WARNING: This article has quite the spoilers for the pending premier of Otter Holmes’ fictional hit Hulu series, “Midwest’s Best.” Yes, the show is already a hit & hasn’t even premiered. #buzzworthy
As you may know, I am from Los Angeles, but I currently reside in Chicago. I crashed coming here. It was one of the biggest & best risks I have taken in that thing called “life.” Yes, & sadly, even though we grow older, some still can’t seem to find one. Money can buy you a lot but not everything. & as for those who have said, money cannot buy you happiness, you don’t know where to shop or how to spend. Let the nouveau riche in you out & splurge a little.
Anyhow, back to me, because let’s face it, it’s always about me. 😉 JK! I like to believe I am still humble & SOMEWHAT innocent. Hahahahaha! ANYHOW! I crashed Chicago & didn’t have a job. I gave myself one month to figure shit out. & if you know me, which most don’t, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I started Chicago on a grind, no, not on Grindr, & hustle; this fast thinking mind had to figure something out. At the time, what I did know was, I wasn’t ready to go back to Los Angeles.
I secured 2 jobs within the first couple of weeks of being here. One fulltime, one part-time, both paying low. I just needed something. The fulltime was just something I called “work.” Nothing fulfilling, nothing promising. I then secured a job at the infamous, “Cliniswirl Enterprises.” & that’s when I definitely knew I was staying in Chicago. Thank you, Jesus; Thank you, Fiona Goode; Thank you, Dionysus! I quit that fulltime-dime-a-dozen job & kept the part-timer. I said I was a hustler…
When I first started “Cliniswirl,” I thought it was a great company. See me 3 years later, months only to actually figure it all out. I was sooooo pleased to be there. It’s downfall, at the time: it was in the fucking suburbs! & not just the outskirts, THE FUCKING OUTSKIRTS! Never would I have had of imagined… lol. But that’s me, finding myself in predicaments only one would be like, how in the fuck did I really get here?!?! Sticky situations! Call me “Elmer!”
Anyhow, my first job within Cliniswirl was just to get my foot in the door, I guess. After learning the business of the environment about a few months after I started, I was like, there’s no way in hell I’m staying here! I can’t. Been there, rocked that. That division was the bottom of the barrel. B o t t o m. OMFGG! We’ll call that division, Shit Show 1. It literally was like a shit show, & I don’t use that term often. There was NO communication. You were trained to do something completely different from your job, by people who didn’t actually do your job. It was literally like you were chained to your desk. Your voice was never heard. The only real challenge the job offered was not going off on anyone, keeping your cool. The levels of hate that was obvious in the air, OMG! It was bad. & they hired anyone! Literally! Anyone who could pass a drug test, & even then, a bunch of the scoundrels came via a temp agency, so they probably weren’t tested? Who knows? I mean, yes, even I started there, but I’m not that bad! 😉 I’m not just any random off the streets. I was their rare find. I have waaaaayyyy more to offer than most [of those] people. & no, I’m not being cocky about it either. I know what I’m capable of. Do you? Plus, I was paid very low for that position. VERY low, for the company’s holdings, but it was what that position was paying & that showed a lot & it showed a lot when they weren’t willing to pay more. In retrospect, that was a foreshadowing of the company. I just hadn’t been exposed to the rest of it all, yet. This mega company, a “leader” in the industry. YEAH. FUCKING. RIGHT.
I found myself in a dead-end job. I was like, hell fucken no! I am not getting stuck here. I didn’t like the job & I was over the people. There were very few people I did like, & I’ve learned, don’t stay at a job for the people, stay for you & it’s potential! If you become friends after, then so be it. The commute was not worth the job. NOT. But, Cliniswirl was a big corporation & “always has positions available for growth & opportunity & they like promoting within” & yada-fucking-yada! HA-fucking-HA!! We’ll get into that soon. I mentioned I was becoming miserable in that position, yes? If not, there you go. I dreaded going to work. It was taking a toll on my then hot body. Plus, I was still figuring out life in Chicago. I eventually quit that part-timer.
