I got called into the office after I checked in at the plasma center. I was supposed to say something at the counter on Tuesday because of my experiences last week, but sort of didn't feel like bothering --and besides, I wanted to see what would happen if I didn't.
The director seemed like a nice guy, a bit nervous, but friendly. He apologized twice before either of us had taken our seats on either side of his desk.
"I am so sorry this was your experience." Again with the neutral, it's nobody's fault language. "It wasn't what we intended."
I nodded and listened as he worked through the lengthy complain I'd filed through the website, which detailed my attempts to donate.
"And you say you used my boss's name and they didn't react?"
"Nope," I told him. "They didn't seem to know who I was talking about."
The apology went on for a while longer. He offered me an extra $25 for my inconvenience, which I took. My wife's phone contract had ran out. It needed to be paid. The rest was already spent, though I did splurge today. I bought myself a fucking fruit pie. It was cherry and an off-brand not made by the Hostess corporation.
The dude finally said, "All I ask is next time, if you have any trouble, just tell me or someone in management." He didn't want to have to deal with this shit again and I couldn't blame him.
I nodded, but I thought I'd spoken to someone in management on that first call when they told me they were closed and I could come back in a week.
It was weird, but these sort of confrontations are always weird. I gathered he'd taken some shit for my e-mail complaints, which he probably didn't deserve. The understated issue was the corporation didn't fully explain what they were doing to the locals and it upended everything.
After he talked for a while and I promised I'd let him know if they pissed me off, we shook hands and everyone was awfully, exceedingly nice. I got the impression my love note had been shared with the rest of the class.
So, a few people seemed to be looking at me strangely and everybody was extra chatty. They even put me in a chair that was right up close to where the manager could watch me, if he wanted, and was right next to where the floor supervisor guy was working. This may have been incidental, but I don't know. A lot of it seemed like business as usual.
Still, it sort of felt like I'd been branded a troublemaker, which clearly, I was. I bitched about something.
I had hoped I would be done by Christmas. I'd have 50 visits under my belt and that would be enough to pitch my book, but evidently fate has decreed there will be no escape. Shifting financial issues have pretty much ensured I'll be bleeding for many months to come --probably until the week my youngest starts kindergarten.
If it was ever not about the money, that time has passed. It most certainly is about the money now and there's still not enough.
God help me. I'm running out of things I can sell.