I’m Going to Have to be A Cliché

I do, so very greatly, hate a cliché, but I’m gonna have to do it anyway…

I HATE MY BOSS!!!!!

I work “for” quite possibly one of the stupidest people I have ever experienced in my life.  Actually, I wish that were true.  Were it true I’d be able to make some kind of excuse for him.  But he’s not.  He’s very intelligent.  Very capable.  He has a degree in chemistry and has been in building management for many years.  He certainly knows how to keep his most demanding and whiny customer’s happy.  He just says, “Yes.  Whatever you want.”

What he doesn’t know is how to satisfy his employees or his most reasonable customers.  He’s unreliable, forgetful, placative (is that even a word?) and, I hope unintentionally, dishonest.  He’s oblivious to his surroundings, doesn’t monitor his employees behavior and doesn’t ensure justice or fairness within the department.

Recently in one of our weekly staff meetings, my boss, whom we shall call Douche Bag (DB), gave the annual re-iteration of the company dress code.  He also pointed out that this dress code doesn’t supersede the department management dress code if it’s more strict than the one he was reviewing.  This dress code was pretty standard stuff really.  No shorts, no t-shirts, no tennis shoes, no words on your clothes, no flip flops, no sweats or tracks suits, nothing you’d wear to the gym, no tank tops, no visible underwear.  The dress code he was reviewing specifically did not ban jeans as long as they’re neat and clean, however, he was sure to point out that our director does not want jeans worn.  The very next day, one of my co-workers, our Financial Analyst, was wearing something I believe are called “skimmers”, made out of wool Glennplaid material.  Yes the material was something that is office appropriate, but the design of the item, without question is SHORTS!  This is an issue that is personally offensive to me because we participate in a voluntary program with PG&E to reduce energy consumption on hot days to try to prevent rolling brown-outs.  On these days the temperature in the building could rise to be in excess of 80 degrees and I feel that on those days we should be allowed to wear shorts to work as long as they’re well kept.  But, we are not allowed to do so.  Therefore, as a male, every day of the week I am required to wear long pants and it does  get very warm on some days.  If Financial Analyst is allowed to wear shorts, than I should be allowed to wear shorts.

I believe that DB made a point of reviewing this document because some time ago, I began wearing jeans to work on Fridays.  He did question it a time or two, but I informed him that we were told we had to follow the same dress code as our “parent” department, National Facility Services (NFS), and that I was being led by example.  NFS employees wear jeans all the time, not just Friday, but I can live with one day a week.  I intend to continue to wear jeans on Fridays.

My friend and Co-worker, Unsvelt Girl Who Runs, is our Department Secretary who hates the word Secretary.  Some time ago as a joke I called her our “Adminary” and it stuck.  Unsvelt girl is my personal friend, but for the purposes of this rant, I shall refer to her only as “Adminary.”  Adminary, routinely spends considerable time, hanging out in my office and doing nothing.  It’s inappropriate and I know it.  So does she.  And so does DB.  But he never says anything about it and it’s gotten to the point that he comes looking for her in my office if he needs her.  Adminary wears flip flops and tank tops to work almost every day.  DB says nothing.  Adminary is often a few minutes late in the morning.  DB says nothing…  he just adjusts her time card, falsely to make sure she gets paid for 8 hours.  Amdinary tells me that she often ends up with a few minutes of overtime pay.  But she never works overtime.

Our Chief Engineer, quite frequently comes to our office and asks Adminary to validate a parking ticket.  At first no one thought much of it.  Then we started noticing that he was dressed in his motorcycle gear and ready to leave when he was doing this.  Chief Egineer has his parking paid for by the department on the days he actually drives to work instead of taking public transportation.  I pay $95.00 a month for my parking.

And then theirs our Conference Service Coordinator.  She’s old and stupid.  I wish there was a better way to describe her but there’s just not.  Adminary and I refer to her as “CD” which stands for Country Dumbkin.  Why?  Well, because she grew up in a small town in Arkansas, in the COUNTRY.  And well, she’s just plain DUMB.  And who doesn’t love a good play on words.

