Friday, May 27, 2011

Wedding day blues.

So. It's the morning of the wedding and I, per usual, am alone. Dave's off with the boys, and he's pawned me off on his friend Kim (whom I've never met) for the day. Apparently he's got to meet the boys at the theater at 1pm, the wedding is at 3pm, they're doing pictures afterwards, and the reception's at 5pm. And since they're having a head table, I get to sit alone. Hooray! And to top it all off, last night's rehearsal dinner was a disaster: the groom's mother, who (for some unknown reason) has never liked me, asked Dave when we were getting engaged; he explained that he was gonna do it tomorrow, but I figured it out and ruined the surprise. So I said, but he got me this! and showed her the emerald ring he bought me in Cancun... And as Dave turned away to talk to his friends, she ROLLED HER EYES and sarcastically said, it isn't a diamond and then walked away. Wtf?!

Oi. So then the whole, we've been together almost seven years, why aren't we even engaged freak out began again. I hate other people. So not looking forward to this one.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blackouts and lightning and tornados, oh my!

So yesterday was my day off, and I needed it.  All this travel/wedding planning and at work screw-ups had me strung tighter than CM's anal sphincter; I woke up with a general feeling of unease, had a panick attack, tried to call MM at work: no answer; tried to call her on her cell: no answer.  Tried and tried and tried for the better part of an hour when I got this text: "Busy.  What do you need?"  It seemed ominous, like pre-termination coldness, so the panick attack resumed as I threw on clothes and drove like a screaming banshee to work (remember, today's my day off and I'm going to work.  I am an idiot.).  When I got there, MM was having a nice chat on the work line with her sister about all the crap going on between her and PBM, so when I burst in, panicky, eyes wild, she laughed at me for being a complete idiot and told me to get the hell out of there and to my noon massage appointment.

Oh, have I told you about the Maureen?  She's a godsend.  In January I'd been having some serious problems with my back when Dave finally convinced me to do something about it.  I have terrible posture from a childhood/adolescence/young adulthood (seriously, until I was 21) being extremely overweight (I'm 5'6" and, at my heaviest Christmas of 2002, my freshman year at college, I weighed 256lbs).  'Nuff said, I still have the posture of a morbidly obese 16yr old.  So I break down, give in, and call the local massage school for an appointment.  I knew I wanted an instructor to do it, and since it's only an additional $15 an hour for someone completely trained, I went for Maureen.  So I went in, and Maureen is a totally gorgeous brunette (according to Dave, who likes to make me admit (in order to keep his vision of what a massage is) that of course we make out the whole time) who is the nicest human being on the planet.  Needless to say, she fixed my posture and I've been going back every two weeks ever since.

Yesterday I walked in all wild-eyed, five minutes late for my appointment (and I'm chronically early); Maureen grabbed me and all but dragged my gloomy ass down to the Outer Banks (sidenote: each massage room is a different location around the world, and they play music according to the locale.  Usually I'm in Ireland, because Maureen knows I like the horses and the Celtic instrumentals.  I've also been in London, Moscow, Tokyo, New York, L.A. and Sydney.).  I didn't even have to tell her I was stressed out beyond control, which is always nice; we've had about 15 massages together at this point, so she can pretty much read my body language about what I'm feeling.  Asked if my ear was completely healed from my traumatic Royal Wedding experience (it finally is) and whether or not my right rotator cuff is still giving me grief (I somehow tore it playing football in Cancun, and aggravated it beyond belief by playing football/fishnet catch at our company picnic's olympics).  And then I fell asleep.  Three times.  And got my face massaged, which is seriously my favourite part of the massage.  So, completely relaxed and feeling good, I headed out to the grocery store to pick up essentials for the trip (I'm boycotting fast food stops, so I'm packing healthy sandwiches and snacks that we can eat at a rest stop tomorrow and on the Old Main lawn on Saturday) and some soup/yummies for me, since Dave was on long shift until 9pm and wasn't likely to come home for dinner.

And then I went home.  I knew there was a storm coming because I could smell it, but there wasn't anything odd about the storm clouds gathering on the western horizon.  I unpacked my groceries, started some laundry, ran and fed the dogs, and communicated to Dave via text message about what I'd bought and whether or not I was feeling better.  My phone was dying (probably owing to the 700 calls I made to work before 11am), so I plugged it in, vacuumed, watered the tomatoes and the bushes we just planted out front, and switched out the laundry so I could begin packing us up.

That's just about when I heard the back screen door practically torn from the house by wind, and caught sight of our backyard with the 30ft tall oak practically sideways in the wind.  Okay, bigger storm than I thought.  I ran downstairs and onto the front porch, where I noticed that the clouds were definitely the harbingers of doom and likely to produce something that would murder me and my dogs, so I wrenched closed the front screen and locked it, double bolted the heavy front door, did the same out back, closed the fireplace flue and the oven vents, and locked all the windows.  As I was returning downstairs from securing our bedroom, the rain and hail began, but with the wind whipping around the hail sounded like bullets as they struck the side of the house.  I ran to the front windows and was treated by the image of shingles ripping from roofs and siding being torn from the homes down the street.  Thankfully, none of the siding ended up on/in my car this time, but some others weren't so lucky.  Morrison was cowering at my feet, and I finally found Cobain shaking inside her car carrier, curled up with her security blanket and her busy bee.  I gathered them up and was just about to chuck them into our downstairs bathroom (no windows, first floor, doubly reinforced by staircase, etc.) when I heard what sounded like approaching train engines.  I grabbed my phone, dragged Morrison into the bath, threw Cobain into the bath, and ran to grab my cell phone just as the power went out, my phone died, and I heard sirens begin on the main road.  Five minutes later, I tentatively left the dogs in the bathroom to check the damage.  Backyard was intact, tree was... worse for the wear and missing some large branches which had dropped on our fence and in our yard, but the fence wasn't damaged, nor our storage shed either, so it seemed okay.  Ran out front to check the house and my car: no dents or dings on the car from either the hail or the tornado/surge that had passed through, but I could hear the transformers at the end of the road hissing and popping as they fizzled; our neighbors were out, checking their homes too, and as I secured a partially torn out shrub and relocated the wicker loveseat from my neighbor's yard to our porch, I came to the conclusion that we came out lucky.  No damage to the siding, the fencing, the roof, the porch awning, or my car.  The sideyard was a mess, as was the street, and my car was plastered with wet leaves, but we were okay.  However, I had no way to call either Dave or Mom to tell them I was okay, so after setting up candles to light when I returned, I hopped into my car to drive to Dave's work.  He only works about ten minutes from the house, as do I, but it took forty-five minutes just to get out of the neighborhood, owing to accidents, flooding, and downed trees.  Once I got out, every street light (including those at Town Center) were out, and accidents were everywhere.  Dave's dealership had no power, no phone lines, and was suffering a good deal of damage done by the sales tent rigging on the new cars they were "protecting."  Dave and I verified that we were both okay, and mutually decided that if the power couldn't be restored by the evening, we'd get a hotel for the night.

