Thursday, May 04, 2006
some wonky work thoughts
So I work for an independent photo lab. We're not a chain, just the one and only. We've been around since, oh what, 1971? I've been here for just at three years. What started as a much larger, booming business has recently been whittled down to seven employees and the very rickety legs we're all standing on. But I'm not here to write about whether or not digital is killing film; it's not that I don't care, but well, okay, maybe I don't.
But no, I am here to vent about the people I work with. We have seven employees and four of us get along fairly well. The other three are known as Creepy, Canty (for Cantankerous) and Crazy Train. Sometimes we call Canty 'Crabby' or 'Crusty.' They all work so well.
Let's start with Creepy, shall we? This is a man in his 50s who...ugh. So much of the ugliness is just visual...my skin physically crawls when I see him, even after three years. He leers. He makes racist and sexist jokes. He is socially retarded. He will tell you all about last night's episode of 'Family Feud.' He watches courtroom dramas at lunch then goes home and watches the rerun with his wife and pretends to predict the outcome. He steals the leftover passport pictures of cute girls and pockets them for (shudder) later. We print porn on a fairly regular basis and he will frequently come back to the lab to oh-so-inconspicuously sniff some out. And when he DOES find some he'll take off his glasses so he can squint at it more accurately. And sometimes he'll just stand there and jingle the change (again, gee, what ARE you doing?) in his pockets with both his hands. And many times, he will just stand around, near you. Doing nothing. And I cannot decide whether it's worse than if he were talking.
There there is Crabby/Canty/Crusty. He is now the sole owner, as Crazy Train (his previous co-owner) had to declare personal bankruptcy. My fiance and I usually just call him Lizard Man. He looks like one. He kind of slithers around like one. Best of all, he has the spine of an amoeba. He will not confront anyone about anything, but if he has to deal with one customer-related phone call, he will slam his fist down on the desk in the sheer bitter frustration of it all. He has the slumpiest, slowest walk and oozes from place to place, as slime would. But for the most part, he sits off to himself and simmers. He is the one who runs the porn side of the business and is married (for the third time, how any of the three came to be none of us can reason out) to an (ex?) stripper who runs a stripper shoe business online.
And I am paranoid enough to hope he never somehow finds this and fires my ass. As nonconfrontational as the man is, I think this would, you know, justifiably make someone upset. And I must have already done something to piss the man off because he even went to the trouble on a work order to highlight two out of the three names to which it was addressed, mine being the third un-highlighted name. It's all very bizarre, childlike, and no one would belive this place on a situation comedy. Even an American one.
And lastly, we have Crazy Train, who is basically my sixth grade teacher. He's losing his mind (literally) and cannot digest even a shred of new information. He cannot operate a computer, he has no idea how to run most of the store, he misinforms customers on a very regular basis...basically, the shenanigans abound. I vascillate constantly between pity and rage, though the last week or two has just been rage. He would merit far more pity points from me if it weren't also his personal mission to trash and thwart my co-worker and good friend, whom we shall refer to as Not A Mexican. NAM is by far the best salesman at the store--customers seek him out--and it should be noted that while the customers certainly pick up on the creep or insanity-fest that goes on there, they do legitimately adore NAM. But Crazy Train, for whatever reason (one can only deduce good old-fashioned jealousy), goes on "silently" raging (LOTS of siiiighs, arm gestures of frustration, grumbling to the owner, dumb remarks) any time NMA has to be late because of his two daughters (his wife makes quite a bit more, so why don't you pay him more than an hourly wage, fuckwit?) or goes out of town because he is a goddamn cinematographer. Oh balls, imagine that, a real cinematographer working in a camera store. And this is the same store than laid nearly everyone off a year ago. And no, the world does not end when NAM cannot be at work. But I digress. I should be focusing on the Crazy Train. Perhaps I will just leave it at that and, should delightful examples come to light (oh, what are the odds?), I will be all too happy to post them here.
Most of the days are tolerable. The days when I interact as little as humanly possible with my co-workers, the days I am very busy in the back, the days when I am not forced to apply logic to the reasoning of my co-workers.