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5:35 a.m. - 2001-07-18


I overslept which totally sucks.

That is the ONE THING I miss about my old job. I went into the office when I felt like going in. If I felt like going in at 8, I went in at 8. If I felt like going in at noon ... noon it is, Captain! here by 8:30.

Which is not a big problem. I usually get there at 8:15. This way, I can get situated before my sneezing buddy across the hall makes it in and starts making the strangest sounds you'll ever hear come out of a human mouth that isn't currently in the throes of ecstasy.

Soooo...ummmm...I did my first phone interview yesterday for the Eugene, Oregon book.

I had to interview the general manager of a hotel there.

And it was BY FAR the worst phone interview I've done in years.

Personally, I like doing face-to-face interviews. I'm not all that cordial on the phone, it's one of my faults. Face-to-face, I can stare at my subject and intimidate them with my furious beauty.

I must have stuttered worse than Porky Pig yesterday during that interview. And the ONE THING that can make an interview go really shitty is when the interviewee answers questions very bluntly and with no frills. For instance....

ME: "Tell me how your corporation benefits the community either through monetary contributions, volunteerism, sponsorship or another method."

THEM: "Contributions".

(Dead silence)

ME: "Errrr...great. Contributions. Next question..."

That's how the interview went for about 30 minutes.

Anyway, did the interview and then TOLD MYSELF I was going to take plenty of time to write this 800-word profile. DAYS if I needed it.

I wrote 900 words in two hours.

So now I'm back to square one. No stories to write...just sitting on my ass, surfing the web, waiting for people to call me back.

As my Dad would say ... it sure beats digging ditches.

Then again, if my job consisted of me digging ditches, I'd have a nice tan, probably be in great shape and be able to say things like "Fuck, dude...I HATE The Man!!" and people would probably believe me.

Since it's The Man who has me under his thumb, digging ditches.

Goddamn The Man.

So I had to go to the Social Security office yesterday because my new job needs a copy of my SS card which I conveniently lost when I was 7.


Talk about your trashy people all converging on one spot. Pay a visit to your local SS office sometime when you have nothing better to do. I guarantee you, you've never seen so much human waste as you will there.

I walk in and am greeted with a pole that says "Take A Number And A Seat".

My number was 74.

"Number 59!!" the lady yelled behind the bullet-proof window.

I sighed. Fifteen more pieces of trash to go before me.

I took a seat next to the water fountain, which was a pretty stupid move considering it was 99 degrees outside and every single piece of trash in the building wanted to nuzzle up next to the water fountain and slurp their lungs out.

One elderly woman staggered over to the water fountain, leaned down and proceeded to french kiss that fountain like it was Denzel Washington.

I wanted to puke, and probably would have if it wasn't for the fact that I had an exceptionally good sandwich for lunch and didn't want to part with it so soon.

Bored outta my f'n mind, I watched a little boy about two years old run around the office like his ass was on fire.

The crackhead parents were sprawled out in their chairs just watching him with absolutely no energy in their bodies at all. They were reserving their energy to get up, walk over to the bulletproof window, grab their food stamps, and get the hell outta there.

Meanwhile, Junior was playing in the electronic doors, making them

Never mind that it's now 108 degrees outside with a humidity level of 120 and that every time Junior opens those doors, a blast of hot air hits us like we're dangling over a volcano...the parents were too high to do anything about it.

Finally, Daddy says "Junior, come here for a minute."

Junior, ever the dutiful son, walks over to Daddy because any attention from Daddy is obviously a good thing.

Daddy slaps Junior in the face. Not ACROSS the face. He held his hand up like he was swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and popped the kid length-wise down the front of his face.

Junior started crying because Crackhead Daddy apparently hit him in the eye.

The rage built up inside of me. As a father, I couldn't just sit here and let another father hit his two-year-old boy in the eye.

Then again...the kid quit opening the doors and the air conditioning sure felt nice at this point.

So I let the crackheads be. I almost offered to pop Junior myself on the next round, but kept to myself.

It seems like every sonofabitch in the building had a major problem when they were called to the window. A family from India spent like 30 minutes at one window for some reason or another. My guess is that they were trying to explain the origin of the red dot or something, because they were taking FOREVER. Had they not been there, the whole process would have benefitted greatly.

After 45 minutes of sitting there, I was called to a window.

"I need a new SS card," I said.

The lady got my name and address and two minutes later, I was gone.

Leaving the Indian family STILL at their window, trying to help the lady behind the window spell the bride's mother's maiden name. Apparently it had no vowels and was unpronounceable without clicking your tongue several dozen times.

That was really the highlight of my day. Other than that ... my day blew chunks.

As always...maybe today will be better.

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