Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fuckin' Genius

I've been backlogged on the blogging topics from all the nothing I've been doing. (See previous post.) I meant to type this the day after it happened, but got sidetracked as Yoshi was here and making me WoW on a PVP server. Vashj. Join it. If you're on it, let me know. I'll /friend you.

Anyway, a little over a week ago, I was confronted with an event that put me in a situation where I felt insulted enough and threatened enough that I'd pulled a knife -- albeit, not an OPEN knife (yet) on a person. Let me give you the background and you can all judge for yourself what you would have done in the same situation.

---

I was always close to the security guards at Lost. George, Kevin, Josh, that whole lot. They've always been good to me and we've shared some great talks. But with the new season came new guards. George and Kevin decided to quit Securitas to return to school after more than 10 years of being out of that whole lifestyle. And Josh, poor Josh, was the sole guard who remained from the original acquisition of the Lost account.

Securitas brought in several new guards and unfortunately (or fortunately?) I wasn't able to get to know them all before my own departure, but they all seemed friendly enough.

After my release, I received an email from one of the new guards saying that he'd noticed my name had been crossed off of the studio access list and he wished me the best... keep my chin up, that kind of thing. Not really knowing him, I was cordial and sent an email back thanking him for the support. He contacted me a few days later saying that he had plans to go to Japan and wanted to talk to me about it. I gave him my number, not thinking anything of it, and told him that it would actually be best to email me about it, as many of you know that I'm poor at answering my phone or giving call backs. He emails saying that he'll contact me later.

---

Later comes. August 22. Wednesday.

I'm at my sister's husband's best friend's house. He's moving to the mainland in a few weeks, so we went over to pick up some furniture we'd purchased... and also to help him with any last minute cleaning. The guard calls me. I tell him that I'm busy and that I'd give him a call in the evening. Twenty minutes later, he texts me: "Got somethin for u.meet me for a drink.say,6ish.u pick the place." I reply: "I'm scheduled to go to dinner w/a friend tonight." Actually, I'd had plans to go to dinner with my sister and the friend we were helping.

A few hours later, he calls. My sister and I are at the Kalihi Salvation Army, donating some of our friend's stuff. The guard calls me again. I tell him, again, that I can't meet with him because I have a dinner planned, but that I'll call him after I'm through with all my previous obligations. He says he has something to give me, but is extremely vague about what it is. Just that I'll understand when I see what it is and that he believes I may have something to "contribute" to it. He also mentions that he has a new job and is no longer with Securitas. By this point, I'm a bit irritated since I feel that he's being rather pushy also being evasive as to why he wants to meet me.

Dinner at Shokudo goes well.

Afterward, I go walking at the UH track with Jolene. We walk about three miles, during the course of which, the guard calls me twice and texts me once. Again, I'm irritated; I told him I'd call when I was finished with my previous plans that day. I drop Jolene off at her Aunt's house and call the guy. He asks that we meet briefly so that he can give me whatever it is he has to give me. "It won't take more than 15 minutes."

I meet him in the parking lot of the Pali Hwy Longs/Safeway. He hops into my car and we drive down to a dive downtown called Amy's Place. He drops a stack of papers onto the table in front of me and asks that I read it. It's a script -- location, Japan. I read through about half of it before he approaches me to talk about it.

Basically, he says that it's a film script and he wants to use my expertise and my connections in the industry to get it produced. He says the producers at Lost are unable to break into feature films because they don't have the talent or opportunity or whatever. Condescension drips like venom from his mustached lips as he speaks negatively of the people there, and then says that the script in my hand is a "fuckin' masterpiece..." and that he's a "fuckin' genius." Kids, let's make note of the phrase "fuckin' genius." We'll be hearing it for the rest of the night.

He then proceeds to tell me how he knew from the moment he laid his eyes on me that I'd be the one to bring the project to fruition. I could help him get money from the Lost producers, get them involved. I could use my Japanese skill in Japan. He "fuckin' chose [me]. The script is a fuckin' gift. [My] life fallin' into [my] lap. [He's] a fuckin' genius." He's drunk.

I tell him that I need to read the entire script before I decide if it's something that's worth my time and effort. He tells me that there's nothing to decide. He's TELLING me.

Heh. I'm sure you all know how well that goes over with me. TELLING me to do something? I don't think so.

And then I become the target of his condescension. I'm young. I don't know anything. I'm turning away the biggest opportunity of my life. He's a fuckin' genius (the only genius I'm ever going to meet, according to him, mind you). But he needs my help to do this. And he CHOSE me. I'M the ONE who is going to make this. Oh, and P.S. He's a fuckin' genius.

Anyway, an hour later, the bar is closing. I'm still telling him that I'm undecided as to whether I'm interested. He insists that he knew from the moment he saw me that after I read the first page, I'd know I'd be part of the project... because it's a fuckin' brilliant script... oh, and let's not forget he's a fuckin' genius. I tell him I've read the first 50 or so pages and I'm still not convinced. And he's pissed.

