The bad thing about having a client you don't like much is, when you finally get fired, it's sort of anticlimactic.
I've had this same corporate client for 10 years, but in the last two years my contact there has been with this woman I'll call the Cobra. Because her company is my biggest client, the salary I get from them makes up a large portion of my monthly income. I've had to be nice to her and tolerate her lack of corporate etiquette.
The Cobra's one of those 30-ish, ambitious types who can't be happy unless she's put her stamp on everything she comes near. She tells lies when she's cornered, then she lashes out when she thinks the coast is clear.
She fired me so she could hire a buddy of hers to write the company magazine. Her buddy the writer writes in the passive voice and thinks a 48-word sentence works just fine as a lead paragraph.
So, last week after I got the ax, I went to meet a friend for coffee and I stepped in dog shit on the way to my car. I discovered it as the aroma wafted up from my carpeted floor mat.
Once I got home, I received a message from a colleague who pays me $300 annually to judge a small circulation newspaper contest. Trouble is, I now write for one of the newspapers in the competition, so I had to disqualify myself.
If you're keeping score, that means I lost two jobs and stepped in dog shit, all in one day.
I went to dinner on a Riverwalk barge that night and had a lot of fun. It was a great distraction, but once I started the drive home, more trouble loomed ahead.
Stuck behind a 1982 Cadillac with three colors of paint and the taillights held on with duct tape, the driver was going 2 miles per hour in a 35 mile zone. After a couple of blocks stuck behind this imbecile, I stomped on my passing gear and passed him, just as he was negotiating a left turn.
The oncoming car was, naturally, a cop. I turned onto my street very rapidly, hoping to escape.
Only inches away from my driveway, I spied the flashing lights in my rearview mirror.
Yes, in one day I managed to get fired twice, step in dog shit and get pulled over by a cop.
He asked what I thought I was doing when I passed that man while he was turning and I simply said I thought he was drunk and wanted to get away from him.
The cop gave me a stern lecture, but no ticket.
I said, "Officer, I appreciate that. See, today I got fired twice and stepped in dog shit and I'm afraid a ticket would have pushed me over the edge."
He just shook his head and told me to go home.
When the Cobra fired me, I asked in my most humble voice if she'd be willing to read an e-mail letter I planned to write, making a rebuttal to her decision to fire me. She said of course.
I just sent the letter, which I copied to everyone in the company who outranks her, the entire marketing department, the entire IT staff, all of Human Resources and anyone else I know at that company who likes me, not to mention disliking the Cobra.
It may have been a slightly bitchy gesture, but when she walked me to the door she had the nerve to ask how my mother was. At Christmas time. Right after firing me.