Monday, January 4, 2010

An old Favorite to Keep My New Readers Up to Speed

Really long and mildly funny story...
names have been changed to protect the guilty

So in the fall of 2006 I was working as a temp and, since I made such a big impression on the Corporate HR president for a medical company, I was apparently requested to sit a position at corporate. When I was introduced to everyone I noticed a slight imbalance in this office building: there are about 15 women and 3 men. One man was the HR VP, married, etc. One was a very attractive recruiter that I'm pretty sure I wasn't his type. The other guy was the Retention Manager (whatever that is) and he had no pictures up in the office that I could see that would indicate any family or significant others. He also gave me that "eh-heh, it's a girl" look when we were introduced. He'd only been there for about a month and no one was really sure what he did....

So I was eating my lunch outside during the first couple of weeks because the weather was nice and I couldn't stand being indoors. He would drive in from wherever he'd been, wander over and strike up a conversation. Then he'd stand there and talk to me for 10 or 15 min until I had to go back to work.

In one of our conversations I discovered that he liked jazz, celtic and other random forms of music, so I invited him to come to my concert (I'm a jazz singer for those not in the know). He said he'd love to come, pulled a no-show, then gave me this horrifically lame excuse. (It was a beautiful day and it was the first time he'd been able to run since injuring his ankle a week or so before. Once he started he was enjoying himself so much that he just didn't stop until 7:30. Since my concert started at 7, well that was that.)

This, however, sparked a series of somewhat flirtatious email conversations. Kind of like im, only with email. Then he asked me if I would teach him ballroom dance. We contracted and set a time. $25/hr and he was to feed me dinner. I had no place big enough to really teach, so we settled on his place, which was rumored to be quite big (and wasn't).

So I pulled in and made friends with the two dogs. He let me in and one of the first things he said to me is that we need to re-negotiate my fee. (Are you joking!?) I wouldn't budge on that one because I'm 1. coming to his house, 2. teaching him alone in his house, and 3. coming straight from work to do it. He then changed the subject and we shot the breeze for a half hour and then had an hour and a half lesson. He and took me out to dinner since there was no food in the house. Good conversation. Relatively good food. (I hate Tex/Mex) Really managed to enjoy myself. Got back to his place and bartered again. Got $20 for the lesson.

Next day I got the "was that a date we went on" email. Oy. So I explained to him that I could lose my job for dating someone in the client company, so I'm gonna go with a no on that one. So then he pushed it and asked if it would have been a date if that weren't a possibility. I fended him off with philosophical questions and forced him to define a date and finally said I hadn't thought about it. (Remember, at this point I still think he's hot.) He finally let it go.

Meanwhile, I noticed that he was splitting his spare time at work (which he seemed to have in spades, even though he told me that he's two to three times more productive than any normal person) between my desk and this other girl's doorframe. Her name [for our purposes] is Courtney. She was the hiring manager for my position. We were the only two young, cute, single females in the building. Since my position was practically Courtney's right hand, it caused some interesting dynamics when they were flirting and I had to get something out of her office because I was actually (eh-hem) doing my job. haha. However, although he flirted and talked to her- he wassn't pursuing that avenue at all. It had even been said at work that she asked him out and he turned her down. (Notice that this situation isn't shaping up so well for me?)

So. Several email conversations and a week or so later, he invited me over to hang out with a bunch of friends who were going to watch a movie, Kylie's choice. Kylie was a co-worker that I knew and admired. She had recently quit our system and started working for another. I appreciated her sense of humor, her style and her intelligence. I wanted to hang out with her and since the Retention Manager (Stephen) was behaving himself and keeping his hands off I figured it'd all be ok...until only he and I showed up. Awkward? Yes. We ate dinner and watched a movie and talked for forever and tried to convince the others to join us but got no takers.