I tell him that we should go. I'd already stayed MUCH longer than 15 minutes by that time, since it was after 2 am. We jump in my car and I drive back to the Long's parking lot so that he can retrieve his vehicle. We pull in next to his van and he doesn't get out. He proceeds for the next 15 minutes to argue with me... to convince me that he's a fuckin' genius and this film is going to take Sundance 2008. I ask him to get out of the car. He doesn't. Every other sentence I say is "get out of the car." He ignores me and continues down his tangent. He's upset and getting closer to me. All of a sudden, he looks at the back of my car and then looks at me and says, "Hey, do you want to go somewhere and fool around?" My response? FUCK NO. GET OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR RIGHT NOW. I'd had it. And I also had my MUSHROOM KNIFE in hand - blade still tucked away. (Click on the link to for an example of what a mushroom knife looks like.) Of course, the drunk bastard probably didn't even realize I was armed.

Anyway, he looked at me incredulously and asks "Are you kicking me out of your car?" I'm aghast. I'd been demanding he get out of the car for 15 minutes! I tell him again to get the fuck out of the car. I was scared and seriously considering cutting the guy if he didn't leave immediately. He gets even more upset, declares that he's no longer interested in working with me. Turning this away was the biggest mistake of my life... blah, blah... fuckin' genius... blah. He gets out of the car, I thank him for the opportunity. He slams the door and I peel away -- grateful that he hadn't hurt me. It felt like he was going to.

And I thought things were over. I was wrong.

The next day he calls and texts over and over. Saying how he knows me because of this very blog and thus understands me well. Saying how he understands my predicament with my boyfriend being gone... And then sexually propositions me AGAIN.

And I've decided to ignore him. As much as possible. Josh at Securitas thinks that I should file a complaint with the police and with Securitas since the guard had originally gotten my email address from the confidential crew list at Lost. I'm not going to take that route, yet.

Instead, I'll just pray that the guard will go away. And if he doesn't, then I'll take further steps to ensure he no longer bothers me.

After all this, I'm still amazed that he believes his behaviour that night would convince me to help him with his production. I told him on multiple occasions that his attitude was insulting... disgusting... and that if he truly wanted my help or the help of anyone else on this project, he was going to have to learn the concepts of respect and reciprocity. I told him MANY times. His response, "What?" I would repeat it and he wouldn't hear me. I would say, "You're not listening." He would reply he is. I'd ask him to repeat what I just said and he'd reply, "That I'm a fuckin' genius."

Fuckin' genius? Try fuckin' idiot.

/me.

Happy

I'm sure you've heard the phrase before: "Everything happens for a reason."

And generally speaking, I believe that it is a true statement. Whether or not you believe in divine intervention or fate or whatever, sometimes things that at first make no sense come to make perfect sense as the puzzle pieces fall into place.

As you all know, I was fired on a Friday. That next day (Saturday), my sister drags me out to help set up and attend her best friend's third child's 1st birthday party. I get all gussied up, despite the marshmallow-like eyes that come from crying like crazy, and we head out to the Outrigger Canoe Club in Waikiki. We're there not 15 minutes when I get a phone call.

I look at my phone, it's Yoshi. I'm elated.

I answer and he asks where I am. I say that I'm not at home, but I'll be back later. He says he needs me to do something. What is this something, you ask? I asked the same thing, saying that I'll do it when I get back home... He says he needs me to go home IMMEDIATELY. Why? Because he's waiting for me.

And I start shaking. I'm so excited. I hadn't seen him in months and the very next day after being released, he's waiting for me to come home to him and tell him everything that happened. And my sister, being the doll that she is, drove my ass home so that I could be with him.

And I've been able to see him every weekend since.

Not only that, but I was able to attend my friend's father's funeral. I've fenced. I've spent some time doing nothing. Alone. With friends. With Family. With Yoshi.

And all of this would not have been possible if not for the fact that I was released.

Yoshi deploys for Kuwait next week... (apparently, he was in training at Schofield this whole time) and this is supposed to be the last week I can see him. And again, if I were still working, there would have been no way for me to take advantage of all the time I'm being given to spend with him.

So, while it still sucks that I'm jobless, I'm grateful for the respite. It's given me the chance to do something more important... be happy.

/me.

P.S. I've decided I'll not seriously look for a real job until Yoshi's left the country. But if you all have any leads, let me know.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Released

Friday evening, I was released. And by released, I mean fired from Lost.

I saw it coming. In the month that I was under my new manager's supervision, there were countless warning signs. Anything I did, correct or not, was negative. Any question I asked -- most often to clarify how things were to be done -- was seen as a direct confrontation or as a challenge to her absolute rule. It didn't matter how hard I tried to make her transition to our show smooth or how hard I tried to make her happy. It wasn't within my power.

Aside from simply being negative, that negativity was directed almost solely at me. The people that she hired (as I was last season's leftovers) were generally well-treated. They were allowed mistakes and stupidity. They were allowed to slack, to ask questions, to have fun.

At first, I thought that it might be all in my mind. I thought I was being victim of my over-active cynicism that slants the world against me. But then other co-workers approached me and asked what was going on. Others noticed that there was something crooked happening in my office -- but unfortunately, everyone agreed that short of switching departments or leaving all together, there was nothing I could do.

