A call from HR

Carlotta’s desk phone rang, and this being the first day of her vacation, like a dipshit I went over and answered it. “Carlotta’s desk speaking.”

It was some suit from Inhuman Resources, calling for Lottie. I told him she’d be gone for two weeks, could I help you, and all that drivel, and he said, “When she returns, please direct her to come to Human Resources and pick up her severance check.”

“Excuse me? Her severance check?”

“Yes, that’s why I’m calling. We’ve received notification from the union that she’s in default on her dues, so we are contractually obligated to end her employment.” He was obviously reading from a script.

“Hey, Hamlet,” I said. “This is a non-union office. Nobody here is in a union. I don’t know anyone on this floor who’s in a union, or anyone in the building. We're fired if we say the word union. I'll probably be fired for saying 'union' to you. Maybe you should check such details before firing people over the phone while they’re on vacation.”

The voice — he never identified himself — said he was simply following procedures, and if our office isn’t unionized he’d need to see it in writing. I took his name and number, said I’d relay the message to Boss Darla, and didn’t say “Fuck off,” but sure wanted to.

The system says Carlotta’s stopped paying union dues, so she’s fired. Hell of a system, where the union can get you fired, same as management, even if you're not in a union, and nobody doublechecks. As soon as Lottie's back from vacation, she'll have to fight for her job. What a company.

♦ ♦ ♦

There’s a zit growing on the inside of my right nostril, which makes it painful picking. One of life’s simplest pleasures, reduced by half.

 From Pathetic Life #7
Wednesday, December 14, 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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  1. I'm a bit dumb here, but is there a way to follow this story to its conclusion? I'd like to know how it turned out and what Darla's response to this was and how Carlotta fared. You set the stage perfectly. There really is no end to the variations bureaucracy uses to screw people over.

    1. I haven't peeked ahead (that would be too much like work, or research), but I *hope* there's a follow-up post when Carlotta gets back from vacation.

      I've noticed, though, that sometimes there's I wasn't good with follow-up. Some threads were dangling eternally.

      Also, I gotta ask — why did you steal the highlights?

    2. Ah, very good Doug. I stole the Highlights because I have a thing for children's magazines. Do you remember Highlights?

    3. Doug is definitely Goofus, while I am clearly Gallant.

    4. You're not so gallant, Chi Chi.

      Linden, I definitely remember Highlights. A great magazine for kids, and it was still in better doctor's offices as recently as a few years ago. In the waiting room I'd grab it out of some kid's hands to avoid reading Time or Newsweek.

  2. The idea of someone from HR giving you all that information is insane.

    1. Yup, it's nuts that the HR guy gave all that info to whatever schmuck answered Carlotta's phone.

      Just another day at Macy's.


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