Next morning I was informed by another of the recruiters (AKA: not Courtney) that I was highly qualified for the position and so was this guy they were looking at and they really wished there were two positions so we could both have one, but they had decided that he was the better fit for the job. The HR Pres, however, had requested that a maternity leave position not be filled until the recruiters had made their decision about whether to keep me or not because if I was loose, she wanted me to fill that position until the girl having the baby came back. (I seemed to be making friends in high places.) I was nice about it. I was polite. I thanked them for the opportunity. I didn't cry. I left the office about to kill something cute and fuzzy.

They had no idea that I'd seen Danny's resume. (Yes. They hired a man for a front desk/receptionist position over me.) They had no idea that I knew that Danny had no experience whatsoever and I had 6ish years of office experience and 6mo of recruitment as well as two months of HR experience in their own system (one of those months being in the very position they were hiring for) giving me a total of 8 mo recruitment. Danny didn't even finish his pre-interview paperwork. His background was in retail/fast food. He didn't turn in names and numbers for all of his references.....and he was a better fit!? Yeah. Ok. See. Danny and I worked together at a retail job. I know him. And I know that they lied to my face.

The building was in an uproar. 2 people had made the decision for 17 of them. The other 15 had already made their desire known just about every day since my interview- they wanted me. So they were a little bitter.

I managed to make it through that day and stop by Stephen's office to confirm that we were having our lesson that day. He was tired and had forgotten all about it. I'd turned down being called in at my retail job to do his lesson. He conceeded, but wanted me to come later. I came straight from work because it was halfway between my place and his. What was I supposed to do with myself for an hour and a half while he was sleeping!? He conceeded again and told me he was going home to sleep, but he'd leave the door unlocked and I could just let myself in. We'd do the lesson when he got up. Considering the type of day I was having, I figured curling up on a couch somewhere with Sun Tsu's Art of War wasn't all that bad an idea.

I get there and open my car door and his half grown retriever/lab something is in my lap, butting his nose against me and licking my face. Thanks, Jimbo. Before I get out of the car he manages to slam his muzzle into my nose. Slightly painful since I had just changed my nose ring.

I got into the house without the dog accidentally killing me in his exhuberance and, lo and behold, there's Stephen. He'd gotten the new seat for his racing bike in the mail and couldn't wait to put it together. No nap for him.

So I started dissing him about it and how he shouldn't be this tired, he's young! etc. He told me he had a hard day. Had to face a CEO who was ticked off about him being a half hour late to a meeting and then deal with morons all day on top of a really long drive out to one of the facilities in the middle of nowhere. He said it in that "Well you didn't have to..." way. So I simply responded, "Nope. I lost my job today instead." (Take that, Jerk!)

So then we went through the story- what happened, the explaination, the subtext, the method, the gross lack of proper procedure....and he decided he was tired and we sat on the couch making snide commentary at the political program that was on tv. He finally got up the energy for the lesson, but he had no focus. Ri-frickin-diculous. I got somewhere, but it wasn't impressive progress by any stretch of the imagination.

The evening then degenerated into a game of catch with the medicine balls. So we were talking, horsing around trying to balance on the yoga balls, and he was explaining some of what his degree was in and what you can do with it (not much)- and he gets this brilliant idea in his head. Now, mind you, the whole time this is going on I'm thinking to myself that there's something going on here...something he was headed toward and just hadn't hit his moment yet. Next, he decided to show me this ab work where you're on the yoga ball with your feet anchored under something and playing catch with the medicine ball...only he didn't let me heft it before he threw it to me. All I knew was that it was heavier than the last one we'd been tossing around. I made it through the first two catches and returns. The third one was a bad toss to begin with and I didn't have good enough position to stop the momentum with my hands. I caught it, but ended up guiding it straight into my face. 8lb medicine ball landed right on the curve between my nose and my forehead. (Remember, I'd already been socked in the nose by the dog.)

So I fall off the yoga ball into the floor and I'm sitting there laughing. He comes over and he's laughing too and asking me if I'm all right. Then the man that never touches me reaches down and pulls me to my feet....and collects me into his arms....and gives me a hug....while apologizing....and then...he doesn't let go...haha. Stupid, stupid, stupid. *shakes head* Waaaaaaaay too predictable.

