CJ RUN!


If you have been following my stories, you know I have held a few different jobs and I have made several good friends at these different places.  My last job was challenging in a way that is very hard to describe.  This place was so unorganized and just about every single day there was something chaotic going on.  After the first few months of working there, I finally gave up planning what I would accomplish at work each day.  It did no good to plan anything because there was always something really strange going on that took presidence over everything else.

I had my own office for almost nine years and then our company bought  two more companies.  One of the new companies was right across the street from our company and all of the accounting personnel were moved across the street to new offices.  After our move, I shared an office with Allie.  At first, I didn’t know how it would work out because Allie and I had both had our own office for a long time, but I soon found out that I actually liked having company.  Allie was very perky and funny and she had a great personality and she kept me laughing all day.  Of course our boss didn’t like the fact that we were getting along so well, so every time he would hear us laughing he would come into our office and give us more work to do.  But every time he walked out, we would look at each other and say, “Job security.” and start laughing.  Allie left the company about four months after we started working together and the president of the company hired a friend’s friend to replace her.

It was Monday morning and I had been working for a couple of hours when the president, Hilda, and the new girl, Kathy, came into my office.  Hilda had a big smile on her face, which I knew was fake because she never smiled, and showed Kathy where her desk was and introduced me.  Kathy was putting her purse down and Hilda looked at me with those evil eyes she has and said, “Kathy comes very well qualified and I KNOW you will find her very valuable.”  She turned to Kathy and said, “If you need anything, you just let me know.”  Then Hilda walked out the door, and within a few seconds she returned to tell me, “CJ, take good care of Kathy.”  I just nodded my head and then started working on my spreadsheet again.

During this period of time I was overwhelmed with work.  Not only was I continuing to do my job for the original company, but now I had two more companies to deal with plus I was doing Allie’s job.  Kathy had come highly recommended, so I thought she would work out fine.  I spent four entire days training Kathy on some of her duties.  Have you have ever heard, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”?  Well, that was pretty much the case with Kathy.  She had come from a smaller company and they did many of their things manually and without the help of a computer.  I showed her how to enter accounts payable invoices;  I showed her how to print reports and I showed her how to print checks.   But every time I would show her something, she would say, “That can’t be right.  That’s not they way we did it.”, and then she would go talk to Hilda.  After that fourth day, I was about to pull my hair out because she wouldn’t listen to anything I was trying to tell her and she was running to Hilda telling her that the accounting department didn’t know what they were doing.

That was a very long week for me and finally when Friday rolled around, I was so relieved.  I knew if I had made it this far, I could make it one more day.  About nine o’clock that morning I was showing Kathy how to print checks again and she looked at me and said, “That’s not right; That’s not the way we did it.”  I stood there for a few seconds, and then I said, “Fine.  Do it your way.”  I turned around and walked out of my office and went directly to my friend Denise’s office and stood in front of her desk.  Denise looked up from her computer and I suppose she could see total frustration on my face because she asked, “CJ?  What’s wrong?”  I was so mad I couldn’t even speak; I could only shake my head.  Denise asked again, “CJ?  What is wrong?”  I finally managed to say, “That woman is driving me absolutely crazy.  She won’t do anything I ask her to do.  She just keeps saying we are doing everything wrong and then she runs to Hilda and tells her only God knows what!  I just want to smack her to wake her up and tell her YOU’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE BABY!!”  Denise stood up and said, “Come on.  You need a break.”

As Denise and I were walking outside so I could vent my frustrations, I saw Kathy walking across the street to the main office.  I looked at Denise and said, “Crap.  There she goes again telling on me.”  Denise finally calmed me down enough so I could go back to work.  When I went into my office, Kathy was printing checks.  I never said a word, but instead I went back to my desk and tried to focus on my job duties.  I didn’t talk to Kathy all morning and I was glad when lunch time came.  A bunch of us always ate together at a local cafe just down the street.  These guys were all my friends so they knew the hard time I was having with the new girl and they all agreed that she was a little peculiar.  They couldn’t hardly believe some of the things she had been doing and I couldn’t believe it either.  I finally came to the conclusion that Kathy must be a bit crazy.

