Tag Archives: mockery

Origins #25

26 May

Rene had sent through what effectively translated to “It’s not gonna happen. Leave me alone.”

I had conceded that I was out of options and that all I could do now was grit my teeth and try to get through a shitload of unexpected feelings while trying to cope with all the other shit I had going on.

Stress proof

People often get the impression that I’m unaffected by what’s happening in my life. My former manager Mike Monarch, once told me:

 “Nothing ever rattles you. You just keep going no matter what’s happening. It’s like you’re stress proof.”

I’d received many similar comments over the years. I appreciate that people saw me that way, but I had never thought it to be true. Things affect me just as badly as anyone else, but things still need to get done when you’re doing it rough, so I try to carry on and not react, which I suppose looks the same as not being affected.

ectqp

That’s the only way I knew to do things, so that’s what I was going to do.

Everyone’s a comedian

In the following week I tried to hunker down. I tried to distract myself. I tried to not feel anything by doing anything and everything else I could think of.

It wasn’t working.

Having had Rene demand I ask her out and then reject me with practically no explanation was hard enough, but everyone at work was still hassling me with jokes and teasing about her having stayed at my place. I tell you what, after the 47th “How’s Rene?” of the day, my patience would wear thin.

ok-fine

But I couldn’t snap at them because no one was allowed to know that we had hooked up, or that she had demanded I ask her out, or that she then told me we couldn’t go out, and that left me completely head-fucked. All they knew was it was fun to make jokes.

What’s reality got to do with it?

On top of that, the standard hassles from my manager Gus continued:

“I need this project finished tomorrow and this other project finished by Tuesday, and this is a new project that I want done by the end of the week and I need you to show Larry how to write the XML for those other projects, and there’s a bug causing the system to show the wrong name on the third page of the sign-up and that also affects the back-end in the participant surname somehow, I need that resolved immediately.” – Gus

“Listen, Gus, I’ve asked you to put things like this into an email because there’s no way I’ll remember all that. Also, there’s no way I can get that first project and second project done in less than a month, so there’s no way I can achieve those deadlines, let alone do all the other stuff you just listed.” – Me

“I thought you were supposed to be a good developer. A good developer would be able to keep up. Stop being so negative. Just get it done.” – Gus

“I’ll do as much as I can but I’m telling you right now, no one could get all that work done in such a short period of time.” – Me

“Stop wasting time arguing about it. Just do it.” – Gus

Gus always asked for the impossible. Even at my best I could never keep up with his nonsensical theories on how much work could be done in an hour, let alone a week.

do-it

I was doing my best not to think about Rene, but I’d run into her sister, or cop another joke about her, or see her name on a file, and I’d get distracted thinking about it. So not only was it already impossible to keep up with Gus’ ridiculous demands, I wasn’t even running on all 8 cylinders.

Cat, please exit bag

I’d nearly made it through another week but I didn’t think I could cope much longer.

After work I received a phone call from a former Everlong colleague, Bea. Bea had worked admin at Everlong for 7 years before quitting in frustration that they wouldn’t give her a shot in marketing. Bea had moved on not long after Gus had started, so she knew all about his bullshit, and she knew Rene fairly well too.

Bea and I had gotten really close in the time we worked together and I was stoked to hear from her. She told me how well she was doing in her new marketing job and how her manager there was praising her performance.

And then she told me she’d heard a rumour about me and Rene from some of the girls she used to work with.

I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I trusted Bea and desperately wanted to talk about the situation, but I’d promised not to. I asked her what she’d heard. She said that everyone was sure I was a total player and I’d had a one night stand with Rene and that’s why Tim Everlong was furious at me.

I told Bea that I’d tell her the truth, on the proviso that she not tell anyone else, and that nobody else knew anything, so if the word got out, I’d know she was the one who told. I made her promise.

dktpnky

I sat there at my kitchen counter in my shitty little apartment and told her exactly what had happened. The cool evening breeze rushed over me, hurrying its way between the open balcony door and the open front door as I relayed the tale.

