I am on my fifth workday back in the Office.

Maybe my radar is keen to the micro aggression of the Office Narcissist but it picked up one this morning. He said “You spent more on your breakfast than I will spend at the grocery store to feed my family for a week”. Of course that is a paraphrase. He said that in response to his subordinate who brought in a food item and a drink from Starbucks.

I don’t go to Starbucks unless I am required to. My second ex wife was a frequent customer. So, I know how expensive food and drink are at Starbucks.

The guy he said this too replied vaguely about ‘knowing the cost’ and walked away from his desk. Of course, I overheard this exchange but didn’t say anything as it is my policy to not say anything to this Narcissist. But I wondered what the reason for the comment other than a micro put-down, a minor saying to put the guy in his place, a way to say that I’m superior to you because I keep my spending in line and don’t give dollars I work my ass off foot Starbucks for high priced and worthless food and drink.

Yet, yesterday afternoon, the Narcissist bragged about the amount and the quality of food he buys from Krogers, giving in detail cost and weight, and how he prepares such food, offering advice to anyone who listens on ‘how to do it right’.

While he was lecturing the office people on how he cooks I put my ear buds to block him, listening to the RHCP Californication cd. I certainly did not miss his narcissism, his lectures, his comments to put people down.

Drawing effort on the morning on June 10, 2021. Saved from Photoshop by Dave O.
Drawing effort on the morning on June 10, 2021. Saved from Photoshop by Dave O.

Four Days Into It

And so begins my forth day of Office work. So far, it’s been ok. Actually, I do like it, working in the Office. Back in March 2020, when Covid came upon us and I was sent home, I was ready to get out of the Office. There were so many bad attitudes flowing through my head about some of the people in the Office that I was standing beside myself not knowing what to do.

Although those people are still here and not much has changed in terms of how I feel, the bad attitudes have thankfully faded. Those attitudes are still there but what is different is that I ‘just don’t care’ anymore.

For example, one of the Office Narcissist, a loud talking, opinionated man was promoted. Thankfully he has no influence on my work detail. But I figure if the owners choose to promote him over other worthy candidates then they have their own self interest in mind. Meaning, he is the type of man that pushes buttons just to egg people, as he enjoys inflicting emotional pain on people. There was a slight revolt when the owners promoted him and meetings were called to talk about the issues as most of the Department was threatening to walk out.

For many years he pushed my buttons. And he enjoyed it. I watched him push other peoples’ buttons and he enjoyed it. And admitted that he enjoys ‘playing with people’s emotions’. He doesn’t have emotions so it’s easy for him.

While in Quarantine, I was able to step away from that. Not hearing his talk every work day for fifteen months somehow built my emotional strength as now I listen to him and feel sorry for him. Maybe it’s the Wellbutrin I started to take while in Quarantine that is giving me the edge. Maybe it is the fact that I resigned myself to my economic fate and just don’t care to climb this ladder any longer. Maybe it is the attitude that I have now to “do the job as best as I can and be happy about it” and don’t pour my life into it any longer. That is sad because at one time I did care about climbing the ladder in this place, but all those decades of effort and belief won’t pay off in the way that I expected. I just don’t care anymore.

Office Lunch

I picked up a package of Kroger Premium Chunk Chicken. The retail was $8.99. There are six cans bundled into the single package. This equates to $1.498 a can. The package of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup $4.99. There are four cans in a single package. So, each can is about $1.25. So, for lunch today, I mixed two cans of Kroger Premium Chunk Chicken and a half a can of Cream of Chicken soup. This lunch will cost $3.63 ($3 for the chicken and $0.63 for the soup).

I suppose $3.63 is not a bad price for a lunch. It beats the $12 for a fried beef burrito at the local Mexican pub that is our usual Friday lunch spot.

Before Covid, before I was exiled to the Home Office, lunch was always a struggle for me. I could never find the right food to eat. I would dash out to the local Long Johns Silver, Arbys, McDonalds or some other fast food place to pick up a lunch. Sometimes I would stop at the nearby Krogers to buy a sandwich. For a while, I ate crackers from the local Dollar Store thinking that would help me lose weight. Nothing really satisfied me. Sometimes I would struggle to stay awake in the afternoons.

It was shortly before the Owners sent me home that I started to spend the lunch hour at my desk drawing with a pencil in a sketch book. I found that a can of Campbells Chucky Chicken Soup would satisfy me. I would put on the headphones and listen to music for the hour. At that time I was having issues with some aspects of the Company and using the lunch hour to meditate and draw was a huge help. However, at home, the lunch hour evaporated as the entire day became the work day. It was just recently that I picked up the drawing effort again, but that was after work in the evenings.

Drawing effort on June 8, 2021 before the Huion Tablet suddenly stopped working. Ugh. iPhone screen shot by Dave O.
Drawing effort on June 8, 2021 before the Huion Tablet suddenly stopped working. Ugh. iPhone screen shot by Dave O.

Day Two

Thus begins the second day of Office work. The morning was a rush to prepare myself and lunch, take meds, fill the ice cube trays, clean the kitchen, take the laundry to the basement, ugh, it didn’t end. My objective was to stop at Walgreens on the way to the Office to pick up a can of Cream of Chicken soup to mix into the two cans of Kroger chuck chicken. I will need to stop at Krogers on the way home to resupply. Geez, $1.79 per can at Walgreens compared to $1.25 at Krogers.

It’s loud in this office, not only from the conversational chatter but there is a huge fan circulating air in-between sections of the Office. It sounds like an airplane in flight. If you can imagine an L shaped floor plan, the fan sits in the crux of the L blowing air to the small side of the L where there is much empty space. The office is cluttered with prototype pumps and tanks and assorted other stuff that gives the atmosphere that this office is where a mad scientist fiddles with junk experimenting in hopes to find something that works.

It was good to reacquaint with some people I haven’t seen in a while. Most of the people who were sent home for the Quarantine would rather stay home, believing there the work from home gig is better. Like my experience, the work from home gig was great regarding the freedom from the Office structure. Maybe that was the problem, too much freedom.

I rushed to the Liquor store last night to buy beer thinking the supply is low and I wouldn’t get my share. At home, I worked on the mulch containment system until the new Craftsman chop saw I bought from Lowes stopped working. Ugh. I got ten cuts, maybe twelve before it stopped working.

Maybe they will turn off that fan?

Concrete Angel, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Nikon W300 photo taken March7, 2021 by Dave O.
Concrete Angel, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Nikon W300 photo taken March7, 2021 by Dave O.