The Thing I Remember That Happened After "I Hammered A Cop"

This post is Part 2 of my "I Think I Hammered A Cop" story, a lovely Daddy-daughter memory. 
Click here to read Part 1 if you missed it. If you're thinking 'I wouldn't say I MISSED IT, Bob' you said it.


The thing that I remember happening after the 'I think I hammered a cop' thing, was my first Office Job job interview. So yes, it's totally fitting that a scene from Office Space is here.

The company developed workforce software for large companies and grew very quickly in the early 90's. For many reasons, some of which included the president of the company caring more about his extra-marital affair with the head of marketing than the actual company, it went out of business. 

Not before I managed to accrue thousands of dollars of medical bills that their self-funded insurance would never cover. I'm calling it a personal Win, however, for reasons I'll get into later.

Cut to my interview. 

The Vice President of the company, and I really want to make up a dramatic, soap opera name for this story, but I simply MUST share the actual name of the company. They're long gone, or bought out or acquired or whatever happened early 90's but the name is just so classic 80's software company.

I came to work there in the the early 90's, but the logo name and font screamed 80's:
or was it Infotron-X
I think the X was capitalized at the end.
Meh, either way.

Can't you just see the blue 8-bit font when you read that name? InfotronX. I hear it spoken in a computal robot voice. 

There are still things floating around the internet with that name, but it doesn't have the logo they had then. Kind of this.
This was the font, but in IBM blue. Literally. Probably.
from lucapedroti.com
The VP asked me how I heard about the job, and I told her honestly,
"My father's friend's girlfriend Dee works here. She's Assistant to the President." 

The President (I guess this was before "CEO" became the lingo) turned out to be the VP's brother. She was suddenly very interested in my dad's friend, and asked me a lot of questions. 
What was his name? 
(She asked his last name, I don't know if I knew it then. I didn't remember it at all when I started writing this, but my brother reminded me at Easter. I'll leave that out even though it would hysterical to see how many police reports, court articles and restraining order-type internet results would come up from searching it. It's a rather common name, so I would hate to incriminate any innocent people with that name.)

How long has this been her boyfriend?
I really don't know. He's my father's friend.
(How the hell would I know that?)

Thank all the gods old and new, I avoided Dwayne even more than I avoided my old man, because I didn't know anything about him. Except that he was a big ole drunk, bumbling ass of a man. I didn't mention that to her.

After answering many uncomfortable and obviously personal questions, I finally got to meet Dwayne's girlfriend. Not what I expected.

She was much younger than Dwayne, I was shocked by how pretty she was. And you know, sober. If you missed last week's post, Dwayne was a walking whiskey bag. 

She was a very polite, professional woman of the 80's, (even though 90's) all smiles and tight dress and very high heels and all 'so nice to meet you' and 'I've heard so much about you.' 

Then as soon as we were alone, she morphed completely. Her face melted from a calm, confident ear-to-ear all-perfectly-white-teeth smile into an urgent grimace of evil. Her eyes wanted to melt me down into a puddle of water. That could not talk. That could not for Christsake say anything else. 
She demanded,
"WHY would you tell her that Dwayne is my boyfriend?!"

That's what my father told me, I explained innocently. And truthfully.

Ooohh noooo, she assured me. That father of mine, what the hell?! She noticed how confused I was, kind of paused and went with, 
"Oh, your dad, he's such a goof." 
Dwayne just couldn't be her boyfriend, she literally insisted through clenched teeth: She is MARRIED. 

And everyone at the company knows it. 

Silly me.

This isn't true, my father is just teasing her. He just loves to tease people, he's really just too much. You don't know the half of it, Missy. Well, it turned out she did.

Buuuut, anway....

This was my introduction to the world of Office Jobs. 

One of the most uncomfortable situations you can possibly imagine in life, let alone for your first interview for a job with insurance benefits.

Somehow I got the job. Either the VP loved me, she always helped me while I was there, or more likely she just wanted to gleen more information about her brother's assistant from me. Or mayhaps my old man had something on Dee and was successfully able to convinced her to put in a good word for me or something.

Either way they hired me and I learned oh-so-very-much about the political back-stabbing, cheating, walk on top of people to get ahead, two-faced, lying liars who lie world of Office BUSINESS. 

The VP definitely did try to get more interesting information out of me about Dee, this woman who was her brother's assistant. And bat shit crazy. Again, I'm not being dramatic here. She was having an affair. With my dad's disgusting, smelly drunk drug-addled friend, who thinks he hammered a cop. Just exactly how all modern love stories begin.

The confusing tone of the day of my interview would be the nature of mine and Dee's relationship. She would smile and compliment everyone, and be as polite as Jane Fonda in 9 to 5. Then when people walked away, she would tell me their darkest secrets. 

