the notice

*this post is a continuation of a story. It will stand alone in many ways but for missing context please go back a few…*

One week after giving my notice there was an incident. The guy I was training was a young kid my son’s age. I disliked him from the start. From the day I was introduced to him, I could just tell that he was a wise little prick. His smug expression spoke volumes. I had him pegged and it took very little time to realize it. When I tried to show him things he was dismissive. When I told him the expectations of what we do when it was quiet, clean something, help stock the beer cooler, organize the walk-ins and storage areas, etc., he wanted nothing to do with it. He was a “specialist”, he only wanted to make pizzas and helped no one but himself. I was so glad I wouldn’t have to work with him for long.
I didn’t know that day that it wouldn’t be long at all.

As dinner hour arrived he was working alone. I jumped in to help him. It was par for the course to have help on that station at busy times, no one person could handle it. But when I went to help he burst out, “dude, what are you doing?!” in a very loud voice. The place just stopped. I gave him my best watch your mouth or I’ll pound you into little asshole Mcnuggets look. He persisted with the attitude so I yelled back, “what’s the problem, kid?” He went off on me telling to get the fuck away from him, to get out of his way, to get lost, etc.,” He was shouting for all to hear.
I was floored. At that point, I had two choices. To walk away or rip his fucking head off. I have a thing about how I’m spoken to and this wasn’t happening on my watch. Because I am physically much larger than him, old enough to be his father, and because it is illegal to beat the shit out of someone, I walked away. I was FURIOUS.

The kitchen manager told someone to switch stations with me but that was it. I would think that after all the help and goodwill I had shown to my coworkers that someone would say something to him, but nobody did. They just let it happen. I don’t know what they were supposed to do but I felt very unsupported. I told the manager on duty that when my shift was over I was all done. In hindsight, I should have waited for Vinny but he wasn’t there yet and she had asked me what happened. When Vinny got there I knew that he knew. He ignored me the entire night.

I did what I promised, I worked a very busy night to the completion of my shift. As the night wore on, my decision didn’t weigh on me nor did I consider recanting it. I replayed the events in my head. My conclusion was that even if the little prick was right, in any way, about objecting to my assistance it was the way he handled it that bothered me. Cementing my decision was the fact that I could never work with him again, even for a short period, and that the lack of support I received made me too embarrassed to ever show up for a shift again.
The end of the evening came and as promised I left the building for the last time. I crossed paths with Vinny several times that evening and he didn’t even bother to ask me once what had actually happened. Not even as a courtesy. Allow me to be clear, I was not expecting or hoping that he would try to talk me out of it. Not my style. His failure to even try to acknowledge that I wasn’t the problem was all that I needed to know.

I left not necessarily proud of myself. But I knew there was no other way for me to handle it.

Numb

One of my earliest memories was watching the Resignation of Richard Nixon on TV. My parents sat on the edge of their chairs and assured the eight year old me that this was a momentous occasion that I would remember for years. They were right. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.
Soon after I watched the Saigon Airlift on the news and I was again assured that it would be etched in my brain. It was and is.
Then came the Pan Am 747 that was brought down by terrorists over Lockerbie, Scotland. I questioned the savagery of human nature.
Then the embassy bombing, I wept for the soldiers and families.
Then there was the Challenger. I was deeply affected on so many levels.
911… Sigh…I wept for humanity.
Mixed in throughout were the years of movies and television bombarding me with gratuitous sex and violence. I saw so many bombings and shootings on TV and the movies it became difficult to distinguish it from the biggest purveyor of blood, savagery, gore and all around bad behavior…Network News.
Fast forward through horrifying after horrifying affront to my sensibilities, by the day that I sat in my office, unable to avert my eyes from the carnage of Sandy Hook unfolding before me, I was borderline numb.
After watching the events of 1/6/2021 unfold before me, the fact that I didn’t fall off my chair tells me that it’s official.

I’m numb.