Temp Diary, Day 7 – Snapshots

SS.Clockwatchers

The company I am temping for has a branch that is specifically for training new employees. This is where I am based.

Her: “Yes, yes, I have a class scheduled for one…and *screaming baby screams louder* I just went to my doctor and he says I have an ingrown toenail. You can actually see…do you know what an ingrown toenail is?

Me: Kind of? But let me have you speak with…

Her: It hurts so bad. I can barely walk, I’m like limping and shit and *screaming baby’s scream are like a high powered drill into my ear, is she actually holding the baby right beside her phone, WHY IS SHE DOING THAT?* so I don’t think I will be in today.”

***
I work with The Starer.

She’s really into the company (she’s not a temp). And nice enough although she’s really into the company. When you say something to her, ask a question, make an observation – she stares at you. For an uncomfortably long time. Eventually she’ll speak. She’s probably neurologically atypical or something, but it’s disconcerting. I never know if I’ve said something so ridiculous that all she can do is look at me. Or if my questions are so piercing that I’ve shut her mind down. I came in this morning and she had cleaned the front desk. I commented on how nice it looked.

Stare.

Stare.

Stare.

Is there something on my face? Did I slur? Sometimes I slur and I think it’s because I had a mini-stroke once when I masturbated too hard and a blinding pain shot through my head. I feel like I’ve slurred since then. Or it could be the day drinking.

“What? What do you mean?”

“The desk? It’s clean. It looks nice?”

“Oh, oh, oh! Yeah, I cleaned.”

The Starer.

***
A new employee here for a training yesterday belched every single time he walked by the front desk. Five times.

***
A blonde Brazilian woman (“I’m from Brazil. We get TB shot in our shoulder.” *slaps peasant-bloused shoulder to demonstrate*) looked perturbed when I answered the phone while processing her paperwork. The last piece of which she held in my face while I spoke to the caller. Looking up at her, the slight glint of crazy in her eyes, I smiled weakly and took her paper.

Later on, a fellow employee who had to create her ID card, mentioned that she had an attitude when he took her pic.

“She’s Brazilian,” the Starer explained.

***

When you’ve been out of work for a long time, it takes awhile to get back into the office persona. You know – commenting on the weather, utilizing the phrase “touch base,” wearing dress shoes. Basically once again acting like a polite, responsible adult who cares.

Here’s some typical office¬†mean-nothings that I didn’t miss. You know, when you’re forced to be with people and to fill the silence with words so no one actually hears the ticking of clocks, the sound of hope dying, the vending machine issuing that sad Cup O’ ¬†Noodles.

In response to someone being out sick:

“Yeah, I think something’s going around.” Everyone nods and murmurs their agreement.

(People love to note that “something’s going around” when illness is mentioned. You could be in a sterile, antiseptic Bubble Boy-bubble and someone would claim “it’s going around.” I could note that I have leukemia and someone would say “yeah, it’s going around.”)

In response to someone shivering and perhaps exclaiming “Brrrrr!”:

“Oh, I’m so depressed. The snow. I’ve had it! It’s supposed to be nice this weekend.”

In response to someone eating lunch at their desk:

“Oh, I HAVE to get out of here [ed. note – to smoke] during the day or I go crazy. It’s too much, too much. Especially on a day like this!”

In response to nothing except that it’s Friday:

“I think I’ll get some shopping done this weekend. My husband’s going to be working at his friend’s microbrewery so I’m on my own! *nervous giggle* It’s his hobby, craft beers. So I’ve got plenty of time to get girl stuff done. Hee hee.”

The content of that one isn’t typical, but the general feel is. Oh, and don’t think I haven’t engaged in all of this claptrap myself. I’ve done it. I’m just aware of how it’s foreshadowing the end of all things and the death of Heaven.

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