Thursday, May 26, 2011


Blessed colleagues.

There are always a few characters, but my favourite at the moment is Mento. By general water-cooler consensus, we're all pretty sure she's on meds for cerebral reasons. I'm also fairly certain that she doesn't take them as regularly as she should. She is in her 60s, so for the most part we tolerate her... idiosyncrasies... 'cos, you know, some woman have issues with hormone levels at that stage of life.

She works on the other side of the office, but will on occasion take it upon herself to stroll over and inform me that she doesn't like what I'm having for lunch. It's never anything offensive. Maybe a potato salad, or a toasted sarmie... innocuous. It's not smelly and she can't see me from her desk. In short, she has to go out of her way to determine what I'm eating. So, just to be clear, she doesn't like what she is NOT eating, which nobody has asked her to eat and which by all accounts does not affect her all. 

Another favourite little trick is to stop at my desk and then rummage through my handbag. I don't know if this is part of her office supply stock-take, but she certainly didn't appreciate it when I asked her to let me know if I needed to buy more tampons. She looked at me as I'd lost the plot and quickly walked away without another word. Yes.... I'm the crazy one in this equation.

At least it's not personal. She has moments like that with everyone. She has on a previous occasion marched up to colleague and loudly informed him that he was going to Italy that weekend. Which he wasn't and when he pointed that out, she took offense, told him off for being rude and then stalked away leaving us all standing with bemused grins. We still have no idea what she based the statement on.

We're not sure if she genuinely lives in another universe, or if she's just fucking with us. Could be either. Both are equally disturbing.

Today, I was making lunch. Cheese on toast. Not smelly cheese, just your bog-average processed stuff. Not very exciting, for sure. Mento marches into the kitchen, peers over my shoulder, wrinkles her nose and proudly declares that she's having "a nice lunch". I put on my most tolerant smile and made suitably approving noises about her cottage cheese and bread selection. Very nice. Yes. Well done, you. 

All in all, fairly standard interaction with Mento. But then she upped the game. I stopped making my lunch when I realised that it was very quiet. Too quiet. There was no movement in the kitchen, even though she was still there. I turn around to see her standing right behind me, bread knife in hand. Just staring at the back of my head.

Not creepy at all.

She wanted to use the toaster, but instead of a) asking me to move so she could get to the appliance or b) waiting somewhere out of my personal space invasion range or c) coming back another time, she skipped straight to d) FUCKING PSYCHO.

I gently told her that a normal person would have vocalised their wish to use the same space, rather than standing over the offending person with a weapon. That, I explained is not what socially-aclimatised people do. Even I don't do that and I'm the first to admit I have aggression issues.

I departed the kitchen as calmly as possible, and think it says something to my bravery that I didn't break into a run screaming blue murder. I feel I need to publicise this little happening... just in case I come to a nasty end, where it looks like I accidentally tripped and fell on the bread knife seven times. It might not just be me being extra-clumsy. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lord, give me strength not to reply...

...Because it will get me into trouble. I share nothing with this email sender, besides our email domain.

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob
To: @International All
Subject: Announcement: My son

Hi everyone,

I would like to announce the birth of my son, born Friday 5/8/11 at 7:39 am. He weighs 5 lbs, 12 oz. and is 18.5 in. Both he and Mommy are doing just fine.

Thanks and regards,


It is so tempting to reply...

"No, thank YOU Bob, how lovely to hear from you. I recently visited the gynae myself and she was just telling me how many people have babies. Every day. And not just people... Mammals do it too, successfully, on a daily basis without sending out a global newsburst. Congratulations to you and your wife nonetheless.

Please do keep me updated as the little tyke develops, I love random newsletters from strangers. It saves me the hassle of having to buy a newspaper just for the classified announcements.

By the way, I got the all clear on any STDs and ovarian cysts from the doc. Thought I'd reciprocate with an update from my side - I know how much you value this level of interaction.

Huge hugs and fondly inappropriate smoochies to you and wifey -