The “Bad Husband” Chronicles

Just another day for you and me in Paradise

Posts Tagged ‘job’

Broken toes mend a broken heart

Posted by mozziestarlet on September 8, 2012

It has always amused me that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I’ve climbed the proverbial corporate ladder for nearly twenty years now and the adventure in hysteria and ultimately, amusement, continues to unfold before me with each new professional adventure. I’ve discovered that there will always be ‘characters’ in each office with their inevitable stereotypes, quirkiness, and overall clueless existence, just sitting there…waiting and needing to be written about. And that, I’m certain, is my calling.

I recently visited Denver for the first time to attend a conference sponsored by my current company. Like most conferences and trade shows, all sorts of personalities attend and put on their best ‘game face’ to meet customers, prospects and network with partners. The networking and nurturing of those partner relationships is what facilitated my attendance at the conference in the first place. You see, I am often the invisible marketing ‘Wiz’ behind the corporate curtain, crafting the brand message, and spoon-feeding the blind B2B masses much like feeding broccoli to a seven year-old. And if the truth be told, I’ve discovered that if you cover anything with enough cheese, someone will ultimately eat it. 

The majority of those in attendance were men in their 40s and 50s, sporting their receding hairlines and stuffing their beer-bellied midriffs into the required, company-branded golf shirt. To put it bluntly, these men are starved for female attention. The overwhelming majority are married with either teenage or college-bound children, and operate their personal lives with the same boring, predictable precision they present in the workplace. Unimaginative, robotic clones who somehow believe that the story of how they caught the prize-winning trout in their local fishing competition will bring women hopelessly to their knees. And it never fails that these men are utterly captivated by the bubbly and otherwise vacant blonde whose actual purpose is to flirt mindlessly with these men and somehow help assuage their own personal shortcomings. This conference was no exception to the rule and that blonde….and come on, we all know who she is at every company….was there in all her flighty magnificence. 

Ironically, despite my ability to see these women for who they actually are rather than what they pretend to be, I am inherently a nice person and get along with nearly everyone. And at my company, this blonde to which I am referring, I will hereby call The Flight Attendant. Bless her sweet soul, she is dripping in Southern accolades as well as physical beauty, and her syrupy accent is all that’s required to lure men under her spell.

After the conference closes on the last afternoon, a handful of co-workers decide to let off some steam and meet up at a local Denver bar and club for some drinks. I receive a call around 5pm in my hotel room from The Flight Attendant: “Mozzie, are you up for it? Come on and go out with us, girl!” Despite my feet aching worse than an Irish clogger, I reluctantly agree to join them. I arrive at the bar around 9pm and the festivities are well underway. The strobe light is flashing, the hip hop is blasting, and The Flight Attendant is on the dance floor, surrounded by an overwhelming group of male admirers, most still dressed to the nines in their company golf shirt. Bless their hearts.

I make my way to the bar, order a double vodka tonic and scan the room for cohorts and partners in crime. I feel the overwhelming sense of relief when I spot a great buddy of mine who is nursing his third or fourth drink, and wave him over to my direction. We chit chat, share some laughs and begin what turns out to be one of the most hilariously funny nights I’ve experienced in quite some time. Before too long, we’re throwing back shots of Grey Goose and cackling at the quasi-American Bandstand maneuvers we’re witnessing on the dance floor. The Flight Attendant is in her element…shaking her money maker and batting her eyelashes in every direction. By the end of the night, I’m fairly certain she will need not only an interpreter from her advanced state of intoxication, but also an escort to find her way back to her hotel room. Naturally, I help her back safely to the hotel, politely say good night and that I will see her the next morning around 8am.

7am arrives and I can’t pretend that it doesn’t kick my nearly 40 year-old ass. But, I shower, get my act together and head over for the last morning of the conference. It’s 8:30am and there’s no sign of The Flight Attendant. I excuse myself, step outside, and call her mobile number and then her hotel room. No answer. Yikes. 

I quickly make my way back to the hotel and begin knocking on her door. I hear groaning on the other side and then the door swings open with the naked Flight Attendant peeking around the corner. She’s hungover. She’s completely overslept and she’s limping. She wails in pain only to look down and discover bruised and bloody toes. “Mozzie, what the hell happened? OMG, my foot kills! I was dancing with some guy last night and he kept stomping on my toes. Help me…I can’t walk!” I do my best to contain the uncontrollable laughter swelling up inside me and tell her to get her act together, clean up and head over to the conference if she wants to keep her job. Tough love…sometimes, we all need it. 

