Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Thursday, March 24, 2005  
New lows! New lows!

Never think you have sunk as low as a human can sink. There are always new depths to reach. New pathetic regions to explore. Once you've had your heart torn out and tossed around a few times, things like pride and shame become meaningless. They're just hollow ideals.

I've fought to maintain a shred of dignity with and about HWNMNBS. It's been a struggle. But I've tried. It's one thing to be a woman scorned, another to actually act like the Hell hath no fury kind of scorned woman. I'm not that sort of woman. Though once scorned, I suspect every woman is that sort of woman. But I'm not typically that sort of woman so I try to rationalize and repress those Hell hath no fury feelings. Sometimes I'm pretty good at it. Other times not so much. But generally, you know, given the circumstances, I don't think I've embarrassed myself.

That was, until last weekend.

I'm going to share this with the class for the greater good. Read and learn, people. Do not do what I have done.

I've hit a new low. If there are deeper depths than this, I shudder to imagine them with what little remains of my dignity.

Universe: 1 soul
My Self Esteem: 0 and forfeiting the rest of the season

Gosh Trill, why are you laying your soul to bear like this? Is it really necessary?

Listen to me, please, learn from my mistakes. It's too late for me but you can save yourself.

You know how sometimes something you would normally never consider doing, wouldn't even think of doing, in fact, suddenly, for no good reason, seems like a really good idea? And you know it's not a good idea because you wouldn't normally even think about doing it. But it's compelling and maybe you've had a drink or two and it suddenly seems like a darned good idea.

Okay. Fair enough. That happens to everyone.

But thinking it's a darned good idea and actually following through with a plan and executing that plan are the new depths which should remain uncharted.

And that's what you need to learn.

No matter how good the idea suddenly seems, it's not. Definitely not a good idea.

Because the next day, or in my case, the day after the next day, you realize you actually did something really, really, really, really stupid.

Enter: My newfound emotion and apparent best friend: Regret.

Yep. One leads to another.

Or. One regret leads to behavior which causes more regret.

Geeze Trill, what'd you do? It can't possibly be that bad.

Hooo boy. Yes it is. It's the Mother of All Dumb Things You Always Regret.

Okay. Out with it. Who'd you sleep with?

Ha. If only...

No, it's a bazillion times worse than that. That can be explained away and rationalized with hormones and alcohol.

Oh no. You didn't. Aww geeze, Trillian, please tell us you didn't...


Yes. I did.

But it's not who you're thinking. Nope. I was strong. I kept HWNMNBS out of this. My HWNMNBS Free Zone remains HWNMNBS free. And really, that's not surprising or even that embarrassing. Come on, he's my best friend and I was going to marry him, I am absolved of all responsibility for irrational behavior involving him.

No. I told you. This is a new low.

Because I didn't just ring an old boyfriend. I had to ring two people, and then send and get a reply to an email to get his phone number before I could ring him.

I had to make serious effort to get in touch with him. Which would give a normal person ample opportunity to realize what they are attempting to do is a Very Bad Idea.

Even worse? By the time I got his number it was 2 AM. He's several time zones away from me, so it was 9 AM for him.

Worse than that? He wasn't surprised to hear from me. At 9 AM on a Sunday morning. I was surprised he answered his phone.

Which is the even worse part. I was expecting his voice mail and had this little speech all rehearsed. When he actually answered I was stymied and speechless and squeaked out a "Hi Old Boyfriend."

"Trillian? Hi. How are you?"

I know. 'Hi? How are you?' How the swut do you think I am? I'm ringing you in the middle of the night, after, well, a lot of years, a lot of years, no, not that many years, I'm not that old, and after a weird break-up. Obviously I'm not great.

Learn from this people, learn.

"Erm, yeah. Hi. It's me. Trillian."

"Right. Trillian. I know. You said. How are you?"

Again with the how are you?

"Well, you know, okay. You?"

"You know. Okay."

Yes. A great conversationalist. Actually, he is. Yet ironically, communication was a big problem for us. Learn people, learn.

"Great. Glad to hear it. Friend said you're going on tour..."

"Yeah, next month."

"Cool. So I was wondering if you are going to be in Chicago."

"Yeah, just signed a few more gigs. Chicago's one of them."

"Cool. So, um, you know..."