As I rolled my eyes I pulled my head back to look him in the eye and call him on it- and he had that look. You know the look I'm talking about. Why do guys always get the same exact face when they're about to kiss a girl? Do they all take a class somewhere: here- this worked for a guy a really long time ago, so it should work for you? The biggest problem with that is- when I'm not into a guy and he tries to kiss me- kissing face is hysterically funny to me! Poor guy. I was trying so hard not to laugh at him. He wasn't letting me pull away, so I ended up with my head in this really awkward position to keep away from his face, I looked him dead in the eye and said, "hi there".

*Gasp!* I had broken one of the cardinal rules of romance: never EVER speak when a guy gives you kissing face! It seemed no one had ever done that to him before. He smiled at me and said, "Hey. How you doin' today?"
"I'm standin' here wonderin' what you're doin'."

He let go of me like I was hot iron. haha. Then he wandered over to one of the medicine balls and started playing with it as he said, "Yeah. That's right. We talked yesterday about why you and I wouldn't work."

"Yeah. We did. So what was that?" -hint, hint. (He can't have a relationship without sex and I can't have a relationship outside marriage with sex.)

Then he changed the subject and started talking about something completely random. I figured I'd let him have a small bit of his ego since I hadn't had dinner yet and went with it. And then he, out of the blue, inserts some other comment about how the two of us wouldn't work out together, not that he wouldn't be my friend and hang out with me because of it, but we just wouldn't work out together.
"Wasn't thinking we would."

He just looked at me. *blink. blink* Poor guy. It was like he was trying to take control of the situation and make it look like he was rejecting me- when it was entirely the other way around. Poor unfortunate soul.

So the subject changed again for a while and he CAME BACK TO IT AGAIN!!!!!! Oh. My. Gosh. And he said that it wasn't true that I did't want a relationship. I really did! Otherwise I wouldn't be going on all these dates with all these guy! And why would they keep taking me out anyway? So I explained the "free food for me and men are eternally hopeful" logic as well as the fact that I tend to hang out with guys who are like me and want the date with no commitment. He shook his head like he couldn't fathom that.

Then he gets this weird look on his face and says, "No. No way. Don't tell me. You're're really Are you a virgin!?" (that last is more mouthed than said. you couldn't even properly call it a whisper) I could have died laughing! Now this is a dangerous question to answer with a guy I don't know very well. I took a chance and told him the truth. (yes, I am) He told me I was lying. Poor guy. His mind just couldn't wrap around that. So I explained to him that I see it a lot differently than most people- particularly since guys have been trying to get that sort of thing out of me since I was 6. (His daughters are 4 and 5.) That settled him right down for about a minute. Then he said, "Yeah. That would do it." No. Ya think?

Then he recovered and told me that he didn't think I was a virgin though and that I had just had a really bad experience and hadn't had good love yet. If I had had good love it'd be different.(What was that about men being eternally hopeful?)So at several times later in the night he randomly referenced the "good love" idea- always indicating that his was good. I think he was trying to catch me by the drip method. Didn't work.

For dinner I ended up going with him to this pizza place he frequented in college to meet his best friend Casey. Casey was west-coast chill. His excited and animated attitude was about the same level as most people are when they're the rest of the time he's just about half comatose. However, his mind keeps up. He'd dish the sarcasm right back at me and run with any fictious information I decided to assign to him, so it's not like he wasn't paying attention.

Stephen thought that Casey had no game and that's why he couldn't get women. Well, it was true that Casey had no game (it was king of endearing, actually), however Casey had a core goodness that caused him to focus on his patients before himself (he's an RN) which gave him points in my estimation. Stephen was trying to teach Casey game by trying to make him more like himself. All three of us were sitting there text-messaging Kylie to see if she could keep up. At the end of the night- I was the one with a date with her. haha. Take that. (and, yes, I did go!)

