Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nightmare Secretary Sighting

For a few months now, I've gotten the heebie jeebies while walking past the golf shop on the second floor between Suntec Tower One and Tower Two. My subconscious keeps telling me that something evil this way comes and I thought well it can't possibly be my ex-secretary - I haven't seen that crazy bitch in years.

Yesterday I walked past the golf shop again and lo and behold she was walking in the opposite direction -- my nightmare ex-secretary aka the Bleach Drinker. Also the only person who ever worked for me whom I had to sack.

It's really not me (she said, not sounding defensive or anything). Through the years, I've worked with the Insane, the Blind and the Barely Competent. Together with the 5 am facekicking that I now get every morning, I'm probably one of the most tolerant people on the planet.

The Insane was a relatively young woman who had been a housewife for some years (3, I think). We (her other boss and I) used that old chestnut to death to justify her social inadequacy. She'd take forever to get anything done, you know, like she didn't have anything else to do or anything. I'd hate to see what her housework is like. And in between tasks, she would just sit there and stare at us, cow-eyed, through the office window. Just like an axe murderer on drugs. We put up files, notepaper, office notices to block up the window and she'd just move them on the sly when we were out to lunch, so that she'd be staring at us through a strategic gap in the files, notepaper and office notices when we got back. And when she wasn't staring, she'd take long aimless walks through the office, like she was on some kind of a scenic tour.

The Blind was a very senior secretary who had obviously gone extremely long sighted some time back. Also didn't wash her hair, of which there was a lot. She refused to wear her glasses in the office, preferring to position her head 2 inches from the computer screen and the paper she was reading. I'd be pointing something out to her and her nose would almost be touching my hand. I couldn't see the paper anymore, just a big head of unwashed hair which smelt really really musty. A bat could've flown out and I wouldn't have been surprised.

Nightmare secretary was fairly intelligent (studying part time for her law degree) but her failing in life arose from the fact that she was almost pretty. Just fell short of actually being good looking. She tried to compensate for it with tight clothes, a really coy way of speaking and a string of unstable Ang Mo boyfriends, all of whom were married. None of this is my business of course, but it became my business because she spent all her time on the telephone with girlfriends mooning about the guy and then on the phone with the guy(s) himself. I just couldn't get her attention. I'd stand there holding a piece of paper in my hand and looking like I had to pee, just oozing panic and urgency, and she'd show me the hand. Hold your horses there missy, said the hand. Can't you see I'm doing something else right now? We communicated by Post-It.

One of the married boyfriends eventually moved away from Singapore and she was so distraught that she took to drink. Not alcohol, but bleach. Maybe she thought it was alcohol. Anyway, after her discharge from the hospital, she couldn't speak for a week. According to the lawyer who was working with her at that time, it was bliss. Things got done, she didn't spend all day on the phone and she did not once answer back. It crossed my mind a couple of times that I could try and make S$1.50 worth of Clorox go a long way towards productivity in the office, but really if I didn't kill her in the process then she would definitely come back and kill me.

Finally, after long discussions with the Admin department and much soul searching (to see if I had the guts to go through with it), I sacked her. On the same day, she quit. And then called her father who complained to a senior colleague in my firm and suggested that I should also be fired. Then she tossed out the last 2 weeks of filing into the trash bin. That's the one time I realized how truly rewarding my habit of peering into people's office dustbins could be. Since then the relative rewards have been paltry.

So somewhere in Suntec City now, is a could-be lawyer who looks like an average Chinese woman but eats living guts.

26 Comments:

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous kierra said...

sounds really scary...

a little like one of my colleagues.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Fore! said...

Your current secretary isn't much better. I called your office line today and it bounced to her when you didn't pick up. I asked for you and she transferred the call to your line. When it bounced back to her again she said "Er, she's not there."

"I know that because I called her office line in the first place and it bounced to you."

"Oh". Pause.

"Do you know when she'll be back?"

"No." Pause.

"Do you know where she is and whether I can disturb her by calling her handphone?"

"I don't know." Pause, "sorry."

She didn't offer to take a message or anything. Can I recommend your secretary for the Polite-Singaporean-Who-Takes-The-Initiative prize? It's being given out by the Board of Sarcasm this year.

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a boss like you but we all have work issues. I went as far as creating an office humor satire website to deal with the frustration. Take a good laugh, breath and exhale. Cheers.

Pink,


The office humor.com

 
At 2:29 AM, Blogger the Virgin Porn Star said...

it's the stories like this that make me glad i'm still studying.for now.or for as long as i can.

=)

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger gremlin said...

horrors. you and my hubby attract the most bizarre people. that is not to say I don't...my encounters just dun match up, luckily. "give me back my babeee....!" one wailed into his cellphone loud enuff for me to grab his phone off him and holler equally loudly, "WHOSE?! BABY?!" gawd. I dunno....

 
At 2:53 AM, Blogger valkyrie said...

omg. so whose baby was it, gremlin?

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger gremlin said...

this tiny teddy bear kit he bought to make me a tiny teddy bear for my birthday (with limbs that move). turns out this lady could make them pretty good - hobby or something. so Mr Too-Big-Fingers decided to ask a favour of her. when he claimed the completed bear on time for my birthday presentation later, she insisted he had to return her 'baby' to her after and thinking that she was kidding so he said 'ok'......basically, she stalked him. looong story. anyway, thank God that was just that.

 
At 1:35 AM, Blogger valkyrie said...

LOL!

hey i love those tiny bears! the collectible ones are so gorgeous (and insanely expensive). there was one little blue one i liked very much, it was 500buckeroos!

 
At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please don't scare me can..

i am interning at a law firm in tower 2 of suntec....

 
At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please don't scare me can..

i am interning at a law firm in tower 2 of suntec....

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger gremlin said...

500buckeroos! omigod. no shit. no wonder she was so wonky over it....it was custom picked and hand made ha ha! scareee...and oh yeah...they do get wonkier in law firms somehow. thanks to the likes of hairyD and documents and more documents and phonecalls and more phonecalls...mostly from insane girlfriends from other law firms wanting just to vent though ;p about some other wonky secretary...

 
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