The New Receptionist at Work is Crazy

March 25, 2004

When we occasionally end up with an intelligent, friendly person working the front desk at APPRO, it doesn't take long before someone moves that person into a more prestigious position. There's nothing wrong with that, except that it leads to long stretches of incompetent temps working the phones. I remember one woman who was around for months, who always pronounced the company name as "APE-ro" instead of "AP-ro."

I noticed the current front desk woman last week. She seems friendly enough. She's about the age and demeanor where you might expect her to be doting on new grandchildren. I did notice that she stared at me bug-eyed one day as I crossed the lobby, but I figured she was just really curious, and I really haven't given her much thought one way or the other.

Yesterday, two friends of mine came back from lunch, and she was staring off into space, laughing to herself.

"What's so funny," one of them asked.

"Well, there's just some crazy people in the world," she relied.

They should have let the entire conversation end there. But the other one pressed. "What do you mean by that?"

Which led to the following story. I'm quoting as accurately as possible, to the best of my knowledge.

Well, when I was six months old -- and I remember this like it was yesterday -- my mother put me down in a bassinet. And this man came by. He was a big man. A black guy. And when I looked over, he was masturbating in front of my sister.

At this point, the woman paused, which should have given them a chance to get out of there, but was instead wasted on stunned silence.

And then, when I was in first grade, someone wrote a story about all of this happening. I got in trouble for writing it, but it wasn't me. Someone else wrote it. It wasn't me.

I think she might have been getting belligerent at this point, so they moved on out in the lobby to let her laugh at her memories.

I readily admit that this sounds like something that I would make up, but this one really did happen. I guess I know where to go if I'm ever short of material to write about.