Friday, August 26, 2005

3-thumbed Jenny

Before my girlfriend went perm, she and I briefly temped in the same office. It was monotonous work, coding invoices for merchandise sold on the company website. We did this all day, every day, 40 hours a week until we got the department caught up from the holiday rush. The most valuable thing either of us took away from that experience was license to tell Three-Thumbed Jenny* Stories.

Often temps are rarely given corporate email addresses. The time it takes to get the request through the IT work order process can be longer than the temp's tenure. But our supervisor let me the email address of the temp who had previously worked in the cube before me. She was a temp-temp. The kind of temp that can't be trusted to be left alone and do work, so she was quickly let go. I don't blame the supervisor for not wanting to get me my own email address, what if I had ended up a temp-temp as well? So, according to my email address, my name was Cindy McPipe. One day, Allegra emailed Cindy and wrote, "Have you noticed that Jenny has three thumbs? Well, two regular sized thumbs and a third janky thumb sprouting out of the left one?" I hadn't. But it became my mission to see it. Jenny was pretty good at hiding the double thumb, but I finally did get a glimpse of it.

News of the third thumb spread quickly. There were a lot of questions going back and forth over email between Cindy, Allegra and the other temps. Why didn't her parents' have it removed when she was born? Why doesn't she do that now? Is this the result of inbreeding? How does she use the space bar with that thing?

The most mystifying question of them all: How is it that someone with 3 thumbs has a permanent job and we don't? We became even more baffled by this injustice whenever Jenny opened her mouth. Here are some of the highlights:
  • "My husband and I went out for Chinese last night. We were looking at the menu and decided to order the Mock Duck because we haven't had duck in awhile. But then when it came, something wasn't right with it. It wasn't duck! It was fake duck! I mean if they aren't going to give you real duck, it should say so on the menu..."
  • Someone else in the office was giving directions to a casino to Jenny. The directions included driving through a rural area of Minnesota so the coworker warned Jenny to watch out for deer on the road. This was in January. "Deer? Aren't they all dead in the winter?" Yes, they spontaneous regenerate in the spring. Either that or they fly south for the winter.
  • Cindy and the rest of the department received an email one morning from Jenny entitled "Birthday treats." The text of the email informed us that today was Jenny's Birthday and she had brought in some "Fruit drinks" to share with the group in celebration. They could be found on the back filing cabinet (every office has that designated area for shared food, otherwise Hands Off!). Later that morning, I went to file something and spotted Jenny's Fruit Drinks. You know those popsicles that come in a plastic tube filled with artificial flavored sugar water? You freeze them, then cut the top off the tube and squeeze the bottom to get the ice out. Jenny's were technically drinks I suppose, in that they weren't frozen, but they were in a box labeled "Ice Pops."

Recommended viewing: Haiku Tunnel, Clockwatchers, Office Space.

*Name Changed.


CoryQ said...

I'm totally going to start calling you Cindy McPipe from now on.

and now a poem:
I knew a Jenny who numbered three of thumb,
And every time she opened her mouth
Out tumbled something dumb.

Not that the conditions were related,
I'm just saying her mental aquity
was certainly belated.

Anonymous said...

Well, bonus for her because she can make little 'heart prints' on frosty windows with her double-thumb. We, on the other hand, can only make baby feet.