So I was sitting there watching this dynamic and realized that Stephen ran Casey down all the time. Casey was head-over-heels for Kylie and Stephen was rubbing it in his face that Kylie was texting him more. He was even checking on what Casey was sending Kylie and telling him he was doing it all wrong. He was running him down for not stopping to eat earlier that day because he ended up in several emergency situations at work that day taking care of patients. He dissed him for using his privileges from being ACLS certified to make higher judgements on patient treatments. (When there's not a primary dr. on the floor, the ACLS guys are allowed to call the shots that save lives.) Stephen made it very apparent that night that he's only out for himself.

After two hours over pizza, it was pretty apparent that Casey was the better man. But Casey seemed unaware of this and was actually listening to Stephen's asessments.

While all this is going on, Stephen was coming back to the "good love" concept and (get this) rubbing it in that I'd lost my job that day over him. It was like it was a trophy to be the cause of such dissention. I got sick of him. He finally made one "good love" comment too many.

"You know what the problem with the whole "good love" thing is?"
"No, what's that?"
"Every guy assumes that his love is the "good love" and they'll all tell a girl that. So how are we really supposed to know?"
"Well with me it's not just assuming."
"Really? You have proof? I've got to hear this one."
"Well, you know. Repeat customers. If they come back then it must be good." This was said with one of those goofy self-assured grins.(I'm not even making this up- he really said that to me.)
"Well maybe they just don't know what good love is either."
*cricket. cricket. Brett looked up from texting Kylie to see what would happen next*

The sick thing is, even though I'd just shot his plane and he's crashing with both engines in flames- he was smiling at me. He LIKED it that I'd just killed his argument. Oy.

Well. The night wasn't a total wash. I got to check out a pizza place I hadn't experienced, meet Casey, set up a night out Kylie, whom I really loved talking to and hanging with, and I made the money on the lesson- no haggling...not to mention I got a really fabulous story out of it. haha.

After hanging with Kylie I realized that she wasn't really at all what I thought she was and I probably wouldn't become super-close with her because sex isn't an all-consuming item with me. However, she did comment that Stephen was an idiot if he wrote me off just because I wouldn't sleep with him (which made me feel good). She confirmed several of my suspicions about Stephen's managerial skills (which he prides himself in)...or lack thereof. And the next day at lunch the ladies let go some more information that was just validating my opinions and conclusions about this guy. Basically, he was a pompous ass trying to get some of mine.

But I still had to work with him- and he was still expecting dance lessons. So I finally ended up mentioning something in an email that made him realize I wasn't "ok" with his performance and we ended up talking about him trying to kiss me. He told me he wasn't trying to kiss me- he was only trying to "comfort" me. (Oh please. Guys trying to comfort me let go when I pull away. I said that.) He said I didn't try to pull away.(in his dreams! hands balled to fists pushing against the chest to give oomph to your back which is pushing against the arms: that'd be pushing away. Good grief!) So I said I wasn't sure I could trust him and he got this trained managerial "I'm now going to convince you of something" where he got totally serious and looked me dead in the eye and told me he'd never make me do anything I didn't want to do.(wow. there's a loaded statement)It was so much like my dad it was freakish! I just sat there. I was stunned that he'd just done that and even more stunned that I believed him even less now for doing it. It was classic handling they teach you in managerial classes and in counseling....but for some reason it made him less credible, not more. Then he made it worse by asking, "Better now?" No. He tried again. Same results. There was just no convincing me. Not his way at least.

So I glossed it and stood to leave and he said something about how he still wanted to be friends. I asked what his thoughts were on a lesson that week. He asked me to do Thurs. I had plans with Mom and couldn't. (Oh darn.) So no lesson that week. He said he was thinking of doing a movie night again. I said to keep me posted. I went back to my desk and a few minutes later I got an email where he explained himself a little better about really wanting to be friends and how I didn't need to be afraid of him because he has two daughters and he expects everyone to treat them with respect, etc.