Country Dumbkin is the worst offender in every way.  She is oblivious to her surroundings.  Doesn’t think about how her actions impact others, and thinks she’s equal to Financial Analyst and myself, even though she is an hourly, union employee, just like Adminary.  She’s rude and condescending to Adminary, and Financial Analyst and me, and for that matter to many of her customers.  Strangely though, Country Dumbkin can do no wrong.    CD acts out during the staff meeting?  DB laughs, blows it off and keeps on talking.  CD answers her phone, on her wireless headset while still sitting at the table in the staff meeting, and DB acts like it’s not happening.

CD usually doesn’t show up at work until 8:30 or later.  This means that at 8:00 when the department opens and people start calling in with complaints or requests for Conference Service, Adminary has to juggle it all, along with her own responsibilities.  CD almost daily takes an hour and a half for her lunch.  This is something that was set up by payroll, for all hourly employees as a once in a while, only to be used when necessary, kind of thing.  NOT to be used daily.  CD does it daily and DB says nothing.  By the way, CD’s lunches often extend past an hour and a half.  AND during the school year, she will then turn around and leave the office for 20-30 minutes to drive to pick up her grand children from school and deliver them to her house (even though there are buses they can take and they are teenagers) without clocking out.  DB doesn’t notice.  CD often “accidentally” forgets to clock in or out, and DB fixes it without question…  again, making sure she has her 8 hours a day, and probably also managing some over time.

I have worked for this man for six years and three months, and it has long since been established that I am a late person.  I come in to work late, I usually stay late, and I often skip my lunch breaks.  I am salary, by the way.  I do not punch a clock and I do not get docked in pay if I don’t work a full eight hours.

On Tuesday, June 10, 2008.  I left my office at 5:00 to head to my weekly 5:30 therapy appointment.  I had my shit packed and my “Magic iPhone by Apple” on.  I walked out of my office and closed the door behind me.  Walked passed DB’s door to the back room to grab a fresh bottle of Diet Pepsi, my life’s blood, from our refrigerator, and walked back past DB’s office door on the way out.  “Good-night everybody,” I said on my way by.  As I continued to walk toward the door, I heard CD who sits in a cubicle in the reception area say my name, but it was faint, I was in a rush (and I don’t really like her) so I pretended not to hear her as I walked out the door and made my way toward the elevator.

I was standing in front of the elevator that was about to open when I heard CD calling from around the corner, and then appear around the corner saying, “‘DB’ was calling you.”

The elevator doors opened.  “I have an appointment I have to get to, I can’t come back,” I said as I walked on to the elevator.  In my mind I, of course, began imagining the worst, all the while knowing that my boss is spineless and I had nothing to be concerned about.

I returned to work on Wednesday and not a word was said about the transaction.  Guess my fears were for not, I thought.

On Thursday, June 12, 2008, I got to work around 9:00 in the morning, my usual goal that I often miss.  I left the office at 2:30 in the afternoon to drive the eight miles to my therapists office for my weekly 3:00 appointment.  I returned to my office at about 4:10.  Now normally, I’d have gladly stayed until 6:00 to make up some of the time.  Yes, that would have been only seven and a half hours, but once again, I’m salary and that works.  On this particular occasion I actually had social plans after work for which I had to leave at 5:00.  Social plans, for me, are a rare thing indeed, so anyone who knows and understands me should have actually been quite happy for me.  But no.  My boss called out to me again.  This time I heard him and I returned to his office door, “Do you have a doctor appointment?” he asked.

“No.  but I do have some where I have to be,” I said puzzled and a bit annoyed.

“You need to put in your eight hours,” he said through gritted teeth, seemingly afraid someone might actually hear him have a backbone, “it’s not fair to everyone else if you don’t.”  I just stared at him blankly.  Frankly, considering all the other crap that goes on in my office, I couldn’t believe that he’d have the nerve to say anything.  “You didn’t get here until what, 9:30?”

