Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Meeting in New York, Part 2

Dear Diary,

I was in the meeting room of the New York head office of the accounting firm I used to work at when I finally revealed to my wife that I had been fired from my photocopy guy job over a month ago and had kept my unemployment a secret from her, all the while (so that she wouldn't suspect anything) encouraging her to max out all our credit cards, quit her job and get pregnant. The full meeting room, and six uniformed security guards who apprehended us, watched on as my wife, wearing a newly purchased Christian Dior gown, tried to murder me with a squinty-eyed look.

I blushed, as I smartly sported a brand new Savile Row suit.

ME (shy-like): Were you about to say something?

MY WIFE: We're broke! We're completely broke!

ME: What would make you say that?

SECURITY GUARD #1: Let's go.

The guards led us toward the elevators.

MY WIFE: You pledged six hundred million dollars for a hospital to be built.

ME: I don't actually have to give it. I don't even know what the word "pledged" means anyway.

All six guards escorted us onto the elevator.

MY WIFE: It means you said you would give somebody six hundred million dollars.

The elevator doors closed behind us.

ME: You said you were going to join Kitty LaRue's knitting club and you never did.

MY WIFE: Knitting club? How's that the same? Sick children won't have to do without.

ME: What about your bouncy demeanor and your sparkling conversation? Kitty LaRue and the knitting club now have to do without!

MY WIFE: I quit my job. I maxed out all our credit. I got pregnant. All because you told me to. Eric, I don't even know where to begin. Our lives... they're completely ruined...

ME: Well, you said you'd join the knitting club and you didn't. You lied to me! To my face!

MY WIFE: Don't try to turn this around.

ME: You don't try to turn this around! I am really mad at you!

SECURITY GUARD #2: Sir, calm down.

ME: I was looking forward to all that stuff you were going to knit!

MY WIFE: Eric, what are we going to do. We owe thousands and thousands of dollars, not to mention the six hundred million. We have nothing. Nothing... Oh God...

ME: What am I going to do? I thought I was getting knitted goods for Christmas, and my birthday, and our anniversary. Oh God! Our anniversary!

MY WIFE: Eric! Listen to me! You don't understand what you've--

I shouted then, stepping all over my wife's angry words.

ME: Our anniversary won't have any sockettes! Or a shaker knit sweater with a big snowflake around the neck! What am I supposed to do now! Oh God! Oh God! Please listen to my prayers!

SECURITY GUARD #1: Sir! Calm down!

My wife looked into my eyes.

MY WIFE: I'll deal with you when we get home.

ME (hesitantly): We don't have a home, honey. Not anymore.

The elevator doors opened onto the lobby.

And I made a break for it.

I flew out the giant glass doors onto the sidewalk, and never slowed down. Or looked back. My shoulders collided into a few pedestrians as I loosened my tie. I threw off my suit jacket. I thought of how my wife was angry and hated me. I thought of everyone who ever hated me. I ran from all my debt, my responsibilities, and soon, my consciousness. When I came to, I was covered in sweat, down to my boxers, and lying on a dirt road in the woods, miles and miles from that meeting in New York City.

As the hot sun beat down on my glistening body, I put my head in my arms and cried. I really cried. All the disappointment, all the failures, all the times I almost had my first success at something, however small, but didn't. I bawled. I let it all out.

And that was when a transport truck screeched on all eighteen of its wheels as it came to a stop a fraction of an inch from my head. I looked up, wiping the tears from my face.

A skinny young man with a mop-top haircut jumped down from the passenger side and soon stood over me.

SKINNY YOUNG MAN: Dude, your body's glistening.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Meeting in New York, Part 1

Dear Diary,

Five days ago, my wife and I checked into the Plaza Hotel in New York City. It is one of the most expensive hotels in the country. I can't afford it since I lost my job as a photocopy guy over a month ago and have kept this a secret from my wife ever since. I lied to her that I was promoted to a senior management position at the accounting firm which actually fired me. I have been telling her all kinds of stories to keep her believing that I still have a job. She is now pregnant and without employment (both done at my suggestion) and would kill me if she ever found out I was unemployed, especially since I just pledged a donation for the construction of a new hospital for sick children during a surprise appearance on the TV talk show The View.

