Miyerkules, Oktubre 24, 2012

Human Relations

From the moment the plane touched down and I was back in the country after what I consider a successful tour of Hong Kong, the first thing I did was look for people to drink with. Considering the ungodly hour and the fact that a lot of my people aren't really as spontaneous as they once were (old age would do that to you) I wound up in the closest thing to a bar that's near my house: the strip club.

The early morning drinking session alone (there was a girl there, and she's interesting enough, my mind was in all directions at once that a lot of her "company" went unnoticed) set the tone for the couple of weeks. Truth is, once I was done with the one thing I set out to do for the year, I am pretty much cruising until the year ends and I could go off to my next "mission", which was Singapore. I'm pretty much done here, and the past few weeks emphasized that.

Last Day at the 9 to 5.

My first day back at my full time job also turned out to be my last day. After a couple of months of it being the ideal workplace for me, the inclusion of one person who was determined to turn the place into something that it was not became the death knell. I spoke about it briefly in my previous post, and in that one day after my trip, everything came to a head.

I don't want to go into the long, boring details about it. What I am going to say is that it's hard when the person in charge is both unaware of the nature of the business and yet still concerned with maintaining an air of superiority all because the "white people" have arrived and everyone needed to put their best foot forward. Normally, that it isn't a problem, but when the post you hold is somewhat an obsolete position and you're desperate to be relevant at any cost, it can be a dangerous thing.

The end result of that day was me basically having my fill of the bullshit. Yes, the money was good, but if I was the type of guy who bent over backwards for the paycheck, then my resume, as well as my personal life, wouldn't be what it is today. Plus, the way she kept saying "cross cutting" when she meant 'cost cutting" was getting really annoying.

I spoke to my actual boss about the changes that were, to me at least, not just frivolous but downright idiotic. and he just said that they wanted to avoid conflict as long as the clients were there. Great. Pop went my BP, and out went the last of my patience.

Back at the Think Tank.

Despite the obviously unhealthy state I was in, I went to the Think Tank instead of going home to rest and prepare for another work day. (I had fully intended to give the 9 to 5 another shot.) However, I needed to go and experience a workplace that, while being far from perfect, no longer was under the rule of someone who was a silly mixture of overcompensation and delusions of grandeur. I was back in the Think Tank, not getting any work done, but reconnecting with a bunch of people I had been somewhat away from since I started preparing for Hong Kong.

It was nice, and it reminded me why that company holds the record for the longest time I was able to not just tolerate it, but actually enjoy being part of its employ. I felt at home. Like I said, the place is far from perfect, but it is ideal for someone like me, for various reasons that most of the 9 to 5 folk would never ever understand.  

Unnecessarily Awkward.

There are a few kinks in the Think Tank ideal after I came back. First off, there are way too many new faces. Then again, I don't really care about anyone I don't really know, so it wasn't a big deal. Secondly, there's the ex. I've never had an issue with sharing space with an ex girlfriend, and history can prove that. And since this particular ex has been clear about wanting to be friends after the relationship fell apart, I didn't think I was going to encounter any difficulties there. The planets must have aligned, because I was wrong.

On that day I came back, I was greeted warmly by almost everyone i interacted with on a regular basis, with the prime exception of the ex. And it wasn't the "I'm busy working so I can't properly say hello" kind of thing. It was a stand offish, "look at me, I'm doing amazingly well" kind of dismissal. Jesus Christ, I'm back in high school. Wow.

Some people have told me that she might not be able to process my regular appearances well enough since the break up was still kinda fresh, but come on. It's a break up. It's hard for both parties. To act primarily in reaction to what you feel and what you feel alone is childish. But considering the reasons as to why the relationship ended in the first place, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. It's annoying, but not nearly enough to ruin my days. It's a waste, yes, but I've got other things to think about.

Chicken Wings and Silly Things.

On the other side of the coin, I'm having a great time with the remanding members of the Breakfast Club. We of the older, less productive crowd have not lost a beat, and I now find myself once again enjoying the company of the people that have gotten me into eating regularly (and excessively) again.

Oh look. We're eating. Again.
And there's drama, there's always drama. One's pursuing a girl after being sorta cheated on and left by a long time girlfriend and then rebounded with a somewhat crazy chick. Then there's another girl who likes this ex of hers still and somewhat asked my assistance in pursuing said ex. Great, at least now, I get to feel like I'm back in college.

We had a nice Friday night out eating chicken wings and then coffee and we all offered our best insults directed towards key people in the office. you know, harmless, not quite wholesome fun wherein no one really gets hurt and everyone gets entertained. While this may not have been the type of rest the doctor recommended, it beats sitting in the 9 to 5 listening to the many ways certain people can prevent me from doing my job well.

I'm sure at some point, my interactions with these people would eventually come to an end, as it occurs with most if not all social groups, but I am going to make the most of every second while everyone is still around.

Fighting Words.

The weekend came, and I was expecting a quiet weekend. Like I said, the doc ordered me to slow down, so I didn't plan any of those legendary weekends I've been somewhat accustomed to. But the issues with the Tapa King have come to a head, so I went to the BIg Man's for a supposed confrontation. The King's brave words online (Yes, this whole shitty affair peaked through Facebook, which already makes it infinitely stupider than it has to be.) were not to be found once I got there. The Big Man claims he was surprised I didn't lay it on thick, but I don't think he completely gets how I deal with people. I got to the house, gave the King a look, to which he responded by giving me a salute and then looking away, pouring drinks like nothing happened. I am not going to be the one to start it; it would diminish my control of the situation and place the Tapa King on an undeserved moral high ground.

