Happy New Year, all…I was going through some old stuff that I’ve written and tripped over this story. The fact that I laugh at this story, especially given the true story that inspired it speaks to an incredibly warped and stained sense of humor but at this stage in life it’s not like I can change what I am, I’ll just pray a lot for forgiveness. Anyway, enjoy. Looking forward to lots to share in 2012. I’ve gotta get it all out this year; word is, the sun is supposed to explode in December or something like that.
Place: Outside of an office like the one where you work
A long day had just finished at the office. Most days were the same at the job: you clock in, you go hard, you wait for the bell to ring and you go home. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was that aspect of the job that made it great for alot of us because we knew what to expect, for Tee, however it was that thing about the job that made him miserable. And when Tee was miserable we usually all heard about it.
“I’m sick of this, man. I really am. This is no job for a grown man.”
“Tee, not today, okay? It’s been a long enough day already, I’m just ready for dinner and maybe going to check out some ladies and then getting ready to get in here and turn in another tour tomorrow.”
“That’s just the thing though!” Tee’s voice was rising and echoing around our space now and he was visably distraught. “That’s the very thing, it’s always the same. We get in here, we do all the heavy lifting, get micromanaged at every turn, and who gets the credit? Management. Not the guy who just pulled a heavy shift behind the scenes, but freakin’ management.”
“I don’t know why you’re complaining, dude. You live a great life, great house in a good neighborhood, from looking at your physique you’re not missing any meals, what’s the problem?”
Tee slowed his stroll and his eyes sunk a little. “Man, what would my father think of me? If my father were here now he would absolutely hate what I’ve become.”
“What, Tee, successful? Think of what you’ve accomplished! The things you’ve done and the places you’ve seen…”
“…and the things I’ve done?”
Tee, as talented as he is at this gig, has never really fit in. And while managing to score some pretty lucrative positions in his life he has not mastered the ability to temper his dislike for management. The last two jobs he lost were due to what he calls misunderstandings, management simply called them terminations.
I slowed my pace to get Tee’s ear. “Tee, you have to forgive yourself for that BS in the past, man. If you don’t no one else will. And I can’t speak on your Pop, man, I didn’t know him; but I know you and you’re a good dude so I know he HAD to be a good dude to raise you up to what you are now.”
“Yeah, that’s part of it though, my father was his own man. Lived on his own terms and rules; had business of his own, you know. And here I am taking orders from some two bit manager that doesn’t have half, hell, ANY of the skills I have. Always on me about what I’m doing wrong, always pointing out the smallest thing on performance reviews, all the while twisting my successes at this gig into something that she can somehow take all the credit for! What kind of life is this for me to lead, taking orders from some middle aged chick. My father would never…” Tee’s voice was starting to rise and reverberate again; he seemed to notice that and then reeled himself in. “I was put on this Earth to live on my own terms…like my Dad did…not to take orders from his middle management type on when to jump and how high. I don’t want my kids to see me doing this with myself.”
Tee let a sigh escape and then continued his slow glide; I followed encompassed by the silence that surrounded us in the night air. After a few moments I broke the stillness. “Look, man, let’s go get something to eat, lets go check out some girls and blow off some steam, huh? How’s that sound, Tee?”
“You know what? I wouldn’t be any fun tonight, I’m going home…gonna pull myself together, maybe call my Dad…then try this thing again tomorrow.”
“Cool enough then. Check you out in the office in the morning then.”
“Just like always”, Tee responded then made a left turn towards his abode.
I was at the Water Cooler with some of the other grunt workers waiting for one of our all too popular meetings to start when Tee strode by. He looked considerably happier; he wasn’t dragging nearly as much as he had been last night.
“Tee, what’s shakin’, buddy”, I called out to get his attention.
“Hey man. Hey come over here for a minute, want to talk to you.” I rolled over to Tee to see what was going on. “I just wanted to tell you thanks for listening to me vent last night. I went home, had some fish, talked to my Dad, and decided that I’m going to take my life back.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna live life like a grown man.” He nodded and there was a hint of a smile. “No more order taking for me.”
“Wait, you’re not quitting are you? You can’t quit, you make this thing go around here!”
“Just gonna do my thing, is all.”
Puzzled, and a bit concerned, I asked Tee to clarify what he meant. I needed to know if I was going to be taking on his workload over the next couple of months until a replacement could be found. He came closer, nudged me on the back and said…
“I’m gonna eat the bitch…”
“You heard me, I’m gonna eat her.”
“What the f**k, Tee! What the F**K!” But then it was too late…
Before I could protest or put up a challenge Tee was already swimming to the water’s edge. Next thing I knew there were sirens sounding, there were nets all over the office, people were screaming, and Tee was swimming around the office with a white woman in his mouth.
Moral of the story…if your co workers say they aren’t happy with their job, don’t just sit there, help them update their resume!