Monday, January 29, 2007

Carl - My Operations Manager

Carl's first order of business is to assure me that I am in no danger of sexual harassment, at least not on his part. It goes without saying that this scares the bejesus out of me, but since he's 92 lbs soaking wet (most of which is contained within his poofy hair, causing him to sway awkwardly when he stands in a breeze), I figure I'll be ok unless he approaches me from behind (pun intended).

His lips are red and squishy, and they purse and quiver in fear when he isn't talking. His eyes dart nervously around the classroom and I think I detect the faintest hint of shaky knees. Even when his voice raises in pitch and amplitude to a decidedly maternal and unbearable squawk (a common enough occurrence, especially during his lectures on the proper methods of spray buffing), I get the distinct impression that Carl is living life in constant and absolute fear. Whether this fear is present on a purely subconscious level or closer to the surface whilst remaining too terrifying to speak of openly, I cannot say.

I snap back to attention, suddenly aware that Carl is waving his finger around, accusing former custodians of deeds that led to their dismissal. "If there's one thing I will not stand for, it's SWEARING!!! Especially when a woman turns the air blue with that filth. It's so degrading to hear that come out of her mouth. Don't you think so?" I take the diplomatic high road. "It's pretty bad when a man swears too." I evenly respond. Carl smiles at me and reveals a gold tooth. "Then we understand each other. I see big things for you here, son. Stick with me and you'll do just fine." He claps me on the shoulder, spins on his heel and marches out of the room.

Later, I'm standing outside puffing on a joint that Jon from B-Wing invited me to share with him. "So ... what's Carl's story?" I carefully ask. Jon spits before taking the joint back. He takes a tremendous haul before answering. "Carl's a fucking lunatic: that's his story."