A month ago, if you would have asked me, "Emmett, do you think that you will ever in your lifetime clean up a meth-house?" I would have laughed and quickly responded, "I would never expect to clean a meth-house within my lifetime." But, for about a week we spent our days cleaning up a meth-house (we refinished the cupboards). Now I can say I've done that. Cross it right off the list. It's done.
I start my new daytime job next week and I'm staying on part-time at the furniture store. Mostly for the money, but also because it's a low-stress insurance policy in case the new job isn't as great as it seems. But maybe there's more still.
Last winter, I talked about a guy named Isaac, who people called Lazik, because of his Coke bottle glasses. He bought himself season tickets to the Utah Jazz games and got a new job washing cars. But every couple of weeks he comes to the furniture warehouse just to hang out. He was there lastnight. We were eating dinner and one of the mofos says, "What's that kid doing here?"
I said, "He must not have many friends."
Another mofo said, "Maybe he just comes here to get treated like shit."
I said, "This place definitely has it's own unique flavor of treating people badly. It's the only place I know where you can flip someone off who you've never met before and it just means, 'Hello and how are you today?.'"
Here's another example:
We've been having wet weather in Utah the last few days. The other night I went into the office to give my bosses some information:
Me: "Hey, you guys left a big skylight open. I'm getting rained on in aisle 123."
And let me tell you that it's a strange experience to be comfortable in the knowledge that you are driving your stockpicker INSIDE a building, safe from the elements outside, and then for a stretch of 15 feet you are getting rained on from a hole 50 ft above you in the ceiling.
Boss #1: "There's a vent open?!?!"
Boss #2: "No, Emmett, you didn't see anything."
Boss #1 to Boss #2: "We'd better get up there and close it."
Boss #2: "I don't want to climb my fat ass up there in the rain. My shoes will get all wet."
Boss #1: "No, we'd better go close it. Thanks, Emmett."
Boss #2: "Fuck off, Emmett."
Me: "You're welcome."
Probably not the response YOU would look for from your boss at your job but it's actually kind of nice because you know that people aren't harboring bad feelings towards you. They have no problem yelling there bad feelings at you.
One time I did get worried because of this loud-mouth spazzy straight-edger kid because he came back from break and started yelling, "Fuck this job! This place fucking sucks and all you motherfuckers are assholes!"
That's pretty normal for him. You only have to worry about him if he STOPS yelling and cussing and throwing things around.
But at the end of that rant he looked over and saw me standing there and then he added, "Except for Emmett. He's cool!" And I worried for a minute about being singled out as The Nice Guy. But I think we've all learned to tune that guy out anyway.
I took pleasure in it lastnight. Zack-Morris-with-a-Lobotomy isn't allowed to work by himself. Which means EVERYONE takes turns working with him. He's worked with every single mofo in the place. At the end of the shift lastnight he came to me and said, "You know what I've realized. That YOU are the only person in the whole warehouse that people don't talk bad about. All of these guys complain about eachother all the time but nobody ever complains about you."
I said, "I'm glad to hear that." And I choose to believe it because it's not the first time in my life that I've heard that.
Then Zack added, "Not like me. Everyone talks bad about me here." He was smiling when he said it because we all know better than to REALLY value what the mofos think.
I said, "They like giving you a hard time. But they actually like you. They wouldn't have anything to talk about if you weren't here."
He said, "But they're laughing at me. Not with me."
There isn't a believable way to argue against that. I said, "It's an act, though. They all put up a front because they like picking on you. They like acting tough. They like you."
I even get asked on a lot of Man-Dates from a lot of different mofos:
Do you want to go hiking?
Do you want to go to the Waffle House after work?
Do you want to come to a poker game on Sunday?
Do you want to come over and watch movies this weekend?
We should go see Bourne Ultimatum.
You should get X-Box Live and play Halo 3 with us.
All of those things sound like fun but I'd rather do them with my family. No hard feelings. I told my wife's brother that my wife wants to see Bourne Ultimatum really bad. He said, "Did you tell her to shut up and get back in the kitchen?"
I joked, "Yeah, I did. I said, 'I've got an Ultimatum for you... my dinner on the table in one hour.'"
When I repeated that story to my wife later, she didn't find it all that funny.
I did go to the Waffle House with them on Saturday night. One of the guys started talking about buying some special green herbs. He said, "I've been meaning to ask Kwame where I can buy some."
Another mofo said, "Why are you going to ask Kwame?"
The first mofo said, "Because he's black and he listens to reggae music. He must know where to get some."
The second mofo said, "You can't assume he knows where to buy drugs just because he's black and listens to reggae music. Look at Emmett, he's Indian but that doesn't mean he's out hunting buffalo everyday."
I added, "And I don't have any peyote on me either, fool. But I bet any of employees at this restaurant could probably hook you up."
Mofo #1 gave me a black eye playing basketball lastnight. It's only the second black eye that I've ever had. The first one happened when I was in fourth grade and I was running with a bunch of kids, racing to line up at our classroom door after recess and a girl fell on the backs of my legs and knocked me down. When I got up, I had a black eye.
But try telling that story to elementary school kids. It translates directly to: EMMETT GOT BEAT UP BY A GIRL. So I don't really like telling that story. I also got accused of wearing lipstick in first grade cause I put on some chapstick in front of my classmates. I'm sure they were all just jealous and would have happily eaten that chapstick if I offered it to them though.
When the guy elbowed me in the face, I said, "You're a jerk if you make me show up to my first day at my new job with a black eye."
But here's a thing that I don't like about myself. I rarely get visible bruises. I get banged up and hurt all the time and I get stomping mad because I go to inspect the wounds and there's nothing there. I got hit right in the eye with an elbow harder than anyone has ever punched me and there is just a little red mark under my eye. If it was impressive at all I would post a picture but it's less of a blemish than most pimples I get. Yet, it still hurts when I talk or open my mouth.
So it's not much of a black eye. I'm glad in regard to the new job but I feel like I should have more of a battle scar to show off.
How was work for you this week?