Bent Words

Bent Words

April 08, 2006

Not only does his snoring tend to sound like a rabid pig with asthma, I can actually feel the reverberation of it through my own, separate pillow. It's like cuddling up to an idling Mack truck at night. But The Poor Boy was absolutely exhausted the last couple of nights and thus I staved off the urge to stifle his thunderous snoring with a pillow. Instead, around 1:30 a.m. last night, I retreated from the bedroom and slept on the daybed in the living room.

With a cat who purred incessantly about two inches from my head.

I only woke up once, at 6:30 a.m., because these ridiculous birds outside my window started to chirp, which prompted my once purring cat to mimic the birds with convulsions of glee and sporadically flick her tail just under my nose.

No one in my apartment wants for me to sleep.

So, this morning, I've been rolling my new giant blue exercise ball (The Danger Ball) over my two cats who are trying to lazily doze on the sun patterned floor. Now that they've come to expect it, every five minutes, they no longer run away in terror but instead sort of look at me as though revenge will surely be theirs again soon. Maniacal little bastards.


I realized yesterday that I still don't have a job. This became depressingly evident when the UPS man, who was delivering my third pair of over-priced Victoria's Secret pants to me, asked me where I was working now. My elated grin over receiving a package through the mail melted into a grimace. The' lazy bum' feeling inside of me began to peak out from behind my shoulder and I immediately felt as though I had to defend myself.

"Well I go to school," I said, as though that excuse answered the question in any way shape or form.


"And I'm working on it, really -- I've sent out quite a few resumes and I've received a couple of offers."

"What about the motorcycle shop?" he asked as I signed for my new, unaffordable black cargo pants.

And so I made The Boy some lunch, at 2:00 p.m., and drove over to the shop to inquire after a job. I introduced myself to the new owner who obviously doesn't have an f'ing clue how to run a motorcycle shop but one day not so long ago decided, while he was inspecting his manicured toes and sipping a Margarita in The Bahamas, to cure his plague of utter bordom by buying a motorcycle shop.

"Sounds like a great bit o fun!" he likely thought.

Having never ridden a bike himself, he still knew a lot about motorcycles and the employees who work in the motorcycle industry, because he once bought a drink for a dude with a skull-laden bandanna and a Harley.

I don't actually know a damned thing about the new owner, Tom, but I'm fairly certain it goes something (exactly) like that.

Anyway, I introduced myself to Tom. I asked him if I could have a moment of his time but he was apparently busy picking the lint off of his black, long sleeved shirt and suggested that we get in touch next week. So I went to someone else. Jennifer, the office accountant at the shop, should be getting back to me by Monday.

Before I left, the Service Manager looked and me and said,

"So you're gonna work here? Again?"

"Habs," I said, because his last name is something unpronounceable, like Haaberseitzerschnabelhouzen, and his first name, Brian is not unique at the shop, "Habs, I always find myself returning to my old stomping ground."

Besides, he and everyone else at the shop genuinely misses my adorable, smiling face and secretly wishes, deep inside, that I would return. It's been entirely too long since they have been graced with my karate kicks and high pitched ninja calls for 'Marshal Arts Mondays and Samurai Saturdays.'

I'm sure.


Speaking of UPS...

On my birthday, I took a tour of UPS facility. As an employee of UPS, I would only have to work a maximum of 20 hours a week, but I would still receive full health and dental benefits, a 401K and a total of $3000 a year toward my tuition in school. Sounds great, huh?

When I arrived at the facility, four guys dressed in black, backward turned hats with pants sagging over their rumps grunted at me from the front gate when I asked if this was the meeting place for the tour. A woman of about 60 rolled her eyes at me as though I had just asked the most ridiculous question she had ever heard. Still, I smiled.

I always do that because I know it irritates the shit out of anyone with a less than cheery disposition.

These five precious persons and myself were greeted by a woman whose named was pronounced Bridge-ee-duh. She was short, pretty, well dressed and walked with impatient legs wherever she went. We tagged along behind her, careful to keep within the yellow lines of the pavement, and I was, of course, last.

Inside the building, I was dumbfounded by the number of conveyor belts which carried packages to and from various, unknown places. We were shown the factory-like efficiency of the employees as they sorted packages, small and super-sized, by swiftly moving them from one conveyor belt to the next. With the hum and buzz of the place, coupled with my deteriorating ability to hear, I stood watching Bridge-ee-duh's mouth move but I had no idea what she was explaining. She must have said something to the effect of,

"You morons have no clue how badly you will need the health insurance we offer but you'll soon get the idea once you've consistently lifted 70 pound packages for three and a half to five hours a night," because everyone in our group, save for myself, let out a small, nervous giggle.

We were shown the process of stacking packages in a brown UPS truck. The guy who was currently engaged with this task barely noticed how enamored we were with the sweat and dirt that was splotched on his shirt. He just kept working as though we weren't there. Finally, Bridge-ee-duh asked him if he liked his job and when he began to laugh, almost hysterically, we all backed up slowly out of the truck.

Bridge-ee-duh looked at us knowingly as though to dare us to pursue the job. And that's exactly what the tour was -- a dare.

I dare you to do grunt work and like it. I dare you to actually find your way around here when you need to go to the bathroom. I dare you to suffer in the freezing cold of winter and pass out in the heat of summer. I dare you to think that you can lift packages containing baby elephants above your head without whimpering. I dare you.

The guy next to me hiked up his jeans over his boxers, finally, and raised his hand.

"You don't got like, breaks, around here, does you?"

Bridge-ee-duh shook her head 'no.'

Back in the main office, my fellow tourers took the five seats which were lined up against a long wall. Not wanting to get infected, I sat a small table about five feet away.

Our tour guide went over the requirements of working at UPS.

"You don't have to lift anything over 150 pounds by yourself (goody). You can't work this shift if you have a relative working on the same shift. You can't work here if you are not available EVERY day of the week. I don't want to hear that you have a class on Thursday night and can only make it for four days out of the week. You must wear this kind of boot," and she held up an over sized picture of a black, steel toed boot in case we had never heard of them before this very day. "You cannot, I repeat, you cannot take a day off for the first year that you're here and you are not permitted a vacation until after that period."

Then she actually asked us to repeat what she had just said. I felt like a third grader reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

And everyone but me had a relative working at UPS.

"Ummm, yeah, I's gots a cuz who work here but I doan know what shifts he is," one dude said.

"Well, give me his name and I'll look it up to see if there is a conflict," replied Bridge-ee-duh.

"He go by Slim Dawg. Jim Slim Dawg, yo."

The two guys next to him laughed.

I carefully tucked Bridge-ee-duh's business card deep within the dark recesses of my coat pocket and walked, with impatient legs, careful to keep with the yellow lines of the pavement, back to my car.

Good-bye, UPS.


Written at 10:39 a.m.