Archive | October, 2013

Beavering Away

29 Oct

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So, I’m popping my Beaver cherry. 

…And with that, as many gauche and explicitly  inappropriate  references to the subject that I can make (or anyone else can, for that matter) will follow.

Children’s theatre.  For the Holidays.

…Friends I know run it. Friends I know do it. So I thought, “Whelp, at least there will be friends…that I know…in it.” Thus began my first venture into the world of children’s theatre.

…Not that I haven’t done theatre WITH children (for, I have), or performed FOR them in the past (Hello, ridiculous 9 am student matinees)…but this would be the first time I had ever began a show whose goal audience IS, “children.”

As one of a handful of actual adults in the upcoming “Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe,” I’ll be attempting to embrace the wholesome atmos being a good and wise example, (whilst little people are watching)…and making fun of it as wrongly as possible, when they are not. 

Why? 

…BECAUSE I’M PLAYING A FUCKING BEAVER.

(Totally different from a Beaver fucking, P.S. You can tell, because I’m a “Mrs.”  That means there is a “Mr.”  We already have two beaver kids, and everyone knows…sex after that for married mammals is non-existent.  Which is prob’ly why they bicker so much in the script.  Sex antagonism.)

…First off, the “Mr.” is out, TOTALLY ignoring them all by working on his damn dam all day.  (A useful excuse if I ever heard one.)  I mean, it’s been ice and snow in Narnia for like what…five generations or something?  Am I right?  What the hell is he daming up?  There’s no stream flowing through there.  There’s no mud to pack.  Shit is FROZEN, bro.  Has been forever.  Prob’ly always WILL be.  But yeah, you go out and keep “working” on that dam, dude.

…Meanwhile, the “Mrs” is stuck inside that frozen hut all day, dealing with never-hibernating children.  Constantly hungry.  Constantly cold. And housebound. Everyone’s all freaky-deaky about the White Witch and all her secret followers, so even sending the kids outside to play and get the hell outta your fur for five minutes is basically just inviting the Child Protective Services to come knocking on your hut, being all:

CPS Rep (prob’ly a Kangaroo): “Uh, yes, Ma’am…we have report of child neglect from a few of your neighboring Oak Trees and local Ground Covers. They feel very concerned that you aren’t taking proper precautions to the White Witch Warnings.”

Me: “Oh, really?”

Kangaroo: “Yes, Ma’am.”

Me: “Well, let me ask you this, Mr. Roo …or-whatever-the-hell-your-name-is…have you ever been in constant fucking demand in an ice-bound hut, with no ventilation for three decades, going on four…while early onset beavopause, hot flashes night and day…running off and on like a sunofabitch, as your body keeps packing on winter weight you’ll never lose the whole of your fucking life, non-stop, while your children scream at you all day long about how bored they are of eating twigs and frozen bark, and your husband is out, every day, futzing with some goddamn dam, useless as a tick on a dog, without so much as a stream trickle to keep at bay, as even his PISS freezes before it reaches the ice-packed ground?!”

Kangaroo: “Well…no. I can’t say that I have.”

Me: “Alright then!”

…So begins the character motivation work.

Now that we know the dynamics of “home life,” we can begin to delve into the curious fact of there being but TWO Beavers (and corresponding children) in all of Narnia to begin with…which begs answers to questions like, “where did we even come from?” And, “If it’s so shitty in there, why don’t we just leave? Cuz clearly everyone else did.”

…Not to mention the supremely convenient, total-rip-off-of-entire-character-existence, by J.K. Rowling, in this whole business.

Seriously.

Make us human and call us “Weasley.”

Think about it for a hot second.

We’re Bohemian, country bumpkins with weird accents . (Check.)

We are the natural defenders and protectors of the “Chosen One(s).” (Check.)

We are responsible for explaining all the main plot, concepts, and obstacles, to the completely ignorant main characters. (Check.)

Our home is demolished by evil bastards in vengeance. (Check)

Our kids are almost killed by a total mentally evil and fucked-up Witch. (Check.)

…Only real difference is, the Weasleys have super-awesome magical powers…while, as Beavers, we have…

…Buck teeth.

And…

Yep. I got nothin.’

Wow.

Did we get the shaft on that one, or what?