"Drinks?"

"Yeah. How about it?"

"You know I want to, Trill. I begged Friend to tell you to ring me when your wedding got canceled. Sorry about that, by the way."

"You did? Really? She never told me. Thanks. By the way."

"She's protecting you."

(He's right, she was. She never liked Old Boyfriend and was really glad when we broke up.)

"Not anymore, I guess. She had (her sister's brother-in-law) email me your phone number."

"Yeah. He rang me an hour ago to ask if it was okay to give you my number."

So much for the swearing of confidence. I'll remember that, brother-in-law of sister to Friend. I'll remember that.

"Oh. Right. Of course. You didn't seem surprised to hear from me."

"I always hoped you'd ring sooner or later."

"Turns out it was later."

"Later than you think."

"Why?"

"Is this a bootie call?"

"What? No! Swut, Old Boyfriend, you haven't changed, have you? Not one minute into the conversation and you're making accusations and assumptions. I heard you were going on tour and I thought about you and that's it, that's all, I just thought if you were going to be in town we could have drinks or dinner. You know, just talk, have some laughs. And what if it is a bootie call? So what? It's not as if you've never made bootie calls. I hate that term. When did you get all street? And now you've got me saying it. You know what, this was a really bad idea. I'm sorry I bothered you."

"No, wait, I'm sorry. It wasn't a bad idea. I would really like to see you again. Drinks. Dinner. Talk. Laughs. That's it."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Really. I've missed you. I still think about you."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"You mean think think about me?"

"Sometimes. Mostly it's just regular thinking about you. I hated our break-up. We could have done a lot better job of it than we did."

"It's never easy. It's always weird."

"I heard you're having a hard time with your fiancé."

"Ex fiancé."

"That's obvious and implied, Trill."

"Right."

"Sorry."

"It's okay."

"No it's not. I heard you've been a real mess."

That new depth I was talking about? Yeah. Right there. Your ex ex boyfriend has heard you're a mess over a break-up with someone else and he tells you he's heard you're a mess. Doesn't get much lower than that.

Worse? Okay. There is worse. Even my friends are gossiping about me and my inability to cope and rebound from a break-up. Gossiping to my ex boyfriend, no less. Lovely.

Still. It beats the office gossip about my cat.

"I have bad days and every now and then a not quite as bad day. I am functioning, though. I mean, it's just my love life that's a mess."

"Of course, good old keep it together Trill."

(ooooozing with a smarmy tone)

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing. I don't know. Nothing. It's just you."

(really, really, really, really long silence)











(you might want to go get a cup of coffee or walk the dog)












"I should go. Isn't it like three in the morning there?"

"Two"

"Right. So this is a bootie call."

(huge uproarious laughter breaks out)


(followed by a long silence)






(I think the dog needs to go out again)






"Sorry Old Boyfriend. I shouldn't have called you. I just, you know, I was just..."

"Thinking about me and ripping up your sheets with longing and passion."

"...wondering how you are, actually. That's all. Just thinking about you and being a grown-up and calling you after all these years because I couldn't think of a good reason not to."

"How about because we could never make it right and had a bad break-up and you moved on and still love him and the very second he wants to try it, again, you'll dump me like you never knew me."

(long silence)






"So I guess you heard about last Summer, too."

"Trill, it was the subject of much speculation, concern and a few wagers among those in the know. And I was in the know."

Swut you Friend and sister of Friend and brother-in-law of sister of Friend. Is nothing sacred? This is my ex ex boyfriend. You're supposed to make me sound really good when you talk to him.

That's it. I trust no one.

"Wagers? Did you bet for or against?"

"For."

(short silence of surprise)

"Really?"

"Yeah. I was hoping it would work out for you. I heard you really love the guy. I never hated you Trill. I want good things for you. I lost a lot of money on that bet."

"I'll buy you a drink."

"If you think it's a good idea, then yes. Give me your number. No promises, though Trill. Drinks. That's it. I'm on tour again. You know how that is. If it goes okay there'll be more gigs. And I'm, um..."

"Oh swut. Are you married?"

"No!"

"Seeing someone?"

"Sort of."

"Old Boyfriend, don't do to her what you did to me. If this will in any way hurt some innocent woman forget I ever called."