Which was easier said than done.  The house was rapidly heating up, thanks to no a/c and a super hot (and now muggy) day.  The dogs were panting, I was sweating, and every hotel I called within 20 miles was either booked, charging insane amounts because demand was suddenly high, or the line was dead/busy every time I tried.  Finally, Dave was able to get ahold of a Motel 6 up the street which allowed pets, so we charged inside, grabbed changes of clothing and the rum, hooked up the dogs, and away we went.  Fifteen minutes later, we were chillaxing in room #231, watching Glee and waiting for dinner to arrive from our favourite local restaurant.

This morning, just before check-out, Dave ran home to check on the power.  Thank Dominion, it was on again.  He came back, we all piled back into the car, and we headed home.  He took the dogs for a quick haircut, I began the tedious process of unloading everything we'd thrown together, putting all the snacks and leftovers away, gathering up the dogs' toys and bowls and beds for the trip, restarting the laundry I had never finished, cleaning up the kitchen after the previous night's ransacking, and just in general attempting to clean up.  Now it's 4:45pm, I have another hour and fifteen minutes before I'm done with my half-day of work, and I still have to stop for dinner tonight, finish the laundry and the packing, pack the car, double-check for missing items, wrap the Christmas presents I never got to my parents and brother, because I was too sick to go home, and locate a decent book on tape for Dave and I to listen to, because I just can't listen to five hours of talk radio tomorrow.  I was going to go out and have my hair done, but that's just not in the cards for today.  Maybe I'll find a local place in PA tomorrow and get that done while Dave is at the rehearsal.  Who knows?

My dress from Rent the Runway is supposed to be delivered here at work by the end of the business day today, and if it doesn't come soon I am going to have a shit fit.  I will wear Badgley Mischka to this wedding if I have to kill the UPS guy.  According to, while the dresses are scheduled for delivery "by the end of the business day today," that could be at any time up to, and including, 7pm.  We close at 6pm.  If the dress isn't here by 6pm, I am absolutely going to lose it.  I have to get to the grocery store to get food for dinner, finish the laundry, finish the packing, clean the kitchen, clean up/pick up the living room, put all the candles away, confirm the hotel for this weekend, make/pack the food for the trip tomorrow, dose the dogs with dramamine, gather bags and paper towels for the inevitable 16 times the dogs will vomit on the trip... and while Dave texted me not an hour ago telling me that nothing was going on at work and he was planning to leave early, I just got the call that the internet and phone lines were functioning at the dealership again, and though he'd been planning on coming home early to help me, he was now going to "stick around and make some calls, just to see if I can get some of my ups in over the weekend with other guys so I make at least half commission."  Well great Dave, you do that.  You come home, "maybe not at six, maybe around six-thirty."  Which, I have sadly come to learn, means "I'll be leaving ten minutes before the actual close of business at 9pm tonight.  You'd better save dinner for me until then.  Oh, and I'll claim that I want to help, but I'll make so many sighing noises about how tired I am after I flop down to eat the dinner you shopped for and you made, all while doing laundry and folding my clothes and packing my suitcase and cleaning the house and running/feeding the dogs that you'll never ask for any help... so when I offer to pack the car and you agree, simply because you're exhausted because, while I woke up, carried a few bags to the car, and transported the dogs for their haircuts before I went and sat on my ass at work (remember, it's 5pm and the phones/internet just came back!), you got up, packed the hotel room, dragged two angry little dogs downstairs, loaded the car, unloaded the car, put away the leftovers and snacks, started the laundry, started the dishwasher, packed the nonperishables for tomorrow, put all the drinks in the fridge, changed out the laundry, folded the laundry, got out the suitcases, began packing, unloaded the dishwasher, fed and watered the dogs, switched out the laundry, folded the laundry, continued packing, took a quick bath, got dressed for work, ran to work at 2pm, worked until 6pm, stopped at the store for dinner, put away groceries, made dinner, switched out the laundry, folded the laundry, continued packing, cleaned the kitchen, straightened up the living room, ran the dogs, finished the laundry, finished packing, stowed the suitcases in the hall, hung up all your dress shirts, hung up my dresses, stowed them in the hall closet, made a book on tape cd, and vacuumed, you're the one who will bring up the fact that "I helped" by packing the car in every fight we have for the next month about how little you do to help around the house.  But thanks for carrying everything outside.  You're a gem.

It's enough to make any woman want to throw back her head and scream, "WHY IN GOD'S NAME DO YOU NOT SEE HOW LITTLE YOU DO?  HOW MUCH I DO?!  WHY I'M SO ANGRY WHEN YOU PULL THIS CRAP EVERY SINGLE TIME WE HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE?!"  I mean, this is his best friend's wedding.  He should have to do more than pack the car and get wasted with his buddies... but no, it's all my responsibility.  As usual.  Why do I believe him when he says he's going to "try harder"?  Why do I trust him when he says he'll change?  I'm an idiot.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Cast

It just occurred to me that there are an awful lot of people I dislike and enjoy ranting about in my life, so in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm going to provide a cast list and update it as people show up in my writing.  If I'm missing someone, drop me a line and let me know I've dropped the ball.

My Household
David  This would be my boyfriend of nearly seven years.  We interchangeably refer to each other as fiances as well, since at this point the marriage is imminent even if I don't have a ring.  We met at college, began as friends, and then one drunken, drug-influenced night we ended up making out while waiting in line for pizza.  We've been together (through a lot of good and some really really bad) for a good long time, and aren't splitting up any time soon.  He drives me insane but keeps me grounded.  Also, he's great for doing the things I hate (like changing lightbulbs and unloading the dish washer).
Morrison  Dog #1.  Mommy's dog.  Half Shih-tzu and half Bichon Frise, she's all black and all attitude.  We picked her up in May of 2008 when she was the size of a baked potato.  Now she's the size of a large cat, and can leap over 36" baby gates with ease, which means she cannot be confined anywhere unless she's behind closed doors.  Dog #2 in age in my entire family, as we (my Mom and I) own four dogs, all full sisters.  Her older sister, Moose, lives with my Mom and looks like Morrie's twin.
Cobain  Dog #2 for me, dog #3 or #4 in the line-up (Mom's #2 is Cobain's littermate Panda.  Because she's black and white.  Mom's real original.).  Coby is as dumb as Morrie is smart.  This one is entirely the responsibility of Dave.  This is our chewer.  She has eaten my heels, my flip-flops, my favourite book, my couch, our stair bannister, the carpet in six, SIX, different places, and all the molding in my downstairs bathroom.  She can also clear the baby gates (what once was a party trick we're now regretting encouraging), so anytime we leave the house, Coby has to be kenneled. 

