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The Lost Weekend, Part 2: "@ the G" No More

2004-10-05 - 10:11 a.m.

Lady Luck Is Smiling On: Jimbo, who was given tix to tonight's Sox-Angels game

Listening To: The Beatles, Sondre Lerche, Pixies, The Faces

Quote: "G. Willikers: Because you can't spell 'friend' without 'fired'." - Zach

So now what? How many times am I gonna have to start an entry with, "So now what?" God. Some people have a bad day. Bad week even. It's been told that people have had a bad month. Is it possible I'm just having a bad 3rd Quarter? Let's hope so. Then hopefully it should be over now, the 4th Quarter will rebound, and it won't turn into a bad 2nd half.

So I think we last left me trying to thaw out/dry out on the way home from Moultonboro and to get home and spiff myself up a bit in order to get to the Wallak . . . I mean, G. Willikers, in time for work. Jeeze, that's gonna take some time to get used to. Typing "Wallakers" always came so easy to me before. Then again, that was when I was afraid that The Powers That Be would go on some sort of googling spree and find my site and fire me 6 ways from Sunday. Well, I suppose that's not much of an issue anymore, eh? I mean, I've been waiting for Tracey Lundgren to google "Why does Tracey Lundgren blow goats?" for years and it still hasn't happened! Tonight's the night. I just know it. Anyway, so I got to work on Saturday. And it was fun business. It was Aly, Shannon, and Hayley. And me of course. Who wants to see pictures of Aly and Shannon hard at work? Everyone?! Well, heck, I simply must oblige:

Don't they look happy? As Aly fake clicks the register buttons, and Shannon perfects her "deer/dear in the headlights" face. Ah, but this picture has hidden secrets!

The least of which is that Shannon has a huge chunk of lettuce protruding from her face. They may not eat animals, but they eat like animals.

Now this picture is kind of a brain teaser. See if you can find the crappy product that is a waste of money that we won't ever sell but we ordered anyway. Was your guess that flashy piece of cardboard that is also known as a "book holder upper"? Boy, you guys are geniuses. How on Earth did you guess? It's these kind of crack ordering decisions that make me marvel at the fact that I'm not going to have a job anymore. Oh wait. Except it doesn't. At all.

So yeah, despite the look of fear and trepidation on the faces of Shannon and Aly, we had no reason to think we were to be "made redundant" in less than 24 hours. But made redundant we were. But first I worked that night with Hayley. And I'm sure there were various hi-jinx with Secret Crush, and I'm sure Hayley said her normal quota of delicious phrases like, "I wonder if Cameron is vegan?", I don't know, I was kind of running on fumes at this point, as I think my brain was still in Moultonboro. I made it out of the G. and to York just in time to catch the end of the 2nd episode of Lost at Andrea's. I had strong armed Phil and Andrea in to watching it and predictably, they loved it, while at the same time being creeped out and totally mind fucked by it at the same time. See? All of you nay-sayers and laze-abouts are out in the cold now. You are missing out on this little slice of new TV Show Zeitgeist Pie. But Kelly & Jim aren't. And Peter & Titie aren't. And Hayley isn't. And my Mom & Don aren't. You know why? Because they trusted me. And now they are loving LOST too. Fools. I caught up on some comics at Andrea's and then went home in time to catch Peter and Ben having a super fun time conversation about Cancer. Depressing, as you can imagine. God, if I could have hit the pause button there though, I would have been so much happier.

This was taken Sunday morning, before I left to pick up Hayley to go to the Staph Meeting. You know how animals can sense a storm? Yeah. Well, I'm pretty sure what Sarah and Kenichi were sensing here, over to the left hand side of the picture, was The Nothing, from The Neverending Story, on its way to come and eat up my job, Atreyu, that sneezy Turtle, that Rock Guy who keeps saying, "my hands, my hands", and oh yeah, also - my job. See? Animals are smart like that. They can always sense when I'm gonna lose my job. Either that, or they were watching Ben build a stone wall, and then 5 seconds after this picture was taken, Sarah went to smell Kenichi's face and Kenichi reared up on his hind legs and julienned Sarah's nose. I prefer my explanation though. More colorful.

As I was on my way to Durham to get Hayley, I passed Aly's apartment and saw her and Alex. I called her and said, "You know, if you still have to drop Alex off, and I need to still pick up Hayley, we may be late to the meeting." She shot back, "Um, yeah. But the meeting is at our store. What are they gonna do?" Oh Al-Y. Oh Al-Y. If we only knew. Let me be clear, I've been to some horrendously brainfuckingly awful Staff Meetings before. Oh sure. Two that spring to mind are Kate and me getting in mondo trouble and the other being when Sheriff Michael was anointed the new law in town. Damn. And I thought those meetings sucked 7 shades of ass.

