Monday, April 4, 2011

Lenore Has Something Important to Say

(I am busy with work stuff. Lenore enters my office to tell me something important.)

Lenore: Excuse me, mister. You know that guy, Michael-something-er-other?

Me: What? Who?

L: You know, his name is something Michael or Michaels and he was on that show? The Rock of something. Well, he went to the hospital and all.

Me: (annoyed) Oh, you mean Bret Michaels? Can we talk about this another time?

L: I just wanted to tell you that his father said he was okay. I mean, I just read it.

Me: (dismissive) Okay, thank you.

L: (a little short) Fine.

Me: I'm just busy. (turning in chair, feigning interest) So he's doing better? Did you hear if he was going to be out of the hospital soon?

L: Well, I don't really know who he is other than from being on The Apprentice and that other show, but I thought you liked him.

Me: Really? I, uh, no, I don't really have an opinion on him.

L: Who is he then?

Me: He was in the band Poison and--.

L: He was in a poison?

Me: His band's name was Poison, it was, metal er rock music.

L: Oh, that's him! I don't know them though.

Me: And he's doing better? Bret is?

L: That's what his dad said.


Originally posted April 26, 2011

Lenore Plays the Saxophone or Sloppy on the Dismount

(I walk into the office and see Lenore hard at work with a pair of scissors in her hand, grazing over the sleeve of her sweater to cut off the pilling. She sees me and puts down the shears.)

Lenore: (mimicking like she is playing the piano with her fingers) I didn't know Josh [coworker] played the saxophone?

Me: You mean piano?

L: I thought Josh said saxophone. It's like a horn. He came in with one this morning.

Me: Uh, yes, he plays lots of instruments but you were just mimicking playing a piano.

L: I don't play the piano.

Me: No, you were just pretending to play the piano but you said saxophone.

L: I can't play anything.

Me: Yes I know. Never mind. Yes, Joe plays the saxophone. Not the piano.

L: Well, I know that.


Originally posted April 20, 2011

Lenore Orders Paper and Drives Me Maaaad!

Our office letterhead supply is running low and I asked Lenore if she would order more. Warning: this post may be very irritating to read.

(Monday, 9:36am, I walk up to Lenore. Her back is to me. She is hunched over her desk eating Saltines and peanut butter. I'm holding a sheet of office letterhead.)

Me: Lenore, would you be able to order us some more letterhead?

Lenore: (slowly turning around) Wha--who needs it?

Me: Alumni Relations. Can you order us some more? We ran out, or are going to soon.

L: Oh, you ran out of paper? So you need some more?

Me: (handing her sheet of letterhead) Yes. Here's a sample of the letterhead we've been using. Just order, like, I don't know, 20 reams of this. Just like this one.

L: Okay.

(I go back to my desk. Later that Monday, 9:45am, Lenore trundles into my office carrying the letterhead I gave her earlier.)

L: Excuse me, mister?

Me: Yes?

L: (handing me letterhead) You said you need paper but you gave me this. What's it for?

Me: Oh. Yeah, this is the letterhead we need. Can you order 20 reams of it?

L: This is the paper you wanted, with all this stuff at the top?

Me: Yeah, that's our letterhead. We send official letters on it.

L: You can't just use plain paper?

Me: We could, well, no, we couldn't. It's more standard and official to use letterhead.

L: Okay. I'll order it. Thank you.

(Lenore leaves. Later that Monday, 10:10am, Lenore trundles back into my office with a sheet of paper with a hand-written chart breaking down paper costs.)

L: Excuse me, how much of this letter paper do you need?

Me: (patiently) I guess like 20 reams to start. That should last us awhile.

L: (holding up her paper) Well, if you order more paper, the cost goes down.

(Lenore shows me her chart. I quickly examine the chart in her hand, uninterested with its content.)

Me: That's fine. Whatever you order, I'm sure we'll use all of it.

L: See, if you order 20 it will cost $30 but if you order 40 it will cost, uh, where is will cost $24 per bundle.

Me: Great. Let's order 40 then.

(Lenore smiles and hands me the chart. She leaves. Later Monday, 1:31pm, Lenore trundles back into my office.)

L: I talked to Susan about your paper order and she just wants to confirm that you want 40 bundles of this paper. It's a lot.

Me: Yes, order it.

L: Okay.

(Lenore leaves. Next day, Tuesday, 2:20 pm, Lenore trundles into my office. She is carrying a sheet of paper.)

L: (handing me paper) Here, I typed up that chart with all the paper prices for you.

Me: Is this the same chart you gave me yesterday?

L: Yes, but this one is typed and you can keep it too.

Me: The other one is fine.

L: So you don't want this one?

Me: Uh, sure, I'll take that typed one too. Thanks.

(Lenore leaves. Next day, Wednesday, 9:30am, Lenore trundles into my office.)

Me: Stop. Is this about paper?

(Lenore laughs.)

Lenore: I was going to order your paper today.

Me: Uh, huh. But something happened and you can't, right?

L: No, I need you to just read a sample before, to make sure it is what you want. Just look it over and say, 'yeah, I want that'.

Me: Okay, do you have the sample?

L: It's at my desk.

