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Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS

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  • PART ONE:

    The first week, she baffled me.
    The second week, she annoyed me.
    The third week, she angered me.
    The fourth week, she infuriated me.
    The fifth week, she was fired.

    THE FIRST WEEK:
    In his efforts to keep his desk planner free of intrusion, one year Mr. Magazine Time did not place a job ad for a lab tech to get us through the busy season. Gay Panda grew nervous as time wound down to the crunch, as the lab required two people to operate. I was very efficient, but due to an unsuspected iodine deficiency, I was not magical. A second lab tech was critical.

    The five minutes it would have taken to resurrect the copy of the ad from his computer and place it online; the minute it would have taken to shuffle off the applications onto another employee for review; and the hour it would have eaten to interview the best two prospects added up to far too much time from his day. We got closer and closer to Crunch Time and still he did not place an ad. Sometimes he just went home early to rest up for the upcoming busy season, and Gay Panda did not know what he was resting up for since he didn’t do anything else during the busy season than he did during the slow. In fact, he often did less.

    This was how Toodles joined the company. She was the wife of the company’s tech supplier, and overhearing* the tech guy mention that his wife was having no luck finding work, Mr. Magazine Time suggested the lab. And so she was hired for the position without so much as an application or an interview, and problem solved! Mr. Magazine Time returned to his magazines in triumph.

    Hearing a manic laugh outside my cubicle one shift, I was introduced to the new lab tech the day before she was to begin. The woman was in her fifties, very wide and extremely pale, and the only color upon her person was from her dyed red hair. It was fried from long chemical abuse, knotted and stiff and shaggy, but she ran her hand through it lovingly as if they were the locks of a princess who moisturized on a daily basis. Her eyes had a dizzy look, like she had disembarked from a roller coaster, and she greeted me too loudly among the sea of cubicles and quiet workers. I smiled politely, my radar for strange individuals already in the red zone and ringing PING PING PING in my mind, and I hoped that she was just exuberant and excited and we would get along fine.

    On her first day of work, she was late. I waited in the office with annoyance, since Mr. Magazine Time had informed me that she and I would be sharing my work truck Pudding. At last she showed and we loaded into Pudding, and as I pulled away from the office to drive to the lab, the woman sighed in rapture and said, “I love how the air here sparkles! Can’t you just see it?”

    Had you been reading Gay Panda’s mind right then, you would have heard a hearty oh, f*ck.
    JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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    • PART TWO:

      “I’m so excited to have this job!” she squealed with a hair toss. “I just couldn’t stand my son asking me to make him snacks one more time! I can’t wait for his school to start up in ten days.”
      You took a hard job for three months to get away from your son for ten days? I thought. Expecting her to answer four or five, I asked, “How old is your son?”
      “Oh, he’s sixteen!”

      As I drove Pudding and picked through memories to determine my own state of self-sufficiency by my junior year of high school, the new lab tech unloaded about the neediness of her son. He wanted her to vacuum his room. He wanted a hot dog. He wanted a second hot dog. He wanted cookies. She laughed ruefully about how she had to keep getting up to do all of these things for him, how he could not manage to do laundry or clean his room and how sick she was of his whining and picking up his room for him, and finally I pulled Pudding into the driveway at the lab and exited in relief as she cackled maniacally in the passenger seat about how she was free of him for ten whole days.

      For the next hour, she was trained on proper lab procedure by another boss, and then interrupted her to cry, “But that’s completely inefficient! I’m going to rewrite all of your procedures and do it better!”
      I stared at her.
      My boss stared at her.
      She reached for a pen to take notes on improvements.

      My boss finally got her wind back and said that we would not be changing up procedures that had suited the lab well enough for many years, and the disappointed new lab tech persisted throughout that day in trying to convince the boss otherwise. I worked around them during the training, too busy to pay much attention, but that odd laugh was ever present no matter where I was in the lab or outside doing testing.

      When we returned to the main office in Pudding at the end of the day, the new lab tech marched into the office of the CEO and cried, “I want to rewrite the lab procedures to make them more efficient!” Gay Panda hurried on by to the Endless Sea of Cubicles, and let the CEO do what she would. As I entered data into the computer, in time I heard that maniacal laugh among the cubicles as the lab tech went visiting to introduce herself to furiously working employees. Then it was time for her to go, and she stopped by my cubicle to say, “See you tomorrow, Gay Panda! TOODLES!”

      And out she went with a hair shake. The next morning she was there (more or less) on time, and as we loaded into Pudding, she sighed in rapture and said, “I love how the air here sparkles! Can’t you just see it?”

      It was a perfect echo of the day before, every inflection and emphasis, and Gay Panda began to get very, very worried.
      JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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      • wow! she needs some Sock Sorters!
        Cooking Primal with Otter - Journal
        Otter's (Defunct) Primal Log
        "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

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        • Sorry to hijack, but I must know: Ottercat, what are sock sorters? (I am a rabid sock knitter. Is this a new toy I might want?)

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          • Originally posted by ottercat View Post
            wow! she needs some Sock Sorters!
            Ironically, I worked with her years AFTER writing Mother's Little Helpers. Toodles was just an older and far battier version of Nicole.
            JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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            • Originally posted by naiadknight View Post
              Your mother was a gerbil and your father smelt of skunkberries!
              Considering the high loony factor of the Panda Parents, a gerbil and smelly father might have been preferable.
              JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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              • Originally posted by Griffin View Post
                I digress a bit but I have a masonry contractor working for me that Panda's aunt would hate - "Scorpio Masonry."
                Aunt Panda would have SCREAMED!!! Tonight I find myself wondering: was she dumped in her youth by a Scorpio boyfriend? Was she fired by a Scorpio boss or hit by a car with a Scorpio at the wheel? Where did this weirdness come from?
                JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                • Oh my, I've been highly entertained by this journal for the past few days at work! You're pretty cool, Gay Panda. As is everyone else here too!

