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All posts for the month December, 2012

Kiki’s not hungry anymore

Published December 18, 2012 by Johanna

A few phone calls and my mood has been shut. It’s my birthday dammit! Can’t anyone respect that? Of course not. Since my promotion, I’m supposed to be responsible and have no life, blah blah blah, bite me! Gosh, at this rate, I will never grow old.

Not that I care to gain a few years of wisdom under my belt. Too many bad news have arrived simultaneously. I explain.

After John left my office, my mom called me. What did I want for Christmas? Wow, I honestly have no idea. Christmas shopping isn’t my area of expertise. I guess I repressed too many bad memories from my former in-laws trying to bribe me with fake lace thongs, camo toilet seats and zebra snuggies, so I got a bit tired of the whole gifts under the tree business. I don’t want anything. I make enough money to go shopping before stores become halls of madness. That’s the luxury I can afford since I got a job.

Mom insisted I ask for something. Fine. Be creative mom, buy me a Hello Kitty toaster. Why? I can butter Hello Kitty’s face every morning, Mom! Nonsense. Can’t even be funny. What about a Hello Kitty microwave? Or an alarm-clock? No, I’m too old for Hello Kitty. Seriously. If we lived in Tokyo, that drastic narrow mindedness wouldn’t hold very long.

A bottle of booze. Get me scotch. Mom sounds concerned. I drink too much. In ten years my liver is going to die on me, and I’ll be good for nothing. All I needed today was a little talk, why any other day of the year isn’t good enough when you can have the talk on your birthday? I wonder.

I sigh. Mom ignores my sigh. I sigh again. Mom doesn’t care. She insists on getting me a panini maker. Silence. She thinks I just hung up. No, no, I’m still here. I bet she saw the panini maker on sale at Macy’s and decided it would be the most economical gift this year. I don’t eat paninis. Once I see the machine, I might change my mind. No way. A panini maker won’t make me happy.

Fine. I think she’s going to settle for the bottle of Black Label. Crossing fingers and toes on this one. I forget the rest of the conversation, distracted by the latest gossip news. It is quite a shame to be so rich and so stupid.

Moving on. Got work to do. Love you mom, catch you later.

Next phone call. My boss. Ugh. Have to put up the fake smile and pretend I’m the employee of the month. A new project is coming up. Gotta cover for the holidays. Glorious. Well it’s not like I had plans anyways… Being single in this town is a real curse. Don’t wanna start hanging out on Plenty of Fish either, I’m not that desperate, but very close. Should I even bother buying a tree this year? My cats won’t appreciate it. I will probably look at it and hug the bottle of scotch at the same time. Pathetic row, I’m next in line.

Okay I’ll work. Boss is happy. Does it mean I get a nicer bonus? He hung up before I could get an answer. Classic dick move. Alright, I understand I’m a slave to my job, but I don’t mind a tad more dough. This will be the topic for my next meeting I guess. Suck it up until it burns deep down but you can’t throw up in your boss’s office because he’s your boss, you know?

Third phone call. Mom again. I let this one go to voice mail.

Taking a deep breath, I glance at the clock. 12:45 pm. Fifteen minutes and I’m out of this hell. Should I remind John about our impending lunch plans?

I dial his extension and wait for the ringtone. No one picks up. That is simply frustrating. I should walk by his cubicle just to check he hasn’t fallen asleep by the coffee machine. With this guy, better be safe than sorry.

My stride takes me on a slight detour. I say hello to more people than expected, and obviously, after saying hello, I must continue with a few nice words otherwise everyone will think I’m rude. Not on my birthday. I’m extremely well mannered today.

Two minutes become twenty. I’m rushing to John’s spot faster than a rocket – should I mention in heels – and almost crash into the water fountain because I didn’t assess the sharpness of my turn correctly. When I finally gather my senses, he’s not there. Crap.

Playing lighthouse, I survey the entire room. John’s tall enough he could have started a career in basketball had he not loved smoking weed so much. The guy certainly has priorities. I don’t see him. He’s probably in the bathroom. I should wait here instead of pacing like a chicken without a head. Not good for my blood pressure.

Five minutes pass. Still nothing. Where is this kid?

Had I known, I would have taken my phone with me. How many times do I need to remind myself of this? Staple the gismo to the hand, and I’m good to roll.

Okay. This is taking way too long. He better have a good explanation. It’s already one thirty pm, and I’m starving.

I leave a note on his computer screen. Tired of idly standing.

Back to my desk, I realize the message light is blinking on my phone.

“Honey, I’ve been thinking, I saw this wonderful fondue pot, you can invite all your friends and have parties at your place, love you, call me…”

My finger lingers on the delete button. Gosh, what else is she going to come up with? A cornballer?

Next message.

