Saturday, August 04, 2007

Earlier this year, around February, I received a call from an old boss I hadn't heard from in years. The job I held when I worked for him was my last "regular world" job before I quit it to pursue a career in television and film. When he discovered I was trying to find other work while employed there, he got royally pissed, and I ended up quitting not long thereafter. That was 10 years ago.

Needless to say, I was surprised to hear from him. (For the sake of this posting, I'll call him "Bob"). Bob and I had been quite friendly when we worked together (there were only 5 of us in the office), but I wouldn't consider us to have been friends. Bob sounded desperate. This, too, did not surprise me. Everything was dramatic for Bob, from his divorce to his gambling problems to any situation that pretty much involved Bob at all. He told me he was in the process of getting a divorce (not the same divorce I had experienced previously), that his soon to be ex-wife had done something or other to his money or his accounts and he had nothing at all, not even cash to get him through the week. As his story unfolded, it became clear he was calling to ask me for money.

I knew that a "loan" to Bob would likely never be returned but weighed that against my desire to just get him off the phone. Since he'd mentioned not having any cash, I thought that's probably what he wanted - something to cover groceries and gas until his accounts were cleared up in a week. When he inevitably asked for some money, I said, "I guess I could give you something if you're really in that bad of shape..." "Great!" responded Bob. "How much?" "Err...I don't know, maybe a hundred bucks or something?" Silence from Bob. "Well, you know," he began,"I've seen on TV that you're a big editor now..." (only maybe 1 or 2 of my episodes had aired and he had seen my name) " I was hoping you could give me like $5,000."

I was aghast. Clearly, he had something else going on that he wasn't sharing with me. I got him off the phone as quickly as I could with a, "I don't know what you think editors make, Bob, but I don't have that kind of money to give out."

Now, I'm fairly free with my money with close family and friends, but the thing is they almost never ask for it. And I certainly wouldn't loan or give that amount of money to anyone who wasn't in my very close knit circle. Has anyone else had an uncomfortable experience with friends asking to borrow money?

I have another game tonight. I've decided to bypass the showers this time.

I heard the song of the day on the radio today and couldn't help but crank it up in the car. It's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana off their 1991 album Nevermind. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and lived there when grunge music broke all over the place, many of those bands from Seattle. This song knocked me on my ass the first time I heard it, not because of its crashing guitar licks or quirky lyrics, but because of the raw angst emoted by front man Kurt Cobain. I would remember later that my friend, Jason, had tried to play me something by them months before and I couldn't get into it. I was introduced to this later version of the band by my friend, Melanie, and MTV when it still played videos. I love the music from the 80s, but is very clearly of that decade, and I welcomed the sound of this angrier, dirtier, rockier music and musicians who were breaking their stuff all over the stage again. And damn if that song still isn't still just as great.


Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

Once, many years ago, a close relative left her family, dumped her then boyfriend, and ran off with some really scummy guy. Shortly after that she asked me to borrow some money becuase they were having trouble making ends meet. I struggled with it internally, but turned her down. She eventually dumped the scummy guy. Years later, at her wedding, I gave her a generous cash gift.

9:35 PM  
Blogger LA said...

Edit - I had the exact same visceral response the first time I heard Teen Spirit. I felt that music had been in a long sorrowful slump, and when I heard those wails, I was happy for music again.

I haven't had the money borrowing story happen to me, but I did get a strange phone call from a former boss once. He gave me this song and dance about his brother's heart attack and how his gravely ill brother gave him some sage death-bed advice to follow his dream. Thus the purpose of the call. Oh no, he wasn't harboring long-buried feelings of love. He wanted to see my boobs. In fact, he offered me cash to see them. I. Kid. You. Not.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

OMG! An ex-boss who was an ass called you up to borrow money? That is amazing. My guess is that his gambling problem or other addiction has gotten out of control . . . and wow, since you have had some public success, the creeps are coming out of the woodwork . . .

la - soooo, how much did he offer? j/k!

8:51 AM  
Blogger EditThis said...

LA - you must have some spectacular boobs! :)

9:07 AM  
Blogger Kings Fan said...

Edit has a good story, but it sounds like LA has the story of the day. The consensus is - you must elaborate.

The only money-borrowing situation I had was when my ex-wife called and asked to borrow some money because she had over-extended herself with a new truck and an inability to manage her funds. I ended up loaning it to her (basically so I knew that her son would be provided for) and it took her a few years, but she paid it all back.

Was never into the angst music of the 90s because I just didn't have that much to be angry about.

9:40 AM  
Blogger LA said...

I guess I've got a fairly impressive rack. Actually, I've had them surgically reduced since the disgusting phone call.

He started at $100, and I said nothing. Understand, I said nothing because I was stunned silent. Well, Jackhole thought my silence was ME NEGOTIATING, and he quickly raised the offer to $200 (to look at them unclothed for 1 minute, he was specific). At this point, I snapped out of my shock and told him to forget about it and asked him how his wife was doing. Needleless to say, the phone call was over less than 30 seconds later.

God, I'm ill thinking back on it.

I agree with Diane - Edit's old boss has probably gone back to gambling or some other vice. Maybe he and my ex-boss can meet up in asshole rehab.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous madeline said...

LA, that story is almost better than editthis!!!! I think he was giving you a lowball offer! You should have told him you wouldn't do it for less than $30,000. Edit, you were too nice to your ex-boss. I would have told him to royally %@^& off, and to lose your number. What nerve!

11:23 PM  
Blogger Kings Fan said...

LA - shame on you for having them reduced. But, cool use of the word "jackhole"

10:03 AM  

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