Have you ever been in a meeting and heard someone say something and thought,”Was that a word?” You look around the table thinking maybe you can exchange a knowing look with someone. And, nothing. No one else seems to be too concerned. No sign of rolled eyes or chuckling. You begin to think you might be a little crazy or just a lot stupid. Yesterday morning I had a meeting with my boss, a co-worker and a person who uses office space in our building, and who, for reasons unknown to me has the entire world seeking new ways to do her job for her. Perhaps I exaggerate, when I say “the world”, let’s just say, a significant number of people I once considered of at least average intelligence are working overtime to keep this woman in a job.

My boss: “So what needs to happen is one quarterly mailing and monthly emails, right?”

Woman: “Uh, yeah, I guess.”

My boss: “Amanda can you handle these emails?”

Me: “Sure.”

My boss: “Great. And , Mellissa, the mailings?”

Woman: “I just need to get the company’s impicia so I can git movin’.”

Me thinking: “Impicia? She’s going to get the company’s impicia for mailings? Would you really have a word so similar to indicia? No one else is saying anything, maybe I heard wrong”

Woman: “Once I have the impicia I can really get things goin’.”

By the way, she does not have a southern twang. She is from here (a place with no twang). It comes across as if she just doesn’t have it in her to say the whole word.

Me thinking: “Ok. I didn’t hear incorrectly. But WTF? I swear it’s indicia.”

Woman: “And as far as the emails I want to en-crouch the info tight so it’s interestin’.”

Me thinking: “What the hell is encrouching? Could she mean encroach? That makes no sense. Encrouch.”

Woman: “The whole email thing is hard for me because my computer tells it has programs it doesn’t. Remember Jim, that time when you came in and it told one thing but had none of it. Weird.”

No, go ahead, read it again. I didn’t type it wrong. Didn’t even embellish. It was even harder to understand when she said it. It’s like she’s got an inner scrambler. I can’t decide if she’s brilliant and is just getting out of doing anything, or if she is slowly short circuiting and approaching total meltdown.

I watched her, judiciously keeping my trap shut. She was completely disheveled, from the animal print fleece coat with Big Mac sized faux wood buttons over a candy apple red camisole straining to cover her plentiful chest, to the peeling white snakeskin pumps that looked like they’d lost a fight with an animal, perhaps a raccoon or feral cat, topped off by a black dress with off kilter lace accents over heavily snagged stockings. Her hair was to my best guess, styled with tree sap. She smelled a bit like closing hour, and inexplicably had a haughty air about her each time she looked at us.

Me thinking: “I really can’t believe my boss is making us do this. She is just so…yech! Guess I’ll just have to suck it up.”

Woman: “What’s real awesome is having folks,you know, such as yourselves who can support my efforts on things like this really well read newsletter. Not having a staff, well wait, actually now it’s like I do. Cool. So can I expect to see stuff soon?”

Me: Trying to prevent my head from simply exploding.