Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"The Office" is brilliant because it's based in truth. Horrible, painful truth.

So. I accidentally gave notice at work a while back. I didn't mean to. What I thought I said was, "I intend to give notice eventually, but I promise to give you lots and lots of notice, like four weeks of it. When I do give it. Which is not now, but later. Down the road." Instead, my boss heard, "I am giving my notice." And she hired someone else to replace me. But it was okay because they didn't kick me out. Instead, I was just to train New Girl on how to do my job for a few weeks.

So New Girl came to work for us. At first, I thought her to be a perfectly nice girl. Quite normal and pleasant. And then we took our lunch break together. And she found out I perform. Oh, how I regret telling her this. I don't know if she felt some kind of sense of competition with me or if she . . . well, anyway. So I tell her I'm an actor and specifically enjoy improv comedy. And she tells me that she used to be in theatre. And I'm like, Oh, that's cool. And then she says this (this is almost verbatim):

Her: "Yeah, I had a couple of Broadway auditions. People are always like, 'Oh, you must love karaoke!' And I'm like, 'No! I can't stand hearing those people sing!' 'Cause I have perfect pitch and it's just torture to hear people sing off-key. 'Cause I have perfect pitch. I went to a couple voice teachers, but they were like, 'You don't even need them, you're already great.' 'Cause I have perfect pitch."

I kid you not, she must have said, "I have perfect pitch" at least three times. So I'm sitting there in horror, thinking, "There's no fucking way that any voice teacher would turn someone away because they were already good." And furthermore, just because someone has perfect pitch, IF she even does, that doesn't mean they can sing. There's so much more to singing than being on-key. There's breathing and support and this whole mess of things required of your body other than just knowing pitch, for the love of God! This person is a liar! I am talking to a liar! But I press on, trying to accept what she's told me, trying to believe her and give her the benefit of the doubt. Like, hey, maybe she's just trying to impress me. I don't want to overreact here.

But then she says the thing, the thing that I cannot accept. And I have never recovered. She says:

"I'm really the funniest person I know."

WHAT??? You're the WHAT?! No one, NO ONE, is the funniest person they know! I don't know a single genuinely funny person who would EVER say that about themselves. I don't say that. Do you know why? Because I'm not! My friends are hilarious. And do you know what my hilarious friends would never say? That they're the funniest person they know. Because no self-respecting funny person would surround themselves with people less funny than they are. So even MAKING that claim says two things to me: 1) You are probably boring. 2) Your friends are probably even more boring than you are. But she GOES ON . . .

"Yeah, my friends are always telling me how funny I am and that I should do stand up. But I don't think I could like, write a joke. My comedy is really more in the moment."

AHHGGGGGG! The arrogance! The horrible arrogance! To not just claim to be so funny that her friends tell her to do it professionally, but to claim to be the funniest goddamn person she knows! So she goes on to tell me that she used to date a stand-up comedian and that he put something in his act about her, it was, "So I'm dating this new girl, which is great, 'cause she's a Jew and Jewish girls give the best head."

So now I'm just completely angry because for one thing, that's not a joke. That's not a fucking joke. That's a statement based on a stereotype that I've never even heard of. There is no joke within that statement. Then she tells me this story about how her friend jokingly calls her "Jew Girl" and that one night he got really drunk and did something like stick his crotch in her face or pointed at his crotch or . . . I don't know, something to do with his crotch, and said, "Yeah! What are you gonna do with this Jew Girl?!" And then she said, "I laughed so hard! It was the funniest thing I'd ever heard!"

And I sat across from her, watching her laugh at this retelling, completely stone faced. One, that's not funny. Two, that's almost a hate crime. So now it's official. She is not funny. Not only is she not funny, but she doesn't even know what's funny in other people. And hey, if you're the funniest person you know, you funny gal, how come the funniest thing you've ever heard came out of someone else's mouth? How come the funniest thing you've ever heard wasn't said by you, the funniest person you know?

I left lunch that day angry and irritated. And I regret to report that I have been awful to her ever since. Which she doesn't deserve. She doesn't deserve it! I don't care how unfunny she is, she doesn't deserve how rude I am to her. I try to just concentrate on the fact that she must be very insecure and want me to like her to make such a ballsy, arrogant claim, but I can't. I just can't. Because she continues to be unintentionally offensive every day I work with her. Every day she does something else that makes me resent her.

