Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All of this is going to be unfair isn't it? I can already tell what this blog will become: A panoply of caricatures, a hitlist of colleagues whose idiosyncracies are exaggerated and redefined as flaws. The stretching of bumpy Jewish noses. The amplified accent of syncopated Latina chatter. The rotting-Ganges stench of microwaved Indian lunches.

Well, then, first thing's first: My Kathleen Turner-cum-Fraggle Rock IT director. Let's call her Red, as in Red Fraggle. She's walked to her office just now, her light shoes made heavy by a bitch's rushed and purposeful strut. She's left the door opened and has begun speakerphoning with what seems like a vendor who has messed something up. Much like Kathleen Turner in her signature 1980s roles, Red approaches this conversation as a tough-minded busomy bombshell would. She's affirmative and she means business. She'll interrupt--hey, she already knows the answer and doesn't need you to finish. Most of all, Red's voice is deep, like Turner's. Perhaps the lower registry of her voice packs that extra punch in her authoritativeness, the very cornerstone of her success.

But this is where the resemblance to one icon stops and another begins. Red's voice, much like the Fraggle now, is also quite sharp and grating, the way air sounds as it is released from a balloon whose opening is pinched and stretched tightly. The sound is unique in the animal and musical kingdom. Perhaps a warbly reed instrument, like a bassoon made of rubber.

This voice is boxed in a shapely and fit figure. Not quite as voluptuous as Turner nor as bouncy as Red Fraggle, but somewhere in the middle. Her lips are not pronounced, like the Fraggle's (and most puppets, I supposed). But her pale lipstick outlines a suggestion of its presence. Besides that, she shares most of Turner's human qualitiest. Arms and legs in the right places.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

She's Fierce

When they showed me where my office would be, the first thought that came to my mind was that I'd have my very own Cerberus of sorts.  The legal assistant seated right outside my door is an African American woman of stately, even striking beauty.  She's slim, fit, sharply dressed, and has clear, piercing eyes, which are either light brown or Elizabeth Taylor-violet.  I'm not sure because I haven't yet had the nerve to look her straight in the eyes.  She rarely smiles - at me, anyway.  She's authoritative, well-trained, and efficient at her job, and she knows it.  She also wears a long brown wig, and when her head itches, the wig shifts gently when she scratches it with a long stick.

We'll call her Angela.  And I'm pretty sure Angela dislikes me.  I've been here two months now, and am acutely aware that she can hear all the goings-on inside my office.  Like all the rapid typing, as fast as torrential rainfall, that can only mean that I'm chatting or blogging.  Like when my phone goes off for personal calls and non-work-related text messages.  Angela is a pro, and she doesn't just guard the doorway to my office, she guards this office as a whole.  I'm sensitive to the fact that Angela keeps accurate tabs on the lost productivity to the company occurring inside my office.

I wish Angela liked me.  I'm not sure why she doesn't like me, even if I have my hypotheses.  Initially it was disappointing, turned unsettling, turned irritating, evolved into an unnatural fixation to find out why, once and for all.