AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books

True tales of the craziest co-worker I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing

2 Comments


In which I’m catty and mean 3/15/05 – 02:03 pm

This girl I work with, I swear, she’s nice, and she means well, I’m sure but I do not understand how she manages to get through the day. On a daily basis I want to post about something she’s said or done, but you have no background for it (well most of you don’t) so I refrain. She needs a good nickname, but I can’t think of anything that isn’t mean. Maybe if I tell you about her you can think of one.

She won’t pay the $40 a month for parking and instead has to go out and move her car every two hours around the neighborhood. She tells me this is because she “has no budget for parking.” Parking on the street and moving her car every two hours has resulted in an average of two $36 parking tickets a month and the occasional towing (two times that I know of in that last 5 months, resulting in $250+ in towing and impound fees each time). No wonder she has no budget for parking. She’s paying it all in parking tickets. The several times I explained this to her, she didn’t seem to understand.

Also she needs to stop asking me to carpool with her. Sure carpool parking is free, but since I don’t drive to work because the bus is easier and it’s out of her way to pick me up it doesn’t seem reasonable to keep asking me. She’s late for work every day and I come in an hour early every day so I can leave early. This means she gets to work, on average 90 minutes after I do. Why would I want to carpool? So I could sit around every morning waiting for her to call and say she’s running late?

And don’t get me started on her dating life, which she feels the need to tell me about in detail. And I listen because I’m nice, and I’m very bad about extracting myself politely from conversations I don’t want to be in.

She recently asked me to help understand this guy she went on a date with. He told her that he didn’t want a relationship, that he wasn’t ready to settle down, and that he was only in town for two more weeks before he moved to Montana and he’d be free to “hang out” until then. So she asked me if I thought he was trying to give her the brush off. I suggested that maybe he just wasn’t interested in a relationship, which is why HE SAID THAT HE WASN’T.

Seriously, she spends every evening in bars around her neighborhood, meets guys, and then wonders why they don’t want to get serious. Uh, because you met him a bar? Where he was surely just looking to get laid?

Every time this happens with a guy she takes it way personally and by every time I mean every damn week. I get two days of giddy over some new guy she met and then two days of doubt and then questioning why he wouldn’t want her. It’s exasperating. And she doesn’t know me that well, but anyone who did wouldn’t ask ME for dating advice. I never even know what to say to her.

So yeah, I have dozen of daily stories of surprising cluelessness on her part. I try to be nice to her. I don’t dislike her, I just seriously can not understand where she’s coming from.

*

9/9/05 – 10:26 am

So for the past, roughly five weeks, stupid girl at my work–from here on known as ADT for “Astonishingly Dim [Realname]”–has come into my office no less than twice a week and said, “Your hair looks longer, did you get it cut?” Twice a week, for five weeks. (Note, I haven’t had my hair cut since about April.) So tomorrow I’m getting my hair cut and I’m wondering if she’ll even notice at all on Monday. It would be exactly perfect if I did finally get it cut (shorter, mind you, not longer as she’s repeatedly suggested) and she couldn’t tell the difference.

*

10/5/05 – 12:59 pm

ADT (you’ll recall that’s my coworker, Astonishingly Dim [Realname]) has apparently been emailing and chatting with some Irish boy who has taken her up on her invitation to come visit (much to her own astonishment) and is arriving in mere days to stay for three weeks. This makes her very nervous and uncomfortable. She has finally told him that her [imaginary] boyfriend doesn’t want her meeting him alone and has begged me to go have lunch with her and him in case he’s a psycho killer. Honestly, I can’t imagine anything more boring. I’m making two of the other office guys go. Not for protection, just for my own amusement.

*

10/6/05 – 01:27 pm

Mmm, cold lunch. As I carried my hot lunch into my office, ADT followed me in and proceeded to tell me all her personal and family problems until my food was cold. She did offer to take it and microwave it for me, but that was really, too little too late.

I have to figure out the most friendly, least offensive way to tell her, in a kindly, managerial way, that it’s not appropriate for her to tell me any of this, because have only a work relationship and I’m her superior. Also I don’t care.

