Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Current Spanko
Angela: My lovely wife has taken a part-time job helping local schools develop web sites. She has developed software that is colorful and easy to use so that elementary school students can create pages for their class, allowing them to do things like scan art projects and write articles. She sets up a site for the school, then the teachers and students can make unique pages for their class. She even sets it up so that the school principal can instantly post messages like school closings without having to know how to program. So far, I think she spent about 500 hours working on the software and the sites, and has earned about seven dollars.
Maribel: My eldest daughter was home from Israel for a month. She was not home because of the recent violence in that part of the world. Instead, her basketball league pauses for a month or so for the holidays and so that select players can participate in the EuroCup basketball tournament. The EuroCup and EuroChampionship tournaments are big deals across the pond. She spent some time at her old school, working out and helping her old coach. She also helped her boyfriend repaint his new apartment, spent a couple of days with Bernie in The Big City, and did lots of shopping with her sister. I think I saw Maribel three times during the month. It was like old times.
Colette: My youngest is looking forward to spring so that she can play for her school softball team. I don't think she realizes that practice starts in two weeks, and their first game is scheduled for March 15, even though the snow will probably not melt until March 30. She has started to “work out” to prepare for the season. Her definition of “working out” is spending 10 minutes a day in a squatting position, since she plays catcher. Maribel has tried to get her to lift weights, ride an exercise bike, or run, but Colette says that those are not proper exercises for softball players.
Luke: We have been handling Luke's education at home since he moved in. He is very smart, but if he studies too hard or gets confused, his schizophrenia acts up and he cannot think. He loves to read, so we have him reading his text books and talking or writing about what he reads. I dislike criticizing schools in general, however if one does not think in such a way that allows one to answer questions and take tests in the fashion that schools usually use, one gets left behind in a hurry. If you put a list of questions in front of Luke and ask him to write down the answers, he will not be able to answer them. However, if you ask him to read a section and then ask him to interpret what he read, he can do so swimmingly. So we have worked with his teachers to make sure that he stays up with material at his grade level. Angela and Colette have been very creative in finding ways to have material presented to Luke so that he can learn in his way.
There can be no mistaking the fact that Colette and Luke are girlfriend and boyfriend. Having the two under the same roof is something of a challenge. Angela and I sat down with them and told them what behaviors are expected of them. At first, as we tried to set rules and Colette, in her annoying logical way, would question them. Luke just seemed confused. At last, I told them that if I caught them having anything that I thought resembled intercourse, that I would surgically remove their genitalia and reattach it to the other person. That they understood. Still, we keep a close eye on the two to make sure that they use proper decorum. Once, whilst Maribel was home, Luke asked exactly what I meant by “proper decorum,” to which Maribel replied, “it mean that he doesn't want you to fuck in his house.” Although I was taken aback by Maribel's coarse language, Luke completely understood.
Cat, the immortal cat that has has always lived on our property, has moved into the house. The temperatures have been quite cold and the weather miserable, so I assumed that Cat was seeking a warmer environment. She promptly claimed a pile of towels in the laundry room, and planted herself there like Cleopatra. When she saw Cat, Colette went to pet her, looked her over carefully, and proclaimed that Cat was with child … or rather with kitten. I explained that this was not possible because 1) cats do not generally go into an estrous cycle in January, and 2) Cat was entirely too old to have a litter. However, Colette seems to have the ability to sense those things, and Cat does seem to be getting rounder.
As for yours truly, Angela and I were able to take advantage of Colette and Maribel's shopping trips to get in a few spankings. If Luke didn't accompany them, then we would steal off to the guest house or entice Luke to go there himself, so that we could have a few moments alone. I keep a big-screen TV and some fine stereo equipment at the guest house, so it has always been easy to convince our children go play with the expensive toys in the guest house. None of the spankings were especially noteworthy, but they were comfortable and pleasant. Besides, with the cold weather that we've been suffering through, the warmth is plenty welcome, even if it is just on my backside.