After I returned from lunch, Kathy was matching up the checks with the invoices that had been paid.   I knew all the checks had to be in the mail by 3:30 that afternoon and Kathy was moving so slow, I knew there was no way she would get finished by that time.  So I walked over to her desk and said, “We have to have the checks in the mail by 3:30, and I don’t think they will all be ready by then.  Let me pull out the checks that have got to be mailed today.  Match those up and have the controller sign them and he will give them to me to sign, and then you can get them in the mail.”  Kathy said that would be okay and she started working on the ones that had to go in the mail that day.

Around 3:00 I noticed Kathy was just sitting at her desk not doing anything so asked her if the checks were ready.  She said, “Yes.  I finished them about an hour ago.”  I asked her if she had gotten them signed.   She said, “No.  I don’t think some of them are right.  I want Hilda to look at them before I mail them.”  I said, “What do you mean, right?”  Then I walked over and asked to see the checks.  Kathy handed me the stack of checks with the invoices attached and I started going through them.  I couldn’t figure out what was not right about the checks because they looked fine to me.  After I had looked at all of them, I told Kathy they looked fine and I was taking them to the controller so he could sign them.

I took the stack of checks into the controller’s office and I shut the door.  I laid the checks on his desk and sat down in a chair on the other side of his desk.  He knew something was wrong because I shut the door, and I never shut the door.  I didn’t even wait for him to say anything, I started the conversation by saying, “Where did this woman come from?  Has Hilda lost her mind hiring this woman or am I just being punished for something?  She is driving me nuts.  It is 3:00 and these checks have been ready for an hour sitting on her desk because she wants Hilda to look at them before you or I can sign them.  Apparently, she thinks there’s “something” wrong with them.  He looked through the checks and he thought they were fine too, so he started signing them.  Once he signed the checks, he gave them to me to sign.  When all the checks had been signed, I took them back to Kathy and told her they were ready to be mailed.  I went back to my desk to try to finish up some of my work.

I lost my concentration when I saw Kathy walking out of the office.  I assumed the she was putting the checks in the outgoing mailbox, so I just shook my head and went back to my work.  When I left work that Friday, I was completely and totally worn out.   I was so glad to get a break from that woman and I was determined not to think about work or her for two whole days.  But come Sunday night, I was dreading going back to work and wondering what tomorrow would bring.

Monday morning, I walked into my office and Kathy was already there.  I looked over at my desk and there sat a new printer.  I looked around and there was new stuff everywhere.  I didn’t exactly know what to think because Hilda never spent any money on the accounting department.  The only money she ever spent was on the sales staff so I was confused.  I never said a word except, “Good morning.” and I walked over to my desk and started working.  While I was reading my email, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and it was Kathy walking toward me.  When she got close enough, she grabbed me and gave me a hug and before I knew what was going on, she laid a big wet kiss on my cheek.  I was shocked and I jerked away and wiped off my cheek.  That proved it; this woman was loony tunes.  Then she got down on her knees and said in a pleading voice, “CJ, I know you’re overworked and I know that you are good at your job and I want to learn from you.  I feel that this company doesn’t give you the things you need to do your job the best you can.  I went shopping over the weekend and bought all this stuff myself just to show you and everybody here that I care.  I want to help you.”

Now, I am not talking about her buying one printer.  I am saying that this woman probably spent over a thousand bucks on all this stuff.  We had three new printer, ten new calculators, pencils, pens, paper, post-its, rulers and everything you could ever possibly need.  She wouldn’t say what she paid for everything; all she would say is, “You’re worth every penny.”  Dick, the controlled, arrived at work shortly after and when he walked by my office door and saw Kathy kneeling beside my chair he stopped to look.  I gave him this “Please help me.” look and he came in.  He was just as surprised as I was about all the new toys we had.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I wouldn’t go out and spend over a thousand dollars on office supplies and I definitely wouldn’t walk up to a co-worker and laid a big, wet kiss on their cheek.  And believe me, after that, I kept a close eye on Kathy because I didn’t know what she was going to do next.  I soon found out what she had done when Hilda walked into my office that morning.  Hilda had a stack of checks in her hands and walked directly over to me and with her harsh voice she said, “Why were these on my desk?  What do you want me to do with them?”  I took the checks from Hilda’s hands and looked them and said, “I have no idea why you would have these, but I do know they were suppose to be mailed last Friday.”  I looked at Kathy and asked her, “Did you lay these checks on Hilda’s desk Friday?”  Kathy said yes, she had put them there for Hilda to look at before she mailed them.  Hilda never said a word to Kathy, but she looked at me and said, “Take care of this, would you.” and she walked out.