But since she did share, I’ll share too in cruel and gossipy manner. Her latest dramas include having slept with a guy she met at the bar she hangs out in, and then a week later (after she drunk-dialed him half a dozen times) he slept with a another girl who hangs out in the bar who is ADT’s sworn enemy. I know it’s hard to believe a bunch of heavy drinkers would engage in such cruel childish behavior, but it must be true, cause she told me it was! (Aside to [info]jettison, ADT knows exactly nothing about me, or my life, but sometimes I want pull a huge oh-yeah-bitch-let-me-one-up-you-with on her dimly lit head.)

The second drama is family related. Her grandparents have willed her their house, which she is currently living in with her mother (but not the grandparents, they live somewhere else). She’s upset because she feels the family doesn’t think she can handle owning the house by herself and has asked her mother (who is in the middle of a divorce) to be there to watch her. ADT is upset because, as she put it, between the warnings at work (she currently on probation for tardiness an d bad mistakes), she feels like she’s watched at work and she doesn’t need to be watched at home. She thinks her mother is judging her for going out drinking every night (she probably is) and that she isn’t responsible enough to maintain house (she doesn’t appear to be).

I feel sorry for her. I admit I think her problems are either easy Mickey Mouse problems, or things she’s brought on herself, but she seems to dim to realize any of that and I feel bad for her. But really, there isn’t anything I can do for her. Just being a good listener isn’t going to do fuck all. And really she never even seems to hear advice (remember I couldn’t convince her that $45 a month for parking in paid space was better deal that three parking tickets a month and a towing every other month). I find the whole thing frustrating and annoying, but good gossip none the less.

*

Astonishingly Dim gossip 10/28/05 – 01:15 pm

ADT, you’ll recall, is my coworker, Astonishingly Dim [realname]. Why I’ve given her such a good short nickname, when I explain it every time I don’t know. Anyway, today, a few if us walked up to Subway for lunch, and while I was getting my soda she came up behind me, REALLY EFFING CLOSE, and whispered in my ear, “I have a new boyfriend, he’s keeping me up nights.” EWWWWW. Man, nearly put off my lunch entirely. Apparently he’s been her boyfriend for a whole week! She met him in a bar! And he’s recently divorced and has two kids still in diapers. I’m sure this will turn out well.

Walking back from lunch, in another conversation ADT mentioned she’d never babysat and then amended, “Well, I did once when I was younger, but I locked the kids outside and wasn’t invited back to baby-sit again.” Really? You don’t say?!?! Then she added, “Well, I didn’t do it on purpose, they went outside to play and I didn’t know the door was locked, I thought they just weren’t coming back in.” And you weren’t invited back? Astounding. Also, I hope she shared this with her new boyfriend before he decides to dump his tots off on her.

Yesterday I went shopping with my awesome co-worker, Boomticky. Now Boomticky shares an office with ADT and has, until yesterday, never commented on her to me. But after I made side remark on ADT’s dimness, the floodgates were open!! Boomticky shared many stories with me, most were her perspective on things I’ve shared here before. However my favorite was an incident from earlier this week in which ADT came to work very hung-over (so a day like any other, right?) and was complaining that she’d smoked a whole pack of cigarettes while drunk the night before (she’s not a smoker). Later she was coughing and saying breathing hurt and Boomticky said that drinking heavily and smoking will do that to you, but ADT responded that maybe she was “getting asthma” as if it’s something you catch. Boomticky, replied that though possible, that was highly unlikely and that all the cigarettes were probably still hurting her lungs from the night before. ADT went on coughing and complaining though out the day (I should mention that she had the most annoying cough ever–I can hear her al the way down the hall) and later another co-worker came in and asked ADT if she was sick. ADT replied that yes, she had asthma and it hurt more cause she’d just got it!!

She came into my office this morning to ask if I’d heard about some spa. I said yes, I’d been a couple times a few years back and it was nice. “Really?” she replied, eyes wide, “Cause I heard some really weird things about it.” Weird, like how? I wondered. “Well, it’s an all-women spa, right?” Yep, it’s women only, I said. “But, like, you have to be naked? And people are like going around in the sauna and stuff naked?” This was apparently shocking and horrifying to her. I pointed out that it was kind of a hippy spa, but that in general there’s always going to be some nakedness at spas, it’s sort of the nature of the places.

