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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Farm Animal; or Someday, Jon’s Going to Sort This Guy Out


“I told Mary, when I handle this guy, I’m gonna tear off both ears and stick my left thumb in his eye until it pops out.  It’s gonna dangle on a string, an occipital orb slapping his cheek.”

Mary looks at me, nods sagely, her blue eyes sparkling.  We are standing in their kitchen.  T-Bone, a Labrador of Great Sincerity, gazes up at us with adoration, his demeanor that of one who suspects that a slice of ham or other such treat may appear if only he is attentive enough.  I smile at Mary, tap the side of my nose in acknowledgement.  Jon's getting ready to tell a story.

“Who we talkin' about here?” I say.

“Farm Animal,” Mary says, grinning.

“Hey,” Jon says.

“What?” I say, grinning back at Mary.  “Don’t we talk like that?”

“We don’t talk like that, do we, Jon?” Mary laughs.  “This is a family show and we –“

“FARM ANIMAL,” Jon interrupts, “once came to work with his face bashed in, the result of his buddy – his only buddy, a guy he’s known since high school – snapping after the guy just would not shut the hell up.”  Jon shakes his head.  “His only friend pummeled him but good.”

“It’s true,” Mary says.  “The pictures went around by e-mail.  It was grody.”

I widen my eyes at her and she winks.

Jon sighs. 

“If you met him,” Mary says, “you’d know right away, he’s an ass.  An absolute ass.  The guy’s got no filter, doesn’t know when enough is enough.  First encounter, Farm Animal tells the bartender at the company Christmas party ‘At first I thought you were pregnant, but now I can see that you’re just flippin’ fat’.”

Except Mary hasn’t used the word “flippin”.  Jon, who swears only when truly angry, frowns at the memory.

“The guy has no friends,” Jon says, lighting a Black and Mild, “and there’s good reason for it.”  He inhales, exhales toward the ceiling.  “Every other word out of his mouth is a swear word.  Doesn’t matter who he’s around – “

“We ended up going to his birthday party when Jon first started working there,” Mary cuts in, “don’t even ask how that happened.  His mom, his sisters, his daughter – all nice people – are the only other ones there and even then, over a birthday cake and everything!, every other word is a cuss.  Pretty horrible.”

Jon stares at her, and she grins.  “What?” she says. 

He shakes his head so as to clear the interruption from his head.  “So this guy tries to light me up over a fan and a radio I left on at work the other day.  Only I had left work the day before at 11:30, not 4:00 like everyone else, and the radio – well, everyone is listening to the radio, right? – and the fan just keeps the air moving in the shop.  Tom Hall told me to leave it on.”

I briefly open my mouth to ask who Tom Hall is and immediately shut it.

“So the very next day,” Jon says, “I’m painting off the eye wash station and electrical box.  Tom Hall tells me to paint it off, right?  OSHA requirements: you gotta have a protected area around these things so that you can get to them when you need them. “

He inhales, exhales toward the ceiling.  “No parking within the painted lines, you smell what I’m cookin’?”

Mary and I nod solemnly.  We do, indeed, smell what he is cooking.

“So I measure it out, paint a nice solid line around the eye wash station, the electrical box.  Takes me several hours of prep, measuring, getting the area clean, the paint down – and here comes Farm Animal, who shreds it with the forklift.”  Jon shakes his head in disbelief.  “Drops a stack of pallets on it, scrapes it from one side to the next, then leaves the pallets there.”

Jon takes a deep breath.  Mary and I are silent.

“He comes over to me, all concern and innocence, and says ‘what’s the problem here, Jon?’  I tell him, ‘make no mistake about it, you’re the problem’.

The color creeps up Jon’s neck.  “He says it again, ‘what’s the problem here, Jon?’  and that’s when I blow it.  ‘I want you to shut your fat flippin’ mouth’ – and here Mary shoots me a significant look – ‘I don’t want you to touch my stuff, look in my direction, breathe in my presence.  Until you’re my boss, you got nothin’ to say to me.’

Jon shakes his head almost sadly.  “Some day,” he says, “I’m gonna have to handle this guy.”




January 4, 2003:  Mary called to tell me that Farm Animal has put in his two weeks' notice.  :-)  Without having another job.  Hmmmmm.

31 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

And we all want to be there when he does.

Simply Suthern said...

Some how that guy will still be there when Jon is long gone. Dont kbnow why, but that kind always is.

Pearl said...

Delores, you and me both, taking notes. :-)

Simply, I wouldn't doubt it. Some people just never seem to be let go...

Shelly said...

Really, that guy gives farm animals a bad name.

