I have been applying for conventional jobs. Jobs that have a set schedule and a designated desk where people come to talk to you about deadlines, going out for drinks, or, hopefully, some fucked up but good looking coworker. Not a bartending or stand up comedy job where going to work runs the possibility of someone throwing up in front of you or calling you names and laughing at the same time. A job where I am protected from my yesteryear, where going to work does not have a heightened risk of unexpected and unanticipated social visits. Places where I only have to be afraid of bumping into other downtrodden, lifeless employees when I walk around the strictly defined work space for eight hours. A safe place where I never have to worry about some unemployed guy who crushed my fragile self esteem by teaching me I can’t even get an imbecile to appreciate me, yes that guy, popping by to remind me I liked someone who has no drive or self awareness. I need a restraining order from my past. It’s following me around.
I love bartending, I do, but more and more lately I feel like the moody ape at the zoo. “Hey, Kendra’s in a mood. Let’s taunt her. Oh look she’s smoking cigarettes “– I flick a lit butt at them and they laugh. “Hey let’s see if we can get her to chug this beer. Ohhhh I hope she’ll get aggravated and say something funny.” Maybe I just take everything too seriously. I need to be more like my mother.
My mother works in the State House in Human Resources. She likes the social aspect of it but she doesn’t really like to work. Who does? I know. The difference is she’s pretty honest about it. Lately a lot of people have been calling about an employee benefit that allows discounts on public transportation. My mother didn’t like repeating the same information so many times plus, the people asked a lot of questions without even looking at the website so she decided to make a flyer, it took her a long time. When she was done her boss gave her feedback which included making changes to the flyer which my mother didn’t want to nor did she know how to do. So she said “I think they get the gist.”
They flyer idea was squashed but now when people call about the benefit everybody says “Don’t give it to Carol.” So it worked, she doesn't have to do what she didn't want to do.
My mother called me from work the other day furious. She had been accused of making 710 copies of a single page document. That means 710 pieces of paper with the same stupid words, she explained. She only needed 10. She had 700 extra copies. She didn’t do it but everybody thought she did. And she didn’t like it. Her theory was Fred did it. Yes, she was pointing the finger at a man to take responsibility for not knowing how to operate a big huge machine. Not only that, his name was Fred. I know a lot of trouble makers, none of them are named Fred. My mother had an alibi, she had been at lunch when the offense occurred. That’s the other thing about my mother, nobody wants to deal with her when she’s mad and defensive. She’s the sweetest, prettiest, funniest little lady to be around but piss her off, holy shit, she’s unrecognizable. The more I listened the more I began to realize nobody was quite as upset about the hundreds of copies as my mother was. I had a feeling her coworkers had stopped listening so she picked up the phone for a fresh audience. Ultimately, I told my mother I had to go which she hears as a challenge, a challenge to try to get me to stay on the phone even though I want to not be on the phone anymore. So then the questions start, grasping at straws to keep the phone conversation alive “where do you have to go?” “what are you doing there?” “are you alone?” “what will you be doing later?” “did you get those pants hemmed you mentioned to me once in passing two months ago but I forgot about it until just now?” And then someone on her end mentioned Fred and Voila! I am cut loose.
I haven’t heard a peep about Fred, if he’s smart, he’s avoiding my mother at all costs.
My mother listed a pair of jeans to sell on eBay so that should be good.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle. www.kendracunningham.com