(Thank you. I told you I have a little dignity left. And besides, I'm not awful. Desperate. But not awful. Trillian doesn't do other women's men.)

"That depends on what this is."

"It's nothing. It's drinks when you're in town."

"So no one needs to be worried or jealous."

"Right. But if you lead her to believe she has a reason to be jealous I want no part of it."

"I don't do that crap anymore."

"Ah, a new and improved Old Boyfriend."

"Version 4.5"

"Now with more enlightenment."

(he laughs) "That's good. I'm going to use that."

"My gift to you."

"Give me something I want."

"No, Old Boyfriend, really. Especially since you're seeing someone. No way."

"Your phone number Trill, your phone number."

"Oh. Right. Okay."

So. There you have it. The ultimate depth of shamelessness. Calling the ex ex boyfriend.

Will he ring me? Probably. Will I see him when he swings through town? Probably.

Should I? No.

More regret.

And that is why you need to read and learn. Do not get yourself into a situation which is not only pathetic, but will lead to a lot of turmoil and regret.

Labels: ,


2:41 PM

Wednesday, March 23, 2005  
I've got a favorite new place. I haven't had a favorite place in a while. Or at least not a favorite place which is easily accessible on a daily basis. I still have my Most Favorite Special Place in the World, so far that hasn't changed. But it's kind of a long distance from where I currently live, so, you know, not exactly the most convenient retreat.

My favorite new place probably won't stay that way for long - it's the sort of place people like to go when the weather is warm and the drinks are chilled. But I like it now, "off season." Icy wind, no one around...I find myself there almost every day. Sometimes just for a few minutes, other times I "zone out" when I'm there. Time doesn't stand still, but I lose all sense of time. Sometimes. Other times I am very aware. Crystallizingly aware. That's why this has become my favorite new place. It evokes things in me. Some good. Some bad. Some useful. Some stupid. Most inspirational. If I am ever going to find myself again, this is the sort of place, maybe even The place, that will happen. Well. There or My Most Favorite Special Place in the World. Which I must get to sometime very soon. Because I really need to find myself. I am lost. I know that. Horribly, confusingly, scarily lost. Took the wrong road. Got blown off course. That compass spinning like a broken clock kind of lost. Which is really unusual for me because I have an incredibly good sense of direction. (literally and metaphorically) Which has made being lost so much worse for me. It's very disorienting and confusing. I don't like it. Not one bit. It's not the kind of lost that ends up leading to a fun new adventure. It's the kind of lost that ends up turning into a B horror movie. The kind where you can put a victim number on the actors' heads based on the degree of stupidity in their actions and nubility. Yeah. Not a good lost. I know. I have to find myself. I'm trying. It's not easy you know. Discovering a favorite new place, and the discovery that I still have the ability to find a favorite new place is a start. I think. I guess. Maybe. Let's just leave it that for now I feel better knowing I have my favorite new place. Whenever the mood hits, I can just go there. So, you know, that's probably a good thing.

Except.

It keeps evoking things. Really poignant things. Flashes of scenes. Snippets of songs. Brilliant, yet not clear ideas. The kind of things which make you think, in a snap of reality, "Wow. Heavy. This means something. I have no idea what, but I know it's important because I feel gravitas. Yes. I feel it. I can't explain it, but I can feel it." And then you go off puzzling over what it all might mean and wishing you weren't so darned lost.

Like this morning. I was standing there, in the sleet, icy wind, not thinking about much of anything - yes, really, nearly void of thought, which for me is a really difficult thing to do, I just can't relax - when I swear, I absolutely swear, I heard someone singing:

It was kind of cold that night
She stood alone on her balcony
She could the cars roll by
Out on 441
Like waves crashin’ in the beach
And for one desperate moment there
He crept back in her memory
God it’s so painful
Something that’s so close
And still so far out of reach


Perhaps Tom Petty is truly dead and his ghost was singing to me from beyond the pale. But I doubt it. And it doesn't matter. Well. I mean, it matters in the sense that I am now not only being given words faster than I can sort them, I'm hearing voices. But you know, whatever. What matters is that verse was exactly perfect for that moment of my life. I mean as if it were written specifically for that moment of my life. I've heard the song thousands of times, but not for a while. And right now, today, that moment, it meant something. It meant a lot, actually. Not just the literal and obvious, but the between the lines of the obvious. It was important. It was the absolute most perfect song and verse for that exact moment. Okay, sure, yeah, that happens. But this was different from those times when you think of an appropriate song or phrase to fit the mood or place. This was bigger than poignant. I heard someone singing it. I looked around because I was certain someone else was there. No one. It was 5:00 AM for crying out loud. No one was within earshot of me. The wind could have been carrying someone's voice, but even so, that doesn't seem right. I don't know. Don't ask me to explain it. I can't. It just, you know, means something. That's all.

