November 16, 2005


There's a chick at work who kinda squicks my shit. She's nice and everything, but she just creeps me out. Sets off some internal "-ometer" that I don't even have a proper name for. Freakometer? Psychoometer? Nutjobometer" Call it what you will, but she makes it shriek, people.

I met her out back of the building, in the "nature preserve". She smokes. I smoke. Herded like the lepers that we are, there is a "smoking area" in the "nature preserve", in which we unregenerate butt-lovers occasionally congregate. As a result, we smoker-lepers inevitably become at least minimally acquainted with all the other smoker-lepers in the building or office park or colony or whatever. It's unavoidable, a water-cooler effect, but with stinky carcinogens instead of The Elixir of Life. If you smoke, you understand, if you don't, then God bless your sainted ass. I don't smoke often, but I see the squick chick out there every time I pass through the lobby - running office-y errands, meeting clients, going to the café, whatever - through the big glass doors, down there leaning against a tree in her rumpled Lerner Shops, puffing away.

So, I know right away that the squicky chick is a slacker, a bad worker. She can't be getting much done, as much as she sits out there smoking her cigarettes, big long 120's that take a fucking quarter-hour to extinguish. Factor in the data, too, that this lady has many, many animals at home. Don't misunderstand me - I am an animal lover of the first order. I have pets coming out of my sleek and sassy ass around here. But - and this is a big deal - I doubt that any of my co-workers know that I have animals at home just by sniffing me. Look, people: do not exit your house for your professional job smelling of catbox. Neither should you walk around all day with tufts - I said TUFTS, like, with dandruffy skin-clumps still attached - of animal hair all over your clothing. Before I even spoke to this woman, I knew that there was this whole "crazy cat lady" thing going on. I could smell it, literally. And see it.

I'm just sayin'.

So, one day, I'm sitting there smoking, she walks over and lights one, it's all hi, how are you, I am fine, how are you, I am fine, yadda yadda. Next day, it's hi, how are you, fine, how are you and then she starts going off, I mean seriously going off our of nowhere about all this confidential internal shit in her department and how bad everyone sucks and how she's applying for disability because she wants to get the fuck out of there and how her husband got disability and yadda yadda yadda. The kind of shit she should totally not be telling me, in both professional and personal senses. And she goes on, and on, and on...I'm talking, ten, fifteen minutes. In the middle of the day! I snuff out my cigarette in the grate of the "Smoker's Station", rather ostentatiously, making a big deal of it, and begin to back away. I'm moving up the stairs, attempting apologies - the long fucking goodbye - as she lights another one off the stub of her current smoke, and just keeps on talking.

Well, by this time Your Faithful Narrator was chewing her bloody foot off to get out of there...I don't have that kind of time, people, and I'm too well-bred to just tell her to fuck off and leave me alone. For me, the smoke break is "take a few puffs and run", not...not, "lie on the couch and tell me about your mother." So I cut her off - as nicely as possible - telling her that I had to get back to work, and, um good luck with all that, and I speed back to the elevator. Well, maybe she's just having a really bad day, think I. No biggie.

Oh, alas, but I soon came to see that every day is a bad day for squicky girl. The next time I go out to smoke, it's all about her intimate marital problems, and as the weeks have gone by we've spiraled out and out and on and into her credit card debt and her weight issues and her thyroid and her thwarted ambitions of ballet. And every day, I say virtually nothing; I just smile, and nod, and puff twice or thrice, and back away. It's becoming an uncomfortable ritual.

I feel like a heel about it, about being so insensitive to this person who obviously needs an outlet, but damn. Let's be reasonable. First and foremost, she squicks me out, and I don't want to be her best friend. Second, I find the nature of her personal revelations to be highly inappropriate for the level of intimacy we enjoy, which is virtually nil...and that squicks me out. I am in to personal space, both physically and psychically. Third, I don't have the time. I am busy, busy, busy when I am at work; I can't allow myself to be drawn into her back-fence conversational dramas every time I want to smoke a fucking cigarette (which is usually right after lunch).

Fourth, she squicks me out. Yes, I know I said it twice, but, people, there are major camel toe issues going on here, 'nuff said. And, look, she had half a cat-turd stuck to the toe of her boot today. All day. The top of the toe of her boot, front and center. And it was...moist. Fragrant.

So - if all this makes me a seem like a heartless cunt, so be it, but I can't have this going on. I must take action to nip this in the bud. Awful? Maybe. But personally, I call it "informed decisionmaking".

