I love tapioca pudding. I make it with coconut milk & leave out the sugar -- coconut milk, condensed by the cooking, becomes rather sweet. (I mean, "sweet" but yk.) Sometimes I stir in some melted baking chocolate. Ghiradelli makes a nice 100% bar which isn't too blocky & weird so you can break off two squares if you want. Also: the kids don't eat it behind my back, so that is a plus.
Fille also loves tapioca pudding. I let her know that many people hate it, so she wouldn't be surprised. I was, at her age. I don't even know how tapioca first got on my radar but ever have I loved it.
In the time of this wide-open window of the big, blank space I just blogged about, after the Ballet Thing and before Our Next Thing, I received a well-timed email from the Hogwarts of Special Snowflakes reminding me of an outstanding financial obligation, with some mostly-appropriate documentation attached .pdf-style to the message. The girl who used to do the Hogwarts accounting turned blinkery around the same time we let them go. We had not received any billing paperwork because we were not ongoing clients when this new girl started. So the invoices started off late but also hysterical in a PAST DUE way & you owe us for so long!
I called the girl once last year & left a message explaining that, using nice + decorous words. I let her know that I was waiting for an invoice which showed the dates of each service and the associated fee and then once I got that, it would take some time for me to investigate the new health-care year & its strictures, but I would get to it when I got to it, please get me my stuff. She never did. Since, & for whatever reason, she would peripatetically email Mari, who is not in charge of Health Care Invoices, and he would forward her emails to me & I would roll my eyes bc wtf is she emailing him for?
Like, fuck that. I don't work for them & the dreary personnel problems of any outfit are not mine. Get in the line of things I need to do. And then wait.
It wasn't that I was trying to be delinquent, it is just that she dropped the ball and I don't work for her. Shit happens & that's fine. Thursday, one of the girl's whiny-baby emails came to me at the right time ever since the first time for me to engage.
Maybe you know how it is, when a thing on yr endless to-do list bursts forth like a shooting star & you can catch it and say Hell, yes, and mark that shit done. It was like that.
Almost. The documentation, because of the change in staff, remained inexact in terms of what I required. It let me get started, but I put it back to the admin girl to get it right. It was a mostly pleasant email, not entirely, along the lines of, Almost there! Good job emailing the correct spouse! Now if you could just one more ... in its tone.
She sent a reply along with a different attachment, attended by a little homily about the timing and some kind of moralizing about deadlines. I emailed her back a curt reply. "Stow it."
This amused Mari, my love, and while I was sitting across from him working on paperwork, we discussed the value of stow it and other charm-school ways of clearly stating shut the fuck up. (The Happy Days colloquialism sit on it!) Also, the giving of your chin to exasperating people, how everyone knows it is a signal akin to the middle finger but sometimes, if you know your ethnicities, you can give your chin to someone and have it hit the chin-giving bullseye, bc it is actually worse than the middle finger, when it is right on.
Late in the evening on Thursday, I opened the attachment, ready to file, claim forms filled out, and found in a close review that the documentation attending the girl's nonsense message was more faulty that ever. I sent her a longer reply, asking her what kind of a half-wit offering this was, and then telling her, "So you know how to do your job, I am attaching [a thing exactly like what I needed, sent from the facility by the girl in her job before]."
I added, in order to convey my seriousness and also my regrettable intimacy with the quotidian tedium of her workplace (um, customer? I'm the one who is right!) -- since I have never met her --I wrote, "Make sure you get this right, because the window for my availability is small and what do you think will happen to you if [Dolores Umbridge] finds out you dropped the ball on this again? LOLOL but seriously, do your job, hurry."
I mean, it's been almost 20 years since I've had a W-2, but if I were sitting on that missive, in the days when I was an employee, my takeaway would be that a. I should do what this woman asked since she obviously wasn't cowed by my attempts at telling her how I wanted it, plus b. it was my job to deliver what she asked & also c. it seemed like there existed a pretty essential knowledge of the situation with me working for an ogre.
Also, yk, I wrote "LOLOL." I mean, god! I was trying to keep it light! Dumbass.
But later still, there were too many discrepancies -- in health care invoicing, to file claims, one needs the dates, procedure codes, the fees, the facility number and diagnosis code need to be on the document, that was what I needed -- and then even later still Thursday evening, I found out that January dates for one ledger did not even match up with January dates from a different ledger so which is what? Are there records?
I decided then to drive over there to Hogwarts next morning & get what I needed. Whatever.
Friday, around teatime in the parking lot at Hogwarts, I took out my phone before I got out of the car, just to check in like we all do now. There was an email from this nitwit that started, "Due to the level of inappropriateness in your responses" and had no flipping attachments.
Omg, ahahahaha! Like she was going to report me to HR! I love it! And didn't do what I wanted! Let me destroy her bc it will feel so good! Amazing!
So with a light heart, I entered the Hogwarts office. Dolores Umbridge was in the hallway, leaning on a wall, talking to a vendor of some kind and with a woman I did not recognize across from her. Like, yk, I'm not at work ever, so I don't care.