She would tell me who was having an affair, though it was always obvious. This was before cell phones and email, so you had to dramatically follow people around, talking and whispering, at work, because you couldn't communicate with your affair AT HOME. She would tell me who was smart, who was stupid, who got their kid a job, though again it was obvious because they had the same last name, would go to lunch together and the daughter called him "Dad" all the time. But she told me. 

She told me who had to be dropped off at work, or take a cab when their wife was out of town, because he had his license revoked. She told me who lived in a giant mansion, who drove a Porsche, despite the fact that this man walked around in a Porsche jacket and hat all the time. She told me. 

She told me who needed to quit smoking or "she would die" even though I sat at the reception desk and waived to this nice lady 10 times a day when she smoked in the center of the building. You could still smoke inside, but most people kindly went to a 'designated area' separated from offices, by glass doors. When the doors opened, you could smell the smoke.

But in front of people? She was all sweet sunshine and big-sisterly advice:
"You need to get yourself some nice, figure-flattering dresses and high heels for work." Barf. These were her workplace weapons: Secrets, low cut tops and high, high heels. Though, it was a man's world and she survived in it.

"You need to work on typing faster." She somehow got me an electronic typewriter with this awesome little screen, so you could SEE THE WORDS, about 2 sentences worth, and make corrections before the typewriter typed them! They let me keep it at the reception desk, saying I could help fill out forms and whatnot. Yes kids, I'm learned to type on a typewriter years old.
Ah, sweet nostalgic 80's technology. This story takes place in the early 90's, but a lot of the technology and mindset was all 80's.

"You need to learn WordPerfect." Actually I think this was the VP's idea. She said if I took a class the company would reimburse me for it. And they did.
You kept a cheat sheet of F commands at all times! from stsci.edu

WordPerfect was the MSWord of the 90's. Once the company figured out I could do other things, they gave me more tasks and eventually put a computer at the reception desk. This made one of the company's secretaries, Lisa, very angry. Lisa was the roommate of the marketing director who was having the affair with the President. Lisa hated me so very much it gave her Multiple Sclerosis. I believe she stressed herself out SO MUCH worrying about my every move, that she broke herself. She was on a 'leave of absence' for a long time. 

This would not hold 1 of today's Facebook pictures
from kupaterapist.com
But me, with my 90's black-screen and green font computer, I started with simple things like FORMATTING floppy disks, because people had to actually physically do that before using them, and these kinds of tasks. 

That company didn't promote me, but if you can wear dress clothes, type and do a few other tasks? You can be an assistant, an Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant and lots of other titles that pay more than the receptionist gig, and come with medical, dental and paid vacay. 

Not a bad damn gig for a 17-yr old whose entire discussion about college with her parents went like this:
"Dad, my counselor told me to have a talk with you about college."
My Dad: "You won't go."
Cue my old man leaving the room to really drive home the point that this discussion was OVER. Forever.

So I got this receptionist job, learned some things, and my next job was a secretarial/assistant job. In that job I learned some things, took classes at night, got better jobs and just kept doing that. My whole life. Because I had no other option. 

By the end of my time with this company, my parents announced their divorce. My father got stuck with my brother and my mother got stuck with me. Not sure if they rolled dice or what. My mother had actual career options, in another part of the state, but tried to hold on to a household up North so my brother and I had options. But those options included my working full time.

The End.

Not really, but this is where I should end this post before starting the next strange chapter of my life story.

I'm forever thankful that job came with insurance. That saved me from some major medical issues (I believed they called it 'pre-cancer' at the time) which would have gotten much worse if not caught in time. The surgeries were necessary, the bills eventually got paid somehow.

The company was run by a terrible family of fictional-level villains. I'm talking Lifetime Television movie of the week evil, I should write a book about them, and they left everyone in a lurch when eventually everyone was let go. 

I have no idea how the story ends for the company, the owners, or my dad's friend for that matter. Since then I've tried not to look back. My brother says somehow Dwayne still lives. As does his 'girlfriend' or whatever, Dee. I know Dee is still alive and was still sketchy sanity-wise as of about a year ago, but let's nevermind how I know that. That's a loooong-ass story.

Or mayhaps it's several short stories, presented to you once a week in these posts. Technically I think I could write about some of it now. Seeing as my old man is dead. I don't think Dwayne can read. And I also know that Dee has informed her mother never to speak to my family again. True story. So almost 30 years later Dee is still helping me in her own way without really knowing it. I'm assuming that means that she won't speak to us again, right? 

I'm hesitant to open that Pandora's box. Though I know that one day I must. I don't know if everyone in my family wants that box opened.

For now, okay?

Well, one more thing.

The VP did have the company write me a 'bonus' check for $1,500 to immediately get a new car when someone forced her to take a look at the car I drove.