“Hey, it’s John. I had to run – you would never believe this, my girlfriend just freaked she might be pregnant, I’m not even kidding. Anyway, dashing to buy a pregnancy test, because I’m also freaking out. Can we celebrate your birthday another time? Peace.”

Imagine my expression. I’m livid. I quit smoking but badly need a cigarette right now.

WTF John! I’m going to kill him.

To be continued…

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John is clueless

Published December 6, 2012 by Johanna

I always keep my office door closed, this way if someone enters without knocking and I’m watching a movie, I have three seconds to at least turn the sound off. Love the privacy. I’ve been moved to a single office recently, with lots of shelf space, I even thought of starting my own skull collection so I could fill them up, because I refuse to put a million folders and rims of paper up there.

You can’t be fun with paper. Skulls on the other hand… I hear a knock.

“Come in!” I say, and turn the volume of my computer down. YouTube videos also make for a great distraction.

It’s John.

“Hey,” he mumbles like his grandma just died.

“Is it 1 pm yet? Have I missed our appointment?” I check the clock on my screen and realize it’s only 11:25 am.

John pulls one of the guest chairs and sits close to me – given I work in a walk in closet, he doesn’t have to go very far. His knee almost brushes my knee, and I strategically move away. Human contact at work would be a bit too much. I’m nice but not that stupid.

“Um, it’s not 1 pm yet.” I look at John, and think now someone in his family must have died.

“I know. I need help,” he mumbles again.

I throw him a WTF glance.

“What do you wanna eat for lunch?” he asks.

I snort. “Man, aren’t you the one who’s taking girls out so you can score some hot and heavy business every once in a while?”

He gives me the sad puppy look.

“The girls I take out aren’t picky.”

I laugh. “Wow, that tells a lot about your standards. Okay, so you need my help? Um, I am two seconds away from forcing you to pick a place I will absolutely hate, or that’s way above your budget. Either way you’re screwed.”

He looks so miserable, it’s hard to witness, even for me.

“Kidding. You want a list?”

He shakes his head. “No, see that’s always the same problem. I try to man up and find great stuff to do but I’m just not good at these things.” He exhales deeply. “Am I doomed to fail? I’m just too lazy.”

My eyebrows have been raised the whole time he kept talking. “Seriously? You interrupt me during a Lady Gaga YouTube video marathon to whine about your inability to be imaginative?”

I put my hand on his shoulder, like a father would do to his son. Well almost, depending on how tall the father is in comparison to the son, that simple gesture could be awkward. Let’s assume they’re the same height or the son in question is not that tall to begin with.

Actually strike that image. Height discrepancies don’t apply to people sitting down.

Minion aka John stares at me, a bit surprised I’m actually touching him. I remove all misunderstanding of sexual innuendo by pressing really hard on his shoulder, making the touch almost uncomfortable. I’m not giving a massage here, just teaching a small life lesson. I turned thirty after all.

“Are you still high from last night?” I ask with a very serious tone.

He jerks his body backwards. I examine my hand because I think I shocked him. “Woah what was that?” he exclaims. Um, I haven’t shocked him. The guy was daydreaming.

“Dude, you’re still high as a kite. Okay, what did I tell you about coming to work completely baked?”

He rolls his eyes. “You said it was okay. You do that all the time!”

I sigh and press the back of my palm against my forehead like I’m deep in thoughts. Actually I’m pondering whether John should be subject to the talk on my birthday. I wanted to have a break today, dammit!

“John, how long have I been working in this dump?”

He shrugs. “A few years?”

“Right. How long have you been working here?”

He reluctantly nods. “But you said as long as I was smart about it, no one would notice.”

“I noticed.”

He laughed. “Yeah but you aren’t like the others.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Oh really?”

“You aren’t white and plain,” he continues.

I snort. “Last time I checked I was white.”

He brushes the air with his hand. “No, no, I meant you aren’t vanilla.”

I give up. “Okay, I don’t care what ice cream flavor I am. You’re surrounded by smart people. You act like a pot head and it will show, understood?”

He nods again. “This place feels painful. There’s nothing enjoyable about it.”

Poor little boy. I sometimes wonder how the new generation can survive one minute in this environment. No wonder all the fresh recruits usually quit after six months. I would have too, but I got too many bills to pay and no one in my family willing or even able to bail me out. Bunch of selfish losers.

“I feel your pain,” I say just because John wants to hear it.

He smiles.

“Another reason for you to find a good place to go to lunch today.” I wink.

He huffs. “Really? Not even a bit of help?”

“I got a lady Gaga interview to finish watching. So do your best.”

I face back my desk. I hear him exhale deeply again.

“How come you can watch videos all day and I get to make lame sales pitches and be called an asshole ninety percent of the time?”

I glance at him. “Buddy, if I was still doing what you’re doing, we wouldn’t have this conversation because I’d have shot myself in the right temple already. And I don’t own a gun.”

“Right.”

