Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Typhoid Juli

I was just discussing with some friends the "lip curl of disgust." You know, the face you make when something horrifies or offends you so greatly that you just don't know what to say? That's it. The look. The LCD, as it is now known (thanks Janet). I originally gave a name to this look of supreme snarkiness in honor of my friend Nessa, and in her case it's the NLCD (copyright Heather 2002). Now that we've got that out of the way, I need to tell you a story. A story so horrifying, so full of ignorance and lack of tact, that it causes me to affect my own version of the LCD at the mere mention of the name Juli.

Allow me to introduce my coworker, Juli. On the first day of work, my boss warned me about her. How bad is that? When your boss warns you about someone on the first day? OMG. Things started out well enough, and the only things I noticed about Juli that were out of the ordinary were her obnoxious laugh, which sounds suspiciously like a wookie from Star Wars, and the fact that she falls down a lot. And I mean really a lot. When she falls down, even if it's just on a carpet in the middle of the room, somehow she manages to make a hell of a lot of noise, like in the cartoons when a character crashes into a stack of garbage cans and there's a period of loud noise followed by the can lids rolling about on pavement for a while. That's what it sounds like. How does she do that?

After a while, there were other things. She stands impossibly close when she talks to me. This is a problem, because I'm a gal who likes her space. She often stands over me while I work, causing me to have to fight back snarky words and take a deep breath and ask, "Can I help you?" She wears chopsticks in her hair and a weird feather and bone choker necklace and granny boots and capris - all on the same day. I kid you not, this girl is so weird that another coworker had to quit because of the supreme weirdness.

I refer to her as Typhoid Juli when relaying the stories of truly bizarre behavior to my friends. This is because, while she often calls in sick to work, when she is actually sick, she comes in to the office. Not only does she sit in the office with all of her germy goodness, she continues to hang over me, cough on me, sneeze on the papers that she's handing to me and make disgusting phlegm sounds that very nearly make me run screaming from the office in agony. My boss follows her around with a can of Lysol.

All of this is weird, mind you, but not the weirdest. Juli has an odd affinity for trying to sell me her lunch. Seriously. She does. The first time, we were on a short deadline, and I wasn't sure I'd have time to grab anything, and we'd be working late. Juli pipes up. "I have two Hot Pockets in the freezer, and I'm only going to eat one of them." Wow. She who has no social sense has just offered me part of her lunch? How kind! My heart was beginning to swell with happiness when the rest of her sentence came out. "You could buy the other Hot Pocket from me for $4 or so." Stop the presses. $4? The whole package of two Hot Pockets costs, what, $3.50? I decided I'd rather starve than play into Juli's black market Hot Pocket scheme. Plus, those packages are marked "not for individual resale," and if I'm going down for something in this life, it will not be Hot Pockets.

Other lunch-purchasing schemes have included the sale of coupons, which, as you know, say right on them that they have no monetary value, and more horrifying, the offer to use a "buy one get one free" coupon from Sonic so long as I bought the one and she got the free. Apparently while I'm thinking that Juli is pretty damn stupid, she is thinking the same of me.

The most recent lunchtime incident was two weeks ago. I had some time on my hands and was going to go out for a leisurely lunch. I thought maybe I'd head to the local cafe for some of their delicious fried chicken and mashed potatoes. I mentioned this to another coworker. Juli, who is always listening to every other office convo, piped up once again. "Hey, you know, I have a gift certificate for a free lunch buffet at the cafe. I hardly go there, and when I do, I never get the buffet. You could take the certificate if you want to." I should have known better, but once again I got that feeling of hope in my heart. And then it happened. "You could pay me $7 for it, or something like that," she said, with her usual blank look in her eye. The lunch buffet costs, with drink, a whopping $4.95. I opted for Subway instead.

Stay tuned for more installments of Typhoid Juli weirdness. You know they won't stop. We'll see how long I can go before I just *have* to say something. I'll admit, I'm itching to ask about that feather and bone necklace...


Jen said...

Heather, I cannot imagine how it is to work with someone like that. You have the patience of Job.

Kelley said...

Oh my god! She sounds like she should be working in the Diva's store. I kid you not. Go to Hicktown Diva's blog and read about her co-workers.