Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lenore Pops By the Office

(I'm sitting in my office talking to a coworker when Lenore walks in unexpectedly.  I gasp a little louder than I should.  There's lots of commotion, cross-talk, and hugs as people in the office gather around to greet her.)

Coworker: So how is it on the other side of the river?

Lenore: What?  What river?

Coworker: Retirement.

L: Oh, retirement.  Boy, I miss this place.  And I miss the paycheck.  And you wouldn't believe the paperwork you have to fill out to retire.  It goes from here to Walnut Creek, just paper after paper after paper.  I just left HR and, you know, wanted to say hello.  I miss you guys.

Me: How's all the packing going?  Are you still moving out of your house?

L: Oh, yes.  Me and St. Vincent de Paul have become great friends.

Me: Really?

L: I've been packing up stuff that you wouldn't believe!  I get up every morning, eat, go to the basement and just go through everything.  St. Vincent's has taken off with two truckloads of my stuff and you know what?  I'm happy to see it go.

Me: What are you getting rid of?

L: Mostly clothes and uh, let's see, I gave away a couple of lamps and, just stuff.  But mostly all of my clothes are gone.

Me: No more clothes?  Do you have anything left to wear?

L: A bed sheet.


Friday, July 27, 2012

That's a Wrap

As you may know, Lenore has retired.  She's packed up her dusty plastic plants, her photos of other people's babies, and her beloved fan.  She has been a great friend and one that might never know the impact she has made on me (and anyone that followed this blog).

In the coming months Lenore is going to work to sell her home and move out of state to be closer to her sister and family.  I've stopped short of begging to help her pack and move but she didn't seem too interested in my offer.  Still, I'm hopeful we'll meet again.  

So long, Lenore.  I will truly miss our chemistry.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lenore is Retiring

(Lenore is retiring.  Tuesday, July 31, 2012 is her last day and sadly, very sadly in fact, I will be away on a business trip to Orlando and miss her farewell tour.  When I came in this morning, I reminded her of this fact.)

Me: So, are you really gone next Tuesday?

Lenore: Yes sir, I'm done.  El gone-oh.

Me: I won't be here.  I have to go to that conference all next week.

Lenore:  Oh, really?  Where are you going?

Me: Orlando.  It's going to be so muggy and hot.

Lenore: Florida?  That's Florida, right?  That place has a lot of colors and people wearing shorts.

Me: Yes, I guess. My hotel is supposed to have a really nice pool.

Lenore:  Great, I'll get my bikini. 

Me: Really?

Lenore: (swatting at the air) No.


Lenore Called Someone a Whore

(The main office boss retired and Lenore took it upon herself to put together a small photo album containing photos she took with a disposable camera of all of the staff to give as a gift.  Having recently completed this album, Lenore wanted to share her hard work with me.  She also added caption, think bubbles, to all of the photos.)

Lenore: (flipping through photos) ...and this one is Anthony, see, he's saying, "I don't want to do my work.  I want to play."  Isn't that funny?

Me: Yes.

Lenore: And this one, see, Martin says, "Bet you can't guess what's in my bag," and see, he's carrying a bag.

Me: Yes, I see. Where's mine?

Lenore: (flipping, flipping)  Here.  Remember I took it of you in the kitchen and here you're saying, "Now that Deborah is gone I'm going to take her coffee pot."

Me: Oh, I don't drink coffee but okay.

Lenore: It's just for fun.  Not real.  You're not really going to take the coffee pot.  (flipping, flipping)  And this one, see I had Bat Lady hold out all those dollar bills and smile and here it says, "I made this money working nights.  You can't have it!"

Me: Oh.  That sounds like she's a prostitute or something.

Lenore: Maybe she is...(flipping, flipping)...and here's George, "These donuts are the best!" and then Stacy is here saying...


Monday, July 9, 2012

My Son Was a Clown

(I'm sitting in my office with coworker, Elle, listening to a conversation taking place in front of our door.)

(Batlady enters carrying an old suitcase.)

Batlady: (interrupting din of the office, to Lynn)  Look, do you wanna see my suitcase?

Lynn:  Sure.

Batlady: See, it's really old and used to belong to my son.  He was a clown and used to juggle but now he doesn't and I have it.  I'm going to see if I can donate it.

Lynn: (from desk, not getting up)  Cool.

Batlady:  Yes, it's really cool.  I'm going to donate it to the theater department to use as a prop or something in a play.  It's got a lot of value.

Lynn: Oh.  It's cool.

(Lenore comes over and inspects bag.)

Lenore:  Hmm, I have lots of those.

Batlady:  Like this though?  This used to belong to my son who was a clown.  He would do kids' parties.  I don't think you had one like this.  Look how old it is.

Lenore: I see those all the time.