So…to round things up:

We are the only surviving animals in our class, left in this place of total frozen devastation, waiting indefinitely for a prophecy to come true, which if/when it DOES, will mean CERTAIN war…which we will fight, with the use of nothing.

Good plan.

Totally logical.

Don’t see how it could POSSIBLY fail.

…I mean, it’s like work here at the office, really, when you think about it.

Frozen wasteland of crap, surrounded in devastation.

…And look how well THAT turned out for us!

~D

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The End Of An Error

15 Oct

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Today, at 5:30 a.m., Boss showed up at the office, put down his computer and company truck key, and walked back out…

…Never to return.

We are still not exactly sure what that means for us…only that he quit before they could fire him.

…We don’t know if legal suites are still pending.

…We don’t know what the hell happens with all the shit he’s stored at the offices.

…We don’t know if they killed his name off the buyer accounts, disconnected his network access in the cloud, or what happens next.

We only know, there currently is no Boss.

They are going on day three-thousand on inventory tomorrow, we don’t have any more account access than we did before, or have the authority to instigate so much as a P.O.. We fielded calls all day about things Boss had promised people before he left, so the forest fires now burning in his wake are just another fun obstacle to deal with, along with two suits from corporate in the house, watching our every move…like some gigantic fucking Olympian qualifying level to see if we get to keep our jobs at the end of it all. Or what.

…Boss is gone.

…After seven years and countless incidents of bullshit and lies and manipulations.

…I should be celebrating.

…I should feel just overwhelming relief.

…I should be tossing back whiskey shots like it was going extinct.

Instead, I feel unbelievably weird. Sorta numb. Sorta terrified. Sorta irritated. A lot exhausted.

…Like death or something is waiting around the next bend.

You have to understand the depths and breadth this has all gone…for SEVEN YEARS. I think I’ve been trained, to just suspect it is all hopeless, and always will be, and the next shoe drop is just inevitable.

This job has actually TRAINED me to be depressed even when a good thing happens…because I don’t recognize “good” as being an actual option.

…”Good” doesn’t happen here. It never has. Only horrible things. So then…what’s behind the Halloween mask THIS time?

I can’t actually trust it. Any of it. I want to be relieved, or ecstatic, or…you know…something.

I’ve waited so long for this day, and it’s here, and so am I…which means it happened…for real…and I made it…but instead, I’m just sitting here, unable to even decide what to eat for dinner tonight…because nothing sounds good, it’s cold,  and maybe a nap would be better instead.

What the fuck, you guys????

…What the fuck.

~D

No Bug Zone

10 Oct

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Taking a break…

Am fortressed  in my office, away from all the peoples, as all the peoples I know are currently carrying some version or other of the plague.

Gnome-Idiot cheerfully informed me yesterday morning, (while hovering over my desk and mouth breathing) that she had spent the night hurling into the toilet , and would it be alright if she went home after this stack of paperwork?

…I mentally told her to get the fuck away from me, while verbally assuring her that I totally supported her choice in going home to get better, and that she should feel free to leave as soon as possible.

…This was roughly two days after the WHS Pimp started hacking up lungs n’ things in his office, returning from his day off.  The same day that Ma called and said she had abton of crockpot food she couldn’t eat by herself, and wouldn’t I like to come over while wearing a surgical mask and rubber contamination gloves, to pick it up…as she TOO was dying of some kind of stuffy head-cold.

Three totally different strains of plague, now surround me.  The battle has been fierce.  I’ve forced vitamins and liquids until my bladder is near to exploding. 

…So far, so good.

…Of course, now that I’m claiming that, I am prob’ly doomed to get one or all three in the next few hours.

Problem is, I don’t have time for that yet.

…I know the show is closed and all, but along with the final visit of Corp next week, at the office, I have two shows to see, a script to peruse, an Ab-Fab sleepover with Marty to attend, a Wedding, and The BFF’s way-belated BD-AWESOME-GIFT-OF-AWESOME to shop for, bills to pay, laundry to do, and TP to buy.

I’m booked.

…Also, I don’t WANT to get a cold.  Not any three of the current varieties seem very appealing.  So, I sit here, treating my appendages as germ-fields-of war, every paper pass back-and-forth with the rest of the office staff.  My hands are now chapped, cracked and dry from antiseptic overuse, I just shot my last Emergen-C this morning, and in a panic last night, I started chugging that awful Gollum juice toddy, in hopes to add it as another form of preventative.

