The Lady is a Champe
Our department did educational conferences and like most companies, silos existed all over. As a over-achieving busybody, I took it upon myself to generate a slightly accurate, but hysterically funny recount of all that went on. My boss, Pat, shook her head in disbelief (as she did many times) at my adult A.D.D. (self-diagnosed). I, on the other, used this as just another way to express myself.
The dilemma came in naming this new publication. It had to be creative and yet serve an underlying function of celebrating underground things that happen at an office.
In addition to Pat, I also worked for a woman named Laura. I’d be polite in describing this woman as certifiable, but when have you known me to be polite. She was a freaking nut-case. In addition to wearing terrible shoes, faking hypoglycemic attacks and telling everyone she was this amazing actress, Laura had another well-documented habit; she never washed her hands after using the bathroom!
And commemorating this common fact; The Hygiene Chronicles was named.
Laura left FMI the next year. I’d like to think I had a hand in her removal because she never really spoke to me those last two weeks. Her departure was a legitimate quitting, but I’m pretty sure she only had two options going for her in those closed door sessions.
I saw her a few years later. With unwashed hair and pants tighter than they should be, Laura was doing her best to command attention at a street fair in Alexandria. As Larry & I were admiring some pottery at a nearby booth, a series of screams and cries arose from where she had been standing. Two dogs on leashes had entangled and Laura dramatically wound up in the midst of them and was now sobbing uncontrollably on the ground. She lay like a limp rag doll on the ground, her long hair draped over her face, wailing louder & louder as people began surrounding her and offering assistance.
I could just detect the smile beginning to form on her face as the sounds of ambulance sirens grew closer and closer.
All the while, I just wanted to shout, “Don’t touch her hands!”