65% Recycled Dinosaur, 100% Jackass

19 May

Humboldt County, though pretty large in size, is actually a very tiny community. And after you’ve lived here for a few years, it becomes your tiny community. Sometimes, this can be nice: the guy at the coffee shop knows exactly how you like your coffee, chances are you know your mailman, and the possibility of running into people you know at any given social event are high.

Sometimes, this can be bad. Say, for example, when you realize that the guy you’re dating is best friends with that other guy you hooked up with at that party, the one where you learned that tequila makes you super slutty. Or when you keep running into people that you used to work with just a few days ago and have to deal with their pity looks. Moments like that make you miss the anonymity of large cities.

Though getting fired is pretty crappy, it’s not the first time it’s happened to me. The first time was at my first job right out of college. I had always had a job throughout high school and college, but this was my first time where I would be completely supporting myself and the excitement and the stress of this made me overlook the big red flags I was getting during my interview and first few days of the job.

The job was working at a rinky-dink radio station, answering phones. And the owner of the station was a Grade A Douche Nozzle. Rude, dismissive and rich. He wore his cell phone on a holster on his belt. He had a ridiculously large, mahogany desk that only served to prop up his feet. He made staff members park their cars two blocks away because he thought it made the office front look “cluttered”, with the exception of his luxury SUV. Real dick.

My first clue was at the interview. He asked me some sort of question, to which I answered, “Yeah, and blah blah blah blah….” With a scoff and a smirk, he said: “‘Yeah’ isn’t a word. I would think someone with an English major would know that.”

How are you supposed to respond to that? It’s as if he said, “Nighttime is when the sun is hiding”, or “I’m made up of 65% recycled dinosaur parts” or “The world is going to end on Saturday“. IT DIDN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.

I wish I had the wherewithal or the balls to have told him, “Actually, a word is the smallest unit of free form communication that carries a literal or practical meaning. The fact that you, I, and most English speakers accept that ‘yeah’ is a statement in the affirmative, means that it is, in fact a word. Now please take that PDA you’ve been playing with during our entire conversation and shove it up your ass because I’m done here.”

Instead, I said: “Oh….sorry.” I got the job. And two weeks later, I was standing in the supply closet on the verge of a panic attack because I didn’t want to use the wrong kind of paperclips and have him freak out. Again.

During the entirety of my four week employment there, I knew in my gut it was wrong for me. It was the same feeling I had during my last job. And so, when I run into those former coworkers with their pitying glances, I can honestly say that I’m OK with no longer working there. Sure, I wish I had something else lined up ahead of time, but deep down I knew it wasn’t right for me.

I was at the post office earlier today, waiting to buy stamps to go on the handful of job applications I was sending out, when the customer ahead of me asked if that branch would be closed on the weekend.

“Yeah, we’re closed on weekends,” the guy behind the counter replied.

“‘Yeah’ isn’t a word,” the customer scoffed.

It was him. The Douche Nozzle Dick Boss. His hair was thinner and he had replaced the PDA for a Bluetooth headset, but it was undoubtedly him. He didn’t recognize me at all as he walked by. I wasn’t surprised.

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