Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Her name was Brenda - It really suited her

Her name was Brenda and it suited her. I saw her chins marching ahead of her before she showed up and she peered at me through thick murky spectacles that made her eyes look like small black holes in the snow. I don't think she got out much.



"Yes. How can I help, you?" she said tersely.

I explained I was the delinquent person whose offspring's after school check had been returned because my bank changed from the woeful Royal Bank of Canada to the abysmal PNC.

She grunted and escorted me to her cubicle in the scruffy bowels of the treasurer's office. You have to love local government. Just 15 minutes earlier I had been in the hall waiting for a cashier. There were nine positions. Eight of them were closed. One of them had a human being of some description behind it but her closed sign was up and she appeared to be busy updating her Facebook status.

The only available cashier was engaged in a conversation with two colleagues and told me to go back and wait until I was called - a process that entailed a discordant mutter into a microphone.

When I explained I wanted to pay an outstanding bill she looked at me as if I had just emerged from a flying saucer from the Planet Zob and declared: "Eathlings - give me your brains."

Which would not have involved a great deal of gathering on behalf of the aliens, at the treasurer's department.

"You want to what?" she said. Frustrated I felt I was back at a drive-through where a metallic voice screams about how it can't understand me and a Big Mac becomes a kid's happy meal with chicken nuggets. I have taken to moronically calling out the number on the menu.

Fortunately I had written Brenda's name on a piece of paper and I was sent back to the office.

I had spoken to Brenda earlier on the telephone when I had foolishly tried to pay the outstanding bill on a debit or a credit card.

"Cash or banker's draft," she declared tersely

"What about a personal check?"

"No"

"A stone tablet from ancient Mesopotamia."

"Ideal."

So I withdrew the money from an ATM that charged me $2.50 for the dubious pleasure of being in 7-Eleven only to find an ATM that only charged $2 for the pleasure of withdrawing one's own money inside the treasurer's department.

Brenda's cubicle scared me somewhat. It wasn't even interesting enough to be gray and was instead a faded brown color. I got the impression Brenda had worked here since the days when Vikings came ashore and declared: "We are here to pillage your homes and womanfolk," and yet the cubicle was somewhat sad. There were a few desultory family photos including a daughter in a school team who would look like Brenda one day.

There were a few boxes of Kleenex, a calender and nothing much of note besides. I found myself thinking if I was unlucky to work from a cubicle again I would certainly put up a few pictures of the Duomo in Florence, Tuscan poppy fields and Picasso's Guernica.

But Brenda's cubicle was a curious hybrid of being not messy or clean. It was a void, and a void full of voided checks at that.

I pulled out my cash and was curious to see a $100 note bears the face of Benjamin Franklin. I had never realized but wasn't particularly impressed given that I have never seen the big deal with Franklin.

If we're talking founding fathers I've always been more keen on Alexander Hamilton, who died in a dual on July 11, 1804 surprisingly enough.

Brenda seemed slightly more friendly when she realized I had the means to pay and I resisted the urge to rifle through her filing cabinets as she "obtained authorization from a superior."

I didn't ask if the superior also wore a vast floral top and pink pants, although I assumed it was de rigour around these parts.

I don't think my existence has been embellished much by my visit to the treasurer's department. I should also take this opportunity to point out I don't have a downer on women called Brenda per se. But you wouldn't call a newborn Brenda now would you, any more than you would call her Doris or Gladys.

The treasurer's department may not have prompted me to think outside the box but it certainly made me glad of a life outside the cubicle.

11 comments:

  1. I wonder if she sought that job or one day she was told by a superior 'This will be your cubicle, Brenda. Make yourself comfortable for the next 40 years' and she resigned herself.

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    1. hmmm dunno Starla - didn't seem the type to think much about it.

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  2. LOL This is pretty much the way life works now. Forms and rules and red tape and you can count on it never being done correctly the first time.

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    1. ugh especially local government JoJo - that's the worst.

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  3. I will never look at another Brenda the same, after reading this. Well done, David.

    xoRobyn

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    1. cheers Robyn - here's to hoping your middle name isn't Brenda lol

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  4. Ha! I enjoyed this. :-D The part about 9 windows and all closed but one made me think of our local Wal-mart. I think they must have about 20 check out lanes there, and generally, there are only three of them open. Crazy.

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    1. oh God Daisy - Wal-Mart is the worst for that. As they pai peanuts you think they could open more tills.

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  5. BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
    Why American men should boycott American women

    Boycott American Women

    I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    Tens of millions of American men have had their lives completely destroyed by American women through the following crimes:

    1. False rape accusations (it has been proven that up to 80 percent of rape accusations are FALSE)

    2. False domestic violence (DV) charges (same as above)

    3. Financial destruction of men in divorce courts through alimony and support payments (women get up to 95 percent of their ex-husband's income and savings, as well as the house, car, etc)

    4. Emotional destruction of men by ex-wives who have stolen their children from them and forbidden contact

    5. Divorced dads who commit suicide as a result

    Not one single American woman has EVER condemned their fellow American women for committing these crimes against men. Silence means consent. Therefore, American women support and enjoy destroying men's lives and causing men to commit suicide. Apparently, American women think it is okay to be a criminal, just as long as you are a woman. Therefore, is it any surprise that a huge percent of American men no longer want anything to do with American women, other than using them for easy sex and then throwing them away?

    Over 50 percent of American women are single, without a boyfriend or husband; so the fact is most American men no longer want to marry American women. Let these worthless American women grow old living alone with their 10 cats.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

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    1. Guernica was probably more fun than working corporate. Just sayin'.
      Some Dark Romantic

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    2. indeed Mina - and I heard Guernica was no party.

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