"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jan 3, 2016

Beware the Angel of Death

“Just when you think everything’s going well, Machlamovich comes along and strikes you dead.”


“What the hell does that mean?” I stared at my boss, Marc, hoping for some edification.

Malekh-Amoves:  Yiddish for the Angel of Death.

Marc snatched me when I was on my way out the corporate door after spending a couple of years as an Administrative Assistant, or secretary with a degree, back in the high-hair 80’s.  Think Working Girl.  Couldn’t seem to go any higher without a Master’s, so I gave two weeks’ notice.

My plan to start over was to go back to temping, just as when I first hit Manhattan following the split with Ex-Man 2.  I adored my three salesmen-bosses and we were parting on good terms, but vague promises of, "When there's an opening," can only carry you for so long without thoughts of murder.


CONTINUE:  I especially regretted leaving the quirky organization; stories of which I would regale my sister, who laughed and was horrified at once. We usually slept during the hour-plus bus ride into Port Authority, and jostled amongst other groggy commuters towards the ground floor coffee shop.

Once fortified with java and bagels we headed in opposite directions. Hillary merged with thousands of other well-dressed travelers towards Park Avenue and other Chi-Chi places, while I stepped over used condoms and needles on my solitary trek to the office on 10th Avenue and 37th, for those of you who know the city.  I walked down the middle of side streets to avoid moving piles of God-knows-what, learned to pass drug-lineups without glancing at those facing the wall and tried not to stare at half-naked hookers waiting at stop lights.  As one boss sadly observed, the next step for these girls was the Hudson River, two blocks away.

My first day of work, one owner was screaming at the other, calling him the foulest M-F’ing names I’d heard since leaving military life.  Company parties were boozing free-for-alls; top execs received weekly ‘haircuts’ from the skankiest-looking working girl; and it was always embarrassing to cut a piece of their erotic birthday cakes, but I have a sweet tooth.  Poor Charlie…the normally-quiet maintenance man who stuttered when excited.  His after-hours stories were particularly sordid, from sexual high-and-lo-jinx to his noteworthy, “F-f-f-fetus-in-the-toilet” tale. He said he flushed it so his unlikely story couldn’t be confirmed, but one young secretary was never seen in the office again.

THAT'S JUST HOW HILLARY LOOKED!    Anyway, I was asked to remain another 2 weeks until someone could be trained in my AA position, and since I had no job waiting I said yes.  That’s when Marc returned from vacation, heard I was leaving and offered me a job.

The proposed O-J-T position as a Purchasing Agent did not come with a pay raise, nor any promises.  Despite it not being what I had in mind I leapt without thinking and the rest, as they say, is history.  Thankfully Marc’s advice at the start of this post popped into my head during the wee hours this morning as I wailed over my relatively minor troubles. One silly thought led to another until I was wishing to be dead rather than spend the next 40 years alone with a leaky toilet.  Don’t tell me you’ve never…

It’s possibly post-holiday Blues which strike following the hoopla of Santa Claus, et al, but since I chose NOT to particularly make merry this year, I discounted the idea.  Aaahhh…I know..it’s
F E A R

…of the unknown.  The longer I stay put the more I dread leaving.  I’ve forgotten my own advice to not let fear paralyze me.  OK, so I only need tackle the dilemma inside my head.

Number 1: I've never had solid plans and things work out anyway; 2: problems tend to have more than one solution; and 3: nothing's life-threatening.  Get a grip.

So just say NO to Malekh-Amoves next time s/he strikes in your life.  Things can ALWAYS be worse.

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