5 Things I Learned From The Stranger Who Wandered Into My Office

Ouija Board-- a socially acceptable accessory? Um, no

Ouija Board– a socially acceptable accessory? Um, no.

Regular readers of this blog know that I love crazy people as much as the next blogger.  But it’s one thing to read about and deeply appreciate blog-world crazies, and it’s another to have crazy come into your office and start talking about wiretapping.  And abortions.  And “women of the night.”

I was calm when a strange lady walked into my office– she was on the wrong floor and looked normal-ish, though I will admit my standards are pretty low.  She had salt-and-pepper hair pulled back in a neat pony tail.  She could have been my aunt or my elementary school teacher.  Or a fucking psycho killer.

Her first question was where the “procurement” office was.  Since I have no idea, that question was easy.  But then, she was asking me whether I thought all the buildings in Chicago were wiretapped. I expressed no opinion about wiretapping or the Government or Chicago.  It was then that I noticed that she was wearing a lapel pin that I swear spelled out “Ouija.”

I swiveled my chair around to keep working, hoping she’d leave.  “You look so nice, so can I ask you some more questions?”  That’s right. She complimented me.  Even a crazy person can tell how much I love affirmations.  Seriously, she thinks the whole wide world is bugged and that certain high level public figures are in some sort of abortion conspiracy, but she can figure out that little old me likes a compliment?

I wasn’t scared, but I also was trying to make a deadline and chatting with people who like to hang out in public buildings wasn’t helping me reach my personal goals.  I thought to myself, What would Willie Nelson do?  He’s not the best north star because let’s face it, he gets to go home and smoke weed, while I have to head home and parent with only some dark chocolate and a Mad Men episode to dull my pain.

My next thought was What would my therapist do?  And I tried to think of ways to charge this lady a bazillion dollars for listening to her problems, but I think that would be a violation of my employment contract.  And the social contract.

Ultimately, our conversation lasted about 30 minutes (though it would have wrapped up in 10 had I not mentioned I have a law degree) though it felt like it was closer to 7 hours.

I can report that I learned something from Strange Ouija Board Rambling Lady:

1. Shut and lock my door during work hours;

2. Be less overt about my thirst for compliments and praise;

3. Don’t tell strangers that I have a law degree because they are going to want me to help them get their security deposits back from an apartment they vacated in 1977;

4. Learn how to set boundaries with strangers; and

5. Learn where the procurement office is (or get comfortable lying about it) so I can send potential psychos on their way.

Every moment is a teachable moment, right?

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17 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned From The Stranger Who Wandered Into My Office

  1. I’m really sorry to break this to you- (although I assume that you already know this) there are people in this world who attract crazies like fly paper. I have been one of those fly paper-people since I can remember. I don’t know how how to remedy this, other than to think we’re actually special and lucky for such encounters.
    But what do I know?!

  2. Would you really want to change it? I can’t even tell you how many crazy person encounters I’ve had (and I don’t even know if I’m referring to them or me)…and as writers and just generally funny people, what else would we use as fodder? (Oh, our familiy? Friends? Selves? Fine.) 90% of my blogs so far have been about the absurd encounters I have on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing yours 🙂

  3. Does this happen to you often? My friend says I have a face that makes strangers talk to me, which I don’t understand because I’m usually scowling. Do you scowl? If so, maybe don’t? She sounds like a real delight though. I hope you got her number so you can hook up for coffee soon.

  4. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should create more on this particular topic, it might not be a taboo topic but usually people are insufficient to speak upon such matters. To the next. Cheers

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