And the word grody makes me smile. I used it until I wore it out, and hadn't thought of it in a while, but reading it this morning made me smile.

Pat said...

I suppose he could have some compulsive disorder. Easy to say, Iknow, when one is not on the receiving end of such awful behaviour.

Pearl said...

Shelly, I've certainly heard stories of farm animals with better manners!

Pat, I don't doubt it, actually. I feel for the guy but would never want to work with him. Far too confrontational for my tastes!

Daisy said...

ALL Labradors are of "great sincerity". :-)

vanilla said...

I suppose there is a place in the world for people like Farm Animal, but one hopes it is far away from everyone else.

Ooh! Picture it: all such people in the same place. What could we call it?

jenny_o said...

Can I right now order my ticket to that event? On second thought, I can't stand the sight of occipital orbs dangling where they ought not to be. You'll need to record it here instead so we can all have the benefit :)

Pearl said...

Daisy, I've yet to met a pup that wasn't absolutely brimming with sincerity!

vanilla, that place would be hell.
I've worked with some characters in my life, but none as confrontational as FA. I have to wonder if he enjoys pain, as he seems to pursue it wherever he goes.

jenny_o, if I hear anything, you'll be next to know! :-)

Daisy said...

Fur will fly, I bet, when Jon sorts him out! :-)

Douglas said...

No, Pearl, (referring to Vanilla's question) that would be Hell... it exists in this world... it's called the Navy. I know, I spent some time there. It took me years afterward to learn to speak respectable.

Aren't dogs [bleep]ing cool? Absolute devotion and all you gotta do is drop a scrap of food now and then.

Pearl said...

Daisy, it will be horrifying!

Douglas, no doubt! I like to pretend that some day unwarranted aggression and rudeness will be seen as childish, but we just keep rewarding it...

Kana said...

A story so macho, I spontaneously started growing body hair!

On the doggie note, I just moved in with my first ever canine, a room mate's dog...so, they'll always care that you're eating, every time, and stare at you like you're killing them the whole time you eat? And will never stop doing that? Forever??? I'm going to lose so much weight.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I always laud writers! You are clever and creative!

Madi and Mom said...

Hi Pearl it was very nice to meet you today. Mom and I look forward to reading more stories.
Hugs madi

Pearl said...

Kana, you're killing me!! :-)

Jennifer, thank you! That's very kind. :-)

Madi, you're always welcome here. (And Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, welcomes you too.)

Buttons said...

Oh boy I work with farm animals everyday and they are a lot nicer. B

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I ran into a 'Farm Animal' in a parking lot the other day. Watched as he pulled next to my car, while simultaneously parking halfway in my spot, then he hit a shopping cart and sent it flying toward another car. (I stopped the cart) All of that was fine until he screamed at his kid as the boy struggled to get out of the car in the few inches the FA left him. At that point, the Farm Animal got 'handled,' verbally, by me.
Kids will not be treated like that around me. No way.

Pearl said...

Buttons, when I was young, some of my best friends were farm animals!

Dawn, ha! This is why you rock. Consistently rock.

The Elephant's Child said...

Every workplace seems to have one - and far too many families have a cousin/uncle/aunt who is a farm animal. And should, for the comfort of everyone else, be safely penned on the farm.

Gigi said...

Oh FA's...they are everywhear. We seem to have more than our fair share. Can't wait to hear how Jon sorts him out. I need some pointers.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Everybody knows Farm Animal. They say God does not make mistakes, but then a Farm Animal comes along.....

Pearl said...

The Elephant's Child, not so bad when they're penned where we KNOW where they are, but sometimes they show up, free-range.

Gigi, I'm gonna have to go over to Mary's again soon and see if anything's changed. Believe me, when it's sorted, I'll be here to tell the story.

Starting Over, it would be different if he had some redeeming qualities or only rarely broke out in rudeness, but from what I understand, it's a daily thing...

Linda O'Connell said...

Oh yeah, I know his type. Drop a pallet and run. He's lucky Jon didn't knock him off his fat forklift.

Stop by and read about the farm animal I encountered. Oh boy!

jeanie said...

He has a relative over here. I worked with him. Briefly. Shudder...

Rose L said...

I am glad I do not have co-workers like that.

Eva Gallant said...

Jon and Mary always make for colorful posts!

Geo. said...

These people live in Deadwood right?

River said...

Some people just don't have a clue and when you drop hints, they don't realise you mean it's them that should wise up or shut up.

the walking man said...

Uh Jon knows it is always the only way to get rid of the absolutely incompetent and idiotic...promote them.