As I returned to our hotel room last Thursday afternoon, my wife confronted me.

MY WIFE: How are we going to afford that pledge?

ME: Listen, with this promotion, I have more room to breathe now. I'm not as restricted financially.

MY WIFE: You just pledged over six hundred million dollars!

ME: Is that how much I said? Oh God, that's hilarious. Look at you getting all upset. You're so cute. Six hundred million dollars is honey-roasted peanuts to someone like me now. And besides, head office told me to do it. They're footing the bill.

MY WIFE: What?

I could tell she was about to suspect that I really lost my job. I panicked.

ME: Head office is having a national meeting this weekend. Right here in NYC. Why don't you come? They'd love to have you.

This was completely true, except for the part of them loving to have her, or me for that matter, since I was fired in a scenario some might call hostile, or shortsighted, or even stupid, on my part.

The next day, I wore my brand new Savile Row suit, and my wife slipped into a Christian Dior gown and Tahitian pearls, both of which I purchased at the hotel boutique (charged to our room of course). I then called up a limousine to take us to the meeting in high style.

After we walked through the giant glass doors of the firm's high rise, I approached the front desk and told them I was here for the big meeting. Fortunately, my name was still in their database and we were led to the top floor where all the VPs, board members, and regional managers were seated at one commanding, oval table. There was only one seat left empty, and it was at the head of the table.

ME: Honey, why don't you sit. I'll just stand.

MY WIFE: I feel a bit overdressed.

ME: We're fancy people now. And we're classy.

SOME VP: Excuse me Miss, you can't sit there. That's our CEO's chair and he's late.

ME: She wasn't talking to you, so shut your swamp hole.

SHEILA: What are you doing here?

I turned, and saw Sheila seated at the table. Sheila is the manager of the branch where I used to work as the photocopy guy.

ME: I'm a VP now, Sheila. I've come a long way. You can't buy class like this. You're born with it. So get in line.

SOME ELDERLY, DISTINGUISHED LADY: What's your name? I've never seen you here before?

ME: Well I've never seen you. I'm too busy being a big honcho around here to notice a loser like you.

DISTINGUISHED LADY: I'm Lady Diamont. My father founded this firm.

ME: Glad to see nepotism is alive and well is this joint. I'll have to do something about that. In the meantime, why don't you pack up your desk and get out of my face, stinky.

LADY DIAMONT: Someone call security.

ME: Yes, someone do that. As I look around the table right now, I can see that there's some other deadwood besides yourself that needs tossing out.

I placed one of my buttocks beside my wife's on the chair.

ME: Honey, scooch over. I need to make a speech.

SHEILA: Here we go...

I had to make it look like I was really professional now so that my wife would buy that I had developed into a smart and shrewd businessman.

ME: Everyone, you are all being fired today. You will never work in this city again. Or country. I would like to take this opportunity to further advise to you to purchase tickets for yourselves and your loved ones for the next space shuttle, because you will never get another job on this planet ever again. I will personally see to that. You have my word.

I turned to my wife and smiled. I was so proud of myself.

Just then six unformed security guards burst through the doors.

ME: Security, finally.

I gestured toward everyone at the table.

ME: Take out this garbage.

LADY DIAMONT: That man is an impostor. Restrain him.

The guards rushed toward me.

I grabbed my wife's hand.

ME: Hostile take-over! Run!

I picked up our chair and launched it at the window.

ME: To the window ledge!

The chair just bounced off the thick glass.

And my wife and I were apprehended.

I looked up into my wife's confused face.

ME: I need to tell you something.

MY WIFE: What?

ME: Promise me you won't be mad first.

MY WIFE: Then don't tell me.

