Tag Archives: Tom Chin

The Time is Now

Exactly, what is it with Wednesdays? At the edge of a funk for me. And for no particular reason. Granted work wasn’t as busy today as it was yesterday.

I did want to smack Tom Chin around today. But I feel like that most days. He made me look like a moron this afternoon. He doesn’t really work as an employee of my rapidly sinking company, he’s a consultant.

I book a room then find he booked it for something else without telling me. So I switch what I booked. Right before Tom Chin’s meeting was scheduled, some of the conservatives start to use the room. I go in there and tell them they have to move.

Luckily we have three conference rooms. I poke my head in Tom Chin’s office to find out what time his meeting is supposed to start and he tells me it was moved. Nothing like some non-communication to get things going to a halt. I looked like an idiot.

Today is Earth Day. A rainy earth day at that. What have I done for earth day? Can’t really say. Can’t really say I’ve ever done anything for earth day. I was probably more inclined when living in Weehawken with William, since he had a garden in the backyard.

I would contribute some banana peels for compost.

My office doesn’t do anything for earth day. We don’t recycle. Paper gets used and wasted. My desk is covered with paper that I’ve rescued to use for scrap paper, but there’s no reason to use scrap paper since there is no real work that would require it.

I spent some time today watching people debate both sides of the same sex marriage issue in Maine. It was interesting to watch.

The pro same sex marriage people speak rationally, heartfelt and with conviction citing legislation and facts. The anti same sex marriage people quote their bibles.

That’s it.

God doesn’t like it. It’s a sin. God will get angry. You will face God’s wrath.

What kind of god is named god? Would you name your son, Male? Boy? Your daughter- Female? Girl? Such a lack of imagination.

Sad to say the anti same sex marriage people seem lesser educated, but they do have their myths to back them up. A few times I heard, ‘You know, 2000 years ago….’.2000 years ago, what? What happened?

It’s basically an issue of love versus hate it seems to me. If a same sex couple that is committed wants to get married and receive all of the benefits of marriage who would get hurt?

Is it basically fear? Or finding comfort in ignorance? I don’t think marriage is for everyone. I don’t even know if it’s right for me. But I do feel that if 2 committed adults want to get married and receive all of the benefits of marriage that opposite sex couples receive, then they should be able to.

What is the big deal? Why can’t parents simply say to their kids when they ask why 2 men or 2 women are holding hands or kissing, why can’t they say, Some men like men and some women like women?

It would probably end the situation right then and there. Kids don’t really care, they just want to know.

Instead you have some young boys, trying to be good, study hard and get called Gay or Fag. So far this year 5 young boys have committed suicide because of bullying from other kids, being called those names.

Their schools failed them. Their families are left with a hole in their lives that could never be filled. Children have to be taught to hate. And it seems like they’re being taught to hate at home and in the churches.

One Less Bell To Answer

Back to work for me today. Very cold this morning. I lay in bed, kept hitting the snooze button. I would get out of bed eventually just waiting for the right time. My cellphone kept going off with a text message. I figured it was Bill wishing me a good morning. When I got out of bed I checked it.

Bad news.

While Bill slept last night, his mother (who has Alzheimers) wandered out of the apartment without her coat and shoes and went looking for something, perhaps a ride to Puerto Rico. Stuyvesant Town security found her and brought her back. She cannot be left alone and obviously needs an eye on her at all times.

When I responded to Bill’s text, with an ‘Oh jeez’ he immediately called and filled me in. She had frostbitten feet from being outside with the temperature in the teens and a knife like wind chill. Bill told me the story and said he had to get a locksmith and see how much it would cost to get an additional lock on the door, one that you lock with a key inside.

All this before a shower and coffee. I said all that I could to be supportive, then jumped in the shower. Got myself together, wore a nice suit, not too nice since the world was a frozen mess, and some work boots which did not go with the suit at all despite being a similar color. Rode the bus and read the New Yorker.

Walked across town with the iPod playing a range of songs from Pet Shop Boys to the Monkees ending up with the Neville Brothers. The office was quietly buzzing when I came in. Some people came in yesterday, most didn’t. Greg Stevens was in New Mexico on vacation for a few weeks.

Tom Chin made it in and while I was talking to Bill, he asked me to come in his office when I got off the phone. I walked in expecting the worst but it was just asking me to go to the bank when I had the chance. I had errands to run and decided to stagger them, do some now, do some later.

