Wednesday, August 31, 2005

You have got to be kidding me.

This morning I had to change a printer toner near Bruce's cube, to my deep chagrin. I generally try to avoid doing anything in his vicinity because I really don't need to hear about how ripped he got last night, or how wonderful he is, or how he has a "6-pack going". Unfortunately, when I walked over, he wasn't there, but he came over in the midst of my highly technical work.

Bruce: Man, what a drive in this morning.

Thinking he was talking about traffic, I was about to reply that I didn't notice it being too bad. But silly me, he doesn't intend for other people to be part of his conversations other than to fawn over him.

Bruce: I mean, it was so depressing. I listened to the news the whole way in.

Me: Oh yeah, it is pretty bad isn't it.

Bruce: Ugh, it's awful. They said four days from now, gas will be $4 a gallon.

I just stared at him. He couldn't have just said what I thought he said.

Me: Uh, I think we have bigger problems to tackle than the price of gas right now.

Bruce: Well it's going to affect the whole economy. People will spend less on gas and they'll also stop spending on other things too.

He might, might have a shred of a point there, but it hardly seems to matter much in the face of hundreds of thousands of people with no place to go, many are still stranded with no clean water to drink or food to eat, the waters keep rising, and there is no way to stop looters who just wave and smile at police because after all, it's not like they can be taken to jail.

Don't talk to me about the price of gas when we don't even know how many people have died and can't do anything about their bodies yet because the living still haven't all been rescued from attics and roofs. Don't talk to me about expensive gas affecting the economy when thousands of people's livelihoods are gone, wiped out. Asshole.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I must be on Candid Camera

Remember RotoRooter? The one who had two, yes TWO conversations with me about his and his wife's colonoscopies? He got me again today.

RotoRooter: So, how was your weekend?

Me: Pretty good. We rearranged our living room furniture actually, and we love the way the room looks.

RotoRooter (laughing): Oh yeah, my wife and I always did that when we got high.

[Um, excuse me?]

RotoRooter (misreading the surprised look on my face): Oh no, not this wife. My ex-wife, a long time ago. Yeah, we were big into cocaine and whenever we got high we'd decide to move the furniture or paint the house or something.

Fortunately I was saved from further conversation by HeadHoncho getting off the phone and summoning RotoRooter into his office. Now, I am not entirely sheltered. I know people do drugs, did drugs, maybe are in recovery from drugs, whatever. But I was surprised at how nonchalant he was about telling me about his cocaine habit. I really have to do something about that sign over my cube. You know the one right underneath the one that says "Tell me About Your Colon!", the one that says "Tell Me about Your Drug Use!". Someone keeps putting up new signs when I'm not looking.

For the record, neither SilentHusband nor I was high on anything when we decided to rearrange our furniture. ("Now I'm not feeding off you/I will rearrange your scales/if I can/and I can/March into the ocean/march into the sea") No, we were inspired to change our living room by the fact that we are big nerds and have so many darn books that we need another bookshelf. Welcome to my life as a dork.

PS- extra blog points for anyone (besides ChinaGirl, who gets the points by default because it's not even a challenge for her) who can guess that obscure musical reference.

Friday, August 26, 2005

No, I don't want to hear about your vaginal discharge

I have never been so happy to see a broker in all of my life. I got cornered by The Mosquito, whose name is now officially changed to RunOnSentence. When she talks to you, words come out like machine-gun fire and she could talk for 20 minutes straight and have it all be one sentence. You never get a word in edgewise. And it’s always something really personal that you don’t particularly want to hear about (usually something gynecological).

