The NB Diaries: Chapter 10

Today's chapter of The NB Diaries comes by way of my coworker.  She relayed this story to me after spending some time in NB's office this morning.  I SO wish that I had been there in person, but knowing NB, I can totally hear it all in my head. So, to set the scene, it's 8:30 am and Kim is in NB's office working on a project.  Kim pulled her guest chair up to the desk as NB shuffled through a stack of papers trying to find a particular report.  According to Kim, NB seemed a bit frazzled.  Just didn't really have it all together.  Kim was already reviewing her notes for their project when the following conversation ensued.

NB: Sigh  It's just been one of those days already. Kim: Oh really?  What's wrong? NB: I forgot my shoes. Kim: Puzzled NB: I only have my old ones that I wear back and forth from the parking garage and they're leather.

[Editor's note:  Remember, NB is vegan.]

Kim: Oh, I'm sure they look fine. NB: (in whiny voice) Uh, but they're ooold, and they look terrible. Kim: Well, that's not that bad.


NB:  I also forgot to put on a bra.

Aaaaaaand scene.

The NB Diaries: Chapter 9

I know, I know, it's been a long time since I wrote about New Boss.  It's just that there are SO many entertaining conversations and stories and happenings with or about her that it became hard to decide which ones to write about.  It got overwhelming.  And, to be honest, most days she's not my favorite person so, amusing or not, it makes me not want to write about her.  I think she's bipolar.  One day she wants to be our best friend and the next day she's yelling at us.  Seriously.  It's exhausting trying to decipher her mood each day. A lot of times when I'm telling Doc the latest and greatest episode involving ol' NB, I think about how it's eventually going to catch up to her.  She can't be awful to us every week and it not turn around to bite her, right?  Sometimes over lunch my coworkers and I plot schemes about all turning in our resignations on the same day, just to see the look on her face.  Of course, we don't really plan on doing that because we love where we work, but she can be completely ridiculous.  Example?  Once a month she hands us all a printout of an excel spreadsheet and makes us calculate all the formulas by hand to double-check excel's totals.  We've yet to catch excel in a mistake. 

Anyway, all that's to say that while I try to be a nice person even when she's being nasty, occasionally it feels good when karma seems to be on your side.  Like today, for instance, when this little gem appeared in my inbox:

From: New Boss Time: Wednesday, March 2, 9:30 am Subject: Re: Interview

The interview is tomorrow at 4:00. 

I don't know if I'm coming in today.  I fell down and broke my nose, and I don't feel very well.

Ok, I do feel bad that she's hurt - I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  But, on the other hand, this isn't too awful of an injury and my coworkers and I did laugh a little when we saw the email and took turns guessing how she fell and broke her nose.  It's almost like payback for the gosh-awful meeting she made us sit through yesterday where we spent an hour listening to her drone on and on about nothing important.  Because guys, she's going to show up with bruises.  On her face

That's all.

NB Diaries: Chapter 8

On our company intranet, we have a section called "Employee Spotlight."  This is not for employees that are being praised for their hard work, ala Employee of the Month. It's more of a get-to-know section for employees. The employee featured changes on a weekly basis and, as far as I know, is chosen at random. This morning, the employee featured on the spotlight has been changed and is our very own NB. So, this chapter of The NB Diaries is written by NB herself.

 Employee Spotlight: New Boss

Division: Finance & Administration

Job title: Director of Accounting

Time at [Company]: 5 months

Job summary: I maintain the daily operations of the accounting department, including the cash room, accounts payable and general ledger departments.

Best part of job: Numbers!

City raised in: Tullahoma, Tenn.

Childhood ambition: I wanted to be one of the June Taylor Dancers.

First job: I worked as a babysitter when I was 12 years old.

Favorite TV shows: A&E TV's Hoarders

Favorite sports team: Cincinnati Reds (I was lucky enough to see the Reds in the playoff and World Series games at Riverfront Stadium in 1990. In case you've forgotten, the Reds swept Oakland.)