As the day went on I spoke with Bill a few times, just checking in. Medicare had sent a bureaucrat to size up the situation with Bill’s mother. They tried to do it last week but Bill was unavailable. Their visit was to see whether or not Bill’s mother needed 24 hour care. Perhaps after hearing of her unauthorized excursion they will see the need.

I made it to the bank and picked up my lunch. By the time I came back, Vivek was in the office. Not that it mattered. He and his partner sound like they’re arguing, but they are just really loud Indian guys. After an hour or so, Vivek comes up to me and says he needs to speak with me. I figured, this was it.

We go into an empty conference room, he sits on the couch I sit on a chair near the couch. It almost looked like a psychotherapy session. He tells me that things aren’t going so well and that he will have to cut my hours.

Effective this week, I will be working 4 days a week out of 5. I was ok with that. Not happy about it but I realized that I would rather work 4 days a week rather than 0 days a week. I told Vivek, if that was the case I would like to take Mondays off since Tom Chin is out on Fridays.

He told me that wasn’t going to happen since Tom Chin will not be around much longer. They asked Tom Chin for his resignation and he gave it to them. I don’t have the details on his last day but he will be more of a consultant and really not around much at all. So I’ll have Fridays off.

I told Bill about it a few minutes later and he was concerned, but I tried to ease his mind since he had enough on his plate, telling him that 4 days is better than none. And it’s true, it is. Things will be tighter around here, but I think it’s manageable.

Who knows? In a few days I could be totally panic stricken.

Crackerbox Palace

Not a bad Fat Tuesday. Not that I’m celebrating Mardi Gras. Just today was an agreeable day. Sure there was a bit of nonsense but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. Last night was rather ho hum. I thought Heroes would be the big thrill of the day, but actually it focused on the boring characters.

Harpy called when it started and I told him I would call him back In retrospect, I should have taken his call. The horned rimmed glasses guy’s back story simply isn’t compelling, and the cheerleader would have been a better storyline. Also, no Syler which means dull dull dull.

After that I watched Futurama and Demitri Martin’s show on Comedy Central. My brother Frank recommended it and he was right, it’s pretty funny. He does remind me of John Hamilton though. Speaking of John Hamilton, Bill and I are attending a surprise party for him on Sunday. Hopefully he doesn’t read this blog, or Google his name, where this entry might pop up.

Went to bed after the big news story of New York getting a new archbishop, replacing the old archbishop who’s retiring. Not that anything with change, they’ll just have to let out or take in the brocaded cape and gowns.

Haute couture while schools are closing. Yeah they have their priorities straight.

Yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve walked on the property of St. Patrick’s cathedral. I usually cross the street, but it couldn’t be avoided. Did you hear or read that the catholic church is bringing back selling indulgences? Yep. Sure are. Gotta raise some money and bishop needs a new pair of (Prada) shoes.

Slept really well last night, woke up to the sound of the Monkees singing Daydream Believer. I like leaving a little later, the bus isn’t that crowded since there are buses rolling down Washington Street every 5 minutes and I get to ride in a coach bus. Very comfortable.

Since I finished Sarah Vowell last week as well as the double issue of the New Yorker I had nothing to read yesterday and wound up staring out the window. Today I made sure I had something and brought the latest issue of Uncut magazine and read about the formation of Apple Records 41 years ago. What a mess that turned out to be. Good intentions, lousy results.

Work was a breeze today. Tom Chin has the flu and didn’t stay all day which was good. He gave me something to fax when he gave me the go ahead and then he left the office. I got the thing ready but didn’t fax it, but sent an email telling him I did.

I’d get yelled at if I didn’t fax it and wasn’t sure if he wanted me to, perhaps I missed his go ahead. He responded, probably while on Metro North heading back to Connecticut, in caps writing ‘I told you to wait until I told you!’ I replied that the fax machine wasn’t working properly so it didn’t go out after all.

Actually it never left my desk. He’ll probably have something to say about it tomorrow, if he comes in.

Today’s comedy was courtesy of Vivek. He gives me some checks to deposit. One goes to this bank A, the other goes to that bank B.I get the deposit slips all set but the account number has one too many digits. I ask him if he’s sure it goes to bank B and he says yes.

