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Tuesday, May 02, 2006Show Dog
So I've been a bit MIA... not that anyone missed me. But hey, let me tell you about my WONDERFUL experience in the capital of New York State, Albany. The reason for my trip was because of a political conference going on with all the New York State private ambulance services. In addition to putting forward an agenda for the legislature and spending a day hoofing around the Capital Building "lobbying" for our cause (namely Medicaid reform) there is also an awards dinner. So guess who got to go as "Outstanding Employee". Right... me. Of course there were two other guys going and I think I was more of a last minute push by a few friends I have left in the hierarchy... but whatever. I do as I'm told.
So I got last minute notice Sunday that I had missed the train. Originally we had planned on leaving Monday... but the schedule had changed... and yes an e-mail had been sent... but I had bypassed said e-mail. So I ended up driving up alone on Sunday. I did get a great parking spot though as you can see in the photo above I took yesterday when the sun finally decided to appear.
I should tell you though... I was royally pissed. The change screwed up my plans to go to the craft store with The Steff (who still isn't quite over it... but is once again talking to me after a brutal berating) and later that night with Izzy (who took it a hell of a lot better than I expected... but then again it seems that she has come to expect it with me anyway).
So I was up early Monday and pounding asphalt and pressing flesh with my boss and various Senators, Assemblymen, and a Lieutenant Governor or two. I was in full uniform minus my shield, which for security reasons I did not want to wear, and my job was simple. Smile. Say hello. Answer any questions I was asked as positively and briefly as possible. The way I was introduced was, "This is Watch Dog who responded to the relief efforts in New Orleans and Texas." Nice right? Bullshit. I was their fucking show dog. I HATE THAT SHIT.
So Monday night there was the banquet dinner. Not surprisingly there were quite a few other responders there that I knew from either Katrina or Rita so I had plenty of other people to talk to and get caught up with. Dinner was a rubber chicken. Ooooh. So after dinner were the awards. There were a bunch of other recipients. For some reason... our company went last. Because we had two guys (the third apparently was there for "moral" support... what. the. fuck.) we were supposed to go up separately. But ya know what? I had pretty much had it. So when they called the other guy up... hell I went too.
I know this threw everyone off a bit... but ya know what... screw'em. So they gave us both our plaques and our boss was asked to say a few words about us. So he starts with the other guy and says something along the lines of, "Joe Schmo has been with us for 8 years now and when he started he was an ambulette driver who worked his way up and now serves as the supervisor of our 911 accounts. His dedication, hard work, and sacrifice allow me to sleep well at night."
Then he comes to me and says something along the lines of, "Watch Dog has been with us for awhile and is the guy you ask to do stuff. So I asked him if he wanted to go to New Orleans and he led not only that contingent but also the one to Texas after a rest. If you look on his right arm..." Now understand. I have a bad temper. I went from mundane "let's get this over with" to about boiling in less than a second.
Why? Because he continued with, "... you'll notice a patch that all our employee wear commemorating Yamel Merino who perished September 11, 2001. Turn to show them the patch." Right there I should have taken the plaque, shined it up, and shoved it straight up his crack smoking old man ass sideways.
Now don't get me wrong. My problem isn't the fact that he mentioned Yum. My problem is that I was once again the show dog to his little political buddies of the "great" things he accomplishes and the "sacrifices" he makes. He never mentioned the fact that Yum was my partner. He never mentions the fact that it was Artie Becker and myself who designed the patch. He never mentions the fact that he didn't know who she was. The fact is I felt used... and I felt he was using her. I HATE THAT SHIT!!!
Once he was done I left the stage or dais or whatever you call it and went back to my seat in silence. The dinner concluded. I said my goodnights and went upstairs to my room... where I proceeded to smash the plaque into about a gazillion pieces. Afterwards... I spoke to Izzy for about an hour and rehashed the whole scene. She calmed me down a bit... but I was still heated on the inside.
This morning I packed my stuff up. Checked my bags, got my itinerary, and met up with one of the other executives who had decided to assign me to himself today instead of my boss. Wise move. The day went smoothly... I barely pressed flesh or smiled. I simply shook hands and spoke when spoken to. At 3:00pm I was set to go, but before I did, the other exec apologised to me. He basically said he understood how I felt but that they appreciated me doing what I did has gracefully as I did. Apparently someone had complained about the noise from my room and he had overheard my tirade. I told him flat out never again. I then jumped into my ambulance and drove off Empire Plaza and back to the city.
Try to understand why I hate this. I am not a "suit". For all intense purposes I'm a blue collar kinda guy. Yes, I do wear a white shirt, but I tell all my techs that's because you do less hard time in a white collar when convicted. I do not believe in these "awards" for utter bullshit. I was given a job, a mission, an assignment, a tasking, whatever you want to call it. I performed to the best of my ability. Did I do it alone? Fuck no. If you really want to recognize someone... recognize all those who gave. I say recognize the team. Let them press flesh and smile... and I'll round up my next pack of wolves and go out to the next shitstorm you have with a smile.
So tonight I get home... kick off the boots... power up the old PC to get caught up on e-mails and then see what's new in the blogosphere... a nice way to relax, right? Well... my comments on here get e-mailed to me. So one of the first comments I get is from Lucinda and says, "Oh wow. Way to use your blogging powers for good. This is definitely a Perfect Post. Congratulations on your award! :) " What. The. Fuck. Is there no end to my torture? Is there no refuge I can find from this horror? Then there was another... and another... but then I get around to reading an e-mail from Matt over at MTMD. It reads:
Right. A blogging award. I will be honest... as I always am... and say I wanted to hit delete because I have so had it with awards. But I have to look at it this way... Matt, regardless of what people might think, I feel is a downright nice guy. Hell, he's probably too nice. He was moved enough by my post about Liam to take the time and nominate me or give me this award, whichever way it works, and I can see no ulterior motive in his motivation. So this award... I will accept gratefully. Thanks Matt... although after my next post you may not like me so much... I do appreciate the nomination/awarding.