Author: Lily Harbingerr

Omnifarious Shadiness You may be angry, but ask yourself why.

I’m a Fatass

In the past year or so I have lost a grown-ass adult worth of weight after a lifetime of being fat. Yes, lifetime. I was born into a fatass family and I don’t have a single picture of myself over the age of one where I am not a roly poly chubkins. At 14 years old I was officially diagnosed as “obese” by doctors and that fucked me up mentally. I looked just like every other fat person, so I never saw myself as “obese”. In my mind I was just “regular” fat not “obese” fat.
I didn’t have problems running or participating in physical activity. I was a cheerleader for a few years when I was around eight years old, and I could do splits, backbends, and cartwheels when my skinnier counterparts couldn’t. I actually loved playing sports in middle school, and flag football was my favorite. As I became a teenager, I was complimented with “You have such a pretty face.” and “You carry yourself well for a fat girl.” by those of the dick-swinging persuasion. Basically, I didn’t “act like a fat person” as people would tell me as I was growing up.
The problem with being a fat kid that liked being active is that it is assumed that you are going to be bad at whatever the activity is because you’re fat. So, even thought I stole the most flags on the field when I was allowed to play, I was always picked last by the kids and was the one benched by the coaches when there was an odd number of players. Even though I was the only one on the cheerleading team who could cartwheel into a split, I was instructed to teach a skinnier girl to do it so she could be the center focus during the final pyramid at competition. (I was placed as one of two “basees” of the pyramid.)
As I grew up, I internalized the words people would say to me. Maybe I WAS too fat to play sports. Maybe I WAS too fat to be in the school play. Maybe I WAS too fat to go out on dates. If EVERY person I encountered thought I was too fat to do pretty much anything, how could EVERY person be wrong? It was me. I was the common denominator. I was the problem. Eventually, I stopped trying to participate. It was easier to be the fat girl just being fat on the sidelines than it was to be the unwanted fat girl being forced onto the others by authority figures.
I have been on some sort of diet and/or exercise regime for the majority of my life. A doctor made me start keeping a food journal at 9 years old to make sure I wasn’t eating more than 1500 calories a day. That went on for a few years. My mom would make me run laps around the house every day. At 13 years old I stopped eating altogether. I had seen on some talk show about anorexia that you could fool people into thinking you were eating by cutting up your food into tiny pieces and pushing it around your plate. If anyone says anything about you not taking a bite, the pieces are small enough to chew in front of them and spit into a napkin when you wipe your mouth without them noticing. My family didn’t notice for over a year until I wound up in the emergency room because I fainted in a grocery store. I had to tell the nurse what I had eaten that day. Nothing. My mom found out that her fatass daughter was trying to lose weight by not eating and I found out what dehydration was like. That’s why I fainted. More doctors appointments were booked as soon as I was discharged. I wondered what was wrong with me. It seemed that no matter what I tried, I was just… fat.
The poorly executed anorexia attempt didn’t help me lose weight, by the way. I lost maybe 10 lbs. by the time it was all said and done. In hindsight, it wasn’t worth it.
Test time came over the following weeks. I was made to pee in cups and was poked, prodded, and swabbed in every way imaginable. Every panel and test came back perfectly fine. I was healthy, but obese. Along with the “obese diagnosis”, I received the wonderful news that genetics was the primary contributor to my fatness. Diet and exercise would not be enough and he suggested gastric surgery. What the hell is a teenager who just failed at becoming anorexic supposed to do with that information?
You give up, that’s what. You say fuck it and teach yourself how to emotionally eat. You’re already “obese”, what does any of it even matter anymore? You alternate between gaining weight from the emotional eating and losing the weight you just gained through starvation. You achieve the weight you were before the pendulum started swinging and are unable to make the scale number go any lower no matter how many meals you skip or hours you spend on the treadmill. You then say fuck it and start eating again. This is the cycle that has been my entire life. It’s viscous and it consumes your thoughts every time you bring anything besides genitals to you lips.
There is a ridiculous emphasis on the correlation between what number is on the scale and how attractive you are by societal standards. This thought process is so prevalent and accepted by the general populace that just saying the word “fat” is supposed to illicit negativity and hurt from the person to whom the word was uttered. The word has transformed from a factual adjective to a tool used to tear down another human. How did that happen? No one gets upset if someone tells you your hair is black, your eyes are brown, or your ears are attached to your head, but being told you are fat is supposed to imply that you are somehow lesser. In my experience, whenever there is conflict, calling me fat is the very first thing that is said in an attempt to strike a blow to my psyche. Luckily, I have no emotions so I really don’t care, but the fact that it is literally the initial thought by every single stranger I have ever argued with, without regard to the actual subject of concern, gives you some idea as to how real and ingrained this bias is.
