Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Private Office. Sane People Only.

So I am struggling to find time to write because this job expects me to WORK, which is really inconvenient for my blogging and e-mailing and wedding planning and whatnot. What I do like about this job, though, is the solitude. I am in a little office, all of my own, with my very own four walls and a door that I sometimes close because I CAN. The girl who worked here before me apparently quit because she got too lonely. I, for one, am not lonely. I am reveling in the peace and quiet and for once, and unlike any other job that I’ve worked at, I can really focus and put my mind to the task at hand, thanks to all the quietness and lack of interruptions.

My boss has come in exactly twice, since I’ve started here. (What, two months ago, now?) He came in on the first day to give me the key and take me out to lunch, and he came in once to pick up a document he needed. Otherwise, I don’t hear much from him. He is fairly hands-off, which I love 99% of the time, and makes me panic the other 1% of the time when he needs the Bumblefuck Report right away! And I! Have never heard! Of the Bumblefuck Report! And so I say, “What is the Bumblefuck Report?” and he says, “Oh, it’s the one on server ShutsDownforRepairsALot,” and then I spent another hour trying to find this server, only to discover that a) I don’t have access to it, and b) Bumblefuck Report isn’t on it, anyway. It’s on yet another server that I don’t have access to.

But anyway. The rest of the time it’s great, and while I do spend a lot of time in the office, I don’t mind because it’s quiet, and I am un-messed with and don’t have to come up with inane “Isn’t the carpet ugly?” coworker talk.

Except. Except for Ms. Doom and Gloom, (DaG for short) who works across the hall from me. Technically, we work for the same company, but in totally different departments. Our lives should never cross, other than having someone to say, “Good morning!” to as we walk past each other’s doors. Unfortunately, DaG is bored. And she doesn’t appear to do much work, at work, as far I can tell. She’s always on the phone, and she always has a crisis du jour. She’s always exhausted. She’s always being asked to do too much. (HA! I say. HA HA. Get off the damn phone and you shall be surprised at how much you can get done!)

DaG does not leave our conversation at the socially acceptable, “Good morning!” minimum, which I would so dearly love to do. DaG often wanders in to my office to tell me about a TV. special she watched last night (even though she never really watches TV.) about falling in love. Or about a crazy biker she almost ran over on her way into the office this morning. Or about how her boss used to live here and now doesn’t and that’s too bad because they just got along so well and she’s just not sure if this job is worth it if she doesn’t have someone to go over the creative process with on a daily basis and her commute is just too long (same as mine, 30 minutes) and blah blah organic mushrooms BLAH.

When The Police concert came through town, I had to listen to the same story of her meeting-up-with-her-dad (from-whom-she’s-a-little-estranged-but-not-really) for-a-beer-beforehand,-and-the-long-train-ride,-and-the-walk-to-the-concert,-and-the-getting-up-close-well-kinda-to-the-stage,-and oh,-was-someone-looking-at-her-funny-and-she-didn’t-bother-to-corect-him-that-she-did-just-buy-a-house-with-someone-but-that-someone-was-her-dad-and-she-just-let-him-think-it-was-a-boyfriend-and-were-her-bangs-a-little-poufy? about ELEVEN different times, because apparently she felt everyone in her world had to hear that hum-dinger.

This morning I was rushing to get some reports done when DaG wandered over to announce that her internet connection was out. “Gee, that’s too bad,” I said, not looking up from my Excel spreadsheet.

“Yeah. I’ve been having trouble with my connection at home, too. What is it with me and the internet?” she continued.

Maybe it’s mad at you for talking too much?

She went away, and I continued to have something of a lover’s quarrel with the auto-sum feature. (Crappy program needs to learn to TRUST me when I tell it to sum the whole column, and not just the part that it’s comfortable with. I am not cheating on it by entering other digits that shouldn’t be there, I promise to be more forthcoming and not leave blanks in the columns in the future, O.K., darling? Don’t pout and make the ####s, anymore, I’ll still be here even if you need to expand just a little to make it fit.)


So anyway, I got through the mess and got the report sent off, and DaG wanders back in and asks if she can borrow my computer just to check her e-mail. Since I wasn’t really needing the computer as urgently, I benevolently said, “Sure.”

“Oh, thanks,” she gushed. “I just need to check my e-mail really quickly. I promise I’ll just be a sec. I have a lunch date I just need to check on.”


“I’m just so tired. I really don’t want to go. But it’s kind of a set-up thing,”

I’m beginning to think that perhaps this is not a business lunch date.

