I work at a tiny non-profit in a small remote town. Currently there are only me and the 'boss' in the office. She is the director of this organisation, not because of any particular skills, (in high school she majored in drinking beer in pick-up trucks), but because she was born and raised here and knows everyone and she's very loud and pushy and brash. She often jokes that, "oh they finally gave me what I wanted just to get rid of me". It's not a joke, though, it's true.
She may have a native wit, but she seems to have been raised by wolves.
She is reading a report and asks me, "Hey, what were the names of the three musketeers?"
I know that the report she's reading, (about marketing), doesn't talk about Dumas' heroes and ask her what she's reading.
She tells me that the report says, "... to convince the client we must make use of ethos, pathos and logos ... "
I tell her that those are not musketeers, they're rhetorical devices.
She replies suspiciously, "You mean like a computer?"
What could I say?
She's only marginally literate, has a flexible concept of honesty and is so uncouth. She talks constantly. I swear she processes everything out loud. I believe that she even talks on the inhale. She shares a great deal of information that I do not want to know. How menopause is progressing for her, the ongoing state of her digestion, her relationships with her family. If she's not talking to me, she's on the phone, talking loudly, repeating the same thing to anyone who will speak to her. She makes decisions by the Family Feud method. She asks for the opinions of everyone and anyone on any topic. I once heard her asking a 20 year old male summer student we had working with us if he had any ideas about dealing with hot flashes. Sometimes, when I'm feeling more than usually crazed, I take turns convincing her of opposing sides of a question. Since she has no concept of logic, it's not that hard. The passion of a person's belief is, to her, proof of its correctness. She's a complete idiot.
Our desks face each other, there are only about 10 feet between them.
She eats at her desk. She's always dieting and has some fabulous ideas about nutrition. It's amazing what you can learn from the tabloid headlines while waiting in line at the grocery store.
She never learned to chew with her mouth closed. Or, for that matter, that one might not want to talk while masticating wolfish bites of food.
One day she was moaning about her computer not working, and asked me what could be the matter, it was 'frozen', she could move the mouse but she couldn't type anything. I plugged in a different keyboard and everything worked again.
It was not working before because MANY OF THE KEYS WERE JAMMED WITH BITS OF FOOD, a sticky, crumby, disgusting mess.
She claims that she 'piles, not files' and that if she put things away she would never find them. Her drifts are threatening to engulf the whole office. This is the woman who spends at least half an hour every day shifting piles and moaning about her lost keys. Every day. Every single bloody day. I finally broke down one day and said, "I find that if I always put my keys in the same place when I come in, it's easier to find them."
She replied, "Well, that's easy for you, you're organized."
As if she was some ethereal being too good for the mundane details of the world.
Tomorrow we are going out of town for a conference. She planned to hire one hotel room, to share. It would be fun, like a pajama party. This is a fifty year old woman. She seemed aggrieved when I told her that I really wanted my own room, that I was willing to go to a cheaper hotel, whatever was necessary. She thinks I'm a misanthropist, but the funny thing is, I'm really fairly social - or at least I was, until I started spending 50 hours a week with this woman.
The job is otherwise good. I'm paid pretty well, and have interesting, varied work to do and an opportunity to shape my own job description and create my own projects. It gives me a good deal of opportunity to make good connections and improve my credentials. And remember it's a small, remote town. Jobs like this are rarer than rare. And I'm obliged to stay in this town for at least two more years. But this woman is making it hell.
I don't guess anyone will have a solution for me, but any suggestions will be very welcome, really - I'm not as Female Dog as I must sound.
Just having a chance to get this off my chest has been great.
Thank you all.