Look, I’m Not SAYING She’s an Airhead…

Look, I'm Not SAYING She's an Airhead

So then…I hear our office manager clip-clopping down the hallway with the newest receptionist to introduce her around to the staff.

I roll my eyes because history has proven that the revolving door of receptionists at this particular company are hired more for beauty than brains. Whoever’s selecting them seems less focused on a 60 WPM typing number and more interested in a 36-24-36 number.

And sure enough, as they round the corner and pop into my office, I see a young lady in her mid-20’s with sky-high heels, push-up bra, tight skirt, and enough cosmetics to paint the Sistine Chapel.

(I admonish myself not to be so judgy! Stop judging this book by its skimpy cover!)

I smile cheerfully as the office manager says, “Darcy Perdu, I’d like you to meet our new receptionist.”

“Nice to meet you. Welcome aboard,” I say.

She smiles and introduces herself.

Since we’ll be adding her to the email network and phone directory, I say, “So how do you spell your name? Is it J-a-c-k-i-e? Or J-a-c-q-u-e?”

She giggles and says, “Oh, whichever.”


I furrow my brow. Maybe she didn’t understand the question, so I repeat it. “No, I mean, how do YOU spell your name? Is it “k-i-e” or “q-u-e” at the end?”

She giggles again and says, “Oh, whatever you want.”

WHAT!? Whatever I want? It’s her name!

What if I want it to be spelled “B-o-o-b-i-e-H-e-a-d-e-d-D-i-n-g-B-a-t?” Is she OK with THAT?

Now look, I totally understand when people are indifferent about what they’re CALLED:

As in, “Do you prefer to be called Kathy or Kathleen?
Dave or David?
Jim or Jimmy?”

And the person says, “Oh, whichever is fine.” That’s cool.

And I’ve certainly seen people behave completely nonchalant when asked questions like:
“Do you prefer butter or cream cheese on your bagel?”
“Do you want to sit near the window or the aisle?”
“Do you strangle or stab your victims?”

“Oh, whichever” is a perfectly fine response to ANY of THOSE questions.

But when someone asks you how you SPELL YOUR NAME, isn’t that something you should have an opinion about?

Isn’t she signing her name fairly frequently – on forms, notes, checks, tax returns? Does she spell it DIFFERENTLY each time, whatever the mood strikes her that day?

Or does she have a system?

Maybe it’s “Jacque” for resumes –
“Jackie” for restraining orders –
“Jakkeee” for love notes –
And “Pjackey” for her computer password (the “p” is silent).

I’m cracking up because it’s just mind-boggling to me that after 20-some-odd years on this planet, she hasn’t yet made a definitive decision about HOW TO SPELL HER NAME.

I can just imagine how decisive she’ll be in her new job here.

Caller: “Hello, can you please connect me to your billing department?”
Jackie/Jacque: “Sure.” (presses “whichever” combination of buttons strike her fancy)

Warehouse Employee: “Does the boss want this shipment to go to our Dallas office or the New York office?”
Jackie/Jacque: (giggling) “Whichever is fine.”

Delivery Person: “Here’s the lunch order for the meeting. Looks delicious. Should I put it in the conference room or (chuckle) just gobble it up myself?”
Jackie/Jacque: (giggling) “Whichever is fine.”

Boss: “Your work performance is very poor. Should I try to re-train you to be more decisive – or just terminate you?”
Jackie/Jacque: (giggling) “Whichever is fine.”

And then she’ll giggle her way to the nearest Hooters (or is it “Huuturz?”)

Now before you think I’m being too hard on the poor girl – she’s 24! Not 2! Giggling and uncertainty might be acceptable at 2 – but at 24? Nope.

And it’s not like I asked her to explain the Quantum Entanglement Theory of Electrons – or the highest-grossing agricultural export of Paraguay! I asked her how she SPELLS HER NAME!

“Um…okay,” I say. “Just let us know whatever you decide and we’ll add your name to the roster.”

She ultimately chooses “Jackie” but I shall forever think of her as “Pjackey” (the “p” is silent, of course).