“And he’s halfway cute, but he wants to meet at Panera, and I am just so tired, I can’t remember what time, and I really don’t like that place, I mean, I ONLY eat organic stuff, and you can just tell their chicken isn’t taken care of, properly,”

I’m thinking about how I can take care of her, properly.

“Anyway, I just got out of a long-term relationship about nine months ago, and I’ve just started dating again and. … Oh. … Damn. It looks like my good friend isn’t going to be able to come to my birthday dinner.” Sigh.

I stand up from my guest chair, not-so-subtly.

“Oh. .. Well, at least Amy looks like she’s going to make it to dinner, even if Amanda can’t. I mean, we’re not BEST friends, me and Amy, but it’s nice of her to be there for me, we haven’t always gotten along…. You don’t mind that I’m checking these, do you? It didn’t look like you minded.”

Didn’t it?

Did the standing and pacing and staring not convey the message that I would like my computer back sometime before you start replying to everyone who’s coming to your birthday party to tell them to be sure to bring big presents?

So DaG finally stands up, stretches, proclaims her exhaustion one more time, and begins to squeeze by my desk, and I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel which is my long-lost spreadsheet. Except she stops, and turns back around.

“Hey, you don’t mind if I look up the menu at Panera really quick, do you? I’m just so tired. And when I’m tired, I just can’t make a decision! It’ll just take a sec.,” DaG flashes me a big smile with weary eyes, and sits back down at my desk.

I debate screaming.

She goes over the vegetarian options, laments the untextured-ness of their turkey, and the complications of ordering a sandwich (because she’s really hungry for something more than just a salad) on a first date. You just can’t eat a sandwich neatly, can you? But if this guy is going to judge her on her eating habits the first time he meets her, well, then he’s probably not worth it, anyway.

I have made the decision to run down to Panera and warn off her potential suitor INCOMING: CRAZY! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! YOU WILL NEVER GET HER TO STOP TALKING EVER AGAIN EVER! when she does another big stretch, and ambles back off to her office.

Where, not ten seconds later, she calls across the hall gaily, “Hey! I seem to be back on-line! Thanks for letting me borrow the computer, anyway!” and I close my dearly beloved door and sit down, gnawing on my fist, to write this post, instead of finding another spreadsheet.

This weekend I am buying a lock for my door and a handle of JD for my desk.


Diane said...

I occasionally have the luxury of working from home . . . thanks for reminding me why I treasure those days . . .

Gawd - I pity her date

audrey said...

I have a very similar coworker. She's very talky and one of those always-the-victim people. Like any time anything slightly negative happens it's always because "those jerks" did it specifically to ruin her day.

Unfortunately I do not have a door with which to block out this coworker. And we work in the same department and she and I are the only full-time people in the department, so I am stuck with her all. the. time.

Is it awful that I kinda hope DaG tells you all about her date and how awful it went so that you can tell us about it?

chico said...

I recommend the 50,000 volt solution. Always a good time!

I hear 'ya on the office with a door. I can't wait until I don't have to share my workspace with a trainer anymore.

meno said...

This really makes me remember how i miss working. HA!

v said...

Wow. Sorry to hear about your coworker. But there is a silver lining. Wonderful, witty, very funny posts. Yeah, more of a silver lining for the rest of us.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th!

Pauline said...

You have WAAAAAY more fun at work than I do lol. Next time you can't get her out of your office, just dial her phone extension...and do fill us in on the date ;)

M-M-M-Mishy said...

I have about 6 of those co-workers. Once I quit this job, I'm going balls-out with my work stories on my blog. Intrigued??

She sounds like she'd be the type to be germophobic. I bet that if you start to cough and sneeze on or around her, she'd leave you alone in a heart-beat. Trust.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Diane- I am so jealous that you get to work from home I can't even stand it.

Audrey- I am SO, SO sorry.

Chico- I had not thought about electro-shock-point-making, before, but shall check into it.


V- At least someone benifits. Happy 4th!

Pauline- You are brilliant. I am so going to find out what her phone number is and DO that!

Mish- Please quit your job. Am dying to hear these stories. Misery loves company. :-) Also, I have been practicing my fake sneeze.

Kanigget said...

Oooo, I wish I had an office. It wouldn't even need windows. I used to make fun of people who would basically share their life stories when they've only known me five minutes, but as I get older, I realize I have the potential to become one of those people. It keeps me from pointing the finger. I still talk about them behind their backs though.

Mama P said...

Maybe she's really good at blow jobs. It's hard to talk when you're doing that, and at least she's quiet. Quick! Run and ask the suitor!

Kylene said...

Great work.