…Surely, nothing could survive this onslaught of prevention, right?

(she hopes, heartily.)

…Providing all stands germ-free, my week of self-imposed quarantine will end tomorrow…as I watch Marty kick some ass in “Henry V,” and move directly into swilling “medicinal” alcohol…in the form of a lot of wine…until I pass out.  Waking up (at whatever o’clock that turns out to be), I then begin my quest of shopping and bill paying…and somewhere in there: some laundry.

…Which will bring me to the half-way mark of my weekend.  I’m pulling focus on one step at a time, at this point.  So as to not tempt the bugs too much.  If they think you have it all signed, sealed and delivered, they hit you even harder (I find.)

…So shhhh.  Don’t tell.

…Meanwhile, I’m off to face the “inbox” once more…and consider the options of Children’s Theatre, around the holiday. And, the calculated percentage of odds riding against mounting an entire show without grumbling curse words when I fuck up a line…or being a surly bastard to small people seeking hugs and smiles during tech week.

~D

Gnome-Idiot, Takes The Lead

8 Oct

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Now that Boss has been relegated to a mere “Feature Guest” role in the blogosphere (soon to be killed off, General Hospital style)…a new idiot has taken his place at the office, in pursuing the “ridiculous” and “mind-blowingly” stupid things for which he has become so beloved, by the yous.

…Not “beloved” in a “Happy Christmas morning” kind of way.  More like “that stupid thing you did while drunk that one time, which turned into your best party story.” 

Entertainment.  That’s what we’re talking about.  And there is a new kid in the “stupid” game.

…We will continue to call her the Gnome-Idiot. Because of both her pint-size and sheer innocent stupidity. 

After two weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that she REALLY can’t help it.  It is not due to bad choices.  Watching her for sixteen days…128 hours…I have used all of the (frankly considerable) study time, wisely.  Mostly because I simply can not believe that a human being can make it to age 24 and be as seriously backwards and innocent in not only human interaction and communication (but, especially in THIS day and age) all tech and computer forms imaginable.

She has a High School Diploma, and got into College, without ever once using any form of Office Suite software, having to alphabetize, talk to adult human beings (or in complete sentences), nor realize the common sense kind of things that keep you out of being that 1% that every accident of all time happens to, because there is no warning label yet to TELL you NOT to stick a butter knife in a toaster, blow dry your hair in the shower, or cross a highway, on foot, and without looking both ways.

…Honestly.  After the first week, I seriously doubted the validity of her stupidity.  So I started sorta, allowing it to be put to the test.  Here and there.  Now and again.  And without fail, she upheld her end, each and every time.

I mean, this girl is seriously.  Seriously. SERIOUSLY, legitimately deficient in just plain common sense. Not even a little bit.

…This girl is the kind of idiot that you have to teach how to pour coffee grounds into a filter.  Not “make coffee.” Just “pour in the grounds.”

…This girl is the kind of idiot, who continually forgets how to put a call on hold.  Or take it off.  She’s the kind of idiot that has screwed up one of the five separate file systems, at least once per day, since she has walked in the door.  The kind of idiot who, no matter how much you train her, has YET to answer a single phone call, without passing them back to someone else for help…who forgets our phone number printed ON A SHEET IN FRONT OF HER, which I placed there, for that purpose, two weeks ago. She asks things like, “How do you heat this water for tea?” and “What do I do after scanning these?” When there is a post-it note on the stack of paper telling her point-by-point directions on what exactly to do.

…In fact…there have been A LOT of post-it notes.  Three cubes worth so far.  Everything in her inbox has to be labeled with step-by-step instructions, AND still are brought forward for interpretation when she finally gets to them.  Common communication between us has included conversations like:

G-I: “So, when I’m done faxing these sheets, I do what with them?”

Me: “File them. Like it says.”

G-I: “Okay. Well cuz, um…I just wanted to make sure cuz, um…well…I just did this yesterday.”

Me: “With other papers. Yes.”

G-I: “Cuz like…I mean…it just seems like I do this a whole lot.”

