I think it's all self explanatory, but let's just say this: I made these five statements over the course of a three month period. And the responses, in some cases were immediate, while others got to simmer in that Pan's Labyrinth of a maze in her brain.
5) The holidays are so busy, especially with the church choirs I'm in.
Everyone has their thing over the holidays that keeps them busy. For me, I'd gotten myself into two choirs at my church and realized that Christmas is the big music season. Lots of singing, lots of rehearsal. (I managed to come down with a raging case of laryingitis this year, so it was a moot point, but not at the time this conversation happened.) Noelle C and I were talking about being busy during the holiday season and I made mention of being in a church choir. This was not a first mention of the topic. We've talked about church often in the past. I was under the impression, mostly because she told me, that she belonged to a church she liked very much. Apparently not on the day said these innocent words because as she stood there, staring down at me over the ledge of my desk, she raised up all the fury possible in her frame and spewed for a ten minute litany about how she had a very bad experience in a church once and she would never, ever, ever (Do you hear Taylor Swift in your head?) go into a church ever again. She picked up a fairly heavy item from my desk (it's an item I'm required to have on my desk...I don't want it, it's not mine, but it's part of our display in the show room and I have to have it on my desk) and started waving it around. I feared for the health of my head since it was in direct flight line of this item, should her grip give way.
4) I'm selling candy bars for a fund raiser for my kid.
This was some months ago, Girl child was selling candy bars to raise money for her band trip. I took a couple boxes to work with me, and the sales were a complete success. My best customer? Yep, that would be Noelle C. No one loves chocolate quite like
a fluffy girl. She enjoyed several helpings of chocolaty goodness.
And then she decided she needed to lose 80 pounds immediately. And suddenly, suddenly those candy bars, and the fact that I was selling them, were the enemy. "You are making me fat!" she shouted through mouthfuls of chocolate, but not in a funny way like most fluffy girls do, not in a way that really said, "I'm making myself fat." No, Noelle C was definitely accusing me of bringing the candy bars to work, pulling the money out of her pocket, and forcing the chocolate into her pie hole.
A sort of sub section of this is that I keep a dish of candy on my desk. It's candy for customers who come in, or for the installation guys who stop by my desk or the UPS guy, pretty much anyone who would like a piece of candy in their day gets one if they want to stop by my desk. Typically it's hard candy, but for the holidays I brought in a bag of festive mini candy bars. I hadn't even opened the bag when she spied it and ran out of her office SHRIEKING like some staged Hollywood banshee "You can't bring that in here, I'm trying to give up SUGAR!"
She berated me for five minutes for that one. How DARE I bring in candy when she's giving up sugar and did I know how damaging sugar was to the body, and she was in the medical field once and she watched Dr. Oz and now she's giving up sugar and how DARE I tempt her.
Lumbergh, our boss (not his real name) heard this exchange and, in his weird sense of humor, decided from then on it was funny to tease me about it. "Hey, you brought candy in...I'm on a diet!" he will chirp as he flits by my desk. (Apparently I've decided he's a bird.) Oh yes, it's hilarious...
3) You have a personality.
Recently I've tried adopting a method of conversing with Noelle C that WON'T get me into trouble. Since she can't hear half my responses anyway unless I shout and then she gets mad at me because I'm shouting and she thinks I'm shouting because I'm angry at her...it's sick circle of life at my desk, I assure you...I decided to try just nodding and agreeing with everything she says by repeating exactly what she says. And I was doing so well the other day. Lumbergh had left for the day, which was her instant signal to stop working. (what is it with the women I am forced to work with in this building? Every time Lumbergh leaves, they stop working and come to my desk to complain about him...don't they know the minute he leaves I have a very important spider solitaire game to play?????? And it's really twisted that she does it, because she is SO in love with Lumbergh. So when she rips on him it confuses me...I made the mistake once of agreeing with her about his foibles....I won't be doingTHAT again because the flip side of those conversations always result in her running to Lumbergh to tell him that we talked about him...but she always leaves her participation out of the conversation.
Anyway, so he left for the day and she stomps to my desk and starts talking about how she likes how I laugh. I have a big, loud laugh if you get me going. I thanked her, but did not make eye contact because it's been my experience that when she starts with a new topic that seems random, it's probably leading somewhere I don't want to go. So I nod a smile at her.
"I don't have a big laugh."
I nod and smile.
"I never laugh."
I nod and smile.
