I feel the need

I feel the need

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Return of the Cacti: Noelle C's final farewell...sort of!

Hello all! My apologies to the Star Wars franchise.  Hubby came up with the title of today's post and I love it.

Maybe Noelle C posed for the
cover art of THIS sci-fi
series.  What, too soon?
So it's been a couple days now since Noelle C bid a fond farewell to Stuff Installed, and I feel enough time has passed and I can view this final chapter with more humor than I felt in the last two weeks.

I've regaled you all with the outbursts, the mental games, and the partial nudity that has ruled my life since April 2 of last year.  How innocent I was back then, to think that no one, NO ONE, could possibly do as much damage to my brain, or make me laugh so hard at how ridiculous my life is, as Elsie W.  And, after almost 13 months of living it along with me, I'm sure you feel the same.

There are two things I have not shared with you in this forum.  Those who friend me on Facebook, and seriously, why aren't you, have heard this, but now I can, as they say, tell you the rest of the story.

So Noelle C gave her shocking notice on May 9.  It was a Thursday.  A solid two weeks notice, as is standard in the US, would have meant her last day was to be the 23rd...tomorrow. 

Nothing, I repeat nothing, with Noelle C is standard.

The first few days after she gave notice, Noelle C was pretty normal...for her.  She was weirdly quiet, focused, and efficient.  Seriously, if she'd worked like she did that week, Lumbergh would have made her employee f the month.  She didn't even talk to herself all that much.  It was weird and uncomfortable.

 In those first few days she started moving out some personal stuff, that's normal.  Everyone who has ever held a job and then quit it knows you need more than one box to move all the stuff you bring to your work so that work seems less like a prison and more like a mini home away from home. 

Then, right about Monday of last week, we started to notice something:

All those things, the paintings, the wall clocks, things she'd put in the office when she started, things she'd given AS GIFTS were vanishing.  See, the first two weeks she worked at Stuff Installed, she shopped every day.  Wall clocks for her office and the wall in front of my face.  Flower vases.  A Nesco.  (Which we never used, a fact that infuriated her to no end.  But in an office were 90% of the employees are on the road all day...what are we going to cook in a NEsco?  What, I'm going to keep my Lean Cuisine hot in there?) 

Then she started painting.  Lordy, she loaded those walls with her stretch canvas artwork.  Flowers, birds, one pumpkin, she hung everywhere.  "Here," she said, "I painted this for you."

She gave Lumbergh a painting of a big white flower, and she gave me a similar one in hot pink.  She painted pictures of pets.  She painted a picture of a cheetah for Lumbergh...because he likes cheetahs.  "Whats' your favorite flower?"  She asked me this the first day, right before she pulled her pants down to show me her pants size and brag about her weight loss.  (Man, have I survived a lot!)

She painted me lilacs...and a daffodil.  And she hung them over my desk.

So right about Monday, we started to see things missing from the walls.  Oh, the thumbtacks we used to hang everything were still there.  It was like she was the Grinch, and she was stealing Christmas....if Christmas was made up of somewhat pretty, yet only really charming because it was done by someone we worked with, art. 

She didn't speak to me on Monday because on Thursday I made the mistake of asking her why she'd given notice.  Silly me.  Her response to that, as I've mentioned in previous posts, was fairly epic and required not only a tongue lashing, but a seriously nasty email from her.  So on Monday of last week we didn't speak.  And we didn't speak most of Tuesday.

Tuesday late, however, she started talking and one of the things she said was, "I'm asking everyone for their paintings back."

"Um, what?" 

"I'm asking everyone for the paintings back.  The ones I painted.  I want them back."

I didn't want to point out that normal people do NOT ask for gifts back.  I couldn't, since I'd already played the "normal people" card when I asked her about her job.

So on Friday I shared this with Lumbergh, who'd been out of town most of last week.  (Nice, He was out of town the first week of her two weeks' and PM was out of town the second week.  Meanwhile, I used up my vacation time sitting in the ER with back spasms last fall and couldn't escape this horror.)  He said, "Ok, fine."  Then he set about to retrieve any and all paintings she hadn't already removed, including the big white flower in his office, and he set them on her desk.

