Monday, October 18, 2004

Cliffhanger conclusion, rain-delayed edition

I keep forgetting to mention this, and I never say this kind of crap, but I just want to say "rest in peace" to Rodney Dangerfield, who was my favorite comedian growing up.

I laughed a lot at what Rodney said as he was going into the hospital: "If the surgery goes well, I'll be out in a week and a half. And if it doesn't go well, I'll be out in an HOUR and a half."


This can't be good.

"What did you need to talk to me about?" I say.

Lila closes the door and sits down.

Ahhhh, shit. She's quitting.

"Steve, I just spent an hour on the extra commission report. It was a total mess!"

If a customer goes to one of our agents and asks for advice on who he should finance a car with, or if we reject him for a policy and he asks for a referral to another insurer, we have partner companies that we work with, and our agents get commissions for the referrals. Problem is, the reports come in every month from several different places, and for bookkeeping purposes we like to consolidate them all into one file. But the reports keeps getting longer and the consolidation job keeps getting harder.

"I know, Lila, IT [information technology] is working on it-"

"Those guys have been working on this since the summer!" She says. "It's totally bad, Steve! They have no idea what I'm going through on this."

"Let me check and see how they are doing," I say.

"Haven't you BEEN checking on this?"

OK, are we getting into a pissing contest here?

"I don't know, Lila. Have you been asking?"

"So I have to ASK you, otherwise it won't get done?"

"Of course not. But after I assign something I can't chase after them. If there's a problem I need you to let me know."

"How can that happen, Steve?"

"How can it happen?"

"How can you just assign something and forget it? It just got totally forgotten! I thought you were supposed to be this great manager, and the whole project just went nowhere."

"Like I said, Lila..."

"But HOW can it happen? I am wasting so much time on that report! It's so frustrating! I'm working on this thing like an idiot, and no one was even fixing it! No one even gives a shit! And now it will probably take another month before they're done and I'll be dealing with all this SHIT again next month."

"Lila. Will you let me call them and check on it? Please? Before you jump to any conclusions?"

"You just don't care, do you? You totally don't care if it takes me 5 hours to do that report! You don't give a shit! DO YOU?"

I look at her. She looks tired. Her face is hard, angry. She seems....older, somehow. Part of her youthful carefree-ness is gone. I wonder if it will ever come back.

"Lila, I'll have Bonnie check on it and get back to you. If it's delayed I'll have them prioritize it. OK?"

"Do whatever you want, Steve." She storms off.


4:42pm. My phone rings. It's dad.

"Steve, I want you and Lila to come down here for dinner this Friday night. I'm having the whole family over."

Impeccable timing, Frank.

"I've got plans, dad."

Explaining the Lila situation to my whole family... what a fucking picnic that's going to be. How does this sound:

Well, you see guys, I like fucking. A lot. But if I fuck the same girl for too long, I start getting all fidgety, like I have a load of itching powder down my boxer shorts. So I went out and got a hummer from some hottie, and I'm pretty sure Lila didn't find out about it, but she's dumping me anyway....

I think it needs some work.