I was walking down the street today when the crowd parted to reveal a familiar gap-toothed goblin waving down a cab 2 feet away from me. Same long fancy black coat and bald head. Xander was my old boss at a fancy advertising agency and the bane of my post-college existence.
I was excited at the beginning, my first real job and at such a cool place, boy oh boy! Then I was given a cubicle and a trainer named Rita, and my disillusionment with the corporate American dream began. Rita talked to me like I was a retarded 3rd grader that didn’t know English. She used her chewed up nails to point at the screen and say things like, “we call this italic, but not like Italy..eeetaly..no, this ‘I’ is pronounced ‘eye’, say it with me eye-ta-lic.” I’m not even kidding.
It then dawned on me that she thought I was stupid because I was young, blonde, and tan. It also dawned on me that I was hired precisely for those attributes, and not because anyone there thought I would be a valuable employee in the future.
I humored her. I nodded enthusiastically, and said things like, “oh well I better write this down!”
I figured they were paying me and if they wanted to waste money on conducting special ed classes then that was their business. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t slowly killing my self esteem.
Then I was assigned to work with Xander and Alicia, who well deserved each other on account of both being such vile creatures. Nobody wanted to work with Xander except for Alicia, and I got shafted because I was new and couldn’t complain.
He was just a dick, but it wasn’t really his fault because he didn’t know he was one, and therefore couldn’t do anything about it. Maybe he was bitter because he had gone bald in his 20s and could no longer use hair to distract people from his watermelon shaped head. You could tell he was evil from a distance, but they like that son of a bitch look at ad agencies, so it worked in his favor.
Once we went to a fancy French restaurant. Our waiter was an elderly man who clearly belonged at home watching Family Feud in his slippers. Xander talked down to him, clinked his knife against the wine glass whenever it needed to be refilled, and sent back his steak twice. That was the way he treated everything and everyone. He was a man without an imagination, who strongly believed in adhering to social hierarchy. He gloated at those he deemed below, and cowered in front of those who made more money. He also didn’t think women could be as smart as men. He never said so outright, but you could tell.
Around that time I was living with Joey and he had started bringing home a lot of painkillers and xanax, which made cubicle slavery not so bad. He had been a junkie before I ever moved in, but he was very sneaky about it, and I was too excited about my first steps as an adult to pay much attention. Then I came home early one day. Joey was in the kitchen making lasagna and singing along to the portable radio. I said, “I think I have the flu” and he said, “I think you need a fix,” and then it was already too late. That job, Joey and the drugs damn near killed my soul (and body).
Sometimes I get all creepy at night and watch Adrian sleep. I think about how I may be broke, and my parents may be dead, but I’m alive and in love with someone who thinks I’m the bee’s knees. The last 5 years have been hard for me and people keep insisting that I MUST be depressed but I'm not, I just don't freaking feel like it, it's counterproductive and boring.