Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fleece Knobby Todd

I was interviewed by some flaky chick named Laurie with her own cat sitting company, which shall remain nameless (except to say that they are called cat nannies rather than cat sitters and I find that amusing), on Christmas Eve day. This was a rescheduled interview, as she didn't answer the door or her phone, nor did she get my voicemail when I showed up for the first one. I don't know if flaky really covers it. She had pushed this appointment back an hour and a half, and was not home when I arrived. I had actually just given up and was about to leave when she showed up, ten minutes late and twenty minutes after I had gotten there. I entered her apartment and did my best not to make any faces. (My best at not making faces is not very good. It's a good thing she wasn't looking at me.)
There was shit everywhere. Bras and other miscellaneous clothing slung over a keyboard, things hanging from the ceiling, shoes in the middle of what little walking space there was, open containers of food randomly placed on flat surfaces here and there, and a few cats staring at me from their respective nooks. When I started paying attention to the cats, she remarked that they were annoying and needy and I should just push them away. (Uhh..?? Ok, cat master.) A girl had come in at the same time as I did to get keys for the houses she needed to go to that day. As soon as she left, Laurie's phone started ringing, and a procession of about five other girls started coming and going to pick up and drop off keys, laugh, and chat. I sat and played with the cats. Laurie occasionally looked at me like that was a very strange thing to do. After that calmed down a bit, we talked about the job duties a little, and she asked my availability. She said we could set our own schedules, and our own hours, and that we just needed to send her a text whenever we finished with a cat so she could check it off.

She hired me on the spot after a brief conversation about pay and paper work, and I headed from her house downtown, to meet a hung strung skinny fellow with an excessive workload and get my first round of cats to look after. This was Christopher. The switch from Hurricane Laurie to his anal-retentive style was somewhat alarming. He filled me in on the details about where I would be going. Then he told me again. Then he repeated the highlights. He asked me very intensely if I had any questions. Then he asked if I was sure. At this point, I kind of just wanted to get the hell away from these people and go hang out with cats. I finally got the go ahead, and went outside to head to the first place. I took a deep breath and started walking, and I'll be damned if he didn't run up next to me to give me some last minute tip or something, which I don't even remember now. I didn't know it was him, and he scared the crap out of me. He's lucky I didn't throw a bow and break his nose.

I finally broke free, and the rest of the day went pretty smoothly. Oh, except for at the first building I went to, where I had to wait to find out about getting the key. I was standing in the lobby, and this guy was standing a few feet from me. I was flipping through my papers, reading up on the needs off the different cats while I waited, and he said, "Are you waiting for someone?"
"I'm Kashi."
He tried to shake my hand, but I looked at him and attempted to convey 'I would not piss on you if you were on fire' with my eyes.
"Ok. Hi."
He did this weird motion with his hand and his nose, which I only half saw. I gave him a weird look and said, "What?"
"Um, oookay."
"Do you wanna dshrmblekckn?"
At this point I was like, 'What the fuck is wrong with this guy?' I was looking at him out of the corner of my eye. He was super sketchy and seemed all geeked out and twitchy. I kept trying to look busy and hoped he would leave me alone, because I had to wait for a call about this cat, and I didn't want to go wait outside because it was snowing and freezing. It was a really nice building, with solid security, and this guy was nicely dressed and clean. It wasn't some random homeless creepo. He was a well to do creepo.
"Do you want to do some cocaine?"
Very slow and low, with a weird bug-eyed look on his face, "We're you want to do some cocaine?"

I'm relatively sure I looked at him like he was an alien with a serious deformity. My phone rang. Thank you God. On with my job, and what the hell just happened? Noon on Christmas Eve and a stranger offered me drugs in a fancy downtown high rise.

I had stupidly agreed to work on Christmas day as well, even though I had 64 other things I was supposed to be doing. Christopher had mentioned meeting up in the morning so he could assign me a few more cats, and said he would give me a call around ten or so to figure that out. I was planning on getting up super early to take care of all of the cats that I already had before I met up with him. Unfortunately, I overslept. I woke up at noon to him calling me, but wasn't awake enough to answer. Laurie immediately called. Ack! I was completely disoriented, but I answered the phone. I explained what was going on, and apologized. She said it was no big deal, that it was a holiday and she understood, but that Christopher was freaking out because I had the keys and he thought I had bailed since he hadn't yet heard from me. I didn't quite understand that reaction, given that he had said "10 or so" and it was noon, and I was told we could set our own schedules...but I said okay, got off of the phone, and called him to let him know what was up. The day went on normal, as far as I knew, and then he said he would meet me at the last apartment, and told me to wait there. I called Laurie in the meantime. She said they needed more help on the north side, and that he would trade out keys for me. So, I sat there and played with Loshi, and fucked around for a half an hour. When Christopher finally showed up, he was acting really bizarre. Shifty and awkward. He checked in about how the day had gone, mega-awkwardly, and asked for all the keys back. I was very confused, since I thought I was keeping those and getting more, but gave them back. He told me that I had 'scared the crap out of Laurie' that morning, and she didn't want to keep me on, but that he would go ahead and pay me out. Slightly different from what I was expecting. He said, "I hate to be the Christmas jerk, but you understand, right?"

Fired on Christmas. Awesome.

He went on to say that if I wanted to find a job with a different company, I could use him as a reference. I just wanted him to stop talking and go away. The more his mouth moved, the more I pictured throwing him out the 50th floor window, but he kept going. He must have been nervous, but seriously guy, shut the fuck up.

I called Laurie for clarification, because I felt blindsided. No answer, but she called back way later, when I was totally at peace with the situation. Apparently, she went back over the day's events in her head (in those 20 minutes or whatever) and changed her mind. It didn't seem like I was taking the job very seriously. I said something like, 'okay, I totally understand your decision. There was a misunderstanding of the guidelines on my part, but regardless of that, my conduct was unprofessional and I apologize.' Once I calmed down from being pissed and hurt, I realized that this whole thing had really been a shit show from the start, and pretty much accepted the firing. I do like the cats, and the job duties by themselves were something I could totally get down with. But- Lack of organization, drama, conflicting personalities, finicky cat people..I don't think I need all that. Then I tried to get off of the phone, but she wasn't having it. She started back-pedaling, hard. She was all, "Wellll...." I'll save you the stomach churning details of the circular talking that followed, but basically, she un-fired me. She said I could give her a call after the holiday craziness dies down, and then she could give me some training, like she normally does with people and I could ease into the job. That was my one of my favorite parts. She normally goes to the first several houses with people and shows them what all needs to be done. There's an actual training process that she decided to skip with me.

I'm thinking this is probably going to hold a spot in my top five weirdest Christmas experiences for a while.

I thought I lost these, but I didn't! This by no means gives you the full effect, but it does afford you a little glimpse into the crime scene her apartment. I wish I had more, but I didn't want to get busted making fucked up faces and snapping photos.
Did I describe this adequately. or what? That little shadowed area on the left side is the front door. This was my greeting upon entrance as soon as I turned to enter the actual "living room."

I wish you could see the weird-ass "cat tree" thingy hanging from the loft above the couch, and the GIANT bowl of cat food, surrounded by more disaster...

1 comment:

  1. For this you missed Christmas with poor old ant franny? What a riot. When I got to the end of your post and you actually had pictures, I howled with laughter and scared the poor doggie almost to death. Weird jobs. xo