“9:00,” I said matter of factly.

“Did you skip lunch?”

“No,” I said.  “Actually I had a Doctor’s appointment then.”

He said, “I need to know your schedule.”

I’m quite agitated at this point, “It was a standing appointment.  I’ve had it every Thursday for nearly a year.”  He hasn’t noticed this before now?

“Well, you need to put in your eight hours.  Even if you’ve got all your work done you still need to put in your eight hours.”  IS HE KIDDING ME WITH THIS?  Seems like possibly the stupidest thing I’ve EVER heard. 

“I usually do,” I said with clear anger in my voice, “but now I have somewhere I have to be.”  I walked away.

Today, Monday, June 30th I arrived at the office between 9:00 and 9:10 this morning.  Good for me!  I did not take lunch, in fact I never left my desk, accept to use the bathroom.  I’m in a financial crisis, which is a matter for another post, but absolutely a cause for great anxiety and a foul mood, which despite everything I did quite well at containing and keeping to myself, but I digress.  The point being I packed lunch.

I arrived today around 9:00 AM.  I did not take lunch, I ate at my desk.  I packed up to leave at 5:10 PM.  I closed my door, went for my necessary Diet Pepsi and walked back toward the front.  He stopped me again. 

“Yes?” I asked, already knowing where this was going.

“Where are you going?” He asked, clearly annoyed.

“AM I HOURLY, NOW?!?” I asked, definitely upset.

“When did you get here, 9:30?  You need to put in your eight hours.” 

“9:00” I said, “MAYBE TEN AFTER.  AND I DIDN’T TAKE LUNCH.”

“Why not?  You need to take lunch.  You need to get outta here” (Truer words were never spoken.)

Once again, I stared blankly.  After a pause to contain my temper (probably shouldn’t have.)  I said, “I’d rather leave around 5:00.”

In typical Douche Bag fashion, not wanting to deal with me while I’m angry if he can help it (Trust me, this time he can’t help it) he said, “We’ll talk about this tomorrow.  We’ll come up with a schedule for you.”  I walked away again.  Fuck no, we will not come up with a schedule.  I am salary.  I DO NOT get docked if I don’t work eight hours.  I also DO NOT get paid more if I work over eight hours.  And according to DB, as told to me four years ago when I first became salary, “If you worked four hours, you worked the day.”

I’ll be truly surprised if he actually says anything to me tomorrow, but I’ll be prepared if he does.  I’ve got my notes together.  I’ve got my argument ready and I’m not taking any shit this time.  If I get fired, it’ll suck, but I’ll be better off!  That man has a stick shoved so far up his ass he’d have to open up and say “Ah” to remove it, and the worst part is, no one knows what the real issue is.  I’m certain it’s not my schedule. 

Fucking Douche Bag!!!

In Search of an Old Friend

Ok.  I know this is a shot in the dark but I’m trying to locate an old friend…

Ten or so years ago, I was working as a store manager at a J. Riggings (now defunct) store in the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I had an Assistant Manager named Christopher Newberry (Middle name Anthony, I think.)  Chris is gay and was the first and only true gay friend I’ve ever had.

When I quit my job, Chris took over from me as manager.  A few months after that Chris was promoted to a bigger store and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma where I grew up.  It just so happened that this was a few weeks before I moved to California.  I haven’t seen or spoken to Chris since then. 

I’d really like to touch base with Chris again, but I don’t know where he is or how to find him.  I don’t think I have enough personal information to justify spending the money for a locater service. 

So I thought I’d take a shot in the dark and ask if anybody knows Chris (or if Chris happens to see this).  I’d like to make contact with him again. 

Can anyone help?

Thank you!

I Did the Right Thing?

