No more water

As yet another cost-cutting measure at work, they’ve canceled the water-cooler contract. No more giant bottles of water, delivered weekly by big burly men that the ladies and some of the men ogle. No more nagging reminders that employees are not allowed to change the jugs when they’re empty, because a full jug weighs 50 pounds or so, and the company thinks someone will wrench his or her back and sue. No more looking both ways to make sure the boss isn't watching, as I change an empty jug of water for a full one.

Some VP sent ‘round a memo announcing how much money the company would save, and telling us to drink tap water instead. Of course, the building’s tap water isn’t potable. It tastes like copper, and first thing on Monday mornings it looks like copper. Since I drink H2O all day every day, I’ll have to start schlepping water in to the office.

Despite the expense, you can bet that the VPs and bigwigs will still have bottled water in their offices. I’ve run errands to the holy executive suites, and it’s like visiting the Taj Mahal. They have thick, plush carpet (ours is thin, industrial, and old), huge windows (we have none), air conditioning (we just sweat), and private restrooms bigger than my rented room at the hotel. In the executive suite, it’s so quiet you can hear yourself think, but what always strikes me most is the enormity of their hallways. In the workers' areas, two people can’t walk past each other in the hall (even two thin people) without turning sideways. In the executives’ hallway — traversed by far fewer people — two cars could pass each other (well, if they're compact cars).

You know, I haven’t always hated my employers, but this company is run by genuine asswipes. $500+ for an executive’s birthday party? No problem. $1,000+ for lunch? No problem. Water for the workers? Nope.

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And another thing, not quite so fundamental as water but still annoying: The company cafeteria now offers only Dijon mustard on the sandwiches. Dijon mustard is awful stuff that tastes like mayonnaise with botulism and the contents of an ash tray mixed in. Only the good old yellow stuff for me — French's, or a generic knockoff.

Having both kinds of mustard in a sandwich shop makes sense. Same as I hate Dijon, I imagine some Dijon people hate French’s, so having only one mustard means some sandwiches won’t be bought — my ham on wheat, for example. The cost of those unsold sandwiches must exceed the cost of a jar of yellow mustard. Capitalism 101. How come I can figure this out, but the company’s MBA management team can't?

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It seemed like the polite thing to do after Mom’s visit, and she taught us kids to always be polite, so yesterday I sighed to myself, and called. She didn’t answer, but I left a pleasant message on her answering machine. “Hope you enjoyed your visit,” and all that. Couldn’t quite say that I'd enjoyed her visit, since I didn’t.

Today she left a reply on my machine, saying it was great to see me and she wants to see me again soon. (In a word, nope.) And before hanging up, she added that I need to lose some weight. See, my mom doesn’t have to fly across three states to make me miserable. She can do it with just a phone call.

From Pathetic Life #3
Friday, August 26, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.



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