Me: Get it and I'll proof it.

L: No, I need you to read it.

Me: Sure, I'll read it.

L: Okay, then. I have to go get it.

(Lenore leaves. Later Wednesday, 9:33am Lenore trundles into my office.)

L: Did you see the orchid on Ellen's desk? It's so pretty!

Me: No, I didn't see it.

L: Oh, you have to go over and see it right now!

(Lenore leaves. Next day, Thursday, 3:35pm, Lenore trundles into my office carrying a piece of letterhead.)

L: Excuse me, mister? Here's that sample of the paper you have to read and approve.

Me: (examining paper) This is the letterhead I gave you Monday.

L: (looking at letterhead) Oh, this isn't the new sample from the paper place! Where did it go?

(Later Thursday, 3:50pm, Lenore trundles into my office carrying a sample of new letterhead.)

L: Here, this is it.

Me: (taking sample and examining it) Great! This looks great!

L: Oh, did you read it?

Me: (hurried) Yeah, it looks the same as our other one. Perfect!

L: Read it backwards.

Me: Read it backwards?

L: That's what I do. Then you don't miss a word.

Me: (reading the address backwards) That doesn't make any sense to me, but--oh, wait, the fax number is different.

L: See? You found something. (looking at paper) Well, that's our old fax number from 2007, I think. That's when you ordered last.

Me: Oh, can you put the new one on there?

L: You want a different one?

Me: Well, the old fax number doesn't work, does it?

L: I don't think so.

Me: Then we should change it to the one that does work, right?

L: Okay, I'll change it.

(Next day, Friday, 3:46 pm, Lenore trundles into my office carrying the sample letterhead again.)

L: (smiling, handing me letterhead) Can you sign this so I know that you've looked at it?

(I sign paper.)

Me: (suppressing severe irritation) Can you order these today? Please. I tired of talking about this.

L: Well, yes! It just takes some time. It's not that easy you know.

Me: I know.


Originally posted March 19, 2010

Lenore Reviews Movies

Lenore has been out of the office for 5 weeks recovering from a not-so-nasty spill she took getting off a downtown bus. She's back and said she did nothing but fill her days watching soaps and going to the movies. I pressed her further and was able to get a few of her movie reviews which I've summed up here:

Good, just so so good. And that mother! Oooo, she should get an award or something. It was so wonderful. You should see it!
(5 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

It's Complicated
Good, really just great and good. I think the main, what's her name, Meryl something...she should get an award. You should see it!
(5 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

Nights in Rodanthe
You have to see it. Really, really good and so so romantic. Great to watch when you're alone and want to feel happy, you know?
(5 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

Sherlock Holmes
I thought it was going to be like the old Sherlock Holmes. But it wasn't. I walked out.
(0 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

The Blind Side
So, so good. I saw it twice and I just love Sandra what's-her-name. She should win an Oscar for that. You definitely need to see it. Really!
(5 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

Julie and Julia
Oh, it's good. Have you seen it? I love that woman, what's her name again? Meryl! She was in It's Complicated, too! She should win an award for this one too! See it.
But you have to rent it. But you should still see it.

(5 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

I don't like weird things like that. Didn't waste my time.
(0 out of 5 back issues of Glamor magazine)

Originally posted on January 6, 2010

The (Brief) Return of Lenore!

Thank you for minding the blogging gap as my muse, Lenore, has been away for two months recuperating from a broken knuckle. Today, can you imagine how excited I was when she surprised the office by popping in for a visit? Stoked, I tell you! Stoked! Though most people around the office find her to be useless, unable to direct a turd down a toilet--she's my own personal droopy-boobed denizen.

Backing up...*beep, beep, beep*...about two months ago, Lenore was riding public transportation and fell into the door (???), braking the middle knuckle on her right hand. "You know, I was just stepping off the stairs and my hand hit the door and now I've got this to deal with," she told me while also flipping me off with a swollen middle finger, bruised and bound in a blue foam-lined brace. Apparently was very wound up, having been without her mundane and spacey office antics for too long.

(Lenore walks in after being gone for months. I spring out of my chair and excitedly run to greet her.)

Me: Lenore, Lenore! How are you? What are you doing here?

Lenore: Oh, hi, hi, how are you, mister? I'm just dropping off my time sheet.

Me: (noticing her hand in a cast) Oh, my gosh! How's your hand feeling?

(While we're talking other people around the office start to gather around.)

L: (holding up hand and waving it around like Queen Elizabeth) Oh, it hurts. It just aches and bothers me so much sometimes, you know?

Me: You wave like the Queen Mum.

L: Who?

Me: Queen Elizabeth. You know? (I imitate her and wave like the Queen.) Hellew, hellew peasants.

L: Yeah, yes, yes, I know her. Ha ha. I guess so. I have to go in tomorrow to the, the, um, the doctor and he's going to show me how to wiggle my fingers again. It hurts.

Me: I can show you how to do that. (holding up my hand and wiggling fingers) See? (the phone rings) Oh, Lenore, maybe you can get that for old times sake. Right? Right?

Other Worker: Geez, have you had too much coffee? You're so excited.

