After wasting so much time on this blog, I’ve been strong-armed to finally phase it out. It wasn’t exactly by choice.
After my last post on the drought or spleens or something, I got a call to schedule a time to meet in the publisher’s office for this blog. It had been awhile since we last held a work meeting in his office, so I was eager to hear what he had to say.
I walked in, he told me to close the door and didn’t even wait for me to sit down. He began reading me the riot act – I did this wrong, I did that wrong, I used bad grammar, too many commas, blog didn’t make sense – then he began talking about how he climbed some mountain I’ve never heard of and quoting a guy named Seamus who I think used to be his neighbor?
I was incredibly confused. An unintelligible mass of words spewed from his mouth. After a minute of nonsensical rambling it became clear he was actually going to fire me, especially when he said, “So it’s time to start packing up your things. We don’t need you anymore. You can’t write garbage…”
I surprised myself when I interrupted my superior by saying with a slight smile, as nonchalantly as possible, “You know what?”
He immediately stopped lecturing me. Amazingly still behind his mahogany desk, he gazed directly into my eyes.
I had asked a question, hoping he would answer.
Why did I hope he would answer me? I mean, the man was never at a loss for words!
Isn’t “you know what?” an expression that tells the listener you have more to say? Oh wait. I thought that by cooly asking that question, he would answer me! I thought he would tell me something he knows! I forgot how the expression worked! How did I do that? I can’t believe I didn’t realize that. It must have been nerves. No wonder he hates my blog. I don’t even know expressions.
At the moment, however, I somehow believed my “you know what?” question had thrown him. For a moment, he kind of had a look of panic, as if I had thrown him. He didn’t look like my boss anymore. He looked weak. He looked like me.
This gave me a dose of much needed confidence, but I was still at a loss for words.
“You know what?” I repeated, still thinking he would answer the question.
I continued to endure unbearable silence for over a minute. He seemed to endure it effortlessly, making him look like my boss again.
I thought of my options. There weren’t many. He was essentially firing me, but he hadn’t yet said, “You’re fired.”
Ever the competitive one, I didn’t want him to beat me to it. So I yelled at the top of my lungs, “I QUIT!”
Motionless, emotionless, and in his thick Colorado accent, he said, “You’re an idiot.”
I said, “Don’t sugar coat this. You heard me, I quit! I’m not sticking around slaving away for you anymore!”
“You can’t quit.”
“Why can’t I quit? I can do whatever I want!”
He told me I was correct about that and then added, “When you quit, you won’t be able to collect unemployment insurance.”
“I don’t care about un–”
“Josh,” he stopped me mid-sentence. “Do the right thing.”
“What ‘right thing?’ I said I’m out!”
I put my hand on his office doorknob, but surprised myself again when I didn’t turn it immediately to open the door and leave his office for good.
He was right, I considered, hopeful to get a hold of that unemployment check. Maybe this was a way I could monetize the blog, I thought. How ironic.
I laughed to myself, my back to him. Then I heard him say words that were as if a knife had been thrown into the center of my back.
“You know I don’t need you,” he continued, evilly calm. “You know I don’t like your work. To be blunt, it’s pathetic.”
I turned around, facing him, quickly checking my torso to see if the knife had passed all the way through. It hadn’t. Then I remembered the knife wasn’t real. “Knife in the back” is a figure of speech. I had forgotten.
No longer looking him in the eyes, I said, “I thought you wanted me to do the right thing and stay.”
He was listening. I garnered a little more courage. “Instead, you mock my work. You know I’m the best blogger on this site!”
I’m sure my face was bright red, a genetic characteristic attributed to my Nordic roots. I tried to cover it with my hands. Maybe he would think I was about to cry.
I was about to cry.
“Do the right thing.” He paused. “Give me two weeks notice.”
“Oh.” I hesitated, trying to understand what had happened. “Oh!” So he didn’t want me to collect unemployment! He wanted me to earn my pay for two more weeks.
I knew he would counter-offer, just not so soon. It was instantly clear who had won this dance.
“Then fine!” I said, acting disappointed.
I left his office and headed to mine down in the basement of the large office complex. It was a mess down there, as usual. I faked being mad. I threw things around and then I cleaned things up.
And that’s basically how it happened.
I have two more weeks to blog. Then I’m back on the street. Since November 2013, I’ve never “not blogged,” so this will be a real transition for me. I ask for your understanding as I transition to becoming a normal person, which will be so difficult.
There will likely be normalizing pains, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes in order to no longer blog in two weeks.
If you are concerned about my blogging employment, read below the “***” that is coming up after the period that is a little lower and to the right of the point of this arrow –>.
Very good. You are good at following instructions. Now look for the “&&&” below, and read what comes next.
Excellent. You are learning quickly. Now look for the “%%%” and see what follows.
Ok, now that you have carefully followed my instructions, I’m going to give it to you straight from the heart. I feel like I need to explain myself every time I write satire, because an unusually high number of people (more than 2, less than 5) think most of my satire is true. I guess it’s that good or that bad, depending on your point of view.
I should add that I’m not referencing the email signature post where I say you should keep reading the longest email signature in the computer age. I didn’t mean for people to read all the sweepstakes fine print. It was that same very lengthy email signature that included the entire Gettysburg Address as an inspirational quote. I copied and pasted the absolute longest email confidentiality statement, inserted “please keep reading!” after which is included the longest sweepstakes fine print I could find on the Internet. I feel bad about anyone reading all of that. I also am happy to hear that some muscled through the fine print because it means there are some who actually do read what I write. If there is ever anything like that again, I will try to be more clear.
For the rest of you, allow me to tell you that what you just read above about my giving two weeks notice is satire. There, I’ve just ruined the whole thing. The magician lifted his sleeve. The comedian explained the irony. The blogger typed more words.
I said I was phasing out the blog, right? Then you keep reading and learn that the publisher is firing me, then asking me to give two weeks notice. The publisher of joshrolph.com is Josh Rolph, who happens to be me. I don’t have a publisher. I’m the one who publishes. Get it? There should have been several other clues that this couldn’t possibly have happened. Like the “you know what?” part is a personal favorite of the piece. The “knife in the back” part is second favorite. Saying “I’ve never ‘not blogged'” is my third favorite. Oh and the irony of monetizing my blog by collecting unemployment when there is no more blog. Do I have to be writing this? Why am I writing this? I’m ruining the whole thing even more! Maybe I should be fired from this blog.
Anyway, I realize it’s not funny to you and that’s okay. It is. I’m sorry you didn’t understand what I meant. Now look for the “###” below.
You know what? You should subscribe to my blog or share it via those round social media buttons below (they are only seen if you click on the title of this post). I have no self esteem and don’t take medication for that ailment, so a click or a share goes a long way toward helping me guilt trip people into doing what I tell them to do. By subscribing or sharing, you and those you love will have something to read. [jetpack_subscription_form]