Monday, October 29, 2007

A Poem by W.H. Auden, adapted for my beloved mother

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

My mother passed away this morning, peacefully and without any pain.
I loved her more than words can describe. She was 94. She had a wonderful life, filled with love and laughter.
Please pray for her safe delivery.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I have a theory that deeply suspicious, secretive people are themselves up to no good. Well...
Tonight at the psychiatrist's party, the hostess cornered me and told me that she has on good authority that the DWiP is having an affair with a board member.
Yes, the "good Catholic" is sneaking off on all those three hour lunches, day-long trips to Austin and morning breakfasts in order to bone some old doctor.
No wonder she's been such a bitch--she's been walking on the wild side, balancing Catholic guilt with middle-aged titillation.

Isn't it too delicious?

The Long Nightmare is OVER!!!

Thank God, Schmutz finally figured out that he'd wrung out about as much work as he was going to get out of me, so he sent notice to my acting supervisor to let me know today would be my last day at work.
Yep- no more dreading having to show up until next Wednesday. I am free!!!
Though I felt like storming into the DWiP's office where she hid while I was packing my shit to leave, I resisted. However, just before I left I couldn't resist leaving a long stemmed black rose (someone had given me for Halloween) on the floor outside her office door.
She's a small town, superstitious Hispanic Catholic- that kind of shit really scares the bejeebers out of them.
Anyway- my aches and pains are gone, my brow is unknitted, the smile is back on my face and I am free, free, free.
Tonight, I'm invited to a party at a very cool Hindu psychiatrist's home. I met her while I was working there. She was vice chair of my publications committee.
I imagine every Hindu physician in town will be there, so I am already rehearsing the shtick I plan to do about the Mormon CEO and the repressed Catholic DWiP witch.

I am so relieved and happy!!!

Bye bye, you psycho bitch!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It must be the full moon, because this morning at work was very strange.
Lots of office doors were closed, lots of odd, furtive looks were being exchanged in the halls and the DWiP was overly chirpy when she arrived at the office.
Around 9 a.m. was the monthly Director's Meeting, which takes place in the smaller conference room next door to my office. The walls are paper thin and I kept hearing the DWiP's fake laugh piercing the air.
You know how movie psychopaths laugh or smile? The mouth looks happy but the eyes look angry. That's how the DWiP looks.
My spies told me she was asked during the meeting what the status was on hiring a new editor, and she demurred and said she first needed to discuss it in private with Mr. Schmutz. Eyes rolled.
Later, another spy told me to walk by the larger conference room and look through the window. There were the DWiP and Schmutz. Her face looked pained and her body language was ramrod stiff, and Schmutz was talking like Ward Cleaver when he's lecturing the Beaver.
Meanwhile, my allies were gathered in various offices planning tonight's going away bash for Carol and me at a local TexMex place known for their lethal Margaritas. They told me they were torn between wanting to seem all-inclusive in their invitation and wanting to avoid any margarita-induced confrontations by inviting the DWiP, Bitsy von Schtup the duplicitous CFO and Schmutz.
I said not to worry-- those chickenshits would rather die than subject themselves to potential public humiliation. Besides, the last thing I'd do is justify any of the DWiP's insane allegations about me.
Apparently, the loss of Carol and me has divided the company very severely. Half the directors and most of the staff are furious at the DWiP and Schmutz, and those who support them are feeling the chill from the others.
By 11 a.m., I got antsy and told the Operations Manager (and interim supervisor) my cracked rib* was really hurting and I needed to leave for the rest of the day so I could rest up for tonight's tequilapalooza.
By then, the IT Manager was in my office sending my files to the Operations Manager, at Schmutz's insistence. The IT guy was very pissed about it. He thought Schmutz was intentionally trying to humiliate me, but I assured him there was nothing left for him to find, not even any funny e-mails people send each other in any office.
I hate vibes like I felt this morning.
All the secrecy and paranoia felt sticky and cloying. The DWiP's latest plan to hire one person to do Carol's and my jobs has spread like a California wildfire. Everyone but the DWiP and that cheapskate Schmutz know that one employee trying to do both jobs will only end up fucking up two offices and cause all of them to have to pick up the inevitable slack.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Schmutz is gonna tell me to go ahead and leave (with pay) before the end of the month because he's afraid I might say something to further divide the office. He's too isolated and stupid to realize the horses left that barn a month ago.
But even he can no longer ignore that his stupid decisions have created a deep chasm in the office, and he must know on some level that the DWiP's stupid plan to hire a twofer will save money in the short run but sacrifice quality in the long run-- and the members we serve will end up being pissed off royally.
He brought in three dozen Krispy Kremes yesterday morning "in thanks for all we do." Everyone knew it was a phony, half-assed attempt to try to soothe the angry masses. For him to think donuts will take the place of integrity and honesty just shows what an imperious, out-of-touch asshole he is.
And the DWiP knows she's been exposed. It shows in her fake laughter and tension-filled neck veins, and she must know on some level that she'll be on very thin ice if she runs off a 13th employee.
It must be hard to maintain a shitty personality while still expecting a huge paycheck.
And for a "devout" Mormon like Schmutz, it must be even harder to hide the fact that he worships money more than he worships Jesus.

