How is today different from yesterday? Well, to begin with, yesterday I had a job, and today I am unemployed.
I only got my job because I have a huge ass. I just realized this recently. Despite the four years I spent in college (where I majored in film; yes, I know, laugh it up), my super impressive bachelor’s degree, and winning personality, these are not what secured my job. It was my huge, fat ass and the fact that the person who interviewed me was a sex addict.
I spent most of the first year cringing in horror when this dude would make a pass at me; laughing loudly and protractedly when he asked me if it was true that young women preferred older men; ignoring comments about going to bars and the state of my underwear and whatever else drifted into his sex-addled mind. Finally asked if he’d appreciate me phoning his wife.
“Stacie,” he drew out, “I wasn’t serious, of course. It was all just a joke.”
“Yeah sure,” I said, jabbing my finger in his direction. “Just don’t let it happen again.”
OK, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that. But it was pretty damn close. It didn’t happen again, but a lot of other stupid shit did. One day I came to work to see the SEC (that’s the Securities and Exchange Commission, for you dreamers out there) raiding my building. I rolled down my window as a stern-faced officer made her way to my car.
“I work here,” I told her apologetically.
“You should probably go home,” she replied, not bothering to explain why. When a federal agent tells you to go home, you go home, no questions asked. The next day I called work to see if I still had a job. Surprisingly, I did. Even more surprising, I fucking went.
Another time I got into a huge fight with the owner, and he fired and rehired me in the span of five minutes. This guy was fond of calling people cock suckers and once stopped me in the hall to point out that Jesus Christ himself had chosen to etch his image into the engineer’s office door. Stacie Adams, smiling politely. I also worked with a guy who assured me that a race war was bound to happen within the next few years. He eventually had to go back ‘underground’ as he put it, which meant that he was finally caught in the one of the myriad of illegal activities in which he was involved, and this entailed him fleeing the state to avoid jail time.
Last week I received a pay check from the owner’s personal bank account. “Oh fuck,” I said to myself. That’s never good. I cashed it first thing, while he still had sufficient funds. Today he sat me down, took on a dour expression and said,
“Look Stacie…” I brought my head to my waiting hands.
“Oh god,” I moaned.
“It’s just for a week,” he insisted. Bankruptcy is never just for a week, I told myself.
“I can’t believe this,” I chanted over and over, until he wrote me another check.
So now I’m on the dole, like the British say. I’m a member of the non-working poor. I can do a lot of shit, just none of it officially. I’m what they used to call a dilettante, or, I guess even more hilariously, an autodidactic. I’m also a polymath, I know because I took a test on the internet.
I haven’t been out of a job since I graduated college. I’m still in shock. Some people tell me I should go back to school, and I refrain from slapping them because I’m a charitable person. I have no interest in adding to the already massive debt I accrued spending four years jawing about mise en scène and whether or not Charles Foster Kane was supposed to be a sympathetic character. That information will totally help me when I’m cold calling for Verizon or fighting with drunks in a bar.
I had a plan yesterday. Well, not a plan as much as a routine. Today is wide open, just waiting for me to take a running leap and fall right on my fucking face. My job sucked, but I had my own desk tucked way in the back where I could listen to Mr. Bungle and Queens of the Stone Age and Khanate, where no one gave me shit. I could wear whatever I wanted. I could flaunt my rat tail and tattoos and nobody thought twice. Those days are gone. Here come the fake smiles and awkward handshakes and bullshit questions about goals and strengths and weaknesses that no normal human being could answer with a straight face.
I was talking to my boyfriend about it. “Imagine what I’m going to look like by the end of next week,” I queried. He had a vision of a bedraggled, old-faced woman in a stained bath robe, with a massive dildo jutting out of the pocket, brandishing a glass of liquor at all times and crying mascara, lamenting the ‘good old days’ when the daily 9 to 5 didn’t entail fudding yourself insane to Maury Povich.
Is this destined to happen? I can’t say. I promise you, if it does, I will provide pictures.