You can file the following email exchange between me and our firm’s “Director of Document Distribution” (DODO) under:
YOU CAN’T WIN
I made the mistake of forwarding some emails to the DODO, believing she hadn’t been copied on them by the withering poltergeist holding court in the corner office (the boss).
Dodo: “Thanks, already got them and saved them….”
Me: “Ok. Your name wasn’t in the cc’s. I saved them too. From now on, I won’t bother forwarding the emails from [this client] to you.”
Dodo: “Better to have it twice than not at all….”
OMG. A simple “thanks” would have sufficed, since her practice is to save emails only if she’s in the mood. But the Dodo can’t help herself. Six and a half years of her not helping herself. Six and a half years!
Extinct But Doesn’t Know It
If the Dodo was a worker (hah) in Japan — where our main client does business — she would have been remanded to the oidashibeya: “the chasing out room” .
In the C.O.R., taking 2 hour lunches, shopping online and working on Sudoku puzzles all day long is expected.
Oh, wait. She does that in New York, so why should she fly to Japan. Banished to a desk in the Siberian netherworld of the firm (amped up A/C maintains the arctic temperature of her yodeling personality), as long as she stays in the freezer and keeps her red nose buried in her yellowing Louise Erdrich library book, no one cares.
But, she can’t help herself! She will arrive in my section of the office around 4:00 PM every afternoon making loud noises, banging file drawers, taking gibberish about nothing (the message being: I’m still working so hard and look it’s almost time to go home). We’re on to her. Everyone is. Most of the time she leaves early.
A frequent visitor to AZ to visit family (Swiss-German), she fashions herself as an honorary Native American (being a reader of Erdrich). I can see where she may have confused Talking Circles with talking in circles, the latter at which she excels.
If only she would move to a hogan in the southwest desert. It would be the perfect dwelling for her — a house shaped like a stop sign.
Recently, word had it that she was offered a retirement package. (Word had it arrived via the ear trumpet of the firm, the Docketing Dept.) But Dodo told middle-manager Paula Revere: “I prefer to work per diem.” And Paula R. galloped forthwith to the firm’s upper regions and delivered the missive to Mr. Ed, Managing Partner.
“That’s what she wants?“ was the response.
So. She has gotten her way and is pleased as Punch and Judy. She boasted, sotto voce, that she was granted per diem status because she is “special.” She really said that. However, aren’t per diem employees called in only when they are needed?
The Dodo’s per diem experience will be like that drug commercial for Xeralto.
“Hello? Any documents for me to distribute?”
Dissatisfied as a desktop philodendron basking in the florescent light from the acoustic ceiling above, the Dodo is more suited to play a pricklier role, that of desert plant. Something on the order of the Jumping Cholla. Because whenever she enters our psychic space in a bad mood, we feel it. The storm brewing. The air bristling with static.
The hard evidence that darkness has clouded her mind — banging, muttering, flinging papers on desks — puts us on high alert. Bad thoughts whirling inside her head are capable of setting the pores of her scalp on fire. As with the Cholla, you can feel waves of sharp needles beginning to gather and preparing for launch. It is either duck and cover or prepare to bleed.
But what I usually do is abandon my desk and flee to the lobby. Open spaces are always best in the eye of a Dodo storm. In open spaces, she plays nice.
But everyone is still on to her.