*my latest pseudo-ailment

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Here's the latest in my rapidly dwindling saga at work.
By now, nearly everyone knows I gave notice because my boss The Devil Wears Payless was a bitch and the CEO Mr. Schmutz is too afraid to do anything about her tendency to run off employees. I was #10 and my colleague Carol was #11. Yes, the DWiP has run off 11 employees in only seven years.
Like me, Carol was in mid-management. I was the magazine editor, publications manager, graphic designer and chief copywriter and she was the marketing manager and events planner. Her job included planning and executing two major fundraisers a year-a winter formal gala and a spring golf tournament. She also led the scholarship committee and acted as the liaison between our company and the ladies' auxillary.
Between the two of us, we worked our asses off while the DWiP took all the credit.
It seems they've had a bit of a problem recruiting our replacements, so the DWiP came up with a brilliant plan that the cheapskate CEO apparently loved. She has a "friend" she wants to hire to replace both Carol and myself. Yes, she wants to roll two 45-50 hour a week jobs into one, presumably for the same salary either Carol or I got.
Carol, whose last day was today, and I howled with laughter at the different skill sets each job requires. Anyone who would sign up to do both would have to be too green to know the difference, meaning both departments will end up turning to shit in no time.
Meanwhile, the DWiP failed to debrief Carol even one iota about the status of the upcoming December gala. And needless to say, the DWiP hasn't asked me a thing about upcoming magazine issues because we haven't spoken since late September.
I hope the woman the DWiP has recommended for the double decker job can hit the ground running, without any questions or need for guidance.
But gee, think of all the money the CEO will be saving!
His Christmas bonus will be huge.
Good. He'll need it for medication once he realizes he let the DWiP run an entire department into the ground and he has to answer to 4,000 pissed off members.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dumbledore is Gay!

Sorry, I had a photo of Albus Dumbledore all set to upload but Blogger is having some technical problems that won't allow uploads for now. Hey, it's a free service, they deserve a break.
Anyway, at a speech given recently in NYC, Harry Potter author J.R. Rowling said Hogwart's Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay.
I love it.
Rowling has made billions off the Harry Potter book & movie series, so why the hell not say a major character is a gay man? The Jesus Freak homophobes don't let their kids read Harry Potter anyway, so where's the harm?
Hopefully, evolved parents will explain to their kids that the beloved character is gay and it's no big deal.
But of course, the Fox News crowd will raise hell about this, hillbilly churches will burn books and neo-con pundits will make it a big ass story.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