Bea asked all the questions I’d been asking. All I could tell her was that I didn’t know why Rene had acted the way she had, or what was going to happen from there on out.

Two bags, one cat

As I hopped up to get a drink I turned and faced the open front door. There was Larry from work.

cat

He stammered out,

H-h-h-hey, are w-w-we still hang-hang-hanging out to-tonight?

I’d completely forgotten I’d made plans to watch The Jersey Shore with him that night. I had no idea how long he’d been standing there. I told Bea I had to go, hung up, and told Larry to come in.

He was flustered. Larry is the sort of guy who is flustered a lot anyway, but this was more than he standard jitter. He was properly nervous. He’d heard something that clued him into what had happened between me and Rene and he was clearly stressed out by that.

I asked him straight up, “What did you hear?”
“Nothing… I… didn’t… didn’t. Nothing. Nothing at all.”, he said, visibly shaking.

I told him it was ok. It wasn’t his fault he overheard.

Larry’s the sort of bloke that loves a bit of gossip and I knew he’d keep my secret because he thought I was some sort of superhero because I could talk to women without making it awkward. Oh, how wrong he was, hey?

Unlucky Larry

I went through and told Larry the whole ordeal. There was a lot of “what are you going to do?”, “What about Tim? Do you think he’ll fire you?”, “what about…”

nervous

I explained my plan to cop it on the chin and not let it affect me. I told him I was happy he knew because I’d been unable to talk about it until then, and I thought having someone who knew everyone involved and could see it from a less stressed-out perspective would help.

We yapped about it for hours while the queued episodes the Jersey Shore dribbled by with stories of drama that felt disturbingly relatable. Eventually Larry called it a night and I was left to deal with knowing that I’d  broken my promise.

r2qfh

I had very much needed to talk about it, but Larry probably wasn’t the right guy for the job. I’d become good friends with Larry and valued his opinion on things, but he was a very nervous guy and a lot of the points he had raised were the opposite of calming. Whatever I’d gained by letting the truth out, I’d lost to the new concerns Larry raised.

Denial will do the trick

Fucking drama. All that effort to avoid it and it had still found a way to detonate itself all over me. I was caked in it and there was sweet fuck all I could do about it. Except of course, to pretend it wasn’t happening.

no-prob

It was a foolproof plan. And it worked, for all of a day, that being the next day at work, but it was a Friday and maybe the glimmer of the weekend ahead had more to do with me getting through it than the THERE IS DEFINITELY NOTHING WRONG attitude I’d taken on.

im-fine

I’d gotten very quiet. I got through the usual Friday night after work drinks session almost completely silently by focussing mostly on stuffing my face with food and pouring beer in my mouth between bites. It was not an elegant solution, but it was working.

Before I left for the night, Larry reminded me that he was having a party at his place that Saturday.

What’s that, little fairy? You can help?

I spent the rest of that night and most of the following day in bed. I don’t think I slept at all. I remember staring little holes into my ceiling. I remember looking at my phone wondering when I would actually sleep. I remember not wanting to go to Larry’s party.

See, Australia’s greatest motorsport event, Bathurst was on the next day, and I always get up early to watch that, usually about 5:30am.

13e5146gnptdww

But I had to go, because Larry didn’t have much luck with people showing up to his parties. There was a very real possibility that if I didn’t go, he might end up with nobody there at all. Plus, Larry’s place was barely two blocks away from mine so I really had no excuse.

I was happy to see that other people had showed up. The core group of the guys from work were already there when I arrived, which was great because they were all good for a laugh, and a laugh was exactly what I was in need of. Well, any distraction really, and therein lay the problem because there was a partygoer there I hadn’t anticipated… a little green fairy.

IMG_3320

Larry had heard my stories about enjoying the very fancy ritual of having an Absinthe and decided to buy an entire bottle of the most aggressive, high alcohol content Absinthe he could find.

Larry offered me some. I accepted. He couldn’t finish his and offered it to me. I accepted. His sister couldn’t finish hers, so she offered it to me. I accepted.

shots

It turned out very few attendees were willing to ignore the face-kicking nature of this super-charged Absinthe to get to its ever-so-pleasant mind numbing effects. But I was willing.

damn-good-stuff

I was very willing.

