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5:38 a.m. - 2003-04-10

HAPPY ANNIVER....OH CRAP! yesterday I did the unthinkable.

...I forgot our 15th wedding anniversary.

Completely and utterly FORGOT.

Not just forgot to serenade her with my piss-poor rendition of the Little River Band's "Happy Anniversary".

Not just forgot to give her an extra kiss out the door.

Not just forgot to even get a freakin' card.

Just. Completely. Forgot.

In my defense, we've had a lot going on recently. Both started new jobs. Had the yard sale this weekend, which doesn't sound like much, but we do yard sales right...we don't just put three laundry baskets of dirty clothes in the driveway and wait for people to make offers on it.

And it certainly helped that Mrs. Bob forgot all about it too.

And that at 6 p.m. last night we shared a good laugh over the fact that finally we had forgotten our anniversary.

We'll go out to dinner this weekend sometime to celebrate.

So yeah.

Happy anniversary, baby.

Got you on my miiii-ind.

When I left my last job last week, I thought there would be a really good chance that I would never be paid the money owed to me because the company seemed to be in some pretty dire financial straits.

So I took out an insurance policy that would hopefully insure that I got the $3,000 owed to me.

I ...uhhhh...I took the company's laptop computer with me.

I was bringing it home every night on the chance that one day we would show up for work and the doors would be locked and I would be out all that money.

So at the very least, I would have gotten a computer out of the deal.

When I quit, I didn't return the computer.

And you know what?

I felt like crap about it the entire time I had it.

When I was firmly entrenched in the situation, I was angry. I wasn't being paid on time, my bills weren't getting paid and dammit ... either they were going to pay me or I was going to have a new laptop. One or the other. Made no difference to me.

But as soon as I was hired on at my current job, the thought that I had actually stolen this computer began to eat away at me.

I could function. But in my heart, I was a thief. I was stealing from a company that was having trouble making payroll. It seemed perfectly logical when I did it.

But now I felt as if I should be rotting in hell.

So yesterday, I contacted the boss at the old place and told him I had the computer, which he already knew because they figured it out about five minutes after I had quit, duh.

He had my next-to-my-last paycheck. So we decided to do an even trade.

I've got to admit, I was nervous as I drove over there yesterday. I had seen David get pretty mad at people in the past. But I kept thinking "If the guy decides to take a swing at you, just leave. You don't work there anymore. Just give him the computer and leave."

But ya know...David is one of the greatest bosses I've ever worked for.

Yes...I'd even put him up there with the evil boss Wendigo.

I got there, and he congratulated me on my new job.

The first thing I said was "You're not going to kick my ass, are you?"

We then sat down and I said "Before we start, I just want you to know that I've never worked for anyone who was so universally admired and respected as you by everyone here."

He thanked me for that.

I then blubbered on and on about how he's the glue that holds that company together and how I had never heard anyone say a cross word about him. That he was honest and fair and all that.

And how I felt like crap for taking that computer.

Anyway, we talked and he was just as nice as he could possibly be. He didn't blame me a bit for leaving like I did. I've just built a brand new house, I've got a two year-old and my company wasn't able to pay me on time or even give me a clear-cut answer on when I would be paid. He said he couldn't fault me for not giving a notice.

And at the end, he shook my hand, gave me a halfway-manly hug which was more an arm around my shoulders and said "If I can ever do anything for you, don't hesitate to let me know."


The guy almost got me choked up with that. It was totally not what I thought he'd say.

So now my conscious is clear.

The company still owes me a great deal of money and he couldn't tell me when I would be getting it, just that I would be getting it.

And ya know...that's alright with me.

Yesterday, I spent my work day writing a script that would be recorded and played on the trolley cars that shuttle tourists all around the downtown area.

The script turned out horrible. For the last two years I've written three types of things ... serious coffee table book stuff, scathing Television Without Pity recaps and this diary.

It was hard to break out of that mold and write a script that would inform tourists about our city and its history.

Bottom stunk worse than a barrel full of dead skunks.

So at 2:00, I get together with the evil Wendigo, my boss Dee, the radio guy who would be recording the script, the Mayor's right-hand man, and another of the girls from the Visitor's center.

We got on the trolley car and the driver/tour guide was a bit apprehensive about us being on there without really explaining what we were doing there.

We tried to decide how to do this. I thought we'd just have radio guy read the script as we rode the streets.

Someone suggested that the trolley driver just do his usual spiel.

So he did.

And he kicked my script's butt.

He knew every fact, every minute detail of the history of the city. He had plenty of "filler" commentary in between sites.

He was incredible.

Now...he did make a few mistakes. The most glaring mistake was saying that a former governor had been assassinated.

The guy was never shot and is in fact, still very much alive.

Other than that, he had such a passion for his job that when we all exited the trolley, we all said the same thing ... we can't take that away from the guy.

You just don't run across too many people anymore that are so wonderful at their jobs. Most of us show up for work, do our work and then leave our work at the end of the day.

But this was so obvious that he lives and breathes his job.

So now comes the task of convincing the Mayor that we don't need a script written and a commentary recorded by the radio guy.

We need more drivers like Tony.

Hell ... we need more people in this world like Tony.

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