When you sign on for a job at Cliniswirl, you must be in that position for at least a year. Some positions are 18-months, some 2 years. Lucky for me, all the jobs in the Shit Show 1 division required a stay of 18-months. Go-fucking-figure. I said I find myself in sticky situations. I knew I was not going to last 18-months in that position. There was no way. I had to start looking for a new job & I had just “decided” I was going to stay in Chicago!
Then, a spec of light came from a far. Cliniswirl moved its headquarters closer to the city, which meant my commute was going to be chopped in 1/2. Cliniswirl liked to recruit young talent. They fed off it. That’s because fresh out of college kids who move to the city are desperate for a job & Cliniswirl was desperate to have anyone stay longer than a week after they were thrown with the wolves & not have to work on their ongoing issue of turnover — & not just in Shit Show 1 division, the entire company. Soon the secret will be shared…
As a part of recruiting city talent & being so far out there in butt-fuck Egypt, Cliniswirl had shuttles that went from the city to the suburbs, & they heavily promoted public transit. So, Cliniswirl not only paid you, they actually paid for you to get to work. The shuttle was what kept me. It was a bonus I was never privileged to.
It was learned Shit Show 1 was NOT moving closer to the city. That was bad news #1. I was going to be stuck at that company going further than everyone else. Bad news #2: they were cutting off the shuttle I was taking —basically the only thing, aside from a check, that kept me there. Cliniswirl was only going to offer shuttles to the new, closer location. FUCK ME! I don’t drive, I’m a city boy. Driving, in this city, doesn’t really make sense & it’s fucking expensive! The worst was pretty much there.
Then, the best thing my director, “Barb,” at the time, did for me, aside from giving me a job, was grant me permission to bid out of my position at 1-year instead of 18-months. Cliniswirl knew they weren’t keeping their end of the bargain when it came to recruiting city people & the benefits they offered. The sucky thing: I STILL had a few months to get to the 1-year mark. Fuckers. It was sooner than later though. They weren’t going to let me work remotely. YEAH RIGHT! Not from home or from the closer office. Mind you, there was also a Cliniswirl office in the heart of downtown Chicago! All these resources & one could not utilize them. But they also let people work in other states without management… Believe me, I will get into that later. So many contradicting double-standards there. This is just the tip…
My commute was HELL for a few months. HELL! I seriously don’t know anyone who would do the commute I did. Mind you, I don’t drive & I wasn’t going to get a car. It went from bad to worse. Them midwestern winters… But, like an idiot, I was loyal. & like an optimist, I saw the brighter side of things. I was also very fucking patient. I made the best out of my situation.
My 1-year mark approached & I wasted no time looking for a new job within the company. I had started before then. I went on holiday to Mardi Gras, & yeah, I was recharged, after coming down & detoxing –I will NEVER stay 6 days in New Orleans again, not a good idea, but 10 minutes into returning “back to the cubicles” of Cliniswirl’s Shit Show 1 division, I wanted to walk right back out. It was like watching plastic melt. All that I had gained, I lost. & I don’t mean weight. I put my internal job search pedal to the metal. I was seriously like, fool, what are you doing here?!?
Yeah, most people would’ve given up on the company, but I had worked hard to get there & I didn’t want my experience of Shit Show 1 to affect my entire outlook of Cliniswirl. I knew there was more to it. I just had to survive bootcamp. What comes easy won’t last, what last won’t come easy.
With the help of the gods & life doing its thing & persistence & my charm you will never admit you love, I landed a position in division Shit Show 2. I felt like it was a total upgrade, my own personal promotion. Hell, for all I know, becoming the janitor was getting a promotion after leaving the trenches of the company. That place was disastrous. I don’t know how people work in those situations. When the atmosphere is very public & obvious, have a little dignity for yourself. If you could land that job, you could more than likely find something better. Have some confidence in yourself.
