Sinking the Leader Ship

June 1, 2017 at 9:11 am (Cussed Dumbers)

I’m a pretty straight-up guy. I will tell you honestly what’s going on, sometimes painfully so. I understand discretion, and omitting details to spare feelings etc… But I’m not a big fan of deception, and really hate being lied to.

So when I have to play games with a supervisor, it gets on my nerves.

I’ve known Uncle Cliffy for fifteen years. We worked together at the store I worked at before Master P’s. I recommended him, vouched for him, even applauded as he passed me in the ranks to become my supervisor. He claims we are friends, so it’s nice to have friends at the top, right?

With friends like these…

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Out In The Country

May 31, 2017 at 11:17 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

After a fifty-hour work week, lots of work drama, and a phone that won’t stop ringing, I needed a respite.

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Filthy Fake Lucre!

May 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Durability Issue

Okay, here’s your mystery question: What’s that in the ashtray?

It’s not a pile of crack, or any drug. (It may have been used in an attempt to procure drugs, though.) It used to be light green. It used to look like money, because it was.

Counterfeit money.

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Pillaged!

May 11, 2017 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, That's not funny...)

I’ve gone on about storing my stuff at work. I have a dressy shirt I wear while on shift, its pockets hold my phone and spare store key. (It’s nice to be able to lock up at a second’s notice, without my key being locked in the office, or having to go to my jacket pocket across the room.) A big enough shirt it takes up most of the room in my travel bag, plus a hoodie, reading material, and various other necessities to get through the night, and I’d be weighed down like a bag lady. So I find a non-obtrusive spot to hide my pile of work-junk.

I’ve told the story of how Grinder wanted to throw my stuff away. I’ve gone on about Eva Braun insisting I move my storage area to another store. I’ve been cooperative, done what asked, and complied with all their various requests. Uncle Cliffy, manager of the Waterfront Store, has no issue with me using a closet-sized spot in the very-back of the office. It’s like it was made for me. It was nicknamed the Wilson Water Closet, because a former employee used to leave Big Gulps of pee back there, instead of locking up and going to the bathroom. The peeing has stopped, (no evidence anyway 🙂 ) No more pee-cups, it’s a storage area for brown bags and cash register tape.

When I came in to drop off my work shirt, and found my area completely empty? As the kids say, I about lost my shit…

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The Devil’s Music

May 9, 2017 at 6:55 pm (Cosmic Encounters, Waxing Nostalgic)

My mother was a religious nut, to cut to the chase. She’d find the devil in the damnedest places.

Most frequently in my record albums.

There were a few records that scared me. Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Slayer all gave me varying stages of the willies, whether because of religious paranoia or because I was psychedelically impaired to the point of nonsense. (With Slayer, it wasn’t the devil but rowdy skinheads that I feared.) As to the devil, Black Sabbath was the closest to me actually believing they’d signed a contract with the Devil hisself. A lot of coincidental occurrences (and that I’d happened to be reading Anton Szandor LaVey) inspired me to give away all my Sabbath albums. I gave them to my ex-wife. Sorry Satan, she’s your problem now.

The theme to The Exorcist was not written for the movie, it was a piece created by a 19-year-old wunderkind named Mike Oldfield. It fit the movie so well, mixed with the hype of the day, that it scared my twelve-year-old ass shitless.

I would listen to it on an antique radio in the garage, watching the bats flying around the streetlight. Over time it became a piece of music, and once I realized Satan wasn’t coming for my soul, I bought the album and have had it in various forms since.

The above piece is the only time I’ve seen it attempted live. Enjoy…

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May Day Play Day

May 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, Sweet sticky things)

May Day and I go back.

Over the past two decades, I’ve encountered big romance, lost said romance, gotten jobs, but the one consistent has been the protests. Every year there are May Day protests, and I end up in the middle of them. Unintentionally, for the most part.

It was a Monday, and the news warned of mischief and mayhem. There are always respectable protesters, the ones who bring their kids to teach them about democracy in action, or older folk recapturing the glory days of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. “Power to the peepole!” Of course they aren’t the problem. It’s the 25-100 black-garbed goons with Molotov cocktails, spray paint and chunks of concrete for the windows that get all the attention.

You know, the assholes.

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Erectile Dysfunction

April 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm (Cosmic Encounters, Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things)

Lunch Buddy

I’ve been keeping a low profile, trying to work as much as possible without burning out, and trying to stay upbeat in dark times. Talk about easier said than done.

Eva Braun has been treating me well, schedulewise. I did a full week’s residency at the Nightclub Store, much to the chagrin of the thievin’ locals who come by, peek in the window, see it’s not someone who treats the job like they’re being paid to play games on their phone for eight hours, slump their shoulders and move on. I let them in if they behave, unless they are infamous or I have had specific issues with them. I am a motherfuckin’ elephant when it’s a personal transgression. “I can hold my breath for a long time.”

