Unprofessional Me

Ties bad


The other day was strange.  I was in Panera and walked past a table of business folk.  Then looked over at a dude in business clothes, dressed to the nines, coat and all, waiting on someone.  Since then I’ve been trying to place words to my feelings at that moment.  I finally settled on repugnance.  And that bothers me and doesn’t, all at the same time.


Why does it bother me?  Because I’ve been a part of it for the last five years.  I’ve been to the interviews.  I’ve sent out the letters.  I’ve looked people in the eyes and seen, sometimes, into their corporate souls.  And on the surface, you would think, there’s nothing wrong with people dressing up and acting a certain way, some would say professional, in order to fit in, get a job, and keep a job.  Maybe I’m just an idiot with an authority complex.


Why doesn’t it bother me?  Because as Holden Caulfield might say, “It’s too goddamn phony for chissakes.”  It really is.  Business attitudes can be expressed in a simple symbol.  The tie.  A completely fucking useless accessory.  You don’t see blue collar workers in ties because it would result in someone’s head being jerked into a piece of machinery.  What it says is I am not a blue collar worker.  How did this irritating piece of faux clothing even come into being?  Turns out the Parisians caught on to a fashion statement made by Croatian mercenaries in the mid-17th century.  Stupid fucking mercenaries.  Ties are something that symbolize status.  That’s it.  But what they really represent is something for corporate minions to grab ahold to when they teabag you with bullshit acronyms, extra weekly hours, mindless adherence to policy, layoffs, and fake smiles that cover their extreme indifference.


It’s a rat race.  And that’s cliché but completely true.  Read a book called the Psychopath Test.  It makes perfect sense.  All the psychopaths are at the top.  Why?  Because that’s what it takes to get ahead and stay ahead.  The ability to put on an insanely sincere and happy mask and then fire 10 percent of your workforce.  And sleep like a baby that night.


And the same guy who will be laying you off next year and forgetting you existed by the next day, this is the guy sitting across from you today in the interview with a look of reserved entitlement.  A look that says impress me if you can.  I’ve seen hundreds of them just like you come and go.  And then they mutter something like, “So why do you want to work for us?” that shows the extent of their egoism.  Think about this question for a second.  What they will tell you is that a good answer shows you’ve researched their company, done your homework.  What?  I don’t even have a job yet and you’re assigning me homework.  What they want to hear is you tell them how wonderful their company is.  What a conceited, self-absorbed question.  Their company is no different than any other corporate behemoth.  Cold, indifferent, apathetic.  You conform and don’t complain until they are done with you.


Let me ask you something.  Those of you who have been let go, for whatever reason, from your jobs.  How much advance notice did you get?  None, right?  And you probably got escorted immediately from the building like a common criminal.  But what do they want from you?  Two weeks or more notice.  We owe you nothing, you give us everything.  Hypocritical bullshit.


So in the end it comes down to this.  You are striving and giving everything you have to impress someone who doesn’t give a shit whether or not you exist.  It’s kind of like marriage.  I know, I know.  But a few you are laughing.  I can’t make everygoddamnbody happy (Love you Sweetie!).


I know how far you get in life and how stable that life is depends on how much bullshit you can put up with.  Which is unfortunate for me.  Because the more I’m here on this planet, the less and less able I am to swallow large amounts of idiocy with a smile.  Unprofessional, some might say.  If the definition of unprofessional is not buying into the fake smile, not being able to put up with mass amounts of bullshit, and trying to impress people who don’t give a rat’s ass about me, then yes.  I am an unprofessional.


And maybe that’s what it was that was bothering me.  The man at the table was a professional.  And I am an unprofessional.

The Dark Sam

I’ve wondered around Wal-Mart for an immeasurable amount of time.  I say ‘immeasurable’ because once your physical body passes through the portal under the black hole marked ‘Grocery,’ and the elder gatekeeper greets you, time, space-time, whatever you want to call it, ceases to obey the laws of physics.  Minutes are made of syrup, and not that runny knock-off brand of syrup either.  I’m talking Log Cabin minutes.  Reference points disappear.  The gatekeeper offers you a weighted receptacle.  This is to slow you down.  It also sends a subliminal message that you must now fill said receptacle.  As your Will begins to leave your body, the automaton drags you forward.  You believe you are in control.  That you are the one manipulating the receptacle.  You are not.  The connection you made when you placed both hands on the bar has short circuited your Will.  The connection from the wheels to the floor connects the receptacle to The Dark Sam.  There is now a direct flow of Consumerism flowing from The Dark Sam into you.