And as the bottle emptied, so did my mind.

I didn’t have any problems.

Everything was fine.

The more Absinthe I drank, the less static I could hear.

My mind was getting quiet.

All my thoughts were drifting away.

I was breaking free.

wine

What’s your poison?

I don’t remember anything after the third full glass of Absinthe I consumed. That little green fairy had deceived me. She wasn’t calming me down. She was trying to drown me. She was trying to poison me. She was trying to suck me into the darkness forever. She was trying to kill me.

I drank roughly 3/4 of that bottle of Absinthe and I’m fairly certain I gave myself alcohol poisoning in the process.

giphy1

The rest of this I only know based on what people later told me, or the evidence I discovered for myself…

Larry was so worried about me that he had someone drive me the two or so blocks home. Despite the short distance, I managed to vomit in their car, the first of several times for the evening.

grgl

 

I always loop my key chain around my belt loop to ensure I never lose them, but I had forgotten that somehow, and after I opened the front door to my shitty little apartment I apparently walked straight on with the key still in the lock, and fell face first when the slack of the chain came tight.

wasted

Based on the evidence I found, instead of taking the now bent key out of the lock, I kicked my shoes off and climbed out of my jeans. Then I crawled onwards, leaving the front door wide open. My key left in the lock, with my jeans dangling off it via the chain.

No joke

I know this all sounds silly and funny now, but I’m not kidding around when I mentioned alcohol poisoning. I’ve drunk a LOT in my time. I’ve woken up with the sort of hangover that left me promising to never drink again, and then done that again the next day. I’ve been unable to get out of bed from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, but I have never, ever felt anywhere near as bad as I did the morning after all that Absinthe.

That was the only time I have ever been worried I wouldn’t survive.

frg

To put it into perspective a light hangover lasts a morning, a regular hangover lasts a day, and a severe hangover lasts a weekend. It took me more than a week to recover from this one.

iz1b1i

I felt how this looks

I was physically, mentally, and emotionally destroyed.

So much for denial.

Full circle

And with that, we’re now back to Origins #1.

That’s not the end of the story. The drama only escalates from here. Things get more insane with Rene, and I’ll introduce you to Mia, who makes Rene appear rational by comparison. Dear lord, what a life I’ve lived.

Seeya next time.

Origins #22

17 Feb

Long time no origins speak, huh? If you have no idea what an Origins post is, check back to the previous one Origins #21, or try the Origins category for more details.

Anyway…

Despite waking up from an extremely confusing night with the boss’s daughter, which was supposed to help uncomplicate the fallout of the previous extremely confusing night with the boss’s daughter, but failed miserably to do so, I was somehow still feeling confident about my general situation.

A recap

To recap the situation I was somehow still feeling confident about:

maybe

I think that’s the guts of it up to this point.

Confident? WTF?

I don’t know. I don’t know why I was sure I could make it all work out fine, but I was.

I figured Rene would take a bit of time to chill out and when she had finally calmed down, we’d be able to talk it through properly, and if she was interested we could let things play out under the radar. If she was genuinely just not interested I figured she’d straight up say that and I’d just have to get over it. I’d had to deal with things like that enough times before that I knew it’d be fine.

I wasn’t too concerned about the fact that my software specialty, Flash was under attack. I thought Adobe would just start outputting to HTML5 and I’d be able to continue using the Flash IDE. If that sounds like rubbishy jargon talk, this is an attempt at a translation: I’ll keep designing buildings, the builders will just be using bricks instead of wood.

As for my new manager, he was incompetent and nobody who worked under him liked him. We’d all been there for years and he was terrible at his job, so I assumed it was only a matter of time until he was fired or, at the very least, taught how to do his job properly.

I wasn’t all that aware that I was on the verge of alcoholism at the time. I just thought I was letting off steam. I was aware it wasn’t the ideal behaviour but hey, I was dealing with a lot and I felt like it was reasonable to ease that with the odd drink(ing binge).