It was almost nine o’clock and I had thirty minutes to get the checks ready in time for the morning mail run.  I got some envelops out of the supply cabinet and started stuffing the checks.  After they were all stuffed, I took a glue stick and sealed them all shut.  Once I finished gluing them shut, I took the checks over to the outgoing mailbox across the street and asked Cindy, our receptionist, to please put them in the mail that morning.  I went back across the street and tried to focus on my job again.

It was about ten o’clock and I knew Cindy would be back from the post office, so I walked back across the street to pick up my mail that had come in that day.  While I was in the mail room, I noticed that the outgoing box was empty, so I was relieved that the checks got mailed.  As I was walking through the front lobby, I stopped to thank Cindy for mailing the checks.  Cindy said, “Oh I’m glad you’re here.  I couldn’t find the checks you asked me to mail; did you come back over and get them?  I tried to call you before I went to the post office, but you weren’t at your desk.”  I was a bit confused and I said, “What do you mean you couldn’t find them?”  Cindy and I both went in the mail room and looked all around for the missing checks, but they were not in there.  Then all the sudden it dawned on me and I said, “She is crazy!” and I ran out the front door and back across the street to my office.

I was going to ask Kathy if she had taken the checks, but she was in the conference room with Hilda.  I started looking through her desk drawers and I will be damn, there they were.  I took the checks and took them back across the street and showed the checks to Cindy.  I don’t remember exactly what I did say, but it was something like this:  “Here they are.  Evidently Kathy came over and got them because I found them in her desk drawer.  Now I am going to put these back in the outgoing mail and if you see her come over here and get them, call me.”  I went back to my office and I will be damn if it wasn’t thirty minutes before my phone rang and it was Cindy telling me that Kathy had just left with the checks.

I heard our lobby door open and I went down the hallway and met Kathy.  I stopped her and asked her, “What do you have in your hand?”  She told me they were the checks and she didn’t feel comfortable mailing them just yet.  I didn’t say a word; I turned around and went back into Dick’s office and shut the door.  I didn’t sit down this time; I walked over to the window, looked outside and took a deep breath.  Then I turned around and shook my head and said, “You’re not going to believe this.” and I started laughing.  Dick was looking at me like I had lost my mind as I was explaining what had been going on all morning.  I said, “Okay, this girl is crazy.  I rushed to get the checks in the mail this morning and took them over to Cindy and everything.  But did they get mailed? Oh No!  Ms. Kathy went and got them out of the outgoing mailbox and put them in her desk drawer.  I found the checks and took them back over to the mail room and put them in the outgoing mailbox again, and she went back over there and got them out AGAIN.  Now, I think the only way we are going to get these checks mailed today is for us to lock her up in the safe and keep her locked up until I can physically go to the post office myself and mail the damn things.”  Dick just sat there staring at me with this dumb look on his face and he finally said, “What?”  I started shaking my head and laughing again and said, “This is insane.  Go ask Kathy if the checks have been mailed.”

The checks got mailed that day, and we didn’t have to lock her up.  Kathy’s behavior did not improve.  I am not sure what happened, but I think she had gone to Hilda’s office so many time about petty things that Hilda got tired listening to her and set Kathy straight.  The next day wasn’t too bad because I kept my distance and worked in another office all day.  About nine o’clock Wednesday morning, I had not seen Kathy yet and I was beginning to wonder is she had called in sick or quit.  I asked Dick if he had seen or heard from her and he said no.  I called over to the other office and asked Cindy if she had seen or heard from her and she said in a low voice, “She’s sitting in the lobby waiting to talk to Hilda.”  I asked her how long Kathy had been waiting and she said, “Since eight o’clock this morning.”  I told Cindy to let me know when Kathy started heading over here and I hung up the phone.

At ten thirty, I still hadn’t seen Kathy.  I called back over to talk to Cindy, but she didn’t answer.  About the time I was getting up from my chair to walk over there, my phone rang.  It was Cindy telling me that Kathy had just quit and just now left the office building.  I hung up the phone and walked across the street to talk to Cindy to find out what happened.  Cindy said that Hilda would not come out of her office to talk to Kathy.  She continued by saying that Kathy given her letter of resignation to the V.P., Paul.  I didn’t ask why she quit nor did I care why she quit; I just knew that crazy girl was out of my hair for good.

