Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Office: A Reality Series

Just a short hot while ago, I emerged from the bathroom to find a youngish man clutching a clipboard and speaking to my coworker Kathy in that faux-official voice that marks the telemarketer and his brethren.

Kathy appeared confused and slightly reluctant to be talking to this youngish clipboard-carrying man, so she referred him to another coworker, Aleeta, who courteously rose from her chair and said, "Yes? How can I help you?"

This is where it gets special.

The youngish man looked straight at Aleeta and, using his clipboard, gestured toward her and said, "May I approach?"

Yes, folks, the dweeby polo-shirt clad 22 year-old solicitor man-child asked if he could "approach."

Somehow I managed to sit back down at my desk without belching laughter and I whipped off a quick IM to Kathy to the effect of: "Did he just say ’May I approach?’"

"Yes. Hee hee," was Kathy’s reply. There might have been an emoticon in there somewhere, but definitely no LOL or ROTFL. We’re adults, people.

Using her superpowers, Aleeta eventually turned him away and we all went back to work. Approximately seven minutes later, when I felt the timing was ripe, I gingerly strode to Aleeta’s desk-area and said, "May I approach?"

Wild laughter ensued.

Wild, wild laughter.

Each of us took turns, howling, asking, "May I approach?"

Bellyaching laughter. Gregarious laughter.

Then we looked to the doorway, only to see Señor Salesman looking in at us before walking outside.

Uh. Apparently he was next door all along.

Like teenage girls, we all ran to the back of the office, behind the cover of a concrete wall, where I proceeded to lay down on the floor and laugh my ass off. Aleeta and Kathy followed in suit, alternately leaning on the wall and a bookcase for support.

"Oh man, that was bad," Aleeta said. "Now we’re gonna get shot."

Kathy and I looked at Aleeta: "Um, I think he’ll be okay. He doesn’t seem very dangerous...I mean, he’s a bottled water salesman."

Aleeta: "Oh, right!"

Dissolve into 60 more seconds of laughter.

Epilogue: Later, a drunk guy came in off of the street and looked at our O’Jays Survival poster, resplendent with afros and naked people, said "Damn that Eddie Murphy!" and kicked the wall.

I’m so happy to have blog fodder again. You have no idea.

Friday, March 14, 2008

is that a burqa or are you just happy to see me?

My bulky Cameroonian trainer Parfait really came up with a zinger this week:

As I straddled a stack of step platforms, squatting until I was pretty sure some muscles were going to start stripping away from the bone, Parfait shot me a very serious look and simply asked, unprovoked:

"Mademoiselle - are you a Muslim?"

I squatted my ass right down onto that stack of steps.

Me: "HUH? Did you just ask me if I was a Muslim?"

Parfait: "Yes, mademoiselle. Well...ARE you?"

Me: "HUH?? Are you serious?"

Parfait: "Yes, mademoiselle. You maybe are a Muslim. Like from Zaire or Congo."


Me: "HUH??? WHAT??? That is the weirdest thing I’ve heard in a long time. No, I’m not a Muslim. Was there any reason you wanted to ask me that?"

Parfait: "No reason, Mademoiselle. I just thought maybe you were." Enter high-pitched laughter. And then he moved me on to do lat raises, end of topic. What the hell? WHAT THE HELL?

Two more training sessions to go, people. I have a feeling that after the last one, he’s going to ask me to be his fourth wife or something. Oh, the many adventures of Parfait.