The week after I told my supervisor that I had been offered a new job and would be leaving The Hellhole, the manager above him called me into his office to ask me if I was indeed leaving, and if there was anything he could do to change my mind. “Not really,” I told him. “I just don’t have any interest in staying with this company.” What I really wanted to say- what I should have said during my only window of opportunity to do so- was that there is no way in hell you could ever pay me enough to stay and deal with my psychopath of a supervisor for a day longer than I needed to.
Working under Big J has taught me a unique brand of self-loathing that will take weeks, maybe even months, to recover from. He is the most unprofessional person I have ever worked with- including the uber-hippie at the ice cream shop who didn’t shave her armpits and smelled like stale booze and body odor more often than not and talked casually to me about how her boyfriend just got out of prison. Including the lesbosaurus rex at the other ice cream shop who always had a black eye because her girlfriend beat the shit out of her and would get high behind the building and give her friends entire trays full of free food and take money from the cash register to buy scratch off lottery tickets from the convenience store next door. Including the baker at Tim Horton’s who was constantly talking about how he partied on Wittenberg’s campus even though he was at least 35 and told me a story about carrying a trash can full of ice and beer from one end of campus to the other before showing me a video of him DOWNING an entire fifth of sloe gin in about seven seconds and thus winning a bet where “that motherfucker lost fifty bucks and his fifth of sloe gin too!” No one else even compares.
When I first started working at The Hellhole, Big J had a Lady Gaga ringtone but he never yelled at me so I actually kind of liked him. He didn’t creep me out as much as the other 30-something bald guy who tried to hit on me whenever I walked by his table. For the record, “you should smile more” is the most terribly sorry attempt at a pickup line that any guy could ever throw at me, and it’s probably the worst thing you could say if you’re genuinely trying to make me smile. That guy got fired pretty quickly though. But as time went on, and as the workload got heavier and as Big J took on more and more responsibilities in the mailroom, he became more and more of an asshole, and his gratingly crude and unintelligent sense of humor started to wear on me as much as his horrendous failed attempts at dressing to the newly implemented business casual code. It’s not like I’m any kind of fashionista or anything, but I at least fucking know that Hawaiian shirts, camouflage-print polos, and cargo pants are not business casual, and I also know that no one should ever under any circumstances wear a khaki colored t-shirt with khaki pants. You just don’t do it. And if I had a dollar for every time I have seen that man’s buttcrack or bare gut because he doesn’t wear a belt and his shirts are too small, I would have been able to afford to quit this sorry job months ago.
And to top it all off, he smells.
Aside from his appalling fashion sense and questionable capacity for personal hygiene, Big J was just a jerk. Now, I’m incredibly coarse and crass and crude at times, but I know how to put a fucking cork in it when the situation demands that I at least pretend to act like I’m a professional. The fact that this guy was promoted to a supervisory role was a big fucking blaring foghorn that it was not the place for me. Really, I knew it wasn’t the place for me ages ago, and it hurts my soul a little bit that I even stayed there for as long as I did.
Part of me is a little terrified about starting a new job because I’ve never dealt well with change. I can feel myself getting a little panicky at the realization that I will no longer have the grueling familiarity of The Hellhole as a safety net. And I didn’t realize it at first, but I really am going to miss all the people that I worked with there, because I had grown to like them all a lot. Everyone except Big J, that is. But the week of July 4th marked a whole year that I had been working there, and it was just time for something new. I’m excited about a change, even if it will be hard for me to get used to being the new girl again. I’ve realized that the main reason why I needed this new job is so that I can learn how to be the new girl again- so that I don’t get locked into a familiar pattern that I don’t even like, and so that I’m forced to remember how to socialize with people I don’t know and to actually deal with customers and other professionals on a day-to-day basis, instead of just dicking around on the dock and trading slightly inappropriate verbal quips with my coworkers and supervisors like I did all day at The Hellhole. I liked the casual atmosphere there, and it was sort of nice that I more or less didn’t have to give a fuck about my work, but I’m ready to work at a company where people actually like their jobs and know how to be decent to one another.
As a closer, I’ll leave you with the gem that Big J tossed out on my last day, when we were talking about getting blood drawn.
“I try not to give blood, because honestly, who’s to stop them from using it for cloning?”
Ugh. So long, suckers.