Me: Yeah, well, it's been so quiet around here without Lenore around.

L: I've missed you guys! I've missed this place so much.

Other Worker: Really?

L: Oh, yes! It's been so hard. This one (pointing to cast) is different than my last one. I can get my sleeve over this one but, you know, I have to, um, go to my neighbors' and have them zip up my jacket before I go anywhere. Then I have to sometimes ask for help unzipping my jacket.

Me: (turning around and gesturing to pretend zipper up the back of my jacket) Zip me up!

Other Worker: Huh?

Me: You know, like on Arrested Development when the mother yells for Buster to zip her up? (turning around again and acting out scene like I need my top zipped up) Zip me up! Zip me up?

Other Worker: Calm down.

L: (moving on) But, you know, you have to be careful when you're on the bus. One day you're happy and at work and the next you lose everything and break your finger. It's just so very awful. AWFUL!


My co-worker and I have speculated as to what Lenore's been doing with her time off:
  • Watching Soaps
  • Eating tamales
  • Talking about tamales
  • Eating tamales while also talking about them to the Soaps

Check Your Oil

(Lenore is having car troubles.)

Lenore: Hey mister, did you know there's more than one oil your car?

Me: You mean more than just motor oil? Yeah, there's like three or something, I think.

L: (poking me in the chest) Exactly right! I didn't know. I. Had. No. Idea! I've been driving for years and no one ever told me.

Me: It's true.

L: Now let's see...there's, uh, um, let's see....there's motor oil, and then there's....

Me: Transmiss--

L: (excitedly) Transmission oil and, and, more. Now let me think...

Me: Brake fluid?

L: You mean brake oil?

Me: Sure, it's a lubricant. Anything to keep the gears moving.

L: Well, I have never once checked the oil in my baby car and I am just now getting trouble with it. Why would people keep car oil a secret from everyone else? I just never knew and have never once heard of it. Not once!

Me: I don't know. Just be sure to always check your oil and tires and belts--

L: Tires! Why do you have to check your tires? Do they have oil in them?

Me: No, just air.

L: Oh, yes. That's right. I thought, Dios, 'I have to check the oil in my tires?' Wouldn't that just be a kick? It sure would.


Originally posted October 22, 2009

For Lovers of the Pizza Pie

(While looking through my mail, Lenore pulls me aside to talk about pizza.)

Lenore: Hey, have you ever tried a Tombstone pizza?

Me: Is that the frozen one?

L: Uh, yes. And it is so yum-o. Really, really just...yum-o!

Me: Oh, I'll have to try it sometime.

L: I just love pizza and can't find--you know what, do you know any good pizza places 'round here?

Me: Yeah, I guess so. Do you like deep-dish pizza?

L: Oh, no, just the regular dish. I like that one that is just, I don't know, not so thick.

Me: Thin crust?

L: Yes, that's it, the kind you get at a pizza place.

Me: Oh, well, there's lots of different kinds of [artisan] pizza in the city. You can go to Little Star or Patxi's for deep dish, lemme see...Zante's for Indian-style pizza--

L: (wrinkling nose) Ew. No.

Me: --Pauline's pizza is excellent, there's Delfina if you like more Italian-street-style pizza...let's see, oh, or Brother's pizza in the Sunset is amazing. I don't know, there's a ton of them in city.

L: As long as it's as good as Straw Hat Pizza, I'll eat it.

Me: Straw Hat? Is Straw Hat still open?

L: Well, I can't find it any more, it used to be in the West Lake Shopping Center and I was so sad when they closed. But let me tell you something, it is the best. Best. Best, pizza in the world, and probably the city too.


Originally posted September 20, 2009

Lenore Vs. Angry Man

An angry man came into our office today around lunch time. Because no one, besides myself, was around to help, Lenore was forced to tear herself away from her cheese and salt-free cracker lunch and assist him. I passively witnessed this exchange from my desk, enjoying it too much to be of any help.

(A man walks into the office, upset and out of breath, and engages with Lenore.)

Man: Do you know where the College of Extended Learning is?

Lenore: The, the what?

Man: The College of Extended Learning? I paid a thousand dollars to take this damn class and now I can't find it and I can't find their offices to find out where the damn class is!

L: Oh, I'm sorry.

Man: Well? Do you know where it is?

L: The Extended Learning College? Um, well, no, no I don't know.

Man: Great! What's up with this place?

L: Well it used to be here in this office, I think. But now we're here.

Man: Yeah, some kid across the hall at the financial aid office sent me here thinking this is the College of Extended Learning! Really, what is up with this joint? Don't you guys know where your college departments are?

L: Wait a minute. Let me see if I can call someone who might know. (Lenore flips through the directory and after a few moments calls someone.) Hello, this is Lenore over in the university development office. Do you know where the College of Extended Learning is? ... ... ... Oh, I see. Thank you. (To man.) It's at our downtown campus.

Man: (more angry than before) I know there's one down there but there's an office here on campus too and classes! At both campuses.

L: Oh, really? Where?

Man: I DON'T KNOW! Can't you call someone else who might know? This class has already started or (looks at watch) is starting now!