Favorite desk/cube accessory: My eraser collection (The Sanford® Magic Rub® is the best eraser on the market today. The PaperMate® Pink Pearl® is way overrated.)

Favorite smells: Cinnamon

Favorite travel destination: The beautiful, rolling hills of Middle Tennessee

Last movie seen: Little Children (a film adaptation of the novel by Tom Perrotta)

Last book read: Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation by Gary L. Francione

Best concert attended: My favorite was Prince at a dress rehearsal on his Purple Rain tour in 1984. Other favorites include Talking Heads (1978), James Brown and Wilson Pickett (1984), Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello (1989), Webb Wilder (1992), George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars (1996), Justin Timberlake (2007) and Lil Wayne with T-Pain (2009).

Perfect meal: Peanut butter sandwich made with whole grain bread

Morning person or night owl: Night owl

Biggest pet peeve: People who ignore or are rude to service workers

Biggest fear: Blood

Can't live without: The Internet

Most people don't know this about me: My husband and I got married in 1987 at the courthouse on my lunch hour.

NB Diaries: Chapter 7

Based on your comments from last week's giveaway post, you guys really like New Boss.  Maybe you like her more than me. But you know what? These days, I'm not a huge NB fan. And this is why: she is ca-razy. And possibly bi-polar.

So we'll call this installment of The NB Diaries the catch-up chapter and I'll fill you in on what's been going on around here.  Sigh...I just don't even know where to start.


Sir Coughs A Lot does not work in our department, but he does sit in a row of cubes right next to ours. He's actually 2 rows away from me, but practically right outside of NB's office door. He earned his nickname earlier this summer when he got a bit of a cough. Guys, this was not just any old cough. It was naaasty. And loud. And I was concerned his lung was laying on his desk after a few coughing fits.  When the cough reached its peak, Sir Coughs A Lot did take 3 days off work. He's been back for a while and there's still the occasional lingering cough, but nothing nearly as bad as it was.

Example of craziness number one: instead of moaning and groaning to herself like the rest of us about the ongoing coughing and rejoicing when he finally took the days off, NB actually crouched down below his cube wall and recorded the cough on her cell phone. Then she called Human Resources and proceeded to play the cough over the phone for them to hear. Yes. Yes, she did. She then asked what HR could do about the situation, to which they replied that she may politely offer him a cough drop if she'd like, but that no, they would not ask him to leave or quarantine him to a room like she suggested.

Since HR didn't come through for her, she actually called me into her office one day and told me she had a special project for me to work on. The project? Figure out a way to get Sir Coughs A Lot to stop coughing. My response? "Um, I'm not going to do your dirty work for you. It doesn't bother me that much."


June 30 was the fiscal year-end for our company, which meant lots of work to be done by us accountants. And since my best friend coworker left (he's asked to be called Pi), we're shorthanded, and that means even more work to be done. And the way it works around here, we spend three weeks closing the books for the year and then our auditors show up the fourth week. You could call it stressful.

NB has taken the normal amount of stress and bumped it up a notch or two. She worried so much over the auditors coming that she was losing sleep and couldn't form coherent sentences. And then she decided to take her stress out on us. She wasted no time in bringing all 4 females in my group to tears, each at different times. She called me rude and my manager a liar. She asked my coworker to figure out a way to laugh quieter. And she began a meeting with this introduction: "Sit down, shut up. Don't say anything. And when I'm done, you can just leave."

Needless to say, that didn't go over well.


One day, my supervisor, manager, and I were all sitting in NB's office discussing some issues we were having with one of our systems. I was giving a status update on where we were in terms of correcting a lot of issues that were out of our hands.  I told them about the conference call I'd had that morning and what IT was in the process of working on. Progress was being made, but we all agreed that it was way too close to crunch time and that we needed this resolved soon.  NB suggested that we contact someone higher up in IT to make sure it's on their radar and to have them pressure their team into getting everything done.