My Family (Back in PA - and STAY there!)
Mom  My mom drives me insane.  She's hypocritical, the most double-standard driven person I know, and extremely judgmental.  She's also ready to jump on a plane the second I'm sick, always welcoming to us when we go home to visit, and totally accepting (sometimes) of my relationship.  I love her some days, can't stand her others, and sometimes want to rip her hair out, but she's my mom and the person who put herself last to raise me and my little brother, so I'd do anything for her.  She's also the first person to come to my defense... and the first person to attack me, but what're you gonna do?
Tom  Step-dad.  He hates me.  Literally hates me.  Ignores me, refuses to speak to me, when he does it's in one-to-two word phrases, and he takes advantage of my mom to the point that I want to murder him.  His father and grandfather were big, important business men in our town, but he and his brother have turned an 11-store company into a one store company since they've owned the thing.  He owns the house he was born in, has never moved, and has two older daughters from an earlier marriage.  I cannot stand him.  He acts like the goddamn king of our hometown, and he's soooooooo goddamn annoying.  I avoid him like the plague.
Jason  Little brother.  Graduated from college and didn't move 1,000 miles away from home like I did.  Does sports marketing for his alma mater an hour away from home.  Mom likes to clean his apartment, take him groceries, go to games he's announcing, give him money, etc.  I do not get the same courtesy.  But that's mom and her double-standards.  He can be a little asshole, he also treats our mom like crap and takes advantage of her, but deep down I think he's got a good heart.  Somewhere.
Grandparents  My grandpa (92) is insane and thinks that he's stuck in the 1940s during WWII.  Apparently last week Hitler was in his living room.  We think it's because he's blind and very hard of hearing, and my mom/her sisters have given him all these WWII books on tape and records of 40s songs, and that's all he sits around and listens to all winter.  He's also convinced my grandmother (89) is having an affair.  She's batshit crazy too and giggles constantly.  She also writes down the PA lottery numbers every night... but doesn't play the lottery.  She seriously has little notebooks of lottery numbers going back to the invention of television.  I kid you not.  Every so often I'll call and ask, "what were the numbers June 17, 1972?"  And it takes her a few minutes, but she always comes back with, "The Pick 3 was 9-2-17, the Pick 4 was 10-32-24-45..."  It's insane.
Uncle BJ  Used to be a six-figure salary medical salesman in the tri-state region, now he's unmarried, a drunk, hits on girls my age, spends all his time with his son who does nothing but drink and party (and is only 2 months younger than me and just graduated community college - I've been out of school since 2006 and have since lived in PA, NC, and VA, taught elementary school for four years, and now work in real estate.  Not to sound cocky, but I think not being drunk in a boat the entire time I was in school maybe helped?), and fills vending machines for a living.
Uncle Tommy&Aunt Patty&Jackie  Uncle, aunt, 18yr old female cousin.  Uncle is the consummate nice guy, aunt is the biggest know-it-all unemployed bitch in the family, cousin is cute little freshman coed on her college cheerleading squad.
Uncle Danny&Aunt Leslie&Daniel&Austin  Uncle, aunt, 19yr old and 17yr old male cousin.  Uncle is the biggest know-it-all bastard in the family, aunt has a really great disappearing act (Dave didn't meet her until we'd been together four years), cousin #1 attends Dave and my alma mater and gave up a promising pitching career to become a male cheerleader (no, he's not gay.  He actually called and asked if he'd get more financial aid (yes), if I thought his dad would be angry (yes), and if he'd get more ass (yes)) so he went for it.  I say go Daniel!  Cousin #2 is heading off to the same school, but he will be joining the baseball team as a catcher.
Aunt Dianne&Uncle Angelo&Annie&Randoms  Aunt, uncle, 16yr old female cousin, randoms.  Aunt is an ex-fat girl who likes to talk about how cruel my mom was to her in high school (she did burn my aunt's favourite "cover up my flab" sweatshirt) and slut it up with her friends at expensive restaurants in the nearby cities, uncle is a principal turned lawyer who also likes to slut it up around town with his secretaries, Annie is an ex-fat girl who's super smart but way too attached to her mom and prefers the company of men to women.  The randoms are literally random people my aunt and uncle collect who are invited to everything they do.  The worst are Annie's nanny (yes.  At 16 my cousin has a nanny) and her husband and daughter.  The nanny looks like George Washington, the husband looks like he should be behind bars for molesting farm animals, and the daughter is a miserable old maid who owns 30 Pomeranians.  They will no doubt be at this party on Memorial Day and the husband will spend the day trying to look down my shirt.
The Great Aunts  Grandpa's two unmarried sisters.  There were three, but one passed away when I was in high school.  They've never married, and all live together and share chores.  Seriously.  One does the outdoors, one does the cooking, and one does the cleaning... except Outside Aunt died a few years back.  They're uber Roman Catholic and always asking if I'm maintaining my relationship with God.  Mom has made me keep my mouth shut these past few years, but if they ask this weekend at the picnic, I'm just gonna go ahead and tell them I'm living in sin with my boyfriend, have been for years, and no, I don't intend to get married in the Catholic church because I no longer consider myself Catholic.  I haven't in years.  Then we'll see what hits the fan.

Kat  I have known Kat since sophomore year in high school.  We are frenemies who are pretty much just friends now.  She still lives in my hometown, hates her job, hates being single, hates having no money, and is freaked out that her parents are going to evict her and she'll be left with no where to go.  Two or three years back she had a great boyfriend, was really happy, and had a great apartment with him, but she has commitment and personal space issues and that all fell apart.  I'd like to help her more, but I don't know how.
Erin  Also known since sophomore year in high school.  She had some serious control problems throughout high school, which led to four years at a super religious college which turned her into a complete nut bar.  She once suggested that if I didn't accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I would never see my father again, as I would go to hell.  I took that opportunity to inform her that my dad said he talked to "God" in the forest among the animals and trees, and that it was unlikely my beatnik dad was a Bible-thumper at heart.  She's gotten much better the past few years, and is nearly what I'd consider normal.  She lives in Seattle with her boyfriend.
Chellebelle  Michelle, best friend, collegiate partner-in-crime.  On my 21st, she humped a wall while screaming her roller-derby "chant" (we were never in roller derby - too small.  We just pretended).  She went to Mongolia after we graduated with the Peace Corps and bitchily didn't call me for like, three years when she got back.  But we're friends again, and she's dating the guy she nearly broke up with until I convinced her to give him a last chance.  She's crazy in love and I get thanked for it every time she calls me.  Makes me feel important.

