It’s been a hectic time, so I haven’t been able to write much. To make up for it, let me bring you up to speed.
I started my new job, here at The Box, last Monday. Part of being the Information Systems Coordinator here entails running the month-end reports, balancing out the month, and sending these balanced reports to the Powers That Be. But I’m getting ahead of myself, since Month-End didn’t start until Tuesday.
My previous employer was strict about shift times. One minute late, too long a lunch, or sneaking out the door a minute early could easily result in a write-up. This instilled the mentality that had me at the door to my building fifteen minutes before my start time last Monday. Those fifteen minutes passed rather slowly in the chilly morning air but, at the end of them, the daily courier ran up and opened the door. I figured it’d be better to wait inside than out, so I slipped in behind him.
It was 8:00, and I was the only person in the building. At 8:10, someone wandered by and sat at the front desk. I introduced myself and she reciprocated, then told me to wander about aimlessly. Eventually, one of my co-workers arrived. I’m going to name her Bubbles because she’s ALWAYS bubbly. I knew Bubbles because she was the one who would previously call me for support. She and I have the same job now, so I sat with her and started learning the ropes. Around 9:00, the person at the front desk wandered in and handed me a stack of paperwork thicker than my family Bible. The V.P. would be late, but she called ahead to ask me to fill out the forms.
At lunchtime, Bubbles came by and spared me from the paperwork pile by taking me out to San Jose. We took about a 90 minute lunch. The whole time, I was saying things like “Shouldn’t we be heading back?” and “Dear Lord, we’ve been here for over an hour!” She just laughed it off and said no one watched the clock here, as long as the work was getting done. Besides, we’d be racking up some Comp Time this week because of month-end. I was still digesting this idea of Comp Time as I completed my paperwork for the rest of the day, which actually ended around 4:30.
Everything Monday was, as far as working a full eight hours, the rest of the week was not. I’ll just say that running the reports and hand-keying the output into SEVERAL different spreadsheets only to find out your totals don’t balance means you’re working late every night until it balances. The Comp Time flowed like wine, and it gave me several idea on how to combine all these spreadsheets into one so I only have to hand-key data once. (And I might be able to rig some output to file thing that will prevent the hand-key step entirely!)
By Friday night, I was exhausted. I met up with Mouth and Fisherman to catch an early showing of Ultraviolet. It was a waste of seven bucks. The high point of the movie was the pack of Skittles I bought. Afterwards, we swung by El Monterrey for dinner, and after that I was so exhausted that I hit the bed as soon as I got home.
Saturday, I slept until 12:30 in the afternoon, and hobbled out of bed to shower and head out to Heroes & Dragons. Fisherman and I had agreed to play Warhammer Fantasy, which is a game where you pit your army of little figurines against the other guy’s army. I’m sure that excited all of you to no end, doesn’t it. I won the game and hung out to socialize a bit, and headed home around 7:30 to shower and get mentally prepared for a party.
At 10:30ish, I swung by Musicman’s house (hencforth referred to as CSI-Guy, because it sounds cooler). He, CSI-Girl (his girlfriend), and I drove out to Virginia Belle’s new flat… errr… apartment to be accosted by drunken women and bad music. (Tone Loc, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Bloodhound Gang…) It wasn’t necessarily bad music, but considering CSI-Girl is from Germany and very into the techno/EBM scene, along with CSI-Guy, they both looked at me with a “We’re not staying very long” look. My response… I shook my ass. Nothing breaks the ice with a room full of girls than a man shaking his ass (poorly) to music.
One of the girls, who I think is called Brunette Nurse, was celebrating her birthday, and the idea was proposed that she be carried downtown to a bar in Five Points where the birthday ritual involves kneeling on top of the bar while the bartender, who is standing on top of the bar, pours a shot down your throat. The announcement that the party was moving to Five Points was a good enough reason for the CSI-Crew to head home, but I decided to stick it out. After all, I shook my ass for these people. May as well ride it out to the end.
The bar is called Locals. It’s about twenty feet across, six of which are bar and behind-bar, and deeper than I felt like elbowing through. The wall opposite the bar has tables, which no one sits at. Instead, they push the chairs under the table and stand up. The rest of the space, which is not taken up by bar, behind-bar area, or tables, is people. If you have an aversion to have crotches rubbed against your ass, or asses rubbed against your crotch, this is NOT the place for you. And I’m not talking about on-purpose ass-crotch contact. It’s all incidental. The music selection was mostly popular college-aged music, but they threw in a few 80’s songs too. Despite the extreme Red Alert sound from my Perimeter-Alarm, I actually didn’t mind the ass and crtch bumping. The people I went with turned out to be pretty cool. Repo (VB’s fella) bought me a beer, and then Mr. Basketball bought me another one. Big Poppa (Called thusly because this dude is HUGE.) put him arm around me and we sang along with Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” at top volume. (Wait, did I just say that I sang a Bon Jovi song? With some DUDE hanging on me??? I need work on my secret-keeping…) We closed the place down to “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes and staggered into the street. Not to be thwarted by some ridiculous Blue Law that is a mockery of the concept of Separation of Church and State, an after-party was declared.
Now, I’m not getting any younger. At this point, I’d been tired for a couple of hours, but I was resolved to see this through to the bitter end, even if it meant sleeping in my truck because I was too tired to drive. We head over to VB’s flat, grab some liquor, and then drive out to Repo’s house. Our numbers had dwindled significantly by this point, and only six of us made it to the afterparty, which very quickly became a slumber party. Brunette was so drunk that she couldn’t stay awake. Big Poppa made some mac and cheese and went to bed almost as soon as it was done. At that point, I decided that I’d made it to the end, and it was time to go home. I’m going to have to give these guys another chance, though, even if it means going to Five Points. I had too much fun not to.

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