BoxBall & Christmas In April

I may actually TToT 2 weeks in a row.
Though sorry if I didn't get back to you last week, like Marsha Brady "something suddenly came up." Called Life.

We have so much to be thankful for. Usually I'm taking the crappenings and just being thankful they're not worse and whatnot, but I don't even have to do that. Good things are in the air. 

First thing on my mind:
Game of Thrones is starting again!
Cersei and Tyrion, in honor of National Siblings Day
If you don't know what that is, please let me go on and on about it for you. The books are the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life, my family are happy to report, and the show is the next best thing. I wrote a post about it here, CLICKforAWESOMEpost click that and I will be glad to even tell you more if that's not enough. 

I may be performing another 'emergency' wedding in the next couple of weeks! Reader's Digest Condensed story:
Friend of a friend has a diagnosis with immediate, urgent treatment necessary. She was engaged and now wants to be married before starting treatment. The church isn't able to help her move up her wedding for whatever reason. As long as they have their paperwork, I'm happy to help. And feed my cake addiction. Mostly help people grow their love.
Love, and the proper paperwork. from pamelagottfried.com
And thankful to have such a wonderful friend, who is trying their best to arrange a wedding and reception in 2 weeks using whatever means necessary. 

Thankful we don't live where tornadoes ever touch down. No  superstitious people, that will not make one . 
We might be too close to Lake Michigan or something. They had some to the West, gods help them, but don't here.

Shout out to Daniel Tosh, who calls the Midwest a place for people who gave up on their dreams. Now with the ungodly amount of snow in the northeast this year, and the drought in the west, it's not looking so bad I guess.

Thankful we don't live where this is a water shortage. Not yet anyway *knocks wooden table made in 1937 because we don't feel the need to get new everything all the time

I'm not thankful for any water shortage anywhere, but I hope to soon be thankful for desalinization of ocean water, which they are FINALLY going to do again. 
California started at one point, but it's expensive, and they stopped sometime in the early 90's. Hopefully they can tweak the process and/or technology and make use of the planet's water.

Thankful people are starting to (hopefully) be more aware of what we do to our planet. Instead of shutting our eyes, pretending we have little to no impact and throwing everything in the garbage as our country loves to do. Every day needs to be earth day for awhile.

This weekend is our annual family Polish Christmas party. In April. We'll sing Christmas songs, exchange a few gifts, eat Polish food and laugh at each other. And with each other. Sure.

Thankful my future BIL, the one I'm going to marry in September, is going to help us with our basement. It needs so much work, we're not sure where/how to start. We can't just hire a construction company and write a check, so it's nice to have an affordable option to move forward in some way. 

The last occupants, bless their hearts, nailed dark wooden paneling right to the studs. It doesn't feel like there is any kind of insulation or anything. In the winter it's like living over a giant freezer.

We also may open it up and take WALLS down. Leaving any load-bearing studs/posts, I'm hoping. I'll be sure to include before and after photos, for insurance purposes if nothing else. NO I'm kidding. It'll be fine. It literally cannot be any worse, so what the heck. (Yes, insurance is thankfully paid up.)  I'll be beyond thankful to make that brighter, warmer, and more COMFY because it is, after all the basement of Comfytown. And it doesn't look like it. 

I really want the Graceland TCB blue and yellow and mirrors basement, but I doubt Alex will go for that. He's gonna be like,
"NO thank you vera'much" with the Elvis lip thing.
Actual Basement of Graceland. We visited on our 1st actual vacation (3-day weekend) together.
AWESOME, right? TCB = Takin Care of Business
We DO have a jungle room, but it's not like Graceland's jungle room. It's just painted blue on top, green on bottom. I wanted to FILL THE CEILING with fake plants, but thankfully the hobby store guy said his cousins' in-laws did that and they're always overwhelmed with dust, super hard to clean. 
As part of preparation, we're cleaning out my son's room. He's never in there, so we'll store stuff in there and move the girls eventually. I've come across lots of memories, making me thankfully nostalgic. I may do a post, depending on timing and whether it seems interesting to anyone other than me. Doubtful.

This is one thing. It's, well, it is what it is.

It was a box. Now it's a ball.

For what?
For BoxBall, of course.

Boxball is a game my son and I made up when he was younger. We used to play all the time in our tiny apartment with the cinder block walls. I'm so thankful to be reminded of those times. Tiny apartment, not a lot of money but just tons of fun and happy, thankful togetherness.

BoxBall is pretty much volleyball played with a box, while standing on your knees, and random rally-point scoring. The original box we used was a 30-pack of soda, or maybe beer? That square-ish type of case. It was perfect. Until it ripped. 
from sodayoda.com
Those boxes are harder to find than you might think. Things usually come in the 24-can variety, but that rectangle box won't work. 

I'm here to tell you: You can't volley a rectangle. 

Most square boxes? Are too heavy for this game.