L: Okay, let me call someone. (Lenore picks up the directory again and after a few moments dials another number.) Hello, this is Lenore over in the college of extended, I mean, over in the university development office. Is there a College of Extended Learning college on the main campus...?

Man: (chirping in) No, is there an office for the College of Extended Learning here on the main campus? I'm taking a class that they offer here, at this campus, somewhere, but no one knows!

(Lenore hands the phone to the man.)

Man: (taking phone) Hello? ... Yes, I'm looking for the office, on this campus, for the College of Extended Learning. ... ... ... Yes, I went there. ... Uh, huh. ... Uh, huh. ... ... Great. Well, then, never mind.

(He hands phone back to Lenore.)

L: (in phone) Hello? Hello? (To man.) There's no one there. What'd they say?

Man: Fuck it! This S.O.B. on the phone doesn't know anything and wants me to go back to the financial aid office, and they don't know their ass from a toilet seat and, and you don't know anything. I give up!

(He walks out the door. Lenore kinda follows him and stops short in front of my office.)

L: (to me) Did you hear all that?

Me: Yes.

L: (holding her chest) He was so angry. And rude! Did you hear how rude he was?

Me: Yeah, he wasn't happy. What class was he looking for?

L: Oh, I don't know. It was through extended learning or something.

Me: You can always look up classes online. They have the classrooms listed next to them. Or just call the downtown campus operator and ask them if they know. I'd think they'd be in touch with their offices here, don't you think?

L: No, that's okay. I think it's all taken care of now.


Originally posted July 31, 2009

So Good, I Can Taste It

I walked in today and saw Lenore manning a healthy piece of banana bread at her desk. She pointed out that we are wearing the same blouse (shirt) today. Actually, I'm wearing a blue and white gingham button-down shirt and Lenore is wearing a blouse with a blue and white floral print. That has nothing to do with this story.

(Lenore walks into my office carrying a pad of paper, her beloved mechanical pencil and a pad of paper.)

Lenore: Excuse me, mister. I don't mean to bother you, but I was thinking about that thing you came in with yesterday after, you know, lunch.

Me: What thing?

L: It was in a cup and it had a straw thing.

Me: Was it pink, what was in the cup? Was it pink?

L: (hand on chin) Well, now let me think for a minute. ... ... ... YES! I think it was pink, sort of.

Me: That was a strawberry shake.

(Lenore quickly scribbles on her notepad.)

L: Okay, it's called a shake?

Me: Well, it's a strawberry smoothie from the Snackademic in the student center.

L: (more scribbling of notes) Wait, wait, what was that?

Me: Smoothie. Smoothie. From Snackademic.

L: What? Again, please.

Me: Snack. Ah. Dem. Ick. It's across from the bookstore.

L: (still scribbling) Oh, okay. (reading it back to me) Shake-smoothie from Snack-ad-em-ic.

Me: Okay. It was a smoothie with strawberry, banana and--.

(Smoke coming off pad of paper as Lenore continues to scribble notes.)

L: WAIT! Wait!

Me: Lenore, just ask for the Alcatraz.

L: What? What's Alcatraz?

Me: Alcatraz is the name of the drink, the smothie.

L: And it has all that stuff? The strawberries and bananas?

Me: Yes, and peaches.

L: (licking lips) Peaches! Ummmm! Yum-oh! That sounds super yum-oh! And they'll know what I mean if I just walk up and say, 'Alcatraz?'

Me: Well, say you want the Alcatraz smoothie.

L: Not Alcatraz shake?

Me: You can say that, too.

L: But I want the one you had.

Me: Then say you want the Handsome Boy Special.

L: Oh, really?

Me: No, just say you want the Alcatraz. They'll know what you mean.

L: Perfecta-mento!


Originally posted July 13, 2009

Guess Who's Out To Lunch?

I know I already posted a picture of this the other day but it gets me every time! Lenore is the greatest.

Originally posted July 10, 2009

Lenore Vs. MGO

(One of our Major Gift Officers, a fundraiser, bounds into the office, out of breath and hair awry. Lenore, per usual, has her back to the front door. I listen in.)

MGO: (angrily) Lenore, you told me I had to hurry hurry hurry and meet Professor Mills for our meeting!

Lenore: (slowing spinning around in her chair) What? What was that?

MGO: I said, (slowly) you gave me a message that Professor Mills was in a hurry and he had to, no, I mean that I had to hurry to our meeting. Not that he was in a hurry, but that I had to hurry and meet him! But Professor Mills said, when I finally saw him, that he told you he was running fifteen minutes late. I scarfed my lunch down and beat it over there for nothing! Now I'm late for my next meeting.

L: Oh, is that what he said? (she laughs) I thought he said he had to do something so you had to hurry to the meeting--or something like that.

MGO: Yes, and that's wrong! He told me, after I'd waited for him for twenty minutes, that he told you that he was running fifteen minutes late and was trying to hurry for my meeting with him!

L: Oh, he said twenty minutes?

MGO: No, he told you that he'd be fifteen minutes late--.

L: But I thought you said he was twenty minutes late.

MGO: No! He was twenty minutes late because I was five minutes early! I was hurrying, because you told me to and I hurried up and ate my lunch so fast so I wouldn't miss him!