KarenZipdrive's Fall Cornucopia Blog

I haven't got enough for a full blog on any particular topic, so I've decided to slop them all together and call them a cornucopia.
Dancing with the Stars: Now that they've jettisoned the paralyzed Kodiak bear Wayne Newton, the show has regained its legitimacy. Look to Elio the racecar driver or the little chubby blonde chick Cheetah Girl to win.
Cavemen: I watched it once and it's actually worse than the GEICO ads. Rather than dressing like preppies, they should just shave, get a haircut and disappear.
-Early this month at the monthly staff meeting, the CEO Mr. Schmutz hastily assembled some happy good time economic reports he found on some Republican web page and explained to us that inflation was down and our cost of living increase would be 2.5 percent. Obviously, he's about as familiar with grocery shopping as George H.W. Bush 41. He also suggested that we all pay off our credit card balances monthly, to avoid costly finance charges.
-Later this month, he broke company rules by mass e-mailing us some kind of Focus on the Family petition request that God's name not be omitted from governmental ceremonies, literature or other state business.
-Our Marketing Manager Carol, who's far sneakier than I, had been secretly looking for another job. She found a directorship at a non-profit for $18,000 more per year and gave two weeks notice, effective October 24. That leaves the DWiP with exactly zero employees.
-I got a firm job offer as well, editing a glossy magazine. The problem is it's in Denver, which is in Red State Colorado, which may as well be Texas. I considered it for a day or two but I'm not going to take it. If I want to be around pretentious assholes, I'd move to Dallas.
It's October 14 and 86 degrees outside. Early Halloween decorations on homes in my neighborhood are starting to fade in the sun.
I am depressed and I think I have PTSD after all this corporate torture. I think I may sleep from Nov. 1 to the 15, then wake up and start looking for a job. So far I have managed to stave off acting on vandalism fantasies I have about the DWiP's car and home. Also I have ruled out punching her in the face. She'd tattle for sure.
If you haven't heard anything about Amy Winehouse besides her unfortunate love for liquor, drugs and domestic battering, check out her CD Back to Black. I bought it and love it like crazy. She's like Etta James meets Janis Joplin. Buy it and learn to love her music before she OD's and leaves us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Help Me Think of New Ailments

The HR Director (who loves me) mentioned that salaried employees can show up at the office for five minutes, then go home sick for the rest of the day without having to take sick leave.
So far since my resignation, I have taken about four days, leaving for lunch then calling in sick. First it was a migraine, then it was allergies, then anxiety. On Wednesday it was "explosive diarrhea." The receptionish laughed out loud at that one.
I need some new ailments. Can you help?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Adding Insult to Injury

The DWiP and our CFO Bitsy von Shtup must be very busy finding new ways to drive me crazy before I leave.
Last Friday, after I was gone for the day, they reassigned my covered parking spot to another employee, who drives a banged-up piece of shit with sun damage and a bashed in rear end.
They couldn't wait till the end of the month, they had to do it NOW.
I guess it really chapped the DWiP's ass that my spot was two rows closer to the building than hers. She just couldn't resist...with the CFO's help.
Meanwhile, the CFO is telling her whole staff how hard she fought to keep me there.
As you may recall, she was the lone NO vote I got from the directors.
How petty can these people get???

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Forget the DWiP, That Was So Last Week
Meet Todd Herzog, my latest new soon-to-be buddy from Survivor China

All right, I admit Survivor was getting a little dullsville and even I was starting to lose interest. That is, until I watched the premier of Survivor China and saw all the stuff I like about the show: great scenery, plenty of stinky Alpha Male assholes, a traditional hayseed wimp, some cute chicks and yes, a classic little gay boy named Todd.
Todd Herzog is a flight attendant, about 5'9" and cuter than a bug's butt.
Best of all, he's very bright, slightly arrogant, sneaky and conniving!
Surrounded by obnoxious Neanderthal He-Men, Todd is not at all intimidated by their chest beating and knuckle dragging.
One of his opponents, a super creepy pro poker player (aka: bum) named Jean Robert, stared Todd down on episode #1 and said, "You're smart. I'm gonna have to watch you."
Todd reacted to him like one might react to a haughty Great Dane whose slobber just landed on his own paw.
Anyway, the plot thickens.
Last night I was on Pogo Games, an online service that offers all sorts of games like poker, mah jong, dominoes etc. I was playing Dice City Roller, in an uncensored room with a lot of drunks and potheads cussing and having fun. We all have "mini" cartoons of ourselves that show up when we win. So this woman named Sharon won and her mini showed her in a blue bathrobe with a scowl on her face. I loved it and complimented her on it.
We started chatting and it turns out she's Todd's Canadian Aunt.
I didn't know the kid's name, but she described him and I thought, jeeze, her nephew's the gay kid with the smarty pants 'tude.
You old timers may recall when I interviewed for this blog Sandra Diaz Twine, the winner of Survivor from a few seasons ago.
Well, I'm hoping Sharon will get Todd to give me an interview, too. How cool would that be?
The taping is over and a winner has been selected, but of course the cast is sworn to secrecy, so Aunt Sharon doesn't know if Todd won or not.
But she does know he's got Hollywood sniffing around and gay boys are barking at him like he's a poodle in heat.
Survivor China is on CBS on Thursdays at 7 central time. You better start watching.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I win, I win!

