Bent Words

Bent Words

September 13, 2010

The General Manager, Dan, sometimes brings his two sons into the shop on Saturdays. Michael is 6'3", probably somewhere around 18, 19 or 27 -- I can't even kind of gauge it -- and walks strictly on his tip-toes. Good kid. Conner is 15 and helps out in the parts department. He takes out the garbage, sweeps the floors and cleans the *office.

*We have two public bathrooms -- the Men's and the Women's rooms -- and one stationary bathroom which the boys utilize for extended visits. I have never been in this bathroom nor will I venture within five feet of its vicinity. I hear it has a shower inside. This fact will never be confirmed or denied by me.

Sometimes Conner helps out customers but, this past Saturday, we did not have any customers. So the new Boss Man told Conner to put together a helmet display and put some new lids up. As the Boss Man, Cory and I were standing about discussing the various pitfalls of cheap whiskey (Boss Man smelled like a distillery), Conner came over to grab a rag and some cleaner to wipe off the helmet shelves. Boss Man, with a puff of alcohol, exhales,

"See! That's what I'm talking about. You guys need to take this kind of initiative and go above and beyond what I tell you to do. I told Conner to put up the helmet shelves but I never told him to clean them -- he's just doing what he knows is right!"

I stared at Booze Man, er Boss Man, and waited for a sign that he was spewing in jest. No such sign materialized.

"What the fuck. Are you. Talking about?" I asked.

"Thought I made myself pretty clear," he replied. "I don't know, maybe I'm talking out of my ass and maybe I'm referring more to Nick than anybody else--"

"I'm walking away. Your breath, and whatever else is coming out of your mouth right now, is making me nauseous."

I stomped off into the back room like a 7-year-old on a tantrum. I felt and still feel fully justified in this.

I started going through invoices, organizing paperwork and putting together all the miscellaneous parts the Boss Man had just left sitting about in the back room. An hour later, he walked in to see what was up.

"Dude. What happened? Your attitude when from amazing to crap in 2.5 seconds. What's going on?" he asked.

"You were way out of line back there. You tried to show me up in front of a 15-year-old when all I do all day, every day, is more than what is asked of me. I clean all the helmets and the shelves that we have in the store when I have downtime, I zip up jackets that all the floor guys are supposed to be paying attention to, I organize and repair all of your fuck-ups before you have a chance to even know how much you've fucked up, I clean the women's bathroom, make sure all your returns are taken care of before the owner even has a chance to ask if we've thought about doing returns and I... do.... whatever the hell else it is that I do which isn't part of my job but I still do it."

Boss Man's eyes were wide.

"Hey! I wasn't talking about you back there! None of that had anything to do with you. I probably said it all wrong."

"You did."

"So no more meetings when the manager's still crocked off his gourd from the night before?"

"Probably not a good idea," I sniffed and sneered.

"And while we're on the topic of what you did last night, Boss, perhaps you can try not to call me four times between 2 and 2:30am on a school night..."

"I thought you said 'what happens outside of work, stays outside of work...'"

"Doesn't apply when you're a total jerk off. I will hold anything and everything I have against you."

"Good to know."

Written at 7:32 p.m.