Sunday, April 3, 2011

winner

Three consecutive nights of phone calls means we're developing a pattern. Due to the sibling relationship it naturally falls into a game of sorts, one in which the winner has had the worst day. Admittedly the competition is tough but I have been practicing for years and considering I am seven years his elder it is almost impossible for him to win. Yet our shared DNA also signals us to not quit, especially those habits which are not the most advantageous.

He has a new job at his old job. Now he is in charge of a group of people, of a process, of a tiny world of personalities, emotions, wants, needs, nuts, bolts. It is all consuming and he is being consumed. I laugh at him and eventually with him but not before I win.

Hello.

You'll never believe what happened today. I am burning in hell. Really, it can't get any worse. Nick fell in the shower and has a doctor's note saying he can come to work but he can't do his job, the one job he was hired to do. And Justin decided he'll stay full time maybe if I'll let him do another job which I pay someone minimum wage to do. And the salespeople are giving away all of our work 'cause they don't even understand what we do.

Let me ask you something. Do any of your employees have homicidal ideation?

What?

Was there an attempted murder at your job today?

No. What are you talking about?

I go on to explain how this one guy tried to kill this other guy but the plot was foiled and how it looked all innocent since the proposed murderer had clearly attempted to make the whole thing look like an accident and he was one of those guys that post victim mortem hood you'd see the neighbors on television being interviewed saying, He was such a quiet guy. Ya' know, just kept to himself.

I mean at the end of the day you gotta figure nobody died, right?

He laughs, we laugh and he pronounces me the winner.

The next night the phone is ringing as I am walking into the house, and I don't make it in before he hangs up but I do see his number on the caller ID so I fix me a drink, light a cigarette and make the call.

He answers with, Okay, I've got you today. They sold this project that will take two entire days for us to do but in order to supposedly get the business they had to sell it without the labor included which means I'll have six people working sixteen hours, well seven really if you count Nick who I am paying to watch other people work, and machines running and my desk piling up with more work 'cause I can't do my job from doing this job and I went to work at 6am and by 7:30 everything was falling apart.

Yeah but was there a suicide attempt at your job today?

What? Seriously, someone attempted suicide?

Yeah. I mean on the surface people would say it was not a suicide attempt but if you look at it more closely you see it for what it really is. I go on to explain how the murderer from the previous day had grieved so heavily from his failed attempt that he obviously tried to off himself, decided against it and in the last moments of the plan had ended up with only self inflicted injury. Everyone lived so it was a good day.

He laughs. I laugh. He says, Geeze. You win.

Thank you.

The next night I am able to catch the phone since I am walking in the door on the first ring. I sit in the chair next to the phone. Hello.

Three people quit today. Bruce's Dad died and I do hate it for him but they were expecting it. Really, he's better off and I don't have time to mourn since the one machine we need to do the job broke down and nobody knew how to fix it or even cared and I ended up crawling under it while on the phone with someone I could hardly even understand finding out it was a motor and I had to replace a motor. Whoever thought I could replace a motor but I did and that put us back four hours on a job we are not even being paid for and I worked fourteen hours today and nothing got done. Nobody cares and I am losing my mind.

Yeah but did you aspirate on sweet tea, almost die and piss yourself?


Long pause.


You win.



Gratitude.

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