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any of your coworkers (past or present) who seem a bit challenged in the common sense department? Any examples of odd answers to simple questions? Any funny name stories to share?)

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36 replies on “Look, I’m Not SAYING She’s an Airhead…

  1. Julie said:

    ….. I am stunned… I… What…. Why….

    Do you ever wonder why so many of these kinds of people aren’t dropping like flies?? Breathing is INVOLUNTARY. Seems there should be a threshold though doesn’t it??

  2. Arionis said:

    She might have been a stripper from Bada Bing that witnessed a mafia murder and is now in witness protection. She’s just not sure how she’s going to spell her new name yet. Although she did end up going with Jackie which is slighly less stripperish than Jacque.

    • Oh, I LOVE this back story you’ve created for Pjackey! That would be a perfectly reasonable explanation for her confusion! Hilarious!

      • Arionis said:

        LOL! You know, I think I might name my next pet PJackey. But I’ll pronounce the P, or maybe not, (giggling) whichever. :)

        • Oh Arionis, I love you! Yes, PLEASE name your next pet Pjackey and PLEASE send me a photo of her and PLEASE pronounce the P! Hysterical!!

          • Arionis said:

            LOL! You got it!

  3. Hilarious!!! I hope she never had kids. What would she put down the birth certificate? Whatever?

  4. I’d kill her. First I’d ask her how she wants to die…and when she said, “Whichever is fine”…I’d do both.

    • Strangle or stab? Well, perhaps murder’s a bit harsh. Perhaps let her live, but ask her not to procreate.

      • Paul said:

        Which do you prefer, Tubal Ligation or Hysterectomy?

  5. No stories to match this (though I think we should start a pool on how long pJackey will actually last), but we did just hire an employee by the name of Rama Lama, and I can’t help but want to add Ding Dong to the end of it.
    Suzanne Vince recently posted..The Bitch Movement, Join it Today!My Profile

    • Rama Lama – Ding Dong? LOVE IT!
      In our Hong Kong office, we once had an employee named Bich Ho — and even though I realize her name is pronounced “Bik” — it cracked me up everytime I received an email from her, because in my mind it looked like “Bitch Ho” which is the best bad-ass name ever!!

  6. Paul said:

    This really opens a whole new category of management by choice:

    1) Which to you prefer: working for free or getting paid?
    2) Which do you prefer: no benefits or benefits?
    3) Which do you prefer: working 40 hrs per week or 80 hrs per week?
    4) Which do you prefer: cleaning the washrooms or receptionist duties?

    And so on.

    I think you’ve struck on a brand new HR tactic, Darcy.

    • I LOVE this idea! Brilliant! I’m rubbing my hands together with glee, just THINKING about all the fabulous things this tactic can create — hello, donuts for everyone!

  7. Maybe “whichever” was her name. I once had a girl in my history class whose name was “Mi.” On the first day of class, when Mrs. Bernstein went up and down the rows, asking names, she said “Mi,” and Mrs. Bernstein said, “Yeah you.” She again said, “Mi,” and Mrs. Bernstein again said, “Yes,you.” This “who’s on first” scenario went on about five times until the whole class shouted, “HER NAME IS MI!!!”
    Parri Sontag (Her Royal Thighness) recently posted..I Was the Worst Mary Kay Lady Ever!My Profile

    • That’s so funny! It reminds me of a date I went on in college with a kid named Tim Booth. He took me to a fancy-schmancy popular ice cream parlor-restaurant in town that had big plush booths and small wooden tables. It was super crowded with people walking between him and the hostess, so when she asked his name to put on the waiting list, he said “Booth.” So she said,”Yes, but what’s your name?” So he looked confused and said “Booth!” She said impatiently, “I know, I know! But what is YOUR NAME!?” And he said “BOOTH! BOOTH!” (I was dying laughing because I knew she thought he was specifying booth instead of table — and he couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t write his name down! And yes, I could’ve easily stepped in to clear up the confusion, but it was just TOO HYSTERICAL for me to intervene!)

