“If you were Jame Bond that would be the name of your movie, An Ass To Die For.” – Adam Becvare
Evanston IL winter on the North Shore
This past week at work I learned a lot about not only my new office team but the world itself giving me a sense of hope I have not felt in nearly 3 years.
Wednesday they had us each order lunch for a local deli that is obviously all the rage from what I hear. We convened in the conference room and I had Karen the gal from Brazil to my left and across the table Rich who is from Wales. I began eating my Corned Beef Reuben Wrap while keeping to myself and listening to the nice conversation from those I share the office with. Now my 3rd time servicing an executive search firm exclusively I considered what I was hearing rather unique. There was talk of family and children and video game and relationships but not of the typical Chad / Trixie banter I’m used to hearing in regards to the single women gossip about the opposite sex and so far I could at least relate to what I was listening to. I was with good people that were really involved with family. As I sat silently picking away at my lunch Rich asked me if I was close with my siblings. I took the opportunity to open the inscription from my brother included on a blank page of the DEVO book he sent me for my birthday via my phone. Karen referenced the part of the “spiked leather wristband” when she asked me if I was a metal head. Nice that they actually read it together for real I was taken back feeling slightly insulted. Ya see I’m used to a different kind of people when working in this corporate atmosphere where the people I work tend to be a little judgmental. I relied if it was because of my hair and she corrected me and mentioned the aforementioned wrist band. I told a sliver of the story and Rich asked who my favorite band were and I said it was the Doors but there was also a band I really loved that is no longer with us Type O Negative. His eyes lit up and her mouth went agape. It turns out Karen LOVES Type O. Then Motorhead came up and I mentioned that I go way back with them and the reaction in them switched when I said I wish I could see Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. It turns out that while in the UK that Rich played in a band with 2 of Phil’s sons and showed me photos. A few minutes later it was revealed that Karen saw the MINISTRY Movie “Fix” at the Music Box Theater. It was then for the first time in years that I realized I now work with people who not only know of my world but share in a part of it. It’s not all about golf or “the game” of some TV show that hasn’t ever even made a blip on my radar. There is a true element diversity at this firm. There’s another coworker Mike who has the desk closest to mine who is a comic fan and collector of Batman memorabilia. In fact at his desk he has the exact same Classic Batman calendar that I do in my home office.
Around 2015/2016 the last firm I served for a total of 6 years and 4 months began to bully people out of the company. For instance pair of sisters who I was friendly with on two separate occasions were bullied out by their superiors who were over dramatic short tempered fly off the handle types. Each time they came into my office in tears and told me they wanted to walk out and I had begged them not to. They did. Not long after each women who had bullied those girls out of the organization had their tempers explode in over dramatic childish displays of mental instability. Loudly and disrupting the work flow. Over time this firm showed no love for outsiders. It was sad but came with change in leadership. For most of my tenure I was happier than I had ever been w/ an employer.
So here I am, hired one year after Que El Kaye gave me my walking papers which led to the most financially and professionally difficult year of my life sharing an office with good people who actually “get it”. No prejudices or profiling. Diversity as I’ve never seen.
Thursday morning I woke up again much too early but to a warmth that had alluded me in recent times. Miranda, the beautiful talented daughter of Brad and Dawn who I am staying with on Christmas in Indianapolis sent me a text asking if I would read over her senior paper and I enthusiastically agreed to do so after work. A few minutes later I got a most welcome call from North Carolina and it looks like she is indeed coming to visit in the middle of next month, something I had all but given up on and with the new job crossed at least for a little piece of time put out of my mind. I dressed for work a very happy man and confident man.
On Friday Rich started the morning by playing random Ghost songs at his end of the office and mid afternoon asked if anyone wanted a beer and broke out bottles of Sam Adams. About 10 minutes later Karen approached me and asked if I thought if Type O Negatives October Rust would be suitable to play in office. Of course, not the first two but for sure this one the most commercial friendly release of their discography. Neither the beer, or Type O Negative were my idea and certainly not on my mind. If by then 1 week and a day into this position I didn’t want it to work out more than anything, by the end of that day I wanted nothing more.
After work I walked to the train and rode most of the way with Stephanie the head of business development who excludes a nice and friendly demeanor and we talked about the work environment. I explained to her the way that I felt compared to how I felt isolated in compassion at other firms and 15 minutes later we parted ways for the weekend. I had mentioned my good friend Mark Williams of Louisiana in our conversation. When I got home there in my mailbox was a postcard from him addressed to Alejandro Diablo the Spanish name he gave me years ago and signed by Too Dark Mark the name I gave to him two decades ago after we met, in a gay bar of all places.
From the card from Mark to a visit from Dale, my hetero life mate, a couple of hours later I finally felt that my life was beginning to come back together. A year of drama and mental trauma from the unfortunate 2017 incident and a year of long hard struggle and for me the first time I ever fell into depression in 2018 was finally coming near a close. Good people and good friends with nothing but good intentions is all I really need. The rest as far as life is concerned I can handle and control on my own.