Eventually you figure out that nothing you do or say will ever matter to others because you’re fat. You grow a thick skin to go with your thick ass. You learn to point out your flaws first before anyone can think of a way to try to use your appearance against you. You become the funny one. You don’t trust compliments because you think they’re just being nice to the fat girl. You get sad. You shut off your emotions so you’re not sad anymore. You stop caring. You withdraw by varying degrees. You find solace in solitude. Eventually, there comes a time when nothing anyone else says, positive or negative, phases you anymore.
Even after all that, I still found myself watching the scale for any movement on a daily basis. The difference now was that I no longer swung with the pendulum for the approval of others. The fat=bad societal view was so deeply rooted in me that I held myself to these standards without prompting. People calling me fat whenever we had a disagreement no longer affected me, but those three digits underneath my feet did. Every moment was a struggle with my emotions, my cravings, my self-image, my thoughts, and my desire to stop fighting (with all that insinuates). I realize that these thoughts are contradictory. That’s part of the struggle. You have enough self-respect to not care about the opinions of strangers, enough empathy to embrace others for who they are and see the beauty in them, but not enough of either to apply these lessons yourself.
Something has to give.
I started therapy (for many reasons, of which my weight was one). I was prescribed meds. I consciously changed how I interreacted with people. I changed jobs. I changed how I ate. I exercised more consistently and regularly. I did all the things to start the journey to fixing myself. I was changing mentally but physically I was the same old me, the fatass. I thought back more frequently to that day in the doctor’s office as a teenager when gastric surgery was suggested as my only option. I thought back to the years of “second opinions”, blood panels, Orlistat, food journals, gym memberships, and self-flagellation. I was tired of fighting. I finally decided to give in to the doctors.
In October of 2020 I had gastric surgery. It was a year long journey, that I’ll go into some other time, but sufficed to say it was the only weight loss thing I’ve ever tried that worked for me. Here I am five months later and I’m still not sure how I feel about my decision.
On one hand, I lost a metric shit-ton of lbs. and am on my way to finally getting to experience what it’s like to not be a fatass for the first time in my life. On the other hand, there’s a part of me that feels guilty about giving in to the notion of being socially acceptable. I didn’t “need” the surgery. I am perfectly healthy, all things considered. I don’t have a family history that was of concern for my future health. It was purely a choice based in vanity. In my mind, I succumbed. Being a fatass was almost a “fuck you” to anyone who dared lay eyes upon me. My fatassedness was telling those who were uncomfortable with my existence that their opinions were shit. At the end of the day, I still chose surgery, I’m currently three sizes down and 85 lbs. lighter since October and I still see a fatass when I look in the mirror. I don’t say that with positive or negative connotation. I can’t pinpoint an emotion to accurately describe any of this because it’s an amalgamation of all the emotions. Emotions I had suppressed for the majority of my life. It’s all just… different.
Now, my dramatic weight loss is pointed out in earnest by those who haven’t seen me in over a year. Well meaning kindnesses about how good I look and how thin my face and limbs have become. Words meant as encouragement but actually sting more than any insult. Words that subtly suggest that I was ugly before I lost weight. Words that shout silently from the shadows that my worth is measured by my physical attractiveness, and my physical attractiveness is solely based on how round my belly is.
So what is the point of writing all of this? Why bare this part of myself for strangers on the internet to read? I think the simplest answer is… awareness. Awareness of how fucked up our thinking in relation to the word fat is. Awareness of how idiotically predictable humans are in reaching for the lowest hanging fruit when expressing an opinion. Awareness of what we inherently teach our children about how they are to judge themselves and others. Awareness that every fat person has been told to eat a salad or get on a treadmill at least a million times in their lives and that doesn’t always work. Awareness that food is an addiction for some. The only addiction in which you must continue to indulge out of necessity, and there is no “cold turkey” or twelve step program for it. Awareness that genetics matter and opinions don’t. Awareness that you don’t have to be nice, just don’t be a dick. Awareness for myself.
There’s a lot about this life change that I am adjusting to and trying to figure out. I’m working through years of living one particular way and relearning how to just be at the same time. I lost a bunch of weight but I’m still a fatass. I’m learning to accept that no matter how many sizes I shrink or how much more weight I lose I will always be a fatass when I look in the mirror… and that’s ok.


