Friday, March 29, 2013

The State of Massachusetts

My uncle, who was born in Ireland and knew plenty about our family’s history of emigration, once told me a voyage on the ship from Southampton to New York cost nearly twice as much as going from Southampton to Boston. This explains everything.

More stupid shit has happened to me in Massachusetts than anywhere else on earth. If the x-axis of a graph represents places, and the y-axis represents the number of bizarre fucking things that have happened to me in each particular locale, the state of Massachusetts would show a massive spike running three times the height as any other place, including New York.

This is because people in Massachusetts are fucking insane. Most people, when they’re irritated by a Masshole for the first time, believe this place is so strange and inefficient because the people here are stupid. This is not the case. Instead, I think people are clinically fucking disturbed up here, and I always have. I have a long history with this state—including residency for long stretches—and I know what I’m talking about. Trust me on this one.

Case in point:

We’re driving down Main Street in Great Barrington, going to the diner to eat lunch. Parking on Main Street is tough—as it is, unnecessarily so, everywhere in this state. I see a spot along the curb, so instead of pulling past and parallel parking, I nose the car in directly from the right lane—because I had space, and because I’m a really fucking good driver with over twenty years of heavy experience, including several years spent driving 54’ trucks for my uncle. Long story short, I know what I’m doing. This is relevant.

I shut the car down, and we’re about to get out when a woman gets out of the minivan in front of me and starts yelling at me, gesticulating like someone lifted her fifth of Dewar’s before she could take the last swig and backhand one of her kids. She was claiming I’d hit her car. I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t even come close. I was at least two feet behind her the entire time, and I told her so. There’s no stopping a Masshole onslaught once it’s in motion, though, so this whole thing had to play itself out.

“My caaaaaaaah raaaaaawwwwwwked!”

“No, it didn’t!” I yelled back. “I didn’t even come close to you, you goddamned crackpot! Get away from me!”

I really said this. Leave me alone, you fucking mutant crackpots.

This was not an honest mistake, nor was it someone trying a “clip job” to get some insurance money out of me. This was a prototype raving Masshole, hailing from the great state of Mass O’ Mutants, inflicting her mental illness on me as only a true New Englander can.

When I was younger, and this shit was new to me, I thought people from Massachusetts were interesting and colorful. Unfortunately, Massholes no longer have the power to hold my attention—unless they’re enraging me—and I don’t have time for the way they attempt to complicate our lives with their psychological issues. One day I’ll write about the lady who inexplicably made it her mission to prevent me from getting a $2 discount on a pair of headphones at a Lechmere store, or the parking ticket clerk at Government Center who cursed at me for offering to pay $20 more than I actually owed—an option he offered me—because I didn’t want to wait on another line. Same concept.

I love Boston to death, but this is probably why I’ve never moved back. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New England

This morning was very bad. I ate at Taco Bell last night, because I wanted to shovel a load of shit down my throat as quickly as I could. I did this right before I went to sleep. I had Volcano nachos, two Doritos steak tacos, and a steak quesadilla. This happened very late at night. At four in the morning, I woke up with acid reflux. I had to chug a gallon of water to get rid of the burn. I didn’t go back to sleep for another two hours, but then I had to wake up a half hour after that. I wasn’t happy. I don’t know why I do this.

Then we drove to Massachusetts. Whenever I leave from New York to go on a long drive, I’m always amazed at how two cars on an empty road can create a total clusterfuck. I think this only happens in New York, because people in New York are fucking stupid when they drive.

I’m in the Berkshires now, on vacation. I just ate at a pizzeria in Great Barrington called Baba Louie’s. If you’re ever there, try the barbeque chicken pizza. I’d never had good pizza in New England before, except at a place in East Boston called Santarpio’s—although I don’t know if you can call a pile of barbeque chicken on top of flatbread “pizza,” exactly.