Work People
FM  Former Manager.  Hired me in November, was promoted in December, left me in January.  She's a gossip, but always helps me out when I'm having a work-induced panic attack.  Source of all information both deep and dirty on our coworkers.
MM  My manager.  Inconsistent, creates double standards, never here, never helpful, leaves everything for me to do, and always needs me to give up my days off to cover for her.  I like her, but she drives me insane.  With ABD, pregnant with his child, at war with TPAA and PBM from GBW.
ABD  Adulterous Baby-Daddy.  Maintenance at GBW.  Formerly "just friends" with MM, now her baby daddy and roomie.  Just left his wife and child for MM.  Love interest of PBM.
PBM  PsychoBitch Manager.  Works at GBW, has already been threatened by Corporate for spreading rumors.  Loves ABD, hates MM, tries to break them up now that they're together all the time.  Very passive-aggressive stalker.
TPAA  Tiny Passive-Aggressive Assistant.  Sister-in-law to PBM.  Also a rumor spreader.  Very annoying.  Also threatened by Corporate for spreading untrue rumors about MM.
CM  Corporate Manager.  Cute but a bastard.  Reminds me of Seth McFarlane, as he used to be a comic.  Was on my team for the local builder's association olympics, in which we placed second due to my amazing genetic ability to throw a perfect spiral fifty yards, even with a torn rotator cuff (yes, it hurt the next day).  Used to like me, now thinks I'm a total fucktard.
CIL  Community Information Lady.  Don't really know what she does, but she's the one I have to send all the blank paperwork to that caused this fuckpile in the first place.  Always calls me and talks to me like I'm a fucking kindergartner trying to figure out how to not eat the paste.
MG  Our Maintenance Guy.  He's slow, refuses to take direction, and has worked here over thirty years, so he thinks he owns the place.  He does what I say, but that's because FM hired me and he loves FM.  Refuses to work a moment past 5pm.  I Nexteled him at 5:02pm about an apartment where the A/C was out and the temp was up to 81*, and he said he'd get to it the next day.
CL  Cleaning Lady.  Old as hell, slower than a turtle, always complaining, and never cleans the apartment properly when someone moves out.  Complains to MM about me because I have a tendency to leave soup in the fridge.  I try to avoid her.

That should be everyone.  If I've forgotten someone, let me know.  Otherwise, I'll add to it as we go.  Now, thank god Corporate hasn't called again today, cause I get to drop their mail (I WILL NOT FORGET) and go the hell home.  And since Dave worked yesterday since I wasn't gonna be home anyway, he gets to come home around 6pm tonight.  Yay, I'll get to see him! and maybe completely unruin my horrible, horrible day.  Oi.

I hate my managers, work, life in general.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I don't truly hate them.  I hate the way they react to completely unimportant things that happen throughout the work day.  Every night, reports have to go to Corporate regarding changes in apartment status: if an apartment was rented, if an apartment was moved out of, etc.  Most days, there is nothing on these reports.  They are literally blank pieces of paper we initial to prove who's been working that day.   Yet they still have to be sent to Corporate.  Usually this means physically going to the offices and dropping them off in the manager's mailbox, but on days when there is no status change, they reward us by only requiring we fax the blank report.  I forget to do this at least once a week, but usually remember before work the next morning and either fax it as soon as I get there or text my site manager and have her do it for me if I'm off.  Lately, our corporate manager has been flipping out if these reports are forgotten and faxed at 10:00am, even though we don't open until 10:00am.  No one is even there to know the report is late.  But two weeks ago, apparently there was a meeting between my manager and the corporate manager I wasn't privy to, and the result was I got written up for forgetting to fax blank pieces of paper.  Never mind the fact that my manager falsifies her work hours every week because 90% of the time she is several hours late (case in point: we have been open for 52 minutes.  She is not here, nor has she called to explain why she's not here.  I mean, we are both on the schedule for 10-6pm today.) or leaves several hours early, and still claims and is paid for those hours.

Yesterday we all know I had to work.  I never work Sundays, as Dave is off most Sundays and we like to try to spend some time together over the course of the week.  Sunday is the last day of our week, so the culminating reports all have to go to Corporate.  These cannot be faxed; they have to be physically put in the mailbox for Monday morning.  I forgot them last night, but remembered this morning, so I left home early, ran to work and grabbed them, and had them to Corporate at 9:30.  I physically handed them to the person who inputs the information.  We have seven other apartment communities in our company.  There were seven other larger reports to enter into the databases first.  But at 10:05am, just after I'd opened up, Corporate Manager (CM) called to ask where the Sunday reports are.  I'm confused.  I handed them to the Community Info Lady (CIL).  She has them.  She's the one who needs them.  Why is he calling me?  Obviously she let him know they weren't in her box at 9:00am, but she had them at 9:30.  Why didn't he ask her before calling me?  I tell him I ran to work, got them, and brought them in at 9:30.  I apologize for forgetting them: I don't usually work Sundays.  I explain that I had to stay a half hour after closing because our phone lines weren't working and I couldn't forward the calls to our answering service.  I simply forgot.  He proceeds to read me the riot act about how this happens too often and it needs to stop.  I'm confused again.  Since being written up over blank pieces of paper two weeks ago, I haven't forgotten once.  I've been remarkably anal about remembering.  So I apologize again and he lets me go.

An hour later, Corporate calls again.  This time it's CIL.  She's going through the reports and sees that I had an application/rental/move-in on Friday: where are the forms? where is the escrow cash sheet for the security deposit? where is the check?  I put all of these things in a manilla folder and put it on the counter in the kitchen: like I said, remarkably anal.  I even marked it with her name, our apartment community, and Friday's date.  Did I not drop it off?  I find it on the kitchen counter with a huge box of Gevalia coffee on top of it.  Then I remember: I was helping a resident when UPS showed up and I told him to just put the box in the kitchen.  Then I obviously forgot about the paperwork.  I apologize to another person at Corporate, promise to fax it immediately, and swear to drop off everything tonight with the mail.  The doorbell rings: it's the resident who lives beneath the apartment that flooded Saturday afternoon.  He's been in D.C.  He just got back.  He is pissed.  I run damage control and attempt to simultaneously answer the phone, which rings three times with potential renters.  I finally get him out, run to fax the forgotten paperwork, and see that the answering service has faxed over the night's messages.  A/C is out in one apartment, tub is stopped up in another, and... wait.  A resident is complaining that the patio door replacement workmen just showed up at her door while she was lying on the couch, nude, attempting to sleep.  She works nights: she just got home and now she can't sleep.  I'm confused again: I sent out the notices last week to the people who were having their doors changed this week.  It takes several hours to do.  If people don't know about it, they get pissed.  What went wrong?  Phone rings.  Another resident is calling about getting a notice, but there's one problem: her door was changed two months ago.  Our cleaning lady (CL) walks in: the power is out in an entire building.  Great, another problem for our Maintenance Guy (MG).  Oh, and by the way, a resident moved out and left there key.  Great, more goddamn paperwork to send to Corporate.  Phone rings again.  Another resident, another notice, they've had their new door for two months as well.  WTF?  I find the maintenance log to try to figure out where we went wrong with the schedule.  I didn't do it, I just addressed the notices my manager left me... so it's her fault.  And if we remember correctly, she's pregnant, so she's a little wibbly in the brain department right now.  Okay, so she accidentally wrote down the addresses for this month in March.  Gotcha.  Manager calls, I explain everything that just went down, promise to fix it, it's all okay, and she informs me that she's taking a sick day and I'm alone for the afternoon.  Lovely.  Thanks for the notice, I didn't bring lunch, incorrectly assuming you'd be here like you're scheduled so I could run out and pick something up.  Thanks.  So I call the residents who are having their doors done tomorrow to notify them at the very least, call back the nude couch-surfer and apologize and explain, and then finish all the paperwork as quickly as humanly possible, when... the phone rings and it's Corporate.  Again.  I cringe and answer: it's CM again and he's looking for my manager.  I politely explain that she had an ultrasound to check for birth defects (she's in her late 40s and this pregnancy was a real surprise) and although I just spoke with her, she's still at the doctor and has the flu, so she's just going to take a sick day.  I'm immediately freaking out because I just know he's calling her to tell her to fire me over my horrible paperwork skills.  I call her back, give her the head's up, but he hasn't called her: maybe he needs to talk to her about a problem she's having with another manager at another site.  I know he wanted to speak with both of them.

