October 11, 2005


I work with a guy I'll call "Robert". Robert is a VIP in our firm, never quite top-rung, never with his name on the sign, but a Big Shit nonetheless. Been there forever, credentials out the yin-yang, bills for hourly rates that would make Heidi Fleiss blush. Nice guy. Affable dude. Usually.

I'm worried about Robert.

Robert's marriage broke up a couple of years ago. Robert's oldest child is a complete, raving nutter, and his youngest just exited the closet in a spectacularly dramatic fashion. Robert drinks heavily, so heavily that lately, when he comes in in the morning, there is a haze of alcohol-reek trailing behind him that makes me fear to light a match in his general vicinity. Robert has also recently developed a limp, and came in last week with half his face abraded, swollen, black and blue. He says he fell. I don't believe him. Robert also just acquired a girlfriend, a lovely piece of arm-bling, but one whom, I am afraid, is just bleeding him for fun. She has that wolf-look in her eyes, and has her hand out constantly. Robert, conversely, looks at her as if the sun shines out of her twat. And hey - it might, I don't know - but I doubt it.

Robert was supposed to meet several other Big Shits this morning, at a meeting in another state. Our managing partner called me at eight-oh-three in the a.m., seeking information regarding Robert's whereabouts. I called his secretary; Robert should have been on the same flight out of the city that the managing partner was. He wasn't. Managing partner was pissed. Robert's case, you see. Nothing could be done without him, and his absence made the firm look bad in the eyes of the Even Larger Shits From Another Firm, the Big Massive Gigantor-Dumps from the Big City. Managing partner, an ego-driven pud whom I am sure has a three-inch penis, he no likey. Not one bit.

Robert finally called in at nine-thirty. His admin transferred him to me. He told me that he'd overslept, and missed his flight. I could only tell him that the mp said to get his ass on a plane as soon as possible; I then dropped everything I was doing, and called the travel officer on his behalf. I spent half an hour rebooking his flight for him, his car service, his hotel...something his admin should have done, but I think Robert was embarrassed to ask her to do it, to have her know how badly he'd fucked up. I guess he can sense that Queenie never seeks to judge, and that I've probably done worse in my long and storied career of getting fucked up and making spectacular messes of shit...because, for some reason, he trusts me. I took care of him, and got him on his way.

A few minutes after Robert boarded the plane I'd put him on, the marshal showed up at our offices. He was looking for Robert. To serve him with papers. To serve HIM with papers, not pertinent to any case or client. Robert's admin was in a frenzy, had no idea what to do. Again, I stepped in and dealt with Robert's issues. Better me than her; they pay me to put out fires, right? Plus, his admin is a gossipy little wench; half the firm would have known all of Robert's business in five minutes. Hell, they probably do anyway.

Poor Robert. He got where he was supposed to go - five hours late - and for the rest of the day, he kept up a steady stream of vicious e-mails to his underlings, taking it out on them, keeping their Blackberries singing like bayou swamp frogs. It's like he was determined to make the rest of the office feel as bad as he did, determined to take the ass-reaming that he received at the dick-end of the managing partner out on the rest of the firm. Not a mature or reasonable response, I know, but I still felt sorry for him, because the motivation for it was so blatantly apparent. He even called to start some shit with me - me, who helped him get where he was supposed to be, rescuer of admins, coverer of shit-tracks! - but it was no big. I ripped his dick off with my teeth and made him eat it. Over the phone, of course. Would never do such a thing in person; I like old Robert.

I got the word, this afternoon that our team of Big Shits assembled have had enough of Robert and his drama, and he now Walks the Line. Somehow, I think that his work life is the least of his worries.

I hate watching people fall apart. I want to fix them, kiss their boo-boos, make it all go away, feed them into somnolence, and tuck them into night-night. I can't do that for Robert, though. All I can do is bend my knees, dusty, inflexible, and creaky from disuse, and pray...

Posted by Queenie at October 11, 2005 11:13 PM | TrackBack

As Roy Batty said, after smashing his head through the wall..."Time to die..."

That's just how it is. Redemption is cool, when you can get it, but most times, life just slips a bar of soap into a sock, whaps you in the back of the head, and sodomizes you against the bars while your ears ring.

Posted by: Bane at October 12, 2005 02:47 AM

Queenie, just wandered in here followin a linkie from Velo-man and damn, you writin some fine shit lady.

So Ima gonna linkie you up to my rollah and visit regular.

Posted by: wavemaker at October 12, 2005 10:34 AM

You are what my bar hangers-on referred to as a "Good Woman." I suppose the feminist in me should have been pissed, but I never was. It was the ultimate compliment.

You know, sweetheart. . .were I to ever play for the other team. . .


Posted by: Margi at October 12, 2005 01:18 PM

My dad was Robert years ago. It took some MAJOR shit to straighten him out and get him *somewhat* sober. He nearly lost it all...but it took someone like you to wake him from his nightmare.

Trust me, you are doing more for that man than you may realize. I can only hope that Robert's life turns around.

It is, I must admit, very sad to see one fall apart.

Posted by: Dana at October 12, 2005 02:54 PM

"... their Blackberries singing like bayou swamp frogs."

That's good.

Posted by: Dash at October 12, 2005 04:58 PM

Queenie, I love the way you write. I missed you while you were on hiatus and I'm glad you're back.


Posted by: Beth at October 12, 2005 08:14 PM

Robert may just need to take a break I would if I was his supervisor pull him in with a witness for a write up meeting. Then I would tell him to take a good hard look at things and decide where he is headed. Then tell him I would do my best to help him get there including leaving if that made him happier. A good supervisor does what he can but the rest is up to person and God finally.

Posted by: Alnot at October 12, 2005 11:45 PM

I'm Robert. Not THAT one, but Robert just the same. It's hell being an alky. I've never been a BIG SHIT but for most of my life have been a Minorly Big-Shit-in-training. Just never caught on with a company big enough to become a BIG SHIT. Not because I'm stupid. That's the tragedy.
Don't be too hard on the guy. We live in a strange twilight the rest of you can't imagine. That's the word. Rob now knows that. That's why you're a guestblogger there. He is doing what I wish I could do. I don't have that kinda bucks.

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