Wednesday, September 14, 2005

End of an Empire

DM was let go about a month ago. I know. I'm sorry.
--I didn't have the heart to tell you.
----Turns out she'd fallen a bit behind in her work. Her HR claim against 'napoleon' for just generally being an abusive boss probably didn't help either. Not that she was all sweetness and light of course. Anyway, it's sad. Sad for no more classic DM overheards, sad 'cause she could be kinda funny and was as quintissentially NY as they come, sad because the woman who replaced her is pretty much a female version of Temp Guy. This new lady is not quite as self-eye-gougingly stupid as Temp Guy but she more than makes up for it by talking all the time. Oh yeah. it's true. All the time... about things no one could ever really care about. including her. Not quite Energizer-Bunny-mouth, but close. It's more the content of what she says that disturbs everybody. Questions for questions sake. Questions where the question is a shot at gaining respect through asking the right questions, but they all come off as suck-up, attention-starved, interact-with-me! type desperate grabs for acceptance. Yes I feel bad talking about her this way. YES, you would understand and say the same things if you had to sit through hours and days and weeks of this also. I'm at a loss for a cool nickname for her, so I'll stick with initials for now, MG.
----Case in point - there's a new frustrating contact at one of our customer locations, Wilson Lee. All the provisioners who've dealt with him are being driven mad by his rude and uninformed way of doing business (rude + uninformed is always the best to deal with, right?) - so every once in a while, you'll hear someone grumble angrily and say "blah blah blah that Wilson!!" to which, MG -just now answered- "Wilson?? are you talking about the basketball? ha Ha heh" See what I mean? If this happened in your office, no one would be laughing or someone would make the polite "heh" laugh... or MAYBE... maybe you'd hear a "heh heh", which would be extremely generous. Are you beginning to get the picture? No? Fine, a MG Chronicles it is then... stay tuned.
----And yes, I know I've got an E ticket for Hell for all this talking about people the way I do - truth is, I've got two tickets and I'm taking you with me.
----But I DIGRESS...! I know! I never do that, right?? Yeah, ok, shut up. - Soo... a few days before DM was let go, they moved me to a new cubicle so that a new provisioner could sit in my cube, thereby keeping all the provisioners in the same space. No problem, I figured. Sure, I'd be away from my precious DM but I'd be out from under the occassional scrutiny and chit-chat and overheard-ness of the rest of the office monkeys and I'd be nearer to the kitchen, the front door and .. Mmmmm.. a view. So I loaded up my truck and I moved to Beverley.. orrrrrr, the other side of the office, as I like to call it. I threw everything into a box, did a rolly-chair move across the office & set up shop in my new, more spacious digs. Everything was going smashingly.. no three-conversations-going-on-at-once, no printers printing, staplers stapling, phones a ringing or ladies gabbing. I was damned close to heaven, as far as office jobs go. Until... until I became aware... of.... a low,.. thrumming sound... Which i quickly determined was coming from the building's air conditioner vent overhead. 'No problem', I thought - 'it must just be cycling on or working overtime being that it's a hot summer day. Ignore it. Turn your music up. There... no worries... back to work'.
--Four minutes later... a slight tinge of vertigo from within my chest, as if I've walked through a revolving door into a highly pressurized room and then walked right back out into normal pressure. Ok, that was weird. The thrumming bass rumble of the A/C, almost sub-sonic, reverberating in slow rhythmic waves... straight into my chest... and now my skull. Great. Yeah, this is going to work out just fine. 'It's probably only a .. summer thing or.. maybe just a mid-day thing.. I'll see what it's like in the morning' I tell myself.
--The next morning, there's the noise again. Except to call it a noise is to describe the least maddening aspect of the experience. Truly, the ... phenomenon? .. was more felt from the inside of my body outwards ..than it was something I heard. I felt as if I was being microwaved by sound - and honestly, that's probably not far, scientifically, from what was actually happening. And yet, whatever was happening, it was driving me insane. Or trying to. I fought it, or tried to... for days. I asked people if they heard the noise... 9 out of 10 couldn't. Thank the gods that two others in the office could. I was not losing my mind. (not for the subsonic sound reason at least) I understood why they wanted to move me, but where they'd moved me to was quickly becoming a torture device.. almost.. as if.. it had been planned. Hmm.. conspiracy theories swirled. 'Nah. Just tell someone who can move you, something will get done' - So I tell napoleon's right hand (wo)man that it's driving me crazy and can we get a building technician to take a look at the A/C. Long story .. long... two days later, an A/C repairman comes, takes a look & says there's nothing he can do because the A/C for THE WHOLE 34 FLOOR BUILDING is a 15 by 15 foot box and is sitting one floor up, right above the cubicle I was in. Two days later, I was at my wits end .. to the point where I was almost at my jobs end. I was feeling helicopters coming in to land.. charlie in the bush, my platoon bloody and tired - "you're never too young for a Vietnam flashback" * (see below)
----So I told DL (napoleon's right hand woman) that I was extremely sorry but I either needed to take a sick day or I needed to move cubicles. She finally saw that I was serious about the noise/reverb-effect and even remarked that if -I- was complaining about something, it must be serious. Obviously, she's never read my writing. And so.. another painful day later, I was told I could move into DM's old spot. Yesssss... full circle, you see? Sometimes I -am- actually capable of talking about something, digressing and then coming back to topic.
----And so here I am. Sitting in DM's cube. The very cube that spawned such classic, loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed, mouth-offing's to any who dared cross her path. I feel... as if I have a duty to uphold. Like Luke in Empire Strikes Back, I weild the right hand .. or.. um.. cubicle spot.. of what I thought was a former foe.. who turned out to be... my.. father? Yeah, ok.. so that analogy doesn't quite work. I feel like I should sass-mouth at least one person a day, just for sitting here. I hope I'm up to the challenge.

