Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Worked for a Man Who I Thought Was a Woman

BK-double-rodeo4 When I first came to Seattle in 1994 there weren’t many jobs.  I interviewed at temp agencies – turns out I could type 38 words a minute and anywhere else I could find an interview.  This one company hired me – WASHPIRG, a public interest group that went house to house solicoting for cash donations.  They didn’t tell me I’d be doing that and after 3/4 of a day of going door to door asking for money in the cold and rain, I said that I wasn’t really keen on sticking around.  So then I interviewed at a bank.  When I got to the room, I noticed I was the token white guy – surrounded by the women of a Benetton ad, except frumpy and not smiling and they were all wearing suit-like outfits.  I got tested counting money but I wasn’t quick enough I guess.  So then the one company that calls me is Burger King.  At that point a salaried job of $15,000 a year seemed pretty good.  They hired me to be an assistant manager.  Seemed easy enough for me and I didn’t know anyone except 2 people so the embarassment would be low. 

So I showed up.  Blue pants, blue oxford and they provided the Burger King tie. 

I had to train at one Burger King and then I’d be moved to another one.  THe one I trained at was in the heart of the University District.  Sweet- lots of homeless people. 

My boss, was Gabby.  Turns out she/he looked like Meatloaf a bit except she/he smiled.  I was 20 or 21 I think and being from a small town I didn’t actually that men dressed as women or could live in a state somewhere in between.  I also hadn’t ever seen a woman with an adam’s apple.  Hot.

I found out that fast food restaurants sort of get the cream of the crop for employees. 

I was soon made the morning manager.  My main guy was this fellow who was on prison work release and after his shift, he went back to jail.  He was a drug dealer (he looked like the caddy boss Lou Loomis from Caddyshack) whose house and property was booby trapped from end to end.  Over the course of my training I got to learn all about how to build them and what it’s like to have the Feds raid your home. 

I also met ‘shitty’ – that is what everyone called him.  He was a homeless guy who went into the bathroom and flung poop all over the place.  He’d also take about 30 packets of sugar and dump them into his coffee but usually missed the cup – so he’d leave piles of sugar on the table.  The good part about management is that you could delegate things like ‘cleaning up the bathroom’.  I never did it but usually had to promise people 3 extra hours of pay to clean the bathrooms. 

At some point, someone told me that my boss Gabby was a man who was only halfway through a sex change.  I think I then spent more time looking for man traits on Gabby than I did working. 

I got transferred to my main job – I then became the night manager.  There was another guy Alex who took the days.  I worked with this guy who was a part time Kung Fu instructor who had his teeth punched out, his name was Bill- he didn’t shower often.  His wife was over 400lbs and she had to sit in the middle of her car to drive – she dove an old Buick with a bench seat.  I remember she would come in and get 2 Whoppers, fries, shake and a dessert.  I think that’s over 2,000 calories – but she must have been in training for something. 

I hated that Alex guy so when he started dating one of the under-18 girls who worked there, I told on him so he’d get fired.  He did and I got the day shifts.  They did tell us not to sex up the employees. 

I usually got to hire and fire people.  I did that a lot.  I was always figuring I’d be shot at some point since most people who worked there over 20 weren’t right in the head. 

  • I had a woman from Turkey whose husband would sit outside the place while she worked so he could keep an eye on her.  He was jealous of me.  He also drove a Saab.
  • I had a girl who worked for me offer to clean my house for me… awesome except she was 15 I think.  She liked me. 
  • I had a kid who was Muslim who would take breaks to pray but I later found out he just went upstairs and stole food and goofed around, I didn’t fire him, I just didn’t give him any hours.
  • The manager of the place was a poker player and made more money playing poker than he did working there.  He’d yell ‘HOT STUFF’ when it was busy. 

There was also a mental hospital not too far away, so I got lots of crazies – I even remember a cute one but she was crazier than the average woman so that wasn’t going to work. 