Ok.  So, it’s late.  I’m drunk and I shoulda been in bed a long time ago, so I’ll make this quick…

I was instant messaging earlier this eveng with a 14 year old kid I met through an on-line support group type website….  He’s a nice looking kid, and most of our conversation was about his relationship with his parents now that he’s come out to them…

Toward the end of our conversation, though, he mentioned that he was horney and looking for someone to get him off.  He was clear that he wanted me to be that someone…  But I wouldn’t work with him because he’s a child and I’m an adult and I know better thatn to get involved in a child’s world…

He kept insisting that it was ok…  That I can’t get in trouble for on-line conversations…  But I told him, cute as he is, it wasn’t worth the risk for me…  he’s just too young…

What does the world at large think?  I pretty much know that I did the right thing by not getting involved….  But did I have anything to be afraid of?

It’d be good to know.  It’s also good to CYA!!!!  🙂

My First Gay Date… Sort Of.

I’ve had my job, in the Facility Management office of my building, for just over six years.  In that time, I’ve had interactions with many types of individuals, vendors, repairmen, engineers, etc.  When I started I was, among other things, responsible for approving and coordinating building wide events in our building lobby.

There is an individual with whom we have dealt on a number of occasions, who coordinates education fairs.  He works for the University of Phoenix here in Oakland, CA.  I will call him UOP Guy.

UOP Guy and I communicated on multiple occasions about education fairs in the lobby.  One day when I was sill an Administrative Assistant UOP Guy invited me to lunch as a show of appreciation for my efforts to help him coordinate his education fairs.

I spent the next few days after the invite, experiencing anxiety over the possibility that this might every well be a date, I just wasn’t sure.  I was still very closeted, and still in denial to myself.  And yet, I was willing, at least at that moment, to take the chance that this was in fact a date.  How would I handle it if it were?  I had no idea.  Part of me hoped that it was just that.

UOP Guy and I met up for lunch that day and I was very nervous about the whole thing.  I imagined it was a date.  I tried to make sure I said the right things.  I complimented UOP Guy on his choice of restaurant and the type of food/environment it provided.  I smiled politely, I laughed at all the right moments.  I commented on what a great time I’d had and how we should do it again.

When the lunch was over, UOP Guy walked me to the door and bid me farewell…

I walked back to work befuddled as to what had happened, and what might come next.  While we had a few interactions in the interim, UOP Guy and I didn’t communicate much for a good year or two.  By that time my title had changed and UOP Guy and I didn’t have much interaction at all, yet he invited me to lunch again.

It was at this lunch that UOP Guy began to talk to me about his girlfriend and their living arrangement as a couple living together in San Francisco, apartment life, parking problems, et. al.

I was even more befuddled.  My instincts told me that UOP Guy is gay, and I’ve fantasized about a lovely life as a same-sex couple living in San Francisco with a great social life, healthy bank account and a great apartment in which we’d live.  If only that damn bitch (he said playfully) weren’t in the way…  Assuming she even exists.

To this day, I have very little interaction with UOP Guy.  I wish I had the courage, strength and knowledge of our culture to know what is welcomed and whether/how to make an advance, but I don’t.  I just get to wonder…

I would sure like to find a guy with whom I have things in common, and I can be myself.  But from where I stand now I don’t know how to tell who’s who and what they represent.  I sure wish we wore signs or something.

American Gladiators!!! Is SEXYYYYYY

This week’s episode of American Gladiators is the couples competition.  And while my experience has been that most of the contesants are sexy…..  There’s one particular contestant on this episode that is SEXXXXYYYY…  He looks like Kerr Smith of Dawson’s Creek and Charmed fame, but he’s a sexy little hotty, like I’ve not seen for a little while.  His name is Jeff http://www.nbc.com/American_Gladiators/contestants/season_2/jeff_davidson.shtml  There have been other’s on this show who have been quite sexy and I must say that the uniforms this season are way hotter than last year, but few have been as exciting to me as  this pretty little boy right here!!!!