Now that you have been updated, perhaps it might be time to once again regale you with tales or spankings past, or perhaps spankings present. Besides, I'm sure there will be plenty of spankings in my future, and I'm hopeful that there are many on your future, too. After all, there is nothing like a fantastic spanking.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
All's Well That Ends Well
“Did you give yourself a demotion,” I asked Ray, “or are you adding my job to your responsibilities?”
“Actually,” replied Ray, “I thought we could talk.”
“I'm afraid that I don't have anything to discuss.”
“At least let me buy you a cup of coffee.”
“Real coffee, or the crap they put in the machine?”
“The good stuff, of course.”
“OK,” I said, “but you're buying breakfast, too.”
We drove to the coffee shop, ordered food and drinks, and sat down. We ate in silence for a bit, then Ray said, “I don't want you to quit.”
“And I want to play centerfield for the Detroit Tigers, but we can't always have what we want.”
“This is a bad time to be out of work, Frank.”
“I don't care. I have some money in the bank. My cars are paid for. Besides the house, we don't have any debts. And if I get desperate, I can always hire out the cat for entertainment.”
“I thought your cat died, Frank.”
“I still have one left. Look, Ray, I'm sick of the bullshit. I'm sick of the whining. I'm sick of the paperwork. I'm sick of trying to meet meaningless metrics while delivering crap applications. I'm sick of the whole dance. And I'm really sick of Dick Head dumping all of his anxiety onto me. I need some time to take care of myself and my family. So I'm walking away now before I stroke out.”
Ray considered for a moment. “How about this … it is customary to give your employer two weeks notice before leaving. Take that time off and forget about this place. Then call me and let me know how you feel.”
“No. I've made up my mind.”
“Well, I'm not accepting your resignation for two weeks. Call me anyway. That can be your exit interview. In the meantime, I'm going to talk to Mr. Head. If he feels that your project is in such jeopardy, I'll take over management of the project. You would report directly to me.”
“Won't happen. Dick Head will whimper too much. He'll put all of the blame on me.”
“Let me handle that.”
I thought for a second. “I don't know, Ray. We haven't always worked so well together in the past.”
“That's because I didn't have the experience to know that you don't need any guidance. You know the client well enough that I don't really need to be involved. They trust you and I trust you. And Dick Head will be out of the picture.”
“I don't know, Ray.”
“Don't make up your mind now. Go home, take it easy, get things settled around the house. Call me in two weeks and we'll talk then.”
I finished my food and coffee, went home, and went to bed. I think better when I'm asleep. When I woke up, Angela came in, made me get naked, and … um … gave me a massage. With her tongue. Afterwards I felt much better.
I spent the next two weeks catching up on Maribel's basketball team, working with Luke to get him settled in and determining a plan for treatment and schooling, and tinkering around the house. I thought about work for about ten minutes. When it came time to call Ray, I told Angela what I had decided. She agreed with me, so I dialed my employer.
“Ray,” I told him, “I will come back under one condition. I want more money.”
“I can't do it, Frank. The economy sucks, and raises are frozen.”
“I realize that. I want a bonus. I know that you wrote performance bonuses into the contract with the client for this project.”
“Done. When you finish delivery, I'll make sure that you're well rewarded.”
“Now,” I said.
“Ray, I want the bonus now. In time for Christmas. We're ahead of schedule and under budget. I know you can do that.”
After a pause, Ray said, “Done.”
“For the whole team, Ray.”
“Of course. I can sell that. You guys deserve it.”
“And I want it grossed up. I don't want everyone to lose half of their bonus to taxes.”
“I don't know, Frank.”
“So can I come and clean out my desk or do you just want me to send my stuff to me?”
“Let me see what I can do, first.”
“Just make sure my good coffee mug doesn't get broken.”
“C'mon, Frank. I need you.”
“Then gross up the bonuses. You have budget authority the account. You've told me that yourself.”
