Feburary Twenty-one: Early Mentorship

I worked this entry-level IT support job in a state office when I was nineteen. I had this boss who did a ton of coke and meth and drank until he did Twelve-step and now he believes dinosaurs and humans coexisted. A programmer at the office liked to say he lived in a “Flintstones world.” We worked in a cramped room full of boxes and computers. There were three guys in tech support besides myself: two Asians who the boss called Top and Ramen and this skinny kid with a morbidly obese girlfriend. The skinny kid grew a ZZ Top beard and wore barefoot-running shoes and a wrinkly t-shirt with a dinosaur on it every day. He met his girlfriend on an obscure MMORPG and they fell in love over the chat program ventrillo. She lived in Florida at the time. He had a picture of her on his phone where she appeared relatively thin with short hair. When she came to visit she was three-hundred pounds with long hair. I met her when I went to his house one day after work for some reason. He lived in a shitty Victorian with no insulation that reeked of cat piss and she was there folding his laundry and sweating profusely. She looked like a fat house servant only white. They’re married now and he mortgages a house in a bad neighborhood, has a dog and still works at the same office only he has a salary position now. He told me to get a dog because it’s a great way to meet woman.

We were severely underworked so the boss would sit and tell stories of the good old days when he was an out-of-control drug addict. He used to hang out at this half-century-old bowling ally when he was younger. Him and his friends would smoke pot outside and then play arcade games all night. They shut that place down. The scumbag janitor was banging kids or something and I guess it got a bad rap. People stopped going.

He did coke with the Deaftones once in their van. He was slinging it in those days. The band members all did a line and he went ahead and did the biggest line (which he reenacted for us with a dramatic gesture, sniffing half his desk). He claims the singer said “Goddamn” when he did his line and he responded with “who’s the fucking rockstar here!?” As far as bosses go, you could do a lot worse. Sometimes I even miss working for him – and I hate working.


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