I know. That's stupid. That's crazy talk.

Hey. I never, not once, ever, said I was sane. I told you this would be the diary of one woman's descent into lunacy. This is what happens when the censors, erm, editors turn their backs on me.

And now I'm stuck trying to shake the whole thing. Ever try to concentrate on your job when you've had, you know, An Experience?

It's not easy. Images fade but don't completely vanish. That voice is gone but I can remember exactly how it sounded. Questions nag. How'd Tom Petty know I would need that exact verse when he penned it in 1976?* Why Tom Petty? Surely someone else has written a song or words which would fit just as well. Or maybe not. I've got some Tom Petty on my Pod, but not that song. I grabbed it off iTunes before I left for work.** I'm driving myself nuts with it, but I am sickly compelled to listen to it, you know, just one more time, so I can try to hear something in it, hear that voice or just, you know, stop thinking about it. I even snapped a few photos thinking it wise to try to capture some images, catch the visual mood because it might be useful later.

Oh yes. My particular brand of lunacy is the compile lots of data type of lunacy.

You wanted it, you got it.

It's Wednesday, and it's so real it's surreal.

*Just to show you how serious I am about this, I looked it up because I had no clue when that song was recorded, and got even more, well, even more whatever I am, when I discovered it was on the Heartbreakers debut album in 1976. I mean, 30 years ago Tom Petty wrote that song, and now, 30 years later here I am having a very strange moment with a verse of it. Tom, dude,what's up with that? Are you really dead?

**Fortunately my This Means Something soundtrack can so far be easily accessed. I'll be in trouble when The Screaming Blue Messiahs mean something to me because iTunes doesn't have them and all I've got is a cassette stored away somewhere at my parents' house.

12:43 PM

Monday, March 21, 2005  
Day in the Life
Hey! Here's something fun everyone can do! Today is "Day in the Life of..." on Flickr. Snap a photo and post it to the DILO group and you are part of a global art project! Cool, huh? If you're not snappy, you can view the photos. Interesting stuff. Details here.

For scintillating photographic details of a Day in the Life(?) of Trillian, I'm going to try to post my photos throughout the day on Come Here, I Want to Show You Something. I said try. I have a job, you know. If they're not all up as the day progresses, check back later and tomorrow. There are a few up already, check out the great sunrise we had this morning.

9:59 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2005  
The broody brunette is back. Okay, so she's still got some fetching honey blonde highlights. But not as many and not as blonde. I didn't have more fun as a blonde. Or, well, a blonder than I've ever been blonde. Maybe you have to, you know, go all the way to actually have more fun.

Nothing's ever just what it is. I can't just have my hair done without there being some catch.

No, my stylist didn't do anything we hadn't discussed. I was planning on going darker, less highlighty on this trip to the salon. I've been planning that a long time. My stylist and I went out about a month ago and the topic of my hair kept us occupied for far too long.

But there's this situation at work.

We’ve got this temp. She’s young, inexperienced, not exactly sharp as a tack, but generally nice and makes occasional sincere efforts at actually working. Comes in late, takes long lunches, leaves early, but in between manages to complete at least one assigned task per week. Our temps are not paid well, so, you know, we can’t exactly be choosy about our small pool of temp “talent.”

She offered to help Boob Job and I on a project concerning a huge *@#!-up by (needs a new nickname) boss. Since Boob Job and I are already very busy and really didn’t have time to be fixing (needs a new nickname) boss’ huge, horrendous *@#!-up, we welcomed any help we could get. Okay, sure, maybe because of the delicate nature of the *@#!-up it might not have been the best idea to trust a temp, a not so bright temp with unproven loyalty, with any part of the project. But we were careful to not give her any confidential data or issues, we simply gave her a few tasks, explained as little as possible about the actual reason for the job and regularly monitored her work.

