“Meet the New… So Different From the Old”

 

          I used to have really great job. It wasn’t an easy job. It wasn’t a glamorous job. I wasn’t a well paid job with good benefits. I didn’t get to wear a snazzy uniform with a jaunty hat. There weren’t sexy girls and pretty boys around every turn. Also… the once every six weeks free food would have made the hairy cook I knew in the Nut House gag.

            I know what you’re thinking right about now.

            “Josh, that sounds like a horrible place to work.”

            Patience, there were things there I liked a lot. Yes you read that right I said “were” instead of “are” and that was intentional. As of last night (Tuesday March 11, 2014) there are no longer enough decent things at the job to outweigh the bullshit I need to wade through every day.

            This essay is all about the incidents in the last couple of week, and especially last night, which converted me from mostly happy worker bee to violent hornet. Seriously I would love to bury my stinger in some asshats lower lip. Or better yet their eyes!

            Okay, deep breath, before I begin the bitching… and the moaning… and the whining I need to regale you with the few pluses of my day job (at night). But before I assault you with those “Happy Little Trees” I give you a little context information. I work in an upscale retirement community called “Bethany Lutheran Village” (Just by writing that name out I could be summarily fired if you believe the “Social Media Policy” the Human Resources Department has been beating us with about the head and shoulders for the last 5 years. Also in case the title didn’t clue you in, I work for a church. Although to be fair they are good at keeping the spiritual and professional aspects separated.

            The first and far from least important positive aspect of my job was the residents. They are some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Oh sure some of them are jerks, I mean seriously have you ever immersed yourself in a group of nearly 1000 people and not encountered a few nut sacks?  There was for example the lovely old woman who was so delighted that a “Darkie” was finally elected President of the United States.

            Old Timey casual racism, always good for an uncomfortable chuckle.

            The residents are (not were) always pleasant and appreciative. For the most part they treat us like we are one of their family. Probably the way the better rich people in the South used to treat the help. It was/is nice and makes interactions with them something to be looked forward to as opposed to something to dread.

            Well there is that old woman who likes to touch my beard, I avoid her.

            The next thing about my job which made me like it was the hours. I work second shift and after 4:00pm I am the only person from my department on duty. I’m in housekeeping if you were actually curious about it. Sometimes this can be a pain in the ass, especially if there is an emergency. But most of the time I spend my evenings free of any and all supervision. So yeah that was pretty damn cool.

            Yeah, I know you are wondering why this is now a bad thing.

            The reason is the creepy second shift maintenance man. I’m not going to give his name because he’s that kind of creepy as well as the pervy kind. He is a goldbricker of the first order, I mean I’ve been known to scam a little extra time for writing while at work but this guy… even his coworkers are unsure if he actually does anything at night other than hit on the old single women.

            Yeah, like I said that kind of pervy.

            This guy has spent the last five years trying to figure out my routine. Every time we cross paths he starts to give me the third degree. The thing is I wouldn’t engage beyond minor platitudes and that pissed him off. He never said he was mad but you could tell he didn’t like not knowing what I did and how long it took me to do it every night. But I was able to successfully ignore him until 2 weeks ago.

            Then Kelly (my supervisor) quit and all hell broke loose.

            Now this wonderful person has upped his game. He shows up in areas I am working in all of the time. He calls me on the radio to find out where I am. And I am pretty sure he is randomly checking the housekeeping office to see if I am in there.

            Not really sure how this one is going to end.

            Coming hot on the heels of “Creepy McCreeperson” are my coworkers. Now you would think working on second shift I would have very little interaction with my coworkers. You’d be right in this assumption ad since I moved up my start time and hour and a half (I’ll tell you why in a few minutes) I see them even less. If you think this would lead to them having little impact on me… well first I now know you are not a regular reader of these essays and second you’d be wrong.

 

Seriously, you call yourself a fan? If you were a real fan you would be reading and rereading every word I write five times the day it’s released!

 

            There is a civil war brewing on first shift and the ripples are whacking me in the back of the head. We have psycho boy trying to assert his authority, the ladies are in revolt, and captain crazy pants is having a daily nervous breakdown. And you might be asking yourself, why is all of this happening to our department?

             The answer is simple.

            Our “Oh So Wise Mountain Gorilla” of a manager couldn’t lead ants to a picnic. Let me make one thing clear, as a PERSON I actually kind of like my manager. As a BOSS I think she is an under qualified, over educated, micromanaging, schizophrenic, and unstable bitch!

            I can’t stand her.

            I know I should just be happy that I have a job in this economy. And honestly I am glad I have a job that gives me 40 hours a week and has full (if very bad) benefits available. But all I’ve been doing so far is laying the background so I can tell you what happened yesterday.

            Last night was the biannual Board of Directors meeting. Every six months twenty odd people gather in out building and everyone freaks the fuck out. I know I work in a religious organization but you’d think God was coming to pass judgment every time the board gathers.

            This is supposed to be a nonprofit organization. I am sure that explains the boards $1000 plus suits, luxury automobiles, and copious amounts of expensive accoutrement. One of the members wears a watch I am sure cost more than the house my grandmother raised me in.

            So last night I was cleaning the floor in the little café here at work. It’s a quaint little bistro that serves over priced food and staffed by slobs with bad attitudes. Just as I’d finished sweeping the wooden floor the board meeting ended and the members congregated in the small lounge area by the Café. They moved tables and chair all helter skelter.

            When I returned an hour later to finish cleaning I saw that those paragons of virtue and charity had not only left the furniture scattered wily nily, they’d strew trash across all surfaces. Napkins and coffee/water cups dotted the surfaces of the tables and even the floor. These people who make more money in a year than I make in five trashed an area they’d seen I’d already cleaned and didn’t pick up a fucking thing.

            So yeah, I can’t afford to quit yet, but I no longer give a shit about a job I used to actually love.

             

-Josh

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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!