"I don't have a personality."
"Oh, you have a personality." It slipped out before I could stop it.
That lit the fireworks. She wanted me to open the door for her rant and I kicked that sucker in by saying she had a personality. "NO!" She shouted over me as she leaned over my desk, "I DON'T I WAS NEVER ALLOWED TO HAVE A PERSONALITY. I TELL PEOPLE YES AND I DO WHAT I'M TOLD BECAUSE THAT'S HOW I WAS RAISED I WAS NEVER RAISED TO SMILE OR THINK FOR MYSELF AND SO NOW I DON'T HAVE A PERSONALITY I'M JUST A MACHINE."
I wanted to disagree, but she was waving that item I'm forced to keep on my desk at me again...once of these days she's going to loosen her grip on it and it's going to hit me in the face. I can feel it like it's already happened. And that's why I don't throw out my lawyer's phone number. I'm starting to fear for my physical safety.
2) I wanted to be a paramedic when I was a kid.
I must be weak at the end of the day. Lumbergh leaves about ten minutes before I do each day, so I relax a little bit and that's when she pounces. How we got into a conversation about what we wanted to be when we were children I have no idea. I try to avoid conversations about childhood because, as she's told me many times, she never had a childhood. So how she got me to reveal that, as a childhood fan of the show "Emergency" I wanted until I was fourteen and my mother crushed my dreams, to be a paramedic. (That's a blog for another day) The conversation started out nicely, I do remember that. She said Emergency was her favorite show as well. (I find this unlikely since she's told me several times she wasn't allowed to watch TV as a kid...) She tells me endlessly how she was in the medical field, so we talked about nursing. And then, it got weird.
That's when she started flailing her arms around and talking about the many, many car accidents she's come up upon in her life and how she's had to drag people from burning cars and give them life saving CPR and how she gave CPR to a corpse on more than one occasion and how she and her ex husband (and I was shocked...I knew she had kids, but she's never mentioned an ex anything...I thought they hatched in her cliff side nest) once had to pull a man away from a car accident (You're really not supposed to move people, are you?) and how his "neck vein" (her words, not mine. I guess that's her medical field talk for JUGULAR.) was spurting blood.
"So you know what we have to do, right?"
I shake my head, more worried she's going to pick up that thing on the edge of my desk and fling it at me.
"We have to..." and here she pulls up her top (this would be the third time she's forced me to see her underwear since she started working at Initech) "and then just pump away on the wound until the ambulance comes."
Confused? I was too. According to this statement, if I come upon a serious car accident I'm supposed to drag the victim around for a bit, flash my bra at him, and then do CPR on his jugular.
But hey, she must know what she's doing. After all, she went to nursing school (Which is weird since I thought nursing school was college and she has sworn to me she belonged to a cult that wouldn't allow her to go to college which is why while her five siblings all have college degrees and high powered careers, she is stuck working in a bad job...like, you know...mine. Anyway, she went to nursing school, and she learned high important medical stuff like....well, that you have to wash your hands after using the bathroom. AND THAT, she tells me, is WHY she washes her hands after every toilet use.
I must have had a different education. See, I went to teachers school and they didn't teach us to wash our hands after using the bathroom...because we'd been taught that in school when we were in kindergarten!
1) I got a tetanus shot from my new doctor.
I wasn't feeling well the other day because I have a new internal med doc (my other one quit...that's another blog) and he insisted I get a tetanus shot.
All very innocent until Noelle C noticed I wasn't as perky as normal. So I told her I'd gotten a new doctor and that I liked him after our first meeting, he seemed fairly thorough.
She asked his name.
I'm an idiot. I told her his name.
And now she has a new doctor. Mine. Lord help us all.
She was going to meet with him on Friday so of course on Thursday when Lumbergh left she asked me how she should inform him that she didn't want to follow any medical orders but her own. I suggested just asking him questions about how he would approach her various medical conditions and if she didn't like the answers, she didn't have to go to him.
She then picked up that thing I'm forced to keep on my desk and started waving it around talking about her previous doctor who wanted to prescribe something for her asthma that would melt her bones and how she had a friend who had melted bones and now that friend had to have someone help her to the bathroom.
Boy, I hope her friend knew to wash her hands afterwards.
So now not only is going to to my new doctor...she'll tell him I referred her to him, and she'll probably smack the poor guy in the head with a stack out outdated magazines.
And I will need a new doctor.