Phone rings again: it's Former Manager (FM) who got a promotion to manage a larger apartment community for Corporate, so although she had just hired me (literally just.  I began on November 17th, she changed communities January 1st, and I got saddled with my current manager who had previously been an assistant at another site.)  They're changing out the windows in her office today, so her computer is down and she needs me to call her when the CAP Sheet (list of all our properties, the floorplans, and the apartment prices, as well as the price change (if any), the number of unrented and vacant units at each, the number of rentals the previous week, and the budget Corporate has set for any improvements at each site over the next week.  As you may have guessed, we're doing the stupid patio doors) comes over from CM and whether or not there's a managers meeting today.  Thankfully, this puts me at ease because I'm thinking CM is calling to tell my manager (oh hell, let's give her an abbreviation too: MM) that she needs to come in early or stay late so that he can address this issue.

(Okay, sidenote: here is what is going on, to the best of my knowledge.  Our Corporate owns eight apartment communities where I live.  Seven of these are pretty much on or just off one road.  The eighth is another city over, roughly a twenty minute drive away.  MM was the one of the assistant managers there before being promoted in January to our community.  She worked with two women, Tiny Passive-Aggressive Assistant (TPAA) and PsychoBitch Manager (PBM).  She also worked with her Adulterous Baby-Daddy (ABD) there.  He works maintenance for the community (GBW) and MM was in the office.   MM and her daughter also live in GBW, so not only is PBM her boss, she's also effectively her landlord.  MM worked here for seven years with a two year break somewhere in the middle.  PBM is the single white female type in her early 50s, and she had a crazy crush on ABD; PBM and TPAA are sisters-in-law; MM and ABD were friends for the entire seven years (and she has since stressed only friends for the first five, then the affair started).  Before the affair (BA) began two years ago, PBM and TPAA turned on MM and began spreading rumors throughout the company that they were catching MM and ABD hooking up in the office, that PBM had seen ABD leaving MM's apartment in the mornings and walking in at night, that ABD's wife was calling trying to find MM... you get the message.  These rumors were circling all through the company, even up to the owners.  MM went into Corporate for a meeting with CM and flat out denied everything, because at the time nothing really was going on: they were just friends at the time.  CM called in PBM and read her the riot act, instructing her to cease-and-desist on the rumors and to rein in her little lapdog in TPAA, or they were both risking their jobs.  Everything was settled after that.  I mean, because of the rumors everyone now thought that MM was a dirty homewrecking skank and ABD was a complete pig, but everything pretty much calmed down.  Well, in January when she transferred, MM filled me in on this history (which I had already heard from FM when she tried to prep me for MM's arrival) and assured me that she was not having an affair with ABD (lie).  We discussed it repeatedly, and after I met PBM and TPAA I was moderately convinced she'd been being honest.  Now let me interject here and tell you that over the course of her first two months here, she assured me that she was not having an affair with ABD at least twenty times, so when she began acting funny in March, I started to see the writing on the wall.  Then she dropped the bomb mid-month: they'd been having an affair for two years, his wife and son didn't know, they were happy the way things were... but now, she was pregnant and due in December.  Yuh oh.  I jokingly called her a skank and she assured me she'd still be here until she had to take off for the birth and such.  He was telling his wife and son shortly, and they were going to move into a three bedroom apartment in the same apartment community (completely stupid decision, they actually made the move over the weekend).  They were planning to get married after the baby came.  They were going to tell CM before the news got out and he heard the gossip.  And they were true to their word: they went together, they told him, and he congratulated them - no reprocussions.  She made the smart choice of filling in FM (okay, I love her, but the girl gossips) and everyone at least got the real story.  And then I got to breathe a sigh of relief because while I don't gossip, I also freaked out that I would get in trouble for failing to inform Corporate.  But I didn't, so yay!  Fast forward to now: MM is constantly missing work for doctor's appointments and because she has severe morning sickness, which has resulted in a lot of extra work for me, much of which I have never been trained to do.  CM has asked MM to make it clear to me that I have to be able to pick up her slack when she is unable to come in.  I don't have an assistant.  It's just me attempting to do my job AND her's.  She is constantly forgetting to tell me when she changes my schedule to suit her needs, which has resulted in three occasions already where I am scheduled off and have plans (such as doctor's appointments to manage my incurable disease (I have Lupus, it's really not as bad as it sounds)) and I am instructed to change the date of my appointment because her's is more important.  She is constantly scheduling us together, which I assume means she's planning on showing up to do her job, so I don't bring a lunch as I enjoy popping out to Wawa for ten minutes to break up the afternoon, and she doesn't show, so I can't leave to get lunch.  I have to eat.  Because of the Lupus I cannot maintain my weight very well, and when it gets low I begin passing out.  Seriously, I hit 111lbs the morning of the royal wedding, went to pee, blacked out, fell and smashed my head on the porcelain sink, ripping my ear half off and knocking myself unconscious in the process.  I went to work that morning, and the next, but needed Sunday to try to recover as I was still slurring, kept forgetting phrases, and was so dizzy with such a terrible headache I couldn't function.  Not to mention the ear.  She called Sunday morning, begging me to take her shift because she was spotting.  Not bleeding, spotting.  Which is completely normal in the first trimester.  So I said no.  She'd already abandoned me for most of the previous week, and I needed a day off.  The next morning, I got a phone call from her saying she was going to the doctor at 3pm, so I'd be needing to stay all day.  Oh, and she was running late and needed to go to the store, so she'd be in at noon.  I had an appointment with my thyroid specialist at 3pm, and these appointments are impossible to reschedule.  I told her this, but I was told to either bump the appointment to noon, so she could cover, or to cancel it and do it another day.  I got off the phone with her and burst into tears.  I'm legitimately sick: I have to make it to these appointments, but if I didn't move or cancel it, I knew she'd go crying to CM like she did the previous day because I wouldn't come in, and I got a lecture about making accommodations for her.  So I canceled it.  At 3pm, CM called an assistants meeting at another of our communities, but I had no coverage, so although I both called and emailed him, desperate for a little help, I still had no coverage at 2:45pm, when he called and told me just to shut down the office for an hour.  That afternoon, MM stopped by to tell me that CM had called her complain about me, and that I needed to be written up but she stuck up for me (really?) and said she'd just have a "little talk" with me about the infamous blank paperwork, my unwillingness to step in when needed (I took this to mean insisting I get a day off after 6 days of continual work with no assistance and no manager), and my general unawesomeness.  Great, whatever.  A week goes past, everything seems copacetic, when I get a text the following Tuesday.  It's 8:45am, Dave is getting ready to walk out the door, when I read the following: "Going into work.  