Taxi Minus Latka, Louie

Tomorrow I start the new gig and I am wetter than a mating walrus with excitement. Much of my elation stems from the fact that my office is located in the titty-licous TAXI By Zeppelin Development. If Grandpa Broz were alive today he would be proud that I was bringing the Brozovich name back down to Globeville (from the 1930s through the 1970s, Globeville was the capitol of the Denver Slavic community and home to any handle ending in “vich” or “czk”). Being as my Great Uncle Al and Aunt Tillie still live in the old ‘hood, I might just have to hit them up for a sandwich and a WWII or rail yard story one day for lunch.

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The Weekend That Was

Friday, June 29. My daunting three-day trial on the unemployment line ended when I was offered an Art Director position immediately after a two-hour interview. I accepted the offer and start this Friday. The people seem great and of the non-douchebag variety, the pay is solid and my skill set should grow exponentially. That night our neighbors extended an impromptu invite “for a drink” over the fence. We ended up staying for six hours, helped drink their cooler dry, gorged ourselves on barbecue spare ribs and watched their 13-year-old daughter’s recent European vacation slides.

Saturday, June 30. With the wives at a baby shower talking about their uteruses, I stuffed an amazing basket of fish and chips down my cake chute and drained numerous Coors Light pitchers at Clancys with CH, Tyler and Fateh. Aside from the poor patio location and a bad wait staff that included a red-haired meth skank that kept forgetting our orders and a chubby blond girl with a giant snake tattoo, good times were had by all. That night we ate a late sushi dinner and took in 1408 with Team Sutton. It was refreshing to watch a movie in a theater since we have not done so since the Korean War.

Sunday, July 1. The wife and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. We walked around our deserted wedding venue in the 100-degree heat sipping on blended coffee drinks, ate heaping plates of steamed mussels and took in back-to-back movies thanks to my criminal wife who snuck me into Ratatouille in the confusion of the exiting Rise Of The Silver Surfer crowd. It was refreshing to watch movies in a theater since we have not done so since Saturday, June 30, 2007.

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Back To The Unemployment Line

Yesterday I lost my job. The company founders called me into the office and broke the happy news. They brought up the following reasons for my termination:

  • I came in late three times in past two months.
  • I was expected to work more than eight hours every day.
  • They felt they had to coddle me through their company policies and procedures.
  • They had no confidence in me as a designer.

I addressed these points as follows:

  • I was late three times but it was never more than ten minutes each time and I stayed well past 5:00 whenever this occurred. You would have known this if you did not leave at 5:15 everyday.
  • If I had known the job required me to pull ten hour days (which I was never told) I would have not accepted it in the first place.
  • I was never given any briefing on company policies, expectations or any formal or informal training. I recall my first day (which neither one of you even offered to take me to lunch on), I was thrust in front of a computer and told to, “Be an Art Director.”
  • I spent the past two months editing files and websites other people developed. I produced one original design. You hated it. The client loved it. Is that not how a designer measures success?

The corporate culture over at Gas Sack, Inc. (my new pet name for that fuck circus) was more oppressive than a concentration camp. Granted, nobody was getting shoved into an oven, but I have never witnessed employees operating under such intense fear; fear of making a mistake, fear of failure, fear of good design. I can recall only two times when I heard people laughing in the office. Two times. In two months. And both times the founders were gone for the day. The art on the walls even sucked. Oil maps of Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and this. Which is appropriate for a homosexual ski lodge but not so much for an Investor Relations consulting firm.

So now I am back to firing off resumes (seven today), eating ketchup sandwiches and watching Judge Joe Brown and my wife is back to questioning why she married such an unemployable sack of shit.

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Shadowcat: Admin Assistant

I just received a web change request from a woman named Kitty Pryde. I am planning to post the following to her Wikipedia page under “Powers and Abilities”:

Additional to phasing through objects, being a computer genius and skilled in multiple martial art disciplines, Kitty also works as an administrative assistant for a nameless Canadian oil & gas company performing the heroic tasks of finalizing Power Point presentations, providing vector-based logos, approving ad copy and being the primary contact for all web edits.

