Felipe discerns a "new edginess" in my writing during the past few weeks.
That is a nice word for it. I call it curmudgeonly. And I suffered another bout on my Amtrak trek to Olympia on Wednesday.
In January I told you about my friend Patti who is dealing with liver cancer -- pulling for patti. She underwent surgery in early February. And I have tried to find an opening to get up to Olympia to visit with her.
When I discovered that the house closing will not be until 14 March, I decided to head north. On the train.
One of my greatest irritants with public transportation is the person who believes that mobile telephones are the equivalent of megaphones. You know the type. The caller believes the power of his voice makes the telephone work.
We picked up one in Portland. This time it was a woman. About my age. Designer haircut. Severe features. I am willing to bet "Executive Director" graces her business card.
The moment she sat down, her mobile telephone was out. Along with her outside voice. After about 20 minutes of no-cover entertainment, the conductor asked her to step into the area between the two cars.
Before that, we learned the following facts about her non-profit public service business. Let's call her Alexis.
Alexis wants to fire a woman named Julie. But she is concerned that Julie may not take the news well. Instead of just firing her, Alexis has cobbled together what she considers to be a clever plan.
She intends to hire a nurse consultant and combine that position with Linda's. After two months, she will tell both of them that they are being let go due to "budget issues."
But Julie is not the only employee in Alexis's sights.
Fred's days with the organization are numbered. At 68 ("looking more like he is 78"), he simply does not fit in with the cutting edge Alexis wants to create for the company. He needs to go.
She has been playing good cop - bad cop with a manager named Howard. Howard is the good cop. She is the bad cop. (No surprise there.) Because poor Fred cannot deal with angry women. She plans to lay it on heavy. Until dottering Fred calls it quits.
She has a young woman in mind to fill his position.
It sounded like some terrible cliché script from a television soap opera. The type of venomous monster many Americans fear exists in executive suites.
And there she was. Conjuring up enough litigation to keep a silk stocking law firm in retainers for years to come.
What offended me was her hubris in discussing private topics as if her fellow passengers were merely servants in her summer home.
And why do I feel free to publish such private matters -- using the names I heard her speak? If she carries out her employment version of the partition of Poland, I hope one of her victims recognizes himself or herself.
I will happily be a witness in what should be an interesting law suit.