My Value

This morning, I learned my true value here at the Company.

A new employee is introduced to the Service Narcissist, who is also the service manager, so he was given the responsibility to start the new employee’s orientation. The first step of the orientation is to watch a video that walks the new employee through the ‘new employee’ manual, taking the new employee page by page, explaining what key policies are, what forms to fill out, information about health insurance, disability, vacations and much more.

Of course it is not a MCU type of video with super heroes flying in and off screen to keep the new employee’s attention. Of course, it won’t win any grammy award for most excellent employee video.

As the Owner Narcissist handed off the new employee to the Service Narcissist he said, concerning the new employee video, “It is a riveting production keeping you on the edge of your seat”. Of course he said it as sarcasm, his gist is that “I hope you stay awake” or “sorry, it something we have to do for the legal team so you won’t sue us because all the details are in the book and video and you are now aware of your rights and responsibilities as a new employed here at the Company and nobody wants to personally sit in front of you and explain the crushing details to you”. In other words, the video sucks and it is a waste of time.

I put a lot of effort in that video. And, I put a lot of effort in producing the employee manual. Of course it won’t win a grammy, of course it’s not viral on You Tube. The production budget was the cost of my wage.

Fuck him. He owns the Company, brags about owning the Company. If he hates the video so much, if he doesn’t believe it is good enough to keep a new employee’s attention, if the video doesn’t do what it is intended to do, then order another one produced. He owns the Company. He can make it happen.

But, alas, that is his style. He condemns and criticizes everything else, belittles other people’s efforts, dismisses others as trivial and beneath him, thinks he is charming because he is so witty.

Yet does absolutely nothing about it.

Many, many years ago an employee in the ON’s department said of my effort for the Company, “I don’t know why we need a Graphics Arts Department” which was a personal slam as I was the Graphic Arts Department. I don’t know why that guy said it, he was actually a nice guy. He probably thought that the position was created just for me since the daddy owned the Company at that time, which is probably true in one manner but desktop publishing and graphic arts was beginning to take hold in the corporate world at that time and it made economical sense to have a skilled person on staff to do this kind of work instead of hiring third party vendors. I have that skill.

So, the ON doesn’t believe my effort has value, he probably hasn’t watched the video in the 20 plus years it has been in existence and updated and revised numerous times. If he did, he probably would have caught the Easter Eggs I left in the video.

Thankfully, due to the meds I take, losing some weight, the Cabin debacle, the “last laugh” text, I just don’t care anymore. If the ON doesn’t believe my effort is worthy, then fuck him. Fire me, let me go, escort me out the door, I don’t care.

I only stay because there are over forty thousand reasons and more on the way and for the health insurance and I actually enjoy the work. The pay isn’t too bad either.

So there.

Sunflowers on July 24, 2021. iPhone 7 photo by Dave 0.

Bad Attitude

Ah … the Owner Narcissist returns to the Office after a ten (work day) vacay to his condo in Wyoming and to the Skywalker Ranch somewhere in California. I believe this is his fifth two week vacay this year. Of course, I’m probably wrong about that but most employees in this Company get only ten days a year. But, of course, I’m not an Owner. Why he is an owner in (what used to be) a ‘family’ business is beyond my comprehension other than realizing he was in the right spot at the right time.

Please bless him.

But, certainly if you analyze things in detail I wasn’t worth of the family business since the day of my birth. I don’t believe he is worthy of the business either. But, I didn’t make those decisions. There were certainly different standards for different people when its said the same standard applies to everyone.

I just have a bad attitude this morning. It came on when the ON (owner narcissist) enters the Office bragging about his ten day vacay and his experience at the Skywalker Ranch. Then, the SN (service narcissist) enters the Office bragging how his grilling prowess is legendary. It was too overwhelming.

For some reason I remind myself that I have a chip on my shoulder. I must have several chips sitting on my shoulder if silly conversations by silly little narcissists can give me attitude. And again, I remind myself that I am just an employee, that I have been just an employee since I started working here in 1992.

I looked up Skywalker Ranch on Google. The only information I could find was this article. It references most of what the ON said. Maybe he just read this article and really didn’t go to the Skywalker ranch.

The Patio at Chilly Waters. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on August 9, 2020.

Grilling Man?

I am not a person who grills. I don’t like grills. I do enjoy the food that comes off the grill but I do not enjoy grilling.

I must be in the minority. There are eleven males in this office. I believe they all enjoy grilling. They enjoy talking about grilling.

Two of the eleven guys are totally obsessed with grilling. I mean beyond totally obsessed. One is the Service Narcissist. He had not even sat at his desk before he was bragging about making ‘home made’ grits on the grill this morning.

How does one make ‘home made’ grits?

The other man obsessed with grilling had recently bought a ‘blind box’ grill. Apparently, he gave over $400 for this blind box. He didn’t know what he was buying only that it was a grill. Apparently, the blind box contained some sort of mega awesome grill.

Of course, I don’t know really what ‘blind box’ means in reality. I just over hear their conversations because you can’t help but over hear their conversations.