Then we tried to get fancy and use that box in the picture covered in duct tape. Don't do that. That made the box way too heavy and it kills your wrists. And lamps. And anything else it touches. That has to be 10. 

This lovely list (it's almost a list?) is part of the greatest online community of all time that doesn't include porn, The Ten Things of Thankful.


Putting The Puppy Down For A Minute

So much to be thankful for this week. Spring means many things, like asparagus is in season!
from toptenz.net
My goddaughter's birthday and Easter, which means Easter CANDY. Err, I mean family and whatnot.
Protip: Those malted milk robin's eggs make awesome candy lip stick. 

I'm sure everyone else is covering the weather, but it's worth a mention.
Snowman Burning Day.
Yes, that's a thing.
Click the link to read more.



You never do know for sure.
But for a few months, anyway.

That's huge right now.

Thank you, Universe.

Last weekend I performed my first wedding and it was an awe-filled, really amazing but not like all the kids say EVERYTHING is amazing, I was amazed to be a part of it. I wrote more about it here so click that if you're curious, but it went off pretty smoothly with no injuries or super embarrassing moments. Phew!

This past week was Spring Break for kids from school, and by some miracle of all the gods old and new I also had a week off of work! HUZZAH! 

You might be thinking, 'what's the big deal? Don't you work from home?' and if so let me just try to demonstrate the difference between a normal week and a week off.

Imagine carrying a 40-pound puppy with you everywhere you go. 
from barkpost.com
Okay, maybe you don't have to carry it every minute but you do have to keep it with you every minute of every day because otherwise this puppy will chew stuff it's not supposed to, climb the walls, literally where there are shelves, take toys from your kids and/or randomly poke through things in your house that's it's not supposed to. 
So you keep the puppy with you, and yeah, you're still in your house and all, but you have this puppy you didn't want and it's always jumping on you, licking you, demanding your attention, and just TRY to do normal household tasks, or gods forbid pay any attention to your children ohnoyouDIDN'T with a needy puppy around.

And it's a PUPPY, a puppy whose mom allows it to eat a giant bowl of Sugar-Frosted Crack Cocaine-O's for breakfast every day, and apparently doesn't get enough attention at home, so it's really hyper, running, jumping all over the place, trying to lick your face and be in your face constantly. LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK WHAT I DID NOW LOOK I CHANGED ONE THING LOOK AT ME LOOK YOU'RE NOT LOOKING ENOUGH! LOOOOOK! LOOK AT MEEEEE!

You don't want to leave the room, make a phone call, go to the bathroom, or take your potty training 3 yr old to the bathroom, 517 times a day, because you don't know what you'll come back to find. 

And then, for one blessed week someone comes along and takes the puppy away

And you can breathe again, and hear your own thoughts. Well, sometimes. 

You still have your own 2 little ones, but now you can hear THEM and see them and HUH, PLAY WITH THEM! You keep looking around for that annoying puppy out of habit, but then you remember IT'S GONE FOR THIS ONE BLESSED WEEK! 
You get the idea. So for this one week, I don't have to cook anything extra for one picky eater, or have additional activities for puppies who hate everything that isn't video games. Nor do I have to round up ALL the puppies into their various car seats, drive across town to the puppy's sister's school, unbuckle everyone, march them across the parking lot and into the school, only to have the after-school daycare lady tell me,
"She's not even here today."

Her mom didn't tell me that.

And then not get paid for that.

I don't have to hear how terrible my food is, 
or how they "do like chili, just not this chili" 
or hear how horrible our selection of television channels is, or how boring my house is, or work around THREE turns at everything, just my two. Yaaaaaay!

We were finally able to do Lola's 5 yr checkup, during which she asked the doctor if she was going to check her "Knee-flexes" which she did. All good. She got FOUR shots, because I'm not interested in bringing back any olde timey diseases and killing innocent children just because some misinformed celebrity doesn't want to be bothered with vaccinating their children. 

The process of getting 4 shots was momentarily devastating to my little sensitive drama queen, but she can finally walk again. 

She always could, but she she really drew out a limp for awhile. She was able to RUN today, to out-run her sister to push the elevator button at the library, so it would seem she's fine. Plus bonus, she won't die a horrible painful death from measles. Phew. 

We went to the zoo, colored Easter eggs, had play dates with Lola's school chums and basically did WHATEVER WE WANTED. Which wasn't much, but we had a great week together and for that I'm eternally thankful. If you ever want to be truly thankful for each precious moment with your kids, watch someone else's for awhile and I guarantee, every moment alone with your own is a total, precious gift. I am thankful for the opportunity to work at home with my own, and experience what that is like. Daycare is expensive because it's worth it :) it's hard work if you want the kids happy and healthy. Which I do.

These rambling babbles were part of a great community of thankful, The Ten Things of Thankful.