L: Oh. Oops.

MGO: Yeah, oops is right!

L: But you still got there on time, right?

MGO: Yes, I did. With time to spare.

L: Oh, then it all worked out.


Originally posted July 9, 2009

The Smell of Death

The titan arum, or "corpse flower" is about to bloom here in our campus greenhouse and everyone is very excited. Well, anyone that cares or needs something to do on their lunch break. This plant, native to Sumatra, is a relatively rare plant and if you can even find one, consider yourself lucky. Also, consider yourself a nerd for having sought it out. This orb-like plant only blooms for approximately 24 hours every 150 years. They can grow upwards of 3 meters high and when in bloom omits a noxious smell like that of rotting flesh. Still, people have been known to stand in line for hours just to sneak a peak of the flower and whiff its stench. (some information borrowed from Wikipedia)

I went to see the corpse flower today with some people from my office. It hadn't opened just yet but was omitting its signature scent. I took a picture with my phone:

There was a short line to get into the greenhouse and it was moving very slowing. After a moment, I saw Lenore exiting from the other end.

(Lenore walks up to me and coworkers.)

Lenore: (happily, to me) Hello there, mister! Did you come to see that flower?

Me: Yes, I've never seen one.

L: It's called a, a, a, now give me a minute...a cops or a coops--.

Me: (excitedly showing off my knowledge) A corpse flower.

L: Yes, that's what they call it! That's exactly right!

Worker 1: (to Lenore) So did you get a chance to sniff the flower?

L: Well, yes, I tried but you know what. Let me tell you something. It didn't smell very good. No, not at all. It was a little like a cat box or something. (laughing) Phew!

Worker 2: Lenore, it's called a corpse flower because it smells like a corpse or suppose to smell bad like a dead body.

L: (a little shocked) Oh. Is that right? That's, that's, really why they call it that? I thought, you know, because it's a flower it would smell nice or something. Why would you want to smell that?

Me: Some flowers just don't smell good. Have you ever smelled a garlic flower? They stink too.

L: Like a dead person?

Me: No, more like strong garlic.

L: Oh, but I like garlic. I don't like corpse-es.


Originally posted June 29, 2009

Here's what it might look like when in blooms:

Lenore Learns About LGBT

Lenore has few tasks, few real tasks, one of them being to file and record business invoices. But before she can do so, she must collect as much information about the invoice as possible; purpose of invoice, how many people participated, etc. Because I work most all of our events, I file a lot of invoices for processing. Last month I organized the first university lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) alumni mixer, which was located at the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT). Lenore had some questions.

(Lenore trundles into my office with an invoice and a mechanical pencil in her hand.)

Lenore: Um, excuse me, excuse me, mister?

Me: Yes?

L: I have dummy question for you. Actually it's uh, uh, well, I have you know what this (reading from invoice) elle...gee...bee...tee...mix-er event was?

Me: Oh, yeah. On June 26th? That was the LGBT mixer at ACT.

L: At what? What?

Me: The American Conservatory Theatre.

(Lenore scribbles down notes on the invoice.)

L: Oh, okay. Do you have a guest list for it or do you know how many people went? You know, I have to put down all kinds of information.

Me: I'll just print out a list for you.

(I go to my computer to search for the guest list. Lenore scribbles more notes on the invoice.)

L: Oh, one more thing. What's elle-gee-bee-tee?


L: Yeah.

Me: That's stands for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender.

L: (eyebrows raised) Oh, really? All that stands for elle-gee-bee-tee-aye-cee-tee?

Me: No, ACT is the American Conservatory Theatre, where the event was held. LGBT is lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender.

L: I see. And what were they all doing there? You know, at this thing?

Me: Well, it was a mixer for--

L: A wh-what?

Me: A mixer, a get-together for lesbians. (slowly) And gays. And bisexuals. And transgender people.

(Lenore scribbles some more notes on the invoice.)

L: And they all came?

Me: Yes. All of them.

L: I see. (scribbling) Do I have to write all that? All, lesbian and gays and--

Me: No. You can just write LGBT.

L: Will people know what that means?

Me: Yes, most people should.

L: Well, I didn't.

Me: But now you do.

L: Yes. And what kind of event, I mean, wha-what was it for?

Me: You could just say it was for donor cultivation.

L: Oh, it was to cultivate the elle-gee-bee-tees?

Me: No, not really. Just write that it was an alumni social, meet-and-greet.

L: Oh, okay. (reading as she writes) Elle-gee-bee-tee alumni meet-and-greet at aye-cee-tee.

Me: You got it?

L: Yep. I think I've got it!


Originally posted June 23, 2009

Like A Bat

This weekend I was helping lay bricks for a courtyard area and hurt my back. Nothing serious, but I had to call into work sick yesterday because of it. When I came into the office this morning Lenore was very concerned for me.

(I walk through the front door and see Lenore. She is especially dramatic.)

Lenore: (nearly yelling and giving me a furrowed-pity brow) WELL! Hello there Mister! How are you feeling?

Me: Like an old man. I was helping my parents build a brick landing and I was just hunched over all day. I'm feeling okay though.