I Had an Abortion

…and I don’t regret it. You read that right. I got pregnant unexpectedly at 19 years old and was not ready to be a parent, so I did the responsible thing and terminated the pregnancy. I have heard a million stories over the years from people who were shamed into feeling guilty about having an abortion due to dogmatic religious doctrine. I think it’s time I tell you about the other side of the experience.
I’ll paint you a picture of who I was at 19 years old. I had just moved out on my own. It was the first time I was utterly and completely independent. (I had lived with a boyfriend years prior then moved back home, but that’s a story for another day.) I was working five jobs at the same time. (If you read the previous post, you can do the math to figure out what point in time this was.) My schedule seriously restricted any time for friends, fun, or a significant other. Besides, I was still emotionally recovering from a breakup with my first girlfriend, dealing with coming to terms with my sexuality, and despite me physically leaving home, I was still trying desperately to escape from a fucked up parent/childhood in any way I knew how. In short, I was fiscally responsible, mentally mature, had an exceptionally strong work ethic, and was an emotional dumpster fire. (Not much has changed all these years later, if I’m being honest.)
I’ve always been good at compartmentalization and ignoring my own needs, so I thrust all my burning garbage bags of emotions into a pit to fuel my desire to “be ok”. My days consisted of home, then work, then work, then work, then home. I lived off of popcorn and soup because I worked 16 – 20 hours a day, seven days a week, and had no time or energy to eat most days, much less cook. When by friends wanted to see me, they just popped by one of my jobs. I sometimes would stop by one of their houses on the way home from work between midnight and 4am, depending on the day. They were typically plastered by the time I got there so I never stayed long. Also, I didn’t drink at that time, like, at all. No drugs, no booze, I didn’t even take Tylenol. My drug of choice was working toward never having to move back in with my family ever again, and I went overboard with it.
Every now and again, all my schedules would happen to align and one of my nights would be freed up. St. Patrick’s Day that year just happened to be one of those nights. In my neck of the woods, St. Pat’s is a pretty big deal. People come from all over the globe to celebrate here. Keep in mind that I was nineteen at the time and had never celebrated the occasion’s night life before. I had the night off and wanted to go downtown to see what the big deal was. I got in touch with my friends and they had already been out celebrating all day while I was at work. You can guess what state of inebriation they were in. I had always been a loner anyway, even when with my friends, so going out alone has never bothered me. And so I did.
I had just parked my car and was walking toward the sounds of the live concert by the river when I heard someone calling to me from one of the restaurants’ back doors. In my naivete I stopped. The guy calling me was very attractive and so we started up a conversation. He was working and couldn’t join me, so I met back up with him after he was off work. Fast forward to about three months later, and we are in a relationship. I didn’t necessarily want a relationship but he did and it was a nice distraction. There were a lot of red flags with the relationship, but remember, emotional dumpster fire. I had a lot of personal insecurities, lacked emotional intelligence, and didn’t really invest myself into the relationship enough at that point to recognize the signs when they presented themselves. Add all of this to my mother still trying to control my life even from afar. What I’m trying to say is that I was in a fucked up headspace and didn’t know how to cut ties with the toxic humans in my life due to ongoing childhood trauma.
Anyway, I found out I was pregnant three months into a relationship with someone I had no intentions of being with long term. I was shocked. We used condoms and I still got pregnant. There’s a small part of me that kind of thinks he did it on purpose. Either way, I knew I wasn’t going to have a baby. My decision was made as soon as the Planned Parenthood representative gave me the results. My mom was happy; her concern was that she was too young to be a grandparent. My boyfriend, on the other hand, was furious. He wanted to be a dad. Hence why I kind of think he did it on purpose. I was not ready for a kid, so with or without his blessing I was having an abortion.
Abortion services weren’t available in my state at the time, so I made plans to drive to a clinic in the next state over. I took my mom with me since I needed an escort and this was the most supportive she had ever been for anything in my entire life. Here’s what the experience was like.
