But He Says He’s Not Racist!

Office boy:  “My brother in law got a teaching job in a town with a lot of Sudanese people.  I told him, ‘I hope you like the smell!'”

Me (blatantly ignoring him):  “Jen, do you have the new number for the tenant in apartment #8?”

Office boy:  “There’s going to be a lot of immigrants, so I said to him, ‘I hope you like the smell!’  Mom, did you hear what I said to Jack?  ‘I hope you like the smell!'”

Me:  “Oh my god, yes, I heard you!  We all heard you.  I was giving you a chance to act like you never said it.”

Office boy:  “Wow, someone from the building on Davidson Street said that kids from the housing complex next door have been throwing rocks at her door.  Here’s the weird part, though – it was the white kids!  It wasn’t even the Somalian kids.  The white kids were doing it!”


Me to Boss Lady:  “Friends of your mother are helping a refugee family get acclimated in the area.  They applied for an apartment, but we haven’t offered it to them because of the lack of references.  However, they think it is because of their skin color.”

Boss Lady:  “That’s horrible!  We don’t discriminate.  Now I don’t want to deal with them at all.”

Me:  “Um, yeah, but here’s the real problem.  I went through the applications on your son’s desk.  There are applications there from over a week ago with references that have not been checked.  Those applicants are clearly not originally from this country.  Other, American-born applicants from the past few days have been checked.  We may not be discriminating against this particular family, but a case can be made on a larger scale based on this trend.  I’ve gone over this repeatedly with him for years in every way I can think of – nice, stern, mean, logically, emotionally – and yet it keeps happening.”

Boss Lady:  “Well, can you go over it with him again?  Make it a teaching moment and make sure you aren’t being mean.”

For the sake of the Old Lady Boss and her social life, and also to counteract Office Boy, I offered the apartment to the refugee family the next day.

Office boy:  “I can’t believe we let those people use the race card to get an apartment.”



Office Boy Has An Accounting Degree

Office Boy:  “Here’s the amounts we need for the property tax bills.  I added them up on spreadsheets for you.”

Me:  “Thanks… hmmm.”

Office boy:  “What?”

Me:  “You need to double check the math on this one.  These six bills should total around $2,400.  You’re off by $75,000.”

Office boy:  “No way, I used the formula in Excel.”

Me:  “The formula only works when you put the decimal point in the right spot.”


Office boy:  “Here’s the spreadsheets for the property tax bills.”

Me:  “Did you use the formula again?”

Office boy:  “Sure did.”

Me:  “Good job.  You’re only off by $900 this time.”

Office boy:  “I need a check to register the building LLCs with the state.  Do you want me to tell you the amount or do you want to look at my spreadsheet first?”

Me:  “SPREADSHEET.  Thank you…. There’s a building missing, the total is wrong, and ‘Company’ is mispelled.”

Office boy:  “Oh… hold on, I’ll redo it…. here you go, all set.”

Me:  “The total is still wrong and that is still not how you are supposed to spell company.”

Office boy:  “What?  Where?”

Me:  “The same spots as before.  Try again.”


Boss Lady Steps Up

Boss Lady:  “We need to transfer some money to the savings account to keep it active.  I filled out the deposit slip for you.”

Me:  “Thanks…wait, this isn’t the account number that I have in my computer.”

Boss Lady:  “It’s not?  Hold on, I wrote down a long string of numbers that I saw on the last statement….Here, is this not right?”

Me, looking at statement:  “No, it’s here, the number listed after the word ‘Account.’  It’s a mistake anyone can make.”


Boss Lady, coming out of her office with a huge grin:  “Do you know what I just realized?!  Today’s date is 12-12-12!!!”

Me:  “…..You do know that it is 2016, right?”


Boss Lady:  “It is so weird that all these electric bills are for the same exact amount as last month.”

Me:  “They did?  I didn’t notice that.  I can take a look at those bills?…..OK, no, they are not the same.  Were you looking at the previous billed amount and then the amount paid instead of the new balance?”

Boss Lady:  “Where is that?  Oh… yes.”

(The utility bill format has not changed in years.)


The Company Heirs

Boss lady:  “Is anyone else having a problem with their email?  I can’t get to mine.”

Me:  (having received an alert that Boss lady had changed her password) “Did you put in your new password?”

Boss lady:  “Oh, I didn’t realize that I needed to use the new password here if I changed it at home… do you know what I changed it to?”

Sometimes bankers walk into the office to hob knob.  I walked into the room while three visiting bankers were around the desk of the owner’s grandson.

Banker:  “I did some business with the original owner several years ago.  Are either of you related to him?”

Owner’s grandson:  “…..uh, no.”

Me:  “I’m not, but he is.  The owner is your grandfather.”

Owner’s grandson:  “Oh, yeah.  That’s right.”

Grandson:  “I finally figured out why the reports are wrong.  You messed up this check last month.”

Me:  “That was written during my vacation week.”

Evolution of a Company

As the old man boss has slipped deeper into Alzheimer’s, his actions have become less humorous and more sad or dangerous.  Think fire, attempted strangulation, feeding cats Diet Coke and hamburger rolls… yeah.

Luckily for the internet, his daughter and grandson both work in the office…and holy shit.  If these are the future owners, I need to get a new job.