It was the first thing she saw on Monday.  She was overjoyed, apparently NOT getting the message he was sending about how cheesy it is to give a gift and then take it back.  Why would we think she would get that? 

No, she was not upset by the return of the paintings.  She was furious, however, that someone had stolen a pen from her desk.

Okay, see, this is why I lock my desk at night.  It's not really stealing if you use a company pen taken from a company desk, not in the eyes of the people I work with.  So I lock my desk because if I didn't, I would never have any pens. Noelle C has never figured this out and so when people borrow pens from her desk and don't return them, it sends her into fits.

"Well that person who stole the pen is just going to have to live with his guilt because my soul is clean and I'm taking my heart, and I'm taking my soul, and I'm going where they can't get me anymore."

Like a mental ward?

She then stomped out to my desk and plunked something on it.

The cactus I'd given her as a Christmas present.

Okay, to be fair, it was a plant I had in my house.  I have four cats, so it's not like I can keep a lot of plants, but she likes plants, so I gave it to her.  It made her so happy...she sang to it, she sang about it, she commented, loudly, on how much she loved it.  She even decided it was a boy, and he talked to her.

That was January.  This is May.  She plunked it on my desk.  "I'm giving it back."

"You don't have to.  It was a gift."

"I'm moving into a smaller apartment, so I have to get rid of all the crap in my life."

Which, I guess includes a perfectly nice cactus plant.

I'd like to say it didn't matter, that it was just another step in her whackiness, but ya know, when you give a gift, no matter how simple it is, if someone calls it crap and hands it back to you, it hurts.

So that was Tuesday last week.  Let's move on.

Monday of this week, Lumbergh decided to dodge her as much as possible. Her final day had somehow moved from Thursday to Wednesday.  I had the hours counted down.

She got to the office, and, noting he wasn't in, said, "Tomorrow is my last day," meaning Tuesday.

"Does Lumbergh know?"

She smiled this weird little smile, the kind I think Satan gets
sometimes...."He will when I tell him."

Now, she might have been in love with Lumbergh at some point in her life...but I knew this one thing better than she did:  Lumbergh won't be played.  He won't let you get one over on him.  No sir.  The last person who wanted to leave without doing the proper 2 weeks was shown the door that morning.  You play by the rules or you leave.  That's Lumbergh's deal, and I knew it.

So about an hour later, she dropped this nugget of news and I waited for him to tell her to pack the last of her things...and whatever gifts were still there  (The Nesco, it should be noted, was still sitting atop the fridge, unopened, unused.)  He didn't.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed, and she was entirely too gleeful.  She was getting her way one final time with him. She was winning.

At the end of Monday I said goodbye, she said, "one more day,"  and I said, "See ya tomorrow."

Yesterday I arrived at work and all seemed normal.  Around 10, PM came up to tell me he was leaving on vacation.  I said, "But you'll miss it."

"Miss what?"

"Noelle C's last day."

He smiled a funny smile. The kind of smile teachers usually wear on the last day of school.  The type of smile parents wear on the first day of school.  "You don't know."

"Know what?"

"Lumbergh had me come here last night and get her key.  He said if she can't do her full two weeks, she can leave right now."

Yep, that's the Lumbergh I know, right down to making PM drive in at 7:45 and take the key from her.

"How'd that go?"

He shook his head.  "Not well."

Apparently, she didn't see this move coming.  And, for reasons no one can fathom, she's always disliked PM.  So when he arrived and explained in his very soft voice, what was happening, she didn't look at him, she didn't speak to him, she didn't answer his questions.  She ripped her key off her key ring  (I would have thought she wore it on a chain around her neck...like the Precious) tossed that on the desk, then scribbled out her time sheet, threw that in Lumbergh's basket, then she stomped out the door in silence and drove away.

I felt for PM.  He's a gentle soul.  But I should note...the Nesco is still there.

Maybe I'll make a celebratory egg bake for everyone.

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