Monday, February 25, 2008

Hear No Evil

Even though I am really thankful to be working again, I get home most nights so tired I can't even stay up to watch Millionaire Matchmaker anymore, which is really too bad because that disgusting, money-grubbing bitch made me feel so much better about myself.

I've just started my third week, and already it feels like ages ago since I was temping, which is a good thing. A few days before I'd gotten the job offer, I was temping at a Jewish philanthropic organization, putting stickers on party hats. No, I'm not making this up. The manager handed to me what seemed like hundreds of shiny yellow plastic construction hats, red fireman hats, black pirate hats, and a roll of stickers and told me to go to town. She was actually jealous that I was getting, and I quote, "all the fun," like I was going to don one of those bad boys and whoop it up all over the city like the Village People might have if they'd only been a little more Jewish and philanthropic.

The really scary part of it was that I started taking it seriously. I'd put a yellow sticker on the yellow hat, and instantly reprimand myself. "No--you fool! No one will ever be able to see a yellow sticker on a yellow hat! Grab the red one; it will really stand out against the yellow."
It was as if I thought I'd be showcasing my collection on Project Runway and would have to explain my motivation for placing three Happy Birthday stickers on the pirate hat instead of one in front of an angry Nina Garcia and Michael Kors (who obviously would've taken the simplistic approach and just added one).

To add to my increasing insanity, a little puff of a Polish woman with a so-thick-you-could-touch-it accent was buzzing around my cubicle all day, scolding the accountant, a slight, bespectacled, obscenely pale man with glasses, named Eugene.

"Yu-gene," she'd start, "why you don' do za numbers right? You need do like zis."
And then, five minutes later, "Yu-gene, I know you know how do zis, so why you don' do?" And then again, "Yu-gene . . . " This went on for six hours. For one crazy moment, I actually thought that giving Eugene a pirate hat would cheer him up. I couldn't understand why Eugene was so complacent. Not once did he talk back or express any agitation. I was more upset for Eugene than he was.

And then, at the end of the day, I finally got my answer. I went to turn in my timesheet to the manager.

"Oh no, sweetie, you need to turn that in to Eugene. You have to make sure you have his attention, though. Make sure you're looking right at him and speak slowly so he can read your lips. Eugene's deaf."