Ok… Um….  So maybe I’m a little horney…..  😉

Down a Peg

While at the event at Tres Agaves last week, I won a prize by knowing the answer to the question “Matty has two pets.  What are their names?”  He has a dog named “Kelly Clarkson” and a cat named “Colonel Fuzby.”  The prize I won was passes to “The Front of the Mixer” for the radio station’s concert in Golden Gate park, called “Summerthing.”  I wasn’t really interested in going to the concert, but these passes got me special treatment, or so I thought.  It was a reserved seating area with bean bag chairs to sit on and the bean bag chairs got to come home with me. 

Before the event at Tres Agaves was over the male host of the morning show “No Name” (AKA Mike Nelson) offered Majority VIP Passes to the concert.  Unsvelt Girl Who Runs said that she could probably get M&M and me in, too.   I do love being “special”.  Over the last few weeks I’ve started feeling better about myself and feeling like maybe I’ve finally started to be accepted. 

Today, I was reminded that I’m not really so special.  That I’m not especially accepted. 

OK.  So I’m being hard on myself, and in truth, I’m not letting this have that much of an affect on me.  But here’s the thing, I went to this event because there was to be free stuff and because there was to be special treatment.  I was going to be one of the “cool kids” with special treatment and hanging out with friends.  I sure wasn’t there for the music (a bunch of musicians I don’t know anything about.)

Well, I was able to make it to the event, I got to my special seating, found my free bean bag chair…  And that was it!  Then I contacted UGWR, met up with her and her family and we made our way to the VIP area.  Well, after all is said and done, M&M and I weren’t able to get into the VIP area, while UGWR et. al. did.  And there seemed no hurry to inform us of this or any desire to spend time with us outside the VIP area that we weren’t admitted to.

I guess it all just sucks.  Oh well.

Round two

There was another, and I think truly, final event for the morning show Producer (Matty) last night.  Next week is his last week on the show so I suppose there’s time for one more spur of the moment event, but I doubt it.  I went with my friends Unsvelt Girl Who Runs and M&M.  Marjority  and Tag-Along came and M&M brought a co-worker, who, to me looks just like Anna Gasteyer.  I seemed to be the life of the party sort of, which is really strange to me.  I’m told that I have been accepted into the inner sanctum.  Matty hugged me when we were leaving (I’m pretty sure he hugged everyone) but UGWR said, “You must be in.  Matty touched you.”

Now understand that this post is less about my sexuality and the fact that this guy may or may not have “hit on me” last week and more about my own lack of self confidence and social fears that usually prevent me from putting myself in these situations.  Don’t get me wrong.  Matty is cute and he got his hair cut again and it looks even better.  And he’s lost a lot of weight and looks better than he used to…  But he’s still a pudge.  And that’s not what this is about anyway. 

The minute I walked into the venue, I made eye contact with Matty and he mouthed something to me.  The only word I got was “head” which sounds better — or worse — Or better…  Well it depends on your perspective…  than it was.  I was simultaneously trying to figure out what he had said, AND trying to show my ID to the lady at the door and get my hand stamped.  So I missed what he said and absent-mindedly held my hand out to the lady with my ID still in my wallet which was in my other hand.  

Later, as Matty was running by me, I asked him what he’d said, “I like your head” was the response I got.  (I started shaving my head earlier this year and it was still somewhat fresh looking last night…  But I had shaved my head last week too.  Not sure he remembers that.)

Mostly, I’m just not accustomed to being noticed and acknowledged by “the cool kids.”  Now, he has “snuggled” with me, hugged me, complemented my head AND I’m invited to his house for a joint birthday party for him and Majority.  OK, technically I’m invited to Majority’s birthday party… By Unsvelt Girl… But it’s still at Matty’s house and I get to go.  And apparently Matty lives in a gayborhood so maybe I’ll meet some new friends…  Maybe not.

I don’t know when this party is (except that it’s in July) and I’ll likely start freaking out again by the time it gets here, but whatever.  I’ll cross one bridge at a time.