You guys! YOU GUYS! I was just smacked in the face with inspiration. It has been so ridiculously long since I felt this way that I thought I’d share the excitement about the inspiration before I share the thing I was inspired to write. And now I’m hoping that saying all of that didn’t just jinx my post. Because I have four posts sitting in draft form, you know. The jinxing has been epic lately. So, to avoid more of it, I’m just going to dive in.
After Sister graduated college (and while I was still in college), she moved to another state and took a really great job. Or so she thought. Wait. Crap. I have to go ask Sister if I can talk about this. Because even though it’s kind of my story and definitely my inspiration, it includes details about her life. And because I’m a good sister, I’ll ask permission. Hang on.
Okay. She says to write it and let her review it before publishing. She promises to read it faster than the other post, which took her three days to read and she ended up saying not to publish it. Which was the best choice, but her track record does not give me much faith for this post… Except this one will be GOOD! You’ll see, Sister. YOU’LL ALL SEE!!!!
So, Sister was working at this seemingly awesome job. And actually, for the first few years, it WAS awesome. But it was the kind of job where you work on projects with a team and a boss and when the project is done, you get a NEW project and a NEW team and a NEW boss. So, it was a bit of a Wheel of Fortune kind of spin every time she got a new project. On the fourth boss, the wheel landed on IMPOSSIBLE JERK.
Sister worked for this boss for about a year, with the situation starting out bad and getting progressively worse with each month. The man was verbally abusive and impossible to please and ridiculously demanding and incompetent and rude and whole host of other negative adjectives. We shall call him Big Jerk Boss Man. Big Jerk Boss Man is rivaled only by Crazy Boss Lady. I bet if those two got together, they could spawn something resembling Satan.
Sister and I have been very close (ever since we stopped sharing a bedroom—good call, Mom), so when we lived in separate states, we talked on the phone every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. When she worked for Big Jerk Boss Man, she needed a pressure release valve and I fit the description well enough (funny how these themes repeat themselves in my life, huh?). So most evenings, during her hour-and-a-half commute home (usually leaving the office between 7:00 and 8:00 pm after having gotten there by 6:00 or 7:00 am), she would call me to yell or cry or rave or laugh or do anything that would help her slow the onset of The Crazy.
Somewhere along the line, I told her that I would not be surprised if we got a call from her company saying that they had found Big Jerk Boss Man dead, scotch-taped to his desk chair with a pair of scissors sticking out of his carotid artery and that they were pretty sure Sister had fled to sunny Mexico. Do you see this image? Because we really can’t move on until you see a middle-aged jerk strapped to a spinning and wheeled office chair with his head lolling back and to the side with a giant pair of scissors sticking garishly out of his neck causing a small trickle of blood that stains the collar of his oxford shirt and bolo tie. And you have to imagine a half-crazed, gleeful Sister bouncing excitedly on the rough fabric seat of a Mexico-bound Greyhound bus, clapping her hands AND feet like a small child and cackling defiantly. Got the image now? Good. We’ll move on.
“Scissors” became our secret catch phrase. All she had to do was say that single word and I knew how she was feeling. Then, since the horrors only got worse as the year drug on, “scissors” stopped being accurate enough. So we came up with a scale. It was kind of a “between 1 and 10” scale, but really more like “from Safety fiskars to Hedge Clippers” scale.
There evolved many jokes about her hopping on the bus to Mexico, commandeering it, and “swinging by” to pick me up. This was infinitely* hilarious, since there was no way in any kind of geographical logic that she could “swing by” a town severely north of her when she was headed south to Mexico. Sometimes, we left the scissors out of it and I would just ask, “Mexico?” The answer was ALWAYS yes.
