The NB Diaries: Chapter One

Preface: This blog was created with the intentions of being a life journal, not a medium for talking about people. The person the story below is about is someone I actually like a lot and would never want to intentionally hurt her feelings. That said, some of her eccentricities make for good stories, and good stories should be shared. I have a new boss at work. I believe this is her fourth week here. I don't report directly to her - there are two levels between us - but she's still my new boss (NB).   After her first week my first impression was that she is an accountant in every sense of the word. Quiet, stays in office a lot, head down working all day.  All we'd been told before she started was that she used to work for the [Local Paper] but most recently had done some pro bono accounting work for the [Local Theology School] (that her brother apparently runs).  As far as her personal appearance goes - she's a tall, slender white woman, doesn't wear make up, has short chin-level brown, almost greying hair, and very manicured hands (not with polish, but very nice cuticles). I would guess she's about my mom's age...somewhere in her fifties. I assumed (incorrectly) that she'd probably been married for years, had grown kids, and loved spending time spoiling her grandchildren. I was told later that she does not have kids.   My work group and I try to go out to eat every Friday. (Friday Funday!) Her first week we decided to be nice and invite her to tag along. She politely declined; we figured she just wasn't quite ready to spend an hour with our very loud, close-knit group. When we invited her again on her second week, and she declined again, we found out that she's a vegan. Fruits, veggies, cereal (no milk), and peanut butter sandwiches...that's it. Meh, not too weird. We have a vegetarian in our group so we're used to avoiding places like The Barbecue Shop.   Moving on.   Last week, as she was bringing me some reports she'd signed off on, she asked me if I was in the witness protection program. I assume she asked because I have both my maiden-name and married-name nameplates on my cube. I told her I wasn't but I don't think she was convinced. She went on to tell me about how at one of her old jobs she had to fire someone immediately and then later found out that that person had been in the witness protection program because she'd been shot in the head by someone in a gang. Not really sure how to respond to something like that, I jokingly said, "So are you in the witness protection program now since you fired someone in the witness protection program?" The answer was no.  But then after I tried again to convince her that I had just gotten married and that's why the two names, she went on to tell me that she just got married on her lunch break one day. She didn't take his name, they'd lived together for years beforehand, and they only got married so he could have health insurance.   The next day found her back in the middle of all our cubicles and somehow we got to talking about our ten-keys. Ten-keys are important to accountants, you know. NB told us about the time she took her ten-key from her place of employment with her when she left. My coworker jokingly referred to his ten-key as "Victor" because that's the brand that it is and it's clearly written across the screen.   NB: You name your ten-key!?!? Coworker: Um no, that's the brand. NB: My phone has a name. Me: Really? What's your phone's name? NB: I don't tell anybody its name. Me: Does your husband know its name? NB: No. Me: What's the point of naming your phone if you can't say the name? NB: Because I sleep with my phone and I talk to her. **Quickly slaps hand over mouth as she just realized she said "her."** Coworkers: it's a girl phone! NB: I didn't mean to say that! Me: So, when you say you sleep with your phone, you mean you put it on the bedside table, right? NB: No, she's in the bed. Me: You put your phone in the bed with you? NB: Well, let's just say her name is Jane. Her name is not Jane, that's just an example. I tuck Jane under my pillow at night and then when the alarm goes off I pull my phone out from under the pillow and say "Thanks, Jane, for waking me up today."   So, there's that. Then fast-forward to Tuesday of this week.   Once again, NB was back in our row of cubicles returning some reports. She had attached a sticky note to the report requesting a change to a format because she's OCD. I commented that I consider myself OCD about that kind of stuff too but I hadn't even noticed it. But she said she's reeeeallly OCD, and did we "wanna come see her eraser collection?" Um, yes. We absolutely wanted to see this collection. So all five of us got up and followed her to her office where she proceeded to show us all of her erasers.   When she accepted the position at our office, she decided to treat herself to a present and bought three Pearl erasers. The Pink Pearl is the original accounting eraser. Then they introduced the White Pearl, which is latex free, and now they've come out with the Black Pearl, just for fun. These three erasers are not to be used. Next were a few off-brand erasers, including one that had its own little case. There was a click pen eraser that she uses occasionally. And then we got to see her favorite eraser - The Magic Rub eraser. One was in pristine condition - it had never been used since it was part of the collection. But then she showed us other Magic Rub erasers that she has used. She's got one in her desk, one in her purse, one in her briefcase, and they're all over her house.   Me: So what else do you collect? NB: Oh gosh, lots of things. Me: Ok, then what's your biggest collection? NB: Probably things related to Prince. Me: As in Prince, the artist? (Conversation continues about how he's her favorite, she's got tons of collector's items, but now she only allows herself to buy one copy of each album.) NB: I also have a lot of concert ticket stubs. Me: You keep your concert tickets? NB: Yes, I have over 150. Me: So who have you seen in {City We Live In]? NB: I saw Eric Clapton recently. And (insert random band here) at the [Local Bar]. (Insert a few more randoms.) I went to the Justin Timberlake concert. Oh, and I saw Lil Wayne. Me and Coworkers: You saw Lil Wayne?!?! NB: Yes. Me: So you like Lil Wayne? NB: Yes, I found out about him through that Lollipop song. I like it. Me: Did your husband go with you to the concert? NB: No, he doesn't really like Lil Wayne. My nephew asked to go with me so I took him. Me: So it was just you and your nephew at the Lil Wayne concert? NB: Yes, and I think I really embarrassed him. I knew we were going to be walking a lot so I wore my big tennis shoes and they're not very cool. And I had to wear my fat pants that day because they're capris but they come up really, really high. And since I figured it'd be hot I wore a moisture-wicking shirt, except that it's a little short so it showed my fat pants. And I think people laughed at us. Me and Coworkers: Woooooow. NB: I like T. Pain too. I really like that I'm On A Boat song.    

And then, after we pull ourselves together and get ready to leave her office, NB, sitting behind her desk with all of her erasers displayed in front of her, busted out with:   Don't you compare me cause there ain't nobody near me They don't see me, but they hear me They don't feel me, but they fear me I'm illie.   A Lil Wayne rap.   I think it's safe to say things have gotten a little bit more interesting at my work.