Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ghost of Psychos Past

The other day, we decided to play tourists in our own town, and took a double decker bus tour of Chicago. Amongst the many wonderful sights we passed was this innocent looking 3-story building on Illinois Street where I used to work at a small advertising agency. Now, I think it's safe to say that most people have, at some point in their life, complained about their "Psycho Boss" or "Boss from Hell" or the ever-popular "Psycho Boss from Hell". My boss, however, was seemingly going for the gold medal in Psycho.

It was tough choosing just one story to illustrate my point, but here goes: After working for him for several years (a feat very few other people were able to accomplish), I finally found a new job. (People that worked for him were always looking for a new job.) By that time, I'd built up a small amount of money in my pension fund, and on my last day, he told me he didn't have the check ready (surprise, surprise) and I could come pick it up the following week. This went on for several weeks as you can imagine, with numerous phone calls dodged and messages ignored. Finally, I was able to talk to him and he said I could come pick up the check. That day was the coldest of the year, with a wind chill factor of below zero. I suspect that's one of the reasons he picked that particular day. When I arrived, I was told by a secretary that I wasn't allowed in the building, and if I would wait outside, he'd come down with the check shortly. One hour passed. Two hours passed, as I stood shivering outside. Freezing or not, now I was as determined to get that check as he was to not give it to me.

Finally, after 2 hours and 45 minutes, a window opened on the third floor (see photo), and his evil little head peeked out, and his evil little mouth opened to spill out the words "do you want your check?". I think I replied something along the lines of "y-y-y-yes" (cold, not nerves). Then, slowly, an envelope with a rock in it tied to a rope fashioned out of phone cords was lowered down to me. I ripped off the envelope, checked its contents, left the rock on the sidewalk and walked away. I'm happy to say I haven't seen him since.

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