Saturday, December 31, 2016

In which Primo interrupts an early bird special while he is doing doors

In which we have the way it was supposed to go vs the way it actually went - a confluence of unfortunate events

This is how it was supposed to happen.

Primo: The artist still hasn't finished the work for the flyer. B and I drafted something that I will just sent to a printer. What do you think?

He shows me a draft of three slips to a sheet of paper - each piece has his name, his photo, his contact information, and a brief summary of his policy positions. It's nice.

Me: That looks good. Are you going to have time to go to the store before my mom gets here?

Primo: Yes. And why don't I make the fish tonight instead of tomorrow?

Me: But I was going to make falafel.

Primo: But this stuff will be done and it will work better for me to have the fish tonight.

Me: You're sure?

Primo: Yes. Can your mom wait until 6 or so to eat? Or do we need to have it ready when she gets here at 4:30?

I call my mom, get her ETA, ascertain her hunger status.

Me: Six will be fine.

And then Primo goes to the store, my mom arrives, we cook, we eat, we laugh.

This is how it happened, only this is the condensed version without all the Drama

Me: Are you going to the store? Because the library closes at 5 and you said you would also pick up my books.

Primo: Oh yeah. I need to go to the library on the way there, which messes everything up.

[The store is on the right side of the road from us, the library on the left, so the logical path is store first, then library on the return.]

My mom texts that she is stuck in a traffic jam and will be late. Wait. She did that  before 4:45 because she was supposed to be here at 4:30. Then she sends another text now.

Primo calls from the grocery store - do I really want two bunches of gladiolus? They are so big! Yes I do.

Primo gets home, brings in the groceries, and goes upstairs to finish vacuuming the guest room.

I start putting away groceries.

My mom arrives.

Unpacking her car is - well, blessherheart she does not travel light. Love that woman. Prepared for anything.

Primo makes a marinade for the salmon and puts it in the fridge and starts the rice, which will take about 20 minutes. I wash the spinach and toast the pine nuts. I set the table.

Primo: The guy wants too much to make those color copies. I can't get online to find another shop.

Me: Deal with that now. We are not starving. You will be able to relax once the order is sent.

Primo dashes down to the basement, messes with something.

My mom and I chat - neither of us are starving, which is weird.

We hear thumping, swearing, and Drama coming from upstairs. We ignore it.

Primo comes downstairs: Is the internet working?

Me: Yes, why?

Primo: I figured out that the reason it has been so flaky for the past months is that the cable has gone bad.

Me: What?

Primo: It's eight years old, so I guess it would happen, but I never touch it. I had to replace the one up in my office with the one down by the TV.

Me: So now you will have to replace the one by the TV?

Primo: No. We don't use that one anymore. But the one that we use is behind my desk and I can't get to it easily. I had to climb over my desk and work it in.

Me: Have you sent the order?

Primo: No. The place I looked at charges too much and I couldn't look at other options because I couldn't get online.

Me: Are you going to send it?

Primo: No. I am going to have to go in person because it's too late to have something done by tomorrow morning.

Primo grills the asparagus and the fish. I make the spinach with the pine nuts. We eat.

Friday, December 30, 2016

In which A Sign shall guide them

My mom: I had forgotten exactly which house was yours but when I saw all the political signs in the yard, I knew I was in the right place.

In which I channel my inner Theresa May

And then these happened.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In which Primo is all stressed because the graphic artist who is designing his campaign literature is not done as he promised he would be and now Primo will not have any literature for the coordinated campaign this weekend, which is a pretty big deal

This is the sort of thing where I want to say, "But you should have taken care of this weeks ago!" but that would not be the proper response. Not only that, but I don't know how things work in politics. All I know is what it's like to try to do it on a shoestring with almost no help from anyone and certainly not a family fortune behind us or big contributors giving us tons of money so we can hire People to Handle Things for Us.

Whatever the reason - the guy promised Primo it would be done and it isn't and there are only (how many weeks? Not many - today is Sept 15 - only six weekends or so until the election, so if Primo cannot get campaign material into the hands of the volunteers who are doing a coordinated campaign on Saturday, he will have lost 17% of the available campaigning time.)

We have come up with a workaround - Primo will design a little piece that he can print himself at Kinko's. Better than nothing, but still. Too much drama.

In which Primo is concerned that my mother might be offended by his political signs in the yard

Primo: Will the signs bother your mother?

[Primo and my mother do not agree politically.]

Me: Probably.

Primo: Uh oh.

Me: What?

Primo: She'll be offended.

Me: Well, she probably won't like them. So?

Primo: Should I take them down?

