Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, April 01, 2011


Why The Man Is Going Broke, One Small Bit At A Time...

Here's an object lesson in the difference between accident and negligence, as well as the difference between direct and circumstantial evidence:

Sometime back in the mid-70s, a fairly well-to-do Asian family emigrated to the United States following decades of upheaval in their home country. The wife (we'll call her Liz, short for lazy, indolent zipperhead) somehow gained employment with The Man circa 1985, and has "worked" here ever since.

I say "worked", for it is common knowledge that Liz would sooner grasp an angry viper than a ringing telephone. Emails fester unanswered in her moldering Inbox. Watching her perform any task is akin to gazing upon a rat swimming in molasses on a frigid December day.

Despite over three decades in the States, her diction is disturbingly similar to an African Bushman attempting to speak Welsh with a mouthful of marbles. On the rare occasions you get her on the phone, it's a sure bet you'll ask to be transferred to an English-speaking employee. I know this to be true, it's happened dozens of times.

In addition to the lackadaisical work performance, her coworkers also get to experience what the servant classes in that far-off Asian land get to put up with.

See, Liz owns the building. Well, she acts that way...

Someone parked in the Ladies Room for 45 minutes? Liz needs a nap. Bowls full of congealed crud parked it the sink for 3-4 days at a stretch? Liz is used to having the help do her dishes. Back when we could afford 5 gal. bottles of Ozarka water in the cooler, Liz would fill up her coffeepot & 1/2 gal pitcher from the cooler, use it to make tea, water her plants, and take the rest home after work.

Water must be a luxury item in her home country, because she's certainly free with the usage. I can't count the times that I've been in the breakroom when she's come in, turned on the water in the sink, left the room, and returned 5-20 minutes later to use the sink. We've all turned off the water, only to have her scold us for making her use cold water, 'cause she doesn't have time to stand there and wait for the hot water to make its slow way up from the basement boiler.

She's well known for filling up the break room fridge with leftovers until you can't get the door shut, and screaming bloody murder when someone tosses her week-old crap.

Her most annoying habit by far is eating fruit over the sink. She parks by the breakroom sink with a knife and some kind of fruit, usually grapefruit or mango, and what doesn't get gnawed up gets spat into the sink. Note - there's no garbage disposal unit in the sink...

OK, so here's the deal... this past Wednesday morning, the breakroom sink overflowed. Someone walked into the breakroom about 9 am, and water was spilling over the sink and had covered the breakroom floor to a depth of about an inch.

Now it's Friday, and the dehumidifiers and blowers are still trying to suck the excess moisture out of the walls. The baseboards have been pulled up, holes punched in the sheetrock to air out the voids in the walls, and the breakroom is pretty much unusable since all the furniture and vending machines are shoved to the middle of the room.

The cleanup and repair will easily run 5 figures, once you factor in labor and materials.

OK, last month when a faulty fire-prevention valve cut loose and flooded the upper floors, that was an accident.

This mess? Nothing else but negligence. In spite of signs right over the sink saying "PUT NO FOOD OR ANY ITEM EXCEPT LIQUIDS DOWN THIS DRAIN", the plumbers found all kinds of glop, including coffee stirrers, Sweet & Low packets and food sludge clogging the drain.

Now, for almost 7 years I've watched Liz spit food into the sink, leave water running in the sink, and I'd bet my weight in cathouse tokens that she's the one that caused the overflow and subsequent flooding. That, however, is only circumstantial evidence.

Liz is denying everything, and no one actually saw her do it.

So, with no direct evidence that Liz is the negligent employee, there's literally nothing that can be done. She's free to flood the floors again.

I know this sounds mean and will give my karma a big smudge, but if she gets laid off, I'll dance a jig as she's walked out the door...