I know you think you know where this is going.

You’re wrong.

Sort of.

But maybe not.

See, well, I’m not so sure what to make of this situation.

The temp has proven herself to be less than intelligent. She has very, very basic skills. And very elementary capabilities to grasp concepts. But she’s one of those people who has a lot of confidence. Okay. She’s overly confident. Okay. She’s delusional.

Which at first I chalked up to the cockiness and inexperience of youth.

But now things have taken a very strange turn.

At first I thought it was just me being overworked, overtired, overstressed and maybe a little paranoid.

But now other people are pulling me aside and sending me email regarding the temp’s behavior.

It's not just me. (Nice change, yes, but, well, I mean, it would be nice to know it's not just me who thinks my boss should be fired, for instance.)

Right. The temp.

She’s um, well, she’s imitating me.

It started with her clothes, which were kind of slutty when she first started temping. Okay. Really slutty. Okay, girl in the L’il Kim ‘hood slutty. Okay, girl on the street corner slutty. Okay, to the point “we” had to tell her about our dress code, gave her a written copy and delicately try to explain to her that we have some rather conservative clients who visit the office and we try to maintain a professional atmosphere. “We” all know who the elected “we” was who had have that little discussion, so let’s not waste time wondering how or why “we” were the ones elected for this particular difficult discussion. And yes, there was a vote. And no, it was not an honor just to be nominated and no, this is not a position “we” campaigned for. (needs a new nickname) boss was supposed to help “us” but of course didn’t. Except to tell “us” something had to be done about the temp’s attire. One case where (needs a new nickname) boss was right. The temp had a thong sticking out of the top of her low slung mini skirt and cheeks almost hanging out of the bottom, and her boobs (complete with butterfly tattoos) hanging out of her top. I’m not going to get into the actual discussion “we” had with her about this. The alcohol and medication are still numbing the memory and “we” want to keep it that way.

The good news is that the temp was very receptive to the concept of our dress code, admitted she knew she was “pushing it” but, I’m not kidding, was “waiting for someone to tell her to stop.” Erm. Okay. But. Oh nevermind. “We” told her she did not have to, certainly wasn’t expected to, purchase new clothing for a temp job. More or less. She merely had to wear more clothes. Less revealing clothes. She got it. She said she had “lots of things” she could wear and her sister has a ton of stuff but she hadn’t been “bothering” to worry about it. Erm. Okay. But. Oh nevermind. She really loved working here and really wanted to become a full time employee here. Erm. Okay. But. Oh nevermind. “We” apologized for having to bring up the issue at all, she thanked “us” for being to the one to tell her because she likes “us” and would have been really embarrassed or offended if it had been anyone else.

Our dress code is actually quite lenient. (Translation: Vague.) It’s not anything goes, but it’s anything which isn’t offensive, foul, or sexual goes. Jeans are frowned upon except on Fridays, though it’s not a huge deal if they appear on a day other than Friday. Most of us are adults who have worked other jobs. We know what’s “okay” and what’s not. We bend and push that occasionally, but have an ounce or two of professional decorum. It’s never been that big of an issue. And here it was rearing its ugly head with a temp.

Right.

Okay.

The next day the temp showed up in a very sedate trouser suit. Same garish make-up and bedroom hair, 4” platform vinyl boots, but at least her bum and boobs weren’t sticking out.

Great. Situation resolved.

She worked with Boob Job and I on the project. She began dropping less than subtle hints about what she’d like to do, what sort of projects she wanted to work on and what skills she wanted to use. Okay. Great. She’s eager. That’s great! Except remember those delusions I mentioned? This is where they became apparent. She said she really wants to be a designer. Okay! Great! I could sure use the help! What skills do you have? She rattled off an impressive bit of program mastery. I was a little surprised because she is quite young and quite inexperienced, but, you know, hey, let’s see what she can do!





Nothing.

She can do nothing.

She lied.

She asked me questions every 3 minutes. Basic questions. “What’s does jpg mean?” for instance. “What’s CMYK?” for instance. “How do I download an image?” for instance. “What’s an FTP site?” for instance. Okay. Many of you are thinking, “I don’t know that stuff.” Are you an art director? Designer? Production person? Web designer? Artist? Then of course you don’t. But anyone who claimed to have the prowess she had would know these things as well as they know how to breathe.

