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I have no doubt that every one of you consider your lives extraordinary are not surprised to find that the most commonly used word in speech is, "I" . We all meet unusual people, and I am no exception. I'm sure by now, you've noticed that the people in my life take on the feel of actors in soap opera.

My marriage adventures really began the morning after buying my fiancée her engagement ring. We both worked for Frederick's of Hollywood (yes, that Fredericks). Where we worked within Frederick's and how we worked it not as important as who are employer was, or rather one of their employment policies. Frederick's had a long standing policy prohibiting relationships between employees with in the same department. By our dating, then asking and Charlene's acceptance of my proposal, we broke that policy.

As soon as she appeared for work with that ring on her finger the troubles started. Once at work the rumors of her impending marriage spread like wildfire among the employees and it wasn't long before management discovered that it was me. I suppose that we could have lied and denied it was me, but why lie about such an event. The Human Resource director, Margo, and our supervisor Joanne agreed that within the month remaining they would find us positions with different departments.

Every place I've ever worked there was politics involved, the bigger the company the bigger the political intrigue. Something should be said at this point regarding the politics at Fredericks. Pay attention, because this is going to get real confusing, real fast. Our direct supervisor, Joanne, wanted very much to follow in the footsteps of the Vice-president, Susan. Joanne also had strong feelings of a romantic nature for Susan . To this day, I do not know if they were real feelings of love, lust, or just general power climbing. Our VP did not return that affection above and beyond casual conversation. While I believe she liked our supervisor , Susan just didn't return the same type of affection. Now, Susan did have strong lustful and romantic feelings toward my fiancée. Actually, the VP displayed lustful feelings for most of the female employees as well as a strong and open dislike for men - verbal abuse being a common place event. This stronger than most attraction to my fiancée angered Joanne and fit will into the realm of jealousy, at least I think so. She went our of her way to verbal harrass and belittle Charlene, but refused to transfer her. I can only assume this was to avoid annoying her love, Susan, who had feelings toward my wife-to-be. Did all that make sense? I'm not sure anymore. Even though I was there and watched it unfold like a cheap dime-store novel, it still makes very little sense.

As the days slipped by, no new positions within the company emerged. Like most large companies Fredericks has some of its operations in a separate area of the city. About 2 weeks before our scheduled marriage date, I received a call from our downtown corporate office wondering why no one was applying to the open positions that were sent out to the regional divisions . I discovered that since the discovery of our marriage no one from our division was responding to these notices of new positions available. The caller told me that a position related to the same type of work I was doing had been available but was filled from outside the company only a few days prior. I gave up on the company and started scanning the want-ads.

Our marriage was to take place at Disneyland, the sight of our first date. This was to be Charlene's second marriage, and she thought it would be inappropriate to wear white. She had found a wonderful purple dress in the Frederick's catalog . Paris her daughter refused to wear purple if she had to participate in the wedding. Charlene wanted very much for her to be in the wedding party, so they compromised. Paris would wear a pink dress. While this was her choice, it made the the wedding colors purple and pink, which just so happened to be the colors of Frederick's. Many employees wanted to attend our marriage, and we encouraged them to do so. The management at Fredrick's became rather upset at this prospect. Joanne, Susan, and several other upper management personnel informed all employees that anybody who attended our wedding would be let go. It was to be a storybook wedding. What a promotional opportunity! Two Frederick's employees, the color scheme the same colors of Frederick's, with a Frederick's wedding dress, getting married at the sight of their first date.

My last days at Frederick's were rather hectic. I was trying to finish up projects I knew I would never see again, but they were still my creations. One of those projects involved the manipulation of data from another department, remittance processing. On the Friday before the Monday our project was due, the remittance processing supervisor, Delfin, called and informed me that his data was going to be late, and that that would be fine because they didn't need the data until sometime Monday. Since this was a mainly a project between remittance processing and marketing, I thought nothing about it and went about my day. The next morning as soon as I walked in the door Joanne and Delfin were there breathing fire about how everybody from Susan down was very upset about Marketing not getting their data when they needed it. I explained that Delfin told me it was only due sometime Monday. Joanne looked at him, and he told her that he never told me any such thing. The finger of blame had passed to Susan, to Joanne, to Delfin, and finally to me. In turn each had blamed the next person in the chain. In my case there was no one under me. I had no one to blame. I gave them their data, waited until the end of the day and left, never to return again. I did not give two weeks notice, I did not empty my desk. I was gone.

My wife's fun was only just beginning. Once I was gone I had hoped that things would settle down for Charlene. There was now no reason to transfer her. However, Joanne started to find fault with Charlene about every detail of her job. Even going so far as to assign her tasks outside the normal performance of her duties. Joanne blamed her own failures on Charlene. I suppose it was a pattern to blame those underneath you. When the mismanagement of Charlene's department began to have drastic and noticeable effects Joanne claimed complete innocence and instead claimed it was all Charlene's fault. The last straw came when Joanne started to increase the physical contact between her and Charlene. Perhaps it was just paranoia, who is to say? Charlene gave her notice and quit.

In the week and months that followed Charlene and I discovered that when new prospective employers called Frederick's for a job reference Margo was giving them a great deal of false information. Information that was very slanderous. Charlene and I both finally found new jobs when Margo's statements became just too unbelievable for any sane person to accept as real.

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