Back in the mid 90s I worked with this gal who fascinated the heck out of me for the lies she told. For the sake of the blog let's call her Ann. Personally I think I could use her real name and give her address too because she won't recognize this as about her. So here's the scene: a specialty electronics assembly company in Beaverton Oregon; swing shift, small crew numbering around twenty.
Ann sat directly infront of me with my friend Rose to her left. Ann was absolutely beautiful, tall and lean and graceful. She was in her late twenties and though single she divided her time between living with her dad and her boyfriend. Did I mention she was beautiful? Ann had legs up to there and hair down to meet them. Near as I could tell she was well educated. Maybe she didn't finish college but she'd had at least a few years.
My favorite memory is of the day Ann used a traffic accident as reason for being late to work. Arriving over an hour late she crept onto the floor stealthly dodging her supervisor. Once in her seat Ann quickly laid out her station to appear as if she'd been there for some time. She gulped down part of her Coke to lend further credence to the time factor. Then, assured she'd not been spotted by her boss she swung her chair around and related witnessing a traffic accident that snarled a major intersection thus making her late.
Points: she witnessed it; the accident took place past the intersection; Ann was already running late.
After telling the story to me, Ann turned to Rose and told her a slightly altered version basically making the accident more than a mere fender bender. Rose responded with the appropriate oh's and ah's prompting Ann to emblish a bit further. I had to bite my lip to keep from grinning.
Points: the accident location stayed the same but now also included the driveway into a business; there are more cars involved and victims are more seriously injured.
In typical Ann fashion she took the tale from work station to work station modifying it for her audience. I got Rose's attention and suggested she eavesdrop. This was going to get good. There were seventeen people at work that day counting Ann but not counting her supervisor (who was hiding out in reception eating ice cream while doing word puzzles). By the time the story made it around the assembly floor it somewhat resembled the original tale. Rehearsal over Ann came back to her seat and waited for her supervisor to make rounds.
I wish I'd had a video camera to record the tale told to her boss. Ann said she left home on time and took Barber Blvd because traffic update on radio said 217 was clogged due to construction. Traffic on Barber was moving at a good clip when suddenly out of nowhere an idiot ran a red light. It was a major intersection; cars were slidding and banging. Ann stood on the brakes but the guy behind her reacted too slow. His car hit hers and pushed her into the car in front. Her forehead struck the steering wheel. She's feeling whoosy if she moves quick or when she stands up. Paramedics checked her at the scene. The police questioned her. She had to have her car towed. She borrowed her brother's car to get to work. But Ann made it to work. Granted, a few minutes late but she made it - and see, she's been working. Oh yeah, she forgot to clock in probably due to hitting her head. Would the boss mind signing her time card?
Come on applaud. It took nearly twenty minutes to tell the boss the story and another twenty to recap parts of it. Let's do the math: an hour to rehearse the story and forty minutes to gain the boss' sympathy. But it's not over yet for Ann still has to go back to all sixteen coworkers and bring them up to speed on the story told to the boss. Add another two hours.
Come on applaud. Ann's been at work four hours and no one but me has bothered glancing out to the parking lot. Yep, her car was parked in a side row instead of it's normal up-front-near-the-door slot. By the way, neither her father nor her boyfriend's houses are anywhere near Barber Blvd.