I don’t know if this qualifies as the rudest thing that was ever done to me or the meanest but maybe it’s the same thing in the long run. I have changed the names to protect the innocent as well as the not-so-innocent. I changed my own name to Linda for absolutely no reason other than just because I can.
Many years ago I was working as a secretary (named Linda) and one of my jobs was sending paychecks and forwarding mail to the men working out in the field. I can’t remember now exactly what this particular mailing was that I was supposed to send but Mr. Snake called more than once, upset that he hadn’t received it yet. I doubt if it was just a paycheck because that is something quickly resolved by sending another and would only be a day or two’s wait, even back in the days of snail mail before automatic deposit became popular. He lived out of town so it wasn’t an easy thing to come into the office and pick up another document. I was patient with Mr. Snake each time he called even though I knew I had mailed it out and assumed the U.S. Postal Service had let me down again. This wasn’t the first time the post office made me look bad. I once received a return letter exactly one year after it had left the office. This is just a suspicion but it was back in the days when Nancy was still working and playing at the Post Office. I have no proof but I suspect she was bored and kept sending it out traveling around the world, seeing how long she could keep it in circulation. Um…please don’t tell her I said that…she can be get pretty rude herself, according to her, and I have enough problems.
To get back on track (forgive me…I’m getting old and we tend to ramble), the boss was aware that this VIP document wasn’t received by the field guy because I told him. I also told him that I had sent it and he seemed to believe that, knowing that there were little mail elves out there like Nancy and Newman who had games to play and mail to hide. I sent another that WAS received and forgot about it. Finally one day I got a call from Mr. Snake. He was very embarrassed and wanted to apologize. He explained that he separates personal mail from business mail and had set aside a personal pile to go through later. It was a week or two when he finally went through it, there in the middle of the pile was the VIP document. He had been rude with me on the phone so he wanted to be honest and let me know it wasn’t my fault. I told him no problem, nothing to apologize about, and Mr. Boss would be happy to hear the (client contract?) had shown up. He asked that I please not tell him because he was embarrassed that he did something so stupid. I just laughed and agreed not to say anything.
I hung up the phone and turned around to see Mr. Boss standing there. He asked what the conversation was about and I tried to fudge it off. He was very insistent that I tell him so I just said that the original document had finally shown up. He was uncharacteristically demanding and insisted on knowing how and when it had shown up so I had no choice but to tell him. I added that Mr. Snake was embarrassed and asked me not to tell him and that it wasn’t a big deal. Mr. Boss looked angry and let me know he had gotten a call from Mr. Snake a week earlier. He blamed me for the lost VIP document and strongly suggested that it was cause for me to lose my job as the company had almost lost a big client because of it. THAT is when Mr. Snake became “Mr. Snake” and I learned not to be so trusting.