While in Shit Show 1, one of my old –pun intended– department-mates, an old, annoying, loud, desperate seeking attention, old maid, who I nicknamed “Chupacabra,” was recorded on the company phone line gay bashing another department-mate. It was reported & all that bitch got was a slap on her nasty tired face. Then, there was the time I met probably the craziest, scariest person in my life. & not in any attractive-way-like either. I would say, THIS BITCH WAS PSYCHO!! I had never felt so watched & stalked in my life. I had pity on the bitch, but again, have some dignity for yourself & know when to step back! Yeah, I’m a celeb & all & I should be aware of the packaged deal… But this deal was the real deal! & I was like, yeah, there are straight up crazies in the Midwest, like they talk about… That bitch still haunted me after I moved to Shit Show 2, & that was when I had to get nasty. It was awkward in that division, & in retrospect, the whole company.
Things got better, for a moment. I felt a lot better about Cliniswirl & my situation when I moved to Shit Show 2. I was soooo happy to be out of Shit Show 1. SO HAPPY! I was in a whole new environment, new world. I was closer to the city, too. So, new real estate also. The building itself was a total upgrade. It wasn’t like they were trying to dress an old person in a young person’s clothes. At the time, my attitude was, hard work DOES pay off. That spec of light turned into a beam, I nearly thought I had died! I decided to place my stunner shades on & everything was back under control.
It turned out it was more of a flash in the pan instead. There was more & better of everything, for the right reasons. My transition reassured me that Shit Show 1 was a disastrous shit show. Shit Show 1 was like a big, huge, angry beast in a small kennel that obviously did not fit, coming out of the cage; the manpower was out ruled by the demand for business. All the while, Barb was doing nothing to perfect it, nor did I think she was going to. She passed everything on to people who didn’t care. As long as business stayed somewhat afloat, & nothing was extremely obvious, nothing money couldn’t fix, the management did not give a rat’s ass. That rat was evolving into the mother possum.
Barb’s management staff had no interest, swirls in their eyes & they were sober, I think. It was all dead-end. Barb was never around either. Doing what? Only God knows. & Lucifer. I liked Barb. I knew where she was lacking, but I liked her. I was surprised to know how many people hated her. Maybe my perspective is different. Well, it’s different.
Coincidentally, Barb & my new director, “Christine,” knew each other. They were both Cliniswirl lifers & both had big egos. Barb’s wasn’t as bad as Christine’s. Different ballgames. I felt like, as big as Cliniswirl was, was as small as Cliniswirl was. Word got around fast & everyone seemed to know everything & everyone & everyone was always playing some game or card. Looks were deceiving. Everyone wears a mask.
I fell in love with my new position, & it took me a lot & long time to fall out. I think it was because I was more invested on what the tasks called for & offered me: exercising my skills, office skills that was — & I mean actual office skills, not like the scandalous ones needed in The Cubicle Diaries 😉. The environment: I was able to keep tame, in my mindset, & not let it get to me, as bad. I have been in shitty environments, so at first, Shit Show 2 didn’t bother me in the way it bothered my peers. Shit Show 2’s atmosphere was better than Shit Show 1’s. It was shady versus ghetto, still both unprofessional environments.
One of the many downfalls of Cliniswirl was, it was growing faster than it could manage –everywhere. & Cliniswirl was not really for investing into protocol enhancement & it did not invest into its people, especially good or decent beings. A lot of different management teams claimed they were for process improvement, but every time I discussed it or proposed it, it wasn’t acknowledged, shined upon. It was all at their leisure, as if they were actually someone. I’m sorry, I thought I was at some movie studio or something. & everything with the “manager,” “Zoey,” was, next quarter, next quarter.
Every shit show division claimed there was good structure & leadership & training & SOPs, but in reality, the known secret, aside from Cliniswirl being a private company, which meant it could do whatever it wanted to & get away with it, was doing things “the Cliniswirl way,” which meant you figured everything out on your own! One received no real training! You were thrown with the wolves, literally, in the deep end, & it was up to you to figure it all out. By the way, everyone was inundated. Even the management. That’s why they never saw anyone gone from their cubicles, note: certainly not happening in Shit Show 1, not going on multiple long breaks or surfing the internet doing EVERYTHING @ their privacy-less cubicle or watching movies, while standing up in their face or in one of the huddle rooms, or smoking in the huddle rooms or doing inappropriate things in the bathroom while surfing hook-up apps that started in their privacy-less cubicle 40 minutes prior! Or just gone or not knowing they showed up for work. But this did not all occur on your time, dear prior management, & in return not let one work remotely because you didn’t trust them or wanted to maintain you power by dictating or claim that you were competitive with other employers but couldn’t & didn’t want to keep up with the Joneses, was it?