L: Oh, my! You know something, let me tell cousin Mathew came to visit me, and he's got (pounding out the syllables of the words on the desk with her fist) the worst. Worst. Worst. Back problems. He has to sit in this thing upside down where he hangs and hangs by his feet and... (one hand in the air, one hand on her chest) Dios! It's awful. But you know what?

Me: What?

L: (intensely leaning forward) It helps his back so much. It straightens it, you know, and he's better than he ever was. It really helps. Really! I'm telling you.

Me: And he just hangs? Like a bat?

L: (leaning back in her chair and emphatically pointing her finger at me with each word) Yes! Just. Like. A. Bat. Exactly right.

Here's how I imagine that scene would play out should Lenore's dramatic gestures be put into words:

(I walk through the front door and see Lenore.)

Lenore: OH MY FUCKING GOD IN HEAVEN! What the HELL are you doing here Mister? How are you feeling?

Me: Like an old man. I was helping my parents build a brick landing and I was just hunched over all day. I'm feeling okay today though.

L: No shit! You know what's really fucked up? Let me tell you. My cousin Mathew came to visit me, and damned if that fucker doesn't have the most fucked-up back. I swear to the Lawd that he has to sit in a fucking harness like, like...oh, I don't know what. He just sits and hangs and hangs. Upside down! But you know the kicker?

Me: What?

L: I fuck you helps his back.

Me: And he just hangs? Like a bat?

L: Yes! Just. Like. A. Mother. Fucking. Bat.


Originally posted June 16, 2009, (sorry for the cursing Mom)

Too Hard To Remember

I've had an eyeball-numbing sinus infection for the past few days. Lenore is, among other things, known as the keeper of pills. So when my head nearly split open from pressure I went to her for help.

Me: Lenore, do you have any Tylenol or Advil or something? I had some Motrin but forgot to bring it.

Lenore: Oh, no. I'm so sorry to hear that. (Lenore pulls out her backpack and rummages through it.) I have some cough drops, would those help?

Me: No, my throat doesn't hurt. Just my head--or if you have something for congestion, that would be great too.

L: Well, sometimes I take these cough drops and, you know, they're those ones they take in that commercial where they're in, um, let me think, you know. The one where they sing on that hill?

Me: Oh, um, Ricola?

L: No, they're, um, called tactoids or airroids or something like that. I just can't remember--

Me: Altoids?

L: (thinking out loud) Altoids, Altoids...YES, that's them I think!

Me: Those aren't cough drops, they're just mints or gum.

L: Yes, but they are so strong, aren't they? I can feel them working when they're in my mouth.

Me: Yes.

L: Well, would you like those? I think I have them in here somewhere. (Lenore rummages through her bag some more.)

Me: No, that's okay. I'll go to the store instead. I need headache medicine.

L: WAIT! Oh, you know, I have some magic pills maybe. They're these pills I'll take if I have a muscle pain or something. They magically fix everything. OH, here they are!

(Lenore hands me the medicine bottle she finds in her bag.)

Me: Oh, this is Advil.

L: Is that how you say that?

Me: Yes, (reading label) Advil Arthritis Pain Relief.

L: Oh, well I call them magic pills* because I don't know how they work and plus, I can pronounce magic pills and not that word you said.

Me: Advil.

L: An-vale.

Me: Add. Add. Duh. Duh. Duh. Add-ville.

L: (swats hand toward me) Too hard.


*She seriously said "magic pills".

Originally posted June 10, 2009

Music Makes the World Go Round

(I am sitting at my desk listening to music and working when Lenore scuttles up to me.)

Lenore: Um, hello mister. You know, I want to listen to music like you listen to music on your computer.

Me: Okay.

L: But I don't know how to....well, can my computer even play music?

Me: Uh, sure. They can all play music. Do you have iTunes on your computer?

L: What's that?

Me: It's just an music application for your computer.

L: What's that?

Me: Uh, just a program that will let you play music. I thought we talked about it before. You can also use Pandora. That's another--.

L: What's that? Pandora? What's that?

Me: It's another program that let's you make your own sort of radio station.

L: (surprised) My oooown? Really! That's just great, mister. Can you help me, er, show me how?

Me: Sure.

(I walk over to Lenore's desk and computer and direct her to Pandora's website.)

Me: (clicking away on computer) So, now you just need to put in an artist or a name of a song you like.

L: But what if I want to hear lots of songs?

Me: You put the name of a song in and they'll make a whole station around what you enter. Like if you like The Beatles--

L: No, no, no.

Me: Okay, well if you like a song by someone like, I don't know, Frank Sinatra or--

L: No, no, not really.

Me: Who do you like?

L: (thinking) I don't know...I like that guy, oh, what's his name...Michael Bolton! Yeah, I like Michael Bolton. I just love listening to Michael Bolton.

Me: Okay (typing in 'Michael Bolton')...any one else?

L: No, I just want all Michael Bolton. OH! And did you see Dreamgirls? I want to hear Dreamgirls, too!

Me: (making it so) Alright, now you have a special Michael Bolton and Dreamgirls station just for you.

L: (amazed) Oh, that's great! Thank you so much! How do I hear it now?