The table next to us was filled with irritating nineteen-year-olds who thought they were funnier and more sophisticated than they actually were. You know the type. They were trying to top each other for loudness. Their stories weren’t funny. I tried not to listen, but the volume was too high. Ten years ago, I would have told them to shut the fuck up.

I tried to take a nap this afternoon, but I couldn’t sleep, so we went to eat. After we ate, we went to the Price Chopper on MA-7 to get coffee for tomorrow morning. I bagged my own groceries. The Price Chopper is fucking huge.

Today was a mixed bag.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I’m done talking about my old job. I’m done being a little bitch about it, anyway. No matter how loudly I piss and moan about how I was right and they were wrong—I was, and they were, but who gives a shit?—they’re winning if I constantly devote bandwidth to it. It’s also taking up space in my head without rent money coming in, so it’s probably time to just let it all go permanently. I wouldn’t work there again, and they’re not going to ask me to come back—although I wouldn’t bet my life on that—so the best thing I can do is forget about it.

If it’s not too blatantly obvious, these posts are shots at my former coworkers because I know they’re reading—and they’d file harassment charges, or something, if I told them, in a way that’s on the record, how I feel. I know they’re looking because this blog has Statcounter attached. I can see who’s reading, and I can tag IP addresses. People from my old company check this site multiple times every day. I get about a hundred free IP views, but they hit it so frequently that their tags will always be somewhere on the list if I check during the day. This obviously fuels my motivation to insult them, because it’s not possible to do it directly—and assault is unfortunately still illegal in New York State.

Anyway, fuck that. There’s a lot more going on in the world—and in my life—that’s more interesting, and more entertaining to read about, than this shit. It was a no-win situation, I beat my head against the wall for far too long, and now it’s done.

The plan is to ease my way out of writing about that shit now. My life is going really well. I’m doing a lot of different things for work—stuff that interests me—I’m in a relationship, I’ve settled a lot of the family issues I’d been having over the past several years, and I’m extremely motivated. None of this comes across with all the negativity inherent in all the job posts, and I realize that.

I really couldn’t give a flying fuck about any of it until I sit here and start writing about it. Once that happens, I start getting pissed off—and the whole situation is ridiculous, because in reality, I made some dumb career decisions and didn’t take advantage of the opportunities I’ve had. My fault. Won’t happen again. Seriously.

I’m going on vacation tomorrow—i.e., going away, as opposed to making some kind of “goodbye cruel world” declaration to explain why I’m not writing anymore. I’ll stop the negative bullshit by writing about what happens while I’m away. I’ll also stop being so fucking cryptic, because that’s annoying, too. Maybe I’ll even post some vacation photos if I see anything worthwhile. Who knows? Either way, I’ll just keep doing this and see how it goes. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Here’s some more work advice:

If you’re ever in a work situation where there’s any hint of nepotism going on, you’re fucked. Start planning your exit strategy as soon as you find out it exists.

Nepotism goes something like this:

A man works his way up to the top of a company. Once he gets there, he hires his shockingly untalented son—a young man who attended a mediocre school, earned a mediocre degree, and, since birth, exhibited no appreciable talent at anything other than playing video games and worshipping professional wrestlers. The son works at the company for a few years, then gets promoted to a position where he’s got some authority and influence.

The son reaches this point because there’s nothing anyone can do about it. In open competition, he wouldn’t even have a job in this particular industry, but nepotism is his salvation. For years, he’s left alone to do his thing, and everyone in the company works around him. He’s not going anywhere—he’s a tick that can’t be extracted—so everyone figures the prudent course of action is to allow him to head a toothless department where he’ll do the least amount of damage.

Meanwhile, since nobody’s ever told him he sucks, he never hears the truth about his work. He thinks he’s good. He believes he’s earned his position. This is where he becomes dangerous. He’s delusional enough to consider himself the peer of others in his department who’ve actually put in the work to get where they are, and he starts making suggestions regarding the direction of the company.

And there’s nothing anyone can do about it, because although we all know why he’s there, he can’t be moved.