NB: Do any of you know Head of IT? Manager: Well, we know who he is. Me: I've been in a meeting with him before. He's pretty nice. NB: And he's really cute too, isn't he???!! Us: silence

NB: Okay, I guess I can just give him a call and see if we can meet with him to discuss this, it's just that... NB: uncontrollable giggling NB: ...I had to call him one day last week about something and I didn't know how to answer his questions and it just made me look stupid! NB: more giggling

As she giggled, the three of us looked at each other, totally confused about what was going on. Why was she blushing?

So she picked up the phone to give Head of IT a call, and y'all, it was like a 12-year-old school girl on the phone with her first crush for the first time ever. She could not complete a sentence. She repeated herself over and over. Her face was bright red and she kept spinning her chair and fidgeting. The giggling was so awkward it made us embarrassed for her.

She hung up the phone with a sigh and then turned and looked at us. I'd be willing to bet all three of us were wide-eyed, mouths agape. What in the world had just happened?

She totally forgot to set up a meeting with him, the whole purpose of the phone call.  And that's when we realized that NB had a crush on the Head of IT.


We're a few weeks into our audit now, and so far, things have gone pretty smoothly. Thankfully, that means NB is starting to loosen up and isn't so tense every minute of the day. Yesterday she caught me at the filing cabinets and was in the mood to chit-chat. We discussed the condo she just bought and how they were getting ready to move (don't worry, we'll still be neighbors; they're just downsizing).  I asked if she'd be having a huge yard sale or something to get rid of things and yadda, yadda, yadda. Before I knew it, we were talking about their current living situation.

They live in a four bedroom house. One room is upstairs, but they don't go up there. One room is her husband's music collection where he stores his thousands of cds. The ones that are organized are alphabetized, but there are hundreds that he's pulled out to listen to and are just laying around in piles. There's a guest bedroom downstairs and then the last room is their master. Kiki, her oldest cat, is in poor health, and because of that, she gets to have private time in the guest room by herself. NB sleeps in the guest room with Kiki because Kiki needs attention. That's why NB sometimes comes to work in a bad mood - because Kiki wakes her up all night long and so she has to pet her and doesn't get any sleep.

In the master bedroom is a king bed and two cats get to sleep on it. Just the two cats.

Me: Wait, so no people sleep in your master bedroom? NB: Non-human persons sleep in there. Me: Right. So, like I said, no people sleep in the king-size bed in your master bedroom. NB: No, no people. Me: So where does your husband sleep? NB: On the couch with Lilly. Me: Lilly? NB: She's the fourth cat. Me: You make your husband sleep on the couch with a cat? NB: He loves it. It's important to him that she's happy, just like it's important to me that Kiki gets the attention she needs during her last days.

The new condo just has two bedrooms. The second bedroom will be set up as a guest room for Kiki, and two cats will still sleep in the master bedroom.  Her husband and Lilly will sleep on the couch in the den, where all the thousands of cds are stored.  And the Prince paraphernalia that she collects? It will all fit in a box that can slide under the master bed. Well, all of it except the two life-size cardboard cutouts.


My team at work consists of all salaried accountants. We work hard and when there's lots to do, we work even harder.  A lot of days, especially during year-end close and audit season, we eat our lunch at our desk and continue working. To reward ourselves for working hard all week, we have Friday Fundays where we all go eat lunch together and get out of the office for an hour.

NB doesn't like this. She panics when we're gone. She's terrified that something major will happen on a Friday between the hour of 12 and 1 and then what would she do?! So, now we have to ask permission to go to lunch. And not just on Fridays, everyday. And if we haven't gotten all the work done that she wants us to get done, then we can get something from the vending machines because "that's what they're there for."


Today, two of these signs appeared on the walls.

I'm pretty sure I know who hung them up.


That should get you caught up. I'll try write another chapter soon.