I go to bank A and that went well, I was able to make the deposit. I go to bank B and they tell me it’s not their bank. I then go to bank C across the street and it’s not them either. I then cross another street and go to bank D where I’m met by some helpful staff.

They escort me to an office and a handsome young man comes in and enters the info. It turns out it is his bank, bank D. He does the transaction while I wait in the office and comes back with the deposit receipt. I ask him how things are with the current economic climate and he tells me he works at a bank that actually has shown a profit.

Then he asks where I bank and I tell him. I’m getting a vibe from this guy, that he’s into me. Imagine that, being seduced so I could perhaps switch banks. It was a pleasant experience and I left after complimenting him on his suit. Gave him something to dream about.

Left work an hour or so later, on my way to see Bill for a few minutes. I had every green light and made it across town in surprisingly record time. Saw Bill and we had a few laughs. He asked me to go to Easter services with him and his mother.

Sure, I said, mentioning that I will have 40 days from tomorrow to think about it in case I change my mind. He mentioned that he wouldn’t be able to get ashes tomorrow due to his hectic schedule. I told him that Ash Wednesday is probably a favorite holiday of dermatologists around the world.

The Wolves (Act I and II)

Fucking hell. That’s the type of day it’s been. Didn’t start out that way surprisingly despite the fact that I wasn’t able to go to sleep when I wanted to. Wound up falling asleep around 1:30. It seems the 2 hour nap that I had taken earlier stole some much desired sleep. I lay in the dark and laughed about how fat I am.

Still with about 5 hours of sleep I felt pretty good as I woke up and got my act together and headed out to catch the bus. Almost finished with the Lennon bio and of course it’s due today. I figured I would be able to find some time and read it, maybe at lunch, maybe on the bus ride home. It was not to be.

On Friday I got an email from Tom Chin telling me to get a few expense reports together and he wrote especially that I shouldn’t wait until Monday to do it. I took care of most of that as well as some expenses Vivek had me do for his other company that he and his business partner are doing.

They claimed $8000 and change, I found they were owed $8200. I could only do so much on Friday since I was the only one in my company in. Greg Stevens seems to be fading from the company. I guess being the president of nothing in particular will diminish one’s enthusiasm, Vivek was travelling for his other company and Tom Chin doesn’t come in on Fridays.

So today there was a lot of things that hit me as I walked through the door. Some company needed our tax ID number which I tracked down and when I sent an email to Tom Chin and Vivek, Tom Chin said he was working at home, feeling ill. He told me I had the info available but I couldn’t find it.

That’s when I found it looking in other years files. He started yelling at me telling me what I had (which was what was asked for) was wrong. He’s a jerk in person and a fucking bitch when he’s sick on the phone.

Then it was the expenses which out of $1700 was listed, I found $1600. I told Vivek about it and he insisted I call the bookkeeper. I decided not to call her and figure it out myself. An hour after I usually leave, I was still there. I had everything spread out on a table and showed Vivek, ‘I have this, I have that. This is that, that is this.’

After a day of looking at these expenses I was toast. I even told him I was toast, two hours after I usually leave. He had me call the bookkeeper and started screaming at her. It was ugly. Apparently he was on a yelling kick today, going so far as to scream at his pregnant wife that she’s ruining his life over the phone.

I didn’t hear that but heard about it. I cleaned up whatever I had on the table which was no longer in neat stacks. I was really toast and all the stress started to mess up my back. Back in his office I can hear Vivek yelling at Tom Chin that he had to fire the bookkeeper after tax season. I know this will bite me on the ass tomorrow as well as Thursday when the bookkeeper comes in.

But I didn’t do anything but just tell him that he might be getting less than $1700. My name was mentioned but it was about ‘why should John have to file those papers? Why doesn’t the bookkeeper do it?’ I don’t mind doing the filing, I’ve been doing it since day one at the firm. But man, I don’t think in all the jobs that I’ve had, I’ve never bore witness to such an ugly scene.

I asked a question which opened a whole can of worms which I will hear more about this week. Usually I rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic, but now the captain is losing his mind and the crew is turning on each other. Left the office feeling lousy and even though I smoked a Padron, it didn’t really give me the satisfaction it usually does.

Made it to the bus where I had to stand, lower right part of my back throbbing. No reading the Lennon bio. I should return it tomorrow, it ends badly I know.

Came home, my brother Brian called. He’s stressed and I talked with him for a while but I don’t think it helped either one of us.