This always happens at the expense of people who actually know what they fuck they’re doing. You’re competent, and you work hard at what you do, but when you look up the ladder, you see the upper echelons clogged with boobs like this guy—and you know you’re going no further.

If you ever see this shit going on at work, run like the wind. I did, and I’m much better for it.  

Monday, March 25, 2013


I’m somewhat tough. If we were in a bar, and you picked out twenty random guys and told me to fight them one by one, odds are, between what I’ve been trained in over the years and my physical ability, I’d be able to take care of nineteen of them pretty easily. Just nineteen, though, because I’ve been around long enough to know there’s always that one guy. I’d still, all these years later, be pretty solid with that first nineteen, though.

My problem is that I still look like a guy who can fight. I’m not that little nerdy guy in the corner who’ll surprise you with his super-secret ninja shit. That’s not me. I’m not sneaking up on anyone. I think people fuck with me less for that reason, but it works against me in other ways.

When you’re bigger than most, and you have a face with a default mode that makes you look pissed off, you’ll come across people who’ll be afraid of you for no reason. This happened to me at my last job. I had an issue with another guy there. I thought he sucked at his job—he was lazy, argumentative, came in late every day, and lacked sufficient talent to justify his continued employment—and recommended that he be fired because he was creating too much extra work for me. Since, thankfully for several people there, I didn’t have the power to hire and fire, this didn’t happen—although it should have.

When I couldn’t get rid of him, I simply stopped talking to the guy. I avoided even making eye contact, lest I get trapped in a conversation with someone I really just didn’t want to be around. As a result, this seems to have made him think I wanted to beat him up. I didn’t, at least not until much later. I’ll admit now that slapping this little prick around would give me a shitload of satisfaction, but I’m not stupid. You can’t do that in a corporate environment, and I’ve been around too long to get caught threatening anyone, so my policy, for months, was one of avoidance.

To get to my office, I took the 4 or 5 train out of Atlantic Avenue, got off at Whitehall Street, and walked south to Water Street. There a Starbucks on the corner of Whitehall and Water, where the New York Heath and Racquet Club is. The building is lined with mirrors on the Whitehall side. One morning, a few months into this bullshit, I was crossing Whitehall, walking southwest, and saw this guy in front of me, closer to the corner. He looked in the mirror, noticed me behind him, and bolted into Starbucks.

A few days later, my “boss” called me into his office and told me the guy had come in crying the morning of our near-miss, saying he thought I was going to hurt him. Mind you, I probably hadn’t spoken to this anus in at least three months at this point.

Long story short, this ended in an HR complaint, and I actually had to go meet with an HR manager about it.

Even more frustrating were the conversations I’d have with other people in the company:

“Well, there have to be two sides to this story. You must have done something to the guy.”

“No. He sucks at his job, and I have to redo all his work, but I can’t fire him, so I stopped dealing with him.”

“Yeah, but there has to be more to it than that.”

“No, that’s pretty much it.”

“But you must have said something he construed as a threat. I mean, come’re a big guy...”

“Uh, no.”


And so on. The story had just one side, but because everyone noted the fact that I was twice the guy’s size and could easily rip his arm off the shove it up his ass had I chosen to, that the guy must have been justified in feeling threatened—despite the fact that all I did was, well, nothing.

So that—along with another opportunity that came along—was a major reason why I left. Who the fuck would want to work for a company where shit like this happens? The guy got his way, I suppose, but that’s the thing. Would you really want to be known as the grown man who walked into your office in tears, announcing to everyone there that you’re deathly afraid of a male coworker who’s obviously been going out of his way to avoid you? I’m not sure I’d call that a win, exactly. Plus, the guy is still horrible at his job, he’s about to be fired, and he won’t ever get hired again because he doesn’t have the skillset to work anywhere else in his industry.

I know I’m not supposed to be dwelling on this shit, but it’s a funny story, and a fascinating case of reverse discrimination against the unpussified.