ME: I got fired from my job.

MY WIFE: What? When? This week?

ME: Over a month ago.

MY WIFE: As the photocopy guy?

ME: I know, I so loved that job too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

So Screwed

Dear Diary,

It's been almost one entire month since I've been fired from my job and I've been keeping it a secret from my wife. This week alone, too scared to tell her the truth, I've lied to her that I've gotten a promotion and a signing bonus and I've offered her the opportunities of both quitting her job and getting pregnant, both of which she's taken me up on and completed. I've also told her to go ahead and spend some money on herself. She's maxed out most of our credit cards on maternity wear and baby gadgets. I've cheered her on in every store as she makes a purchase, and encouraged her to tip all sales staff and cashiers. We are so screwed.

During the past two days, as my wife has been shopping for a new house, I've pretended to go to work and then walked the streets of this city in a faux fur coat and raccoon hat, and a pair of extra thick snow pants, all of which I found for a steal at a garage sale and which I hide under mounds of restaurant trash when I go home at night. These past few days, my fur and pants have smelled putrid since they were not properly air-dried after I threw them into a public pool when I thought I didn't need them anymore, but now I do, since I really don't own anything else.

When I came home last night, my wife confronted me.

MY WIFE: I called you at work today and they said you didn't work there anymore.

I was so scared. And petrified.

ME: Not after today I don't. I just got promoted to the head office in New York City!

MY WIFE: What?

ME: That's where I was today. I just flew back. Pack our things. We're moving.

MY WIFE: I'll have to break our apartment lease.

ME: Pay them whatever. We have to leave tonight. Pack everything we own.

With not much credit to our names, we bought two airplane tickets, and at my insistence, reserved a room for a month at the Plaza, one of the most expensive hotels in the country.

This morning, after I left for my pretend new job wearing a brand new Savile Row suit, and eating scrumptious room service (escargot and a bottle of 1986 Bollinger champagne), I grew anxious that perhaps my wife was suspicious that I was fired from my "photocopy guy" job.

I went down to the street, grabbed my fur and snow pants from the trashcan where I hid them last night, and walked the streets, contemplating my next move. When I was told by a pair of police officers to stop loitering and "smelling up the place", an idea hit me. I ran to ABC studios where The View talkshow is taped.

As my wife turned on the television in our hotel room while receiving a massage, facial and manicure, and nibbling on caviar, she saw me being interview by Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg and the rest of the fine ladies on The View.

BARBARA: This morning, before we started taping, this fine gentleman by the name of Eric appeared at our front door with an important message.

ME: That's right, Barbara. My name is Eric and I am donating some of my newfound wealth to the fine city of New York so that construction of a new hospital for sick children can begin.

BARBARA: Tell them the amount which you are donating, Eric.

ME (smiling): Three hundred million dollars.

WHOOPI: That is fantastic. Eric, you are one wonderful man.

ME: Thank you. But it's the least I can do. I just got a new promotion and I make lots and lots of money and I am not unemployed nor have I ever been fired.

BARBARA: We have Donald Trump on the line. He'd like to say a few words.

DONALD: Barbara, after hearing of this heroic man's contribution, I was inspired to match his donation with three hundred million dollars of my own.

ME: Well, I would like to match your contribution with another three hundred million dollars.

WHOOPI: That is absolutely terrific.

BARBARA: It sure is, Whoopi.

ME: Yes, and I was never fired from my job as a photocopy guy. That never happened, just in case any of your viewers think that ever happened. Because it never did, even if some people might be growing suspicious that it ever did. People loved me as that photocopy guy and they never asked me to vacate the premises after I told everyone where they could go, and just generally, hurt their feelings.