Later that afternoon, we all depart for the airport, most of us on separate flights, and I don’t see The Flight Attendant until the following day at the office. She arrives, late as usual, on crutches with apparently two broken toes from her late night Denver escapade. Upon seeing her, I race for the bathroom or anywhere private because I know I am going to lose it. I laugh for at least half an hour at the sheer comic gold that is unfolding before me. Like I’ve said many times before, often real life is funnier and more entertaining than fiction.

Several days pass and The Flight Attendant receives flowers in the office from the Toe Stomper. She is touched and agrees to a dinner date with him. I can’t help but chuckle at the irony of the entire situation. Later, she sends me a text on my mobile: “Mozzie, you won’t believe how nice of a guy he is! After my divorce, I was convinced there were no nice guys left out there for me. I really like him and think he might be the one.”

So there you have it, my friends. A possible answer to the age-old question: How do you mend a broken heart? Answer: Go dancing and have someone break your toes. You might just fall in love.

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“To write is to sit in judgment on oneself”

Posted by mozziestarlet on May 26, 2009

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As much as I’d love to be able to take credit for that statement, I hardly can.  Henrik Ibsen, a remarkable 19th century Norwegian poet and playwright, penned that statement even before the turn of the 20th century.  I can remember first reading that when I was about fifteen years-old, and feeling the complete brilliance and truth of it sitting squarely on my shoulders.  You see…for a writer, there couldn’t possibly be any statement more at the heart of the matter.  Not to sound exclusive, but it’s a difficult thing to explain to someone outside of this reality; to someone who hasn’t spent the majority of their life trying to make sense of their existence year after year, through each stroke of their pen.  The funny thing about being a writer is that it’s very much a feast or famine talent.  You may go through periods in your life where the words seem to leap from you faster than you are able to write or type them.  And other times, you lull through months or even longer where you simply cannot find the words, no matter how desperately you need to.

Certainly, I cannot speak for every writer on this planet.  But, in my thirty-six years on this earth, this is exactly how it has been and continues to be for me.  I’ve often found myself wondering why this is…why are there times and periods in my life where I cannot stop writing and others when the pen sits frozen in my hand?  Is it a type of possession that temporarily takes hold of you until you’ve said all you feel you can say on the subject?  Or, is it a God-given gift that like any type of talent should be nurtured and fertilized each and every day in order for it to continue to grow and flourish? 

I really couldn’t say one way or the other, and I hardly have a definitive answer on the subject.  However, there is one thing that I know for certain; one thing that I hold dear and true.  Henrik Ibsen was right.  “To write is to sit in judgment on oneself.”  And perhaps, it is this self-scrutiny, and this personal dissection, that makes our writing ebb and flow.  At times, this self-reflection is a necessary evil for our own understanding and personal growth.  And at other times, the cruelty of sitting beneath a microscope of self-analysis is simply more than a person can withstand. 

I don’t think the admission of this duality makes me less of a writer, really.  I think it’s what makes me a human being.

 

“If I’m trying to sleep, the ideas won’t stop. If I’m trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness.”
~ Carrie Latet

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”
~ Franz Kafka

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
~ Ray Bradbury

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The pursuit of happiness

Posted by mozziestarlet on April 8, 2009

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Okay, okay.  So, I’m not immune to peer pressure either.  Given that it’s been nearly a month since my last entry and many of you have written inquiring as to my status as ‘alive or dead,’ I figured it is only the polite thing to do to post an updated entry.  Truth be known, I haven’t felt terribly inspired or creative in the past few weeks, and keeping my head above water has been my prime directive.  Yes, I am still looking for a job with little success, but, as you all know from reading my words, I always believe in holding on to hope.  I’ve found that as grim as things may appear in your situation, things are always worse for others.  Though I take no comfort in the suffering of others, this notion often keeps my toes warm at night.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ideal of ‘happiness’ and all that it entails.  And yes, I refer to it as an ‘ideal’ because I honestly think this description encapsulates the esoteric nature of it.  In my life, I’ve found that happiness isn’t really a state of being, but rather the moments by which we judge our lives.  I mean, how often has someone asked you, “Are you happy?” and you think to yourself, ‘Well, I suppose I am…at least at this moment in time.’  Do you ever wonder why we often think this way and why it is so difficult to reply with a resounding, ‘YES?!’  After giving it considerable thought, I think it has something to do with difficult times and worries overshadowing the positive things in our lives.  When we’re burdened, we often feel like the world is ultimately against us and nothing ever seems to work out as we hoped.  I can say this because I am guilty of this mentality perhaps more than anyone else.