I really hoped to talk to someone, but it turns out, I don’t have anyone I can talk to. Julio is busy with Stine and Alexander, no time for this big baby. Annemarie is too far away and plus she was unavailable since she was working or en route from work.

Forget about my brother Frank, he’s no help these days unfortunately, and Bill is directing his first play tonight and when he calls later he’ll be all about how the directing of the play went, and I wouldn’t want to rain on his parade.

Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day, but I obviously have my doubts. It’s all about the economy, my company trying to stay afloat and get whatever monies owed to us and it is stressing everyone the fuck out.

Oh yeah, the coffee maker crapped out and I spent a good part of the day filling it with white vinegar to clean it out.

Shoplifters of the World Unite

Well last night was very chilled out. I hung out at home, watched TV. Actually was watching John Adams, quite sad last night. Also watched Marianne Faithfull with her 20th Century Blues, singing the songs of Kurt Weill and one by Harry Nilsson. She’s a favorite of mine. I saw her in the 80’s at the Bottom Line on the Stranger Weather tour. She was off junk and looking great, smoking up a storm, but then again everyone was back then. Strange Weather is a Tom Waits song, presently owned by Marianne.

It was also the song that kept playing in my head last Wednesday when I was caught in a power play in the office. It’s a melancholy song and it rings true, especially with the lines, ‘all over the world, strangers talk only about the weather. All over the world, it’s the same’. Yeah it would be a difficult song to link arms and have a sing along while hoisting pints. While John Adams was watching his son Charlie die, I was playing Scrabulous on Facebook with Julio and his cheap words. Scrabulous is a very unauthorized online version of Scrabble which Julio and I used to play back in his jazzy days. His words are cheap but admissible.

Still I rallied and won the first game I had played in a number of years. Bill came home last night, first time in weeks, at least when I’ve been here. It was really nice to be able to hold him while sleeping, and no, I didn’t throw any punches in the middle of the night, though oddly enough I woke up with some strange mark on my nose. It doesn’t hurt but still I have no idea what it is or how it got there. Just a small blotch about a centimeter long, and of course, it’s red. I don’t think it was there before I went to sleep. Bill noticed it too and I told him, maybe he hit me (for once) while sleeping. I don’t think he liked that humorous accusation.

I left the apartment before Bill and sat on a soon to be very crowded bus. Got to the office, once again before everyone else. The day off I had on Friday made it difficult to get motivated this morning but I got my act together and made coffee. As usual the dribs and drabs trickled in. One of the people I work with, Padma is very nice and very smart. She’s a PhD and we usually have some fun chats throughout the week. Today she asked me where Quinn was. Quinn is a guy from Ireland, not very social hence my never ever writing about him before. I think he’s a jerk with a brogue. He used to live in Hoboken and even owns a restaurant in town. I tried talking to him about that, he was so unresponsive I thought I should check his pulse.

Anyway, he wasn’t in. Last week Vivek told me he would be working out of the office more than usual. OK by me. So Padma asked where he was and I told her that he’s going to be working out of the office from time to time. No big deal, right? Well to Tom Chin it was a big deal. About 20 minutes Tom Chin comes up to me, telling me that I’ve spilled the beans. I immediately thought, I made coffee, and I don’t recall spilling any beans. I didn’t recall any beans at all, we get our coffee ground. Tom Chin was very upset and had me meet him in Greg Stevens office.

There was Greg, nice guy, a friend almost, sitting at his desk, telling me to close the door. Next to him sat Tom Chin, angry. Greg asked me what did I say to Padma. I told him what I told her, which is what I heard from Vivek, that Quinn will probably be working out of the office more often. Greg turned to Tom Chin and said, ‘No big deal.’ Apparently something is happening here and I don’t know what it is. I have an idea though and it doesn’t turn out well for anyone.

Had an excellent chat with brother Frank. He really sounds almost as good as he did before the stroke. Perhaps the seizure he had reset the wiring in his brain. Still has a lot of rehab to go through though. We talked about John Adams amongst other things, including my Arcade Fire meltdown last year. He remembered the anniversary. Still neither one of us could figure out what cause my anhedonia that night. It was odd especially since I had reread the emails we exchanged the day after the meltdown, when I woke up and realized the problem wasn’t with him, it was actually with me. It was a good talk and I’m glad he’s one of my best friends.