Print Story Jobs Are For Chumps
Working life
By CheeseburgerBrown (Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 02:55:32 PM EST) promenade, commercial park, officious little prick (all tags)
Chumps with stuff

Nothing is happening at work, but my boss likes me to sit in my chair all day anyway. Today I wandered away for a while to listen to my iPod and have adventures. When it started to rain I came back, and now here I am.

I work in a commercial park. For those of you who might live in countries where things like commercial parks are rare, the idea is like a modern, self-contained exurban neighbourhood except instead of cookie-cutter houses it features a cloister of low-rise business-leased buildings arrayed barracks-style around a café and a golf course, with a hotel at each corner.

The abandoned boulevards are decorated with young trees shading picnic tables no one ever sits at.

Outside the precincts of the commercial park there is no grass; instead, Big Box Tex Mex Liquid Lunch Emporia separated by garbage bins and Upstairs Exotic Massage concerns. Everything is ringed by parking lots. If you're in the mood for a drive-thru martini, taco and handjob, this is definitely your sort of strip.

Overhead, airplanes turn in slow spirals, in queue to land at Pearson International. They screech and thrum.

The building next to ours is vacant. I go there sometimes. There is a square plaza in the middle of the green glass towers, and I like to sit on the stone benches to eat my lunch. If it's too windy I sit instead on the ramp to the underground freight doors. If it's too rainy I crouch inside one of the four small hollows at the corners of the architecture, in a roofed void behind the pillars but before the green glass. These hollows are very convenient. If it's raining very hard, I will meet a host of squirrels and pigeons in there, too.

"Hi guys."

When the rain is done I can cross the field of connected parking lots that eventually leads back to the loading doors near my desk. I stamp in the puddles. I take a running start to make it easier to leap up to the loading door's ledge.

I seldom see people when I venture out. The sidewalks in the commercial park are purely for form's sake. When people are hungry for Tex Mex or discount mouth sex, they drive. Tobacco smokers tend to clump near the doors, uninterested in what may lie beyond. Theirs is an excursion of necessity.

Today I crossed an unassumed street to an overgrown field of weeds and broken infrastructure near the golf course. Beneath the high grasses were barred apertures in a concrete foundation, connected as some kind of disused waterworks. I could yell in one and hear my voice come out another. I could see my face reflected in the swill, haloed by clouds.

Hands behind my back, listening to Rimsky-Korsakov, idly kicking pebbles with bare feet.

"Hey! Hey you!"

I looked up. A fellow was waving at me. I waved back.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"Just having a look."

"I don't see any smoke."

"I'm sorry?"

He was crossing the field, making his way toward me, arms held up high as if contact with the grass tops might burn. When he was closer he said, "Don't tell me you're just having a smoke when I can see you're not."

"I said I was having a look, not a smoke."

"Now you're changing your story."

I wasn't sure how to respond to that, so I smiled politely and moved to continue on my promenade.

"This is private property!"

I turned. "If you say so."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"There aren't any signs or fences."

"That doesn't matter. I can have the police here."

I furrowed my brow. "What would you tell them I was doing wrong?"

"Refusing to leave private property."

"But you haven't asked me to leave yet. How do you know how I'd respond if you did?"

"This is trespassing and I can have you arrested."

"Ah, there. Now you're saying something." I turned around and started making my leisurely way back toward the road. "Nice chatting with you."

"I think you can move faster than that," opined my host.

"Never the less, I'm not."

He began dogging my heels. "Alright, let's go. Pick up the pace."

"No thanks."

"I can call security now and have you detained until the cops get here."

"No, you can't."

"Don't test me, son. I definitely can, and I will."

"Okay," I said, not turning around. "Knock yourself out. Call 'em."

He stopped saying anything until I reached the road. I stretched, yawned, and sat down at one of the picnic tables along the boulevard. "What do you think you're doing?" barked my new friend.

"I'm having a sit."

"This is private property."

"No, it isn't."

"This table belongs to the club."

"No, it doesn't."

"I can call the cops right now if you want me to."

"You keep saying that, but you don't ever seem to do anything about it. All bark and no bite if you ask me."

I'm really not sure why I continued to antagonize the poor lout at this point. It wasn't in the least relaxing to sit at the picnic table -- in fact, my hands in my pockets were shaking a bit, because confrontation makes me anxious. Still, it rankled me that the officious little prick -- some lawn-cutting doozer from a bottom-tier golf course -- wanted to toss his manhood around at the expense of my peaceful promenade.