My boss, Tim Everlong was a good guy, he just didn’t realise that I had been trying to do right by his daughter. I understood his reaction but I was sure he’d see how respectfully I was treating her and recognise that I wasn’t using her for a night of bedtime antics while he was away, that I had been completely respectful of her and of him, and that I was still the good guy he’d known me to be before.

My car didn’t need heaps of work to get it back on the road and I had a friend who had been chomping at the bit to help me convert it into a faster, more fun car, so we’d get onto that and get her back on the road swiftly for sure!

So, really, what was there to worry about? Nothing! Right? …right?

No seriously, I was still confident things would work out

I get that it sounds ridiculous, but I had always tended towards being a confident person.

It’s not like I don’t get scared or that I don’t have insecurities, of course I do, but I’d proven to myself time and time again that I can resolve complicated and difficult situations. I’d learned that the trick was to talk the problems out with whoever was involved, figure out a way to resolve the situation, and bam! problem solved! No awkwardness, no drama, no confusion. Easy peasy!

confident

Another thing on my side with remaining confident was the fact that I always had this little fire inside me that says “It’ll be alright”, and up until this point, that little fire had always been right, so why would I doubt it now?

Enough catch-up, on with the story

I arrived at my place of work, Everlong, ready to face the day. I always got in early. I was usually the first one in so I’d use my key to open up, turn off the alarm and that’s exactly what happened this particular day.

My primary objective was to load up on caffeine to help overcome my lack of sleep, because I knew it was gonna be a long day. I grabbed my daily coke zero from the vending machine (because y’know, it’s got no sugar, so it’s totally healthy) and periodically poured its blackish goop into my face as the morning crawled onward.

Colleagues arrived at the office one by one. The office slowly filled with people. They hadn’t forgotten that Rene had spent the night at my place less than a week ago, and were relishing the opportunity to fire jokes about that at every opportunity, but none of them knew what I was really going through and I’d been sworn to secrecy so I couldn’t tell them anything.

No one had the slightest clue that I was currently trying to will my exhausted body and mind through another day of work after having spent the night alone with Rene again, this time to try make some sense out of what had happened between us and what that meant for the future.

Time for that meeting you didn’t know you were attending

It must have been around a five to nine when someone asked if I had everything I needed for the 9 O’clock meeting. The meeting was news to me.

what

I checked my calendar and saw no meetings listed. I asked around to make sure I was supposed to be going. Everyone agreed I was required, so I asked what it was about.

We were meeting with a local organisation that helps young men in need. Funny, I thought to myself, Rene’s been working with that organisation lately. My heart pounded until I realised Rene would have mentioned that she’d be coming in. No big deal then, I just had to get through a random meeting with no idea what it was for, what my role was, or with whom I’d specifically be meeting. Nothing new. Off we go.

Dun dun dunnnn

Someone said “Quick, they’re here”, so I jumped up from my desk, grabbed my notepad and pen and started walking to the office door being held open for me by my colleague. Having grabbed my stuff  in a hurry, I’d been clumsy and didn’t have a good grip. The pen had somehow ended up sitting between my right middle and ring fingers and the tip was pushing into my palm. I was trying to sort that out when I looked up to see… RENE! dunn dunn dunnnnn!!!!!

dun dun dun

I was really surprised. I guess I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. So there I was with my pen folded into my palm, my big notebook in my left hand making it useless to help untangle the other, and my boss’s daughter staring at me as I came through the office door.

No doubt I looked very surprised. My colleague noticed and thought it would be funny to pretend to introduce me to Rene. How fucking hilarious. huh

Rene played along and put her hand out for a handshake. Trying to avoid the awkwardness of explaining that my pen was lodged in my hand, I pushed my hand forward and gripped Rene’s fingers with my fingertips in an impressively awkward effort and somehow managed to drive the tip of my pen through the skin of my palm. Rene looked at me quizzically as I flinched. I mumbled the phrase “Nice to meet you” through gritted teeth and we wandered into the meeting room.