Me: Oh, no speakers, huh? Do you have head--

L: (excitedly) Headphones? Yes, yes, I have headphones! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

(I go back to my desk and after about 10 minutes, Lenore calls me from her phone.)

Me: (answering) Hello?

L: Um, this thing is not working right. Do you have a second to come over and look--

Me: Sure, I'll be right here.

(I walk back over to Lenore's desk and see her crouched down in her chair with headphones in her ears.)

Me: What are you doing?

L: Oh, the cord on my headphones isn't long enough, I have to lean in close so they don't pull out of my ears.

Me: Oh.

L: But this thing isn't playing any Dreamgirls or Michael Bolton yet. It's playing (leaning in a reading from monitor) a Michael Bub-ble--

Me: Michael Buble'?

L: Didn't you put in Michael Bolton?

Me: Yeah, but it will play the artists you like along with all sorts of music similar to that artist.

L: Well I don't want to listen to other people. Can't I just hear the Dreamgirls and Michael Bolton?

Me: No, it doesn't work like that. It's like a radio station with a mix of different types of the same type of music. It's going to play, like, all the soft rock or soft jazzy stuff.

L: (not as impressed anymore) Oh. Okay. Well I just want Michael Bolton and Dreamgirls. That's all.

Me: You should bring in a CD and we can burn that on your computer and you can listen to it all the time.

L: Really! It will do that? Then no more Michael Bubble?

Me: No, no more Michael Bubble.


Originally posted January 26, 2009

Get That Booty

(My student assistant Debbie and I are eating Pirate's Booty, a Cheeto-like snack dusted in chemical cheese, that we got from the break room. We talk about nothing in particular while we rest from the monotony of the afternoon. Debbie is Chinese.)

Me: So, you get money for Chinese New Year? That's nice.

Debbie: Sure!--well, if you're single you get money in a red envelope. Last year I got $500. Cash!

Me: What? I get a hangover and if I'm lucky, a sloppy kiss. But that's for regular New Year.

(Lenore trundles past us to the nearby break room and rummages around for something. We continue to snack and talk.)

Debbie: We also eat a lot and spend time with family.

Me: And run through the streets as dragons and blow your hand off with firecrackers, right?

Debbie: Yeah, something like that.

(Lenore comes up and leans over Debbie with a mouth full of Pirate's Booty. She has a band aid in her hand.)

Lenore: (spitting puffs of the chemical cheese out of her mouth) Hey! Did you guys see there's a huge bag of Cheetos in the break room? I love that stuff!

Me: It's Debbie's. She's going to New York next week to see her family for Chinese New Year's and has to get rid of all her food.

L: Oh! Get rid of it on me. Where did you get the Cheetos? They're yummo!

Debbie: From Trader Joe's. It's actually Pirate's Booty.

L: (continuing to cram food in her mouth) Huh?

Debbie: (slowly) Pi-rate's Boo-Tay.

L: Well what ever you call it, there's a bag of it in the break room and no one is eating it. I just love it.

Me: (noticing the band aid in her hand) What's the band aid for? Did you cut yourself?

L: Oh, no. Allison across the way, her desk drawer has been jammed all morning. She's had one heck of a time trying to get the, the, (losing her train of thought for a moment) well, she can't get that darn thing open. She's out to lunch now, or something. I don't know where she is. (putting more Pirate's Booty in her mouth) No one tells me nothing!

Debbie: But what's the band aid for?

L: Oh, the guy that came to fix the drawer cut his hand open or something. He just called me and needed some First Aid. All I could find was this band aid.

Me: Oh my gosh! Is it bad? There should be a whole First Aid kit next to the fire extinguisher in the break room.

L: Well, I'll see what he needs when I get down there. This band aid should be fine, I think. *nom nom nom*


Originally posted January 23, 2009

Too Much Overhead

I was skulking around Lenore's desk for several minutes today trying to sneak a picture of her wearing her new visor. It looks like a flipped-up welding mask and she claims to wear it because the overhead florescent lighting gives her a headache.

Originally posted December 11, 2008

Don't Do That

One of Lenore's chief duties (of the two she has) is to sort office mail. Sometimes, when a package comes in, she gets flustered and not knowing where to file a package, chooses to just stick it in the recipient's mailbox/file (pictured below).

Seeing this, our office manager sent out an all-staff email:

To All Staff,

The staff mail files are for letters only and cannot accommodate any large packages. Please place any packages beside the incoming mail cabinet. Thank you.


Originally posted on November 13, 2008

Not So Swell-a-nore

Lenore is given the task of managing expense reports, which, in my opinion, seem to be beyond her capabilities. Here's why:

(Lenore comes into my office asking about an invoice I submitted for a recent event I worked. The invoice in question is a standard invoice sheet that breaks down price and number of tickets per guest. We talk about the invoice for awhile and then the conversation makes a turn.)

Lenore: ...You're confusing me. I just need to know who paid and what amount they paid.

Me: (pointing to invoice) Well, right here, next to their name is the amount they paid. This person paid $35, this person paid $35 and this person paid $40.

L: Wait, what about this person? They paid 70$. See, right here, is the number of tickets they bought. Two.