Yeah, the DWiP thinks she won the war.
Unfortunately for her, our CEO Mr. Parakeet Balls today was inundated with calls and e-mail from outraged members of our association who are demanding he refuse to accept my resignation and reassign me to another supervisor. Even a bank vice president called him to complain.
The President called him and asked, "What the Hell's going on there?"
Apparently the Prez also was inundated with calls and letters as well.
So, old Parakeet Balls was pissed that his chief of staff (aka my biggest ally) failed to warm him that last night's meeting resulted in my committee being up in arms and ready to fight for me to keep my job.
All this drama over Parakeet Balls giving the DWiP her way and allowing her to continue her reign of terror over future editors.
Now it looks like his bosses intend to hold his feet to the fire and force him to either do what they ask or pay the price.
Bad news: in the Book of Rules, he as the CEO is allowed to make all personnel decisions.
Good news: He's a pussy and I somehow doubt he'll have to balls to tell his bosses no.
Have you ever seen such drama over the simple case of a woman trying just to do her job without having a fuckin' psycho control freak boss trying to derail her at every turn?
I had already quit and found peace with my decision.
I had no idea my advisory committee, who are dues paying members of our organization, would get so pissed about it and go on the warpath.
I mean, I'm humbled at their show of support and loyalty, but I just hope Parakeet Balls and the DWiP don't hire a hitman to rub me out if I prevail.
All I want to do is do a good job with my fuckin' magazine.
That's all I've ever wanted.
I just don't get it.
All I can figure is, the DWiP has photos of Shmutzy fucking a sheep.
A MALE sheep. be continued

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Happy First Anniversary! Now Piss Off!

