The only reason that I got through the day at your shithole of an office, even apparently garnering praise from you, I heard second-hand--I'm "terrific," that's lovely-- is that I knew that, unlike the moth-eaten half-damned souls who've been been bleeding whatever once was of their vitality into your gaping black hole of an ego for dog's years, I am never gonna see your withered grey bowtied ass again. And that would have been true even if it wasn't a one-day fill-in assignment. Not for ten times my usual payrate. Not if the only alternatives were starvation or phonesex with plushie Barney fetishists.
For that matter, I'll have you know, after that first outburst this morning? when you swore at me because I didn't take a phone call for you in exactly the way you wanted, five minutes after I arrived, even though I was right in the middle of the "orientation" being given by your frantic, beaten-down underlings? After you stomped back into your corner office with the magnificent 270 degree view of Manhattan, you entitled, bloated toad, and I listened to yet more half-terrified, half-resigned low-pitched wittering about how "difficult" you were, (although, apparently "at least that's as bad as he gets, tee hee!") and how if I did such-and-such a thing wrong you'd "scream"--I said to my supervisor for the day, who's clearly so chronically on edge she's positively vibrating, I said to her, calmly and coldly,
"If he screams at me [again], I'm leaving."
She nods, all round pale eyes. Apparently she'd already called the temp office, she says, and told them...something. presumably some genteel way of saying that you were being an abusive fuckwad, and I might not be able to hack it, poor dear. Whatever. She goes, "Well, I hope he doesn't, for your sake...and mine." "Me, too," I said aloud. But actually, no--on second thought, I actually don't give a fuck; I've made up my mind, and sorry lady, but you're not my table. And with that, a wondrous calm came over me.
So the poor slobs finally leave me the hell alone, after a last barrage of hasty instructions (don't do this! make sure you do that!! come get us if you have ANY question about ANYTHING, o please please please DON'T LET HIM EXPLODE AGAIN, WE'LL DIE), and I'm able to figure out what the fuck it is you want. Mostly it consists of printing out every single email you receive, which task takes pretty much the whole day because there are very many emails, attachments and all; all because you are apparently too Important to learn how to use a fucking computer. Whole forests have probably been decimated in the service of your narcissistic assiness. So, fine, whatever; it passes the time. And I do it, and a few other things. (I cannot fucking believe that it's your assistant's task to "remind you" every day to tell her whether she needs to call your housekeeper in your other house on Lake Ratspooge, on account of you're gonna go there while you do whatever the fuck it is you actually do).
Whatever it is you actually do--oh, yes, that. I'm sure it's terrifically important. Apparently it has something to do with "hedge funds." During a moment of relative quiet, when one of the wheyfaced little dormice came over to do something for you, which was urgent (as it turns out, it's printing out photos of your wretched little grandchildren winning some sports trophy or something), I asked her,
"So, what exactly is a hedge fund, anyway?"
She goes, "It's, well, it's...there's a fund, and we...invest it. --I don't really know; I don't have a financial background either."
Nod. "How long have you been working here?"
But you know the most pathetic part? Not even that these people, like oh so many others, spend the bulk of their lives shuffling papers in the name of they don't even know what for. The really pathetic part is, so clearly, most of these peoples' whole jobs had nothing to do with even the necessary office-grunt work. No; their job was to nurse you, essentially. Because you are Very Very Fucking Important, and nothing says Very Important better than a grown man who can't figure out how to use his own computer, needs constant attention, and throws tantrums whenever things go even slightly not his way. You worthless gob of swine smegma.
And you know something else? I will bet a smallish amount of money that well over half of everything that's wrong with the world, including the creation of the system that supports these soulkilling "businesses" that grease so many wheels and misery (oh yeah: among the charts and reports I printed out was one asking the question we all want to know the answer to: "Who can expect to profit in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?")--I will bet, you cockroach, that something like 70.8% of the world's pointless, stupid and evil activities are done primarily in the service of not bringing down the wrath of bullying assholes like you.
Fear. Your whole building reeked of it. Fear and implosion and dull despair masquerading as insipid perkiness.
So, I'm glad that you were pleased with my work, fuckstick, but I'm glad precisely because I understand what it means about me, and how far I've come: I genuinely didn't care if I pleased your sorry ass or not. I did what I did because I wanted the paycheck; as such, I was able to be pleasant and efficient for the rest of the day. Years ago, it would have been a completely different story. I would have taken your nastiness on board; I would have taken it personally; I would have been devastated.
So, three cheers for actual growth. I may not have climbed too far up the career ladder these past few years. But if all I took from my path was the ability to understand that in the final analysis, assholes like you don't mean shit, no matter how "powerful" you are--goddamit, I'm gonna be just fine.
As for you, m'dear: enjoy your lunches at La Grenouille and your minging little rages. You're gonna die one day, just like the rest of us; if not from a coronary, then something else equally banal, no doubt. Like you and your serfs, I, too, am gonna shuffle off this mortal coil one day. Unlike y'all, I'm alive now.