"I'm calling this in," he warned, still not doing anything.

I looked at his utility belt of shrubbery shears. "Do you have a phone there somewhere, or will you need to borrow mine?"

"I'm reporting you as a suspicious person. And you're refusing to cooperate."

"What is it exactly you feel you need help with?"

He straightened up and tried to look very official. "Alright, I've had enough of your BS. Move along now, this is your last warning."

"You don't seem to understand that you don't have the power to evict me from city land."

"This is private property."

"No, that is private property. This is city property. I have as much right to be here as anyone."

"Think I'm impressed by your attitude? Think you're funny? Well it's nothing but BS. Give me your name. Now."

"Aren't you a gardener?"

"You want to be smart? Tell you what: it would really be the smartest idea if you just cooperated now instead of giving me a bunch more BS. Okay?"

"No, that's not okay."

"So you want to play games with me, huh?"

"Not really," I told him, standing up. And, that being said, I realized I really had nothing more to contribute so I started moseying away down the boulevard.

"If I ever see you around here again I'm calling the police, no question!" he called after me. "You won't think it's so goddamn funny anymore!"

I tried to think of something pithy to shout back at him, but my brain was empty so I just put my earbuds back in and went on to thinking about the next thing...

Shake to Shuffle in the iPod 3.0 software should have a preference for setting the sensitivity. As it stands, I reshuffle the playlist every second step. The whole time I was arguing with idiotsticks the music kept jumping from song to song. That's no way to score a standoff.

It started to rain. I took out my earbuds and listened for sirens, but heard none. Around the corner, across the lots, I scrambled back up the loading door and ducked inside the office.

Now I'm sitting at my desk again. Ho-hum.

I wonder where I shall wander tomorrow.

< More olives please | Friends don't let friends drink vodka martinis >
Jobs Are For Chumps | 35 comments (35 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
You Canadians are too polite by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:09:01 PM EST
in America, this would have been settled with nines, or gats, or AKs.

Or at least a conversation more along the lines of by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:12:49 PM EST
"Fuck you!"

"No, fuck *you*!"

"No, fucking jackass, fuck you."

Or something like that. Perhaps with some shoving.

The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
"Double Dumb Ass On You!" by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:22:06 PM EST
It's true that I never worried that he might try to touch me. He may have worried that I was a violent lunatic, though -- after all, bare feet == hippie == political activist == terrorist.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
What The Crap Is a Nine or a Gat? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:23:11 PM EST
I thought those were numerals and tariff agreements respectively.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
Don't you listen to that hippity hop music? by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:23:58 PM EST
Ask your kids, they probably know.

[ Parent ]
I Can't Understand The Lyrics by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:26:29 PM EST
I need one of those Cracker > Ebonics dictionaries.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
FAIL WHALE by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:00:20 AM EST
Ebonics > Cracker YORE DOING IT RONG

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:00:20 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by ammoniacal

[ Parent ]
guess you don't work with the urban market by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:28:19 PM EST
nine = 9mm, a common caliber of handgun.

gat = gatling == gun, typically a handgun, often a glock, but could be others..

[ Parent ]
a drive-thru martini, taco and handjob by wiredog (4.00 / 3) #8 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 03:58:53 PM EST
Y'all hiring?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

That's worth buying a car for. by ad hoc (4.00 / 5) #10 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:18:47 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Can you make a martini? [n/t] by Herring (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:35:49 PM EST

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
It's not like it is hard. by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:08:36 PM EST
Just put the olives in the gin.

(I think you are required to own some vermouth for some reason.)
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I ike my job a lot by Fela Kuti (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:10:44 PM EST

Gardiner? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:42:23 PM EST
Stay off my private property fucker by Fela Kuti (4.00 / 3) #16 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:59:27 PM EST
I swear to God I'll eventually call the cops, more or less.

[ Parent ]
So by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 04:38:41 PM EST
what did the man look like ? I get the "git offa my lawn" feeling from him, but ...

And can you post the geo co-ords, so I can see this thing from google satellite ? Intrigued about the locale..

The Man by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:41:57 PM EST
The man was maybe middle aged, a little bit fat for his polo shirt which had a logo of some kind on the breast.

The coordinates are here.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
The thing is by Herring (4.00 / 1) #17 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 06:39:37 PM EST
people in low-status jobs with uniforms get to shout at other people. They also get paid overtime and aren't generally called to work stupid hours for no extra money.