Dolores Umbridge crowed at the sight of me, like I was a sister she hadn't seen since rush. I was demure & eyelash batting in receipt of her welcome (meanwhile, she & I hate each other, truly, but I'm into the veneer of let's do what we need to do, for real), and then was warm to her, conspiratorial in my delivery.
"You know, Dolores Umbridge, wouldn't it just figure that I finally get a window to take care of your ourstanding invoices and the person you have taking care of it is incompetent?"
Dolores Umbridge gestured to the girl standing across from her, "This is her, right here."
Perfect! I felt like Prince! Are you ready, Paris? Soul clap!!
Dolores Umbridge turned to the other guy, the vendor, to finish her closing & goodbyes with him, while I assessed the girl, and said, in a normal conversational discovery tone, "You don't look like a half-wit."
Half-wit was frozen, Dolores Umbridge was done with the guy & had pivoted 45 degrees back to us, and I said, archly, "Well! I drove a long way to take care of this today, so let's see if we can work it out."
Half-wit said to Dolores Umbridge, tightly, "May I speak to you, privately?"
"Oh," I said, feeling like a cross between Curly, Laverne DeFazio, and Ramona. "A tattletale!" Then I laughed & laughed bc honestly, there is nothing in the world anyone there can do to me.
Let's review what happened there:
- She was a half-wit incompetent who thought herself in a position above me bc I have an outstanding balance with the facility & I do not care.
- I engaged her, made demands of her, and she responded with lasting incompetence & an unsuccessful attempt to regain a position she did not have by reasserting authority over someone indomitable.
- I told her to shut up, then that she was wrong, lastly, she was obvsly too stupid to know what was right, so I would help her.
- The attachment I emailed to her was, in fact, useful. If she had let go of her pride to perform as I asked, following the model I sent, well, she did not.
- Her prissy, nonsense, frozen email reply was not in the tiniest bit a solution.
- She was obviously under the impression that the person who was being rude to her in these emails was a person who was being rude because of the distance. Her error.
- When I got there, I stayed where I was, bc that is how it has to be. If you are going to start swinging, you'd better be ready to put someone down.
- She was not the least bit ready for this, not at all.
They went to the accounting office & I waited around a few minutes in the reception-y area but after five minutes, I went back & knocked on the teensy-bit-ajar door. Dolores Umbridge said "Come in," which told me she had no idea it was me at the door, ahahaha!
I pushed the door an arm's length & peeked in.
"Dolores Umbridge, I don't have a lot of time to be here today, but I came here so we can just sit down & work out how I can get what I need. If we could get on it, that would be great."
Then I looked across at Halfwit. "If you're going to quit today, or get fired, just make my thing the last thing you do."
Color Dolores Umbridge unsurprised while she said, "Ok. Just give us a couple minutes, we'll be right out."
I was cheerful & consenting and then heard her shut the door behind me, ahahaha!
Anyhow, it was yr basic psychological annihilation from there on out. My platform was reasonable: I do not have the documentation I need, I have never had it, I require it, and here I am, all this way, on a Friday, driving my car, coming to you, so I can secure what I need, to get you what you want, what we all want you to have. Look at the lengths I am going to to so this girl will finally do her job. How does it look from there?
I think, at one point, I said something which seemed conciliatory until it wasn't, like, "So here I am, the one driving all this way, with a stack of papers like a file clerk or bike messenger or something, when in fact I'm not."
Sayeth Dolores Umbridge, reviewing the documents while Half-wit sat in her chair, tensed, "Yeah, I know, no, you're not, I get it."
I mean, I did not let up on this girl. Even right at the end, Dolores Umbridge said, to her, "Ok, so do you understand now, what needs to be printed on the statement for her?"
Half-wit said, "Yes."
I said, "Are you sure? Do you really understand?" It was a cutting & cruel delivery, but here is the thing: let's review 1-4 on the above list, over and over. She tried to pull rank on me without outranking me bc the thing is the customer is always right.
Or to put it another way: Of the three of us in that office, only one of us was actually not at work right then. She should have never been in this position when I made it so easy for her to go another way. So easy! "LOLOL" and casting her horrible boss as her real problem down the road & everything!
& I just, you know ... if I had showed up there to come face to face with a young thing, like a millennial who was just a dumb dumb dumbass at her first job, it would have been sandbagging to go on so long, but this broad was not that girl. She knows better now.
Anyhow, so that was a fun, old-timey outing which made a fun story to tell in a (much richer than here) detail to Mari, who already knew the dynamic & how it would go down.
We went out for a great dinner last night with friends at one of my favorite places & the reason I am so boring all the time, eating-wise, is so I can have a sensible glass of Bordeaux at dinner on my birthday weekend.
I am the same age as Susan Sarandon cast as the iconic Louise Sawyer and the real-life amazing icon Dolores Huerta as photographed here at the zenith of her power.
So foxy. Who among us is enough to get away with that tunic? Too much, plus mother to eleven children.
Let's live forever (or at least longer than Prince) and look just as good doing it. Let's face it, after all this time, that is really all I know how to do: stay alive and look good. I'm going away tomorrow, hopefully I won't be killed bc ISIS. Gros bisous, je vous adore pour toujours et à jamais xoxoxox