The last few months Kate had been dealing with a cyst on her left breast, so it was hard to think about getting back into the job market after some songwriter who died left her and her boyfriend 100 grand. The money had long dwindled and the couple knew they'd have to go back to work.

The small cyst appeared over Christmas and Kate had to go to UCLA and get it checked and went through days of hot compresses, aspirations and possible biopsy and the dreaded word "Cancer" kept flashing in her mind like neon. But suddenly as quick as it came, it went away while Kate's boyfriend was traveling around the country with the last of the inheritance.

So it was time to get a new job, which was no problem for Kate. She was a crack shot at anything and had done everything from Extra work to production secretary, movie sets, PR firms, Ad Agencies and more, even the Metro Rail was being built back then in Los Angeles and she spent almost a year as a Secretary for the Quality Assurance Manager at the Wilshire & Western Tunnel Station.

But she always seemed to lose the precious job after a big fanfare of love by her bosses and co workers would suddenly, without warning, turn sour and totally upside down. Some incident, something she said maybe taken the wrong way by some power upper executive, something someone thought, made public, something she may have said about past jobs, whatever it was, it always haunted, followed her like a mark on  her head.

Kate would pick up on it and notice the vibe change immediately, even before everyone else did, so she'd jot down poems expressing herself over her "soon demise", although no one else could believe it at the time, but it always happened.

Usually something would change. They would either get the Internet, change office managers, change the way they'd want Kate to read the sales script, changed rules, changed hours or even as drastic as starting a whole new company in a new high tech building, which always seemed to "x" Katie out of the job and she'd find herself pounding the pavement for a new job. Landing the job was no problem, finding it was no big deal, but keeping it after the usual honeymoon part faded as she progressed, and as always, the problem arose again and she, like Cain (who killed his brother Abel) would flee to another job site and try and stay under the radar, and for God-sakes Kate, stop reading palms.

Here are some Examples of poetry written by Kate before she was dumped about 6 months later, usually it was plain and simple gossip churned up after about 10 months and it was usually "curtains".


Shooting off your mouth
Gunshot to the head
Waiting; your gossip made you fatally dead
Stuff said; build a snowman, it won’t melt until summer
Bummer; some never seeing you the same again
Silent enemies close by you now
They’re loud thoughts penetrate, invading life and other things said
Lying on a nail bed, laid out for the piranha feeding frenzy
With outer personal facts falling apart like stale bread
Just for the intensity of emotional poetry, just for fun –
Where only inspiration comes when in trouble
So, things were said, over blown
Pick axe digging a self proclaimed grave
Saying too much, stretched to the limit
The rack is speaking
Chains rattling in decline into the unemployment line
Ears perked up ready to strike
A snake striking on all levels
Those few friends warn, a coffin beckons
The quiet babble going on behind your back is strong
Because of their new aversion
Meanness in you comes in all forms
Invading personal spaces
Dropping gunk into trash basins
Following behind with a sharp witchy giggle
On the verge of being and thinking evil
The talk on you aggravates
By the grave digger’s lantern light, fresh dirt settles lining the body
In the sweet embrace of serenity and darkness’ space!


Predicting a jobless baseball diamond
My time here grows short
Take me out of the ball game
Feeling like criminal court
All blame points toward me
The boss’ eyes boring into my heart
Silently saying to go now
Unwanted, get away and move on
All negatives streaking away, a home run, or I struck out!


Peddle to the grindstone, all the way to the top hop
Being here a year isn’t as freewheeling as it was before
Keep that trap shut, it might be too late
Speak when spoken to, maybe not even then
Take the helm of your sinking ship
Mutiny on the Bounty, shooting off your mouth
They’re asking questions later
Those in your crew turn their heads away
Your eyes cast down
People now bent against you, disarming your spirited vocals
No more “patty-cake, patty cake” with your cohorts
Spin the “Sale” on the flunky
They are not kidding around
Skull and bones wave away the signal flag of “I surrender”
Vultures closing in for your kill
All areas affected, friends, family, foe, and fun filled
I think it’s the end of my ways, my jokes, my world, my notions
Something negative lurks, I let it lurk
Evil emanating from my own dirty, dark, negative part of my soul
Too late to say “I told you so!”
Silence was golden; just don’t melt the calf for worship
The pipeline is clogged with your own feces
From what was said, it travels up to the guy at the head
Who demands the review for your golden idol?
Bought with your eager good will
Now shoddy and falling apart
In the end, a mean game of telephone persists
Until it’s time to leave this boat
You are like Titanic, they came to rescue, the rope slipped
Bargaining tables where once agreeable, now a full blown counsel
About lost cash and talking for free

But Eric Edwards Photo Studio in Burnbank CA was small, tucked away on a residential street, and the Latino family that ran it seemed so laid back and easygoing. All the crew had to do was call businesses, and talk them into coming in for a group photo and they'd win a full Las Vegas Vacation, the works, or so it seemed when pitching it with the other people sitting at little desks that resembled the ones Kate sat around in during high school.  Each school desk had  a connected seat with a phone on each. There was a "Smile & Dial" poster in front, and rock and roll music was piped in from the main office. Even the way the room was set up seemed like a high school classroom. Kate felt like she was in the movie "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" and that was a good feeling.