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Forget All Your Cares And Go Downtown

I am enjoying the new job and the downtown Denver scene. Within a block of the office there are five coffee shops, four sandwich joints, a Chipotle, a flower vendor, a blind bum that likes to sing Isley Brothers tunes and the always lively 16th Street Mall. The mall is usually teaming with business executives connected to their ear piece cell phones like Lobot, statuesque women in six inch heels walking with mean swaggers, homeless panhandlers and disheveled, mentally ill crazies that yell and carry signs. The latter are by far the most entertaining. Yesterday a wild-eyed maniac sporting a wig that looked like a dumpster diving reward was walking down the mall with a sign that read “GESUS LOVES U.” He nearly got ran over by a shuttle bus as he was thrusting said sign into the faces of a nice looking gentleman and his two younger daughters who were participating in Bring Your Child To Work Day. This morning as I was looping around the building to the parking garage, a filthy homeless drug addict was flashing a two-way sign on the corner which read “HILLARY IS FIDEL” on one side and “JFK SHOT MARILYN” on the other. It was comforting to learn that even homeless drug addicts hate Hillary.

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The Death Of A Dream

As I stare down the barrel of my new gig, I wax poetically at St. Mark’s Uptown, two beers into the evening, going over existing projects with my soon-to-be former boss:

You killed the pants-free dream for me. I don’t think it was intentional, but then again, my ex-girlfriend’s observation of my inability to display emotion wasn’t expressed to break us up but it broke us up nonetheless. Looming over me everyday was the “option” to throw my laptop in my bag and patronize some outdoor cafe with free WiFi and a young barista with firm breasts to serve me hot caffeinated drinks. Actual times I exercised this “option”: zero. Looming over me everyday was the “option” to delegate work to competent contractors while I enjoyed an afternoon skiing down a powder filled slope or taking a lazy nap on the grass at a local park. Actual times I attempted to delegate work to contractors only to have the project blow up in my face and spend late nights correcting mistakes only amateurs make: too numerous to count. I spent my tenure working sixty hours weeks and cursing at my brand new iMac while my cute wife made muffins and brought me beers in the hopes I would cease yelling, “You filthy bitch!” at poorly coded sites. I was haunted by phone calls from clients whose projects were fucked before I came along and will stay fucked long after I am gone. Lesson learned. I need a place where I can leave incompetent contractors, pissed off clients with unrealistic deadlines and an apathetic boss. That place is called “the office” and not “home.”

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Pants-Free No More

The working from home experiment officially ends on April 24 as I have accepted an Art Director position for a consulting firm in downtown Denver for a ridiculous amount of money. I learned many things during the home office endeavor:

  • When not physically interacting with society on a regular basis I will not change my shorts until I squat down to pick something up and smell the essence of my own ass.
  • When not physically interacting with society on a regular basis I will not shower until I squat down to pick something up and smell the essence of my own ass.
  • When Divorce Court is on I will not turn it off. Preach on, Judge Toler. Preach on.
  • There are times in life when porn is your enemy.
  • I do not hate society as much as once initially thought.
  • Conference calls are just as worthless as face to face meetings.
  • Clients cannot tell when you are calling them from the bathroom.
  • Clients cannot tell when you are surfing your RSS feeds instead of taking notes.
  • Clients will not take you seriously if your “team” consists of anyone from India or the Philippines.
  • Total hours (per week) put in at an office job during a normal work week: 42. Total hours (per week) put in at a home office job during a normal work week: 55.
  • Working from home is a lot like bedding a really hot girl and then finding out that she is a lousy lay; at first you cannot believe its happening to you and then you realize its just a means to an end.
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Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

The wife after seeing me in a hockey jersey, baggy shorts and catching the stink of cologne on me:

“Look at you, getting all dressed up for work.”

The hockey jersey, baggy shorts and cologne are a modified version of the Italian Shower, which, in its truest essence, a monochromatic tracksuit, a drenching in Armani cologne and at least four pieces of gold jewelry (which must consist of a watch, a ring, a bracelet and a crucifix necklace). A more accurate description of my slovenliness is a cross between an Italian Shower and a Navy Bath; which is hand soap and sink water splashed about the armpits and genitals than liberally dried and a caked-on or over-sprayed deodorant application. Either way, it is time for me to take a shower.

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Blizzards 2, Colorado 0

Christmas came and went without much aplomb; spirits were imbibed, holiday cookies were devoured, presents were opened, kittens went bezerker rage on their stockings and cousins in from Baghdad with an affinity for strip clubs and Heineken’s were entertained. The wife got me some new creative direction slippers to keep my feet warm while I command oversea subcontractors from afar and utilize new Apple products in the home office. It appears I will be getting screwed out of another work snow day tomorrow as the Kwanzaa Blizzard rolled into the metro area this afternoon to blanket the foot of snow not yet melted from the Hanukkah Blizzard.

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