The sign on the door

She was beautiful, with long brownish-blonde hair, brown eyes, a face full of freckles, and an inviting smile. Oh, and she was nude, this being a dream and all. 

I kissed both her naked knees, then slowly wandered northward, smooching every mole on her soft, sweet, ever-so-slightly sweaty thighs and working my way up. This isn’t cheap porn so we’ll skip the details, but it was all done with the utter mastery of such moves that I routinely display, in dreams.

We kissed, lips closed at first, and then more passionately, tongues diving deep into each others’ mouths, my hands on her freckled flesh, and hers wandering under every ripple in my massive mounds of flab. Then she drew back. Something was wrong. She made an uncomfortable face and said, “Sweet Mary mother of God, your breath is terrible!”

Well, there’s a dream that needs no interpretation, and I was wide awake instantly. There’s no denying that my breath is less than delightful. I have two partially-missing teeth toward the back that have been rotting for ages. Even immediately after brushing with minty fresh toothpaste, I can put my pinky to the back of my jaw, finger the stumps where those teeth used to be, and carry the stink of it to my nose. It smells literally like shit.

That’s what the woman of my dream whiffed on my breath, what everyone in the awake world must notice if they come too close. I smell it myself sometimes, like when I’m about to have a glass of water but half an ounce of ‘exhale’ goes into the cup and up my nose, and blimey, what a stench.

Well, here’s good news for everyone eager to kiss a flatulent fat fellow: Those two rotting stumps are coming out early next month. The dentist’s appointment has been made. After that, my breath will be better, and this 300+ pound hunk of man will be available for serious liplocking, ladies. Please take a number, and queue in an orderly fashion.

♦ ♦ ♦

With Marcia gone, we have one worker less than a week ago, so instead of killing time, I’m actually working at work. We’re not swamped, though. There’s breathing room. They’ve reassigned some of our workload away recently, and if this place was run right, there might be some hesitation before hiring someone else.

And there is hesitation, but not because management is weighing the evidence. One of my co-workers asked Babs about hiring someone, and the answer is of course they’re hiring someone. There’s just a slight delay because some forms in quadruplicate haven’t yet been processed in Personnel.

♦ ♦ ♦

Someone came by with a small stack of workflow, and wanted to drop it on Darla’s desk, but Darla’s dad is busy dying, so there was no Darla today. The junior exec with the paperwork was bewildered at the concept of a locked office door, so I interrupted his confusion, and took the work off his hands.

After he was gone, as I dropped his paperwork into our ordinary workflow stacks, I noticed that it was days late. These were price changes for a sale that went into effect this morning, so 55 department stores across the western United States are engaged in false advertising — Buy these blouses for 25% off!  But the price hadn't been changed.

This is really, really basic stuff in this business: If you’re advertising sale prices, someone has to mark the prices down. That’s what I do, and my co-workers, but someone has to bring the paperwork. Preferably on time.

How could this executive not know that price changes have a deadline, and that the deadline was days ago? If I hadn’t noticed the date, those docs would've gone to the back of the pile and been input next week.

Luckily, it wasn’t a big list of price reductions, only about 75 items with 590 UPCs. I split the work among all of us, and we got the price corrections input within an hour. I wrote a memo to Babs and CC’d Darla, because (a) I’d be in big trouble if I’d fucked up like that executive did, so he should be in big trouble, and (b) you should never do anything heroic at work without making sure management knows.

The rush-rush work kept me in the office ten minutes past quitting time, and with no authorization for overtime, it was a gift to the company. Well, I don’t give gifts to the company, so on my way out of the mostly-empty 8th floor, I pried a sign off a door — “Buyer Liaison Office” — and slipped it into my backpack.

Why would I want the sign? Who knows, I’m an impulse shoplifter, but that sign has always struck me as corporate craptalk. What does it even mean? It’s a department store, so we have people who buy merchandise, and they’re called buyers — but why do buyers need liaisons? Nobody else around here has a liaison, not even Babs. And why do these mythical liaisons need an office?

Now my neighbors can wonder what the sign means. It’s posted on the door of my room at the rez hotel.

From Pathetic Life #5
Friday, October 21, 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.

Pathetic Life 

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