“Cliff” was Christine’s boss. Cliff had a Napoleon Bonaparte-like syndrome with a Machiavellian attitude. I don’t know what was worse. Cliff was all bark & no bite, an overgrown brat. Cliff was super loud, & liked to inject fear into people, especially his management staff. Cliff had very strong ties to the “executive office” at Cliniswirl. If only they knew all that he said about them. I’m surprised they hadn’t heard from his office 2 floors down! Everyone kissed Cliff’s ass, & it was very obvious & annoying. I think one of the major issues I had with my management of Shit Show 2 was that I didn’t kiss their ass & I didn’t play the game & they knew I wasn’t going to do it & they hated it, they used that against me. I know my value & again, I wasn’t going to stoop down.
Working at Cliniswirl, I saw another angle of corporate environment. The egos – LMFAO!!! The budding one of “Zoey,” my former “manager.” “Zoey,” as Christine would say when she was talking down to/ about someone, which was most of the time because she was a wannabe know it all, & wannabe bitch, was as useful as tits on a bull. Zoey was lazy & entitled. She was NEVER around. When she became the “manager,” or as most referenced her, additional waste of the division’s money, her ego began to grow larger than her head, & gut. She was given the position. She lost out on another gig & NO ONE wanted “Valerie” in it. Too bad, everyone frowned after she was crowned.
“Valerie” was my previous supervisor who “resigned” but we all know she was forced to quit, because that was the position she put herself in, the position Christine allowed her to be in for so long! Everything went back to dumbass Christine! She was the incompetent that had allowed most of everything to happen. She was to blame, especially if Valerie, who was deemed as the problem was gone. Cliff, as controlling & dictating as he liked to be, had a soft spot for Christine, & vice versa, & it was sick & gross. A lot, not all, like me, were fearful of Christine, too, & I would just laugh in & at her sad face.
Back to what I was saying… Zoey was the pointless manager who had a budding ego, like one of the sad directors, “Tessa.” There were so many things comedic about “Tessa.” I’d giggle to myself when I would see, or hear, her stomping around the office. Tessa would try to act like a hardcore bitch. Tessa’s claws, & tongue, were always out. Tessa was not thirsty, she was dehydrated. & she would purposely hire youngin’s. I would be like, bitch, I’ve fried bigger, battered fish than you! When thinking her claws were out toward me for some specific reason. Tessa’s ego, like Zoey’s, was comedic & entertaining, like when you watch a dog walk on its hind legs. A lot, not all, were intimidated by Tessa, too. Tessa & Christine were office frenemies/ rivals, especially when it came to Cliff. They would prance around the office, not only like their shit didn’t stink, but like they owned the bitch, & they would compete for Cliff’s attention & then shout & joke about being able to control their boss & tell him what to do. It was gross.
I want to get into a lot, but I don’t want to get into everything. Stay tuned for “Midwest’s Best!” What I will share is, over time, I became fed up with EVERYTHING at Cliniswirl, all across the board. I wasn’t down for it [anymore]. It no longer called me; I saw no real opportunity there. In Shit Show 2, I was more exposed to the other shitty divisions & it became a no-go for them, too. There was no [more] FOMO. The place, as a whole, was very obvious to me & everything was “well known.” It wasn’t until the end of my stay when I actually realized everything, especially other shitty things done to employees in other shitty divisions & racism, to say the least. Talk about awakening! An Epiphany! Plus, I’m pretty sure, actually, I was assured by Tessa, that Christine abused a lot of her power by doing what she could, get away with, by not letting me transfer. There were all sorts of “subtle” forms of retaliation I could resort to. I did say, spoiler alert! 😉
Everything was clear to me & my peers & the dead, but somehow not really clear to the HR rep, “Iris.” “Iris…” HA! We had a pleasant interaction at my exit interview. It was funny[ier] the second time we met; she was a lot nicer & her attitude changed. I told her a lot. I was upfront & clear about everything. It was my time to speak why it didn’t work out at Cliniswirl: the battles, the actual truth-hurting reasons, all that was wrong with it, & I was going to be vocal. I held nothing back. Of course, she defended the company & management. If her & I agreed on something mutually, I don’t recall it. I don’t recall her actually agreeing with me on anything. There was more of an understanding with Valerie & “Jack-off Jeff.” It was more of an understanding & she was reserved about it.