Thursday morning I was setting at my desk working on a formula in one of my databases and I noticed someone come in my office.  It was Kathy and she walked over to her old desk and she grabbed a couple of things, and without a word she left.  I thought that was a bit odd that she didn’t take her stuff the day she quit, but I went back to working on my formula.  Around ten o’clock that morning, I walked across the street to check my mailbox.  When I entered the lobby, I saw Kathy sitting in there.  I never said a word and continued walking to the mail room.  Cindy had seen me come through the lobby, so she followed me and pulled me out into the production area to talk.  Cindy said, “CJ, you’re right.  That girl is crazy.”  I asked Cindy, “What is she doing here?”  She told me that Kathy was there to see Hilda and that she had told her that Hilda would not be in the office today, but she insisted on waiting.”  I laughed and said, “She’s going to be waiting awhile, Hilda is in Germany.”

By this time everyone in both office building were wondering what was going on with Kathy.  Why did she insist on waiting for Hilda when Hilda would not be back for another week.  About eleven o’clock I saw Paul drive up.  Fifteen minutes later Cindy came over to tell me what was going on.  She said as soon as Paul walked into the lobby Kathy stood up and said she wanted to talk to him.  He asked her, “What can I do for you Kathy?”  Kathy said, “I want to know where we stand.”  Paul asked, “What do you mean; where we stand?”.  Kathy said she wanted to know if she had a job or not and Paul said, “I’m sorry Kathy, but no you do not have a job here.  You quit yesterday.”  Now, the girl quit and wanted to know if she had a job.  That made no sense to me nor anyone else.  Kathy left after talking to Paul, but she returned.

It was lunch time and I was going across the street to have lunch with some of my buddies who worked over there.  When I went reached the lobby, I looked across the street and I saw a police car sitting there.  Cindy saw me standing at the door looking and she came out of their lobby door and ran over to me.  She told me to go back inside and stay there.  When I asked her what was going on, she told my Kathy had gone to the police station and told them we wouldn’t return her belongings and that she demanded to talk to a person in management.  I said, “Hell she talked to Paul.  And she has been in here at least twice today, why didn’t she get everything while she was here?”  Cindy said, “Because the girl is crazy, that’s why.  CJ, I’m afraid she might try to hurt someone.  You should go back to your office and stay there until I call you.”  Cindy called me later and told me it was over, but I wondered if it was really over or not.

I went home that night telling LP what was going on and I remember saying, “It’s not over.  This girl is crazy and she’ll be back.”  The next day Kathy returned at nine o’clock.  She sat in her car out in the parking lot most of the morning.  She entered our building a half a dozen times that morning.  I don’t know what she was doing because she didn’t come in my office, but we were all getting a bit paranoid with her running in and out.   Paul wouldn’t be in until later that afternoon and Dick was a big chicken so he wouldn’t talk to her.  For all we knew she could have a gun and come in and shoot us all.  So at this point we were all watching for her and my buddies were all keeping a close eye on me because if she was going to shoot anyone, she would probably start with me. It was a little after eleven and Cindy called me saying that Kathy had been gone for a while now so we should be safe.

Denise came running in my office a little while later and said Kathy’s car was parked across the street and she had seen her going into the lobby.  We didn’t get any work done those three days because we were all wonder what the hell was going on with that girl.  She kept running in and out of both office building. Denise and I decided to lock our lobby door to keep her out.  A few minutes later someone unlocked the door to let the H.R. person in and they forgot to lock it back.  But, we hadn’t seen nor heard from Kathy for a while, so we decided it was safe enough to leave the door unlocked.

It was three o’clock and I got a call from Cindy, or at least I thought it was Cindy.  When the phone rang, I picked up the receiver and before I could say, “Hello” someone was screaming, “CJ Run!”.  I was out of that office in one second flat.  I ran to Denise’s office and snuck out into the production area and stayed there until Denise came and got me.  Paul was in Dick’s office so I went in there and told them to pack up that girls belonging and take them out to her because she is parked in front of the other building right now.  Paul agreed that this would be best and he packed up her belonging and took them across the street to where she sat in her car.  He told her to never come back, and as far as I know she has only returned two times.   For a long time after that, every time Cindy called my office for something, she started out by saying, “CJ RUN!”, and then she would die laughing.   😉

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