It became painfully obvious she had none of the skills she claimed to have when she spent an entire day dropping a logo into a Word doc. I mean, we’re not talking fancy design programs here. We’re talking Word. Which is something all temps are supposed to be tested on before they walk through our doors.

So much for that design help I was hoping to get. I knew I’d have to teach her some things, but I mean, this is more than showing the new girl a few inside ropes. This would be showing a girl barely out of high school with zero background, skills or aptitude how to, well, do everything. It’s not that I mind sharing the love and teaching and helping anyone who is interested, but, I mean, she’s a temp. And not a very bright one.

And a delusional one.

She told Boob Job and a few other people in the office that I told her she is doing great and will make a great assistant.

Okay. Maybe she misconstrued my support and encouragement. Maybe she’s one of those people who hears, “Wow! That’s incredible! You’re a genius! Where would we be without you! You’re going to make a great assistant!” when all that was actually said was, “Thanks. Great, now could you make those copies of the agenda?”

And the true delusion became obvious to everyone when she told them she knows more than I do about PhotoShop. I’m not saying I’m the font of all knowledge about PhotoShop. But. I do know a lot about it. Enough to lead some training sessions on it. Enough to have the tech guys call me with questions about it. Enough to bail out anyone with a looming deadline and “problems” with their art. And the temp is not exactly scoring intelligence points with anyone in the office in other capacities. So even to my usually ignorant coworkers this seemed a bit of a stretch. It came to my attention when Boob Job said, “Is she really that good? She keeps making a lot of mistakes with the stuff I give her to do.” (I know, I loved the irony of that statement. If Boob Job catches mistakes, this girl has to be really bad.)

Okay. So here we have a delusional girl temp. A delusional girl temp with big aspirations.

She’s young. She’s trying. Give her a break. Let’s see if she gets into the routine and calms down a bit and stops making mistakes. She’s so eager. She really wants a full time job. Maybe she’s nervous.

Yeah. I was the delusional one.

I’ve been really busy. Super busy. And out of the office a lot.

So I didn’t really, you know, notice the day to day appearance of the temp except that she no longer dressed like she was open for businessmen.

People started saying weird things to me. Like, “All you had to do was talk to her about the dress code. You didn’t have to actually give her clothes.” And, “Single White Female already left, I’ll make the copies.”

When an account person who is one of those people seemingly doesn't notice anyone who is not a client or senior executive stopped by to wave a letter in my face and ranted, “Mini Trill sent the wrong letters to the mailing list,” I decided to bother to care.

“Mini Trill?”

“Yeah, don’t tell me you haven’t noticed what she’s done to herself.”

“Done to herself?”

“Yeah, you haven’t noticed? Really?”

“No.”

“She’s had a total Trillian makeover.”

“Huh?”

“You really haven’t noticed how she wears something like you wear the day after you wear it?”

“Erm, no, I guess I haven’t noticed that...”

“You’ve been working too hard, Trill. Everyone in the office has noticed it. It’s been going on for weeks. It’s not even funny anymore, it’s just weird. Especially today with her new hair. You know that gray pinstripe suit you wore yesterday, with the funky blouse?”

“Yes...New hair?”

“Check out what she’s wearing today. And when you do, you’ll also notice she’s done something to her hair. Something which very much looks like yours. And she’s not wearing all that make-up anymore, it looks like yours looks. Sort of. I mean, like a copy of yours.”

Ye gads.

Imitation. Sincere flattery. Not.

Creepy. Weird.

Because if you’re going to imitate someone because you’re impressed with them and want to be like them, you choose someone who is successful and has their swut together and, you know, isn’t ugly. If you’re imitating a pathetic, lonely, overworked, underpaid, ugly social outcast of the office who has to troll online dating sites for men and spends her days correcting and covering up her boss’ borderline illegal business practices, you are either a very messed up individual or are working undercover.

So no. I do not find this flattering. I find it scary. And really weird.

