On Getting Fired By a Sad Sad Trust-Funded Alcoholic, Part III

The rest of that first day with Ron proceeds like so:
 
Roy wants me to make several calls arranging for the carpets to be cleaned, a gardener to come spruce up the yard, and a window treatment guy to give an estimate on installing blinds.  He also wants me to call a few lawyers just to feel them out, see if they can help his traffic ticket situation.
 
Since cell reception is bad in the house, Roy suggests I take my phone upstairs. Just make sure you take your socks off up there, he says. 
 
I decline.   This bothers him.
 
At the end of the day we arrange for me to return at the same time the next morning.  We talk about payment; I say the end of the week will be fine. 
 
That night, I tell a few friends about my day and nearly everyone is in agreement: I should have insisted on being paid right then and there.  I’m not sure what to make of this.  Roy may have been strange – yes, he was certainly strange – but he’s out to scam me.
 
Their doubts needle me.  Maybe they’re right.
 
The next morning, Roy is in a good mood as he opens the door.  Just doing some sun meditation, he says.  
 
I tell him, before we go to hockey, that I have two requests: one, no open containers when I’m driving.  Non-negotiable.  He nods.  You’re right.  And two, I thought it about and I changed my mind.  If it’s all right, would you mind paying me for yesterday and today at the end of the day?
 
This does not go over well.  I see the frustration and anger rising.  He accuses me of questioning his integrity.  I apologize.  It’s not enough.  He goes in rhetorical circles for fifteen minutes.  I stand there.  Nodding.  Every once in a while objecting, trying to smooth it out.  Trying to get him to see it from my point of view.  It’s hopeless.  He brings up the socks from yesterday. 
 
Roy: Maybe you think you’re too good for this job. 
And I think: There was a time when I was too good for this job.  Then my loans kicked in.
Roy: I just want a relaxed atmosphere. 
Easily achieved with raspberry vodka.
Roy: I don’t want this to feel like a boss-employee relationship.
Which is why you sit in the BACK of the car.
Roy: I want it to be like a frat.
Um…what?
 
He simmers.  I ask if he’d like me to leave.  He stews.  Mulls it over.  Decides I can stay, finally convinced he has taught me a valuable lesson.  There will be many more valuable lessons by then end of all this.
 
We drive to hockey in silence.  Turns out it’s a pick up match today.  Lots of guys show up.  Including this big tall alpha dude who was born furious and only finds occasional relief by winning insignificant contests.
 
I watch this guy as Roy plays.  Trash talking.  Screaming expletives.  I watch Roy slice past him, out-skate him and score a goal. 
 
Could you believe that guy? Roy asks on the way home.  I know, I say.  What a tool.  It’s like everybody’s there to have a good time, he says, and this guy’s playing like there’s NHL scouts in the stands. 
 
I smile.  A moment of solidarity.  Maybe this will work out after all, I think.  Maybe this will be okay.      
 

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