The 1st guy
“To make these fit, there’s a trick. You have to marry them together.”
“I wouldn’t call it marrying. I’d more say they were…”
I was tired. You could probably even say cranky. My day started with a 6am setup. Continued with a 3pm focus call. And now ended with a 10pm breakdown that didn’t actually start til 11pm. I just wanted to go home. But we had to get shit done.
And he was new. So I got it. He was trying to be playful. Trying to make me smile. But, tonight, that wasn’t going to happen until the truck was packed, I’d initialed my timesheet, and was walking back to my car.
“Please, not tonight. No vulgar jokes tonight. Normally I’d roll with it, let it ride, but just not tonight.”
“It’s just marrying seems too permanent for their situation.”
I finished piling the lights in the bin and moved onto another project.
The 2nd guy
“No. Stop. Don’t put those in there. They don’t go in there.”
“Because the four with bases go in there. Those go with the others with clamps.”
“Fine. You don’t have to get an attitude about it.”
I don’t like him. Not anymore.
At a certain point I did. I thought he was a decent tech, a decent crew lead. And then I worked with him once where I was his crew lead. He was passive aggressive. A couple of times he outright ignored me when I asked him questions. Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with him as my crew since.
And, since, I haven’t liked him at all.
So, when I was trying to tell him why he was making a mistake. When I tried to point out his error. When I tried to go against his laziness (because that’s what it was). When I tried to instruct him in the proper way to pack that particular case, since I’d been there all day (one of only three who had), he said I was giving him “attitude”.
I was just happy I didn’t curse him out right there. Though, to be fair, I’m too nice. Even to people who don’t deserve it. I’ll turn my back and mutter expletives to myself before I stand face-to-face with you, telling you how I really feel. I view that as being polite. I’m sure some of them see it as being weak. And to that, I say, fuck them. My Mom raised me right.
I spoke maybe three words to that guy for the rest of the gig.
In my opinion, his problem is that he’s pretty. Very pretty, in fact, so people will often let him have his way. Even when he’s wrong. But, lately, not just I have noticed when he fucks up. And he’s getting on more than just my nerves.
The 3rd guy
“Ooo, are you taking that home?”
He carried a small vase of purple tulips left behind by the florists. He held it up by his face and playfully stroked the buds.
“Would you like one?”
“Normally I don’t accept gig flowers, but sure.”
He picked one out of the vase and gave it to me. Another female employee walked over and commented on the flowers. He offered her one as well, which she accepted.
We pushed the last few cases towards the freight elevator.
As we waited behind another company, the group was finally in good spirits. Though we had started late, we were close to finished, having worked really hard to get everything broken down.
When we reached the truck, and pushed the last case on, a wave of relief washed over me. Long day done.
Everyone congregated by the crew lead and waited to initial our timesheetsReacher novel (which I could barely put down all day), in my hands. The purple against the white and red of the cover looked almost artistic. I smiled to myself, happy I’d brought the book inside to help pass the time of the hour wait before we started, and now knowing I’d be able to get back to it soon.
After everyone initialed, we slowly disbursed.
“What are you going to do with them,” I asked him, referring to his small vase of tulips.
“I don’t know. Hey, do you want them?”
He held it out for me.
I took the vase, put my flower back inside it.
I smiled, and remembered, Not every guy I work with is an asshole.
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