Kate's high school life was no dream. Her mother was very high profile in a bad way, and pissed off the town they lived in so that bled over to how she was treated during her high school years by her peers - Not good! Bullying, teasing, cruel names, running over their lawn in the middle of the night, picking on the whole family after her mother did a singing concert in the middle of town then trashed the whole place in an interview for a big regional newspaper.

Think of the comedy show of the Sixties "Green Acres" with Eddie Albert and his crazy City wife played by Ava Gabor, and take away the accent and the nice attitude and you will see half of Kate's mom, a snow queen of a woman, more like the Queen in Snow White, but with blond hair, and paralleling Blanche Du'Bois from A Streetcar Named Desire, the Marlon Brando thriller of the 1950's.

Bottom line: Kate missed those crucial memories of high school where most chuckled and recalled them in all the crazy antics they did. Just running crazy through the streets and laughing at everything. Or perhaps fun on the school bus on the way home talking loud and gossiping as she had watched the popular kids do day after day. That life of high school was ALWAYS barred like the gates to third class passengers of Titanic.

Eric Edwards Photo Studio in Burbank brought those days back, but this time it was Kate sitting with her group of girls and guys and they were her posse. For the first time ever in her life, she was liked by her peers, and also became the top seller of the Las Vegas trips ever at Eric Edwards. That gave her confidence to be herself and make everyone laugh at her funny antics and jokes. She was fun, she was jovial, she dressed like a hippie and made the whole room come alive with energy and empowerment.

Joe Simpson developed a little crush on her the moment she walked in for the interview that early morning at the beginning of March. He was married, but having some difficulties with his wife and her in laws. Kate seemed very refreshing, even smiling at him as she passed his desk and entered the manager's glass office in the front of the small office that used to be an insurance firm for a big studio.

Anna had just landed this job. She had 3 kids and was on Welfare. She saw Kate come in and liked her immediately. Although Kate seemed a bit immature at first, Anna knew they'd be good friends, and she began to listen to Kate as Kate learned the script to reel in the Las Vegas Vacation takers. It was Kate that started to bring in her own leads and share them. No one there had the Internet in their house yet, but Kate did, and she'd bring in hundreds of leads for the manager to distribute, and it worked, they sold so many packages that the owner came down to see what the change was, and Anna knew he'd want to know it all.

Although Heather the manager shot speed, she could still maintain the office. It was easy going, just watch, collect the package details, do a little payroll and be on easy street. The room didn't know she was a meth head, and she hid it well with long sleeves and a cheery professional attitude. They were a team and she kind of owed it to Kate. When Kate came, the sales went up and the pressure went down. So that left more time for bantering and fooling around on the job. Kate would come in, set like 7 packages and that left Heather free to chat with her boyfriend and leave the office for a quick fix in her car.

But Heather was a nice woman, and Kate liked her. She seemed okay. She was personable, nice, open minded and funny. She was full of energy like Kate had, but in a more professional way. She even owned a few cats, which Kate loved. She lived close by in Glendale, CA, just like Kate. And the other people in the office were super nice as well. They all started to bond and travel home together on the bus that stopped in front of the office once an hour. The bottom line would be that if Heather hadn't of been thinking that her job may be at stake as manager, if she didn't somehow rein in Kate, so there was a tension still.

Kate had just come from off working for the subway tunnels makers Tudor-Salibi-Perrini (although Perrini left the franchise after many flaws developed). She quickly became used to working with all sorts of construction men, and the secretary there at the time, Rena, a big fat woman that reminded Kate of the  now passed on actress Nell Carter, she even sounded like the black actress who did a series for years called "Gimme A Break".

The pay was good, the work was so interesting, but Rena was having none of it for Kate. She made sure the Hippie Lady would be let go 1 day before her 1 year date so she'd not get hired permanently, but Kate always thought that because she didn't answer the call of the wild to the charms and come-on vvibes by the head Construction Manager Mike, she might have been edged out.

She was seeing an electrician, a gruff, but handsome Paul Newman look a like who lots of rich old woman fell for. Gershwin's granddaughter wanted him, so did Joseph Cotton's wife, who was pushing 80 by then, back then. But flash forward a bit. Kate had found Eric Edwards after leaving the Metro Rail and getting, at first, a temp job at a Disney Distribution PR annex type company where she smashed her lips against a clear door that looked open and was not fitting in. She was promptly let go with two fat lips and a bit of cash for the unempolyment line.