Me: “Right. Because it’s your job.  It’s what we do here.  A lot of faxing. A lot of filing.”

…And…

Me: “Okay.  So, you’ve filed these batches incorrectly again.”

G-I: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Remember?  THIS stack is for ‘archives,’ and THIS stack is for ‘pending.’ ”

G-I: “It just gets really confusing…”

Me: “It’s okay.  You just have to look at the dates, remember?  You know because THIS stack has dates that are passed, they are for archiving. And THIS stack with dates that haven’t happened yet, are ‘pending.’  Also: the bins are labeled.  See?”

G-I: “Ohhhhhh.  Wow.  I’m really glad you explained that.”

Me: “We had this same conversation yesterday.”

G-I: “Right but, I mean…there are really a lot of stacks of paper around here.”

…And…

Me: “…So then, I need you to just label these hang files with these titles please.  On tabs.”

G-I: “Riiiiiight.”

Me: “Is there…what’s wrong.”

G-I: “Yeah.  By hand or…?”

Me: “No, the computer deal didn’t work out so well the last time.  Just by hand.”

G-I: “…And these marks?”

Me: “What marks?”

G-I: “These thingies.  You want these thingies on the tabs too?”

Me: “The quote marks?”

G-I: “Yeah.”

Me: “No.  No…you don’t need to put the quote marks in.  That’s just what I want you to call them.  Remember? You got a little confused the last time I just wrote titles down.”

G-I: “Riiiight….”

…This is REAL-talk, people.  Actual conversations.  With an idiot.  And she’s not joking. She’s not pulling a leg.  She’s actually, ACTUALLY just an innocent, actually, actually asking these questions.  For real.

It’s real.

REAL.

I’ve tested the waters, and NO ONE is that good of an actor.  She’s the GENUINE article. Either that, or she is in Witness Protection from the Mob, and her LIFE is at stake, here.  Those are the ONLY two options.

…So, as I wait until the 15th, (the date when we are told Boss is to be canned and I can go and find a legitimate QUALIFIED office assistant), I bite my lip repeatedly, and attempt to keep from obliterating her to tears.  Because every time we need to have these little conversations, it’s like I shot her dog or something.  She is so very eager to make good.  But so very incapable of achieving it. 

…Which puts us at a dead lock for another week.

Dear lord.  How will I even make it?

…If I have to hear one more sentence like, “Um…yeah, I think black is the darkest color we offer…”…I think I’m gonna explode.

…Yet every day, she seems to top the last, somehow.

It’s like: she’s a fucking magical Leprechaun of fairy-dom.

Totally unbelievable…despite all our wildest imaginings: yet, there she sits.

~D

When It’s That Full

3 Oct

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I’ve been in Bally-K for the entire week, (Whenever not pinned inside the office.)

Tonight, I watched exactly how far I did the LAST (and first) time I watched this show.  Until the end of season 3.  Where I shouted obscenities at the TV a lot, in between mopping up my face.

…I never have watched the rest of the seasons.  And I fully intend not to.  On principle.

Anyone who kills off my favorite, deserves to go unwatched.

…Unless you are Joss Whedon.

…In which case, I just cuss some more, pour out another drink, and suffer through it.

…But not in this case. 

In this case I’m angrier than as I was the first time.  Possibly because so much in life can be shitty, and people that waste the parts that aren’t, piss me off.  Especially when they are me.  But even more so, when they are my favorite characters in some sort of ongoing drama.  I get invested.  Perhaps overly.  But it’s only cuz their lives seem to have so many better options than mine. In that they have “different” options than mine, and I find that whenever people are especially frustrated or depressed, “that other thing, over there” always looks better than whatever the hell is cooking on the stove, “over here.”

…Maybe it’s human nature.

I dunno.

…What I do know, is that in three seasons of laughter, tears, and shenanigans, no one has had to deal with anything as remotely useless as Boss, or as totally incompetent as the New Minion, at the office. This ALONE makes Bally-K a special little haloed oasis.

By 9 am today, I really was done with the little gnome-idiot, masquerading as a human, sitting in the front office. 