Me: What? No! She doesn't agree with you, but she would never, ever say anything. She's not like that.

Primo: Right. Neither were my mom and dad.

And we laugh merrily.


Do you guys remember the very bad job situation I was in a little more than two years ago? The bad CEO, Sergio, was mean to people in public. In my US office of nine people, four had quit in one year. If anyone dared complain about anything, like vacation - the HQ people, in a country outside of the US, got a lot more vacation than the US people, Sergio threatened the complainer.

He expected everyone to sacrifice for his vision and to do so without notice, i.e., we will all be working late tonight, surprise! the agenda was a lie!

He was really nasty to my boss. If he didn't like the answer Ben gave in a meeting, he would not politely question him but would excoriate him. I am OK with having to defend analysis and conclusions. I am not OK with being insulted or being told IN PUBLIC that if I am not doing the job, he will find someone who can.

Sergio spent tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, renovating the US office to make it open plan, even though everyone said they wanted more privacy, not less. Of course, he kept an office for himself. He can't be in open plan. It's for the little people.

Six months after the renovations were complete, in January 2016, he closed the US office. Fired everyone.

Two days ago, the CEO of the parent company for which Sergio works, announced that Sergio was "leaving to pursue other interests."

Sometimes, justice prevails.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In which I try to convince Primo that it's OK to tell me that he can't do something and that it's better than promising he will do it and then not being able to do it

Me: What should we eat when my mom is here? Can you cook fish one night?

Primo: Maybe. There is a canvass this weekend.

Me: Maybe I should be in charge of all the food.

Primo: I can maybe do it.

Me: I would rather you tell me you can't do it than give me a maybe.

Primo: But - I want to please you.

Me: I want to know for sure what you are going to do or not going to do.

Primo: But when I make you a promise, it's because I want to make you happy and because my intentions are good.

Me: But - not actually doing what you promised doesn't make me happy. It just pisses me off.

Primo: But I want to do these things! I want to make you happy!

Me: It's OK for you to tell me that you cannot do something. It really is. I would rather know up front that you are not going to grill fish on Sunday than have you tell me today that yes, you will, but then on Sunday, something comes up and you can't and then I am left scrambling.

Primo: How about if you be in charge of meals this weekend?

Me: That sounds good to me.

In which eBay thinks that because I just bought a pair of leopard-print heels that I might also be interested in Crocs or Birkenstocks, which makes me think that eBay understands nothing of human nature

Monday, December 26, 2016

In which a lovely, lovely woman who is very active with The Party but who leaves really long, rambling voicemails calls Primo as he is walking out the door and he answers the phone in an effort to stave off another voicemail

She is the nicest person in the world. Very sincere. Very committed. Not a mean, snarky bone in her body.

(Unlike Yours Truly, who does not always see the Good in People.)

(And who does not always Offer Her Suffering Up To Jesus as her sweet grandmother always suggested.)

The phone rings. Primo is shaving, getting ready to leave for a party meeting. He looks at the phone, grabs it, towel over his arm, razor in one hand, phone in the other.

He's no Anthony Weiner, but he still looks pretty good.

(And it should go without saying - and I think it does but I will say it anyhow - Primo, as far as I know, has never texted photos of any part of his body to anyone.)

Primo: Hi [Nice Lady]! I'm getting ready to go out--

Primo: But I wanted to catch you before you left a voicemail--

Primo: Do you think you could just send me an email with the detai--

Primo: She hung up.

Me: Why?

Primo: She said, "Oh, I won't keep you." Was I rude?

Me: I don't think so. You were direct, but you were tactful.

Primo: It's just that she leaves the longest voicemails and they are always really detailed. When she does email, it doesn't work.

Me: What do you mean?

Primo: I had asked her to send me a spreadsheet of everyone who was coming to that fundraiser. She said she couldn't figure out how to send it, so she brought a printed copy over to the house.

Me: She printed it out? And drove it over here?

Primo: I think she is not very technically proficient. It was pages and pages of printed information but it wasn't even sorted.

Me: She is so nice. Blessherheart.

Primo: I know. But - does anyone want to talk on the phone any more?

Me: I don't. I hate talking on the phone. I email as much as possible at work. If I do have to talk to someone, I schedule it or message him to find out if it's convenient. It's considered rude to call someone out of the blue.

Primo: I know! The only people I like talking to are Sam and you because it's a substitute for when I can't be in person. But I am not interested in conducting any kind of political business over the phone. It's too invasive. I think that's why they tell us to call people to ask for money instead of emailing.

Me: Because then the other person is trapped on the phone?

Primo: Yes. You are supposed to use really hard sell techniques to get money out of people. I don't like it.