More calls came in. And more people wanted to donate money. And I said I'd match all contributions. It was marvelous. I felt invincible. And exhilarated that my wife probably wouldn't find out, for just a little while longer, that I lost my job.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hiding My Secret Life From My Wife

Dear Diary,

My wife still doesn't know that I've been fired from my job as the "photocopy guy" (at an accounting firm) for over three weeks now. For the first two weeks, I hid out in a café near my former place of employment while entertaining myself with garage sale goods. I've now been banned from all this city's cafés because all are claiming that my "stuff" takes up too much space inside their establishments and leaves none for their "paying customers" (an exclusive club of which, apparently, I'm not a member of).

Every day since this all-city, all-café ban, I've been taking the subway with my wife as she goes to work and I get off at my station, pretending to go to my own job. I then make my way to an alley where all my garage sale wares are hidden underneath tons of restaurant trash, and proceed to lug my old wooden wagon and shopping cart filled with things like an ancient exercise treadmill and a giant 1980s rear-projection television with wood paneling as I search for a place to plug in all my things and then play with them.

I also have to wear some of my second hand purchases just so I don't have to physically transport them. This includes a fabulous floor length, faux fur coat worn over a pair of extra thick, overalls-style snow pants, and a faux raccoon hat with a tail that reaches down to my derrière.

I've been pushing and pulling my property across this city for eight hours a day for six sweltering days now and I still haven't found a place where they will just allow me inside to fully enjoy my belongings. Yesterday, at 4:30pm, with only thirty minutes left before I had to meet up with my wife, I sat atop my heap of possessions and broke down, crying, and exclaiming, "My life sucks."

It was high time to end this ruse or as I like to call it, my "Charade Parade Masquerade".

I hauled my wagon and steered my shopping cart toward a public outdoor pool in a park and when I was certain no one was looking, I shoved everything into the water, including the faux fur and snow pants which I just ripped off my body. I thought this was an ingenious way of getting rid of all this "baggage" without taking up anymore of anyone's space since it would all be under water and no one would have to see it or deal with it.

My stuff, however, made a loud splash as it landed into the water and people yelled things like, "What do you think you're doing?" and "You almost killed my four-year-old! He was swimming right under your junk avalanche!" and "Don't run away! You can't just leave all your garbage in this pool!" but I didn't let on that I could hear anything as I sprinted out of the park as fast as my feet could take me.

When my wife and I arrived home from the subway, my wife exhausted from a long day at work, and myself completely beat from having to heave a lifelong supply of crap across town for over a week now, I felt the time was prime for the Charade Parade Masquerade to be unmasked. I would tell my lovely wife the truth.

ME: I have something to tell you.

MY WIFE: What is it?

I looked into her eyes. They appeared so drained of energy, and compassion, and gave off a hue of slightly "pissed off".

MY WIFE: Well... what is it? Tell me already, for crying out loud. I had a really long, horrible day at work. And you're making it worse right now.

ME: Well...

I swallowed hard. I was so scared.

ME: I got a promotion.

MY WIFE (disbelieving, and maybe annoyed): What? How?

I nodded my head excitedly. Repeatedly.

ME: It's true. I barely believe it myself.

MY WIFE (skeptical): What's your new position?

ME: I'm the branch manager.

MY WIFE: But you're not even an accountant.

ME: I didn't need to be. They just wanted someone to manage all the accountants and since everyone's always doing what I tell them to, they thought I'd be perfect.

MY WIFE: Did they give you a raise?

ME: Yeah. And a signing bonus.

MY WIFE: How much?

ME: Seventy-five thousand dollars.

MY WIFE: Oh my God, Eric, that is such fantastic news!

My wife threw her arms around me and hugged me, squeezing me.

MY WIFE: Let's celebrate! I'm inviting everyone over!

Within a few hours, we had a full-blown party, with a caterer being called in at the last minute and family driving in from out of town. Aunts, uncles, and cousins that I hadn't seen in ages, all raced to our home, from both my family and my wife's. We had a blast, and I got completely wasted and danced the night away.

As I swung my wife around the living room which was transformed into a impromptu dance floor, my wife looked up at me, in a romantic daze.

