A Real Gem

A Real Gem

I had to interact with a freshly-minted, twenty-something, and honestly, it was one of the worst experiences of my life. The interaction was simple enough, nothing horrible happened, but the sheer ineptitude of this person greatly impressed me. The day started like any other day. We all arrived at the office and got to work. Within an hour or so, the twenty-something—we’ll just call her TS—came up to me and asked if I could help her with something.

“Hey, uh, sorry to bother you, but could you help me with something?” Turning around to face her, she backs up, looking fearful, “Yea, sure. What’s up?” “Well,” TS begins; “I need something sent to me here in the office.” “Okay? You don’t want it sent to your house?” “I can do that?” “Do what?” “Have things sent to my apartment?”

Quick disclaimer, we are both living abroad, in a foreign country where, every once in awhile, a new employee will replace a leaving employee and said new employee will inhabit the living quarters of the exiting employee.

I stare at her mostly out of shock and then disgust, “Yes.” “But I don’t have an address?” “Are you homeless?” “No.” “Then you have an address. Do you know where you live?” “I mean, yea, but no one ever gave me the address.” “Who would give you your address?” “I.D.K. The person I replaced didn’t write it down for me.” “Did you ask for it?” “Was I supposed to?”

I take a slow, deep breath, “How else would you be able to have stuff sent to you if you don’t know your own address?” “Uh, I guess I didn’t realize I’d have to have stuff sent to me.” “But just on the off chance … never mind. How’d you get stuff before you moved here?” “I lived at college, and my parents sent me stuff.” “How’d they send stuff to you?” “They knew my address, I guess.” “Have you ever known your own … never mind. Don’t answer that.” The fucking idiot laughs aloud at herself. “So, you need something sent to you here because you don’t know your home address?” “Yes.” “So, what’s the problem?” “Do you know the office address?” I brace myself and resist the urge to slap her stupid face.

“Oh my ephing god. You don’t know how to find the address of your own work place?” “I guess not.” “How would you find the address of some other place, any place,  if you had to take a guess?” “The internet?” “Did you try that? Did you google the company to see what would pop up?” “Uh, no.” “Why don’t you go try it and see what you can find.”

Fifteen minutes later, the idiot returns. “I think I found it.” “Okay, and?” “What?” “What, what?” “What do I do now?” “You send it to whomever needs to send you something.” “How? Through email or text?” “Who needs to send you something?” “My bank?” “How did they contact you?” “My phone.” “They called?” “Yea.” “And who did you speak to?” “It went to voicemail.” “Of course it did. Did the person leave a phone number?” “Yea.” “So, call them back with your address.” “Call? Can I text it?” “Uh, yea,” I encourage with full sarcasm and full confidence that the bank’s number is most likely a landline; “Sure, text back.” “But …” “But what?” “What do I say?” “Get out.” What?” “Get out of my face,” I flatly state as calmly as humanly possible in the moment.

The next day the idiot dares to return to my desk. “Hi, sorry to bother you.” I do not respond. “Uh, here, I wrote down the address.” I turn around to look at the slip of paper in her hand. “Okay?” “So, do I put my name on it somewhere?” “Do you want the mail to be sent to you?” “Yea.” “So then, yes.” She points to the paper in her hand, “Like right here?” “Yes. That ought to do it,” I remark, leaving out any comment about how to format the address in a particular way and leave the one line of jumbled info with no zip code something she needs to figure out for herself. “Great. Thanks!” she exclaims, as if proud of herself for some reason.