Thursday, November 15, 2007

Me & The Guys Part 1

Junebug & The Most Ridiculous Phone Message I Have Ever Taken

At first I refused to take it.

The foremost part of my job at this place was to answer the phones and a great deal of that involved taking messages. Most of the messages were for my boss, Laughing Boy, the manager of the sub-contractor where I worked as the Office Manager from 1995 to late 1999. But some of the messages were for the men in the work crews. During this time hardly anyone had a cell phone, but most of our crew leaders had pagers.

Over time I had developed pretty good relationships with most of the guys wives and girlfriends. They would call during the work day and leave messages with me for the guys, knowing that I would see them when they called in or stopped back into the shop between jobs.

The wives and girlfriends also knew that I was the one who made the schedule and that I knew exactly where the men were (or were supposed to be) at any given point during the day.

I had a strict policy about this.

I did not give out exact locations.

After the person who called was confirmed by the crewman to indeed be a legit wife or girlfriend and he also confirmed that it was OK for this woman to know his business if she asked, I would reveal only what area the man was working in and when I expected them to be finished for the day. After that I would take whatever message they had. If it was an emergency I would page the crew leader.

I never lied or covered up for them.

If I knew I wouldn't be able to contact them I would tape their phone messages to the mailboxes I set up for them by the back door where they parked their trucks for the night before going home.

The Most Ridiculous Phone Message I Have Ever Taken was for a gentleman named Junebug.

I don't know why Junebug was allowed to continue his employment with the company and my best guess is the sum of 2 reasons.

1) Laughing Boy was a marshmallow

2) We were desperate for workmen and couldn't afford to pay very much so everyone with a strong back and a pulse was given a shot. Laughing Boy was over the moon if you had your own tools.

Laughing Boy shared with me this tid-bit from Junebug's interview:

Laughing Boy: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Junebug: Well I'm hopin' to be off the sauce and get my drivin' license back.

Laughing Boy: Are you drunk right now?

Junebug: No sir. But I smoked a little weed in the car on my way here to take the edge off, 'cause I was feelin' kind of nervous.

I reminded Laughing Boy that we would have to send Junebug to work in people's homes and that people would see (and smell) him wearing clothing with our company logo on them. But Laughing Boy felt sorry for him and admired his honesty and hired him anyway, but with very low expectations.

Junebug didn't disappoint us.

On his first day of work Junebug showed up on time but made 4 enormous mistakes.

His first, second and third mistakes were these:

He strutted through the door, walked over to where I was sitting, put both his hands on my shoulders and said at top volume, something to the effect of, "Damn girl, you lookin' fine today. OOoo-Whee! Can you go and get me a cup of coffee?"

His fourth mistake was this:

e did these things while I was on the phone with a customer.

I ignored Junebug who began to speak to me again in the same vein, until I turned around and he saw my face.

He stopped bugging me and skulked off.

When I got off the phone I informed him that my name was Lady and that is how he may refer to me from now on. I informed him that he may keep his hands and his opinion of my looks to himself, forever, no matter how fine I may be looking, and that the next time it happened he would be introduced to the company's sexual harassment policies which included firing or suspension without pay.

I further informed him that I was usually pretty busy doing my job and would never, ever have enough time to get him a cup of coffee, but that there was always a fresh pot in the break room and he may help himself whenever it should please him. Lastly I let him know that he was never, ever, under any circumstances to speak to me and expect an answer while I was on the phone.

After we understood each other, Junebug was kinda sweet, and as much of a gentleman to me as he knew how to be. He even attempted a little extra formality and added the word Miss to my name. Miss Lady.

Unfortunately Junebug could never be relied upon to show up for any Saturday shifts and would often disappear after I handed out the paychecks on Friday, leaving the crew leaders stranded with no helper for the rest of the day. No crew leaders wanted to have Junebug on their team and would often choose to work alone rather than have him along.

One Saturday morning he came in drunk and Laughing Boy had to send him home. It happened before I came in, but Laughing Boy said that it also appeared that Junebug had pissed himself.

It surprised me to find out that Junebug had a lady friend. A pretty serious one.

Here is how I found out:

One afternoon when I answered the phone a really wasted sounding woman politely asked for Junebug in a barely comprehensible slur. I said that he didn't really work in the office, but out in the field and that I'd be happy to leave him a message. She said no, that it was OK and she'd just get in touch with him later.

The same woman called back a few minutes later. Apparently she had changed her mind and decided to leave a message after all. It was the Most Ridiculous Phone Message I Have Ever Taken and after she gave me her name it went exactly like this:

"You tell Junebug that I DO love him and that I WILL marry him!!"

Allrighty. Yes.

I thought to myself, "I can't believe I am writing this down."


CDP said...

So you leave me hanging? What happened after? Did Junebug and Ladybug git hitched? Or did you just lose track of them?

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

CDP - Sorry! It didn't occur to me that you might find Junebugs romance a cliff hanger. I never asked him about the message because I kind of didn't want to know. He didn't get married that I know of.

But here is what I do know:

He got pulled over for driving with a suspended license and then busted for having some weed, a crack pipe and a few rocks in his pocket.

He went to jail.

The Guv'ner said...

HOLY CHRIST that's hilarious:) I think I just lost my sh*t at this:

He did these things while I was on the phone with a customer.

Mainly because I was picturing this scene and well, I nearly pissed MYSELF quite frankly.

I hope you have more Junebug stories because that dude is a PRIZE. :)

I'm kind of scared to imagine the woman who'd marry him...

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Hi Guv! - Junebug didn't work there for very long as I'm sure you can imagine, so that's the extent of my Junebug stories. I have loads of other weird and true tales of my time with the rest of The Guys at this job.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

don't these guys have cell phones?

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Stepping - I'm sure they do by now. It's hard to imagine, but 12 years ago hardly anyone had a cell phone.

pistols at dawn said...

Man, even Junebug's getting marriage proposals. I've wasted my life.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Pistols - It's not too late for you! You too can marry an incoherent junkie. Just stop brushing your teeth until a few of them fall out, go to job interviews reeking of beer and admit to smoking pot right before you walked in. I know a guy who will hire you anyway.

Del-V said...

Junebug sounds like a class act! Too bad you guys got off to such a bad start.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Hi Del-v! We got along just fine after he saw my scary face and I gave him my speech. Some of the other guys heard my speech too (it was kind of loud) and I never had any problems after that from any of them either.

Step Right Up said...

That is too funny. Unfortunately, I could probably write the same story ten times over in my workplace. Laughing Boy Marshmallow probably didn't do drug testing either because that would wipe out most companies entry level employees.

I hope Junebug's now present wife saved that message you wrote down and gave to him. You know, for their Creative Memories scrapbook along with the labels from the Schlitz bottles from the reception.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Hi Step - I doubt very much that Junebug and that women got married. He went to jail and I never heard about him again so it's not impossible, just unlikely.

You are right - there was no drug testing at this place. The only people left would have been me and Laughing Boy.

Churlita said...

Wow. What a charmer.I can't believe you didn't try to steal him away from his messed-up, junkie girlfriend.