Now there is the Labyrinth.  You creep slowly up and down every single isle.  You may feel as if you have only traversed the isles necessary to that little piece of paper you call a list.  The one you left on your kitchen table.  But you have not.  You are skipping forward in jilted sequences of awareness.  But you always follow The Dark Sam’s complete path.  It is manifest.  Behold.

And at some predestined locus of points, The Dark Sam will whisper the slightest hint of a suggestion in your pliant ear.  You and your party should separate.  Continue to separate parts of the Labyrinth.  You may start to resist, small remnants of your Will that splintered on exodus.  You do not wish to lose your mate to the Lost Path.  But The Dark Sam whispers into your very Soul.  That it’s not that big of a store.  That your mate will be right where they said they would when you return.  That you won’t both be circling the Labyrinth in the same direction, just out of sight of the other, for twenty Log Cabin minutes.  And when your receptacle is full, you approach the debit card portal.

This portal is congested.  The Dark Sam requires a sacrifice upon the altar with no quantity key.  This is proof, by the way, of The Sam’s inherit darkness.  The Sam is efficient.  It would be efficient to have a quantity key on the self-directed altars.  Yet there are none.  You must pass all twenty packs of Kool-Aid before the debit altar.  Individually.  Separately.  This is senseless.  Chaos.  Darkness.  The Sam is Dark.  Behold The Dark Sam.

All hail The Dark Sam.

Time to Write

February.  Say it.  February.  Now look closer at the spelling.  Sound it out, slowly.  Tell me it doesn’t sound like a Chinese person mispronouncing a word.  I’m surprised we haven’t reformed it down south.  Something like Feeben-yary.  Or Febary.  Fee-brary.  You know, like some’us done wif ferigerator.


Now:  Drive to California.  Swim out and trap a decent sized seal.  Put it in your backseat and return home.  Make sure to carry lots of bottled water and fresh fish or the long drive home could be awkward.  If you play music on the radio, do not put it on a bluegrass station.  It sets them off.  Trust me.  When you get back home, place the seal in your shower and rinse it in cold water for about thirty minutes.  Use baby shampoo and do not get soap in their eyes.  Again, it’s bad if that happens.  A blind, angry seal is not something you want loose in your bathroom.  When the seal is rehydrated, take it downstairs and place it in your dryer.  (Note: If you do not have a downstairs there is no need to panic.  You may use a dryer on any level of your home.)


It is at this point where things may break down.  You must assert yourself.  You may have to get back in touch with your inner Alpha.  One thing is certain at this stage: YOU MUST NOT TAKE ANY SHIT FROM THE SEAL!  Think of all the money you’ve spent already on gas and seafood.  Just make it happen.  Once the seal is in place, turn the setting to “Fluff Only.”  Make sure the timer is set to no more than two minutes.  Turn the dryer on.  Now, do your hear that thunking sound with each revolution?  That is the sound that my life is making right now.


It’s one thing to know what you’re supposed to be doing.  It’s another thing when God gives you two big-ass hints and sets everything up so you finally have to put your money where your mouth is.  It’s that final acceptance that’s the hardest.  That final turn of the screw that says, “Ok, asshole.  Put up or shut up.”  Well, I’m putting up starting Monday.  The only way that I won’t follow through completely with full time writing and heading toward a teaching position is if some hiring manager is idiot enough to hire me.  I don’t see that happening.


My first novella will be coming out very shortly on Amazon.  It’s called Sorry Charlie.  A short horror/thriller.  Synopsis: Dan is having a bad day.  When he kills his estranged wife’s German Shepherd in a drunken stupor, things go from bad to worse.  Subtitle: Karma has teeth.