Class Distinction

Sunday afternoon, I went to the deli to grab some Gatorade. I was in a wicked bad mood after having just received a phone call informing me that I had been fired from my job because of this blog. There was a guy behind me in line at the deli who was dressed in all white and carrying a white boom-box on his shoulder. Said boom-box was emitting the sort of sonic catastrophe reminiscent of one of your old friends that thinks they’re a DJ and sends you a weekly e-mail about where they’ll be “performing”. This guy was buying a quart of milk. That’s it. I’m not shitting you. Picture it.

Being that he was directly behind me in line at the deli, he checked out a couple seconds after me and followed closely behind me as I left the store, his quart of milk in tow, no bag. Upon following me out of the store he cranked up the volume on his boom-box to the redline, ensuring that I could enjoy his music just as much as he did.

The usual Washington Heights hubbubin`s were in full swing. People hanging out on the stoops, hanging out on the corner, hanging from the fire escapes with one arm while gripping a bottle of Corinita in the other, congregating in completely illogical places as to disrupt the flow of foot traffic as much possible, seemingly on purpose.

The fruity guy with the stupid white clothes, quart of milk, crappy music and desperate need for attention was still following, basically breathing down my neck.

I’d had it.

I was wearing dark sunglasses so I did the “fake-look-over-my-shoulder-into-the-distance-when-I’m-actually-looking- you-square-in-the-face-to-get-a-read-on-you-because-you’re-following-so- close-that-you’re-kinda-freaking-me-out-and-pissing-me-off-at-the-same- time” thing. You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

That’s when I saw that he had those stupid white contact lenses on his eyeballs. I almost threw up in sheer disgust of his gimmickry.

“I have a pair of earphones that I’m not using, do you want them?” I asked.

“WHAT?” he screamed over his music.

Everything fell deafly quiet as I took the liberty of hitting the ‘pause’ button on his boom-box and shouted as loud as I could,

“I HAVE A PAIR OF EARPHONES THAT I’M NOT USING, DO YOU WANT THEM!?”

He stood with me face-to-face and stared at me, shocked, for about four seconds. That’s four seconds in real time, people.

One-one-thousand.

Two-one-thousand.

Three-one-thousand.

Four-one-thousand.

He flipped me off and walked away. Simple as that.

I think it made us both feel better.

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I’m Fired.

It is official. I have been fired from a great job because of this blog.

I have been working for a nameless worldwide intelligence and investigation firm for the past couple weeks. They specialize in white-collar crime intelligence/investigation and business security. If I told you who they were, I’d have to kill you.

12:00p, Friday:

I checked my blog stats and found that I had received several hits from within my company, from a computer that was not mine. They came to my blog through a link on my myspace page. I had told no one about the existence of either website. Almost immediately, strange things started happening.

Due to the nature of this company’s work, I began to get a little nervous that these hits were coming from inside the company. I tried to put it out of my mind and began to gather my notes and whatnot. I was due to cover the executive desks support team as they were leaving town/going to lunch, respectively, at 12:45p.

12:30p, Friday:

My immediate supervisor approached me and told that the executive desks were unusually busy this day, and that someone with a little more experience would be covering the desks because the CEO had just returned from a long business trip, and that I could “just hang out” for a while.

I have a finely tuned bullshit detector, and this didn’t sit right with me. No one had ever expressed doubt that I could handle anything and everything that was thrown at me. In fact, quite the contrary.

2:00p, Friday:

Throughout the day, my day-to-day work that is usually routed across my desk, slowly stopped coming. Combine this with the internal hits on my blog, and the weirdness surrounding the executive desks, and I started to get paranoid. These events may not seem so strange to the reader, but I had a feeling that something wasn’t right. It’s hard to explain. After seeing what this company is capable of, it’s easy to start triple guessing yourself about the simplest things. You have to understand that you are working with spies. Actual spies. Sure I was being paranoid.

5:30p, Friday:

As my boss had instructed, I was “just hanging out” at my desk. It was the end of the day and I was responding to some personal e-mails, reading fark.com, when my supervisor approached me and told me I could leave for the day. He spoke to me in a manner that was inconsistent with previous conversations.

I left the office to go to a friend’s birthday party.

8:00p, Friday:

That night, I mentioned these events to some friends, but the unanimous decision was that I was just being paranoid. Everyone agreed to think I might have slight reason to be concerned, due to the nature of the company’s work, but that I really shouldn’t worry.

Wrong.

11:30a, Sunday:

I received a call from the agency that had placed me in the position. They told me that my contract had been terminated and I was not to report to work Monday morning.

What?

This was particularly hurtful to me because I really liked the work I was doing for this company, and I put everything I had into it. It was a new industry for me, and I found myself riveted by their work. I spent my non-working hours reading anything I could get my hands on in order to educate myself about their business and industry. During work hours, when I didn’t have an assignment, I would research company materials and closed case files to further familiarize myself. I really liked all the people I worked with, and I feel I was well liked in return.

I could maybe understand that due to the nature of the company’s business, after reading some of the material on my blog, no matter how good an employee I was, that they just weren’t willing to take the risk. “What risk?” you ask. I don’t know. I suppose that they simply aren’t in the business of taking chances.

In the long run, I believe that I would have been an invaluable asset to this company. I feel they have made a mistake in their decision to terminate my contract due to my blog.

Footnote: This author believes it is fair for the company to formally acknowledge to the author’s employing agent that his termination was do to circumstances not relating to his job performance, and in fact, quite the contrary.

Fun with the DMA

By now, you should be aware of my deep seeded loathing of Patricia Kachura, the societal cancer that works for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

Since her job is to justify sending people millions upon millions of unsolicited advertisements and phone calls every day, I figured she would be happy to receive an unsolicited phone call from me. I left the following voicemail at her office today:

“Hello Pat. This is PissedAndPetty.com calling with a quick survey. How do you sleep at night? Thank you so much for your time and we look forward to hearing from you. Please give us a call at (646)XXX-XXXX with any insight you might be able to provide regarding this matter.”

What’s wrong, Pat? You don’t like receiving unsolicited phone calls? Well, me neither, bitch.