Bent Words

Bent Words

August 15, 2011


I'm at a bit of a loss for words.

(Weird, huh?)

I got the job...

I suppose I thought I'd feel differently. I thought I would be beyond elated, dancing in the parking lot, screaming "Screw you guys!" on my way out the doors of Action.

But, instead, I was just confused, quiet, thoughtful.

And not a little frightened.

I mean, this is it. This is where I've been my whole adult life. In this industry. Wearing these clothes. Learning these products. Expanding upon each department so that this (THIS) is all I know. Fighting for what's right, throwing the towel in one day and picking it back up again the next. Making the most of this mess, being overlooked and underestimated. And now, in less than a week, it's all over.

Kim R. called me from her cell phone this evening to ask one final time if I was still interested in the job. I nearly paused too long in my answer of "Y-yes."

"Well, Laura, I'm very excited to tell you that we want you for the position."

She went on to relate how confident she was in having me join the company and how thoroughly everyone enjoyed interviewing me.

"We were going to wait until the week was up to discuss other candidates, Laura, but everyone agreed that there was no need. You, your attitude, fit the bill perfectly and we would love to have you join our team here."

Perhaps I did not sound as enthusiastic as I should have but it was difficult to do so while still standing in the presence of my co-workers at Action.

Immediately I went to Kevin to ask him what I should do.

"Well go tell Corey!"

I asked Corey to join me in the back room for a bit.

He knew right away what it was I had to say.

"I've suspected, Laura. And, before you say another word (as he could tell I was about to cry), I want you to know that it's okay. You have to do what is best for you in life. You don't owe us anything and you should not feel an ounce of guilt. You performed a service for us and we paid you accordingly. And while your skill set, knowledge base, abilities and overall excellent customer service will be sorely missed, don't you ever think for a minute that you're making a bad move. If you have a better offer, than good for you. You deserve it. These doors will always be open to you should you decide to come back to work for us. We'll make you fit no matter what. And if you just want to drop in, well, I just hope you do. I wish you all the luck in the world."

For a guy who has impressed me in these past few weeks about as much as a road cone, I could not deny being affected.

But I know he has been thinking about it, suspecting my intentions, and isn't it easy to be remiss when one is about to say good bye?

I thanked him thoroughly for treating the situation as he did, requested that my time at the store end by the end of this week (so that I might have a week to myself to shop and prepare) and headed out the door for home.

I didn't feel like sharing the news with anyone. I didn't want to talk about it or explain what had happened or relate the news preemptively. I just wanted to sit here, where I am now, and grieve a little for all the things that I will truly miss.

The familiar faces. The familiar procedures. Knowing just when to push, when to pull and when to ease up without a sound. Whose toes to step on and whose to avoid.

Because that's the part now that has me stunned. The not knowing. Being out of my element. Swimming in strange waters. Wondering what's next.

It's just like the fire.

Not knowing where to go, what to do in what order, how to make the best of it. All the questions I had then, I have now.

What's next? Where to? How should I act? Who will understand? Is it okay to be upset and, if so, how upset and for how long? I'm scared. But where and when and how and to whom do I get to be scared with?

How do I do this excellently?

But that question right there makes me know, for certain, that I can do this, too.

I asked myself the same question in the very moment that I saw flames encompassing the entirety of my bedroom window.

How do I do this? How do I escape? What do I do now? How can I make this okay, not only for me, but for everyone I know?

"How do you know you're the right candidate for this job, Laura?" my interviewers asked.

And I just smiled.

"I can recall my father saying to me, when I was a child sitting in a wheelbarrow picking up sticks from the yard, that no matter you do in life, you must do it excellently or it's not worth doing. Even if it's just picking up sticks in the yard. And no matter what I've done, am doing or seek out to accomplish, I think precisely of that. Therefore I know I will attack this job -- this career -- with nothing less then excellence. There is nothing in this world that I cannot do."

I may not always make things look pretty, I may not always have the perfect words or the best approach or most sensitive ways. Hell, I rarely hit the mark the first time but you better damned well believe that I always have and always will strive for excellence.

You better believe that I intend to pick up every last stick in the yard before this day is through.

Disasters are scary. They can either make you or break you. They can get to your head SO easily and make you fear the next fall and even the next good thing that occurs so that you're not certain whether you should be wary the good, the bad or both. But they can also, if you let them, teach you things about yourself that you never knew before. They can shed light on the features of your own being that you've overlooked your whole life.

And I can tell you with all the alacrity I own that, because of this, because of where I've been, I've never before felt this strong.

I may be scared but in my heart I know that nothing can take me out. Nothing can break me. Change may hurt, fear may sting, doubt may infiltrate but, in the end, I've got this.

Toss me your whirlwind.

I'll grab hold of it with two fists.

I'll grab hold of this.

And I'll grab hold with excellence.



Sitting at my desk at work today and one of the technicians comes to the parts-to-service window to inquire as to whether or not I have any black wheel weights.

"Don't you have any?" I asked.

"No. We're all out," replied A-Rod.


I recalled, after having contacted the service manager, that my manager (C-Fag) was supposed to have ordered more wheel weights weeks ago.

"Dude," said Kevin, "don't you remember? C-Fag said he had them on order. Twice."

I then asked him if he had, indeed, ordered more black wheel weights.

"Yes. Yes. I put them on order last week."

Well, that's what he said to my face.

Number one, he told the technicians (behind my back) that *I* dropped the ball in ordering more weights and that was why we were out. Which is absolutely false. I was never asked to order the weights or else they would have, for certain, been ordered. The same day. Within a half hour. Or less.

Number two, he never ordered the weights. He's a professional, bullshitting, brown nosing, basket case, ball dropper. A habitual liar. He rarely admits when he's wrong. But he's really good at nodding. And acting with a false sense of urgency.

"Oh yeahyeahyeahyeahYEAH. I got this. Dude, I'm so busy (looking at new trucks on the net, flirting with my 19-year-old co-worker despite the fact I'm married, smoking cigs like they're banned from earth in two weeks and telling shazzy stories about my big ego) but I got this. Handled. No worries. Can you see the steam rising from the fresh shit I just squeezed out of my lips? No? Than we're golden."

I so wanted to call him out.

I wanted to raise my brow and ask him just what the HELL he thinks he's doing.

"Where do you come off, dick fuck, blaming me for your inadequacy?" "Who sent you and why did they determine you to be of leadership quality?" "What, exactly, is the meaning of your existence?"

Instead I just set the guys in back straight and repeated to myself, "Two more day, two more days, two more days."

The above story epitomizes my experience in the motorcycle industry. Everyone's out to make themselves look less douchey by finger pointing. They all hold their hands up defensively in front of their chests and blame a customer's level of insanity, a co-worker's ineptness, an owner's hiring. Everyone's up for an easy ride. They won't take responsibility unless it's for something worthy of praise and they refuse to reflect upon themselves with an eye out for improvement. They think they know it all already so what in the world is there to learn? They think they're too busy to do it all correctly and they don't think twice about calling someone else out whether it's deserved or not.

"How can I accomlish this next task with the least amount of actual effort?"

That is their mantra.

I won't miss that. The back stabbing. The blame shifting. The lying. The cheating. The bus rolling. The idiocy. The absolute disregard for their fellow man.

Yes. You get away with it because no one is watching. You get by for another day because no one that matters really seems to give a shit. You continue on your path of pathetic actions because it's easier that way. You get to be lazy because no one's forcing you not to be.

That's sad.

But someday you'll get yours.

Or perhaps you've already got it.

Written at 6:37 p.m.