Anyway...the object lesson here?

I need to quit smoking.

Posted by Queenie at November 16, 2005 11:40 PM | TrackBack

Amen, sister. Oh, and thanks for evoking the stench of catshit in my cubicle.

Posted by: Bane at November 16, 2005 11:59 PM

Talk about fuckin' INCENTIVE.

You can do iiiit. If I did, anyone can. ;o)

Posted by: Margi at November 17, 2005 01:20 AM

You last sentence made me laugh so hard because it was EXACTLY what I was thinking. At least, like can't you run out to your car in the parking lot and have a couple of puffs? Geez, and to think I met my husband in a smoking area...

Posted by: Kelly at November 17, 2005 07:28 AM

Kill her. Kill her now.

Posted by: shank at November 17, 2005 08:21 AM

Some people have an invisible sign on them that says, "unload all your psycho baggage on me!" You might have one of those...should check into it.

Posted by: Circa Bellum at November 17, 2005 08:50 AM

So... I'm reading your tale, thinking to myself, "Yep, I met a few of those before." and was okay until--you had to include the part about the cling-on on her boot.

........ I haven't shuddered with revulsion, over something I read, for a long time. Thanks for the visual--NOT.

I have a subtle idea that will reduce her desire to 'tell all'. You should aquire one of the 'new' digital voice recorders (if you don't have one now). The are about $30.00 at Radio Snack/Bust Buy .... it will be useful for other 'stuff' too.

Next time you head out for a butt, take the recorder in a 'handy' pocket. Light up, and before 'Squicky' has time to begin her tired trivial tirade, pull out said recorder and say, "Look at my new toy! It's so Kewl.... a voice recorder that holds 8 hours and no tapes! It saves me so much time and look--it records with voice activation." or words to that effect. Then put it back in the pocket.

This may be too subtle for 'Squicky' and if so, I suggest you just brain her with the recorder.


PS. Glad to see you are feeling better.

Posted by: mawg at November 17, 2005 10:46 AM

Oh, yeah. I know the type. They get you in a "radar-lock" that would make the military drool. You just can not break out of it. THey will find you no matter where you hide, even the bathroom.

And it looks like your options are limited. You can either quit smoking and watch your back at the bathroom, or kill her.

Hmmmmmmm, decisions, decisions.

Posted by: Wichi Dude at November 17, 2005 06:25 PM

I'm thinking if you change brands?

Posted by: Kim at November 17, 2005 08:39 PM

So, she's crazy, smokes, is overweight, has a billion cats, and is MARRIED?

How the hell did she pull that off?

I sit next to a guy who went to Vietnam. He still smokes. It's not so great when he comes back from his smoke break, he coughs for a half hour.

Posted by: ErikZ at November 18, 2005 06:35 AM

As a former smoker, I had to smoke in my car on work breaks to stay sane. A smoke with the radio is a lot better than a smoke with the people you already spend 8 hours a day with.

Posted by: plastic peeps at November 19, 2005 12:34 AM

I'll do her for you!!!

Just say the word.

Posted by: Yabu at November 19, 2005 01:18 AM

She sounds like a drama queen.

Posted by: Maeve at November 19, 2005 10:09 PM

I totally like the idea of the voice recorder. However, being that she sounds OVERLY needy for love and affirmation (which as I recall, is NOT part of your job description), she may LIKE the idea that you have a voice recorder.

You're screwed Queenie. Get some Nicorette gum or SOMETHING. Or quit. ;)

Posted by: Dana at November 20, 2005 12:53 PM

Maybe someone should complain that she's distracting others from the "work environment" by smelling that way. Or maybe someone should become very allergic to cat hair.

Posted by: Sadie at November 20, 2005 08:33 PM

Sounds like she's asking for it to me. Since she's putting her problems out there, you could always take it upon yourself to give her some coworkerly "advice" in hopes she'll get her other foot out of the door. (like, "I have a friend who was in your situation and he just quit, now he's SO HAPPY" or "why hang around and wait for disability? If you go on medical leave, it will hurry that along...").

p.s. And "squicks my shit" is officially my new favorite saying.

Posted by: KellyLove at November 21, 2005 02:50 PM

Happy Thanksgiving, sweetheart!

Margi & Koolaid & The Boy™ & Peanut

Posted by: Margi at November 24, 2005 10:51 AM
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