"you're never too young to have a Vietnam flashback" * as quoted from Wonder Showzen (best - show - ever) - click on VIDEOS, scroll down to VIETNAM FLASHBACK. Also watch any of the BEAT KIDS clips and any of the clips with the blue guy with the googly eyes, like WILL YOU ACCEPT JESUS, POLITENESS, WHAT ARE YOU RUNNING FROM, etc. The show is ridiculously irreverent, sometimes... ok, -almost always- it goes too far, if there is such thing as too far. And yet it's the best television I have seen in... Too too too many years. I cry laughing at Every Episode. if you do not cry laughing, there is something wrong with you. please have your funny bone checked for fractures.
"With Wonder Shozen (airing Fridays at 9:30pm on MTV2), a new Dadaist spoof of Sesame Street and its progeny, Vernon Chatman and John Lee have found a way to unsettle jaded viewers by employing a device that most purveyors of 'alternative' comedy wouldn't touch with a ten-foot boom: live human children, who take part in gonzo interview segments that are juxtaposed with raunchy puppet shenanigans."
- TimeOut New York, April 21-27 Issue No. 499

"In one segment, a 6-year-old confronts a stunned Wall Street broker with: 'Who did you exploit today?' "
- Daily News, Wednesday, April 27, 2005

" 'Wonder Shozen' is a messy mix of animation and live action, part 'Sesame Street' parody, part stoner indulgence, part lazy censor-baiting, part pure inspiration."
- The New York Times, Thursday, March 31, 2005
" 9:30-10pm Wonder Shozen (MTV2, TV-MA)- Why does MTV bury this hilariously twisted Sesame Street parody on its bastard son of a network? Because numbers and letters rumble while a Jewish J and an Arab 8 have puppet sex that would make Triumph the Insult Comic Dog blush? Or because an angelic tot reporter asks Wall Streeters, 'When the revolution comes, where will you hide?' Sure this show, as dark as the bottom of Oscar the Grouch's trash can, will give your inner child nightmares, but it's the only way he'll learn.
- Josh Wolk, Entertainment Weekly

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