I learned that you could drop a frozen patty on the ground and still put it in the cooker – a bbq like thing but on a conveyer belt with lots of flames.  After they cook they STILL get put in a microwave – so I’m pretty sure anything on there was clearly dead.  The frozen patties are about the size of a CD when you put them in and come out the size of a small burger when they’re done. 

I was a vegetarian at the time – so I ate chicken sandwiches, except no bun.  They have like 30 grams of fat the buns do.  And yea, I ate chicken as a vegetarian.  A lot of people order vegetarian Whoppers – which is just all the same stuff on it except no burger.  When you get an order wrong (not often) people expected to get something free.  Most of the time people would say they didn’t get something but most of the time they were lying.  I did remember one lady who was so fat that she too couldn’t fit behind the wheel of her car – we forgot something in her lunch (you know when you get an order wrong by the leftover food sitting out – everything is made when it’s ordered) – so it was legit, so I said ‘a free lunch on us’ – she proceeded to order 6 whoppers.  I remember this almost 20 years later.  You want to know how obese people get obese?  Fast food restaurants with $0.99 burgers.

Because I was salaried, I could get called into work anytime.  So after about 2 months of getting called in on my day off, I would also be ‘going to Yakima’ for my day off or I stopped answering my phone.  This was before cell phones and the internet. 

I was paranoid of being robbed, so I usually closed the place early and only kept the drive through open, I never got in trouble for that – but I could have been fired.  I could eat as much free food as I wanted, so I really just took the milk home so I could make Jello pudding with whole milk.  I rode a mtn bike back and forth to work.

Most of those places get robbed because someone leaves the back door open.  I didn’t. 

After a while they decided I would go away to Burger King College to become a manager or district manager.  I knew I was leaving Seattle to finish school in NH, so this wasn’t going to be good.  So I had to make up something about not getting my credits transferred to the U of W, so I had to leave and finish school.  So they gave my job to this nice guy named Daniel who had a kid and was married.  He went to Burger King College and then got robbed when he left the back door open one night. 

I left, finished college, and got a job a Microsoft where I still work 14 years later and I have a kid who spells ‘B.U.T.T’ just about at every chance she gets.  That man (James Bond) touched her B.U.T.T (bee-you-tee-tee).  ALL THE TIME.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Source of Danger: Fruit Salad

I made a fruit salad last night and after eating most of it Piper decided that it was responsible for why her ankle hurts.  After school every day we have a short 200m race and Piper refused to run in it today because the fruit salad wrecked her ankle.

She isn't kidding. 

Then she let one rip and I said that was sort of rude.  She said 'excuse me' and I said that Santa would not consider that good behavior and she responded with 'BUT I'M HAPPY' - so I really wasn't sure what to say.  I guess she wins again. 

Then tonight I made macaroni and cheese and hot dogs.  It's basically shell pasta with a 1/3 of a Velveeda chub (note: you won't find it with the cheese - look by the crackers).  IT is pretty good.  It's actually awesome. So awesome in fact that my kids just get up and hug me during dinner while chewing. 

I also thought about working out but I didn't.  It turns out, the alarm can go off at 5am but I can lay there for almost 2 hours saying 'I'll get up and still run 30 mins'.  Then I get up and tell myself that I'll just go when I get home but I don't.  So I'll need gastric bypass surgery at some point in 2010. 

I got a season's ski pass so I wouldn't be tempted too much to train on the weekends - so I'll be skiing 1-2 times a week with Sada - they have tubing too - so I'll fit that in when we're tired of skiing.  I'd cross-country ski, but I'm guessing that I'll figure out how to do it and will want to race and so I'm not doing that.

I'm trying to find a bike trainer - so I can at least saddle up a few times a week and keep some level of fitness.  It's possible I'll consider racing duathlons.  I think I can do 2 sports and no over-do it, but for now, I'd rather just watch a Christmas movie with the kids and wax the skis. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Life is a New Low

[3088538543_bb6ebba2ec.jpg]It's true.  I think I crossed into the new low today - I sort of realized this as I was working out on an eliptical machine, struggling to get through 30 mins while I listened to a 12" remix of something by Duran Duran.  All I really wanted was a beer or to get off the machine - though there is a holder on the thing, so I guess even the 'not having a beer' thing is just an excuse - see I'm that lazy now.