She seems to have forgotten entirely about the Irish boy she invited to visit over IM. After expressing horror to us repeatedly that he was coming for three weeks, he in fact went and spent two of those weeks in other cities, which ADT found equally shocking. That he would come all the way to America and then want to see more than one city is apparently unfathomable.

And last and least, she’s torn the side view mirror off her car, in parking lot, apparently because the other car was “parked too close.” She did say it happened at 1:30 am in a bar parking lot, but assured us she hadn’t been drinking…

*

drippy 11/4/05 – 12:54 pm

Another gruesomely miserable day. This weather is the ick. In honor of it, I’ve made this icon. Luckily it was actually dry when I left this morning and I arrived at work with only the finest drops of smir on me. Then of course the deluge started right before lunch and we all rushed over to the 13 Coins, because it’s literally the closest thing (even closer than the company cafeteria), where it was warm and the food is comforting in a going-out-to-dinner-with-your-grandparents kind of way. Now am in my office where my toes never seem to get warm, facing piles of work that I have procrastinated on all week. Hmmm, maybe now is the time to clean my desk.

In other news, I have cute pigtails today to which ADT said, “Are those pigtails?” Um, no, it’s a new Japanese thing in hair styles, I’d tell you, but you couldn’t pronounce it.

*

astonishingly prudish 11/8/05 – 11:52 am

So ADT just came into my office and the following conversation ensued:

ADT: Hi, um, do you have something I can borrow?
me: *shrugs* *looks confused*
ADT: No? Okay, then, thanks anyway.
me: I have no idea what you are asking for.
ADT: *steps in, closes the door and whispers* A tampon?
me: *loudly* Tampon? Maybe, let me look. *looks* Erm, nope, guess it time to refill my purse.
ADT: Me too. Well, thanks, I guess I’ll just drive home.
me: They have some in the bathrooms in the main building and the convenience store across the street…
ADT: It’s okay, I’ll just go home.

Yesterday I asked her in passing how her weekend was. “OMG,” she gushed, “I had the best massage ever!” And then blushing and whispering adds, “but they made me take most of my clothes off!” Shocking! I say, truly shocking!!!

She’s really astonishingly prudish for someone who regularly gets drunk and sleeps with near strangers and then tells her co-workers all about it.

I should relay this little gem too. Last week, after she stood close to me in the sandwich shop and shared too much (and I then posted) she came into my office later to tell me her meatball sub was a waste of money. Apparently she couldn’t pick it up, being all mushy and saucy like meatball subs are, so she threw it away and got a frozen mac & cheese entree from a vending machine instead. When I suggested that perhaps she could have eaten the sub with a fork, she simply looked blank and walked away. I ask you, who throws away a sandwich because they can’t figure out how to eat it?

*

Astonishingly dim career choices 11/28/05 – 03:31 pm

ADT has been talking about a career change lately. Apparently Help Desk support isn’t satisfying her (I can’t imagine why). Over the last two weeks she has consulted me on what I thought she’d need to learn to get certain jobs and brought up the subject in several group conversations. Other employment possibilities she is considering (and believe me, I could not make up this list if I tried):

systems analyst
llama farmer
paralegal
fashion buyer for dept store
baker
advertising sales exec

I think baker is on the top of her list right now. She says she wants to get a weekend job baking at a bakery, cause she just likes baking so much. I don’t think she believed me when I told her making good cookies wasn’t enough to get you a good job at a bakery, that she’d have to go to school for it.

In vaguely related news, she’s inherited a house and her family is contesting it on the grounds that she’s not capable of taking care of it herself (I know, I’m shocked too). She’s been wondering (aloud) if maybe this isn’t actually true. What I want to know is, if she thinks she can’t maintain a house, why would she think llama farming is a good career choice?

*

I will need rehab after you’re done with me 12/8/05 – 04:15 pm

So just now I’m in the copy room waiting for a very slow print job and chatting with a coworker and ADT comes in and says, “Jacyn, are you still in rehab?” WTF?? The following conversation ensues:

me: Uh, what?

CW: *sarcastically* Yeah, Jacyn, how’s that Betty Ford center working out for you? *to ADT* That’s not the kind of thing you bring up in public, even if it’s not true.

ADT: Well, I have a sports injury.

me: Do you mean am I still doing Physical Therapy?

ADT: Yeah, does it hurt?