MY WIFE: Let's have a baby. We can afford it now.

ME: We can afford to have a multiple birth now. That's right. We'll see the doctor tomorrow and they can start pumping you full of drugs.

MY WIFE: Oh Eric...

ME: And you can quit your job tomorrow too if you want.

My wife held onto me tightly. It was the best night of my life.

When I woke up this morning, I found my wife in the washroom, with a smile on her face, and some kind of plastic swizzle stick in her hand.

MY WIFE: I'm pregnant.

We instantaneously hugged.

ME: Let's have another party tonight!

MY WIFE: All right.

ME: I'll be right back. I have to do something.

I ran out the door, thinking I am so poor. How am I going to raise a child and support my wife who's no longer working? We have absolutely nothing. We have no right having a child.

I was going back to the public pool. I wanted my snow pants back.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Café Chez Moi

Dear Diary,

It's been almost two weeks now and I haven't told my wife yet that I've been fired from my "photocopy guy" job at the accounting firm. I still take the subway with her every morning as she goes to her own job, but after getting off at my station, I don't go to the accounting firm but straight to the Metro Café nearby where I spend the rest of my day.

I don’t have any money to buy anything in the café. In fact, for the first few days, I just sat at a table by myself and stared at the wall from 9am to 5pm, as the café staff asked me hourly if I wanted anything and I softly replied no every time. At 5pm, I quietly walked out and met up with my wife aboard the subway and no one was the wiser.

After five days of sitting and doing nothing for eight straight hours, I found my days were getting slightly tedious so I started bringing my lunch to have something to do when 12 noon rolled around.

This past Monday, I decided to leave for a twenty minute walk whereupon I came across a garage sale. For three dollars and fifty cents I purchased a large wood easel, some framed canvases and some oil paints. I also bought a sizeable toy wagon for two dollars and used it to pull my new purchases away. I then proceeded to set up my new easel and canvases in the corner of the café and painted for the rest of the day, with the café staff still asking me hourly if I wanted to buy anything and me responding no as I painted away. Every day since, I've added more garage sale purchases to my corner. Just yesterday I bought a mammoth and unwieldy rear projection television from the 1970s with towering rabbit ear antennas and a Betamax VCR with Strawberry Shortcake videos from the 1980s. At the end of the day, I just roll all my belongings to the alley behind the café and hide them under mounds and mounds of restaurant garbage.

This morning the café manager walked up to me as I was sweating up a flood on my garage sale, twenty-year-old treadmill.

CAFÉ MANAGER: You're going to have to leave. Your treadmill is using up all our power.

ME: You've got to be kidding me. I'm trying to get back in shape over here.

CAFÉ MANAGER: We have been very patient with you and your idiosyncrasies but it’s been almost two weeks and you’ve yet to buy anything.

ME: Well, what’ve you got? I could really use a secondhand espresso machine in my little corner over here.

CAFÉ MANAGER: Sir, we do not sale used appliances. In fact, you have so much of your own appliances in here, there’s barely any room left for our clientele. And many of them have complained that they can’t hear each other chatting when you watch Strawberry Shortcake at full volume.

ME: Well no one should be chit chatting while Strawberry Shortcake is dropping some wisdom. It’s berry rude.

CAFÉ MANAGER: Basically, you’re creeping everyone out and because of you, I’ve lost half a dozen employees and seventy percent of my clientele.

ME: I’m out of here. I don’t need all this attitude. Not when I’m trying to make a life for myself in this little corner over here.

I jumped off the treadmill, pulled the plug and pushed it toward the exit, as the treadmill's steel caster wheels heavily gouged the café’s hardwood floor.

ME: Well I hope you’re happy, ’cause you just lost my business.

I pushed my treadmill, and pulled my wagon which held my TV and the rest of my junk, down the street toward the Urban Coffee Shop. Inside the shop, I plugged in my treadmill and continued my workout.

