It’s been a while since I have written on this blog and I’d like to say that it is because I won the lottery and I have been wining and dining with celebrities at the Hollywood and Vine for the past six weeks but that would be a complete and utter lie.  The reality is that I haven’t been writing on here for one reason and one reason only : Soprano.  Work by definition is a fairly bad place to spend 40 hours a week but in the last few months my boss managed to make work unusually hellish.  It began with intimidation and culminated in threats.  He told one of my colleagues that he was fired and sent the poor chap on his way back to Jacksonville to explain to his pregnant wife that the next paycheck would be his last.  Two days later on Sunday night Soprano called him up and explained that he had “spoken out of turn” and in fact he had not been fired at all so he should show up for work on Monday as normal and “all would be forgiven.”  He publicly ridiculed another of my colleagues as “an embarrassment to the corporation,” and actually fired another who not too long ago had been the “sales star”.  For my part Soprano backed off a little because he realised that I had been doing a pretty good job of sucking up to the right people over the last few years and wouldn’t be as easy to eliminate.  That being said the monthly “coaching” sessions with him always involved spotlights, handcuffs and German accented accomplices and my rapidly increasing heart rate and shortness of breath convinced me that the time had come to leave the mob.

It was an ironic twist that on the day I sent my resume to a rival bank that Soprano decided to announce that I was his “buddy.”  It was an odd announcement and it came during a city wide conference call much to the bewilderment of all the participants, myself included.  “Kjohn” (well you don’t expect me to use my real name when talking about the mafia right) he said “you know we are buddies right ?”  I murmured some kind of meek response only for him to follow up with “and you know what it means if we’re buddies ?  It means you’re good.”  At this point the area consumer lending executive asked Soprano if we could actually get on with the bloody conference call but the point was that I was now a “made man.”  I was kind of surprised to get this honour so quickly and without even having to back-stab and betray that many co-workers give or take a few crappy employees who had it coming anyway.  I quickly realised though that being a “made man” meant it would be much harder for me to leave the company and sure enough Soprano called me later on and explained that if “anyone else quits I’ll be a dead man.”  I am not sure if he meant it figuratively or not but evidently someone had pointed out to him that whilst it’s easy to get rid of employees you do need some modicum of a staff to get things done.  I don’t know why but when he told me this I almost started to feel sorry for him despite the fact he was rude, crude, lewd, abusive, obnoxious, ignorant, foul mouthed and more likely than not a professional hit-man.  Nevertheless I had an interview with another bank and it was while debating the pros and cons of leaving that I stumbled across a re-run of “the Sopranos” on A & E the other night.  The episode in question featured the murder of ralphie who had recently been given the status of a “made man.”  I am not saying I base my decisions on TV shows but it certainly helped me make my mind up.  Up until that point I had been deliberating whether I should emulate Jim Bowie’s slave Jethro in “The Alamo” and hang around for a certain death or press ahead with my plans like Andy DuFrain in “The Shawshank Redemption” in the certain knowledge that my escape would bring down a tyrant.  The Andy DuFrain option won and the hand of God saw to it that Soprano wasn’t at work the day I put in my notice.  The great thing about working at a bank is that you don’t even have to serve your two week notice because of the potential to view confidential information during that time frame which could be of use elsewhere.  So no more Soprano and I didn’t even have to have my head beaten into a pulp by him for daring to leave.  I am enjoying my new found freedom and aside from checking the underside of my car for bombs and making sure to remove the severed horses head from my bed each night life is good.