Yesterday I received a call from Special Investigator Dave Limberg from the Department of Homeland Security.
My girlfriend, Kim, is applying for a Security Clearance. Why she gave my name as a reference, I will never know.
Here's the problem: I have a slight problem with male authority figures.
It started when my former boss, Ken, challenged me to vocabulary competitions in the board room. He frequently lost but he was my boss. I let it go. Until...THAT day.
He copied me on an email. I responded incorporating use of the word phantasmagorical. (I had beat him in the "competition" with that one.)
"Dear Charmaine, ACTUALLY... the proper use of the word is phantasmagorial," he responded.
I replied, "Ken, if you used something more sophisticated then your third grade level spell check, you would know the proper term is phantasmagorical. But since you are watching, I will carry a pocket dictionary at all times, to protect myself."
"Charmaine, You'll need more then a pocket dictionary to protect yourself from ME."
The next day we were upgrading computers. Ken had given the old computers to friends. He asked if I wanted one:
"But Ken, we're not allowed to take the old computers," I said.
The next day an IT guy dropped by. The task of matching serial numbers to the defunct computers fell on me. I had serial numbers, but no computers. I didn't know what to do. Finally I just said:
"Ken took them."
An hour later doors slammed, people rushed past my office glaring at me with hatred.
I called the Ombudsman office, suspecting Ken might retaliate. I learned this office is used to advise your boss he has a "snitch" on his hands.
I was called into Kens office, and fired.
Ironically, days earlier a video was circulated from the President of Rockwell Semiconductors. His pointing finger warned, "ethical behavior is your responsibility". If you overhear a secretary making a personal phone call, it's your duty to notify management." (He didn't say what to do if "management" was stealing computers.) I was confused.
Ken and I were called to HR for mediation. "I'm a pragmatist," Ken said smugly. "I simply cannot tolerate a non-team player ". WTF?
I didn't know Ken was friends with the Vice President. The Vice President had been caught having sex in his office with a Marketing Coordinator.
I can still see Ken strolling into my office; "God I love my job," he said. "I get paid over 400K and I don't really do much".
When I hear about the bail-outs, I know it involves corruption from the top down.
Investigator: Does Kim have any aliases?
Investigator: Has Kim ever conspired with Foreign Nationals to over-throw the government?
Charmaine: No. I mean, not that I know of. ha ha
Investigator: Has Kim ever had a negative experience with law enforcement?
Charmaine: She got a speeding ticket once. I was with her. But it wasn't what I would call a "negative"experience.
Investigator: What do you mean?
Charmaine: It was a fun experience. The police officer was a hoot.
Investigator: We consider all encounters with law enforcement to be negative.
Investigator: What can you tell me about Kim's alcohol consumption?
Charmaine: She's a drunken whore. We're event planners. It's a job requirement.
Charmaine: I was just kidding.