The parking lot had a handful of protesters with signs telling me that I was going to Hell. They tried to block me from parking, but were courteous enough to move when I didn’t slow down my moving vehicle. They screamed at us as we walked from my car to the front door, but they kept their distance. The lobby inside looked like a dentist office. I checked in at the front desk and after waiting for about ten minutes they called twenty of us to the back, cattle herding style. In the next room, they showed us a video on how an abortion was performed. After the video was finished, they handed out plastic beach baskets (the ones you buy with plastic beach toys in them). Inside the basket there was a one month supply of birth control pills, pamphlets on alternatives to abortion, a small foil package containing a pill (I can’t remember it’s name), and literature on the side effects of twilight sleep. For those that don’t know, twilight sleep is when you are given enough anesthesia to numb you but you are not completely unconscious. They gave detailed explanations on the basket’s contents, then did a “last call” for those who wanted to back out. When no one did, they handed out small cups of water and told us all take the pill that was encased in the small foil package. From here, things start to get a little fuzzy. The pill was faster-acting than was anticipated for me. Remember, no booze, drugs, or Tylenol. Looking back on it now, it was a similar sensation to catching a buzz for the first time.
We started being ushered out of the “cattle pen” one by one. When it was my turn, I followed a nurse into a small doctor’s office, very similar to what your general practitioner’s looks like. There they had me change into a patient gown and place my clothes into the beach basket they had supplied to us in the previous room. Once dressed, I was instructed to lay on the table and the doctor performed an ultrasound. Here is where my memory is patchy. I recall the doctor pointing to something on the screen and stating that I can still say no to the abortion, and that the tiny blob on the screen could become a person someday. I remember the ceiling starting to move and telling (or maybe mumbling) I wanted the abortion. The nurse propped my feet into the stirrups and the vaginal vacuum whirred to life. The doctor said that it shouldn’t hurt and to relax. My vision was so blurry that I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my entire body felt numb, until the cannula started poking. I felt it, and it was painful. The pain sent me into incontrollable sobs. I had little to no control over my body, I could barely see, and the noise from the machine was headache inducing. The nurse held my hand and asked me what was wrong. I told her it hurt, that’s all I could manage to say. “It hurts.” I’m not entirely sure, because I was on the verge of blacking out, but I think I heard the doctor between my legs say that there was no way I was in pain, I was just feeling guilty. Side note, fuck that guy.
My next memory is of sitting in a chair with an IV in my arm surrounded by the other nineteen from the previous “cattle pen” in their respective chairs with IVs. I don’t know how I got there. There was one young looking girl that was laughing hysterically, a couple others were crying softly, a few more were mumbling to themselves, and everyone else was in various versions of stupor. There I was in the midst of this madness, still sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t want to but I physically could not stop crying. The nurses who weren’t in the vacuum room with me asked me what was wrong, and I could only tell them that I didn’t know. After 30 minutes of “recovery” they provided our beach baskets to us and helped each person, one by one, to the bathroom to change back into our street clothes and gather the “goodies” at the bottom. After getting dressed, I was escorted back to the lobby to meet my mom, still crying, and had to explain to her that I didn’t know why. We were led to the back exit of the building so we could avoid as many of the protesters as possible. I laid down in the passenger seat of the car and passed out instantly while my mom drove us back home.
I bled for the next couple of days and that was that. I was embryo-free. There were some emotional side-effects I had to deal with that were induced by my boyfriend and mother (More stories for different days.) but none from the abortion itself. I was too young, too naive, not financially secure, had no real support system, and I simply didn’t want to be a parent. In the midst of all the bullshit going on in my life at that time, having an abortion was the smartest decision I ever made.
To those that put themselves first in order to not fuck up another human’s life, you are the real super heroes of the world. You did what was right for you and there is no shame in that. People will try to force their beliefs on you, try to make you feel negative emotions for choosing your life over a blob of cells. From personal experience I can say with full confidence, fuck those people. Dealing with push back from everyone that knew what I was doing up to and including the abortion clinic employees (fuck that doctor twice) made me more resolute in my decision. Those people trying to convince you to be “selfless” aren’t going to volunteer to adopt or help raise the child you birth. And those are the same people who will go so far as to actively work against you getting help from the government when no one else has stepped up to help.
My take away from this is that no one else can live your life for you, you have to do what is right for you and no one else. Also, support Planned Parenthood. Their employees were legitimately the most kind, understanding, and informative people I dealt with during the whole experience, and they provide so many more health services than whatever bullshit you’ve seen in the media. That is the major reason that 50% of all proceeds from Shady Harbingerr merch goes to them.