It's a good thing Jonic came and lashed his tongue. He was blowing off steam, but in the end, nothing substantial was accomplished. That night, I decided I was done with the Tapa King. The past few weeks have shown his true, cowardly, two faced nature, and while I'm sure the Big Man and the rest of them would eventually let things slide, my own personal code would not allow me to waste another second of my obviously short and precious life with a liability. That's what he is. All the double dealing, the back stabbing, the lack of responsibility for his own words and actions, they all add up to the conclusion that this person is not to be trusted. He's burned all of them before, and from all indications, he's still burning them now, and what's annoying is that he's not even doing it on purpose. He's just wired that way, the way serial killers are wired to kill, or religious zealots and cultists have been wired to be close minded. There is no other logical solution here but to cut him off, and I'm not waiting around for the time when he burns me. As far as I know, he already has.

It's sad too, since this means I have to find someone else to do the heavy lifting for my next movie.

More Grown Up Goodness.

The heartwarming reunion. I've had worse.
Shelly's birthday party provided me with a nice Sunday night with the Scoobies, a great contrast to the Tapa King episode from the night before. A decent buzz, amusing conversation, and a genuine delight in the simple things. I'm always thankful that the Scoobies are there. Truth is, they're the only people that truly makes me feel that I don't have to go on TV, join international competitions, and basically achieve things that are beyond most people's capabilities to feel good about myself. These are real people, and I can't laud them enough. 

The Other Side.

The following night, when I'm still supposed to be resting, I went out to stink with that girl from the strip club and a few of her friends. I had the Big Man tag along for security purposes, and he saw fit to bring this new girl he's planning to bang (or has banged, I don't really know). I have to say, drinking at the gas station is definitely a lot more fun down South.

It was a good night, but one thing that I noticed is that it seemed everyone was expecting that I make a move on the girl. I just wanted to hang out. I was in no physical condition to work, and so I decided to spend the night chilling. She asked if we could drink, and I said yes. It didn't have to lead to anywhere beyond that.

I'm going to address something that a lot of people may be wondering about. Yes, I tend to frequent strip clubs. While for the most part, the Big Man and the rest of them are the ones who bring me to such places, I too have initiated some of those jaunts. Yes, I have shared a table with more than a few women there, and yeah, some I find really attractive. But, I have never, and will never, be involved with any of those women beyond sharing a drink with them. Why? the simple explanation is that they do nothing for me.

I'm not going to blast the Big Man, or the Human Torch or the Tapa King for their respective choices to pursue such women, that's their thing. But me, I'm a snob. I'm not trying to be a dick about it, I'm just being honest here. I like my women with class. I like them educated. I like them articulate. I like them with above average comprehension skills. While yes, I do enjoy sharing a drink with these people, it is going to take more than you shaking your money maker in my direction to get me to be the guy that downs enormous amounts of hard earned money or to alter my routine or schedule to accommodate chasing you around. The only way these women can have me under their spell is if they take advanced classes in Hogwarts. I know, I'm not much of a catch, but still, this is one game I don't play in Easy Mode. But, to each his own, right?

Bed Rest.

After all of that, and considering that there was a bug going around at the Think Tank, it was bound to happen. My supposed rest came in the form of a days long fever that rendered me helpless. I don't think I've ever been sick since I graduated college, at least not in the common colds and fever kind of way. After years of consistently going on full burn I get sick after a couple of weeks off? That just boggles my mind.

Still, the downtime gave me a chance to think about certain things. Future plans. Singapore. My deteriorating health. Even wrote a script in my head that would become my next movie. I also looked back not he past few months and evaluated (I'm not exaggerating here) every single person actively in my life these days to gauge which ones I will be cutting off in the coming year. (Yeah, I'm not used to downtime.) I even considered some lifestyle changes that might surprise some people.

I'm 30 years old and changes need to be made, especially if I'm to finish the new bucket list I made. (I already finished the first one before I turned 30, and the new one I made got lost when I lost my old wallet.)

Return to Marbles.

The following weekend, the boys and I were supposed to take Tagaytay by storm once more, but then I decided to take a breather from the potential Tapa King discussions. Good thing though, that some key people from the Think Tank wanted to drink, and we were back in Marbles to save my Friday night. All those Mind Erasers and beer and the nice talks led to a great night out. I love it when I get to close down Marbles. I even managed to practice some of my old material on these guys, and yeah, they still work.

That night made me feel more strongly about relocation. As I've said before, I've come to a point wherein I accept that I'm not the guy that's going to do things the normal way. The way I see it, I'm going to grow old (if it comes to that) somewhat alone, with nothing but my stories and my memories, and I'm not going to fight it. I'm just the guy who comes in and out of people's lives, and leaving, at the very least, some really good memories, and I can live with that.

Hopefully, this time next year, I'll be having more adventures with new people, more tales of love and more jokes to tell, more complaints about inefficient bosses and dumb people. (Then again, maybe not, but that would be cool.) In the meantime, the people around me seems to be enough to get me through.

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