This morning, she was the first one in the office and I was right behind her. She came over to my desk and started rattling on- once she was off, there was no way to stop her. Her original purpose in coming to talk to me was to ask if it would be ok to leave at 2:30 for a doctor’s appointment. However, it took about 10 minutes to even come to that point, and she had to give me every detail along the way of why she needed to go to the doctor, namely a yeast infection. Yes, she talked to me at length about it, and how much discomfort she had (shifting around uncomfortably for emphasis, in case I didn’t get the point), but she’s going to get her period any day now and oh yeah she has to remember to call the doctor when she does because they have to set up an MRI appointment for her because of the two different kinds of cysts in her breasts, one is just fluid but she has to get that drained all the time, and they’re so painful, and the last time she had one drained the doctor said it was 8 cm and she thought she was going to lose a cup size but the doctor laughed and said it doesn’t work that way and anyway, the MRI is going to take a whole hour to make sure the other kind aren’t cancerous, but it’s hard to make the appointment because she must be going through her changes because her period comes every 25 days now instead of every 28 and she has to make sure it’s all covered by insurance because it’s just like the time her daughter went- oh remember how her daughter had her wisdom teeth out this summer? Well now she has some kind of cavity and she won’t let the dentist near her mouth because she can’t stand having anything in her mouth because she’s terrified of anything making her gag and throw up and she even had to make her own impressions when she got braces and….

Broker wanders over, hesitantly.

RunOnSentence: Oh, did you need SilentWitness?

Broker: Yeah, I just needed to get my computer out of the closet?

RunOnSentence says goodbye and walks back to her desk. I could have kissed said broker’s feet. Nah, that’s pushing it. But RunOnSentence had been talking to me for literally 23 minutes, and I barely got a word in edgewise. I was wondering how I could tactfully shut her up when the broker saved me. That conversation could have taken a minute or less:

RunOnSentence: Is it ok if I leave at 2:30 today? I had to make a last-minute doctor’s appointment.

Me: Sure, it shouldn’t be a problem, it’ll be pretty dead today anyway.

Period.(ha!) End of story.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nutjob stories never get old

Two very brief incidents that just further illustrate the "nut" in Nutjob.

Our mail is delivered to the front desk (naturally), and whoever is taking a shift up there when it comes in sorts it and makes an announcement that it's here. Sometimes I remember to walk up and pick it up myself, but most of the time I completely forget about it, and someone ends up bringing it back for me- usually Nutjob. The other day, Jane went up to get her mail and saw my pile still there, and started to take it and said she'd bring it back for me. Nutjob snatched the pile out of her hands and said "No, I bring SilentWitness her mail!". No sooner had Jane finished telling me this than Nutjob flounced down the hall, deposited the mail in my inbox and brightly announced "Here's your mail!!!". I can't figure her out. I thought she was afraid of me.

Another story, as related by Jane. One morning while I was away, when Nutjob arrived in the morning (at 8 a.m.), she came right over to Jane's cube with a little bag saying "I just bought something and I have to show you!" She proceeded to take out the world's smallest bikini (according to Jane) and lay it out on Jane's desk. "It's my new bikini! Oh, and the top fits me just perfectly". Jane said she just smiled and nodded and said "that's pretty". What was Nutjob expecting her to say? But what makes this story even better is that five minutes after telling me, Jane came back and asked me not to tell my boss about it, that she just thought it was humorous and she wasn't offended. That's become her standard disclaimer these days, ever since I did my job last year and passed on an incident that really offended Jane (rightfully so). She accused me of betraying her and relaying a secret to our boss. It took her months to come around and start telling me her stories and complaints and gossip, but it takes everything I have not to smirk when she gives me the "Oh, and don't tell your boss about this" comment at the end. If she can't see the difference between a sexual harassment issue and some stupid office gossip, she needs to get a clue.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Nutjob shows her social graces

My boss thought it would be a great idea to get t-shirts made with the company logo and the charity’s logo on it, to spur enthusiasm for the project. She handed this task off to our marketing person, who is quite new. MarketingGal (she’s so new she doesn’t have a proper name yet) went around the office asking people what size t-shrt they wanted. Now, just as background information let me state that MarketingGirl has a good figure, a healthy version of the cultural “ideal” (i.e. not a skeleton with boobs). She came over to our area Friday afternoon.

MarketingGal: Musketeer #3, what size shirt do you want?

Nutjob: Large!!! (She wasn’t answering for herself- she’d already told MarketingGal she wanted a Medium. She was answering for Musketeer #3).

Musketeer #3: Ahhhhh, I guess extra-large. No, wait, I should probably go with large.

