(Start with "Monday" if you can. Tell your boss that the company owes you fifteen minutes from last month. By the time she sorts it all out, you'll be caught up.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. Doctors' receptionists, and how hard it is to get good help. Especially for eight dollars an hour.
Then there was Gloria, the doctors' assistant at the fertility clinic I went to. She wasn't nasty. She wasn't incompetent. She was evil.
I don't mean it as an insult. Just as a statement of fact. Some people are tall. Some people are overweight. Some people are shy. Gloria was evil.
And there was no way to avoid her.
And I tried.
If you called any of the six doctors, she answered. If you emailed them, it sailed directly into her inbox. If she accidentally called you back, she alone would decide whether or not to put the doctor on the phone. And she always decided against it.
She'd deny getting your messages. Her email wasn't working. Her voice mail dropped calls. It was always something. And damn it if she wasn't convincing.
I think during a lifetime, everyone meets a few people who seem so nice to your face, but your gut just isn't buying it. Everybody likes them. You can't pinpoint why you don't. Yet every time you're in their presence your colon knots into a figure eight.
Gloria seemed nice enough. But being evil is like being a psychopath. All psychopaths are nice. How else are they ever going to lure anybody into their car or convince anyone to take a nice long walk with them through the nice dark woods?
And the temperature in her office was always ten degrees warmer than in the rest of the clinic. She claimed it was because she was always cold. I think it was because below her perfectly manicured nails was a very professional-looking keyboard, below which was a very tidy desk, below which she was engulfed in flames twenty-four hours a day.
I don't think she ever left. Once I got there so early the door was locked. Dr. Shroeder came along after a while with a key. When she opened the door and turned the lights on, there sat Gloria, at her desk, like she'd been there for days.
I think if there was a major earthquake and the whole building that contained the clinic came crashing down, the rescue crew would find Gloria, among the rubble, sitting at her desk, neatly groomed, cool as a cucumber, typing away.
(Well what could she do? Afterall it was an act of GD... or someone. Maybe she's just being loyal... but to whom?)
And the doctors and nurses could not sing her praises enough. I'm thinking it was like that episode of The Twilight Zone with that evil brat, Anthony, who kept threatening to send everyone to the cornfield if they had unpleasant thoughts.
"Gloria's nice. Everyone likes Gloria. Isn't Gloria a wonderful, wonderful assistant?"
She was my biggest incentive to get pregnant. I had to get away from her. I had to leave the clinic because I knew she never would. She was there for millenia.
And nobody would ever sack her for fear that the next morning they'd wake up to find their house in flames and their soul gone. Or maybe they'd wake up in a cornfield.
Listen I gotta go. It's suddenly gotten very hot in here. I'll talk with ya tomorrow...I hope.
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