Saturday, October 26, 2013
This blog post once again comes courtesy of the recent housekeeping I was performing on my desktop. A few years ago, I worked with a man...we will call him Phil. His name wasn't Phil, but it's close and you still get that alliterative effect when saying "Farting Phil" and that's important to the story. I worked for about 9 years with Farting Phil...his office was right across from mine. He was a very strange bird. He ate beans and/or chili every single day for lunch. He would heat up the beans and/or chili and then cut up an entire raw onion and stir it in and eat the whole thing with a sleeve of crackers. The eye-watering emanations a couple of hours later would have gagged a goat. No lie. Out where I work, you couldn't have flame or flame-producing items...so I was reduced to fighting off Farting Phil's odiferous afternoon air biscuits with a non-industrial candle warmer.
He was a really decent engineer when it came to actual work...but his people skills were abysmal. He came from a different era (and from the NORTH). His sense of humor was crude, at best and he had the tact of a rhinoceros.
Example: A gathering of three women (I was one) in the breakroom, one of them pregnant (not me!)...all three in a PRIVATE conversation about morning sickness when Phil walks in for coffee.
Pregnant woman: "I just don't know when this nausea is going to let up."
Woman #2: "I always used to keep some saltines on hand and they really help."
Me: "I just really never had much morning sickness but I've heard that...
Phil, strolling up the table where we are sitting and standing there...just standing there with his cup of coffee...his crotch at eye level with all of us as he unceremoniously breaks into our conversation with:
"Well...I remember when my ole lady was knocked up, she'd blow chunks all morning, stuff her face at lunch and then barf all afternoon. Yeah, but at least it kept her ass from getting too big."
That conversation really happened. I won't say it was verbatim because I'm not 100% sure whether he said "barf" or "ralphed."By-and-by as our project wound down (as we all knew it would), Phil's lay-off date rolled around. By this time, I was his manager, and his out-processing fell to me. On his last day at work, right after our out-briefing, Phil knocked on my office door, came in and said, "Hey, Marianne. I was just thinking that if you ever needed a picture of me, I'd leave you with this..."
I know what you're thinking, (some version of WTF?) because of course you are...but yes...that is Phil with a samurai sword slicing milk jugs in half in his back yard. And he thought I should have it. And then he left. I've never really gotten the "why" of this photograph. For several weeks I sort of kept my eye out for some sort of Ninja Farting Phil to spring from some bushes and decapitate me for being the one to actually lay him off...but the fact of the matter was, he'd known for two years when his release date was and he wasn't all that upset about it. The picture will always remain something of an enigma to me...and now I share that mystery with you.