Donate directly to Planned Parenthood HERE.


I Worked in a Sex Store

It was actually two sex stores, and I was the floor manager of both for seven years. It was a small business with a modicum of local notoriety due to the fact that they were owned by two women, a mother-daughter team. The owners had two locations and every employee was cross-trained at both, therefore I was responsible for both. I have tons of stories that I will recount at a later date, but this post is not about that. This post is about how working in the sex industry prepared me for work in Corporate America.
I have been in the workforce since I was 15 years old. My first job was as a physician’s answering service operator. (I have some stories about that job that I’ll share at later date as well.) After that, I worked for a local theatre company (stage not movie), a video rental store, and a locally owned convenience store company with multiple locations all at the same time. There were some stints with a musical instrument store and hotel during that time for a short period, but the main three were the important ones. Eventually I was offered the Floating Manager position with the convenience company, meaning I covered stores when the Store Manager was on leave or fired. So, I left the other two jobs. The hours were brutal but I entered college at that time, so the flexibility to go to school in the morning and work at night without truly being responsible for the profitability and innerworkings of a static location was necessary. That ran it’s course and from there I worked at the sex store.
For the purposes of this… blog, rant, stupid word vomit thinggie I’ll refer to the sex store as Dildo McSexStore.
So, when I was initially hired at Dildo McSexStore it was under the implication of becoming the manager of one of the locations based on the offer discussion. They hired in bulk, so there were eight of us that started at the same time. In talking to the new hires, we all came to realize that the manager carrot was dangled during all of our interviews. Needless to say, the first few weeks were bumpy. It became clear fairly early on why they mass hired. It was to “cull the chaff from the wheat” or insert whatever metaphor you like here. It would be like that for entire seven years I was there. Every few months another set of new hires, only for one or two to make it through.
This was the first time I had encountered a company with such a high turnover rate. Even working in the convenience store business, the workers were treated well, therefore there was a large portion of employees who would never leave. I personally had worked for the convenience company for four years and wouldn’t have left if there were better hours to be had. Anyway, I was the only one of the eight to make it through the complete training process at Dildo McSexStore. I was proud of myself for sticking with it despite not agreeing with A LOT of how the stores were operated. But, I believe that no matter where you work, even if you are working for yourself, you’re going to be dealing with bullshit you don’t like. At the end of the day, I had better hours, better pay, and the motto “its not my business, I just work here”. That being said, there were both positive and negative lessons learned, all of which helped prepare me for a career in finance.
From Dildo McSexStore I learned how important it is to give a professional image. I know, not the place that immediately comes to mind when using the words “professional image”. Adult stores have a very negative stereotype. You know the one, you’ve seen it portrayed in movies (not just the pornographic ones). Dark, dirty, the staff covered in *gasp* tattoos and piercings with “unnatural” hair colors. Oh my! Yeah, well, these stores were nothing like that, and that was strategic. They were owned by women. It’s already tough being a women in a primarily male dominated field, much less owning a business that caters to a niche market that no one willingly admits to patronizing. There was a lot for them to fight against. The most impactful way they fought was to negate all stereotypes by presenting a more socially acceptable and professional version of a sex store. We were the city’s “only upscale adult toy store”. With that came a uniformed dress code in which all my tattoos had to be covered up and any visible piercings not in my ears to be removed. I wore long sleeves and pants all year long and kept my hair down for seven years. They wanted all the females to wear makeup, I hate wearing makeup. We compromised on eyeliner and lipstick for me. Our behaviors were to be professional as well. No profanity or lewd speech with customers, all genitals were to be referred to with medically correct terminology. We were not to accept gifts from customer and no talking to customers outside of work ever. If you came to work messy in anyway, i.e. hungover, high/drunk, unkempt appearance, “excessive” skin showing, or tattoos/piercings showing, you got sent home, or in a few cases fired. It was the most strict dress code I have ever encounter, even to this day.
Working for Dildo McSexStore taught me how to sell via “spinning the truth”. I have never been comfortable with lying and have never been particularly good at it. There’s no altruistic reason, I just find it stupid to lie when the truth is easier to remember. Anyway, we received bonuses on top of our regular salary based on sales, so if you wanted that fat bonus check you better sling some damn dildoes by any means necessary. There was also a huge emphasis on product knowledge. The running joke was that we were “sexperts”. I have helped save marriages, helped women feel more confident and comfortable with their bodies, helped one man come out the closet, and helped a few ladies with vaginismus when they were at the end of their ropes with their doctors’ recommendations. I know this for fact because they all came back to thank me and became my regular customers. You would never think that knowing the chemical composition of lube or what material “jelly” is actually made from in relation to latex or how important diameter is would come in handy, but it did. So did telling every customer that you’ve tried whatever product you are currently discussing and can attest to how great it is from personal experience. Also, that this $100 vibrator is far more superior to the $20 one that looks exactly like it and is produced from the same exact manufacturer, but is a prettier color. Or that KY is shit and bad for your body. (That last one is 100% true though. Stop using KY, it’s cheap for a reason.) Basically, I learned how to make people who are in the most uncomfortable form of themselves not only trust me but to rely on me for sexual, emotional, relationship, and mental health advise.