I turned to the staff behind the coffee bar, who all stared at me bug-eyed, and with lower jaws dropped, as I huffed and puffed. I had to order something, or they'd kick me out.

ME (loudly through my heavy breathing): I’ll like to order a water. But not the one that comes in a plastic bottle that I have to pay for. I want the one that comes from the tap that’s free.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Returning To The Workforce, Part 3: The Final Straw

Dear Diary,

It felt weird walking out of my office knowing I was no longer an employee there. It was no longer my second home, my home away from home, the only home I've ever really known. Walking down the corridor toward the elevator for the last time felt like a divorce from a wife whom I was very much still crazy in love with, but whom I hadn't made the effort to talk to or see for 5 weeks without any valid reason, without ever calling to tell her where I was, or even a doctor's note, and confused as hell as to why she's now leaving me and what I ever did that was so wrong. I felt so misunderstood. What was I going to tell my real wife? Just the week before, I had spent our entire savings on paper towel in some crazy pyramid scheme.

As I walked out of the building, my head down, in shame, I saw a man begging on the sidewalk ahead. I stopped beside him, and held out my hand to passersby as well. I can do this, I thought, suddenly feeling not so shameful. I have way more energy and enthusiasm than most panhandlers, and I have chutzpah. I can go from street corner to street corner, spreading my talent for begging.

A handful of pedestrians were approaching.

BEGGING MAN (low volume): Change please. Change please.

I can do that, I thought, but way better. This guy sucks.

ME (booming): People! There's an ATM machine a few steps back! Is it that hard to punch in your PIN and give me some money? You people make me sick!

BEGGING MAN: Dude, this is my corner.

ME: Well, you're not working it properly.

More pedestrians walked past. I stuck my hand out again.

ME: Handouts! Give me your handouts! Folks, this is kind of like church, but without the boring sermon.

Sheila, my ex-boss, and Charisse, one of my ex-coworkers, walked past. Charisse stared at me in bewilderment as Sheila just shook her head to herself.

ME (slightly embarrassed): I'm just doing this 'till something better comes along.

BEGGING MAN: Dude, I mean it. Find your own corner.

ME: Fine, but sooner or later, I will shut you down. I'm going to hire all kinds of employees to do my begging. I'll have staff begging at every street corner in this city. We are going to squeeze you out, buddy. I'm really going to make a go of this. I feel really good right now.


ME: You are very lucky today, my friend, because I'm taking the rest of the day off. I need some leisure-time fun after the strain of running my own business here today. That's the bonus of running your own business: you can just take off when you feel like it.

I took a deep breath and smiled, excited about my future.

ME: I feel so great right now. There is so much that this industry hasn't tapped into yet. I am going to set up begging drive-thru's so people don't even have to walk out of their cars to hand over their cash. They can just drive up to the order mike and speaker and we'll say, "Change please" and they'll just say how much they're paying and then they can drive up to the window and hand over their Benjamins.

BEGGING MAN: You've got five seconds to disappear.

ME: I am also going to set up ATM machines which beg for money as people walk by and then people can just enter their bank card or credit card and transfer funds into my account.

I felt so alive. Ideas took flight fully formed from my lips.

ME: I am going to have ice cream trucks that, instead of playing clown music over their loudspeakers, will play a tape begging for money, and instead of carrying ice cream, we'll just carry all the cash that people are giving us.

I never even stopped to breathe, as passion ignited every inch of my being.

ME: My long range plans include a satellite service that people can order to get hooked up to their TVs and then pay a monthly subscription fee to watch videos of myself begging for money on a variety of streets, or just in an empty studio, saying, "Change please." And viewers can call in to make pledges for me. And I'll have theme parks all over this country where families can stand in line in sweltering heat, waiting to meet clowns who beg and take their money. I'll also have hotels and resorts where bellhops and street people beg for cash, knocking on hotel room doors every hour, including at night when customers are trying to sleep.

I looked off to my right. There were no advancing pedestrians on the horizon.

ME: I'm bored. I hate my new life.