The meeting

I couldn’t tell you a single thing about what that meeting was about. A website, maybe? I spent the entire time trying not to let on that I was feeling super awkward. I wanted to look at Rene, but I didn’t want to look at her. I didn’t want to ignore her either, but I didn’t want to direct all my conversation towards her. I wanted everything to be fine, and for the meeting to end as soon as possible. I swear it lasted a month.

I’d catch Rene looking at me when we were all supposed to be looking at the projection screen, only for her to look away as soon as noticed. Then I’d be looking at her trying to figure out if she had actually been looking at me, and then she’d look up and I’d instinctively look away. I tried to act super relaxed, putting my hands behind my head and leaning back. Rene leaned her head on her hand in a “I’m totally relaxed about this situation too” maneuver. It was  ridiculous. We were in some shitty sit-com playing out all the hacky tropes of an awkward encounter.

Rene’s colleague apologized that he had to leave early. That left Rene, my colleague, and me. Rene and I started cracking little smiles at each other and my colleague yammered on, completely unaware of the weird little scene he was taking part in. My colleague eventually ran out of things to say and got up to leave.

I don’t remember exactly how Rene and I finished up that little surprise interaction but I do remember calling her out on not mentioning that she’d be at my office that day. “I thought it was next week”, she laughed.

After the meeting

People had already been giving me shit about Rene having spent the night at my place, but this new encounter had sparked everyone’s creative comedic juices and I had a slew of new emails full of mockery when I got back to my desk. Yay. Smile and nod.

rolly

At least the emails were silent and ignorable, unlike the generous helping of cheeky remarks thrown my way. You’d have thought it was a competition the way everyone was carrying on.

And yet, still confident

Even with all that silliness going on, the surprise meeting, everyone making jokes around the office, and everything else I was dealing with, I was still confident it would work out. I was in the right. I’d done the right thing the whole way through, so I was sure that “She’ll be right”, as we say in Australia.

 

Next time

The awkwardness is only just beginning. Come back and revel as I squirm at the hands of crazy bitches and massive douches.

Origins #15

19 Jun

Picking up where I left off, I was figuring out the best way to ask out my boss’s daughter after she’d spent the night at my place. Look, to be completely honest, I can’t remember if I asked Rene out on the Sunday evening or waited ’til Monday. I think it was Sunday but gimme a break ok, it was nearly 5 years ago.

Actually, part of the reason I’m trying to write this all down is so I’ve got a half accurate version of the events that took place before I forget them all. The tough part is that it was a downright awful experience to go through, so it’s not exactly fun trying to remember it in fine detail. Anyway…

Time to ask Rene out

Unlike her sister Laura, Rene didn’t work at Everlong, so I wouldn’t be seeing her in person anytime soon. I guess I could have called her, but we’d never called each other before and after the somewhat dramatic turn of events the weekend had become, I wasn’t inclined to fall into a super awkward conversation on the phone. I instead went the SMS route. I spent a bit of time thinking about what to write, but in the end I just said exactly what I was thinking. It was something like:

Hey, wanna catch up sometime this week? Friday got a bit full on, so I reckon we find something nice and chill to do and just hang out.

Then came the always fun waiting for the response phase of the sms communication medium. I have at times stressed out like crazy while waiting for a response to a message like that, but I don’t think I was that stressed about this one. I figured that after Rene literally demanded that I ask her out, the odds were in my favour. Even if she said no, that would be a way out of a hugely complex situation anyway, so it was kinda win, win.

The response is in

Pretty quickly after sending my message to Rene, my phone uttered that classic Nokia sms received tone. Rene’s response was in: Yes. Sounds good. How about Wednesday night? Hey, hey! That was what I wanted to hear. Straight forward. Easy. No fuss. No confusion. Fantastic! And there I was fretting about it being a big deal and making what was already an extremely complicated time in my life even more complicated. Phew! excellent I can’t claim that is 100% exactly what Rene sent, but I remember very clearly that she used the word “Yes” and not “yeah” or “ok”, but specifically the word “yes”. It’s a weird detail to remember but it stuck with me because it seemed kind of formal. Not that it bothered me. Quite the opposite, actually. “Yes” seemed like the best possible answer.