The point of my rambling here is that happiness is something we must pursue.  It does not exist in a vacuum or by chance.  It’s built through our relationships, our kindness shown to others, and our ability to love and give of ourselves.  This is the seed of happiness.  And if given enough care and sunlight, it can grow into a garden of possibilities.

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“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

– Frederick Koening

“Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.”

– J. Donald Walters

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Destination unknown

Posted by mozziestarlet on March 13, 2009

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A week has elapsed since I lost my job.  Truly, it took nearly three days just for the shock to dissipate and the full irony of the situation to settle into my subconscious.  I mean, really…what are the odds of being laid off as many times as I have and now in the worst of economic times?  Surely, they must rival the lottery by now.  To be completely honest, yes, losing my job gutted me.  But, it has happened to me so many times now I can hardly be shocked when I hear ‘the speech’ again and again.  I placed first in the national ‘I’ve been laid off’ competition, reciting the speech verbatim in my sleep, standing on one toe, and washing my hair simultaneously.

I really have no idea what I will do now except keep trudging along as I always have in this situation.  I’ll keep networking, sending out hundreds of emails in the hope that they don’t land in someone’s ‘spam’ folder, and maybe, hopefully, something will come my way before I starve to death.  Isn’t it a sad commentary on the state of the world today when a college degree, fifteen years’ experience, and handfuls of personal testimonies to your abilities can’t even land you secure and steady employment? If this is happening to me and millions of other capable professionals, what hope do today’s graduates have when they walk off that stage, degree in hand, hoping to land the job they’ve been preparing for?

One of the most ironic things I’ve found about the corporate arena is that the crummier a person you actually are, the higher up the ladder you seem to climb.  I know you may shake your head in disbelief at this, but I can assure you, it’s so entirely true.  As I’ve progressed through the rungs, one painful step at a time, the more corrupt and dishonest people seem to be.  Why is this?  Does it take this type of person to be able to keep the wheels of capitalism spinning?  Do you have to be a self-centered loser to do well professionally?  Perhaps that is the root of my problem.  You see, I am neither of these things and couldn’t be even if I gave it a hero’s effort.  As sarcastic as I appear, I am a painfully nice girl and actually do care about others.  I realize that into every life a little a-hole must fall, but wouldn’t it be grand if there were a place where people actually treated one another as they wished to be treated?  What an absolute utopia that place would be.

And if I found that place some day, that place of genuine goodness and sincerity where being a good person meant that a good life would befall you, well…who knows. 

“I think I need a vacation –

More than a day or two,

or even a week,

but truly, a vacation.

A time to reflect on

the promises of tomorrow

and shelve away past regrets

and present sacrifices;

If only I could find a place of peace

(if such a place exists)

I would pack my bags

and leave nothing behind,

not even a forwarding address.”

– Mozziestar, 1999

uncertaintytypes

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And if you must go to work tomorrow…well, if I were you, I wouldn’t bother

Posted by mozziestarlet on March 5, 2009

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Yesterday at 10am, I lost my rockstar job.  The job I was so proud of, the job that was going to help me finally get my life in order, the job I felt would secure my future career, was gone in the blink of an eye, without warning, reason, or explanation.  I spent the entire afternoon at home yesterday, in a state of utter shock and disbelief, fighting back not only tears but the feeling of complete rejection that enveloped me.  Why did this happen?  What did I possibly do to deserve this at a point in my life when I’m facing the future on my own?  Am I the butt of some cruel joke that a power greater than myself has masterminded, and if so, why me?  I wish I could understand, but I don’t.  The Good Book says that difficult times and trials serve to build personal character, but haven’t I been through enough? 

