This woman is, by my estimates, in her mid-50s. She's one of those low-level employees who gets to the office before any of the normal people and leaves promptly at 3PM. She never says a word or makes eye contact with anyone in my group, despite the fact that we sit right next to her and have walked past each other every weekday for over a year. A few months ago, one of the new guys in my group first started and had the privilege of sitting directly across from her. Being friendly, he said hello and introduced himself to this insane woman, not realizing the pointlessness of his effort. She said hello and hasn't spoken a word to him or anyone else in our group since.
Based on this description, you'd think that I don't know a thing about this quiet coworker, but that couldn't be further from the truth. That's because she's on the phone--constantly. She is very obviously talking to her equally pathetic friends, whom I can only assume are sitting in their trailers collecting unemployment checks, since they're able to spend the entire day on the phone with this woman. I have no idea how she got this job in the first place, but I'm quite certain the only reason she still has it is because everyone in a position to fire her knows that she's got a pickup truck with a fully loaded shotgun rack sitting out in the parking lot.
If the phone calls alone weren't bad enough, she's an incredibly loud talker and has the strangest, most obnoxious voice I've ever heard. During these grueling hours on the phone she is multi-tasking, constantly playing Farmville or logging into her Facebook account. She makes absolutely no effort to hide this, even as countless people walk by and peer into her cube. To top it all off, the topics of her conversation on these phone calls are limited to a handful of subjects: reality TV, celebrity gossip, her family's self-inflicted legal problems, and occasionally the real treat--details of her doctor's appointments.
Her blatant refusal to do work alternates between hilarious and frustrating. On the slow days, the Facebook and loud phone calls provide a good laugh for all of us who sit around her. In fact, she's so busy not being busy that we openly laugh and mock her while she's on the phone, too distracted to notice. Other times, her antics are frustrating and extremely annoying. On the busy days--which have been coming fast and furious lately--or when I'm on a conference call, her loud conversations are terribly distracting. The destruction of shareholder value, a constant presence in her cubicle, begins to radiate outward on days like these. I can literally feel the waves of lost productivity spreading to everyone within a four cubical radius.
I could easily write a 10,000-word post about all the quotes, all the trivia, and all the observations I've picked up over the past sixteen months, but I'll recap a few of the highlights here:
- Two of this woman's children were recently arrested in a bar fight.
- She watches every single show on TV, including shows that air on different channels at the same time. Her favorites: American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, absolutely any soap opera, So You Think You Can Dance, Desperate Housewives, and CSI reruns. Her living room must look like an air traffic control center to pull off this much TV viewing.
- She recently spent an entire Saturday watching a Ghost Whisperer marathon "because there was nothing else on."
- Her friend Trevor calls American Idol's Killie Picker "Pickles." Crazy woman does not like Pickles.
- This woman also does not like Mark Anthony. Her theory on why Jennifer Lopez stayed with him for such a long time: "He's not very good looking. He must have something going on down there, if you know what I mean!"
- Crazy woman is unable to distinguish between TV shows and reality. When fictional characters have done something she doesn't like on last night's episode of some show, she gets very upset on her phone calls.
- I could only hear half of the conversation, but just today the crazy woman asked her phone friend, "Did you get the trailer over to the house?" I found this question rather odd, since I'm certain that the trailer is the house.
- I know more information about this woman's colon health--or lack thereof--than any doctor should ever know.
These are all well and good, but I aspire for so much more...to my readers, I make the following commitment: when this woman is in the middle of a phone call and playing Farmville, I vow to capture a video clip and post it on this blog. Only then can you fully appreciate the annoying voice, the stupidity of the conversations, and the black hole of productivity that lies within the confines of this cubicle. Shareholders, I'm truly sorry.
In the mean time, I'm considering printing a copy of these pictures and posting them prominently on my cabinet at work, where crazy lady walks by multiple times each and every day. Will she notice? Will she kill me? Who knows...it'll be an interesting and potentially deadly experiment.