The SN asked about the ‘burn in’. Apparently that means you run up the temperature to over 350°F to burn off manufacturing oils, grease and paint and other toxic stuff that ships inside the grill from the manufacture before you cook food in the grill. Apparently that is extremely important that it calls for detailed conversation.

I don’t know why I hate grilling so much. I heard the SN brag about his grilling prowess for the past 20 years while working in this Office. I’m just tired of it. I probably extrude that to grilling in general.

Indiana Cardinal at an Indiana bird feeder. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on July 16, 2020.

Peacock in the Office

Oh my … it will be a long day.

I work in an open office where there are no cubicles or walls. The only windows look down onto the shop floor. So, I hear everyone’s chatter, whether they are talking to customers or to each other. Usually, the chatter is background noise and I can concentrate on my work.

However, there are two people in this office that don’t fade into background noise. They are the Owner Narcissist and the Service Narcissist. It must be something about their voice frequency that moves through my ear drums and I can’t get their voices out of my head. It becomes very difficult to concentrate on the work.

One of the few ways I cope is to plug in the ear buds and turn on the iTunes. Lately I’ve been fascinated with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium. It sort of reminds me of the Beatles’ White Album for some reason.

There is a new service person in the office. So, the Service Narcissist is on stage to dazzle the rookie service technician with his intelligence and knowledge. He is like a peacock, fanning his tail features to attract a mate and intimidate others. He raged when the first service call of the day rang up saying he was too busy ‘catching up’ since he was out of the office for two days this week. He then talked for 15 minutes about airlines and car rentals.

I put in the ear buds to drown him out. I have to keep the volume high to do so as his voice invades the ear buds too. Maybe there is a scientist who can do a study on this man’s voice. Certainly there is something unusual about it.

Yet, I seem to be the only one in this office who finds it difficult to drown out his voice. I don’t know why. Maybe the same scientist should do a study on me.

Time Lapse of the overhead sky. Taken by Dave 0 on July 8. 2021 with the Nikon W300.

One Can Hope

And thus begins the final day of the forth week back in the Office. It’s inventory day so I was expecting a quiet office and shop. Most of the office people are on the floor and the shop stops working to count the little pieces of stuff they work with. It is also the day before a three day weekend.

But …

The ON (owner narcissist) is all excited about his trip to California. At 7:00 am he began relating his vast wine experience and knowledge to the IT guy. I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard about the wine cellar he had custom built in his basement. I’ve heard of his cycling trip through the Napa Valley where he ‘had’ to become the on site cycling mechanic because the tour outfit was incompetent. I’ve heard about his trips to his condo in Wyoming and then quick stops in Yellowstone on his way to the Valley. How he smokes cigars and sips expensive wine that people like you and me will never taste.

I didn’t care to listen to it again so I put in the ear buds. I had to turn up the volume to drown out his voice. Ugh.

When I thought he had blown all his smoke I take out the ear buds. Then, he calls the employees at the local Dunkin Donuts (where my second ex wife and daughter and son had worked) complete imbeciles and should be fired because they packaged his donut order incorrectly. He brings donuts in for the employees that are assigned to work the inventory count in hopes they can actually count correctly this time.

According to the Company calendar the SN (service narcissi) was to be out of the office on a service call. Yet, he shows up at 7:30 am and begins a conversation with another service tech about the $399 Rural King gas grill that was recently ordered. I put back in the ear buds to drown out that conversation.

So begins the day. Thankfully the ON leaves at noon to catch a flight to Wyoming. Maybe the SN will leave at the same time. One can hope.

Sculpture inside The Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus.
Nikon W300 photo taken by Dave O on October 26, 2018.


And now comes another Monday morning, June 21, 2021. The Summer Solstice was last night at 11:3 PM EST. According to the authorities June 20, 2021 was the longest day of the day. So, the daylight will start to decrease until the Winter Solstice on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:58 AM EST.

Both office Narcissists are gone from the office today. One is on vacation for the week and the other is on a service call for a few days racking up the credit cards points on the Company’s expense so he can take free vacations and other what-not. So, the Office will be quiet for a few days.

Friday, June 18, 2021 was an exciting afternoon as there were email issues with our web host and distribution system. Friday evening I celebrated Fathers Day with my dad. Saturday was a mixture of relationship and productive work, an 80 – 20 mixture. Within that 20% of productive work I was able to progress on the MCS (mulch containment system). Sunday was 100% relationship day as it was Fathers Day and the kids came over with a lunch at Between the Bun. The weekend of June 26-27 will be 100% relationship so I need to get any productive work at the house done during the work day evenings.

The only ‘bummer’ on the entire weekend is that I took a nap from 6pm – 7pm on Sunday evening. My oldest and the grand kids were at the house, but they were napping too. I wish I would have spent that time drawing with the graphics tablet. Once everyone left after 8:30 pm I immediately went to bed to watch You Tube videos. I didn’t attempt to read. I laid in bed for a few hours. Ugh. Should have read something instead of mindless watching You Tube.

Kind of a cool pattern in this cut off tree branch. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on January 6, 2020.
Kind of a cool pattern in this cut off tree branch. Nikon D600 photo taken by Dave O on January 6, 2020.

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.