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“Slow Ride, Take It Easy…”

April 14, 2017 at 9:00 am (Cussed Dumbers, The Easy Chair)

You know middle age is approaching when multiple people get excited about a toilet.

I introduce the Cadillac of toilets. We haven’t named it yet, but I’m thinking Pacific Princess. (It’s as big as the Love Boat!) The Nightclub Store has been getting some cosmetic surgery. MISTER Edamame is afraid he’s going to lose us as a tenant, so he’s been throwing money into the building. We have a new floor covering, linoleum that looks like hardwood and buffs up nice. There was nothing wrong with the floor! It had been replaced ten years ago, the whole floor, not just the linoleum. But if he’s buying…

How about something useful? Make the outside surveillance camera operable? (Oops, did I say that?) We have sixteen cameras inside, and he bitches about the wires, but says nothing about the busted camera that dangles from a cord from the awning outside. He had the laborers use a few zip-ties and corral the wires, painting some of them beige to match the wall.

When I heard we were getting a new toilet, I had mixed expectations. Since the previous remodel we’ve had this, this… kid’s toilet! It can’t be more than twelve inches off the floor. Our older employees take so long in there because they can’t get back up. And then there’s Art East, who is no fan. “Did an adult install that toilet? How the FUCK does anyone over four-feet tall keep from dipping their junk in the water every time they sit down?” He does a Lewis Black-worthy rant, and I wish I could do it justice. It’s hilarious.

I suppose I should keep my voice down, as these toilets fall into a gray area. See, they were made before the great “toilet-water act of 1993” or whenever economy-flush toilets became mandatory. MISTER Edamame bought a dozen or so cheap before they were pulled off the market, and saves them for times like this. In order to fix the little toilet, he would need a new piece of plumbing installed. (Costing $600.) So MISTER Edamame released his miserly grip just a bit, hooked up this huge, classic throne, and now we’re shittin’ in tall cotton!

It’s too bad Weird Steven no longer works with us. He lives/lived a block from the Nightclub Store, and it irked Grinder no end that he would come use the store bathroom instead of the community john at his hotel. (“He’s too cheap to buy toilet paper!” “He only works sixteen hours!”) Weird Steven got fired for not having a phone, and stopped coming around a couple months ago. If I offended him, I wish I know what I did, so I could do it again, before I apologize for whatever I did. His conversational blurbs were often interesting, and that whole “learn something new every day” rule of mine was easy to attain, because of his oddball factoids. Back in line in the hotel hallway, and don’t forget your TP.

It’s nice to have a comfortable bathroom for employee use. One can drop off a few friends at the poo’ without baptizing their bits, and without spending half an hour with a plunger getting rid of the evidence.

Want to use it? Fill out an application. Employees only. Spouses of employees only if the parking garage is the final option. I let Rain use the bathroom, but not if any rat co-workers are around. Giggles, notorious for his bathroom activities, has been spending 2-3 hours after work, poking around in the back. Eva finally laid down the law, “At 7:45 you get your stinky ass out of here!”

All praise the Porcelain Gods!

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Corporate Ladder Climbing

April 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Work Recliner

When people ask why I’ve worked in stores for forty years and not became a manager, I am honest. I hate working with other bosses, sales reps and delivery people. The daytime crowd is not my scene. I’ve two fond sayings; “Gimme my happy crackheads any day.”

And, “When I work alone, I prefer to be by myself.”

If I want to make enough money to pay the mortgage, every now and then I have to come out of the dark. That would mean spending the day with Grinder, Uncle Cliffy or Southie. All nice enough guys, but they don’t want me around any more that I need them around. They forget what it’s like to work with me. They assume all I do is read, doodle or flirt with the girls. (Which is true, but I do it while running the store. And the store comes first.) The managers expect me to be making busywork when not ringing people up. Let’s not be silly.

I only do that when I see Master P coming.

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Not Your Typical Workday

April 8, 2017 at 11:10 am (Cussed Dumbers)

Jeckyl’s Last Heckle

Fridays are fun at work. After five days without my iron rule, the nuts come out to play. So I usually have a rough re-entry until word gets out, and they migrate to other stores.

I was all geared up, properly medicated and ready to kick ass and take names when I got a text from Eva Braun. “We are locked up until further notice. I have a dead body to deal with. I wanted to give you a heads-up.”

Eva had twice dealt with dead bodies at work. As longtime manager of the Mothership, she witnessed two suicides off the parking structure above the store. One after the fact, where she found the body on the sidewalk. The other she just happened to look up as the person jumped. “I couldn’t watch. It fucked me up bad enough as it was.” She’s a tough cookie, but no one should have to deal with that. She said she’d quit if it happened again. As these thoughts raced through my head, she called. “Good morning, Charlie Brown! I found your crow…”

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