Thursday, August 2, 2007

Learning from Scissors - more from the Secret Warehouse

It's time to go back once again to one of my former places of employment--what I refer to as the "secret warehouse". This is the same place where I got the Uhhhh.....Larry? story from a few days ago. Truth be told, I'm sure I could write a book from this job alone--and then there was the other job working for a syndicated talk radio host--wow, but I digress.

If you're too lazy to click on the link above (I think it burns 1/16 of a calorie to click once) and you'd like to know what this job was, here's an excerpt from the post:

It was an online men's apparel store specializing in dress shirts and suits. 99% of the online stuff was handled by the owner who trusted practically NO ONE else with this. Thus, the rest of us were relegated to stocking, fulfilling orders, trying to look busy and helping with walk-in guests.
When I first started this job, it looked pretty promising (that's why we take these jobs, right?). I was hired because of my communications and marketing background (or so I thought) and the owner convinced three young smartypants from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to spend their summer break working in the secret warehouse (which had no air-conditioning!!!!). One day he sat us all down to go through one of his listen to me sound important* carefully arranged training sessions. These marathon rambling sessions would last for hours and you were expected to take notes on 3x5 cards using only a certain type of pen that was made available in the office. That's where this story is headed.

At some point in the lecture he corrected me on how to properly use scissors to cut the said 3x5 cards. I'm not making this up. It was his theory that we all needed to re-learn just about everything so we could be productive contributors to his little community and the world. I'm not one to stir up trouble, but I called him on this. I was pretty sure that at 28 years of age (that was almost ten years ago) I was incredibly proficient with scissors, breathing through my nose, and walking. It seemed like everything was ok and the rambling went on, as planned, for many more hours.

A few months later he--let's call him Morty just for fun--decided that he'd had it with me and my attitude. He spent four hours on a Saturday screaming at me while blaming me for just about every problem in the office and his personal life. At one point, he blamed me for the fact that he wasn't married and having kids (I later heard from another former employee that he pulled the same stunt with him.). Somewhere in the middle of all of this Morty referenced the now infamous "scissors incident" and that it was what initially set him off. Apparently, he had been stewing over it for months and it finally spilled out on that eventful Saturday in the secret warehouse.

By now you should all realize that Morty was not right. Although born into a prominent family and highly educated, he suffered greatly along the way and it made a serious impact on his mental state. By the grace of God (and I mean that), I didn't react the way Morty expected me (or wanted me) to. I stayed calm throughout the entire time and listened to him. I only spoke when I had to and allowed him to get it all out. Ironically, the last hour of that Saturday was spent in deep confession. He asked me to forgive him for the way he talked to me that day and the way he treated me in general. He promised to change and our relationship was different (better) from that day forward. Of course, I still left the secret warehouse for another job as soon as one came up, but when I did finally leave, it was a sad day for Morty. He took me out for sushi and lavished me with some very nice gifts and a cash bonus that really helped our young family.

But to this day, I don't look at a pair of scissors the same way.

(* I'm stealing Toni in the Midst's signature strike-through technique for this post.)


uvualpie said...

Not to side with Morty (wasn't he from Panel Mart?) but I distinctly remember working on a SCLUG and having to remind you that one cuts paper with the long straight side of the scissors, not the side with the loops. I might even have a picture of this. For $5 I won't publish your mullet on the web.

Robotface Shumway said...

I have pictures of you, too. In fact, be on the lookout.

uvualpie said...

I work with a Photoshop pro who works for beer. Fear him.

Sniz said...

Aww, honey, you DO know how to cut with scissors. You DO!!! Now knowing how to cut with shears...well, that's a whole other story. But I love you just the same...

Toni in the Midst said...

First, there was Christopher Columbus being credited for discovering "America" (me thinkest Leif wanted to show him what Viking vengeance was made of). Next, Henry Ford was credited with bringing us the automobile.

Now, 20th Century Fox has partnered with BIG DOOFUS BLOG to bring you,....crediting Toni of In The Midst Of This Season (moi, if you will) with the ever handy strike through technique. WHOOHOO!

Sounds like Morty might be overcompensating for his own scissor shortcomings, which he then projected on to you. We can't all be good at everything. Aw Morty, C'mon now. I bet you were a maniac with a glue stick.

uvualpie said...

I remember once catching Roger, er, Mr. Shumway trying to cut through a graduation cake with pinking shears. Not a pretty sight.