Like I said before, it was a pretty huge thing for me to admit to Rene that I liked her and it had put me in a really weird situation, so it really was a big relief to get that message back and to know that we were still on the same page. I figured we’d just let things play out and see what happens.

Monday always comes around to spoil the weekend

Monday shows up too early as always and this one was particularly unwanted because it meant facing whatever assumptions my colleagues had made about the fact that I left the restaurant with Rene. And assume they did. I always got into work nice and early, about 7:30, so I could get out early to get to the shops and whatever, so I was at my desk before anyone else arrived for the day.

One by one they came in, each with the same insinuations about me having to worry about my job because I obviously had sex with the boss’s daughter and her dad would find out and fire me. Each time I had to explain that nothing untoward had happened, that Rene had fallen asleep on my couch and that was the full extent of the evening’s adventures. innocent Yeah, I was lying, but I was lying specifically because I’d been asked to by Rene. I don’t like lying. I don’t like secrets. I don’t like whispering. I don’t like gossip. I certainly don’t like having to intentionally mislead people I work with all day, every day, who I considered friends, but I’d been asked to, so I lied.

The news spread quickly that Rene had stayed over at my place and I started getting emails from the girls at the other office. I spent more time trying to politely disregard inquiries about my supposed sexual escapades with my boss’s daughter than working that morning. I was already stressed out with everything else. The last thing I wanted was to be the focal point of all that gossip. It’s not like I had any choice, though. After Mike had seen us walking back to Rene’s car there was little choice but to come up with an explanation and stick to it.

Rene’s parents were overseas

Someone had told me on Friday night that Tim Everlong and his wife were away for two weeks. That knowledge at least was one minor positive in what I was expecting to be an increasingly complex situation. If nothing else, at least I’d have a bit of time to let everything settle before they’d be back and asking questions. Or so I thought. wrong Rene’s parents may well have been away for two weeks but not long after lunch, as a complete surprise to me, Rene’s father Time Everlong comes strolling into the open plan office in which I worked. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Tim was a very friendly bloke who would roam around chatting with us all and making jokes and generally being the sort of company owner that you dream of having. This unexpected visit was no exception, except that this time I was crapping my dacks expecting him to fire me any second, but he spent so much time joking around with everyone that I started to relax a bit.

Did everyone have a good Friday night?

The fact that he hadn’t spoken to me directly was a bit of a cause for concern but I started to assume he hadn’t heard anything and that it’d surface another day and I’d deal with it then. What a relief! At least that had worked out in my favour for now. After Tim had done his rounds of talking to every single person in that office except me, he headed towards the door not far from my desk. I figured he was about to leave.

Sure he hadn’t spoken to me personally but that was no big deal, totally just a coincidence, and frankly I would have been very uncomfortable trying to talk to him with full knowledge of what I’d gotten up to with his daughter over the weekend while he was none the wiser. But as Tim got the door he didn’t say goodbye, as anticipated. No. Instead, Tim turned and looked at me directly for the first time that visit and said in a very loud voice,

“So, did everyone have a good Friday night?”

The entire room went silent. Every eye in the place was aimed directly at me, including Tim’s, who were locked on mine, which had instantly widened to the size of saucers. I’m not sure how long passed as the owner of the company I worked for, who was under the impression that I’d fucked his little princess’s brains out a few days prior, eyeballed me, but it felt like about a decade or so. Tim eventually turned away and walked out through the open doorway.

SMH

A pregnant pause had consumed the entire place and brought with it an ominous silence.  That silence was broken by the thump of my forehead against my desk. headdesk Milliseconds after the sound of my noggin colliding with my grey, generic office desk had reverberated through that  office, the whole place erupted with laughter so raucous I was surprised the windows didn’t blow out. laughing-at I sat and shook my head while the whole office laughed their arses off at me. I was the unwilling star of a sit-com and my colleagues were providing the laugh track. mj-smh

Next time…

So that was how Monday went, I’ll be back to tell you how the rest of that ridiculous week played out. Trust me, this is only the start of my personal sit-com hell.

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