|Taylor Swift is Photogenic.|
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Agent 54 here again. Let’s talk about another one of my former co-workers. Why not? After all, what good is it to work with so many weirdoes, geeks, creeps and jerks if you can’t make fun of them later?
Shirley Whistlebottom wasn’t an imposing figure at four foot nothing but she had a weapon. It wouldn’t be accurate to say her mouth was big. It was probably regular size for her body but, boy was it active. I don’t think you could shut Shirley up with a pair of vice grips and she had an opinion on absolutely everything and she never hesitated to tell you exactly what she thought. I guess the true term for Shirley would be to say “she had no internal filter”.
Shirley worked in the Plateroom at Moore Business Forms for over 26 years and she was sure that she knew more about printing than anyone else ever. She probably did have a wealth of knowledge about printing but, nobody would ever ask for her help or advice because it would come with that mean, sharp tongued mouth of hers. Shirley wasn’t above calling a co-worker an idiot or moron to their faces. If you made a mistake, watch out! Shirley made sure that everybody knew about it.
Being %100 Pennsylvania Dutch, Shirley could never admit to making a mistake or being wrong in any way what so ever. As our current President does, whenever anything Shirley was working on went wrong, she immediately blamed someone else for the error.
I was working in the Press department and I decided to transfer into the Plateroom to learn something new and work second shift so I could play Ice Hockey or Golf during the day. My friend Debbie worked there and I knew we would get along well at work. Shirley worked Days and after a week of training I really wouldn’t have to deal with her much so I went for it.
When the transfer became official Debbie gave me the low-down on Shirley. She said one thing to me that I’ll never forget. Debbie told me that Shirley would tell me that she was gifted with a “Photogenic Memory”.
There is something called a “Photographic Memory” or “Eidetic Memory” Wikipedia: Eidetic memory /aɪˈdɛtɪk/ Commonly referred to as photographic memory or total recall, is the ability to recall images, sounds or objects in memory with great precision, and is not acquired through mnemonics.
Of course, if you can’t remember the common term for a Photographic Memory then you don’t have one. A Photographic Memory is very rare and people who have them are usually genius’s or savants. Shirley was neither. Not by a long shot.
My first day in the Plateroom came and my supervisor Pete escorted me to the room to introduce me to everyone just before shift change. Shirley started her mouth. In a minute I learned exactly how Shirley was God’s gift to printing and then she dropped the bomb. In front of me, Pete, Debbie, John and 4 other co-workers and with her hands on her hips and a look of pride on her face she said “I was gifted with a Photogenic Memory and I never forget anything”.
What was so hilarious to me was that nobody reacted. Nobody flinched. I know that most, if not all (possible exception of Pete) of us knew there was no such thing as a “Photogenic Memory” but, we also knew that Shirley was the kind of self-righteous know it all, asshole that you could never win an argument with ever because in the end she would get angry and call you a moron or an idiot and hold it against you forever.
So we said nothing, until break time. I looked at Debbie and she cracked up and John went too. It was our own little inside joke. All you had to do was say “I forgot” or “is that tape Memorex” or anything involving memory and we would burst out laughing. Laughing that is, when Shirley wasn’t there.
From time to time we would get visitors in the Plateroom. Sometimes it was a new VP of the entire company, coming in from Canada and Pete would always bring them in to see the Plateroom. What was so funny to me was that every time to every visitor Shirley repeated her “I was gifted with a Photogenic Memory and I never forget anything” claim. Never, not once did anyone challenge her on it. Debbie, John and I never said anything because we thought it was hysterical how she made a fool of herself every time. Pete didn’t say anything because he probably didn’t know any better and everyone else who knew Shirley just didn’t want to confront her.
I had to wonder though, what did those VPs think? Could they tell what kind of shrew they were dealing with after only meeting her one time? Did they decide, like the rest of us, to just let it go or did they think Shirley was an idiot and that she represented all of us in the plant? We never knew and we didn’t care. It was just funny.
Further I had to wonder why nobody outside of work ever challenged her on that statement that she must have made with pride to everyone else she had ever met. I could imagine an eight year old grand kid trying to tell Nanny that she was wrong. The kid probably got a spanking they’ll never forget.
Eventually she retired but, I’ll never forget Shirley Whistlebottom and her “Photogenic Memory”.