MarketingGal: I think they run kind of small. I ordered a large for myself.

Nutjob: Well, that’s because you’re… [trails off. Yes Nutjob, that was your outside voice. Oops.]

MarketingGal, to her credit, I think was going to just let it go. But far be it from Musketeer #3 to miss an opportunity like that.

Musketeer #3: Because she’s what, Nutjob?

Nutjob: Uhhh…

MarketingGal: Yeah, because I’m what?

Nutjob flushed and muttered something and suddenly became very engrossed in her work. I have no idea what’s been causing her to lash out like this of late, but it certainly could get interesting if it keeps up.

Nyah nyah!

BlogCompany is stepping out into the world of philanthropy and raising money for a charity. HeadHoncho decided this was a great idea and a good cause and thought the whole office should participate. Fair enough, we don't do much in the way of charity so it's a nice idea. To keep the fundraising organized, the office was divided up into teams, with each administrative assistant as a team captain. I'm on Jane's team. Lucky me. Naturally, this project fell into Jane's lap. Hey, HeadHoncho thought it would be a great idea for the office to do this- not for him to have anything to do with it other than donate. So, this charity fundraiser is pretty much Jane's baby. She got all the materials from the organization and is spearheading the effort. (Naturally, Nutjob is seething with jealousy over this).

Because she's been the cheerleader for the fundraiser, she's had all her ducks in a row long before everyone else. The very day that everyone received their fundraising packets, she had already been soliciting donations, and was crowing that she had already raised $350 and was ahead of everyone else. I pointed out that no one else had had a chance to get any donations yet, but she seemed content to ignore that inconvenient fact.

The next day, she sent out an email to the entire office, in the effort to spur on some friendly competition. I think it was just plain obnoxious. I have no control over fonts here, but imagine this email in HUGE font size, with red letters thrown in here and there for emphasis:

I, myself, Jane Doe, have raised $350.00 to date for the BlogCompany Charity. I challenge you to meet or beat that amount.

I just love being first, best, number one………….get the picture!!!!!!!




Know what the best part about all this is? Of the $350, $100 is her own donation and another $100 is her husband's donation. Way to go, Jane.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nice waddle

The obsession about age continues. Nutjob went off to visit her new boyfriend this weekend, so she took Friday off. Before she left, she had a lovely conversation with Jane.

Nutjob [walking into Jane's cube for no apparent reason]: I don't look my age.

Jane: Oh? Well I don't think I do either. Are you implying something?

Nutjob: Well... the skin on your face looks nice.

Jane: And the rest of me doesn't?

Nutjob: Well, you know, your neck is a little....

Jane told me about this conversation and said she was obsessing all weekend about the skin on her neck. She now says she wants to get plastic surgery. When will it ever end????

PS- No baking instigation this week. It was too damn hot to even think about turning on the oven.

It's a gas!

We have several brokers in their late 40's/early 50's. For some reason, a big topic of conversation around the office is their colonoscopies. I suppose it's like some kind of new coming-of-age ritual, now that pretty much everyone knows you should get one when you hit your 40's. They trade stories, and when someone is going for their first one that's always a big discussion. Thankfully I'm not directly involved in most of these conversations, I just get to overhear them. That changed last week. A broker, who I will call RotoRooter, decided it was something I should be familiarized with.

RotoRooter: I hate to be a pain, but do you have my check? I won't be in tomorrow and I won't be in until Tuesday next week.

Me: Oh sure, it's right here.

RotoRooter: My wife and I are going for our colonoscopies.

Me: Oh? Sounds like fun.

RotoRooter: Well, hers is on Friday and mine is on Monday. I'm really not looking forward to it but my buddy says you don't know anything because they put you out.

Me: Yeah. I'm hoping that by the time I need one, they'll have perfected that scan and it won't be as expensive.

RotoRooter: Well how old are you?

Me: 30 [jesus, when the hell did THAT happen?!]

RotoRooter: Aw, you've got 10 years yet!

.... and so on, until he finally tired of it and walked away. Silly me, I thought that would be the end of it. Ha ha. Today he stopped by my cube...