Boss lady (on phone):  “Oh, hi.  I’m going to be in a little late.  While getting my coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, I realized I was wearing two different boots.  I need to run back home and get two of the same color.”

Office boy (looking at a rolodex card):  “Uh… I need to call this tenant B-…. Bally?  Belly?  How do I pronounce this name?”

Me:  “Who?  Where does this person live?”

Office boy:  “Apartment #1.”

Me:  “Billie.  How is it spelled on that card?”

Office boy:  “B-I-L-L-I-E, but it can’t be Billie.  She’s a girl.”

Me:  “Billie is also a girl’s name.  Billie Jean was not Michael Jackson’s lover.”

Office boy:  “Oh.  I’ve never heard of it as a girl before.”

Me to Office boy:  “I need you to write a notice to everyone at the building on Key Street about the laundry room being closed.  Do you have everything you need for that?”

Office boy:  “Yeah…oh, my keyboard drawer feels weird.  Oh look, peanut butter crackers!”

Office boy rips open a package of crackers and munches intensely for a solid two minutes.

Me:  “So… you are going to do that notice today, right?”

Office boy:  “What notice?”

Proof reading for the Office boy

“There’s no T in the word Congress.”

“There’s an L in Realty.”

“There’s no 4 anywhere in March 10, 2015.”

“Do you know it hasn’t been 2013 for a while?”

“Your name is misspelled at the bottom.”

“‘Tenants’ has an ‘a’ in it.”

“That’s not where the ‘a’ goes.”

Me to Boss Lady:  “I was thinking that we should put some of the company cash into savings accounts that have higher interest rates than our current ones do.”

Boss Lady:  “Um, ok… (a look of sudden concern comes over her face) – but what happens if the interest rate goes up?”

Me:  “We make more money….”

Boss Lady:  “Oh, that’s ok then.

Learning from the Elderly

Old man boss’s wife:  “It has been lovely weather lately.  Isn’t it beautiful outside?”

Me (looking through the office window):  “Yep, it sure does LOOK nice.”

Wife:  “Oh, that’s right, you have to be in there all day.  That’s good, though.  It is why all nuns have gorgeous skin, because they stay out of the sun all the time.”

Me:  “Um, yes.  That does make me feel better to know that I have a lot in common with nuns.”


Old man boss:  “Me and my wifey got married in a church over fifty years ago.  Did I ever tell you about that?”

Me:  “A little bit.”

Old man boss:  “We got married, and then I wanted to go back to the hotel, but she said no, let’s go to a restaurant.”

Me:  “Ok, she was probably hungry.”

Old man boss:  “And so we ate, and then I wanted to go back to the hotel, and she said no, let’s go shopping.”

Me:  “Ok…”

Old man boss:  “Then we’re shopping, and I’m all like, ‘Let’s go back to the hotel!’, but then she wants to go for a walk.”

Me:  “Why do I feel like this story is rapidly going to an awkward place for me to hear about?”

Old man boss:  “FINALLY, during the walk, she says we can go back to the hotel.  I’m all ‘Yay!’, and then we get there and get between the sheets, and it didn’t work.”

Me:  “And there it is.”

Old man boss:  “So we get up and putter around a little bit, then a few hours later it worked.”

Me:  “Well, at least the story has a happy ending.”

Old man boss:  “These days, you don’t have to wait to get married.  You’ve probably already-”

Me:  “Oops, I’m late to make very important business calls.  I MUST DO THAT RIGHT NOW.”

Old man boss:  “Alrighty.”


Old man boss:  “Our friend Betsy is going to buy my red car.”

Me:  “Yep, I heard about that.”

Old man boss:  “She was married for a long time, like me and my wifey, but then he died a few years ago.”

Me:  “That’s too bad.  It’s nice that she has you guys for friends to lean on.”

Old man boss:  “Now she has a new boyfriend.  They’ve been boyfriend-girlfriend for a couple of months.”

Me:  “Good for her. ”

Old man boss:  “She waited a long time before letting him kiss her, but now they’ve had sex three times.”  (holds up three fingers)

Me:  “…..”

Old man boss:  “Oh, have I already told you that?”

Me:  “No, no, this is the stunned silence of hearing about your friend’s sex life for the first time.  Next time, I’ll be better prepared.”

Old man boss:  “Ok.”


Boss lady walks into the office….

Me:  “Welcome back from your walk.  What’s up?  No crises out there?”

Boss lady (eyes huge):  “I did find a crisis.  The gate to the dumpster at the Wall Street building won’t open.”

Me:  “I’m not sure that fits the definition of crisis.  Not good, but crisis seems a bit overdone.”

Boss lady:  “It IS a crisis.  People won’t be able to throw their trash away.  I’m calling maintenance before trash starts building up at the door.”

Boss lady on maintenance radio:  “Hi, Carl?  The trash gate door won’t open at Wall Street.  I pushed with both hands and couldn’t get it to budge at all.  Can you go up there right away and fix it?”

Carl on radio:  “Yep, can do, but I can tell you right now that it won’t open no matter how many hands you use to push it since it is a pull door.”

Boss lady on radio:  “….. Oh…. um…. it may be all set then.  Thanks.”