Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2009 Didn't Entirely Suck, I Guess

2009, as you may recall, sucked. The economy sucked, we had our 21st consecutive year of having a total moron in the White House (who beat out another moron), the Beatles were even more prevalent with the release of their edition of Rock Band, the Lakers and Yankees both won championships, and it's still legal to show Nancy Pelosi and John McCain on television. It also marked the first year of my working life where I actually made less money than the year before, even before I got laid off. Other stuff that sucked: I had to work at that job for ten months out of the year, Kris Allen won American Idol, and Facebook invented 70,000 more inane games to fill my news feed.

But I'm not going to dwell on that stuff. I had two awesome highlights last year, and I want to share them with you.

Getting Laid Off

In September 2003 I moved to Seattle metro from Austin, leaving behind tons of friends, nearby family, and an easy job to go live in the basement of a clown. To support myself while I went to school, I applied to approximately 70,000 jobs. Not CEO positions, but stupid jobs, and couldn't get a call back, not even from Blockbuster (though they do need a store manager now at a location near me...) In December I finally got my one and only interview with a floral distributor. A middle aged woman named Barbara hired me because I apparently fit her agenda of filling her office with cute college guys. I should have known that this whole scenario was doomed when the GM nearly choked when I asked for a whole dollar an hour more than he wanted to pay. Or maybe I should have just left when the owner wanted to fire me because I was "getting in the way." But because of a combination of apathy, loyalty, laziness, my bad resume, and depression, I stuck around for six years.

Among the many highlights of my tenure there:
1) Hearing very high-decibel and very personal shouting matches between the GM and owner, who were later married, in the office next door
2) Being called "the help" by our owner
3) Taking the owner's fetid dog to its salon appointments
4) Providing tech support to coworkers who don't realize that the computer doesn't work when it is off
5) Having accounting debates with customers whose accounting consists of throwing all of their receipts in a drawer
6) Realizing that my position in the company is actually despised by management
7) Being promised bonuses that never materialized
8) Having the Christmas bonus canceled, the company Christmas party canceled, then the pot luck to replace the party which would have cost the company nothing canceled, only to discover the company spent thousands of dollars on a dinner for select employees (five years of quality work apparently not qualifying for that honor)
9) Constantly being told by my supervisor that everyone not in sales costs the company money and is a burden, even though I was in charge of collections and did a good job at it
10) Hearing our loony owner ask a fellow childless female employee if her pets gave her Mother's Day cards
11) Being instructed by our GM to order 4 pirate costumes for his mother-in-law's memorial service
12) Earning half the salary of a tubby, pointy-haired woman with no discernible job description
13) Hearing the phrase "floral emergency" dozens of times
14) Having to wake up every day before bars closed
15) Dropping off a vehicle for a couple of managers on a dangerous stretch of highway (their tire had blown out), waiting for the tow truck that nobody had called, and being disregarded later

So for those of you who think, "Maybe getting laid off was a blessing in disguise," you're wrong. It's a blessing naked and doing jumping jacks in front of me.

The Mogwai

After two years of aborted sleep, entire wardrobes being covered in baby barf, feces covering an entire room, voluminous bodily fluids covering your home, and the joys of taking a child out in public, as well as a guaranteed 8 months of unrelenting spousal unpleasantness, we just had to have another kid, right? But you can live through all of that stuff when you get to have this:

Jason was born on June 27th in his grandparents' bathtub. Thus far, he's the best-behaved baby I've ever encountered in my life, a sweet kid who tries to engage the people around him. He's my favorite person on the earth right now. Getting drooled and spit up on is a small price to pay to have that much love in your life.