Don't feel good.  You can come in and work if you want to!  :)"  Well, I don't want to.  I want my damn days off.  I worked Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and all damn day Monday so you could go out of town with your family.  I have to work next Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and all damn day Monday so you can move.  I have to come in next Wednesday on my day off so that you can "get a break for a bit" because I'm heading to PA for a wedding and Memorial Day with my family (sidenote of this sidenote: my Aunt Dianne is having it catered this year because my Uncle Angelo cannot be trusted with a grill.  This means lots of ziti, chicken francais, sirloin tips, italian salad and rolls for this girl.  Oh, and those yummy yummy parsley potatoes I love so much!) from Thursday to Monday (and the office is closed Monday anyway!)  So basically she has to work Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday once.  I've done that schedule the past month, plus Monday too!  And then I get my two days off if I'm lucky enough that you don't call out sick.  So I "laugh a text back," which is basically "LOL Yeah right!  ;)," but she isn't kidding.  At 2:30pm, just as I'm sitting down to a bowl of creamy tomato soup, a green salad, and a nice caramel latte at Panera Bread, I get a panicked text from her.  She's now apparently dizzy, vomiting, and miserable: can I please come in for the rest of the day?  She needs to get to a doctor.  Please keep in mind I'm only four days past a severe concussion, and I too am dizzy, nauseated, miserable, but not working as today is my damn day off.  This continues like this for roughly forty minutes until she promises to give me a half-day Monday but pay me for a full day; everyone has a price.  So I finish my lunch, call Dave and tell him about the change in schedule, run home to let the dogs out, and head to work when, lo and behold I walk into the model and there's MM, happily surfing the web, certainly looking nothing like I look when I'm dizzy, nauseated, and vomiting.  And she strolls merrily out of the apartment, leaving me with a thousand and one little tasks she's devised, and advising me she's "gonna try to feel better."  I'm livid.  I dropped my lunch, my free afternoon, my relaxation time, kenneled my dogs, and her only response?  "If I'd known you were doing something, I wouldn't have asked you to come in!"  ... What did you think I meant when I texted you that I was eating lunch at Panera, and that if I was going to have to go home, change, take care of the dogs, and then I could come in.  But it's too late now, I'm an idiot for believing her, and I'm stuck now.  At least I'll get money for Monday's half day.  The next morning, phone rings at 8am: she's still sick and needs to go to the doctor, can I come in and work today and I can have off tomorrow?  No.  It's Wednesday.  I haven't seen Dave for more than two hours in three weeks.  I am not coming in.  And besides, didn't you leave early yesterday so you could go see the doctor?  And why would I work a full day and take tomorrow off?  I can take today off and I only have a half day tomorrow.  No dice, MM.  So, when I waltz my happy ass in at two on Thursday, guess what's waiting for me: a nice, thick Corporate write up from CM, another site write up from MM, and the explanation is: I'm slipping up and not faxing/delivering the paperwork in a timely manner.  Blank paperwork, may I remind you?  And isn't it funny that these little "learning moments" seem to perfectly coincide with the days I refuse to cover for MM?  But it's okay, right?  Yes, I screwed up, but I have a nice four day weekend to get over it.  So Sunday... niiiiice.  Monday morning, I sleepily text MM to remind her that she's giving me the day off and paying me for the whole thing because I covered for her.  I slide out of bed, pour myself a bubble bath, and am just about dozing off when I get a reply.  No, apparently I don't have the day off.  I'm working from 10-2 because she needs to go shopping in the morning.  Um... what?  But okay, 10-2, I'll work a half day and get a whole day's pay.  Still, it's better than nothing.  So imagine my surprise when, at noon, an email appears from CM announcing an Assistant's Meeting/Training from 2-5:30.  Say what?  I'm working a whole day now?  And MM backpedals.  Wait?  Oh no, you weren't supposed to come in this morning!  Oops, I didn't understand your text.  My bad!  Catch you next time?  So that was two weeks ago, and since I have a wedding this week and have to go out of town, I'm taking off five days so I can see my family over the holiday; therefore, I have to pick up some of MM's days so that we can make it even... even though I've been working this schedule for three weeks and no one's giving me a few extra days off.  So I worked all weekend and today... though MM came in for an hour to bitch and lay on the couch and eat.    Now, as of 3pm, MM is at a manager's meeting with CM, and I am sooooo afraid he's going to tell her to fire me.  I'm hoping not, that he's just called MM in so he can keep her and PBM after the meeting and have it out with the two of them, because just last week as MM moved in with ABD, PBM started up again, informing everyone that ABD is running around and hooking up with other women and MM has no idea about it.  Should be interesting.)

It's just not my day.  I signed leases I shouldn't have signed, misplaced papers I should have filed, lost my phone, etc.  I'm just so off today, and I'm totally blaming it on that damn concussion.

I am just about thirteen seconds away from murdering someone.  A resident, our MG, Dave, my mother, I just don't know.  Thank everything holy that I have a day and a half to figure out what the hell my problem is as of 6pm tonight, and another five days coming up after a four hour shift on Wednesday.  I'm also getting a massage tomorrow at noon, so maybe that'll help.  Oh for god's sake, Corporate is calling again............

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I am so not in the mood.

I woke up with a hangover because I attempted to drink myself into Heaven, I think, and was on the floor completely nude, facedown in a pillow.  The day has gone significantly downhill from there.  I made the spur of the moment decision that I'd like to get a pet rat, brought it up to Dave, and he pretty much proceeded to tell me that I'm an idiot.  I'm tired of always taking into consideration what he wants and his refusal to extend the same courtesy to me.  So, I simply removed myself from the situation and went out alone.  He decided to make a bigger deal of it and act like a much larger asshole and follow me to Panera, where he proceeded to read me the riot act in public.  I took off two days of work, days I would have been in the office, so that he could participate in his best friend's wedding next Friday, did all the research, the travel planning, the budgeting, made the hotel reservations, located the easiest location to pickup his suit, and am going to be alone all afternoon Thursday so he can attend the rehearsal, completely alone all day Friday while he preps with the groomsmen and participates in the wedding, have to sit alone at the wedding because I don't know these people, have to sit all alone at the reception as he's gonna be up with the wedding party, and ride back and forth with people I don't know because he'll have the car for wedding transportation, and he treats me like dirt this morning.  So I'm not going to go to the wedding anymore.  He's welcome to go hang out with his buddies, I'm going to take the weekend and go home to visit my family.  I'm done with this.  I'm just tired of stepping on eggshells for him and no one, no one, ever doing the same for me.  My cousin is getting married in July, and his first question was, "Ugh.  Do we actually have to go?"  No.  We don't.  I don't want to go any more than he does, but it's a member of my family for Christ's sake.  We've already had to travel to New York and we're headed to Pennsylvania for his friends, but he can't stomach the thought of heading home for my family.

