Three months and I was now slowly learning the ropes of the shipping world. By then I had showed The Black Bigote how quickly I could learn, how good I was with people, and how responsible I was with work. Yet he was never impressed. Even if I finished my daily responsibilities, he maintained that I was being too slow.
How do you figure out a person who’s figured you out? Every time I did something right, even before the outcome was realized, he told me where I had gone wrong. But I kept mum; I never disagreed. Anything he told me I took as a learning experience; part of my general plan to one day be that indispensable person. But he always had something up his sleeve to make my life worse.
“Paolo, as much as I hate to complement you, I must say you’ve been doing quite well in the past weeks.”
“I’m your best employee.” I answer cockily. I wanted to say it so it’d stick in his mind. He used it, instead, to point his finger at me and again scream.
“Do you think that you’re some hot shit? I shouldn’t be telling you how good you should be working because I’m paying your salary.”
By this time I had learned to roll my eyes and shut up. The Black Bigote glorifies himself at arguments, I had learned as well not to feed the dragon. We continue the conversation.
“I’d like to offer you a job.” says The Black Bigote.
“What is it?”
“There’s a problem in the 6am slot. I’d like you to help out.”
I look at him intently… not saying anything. I rested back a chair thinking of this new offer. The Black Bigote did not say a word after that. He was simply waiting for my reply.
The 6am shift was never my liking. It was the busiest time of the day, the root of all problems that arose in my shift (12pm-5pm). It was in the morning that trucks were loaded with all sorts of shipment that would be delivered during the day. Since the company supplies to businesses all around the region, our phones would be off the hook starting at 6am. The Black Bigote basically wanted me to be the jerk that’ll handle all the problems of the shift while continuing the responsibilities that I had.
And there while I leaned at the chair, while he waited for my reply, the stress dawned on me. I knew I shouldn’t get this job, whatever benefit it may come along with. I try to dissuade him.
“What does it come with?” I ask.
“Hah!? Nothing!” he laughs as if it were a joke for me to even ask the slightest salary increase. That was ok, though.. for it was precisely the excuse I was waiting for to be able to turn down the job.
“Then, I’m sorry, I cannot take the job.” I told him.
“Ok.” He whispers.
He whispers.. and looks down beneath his table long enough for me to theorize that he had access to Hell from it and that, at that moment, he was consulting with the devil on what to do with the situation. In time, as his face again took its stern form, The Black Bigote mentions words that would greatly piss me off.
“Ok then, come in at 6am on monday.”
“What?!” I ask in surprise. My tone was higher than the normal decibels and The Black Bigote never likes tones higher than his. He screams again.
“What do you mean?!” He exclaims “You heard me! I’m making it official! Come in at 6am on monday!”
I decide to retort. I had already raised my voice so I thought ‘why not just get on with it.’
“You cant do that?!” I say.
“And why not?” He sarcastically answers.
“I declined the job!”
“And I am your boss. You can quit if you want.”
“You’re unreasonable!” I exclaim.
“And you’re coming in at 6am on monday!” He says with, by this time, a furious voice that came from deep within the gates of Hell and echoed onto the room.
He successfully shuts me up again. I calm down and go back to my stuttering ways, like a pup to his master.
“B-but w-why w-would you e- even offer me th-the job if y-you’d c-coerce me t-to do it a-anyway.” It was the longest sentence I had spoken in my life.
The Black Bigote sealed his win with a laugh. He stood up, sported a sarcastic smile all the way to the exit, and had these words before he left.
“When democracy fails, one resorts to tyranny.”