People in senior management jobs get to shout a people also. And they get more money and they don't get called on to work a load of unpaid overtime 'cos it's acknowledged that they don't have any useful skills.

People in the middle - computer techies, graphics wizards etc. don't get to shout any anybody and can be called on at a moments notice to work extra to "fix stuff".

The world has gone wrong somewhere.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
What? No shouting? by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:30:53 AM EST
Tell that to our vendors.  Or at least the vendors we had when I dealt with vendors.  I made a customer service woman cry once.

[ Parent ]
Who plays golf there ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 08:41:48 PM EST
In the states, most golf courses are part of a residential plot/division/community.. It just seems odd to have what looks like a commercial park surrounding the fairways, and not million dollar homes..

(And some of those commercial lots do have a seedy "dump the dead hookers here" look, based on the satellite picture..)

[ Parent ]
Business Douches, I guess by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:39:52 AM EST
Nobody I know. Not even the business douches I know, actually. But there's always some lardo cracker in a polo shirt whaling away at a ball out there when I drive past, rain or shine.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
lardo cracker in a polo shirt ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:55:39 AM EST
Haven't you described yourself in as much terms before ? :)

What sports do the non "business douche" types play ?

[ Parent ]
NEVAAAAR! by littlestar (4.00 / 2) #31 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 03:26:21 PM EST
CBB would absolutely NEVAR wear a polo shirts. It is entirely against his religion along with jeans and eighty-eight percent of all other clothes.


[ Parent ]
hmm. I've been around there by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 08:58:21 PM EST
There's both a steak house of some sort and a Jack Astor's to the north of Dixon Rd.

(I tend to remember things with my stomach and my eyes. And if my eyes don't see anything remarkable.. well..)

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Clone Restaurants by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:39:08 AM EST
There is a lot carbon-copy large-portion eateries around here, mostly American chains where the waitress is paid to be extra obnoxious (basically, any place that has to ask "Have you been with us at ********'s before?" is a part of that same evil mess). I suppose one or more of them could be a Jack Astor's.

Those that aren't carbon-copy large-portion eateries are cheaper, Canadian facsimiles thereof -- all owned by Cara, the airline "food" people.

I try not to buy food around here, but when I must I go to the commercial park café where buying the tandoori chicken requires a credit check. In contrast, bringing my lunch from home is relatively cheap.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
well, by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 01:44:42 PM EST
I wasn't precisely living there at the time. This past spring, my wife was writing her last law school exams and we were staying with her mom in Etobicoke. I was also working remotely, and so between the two of us, we didn't have much time - I ended up picking up random things along Dixon Rd. ;)

Pizza Nova and Swiss Chalet are pretty good, though.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
wait, airlines still have food? by Phil Urich (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Aug 19, 2009 at 09:28:00 PM EST
It's been ages since my flight information said anything other than "none" or "snacks only" in the "food service:" field. To make matters worse, the Minneapolis-St.Paul airport (which nearly all my flights seem to need a layover at) doesn't even have a Pizza Hut Express anymore (which had the most mysteriously tasty fast-food I've ever had, and it was replaced by McDonalds, ugh).

[ Parent ]
Poor, poor man. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #34 Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 07:45:19 AM EST
That address has "Etobicoke" in it. No wonder he's angsty.

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
I thought of you by garlic (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:17:23 PM EST
when running into traffic driving through toronto on 401 during non-rush hour times. The traffic signs are all very amusing compared to the ones I see in chicago, which matter of factly tell me times to get places, or to watch out for vehicles with stolen children. None of the ones in chicago say to merge politely, or to please consider mass transit next time.

toronto doesn't have non-busy by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:00:39 PM EST
Rush hour is a parking lot, other times are just "active". Even at 3am.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
You're response by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 09:03:53 PM EST
Was to put your earbuds back in and sit at the table while he yammered.  You shouldn't rise to interaction with the plebes.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Sure, But Where's the Colour? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:36:12 AM EST
I guess it just goes to show how bored I was at work.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
[ Parent ]
True by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 09:02:19 PM EST
Interaction with the commoners would certainly not occur if there were better entertainment to be had.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Fight the power by duxup (2.00 / 0) #33 Fri Jul 31, 2009 at 10:27:43 PM EST

Jobs Are For Chumps | 35 comments (35 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback