People Watching #10 – La Generale

La Generale is from the south of Italy, Naples to be precise; and trust me, there are plenty of good reasons the rest of Italy is just a little afraid of them.

In spite of being five foot nuthin’ she can be incredibly intimidating. Something about growing up as the only girl in a family of five, and in a male dominated society to boot.

All of her brothers were at least twice her size (no big deal, I once had a dog that weighed more than she does). But they still called her “the general” because she’s always been the one to give orders and she doesn’t take shit from anybody. –That attitude is probably why she’s the toughest, most successful negotiator I’ve ever met.

Her only failing is that she’s always shooting from the hip. I once listened to her lecturing the girls. She started out with whatever you do never-ever do “A,” and five minutes later she ended with, whatever you do always do “A.”

I’ve known her for more than a decade, she’s always had a short fuse and her answers always come straight off the top of her head. So I tell the girls if she yells at them she’ll not only calm down in half an hour or so, she’ll probably forget that she was yelling. And if they ask her something and they don’t like the answer, they should wait fifteen or twenty minutes, then rephrase the question. They’re sure to get a different answer.

–Yep. That’s my boss.

People Watching #9 -Borracha

One of the women I work with takes time off to go down to the Dominican Republic several times a year, usually on one of those all inclusive hotel deals.

It turns out she has a boyfriend down there and since they include food and drink the vacation deals are cheaper than first class round trip airfare.

I have no idea how many times I’ve heard her say “I don’t remember.” –Yup, the perennial favorite: “I must have had a wonderful time, just wish I could have been there to enjoy it.” Although, speaking as a charter member of the “I did what??” club, I certainly understand. But the thing I find a little worrisome is that on at least one trip she talked about sitting around doing shots with the pilot. 😉

I wouldn’t say she could drink me under the table but when we were at Sid’s 90th birthday party she not only did a half a dozen shots with the girls she left the party to go to PT’s pub.

On the other hand we have amateurs like DJ who was so blitzed after those six shots that she didn’t notice when the parking dude brought her truck out. In fact the guy had to point her towards her ride. –And yes, they actually let her drive.

People Watching #8 -Maserati

Maserati is almost 30 with two kids. Both girls, one’s 7 the other’s almost 1. –Make that three kids. All our girls count their husbands among their children.

After two kids she’s not as svelte as she was when she got married so now she wants some surgery to fix that. The bad part is that the doctor says she needs to get in better shape and lose some weight before he does her tummy tuck. If she could stick to a diet and exercise regime she probably wouldn’t need the tummy tuck.
–Tummy Tuck: That means the doctor is going to break out the ole shop-vac and suck out the fat, cut off the loose skin, then sew everything back together. –Doesn’t that sound like fun?… NOT! That’s gotta hurt for weeks.

At any rate this very optimistic young lady plans on being off work for 2 maybe 2 1/2 weeks. Since her sister in-law was off for over a month and complained about the pain even then, I think I’ll be walking kind of light for a couple of weeks after she gets back.

People Watching #7 -PP

We have a cute –just not as cute as she thinks she is– youngster working for us. When I say youngster I mean early twenties.

At any rate she’s a continual flirt who has one of the guys so wrapped that he’ll do absolutely anything she wants and they spend so much time hanging on each other that I’ve suggested they get a motel room.
–This also makes the resident cougar incredibly jealous. 🙂

Well, PP’s had the same boyfriend for five years and NJ’s had the same girlfriend for three. The difference between them is that he would cheat in a heartbeat and she wouldn’t cheat, ever. She’s just having fun playing this guy for a fool. When I mentioned this to him and he said he knows, so why does he keep making puppy dog eyes at her all the while being a good little doormat?
–“A fool there was and he made his prayer…..”

PP’s smart and usually happy, which makes her a bright spot in a sometimes dismal environment. –This is the trouble with working almost entirely with women is that from time to time the drama gets out of hand.– But the truth is, when PP’s in a really down mood, even her boyfriend walks light. She may be 5′ nothing but that girl has a temper that more than makes up for her lack of height.

What bothers me isn’t her occasional temper or that she’s playing NJ like a cheap violin. Big deal, he volunteered. It’s that she’s one of those people who sings along with anything on the radio, including commercials. Which means, this time of year whenever I walk past her I can expect to hear Christmas carols in stereo. –My ears! My ears!

On the other hand it could be worse. One of the other girls filled in at this office for a couple of days just before thanksgiving and swore she was being tortured at her normal office. It seems they were not only playing Christmas muzak, one of the girls was singing and dancing to the tunes. –I normally don’t feel sorry for our girls but in this case I’ll make an exception. I mean singing is bad enough. But dancing???

People Watching #5 -EP

EP has been with the company over 25 years. When she first started she wore high collars, long dresses, went to church multiple times a week and never uttered a bad word. These days she dresses like normal people, goes to church once a week, swears like a sailor and occasionally drinks a bit. This is probably due to having a son who was a royal pain as a teenager. He’s finally grown and in the navy, but now she has the joy of dealing with a teenage daughter. –If that can’t drive you to drink I don’t know what can.

Now, because of this latest insurance scam, come December she’s going to be in a financial bind. She requires shots that, under the new policy, will run about $250 each and just like the rest of us, her overall insurance costs have jumped dramatically. Her husband works too, but because she works they won’t allow her to use his insurance. Still, I’m reasonably sure they can work it out, but their budget is going to be very tight. And unfortunately for the rest of us, her reaction to being under pressure is to snap at anyone dumb enough to come within range. I just ignore it but some folks around here take it personally.

I don’t know why people react that way to her mood swings. Hell, she makes me look normal. Everyone should be used to it by now. I mean, she gets bitchy when she’s in pain –which is most of the time. She gets bitchy when the books don’t balance on the first try –which is most mornings. And she gets even bitchier after she’s had a long conversation with the boss. –Can’t blame her for that last one. Trust me; that’s a call that no one in their right mind looks forward to.

EP is also one of those people who will tell you to do something and then vehemently deny she ever said it at the first sign of trouble. In spite of her longevity with the company and her friendship with the owners making her virtually untouchable she worries that she might get yelled at or somehow jeopardize her status as little miss perfect.

Ah, the joys of working with women.