                  Mostly, I wanted to say, Aunt Panda makes me a sad Scorpio. There was a lady I worked with briefly, who I felt like I had become good friends with. We were sitting together at lunch with many of our other co-workers and we talked about astrology, I cheerfully said that I was a Scorpio.

                  She looked at me in complete disgust, "I can't STAND Scorpios. They're so bitchy and nasty."

                  And the dynamic of the relationship changed from there on in. Why so much hate, whhhhhy.

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                  • I was told that, being an Aquarius, I would never make a good engineer because my emotions would override the science and math in my designs. I was much better suited to be a customer service rep because "that's what female Aquarians do."
                    I ripped the person a new one.
                    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                    My Latest Journal

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                    • PART THREE:

                      Our second day together consisted of the same conversation on repeat over the lab instruments. While none of them were very complicated, one does have to memorize a procedure. Fortunately, it is written down. But she did it wrong over and over again, and would cry out in dismay, “I’m so stupid! I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I did that.”

                      “This is new to you,” I reassured her. “You’ll have it down pat in a few days.”
                      “I just can’t believe I’m so stupid.”
                      “You’re learning a new thing and that takes time.”
                      “I mean, hello! Earth to Toodles!”

                      Upon one such exchange, she said, “I made it through law school, so you’d think I could do this!”
                      I looked at her in surprise. “You’re a lawyer?”
                      “Oh, yes!”
                      Then why are you working for $13 an hour as a lab tech? I wondered. This was before the economy had taken its swan dive, and I was confused. “A recent graduate?”
                      “Oh, no, twenty-five years ago. But finding work is hard!” Then she did something wrong again while titrating, broke into girlish giggles at her incompetence, and squealed, “My bad!”**

                      It was a very long day. By the end of it, I had stopped consoling her that it was not stupidity, because nothing I said made any impact. I had too much work to do to take on the side task of Therapist, and so I just explained the procedure again without commenting on her intelligence or lack thereof. She had a terrible time sitting at the instruments waiting for the next reading, and kicked the counter with her feet and fidgeted and carried on a conversation so inane that I fail to remember much of any of it save that she had gone to a bonfire the night before with her husband and their neighbors, and they had held hands and sang and had marshmallows and it was very nice. Then she got up and looked out the window and commented again about how the air sparkled. Back to her chair and kicking the counter THUD-THUD-THUD and off her chair to get chocolate from her purse and back to kicking THUD-THUD-THUD and a cry of her stupidity.

                      When we returned in Pudding to the main office, I took a seat in the office of one of my nicer bosses to hand her the results. She asked how it was going and I gave her a meaningful look, and she smiled with pity and confirmed, “Toodles is a little odd.”
                      Thankfully, it was a short week. I drove home and girded myself for the second week with a heavy dose of Thai food.
                      JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                      • Originally posted by Ryokumuji View Post
                        I wanted to say, Aunt Panda makes me a sad Scorpio. There was a lady I worked with briefly, who I felt like I had become good friends with. We were sitting together at lunch with many of our other co-workers and we talked about astrology, I cheerfully said that I was a Scorpio.

                        She looked at me in complete disgust, "I can't STAND Scorpios. They're so bitchy and nasty."

                        And the dynamic of the relationship changed from there on in. Why so much hate, whhhhhy.
                        I don't know why people single out Scorpio for such distaste. This morning after reading your comment, while trying (failing) to get out of bed, I picked another sign and pulled up every single person I knew that had been born under it. (It was Aries, in case anyone cares.) I found six Aries among my friends/relatives/acquaintances, and here is how they broke down:

                        1. Quiet and paranoid, highly antisocial and angry.
                        2. One of the most extroverted, warmhearted, and kind people in the universe.
                        3. Naive, loud, and as loyal a friend as the day is long.
                        4. Meek with a nervous laugh, a penny-pinching but well-meaning person.
                        5. Brilliant and introverted, with a wicked sense of humor.
                        6. The biggest complainer you will ever meet. Depressed and whiny and a hypochondriac attention-whore.

                        So what can I conclude from this about Aries? Absolutely nothing. I don't think that I'd find anything different if I'd opened my personal File: Scorpio. Of course, if anyone would like to prove me wrong today, go ahead and pick a sign and leave a comment!
                        Last edited by Gay Panda; 03-14-2012, 09:39 AM.
                        JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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                        • Bat Woman and lessons about how cheating can make you miserable was just what the doctor ordered after a day of working on my taxes. Who says you need plot or audible to dialogue to make a movie enjoyable!

                          Thank you Panda!
                          Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                          • Originally posted by naiadknight View Post
                            I was much better suited to be a customer service rep because "that's what female Aquarians do."
                            I had to laugh at this because I'm also an Aquarius & dealing with the public is definitely NOT something I do well. While I do tend to be emotional, I can't abide idiots or nasty people!
                            Goal: Don't worry be happy!

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                            • *giggle* I'm so stupid!

                              Pause

                              Pause

                              Oh- you were waiting for me to disagree?

                              If only . . .
                              http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

                              Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

                              And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

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                              • Originally posted by Urban Forager View Post
                                Bat Woman and lessons about how cheating can make you miserable was just what the doctor ordered after a day of working on my taxes. Who says you need plot or audible to dialogue to make a movie enjoyable!
                                And what was that fuzzy black thing on Bat Woman's shoulder? Lady Friend and I have puzzled over that for years.
                                JOIN THE PANDA SHOW!!! Primal With A Side Of FABULOUS and PANDALOONERY!

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