I turned to the begging man.

ME: I think the begging bubble just burst.

Don, Charlie and a few others from the office suddenly walked up behind me.

DON: We heard you were begging on the street.

ME: I'm making a killing over here so what's your problem?

Don pulled a sandwich from a paper bag and sat down with the rest of the gang on the sidewalk bench behind me. Everyone began to bite into their food as they all stared at me, like I was about to give a show or something.

I really wanted to go home but I had to save face and make it look like my new life was better than theirs even though they still had jobs at the office and I didn't. I continued to panhandle as if my life depended on it, begging and begging, all the while pretending Don and the gang weren't there. The begging man was now long gone. By the time the lunch hour was over and my ex-coworkers finally got up to leave, I was on my knees, screeching and bawling like a baby, and pleading that some passerby just spare me one penny just so I could say I made some money today. No one did.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Returning To The Workforce, Part 2

Dear Diary,

I sat in my cubicle as the entire accounting firm (where I work as the photocopy guy) remained silent as still water. My boss Sheila stood over me, having just fired me. She had difficulty accepting the fact that I had been missing from work for five weeks with no calls from myself during that sojourn, nor a valid excuse, or even a doctor's note.

SHEILA: Pack up your things.

I looked up at her.

ME: I never wanted to work here. Even during the interview I didn't have the heart to tell you. I felt sorry for you that this is where you have to work.

I stood and proceeded to make peace with everyone in the office.

ME: Charisse - you are a sad excuse for an accountant. We might as well have hired a bag of cement, propped it up in your chair and given it a calculator and still it would get a hell of a lot more done than you ever could. Ruthie - you are old. You are so old that I always think for sure you'll die when you get home after work, and then when you show up to the office the next day, a part of me is always shocked that you're still walking around and that maybe now you're a zombie and you'll want to eat my head. That lipstick and blush isn't fooling anyone anymore. You're old! And you smell like sardines. Howard - you are the crabbiest man alive. You're so unpleasant, your wife should be given some kind of Nobel Prize for not slitting her wrists. And she should get that prize every day. Don - we all pretend to like you, but we're all just pretending. You're annoying and everyone rolls their eyes behind your back, or when you call our extension, or even if we just have a fleeting thought about you. If I see someone roll their eyes, I know it's because they either saw you, heard you or just thought about you. Raymond - I know you're just the janitor around here and all, but would it kill you to clean something once in while instead of just staring at us luridly all the time. Derek - you, I just hate. Whenever I look at you, you make me wish someone would just legalize murder already.

I turned to Sheila.

ME: And you. You. You really take the cake. You are the most debased human I have ever laid eyes upon, in real life and on TV... or in the movies or on Cops or America's Most Wanted. You're worse than anyone who's ever been on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Tila Tequila or America's Got Talent or Jon & Kate Plus 8 or on The View. You repulse me. You gross me out. You're grody to the max. You're filthy, dirty, smelly, stinky, and disorganized. You belong inside a vacuum cleaner.

SHEILA: I'm calling security.

ME: Goodbye everyone. Thank you for finally ending the absolutely worst year of my life.

I made my way toward the door, then turned back toward Sheila.

ME: You know, all you have to do is apologize and I'm back. Simple as that.

SHEILA: Turn around and get out.

ME: Do you mind if I just print my resume? I need to make lots of copies and my wife won't let me use up all the ink at home.

SHEILA: Good bye Eric.

ME: Can I just write up a reference letter and you can sign it and then make a few copies for me?

SHEILA: Howard, call security.

ME: How long do I have to wait before I can re-apply here again?

SHEILA: You are never to come back here again.

ME: Can someone just take out their cell phone and take a group shot of all of us before I leave?

A half dozen security guards burst through our office doors.

ME: So this is it...

I turned to the guards as all six grabbed a hold of me. I eyed Sheila one last time.

ME: I'll call you tomorrow when the dust settles and we can work this out like adults.