Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Saga of PNG


Part I

A short while ago on a Wednesday, I walked down my driveway to my car, heading for work. There was a furniture delivery truck sitting in front of the house one door up and opposite my own. The driver was holding a map and the other looked at me. They exchanged a few words and then stared at me for a second after which the guy in the passenger seat motioned for me to come over.

I figured they were having trouble finding the right house and I walked over and was greeted with a familiar, "Hey," instead of someone asking for directions.

I blinked at his familiarity and then my eyes grew huge with surprise and my face crinkled into a big grin, reflected by the back of the shiny rearview mirror.

"Nate!" I squealed and broke into a run. I scrambled up the step of the big truck and I nearly fell backwards but he caught me easily with one of the strong arms I remembered and returned my hug through the window.

I leaned back and took a good long look at him. He hadn't changed much. Even sitting down, you can tell Nate is wrestler material. Blond hair, cool blue eyes, built like Stone Cold Steve Austin and an easy rakish smile to match his laid back devil-may-care attitude. Behind his back at work we used to call him "Bix Sexy". Unoriginal but apt. Nate is the kind of guy that can make women of all ages blush, a flirt without trying.

We looked at each other for a long moment, the way you do when you haven't seen someone for a while and you're noting the small ways the other person has changed since you last saw them, reading their story without words. He smiled and I smiled and finally I spoke.

"My Niggah!" I finally said in a satisfied tone, in one word, telling him that I found him nearly the same only better and could see he thought the same about me. His driver co-worker looked a bit shocked but Nate just laughed. That was all that needed to be said, really. Not much had changed except that he was no longer my boss. Despite my overall experience there, he'd never been one to treat me badly, so there were no hard feelings between us. I was genuinely glad to see him.

I knew without him saying it, that he'd already heard I didn't work there anymore and why. Since I could see what his day job was, I told him about my current job and I how I had started my own desktop publishing gig on the side. His farmers tan, a healed scar that hadn't been there when I last saw him, and the fact that he was in great shape told me he was still working as an aspiring wrestler despite his day job as a delivery guy. He looked happy, relaxed and we both grinned over the unspoken fact that neither one of us missed our old jobs.

I said it for both of us. "Fuck PowerNet Global!"

He laughed and said, "Exactly!"

I hopped down and they drove off with a parting wave.

I sighed happily and got into my car. Nate's appearance had sparked a wave a memories. I put the key in the ignition and said to myself, It's time to tell the story of PNG.


This past Wednesday, as I headed to my car, there was a furniture delivery truck sitting in front of the house one door up and opposite my own. The driver was holding a map and the other looked at me. They exchanged a few words and then stared at me for a second after which the guy in the passenger seat motioned for me to come over.

I figured they were having trouble finding the right house and I walked over and was greeted with a familiar, "Hey," instead of someone asking for directions.

I blinked at his familiarity and then my eyes grew huge with surprise and my face crinkled into a big grin, reflected by the back of the shiny rearview mirror.

"Nate!" I squealed and broke into a run. I scrambled up the step of the big truck and I nearly fell backwards but he caught me easily with one of the strong arms I remembered and returned my hug through the window.

I leaned back and took a good long look at him. He hadn't changed much. Even sitting down, you can tell Nate is wrestler material. Blond hair, cool blue eyes, built like Stone Cold Steve Austin and an easy rakish smile to match his laid back devil-may-care attitude. Behind his back at work we used to call him "Bix Sexy". Unoriginal but apt. Nate is the kind of guy that can make women of all ages blush, a flirt without trying.

We looked at each other for a long moment, the way you do when you haven't seen someone for a while and you're noting the small ways the other person has changed since you last saw them, reading their story without words. He smiled and I smiled and finally I spoke.

"My Niggah!" I finally said in a satisfied tone, in one word, telling him that I found him nearly the same only better and could see he thought the same about me. His driver co-worker looked a bit shocked but Nate just laughed. That was all that needed to be said, really. Not much had changed except that he was no longer my boss. Despite my overall experience there, he'd never been one to treat me badly, so there were no hard feelings between us. I was genuinely glad to see him.

I knew without him saying it, that he'd already heard I didn't work there anymore and why. Since I could see what his day job was, I told him about my current job and I how I had started my own desktop publishing gig on the side. His farmers tan, a healed scar that hadn't been there when I last saw him, and the fact that he was in great shape told me he was still working as an aspiring wrestler despite his day job as a delivery guy. He looked happy, relaxed and we both grinned over the unspoken fact that neither one of us missed our old jobs.

I said it for both of us. "Fuck PowerNet Global!"

He laughed and said, "Exactly!"

I hopped down and they drove off with a parting wave.

I sighed happily and got into my car. Nate's appearance had sparked a wave a memories. I put the key in the ignition and said to myself, It's time to tell the story of PNG.

I started work at PowerNet Global, the way I'm sure most people start out on any job. I was full of hope and promise and gung ho ready to go the extra mile to prove myself. I was happy.

At first.

It took nearly three years, but working there quite literaly almost killed me. All the warning signs were there right from the beginning and the end result was that I lost something so precious, they could never repay me for the agony I suffered.

(continued tomorrow)

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