What wounds me most is the way that I was treated yesterday.  I was baited into HR’s office by my supervisor to “sign a document,” and backed into a steel trap without any hope of escape.  I was told they appreciated my work at the company thus far, but they’ve decided not to continue my employment.  After I struggled to pick my jaw off the floor, I proceeded to ask why and got little to no valid explanation for my termination.  The irony of it is that two days ago I received a positive appraisal on my 60-day evaluation with my supervisor.  The whole situation makes no sense, and quite frankly, stinks of something dishonest.  If budget cuts and the economy are such a strain that my job can be deemed ‘superfluous,’ then by all means, tell me that.  Don’t shuffle me out the door, with my personal belongings in hand, and make me feel as if I did something to deserve being treated like a second class citizen, or even worse, a criminal.  I suppose honesty and integrity are dead on the vine along with chivalry and fidelity.  It does seem that the harder I work at my job, the kinder I am to accommodate the needs of others and go beyond the call of duty, the more consistently I get shafted.  It breaks my spirit and makes it difficult to believe in the general decency of mankind.  I live my life by the Golden Rule:  Always treat others how you would want to be treated.  The inherent problem here is that in the corporate arena, no one else subscribes to this antiquated ideal.  It’s dog-eat-dog and every man for himself…climb the ladder and it doesn’t matter who you have to step on to get to the top.  He who has all the gold wins, right?  BARF.

So, what will I do now?  I suppose I will do what I’ve become so good at doing.  I’ll pick myself up by my weathered boot straps, dust myself off, and start again.  The most honest and simple thing about me is that I just want to be somewhere that I will be treated with dignity, honor, respect and appreciation for my talent and work ethic.  That’s it, in a nutshell.   And for whatever reason, that is such a difficult nut to crack.

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Take a bite out of The Big Apple

Posted by mozziestarlet on January 12, 2009

Well, today was the first day of ‘official’ business for me in The Big Apple.  So, I put on my game face this morning as I am here representing my company at a large tradeshow.  I am by far in the minority here on two levels: 1.)  80% of the attendees are male and 2.) .001% are from the South!  Nevertheless, I am managing to hold my own, keep my head up high and shine my hospitable nature to everyone.  In case you’re just tuning in, I am a hardcore supporter of ‘The Golden Rule.’  And no, not the one that says, “he who has the gold makes the rules,” but rather, “Always treat others how you want to be treated.”  Trust me folks, you can never go wrong with this approach.  Like frowning, it takes much more energy to be negative or rude to someone than to be kind to them.  Both of you feel better in the long run and you’re much more likely to make a lasting impression on someone by practicing this approach.  If you don’t believe me, give it a try.  It will put an immediate pep in your step, pinky swear.

Of course, being a young woman traveling alone always causes the parental units to shift into code orange on the worry and concern scale.  Even though I’ve been doing this for years now, my sweet yet sheltered Mom is constantly thinking that I’m either going to be abducted by a cab driver or will get lost and not be able to find my way back to my hotel.  Seriously, am I the only one who sees the humor in this?  You would think I am a 12 year-old who got lost from their parents in a store or kidnapped at the bus stop!  Ma, if you are reading…relax.  Nothing is going to happen to me.  And if a sketchy situation presents itself, remember that I am a trained master in all of Mr. Miyagi’s best karate moves from watching ‘The Karate Kid’ so many times.  If danger approaches….HIII-YAAA!!!  That will teach ’em to mess with Mozziestar!  🙂

As far as the husband goes, he still in clueless land of trying to figure out why we are getting divorced.  Even though I have explained it to him countless times, it’s a bit like talking to a brick wall.  You talk and talk, but nothing gets through.  So, I stopped trying to explain in futility and hope that eventually, down the road, he will realize why our marriage failed.  If not, he will spend the rest of his life wondering what went wrong and how he played the starring role in it.  I do hope for his sake that this isn’t the case for him, but knowing his clueless and eternally blameless nature, I doubt he will ever figure it out.  

So friends, thank you sincerely for your continued support, faithful readership, and thoughtful comments and emails.  It means more to me than I could possibly express in words.  For me, inspiration is a two-way street.  I hope to inspire each of you to live your life to the fullest, but in the process, you inspire me as well.  Stay golden and keep shining. 