RotoRooter [in a conspiratorial whisper]: Don't get a colonoscopy! I'm so bloated!

Me: Oh wow. I had been sitting here thinking it would be a fun thing to try, but now that you've said that, forget it!

RotoRooter: No, really, you need to get one. And actually it's not all that bad. Except I got so bloated! I got home and went right to sleep, the anesthesia really knocked me out, and when I woke up this morning, my upper abdomen was just so bloated.

Me: Ahhh. Well did you take GasEx or something?

RotoRooter: Oh no, I couldn't. Because they removed polyps [gee thanks, even MORE information I didn't need to know] I can't take anything with asprin in it. No, I called the nurse and she said to just get up and walk around for a while and I'd be fine.

I had a mental image of him walking around the house, propelled by the force of his farts. (In my childish group of friends' vernacular, that is known as "crop-dusting"). I don't know what made him want to tell me all of this personal information. It must be the sign in my cube that says "Tell me about your bowels!"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mmm, tastes like chicken

You all know my penchant for baking. Over the weekend we had the in-laws over and in my effort to win them over I baked some cookies. Since I didn't know everyone's preference, I just made simple sugar cookies. However, we went out to dinner and afterwards no one was interested in eating more than one or two. So, since they didn't seem like they'd stay fresh for long, I decided to bring them into the office on Monday. For some reason, Nutjob gushed over how delicious they were, and oh they were so good, and on and on. Ok, I appreciate the compliment, but she was really creeping me out.

Fast-forward to today (Thursday). Nutjob flounced in and put some cookies in the kitchen, then announced loudly to anyone who was here (which isn't many, it's a morgue in here in the summer) that there were cookies. Before she went up front to cover the phones she made a big deal out of telling Musketeer #3.

A few minutes later, Musketeer #3 asked if I'd had one. Is he nuts? I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole. Good decision on my part- apparently they taste like bacon. Now, I love bacon... but not in my cookies. I know, for the sake of the blog and good reporting, I should have one. But I have enough digestive problems without the aid of bacon flavored cookies baked by someone who picks their nose and eats it.

So now I have a quandry. Do I take the bait and get into a baking contest with her? It would be fun, and I'm sure my officemates would appreciate the benefits. I am really tempted to bring something else in on Monday just to see if she follows up with something of her own. It could be really amusing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Here we go again...

Ahh, I knew he wouldn't let me down. Remember how CheapSkate asked a few weeks ago if I'd picked the holiday card yet? I figured he was making up for not asking me last year by asking early this year. But he just won't let it die. I sent out the email to everyone, asking how many they wanted this year, and wouldn't you know it, I got a voicemail from him asking to see it. I couldn't resist, I had to call him on it. (Oddly enough, he's been quite mellow lately and we've been getting along, so I figured it was ok to tweak him a little). Keep in mind that I'm Mrs. PC Holiday Card and have never picked one with any religious symbolism on it whatsoever.

Me: Hey, I got your message.

CheapSkate: Yeah. I just wanted to see the card. Is there one laying around here maybe?

Me: Can I ask you something? Haven't I been doing this for a long time?

CheapSkate: Yeah....

Me: And don't I do a pretty good job of picking a non-religious card?

CheapSkate: Most of the time. Look, you have to understand, I can't be sending cards out to a client with a wreath on them.

Me: I've never picked one with a wreath!

CheapSkate: Well, maybe it wasn't you, but there was one year I had to go out and buy all my own.

Me: Well, it just cracks me up that you ask me every single year. I definitely try to find a very plain one. So, let me describe this year's card to you?

CheapSkate: Ok

Me: It's blue, with silver snowflakes on it and it says "Season's Greetings".

CheapSkate: That's perfect.

The thing is, I think I know which card he was talking about when he said he had to buy his own. One year we had a white card with a picture of a forest, including pine trees, with soft snow falling. He didn't like it because "it has Christmas trees on it".


Well I'm back from vacation and no one is doing anything interesting. Dammit, don't you people know I have a blog to write?! So, in lieu of offensive comments and bizarre behavior, I offer you this.