  8. ” … enough cosmetics to paint the Sistine Chapel…” Of course. It’s difficult to think when your face is covered in shellac perhaps. Or – ooooh – perhaps she’s a recent placement in protective custody. That could account for both the makeup and the name uncertainty …
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted..The Secret We No Longer Keep From MomMy Profile

    • Yes! Protective custody makes sense! She’s in Witness Protection — THAT’S why she can’t recall her name spelling! Ha!

  9. Poor, poor Pjackey. Maybe all the makeup and hairspray created fumes that killed 80% of her brain cells. Maybe she just couldn’t help herself. I hope some sugar daddy takes pity on her and puts her in a condo for her safe keeping.
    Carrie recently posted..I Wanted to Blog, but Then I Discovered Doctor WhoMy Profile

    • Ha! “condo for her safekeeping!” so funny! she needs that!
      also love your theory on the hairspray fumes affecting her brain cells! highly possible!

  10. Hi Darcy,

    Not sure if you’ll ever read this, but, I thought I’d better send it anyway.

    I’ve just started my own blog; after a couple of years of reading (amongst others) your hilarious self, David Thorne, Jenny Lawson & Allie Brosh, I decided I needed my own outlet for the random crap that inhabits my head.

    Now to the point of this mail – in the ‘About’ section of my blog I’ve put a link to your blog, David Thorne’s and Jenny Lawson’s. I did this a couple of weeks ago assuming that this would be ok, like free advertising but as time has gone on I’ve realised I might actually get into trouble for this since I’ve done it without your express permission.

    So, is it ok? Can I keep your link on there?

    Many thanks either way (you continue to make me actually LOL with your writing).


    • Wow, Jamie! What a phenomenal compliment! I can’t believe you’d consider me in the same company as Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), David Thorne, and Allie Brosh! I ADORE those guys! And yes, of course I’m DELIGHTED that you list my link on your site. Congrats on your new blog! The ironing story cracked me up!

  11. I can’t speak for co-workers, but a certain former brother-in-law was a real dullard. I often think it’s a real shame his father didn’t pull out on the night he was conceived.
    William Kendall recently posted..Contrasting SanctuariesMy Profile

    • Sounds like Pjackey and the former brother-in-law are a match made in Heaven! Ha!

  12. Well thanks a lot Darcy. Four years! We spent four long, intense years training this sleeper agent. Learning to file, perfecting her American accent, doing temp jobs, GETTING HER NAILS JUST RIGHT(!!!) and just when we had her in the midst of the biggest paper clip and copier paper embezzlement scheme in history… you blow her cover with ONE GODDAMNED QUESTION.

    Don’t come running to me when you’re staring down the barrel of an inter-office memo and realize you’re out of paper AND PAPER CLIPS(!) again.

    • Laughing so hard at your comment, Scott! Your sleeper agent was doing a SPECTACULAR job impersonating a vacuous bimbette! I’m so sorry I blew her cover with my complicated question! Bwhahaha!

    • Thank you so much for writing about the So Then Stories shirt! When I posted your pic to Facebook, it received MANY “Likes!” Such a gorgeous photo of a gorgeous lady!

  13. Bea said:

    Hahaha, I have a (very) little bit of sympathy for Pjackey, since I did something kind of similar recently. My real name is Beatrice, and that’s the name I use for all official things, so whenever my name is written on something, that’s almost always the name used. About 50% of people call me Bea, but they don’t usually write it. When they do, sometimes they write “Bea” and sometimes just “B,” and I’ve never cared much either way. Well, a few months ago, someone asked me for the first time which spelling I preferred and without thinking, I said “Oh, either’s fine.” He gave me a weird look, and I realized it probably did seem like I didn’t know how to spell my own name . . . even though the truth is I’m just not particular about how my name is abbreviated. If it were the name I was using for an official work roster, I would (hopefully) have an answer, though!

    • Dear Bea/B/Bee/Beatrice: I love that you came forth with your confession! I now have a bit more sympathy for Pjackey. And now I shall think of you as PBea (the P is silent, of course!!) Ha! Love, PDarcy