Here at the Maison d’O’Pine, I’ve been entertaining a steady stream of workers. The latest was a tile duo who are redoing my entry hall. Yesterday, I had brief, meaningless conversations with both the boss man and his underling. The underling, whose name I never caught, was actually in the background and we didn’t have much exchange.
What a difference a day makes.
Today, Underling came back to finish the grouting. He arrived approximately ten minutes ago and this is what I now know about him.
He is 49 tomorrow. (“Happy Birthday”, I say)
He is divorced.
He lives at his mom’s because he lost his house. (I remembered many nights in my youth when I lost my house, but still thought better of asking if he’s put out “lost house” flyers on neighborhood telephone poles.)
He’s worked for this tile guy for 19 years and hates him.
The tile guy yells at him.
He thinks the tile guy does a lot of things in an “old-fashioned” way and doesn’t keep up with the times.
He has a 1967 Chevelle show car
He scored #1 on a City civil service exam, but still didn’t get the job.
He used to be an endoscopic technician and knew how ALL the doctors liked their trays arranged (hmm, that could be a handy euphemism), but got laid off.
He’s had two knee-replacement surgeries, at least one of which incurred a workers’ comp claim.
He’s had rotator cuff surgery.
He used to make $30 an hour, “pretty good, huh?” (well, yeah, I say, that’s like 100 times more than a blogger makes)
Okay, seriously dude! I have hung out with sorority girls on speed who didn’t share as much information.
Thinking quickly, Brett Michaels flashed in my head, so I faked an anyeurism, fell to the floor and crawled back to the rear of the house to get “my meds.” I figured there was probably blood coming out of my ears already, so it seemed like a plausible feint.
I think he’s still talking. But I can’t hear him over the primal scream in my head.