The day after I wore that gray pin stripe suit with a funky red/black/white/gray blouse, sure enough, she was wearing a gray pin stripe suit with a funky red and white blouse. And her odd shade of straw straight hair gelled at the crown and falling into her face was now dark brunette with fetching honey blonde highlights cut into long layers and curled in flippy tossles neatly tucked behind her ears. And all that make-up WAS gone, replaced by what I swear is my custom blend lip color/gloss and lash tint. Even her shoes were Trillian-esque.

Okay. I mean, “we” had that chat with her about the dress code and she’s just trying to fit in and thinks “our” opinion of her is the one which matters so she might naturally mimic “our” look. But. I mean. There are loads of much more successful, prettier women in my office who dress really well and have cute but professional hair and makeup styles. Go to any of the ladies bathrooms in our company in the morning and you can get a full makeover by a team of trained professionals getting ready for their day in the office.

What I am saying here is, why me?

And now that it’s been brought to my attention, I of course notice what she’s wearing every day.

And every morning when I am getting ready for work, I of course find myself thinking, “The temp will be wearing a simile of this tomorrow...” And sometimes I deliberately try to wear something difficult to simulate. But the sad fact is, even with some of my more outrageous clothes, mimicking my office style is not exactly difficult. Oh sure, she can’t get an exact duplicate, particularly the blouses and shoes, but if I wear a purple and pink circley blouse, the next day she’ll come in with a purple polka dot blouse. If I wear a black skirt and boots one day, the next day she’ll be in a black skirt and boots. Skirt. Trousers. Skirt. Trousers. Sweater. Blouse. Jacket. Sweater. Blouse. Jacket. Black. Gray. Black. Gray. Embellished with color. Monotone. Embellish with color. Monotone. Scarf. Necklace. Scarf. Necklace. Yes. She’s even started imitating my jewelry preferences.

You might think casual Fridays would pose a problem for her. No. Not her. Silly. That’s easy. She’ll mimic whatever I wore last Friday.

It was bad enough when Smellly Coffee Woman started cobbling together outfits like my friend and I wear. But at least she comes right out and says, “I liked it so much on you I wanted it too.” And she always puts her spin on the outfit. So much so that it’s not actually a mimic at all.

No, the temp is a different breed of cat. A potentially scary cat stalking and waiting to pounce on her prey.

When I got back from my last client junket, instead of going home as planned, I went into the office. There were some issues which needed tending and I didn’t want them to linger over the weekend. It was not a planned sneak attack.

But it sort of turned into one for the temp.

I walked through the office, rolling my suitcase and our bag of tricks.

“Hey, Trill, how’s New York?” “Hi Trillian, you’re here! Can you stop by my office later to look at those budget changes?” “Hi Trill, I sent the new copy to Big Guy an hour ago and he said he liked it, we can proceed.”

See? No big surprise or weirdness. No cloak and dagger. I kind of made a scene entering shuffling my suitcase and our cases. No sneak attack.

But there, in my office, was the temp.

I wasn’t totally weirded out by this. I assumed she was probably trying to figure out how to do a project or looking for something.

I marched right in like I owned the joint and said, “Hi temp.”

She jumped out of her skin. Yes, really, almost literally.

Okay. I didn’t want to think so before this, but by her “Oh swut” reaction, I now know she’s up to no good. But. I don’t have anything “hidden” in my office. Anyone could paw through anything and would find nothing incriminating, personal or professional. The worst they’d find is the photo of HWNMNBS which fell behind the drawer and is stuck in the case part of the drawers in my desk and even I can’t get it out of there. (Because yes, I have tried and would have gotten it out of there if I could and I alternately hate/love that it’s stuck in there because it’s a fitting metaphor on a lot of levels. Maybe I’ll share my thoughts on The Man in My Desk someday. Maybe not.)

She was doing that eyes darting around thing and I swear her hands were shaking.

“What’s up?” I asked nonchalantly as I took off my coat.

“Not much, I’m just, I was trying to find those logo sheets for Boob Job.” She’s not very bright, but she knows where the logo sheets are. And Boob Job keeps electronic copies. I mean, there is an off chance this was true. And like I said. No big deal. Nothing to incriminate or scare in my office.

“Remember, they’re in the client file room. With the tear sheets and other client information. The files you organized a few weeks ago?” I said, trying to make a joke out of her obvious lie.

“Oh yeah. I forgot.” But still she sat, at my desk. Silently. Wearing a replica of my last Friday’s outfit. Natch.