Mozziestar

apple460

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Happy New Year?

Posted by mozziestarlet on January 5, 2009

While I was awaiting my turn in the nail salon this afternoon, I started to space out and think about how it’s 2009 and another year has come and gone before my eyes.  I began to recollect the day when I was 22 that my parental units told me how life would really start to fly for me now.  They explained how once you graduate from college, get married and settle down, secure your first professional job, etc., everything begins to zoom past you at lightening speed.  I remember shrugging at this notion, feeling invincible and forever young at 22.  Now, nearly 36, I completely understand what they meant by this.  I mean, wasn’t it just yesterday that we had this conversation?  Wasn’t it just last week that I graduated from college, degree in hand, ready to put that first foot out in front of me?  Where in the world has all the time gone and what do I have to show for it? 

Being pegged quite frequently as the eternal pessimist, naturally asking these sorts of questions usually lands me in a depressive stupor.  So, I choose to take an objective look in retrospect.  Yes, professionally I have done very well for myself in the past decade, despite the whirlwind storms of layoffs and rehires.  I’ve climbed the corporate ladder, one painful step at a time, and finally it seems, have a real opportunity with a dynamic and stable company.  I can only be thankful and grateful for that.  Personally, however, I’ve managed to do a bang-up job at marrying the wrong person (twice) and making a royal mess of things.  As Morrissey says, “It’s my life to wreck my own way.”  

When I look back on my relationships, yes, there were signs and things I did notice before saying ‘I do,’ but I chose to overlook them, even if it was often done on a subconscious level.  I thought that love could conquer all and that if I worked hard enough at the relationships, they would survive and endure.  After years of living this way, I finally owned up to the fact that it takes two to tango.  If you both aren’t equally committed to making one another happy, you will spin your wheels until there simply isn’t any steam left in your little engine.  I certainly have.

So, what now?  Well, I choose to close the chapter of 2008, and for once in my life, look forward to the new chapter ahead:  the chapter of 2009 and new beginnings.  A chapter where I will learn to stand on my own again, let go of the hurt and blame for my own and others’ failures, learn from my mistakes and endeavor not to repeat them, strive to be a better judge of character, and hope to always be a better friend and person.  But, most of all, to learn to forgive and forget.  I truly believe that it isn’t until we let go of the past that we can begin to embrace our future.

Happy New Year, friends.

Keep shining,  🙂

Mozziestar

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Mozziestar Flashback Entry, Year: 2003

Posted by mozziestarlet on December 29, 2008

The year was 2003 and it was two years before the husband and I took the proverbial ‘walk down the plank’ and became an official Mister and Missus.  At that time, the husband was living in a two bedroom apartment with his eldest son, and after giving it a whole two minutes of heavy consideration, the husband decided to adopt a dog in hopes to add a little joy and companionship to his routine.  Knowing that I had a sweet little dog who I carefully trained to not only be loyal, but incredibly affectionate, the husband enlisted my assistance in selecting the best canine candidate from the Humane Society to add to his household.  The trip to the Humane Society was a gutting one; cage after cage of precious little dogs who all want you to take them home with you and shower them with love.  I have to tell you that I think it’s wonderful when people choose to adopt or rescue an animal who would otherwise be facing certain euthanasia, but having to see this reality firsthand was not an easy thing for me.

So, we are at the Humane Society and I point out several medium-sized dogs that seem to have good temperments and no behaviorial issues.  Given that the husband is always correct and completely unflawed in his thinking, he argues that a large dog is best for him since that is what he ‘grew up with.’  Naturally, living in a two bedroom apartment with no backyard is a great living environment for a large dog that requires substantial exercise daily.  After no deliberation, the husband selects a lab mixed breed who is still just a puppy.  I take a look at the large size of the puppy’s paws and tell the husband, “You know, you might want to reconsider about getting a smaller dog.  This dog is going to be a giant and is still growing.  Not to mention, puppies require substantial training, discipline and attention.  They are full of energy and are a lot like babies in the beginning.”  The husband confidently replies, “Oh, I know plenty about dogs.  This one will do just fine.”