I'm still only a few weeks out of triathlon and training 12-18 hours a week or at LEAST 2 hours a day, usually 2 sports every day for at LEAST an hour each and I don't recall ever sleeping past 6:15-6:30.  I also don't recall staying up past 9pm very often.

I'm not motivated to move in any form of exercise.  Ian calls me regularly to see how fat I am and insists on me signing up for Vineman 70.3 - so before I fall for it, I'm trying to sell off as much of my stuff so I don't get sucked back in.  Once you exit the world of insane triathlon training, it's a lot like being the only sober person at a new year's eve party except there aren't any hot drunk ladies around.  Even Dasha has left. 

But I do have a lot more time.  I think I just work more and spend a TON of time with my kids.  I even got season passes for skiing this year with Sada - so now I'm committed to some extent to get my money's worth. 

MY old schedule went something like this:

  1. Get up, eat or don't eat.  Run or work. (5am - ish) (1-1.5 hour run)
  2. Take break and either Run or bike. (Bike 2-2.5 hours)
  3. Eat healthy
  4. Work
  5. Go swim or ride (1-2 hours)
  6. Work
  7. Eat
  8. Work
  9. Eat
  10. Hang out with family
  11. Go to bed (8:30pm - ish)

Now the new schedule:

  1. Wake up at 5:20am, decide not to work out
  2. Wake up at 6:50, eat bacon, move workout clothes to the floor, make bed
  3. See how many coffee beans are in the machine - make 2 cups for me.  If there's egg nog - put that in there too.
  4. Head out the door for work 7:10am (pants are snug, vow to workout, sometimes bring workout stuff to work so it can sit in my bag all day)
  5. Work and get coffee 3x
  6. Eat
  7. Work
  8. Have a coffee before heading home - it's tiring sitting down all day.
  9. Pick kids up at school 4:30pm
  10. Get home, walk dog to end of driveway - encourage pooping. 
  11. Go inside, open beer
  12. Make fire
  13. Empty dishwasher, find new beer or open wine
  14. Found candy dish was refilled, eat 3 handfulls - whoops!
  15. Start dinner, find new beer
  16. Have dinner with family - open new beer or move to wine, it's more civilized.
  17. Give kids a bath
  18. Read stories, open new beer or fix wine glass that is likely empty
  19. Aspire to read but find DVDs and HBO much easier to do.
  20. Put workout clothes back on bed so I can find them in the dark at 5:20am
  21. Sleep but finish beer before bed
  22. Vow to workout in the morning just before nodding off

So now for work I'm in this pool - a betting pool not a swimming pool - who can work out 3x in one week for 30 mins minimum.  Last week I had to stack all my 30 min eliptical machine workouts at the end of the week.  That seemed to be a challenge.  So there. 

In the course of writing this, I finished a beer and got another one.  It was 15 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You smell like bacon and other delights

As I sat down to write this post, 4 year old Piper runs over to me crying - Sada said 'I smelled like bacon'.  She was crying over this.  I do hope her skin thickens up because smelling like bacon in my opinion is an asset - certainly nothing to cry about.

Then Greg tells me his brother had a pig nose and he would call him 'Baby McBacon' - so maybe this bacon as an insult thing isn't limited to my kids.  Greg also named his cat Princess Big Baby Horse - so there's always that. 

I don't have ANYTHING related to exercise to talk about except I haven't.  I had some chocolate milk with breakfast.  So I've just about gone completely to hell in my post-triathlon-pre-ultra-marathon-training life. 

My allergies stink and I can't tell if I'm sick or it's allergies and then when I NEVER feel better, I'm guessing it's allergies.  Working on the 22nd floor in a nice filter-air environment is the only relief I seem to get. 