CW: *laughs & leaves*

me: Well it depends, I guess, on what your injury is and what they have you do for it.

ADT: Well it’s my butt bone, and I thought maybe it was arthritis, but I guess I got a sports injury, which is weird since I don’t really play sports.

me: Maybe it’s just a repetitive motion injury?

ADT: *looks confused* I don’t think he said anything about that. But I do run on a treadmill sometimes and that gets repetitious. *walks away*

me: *hides in my office*

*

Astonishingly Dim Tales 1/23/06 – 10:36 am

So, I’m in the office kitchen, washing out my cup and ADT comes in.

“Cute shoes!” She exclaims. They are cute I suppose: innocuous, black, lug-soled, flat mary-janes. I thank her and finish up washing my cup.

“OMG!” ADT exclaims again, “I’ve never had one of these!” I turn to see her holding up a Cup O’Noodles (Pot Noodle).

“Oh, really?” Confusion is surely written all over my face. “It’s like ramen,” I explain, “But in a little cup.”

She nods, though it’s not completely clear if she understands me. “Do I want coffee?” She asks finally. I mumbled that I don’t know and escape the kitchen as quickly as possible.

Not long after I pass her office, where one of our IT people is checking to see that ADT got the right installation of some new software this weekend. I overhear her exclaiming, “OMG, I have my ‘bad boy’ desktop up! I can’t believe you saw that! I’m so embarrassed.” Her ‘bad boy’ desktop? A picture of some 27-year old guy she met at her neighborhood bar. It’s just a head shot, he’s wearing a toque and has an unlit cigarette in his mouth. “Bad boy” yeah. But it reminded me of something.

Once, around the time she met this guy, she told me he came over to her house, to “hang out” after they’d been at the bar. She apparently “fell asleep” and woke up at 2 am and discovered he was still there and using her computer. This distressed her, so she sent him away. Later she came to me with a link to a page he’d gone to on her computer. I can’t remember exactly, but it was something with “fuck” in the URL and I think a .org extension. So I open it and it appears to be some sort of chat log, I suspect from gaming online with his friends. ADT is very upset because she doesn’t understand what this is and wants to know if I think he’s dangerous. I say it looks like a gamers chat log and probably doesn’t mean anything. She expressed relief and went on to show me a pic of him on the same server (the same one that’s now her desktop). I said I thought he looked like an asshole. And she assured me he was nice except sometimes he was mean when he drank and that he drank a lot. I pointed out that this basically made him an asshole. Anyway, yeah, I couldn’t remember if I’d reported that one before, so there you are. Honestly, I’m lacking stories because I’ve been mostly avoiding her.

All dialogue is in fact completely true, though I may have dramatized some of the action.

*

More astonishingly dim tales 3/8/06 – 09:58 am

It’s an ADT conversation, verbatim. You know I can’t make this stuff up, right?

me: *sitting in my office desperately trying to catch up after being out for two days*
ADT: Welcome back!
me: thanks!
ADT: *accusingly* What did you have?
me: um, the flu? (thinking, WTF, right?)
ADT: Well, I’m feeling very weak today, I hope I’m not getting anything. I got plenty of sleep last night.
me: I hope you don’t get sick too. It’s been going around,[co-worker] was really sick last week.
ADT: Maybe I’m anemic. The doctor was going to give me a physical last week, but I didn’t like her so I just left. But she could have tested for anemia if I’d stayed.
me: uh.
ADT: you know with everything I’m doing right now, she just didn’t really respond well to me about it so I don’t’ know what to do. But I don’t want to find a new doctor right now.
me: Well, if you can’t talk to your doctor you should probably get a new one.
ADT: Yeah, well with everything right now, I just don’t want to drink coffee or anything, you know because my nerves are frazzled, how am I supposed to find a new doctor?
me: uh…?
ADT: You know about everything, right?
me: no?
ADT: So I’m going through an outpatient recovery program for my drinking and like last Friday this one guy had a seizure right in front of all of us!
me: …
ADT: So it makes it totally real, right?
me: Well, good luck, I hope that works out for you.
ADT: Thanks! *leaves*
me: *headdesk*

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2 thoughts on “True tales of the craziest co-worker I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing

  1. LOLOL. Well worth reading again.

  2. Heh, yeah, it was a nice re-read. So much stupid!

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