Have you* ever just upped and chucked a job?
Oft are the times I’ve fought back the urge to do just that … to announce if to no one but myself while ripping off the cheap plastic apron: “All right, that’s it, that’s my last dirty mashed potatoed and gravied plate, last hotel pan thick with chicken grease, last bowl of clinging creamy tomato soup, last fork coated with cottage cheese, the very sight of which repulses. I’m brighter than this. I’m outta here!”
Funny – not haha funny — the things you’ll do, the depression you’ll endure and sorrows swallow and dreams forsake when there’s rent to be paid.
What went down last night, though outside my domain and responsibilities, crossed a line … is no less the temptation to up and leave.
The lot of high school girls, servers for the senior residents, yak yak yak yak yak yak yaking after dinner service, during closing, goofing off, laughing, yammering, chattering, yak yak yaking yaking.
With a mountain of work to do. A mountain of work of which they were far behind. Because they wouldn’t shut their fucking girly giggly laughing yapping pieholes to push a broom!
I stand corrected.
Pretty Girl Lauren HELD a broom under the pretenses of sweeping.
Sure she swept. A square foot of floor here. Brush brush brush with all the vigor that Grandma Moses in her final three breaths can muster. The bristles coulda been of overboiled linguini for all their effectiveness at the hand of Pretty Girl Lauren (alternatively Lazy Lauren).
Lemme tell ya a little about Lauren, not to single her out but rather illustrate a truth about mankind.
Lauren is 17. Shiny straight sunny-beach blonde hair in a long pontail halfway down her back. Nice figure, bosomy, a little plump. Flawless milky complexion.
I’m not making this up! Embodiments of the tired cliches do exist!
I couldn’t definitively state that she speaks. She purrs. She speaks subdued.
Males — that means YOU guys — hang on her every word* for the pleasure of looking at a pretty face. If you’re into that all-American clean-cut blonde look; I’m not.
(*none that I’ve yet overheard to be particularly bright)
She coos, they gaze. She whispers, they lean in, perhaps receiving as a perk a whiff of the scent of her hair conditioner (dollars to donuts herbal).
Lauren has nearly every male and good number of the high school girls in the palm of her hand; like pigeons, they encircle her, gather at her feet for morsels, surely manna from a creature so illuminous and divine. She could feed rotted toxic seed and still they’d assemble at the risk of croaking for the sight of her alabaster complexion and ladylike smile exposing perfectly straight pearl-white teeth.
Not making it up! Truth in cliches, my friends, truth in cliches.
Behold The Power of a Pretty Face.* It is universal. Power of a Pretty Face unsubscribes its wearer from all rules, regulations and codes of a functioning society.
(*if you’re into that)
Lauren barely need lift six trays of food in the course of an 8-hour shift to call it a day. And get away with it, quietly. AND be paid to boot! To her, I reckon, work is a four-letter word worse than, well, you know ’em.
Contrast this — again, characters provided only to illustrate deeper facts and truths — with, well, me.
A few weeks into my employment I was pulled into the office for a chat with my boss and HR director, mostly for clarifications of policies, fine ‘n’ dandy.
Tossed into the mix was a pretty stern rapping of the knuckles with a ruler on a charge of “talking too much” and in the warning tone of HR “distracting coworkers” — charges unfounded, even ridiculously so.
However, if the powers that be say it’s so, then it be so.
(god I hate authority!)
So the clamp was applied. I was muzzled, squashed, censored, made a dull Jack of all work and no play, describe it as you wish, all apply.
IN THE MEANTIME, the entirety of my coworkers, up to and including my boss (who in all fairness works extremely hard, even as he talks and a social one he IS!), has, by powers of my observations, comparatively free license and rein to yammer and play and distract and behave on occasion like children bouncing on the big pouff ball at the McDonald’s Playland to their heart’s content.
Or until a boss calls ’em on it.
Most of all Pretty Girl Lauren.
Wanna talk distraction?
Three days ago. Lauren. In the kitchen. On or off the clock I dunno. Shadowing Paul my boss in conversation. Yak yak girly yakking alongside Brian the cook. Who in his malehood eats it up.
Lauren doing nothing. For a fucking 45 minutes.
NOT A RULER RAISED. NEITHER A WORD OF CAUTION SPOKEN.
Including by my boss, who only weeks earlier reprimanded me* for talking.
Behold the power of a pretty face. You can be dumber than dirt. Exhibit utter laziness. Have not a thread of a work ethic. Smile – preferably sweetly. Speak – preferably softly – about nothing.
And the world — the shy ones — will admire you from afar; those who dare to draw close will worship at your feet, lap up every unintelligent word and fantasize about you while sleeping or otherwise personally engaged.
What is it about men, and some women, that makes ’em play along like adolescent puppies on the trail of a bitch in heat?
Last night was an over-the-top girls’ slumber party. Paul wasn’t present. However, their boss, Alex, was, evidently too preoccupied with other matters to notice or attend to a Workplace de-evolved into Horseplay Central.
I’m massively ticked off on numerous levels:
— as a worker — and a damn good one at that!;
— as an employee (not the same as worker and if you don’t know the difference, I can’t help you);
— as a team player, albeit a one-man team according to last night’s performance;
— as a fairminded and reasonably well evolved human being observing and at the effect of different rules for different people;
— an honest conscientious sincere hardworking individual (truth told workaholic) with a heart of gold and a history of slavery and worthlessness except as a slave, issues with which I continue to profoundly grapple and struggle;
— last but not least, a person who has been instructed to tan that hide, cut those carrots, chop that cilantro, peel those potatoes, work work work, shush shush shush while the others are free to run, jump, skip rope, yammer and play.
With only occasional consequences or warnings depending on who is or is not manning the ship, warnings ignored time after time for mice will play when the cat looks away.
Moral of the story. Well, there are a few:
1. It ain’t fucking fair.
I’m not gonna write “life’s not fair.” It’s untrue. Life’s what it is. PEOPLE are unfair.
2. It ain’t right.
3. The Pretty Face Gets Away with Murder.
Every. Time. Or nearly so.
Law of the Jungle. Law of Man.