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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Girl's a Super Freak

I’ve only been fired once.

It was actually quite unfair, coming as it did during my performance review.

I had been unaware, until it was presented to me, that the one woman in a company of 48 who did not care for me was my boss’s best friend.

And she had made it a point to express her displeasure.

I listened in stunned disbelief as, one week before Christmas, I was let go.

“We could put you on a performance plan,” Nancy said, smiling, “but you’d just burn anyway.”

And that, my friends, was a direct quote.

They had security walk me out, a hiccuping woman clutching both her dignity and a cardboard box stuffed with a year’s worth of work-related detritus.

Karen was already home when I got there. Two single women with their two boys. I sat at the kitchen table with my head in my hands.

Karen poured.

“Here,” she said, handing me a shot of vodka. I held the shot dully, staring inwardly. She fished a pickle out of the jar, handed it to me.

“Nostrovya,” she said.

We downed our vodka, ate our pickles.

And in the morning, my pillow was wet with tears.

A couple months later, Karen moved out, moved in with the man who would become her husband, moved out to the country where she gained acres of land, a four-bedroom house, Rottweilers and chickens and mosquitoes and a commute that made your eyes cross.

I worked odd jobs until the next full-time opportunity came along; and Karen remained at the place I had just gotten fired from.

She would call me, from time to time, to share the gossip. So and so had a baby. So and so got a divorce.

And someone had been tampering with Nancy’s office.

Karen laughed gleefully. “Someone’s been doing things to her phone,” she whispers.

I switch ears. “Yeah? What things?”

“Yikes!” she hisses. “I gotta go.”

She called back a day later. “Did I tell you what happened to Nancy?”

Nancy. I may never like another person named “Nancy”.


“Someone came in and smeared dog poop all over her phone!”


Karen’s laughing, and from experience I know she’s going to have to wipe her eyes soon. “Her phone! Hee hee hee! Someone smeared what appears to be DOG poop on her phone and now they’re talking about setting up surveillance video! Oops. Shoot. I gotta go.”

She hangs up.

That afternoon, I flip through my mail: bills, circulars – and a newsletter from my old place of employment: Sales are up, costs are down, a recipe from someone in Marketing.

And a short article, written by Karen, about her Rottweilers.

Karen’s dogs.

I run to the phone.

“Good afternoon, Free Market Slave Trade.”

“May I speak with Karen, please?”

“Hold, please.”

Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking, and when she passes – 
“Good afternoon. This is Karen.”

I utter a string of excitable curse words, and Karen starts laughing. “What’s going on with you?”

“I know who smeared the dog poop on Nancy’s phone!”

The line goes absolutely silent.

“Karen, did you just write an article for your company’s newsletter?”

Continued silence.

“More to the point, did you write about your dogs?”

The silence, if possible, becomes even more silent.

“!@#$!@*!! They’re going to fire me,” she says, finally.

“Nah,” I said. “They got nothin'. You look like an angel, and everyone loves you.”

She sighs. “I gotta go,” she says.

“Hey, Karen?”



“She just made me so damn mad,” she says.

“I love you,” I say.

“I love you, too.”

And we laugh.

The surveillance camera never went up, Nancy was fired less than a year later, and the mystery of who smeared the dog poop on her phone remained, officially, unsolved.


Shelly said...

Karma is actually quite a lovely person, despite her reputation. Karen is even lovelier.

Indigo Roth said...

I worked at a place where someone left human poop in people's drawers, under their desk, or in their left-at-the-office smart work shoes. Turns out it was a cleaner. Oh, the irony. So, it was solved, but it never stopped being funny.

ellen abbott said...

Love it when people get what's coming to them. I've never been fired but one job I quit I went back a year later to visit. It was a bookstore. The minute I walked in the owner's
wife started yelling at me and accusing me of costing them the shipping on a bunch of technical books. Part of my job was to pack up the books and figure out the postage and give it to the billing lady, which I did but somehow, the last shipment ticket got lost. I couldn't believe that she was rudely yelling at me about maybe $30 - 50, something that I still maintain was not my fault, that had happened a year previous. My only thought as I walked out mid-rant was that I should have quit that job sooner.

Daisy said...

Hahaha! I think I love Karen too! :D

Ray Denzel said...

it's wonderful when someone cares enough to smear....

Douglas said...

I was fired once (only once, I don't think "not recommended for re-enlistment" counts as a firing) but I was not escorted out with a box of detritus, I just had to turn in my usher's uniform. All because I insulted one of the two managers at the theater by claiming he was pretty much useless.

Daisy said...

Glad to know that some folks scoop up after their dogs, and put the "findings" to good use!

joeh said...

First of all my most favorite Aunt was Aunt Nance, though her name was really Eleanor but that is another story, but my first wife was Nancy, so yeah, go ahead and hate on that.

Second, there is no worse boss for a woman than another woman, so I have been told and so I have observed.

Thirdly, anytime a boss has dog shit spread on their phone or office they should immediately be fired. No on gets that treatment that does not deserve it. We had a boss who also received that treatment an he also deserved it.

Finally, I loves me a good Karma story, and this be one!

Silliyak said...

The only thing better would be if Karen brought bagels to Nancy's going away party and asked her "Do you want some schmear?"

vanilla said...

Some forms of retribution are really quite crappy.

Steve said...

Good one. I enjoyed it(grin).

jenny_o said...

A sister who is lovable, looks innocent, and has a mind like a steel trap - you are both lucky, 'cause that describes both of you.

Anonymous said...

I like Karen.

wellfedfred said...

This is a beautiful story.

I worked at a place that never fired anyone. They were afraid their unemployment costs would go up. (?) Their policy was to "handle it administratively"- make work life so unpleasant that the person would quit. It didn't work so well, because the place was already cheap and unpleasant, and many of the doomed were so insensitive they couldn't tell any difference in tone or treatment. So you're sharing your secretary with 4 instead of 3? Does that mean that revenues are down or that someone has no future there?

Karen: a saint for the ages.

Elephant's Child said...

Karma, Karen and dog poop. It doesn't get a lot better than that.
Thank you. And Karen. And the Rottweilers.

Jono said...

"Her name was Magil and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy."

Now we know where Rocky Raccoon's girlfriend ended up.

Joanne Noragon said...

Ah, yes, what goes around comes around. And sometimes sticks in the middle, on the phone.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
hmmmm thank the rottweilers for presenting to the Rotten-weiler... you know some fab folks Pearl!! YAM xx

Mandy_Fish said...

Now that's a good friend.


Gigi said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again...I love Karen. And? Can I borrow her?

bill lisleman said...

I suspect Karen could have gotten plenty of backup and other volunteers to give Nancy some shit. Nancy is lucky other places would have slashed her tires.

Jayne Martin said...

What a wonderful way to get even with someone!

Geo. said...

Delightful! This is the 3rd blog I've read today relating to dogs and what dogs manufacture --there is sychronicity afoot! Check "Trainrides".

Linda O'Connell said...

Oh my that was fun and funny!

Lin said...

I love Karen. I need Karen...NOW. I nearly walked out of my job today....

mromain said...

I was working the evening shift there at that time. I was in the office by myself until midnight every night. I got grilled pretty hard about that incident. But I played dumb. Which was not a stretch for me.

Slamdunk said...

Babam!!! Smearing sounds appropriate in that situation.

Diane Tolley said...

Hmm . . . the dog poop solution. Creative and elegant. I like it!