No consideration.  None.  He doesn't help with laundry, but if he throws in a load or two I have to thank him repeatedly and he brings it up in any little argument we have for the next two weeks, he promises to keep the kitchen clean and he doesn't, it's absolutely maddening!  I swear the Rapture came and turned all the men on the planet into flaming assholes, because between Dave, my asshole of a step-father, and half the residents around here lately, I'm beginning to see a pattern.  I don't even feel like going home tonight.

And I have heartburn!  Oh, it is just not my day today.  On a more pleasant note, I finally located a local rat rescue and was able to adopt a pair of little champagne-coloured girls.  They're babies, apparently named "Missy" and "Sissy," but I think I'm going to name them Miranda and Charlotte, because I have been watching way too much Sex and the City lately.  And since Dave is completely unsupportive of this decision, I'm taking the full responsibility for them.  Plus I adore pet rats, and after speaking to the Rat Rescue's owner am guaranteed that these little ones are adorable, affectionate, and quick little devils.  I'll post pictures once I pick them up.  They're coming home with me after work on the 31st.  So excited!

This week is shaping up to be really shitty.  I've already been working several days straight, I have to do Sunday reports and a cash sheet, stop at Corporate after work to drop off mail for Monday morning, and Lisa just hit me with having a meeting on Monday, which means I'll be here all day tomorrow.  And I have to work Wednesday afternoon as well.  I hate this place sometimes.  Also, I have GOT to stop eating BBQ chicken sandwiches.  In the past week I've had seven.  That can't be normal.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Rapture. I'm unpleasantly surprised.

No Rapture.  No firey rain.   No true believers hurtling skyward.  This is a disappointing moment for me.  I had a conversation with Kat this morning about the whole thing; I believe at one point I accidentally insinuated that God could possibly be the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.  These are among the reasons that I won't be making that northward trip to Heaven anytime soon.  As far as I'm concerned, the only person who is going to disappear because of this Rapture bullshit is the guy who predicted it: Harold Camping.  Because if I was responsible for mass religious hysteria, including (but not limited to) entire families relocating, parents quitting jobs to spread the Rapture "message," emptying bank accounts, retirement savings, college funds, etc. to fund all this "message spreading," and the general malaise of religious society, I'd be hopping my happy ass into a fast car come 6:01pm and driving as far away from civilization as is humanly possible.  As of right now, his website is mysteriously down and all his radio station is playing is "I love God" music, so I'm thinking that when New Zealand made it into tomorrow with nary an earthquake, tsunami, or the sudden manifestation of The AntiChrist, good old Harold probably took off before his hordes of angry Christian crackpots descended upon him.  Good riddance.  I'm tired of all of these Doomsday theories popping up; yes, I understand that they usually crop up when the economy is down and people are losing faith, therefore more likely to be picked up by a crazy radio preacher, but come on people.  Logic.  The Rapture is as likely to happen as the world is to end on December 21, 2012.  I studied under and worked with one of the nation's most respected Central American anthropologists, and he (of anyone) should have been able to answer the all-consuming question of 2012 - and he, a man who can translate both Mayan and Aztec, who has dedicated his life to the study of those cultures, thought the whole thing was a piece of crap.  So sit tight, worldwide population of conspiracy theorists, the world is not ending any time soon.

My Mom totally bought into this crap too.  I had to explain to her that, no, she was not going to be levitating up to Heaven today at 6pm, no matter how good of a Catholic she claims to be.  In fact, I don't personally know of anyone who would qualify for Rapture participation.  Perhaps my Great-Aunt Sister Sue (she's a nun) and my grandfather's two sisters, who spend their every waking moment in church.  Maybe my crazy grandpa, but not likely.  Definitely not my asshole Uncle Bill or his pyromaniac sons, or my Aunt Sharon living in sin with her weird boyfriend Paul.  Come to think of it, definitely not my Aunt Dianne and my Uncle Angelo either, considering they're both adulterers.  And hell-to-the-no for me and Dave.  We've been living in sin so long we practically invented it.  Ah well, I have plans for next weekend anyway.

Wedding next weekend up in Pennsylvania.  We're gonna be in Amish country Thursday and Friday, then we're heading west to my hometown to visit my family, considering I haven't been to see them since Thanksgiving.  So we're seeing the Hangover 2 Saturday night with my brother, and spending Sunday with the extended family at our yearly Memorial Day picnic.  Which is catered.  Because my Uncle Angelo cannot grill hotdogs and burgers to save his life.  We're stopping off in State College on the way to be nostalgic - can't believe we graduated five years ago.  Somehow it doesn't seem as long, but then again we did live in the gaping maw of hell for eighteen months immediately after graduation...

I'm working today, watching the clock tick ever closer to the end game.  Somehow the fact that I'm practically solipsistic doesn't really terrify me as much as it should; I don't really think I fit in with the "Heaven crowd" anyway.  Something about my anthropological training and diploma from a democratic research university just tells me that I'd be the odd man out.  However, I am looking forward to the "new economy" led by the AntiChrist.  I find it refreshing that to participate, we must tattoo the "mark of the beast" on our bodies.  I'm going to get mine on my left hand and try to convince everyone it isn't really "666," it's "999" and I'm just fresh like that.  And I'm looking forward to being blindsided by the Heavenly body 'Wormwood,' as logic tells me that absinthe will be readily available.  It should be a fun few months without all the Bible-thumpers and Jesus freaks around, but I'm a little concerned about what actually happens on October 21st.  Yes, I get that the armies of good and evil are going to fight the end battle, but is this a draft thing?  If your number gets called, are you just thrown into the infantry?  And really, if that's the case, I'm glad I'm not going up in the Rapture, because I figure God's a little more organized than Satan and He's gonna have everyone who shows up at 6pm hurried into formation to practice and gain some skills.  Satan, however, has to spend the next couple of months flying about creating mayhem and destruction and unleashing torment on our eternal souls.  He's not going to have time to organize an army, and his minions certainly aren't known for following orders and setting up his military forces.  I figure that on October 20th, Satan's going to be saying, "Oh shit, someone get me an army!" and then we're gonna get fitted up.  Until then, I figure if you can stay under his radar, we've got some good drinking and partying time left.

