Random Work Irritations #2

I have an extremely low tolerance for thick people.

One of the most stupid women I know gave me my current job 6 years ago. She is in her late-30’s, giggly and really sweet but also thick as a plank. Her facial expression flickers between a dazed, beatific smile and blank vacancy – there is no in-between. She was the dumbest woman I knew. Until. She employed her mother to come and work with us. And this is how they became known collectively as The Two-Headed Idiot.

The senior segment of the Two-Headed Idiot is in her 50s and has an expression of eternal surprise and wonder painted over her face, as if she’s just been born and is noticing things for the first time. She has been working for the surgery for two years and still regularly calls me by the wrong name (and, to add insult to injury, it’s the name of one of my least favourite colleagues – see Who’s Who for more). She talks to the patients in patronising tones when, really, it’s she who doesn’t have a clue what’s she doing. And she has those horrible, water-retented, puffy lower legs (or cankles) which annoy me too and which spill out over her horrid, 2 inch heeled court shoes. (I know I’m sounding petty now, but Christ, this woman gets me riled).

I also love/hate malapropisms. Mr P and I often think of compiling a book of the best ones we’ve heard. My personal favourite is “well, it’s not rocking horse science”.

I was sitting with the Senior portion of the Two-Headed Idiot in the common room:

2HI: Aww, your son’s so cute.

ME: (looking up from book in annoyance): I haven’t got a son.

2HI: (not missing a beat) Your daughter then.

ME: I haven’t got any kids.

2HI: [vacant stare]

ME: You think I’m Patricia, don’t you?

2HI: (indignantly) No! No! I just thought…

We go back to a companionable silence.

2HI: I don’t understand these patients.

ME: (trying to stifle my tut as I look up from my book. Again) What about them?

2HI: well, they’re just never happy, are they? You work your socks off, bend over backwards to help them and they’re never satisfied. I don’t know, it’s like they want a cake with jam on it or something.

ME: (immediately texting Mr P with this gem].

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