Saturday, March 08, 2014


I spent some time with the family in Queens. It is always good to see the daughter and daughter in law and granddaughter. I arrived after a long day interviewing and processing. The old dinner that I went to for twenty plus years was sold and all the workers are gone. Yet even after renovations I sit in the same seat seamlessly watching the TV and eating better food. The new staff recognizes me instantly and knows my quirks. The owner knows my daughter wants a dessert or waffles. I stroll across the street to the barber for a haircut and a shave. I am so relaxed I fall asleep as my hair is cut. Then I stroll to the candy store and find my families favorites and a trusty diet Mountain Dew.

I take the bus home and meet former peers from another job. The Obama recession has hit those of us who work with their hands the hardest. It pains me to see one of the men that worked for me in such sad shape.
I treat him to West Indian Style Chinese food and a beer. He tells me of the desperation looking everywhere for work. He gets 29 hours at one job and is still looking for a second one. He recalls moments we faced impossible odds at work and asked why I left. He told me the story that was told was it was over a woman and that was partially correct. At that point I was needed at home. It was also time to do something else. The industry was in trouble and I didn't want to be a relic clinging to an industry in its death throws.

I arrive at home to see my family. The two small dogs are all over me. The daughter is all excited and everyone awaits as I unpack the bags. There is something for everyone as eyes light up as things I found along the way find  their intended owners. It is odd that my beloved granddaughter grabs the soda and says Doooooooooooooo.  I enjoy the moment but at tired.

I go to sleep and the dogs sleep at my feet. I don't sleep the whole night and head to the Halal truck with little Rex at 1AM. The man at the truck knows the order and I bring roast lamb for the dogs and ponder the next day.

There is changes and the workplace is evolving. I point out to my peers that the new boss is not as cute and cuddly as the previous one. She is okay and has some admirable qualities. I point out how I have been through stupid, cruel, incompetent and one insane boss and survived them all. All things come to pass and so will this boss and the next before the music is over. The new boss wants me to think of a more managerial role. Unfortunately, the scars of PTSD from long ago have not healed and will likely never heal. It is difficult working closely with those who bullied you. The sad part is that over time it has become apparent that those in the crowd were less skilled than the target. A person in power selected a target and tried her best, but in the end numbers don't lie, nor do the outsiders who viewed the spectacle from afar. Those in the crowd
were not skilled as the person they harassed. I started to notice it when I was assigned the task of repairing errors. Normally, we laugh it off and learn. However, when people walk around like they own the joint and abuse others it is something different.

I think of how the family has sustained me through bad times. I think of how the dreams of the person across the desk sometimes required some extra effort. Many things sustained me in the bad times but my family, community and the public kept me going when a smarter man would have given up.

Lost on many, the ends don't justify the means. I never had to learn that lesson. I also knew how to treat the support staff and be a brother to my peers. Bullies are not cool. When you bully at the behest of someone in power you are a toady. I despise toadies and flunkies.


Duckys here said...

They sold the dinner?

Turkey dinner? Veal parmigiana?

They remodeled after selling one dinner?

Duckys here said...

Getting your granddaughter accustomed to drinking crap?

Isn't that irresponsible?

Anonymous said...

THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.

Who said this?

Anonymous said...

Love your work, as you love your own.

Are you with me on this people?

The man with the woman head
Polynesian wallpaper made the face stand out,
A mixture of oriental and early vaudeville jazz poofter,
Forming a hard, beetle-like triangular chin much like a praying mantis.
Smoky razor-cut, low on the ear neck profile.
The face the color of a nicotine-stained hand.
Dark circles collected under the wrinkled, folded eyes,
Map-like from too much turquoise eyepaint.
He showed his old tongue through ill-fitting wooden teeth,
Stained from too much opium, chipped from the years.
The feet, brown wrinkles above straw loafers.
A piece of cocoanut in a pink seashell caught the tongue
And knotted into thin white strings.
Charcoal grey eisenhower jacket zipped into a load(? ) of green ascot.
A coil of ashes collected on the white-on-yellow dacs.
Four slender bones with rings and nails
Endured the weight of a hard fast black rubber cigarette holder.
I could just make out ace as he carried the tray and mouthed,
"you cheap son of a bitch"
As a straw fell out of a coke, cartwheeled into the gutter.
So this was a drive-in restaurant in hollywood,
So this was a drive-in restaurant in hollywood,
So this was a drive-in restaurant in hollywood.

beakerkin said...


I can say with honesty, I serve that which I love. On the other hand you cling to lousy ideas and failed notions.

There are those who serve the poor
and do so out of conviction. They do so out of a calling or mission. They salute and cite my work regularly.

Your odd notions are a form of twisted faith. Sorry, I prefer the
essence of Americanism to off the map inane failed ideas.

beakerkin said...


As family members we transmit things. I got my love of SAS shoes and pistachio ice cream from my father. My father started wearing suspenders after I did,

The young toddler doesn't drink Diet Mountain Dew all day. It is a rare treat that she enjoys when grandpa sits back with a cold one
while taking a break.

Habits, tastes and brand loyalty are sometimes transmitted between family members.