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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This sucks

I have returned to the work force. Well, sort of. Yesterday as I was walking into work I went right past my building and into the Starbucks next door. I needed a little liquid enthusiasm. I was greeted by my boss whose first words to me were in the form of a question. "Do you like my shoes?"  "Yes." Which was followed by a story about Funky town.. I don't know.  Once I opened my office door I was hit by a waft of stale energy that needed reviving.  I started my computer's engine and swear I saw that little yodeling guy from the Price is Right  Cliffhanger game climbing up my mountain of email and falling off the cliff around 500.  I began to sort through the messages and somehow ended up changing my screen savor. Naturally I couldn't have a spring photo, I needed a summer one. So I found a perfect one of the boys jumping off a pier, which lead me to go through all our vacation photos and before I knew it an hour had gone by.  Just in time for my first meeting which was regarding aspestos removal from the crawl space in our 100 + year old building, a building that I have been working in for four years and had been pregnant carrying our youngest child in.  After that I went back to my office and googled aspestos danger to pregnant women along with symptoms of mesothelioma. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch.  I went home to find that 2 of the boys didn't even know I had left, one was in their pajamas and one was too busy reenacting the Backyardigans to notice I just walked in front of him.  Don was indifferent, except in regards to a phone message he had taken which said that I had been entered into a drawing which my name was called and I needed to claim my prize. I was going to let it go, but he was persistent.  I called and I was told that I won my choice of either, a 3 day 2 night trip to a resort, a digital frame, or kitchen knives.  This should have been the first warning sign.  Of course I chose the trip and they said they would personally bring me the prize but I also had to watch a short pure air demonstration.  Wait what? I reluctantly agreed and we set a time for 7 pm.  By this time Don realized why I thought it was crap in the first place. "but why did you agree?" he asked. Rather than entertain this argument I returned to work to discover I have forgotten everything about my position.  I had what I like to call vacation induced dimentia.  I resorted to cleaning my desk until I was interrupted by my boss who recently invited Don and I over for dinner on Thursday and knowing that I don't eat meat, has decided to serve steak, he even offered to make mine tar tar. (insert fake laugh here) After minutes of fretting (not) he reassured me that he had made me a pasta dish. Before I knew it, it was time to go home. Our salesman arrived at 6:59 in an old cadillac, at which point he lugged two enormous bags out of his trunk.  He was overweight and was a combination of Chris Farley and Zach Galifiankis. At which point Don and I made a pact to make his visit the most unaccommodating possible. Don turned on the tv for the boys, let the other two play video games and let the dog out.  Immediatly he asked what the boys names were.  That creeps me out. Why is that necessary information for a air purification sales person? Well, he wasn't born yesterday, he dropped their names like they were hot. " Oscar needs clean air to be healthy and grow" "What do you think of that Jack?" Even throwing in the dogs name for extra credit.  We were not humoring his questions  like,
"What do you think of when you think of pollution? " or " Do you like the fact that your wasting hours of your time grinding more dirt into your carpet and ruining your home? " At that point Don said yes.  Strategically, neither one of us were sitting at the same time.  Kids were skipping through the house, milk was spilled, Graham was barking, Oscar was crying, snacks were being dispersed, a fight club had developed down stairs, and we just let it carry on. If our house didn't break him, nothing would.  We discovered that our air was in the "DANGER ZONE" based on his electronic meter and that only he had the solution to our pollution. At this point, we could not contain our laughter, that is just too cheesy.  The next laughable moment is when he asked Don if he knew how long his hose was.  But as much as the boys climbed around him, Graham sniffed him, his persistence was growing on me.  Except when he asked for a drink of water. How rude of me, he is our guest after all!  Yes, he was sweating like a pig, but I thought that only added to the discomfort. I gave him one of the boys miniature plastic cups.  Then he decided to demonstrate how we wasted good money on our new vacuum by sweeping our carpet 100 times. Trust me, he counted.  Then immediately following he used his super duper vacuum and guess what? He picked up a big hair ball of dirt, dust and probably e coli.  And if that didn't make us feel good enough he dumped it on the floor to show us.  By this time an hour had passed and my evening glass of merlot was calling my name. In other words, I had checked out.  Finally as we begin to anticipate a closer approaching us, he shows us yet another statistic based on clinical "research". We could barely hear him over Oscar's cries but we got the jist. We are filthy parents and our kids are going to die of lung contamination, but considering I already have asbestos related lung cancer I can except that fate.  By this time this man was infringing on Don's date with ESPN and he was done.  Before he could even ask if we could put a price on our young children's health, Don stopped him. He explained that although his presentation was flawless, albeit long, we were not going to buy anything...now or ever and we would like our vacation prize.  He seemed to understand but not enough to stop talking. At this point I started cleaning the kitchen and he asked to use our phone. He called his "manager" to explain that we were not going to buy anything and , "yes, he explained that, and even though we were at a dangerous level we still said no".  He assured us that gets paid just for coming over (because we were so worried) .  Don was standing at the door as if to say  kindly, get the f*ck out, and he gave us a wrinkly brochure with our choice of "premier destinations" such as Iowa, Florida and even Mishawaka!. 
I wonder if a similar experience happened to Arthur Miller when he wrote Death of Salesman. Willy Loman  was a vacuum salesman right?  Just as we think his foot is out the door he hands us a piece of paper and with puppy dog eyes asks us for 3 referrals. WHO does this?? I kindly agreed and gave him the names and the near numbers of my friends. I may or may not have changed a number or made an 8 look like a 9 or 0.  All I know is that if my friends knew I referred them to this tool, they wouldn't be my friend for much longer.  
So that was my day back, after two months.  But as much as it killed me to leave my family of bugs all snug in their beds,  I was able to go into work and be entertained by a co-worker who showed me a video clip of a white party where Stephanie, a fantastic drag queen (who recently came out of retirement for one show only, and made me feel just a little insecure that a man can me more feminine and graceful than me), and call it work. The Universe was reminding me to be thankful that  I'm not a air/vacuum salesman. 

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