Monthly Archives: January 2011

I See It Now

I have got to get out of the hellhole cigar shop as soon as possible. A job cleaning toilets seems more preferable to dealing with an enabling general manager and a half drunk assistant manager. The half drunk manager who’s catch phrase is ‘exactly’ followed by a few seconds of nervous laughter.

I don’t know why but for some reason I thought he was intelligent. He’s not. It all started yesterday. That was partially my fault. Fred said to me that he thought Sean always goofs off and doesn’t do very much besides that.

On the phone in the office, never around when you need him and when he is around, if you ask him to do something it’s all attitude. Ah, the life and mindset of a 20 year old. Stupid me, after dealing with someone like Juan, who was 20 years old when we started hanging out, figured that Sean is probably savvy like that.


I was off by a mile. Sean confronted Fred, using almost the exact words. When I saw Sean on Sunday I asked him why did he say that? Didn’t he realize that he had the power of knowing who says what about him, but that doesn’t mean he has to act upon it?

No, the 20 year old did not realize that and raised his voice saying that if anyone talks smack about him, they will get smacked in the mouth. Needless to say the day was spent avoiding Sean, with Fred nipping at my heels since I am basically the only one who listens to him speak.

The day couldn’t end soon enough and it didn’t. My weekly phone call to Annemarie probably sounded like a drag to her. The bemoaning of my work situation would have sounded maudlin to just about anyone.

Came back to work after lunch, a Ma & Pa special reminiscent of Sunday evenings at Maxwells back in the day. It hadn’t changed, Sean just as petulant as ever and Fred nip nip nipping at my heels. I did make it home to Bill’s loving arms and no pizza. That wasn’t so bad.

Slept OK, Bill was out at 6:00 this morning and I stayed in bed as long as I could, getting out of bed around 8:15. Got myself together, showered, shaved (been a few days since I shaved and the beard was coming in white!), breakfast and coffee while scanning job listings and sending out resumes and greetings to various recruiters.

Took half a tab of Xanax before heading out. A stop at the post office to drop off my brother in law Rex’s birthday present and then I ran into Rand on the street. His beard is coming in nicely. It matched the hair on his head, not offering a John Bolton look.

After that I was waiting at the usual bus stop, looking for that elusive 126 bus. Made it into the shop, the Bradley was talking to a customer as I walked by and said ‘Morning gents’ and got my coat and bag off. Marcus was in the shop and Calvin was around somewhere.

The neighbors have been complaining about cigar smoke and so some environmental company were in to clean vents and make sure fans were working. Let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time until the back room is closed. I enjoy smoking, but it’s unpopular and the neighbors are complaining several times a week.

A few times when I go into the back room to tidy things up as 10 or 12 cigar smokers are puffing away the smoke is so thick that it feels like I too am smoking a cigar. I mention it to Calvin but he just plays into his drunken denial. And Marcus’ attitude is the neighbors didn’t complain directly to the store, instead going to security so therefore since they did not follow protocol, there is no problem.

Crisis? What crisis?

So the Bradley and a customer are talking as I polish items over and over again, day by day. Cleaning mirrors and glass shelves. Making sure item numbers are visible so picking up and looking for the number would be easier.

The phone rings and the Bradley answers it. “John Ozed? Yes hold on.” The Bradley tells me I have a call, so I stop what I am doing and put the items I was working with away. I walk over to phone and the Bradley gives it to me. No one on the phone, just a dial tone. The Bradley and his prank. I look him dead in the eye and tell him to never do that again.

As I went back to what I was doing, as well as cleaning the store so the cleaning woman has an easy time when she comes in I mention to the Bradley that working there is hard enough and I do not need his shit.

Another thing, on Friday I was told to clear off a shelf on Sunday before I left so a vent could be accessed. Calvin knew about it. What does he do? On Saturday, Calvin has Sean and Fred clean up that shelf, straighten up the cigars boxes and whatnot, just so they could be taken down by me on Sunday night.

Today Calvin tells me that Fred is no longer allowed to ring up sales, having messed up this weekend. Then Calvin went back to the office and stare at the camera recordings with a bottle of Molson in front of him. Seeing notes that he wrote while doing so, I noticed he had times that Sean was in the lounge, in the office, wherever.

He had me written down too, but my time seemed to be only once and it was for eight minutes which can’t be too bad. And if they bring it up I will say it was my break. You work 8 hours, you are entitled to two 15 minute breaks. In any event, I have to get the hell out of there as soon as possible.

Like I said, I will clean toilets. I have a new toothbrush just for the occasion.
I’d even consider Bala Cynwyd.

taking out the garbage since the cleaning woman who knew where it goes on Friday, forgot where it supposed to go on Monday

I Only Have Eyes For You

I used to nap in style,
An hour was worth my while,
10 minutes at best
Is my current rest,
And 50 minutes are in denial.

That limerick is true. I just made it up, the first line in my mind when I woke up from the aforementioned nap. I thought I’d have an hour long nap but it didn’t turn out to be that way. No worries, 10 minutes was enough but more would have been nice as well. A cat nap is all I needed I suppose.

I didn’t exert myself much at all today. Been lazy but somewhat productive. Errands were run, groceries were bought. I rarely have Saturdays off these days and was surprised that the price of the Daily News is now a dollar. Threw me for a loop. A buck.

At risk of sounding like an old geezer, but I remember buying the Daily News for five cents, the Night Owl edition at the Saddle Brook Diner. I used to eat a lot at that diner. It was and still is across the street from the Saddle Brook VFW, where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up.

It was where my brother Brian and some other children of drunken veterans were accused of stealing tips by the staff. I also saw a car accident where everything seemed to go into slow motion right outside the diner, and I sort of knew one of the people involved in the accident, one of the Peplowski girls from the other side of Lodi.

Three visits to the dry cleaners today. One was to drop off, one was to pick up and another time later on to pick up Bill’s stuff. The owner’s name is Mona and I like her. Mona and her husband run a cheerful shop and they do good work at a good price.

Not much planned for the evening. Had a headache most of the day and aspirin did not do the job. Woke up with it actually. Figured it was a dehydration headache and hydrated myself as soon as I could but the headache persisted, hence the aspirin.

It seems like the ten minute nap did the job and I feel a whole lot better, but a desire to go out is nonexistent. Anyway, I have to work tomorrow.

I noticed this morning when I was out and about, that the 10:30 bus that never shows up when I need to go to work on a Saturday morning showed up when it was supposed to. I cannot help but take this personally.

Is my reputation that terrible that bus drivers will forgo a time table just to avoid me, at the cost of dozens of riders? And does this have anything to bear on my relationship with my own personal bus driver- Bill, who just so happens to be driving to Atlantic City tonight? It’s certainly most unnerving.

And now I am going to make some dinner, using the sauce that Stine made last week. Since tomorrow is Sunday, I won’t be writing unless there is something extraordinary to write about.

That’s about it, smell ya later.