Becoming an asshole, I would later learn, takes so much work. The coffee incident started what would be a daily routine of who got the better of whom.
We practiced it during break time..
“Paolo would you like some chicken?”
“I didn’t touch it. I just spat on one.”
On special occassions..
“Happy birthday Paolo”
“What do you want for your birthday?”
“I want to be off.”
In our daily activities
“Oooops.” I say seeing that The Black Bigote has missed throwing paper in the trash can.
“Paolo, pick this up.” he says.
On outrageous events..
“Is The Black Bigote here.” a marketer asked
“Do you have an appointment with him?” I answer.
“No. I just want to give this to him personally.” he says while showing me one of those magazine for rich people.
“Oh he just left seconds ago.” I tell the man when in fact The Black Bigote was just behind me listening.
“Really? I don’t remember seeing anyone. What does he look like?” the marketer asks.
“Fat, ugly, really boring and has temper problems.” I confidently say.
“Haha. Looks like someone I’d prefer not meeting him.”
“You tell me!”
“Can you please give this to him.” the marketer says leaving a magazine issue on my desk.
“Will do sir, Thanks”
The man leaves and the office explodes in laughter.
And other forms of harrassment
“Paolo it’s for you.” The Black Bigote tells of a phonecall.
“Ok pass it here.”
…it was a marketer who was just randomly calling. I take care of the call and got back to The Black Bigote.
“That wasn’t for me!”
“WEll, did you deal with him?”
“Then dont bother confronting me about that phonecall. BLAG!“
Sometimes we’d really be at it…
“You did not finish this report because you’re too busy crossing your legs while you work.
He has this thing about the de quatro as a mannerism of the rich, meaning, I shouldn’t be doing it.
“What does my leg have to do with that?!”
“I dont care about your leg, I care about your work!”
“You’re the one who mentioned the leg.”
“Paolo, listen to me, that was a metaphor. You have to start thinking!”
An office mate taps me at the back and says, “Paolo turn around and walk away.”
The Black Bigote continued to rant as more voices spoke in the room “Don’t mind him.” “Just get on with your work.” “He’s having a bad day.” “Ice cream, anyone?”
When I get back to my seat, he goes on speaker phone
“Paolo, you’re a coward!”
Sometimes we’d even take it on family..
“I saw your brother at the mall.” The Black Bigote says
“Really, how was he?”
“He wasn’t working, he was just like you!”
The Black Bigote and I had made ourselves attractions in the office. We certainly respected each others wits even as we kept the proletariat-capitalist relationship. Everyday I looked forward on the events that would transpire in the office and we talked about everything – how I would rule the world, the science behind time machines, how leonardo da vinci was gay, what would happen if the US bought Mexico and all sorts of weird things that rich people enjoy with their red wines and dark chocolates.
It was behind these silly small talks and arguments that The Black Bigote hid the reality that would eventually surprise us all – the company was going bankcrupt.