardless of their age. Apparently most of the rest of the world does not agree with me.

When co-workers tried to send me on errands, interrupted me when I tried to talk or scoffed knowingly when I said I had one more year of school left I just wanted to grab the hair on the sides of their head, shake them and say, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH TO BE HERE RIGHT NOW?! DID YOU EVEN BOTHER TO ASK YOURSELF THAT QUESTION BEFORE YOU REACTED IN SUCH A WAY?!" God, it's irritating. I'm already done with school and I've already had a career. This is my second career after a layoff, a subsequent long term stint in unemployment, a whole lot of other bullshit mixed in followed by a complete life do-over. Now I go to grad school full time — because I have to — I have three jobs and I'm working my ass off. People twice my age haven't had an "adventure" even half as eventful as mine. Everyday I ask myself, what am I DOING? But, like I said, gotta make it to May.

Now that the truth is out that I've aged six years over the past six weeks, people have now stopped trying to send me on errands and what not, but it's still a bit of a struggle. Recently I've been included in a lot of projects in which an intern is priledged to take part, but I'm walking this fine line between intern in the learning phase and seasoned professional. On one hand, the higher ups look to me for answers and on the other hand they like to remind me that I have a lot to learn — knowing smiles that say, 'oh honey, just stop' all around. Starting the marketing department at a company is not an easy task, especially for an intern in the midst of a career change. I know what I'm doing as far as marketing more than anybody else in the room, yet I'm far, far from a seasoned marketer. Frankly, I've been handed a job that I don't know how to do completely — just bits and pieces of it from what I've learned from school and not the whole picture from scratch. This would probably even be a huge challenge for a veteran in the field. I feel like a kid walking around in business casual, yet I know I'm not incompetent.

I want to be someplace where I'm properly coached, mentored and encouraged like an intern is supposed to be, not belittled and pressured, but does that exist in the limbo that I'm living in? It's a situation where I am glad to admit the extent of my abilities, but I was fed to the sharks anyway. I can handle it, but handling it gracefully and up to expectations is another story. Will this help me learn or only show me how badly I can fail and screw up any chance at a new career that I've worked so hard for?

Twenty eight is still pretty damn young. I've experienced so much, yet have so much to learn and I'm caught some place right in the middle — not young and stupid, but not old and wise. This place sucks. Get me out of here.

Dear god, is it May yet?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Uncommon Hallway Decor

There's this little game I like to play every time I enter or exit my apartment building that's called, "What the hell will I find in my hallway today?"

It's pretty much the best thing ever to live in an apartment building in downtown Denver full of rat bastard children. I have now become so old and crotchety in my 28 years of life that I'm now calling anybody under 22 (25 if you're a real asshole) "children" and "rat bastards." As a party girl that's slowed her roll a bit, I can understand the overwhelming desire to get completely shitfaced on a Wednesday afternoon, for no other reason than the fact that you can and beer tastes really good.

Forget going to my apartment pool on a weekend unless you want to be exposed to several areola slips, endless movie quotations followed by relentless giggling and a giant knot on the back of your head from being hit with a flying can of beer while trying to enjoy your dip in the pool. It's like Spring Break, except I'm the wrinkly old bitch that unfortunately forgot to do her research before picking a vacation destination. I think about how I used to be at 21, 23, hell, even 26, but now I have shit to do — work, papers to write, books to read, things to study for, people to see, places to travel, plans to make...plus, I really can't deal with the hangovers as well as I used to. I'm still known to drink two bottles of Malbec on a Saturday night single handedly, dying my lips and teeth a sexy shade of purple, but now my labia is no longer hanging out of a 6-inch jean skirt while I'm doing it. I also refrain from screeching at octaves only dogs can hear and wait to puke until the next morning like a real grown up. I look at these rat bastard children and think, 'Damn, I was never that annoying." Then I reminisce a bit and conclude, 'Yes, yes I was. Probably worse.'

However, there is one thing that I never did as a drunk, rat bastard and that is break shit, or leave things for other people that I don't even know to pick up. People just love to play SMASH! with things that aren't theirs or puke all over a public bathroom, without getting a drop into the actual toilet and just leave it. Which brings me back to the "What the hell will I find in my hallway today?" game. Besides my asshole neighbor who left her rotting, corpse smelling trash outside her doorway in the indoor hallway for two days, I have quite a running list of random things I've found, with photos for effect:

Scattered pieces of dry cat food. For those of you who don't know, cat food is like crack to dogs. It was fun trying to keep Andy away from it.

A trail of gummy bears up the stairs. "Ooo, piece of candy! Ooo piece of candy!" Andy licked all of them every time we hiked up those stairs from a walk...never eating, just licking.

Turning the corner out of the elevator right around Halloween, I saw a tiny, shredded two-piece slutty costume laying in the middle of the hallway. Apparently one of the rat bastards was feeling frisky and couldn't wait until he was in the actual apartment to rip his girlfriend's pasties off.

I've had to sit down in an elevator to prevent my hungover ass from getting sick in one a couple of times, but I've never eaten my breakfast in one...or beside one. I found actual dishes, not paper plates, but an empty bowl with cereal remnants and an empty glass sitting by the elevator. Either somebody was in a hurry, they have a stray bum they're feeding, or they're just an asshole.

I found this guy just a couple of weeks ago — a whole, ripe banana with the peel still on just chillin' in the hallway. Why you would drop your banana and leave it is beyond me. There's not even a five second rule involved because there's a peel you have to take off before eating it. And, if they were trying to be funny with the whole slip-on-the-banana-peel thing, they failed miserably. I guess if you can't expect a drunkie to walk a straight line, you can't expect him to peel his banana either.

Apparently somebody is doing home prostate and gynecological exams because a crusty latex glove was found squished against the hallway wall once. I told myself it was probably for a costume or something to make myself feel better...nothing like catching an STD from your hallway.

And now an actual video for the grand finale:

This is what my roommate and I refer to as "The Murder Fan." This is probably the third or fourth time a Murder Fan has been created since I've lived in rat bastard land. We'll wake up in the morning to this strange noise coming from the hallway, look outside and find that another Murder Fan has been born overnight. What I can only assume happens is that some drunk rat bastard decides it would be funny to fling himself into the air and bust one of the wooden fan blades off one of the many hallway fans. We call it the Murder Fan because it looks and sounds like it will fly off it's base at any moment, most likely when you're walking under it, and decapitate your ass. Even Andy's like, 'Oh heeeellllll no,' and scampers past it as fast as he can. Eventually somebody comes to turn off the fan and make it less murdery, however, they never actually get fixed. At this rate, all we'll have in the hallway are Murder Fans.

The next thing I'll probably find in my hallway is a decapitated body. I think it's time to move. Let's hope the Murder Fans show me mercy until then and take out a rat bastard instead.

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