Bent Words

Bent Words

August 20, 2007

Ever have that experience where an excruciatingly endless period of time passes in which life mostly sucks?


That’s pretty much here, where I am, and although I consider myself to be pretty resilient, I’ve definitely NOT been up to par lately. I’ve been more like a whiney little nebbish – running around with a Hate List and a Kleenex.

Last Thursday, my boss (Zac) delighted me with the news that I “haven’t done anything all summer to change the look of the showroom.” He said this with what his mother calls “a voice that carries,” directly in front of the new 16-year-old parts donkey we hired and two customers. He did not bother to request my presence in back, where no one else would hear, nor did he happen to have any validation at all whatsoever behind his statement.

Despite working fewer hours than any of my co-workers (basically working a day and a half less than anyone else), as I was taking TWO classes in one summer session, I still managed to outsell my entire department. Every month. Not only have I been told this by our Check Writing Lady, but also by the owner who wishes there were “four Lauras running around the shop.”

So if I didn’t have time to take the f’ing helmets off of one wall simply to put them on another wall “in order to change the look of the showroom,” you’ll have to excuse me. I was busy. I was busy SELLING THINGS and MAKING MONEY. No, I didn’t make an executive decision regarding the placement of women’s pink jackets next to women’s pink helmets but I did manage to sell more tires than anyone else in June. I did manage to exceed my goal of moving 35 helmets last month by fifteen.

But if all he really wanted me to do was hop up onto a ladder and move backrests around, I suppose I could have done that after coming in early to count the drawers since we didn’t have an office person or after I had played finance manager when we only had one person writing up deals who needed to take a few days off or after I had stocked in a few units that desperately needed to be sold or after selling two generators and a VFR (which should have been ALL MINE, by the way) or after I had made another killing in the parts department or after closing for the owner five days in a row after working 11-hour shifts.

That’s cool.

Then, on Saturday, while I was with a customer, one of the guys who works in my department (Billy, who thinks he’s the boss but really, he isn’t), called me into the back room in order to request that I might “look busy” and not “spend any time in the sales office.”

“Ahhhh, I wasn’t in the sales office.”

“Yeah, well, I was just bitched at for you being in the sales office.”

“That sucks. Actually, that really sucks because I wasn’t even in the sales office. Who bitched at you?”

“I need you to stay busy.”

“Well, I am with a customer – will that work?”

“I don’t need your attitude, Laura.”

“I’m not giving you attitude. I’m telling you that I was NOT in the sales office – I was with and am still with a customer. If anything, I look less busy now because I’m not still with him looking up spark plugs. And you never told me who bitched at you.”

“Just go.”

“Alrighty then.”

WTF?! Seriously! What happened?! Did Zilly get so caught up in pretending he was boss that he decided to be just as much of a blatant and clueless jackass as my real boss, Back?! Did he forget that he can hold his own dick instead of waiting for his manager to unzip his pants? What’s up with the power trip, buddy?

But then I got to wondering if I really was in the sales office and just forgot about it so I went around asking all the salespeople if they had seen me in the sales office at all during the day. They each looked at me, blankly, and shook their heads. Brian gave me a sideways look and slowly inquired why I wouldn’t remember myself if I had, indeed, wandered into the sales office. I said I didn’t know. I made the excuse that I hadn’t slept well the night before and quickly walked away.

Then I brought all of this information to the owner, Tom, who merely laughed. He explained to me that he’s watching, he knows what’s going on and he knows how dedicated and hard-working I am.

“But did you also notice, Tom, that everywhere that Billy went, Zac was sure to go? That they’re exactly like conjoined twins, apparently sharing one ass so that one cannot even go to the bathroom without the other? Did you notice how they never make mistakes? How they send people home for missing a meeting that wasn’t even mentioned but then work the entire day after having missed it the next week themselves? Did you notice the inability to lead by example? The way our manager doesn’t ‘manage’ well? And how Zilly always looks like he’s just come to work after living on the streets for three months – his unkempt hair more mangled than a homeless mutt, his jeans torn in every place except the ass, his nails longer and dirtier than a Coke addicts? And Back with his innate ability to speak to everyone, including you, as though they were ten?”

Tom was simply rolling. Coffee came out his nose at one point, which was rather odd, but he seemed to get the point to such an extent that I couldn’t help but laugh myself. Pretty soon, we were just comparing bad remarks about The Twins. It was great. And it made me realize that I take things too personally (except, it’s all personal, in my mind). It also made me realize that I need to vent more, worry a little bit less and wait for good things to come.

“Why don’t you go out and have a good time, Laura?” said Tom. “Forget all this crap and just relax a little – get that sparkle back in your eyes. I’ve been missing that lately.”

Me, too.

Sounds like a good time to head to TWT, let someone buy me a drink and watch a little racing on the big screen. After all, I’ve been working hard and deserve a little joy – a little sparkle.

Damn it.

Written at 9:23 p.m.