Write THIS up! by Brian Roper

Posted: August 31, 2007 in The Roper Files

labor-day.jpgLabor Day weekend. It’s been the longest week of my life this week. The screws are tightening…gotta cough up my rent. Pay the cable bill. Pay the water bill. And oh yes…lest we forget…the electric bill.  Got paid yesterday; every dime is spent already. And now I have four days off and I’m broke. Under-employment sucks! 

They have started a “three strikes and you’re out” policy at my job this week. Make a mistake, they write up a report and it goes in your file. Three reports and you’re fired. Screw you and your twenty years with the company, you’re outta here. Fired by some corporate pustule who’s been there a whopping six months. Yeah, sure… life’s fair! When I was eighteen I worked at a now-defunct pizza restaurant that had a similar policy(ahem). Being written up for petty violations by some toadie manager. Thirty years later and nothing’s gotten any better. Same old shit; new assholes are the only discernable difference.

I love somebody who’s never really worked a day in their life ( and thinks standing on your feet ten hours a day is easy)  making these kind of brilliant decisions regarding my job performance. People work SO much better under constant duress and fear, right?  Making everybody stressed-out and on edge seems like such an obvious solution. People doing the paperwork with shaking fingers. Being threatened with termination for mistake #3. Never an encouraging word for the countless number of successfully filled orders that paid for your big house in the walled-in community and your daughters college education up north because Gawd forbid she would have to go to one of those commoner colleges HERE. 

WTF did I do to deserve this? What horrible, terrible sin did I commit? No one should have to live like this, no one. Working under this kind of pressure is what makes people come to work with a gun in each hand and start shooting up the place (not me though, don’t need the legal inconveniences) Sorry, but we’re just humans here. People make mistakes. It’s a fact of life.

How much longer am I going to last now? Fucking everybody makes mistakes. Everyone out there is going to get fired eventually. “So what’s the problem? We’ll just put an ad in the paper and hire more people!” I’m dreading going back to work after Labor Day already. Hope your week’s gone better.

My friend Baird Blanton was in town Wednesday night. Went downtown and saw the Simpsons movie, which I liked a lot. They didn’t go nuts with the celebrity voices the way they’ve done on the tv series forever, and they stuck to the basics. Very colorful, great animation; a visual treat. As we sat through the closing credits, I had a thought: this is a Comic Con Movie. Only people who go to the San Diego Comic Con would sit all the way through the credits. There’s no more Midnight Movies, thanks to the curfew laws. And the drive-ins have disappeared  for the most part. Therefore, movies like the Simpsons and the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie should fall into my newly-named genre of Comic Con Movies. No one else would “get” them.

As we left the theater, there was a eerie silence in the lobby. No one else was there. No visible employees; no other movie-goers. This is just a little too creepy in a very OMEGA MAN-type of way. Did they drop the bomb while we were in the theater? Exiting into the streets of downtown Fort Worth, a refreshing breeze kicked up. I pulled off the tie for my pony-tail and let my hair down to fly in the wind as we walked back to my truck. Walking past nightclubs filled with trendy yuppies. Who are these people? I feel like an alien; not of this world. The eternal square peg. Go home, crawl into bed. Sleep. Wonderful sleep.



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