Is it bad that whenever the phone rings I assume it’s someone calling to yell at me?

I always feel as if I’ve done something wrong.  Always.  I don’t know if it’s attributable to my Catholic or my Southern guilt, (both powerful guilt inducing agents); or is it the fact that I used to be a Republican and therefore feel responsible for the current state of the world; but I do know one thing-I have a sickness.  I walk the other way whenever I see my boss walk by.  The phrase “We need to talk” makes me shit my pants.  I erase phone messages before I listen to them because I might have forgotten an important meeting.  And I’ve never had an important meeting in my life

It all started in elementary school and the Principal’s office.  Being sent there was the ultimate punishment wielded by teachers.   The disappointment of his secretary as you sat and waited was soul crushing.  Then there was the fear as he opened the door, and saw the paddle on the wall…offices quickly became bad places where bad things happen.

Since the principal was the boss of the school- bosses became evil entities that were to be feared and hated.  And I do.  I hate bosses so much I no longer enjoy the music of Bruce Springsteen.  Having a boss means you have someone to answer to which means you are not free.  Your livelihood depends on another human being who is usually inferior to you.  They simply bought into the company bullshit so now they have power over you.

Why bring this up?  Because one of my many jobs is the Super of my building.  That’s right, when something goes wrong you come to David Lee Nelson, and I pretend like I no longer speak English.  And I live in a building that is over 90 years old so things are starting to go downhill.  I have to call the landlord when something breaks down and he has to yell at me about it for fifteen minutes.  Now I feel guilty when my neighbor’s toilet starts leaking.  Or if the lock won’t work I feel like it’s me who has caused the trouble.  And then I have to pick up the phone and call him.  The new principal of my life.  An Italian-American in Brooklyn, NY.

Now the paddle doesn’t seem so scary after all.

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