Hayley and I walked past the compactor, all smug in its new coat of paint, and had to sign in to get into the mall since if you're at the mall before 10 on a Sunday they're sure you must be a terrorist and you have to sign in. It's so official that I signed both my name and Hayley's name. They're real sticklers at the FRM. (Or Fox Run Mall as it's known on Jim and Bob, like gatekeepers into the 7th layer of Hell - or at least Pacific Sunwear, were waiting for us at the end of the hall in order to instruct us to proceed to the food court, where the meeting would be held, opposed to the store. (Excuse me, The "Food Festivale" as it's known on So at this point my spider-sense is giving off low level hums. Here's the deal. Food Court + G. Willikers Meetings = Bad. The only times I've ever had to meet in the food court is about "The Horribleness of Maura vs. Ghidrah (a.k.a. - Tracey Lundgren)", "The Oh My God We Fucked Up On The Michael Situation And Now What Are We Gonna Do Epic", the "Let's Talk About Our Strengths And Weaknesses" 1-on-1 Meetings, and other such fun times. So yeah, it was either that or the legless Phillipino transvestite sitting by Roman Delight that was making my Spider-Sense hum.

Al-I didn't show, because if anything, the last year has seen her grow balls big enough to blow absolutely anything off, and Jenn was late. So they were temporarily spared the car-wreck-ness of it all. It was Al-Y, Me, Beth, Marianne, Bob, Jim, Alyson T., Andrea, and Hayley. We were sitting down by the ATM and the seagulls were flying around the parking lot looking to scoop up some rancid french fries. And that's when Bob opened the meeting with the fact that the store is closing and we're all losing our jobs by Christmas.


"Bob, I'm pretty sure you're always supposed to open with a joke." I meekly said. I wasn't trying to be funny. It was just the beginning of my brain going on auto-pilot for the next 10 minutes. So yeah. I kind of just looked out the window for a bit. At one point, I know I tapped Aly on the shoulder and said rather loudly, over Jim and Bob's talking, "Friend, remember that time we got fired?" To which Hayley almost burst out laughing, but didn't want to be rude. Perhaps she was worried about getting extra fired. I'm not sure. You'll have to ask her. There's never a "good time" to get laid off. Just ask Jimbo, or TC, or Rachel, or Kirstie Alley's personal trainer. And damn, I think Aly and I have it bad, but Marianne and Beth are super screwed. It got emotional. Marianne kept suggesting other venues we could house the store that would ask for less rent. Finally, I snapped out of auto-pilot and said, "Marianne. I'm pretty sure this ship has sailed." I found out later Marianne thought I was mad at her (uh, why?) but I was really just lashing out in general. Forget not that I had been let go minutes before. And Bob kept hinting that we'd "figure out how things would shake down at a later date." Wait? What does that mean? Are you fired or not? And then Bob launches into new strategies for us to get sales up for the 4th Quarter and how we need to start selling more .75 cards when we wrap presents. And how we need to focus on the first 15 feet of the store because that's what draws customers in and . . . WHOA. Hold the fucking fired phone just one second. "Question." I spoke up. "Look. I feel horrible for everyone here. I do. And I think you all believe me. But the person I'm most concerned about right now is Zach. Is Zach going to have a job past Christmas?" "No." was the answer. "Ok. Thanks. That's all I wanted to know. Kind of hard to focus on anything else right now." The rest of the meeting is kind of a blur. And we were there for another hour. Al-Y looked like someone had punched her in the stomach, Hayley looked kind of dazed (I know, how could I tell the difference?), Beth was a mess, I think Marianne was just crazed, Jenn showed up and had to have the news broken to her, and I think finally hearing it a second time made it that much more real. Other questions in my head were, "Why didn't we have this meeting MONTHS ago to come up with ways to make more money, so to AVOID this situation?" "Why don't we start CHARGING FOR WRAPPING PRESENTS?!" Seriously, even if it was only a $1 charge, do you know how much more money that would have made over the course of a year? I not good at math, so I'll just say, "a fuckload". But trust me, people are so fucking lazy, they'd pay us $5 to have us wrap their precious little fairy houses and breyer horses. And why the sudden spate of hiring new people in the last month? Makes sense how? Those that have been hired at the mall are just going to lose their jobs now (and this decision wasn't just made in the last few weeks) and those newly hired in Barrington and Portsmouth will get to KEEP their jobs. Fair, how? Run that by me again?

So yeah. Hayley said, "Friends, what place is gonna hire all of us?" Poor Hayley. It made me sad. It's like when all the Muppets break up in Muppets Take Manhattan. But I don't think the end of this story includes all of us on stage singing, "Together Again!" At least I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Shannon asked, "Where are we supposed to hang out now?" Ha. That Shannon. The girls have decided I need to host "comic parties" so they can keep up with Y, Fables, etc. Meanwhile, I'm out of a job soon. Maura Tierney, David Byrne, Brian K. Vaughn, if you're reading this and you need someone to be your professional toady, I will send you my resume a.s.a.p.

In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be at G. Willikers. Oh What A Toy Store!

It's been real,


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