“No McDonalds, no $1 pizza slice, and similar junk food spots.” I glance at him, and the expression on his face tells me he’s ready to jump off a bridge.

“Word,” he replies.

“Catch you later pal.”

“Later.”

After he closes the door, I turn the volume back on the video I was watching.

Seriously, I don’t even like lady Gaga. I’m just so bored…

Happy birthday Kiki

Published December 5, 2012 by Johanna

It all begins around the corner of the last cubicle. I get to work, the usual ten thirty am, pretending I’ve been in the building for an hour. Running around in circles, my speciality. John is early, headset in place, morning smile and one gallon of Red Bull mixed with Gatorade a few inch away from his computer mouse. John has been working with me for three months now. He has a crush on me, he’s also younger thus impressionable. I’m the damaged goods type, not really a match or a keeper his little twenty-two-year old heart would sustain for very long. This kid is smart though. Always a funny joke to tell. He lives to make me laugh. Usually I grunt, but when it comes to him, I make an effort. Don’t wanna pass for a bitch.

Today is also my birthday by the way. Am turning the big 3-0 – standing ovation anyone? I’m single but was married once, so I qualify for the divorcee title and therefore have entered the emotionally unstable but not afraid of commitment category. A big plus in a town like NYC. But, John always says he’s better off as a man just because there are five times more desperate females and chances are, I’ll end up single no matter which category I’m in. Bad trade? At least, I didn’t have to fight for the bathroom this morning. Can’t say the same when you gotta share your studio apartment. John lives with two other roommates. He usually glares at me when I make that comment. He still has a view of the Manhattan skyline from his kitchen. Good point.

Aw, John is such a heartthrob. Everyone on the floor adores him. I do too, but as his superior I must crack the whip every once in a while. Gentle whip, but a whip nonetheless.┬áSince it’s my birthday, I expect John to give me a card. A cake would be nice too but I’m not demanding. I walk to John’s cubicle and lean against the one side of the separating wall, knocking a few times to make a right impression. He doesn’t hear me, too busy talking on the phone to a customer. Sales pitch. The usual speech I heard a million times, and don’t care to listen to a million times more. I wait patiently, checking my nails because I forgot my phone in my office. Note to self – I should always have my phone with me.

John finally turns his head around and notices me. Eyes wide, big smile, he talks to me in sign language to let me know he’s about to close a deal. Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen that face before. Right when a guy thinks he got me after buying me a beer. I don’t budge. Stern expression, perfect serious stance, all I do is tap my fingers on the edge of the separating wall to show my impatience level is increasing by the second. John stops smiling. He faces his computer screen and opens a Word application.

“I love your hair color, when did you get it done?” he types, and then smiles again like a five-year-old standing by an ice cream truck.

I raise an eyebrow. “Really?” I whisper.

He frowns. “Well fine, I won’t compliment you anymore. Nice touch on the skinny jeans by the way, is it Friday yet?” he continues writing.

I scowls. “Put this one on hold, I got somewhere to be in five minutes,” I say a bit louder.

He nods, delivers the regular “Let me get back to you on this” and pushes the hold button on the phone.

“Okay, what’s up?” he asks, his eyes moving back and forth from my ass to my face, and I know exactly he’s checking me out in my purple skinny jeans but pretends he just being nice and polite. I ignore him and look at the ground.

“You forgot.”

I look back up. His expression has morphed into pure terror. The whip will be cracked in 3, 2, 1…

“What did I do? Something I missed on the checklist?” he blurts.

I huff. “Not quite, but close. You have the memory of a pigeon. Maybe all the weed you smoke dug too many holes in your brain…”

“Shhh, come on, you know it’s a secret!” he whispers, and tries to look more horrified.

I brush the air with my hand. “Cut the crap. What day are we today?”

He checks the calendar pinned on the cork board next to his monitor. Realizes the page is still set for October. Quickly shuffles through the calendar and sets it for December. Throws me a glance full of hope, but I crush his joy in two seconds.

“Yep, at this rate, your brain’s full of crevasses,” I say with a slight smirk.

He sighs. “Crap, I knew it. You’re gonna give me a bad review, and my bonus is gonna sink.”

I poke him in the shoulder. “Who cares about your bonus? Dude, it’s my birthday today. You forgot, so lunch’s on you. And coffee. Meet me at 1 pm in the lobby.” I quickly check my watch. “I’m late. Gotta go. Love the tie today, looking good!”

Thumbs up, I don’t give him the time to respond. I dart away from his cubicle, leaving him helpless, a priceless expression of utmost content mixed with despair painted all over his freckled face, and a customer on hold whom I seriously hope hasn’t hung up after two minutes of the atrocious Christmas music the company has decided to use because it’s holiday season, you guys!

John’s great. He’s my minion. And he better not screw up lunch plans because I intend today to be special.

Very special.

To be continued…