Thursday, February 02, 2006

Whoopsy, Who's Bad?


This week, I made a mistake. I don't admit it very often but I must this time. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the old saying, 'After pride, comes the fall.' I have always prided myself on my knowledge of every adage, maxim, tired cliche, nuance, and inflection of the particular Redneck dialect of the English language that is spoken in this general area. I suppose that is where I overestimated my ability to communicate with people.

I had just finished giving the weekly safety meeting and was lingering to talk to a driver about his therepy from an ankle injury. A new employee came into the meeting room and requested the day off. I could see that his eyes were red and he was in an obvious state of agitation so I give him my most sympethetic, 'Sure, What's Up?' He looks up at me and states, ' I lost my child.' I then proceeded to tell him that I was sorry and to go ahead and take as much time as he needed.

Both of us being fathers, the driver and I discussed how we didn't know how we could handle such a loss. On my way back to my office, I stopped by the administrative assistant's desk and told her that the employee would not be coming in and if the company paid bereavement pay for employees before the end of their probationary period. She asked why and I told her what I had been told and she said that she would check. I also told her that she might call her friend the florist and see about sending a plant or some flowers from the folks here at the plant.

The next morning, the new employee came into my office and said that he needed to clear up a misunderstanding. He said that the child was not dead but that his girlfriend, the baby's mother, had taken the baby and he didn't know where they had gone. He had received a call and someone sent their condolences for the death of his child. He thought and thought on who could have started this rumour and came back to his words of that morning and his telling of his loss.

It being a small town the news had spread quickly from prayer groups to coffee shops. Numerous retellings of the story had transformed this sad tale into several stories ranging from death due to illness all the way to the story of the childs mother murdering the baby and then commiting suicide. All this from our sending a plant when the father had wanted a day off of work after the loss of his child.

I do not wish to make light of his troubles but damnit I wish that he would have made himself clear. You lose your keys or you lose that condom that you keep under the seat of the car but you do not explain your girlfriend taking the baby and hauling ass as 'losing your child'. Most guys in that situation would simply say, 'My old lady hauled ass with my young 'un and I need the day off to track her ass down.'

I hope that the child is fine and that soon he hears from the mother. But maybe I need to give a questionaire to prospective employees. Just to see if they speak the same language.

28 comments:

Rocky said...

Wow, that is an interesting term for "kidnapping" by parent. I think I would have thought the same way you did, Fuzz.
Since he thought his kid was lost, I hope he looked for the child in more places than the lost in found box at Denny's. Because all that's there is a left-hand glove, an earing, an ugly jacket, and a glass eye.

siren said...

In your defense, you interpreted what he said correctly. He simply misstated what he was trying to convey, probably from his agitated state.

And what happened to the guy is not funny, but the town's reaction is pretty damn hilarious.

Divine Calm said...

Oh my gosh. Talk about a real game of "telephone." LMAO!

jane said...

If someone said they lost their child, I would have thought exactly as you did. I bet he never uses that phrase again!

:P fuzzbox said...

rocky: I was wondering where I lost that freakin' eye. Thanks for the heads up.

siren: No news travels like bad news.

divine c: Idn't it weird? Makes me wonder just how outlandish a tale could be created if I started a rumour of alian abduction.

jane: I hope he learns from this or I might have to ask for an essay on all his questions.

Jamie said...

What's at least funny is that he's gonna have to explain this to all the people who actually talk to him, and wonder why certain people (who simply can't handle death) won't talk to him anymore!

Laura:) said...

LOL, that is awesome. He was an idiot. He definately should of said, "my girlfriend ran off with our baby". Hmmm, maybe he wanted that reaction.

Ben Heller said...

I bet sometimes you wonder whether being a boss is worth the hassle.

:P fuzzbox said...

jamie: Good point on the people who can't handle death and wouldn't talk to him. Once I was pretty darn close to being that way but time has brought me closer to understanding and dealing with it. I recently gave a eulogy at a funeral of a loved one. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. Confronting your demons in a real life fear factor way can change your views.

laura: I don't think he was being malicious. Just bone-headed.

ben: The thing that I miss the most is that when co-workers talk to me now sometimes I have to wonder just what they are leaving out. In a lot of ways, I am no longer just one of the guys and that is a pain in the ass.

David Amulet said...

You are right on, Fuzz--the fault is with the message giver in this case, not you as the receiver.

Of course, now if the child DOES mysteriously die, you'll be a suspect.

-- david

Big D said...

I heard someone sold thier kid to aliens and then lost it so the aliens upducted the mother.

ozymandiaz said...

For some reason that reminds me of the old Bobcat joke...
"I lost my job the other day...
No wait, I didn't loose my job, I still know where my job is, it's just every time I go there, there's this now guy doing it..."
Later in the routine he repeats the joke replacing job with girlfriend.

:P fuzzbox said...

david: Where do you think people are saying she ran off to? Muhahaha!

big d: But was she abused (sexually?)

ozy: I think that I have heard that routine. I think Bobcat is funny but it kinda pains me to listen to him.

Pixie said...

Wow , it just goes to show you what small towns are like, Still i agree he should have been clearer Heh.
I do hope that he manages to track them down!

Crazy Dan said...

I am going to say I lost a family member at work and see if they give me the day off. Then the next day say I found him.

:P fuzzbox said...

pixie: Just for a little update. He has filed a missing persons report.

crazy dan: Sounds like a plan. Let's play hide and seek. We can both hide but not start seeking til next Wednesday. I don't think that it would be worth it for just one day off.

angel, jr. said...

Why didn't he say, my child has been kidnapped. Or that my "frigging girlfriend took my kid".
I "loss my child"? I certainly took it to mean the same thing you thought.

:P fuzzbox said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Alsex said...

Fuxxie, I thought you said that Angry Joyce had been fixed. What are you doing with condoms under your car seat? LOL

:P fuzzbox said...

angel: Glad to get validation. 'Friggin', I haven't heard that from you. Come here often enough and I'll have you cursing in no time.

ann: Balloon Animals. Always have to be ready for a party you know.

phred said...

I saw a guy blow in a chihuahuas butt on Sci-Fi channel and make those balloon thingies.
Kinda the same ???

starbender said...

hahaaa...Phred->u took the words right out of my mouth!
;]

:P fuzzbox said...

phred & starbender: Where can you find such a talented pooch? Every dog I have ever had can only do one trick and I don't think licking your balls is really a trick.

Bruce said...

I've lived in Virginia for almost 46 years, and I still have trouble sometimes deciphering what people are saying. I think "Southern" should be taught as a foreign language...

Ranea said...

I guess next time You'll have to make some inquiries as to exactly what happened. With the way you speak of your co-workers it would probably be wise to ask. The next time one of them cames in crying about a loss, it might mean their dog ran away.(I wonder if Hallmark makes a card for that)

:P fuzzbox said...

bruce: Over at Phreds World on my blogroll he has a quiz to see just how Dixie you talk. With 46 years in the Southland you should score high.

raanea: I don't know if Hallmark does but I'll give one a shot.

Your dog runned off and now your blue but here is some wisdom from me to you. 'Show me a man who doesn't eat his wifes p**sy and jerk off his hunting dog. And I'll steal both of them.' By the way your dog says hi.

Stick some flowers around it and I think it could be a hit.

Bruce said...

LOL, I scored 52% on the "Southern" quiz. I guess, even after all these years, I still retain my Yankeeness.

:P fuzzbox said...

52% shows some definate assimilation though.