Dildo McSexStore was the first time I had to navigate multiple, contradictory bosses. As mentioned previously, the stores were owned by a mother-daughter team. Well, the mother’s long time boyfriend was also a “manager”. I put that in quotations because he never actually managed anything, but technically he was considered my boss as well. His face was in all the ads because, in his previous profession, he was a fairly well-know radio DJ and they were leveraging him for marketing. He came into work late, left early, and regaled customer with tales of his radio glory days in the interim. The only time he ever took on a “managerial” role was when the daughter had given me a project to have the staff complete. She always gave highly specific instruction on what she wanted and it never failed that half-way through he would stop the staff and tell them to do it differently. I would intervene and explain the instructions relayed by daughter, to which he would tell me he was my boss and to do it his way. Daughter would check in on us and have a fucking fit when it wasn’t turning out the way she had instructed. I would have to explain boyfriend’s instructions, to which she retorted that she was the owner, she outranked him, and that I shouldn’t have listened to him. We would start over and do it her way. Enter boyfriend, insert argument between the two. The times I did tell boyfriend that daughter outranked him, he would also have a fucking fit. I then would be called in to speak with mother (a la principal’s office style), to which she told me that boyfriend was also my boss and to be more respectful. If there was ever any contradiction between them in the future to alert her, as she was the 51% owner, and she would take care of it, but to listen to him when he told me to do something. Rinse, repeat.
The final and most hurtful lesson learned from Dildo McSexStore was manipulation. I initially had no intentions of staying at Dildo McSexStore for seven years. The behind the scenes shenanigans outweighed the positive customer experiences. Then just as I finished college, another carrot was dangled… ownership. Mother was realistic about her health and age, and daughter was very vocal about not wanting to continue as owner if mother passed. The plan, as relayed to me, was that once I was trained to their liking, I would get a share of the profits and get a small ownership percentage. When mother passed, daughter agreed to stay on and take her place as 51% owner and I would own 49%. I began a schedule that had me split 50/50 between office training and floor work soon after. This went on for a few years. I was given some cash bonuses for “all my hard work” as we continued discussions of how much of the ownership percentage mother was comfortable with giving me while she was alive. Then the anticipated day came and I was called into the office for the “change in management” talk. What I thought was them bringing me on as part owner, turned out to be boyfriend agreeing to take on more of an office role and I would be “promoted” to the position that boyfriend once held, whatever that was. He was getting my profit bonus and my ownership percentage without knowing anything about the business besides whatever he overheard in passing. I was getting a new title and no increase in pay. I applied for a new job the next day.
There were many more lessons learned from Dildo McSexStore, but these are the most important ones that are applicable to working for a multi-million dollar corporation.
By the time I decided to leave Dildo McSexStore, I had a degree I would never use and no desire to ever work retail or be a manager again. Add to that the stigma that comes with putting Dildo McSexStore on my resume and you get a limited pond to fish from. It took a little over a month to get an interview with one of the places I had applied. An entry level position with a finance company. I was offered the job 30 minutes after the interview. In the nine years since, I have utilized every lesson learned at Dildo McSexStore to move up, and in some cases around, the ladder. From the field to corporate and back again, Dildo McSexStore’s teachings came into play.
Looking the part is the the most important thing to top level executives. You can try to argue this point, but from experience I can tell you you’re wrong. Every top level executive I have trained, worked with, or even casually encountered only remembers the people that dress nice and/or are physically attractive. If you don’t fit into either category, you aren’t worth remembering. All your numbers on the various spreadsheets could be the best in the entire company but it won’t matter if you don’t leave an impression. Personality and knowledge alone are not enough to people accustomed to a higher end lifestyle.
