Tuesday, June 27, 2006

a very very weird june 23rd

I'd been waiting for two weeks for a phone call from my new job's HR woman to tell me that I'd been signed off on the budget for my salary, and that I was officially hired on. I had to wait for that OK in order to issue my two week notice at my terrible current job of three years.

I work for a horrible anal prick of a micromanager named Steve. Steve is one of those people that may not intend to come off as an asshole, but does so naturally. You'll listen to him say something to you work related, or even offer up a personal opinion about a matter and you'll think to yourself "this guy is kind of an asshole." A year of day in, day out with this guy and you definitely think "this guy is a total asshole."

Steve was hired on a year ago to head a staff of three full-time writers, and one part-timer. Within a year, Nancy, a five year writer with over 20 years writing experience was the first to go (her parting advice to me was "don't let him make you think that you're not a good writer"), followed by Lauren, who had graduated from journalism school two years ago (and suddenly doesn't want to write anymore?) and now me. The part-timer, Leslie, got a book deal and is holding on to the job for the salary and insurance. Even she told me about two weeks ago that she had called a meeting with Steve to tell him that she wasn't jiving with his micromanagement style and that she thought that communication in the department was "next to zero."

Good work Steve!!

So, Steve asks me if I want to go to lunch. I automatically question "the fuck is this all about?" and say "yes." we go to the Billy Goat and Steve (in cool guy mode) spends six bucks on my lunch. I listen to him talk about himself for 45 minutes.

We go back to work and I get the call officially offering me the job. So, I asked Steve if he could speak with me in the conference room, and 20 minutes after he bought me lunch I quit on him... leaving him with just the part time writer (who's taking a lot of time off right now to go on her book tour).

Steve spent most of the time complaining that he didn't think that he'd still be there in a year, but with a new adopted son, a new house, a condo that hasn't sold yet and a home equity line, he didn't think that he could afford to go anywhere for awhile. That's bad. Worse than that: everybody at work knows that all of the writers have quit working under Steve. It's all up to Steve now.

Good work Steve!!

On my bike ride home I pedaled up to the intersection of Kedzie and Eastwood. Traffic was backed up due to the Brown line train passing at the Kedzie stop (it's ground level), so I biked slowly through the stopped traffic and saw nothing coming in the other direction. A second later I was nailed by a car speeding up to 20 mph and was thrown onto the hood, against the windshield and then down to the pavement.

I heard screams. I got up and looked over my body for cuts, blood or pain. other than a very minor scrape on my forearm below my right elbow, I was clean. I looked at the car and saw two 26 year old female Chicago Police officers getting out of their car to see if I was OK.


I said "I can't believe that I was hit by a police car." I looked at my bike and saw a contorted, fucked up front wheel. The cops said "are you OK? we've got to go and respond to a call." I said "you just hit me with your car and fucked up my bike, call some other cops."

Within in 3 minutes, a squad car with two 30-something male cops pulled up and shook their heads in disgust at the incident. something tells me that my two female cops are going to pulling traffic duty and other shit work on top of taking woman driver jokes and hassling for the next month or two.

I took a statement, which everyone was cool with, and then I took a disposable camera from my bag and took pictures of the bike and the spot that the squad that hit me was parked: alongside the curb... they weren't even in the lane of traffic. That's one of the problems with cops in this city--and I'd imagine everywhere--they're above the law, so they don't bother to follow standard rules of the road. That's why you see them driving on sidewalks, gunning down alleyways, and driving like steve wonder behind the wheel (ray charles riding shotgun).

I was released with the police report... which I'm following up on. I'm not hurt, so I'm not looking to sue anybody. I took my bike to the store I bought it at to fix it back up. they asked me if the cops even bothered to stop... apparently they sometimes don't (isn't that called "hit and run"?). All said and done... new wheel, and the fork is slightly bent... so new fork, plus labor: $240. which I'll now push to get the Chicago Police to pay for. I think that $240 is probably a small amount to pay considering they get sued for shit way sketchier than this incident.

moral of the story: cops, cabbies, grandpa and the blind can't drive.

oh yeah, and I can't be killed. I'm unbreakable.


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