For Christmas that year, I made her an escape kit. I bought a set of three nasty looking sewing scissors in progressively larger sizes—the largest one was so wicked looking, I was sure it would cause fatal damage if wielded irresponsibly (or with intent to maim). Then I fabricated two bus tickets to Mexico, but in a ridiculous way. I may have called it the “Off-White Canine Express” or something. [I just looked it up in our e-mails and apparently I was feeling contrary that day, because I refer to it was the "Black Cat Express."] I do remember listing just “Mexico” as the destination city, with an intermediary stop in my incredibly-out-of-the-way town. Then I made her a fake ID. But because I didn’t want it to in any way look like I was actually trying to forge government documents, I used a picture of a giraffe and named her Beulah (I’m a RULE-FOLLOWER, remember? A line-toer. A law-abider. I only FANTASIZE about killing people with office supplies). Then I put it all in a box and labeled it “Use only in case of an emergency.”
She opened it the second I handed it to her.
Once, when I went to visit her (if I could find good airline deals, I visited for long weekends, holidays, and spring break), she had to go into work on a Saturday. Not like, “Hey, get your butt in here for a 10:00 am Saturday meeting in which we all work our tails off so corporate doesn’t close our branch…” or something. No. More like, “You should probably come in on weekends and work harder and longer than anyone else on the team because I hate you and oh hey you’ll be all alone in the office on the weekends, which will help your productivity, because the rest of us have lives and families and did I mention I hate you?” So she sat in her crackerjack sized office in the empty building and I wandered around trying to entertain myself quietly for a little while. I was mildly entertained when I went into his office and farted. Then I closed the door as I left and prayed it would stink until Monday. I’m pretty sure it didn’t even stink right then, but it’s really the thought that counts.
Eventually, she “escaped” that job and ended up moving home to…the town we’re now in (Whew! That was close. You totally just expected me to tell you where I live. Good thing I’m quick on my…er…fingers). She moved home a few months after I had graduated and moved home, so when she bought her house at the end of that summer, it was only reasonable that I move in with her. Financially reasonable. Why? Were you thinking for an alibi? That’s silly. Just because I have a super top secret identity and won’t tell you where I live does not mean I am an accomplice to Murder with a Deadly Weapon (namely, a wicked pair of scissors). I live in FAR NORTH, remember? Nobody fled to Mexico. And that’s all I’m going to say about that (under advice of counsel).
The bottom line is: Sister and I have survived some crazy stuff. And we now have secret code words to express our frustration. When I started living with Crazy Boss Lady, all I had to say during our nightly phone calls was a nonchalant “scissors” and she understood. Which was good, because Crazy Boss Lady was listening at the door most nights, unbeknownst to me, and I think I would have gotten fired a whole lot earlier than I actually did if she had heard me making threats to her carotid artery. Hmmm… Maybe this was a miscalculation…
And now, every time I get on twitter and somebody is talking about getting stabbity-mad or about bludgeoning their coworkers with office supplies, I think back on those awful days and smile just a little. Because it’s always good to have
a plan an outlet for your rage fantasies.
*Hilarious only to us probably. And occasionally to our mother. But mostly just to us. We’re happy to let you join us in the hilarity, though.
[The author of the post does not endorse, encourage, advocate, and/or condone in any way the stabbing, maiming, dismembering, killing, and/or otherwise physically and/or psychologically damaging of one’s employer(s), coworker(s), and/or colleague(s) with scissors, Safety Fiskars, Hedge Clippers, and/or any other cutting instrument or office supply. Nor does she endorse, encourage, advocate, and/or condone in any way the forging, falsifying, and/or altering of any legal government documents. She does, however, endorse, encourage, advocate, and condone the use of humor, witticism(s), fantasizing, and Twitter to express one’s discontent, rage, frustration, observances, musings, hatred, and/or other human emotion regarding one’s situation in life, employer(s), coworker(s), and/or colleague(s), family member(s), friend(s), and/or stranger(s). The author also wishes to convey that she did not receive any form of payment or sponsorship for the entirety, and/or any subsequent part, of this post and is kind of miffed about that, because this was pretty funny, if you ask her.]