Thursday, June 22, 2006

You don't have to be nuts to work here...

It's late in the afternoon. I'm punchy because I have tomorrow off (yay!). PartnerInCrime is punchy because his brain is fried and he's drinking wine. (Which he got from me, which is in my file cabinet because my boss and I bought some small bottles of Sutter Home one day when we couldn't take it anymore. We only drink the classy stuff). We'd been having a pretty decent "therapy session", when one of the brokers stopped by. This guy is an older gent, pretty distinguished, and a major pain in the ass most of the time. But he's one of those older distinguished gents who has a stealth sense of humor.

Gent: So.... where's the committee headed to?

Me: The committee is headed to the nuthouse.

PartnerInCrime: I'm not part of any committee.

Gent: The nuthouse? It's only 4:30. Hey..... We should open a bar/restaurant and call it "The Nuthouse".

Me: Hey that's a great idea.

Gent: We can throw elephant nuts all over the floor...

Me: Elephant nuts?

Gent: Yeah, you know, like at the baseball games.

Me: "Elephant nuts"??? Don't you mean peanuts?

Gent: Oh yeah...

Me: I don't think you want elephant nuts on the floor of your restaurant.

Gent looks at me for a minute, then what I'm saying suddenly dawns on him and he starts laughing.

Gent: SilentWitness, I'm surprised at you!!! You have a dirty mind!

He starts to walk away, then sticks his head back in the door and says...

Gent: You know, Silent, that was a pretty ballsy thing to say.

Poor PartnerInCrime got wine on his shirt.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Did I mention he's obsessed with Nazis?

Musketeer #1 got a wild hair up his ass last year (or it could have just been a midlife crisis, sometimes they're hard to tell apart) and got a motorcycle license... and a motorcycle. I know less about motorcycles than I do about microbiology, so all I can say is that it's a very snazzy looking bike, and it's a BMW. Definitely not "low ego emissions" material.

Today he wandered into my office to chat, and offhandedly mentioned that someone, he's assuming it was the General, turned the hand-warmers on just to mess with him, and he didn't figure out until he got home why his hands were burning. I must have looked at him strangely because he supplied an explanation.

Musketeer #1: It has a switch you can turn on to warm the handles so your hands don't freeze. Like seat warmers in a car. Those Germans think of everything. Especially if it has to do with heat... and ovens.

There wasn't much I could say to that. Ironically enough, one of the compressors on the air conditioning unit that cools our office broke today. The Germans have to be involved somehow, since it's like an oven in here now.

PS- Show of hands: who thinks it would be a bad idea to go for a ride with Musketeer #1?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Bring me a shrubbery

My boss has been working with the plant service, to get some more plants in the office and pretty it up a little. We had several plants in the old space, but this space is bigger (and more corporate) and needs more plants. For some reason she is insisting on an orange tree for the balcony outside her window. Nevermind that an orange tree won't survive the winter... she'll just bring it inside!

The other day, one of the property managers (who uses the same plant service for the buildings they manage) was in her office and they were discussing what plants should go where. I was minding my own business, but remember there is a window in the wall between our offices, so we can communicate.

blah blah blah, plant conversation... then suddenly:

MyBoss: SilentWitness needs a bush!!!

Me: Excuse me?!

PropertyManager (rolling her eyes): Ok, a shrub. Why does everyone have a dirty mind?

MyBoss: Bush, shrub, same thing.

PropertyManager: Actually they're different but I always have to say "shrub" because everyone has the same reaction you do.

...and off they went back to their boring plant conversation. Fast forward a day or two, when I was feeling punchy.

Me: So... why exactly do I need a bush?

MyBoss (smirking): Because I heard you don't have one.

And I think I'll leave that right there. But I just had to share.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Guten Morgen, mein Herr

Musketeer #1 is obsessed with Nazis. I am sure this goes back to his childhood, when his father (of German descent) just up and left the family. Any person from Germany or of German descent is therefore automatically a Nazi. Still, he has a sort of love/hate thing going on with his German heritage, because he randomly put an umlaut (those two funny dots, for those of you who don't know) over one of the vowels in his very German last name, and everyone thinks that's how it's spelled. I only recently found out myself that it doesn't really "belong" there, he just put it there because he felt like it.

He does a lot of work with European companies, so every once in a while he'll run across some Germans, and because he knows I majored in German, he always mentions it. This morning, we were both at the coffee maker at the same time (me for my 2nd cup, and I'd only been here for an hour), and he told me he had to show me this card he got from "a Nazi".

Me: A Nazi?

Him: Yeah. I met these two Nazis yesterday, right off the boat. Come on, let me show you this.

Me (following him): Are you sure they were actually Nazis?

Him: Of course. They were German.

When we got to his office he handed me two business cards, both of which were double sided, with the information in German on one side and English on the other.

Him: Look at the German side. Look at this guy's title. What the hell is that?!

It said "Geschäftsführer". It didn't hit me at first.

Me: Ok... it means "managing director".

Him: Why does it say "Führer"?!?!

Me: Oh! Well that's really just a regular word. It means "leader".

Him: Oh, ok. Well, I don't think he should be handing those cards out over here! I expected him to come goose-stepping into my office.

Well, since all Germans are Nazis, why wouldn't he?