I gave her one of those “Yes? Is that all? I’m sort of in a hurry here.” looks.

“Who takes care of your cat when you’re gone?” she asked, pointing to Furry Creature’s photo on my desk.

Okay. Right then, at that exact moment, I freaked out. Too many movies. Too much talk around the office.

It may have been a totally innocent comment. It probably was. But swutting Belgium, it was weird. My antenna were up and sensing something Not Right.

“Uh, look, temp, I just flew in, I’ve got tons of work to do, I really need to make sure the client got those emails I sent this morning....” motioning for her to leave.

“He’s really cute. I heard he’s sick.” she continued with one of those over emphasized pouty faces. Okay, my life has sunk to a new low. Not only am I the subject of office gossip, but the subject of the gossip is my cat. Really. Seriously. I have to get a new job. A new life.

“He’s fine. He’s going to be absolutely fine.” I told her, again, motioning for her to get up and get out of my office.

“I’m thinking about getting a cat.” she continued.

“Great! I’ll send you information on a couple of shelters. I really need to get to work here, temp” I said, again motioning for her to leave.

She took the hint this time and got out of my chair.

“I like your shoe rack. That’s a really good idea.” she said, stooping over to point out my under the desk shoe rack.

“Yeah, makes commuting easier when you’re not toting shoes back and forth. Okay then, I’ll be getting to work now. Boob Job probably needs those logo sheets.” giving her an excuse to get the swut out of my office.

She finally left.

I attempted to log in. Big surprise: "Three failed login attempts. You must contact customer service to reset password."

A HA!!!! I knew it.

Boob Job and my (needs a new nickname) boss know my password. If anyone needed something on my drive either of those two could have retrieved it. And they are the only two who would need anything.

But there's me, being all "oh please, don't jump to conclusions, get ahold of yourself, you're overreacting, it's nothing, this is stupid, you're busy, forget about it." So I did.

Until yesterday when I got my hair done.

My stylist supreme was ready, "I've got a great idea for your color!"

"Bring it on!" I beamed.

"And I've been thinking..."

"Yes...?"

"What about some shorter layers in front?"

"Okay, but not too thick or too short. Bring it on."

And she did. And I love it. And all should be happy in Trillville, right?

Wrong.

Because now, on the eve of going into work with my "new" old hair, instead of not really giving it much thought, I'm all, "people are going to think I changed my hair because the temp copied my hair and I'm either mad because she did that or I'm testing her to see if she'll change her hair again." I'm wasting gray matter on this inanity because my co-workers are petty, gossipy, suspicious, catty people. Seriously. I have to get a new job. But until then, I have to deal with them and with this situation.

And yes. Yes. Okay? Yes.

Even though this brunette redux was in the works for a while, and the new cut was an impromptu "yeah, let's!" I know it's going to look like I'm trying to trip up the temp, or was angry that she changed her hair to my style and color.

And I don't a) don't want to look like I in any way care, b) want to look like I am paranoid, angry or spiteful, or c) want to hurt the temp's feelings by changing my hair the first chance I had after she changed hers to look like mine.

Yes. For some bizarre reason I'm worried about her feelings. (Note to self: Stop being such a swutting nice girl. Nice never got anyone anywhere, don't give a toss about her or anyone else's feelings. It's all about you. You. You. You.)

Oh sure, she's probably plotting some huge scheme to learn everything about me and then somehow make me look bad and then get my job. Or at least that's what would happen in the movie. Well temp, if you want it that badly, go ahead, take it. I hate it. You can have it. That's the movie they never make. I'll be interested to see how it ends. Just let me find an alternative source of income first.

Spending way too much time dwelling on this? Oh yes. I am well aware of that. And that's what's got me bothered. The whole situation is so weird that it's got me all weird. Other people in the office are spending a lot of time dwelling on this. The temp is spending a lot of time dwelling on this. And now, I'm spending way too much time giving it more than a passing thought.

I'm better than this. More mature than this. More professional than this.

And yet...

There it is. There she'll be.

Tomorrow's going to be a rough day for her. I wasn't in the office Thursday. So she'll have to mimic Wednesday's outfit. But in theory she would have worn that Thursday. What will she wear? What WILL she wear? And how will she react to the new 'do?

9:21 PM

 
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