The finance company I worked for had fingers in a lot of pies, but collateral based loans with credit qualifiers are the bread and butter. By far the largest profit margin potential. That means your collateral determines a loan amount, but your credit determines whether or not you are approved and for what percentage of the determined value of your collateral. With this type of loan, even people with poor credit have the opportunity to get more money than they would have access to with a traditional loan. This can be both a good and bad thing. The good is that when emergencies come up there are options available for those who don’t typically have options. The bad is that the majority of people are not fiscally responsible in general. (That’s another post for another day.) In some cases, the bulk of the loan process was spent making your client feel comfortable, getting them to trust you, then helping them solve their financial difficulties by taking more money than they initially intended. Other times, the loan process is spent educating a client about this type of loan and how it differs from a traditional loan, then coaching the client on how to pay it off properly. The people who are able to sit through your entire spiel without asking questions fall into one of three categories. They do not understand and are afraid to ask, have no intentions of paying to begin with, or are mentally paralyzed by the dollar amount being offered to them. Sometimes the money being made available is too much to say no to to someone not used to having money. While we are not financial advisors, the bonus structure is based on total loan amount and profit. Every management level from Assistant Manager to President receives a percentage of profit and/or new loans, depending on what level of management you are. To get those numbers up you are taught to “discover needs” and “sell the money”, worry about collecting later. So, you speed through some details about the contract or answer questions with questions. For example, “What happens if I can’t come up with the minimum?” “Do you plan on not paying the money borrowed back?” See that? The question wasn’t answered and the icky feeling of concern rests solely in the client’s lap.
As with every corporate structure, there are multiple management levels complete with top level executives. Most, if not all, at the executive levels are too far removed from the day-to-day to understand how anything at the “bottom” works. When an executive has a brilliant idea about how to make things “better” for the branches, they pass that bullshit down to the next level executive, who in turn adds their own bullshit before passing it down to the next level executive. This goes on until it makes it to your regional, who also adds some bullshit on occasion, then to the district manager who does their best to balance towing the company line and ensuring their branches concerns are fully vetted. Your job now is to interpret this convoluted version of the telephone game and apply it to real life circumstances as best you can. The corporate office is located in my city so, when the executive at the top decides to pop into some branches to see how the new initiative is taking root; said executive gets upset at either how indecipherable his brilliant idea was or how the IT Department was unable to make the idea work because the system just doesn’t do that. Fingers get pointed, but when it’s all said and done, the branches are scolded for being too slow on speed of adoption. If you’re lucky, you get a second or third visit from other levels of executives who also are upset that the idea isn’t working and have their own “fix” that the next executive to visit tells you is incorrect.
Eventually I came to realize that no matter what the company’s mission statement was or how much community outreach is encouraged and publicized, the executives do not care about anything other than making the numbers look good to investors. I took on many roles and positions within the company, from Online Sales and Training in corporate office to General Manager in the field. Basically, wherever they needed me I would go. It took a while for me to grasp the totality of manipulation taking place as everyone, especially those in corporate, was so good at drinking and serving the Flavor-aid. They made me feel like family. The problem with being in everyone’s good graces is that you acquire their trust. They let you behind the curtain because you’re “one of them”. Me holding on to the motto “its not my business, I just work here” didn’t help either. In the nine years I worked for the company, I saw every single position above General Manager turn over at least 4 times. President being the only exception. GM positions and below turned over far more often. I have seen what the P & L, Rolling Reports, and other miscellaneous reports looked like before and after some tactical firings and hirings. I witnessed reports being generated with strategically translated information to make the focus number of the day look more appealing. I experienced how a large corporation handled natural disasters, i.e. hurricanes in Texas, Florida, the Carolinas, etc., and civil unrest, i.e. Ferguson riots and BLM protests. I experienced the joys of working through COVID shutdowns because we were deemed “essential”. And I was enlisted as the “fixer” for multiple locations over the years after the GM was fired for a single quarter (or less) that didn’t meet year over year goals. (See the “looking the part” section above.) Manipulation of numbers, positions, and people was the real business behind the scenes.
I recently left the company in January of this year and will be starting a new job outside of the financial sector in February. It’s a little terrifying starting from the bottom up all over again after nearly a decade in a place where you thought you would be forever. I am by no means an altruistic person, and empathy fatigue is absolutely real (look it up); but being privy to the way loyal employees were treated at the beginning of COVID shutdowns, the instructions given on how to handle clients that fell past due during a pandemic, and how I personally was treated when I started voicing concerns was far too much to deal with. Unfortunately, in order to make comparable money I am going to be working for another multi-million dollar corporation. We’ll see how it turns out.
If the lessons learned at Dildo McSexStore helped me navigate the institutional waters of a “professional career”, the lessons learned at Shitty McFinance taught me how to navigate the political waters of a “professional career”. There are a lot of things I wish I could unlearn, I guess those are lessons within themselves.
My take away from all of this is that sex stores and multi-million dollar corporations are essentially the same. A lot more getting fucked with no lube than expected or necessary. And to think, vending anal beads and strap-ons introduced me to Corporate America.