Knowing that the husband is as stubborn as a mule, I decide to give his dog selecting abilities the benefit of the doubt and keep my opinions to myself.  The husband then completes the necessary paperwork, puts the puppy in the car, and we head back to his apartment.  When we first arrive, the puppy is so excited by his new home; jumping, frolicking and sniffing every nook and cranny.  After giving the place a thorough look, the puppy then becomes interested in everything else that is cluttering the husband’s floor.  After only ten minutes in his new home, the puppy reveals that he is going to be quite a handful in terms of keeping him out of trouble.  I recommend to the husband that he purchase the puppy some appropriate chew toys and dog bed or crate so that the puppy can familiarize himself with his area and what is acceptable for him to play with in the house.  The husband responds, “Nah, I never bought my dogs toys before.  He’ll be fine without them.”  With this, I say goodnight to the husband and his new puppy before making my way back home.

The next day is a work day and I am scheduled to see the husband that evening directly after work.  So, I manage through an otherwise uneventful day at the office before signing off to head over to the husband’s place after work.  On my way there, I get a call from the husband on my cell.  He says, “You aren’t going to believe this, but I think I’ve been robbed!  I just got home and my place is completely destroyed!  I better go so I can call the police and report this.  I will see you in a little bit, ok?”  Naturally, I’m concerned and horrified for the husband and continue on my way over to his place.  After several mintues pass, the police arrive and the husband phones me to tell me he has not been robbed after all.  I’m confused by this and ask him, “Why?  What happened to make you feel otherwise?”  He responds, “Well, I noticed the dog is kinda hiding from me and has dirt on his face.  One of my plants has been knocked over in the living room.  You see, I wasn’t robbed.  It was just that damn dog that destroyed my apartment!  I’m gonna kill him!!!”

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Chapter 19

Posted by mozziestarlet on October 6, 2008

7am:  I roll out of bed and stumble to the bathroom with my contact lenses completely stuck to my eye balls.  I have a new appreciation of how a blind person navigates his morning.  The husband apparently got a late night wild hair and decided to shave off all of his.  Brushing your teeth amidst the equivalent of a pet grooming salon is a beautiful surprise.

 

8am:  Time to make the coffee and ensure I receive all my essential vitamins and minerals for the day.  Panic quickly surfaces as the supply in the pantry is completely depleted.  I dig through the cabinets and find an old coffee packet from a business trip that I obviously saved for emergency purposes.  Beginning a day without sufficient caffeine before ‘feeding the monkeys’ in the office is as much as an emergency as any.

 

8:45am:  I settle into my morning office routine and share my cordial ‘good morning’ with the co-workers.  Apparently, our receptionist is incapable of friendly banter as she frequently responds to my greeting and polite inquiries with her reclusive ‘hate the world’ grimace.  I hear Morrissey’s words in my head: “Life is very long when you’re lonely.”

 

10am:  ‘Deer in headlights’ pops by to say hello.  She is convinced that I am her best friend and is completely oblivious to the fact that I want to jab her with my letter opener.  She confides, “OMG…I had a dream about you last night.  I just had to tell you!”  I do my best to conceal the abject horror that has now gripped me, knowing that I am now the apparent subject matter of her dreams.  She continues, “Yeah, we were best friends in my dream.  We went shopping together and it was so weird because you were wearing this exercise outfit and had your hair in a ponytail!”  I nearly spit my coffee all over my desk as she is clearly a sociopath.  Not knowing how in the world to respond, I tell her, “An exercise outfit and a ponytail?  My my, you were dreaming!”  I receive a blank stare from her and then the usual inappropriate laugh in my face, followed by her trademark punch in the arm.  She finally replies, “Seriously, you are TOO funny,” and exits my office.  I think to myself, “And you have just surpassed ‘BBSK’ on the ever-growing office psychopath list. And yes, I’m making a list and checking it twice.

 

1pm:  ‘Peace Out’ is making her daily trek around the office to see if there are any hall monitors present.  The coast is clear, so her two hour lunch break and nap in the car will be totally inconspicuous.  She stops by my office, sighs from having been at work for three whole hours, and tells me how much she needs a vacation.  I fight the compellation to grab the letter opener and hurl it her way.  A vacation.  *hmmpft*  Yeah, that would be nice.  Vacations for me are known as Saturday and Sunday!

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