A tale of two e-mails

It started when Peter mentioned sending Gray a congratulatory e-mail, and Jennifer said she’d sent one, too. Then Darla said she thought it was a good idea, “to show that we’re all on his side” after his promotion. And suddenly, clackity clack, everyone started banging out e-mails to Gray.

It frankly soured my stomach, and made me think a little less of the few people I work with that I actually like. Everyone’s on edge and worried about their jobs, sure, but (a) sending a stupid e-mail won’t make him decide not to lay you off, and (b) how much ass can one person kiss anyway?

So everyone in the ranks sent Gray a nice e-mail, and everyone in management either e-mailed or called or sent him a Hallmark card. I am pretty sure I'm the sole exception, because I have nothing to say to an empty suit.

♦ ♦ ♦

Here’s a belated punchline to the tale I told on November 16, when there was a fire at work, but no alarm, and no public-address announcement. The building was eventually evacuated because of smoke in the air, but without an alarm it was all haphazard and scary, and our section was the last the leave. 

The day after the fire, I wrote a semi-pissy e-mail to the company’s suggestion box, which I assumed would either be ignored or get me fired. Well, since November my e-mail has traveled the world — the ‘suggestion box’ staff sent it to Personnel (and ain’t it great that a pissy ‘suggestion’ is forwarded straight to the people who basically handle terminations?), Personnel sent it to Security (like I’m a bomb threat?), Security sent it to the store’s assistant manager and CC’d some bigwig I’ve never heard of, the bigwig sent it to someone in New York City, and New York forwarded it back to the western regional office — which is where I work, atop the downtown San Francisco store, so my e-mail finally landed on Babs’ desk and got me called into her office. 

I’m not fired, though. Instead she asked me to join the safety committee, because she thinks I care about safety. I don’t care about safety, Babs — I just don’t want to be burned up if the building burns down. But I nodded and said sure, and now I’m on the safety committee.

It’s probably bullshit. It pays nothing extra, but the meetings are on company time, and maybe there’ll be cookies. My first meeting will be in three weeks, if I’m still working here then — which is always an ‘if’, and it’s feeling increasingly iffy lately. 

♦ ♦ ♦

Kallie is anxious about her next computer matchmaker date, tomorrow night, and Carlotta’s joking advice was not to wear a bra. Kallie has ample bosoms, so it’s a joke and they both giggled. Lottie’s are much more petite, and she said something about “the pencil test,” and they giggled again so I asked what the hell is the pencil test? 

It’s a woman thing. Kallie says, put a pencil between breast and ribs, and if the pencil doesn’t fall out then you need a bra. Not sure if they were serious or kidding, but I tried the test then and there, and by golly, I need a bra.

♦ ♦ ♦

After work I went to Kaplan’s Army/Navy to buy a few t-shirts, and of course they make everyone check their backpacks behind the counter. On the way home I realized I’d forgotten my backpack, behind their counter. Fuck all. They close at 6:00, so I can’t fetch it until tomorrow.

Pretty sure it’ll be OK, but worry worry worry. There’s almost $200 worth of stamps in the top left zipper pocket, postage paid on my lunch hour today, and if those stamps are gone I don’t know how I’ll get this issue into the mail. I have a little bit of 'money cushion', but never two hundred bucks.

From Pathetic Life #8
Wednesday, January 25, 1995

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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