One day it was because she wouldn't stop pestering me while I was reading, but kept making these sorts of comments: "Hey, you sure are reading intently!" "What's so interesting about that magazine that you're reading so intently?" "I sure don't know how you can be reading so intently." "I don't really read. Unless it's Dan Brown. I own all four of his books. That's the only thing I've read this year." "Man, how can you be so focused on that magazine?" "I'm not really a reader."

One day, it was because she and one of the doctors didn't understand the comedic glory of the "Snakes on a Plane" movie, nor did they understand what was amusing about my imagined sequel, "Snakes on a Plane 12: Snakes Stake Claim," in which the snakes go back in time to the Old West and get in a claim dispute with two prospectors named something like Ol' Pincohle and Billy "Gums" McGee, but then they all have to team together to help save the local brothel, the Golden Maidenhead, from a zombie attack. No, they did not understand what was amusing about that, but instead scoffed and said, "Whoa, sounds like someone spends too much time on the internet." Which may be true, but the fact remains that their senses of humor didn't allow for snakes, prospectors, or zombies, which means they're fools, damned fools. And even if they didn't think it was funny, did they have to do that thing where they make a big point of separating themselves from what they view to be silly? Wilder pointed this out to me a while ago - that there are people who don't know how to deal with other people being silly, so they make a big show of separating themselves from it by making statements such as, "That was RANDOM" or "What are YOU on?" or "Someone didn't take their meds this morning" or in this case "Someone spends too much time on the internet."

One day it was because I had to lecture her about why we use white-out when we've made a mistake with the charts. Maybe that's petty, but since when does a person have to sit there and explain why white-out exists and why it's better than having scribbles all over the place? I actually had to ask her why she was arguing with me about it.

One day it was because I literally had to remove all the magazines from her desk just to get her to stop reading them and instead do helpful things like answer phones and schedule appointments and do the job she's uprooting me from.

One day it was because I was talking about how awesome this other girl in the office is. Because this Other Girl just up and moved to Africa for two years. How fucking amazing is that? But what was New Girl's response? "That doesn't seem cool, that seems irresponsible." And I said, "She was 19. Moving to Africa and being completely self-sufficient sounds pretty damn responsible to me." And she said, "Well, I moved to LA in just three weeks." Now, there are multiple problems with this as a counter-argument to Other Girl being the most awesome person on Earth: 1) It suggests that instead she, New Girl, is, which I already know to be untrue. 2) fucking everyone our age moves to New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. That's not special. I don't think it's special about myself and I'm certainly not giving her points for doing it. And 3) her parents live not 45 minutes from LA. Moving from across the country to live 45 minutes from one's parents is not a badass thing to have done. The fact that she wouldn't just accept that Other Girl's cool and tried to assert her own coolness over Other Girl's means that she's a jerk, not that she is instead the most awesome person I know. At this point, I actually looked at the other receptionist and then said to New Girl, "Are you trying to impress us with the fact that you live in the same city we do?"

One day, when I yet again didn't laugh at whatever boring, stock joke she'd made, she actually said, "Come on, I'm funny! It was a joke! Laugh! I'm funny!" Goddamnit, woman, I'll laugh when the JOKE makes me laugh, not when you actually try to make me laugh by force.

One day she said, "What has he been smoking . . . and can I have some?" Oh, come on! How hackneyed and overdone is that joke? This is the kind of thing she demands I laugh at. Bah! Just let me not laugh! Let me stay politely quiet, so that I don't have to come out and say the words, "I didn't think it was funny."

The final straw in my frustration with her was, however, the last time I worked with her. I was trying so hard to get over it and be nice to her. I happened to be showing some pictures of my friends that I had in my wallet and she pointed at one of my friends and said, "Your friend is pretty and all, but she could use a nose job."

And then my head exploded.

1 comment:

hojlander said...

hey linds did you know we were both born under the dog year? we are from the same celestrial litter... i just finished my first draft of my comic/animated movie/live action movie starring dolph lundgren, ok not dolph but somebody big like that... it looks like you have a fun life thats rad. let me know i will buy you the mattress with your money and my discount, let me know cause it takes a month or so to get ... peace our k-gurl