I don't know.  Some people are just gullible about this religious crap, I guess.  I mean, to each his own, but when you're coming at me spewing crazy stories and illogical ideas and condemning me for my disbelief, I get a little on edge.  I don't force any of my viewpoints on you, please extend the same consideration to me.  And yes, I know that I'm wrong and you're right, but guess what?  I'm right and you're wrong.  It works both ways.  And don't try to debate religion with me: I majored in Biological and Cultural Anthropology with minors in English, Religion, and Psychology.  I've read the Bible, the Torah, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Book of the Dead, the Qur'an, and Harry Potter.  If you try to debate me, you will lose.  I can almost guarantee you.  All of my friends have attempted this at least once, and I shot them all down.  I know my creation myths, from the Aztecs to the native peoples of Papua New Guinea; I know my pantheon of gods; I know the differences between theisms; hell, I can explain to you what Gnosticism is, for Christ's sake.  I'm a reformed Roman Catholic, so don't you dare throw the Catechism in my face.  I've been baptized, reconciled, and confirmed.  I've turned my back on the dogma, but I know my dogma.  So don't try it.  You have been warned.

Now, seeing as how the world is unlikely to end, I need to go and find someone to rent a two-bedroom, so that come Monday my boss doesn't rapture me into finding a new job.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I am going to harm his dog.

I manage a 103-unit apartment complex.  It's what I do.  It's just me and my manager against roughly 250+ residents, on a good day.  I know my residents fairly well: Angry Guy, Military Guy Who Never Uses The Door, Mom & Little Girl Who Always Gives Me A Hug, CoWorker's Girlfriend Who Always Looks Like She Just Rolled Out Of Bed, etc.  You get the picture.  On a daily basis I field around a dozen maintenance requests to our one maintenance tech, answer ten or so calls about our current availability, open and organize around five incoming bills, and at the beginning of the month accept and process everyone's rental payments.  Usually I have one or two apartment showings, on occasion a move-in or a move-out, and in general just try to pass the hours until I can lock up and head home to my honey and my dogs.

I didn't work for a little over a year; I finally left the worst job I've ever held in September of 2009, right about a week before we blew our savings and moved from a tiny apartment into our two bedroom, two point five bath townhouse far from the local tourist areas, and spent the better part of a year doing the housewife thing: cleaning, laundry, cooking, you get the picture.  That lasted until November 2010, when I finally admitted that I was going insane at home and needed to get out of the house again.  And I've been here ever since.

I love my job for the most part.  I have Lupus, so the pace isn't so stressful and the workload isn't so heavy that I'm dragging at the end of the day, which I seriously was after the job from hell (hereafter known as The JFH).  We work out of our model, so I leave a fully furnished home in the morning and spend eight hours in a fully furnished apartment: if I'm sleepy, I can nap in the bedroom; if I'm hungry, I can cook in the kitchen; if I'm bored, I can veg out on the couch and watch television on our 64in flat screen.  It's a pretty sweet place to work, and I job I fell ass backward into after finding that no one, anywhere, was hiring last year.

I work with three other people: a crotchedly old cleaning lady who walks like she's carrying 300lbs on her back and has nothing nice to say, ever; a middle-aged maintenance tech whose much younger wife just gave birth to their second child (the first is six); and a 42yr old apartment manager who formerly worked at another location owned by our corporate unit, who is currently pregnant by a coworker from the former location. who has since left his wife and moved into her apartment.  In fact, today they are moving to a three bedroom apartment in the complex they used to work.  So I'm all alone in the office today, tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday morning.

Our residents are funny.  Their complaints are ludicrous.  The following conversation actually took place today, at roughly 11am.  I'm paraphrasing, but the words are pointless - the jist of the thing is the important part.

"Hello, _______________ Apartments.  This is Prickly Chick, how can I help you?"

"Hello, this is Mr. _______________ in apartment ___________.  I have a complaint to make to the office."  (Imagine this all being said by a tiny, angry, elderly Asian man.)

"Sure thing Mr. ________________.  What's going on?"

"My neighbor in apartment ______________, he has a dog.  The dog barked at me when I was on my patio planting flowers.  All the people said was, 'Sorry.'  That is it.  'Sorry!'  They put it down and it runs around without a leash while they take pictures.  What you do?"


"He barked at me!  He was going to bite me-----"

"Wait.  Did the dog bite you?"


"How close was the dog to you?  Was the dog on your patio or was it out in the grass?"

"No.  He was on his patio.  He cannot get to my patio.  I have a fence around it.  Four feet.  He cannot get in."


"And he barked at my wife when she was watering her vegetables!  He barked and all the people say is, 'Sorry!'  I tried to ask them about the dog and all they say is, 'Sorry' and go back into their apartment!  What you do?"

(At this point, I have looked up the residents in question, and they own a little puff-ball of a dog.  They have to, as we only permit dogs up to 25lbs.)  "Mr. ________________, I'm a little confused.  What would you like me to do?  If the dog is being monitored by it's owners while it is outside, I cannot remove the dog simply because it barked at you.  Dogs have a tendency to bark at people they aren't familiar with."

"I want them to keep the dog inside if it is going to bark at me!"

"Is the dog getting close to you?  Is it on your porch?  Is it actually leaving their porch and coming over to you?"

"It can't.  I have a fence.  They have a fence around their porch too."

"Okay, let me get this straight.  They have a fence enclosing the dog.  You have an additional fence to keep the dog off your property.  It has never growled, snapped, or snarled at you, it's only been barking.  And when the dog is out on the grass the owners are outside too monitoring it?"

"Yes, but it barked at me!  If you do not make them stop and it keeps doing this, I am going to harm his dog."

"Excuse me?"

"I am going to do something myself then.  I will harm his dog."

"Sir, that's considered animal cruelty, no matter the personal property damage and emotional distress you will cause the owners.  They are permitted and expected to call the authorities on you for that."

"What the police do?  It's only a dog!"

"And sir, it's only barking.  In this state, animal cruelty statutes are steep and the police in this area take them seriously.  You will be arrested and fined for anything you do to the dog, not to mention that any property damage of another resident will void your lease and you will be immediately evicted."

"Then you will talk to them?"

"I will speak with them about the dog."

"And you call me back and tell me what they say?"

"No sir, as of this moment the report now belongs to the office.  I do not have to call you back regarding anything they say.  The matter will be between them and the office."

"So you will not call me back?"

"No sir.  And if the barking at you continues to bother you, I suggest you stay inside.  Have a great day."

.... Some people.  And if you're wondering about my extensive knowledge about animal cruelty laws and statutes, as well as why I know how the police in my area respond to them, just chalk it all up to the JFH, which I'll talk about someday.  Believe me when I say that I'm scarred for life from working for them, and it was my whole life, my whole (as in 20+hrs a day) life, for a period of time much longer than it rightfully should have been.