Dusk, Volume 2

Budgie Bigalow, author of “Askharoth”, and “Freedom Lane”, invited me to contribute an introduction to his newest collection of short fiction entitled “Dusk, Volume 2”; a tale I call Day Zero.

You can purchase the book from, along with other finely crafted short fiction and stories written by Budgie.

Subcutaneous Magazine Issue No. 3

The 3rd edition of Subcutaneous Magazine “The Revenge Issue”, published March 2017, features my short story, Heartless, with accompanying artwork by Ryan Laughlin.

You can view the e-publication here.

Valentines for Doomy 2

Valentines for Doomy 2“, featuring my stories Quick Tips for Gardening Greatness, I Dreamed of You, Ice Cream Truck, and Meat Popsicle, is a compilation book that was inspired by the passing of our friend, Joanna, after losing her fight against breast cancer. The first compilation, “Valentines for Doomy“, was initially published on Valentine’s Day of 2015 and was re-released on Valentine’s Day of 2017 along side this sequel. All proceeds from sales of both books go to her daughter, Ari’s, college fund.

You can purchase both books from, or if you’d like to contribute directly to Ari’s college fund, you can do so by clicking here.

Valentines For Doomy

Valentines for Doomy“, featuring my stories Home and The Perfect Wife, is a compilation book that was inspired by our friend, Joanna’s, fight against breast cancer. It was initially published on Valentine’s Day of 2015 and was re-released on Valentine’s Day of 2017 along side the sequel “Valentines for Doomy 2“. All proceeds from sales of both books go to her daughter, Ari’s, college fund.

You can purchase both books from, or if you’d like to contribute directly to Ari’s college fund, you can do so by clicking here.

Subcutaneous Magazine Issue No. 2

The 2nd edition of Subcutaneous Magazine “The Paranormal Edition”, published November 2016, features my short story, Father, with accompanying artwork by Ryan Laughlin.

You can view the e-publication here.



Subcutaneous Magazine Issue No. 1

The 1st issue of Subcutaneous Magazine “Your Worst Nightmare” edition, published July 2016, features my two short stories, Lilu and Pup. Ryan Laughlin contributed his glorious artwork to accompany Pup.

You can view the e-publication here.

Contributors are always wanted, just email for more information.



Brain Damage Zine Issue No. 4

My short story entitled Hope Died was published in the March 2016 “Childhood” edition of Brain Damage Zine Issue No. 4 with accompanying artwork by Ryan Laughlin.

You can view the e-publication here.

Illustrated by Ryan Laughlin

Hope Died

Brain Damage Zine Issue No. 3

My short story entitled Amen was published in the March 2015 “Worst Fear” edition of Brain Damage Zine Issue No. 3 with accompanying artwork by Ryan Laughlin.

You can view the e-publication here.

Illustrated By Ryan Laughlin