Me: That means they bought two, 35$ tickets.

L: Oh, two tickets cost 70$?

Me: Yes, 35 and 35 is 70.

L: (thinking about it) Oh, yeah, I guess it is.

Me: Now, there are some people who paid at the door and those names don't have prices with them. You can just put them down for $40. That's what we charged at the door.

L: Where? How do I know which ones didn't pay, again?

Me: (pointing) Here. These ones without any numbers next to their name. They didn't pay before arriving so we charged them $40 at the door.

L: Okay, but how much did these people pay? (pointing and circling the word "comp" with her dull pencil)

Me: Those people didn't pay.

L: Oh, so put them down for $40, then?

Me: No, they didn't have to pay at all. They were comped.

L: They didn't have to pay anything at the door? I don't understand.

Me: They're staff.

L: Oh, staff doesn't pay?

Me: No. Not if they're there to work.

L: Okay, then I won't put them down for any money. Now, that's for everyone with 'comp' next to their name or just staff?

Me: (breathing deeply) Only staff is comped. Everyone else has a number next to their name in the amount they paid except for people who paid at the door.

L: Yes, and they paid $40.

Me: Right!

L: Okay, I think I got it. Thank you!

(Lenore exits. Moments later, I'm back in my office and Lenore walks back in.)

L: Did Mario go to the event?

Me: No.

L: So should I put him down as a comp then?

Me: Sure. That's fine.

L: (scribbling a note on the paper) Okay, thank you. That's all I need to know.

(Later in the afternoon I walk up to Lenore's desk.)

Me: Lenore, did you send out an email to the office letting them know that the color printer is down?

L: (engrossed in the same expense report) What? Well, it's going to be fixed tomorrow. They have to send us a part and Howie said he'll put it in when it comes. It's suppose to be real easy to just pop in.

Me: Okay, that's fine, but it broke on Friday and I asked you to send an email to everyone so they'd know it wasn't working. Everyone keeps trying to print on it and it just keeps beeping in my ear.

L: (whining) Well, I'm trying to work on this right now and I want to go home soon.

Me: I've had seven people come into my office in the last 30 minutes, pushing buttons on the machine and asking me a million questions. Can't you just send out a quick all-staff email?

L: It's getting fixed tomorrow. Can't it wait?

Me: Nevermind.


Originally posted October 28, 2008

Bent and Sticky

Lenore comes into my office in a huff holding up a crooked letter opener.

Lenore: Look at this! Just look at it! It's bent! It's totally, just...bent! AND sticky!

Me: Oh, what happened?

L: I don't know but let me tell you something. Someone took it from my desk, put it some place sticky and then they bent it and didn't even bother to unbend it. And then they put it back, you know, on my desk.

Me: Oh, I'm sorry.

E: I think that's just so....rude. You know? It still has glue or something on it too. I mean, I would never do that. Never!

Me: Do you want to have my letter opener? It's not bent or sticky.

L: No, no, that's yours. I mean, that's just so...rude and mean. And these are the people we work with? I don't know who did it. Why would someone do that to me?

Me: I don't know. I'm sorry.

L: But why is it sticky? I don't even want to touch it. It could be anything!


Originally posted October 28, 2008

The Bottom Tray

Lenore sometimes gets into disagreements with people over trivial things like how to load paper the correct way in the printer or putting time reports in her mailbox rather than in the clearly labeled "Time Reports Inbox" where they should be. When she does get into a confrontation with someone it usually results in her barraging them with huffy, mispronounced words followed by months and months of shunning.

I don't quarrel with her. My secret? Give her banana bread. It soothes the savage beast.

(Lenore gets into a confrontation with Edward, one of the most awkward people in the office. I listen from my desk.)

Edward: (stammering) I, I, I, I, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Can I just--

Lenore: Don't do that now. I will do this, I have the driver, screwing driver! Thing!

Ed: Okay, well, I, I, I--

L: Move please, Edward. No! Don't mess with that! We just fixed the copy--the printer and we don't put paper in this drawer because it has sticky. I told you!

Ed: I'm sorry. Please don't be angry, I didn't know.

L: You knew! I have said it before and even made a sign! (papers rustle) It's gone but it was here before and you knew!

Ed: I'm so sorry, can I just--(clanking and banging sounds)

L: NO! You're not helping. Not helpful!

(Lenore walks by my office and out the door. Moments later the printer in my office, which is also shared by the wider office, starts to print pages. Edward, still shaken, walks in. I do the 1000-yard stare, trying to stay out a conversation. Edward lingers behind me.)

Ed: Oh, uh, so sorry to hover, I just wanted to get my papers. I'll just be a minute.

Me: That's okay, you're not hovering.

Ed: I just mean, I don't want to cause you any inconvenience if you're printing cards or something.

Me: It's fine.

Ed: Okay, okay. So, sorry.


Postscript: Lenore, who normally puts a bowl of candy on a credenza she shares with Edward, now doesn't. She also has put a big sign on the printer that reads in all caps: PLEASE DON'T USE THE BOTTOM TRAY ON PRINTER. IT DOESN'T WORK!

Originally posted October 17, 2008