topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, October 02, 2015


My friend Fran found me some-odd years ago through my blog.  Back when our kids were still in strollers.

We used to hang out in the Museum of Natural History, down in the big ocean life room under the whale. We played with play-dough and ate our kids' snacks. We had good conversations.

Amelia and Daya
Museum of Nat History
November 2008

Sometimes I would go to Harlem and hang out with Fran,  We had sleepovers.  She had a beautiful cat named Peppermint. It was fun. Fran is clever and interesting, and our kids got along well.

On one of those sleepovers, I unclogged Fran's toilet, which was old and temperamental, as many things in old NYC apartments are. I taught her how to properly use the plunger.

This was one of those defining moments of friendship.

I will plunge your toilet too,
if you are in need

Fran moved to Georgia.  I miss her a lot. But we are still friends, even though we can't hang out at the playground or museums anymore.

In a most bizarre coincidence a few years ago, a former co-worker (FCW) of mine also met Fran because they were living in the same neighborhood.  That would have been really fun, except that FCW and I got off to a difficult start.  FCW got very upset with me on their second day of work because while I was training them, I "didn't let them talk enough".

FCW did many very strange things that first year, including leaving their desk to work upstairs in the cafeteria every afternoon, But the weirdest was going out on medical leave for what they initially said would be less than a week, and it turned into the whole summer.  During that time they had an out-of-town guest staying with them.  Oh, and also during that time, FCW CALLED HR ON ME because they wanted to move their desk. The reason? They just didn't want to sit next to me.

No talk with our manager, no talk with me, just immediate escalation to HR while they were out of the office.

HR is obligated by law to do a full investigation, which went on for too many months. So they asked various people around the office about me.  They made inquiries. No one had anything negative to say. Finally, they asked FCW to produce an incident list of actual things I did or said to justify the case.  FCW said nothing specific had really ever happened, there was no incident list, she just had "bad feelings" about me. Since she could not produce any specific incidents of my offensive behavior (because THERE NEVER WERE ANY), the case was dropped.

At the conclusion of it all, I told our manager that I wanted FCW to know that I knew about the whole thing, because she was not aware that I knew-, my manager told me because she thought it was unfair for me to not know a case was being launched against me. She told FCW I was aware of what happened.

I had to sit next to her the whole time- for months!- and pretend I didn't know anything.

FCW never approached me to make peace, start over, apologize, nothing.

It was extremely stressful and hurtful.  And I never spoke against her to anyone else in the office.  To this day I haven't told people what happened.

So, under different conditions, I would have been hanging out with Fran and FCW and we would have all been great friends.


  1. Strange situation with that former co-worker of yours O_O I'd hate to sit next to someone that whole time, acting like nothing was up.

  2. Work situations can be very difficult.

  3. ooh that's rough :s too bad you 3 can't hang together but that's life i guess, even if you don't do anything bad you can't please or get along with everyone.

  4. Doesn't sound lie anyone you want or need in your life at all!

  5. Holy crap! Don't you hate people like that? So passive-aggressive! Ugh! On a positive note, it's good to have friends like Fran. Nothing bonds people like the plunger:D

  6. Wow! I had no idea all that was going on! So strange that I knew FCW but never knew about all of that. I love the old pics of the girls! They really put a smile on my face today.

  7. Wow! I had no idea all that was going on! So strange that I knew FCW but never knew about all of that. I love the old pics of the girls! They really put a smile on my face today.


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