Pass me the lube …

‘Cuz I’m screwed.

IKEA Boy just resigned today. He met with Jackie, the king kumquat of the Veggie Patch (or the cruise director of Club Medicated, take your choice on titles), to discuss the unfairness of the lack of his promised tuition reimbursement and my promised promotion/raise. Bottom line, Jackie said no way could those happen (at least, the tuition — we have yet to see what happens with my raise, as Frosty said she’d at least consider it), so IKEA Boy quit.

He did a huge minesweep of his office. Took everything. I kinda stood there — I didn’t want to help. I came to Virginia for two reasons: to get away from my other job, and to work with him. Well, for six months, I had what I wanted. And now, I am left with an issue that isn’t even started, stories that I haven’t written, and a fragile grasp on understanding how to do layout in Quark.

Well, so much for my resolution to quit smoking once and for all. :::puff, puff:::

After he wiped the place clean and gave me a hug, I sat in his office and called RK, who had offered for me to call to talk. I was glad he resurfaced today — I needed to rant. And Tiff witnessed it all through a scattered IM convo, so she can give you the details that are eluding me right now. 🙂

I had a long talk with Frosty today, after IKEA Boy left. Or, should I say, after he left calling her a stupid cunt and an evil bitch. lol. While it was in exceptionally poor taste, he was right — what are they gonna do, fire him for saying that?

I indulged in some pseudo-retail therapy after this debacle (yay Wal-Mart! of course, I needed all the shit that I bought, so it wasn’t a TRUE shopping spree, but humor me). And I got a pair of sleep pants for $2, so I am damn happy. 🙂

But back to Frosty, I said I was just as angry as IKEA Boy over the unfairness of our situations (i.e., the promised money not being available), and I emphasized that I gave up my life in Pittsburgh to move down here, only to struggle and be disappointed in the association to which I now belong. I added that this month, I was supposed to get a promotion, which was going to lead to me learning IKEA Boy’s job. However, I was never promoted, and I never had time to learn his job until now, and well, he’s not here to teach it to me. I assured her that I am not jumping ship, because it’s my career that’s on the line, too. But … I told her, and I quote, that it’s a shame that I had to take it up the ass with their managerial bullshit, and that it’s very difficult for me right now to even know what the fuck I should do next.

I steamrolled her, and all she could do was listen — I wasn’t letting her get a word in, and when I was quiet, she really didn’t have anything to say. I told her that I would love to be able to rant and scream and quit and fight for justice, just like him, but I know that in order to survive in a non-profit, you can’t act like that. She said that in the workplace, that’s just unacceptable anyway. I acknowledged that, and I told her that I used to be just like him — I was a nightmare employee, haunting HR managers across Pittsburgh with my demands and my outrage. But … I told her that I wised up and learned how to play the game, and well, IKEA Boy is probably better off, so he can get a real journalistic job instead of playing the games in a company like ours. And I told her I hope he never loses that fire, because my own fire had been extinguished long ago by working in non-profit organizations for the past decade, and well, I miss my passionate nature. Further, I told her that while I do not and never will agree with IKEA Boy’s methodology in name-calling and file-cleaning and cork-popping, well, I agree with the sentiment behind it.

I also put her on the spot a couple of times. I said I was well aware of the fact that nobody wanted me to work there, because they were afraid that I was going to be another IKEA Boy clone. She said yes. (Wow! An admission!) I said I am not, and now that I gave up my career and moved my entire life down here, I am not going to jeopardize my own career by walking out after him, although, granted, it’s tempting. I told her I’m just as pissed off as he is about my own unfair situation, though, but I meant what I said in my letter to her — I will give them my all, but first, they’ve got to help me to figure out how and why I should do that.

One other time I got her goat — I said that I used to be on her level in another company, and that I know human resources tactics better than most people. I said I know that half of anyone’s job description is the duty to play the corporate reindeer games, am I right? She again said yes. I said that while I admire IKEA Boy for not bending to those games, well, I know exactly where they are coming from, and I know that they are forced to play these games with us, like it or not. She nodded. I said that she and I and the powers-that-be are going to need to sit down for a long conversation tomorrow, and we are going to need to figure out TOGETHER how it is that we are going to save this publication. And that I am willing to cooperate to the fullest extent, but I have got to have my own demands heard and fulfilled, or this is just not going to work otherwise. She said yes, and that was it.

She went to touch my arm — a surprising move for her, as I know she hates me — but to me, it showed a newfound respect. Unfortunately, she ended up touching my boob instead (my arms were crossed and I was shooting fire from my eyes), and she shuffled out, embarrassed. 🙂

At that point, I visited Ollie, got my shit together, and left for the day. My face was flushed, my skin felt as though it were on fire, and I knew that I wasn’t going to get a damned thing accomplished anyway, because my blood was boiling. But shit, I was so fucking proud of myself to standing up to her in a calm, controlled manner.

I ended up at Panera (incompetence central) for soup in a breadbowl and a brief bitch-fest with Shan via cell phone. She was proud of me, and her praise is worth a million dollars, as far as I am concerned. I told her the conversation, word for word, and she said that no wonder Frosty couldn’t speak — I had complete control of the situation, and well, who could argue with such reason? 🙂

At any rate, IKEA Boy and I are supposed to leave for New York City on Wednesday, which I hope we still do. However, I hope the yo-yos at Club Medicated realize that I have this pre-approved vacation time, and if they expect me to stay and work, well, I’d better be compensated for it. Heavily.

My worst nightmare is that they bring back my predecessor, J-HO. Oh, Christ. That would make me walk out, no doubt. Because she apparently hated having IKEA Boy as a supervisor and let the world know it, and she probably would hate me just because I am and will always be his friend. I was theorizing this weekend that perhaps they are keeping her as an overpaid consultant, waiting for the day that IKEA Boy and/or I resign in a fit. As far as I am concerned, I want to contact our freelance writers and have them do the stories this month, so I can work on bringing in someone to do the layout, and I’ll learn it along with them. Personally, I’ll commit for another three to six months, but there had better be some more money in it for me, or I am outta there. I have no slush fund, though, to fall back on, but now might be the time that I think about freelancing again, but I also want to commit to helping Shan with her business, so that I can learn from her and build up some stamina to launch my own endeavor.

The good thing is, the powers-that-be are in a huge budget meeting right now, and well, at least they are now having to figure out how to keep me around (I assume) and how to fix the mess that’s now on their hands. Again, I told Frosty I am prepared to clean up the mess, but I cannot and will not do it alone. I will need a lot of help, and I expect and demand it. She said she agreed.

Argh. That’s all I can really say now.

Well, friends, I suggest you turn now to IKEA Boy’s website for his side of the story. I am certain that, when I publish this and head on over there, you will see unbridled joy on his part. 🙂 Best of luck, IKEA Boy. I don’t know where life is going to take you from here, but you’re the only person I know who can fall in a pile of shit and come out smelling like a flower bed. Happy trails, old buddy. Happy trails. …

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