paranoia

Mr. Paranoia

I’ve worked for a few companies in my life, some I miss and others I try to block out because they were a nightmare. One company in particular I worked for, stood in a category all its own. The owner of the company had only one emotion that made up his entire personality: paranoia. He micro-managed his company and the people under him for fear that someone would steal something from him. Here are two examples and I’m not exaggerating:

1) Cameras monitored every employee and every inch of his property inside and out. He would arrive two hours early and go over the video from the previous closing time to that morning. Once, a boy of about 12-14 years old rode a bike onto the property after hours, turned around and left. Mr. Paranoia had us come in to see if we knew the kid or had ever seen him before—no one did.

He then called police to file a report; he became angry when police told him no crime had been committed so they would not be wasting their time filing any reports. For several weeks after, he and family members (just as paranoid) came in at four-hour shifts overnight, in case the kid showed up again.

2) The most ridiculous one: he even monitored employee bathroom breaks. Restrooms in the company were kept locked; if you needed to go, you went to Mr. Paranoia and asked. He would then come out of his office and escort you to the supply closet. There he would pull out a roll of toilet paper, (that’s right, no toilet paper was kept in the bathroom for fear someone would steal it). He would then roll out two feet of paper, tear it off and hand it to you.

Then the two of you would step over to the bathroom door where he would unlock the door and look at his watch; you had ten minutes to do your business, anything more, and you were docked 15 minutes. Afterward, he inspected the bathroom to make sure you did not leave a mess. Then, you went back outside to a water hose where you could wash your hands if needed. Yep, no soap or towels were kept in the bathroom; you supplied your own.

The current company I work for by far is the best. Like any company, their ways here can get to you occasionally. When I do begin to get aggravated, dreams like the following one pop up to remind me, things could be far worse. So Mr. Paranoia and his company are usually the dream incentive to remind me of what I have.



Tuesday, February 10, 2015; unconscious dreaming

I was working with some local company— what I did, I don’t recall. I had a Ford 3500 dual wheeled pickup I used for work, don’t recall if it belonged to me or the company. However, the employer I was working for sent me out for some diesel fuel. I took two five-gallon cans and placed them in back of the truck. Down the street was the company that belonged to Mr. Paranoia, I recalled he had a 500-gallon fuel tank. I parked the truck a block away from his yard and walked the rest carrying the five-gallon cans.

His yard was empty of personnel and strangely the gates were left open. I walked on in and sat the cans down next to the fuel tank. I pumped both cans full, hung up the nozzle and picked the cans up. Leaving his yard, I cut through a wooded area between his shop and where I parked the truck. Just as I entered the woods I noticed to my right Mr. Paranoia driving by and looking over at his property. He happened to notice a figure, me, moving through the woods with the fuel cans, and he slowed to get a better look.

I knew he had yet to recognize me, so I turned onto a path to the left that took me deeper into the woods and away from the road. I glanced to my right to see him holding up traffic trying to get a good look at me, but I turned my back on him and continued on. He finally sped up and as soon as he was out of sight, I made for my truck. Once there I placed the cans in the back and took off. Since it was so close to lunch time, I went home.

At my house, I suddenly remembered that Mr. Paranoia had cameras all around his property and would be checking them when he got back to his office. I began to panic and realized that I had stolen fuel for no apparent reason. I could not understand why I had done such a thing. I hopped back in the truck and rushed off to Mr. Paranoia’s office.

I pulled into the driveway at the front door and went in.  A receptionist greeted me but looked at me suspiciously.

Hello,” I said, “I wanted to let you know that I stopped by here earlier and mistook this place for a gas station.”  I lied. “I took ten gallons in fuel and wanted to come in here and pay for it.”

That’s a lie,” she came back, “I saw you come up and take the fuel than sneak off into the woods with it. It’s also all on video.”

Look,” I pleaded, “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I did it but I came back and want to pay for the fuel, I’ll even pay extra to make up for it.” I pulled a wade of cash out of my pocket and tried to hand it over.

I’m sorry,” she said unconcerned, “but I can’t accept that. When Mr. Paranoia gets in, he will go over the video and see that you intended to steal from him. It’s out of my hands and you will have to deal with him.”

I knew she was right, after all I knew the guy well, and he would be pressing charges. I walked out to my truck wondering if I should just wait or go ahead to the police department and turn myself in. I did not know what to do; more than anything my mind was boggled and confused as to why I had done this. I got in the truck and sat there contemplating my actions and the effects they would have on the rest of my life. During this time, I woke up.

A personal note; for those of you that have downloaded my app, I want to say thank you. Unfortunately, I will be discontinuing the app at the end of this month. My decision is based on usage and finances. After the time I have had the app running, there have not been enough downloads to justify the cost. This isn’t to say the app is costly; I just have to cut corners somewhere to keep my website and blog going. However, let me throw Como one; if you are in need of an app, Como has an easy format to work with. I’ve also contacted support for some answers and let me say, these people care about their product.

I’m hoping in the future I can bring it back, but it will only be if I come up with some financial support for expandurmind. Thanks again to those of you that have been using it and please continue to check out my site.

William