Tuesday, December 13, 2005

And They All Lived Happily Ever After


Leaving the theater last week, having just seen the so-much-better-than-I-thought-it-would-be Pride and Prejudice, I felt a sense of loss. Searching my feelings over hot chocolate later that night, I came upon the reason. The movie's ending had robbed me of one of my (many) compulsions: continuing a movie or play in my head long after it is over.

I can't remember when this habit first began, but I suspect its roots are deep. In fact, my earliest post-scripting tendencies may have begun with Disney's Cinderella. He puts on the slipper, and that's it? What about the sewing mice? Did she bring them to the castle with her? Did the fairy godmother come for Sunday brunches? Did she ever change her dress? I needed completion. Or at least extension.

Sometimes, when a film ends sadly, I try to help the characters move past that tragic ending to a more hopeful future. I haven't had much luck with some (Romeo and Juliet - not much can be done there), but for a few I think I've really been able to make a difference. (Scarlett O'Hara had ISSUES, but tomorrow eventually was another day.)

So, when Lizzy kissed Mr. Darcy's hand, I was content. The movie would end, and I would leave the theater in a romantic haze, envisioning the joy Elizabeth would feel as she fell asleep that night, safe and secure in Darcy's love.

Except it didn't end. It continued, and I left the theater entirely unsatisfied. Ah, well. I'm sure Cinderella is in need of a new dress or two.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Tuesday

10:00am
In response to "Thank you for calling, this is Emmelyn", I have received the following greetings:

"Oh, hi Evelyn."
"Hi, Pamela."
"Hey, Emily!"
"Did you say Levela?"
"Hello Andrea."

10:30am
In desperation, I switch:

"Thank you for calling, this is EMMIE."
"Hi, Debbie!"

12:42pm
Me: Thank you for calling, this is Debbie.
Woman: Yeah, I need to talk to Carma Devine*.
Me: (Scanning the employee list) I'm sorry, we don't have an employee by that name.
W: What? Oh, she works there. I want to talk to her.
M: I'm sorry, I can't find her name here . . .
W: Look, I know she works there, okay? Just give her a message for me.
M: I'm sor. . .
W: You tell that &%$#! to leave my husband ALONE!
M: Uh . . . Just one moment, ma'am. (Putting her on hold and turning to my fellow blonde) Does a Carma Devine work here?
YOB: Who? No . . . Oh, WAIT. That's Peter Devine's ex-wife.
M: The sales guy?
YOB: Yeah. At least, they were divorced. I think they got remarried last month or something.
M: Okay, but does she work here?
YOB: No, no, but sometimes she makes calls from here.
M: (To woman) Um, ma'am? I think you're looking for Peter Devine's ex-wife.
W: Yeah, that's her! You tell her to stay away from my husband!! Tell her to go back to cocaine rehab where she belongs! (She hangs up)
Me: (To YOB, who has been listening to my end of the conversation with interest) So, what's the story there?
YOB: Well. Peter and his wife have a pretty interesting relationship.
Me: How so?
YOB: (Pulling her chair closer) WELL, last year when they came to the Christmas party, they brought their girlfriend.
Me: Okay . . . Wait - their girlfriend?
YOB: Yeah. She's a stripper from Vegas.
Me: Did they introduce her as "their" girlfriend?
YOB: Yeah. I heard the reason they got divorced was because she wanted the girlfriend to herself.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Adventures in Temping: The Final Chapter of 2005 or How I Learned That Blondes Don't Necessarily Have More Fun

Last month I received an urgent call from my temp agency.

"Listen, honey, we need you to go in for an interview for your next temping assignment. They want to see you in person before they hire you."

This was highly unusual. The type of work I do does not typically require a pre-hire interview. The type of work I do typically requires a sixth-grade education, and perhaps the ability to sign for packages. I was intrigued. And so it was that on a balmy Friday afternoon I found myself standing in front of the gleaming floor-to-ceiling windows of one of the highest of all high-end car dealerships in this our United States of America.

Walking past showroom cars I scarcely dared breathe upon, I came to the reception desk. Three receptionists, each with long, glistening, decidedly blonde hair, greeted me in unison with three glistening, decidedly blonde smiles. Upon closer inspection, I discovered they were all wearing matching suits. With decidedly plunging necklines. Staring down into a sea of cleavage, I told them why I was there.

Ten minutes later, sitting across from the Client Relations Supervisor, I participated in the following conversation:

CRS: "It's nice to meet you. Do you have receptionist experience?"

ME: "Uh, yes, yes I do. I've been temping for two years, and before that I . . ."

CRS: "Good. Do you have phone-answering experience?"

ME: "Well, yes . . . I've been temping for two yea . . ."

CRS: "Good. Thank you for coming in. We'll see you soon."

Later that day, the agency called.

"You got the job! Congratulations!"

"Okay . . . Do you know why I had to go in for an interview?"

"Well, they just wanted to get a feel for you."

"A feel for me?"

"Yeah. You start work on Monday."

"Okay, thanks."

"Oh, and one more thing. Wear your hair down."

"What?"

"When you go on Monday. Wear your hair down."


MONDAY

(Times are approximate. All other details are to the very best of my recollection.)

10:00am The youngest of the blondes turns to me.

YOB: "So, where are you from?"

ME: "Utah."

YOB: "Seriously? Are you a Mormon?"

ME: "Yes."

YOB: "No way!! Me too!"

10:27am YOB returns from the breakroom with a big cup of coffee.

12:01pm I am informed that after a morning of training, I've learned enough to answer calls by myself.

1:02pm

ME: "Thank you for calling. How may I help you?"

CALLER: "Um, well, I need your help."

ME: "Okay . . . how can I help you?"

C: "Well . . . I need to know if I bought a car from you."

ME: "You don't know if you bought a car from us or not?"

C: "Well . . . no, not really. Did I?"

ME: "Uh, I'm not sure. Do you remember your salesperson's name?"

C: "No! I just told you! I don't know if I bought a car from you guys! I need you to tell me!"

ME: "So, just to make sure I understand - you don't know if you bought a car from us?"

C: "Okay, look. Last month I got into an accident, and now I have amnesia. So I DON'T REMEMBER! Why can't you just TELL ME??"

3:24pm

YOB: "So, do you have a calling in your ward? I'm activities coordinator. It's awesome!"

4:15pm I've counted seven Chanel bags, seven small dogs, and fourteen breast implants accompanied by seven 70-year-old men.

4:58pm

YOB: (on phone) "Oooh, I LOVE that place! They have the BEST margaritas!"


To Be Continued . . .