He never let me know about the movie night...but he did call Kylie. Unbeknownst to him, Kylie and I were calling each other occasionally- usually to catch up on life and to figure out what really happened in relation to something involving Stephen. haha. In his version of the above story- he hit me with a 10lb and I looked like I was about to cry and he was very concerned and he tried to comfort me by holding me, but I didn't seem to like that so he stopped. Then he tried to explain to me gently that things just weren't going to work out between us because he just really needed sex in a dating relationship and he wasn't sure if I'd taken that well. Then I'd talked to him and told him that he'd really freaked me out that night and I was afraid of him and he didn't know what to do because he really was just trying to be a good friend to me...blah, blah, blah. It all sounded a little odd to Kylie, who'd already heard my version. So she called me to check on the details. She also mentioned that he'd tried to get her to come over for a movie on Wed and we both realized that he hadn't called me. And on top of all that, he and Brett have this weird competition thing going on over Kylie that got way out of hand the other night and Kylie's done with both of them. She's not even answering Stephen's calls anymore...supposedly.

What a tangled web of life we weave.

So the final weeks of my employment at this company saw a lot of me trying not to kill Stephen. He began to find things for me to do for him at work...or show up at the oddest times wherever I happen to be. Like his spreadsheet. He came in and interrupted my lunch the other day with a spreadsheet he needed me to fix. Spreadsheets aren't a huge strength of mine, but I get by. So I asked what he wanted it to do. His explaination was clear as mud. I ended up following him back to his office to look at the thing and figure out what he needed it to do. Then I ended up calling in reinforcements because I don't have a clue how to make it do what he wanted it to either. I went to fix the one issue and realize that he'd locked my access to the stupid thing- I could only alter it and save the alterations if I was on his computer. So I had to call him and find out if I can do that because he was off-site at the time. I go back there and fix problem 1. Problem 2 was much more complicated and I had to go back to my desk and work on that for another hour or so. Finally figured out how to do that, tested it in my own spreadsheet and wandered back to his office to finish up. He'd messed with it while I was gone and was off-site again when I came back. So then I have to call him again and find out what he did to it. (he broke it.) He was good with the fact that I'd figured out how to do what he wanted it to do, but since my previous visit he'd done something else with it manually that was kind of messing it all to pieces. He decided he didn't want to fix it that day- he wanted to see my codes the next day and then he'd fix it. Gah!

(Mind you- this whole time he keeps repeating how he took a class on this in grad school and should know how to do this, but he just can't remember. If he said it once, he said it a million times.)

So then I had to deal with him again the next day. I saw him the next morning and asked if he wanted me to fix it then or later. He said to just give him the codes and he'd do it. Well, I wrote my notes for me, not him, so I had to stand there and explain how to do it based on what I'd written down. Checked back with him a couple of hours later to see if the codes had worked or if I needed to adjust them. He hadn't done anything with them. Fine.

He shows up later, while I'm talking to one of the other girls about something personal that I sure didn't want him hearing about and just stood behind me, listening. He wasn't even going to make his presence known. If she hadn't clued me in I never would have known he was there. So I stopped in the middle of that conversation because he can't figure out where to put the codes. As I head back to help him I get hit by two girls turning in their nursing scholarship applications (my job to process them and schedule interviews), then a guy with a pension question (I was currently handling all that too) and then a recruiter with a phone call that had to do with something I worked on...I told Stephen where to put the codes in the spreadsheet and that I'd be there when I was available.

I finally pulled loose and got back there- and he's put in the IF codes, not the AND codes. I specifically reiterated 87 times to use the AND code; that the IF code went to another column in the spreadsheet. Someone wasn't listening and sure doesn't seem to remember anything from his spreadsheet class because on top of the wrong form of code- he'd screwed up all but two elements in the code itself.

I decided he just wanted me to sit in his office chair and make it smell nice.

From the general hillarity of this poor man's audacity and arrogance he has been immortalized by my friends with the monniker: Mr. Good Lovin'

I think that's the longest post I've ever written! LOL

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