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November 16, 2005

The Weasels in HR

So we fly out of Pierre and I have my miserable little Canon Pro-1 with me. And I manage to snap a few photos before the sun leaves us completely. And then, somewhere outside of Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska, we started getting bounced around pretty bad, and we’re getting shaken and stirred and the temperature is dropping and we fly up to this big wall of fog and the pilot says, “Gentlemen, how does a night in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska sound to you?? we say “It’s your call?, so we start looking for the airport and the pilot finds it somehow. Just this little gnat’s ass out on the prairie and no control tower of course, and the pilot's trying to get the runway lights turned on by remote control via the radio somehow, and it's dark and getting nasty and we're wanting to put this bird on the ground and suddenly, the runway lights up from one end to the other and I was never so happy to see lights in my life.

So we land and we’re driving around at this airport and there’s lots of hangers but we’re not sure where to go. And it felt like we were in a truck, driving around looking for a place to park in the night. And we finally find someone who says we can tie it down and leave it.

But then, you're kind of in a tight spot, 'cause you're in a town you never planned on visiting. Like you just sort of phased in with no plan whatsoever. And you need a hotel room and transportation and all these things. And then they let on that a local hotel has this “courtesy car? out there. It’s an old beater Buick Sylark with 3 working doors. So, suddenly Brian has this beater out on the tarmac, backing up to the Piper Aztec and we're offloading all our gear into "Plan B".

The speedometer says 44,000 miles, but it could have rolled over a couple of times for all we know, and the gas tank is below “E?, but we're mobile, and that's all we care about. We're rolling across the Nebraska prairie in the darkness that doesn't look nearly so intimidating now that we're on the ground.

We met at six bells the next morning for breakfast, Nebraska style. I waded up to the heart-stopping cholesterol buffet like a hog to a feed trough. No telling how early that woman had gotten up to put that spread together for us and put on her makeup with a cement trowel. But she just kept falling all over us, asking what we wanted. She had a face like a mud fence, but she was the nicest woman you’d ever run into.

We flew back into Erie, and got into a little turbulence on the way back that made my old war injury from Vietnam start acting up. From an elevation of about 9,000 feet, you could see that the front range was getting dumped on.

I drove straight into work, 'cause I was running late and I knew they dotting their i's and crossing their t's, trying to collect enough evidence to fire me. Public Sector isn't like the real world. People go there to die, and if they're terminated for any reason, they sue, so HR spends their time meticulously documenting the atrocities of their sycophant employees, trying to build a case that will hold up in court in the event that anyone is terminated.

Employee Relations is where the most anal-retentive, neurotic, insipid weasels are drawn. Stiff as a new broom, they comb their hair over their balding heads and stalk from office to office looking for someone to harangue, notepad and clipboard in hand. Ink pen in hand. Tall, thin, dangerously unstable mental dwarfs on a mission. Like Don Quixote, only without the disarming charm that made that character likeable.

So I go straight into my meeting with Employee Relations to discuss the alleged incident from last Wednesday, when I had the audacity to call a spade a spade. The weasels are all agitated, scurrying about in their starched white shirts, whining and squealing and gnashing their teeth. And I feel like those pheasants must have felt flying into that line of fire and I know it isn't going to be pretty.

And I sit down at this little conference room for my absurd little trial. A war criminal in the Hague. I'm still in my camoflauge, fresh from the hunt. I'm sitting here with the weasels and my camo is covered in blood and feathers and you can smell the gun powder in the room, and the weasels can smell the blood, and it makes them salivate and their eyes get as big as plates.

"Did you tell your project manager to go f**ck himself?"

"Look. We've been through this already. I'm not here to beat a dead horse."

"Did you say that you thought women should be forced to work in brothels and that the immigrants should be sent back to their country of origin via Fed Ex?"

"That's absurd. Think how much it would cost."

"For the immigrants or the prostitutes?"


And the trial went on this way for some time, and they kept bringing water in these little dixie cups, and the more I drank, the more thirsty I became. And pheasant blood was dripping onto the table, collecting in a little pool on the table, and the down feathers were falling off my jacked and getting stuck in the little blood pond and presently, I began to feel dizzy and I must have fallen asleep because when I looked up, I wasn't sure where I was.

The weasels had slipped a shock-collar on my neck like the hunting dogs were wearing in the field. And the alpha-weasel with the beadiest eyes of them all is asking me "How about that? Feel anything now?" and he pushes a button on the remote control and it shocks the hell out of my neck and I yowl like those hunting dogs that chase after a hen or a rabbit and have to be shocked to get their attention.

"Ow. What was that for?" I complain.

"We're just testing it." they answer, and the little weasels have me now. Now they've got me right where they want me.

And then, suddenly the collar is shocking the life out of me, and I feel like my heart will stop and I can't breath or get any air and I want to yell but I can't so I pound my hand on the desk and they look up at me, suddenly startled.

"Oops. Sorry. I was sitting on the remote control. So sorry." And they tell me I'm free to go, but the collar has to stay on for at least six months, and I'm not go in any stores with a microwave or near any project managers during that period. And as I walk out into the sunshine, I think that my life surely has to get better than this.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on November 16, 2005 at 1:19 AM


"...the immigrants should be sent back to their country of origin via Fed Ex?"

Besides being ridiculously expensive, mailing people was outlawed (at least for the postal service) in 1920. (I know this because my mother used to threaten to mail me to my grandmother's in a box.)

Posted by: Alice H on November 17, 2005 at 12:29 PM

"Did you tell your project manager to go fuck himself?"

I feel for you, my man. It would have been more PC to say "Go lick your behinds" as I did...

By the way, can you imagine staffing me in a FedEx envelope? :)

Posted by: UB on November 17, 2005 at 7:01 PM

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