Hmmm, Me Thinks He Doth Protest Too Much

So then…I pick up my office phone in hopes that I can get some work done today. It seems everyone I call this afternoon is distracted by a meeting just about to start — or they’re at lunch — or out running an errand.

I dial the cell phone of Mark Wilson, Vice President at a company bidding to be our vendor — hoping he’s available to discuss the proposal that his firm submitted.

Ring, ring.

“Mark Wilson,” he says a little hesitantly.

“Hey, Mark, it’s Darcy Perdu. Can you talk?”

“Well, yeah.” Pause. “I’m not drunk, if that’s what you mean.”

What?

I burst out laughing. “Drunk? Why would I think you’re drunk, Mark? Are you in the habit of imbibing during the business day? It’s only 2:00, for God’s sake!”

“No, it’s just that you asked if I ‘can talk.’ Of course I can talk. Let’s talk.” He says all this a little quickly, a little defensively.

Is he joking around? Or is he pulling a BFM? (Barney Fife Maneuver)

You know, like when Sheriff Andy says, “Barney, the bank robber escaped! Where is he?”

And Barney says, “I have no idea where he is, boss. He’s certainly not hiding under the desk!”

Of course Barney’s nervousness results in him admitting the very thing he’s trying to hide.

So is Mark actually drunk — and trying to unsuccessfully divert attention from that fact?

Or does he just have a warped sense of humor?

Either way, I’m putting his company’s bid at the top of my list.

– Darcy Perdu

(Any fun work stories to share? Odd behavior of vendors or co-workers? Share a comment or a story in the Comments Section!)

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4 replies on “Hmmm, Me Thinks He Doth Protest Too Much

  1. Judy said:

    Well really, you *did* ask him if he has the ability to talk as opposed to, was he free to talk.

    He could have just as well said he wasn’t asleep or wasn’t paralyzed or wasn’t being held hostage by random demanding kidnappers (which might not be a good example because they might allow him to talk to prove he is alive thus there is still a reason to pay the ransom, plus someone has to know there is a ransom in the first place).

    If he had said any of those, would you have then wondered if he was really asleep, really paralyzed, or really being held for ransom? Especially if he was defensive about it? Yeah, I probably would have too, because life is more interesting that way.

  2. Mark said:

    He’s a vice president… he’s most likely sitting around, without even knowing what his job actually is, knowing that he’ll be totally unmemorable unless/until the president passes away.

  3. Hazel Rude said:

    So then…(and it was then some 20 years ago) that I was a bright and budding marketing star for a major telecommuications company. It was also a time of fun and frolic with friends where nights easily turned into sunrise with not an ounce of sleep needed.

    On this particular occasion — a Wednesday night — full of lively conversation and gambling at a friend’s house, I entered by saying “Need to leave by midnight — big day at work tomorrow.” Midnight turned into 2 a.m.; 2 a.m. turned into 4 a.m.; and the ultimate decision was made — “all nighter.”

    My goodness, I couldn’t have left the gambling session when I was $500 up– and I most certainly couldn’t leave the table when I was $500 down.

    Shower at 8 a.m., report into work at 9 a.m. Rushing into my apartment, showering quickly and throwing on an ensemble that was at the ready, I arrived, even early, at 8:58 a.m., with two minutes to spare — to head to the vending area to purchase two cans of Pepsi to keep me alive. Heading toward the vending area I must say, I felt a bit off balance due to the exhorbitant amount of alcohol that still remained in my system.

    Banging on the vending machine, I lost a little balance as I retrieved my Pepsi for life support. In the meantime, I heard a group of “non-performing” hourly customer service reps whisper and chuckle. As I turned around to grab the wall to head to my opulent office, one of the snickering reps said to me, “Hazel, can we ask you a question?”

    Clearly annoyed by someone’s insistence that I actually speak — and assuming it would be some random question about winning some prize from HBO, Showtime, or Cinemax, I replied tartly, “What is it?”

    The amused customer service rep with her band of snickering sisters responded, “Why do you have two different shoes on?”

    I look down (trying to maintain my balance), and am aghast to find that not only were my two shoes two different styles — they weren’t even the same color! And the two different heel sizes offered further explanation as to my imbalance while walking.

    Not to be outdone, I merely replied, “Clearly you haven’t read Women’s Wear Daily, as two different shoes are all the rage in Paris and New York.”

    “So typical for women in the Midwest to go ‘with the past trend’ of wearing a matched set of shoes,” I continued as I whisked my way out of the vending area with two shoes in hand and portaying a barefoot contessa for the rest of the work day.

  4. You caught him drinking and he had just poured a little shot for himself. Not only did you interrupt his afternoon toddy, but you forced him to use the phone which he obviously has trouble handling. This is when a woman usually becomes involved and does his job for him, because he is totally inept at getting anything done without a pre-work snort of vodka. I guess this is the reason I love the sign I once saw on a woman’s desk in a large office full of people that read, “Do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows what’s going on?” I’m sure you’ve heard this before but that, to my way of thinking, is why you had a problem with him. He has been nurtured by good women all his miserable life!
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