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I was hired to be assistant clubhouse manager. My trainer was a man named Javier – a name I’ve come to associate with untrustworthy. I accepted the job and accepted the training, not knowing where it would lead me. When I met Javi for the first time, it was on my own “turf,” Apollo Park – not far from where I live. He drove a beat up car, having just come out of work. At first look, I wasn’t sure if I could trust him – but working usually means dealing with people who don’t trust, so you pretend to. He gave me the run down of how it would be working under him. He told me to stay away from the other superiors – don’t even talk to them, not even Estela. I nodded, knowing full well that some of these rules I would have to break for the sake of my job.

Javi’s about money. I picked that up automatically. His heart was set on money, but – on a constant – he assured me that he wasn’t out to screw me over – I would get 70% of the money that goes into paying the clubhouse manager. That’s $700 a month. We agreed; I went home.

We weren’t paid for preseason, though I should really say, he wasn’t paid for preseason. I already had a deal with bossman to work at the stadium for him. When I was in the clubhouse, I was under Javi’s time. When I worked within the stadium, I was on stadium time. This basically boiled down to the fact that I’d be paid twice.

I segued into my new found job as assistant clubhouse manager, meeting the team, working out the kinks and learning all the secrets Javi had to share – which included how to squeeze as much money from the team as possible by doing the job I was hired to do. All the while, I was working within the stadium. My plan was to put in as many hours within the stadium to build a bigger pay check so I can treat Jyg and me to a overnight beach trip. Javi had other ideas.

Knowing full well that I was still working for the stadium, he decided that on pay day, he wasn’t going to give me my half of the $400 – a hundred less than he expected (we get paid twice a month). He told me he wasn’t going to cash the check because he knew something like this would happen. I told bossman that Javi hadn’t paid me, but merely because he hadn’t cashed the check yet. This excuse carried on for nearly a week.

Then Javi admitted that he was pissed off, having told the field manager that he was quitting after he got the second check. He didn’t want to be screwed over. Then again, neither did I. As the stories poured from his mouth, I was finding harder to believe them. Javi, like every Javier who has ever crossed my path, was a pathological liar. One who was only set out to screw me over in the end. I sat down with bossman one Tuesday afternoon and told him, “You know I don’t complain much to you, but this has to do with money and I feel that alone warrants this. Javi still hasn’t paid me. He says he hasn’t cashed the check, but I’m finding it harder to believe. As a defense mechanism, I’m cynical. Usually when someone goes out of their way to acknowledge they have your back that they’ll take care of you, they’re usually the first person to stab you.”

Bossman agreed and told me that his first instruction to Javi was to “take care of Willie.” Javi had failed. Because it was a double hitter that day, it is up to us to feed both teams, a rule I wasn’t even aware of. When the field manager realized neither team was fed, he chewed Javi out. He then phoned the stadium manager to tell him the situation, who then called me and asked where Javi was. When I found him, I turned him over to the bossman in hopes that my monetary problem would be solved. It was only half figured.

“Hey, I turned in a bunch of receipts to [bossman], so when he gets the money, make sure he gives it to you,” Javi told me as he got into his car. He’d called me and, regrettably, I answered. “I’ll find away to get you the rest of the money I owe you. I’m going with Steven to get some food and then I’m going home to watch the game. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Let’s rewind a year. The last time anyone told me that they’ll see me tomorrow was Jaime, my former supervisor. It was the day he came out of main off and mumbled that to me before leaving. I never saw him again (work wise). So when Javi uttered those words in our static-filled phone call, I tensed. I saw nothing as wrong. Later that night, the field manager would come up to me – still angry from before – and asked, “Did Javi quit?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, if he did, fine. There’s not pussies in this locker room. We’ll pay you the dues we owe him, but we don’t want him back.”

The next day, I realized all the stuff Javi brought into the locker room was gone, as was our Pine Sol, which belonged to the stadium. I panicked again. I asked bossman if Javi had told him anything and explained why I was concerned. Field manager seemed to conclude that Javi had quit. The locker room was filled with an unfamiliar air – it was, for the first time, lax.

I hired Steven to be my employee and we took it from where Javi never picked up. We did great. We worked together and the team complimented us. I bought the visiting team drinks to have after every game and they liked my style. Teams that stiffed us years before, actually paid their dues and tipped! It was a few days of bliss until Javi called me. And I ignored it. He called me again, and, again, I ignored it. I was too busy to deal with his shit. Later, Steven told me that he’d received a message from Javi and for me to call him back, so I did.

“I’ll try to get you the rest of the money I owe you,” he said. “Has [bossman] asked about me?”

“No.”

“Good, then it’ll be easier for me to come back.”

Come back? Fuck! Didn’t you quit?

Instead, I said, “Oh.”

I thought nothing of it. He was obviously drunk. Come Sunday, I’m in the laundry room, on the phone, speaking with Jyg on what is an interesting topic when Javi walked right in as if he never left. My face and tone fell. The looks of the players slacked. Ding dong, the wicked witch wasn’t dead after all.

I turned to Estela. I told her what was going on. She called him in. He spoke to bossman. Bossman told him that for all he was concerned, he’d quit. Javi grew pissed. I walked back to the clubhouse to confront him in what I knew wasn’t going to be pretty. I sent Steven on an errand. Javi bitched me out.

“You went over there and talked shit about me,” he shouted.

“I didn’t talk shit about you.”

“Yes, you did. You went over there and told him things that weren’t of his concern. I had somethings to take care of and it wasn’t any of your business.”

“I didn’t say anything, I simply asked a question…”

“It wasn’t any of your concern.”

Yeah, only you left a novice behind to fend for himself.

“And I told you not to talk to them. I told you not to go over there and speak to them,” he shouted. “I told you that. I thought you had my back.”

And I thought you had mine, but, you know, you did steal $200 from me.

“And you fucked up. You fucked up really bad,” he said. “You’re not supposed to be spending your hard earned cash buying food for [the team]! They’re supposed to eat for free! They’re using you and you’re too stupid to realize it!”

You’re not one to lecture me on how I spend my money. I mean, you did STEAL TWO-HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS FROM ME!

“You shouldn’t pay it,” he said. “And don’t go talking to [bossman] after I leave. You’re in a load of trouble and they don’t want to see you. You’re in so much trouble with them right now, so don’t go talking more shit.”

Oh, sure, I’m the victim of a guy who had no intentions of paying me but I’m in trouble.

“Now I’ll continue to help you both, even after this,” he said.

Yeah, because I want your help now.

After the bitch fest, I went and spoke with bossman. I told him what had happened. Later, both Steven and I were happy that Javi was gone. We even celebrated with pizza. Sorta.

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