“Bonuses have to be approved by HR.”
“But not the size, just the range. Those are my terms. It's a small price to pay so that you don't have to let Dick Head screw up the whole project.”
“I can't promise for sure......”
“Yes you can, Ray.” I hoped I could count on the popularity of Barak Obama to seal this one.
At last Ray said, “Yes, I can. Okay. I'll call you later and you can give me the full status of the project.”
I rang off, then sat back with a smile. I probably would have come back without the bonus, but I knew that my project was too valuable to the account for Ray to take any chances. Besides, if my project went well and the client was happy, Ray could be in line to be a regional manager, something that he badly wanted. Even if part of the bonus money came out of Ray's pocket, it would be worth it to him.
Politics being what they are, in order to toss a bone to Dick Head, the two weeks off that I took was officially called a “suspension” for “insubordination.” But Ray made sure that it was a paid suspension. Since I have no real desire to advance into management with this company, the demerit didn't concern me. Besides, Ray would make sure that I would get good marks when I delivered this project.
It has later turned out that Richard Head was taken off of the account and given the position of “supervisor of quality management” with the regional office. “Quality management” is another word for paperwork. It was a lateral move for Dick, but he is convinced that he has more responsibility. He is very happy with the move. I am very happy. Ray is very happy. Even the client told me, in confidence, that he was happy, too.
That weekend, Bernie and her mate took Colette and Luke out for pizza, and Angela gave me a long, luscious spanking as my reward.
So there you have it. You now know why I was absent from Fantastic Spanking for the month of September. It has taken me three months to explain an absence of six weeks. Since so much happened, I'm sure that you now understand. After all, you are the finest readers on the internet. On the plus side, over the ensuing period, more has happened on the Spanko front, which has given me more stories to tell.
Despite everything, things have turned out satisfactorily. There are still challenges, to be sure, but, right now, life is good.
Scratch that. Life is fantastic.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The True Joy Of Unemployment
After hanging up the phone, I stood up, stretched, and headed toward the kitchen to make myself a nice cop of keemun tea. I heard the phone ring in my office, but I ignored it, letting it roll over to my voicemail. Curiously, I did not feel angry, upset, or worried. I felt calm, relaxed, relieved. No more would I have to play corporate games with corporate idiots. We have some money saved for just such an emergency, and I am not averse to working at menial labor whilst I am seeking something more towards my field of expertise.
As I was preparing my beverage, Angela came wandering into the kitchen. “Taking a break?” she asked.
“Sort of,” I replied. Then I told her what had transpired over the phone, and my decision to resign.
Angela smiled. “It's about time you quit working for those idiots,” she said. “You've hated that job for years.”
This was true. One of my best and most esteemed readers, the lovely Kallisto, summed up my feelings quite eloquently. She wrote to me that it's “hard to respect someone who hasn't earned your respect. There are some things due to a boss, simply because he is the boss, but I don't think respect is necessarily one of them.” Further, I felt like Richard Head did not respect me, because, despite my experience with this client, he did not seem to trust me. I was feeling like a break from working might be a good solution to allow me to handle some other aspects of my life.
Angela and I talked for a few minutes, and then I saw a twinkle in her eye. “We have a problem here. You didn't talk to me before you quit, young man,” she said. “I think that something needs to be done about that.” I could tell by the sly smile on Angela's lips and the tone of her voice that she only meant one thing.
“Shall we retire to the guest house?” I asked.
“I have a better idea,” Angela replied. Just then I heard Colette at the back door, returning from school. Since his hospitalization, Luke had not yet returned to school due to his convalescence. He spent much of his time his bedroom, and we encouraged him to, when he felt up to it, to do some reading. It did not matter what he read … comic books, graphic novels, joke books, anything to keep the synapses in his brain clicking in an organized fashion. Luke took to this idea, so we made sure that he was supplied with plenty of reading material.