…This is AFTER a week and a half of training, which has gone nowhere, as the 24 year-old college drop-out has still managed to refuse learning the correct form of filing, typing up a letter, has never set eyes on Outlook, can’t use a calendar, has worse phone skills than a grade-schooler, and has to actually be told…every single time…to answer the phone when it rings.

I am stuck with this human potato with hair, until the 15th.  At which time we are told, Corporate is returning with “the guy who fires Management” and is stripping Boss of title, car keys, and all power.  (Not that we will believe it till we see it, but this is the rumor mill.)

…THEN (and only then) will I be able to go out into the workforce and shop for an actually qualified human to do these things…as he will no longer be around to take the lead in doing so himself.  Which is how we got Minion one (who couldn’t pass a drug test) as well as Minion two (who makes Jessica Simpson look like a Harvard Grad, with a major in Philosophy.)

…And in case you don’t believe me, ask Ma about it some time. 

…She’s spent a lovely six hours with the gnome-idiot, donating her time, trying to teach her how to file, write an email, and label a cabinet for the past two days.  So that I could actually get some work done.  This woman has trained even Executives who wear suits and attend Happy Hours for a living, on how to “not get sued,” by letting sexual harassment faux pas, vomit out of their mouths towards their Secretaries.  If she can do that, she can do ANYTHING. And even she turned to me today and said, “I don’t like giving up on people, but…you just can’t teach common sense.  You either have it, or you don’t.”

I told her that I knew that. Now. 

…The thought had occurred to me, about fifty times, since gnome-idiot first started working here.  Last Monday.

…It has re-occurred several gillion times in between those ones, when trying to teach her to answer a phone, or fax a sheet of paper, or scan something to a thumb drive.

…She almost blew up the shredder today, for instance.  Presumably by “shredding,” but God only knows. 

…I didn’t let her on the phones the entire first week, because her vocabulary (which you cannot season, counter, or correct) includes “um” with every third word…which makes her sound like one of those unfortunately dim-witted Valley girls from the ’90’s.  Even coaching has gotten us only as far as this stellar sample from today:

“Hello, this is [gnome-idiot]…um…I’m calling…um…to see…which color of…um…shingle you wanted.  You put ‘black’…but, um…so…do you want it or not?”

This is for real, people.

This morning alone she attempted to archive-file job invoices that haven’t even been built yet, lost three employee files, screwed up the final contract sign-off sheets, fucked up the confidential archives, updated the wrong version of the voicemail log so I was repeat calling the same people I did yesterday, forgot how to put a person on hold, forgot how to use the function-find feature on an Excel sheet report that is nine pages long, so took ten minutes to look up one customer who was (come to find out) on hold the entire time, and almost set the shredder on fire (we think by shredding staples still in the documents)…and all before 9:30 am.

…At which point, I walked into WHS Pimp’s office, shut the door, and wrote ” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” on a piece of paper.

…He responded in kind, when Boss decided to show up for the first time in God knows how long, to sit in The Pimp’s office and bother him for an hour.

…At which point I got a “bing” incoming email from him that read, “Oh holy fuck. We are surrounded by dumbasses.  What do we do?”

…At which point I suggested making a break to my office, locking all the doors, and leaving them to die of natural causes alone, on their solitary other sides. 

…Prob’ly of asphyxiation, cuz no one would be there to tell them to breathe.

…Or (in the gnome-idiot’s case) HOW to.

You know, this “natural selection” thing isn’t as bad as I used to think. For the good of the planet, maybe some species are not SUPPOSED to have the ability of “common sense.”  Like turkeys who drown when it rains. Bad politicians.  Or stupidly proportioned Dinosaurs.

…But maybe those of us who have some (common sense, I mean) should…you know…do our damndest to make sure they never reach a seat of power to BEGIN with.  And if they DO (by some fucked up scheme, historical bumble, or bad voter turn-out)…maybe it’s our human responsibility to unseat them as soon as humanly possible.  By almost any means imaginable. 

…For the “greater good.”

Because, if for nothing else, things like “this week” have taught us that.

The end.

~D

Indiscreet Ink – Weeks 6 & 7

1 Oct

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Make-Up Writings…from prompts given in “no-way-can-my-brain-handle-any-more-junk-happening-in-there-right-now” times.

Writing Lab #6
(A short Sci-fi blip)

Writing Lab #7
(A theatre story)

~D

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