Ha! Today was my first anniversary at work, and also the day our CEO Mr. Shmutz accepted my 30 day notice.
It seems Mr. Parakeet Balls took a vote between the Operations Manager, the HR woman I'll call Bennie and the CFO. The score was 2 to keep me and 1 to get rid of me.
The NO vote belonged to the CFO, whom I'll call Bitsy von Schtup.
I have never before mentioned her because she's someone who always bought me breakfast tacos and solicited, then listened sympathetically to my stories about the DWiP.
She's the blonde Republican 34-year-old who told me she thought the DWiP was a typical small town Mexican, drunk with power and abusive to "the little people." She's also the one who calls in sick at least once a week, leaves for the day the minute Shmutz leaves the office and snacks all day but pukes after every meal so she stays trim. She's married to a scrawny guy named Glenn, the biggest pussy ever.
Yep, lil' Bitsy would always come into my office, shut the door and ask how I was doing with mock sympathy, then she ended up using what I told her to harpoon me. My Big Sis was right-- today I learned who my friends were.
It was hilarious this morning before Shmutzy called me into his office.
When Bitsy walked in, she muttered good morning to me but avoided eye contact. It was so obvious that she felt guilty, I immediately wondered if today would be my last day or the beginning of my 30 days' notice.
I was also suspicious when the DWiP arrived this morning and bid me a peppy, "Hi Karen!"
Around 9 a.m., Shmutzy called me in and Bennie the HR woman was already seated. I knew her presence was a bad sign.
He said, "We're sorry to lose you, but I've decided to accept your resignation."
I said, "Well, sir, you can't be that sorry, since you had the power to make the decision."
He shrugged as only a man with no balls can do.
Then he had me read his letter accepting my resignation, which said I'd be "turning relevant work product in to the Operations Manager," which meant I no longer had to report to the DWiP. He was too chickenshit to put that in writing, but before I signed it, I said, "Now, this is nebulously worded, but I want you to confirm to me in front of this witness that I won't have to have anything to do with the DWiP for my remaining time here."
He nodded. I signed and dated it with a flourish.
Then I smiled, took a deep breath and reiterated to him to mark my words: the DWiP would only be happy if my replacement was meek, docile and totally obedient to her, which are qualities in direct opposition to a successful magazine editor.
Then I said, "With all due respect, and in front of this witness, I have to wonder how many qualified professionals you plan to allow the DWiP to chew up and spit out before it dawns on you that there's one common denominator in all this, and it's her."
Then I said, "She's a bad supervisor and we all know you've been told that countless times by a lot of different people. But what you probably haven't considered is that allowing her to run off another good employee will embolden her to be an even worse supervisor to her next victim."
He was getting pissed and clearly uncomfortable that I had told him that in front of Bennie, so I changed gears and said, "Just so you know, I won't adapt a scorched earth policy. You know that because I came to this job with impeccable references. But with the albatross no longer on top of my head and pecking me in the eyes, I have the next 30 days to relax and do what I love most, creating--as you've said--the best magazine this company has had in 150 years."
He relaxed a bit, then he said, "If you can think of any colleagues you might want to recommend..." I cut him off and said, "Sir, I wouldn't wish the DWiP on any of my colleagues, and I doubt you'll find any decent journalist who can tolerate her petty, vindictive dictatorship for more than a few months."
Then I reminded him that I lasted as long as I did because she was out of town for six months of the last year.
Of course, he asked me not to talk about it with the other staff members (yeah, right).
And in the letter, he said if I 'misbehaved' he reserved the right to (get this) "no longer require your services, unless I plan to hire you as a consultant." Huh?
I've seen some corporate jabberwocky in my day, but he was trying so hard to craft a document filled with escape routes for the company it was ridiculous in its transparency.
Afterwards, I went back to my office almost giddy with glee. I found myself whistling, then for the first time in a year, I put on a nice Brazilian music CD and whistled along with it as I dashed out a near-perfect column for the Alliance President.
Within an hour, word was out and everyone (but Bitsy and the DWiP) was sneaking into my office, giving me high fives and patting me on the back, saying they admired my guts and wishing me well.
By this afternoon, when Shmutzy and the DWip had left for the day, both Bennie and the Operations Manager confided to me that Bitsy Von Schtup was the lone NO vote. I already had surmised that, but it was touching that they both put their asses on the line to let me know.
Now I have a whole month to wait for Bitsy to ask how I am, with her fake concern dipped in saccharine. I'll just say, "Shmutz asked me not to discuss this with the staff, so please don't bring it up again."
She absolutely loves to gossip and hates to be left out of the loop, so that'll chap her ass but good.
And the DWiP may have left today thinking she'd won the war, but on some level she'll soon start to realize that the truth about her is out, and I doubt Shmutz will be so oblivious when the next editor tells him she's an asshole they can no longer tolerate.

Meanwhile, tomorrow night is my monthly Publications Committee meeting, comprised of physicians who adore me, love the magazine and say I have the coolest committee meetings in the company. They already hate the DWiP because she has countermanded their editorial directives more than a few times.
When they ask why I'm leaving, I won't say, but it won't take long for them to guess.
I can almost guarantee they'll bitch to high heaven to Shmutz, and to Shmutz's boss. There still might be a bit of shit hitting the DWiP's fan over this mess, we shall see.

But in the end, I got what I wanted. I no longer have to speak to or take orders from that small town, horse peeing asshole DWiP. That alone was worth going All In.

Without going all Doogie Howser on y'all, I can say that taking care of myself by putting an end to her reign of terror has been very self-affirming. I'm leaving with 12 very good issues of the magazine, the respect of my colleagues and my balls intact.
As they say in witchy circles, Blessed Be.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Fuse Has Been Lit...

This morning I told the CEO that I wasn't going to work for the DWiP anymore.
Then I offered him three options:
1. Reassign me to another supervisor.
2. I resign with 30 days notice if and only if I no longer have to deal with the DWiP at all, i.e. I will no longer speak to her or read her e-mail.
3. I resign today if he doesn't select either option #1 or 2.

Stay tuned for the next episode of "Devil, Be Gone!"