Monday, May 14, 2012

Post 1995 - Boing!

Welcome to 1995, ladies and gentlemen.

For what it's worth, Patricia read the 1993 post this evening and agreed with every word of the story about the big ass hamburger and the bag of French fries.

Tonight's post is about that year from the mid 1990's.  I turned 31.  I still walked to work every day and mocked and ridiculed the people who had to drive back and forth in crappy weather.

I turned 31 in 1995.  I took some bad financial advice and invested in life insurance.  This was in spite of the fact that I had no family and my work provided for life insurance at the rate of twice my salary.  I croak, my beneficiary gets double my salary as a pay out.  Why was I dumb enough to take out other life insurance?

(That was a rhetorical question, by the way.  Keep your thoughts to yourself.)

Money got tight for me in 1995.  I had car repairs on a near-monthly basis.  I had a girlfriend who made me spend money on her.  I was also dating Patricia (ha ha).  I was still paying my student loan from university.  I had taken out a personal loan to buy a then-state-of-the-art Packard Bell computer and hadn't paid that off yet.  It had cost me the better part of $2000.  (It had a whopping 4 megabytes of ram and an expansive, 170 megabyte hard drive.  An internal 14.4kb modem.)  I had rent to pay and  utilities and everything else.  I wasn't making that much money and had many ways for it to go.

For Patricia's birthday that year, I couldn't afford to take her out to a nice, swanky restaurant, so I made a very nice dinner for her at the apartment.  I may be mis-remembering, but I believe this was the time I was out on my balcony and went back into the apartment for something.  I closed the sliding door behind me.  Patricia had just recently cleaned the sliding door as it was too dirty for her to look at.  It was shiny clean.

You know where this is going, don't you?

I had to go back out to the balcony for some reason.  I forgot the door was closed.  Boing!  I ran into the sliding door and bounced off, not sure what had hit me.  I fell flat on my butt, having nearly knocked myself out and having come close to breaking my nose.  When Patricia came over for her birthday dinner that evening, she got a good laugh when I told her what had happened.  The smudge print from where my nose hit the glass sliding door remained there until shortly before I moved out of the place a few years later.

In other news, I was working with a person in 1995 with whom I had worked since 1988.  When I left my company and became a civil servant, that working relationship changed, but didn't get any better.  I have never worked with a bigger asshole in my life.  I would have to live 100 lives to work with someone even half as big a jerk as he was.  I'm pretty sure it was 1995 when we had a ... disagreement at work that culminated in his threat to me (in front of witnesses) to plant marijuana cigarettes in my desk and call the police.  He would by times become our supervisor when our regular one had left.  When this happened, we all girded our loins and said a few Hail Mary's because we knew we were in for more abuse.  He would wear a tie, and he was fat, so the tie would bounce off his stomach as he walked.  His gait, the way he walked down the street, was different when he was our boss.  His contemptuous sneer for us just made us hate him more.

I won't go on about it.  I haven't worked with him since 1998, some 14 years ago.  I have worked with other difficult people over the years, both before and since.  But I use this man as a benchmark by which to measure and compare all the other jerks I have worked with and known in my 48 years.  No one, but  no one, has even come remotely close to his level of hatefulness; his sardonic attitude toward others; to his bile-filled, apoplectic, bombastic rants at us at the drop of a hat.  I rue the day I ever met him.

Nobody said that life had to be fair.  I learned that  a long time ago.  I have been blessed to have worked with some amazingly generous, kind, hard-working, and demanding people.  I cherish them all.  But like you, I have worked with a few, a handful, of folks who made my life difficult.  The challenge is not to let those few colour your perception of the place where you work.

What else happened in 1995?  Frank Cameron retired from the CBC in August, but before that, he appeared at the train station in support of some event.  I walked down there from my apartment and saw him face-to-face.  Little did I realize that, in a scant 14 years, I would interview him for a few hours and get some extremely forthright opinions on radio.

Christmas was good that year as I recall.  Christmas was always good.

1995 was a mixed bag with me. I had some good times.  I had some bad times.  I nearly broke my nose on a damn sliding door.  I wouldn't want to live through 1995 again.  Would you?

1996 was better, as I recall.  Do you want to hear about it tomorrow?

Well, do ya?

PS Why don't you tell me about a difficult person you worked with?  Leave it as a comment on this post, or a comment on my  Facebook, or reply to the tweet for this blog post!

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