Monday, March 22, 2010

Harter Union: Part Three, Chapter 1

“Oh, yeah, this is nice!” I said, looking in amazement at the spacious, and furnished, apartment. “But I can’t afford this place living by myself. I’ll need a roommate,” I looked at Maggie and smiled.

“Sorry, I can’t. I really like where I’m living. Besides, my lease doesn’t expire for another three months.”

“Damn! Oh, well, we shouldn’t live together this early in the relationship anyway but I really want to get out of the squalor I’m in now.” I looked around the living room, then back at Maggie and then to the landlord. “Mr. Soulimenudo? I’ll take it. I have to find a roommate if that’s all right with you.”

“That’s fine as long as I get the rent,” Mr. Soulimenudo took some papers out of his back pocket and we went into the kitchen. “This is the lease agreement. Look it over, sign it and I will need first and last months rent.”

“So $1100? Okay…” I quickly looked over the lease and then wrote Mr. Soulimenudo a check for $1100. We shook hands; he left me the key and left the apartment. “Well, I’m once again broke but at least I have a bathroom…with a toilet, not just a drain.”

“You’re certainly moving on up,” Maggie grinned as I took her in my arms. We kissed and Maggie looked into my eyes. “Are we still going with Jason, Chrissy, and Aaron to the movies tonight?”

“As far as I know but I’d rather stay home in bed…with you.”

“I know but you said you’d drive so you have to hold up your end of the bargain,” Maggie said.

“I will but when I get you home, you’re mine!” I said with a growl.

Later, I was in my office updating some files when Nathan, Jason and Chrissy came in. “Jeff, have you ever had your pubic hair caught in your zipper?” Jason asked.

“What? What are you talking about?” I asked.

“I’m trying to convince Chrissy to stop wearing underwear and go commando but I told her she would need to shave so her zipper doesn’t get caught on her pubes and she doesn’t want to.”

“O…kay, well, it does hurt so I would recommend shaving your…pubic hairs before deciding to go…pantiless?” I was so confused.

“All right, I’ll shave them,” Chrissy agreed.

“Kick ass! This is going to be sweet. I’m gonna shave too so we can have some skin-on-skin action!” Jason and Chrissy walked off. I was still confused but was glad I could help. I saw Nathan still standing there and put down my pen.

“Do you have a dilemma I can help you with?” I asked.

“No but I have my last dance recital tomorrow…”

I busted out laughing. “Dance recital? You, Nathan Yates, are in a dance recital?”

“Shut up, it’s my last one because we’re disbanding and I want some people there to watch me.”

“Who all’s it going to be?” I asked.

“My parents and Jason and Alyson are going to be there and you can bring Maggie if you want.”

“I’ll go, where’s it at?”

“Rice Auditorium, across the parking lot.”

“I’ll be there,” I said as Nathan stood up and headed to the door. “Could you send Karla and Phil in here please, Dance Recital?”

“Shut up!” he called back.

About a minute later, Phil and Karla walked in. “Please, sit down,” I instructed and Karla took the extra chair and Phil leaned against the wall. “I seriously can’t believe I have to do this. I made it a personal promise not to fire anyone while at this job but I can’t let this go unpunished.”

“What are you going to tell Darrell?” asked Karla.

“I’ll just say that you two were using Dish Room equipment inappropriately. Any questions?”

“I have one,” began Phil. “It was worth it.”

“That’s really more of a statement but I’m glad you’re taking responsibility for your actions.” Phil and Karla stood up and began to leave the office. “And, please, next time you want to hump on Dish Room equipment, make sure no one else is here to see it.” I watched them leave and grabbed a clipboard. I headed to the dining room where everybody was eating.

“Uh, oh. Run, he has a clipboard!” Aaron said.

“Funny. I have a few things to discuss with you guys so bear with me,” I climbed up on the end of the table and sat down cross-legged. I glanced at the clipboard and began. “Okay, what Karla and Phil did was incredibly inappropriate. As much as I love Karla’s butt sweat, I don’t like it where clean dishes go.”

“Did you fire them?” asked Jason.

“Of course! They were caught having sex on Dish 3 by me, Maggie and Alyson! Also, next week Facilities will be installing televisions on the far south wall but it will be part of the College Television Network like the TVs were in the Grill so they’ll mainly play music videos.”

“That’ll be cool,” Jason exclaimed.

“Music today sucks,” complained Chris. “It’s all about computers, not about the music.”

“And we’ll be getting name tags in the couple of weeks,” I started handing out a piece of paper with the staff’s names on it with lines next to them. “Not my choice, Kathryn’s, so put what you want on the tag on the line next to your name. For example, mine would be ‘Jeff Franklin.’ Put your first and last name and not any of this ‘I.P. Freeley’ crap.”

“Why do we need name tags? We all know who we are,” noted Jay.

“I told you that it was Kathryn’s idea. It’s supposed to convey some sort of professionalism,” I explained.

“Well, that’s some sort of crap!” Nathan said.

I stared blankly at Nathan and blinked. “Yes, well put Nathan. Any questions, comments or complaints?” No one said anything so I continued. “Before you leave, I just moved into my new place and I am looking for a roommate if anyone is interested. $275 a month with water, gas, trash, sewer all paid. Already furnished.”

“I’ll take a look at it,” said Heather.

“Great, whenever you get a chance.” I glanced at the clock. “All right people, let’s get to work.”

We were all standing outside the movie theatre in Olathe. Jason, Aaron, Chrissy and Melissa were standing near the ticket booth but Maggie had dragged me over away from them. “Could you at least act like you’re having fun?” she asked.

“Melissa is here! Isn’t it bad enough that I have to work with her but now I have to entertain her after working hours?”

“Her boyfriend just broke up with her so we’re trying to be nice. You of all people know how much being dumped hurts,” Maggie said.

“Ouch,” I said.

“Sorry but you should,” Maggie sighed. “Look, it’s just one two-hour movie, I’m not asking you to marry her.”

“Pfft, yet! Okay, I’ll do it but I am not sitting next to her!”

In the theatre, we all sat near the back row with Maggie on one side of me and Melissa on the other. I leaned over to Maggie and whispered “How did this happen?”

“Aaron got up to get some Junior Mints and that elderly couple wanted to sit there so she moved over one. Calm down and just enjoy the movie,” Maggie said.

I was still uncomfortable and fidgeted a little in my seat. “How can I enjoy the movie when Cameron Diaz is in it?” I stood up and began working my way through the aisle. “I’m gonna go do something else. I’ll meet you out front in two hours.” I hobbled down the steps and out the door.

“What’s his problem?” Melissa asked scooting over into the seat next to Maggie.

“He doesn’t care for Cameron Diaz,” Maggie replied.

The staff learns that two other coworkers are dating.