I tried switching departments and my manager prevented me from doing so. And I wasn't given the chance to leave.

It's really quite frustrating. When my manager "released me," she said basically that I had a bad attitude. And that despite liking me as a person, that we couldn't get along.

While I agree that we weren't getting along, I was appalled that she would chalk it up to my bad attitude. Little did she know how much I'd sacrificed personally in trying to get along with her.

As you all know, I'm one who rarely holds my tongue. I talk back. I sass. I give smart-ass answers. I make punny jokes. It's part of my charm that is either loved or hated by those who know me. And I fought every day to say nothing. And for the most part, I said nothing. I saw all the disparity and didn't defend myself. Didn't point anything out. I tried to stay humble. I tried to tell myself that I didn't know everything about the master plan. Instead, I'd go home to Kira (my cat) and cry out my frustrations to her.

I was wrong in doing that. The work environment my manager created wasn't healthy and I should have taken the advice of the many who look out for me (including my manager from last season) and removed myself from the abuse. I didn't. I thought I could take it.

On the day of my release, there was a misunderstanding between myself and my manager's right-hand woman. I made a sassy joke and she took offense. Rather than tell me that it wasn't cool, she went straight to the powers that be. I was pulled aside and told that I need to show both my manager and her right-hand woman some respect... and that it was the last time she'd talk to me about my poor attitude. I said that what I had said earlier was a joke and that her warning was duly noted.

That, coupled with all the exchanges I'd had with my manager in the previous weeks -- which included her calling me a liar and also being told that my assessment of a co-worker who wasn't pulling his weight was "wrong"-- could only mean that the end was near. I just hadn't realized how near it was.

At the end of the day, when she told me it'd be my last day working with Lost, I brought up my concerns regarding unfair treatment and biased behavior. My manager basically said that I was entitled to my opinion, but that I was "wrong." Of course she would say I'm wrong. That was part of the issue from the beginning! That anything I expressed, correct or not, was wrong.

I packed up my belongings and left. I drove to the Kahala Mall parking lot and just screamed. And cried. And my sister joined me and sat in my car with me and let me scream and cry. But the tears weren't for sadness, they were from frustration. Everything I'd held in and hadn't spat back out at my manager came out in those tears.

So now I'm jobless. But I'm free. I'm free from the dread of waking each morning knowing that I'd be enduring another day of hell at the hands of a woman who can't see her own fault. And knowing that even though I'll be living on my savings for a time, that I'm better off for it... because it wasn't my bad attitude that made things so difficult -- it was hers.

Because in the words of my beloved manager from last season... "I'm really quite something." And I am. Damn straight. And I'm released.

/me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Standing Still

I've been frustrated lately.

Those of you who are in contact with me on a fairly constant basis know this. Hell, many of you who only are in casual contact with me know this. And the question coming from all of you is, "Why?"

Why am I frustrated? There are a multitude of reasons, just as I am currently experiencing myriad KINDS of frustration.

Emotional.
Mental.
Sexual.
Physical.
Spiritual.

I don't even know where to start and where to end my list of reasons why I might be frustrated.

Yoshi is gone. And I haven't really heard from him for a while. I won't be seeing him for at least a year and a half. I miss the friends who were closest to me. I haven't seen them in years. I'm not happy with the way that I look. I'm tired. I don't have time for myself or to exercise or to fence or for friends or for family or to do absolutely nothing. I've begun to hate my job because of a certain someone who I feel abuses me -- who chooses favorites and who seems to be spiteful, in spite of their "let's have a happy office" ideology. Also because of a certain coworker on whom I absolutely can't rely, but whose actions (inaction?) gets me blamed for everything negative under the sun. Some of the few people to whom I am close are currently going through some "rough" times and are taking their frustrations out on me -- whether they mean to or not. And I take it. Prayers go unanswered. Prayers don't even happen, half the time. It seems I've run into many people lately who are close-minded and disappointing. My friend's dad just died and I probably won't even get to go to the funeral service because I'll be working. And what's sad is even if given the opportunity to go, I'm so hurting for funds right now that I would choose work over the service because I need the cash.

And that's not the end of it. I have so much to vent. So much to say. And nothing I CAN say or do at this point feels as though it'll make any difference.

There are lots of people who I know would listen to my complaints and for that I'm grateful. But as much as I vent, I've always been one to try and carry my own burdens. I don't need anyone. Even though I do. And maybe that's because I'd rather not burden anyone else. It's not like their knowing about the things that are dragging me down will change the situation. It doesn't change a thing.

It doesn't change a damn thing.

And fuck, life goes on. And I think about my mound of problems and realize that my problems are nothing in the grand scheme of things. And I know that. And that only manages to make me feel worse because, despite knowing that really, my problems aren't so bad, I can't make the feelings of frustration go away. I can't deal with my stresses better.

I can't be better and make things better or anything.

I can't. Not that I won't or think I can't. I just can't. Tis out of my control.

And life spirals on and on...

And I stand still.

/me.