I also got a Land Rover Discovery.  The lease on the 328i is up and I'm going with the 'it is ok if I go off the road in a snowstorm and wreck it' approach.  You can fit 2 bikes in the back without having to take the wheels off!  We can also pull some horses behind it if we had horses.  I get it on the 21st.  It's used which is fine because it's the 3rd cheapest vehicle I ever bought - only behind my first 2 Audis when I was 16 and 21. 

Then, since my Russian ladies have given up on me sending them fake Western Union numbers - I need my Russian lady fix. So I checked out some sites, mostly Russian Bride sites.  There are a lot and apparently a lot of good looking Russian women in need of a date or a husband or US residency.

There was a pretty elaborate sign up process - I said I really just wanted a good looking woman with some farming abilities.  We'll see how well that works.  They also have a section where they ask the following questions:


I was considering checking a few off but I really wasn't sure which one I really wanted to sign up for.  I guess holding a hostage isn't soooooo bad when considered with the other options. 

They do have this nice service to give gifts to these women:


I'm thinking of giving my favorite lady the #47 this year.

THere are a few others - like the $150 cake:


They don't even have the courtesy to spel chek their marketing for the $150 cake.  Then again, with the option of various cream designs, who could put a reasonable price on this cake.

So hopefully I'll get some more magical conversation from this - if not, I'll write something normal. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You do not read my letters? Or you such stupid!

passport (2)Ok, I still have this daily email thing with Anastaysia.  Whomever is on the other end is STILL trying.  She first wanted $950 and even sent me a picture of a terribly fake passport - really, do they often print these all crooked?  And then because I know the scammer doesn't have any photos left of this girl, I asked for one more and then I'd send the money - but sadly, she doesn't have a camera with her - I'm sure her sister is using it to take the naked photos of others in case they need them or if it's their choice

So she said this:

I wanted to ask you about electronic tickets but it would

be useless for me. Our travel is organized by the government. It is not the payment for flight only.

It includes airfare and residence and transportation where I will stay for work. You can't just buy the

ticket for me because I will need additional money for other things. I must pay them here in cash to fly to you.
I just want to show you real situation about me. To be honest  I thought about it when I decided to
write to you first time. But I hoped that money will not be the issue. I just miss you and I want to
meet you. I ask about the help to OUR future. I will never hurt you or cheat you, please, think about it.

Our life is too short and we can't lose this chance. 

Your Anastasiya           

Then I said I would send her the money and how much did she want and she writes this flowery piece of crap that she probably thinks I read but I didn't because if there are no bikini photos, what is the point.  If she really did care, she would have at least sent me a photo of the 2006 University of Oregon cheerleaders. 

I rent a room in a three-room appartment. When people retire they have a miserable pension and they have to let somebody live in their
appartment for money to survive. I live in the appartment of an old woman and we were talking about you last night. Her destiny is cruel. She has got two song and grandsons but she is alone. They don't help her. They become independent , have their own business and forgot about their mother. She is so kind. We were drinking tea with apple-pie and talking and talking... She was even crying when I was telling her about you because she believes that our cruel world is not so spoiled yet and there is a real love and real feeling, real men who also just like me believe that our world is not so spoiled yet. I promised to that old woman that I will write her a letter when I am with you. She is so single and I know that even a short letter will make her feel needed to someone. The rest of the time I was watching movie and reading Bulgakov. In Moscow they even have Mtv channel and I was watching american programs. Where are you now?  What are doing at this moment? I often think about it!!! Maybe even now you also think about me?

Your Anastasiya           

AND THEN I asked for another photo just because I like to ask the same question 2-3 times and she writes this novel - but I do mess with her but only after she pulls out the weepy "Santa Claus was ripped from my childhood at such a young age" story.  A good story, but Dasha could have told it much better. 