Batlady:  Well, this one was for a clown. (A few minutes later Batlady pokes her head in my office.)  Hey, did you guys see the suitcase I brought in?

Elle:  No, we heard you talking about it though.

Batlady:  I'm donating it to the theater department to use in a production or something.  It used to be my son's.  He was a clown.  You gotta see it.

Me: Where is it?

Batlady: In my office.  You have to come over there to see it.  Do you want to see it?

Me:  (together with Elle) Um, maybe later.

Elle:  (together with Me) That's okay.

Batlady: It's the real thing.  You should see it.

Elle: Can you bring it over here?

Batlady: Uh, well, it's kinda old and is falling apart a little.  But if you want to swing my by office to look at it...it's just over there.

Me:  (together with Elle) After lunch maybe.

Elle:  (together with Me) Not right now.

(Batlady leaves, Lenore trundles into our office and starts to speak.)

Me: Wait.  Are you going to tell us about the clown luggage?

L: Huh, oh, Batlady's thing?  No.  There's all kinds of clown bags around.  It's not that special. 


Thursday, May 31, 2012

More Meat Talk

(Lenore is sitting beside my desk pushing pre-sliced Safeway-brand salami and Saltine crackers on me.  I politely sample her givings.)

Me: Mmm, good.

Lenore: See?  I told you.  This is the best salami.  Ever.  Try some more.

Me: I'm okay, but thank you.

L: More.  Have some.  Just try it.  (I take another slice of the salami and a cracker.)  Take two pieces of salami and tell me what you think.  (I take another piece of salami and place it on top on the cracker.)

Me: (taking a bite)  Mmm, good.  Twice as much meat.

L: See, it's the best.  Also, I wanted to tell you there was this cooking show where a chef goes to a restaurant or something and makes it better.  But lemme tell you, they were having a big party and there weren't enough ovens to cook so you know what they did?

Me:  No.

L: They took, what's it called, tin foil, laid it out in a long strip in the outside area and put that black stuff you BBQ with--

Me: Charcoal?

L: Yes, exactly that.  Charcoal, and lit it on fire.  Then they got those metal garbage cans and put that on top of the fire and cooked chicken in those!  (slaps knee)

Me: (feigning interest)  Really?  In garbage cans?

L: Yes, I couldn't believe it.  Just, just, I don't know.  Those guys, how they come up with these things?

(Later in the afternoon I go into the kitchen to make copies and discover Lenore telling this story to another coworker, whose eyes are at half-mast with enthusiasm.)

L: ...and they just put the chickens in the garbage cans and cook them like that!

Worker: Wow, that's cool.

L: Isn't it though?  Just watching it I could taste it.  Meat was falling off the bone.  So tender.  From a garbage can!

(I finish my copies and walk out of the kitchen with Worker in tow.)

Worker: Ew, did you hear that story?

Me: Yes, she told it to me this morning.

Worker: She's been on this salami kick and now garbage chicken?  No thank you.

Me: Oh, you've been hearing about the salami too?

Worker: Yes, I hear all Lenore's meat stories.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lenore and the Case of the Hard Salami

(Lenore trundles into my office.  I'm sitting at my desk and as I see her out of the corner of my eye, I lean into my computer more and type faster.)

Lenore:  Excuse me?  Are you busy?  Like really busy?

Me: (quietly sighs)  Uh, no.  What's up?

L:  I wanted to share something with you.  About food.  Because, you know, food and all...I like to talk to you about it.  Do you like salami?

Me: Sure.

L:  I found the best salami.  It's was hard but also paper thin.

Me: Oh, was it pre-sliced?

L: Was it wh-what--oh yeah, it was cut already.  I just put it on a cracker and (eyes roll back, lip quivers) oh, it's just...nothing better.  The best.  The best!  And let me tell you, I gave some to Ellen and she loved it too!  She wants some for her husband. 

Me: Really?  Do you remember the name?

L:  No.  It's salami.  Just salami, the paper thin kind.  But hard.  I got it at Safeway.  You know they have a whole wall of meat and I found it there.  But, oh wait, I have some here, lemme go get it.  (Lenore gets up, slowly trundles out of my office and moments later comes back with an unopened package of the salami.)  Here it is.

Me: Oh, it's uh, what's it called?  Is The Deli Connection the brand name?

Lenore:  (examining package) Um, let's see...I think Hard Salami is the name of it.  Yes, Hard Salami.  Ellen put it on bread and ate it!  I just put it on a cracker because, you know, that's all I had.

Me:  Did you put any cheese on it?

L: (falling back in her chair)  YES!  CHEESE!  So good!!!

Me:  Do you mind if I just take a picture of the package so I can be sure to find it next time I'm at Safeway?

L: Sure!