Daily Archives: May 10, 2006

Tombstone Blues

Right off the bat, Felicia is nuts. She is difficult to get along with, difficult to butter up or even empathize with. Forget about getting close to her because that simply is not going to happen. She was out today and that was relatively good. She has one of those dogs that fit into a pocket book, you know the type. Utterly useless dogs. The type of dog that won’t save your life, should your life need saving. Needless to say, the dog was sick. Sick on Monday, so Felicia was in late on Tuesday since the dog was up all night.

The dog was having surgery on Tuesday so she left early after coming in late. I try to be supportive and empathize and it seems to get a reaction of thankfulness.

Today was crazy busy and I loved it. It was go go go almost immediately after coming in. I much prefer the busyness. I purchased some teas, and some honey and artificial sweetener so I put them away and started up the office. Phones started ringing, requests of all sorts, which I did my best to fulfill. There are some nice people in the office and some standoffish people as well.

Creative types are not easy to deal with mostly. Like a cello on the top of the Empire State Building they are that high strung. But I can get around that. I do have some old habits that I still maintain. For example, there is a voice mail system on the phone. I consulted the three different front desk manuals and entered the password to access the voice mail. Three different passwords, and each of them wrong, so after three tries, I was locked out.

So I called the San Francisco office, having a friendly relationship with my counterpart over there. I asked her, Agnes, if she knew how to reset the phone. She didn’t. I wondered if I unplugged the system if that would reset it. I didn’t want to take the chance of ruining everything so I didn’t. Though they have the same system as Wanker Banker, somehow they need to have someone come in at the cost of $125.00 to hit one or two buttons.

Eddie the phone guy came in and knew exactly what to do. Took him less than fifteen minutes. Nice gig, huh? I maintained my busyness, running around like a maniac and rushing to answer phones on no more than the second ring. There are three phones in the office, all strategically located so no one can answer them except me and Felicia and Linda, the very nice British woman.

Linda used to do my job so she knows how hectic it can be. She is definitely more sympathetic than Felicia. I relied on Linda quite a bit today and she didn’t seem to mind. She asked me to run some errands on my lunch break and I did them gladly. She also said I could still take an hour after running the errands. Felicia never says that.

I came back from lunch after doing everything that was asked of me, still not taking the full hour. I read an email that Felicia sent while I was out. It started out, “I really need you to shift into high gear. The office has been super messy”. The impression I get from that is that I’ve been loafing around. She mentioned that next week is going to be busy and I should get Eddie to come in to work on the phone in the big room where a major meeting is going to occur. Now, she knew that Eddie was coming in today and she’s telling me to have him come in again tomorrow. Fine. I call Eddie and ask if he can back tomorrow. He says they’re booked tomorrow and he’d try to come back today, so he’ll call back. Fine. The phone needs to be fixed right?

I am running around doing this, doing that, including taking the dried blossoms off the stupid apple branches she picked up a week or so ago and placed in water. This is one of the idiotic things I need to do, picking blossoms off a tree branch. While I’m doing this, the phone rings and I can’t get it. Linda does. She tells Eddie, yes it’s fine, come in. Somehow Felicia hears about this and calls Linda and gives her an earful.

Then it’s my turn. She calls me quite livid. Who do I think I am? And blah blah blah. She was going off on the phone so much that I almost said ‘FUCK YOU’ and hang up the phone. But no, though the words are at the tip of my tongue I say nothing. She goes off on how she hasn’t slept in days and her dog is sick and coming off the anesthesia and acting like, a dog. I wonder if Felicia is doing crystal meth? She’s certainly thin enough and she lives in Chelsea…

The good feeling of being busy was undercut by the strangeness that is Felicia. Linda wasn’t too happy about being chewed out by her and neither was I. She complained to Mark the controller who Felicia reports to. Linda came and spoke to me in hushed tones about how Felicia has been lately. Lots of days off apparently. I mentioned to Linda how I asked Felicia how I was doing on my fifth day at McMann and Tate and her words of encouragement were about how I was more energetic during my interview. She was surprised at that.

Linda wants to make sure I am comfortable and happy. She also said I was doing a good job. Felicia never even attempted that and if she did I was too busy walking on eggshells to notice. Mark the controller came by and told me that he was sorry that Felicia was behaving the way she did. He said that he was going to have a talk with her about her absences, and her attitude towards Linda and myself. Somehow he’s going to do this without naming names.

Apparently I’ve been doing Felicia’s work.

He said I was doing a good job and I mentioned that it was the first that I heard that. I also said that supportive words like that really mean a lot. He was surprised that I never heard that before. I told him about the fifth day and Felicia’s comment, and also said that I was close to quitting after listening to Felicia’s rant over the phone. He was glad that I didn’t. I told him that if they had gone through so many receptionists before I arrived, maybe the problem isn’t with the receptionists. He mentioned that a few of them just up and quit rather than deal with Felicia.

So it’s not me, it’s Felicia. She’s nuts.

Tomorrow should be interesting, don’t you think?