NB Diaries: Chapter 6

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote about New Boss, but that does not mean there’s been a shortage of interesting conversations. In fact, there have been so many conversations that I almost don’t know where to start. I feel like I should carry a tape recorder with me at all times.  These days, it’s not unusual for me to spend at least one day a week in her office for an hour or three, just listening to her stories. I’ve heard about her experience of taking the CPA exams in a covered barn in the pouring rain and about her entry-level jobs at several accounting firms. She’s told me about living with her husband and their wedding at the courthouse. She drew me a diagram of her gigantic walk-in closet and told me about the shelves collapsing about a year ago because of too many shoes piled on top. (No, the shelves have not been fixed yet.) She dotes on her two nephews that live in town and still goes to visit her mom.  I know that she doesn’t like to go outside the house unless it’s to go to work or to see family, but she and her husband keep all of their bird feeders full of food so their cats can watch the birds. Their bird bath is heated too so the birds can still come in the winter. 

 Last Friday I found myself walking to her office, report in hand, around 9:15. Before I realized it, it was almost time for lunch and we were still talking! It always starts with something work-related and then, maybe because I’m so nosy, we trail off to something she collects or somewhere she’s been or something she’s interested in.

 Friday’s conversation actually started in my cubicle over a work issue, when we got in a bit of a discussion over the pronunciation of the word “asterisk.”

 NB: You could draw it up like this and maybe put an ASS-TER-RISK by this… Me (interrupting): What’d you just say? NB: What? You don’t know what an ASS-TER-RISK is? Me: It’s ASSTRICK.

 Ok, ok, before you go and join her side, let me just say that I know how the word is spelled. I realize there’s an S before the K at the end. But most people don’t pronounce it that way (at least not around here). And they certainly don’t make it sound like three different words like she did.

 NB ended up going back to her office while my coworkers still laughed about me trying to correct her. Two were laughing at me for being wrong; the other was telling me he was getting ready to defend my pronunciation of the word.

 Five minutes later I, along with the rest of my team, received a series of four emails.  The first was the definition from and the second was an audio file of how to pronounce the word.

 Third email: Even Lil Wayne knows how to pronounce “ASTERISK.”

 And the fourth, after she could still hear me arguing that my pronunciation was right: Girl, you were wrong. Just give it up, you’re making yourself look like a fool!

 I quickly prepared the report she had asked for, minus the asterisk, and took it to her office. We reviewed it together; she was pleased. 

And then - and I can’t for the life of me remember how – the conversation turned to her admitting that she had googled me (and my coworkers, too). Now, I don’t really think this is all that weird (let’s face it, I googled her too), but it was a little weird that she admitted it to me. She knew Doc’s name and commented on the china we registered for  - apparently its still online. She knew the day we got married and where I went to school. 

My heart started pounding as I asked her about what all she found. I was terrified that somehow she had found this blog. (Maybe she did and just didn’t let on. Hi, NB?)  She did say that I was pretty boring and there wasn't anything interesting. 

She found my facebook profile but was upset that I had it set to private so she could only see my profile picture and nothing else. 

And then, THEN!, that’s when she hurt my feelings. She told me I did not look good in my profile picture. 

But she didn’t stop there (I have thick-ish skin, I could handle that). She went on for 5 or 10 minutes about how much she disliked my sunglasses and how awful they look on me. 

NB: They’re way too big of frames, which is outdated. Me: That’s kinda the point. I think it’s funny how big they are. NB: They are completely unflattering to your face. Your face is small and those frames are huge. Me: But I like them. NB: I don’t care if you like them, they look stupid. 

And on and on and on. One of my coworkers was actually present for that part of the conversation, so I have a witness that I’m not making this up. She seriously did not like my sunglasses. 

Are they really that bad?


Anyway, I jokingly told a couple of friends about it over the weekend as if she’d hurt my feelings, but truth be told, I was over it by the time lunch was over. I still like the glasses and I will wear them proudly! 

Needless to say, by this morning (Tuesday) the whole ordeal was long forgotten. NB was out of the office yesterday and I really just hadn’t thought about it at all.

 Until I got this email:

 To: From: Date: Tuesday, 9:29am

 Subject: I didn’t mean what I said about your sunglasses.

 They are really cute. Sometimes I act like a jerk. Plus, you are so awesome, I have to make up stuff to kid you about.

 I’m sorry.

 New Boss

  So, there you go: my sunglasses are cute and I’m awesome.