Angela intercepted Colette just inside the door. “Do you have homework to do tonight?” Angela asked. Colette responded with a frustrated sigh, which usually meant that she had plenty. “Why don't you and Luke go to the library where it's quiet. You can work on your homework and Luke can get some more books.” Colette thought this was an excellent idea, and ran up the stairs to see if Luke was amenable, which he was. And, since Colette had recently secured her drivers license, Angela allowed her to take the car. Angela's car. I like my car too much to let anyone else drive it.
We watched Colette and Luke drive off. When they were out of sight, I followed Angela back into the house. She told me to wait for her in the living room, and she wandered off to make her preparations. Five minutes later she returned, dressed in her most sharp and professional business suit and carrying a briefcase. “Sit down, Mr. Spakowiak,” she said. She tried to look stern, but broke into a smirk almost immediately. I sat down on the sofa, and Angela took a chair across from me.
She set the briefcase down on the coffee table that was between us. “Mr. Spakowiak,” she said, “You have been a bad employee. Now, do you know what we do with bad employees?”
“Um, you spank them?”
“That's exactly right. And do you know how we spank them?”
“Um, by hitting them on the butt?”
Angela snorted, which she does very prettily, then resumed her stern act. “That's not funny,” she said. “We spank them on their bare bottoms.” At that point she flipped open the briefcase and took out a short leather strap, a hairbrush, and a wooden paddle.
“Now stand up and take off your pants. You won't be needing them for a while. Now give me that hairbrush, get over here and get over my knees!”
Bare-assed, I handed her the brush and draped myself over her lap. Angela patted my butt with the smooth side of the brush, which sent a shiver through me.
She asked, “Now, how many years have you worked here?”
“Twenty,” I responded. She rapped my right cheek smartly ten times, and then ten times on the left, counting out each swat. My buns started to burn.
“How many good reviews have you gotten?”
“Twenty.” Ten more whacks landed sharply on each side of my bottom.
“And how many annual raises have you gotten?”
“Um, three?” The next twenty swats were harder than the previous, making me squirm seriously.
“No, you've had raises almost every year.”
It was my turn to snort. “Yeah. Almost.”
Angela assaulted my rear with the brush again. “Don't be a smart-aleck,” she said when she finished. “Now get off my lap and get me that strap!”
Angela had me lay across the ottoman with my ass pointing up. The strap is not long, but it is thick and sturdy and packs a nice wallop. She kept with her twenty theme, giving me twenty strokes that were methodical and exquisitely painful.
“On your feet!” she ordered. I jumped to her command. “Now, I am going to use the paddle. These swats are going to be hard. They are going to leave nice, big bruises on your butt. And they will be very, very painful!”
And indeed they were. Quite wonderfully so, in fact. When she was finished, my butt did indeed feel as if it would have some nice bruises that I would enjoy for a few days. “Have you learned your lesson?” Angela asked.
“Yes, indeed, my dear,” I responded. “Now shall we retire to the bedroom?” Angela didn't need any more convincing.
We were still in the bedroom when the children returned home. Angela finished dressing and came out first. I followed soon behind her, smiling and feeling calm and pleasant. I walked over and kissed Angela, then planted a big smooch on Colette's chin.
“Did you enjoy your trip to the library?” I asked.
“It was okay,” replied Colette.
I kissed Angela again. “Don't they make a cute couple?” I asked her.
“Yes, they do,” replied my wife. “Why don't you guys get cleaned up for dinner.”
As the kids were walking away, I heard Luke ask Colette, “Are you parents acting weird?”
“They always act weird whenever they both take a nap in the afternoon,” responded my daughter.
The next day I went in to the office for what I assumed would be the final time. However, that will have to be a story for another day. For this day, while it may not have been my best, at least part of it was fantastic.
Friday, January 09, 2009
The Joy Of Unemployment
OK, I get a spanking at the end.