Then that cyst. But at the same time her boyfriend had gotten some weird inheritance from an old man Kate had dated on and off for years, until she met her boyfriend and dumped the old Goat who had developed Cancer and gotten mean and cantankerous, even though they'd traveled all over the world together, he had two homes, they went on many excursions, he lived at a magical beach house right on the Ocean in Malibu and was very rich when Natalie Cole re did the song Unforgettable and put her vocals next to her dead father's Nat King Cole.

But that was all past now, he'd left her boyfriend the money, his full control. It was so creepy of that man. Kate could not believe he'd written the most romantic song in the world "Unforgettable"sang by Nat King Cole, which was not really about what it sounded.

"Didn't Nat write that?" Asked one girl having lunch one day with Kate and her posse of girls, and Joe too. He felt special being the only guy. They were at the McDonald's 10 blocks from the job, they'd just had a great morning, Kate had sold 3 deals, and Anne 1; Jade sold 2, and so on down the line. Even Joe sold 1 and that counted for something as a team. '

"Irving wrote the song, and Nat was looking though a huge catalog of songs at Irv's publisher's office," said Kate getting a far off look in her eyes. She remembered when she traveled with the old guy and there they'd go at the drop of a hat to Miami, San Francisco, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, endless trips, even Santa Barbara. The guy was loaded, sold his "Unforgettable" song to Revlon for 7 million. It was like a dream if he wasn't such a nightmare.

They all sat crammed in a booth basking in the glory of 7-11 leads Kate had supplied the day before. They'd finally gotten the hang of calling and speaking with the managers there, who were going for the family photo and the trip to Vegas.

And the trip itself, which only required a $40 dollar deposit for the room in Vegas, was totally worth it. Everything else was provided, except what you gambled with, and your food.  It was a fair deal and all you had to do was take a family photo, and pay for one (if you wanted the vacation) but get two photos, one free, and pay the 40 bucks for the reserved room, which many thought good. You'd be picked up in a party bus, see a movie on the way to Vegas and make many stops on the way. A real bargain, and then driven by bus again back to L.A. Memories forever. Right, Not.

They all marveled at Kate and how she took a drab, boring, hang up in your face script and actually spun it into gold, it was totally amazing. At first Heather wouldn't let them use it, but after awhile, even she had to 'cave' because Kate was starting to get more deals than the rest, so she relented and let them use Kate's script.

"Kate, I can't believe how well that sale thing works," said Joe. He munched on fries. "You like breathed life into it.

Everyone agreed. It was a simple sale now. "I could do it with my eyes closed," said Kate. Can I have your prizes?" They'd all gotten Happy Meals, and gladly gave their "unopened" prizes to Kate. She deserved them, seemed to enjoy them.

"Never open them, if you collect," said Kate, seeming to get all excited when she saw the Beanie Baby Zebra, very rare! "I'll never open it!"

"My kids always open it, I find it the next day on the floor or broken," said Anne.

"Oh, that's too bad, Anne," said Kate. "They'll be worth more in the plastic!"

"Worth how much more?"

"Like maybe 10 bucks!"

"How?" Asked Anne, intrigued.

"In Japan, they don't have these, there's a site on the Internet called EBAY that you can put this and they buy it, it's like an auction thing!"

"Wow," everyone chimed in.

"Really? Asked Anne. "How do you get it?"

"I've had the Internet for many years," said Kate sitting straighter and sitting in a Lotus position on the seat. "My friend is a chemist with the City of Los Angeles and she showed me and set me up nice, you'll see."

"Can we come and see it some time?" Asked Joe, always eager to know Kate and see what made this fascinating chick tick.

"Sure, maybe this Friday after work!"

"And Payday," reminded Kit.

"Right," they all chimed in again.

They finished lunch and returned for the last 2 hours, but there was little to do. Heather just put on the radio and they must sat around talking and having fun.

"You guys are good at this, let's just pace ourselves, we've never had this before, and the boss doesn't get it!"

"What do you mean?"

"He thinks we are scamming so I think we should go back to the old script, he's coming here with his son to sit and watch what we do. I don't think he will like the script Kate wrote!"

"Well, we can say you wrote it, he won't care, it's sales, not bullshit," said Kit.

"Okay, okay, we'll do that," relented Heather. She really was afraid of losing her job to Kate one day. But for now it was fine. She would not try to push them, lest they lose respect in her. This job paid well now, and she could relax and even "needle up" if she so chose. And many times she had. Kate could handle ting with Anne, but Anne had a knack for management that Kate didn't. So Kate could be the fish and Anne the fisherman. No biggie.

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