A pop-up appears on my computer screen. I sigh as I read it.
“There?” is all it says.
It’s a woman I work with, ostensibly a peer.
My mother once suggested that I not say anything about a person if it isn’t nice. In this particular case, I can therefore tell you only that the woman in question has a lovely laugh and actively and enthusiastically nods any time her boss speaks.
But I can’t just leave it at that, can I?
The interactions between the two of us, while rare, are difficult. She does not process change well; and counterintuitive to what you’d expect, Acme Napkins and Grommets is a seething caldron of change. I try to be patient, but somewhere around the third or fourth time I’m explaining something to her, the image of my forefathers, armed with pitchforks and blazing torches, comes to mind.
I look back to the screen: “There?”
I write back. “Yes.”
There is fifteen minutes of dead air. It is noon. I leave my desk, mail my bills, touch up my hair with the garage-sale curling iron I’ve installed in the women’s bathroom, and write up a draft for world peace.
I return to my desk an hour later. There’s been no response.
I can’t stand the suspense.
“Why?” I type.
“Oh,” she types. “I was wondering if we could meet about a report that you used to run.”
“Sure,” I write. “I’m free this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Go ahead and set it up.”
“How long do you think it will take?” she asks.
Again, with the roaring disapproval of my ancestors.
How long do I think it will take? Will what take? You’re the one with the questions, lady!
The part of my brain reserved for logical thought erupts into raucous laughter and then resumes writing the resignation letter it started several years ago after I parachuted out of a plane. Dear Pearl, it has come to our attention…
“I don’t know,” I type back. “How long it takes depends on what you need to know.”
“Oh, OK,” she writes back.
That was hours ago.
She has yet to set up the meeting.
The part of my brain that still believes that we are paid based on our abilities wants to walk down the hall and give her a big ol’ dope slap to the forehead.
The part of my brain that knows that our rate of pay often has nothing to do with our abilities is weeping, while the part I keep off in a dark corner because of its propensity for inappropriate comments -- a short man wearing slogan tee-shirts lighting a new cigarette with the butt of the old one -- is grinning maniacally.
I can only imagine what that guy has to say.
Must make it through the end of today. Weekend in sight…