Thursday, February 24, 2011

An Articulation of the Jaded Life Styles of the Lazy and Undisciplined Californians Who Ran the Company


J, keeping subconscious focus on that giant image of Jimmy Chadwick hardflipping that set in Long Beach. That set in Long Beach was almost as big as a medium sized wave at Maverick's and J still couldn't remember the name of the spot. That vinyl banner of Jimmy sat installed on the wall which was directly in front of Jay's view of the opposite side facing his cubicle village- way over there where Reese's office was. On Reese's side, the ceilings were vaulted about twelve feet higher,with the glass walls of the executive suites giving that side the feeling it was enclosed in an atrium.

Everyday making sales calls, Jay reluctantly stared at,subconsciously studied the photo on the banner. Jimmy, jumping off a set of stairs, looking all sweaty, looking down at his skatebord hovering, flipped underneath his flopped out legs- a worried look on Jimmy's face. Jay wished he had missed the Skatemental memo that stated having a scared look on the skater's face in ad copy and print features was heroic, but he didn't. Skatemental, loosely responsible for perpetuating all those poor kids out there forcing themselves to do stunts they had no business trying- all those uninsured kids hurting themsleves, ending up in emergency rooms from trying to replicate those ads. J couldn't even be too sure if that specific shot of Jimmy was even the make or just Jimmy's best looking pose. Jay knew Jimmy may had landed it that day or at least some other day though, because he was forced to reluctantly watch the footage the day it was captured in the video suite-the footy that was going to be used in the perpetually pending upcoming Skatemental full feature promo.

Jay put the phone receiver down into the base, paused and then broke the unremarkable silence, "Whaa?!!" fussed Jay.

Reese looked at Larry as if Jason's phone call confirmed something they had talked about earlier, maybe when they were alone.

Reese, for effect,asking rather delicately: "Jay, um what part did you not understand about incorporating what was written in the handout into your dialogue?"

"I'm incorporating whats going to happen in Transworld into my sales call, aren't I?!!" Jay snaps back, feeling insulted by the lack of response from Lair and Reese for coming up with such a good marketing concept on the fly, a marketing concept that in his mind could possibly steer Skatemental from whatever possible shit storm they were about to let Lil B unleash, a campaign Jay felt Skatemental didn't even really deserve to have in the first place, a campaign that was obviously a bit too hip for Skatemental.

"Who's Jeff Koons?" said Lair out loud, almost to himself.

Reese talking slowly, trying to look like a good guy, giving lip service to J's effort. "No Jay, that was good and all.....I mean we appreciate that extra effort you put into the sales call, we really do! BUT this deck you're trying to sell doesn't even have anything to do with what we have discussed so far or even approved and maybe if you wouldn't have passed out right in the middle of the meeting or if you would have even bothered to read the handouts or the business journal- you would have..." Reese paused for effect like he had reached the end of his rope "... I mean for instance, you didn't even mention any of the back dated product that we are trying to clear off the inventory list. And I don't even see your copy of the inventory list anywhere on this menagerie of a desktop."

Jason nearly cringed when the word menagerie came out of Reese's mouth. Reese always would use that term when referring to something messy in the office- Reese clearly pleased with what he thought was an exotic word- but in reality the term always seemed a bit inappropriate for what he was trying to express.

"All this stuff is un-sellable!" Jason,snapping back annoyed.

Lair pulls his glasses further down the tip of his nose and looks back at Reese, insinuating silent instruction.

Meagan sat in the wire chair wanting to defend Jay's idea but continued to say nothing, knowing that by this point trying to say anything would be futile. Meagan clearly knew there were a lot of things that went on at Skatemental that were a fiasco, most of the ads they put out bordered on completely absurd and all what Skatemental became was an articulation of the jaded life styles of the lazy and undisciplined Californians who ran the company. But now, Jason's careless actions were beginning to over shadow everyone else's blunders. Sure, Jay seemed to be one of the few people in the industry, who actually new what time it was- but the wall of apathy and complacency that Jay built around himself was as inexcusable as the mental ejaculations that came out the marketing department or all those half realized graphic concepts that were faxed out from Don Pendelton's treefort.

J looked down at his credenza, stared at one of the info packets that he hadn't bothered to integrate into the phone call and noticed a tiny sugar ant crawling on the page, slowly making its way crossing over the sad looking letters, passing over the happy looking letters.

Lair, still wearing the unremarkable Skatemental logo T, which he had been given right before the meeting, still with the crease marks from being folded in the cellophane packaging, broke the silence with an air of patient authority, "Listen, I think we can agree that it's bean a long day and Jay seems a little, well a little, tired as well- yeah right? Why don't we just put this down for a minute and come back to it later."

Lair's statement hanging in the air like that static image of Jimmy hardflippin it, making it more apparent that Reese and Lair and Janet Balma were now all sleeping in the same bed.

It was even more obvious that Jay further made himself odd man out today, with how Reese and Lair got their synched exit from the cubicle over with.

Meagan sat staring at Jason, with a predatory glance. Meagan tall and attractive, just past thirty - she was the only woman with green eyes Jay knew. Meagan, office manager at Skatemental, oversaw daily operations and usually had an attentive, albeit snappy attitude. Meagan, liaison to Reese as well as a buffer for the sales team and all the warehouse workers and point person to the distributors and manufacturers and vendors. She may have had an impatient demeanor, but at least most of the time she was naturally sympathetic to Jay;enough to willfully subject herself to all of Jay's pointless stories, stories that no one else in the office seemed to care about.

Meagan, that Maltese Kitten- a Solid Viper- always hit the nail on the head. She knew enough, knew well that Reese really had no idea what time it was, but it really did'nt matter by this point because now Jay might have gone too far.

Jason broke the awkward silence, wanting to comment on what just happened to gain some reassurance from Meagan, "Now you see..."

"Jay, stop." Interrupted Meagan.

"No, but!"

"No, Jay Please."

"No,you see! That's what I'm talking-"

"Jay, Stop!"

Meagan got up from the chair, her arms languidly dangling down to the side, barely holding the clipboard with her right hand. She did'nt bother to get her cup from Jay's desk and now Jay was at her mercy, wished she would just say something- but she did'nt.

Instead, she left Jay alone in his cluttered cubicle. Jay thought of the Skatepark of Ibiza demos, the train rides in Europe during the summer contest circuit, the South by Southwest Thrasher booth at Scoot Inn, Christian Hosoi doing bumps of meth off his surfboard in Hawaii. For Jay, sitting alone at his desk, the proskater's life clearly became tableaux of a permanent vacation, a special club he would never be a part of. He wished there was an escape hatch underneath his desk to chute him to his station wagon in the employee parking lot, so he wouldn't have to walk through the scrutiny of the office. Jay's rush was now quickly withering him back to real life, back to another harsh reality and all that was left was an ominous sense - a flayed desperation.



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Houston, Texas
Be kind, because everyone you'll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.