My employer at “Stone Circus” whom I call “Simon” because to those who work with him, he clearly graduated with a “Legree,” can’t return a file for Thompson Products to the “T” section of the vendors file. I watched this happen three feet from me Friday. He started to deposit it midway into the top cabinet drawer when he realized that was not where it belonged so he gave it to an underling who was standing four inches from his left shoulder and watching the tragi-comedy. Simon could not reply to an e-mail query from a potential customer because he could not access the e-mail account of the business he OWNS. This quaint vignette of “life in Looser Lane” (I admit it: I am fit for NOTHING but driving Looser Lane, and if you don’t believe me, HIRE ME. I’m a writer. Have talent; will travel.) would have been almost forgotten if something even more coufounding to my waning braining had not occurred.
Simon was lecturing me in a way I would use only against a ne’r do well I had caught stealing chickens from my back yard. I’ve never owned any chickens but I’m sure you understand my point. In the head of his educationalating me — yes, he voted for #43; they share a common tongue — I thoughtlessly revealed something I should have kept to myself, and he went off like a Roman Candle on the 4th of July. In the course of that rant he added a new infraction, something I had considered as morally reprehensible as taking an office ballpoint pen home with me.
Another employee, one of his family, had approached me as Simon followed, unhurredly maybe 20 feet behind. When Simon announced “Ludlow needs to use the computer a few minutes,” I turned to the young man and said, “Sure thing, let me exit this game of solitaire,” and Lud’ replied, “No problem; I’ll minimize it.” I walked away and went to the bathroom, knowing I would hear them as they exited my “domain” after their time behind the counter. The day before, there had been no mention of discontent on discovering the solitaire on screen which Ludlow had NOT minimized. Solitaire is a release, no sugar added, a diversion from my usual routine at the computer. I seldom play it at all because there’s no satisfaction from the randomness of it. I’m playing against “coincidence” and I seldom win. Not a big deal over the occasional game . . . . or so I mused Friday afternoon. As Lancelot might have said, “Seelee moi.”
Saturday, Simon said he was shocked over my spending HIS TIME he was paying for playing “SOLITARY,” He had seen the word on the computer the day before, and he pronounced it “SOLITARY!” I didn’t correct him. He was in no mood to be corrected. He and Ludlow were mystified that I would play such a game on his computer. “People in offices every day play the game, and it’s no big deal. If it is to you, I will delete the game from the programs. I can do it in less than two minutes. Problem solved; okay?”
Of course it was not okay. He wasn’t done. I promised him he would never again discover me playing the harmless game. “I mean CHESIS, Simon, I wasn’t looking at pornography.” (I never have and never will at a workplace or at the airport museum which is my refuge in these topsy turvy tiempos.)
Long story short, I gave him my keys to the showroom and vehicle entry padlock as an attempt to temper his flaming conflagration bilious jabber. I told him that I would NOT open the showroom as I have for the past four years, and that he would have to have someone on hand to lock the doors on Monday unless he wanted to give the keys back to me. I made it clear I did not expect him to give the keys back in a way that Henny Youngman might take his classic joke too far . . .”Take my wife, PLEASE. Take my keys, PLEASE. I mean really PLEASE. I said TAKE THEM ALREADY. “Take them” as in “Cut my hours or fire me if that will bring you what you desire with your monologue rants of pig waste and raging near-incoherence!” . . . . . . . . but I suppose, nay, PREDICT, he will give the keys back Monday. It would be inconvenient for him to keep them, and as we all have learned . . .
Inconvenience . . . is. . . . beneath . . . him.
Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and don’t play heathen Solitary at your work computer.