I could see the black in her blue eyes. Iris knew nothing was going to be done. Why? Because I was leaving, they were relying on the turnover rate to “clean” everything up [& fuck up the fresh start they were hoping for], & it resorted to Cliniswirl being a private company that did whatever it wanted to & hopefully get away with it. I felt like meeting with Iris was not much of a help. She tried to dismiss all my arguments, kick them to the curb. I began to see she had succumbed to that sad place. This was all nothing new. I was another providing actual proof. Some just need to be reminded, I don’t just blow smoke, I spit fire.
One of Iris’s many excuses for the behavior of the company was, this company was not built overnight, & if you’re expecting things to change overnight, you’re wrong. Um, I’m sorry, but people have been complaining about the way it was for how long?!?! Known secrets! Don’t act like what I shared was new news or just gossip or complaints of a disgruntled employee [hmmm…. that would be a good title… 😉]. Everyone had the same story. & since Valerie left, yes, with your help because Christine was only going to keep sweeping things under the rug like she knew how, but fuck, even that literally took a village, an army, the real problem was illuminated & that was Christine.
Christine wasn’t good with confrontation, so she would always pull the bitch & old school seniority card out on people to intimidate them & scare them off. But, like Cliff, she, too, was all bark & no bite. Christine knew I am my own person & what I’m possibly capable of. & my last, last, last, last, last straw was when that inexperienced, uneducated, egotistical fill-in-the blank-here improperly evaluated me, & probably wasn’t expecting me to find out either, but I did 😉, to a potential boss within the company that happened to be very candid with me about the situation. It was on the slanderous side, instead of the usual scandalous. For someone like Christine who didn’t like drama, sure started it. I refused to be judged by someone like that. & if there were things that occurred under their reign, Shit Show 2’s whore-ible management, that made them look bad & not in control, then that was their bad & it was an obvious sign they did not have control over their department; that was an indication of their weakness[es]. The older people were more childish than the younger people. & if it looked like any of its non-members of management had control over the management or department, then that individual should not be penalized. It would be the management’s fault that they’re not in control.
Good things did come out of Cliniswirl. There are a few plotlines in “Midwest’s Best” take place at Cliniswirl; writing inspiration. I met some great people there, some fucking hottt people. (There was a lot of eye candy!). There was a gym & discounted lunches, but & more importantly, I met “Charlie” a.k.a. “Bill,” my costar on “Midwest’s Best.”
I did experience a different kind of “scandal in the office” work drama. That was not my mission. At first, when I started & when people started finding out I write, they were like, are you going to write about us!?!? My response was, no, you’re not that interesting. Then, later down the road, people then started saying they didn’t want to be written about. They assumed I was writing about them, because they knew they were being shady!!! & my response then, was, well, don’t give me reasons to write about you & I won’t! I, again, found myself in a situation where the story writes itself 😉.
Getting out of Cliniswirl was my number 1 priority. I was ready to move on. I was tired of riding the waves of drama. I had all the answers I needed to not be there. Plus, I was not going to have my Chicago stay, because as much as I love it, Chicago is not forever…, be defined by Cliniswirl. Hell-fucking-no. It was a great experience, but I don’t ever want to go back. I was reminded, I only needed this job to stay in Chicago. & now that I’m situated, I can move on up & out! It’s time to work & live in the city & unwrap a whole new part of the city & more importantly “Midwest’s Best!”