Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Boss

My boss, the owner of the company, is a fucking prick. He can't help it though, he comes from a long line of pricks, he was born into this business and his dad was a bigger prick. That's just the way a lot of them in the business are.

Old timers remember his mom and dad, and everyone from this generation will remember him and what a prick he could be. At his funeral they'll all say nice things though. Everybody will get up and tell a completely different story than the one that actually played out in real life. The world is like that. I've seen it countless times.

No one will ever have the insight into him that I do though, they don't know he can't help the way he is, it's the "Carny World!" Plus I've been with him since I was a kid. It's a harsh business and there's a lot of pressure. There are a lot of pricks on the road. Not a lot of social graces.

I've worked for every kind of prick you can imagine, most are the same on the road, about as much class as an outhouse. But deep down inside every prick or bitch I've met and worked for on the road there was an actual person, a character, a soul.

Sometimes late at night when we'd be in the office trailer counting money, and the Boss had a few drinks in him I'd get a peek inside and see the "real person!" I never made the mistake of thinking there was any real emotional connection between us. There was a mutual respect however.

Some of the younger crew members don't know how to deal with the prickish boss, I do, here's a few pointers.

1. "DO NOT" try to be the bosses friend! You work for him. You trade time for money. Do your job!

2. "DO NOT" try to have a conversation with the boss, he could give two fucks about you or your opinion, or your personal life. He has enough of his own war stories. Yours won't impress him!

3. "DO NOT" try to win brownie points in any way whatsoever, don't jump in and trash someone when he's bitching about them to you, he's doing the same thing to you behind your back fool. Now he has no real respect for you. He's just the prick that pays you. Go find friends elsewhere. This is the way the world works.

4. "DO" show up early or on time and do your job.

5. "DO" tell him to "GO FUCK HIMSELF" if he unjustly gives you shit, or tries to blame his own mistake on you, he's probably testing you to see if you're a doormat. If you get fired, that's your problem. No risk, no reward. Risk being fired, reward earning respect. Take your lumps if they come. At least you'll have your dignity.

Just do your job, don't acknowledge him unless he does you.

In time he'll come to respect you and let you into his graces.

Most people will waste their time wondering if the Boss likes them. Who cares. Do your job. If you're that fucking needy I can assure you that you're in the wrong industry.

Many times over the years people asked me why I appeared to be so "bullshit" proof when it came to the Boss. Why did he not pull his shit on me? Why, when he was losing his mind on the whole crew during setup or tear down was none of it directed at me? Was he afraid of me?

Was I so fearsome that he wouldn't dare to yell at me? In the better part of three decades he never yelled at me. No one ever witnessed him yelling at me or treating me like shit. Why?

The answer is actually pretty simple and a good lesson to learn in any industry. Here it is. There was no "father-son" or "mentor-student" dynamic between he and I. Sure he had tried to take me under his wing when I was young. But I'd learned early on there was a price to pay for these relationships. That price was that you were now obligated to take their shit. To be an emotional punching bag.

Sure there were perks. They weren't worth the price though. Only weak people seek, or get sucked into these types of relationships.

I was one of his right hand people. My job was to carry out his will. My life was my own. I had a father, flawed as he may have been. I didn't need another one. I had a mother, imperfect as she may have been. I didn't need another.

No one takes me under their wing and tries to mold me into their image and then whips me because I can't be who they want me to be. My life is my own!

My Initiation

Freezing rain. I'm 14 years old and soaked to the bone, the wind is blowing through my wet clothes, my teeth are chattering, every part of my body moves stiff and slow I'm so cold.

I'm kneeling beside the big tent we just finished putting up, the canvas flaps are being whipped by the wind and hitting me in the face. I'm holding a stake upright on the cold cement, waiting for the sledge hammer and that dull metalic "thud" as metal meets metal.

I'm scared, terrified, the boss tells me not flinch, or look. He yells above the howl of the wind that if I do he'll end up "shattering my fucking hands". That's exactly the way he puts it.

I hold the stake straight and look away, in that moment I learn to focus, the ability never leaves me, to this day I can still focus in any crisis while I watch others fall apart.

From that day forward I held the stakes while the boss windmilled that sledge hammer, I never flinched and he never missed.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Out in the Cold

I've been kicked to the top bunk, the equivalent of the couch. My woman and I had a little disagreement over.....you guessed it, sex.

I was actually quite mature about the whole thing, I shut up and moved to the top bunk.

Not so many years ago I would have booted her cute ass right out the fucking door in a heart beat.

I'm older now, sober, clean, and a lot more docile in some ways, I just don't have the jam to scrap about that stuff anymore.

I'm still pissed off though, maybe I'll torture her tomorrow for awhile.

Sorry I haven't written, I couldn't, no time, zip. I work my ass off every day, plus there's always some fucking crisis I have to deal with.

I have a lot to say and write when the end of the season finally get's here.