Hello dear Loren,

I don't have a photocamera here so I can't send you more pics. 
I was trying to find some money and I had some luck.I swear I called everybody I know and I was
able to find some money but not all. I'm still desperately want to see you! I can find some money and
I need only 650 dollars now... I swear I called everybody but I can't find more money! My mother
doesn't have so much money to send me, I can't find more money...If you will not send me money I will
return home. I told you life in Moscow is very expensive for me, so I will have to pack my bags and
go home. If I won`t buy ticket my flight will be canceled and I won`t be able to apply for visa for
next year.You came into my life not too long ago and I didn't think anything of it..At first I thought
we will be friends only, I didn't believe in having special feelings to someone I have never seen.
I never imagined I'd be falling so hard for you. We became very close but yet we were so distant.
The more I got to know you, the more I wanted to be with you. Your letters always made me smile even
without writing something funny and without you I'd be very different. I smiled because I was happy
to receive your emails.. You have changed me in so many ways. You make me want to wake up in the morning
to see what life is going to throw at me each and every day. Your emails mean so much to me. I can't help
but think about you all of the time. Every morning I wake up, during the day, and before I go to sleep
you're always on my mind and even in my dreams I see you. I don't know how it happened.. it's so strange
for me....I am sitting here in internet cafe and writing this letter hoping you will get to read it soon..
I'm listening to French love songs on my CD-player and it makes me feel more sad I can't be with
you now... The songs really sound so nice to me but I don't know what they mean. It's like my
feelings to you....I feel so nice when I think about you but it's so strange because I've never
met you...I have built my world around my dreams of being us together and I really like this world...
I always want to stay in that world and never want to come back to reality and I hope that you feel
the same way too.. I'm not sure....Please don't think Oh, why I met that Russian girl in Internet,
she promised a lot and never done it. I really wanted to come to you but you know I have never
travelled so far away and I was not smart enough to  set up all things for my trip. I still feel I
need you in my life so much. I pray it will be possible for you to help me somehow. When I was a
little kid I believed in Santa Claus (in Russian it's called Ded Moroz - to translate by words it's
called Old Man Frost))) I was waiting every Christmas for presents. And when we were going to meet
each other I felt myself like a kid waiting for Santa Claus... I was waiting for you....You are so
different from all Russian men and I still can't believe you can be attracted to me.. And I remember
when I was 9 years old I understood there is no Santa Claus and all presents are brought by my mom
I was so disappointed and I began not to believe in fairy tales...And now when I think I may never
meet you again I feel my worst disappointment and I don't want this fairy tale to be over...
I thought you would be the best present I've ever had........And I'm still hoping like a kid this
may happen...Today morning I woke up hopeless... I don't know how could I prove you my honest
intentions and feelings.... I wrote you so much and I understand I have to finish this email, but
in my heart I don't want to do that. I wish that time became frozen this minute before I say my words
of good-bye...I want to enjoy every single moment with you, to talk about all of the things we like
and dislike...... If I had my own computer I would write you 10 times a day... May you feel the part
of me wanting to be with you now and may I have the honor to touch your heart and let you feel my
special feelings to you..I will be waiting your next email and I hope I will see you on soon...

Your Anastasiya           

SO after this - I send her a fake 10 digit Western Union number, which would mean she or the scammer would have to go to the bank and ask for the money with the code.  I think that is funny.  But she thinks I just wrote the wrong number:

Hello my dearest Loren,

I was so happy when I went to the bank to get the money today!

But unfortunately I couldn't get the money today because

I was told that I have wrong money tramsfer control number.

Probably you made some misprint when you wrote me the control number?

Here is the number you gave me 1-158-988-6351

So, please check and correct the mistake as soon as possible!

When you correct the mistake, I'll get the money and but tickets and then I will fly to you!

Wow! I still cannot believe this is going to happen with us and we shall meet!!!

With lots of kisses from your Anastasiya

So whoopsy.  I'll send her a new number but just slightly off.  I'll see how many times I can get her to the bank with the wrong number.  Here's my most mailbox photo ever.  I'm not sure who poses next to mail boxes except for insane Russian women.