Now that I have your interest, I can begin. Between Maribel leaving for Israel, the death of two dear pets, Luke's arrest and subsequent hospitalization followed by his moving in, I had missed several days of work. Now, I work for a computer company as what is commonly, and sometimes derisively, called a “contractor.” So I get paid by Company A, but I actually do work for the “client,” Company B (although without the boogie woogie bugle boy). I am a team leader, which means that there are a team of people who work on a large project, and I am responsible for for doing the paperwork to keep them busy. So my job is about 50% technical, 50% team leadership, and 50% paperwork and meetings. Since I refuse to work 60 hour weeks, I have developed tools on the computer to streamline the resource reports, status reports, progress reports, and all of the other reports. Further, I hand-picked the members of my team because I knew that they didn't need a lot of direction. So my team functions just fine without me.
For some reason, my superior does not seem to understand this. He thinks that when I am absent that my team's progress comes to a screeching halt. His name is Richard Head, but I call him Dick.
In any event, Dick Head called me shortly after Luke moved in, complaining that Company B was not happy with the progress of my project. I knew that this was crap because I had just spoken with my contact at Company B, and they had no complaints. This person did not even realize that I had missed so much time. Then Dick complained that my reports were not up to date. I knew this was crap, also, because the responsibility generating Dick's reports was rotated amongst the team members, so everyone on the team knew how create them. Finally, Dick told me that there were several issues that were jeopardizing my project that were not being addressed.
“Dick,” I responded, “that's crap.” Tact is not always one of my strong points. “I've read the status reports that my team sent you, and I've talked to everyone on my team. I've been monitoring my emails. I haven't seen or heard of any issues that the customer is concerned about that someone on my team has not address. If there's a problem, it's the fact that your panicking.”
“Frank,” said Dick, “there are several milestone dates that have not been met.”
“Dick,” I responded, “that's crap. Everything so far has been delivered on time. The only problem is that we are waiting on the customer to verify the results.”
“I have no way of knowing that.”
“That's crap, too. They have been clearly documented on the status reports as well as the milestone reports. The customer is aware of this and has accepted responsibility for it.”
This went on for a few more minutes. At last, I told Dick that I thought I heard my wife calling and rang off. I actually did hear Angela calling. She was calling the dentist to make an appointment for Colette, but my quota of Dick Head had been reached for the day.
Later that day, I received a call from our account manager. Ray and I have known each other for nearly twenty years. We both started with the company at about the same time. He took the management track whilst I went the technical route. One of the main reasons I took on this project was because he was the manager of the account. Ray knows that I have my own way of doing things. While they may not be his way, he knows that I get things done, they get done on time, and they get done right.
“Frank,” said Ray, “you have to stop telling Dick that he's full of crap.”
“But he is full of crap, Ray.”
“I know, but you have to stop telling him that. He's still your boss.”
“Ray,” I responded, “that's crap.” My tact hadn't improved. “The agreement we had when you asked me to lead this project was that I was free to lead the project in my way, with minimal interference. Dick has ridiculous status requirements, but I have satisfied every one of them, and yet he isn't satisfied.”
“Well, Dick has a job to do, too, and ….”
“And he does a damn poor job of it, Ray, and you know it. The only reason that I don't throttle the son-of-a-bitch is that I'm usually not there to do it.”
“Speaking of that, Dick would like you to work full time in the office for a while.”
“That's not going to happen.”
“I agree with him, Frank.”
“Why, Ray?” I asked. I was really angry now.
“Dick will feel more comfortable if you're here.”
“It's not my job to to make him comfortable. It's my job to deliver this project to the client.
“He's your boss, Frank, you need to respect him.”
That comment made me really, really angry. Then I decided on the best course of action in this situation. My anger evaporated once the solution became clear. I responded calmly.
“Okay, Ray, I'll be in the office tomorrow. And I will make sure that Dick Head is happy. And then I will clean out my desk and say my goodbyes. I quit, Ray.” And I hung up the phone.
In our next chapter, I shall describe what happened once Angela discovered what I had done.